The southern Picts ultimately subdued the Britons, and the castle became their chief stronghold until they were overthrown in 617 (or 629) by the Saxons under Edwin, king of Northumbria, from whom the name of Edinburgh is derived.
Among other matters reference is made to the introduction of Christianity in the reign of Tiberius; the persecution under Diocletian; the spread of the Arian heresy; the election of Maximus as emperor by the legions in Britain, and his subsequent death at Aquileia; the incursions of the Picts and Scots into the southern part of the island; the temporary assistance rendered to the harassed Britons by the Romans; the final abandonment of the island by the latter; the coming of the Saxons and their reception by Guortigern (Vortigern); and, finally, the conflicts between the Britons, led by a noble Roman, Ambrosius Aurelianus, and the new invaders.
The fortress was often besieged and sometimes taken, the Picts seizing it in 736 and the Northmen in 870, but the most effectual surprise of all was that accomplished, in the interests of the young King James VI., by Thomas Crawford of Jordanhill on March 31, 1571.
In the quarrels of Picts and of Scots of Argyll, the Pictish king, Angus MacFergus (ob.
There was, of course, in fact, no extermination of the Picts, there was merely a change of dynasty, and alliance between Picts and Scots, and that change was probably made in accordance with Pictish customs of succession.
About this time he is thought by many to have obtained some footing in the kingdom of the Picts in succession to their king Talorcan, the son of his brother Eanfrid.
From this time onwards the Humber formed the boundary between the two kingdoms. In 684 we hear of the first English invasion of Ireland, but in the following year Ecgfrith was slain and his army totally destroyed by the Picts at a place called Nechtansmere (probably Dunnichen Moss in Forfarshire).
This basaltic hill, the name of which is believed to commemorate the British king Arthur, who from its height is said to have watched the defeat of the Picts by his followers, is shaped like a lion couchant, with head towards the north.
About the end of the century the southern Picts of Galloway, and tribes farther north, were partially converted by St Ninian, from the candida casa of Whithern.
During his reign the coasts of Gaul were harassed by the Saxon pirates, with whom the Picts and Scots of northern Britain joined hands, and ravaged the island from the wall of Antoninus to the shores of Kent.