Menu Travels in Time

0 to 800 AD




AD to 500 AD

AD In the early centuries AD, Gaelic-speaking communities in western Scotland share a language with Irish communities across the sea.

Knappaghbeg Lough, Moher Lough & Ballin Lough (Crannogs)

c.130-180 AD Ptolemy's Geography; includes a detailed map of Ireland with identifiable names of rivers, towns and tribes.

297-c.450 AD Irish raids on Roman Britain

431 AD Palladius sent as first Bishop to Irish Christians by Pope Celestine; Annals of Ulster' begin.

432 AD Traditional date of Saint Patrick's mission.

c.445-53 AD Probable floruit of Niall Noígiallach founder of the Uí Néill dynasty

c.490 AD Saint Éndae founds the earliest monastery on Aran

493 AD Traditional date for the death of Saint Patrick (Wed 17th March)

100 AD. Tacitus' Germania, an ethnographic work in Latin, describes Germanic society, discussing good manners, marriage, politics, warfare.

Society is strictly ruled by chieftains. Bronze plays a major role for the organization of the society, and those who control the import of it have a leading position. When bronze is replaced by iron this makes a great impact. Suddenly bronze is of less importance. The advantage of iron is that easily accessed resources can produce it. The power that earlier was concentrated among the elite changes as the population's liberty increases.

We can trace a division between ethnic groups in the Northern part of Norway: the Norse and Sámi population.

Court sites can be found all over Norway. In Northern Norway these sites are closely connected with local chiefdoms.

Clear evidence of import material to Northern Norway. Glass vessels from the British Isles, France and Germany, metal jewellery. Later found as grave goods in the burial mounds.

83 AD Agricola, with a force of over 20,000 men, defeats the Pictish Caledonii.

Roman naval operations take place on north and west coasts of Scotland.

138 AD Romans move north to construct the Antonine Wall across lowland Scotland, from the Forth to the Clyde, separating Romans from "barbarians".




500 AD to 600 AD

Archaic Old Irish linguistic period.

Efflorescence of early Irish monasticism.

Earliest Irish law texts committed to writing


524/6 AD Death of Saint Brigid of Kildare.

546 AD Derry founded by Saint Colum Cille (Columba).

547/8 AD Clonmacnoise founded by Saint Ciarán.

Beginnings of monastic

c.550 AD Hiberno-Latin writing: Hymns and penitentials.

Technology of iron production changes, allowing for more continuous production. The evidence of a more industrialised iron production coincides with the transition to medieval times.

c. 500 AD The earliest Christian monuments in Scotland are being carved in stone

The Gaels of Scotland have coalesced into the kingdom of Dál Riata which also exists in the north-east of Ireland, thus straddling the sea.

563 AD Iona founded by Saint Colum Cille.

575 AD Convention of Druim Cett ( Co. Derry)

c.580-c.680 AD Latin literature flourishes in Ireland: works of Latin grammar and biblical exegesis.

c.590 AD Saint Columbanus begins Irish mission on Continent; founds Annegray, Luxeil and Fontaines.

c.590 AD The Cathach Psalter; earliest Irish MS, allegedly written by Saint Colm Cille.

563 AD Columba arrives in Dál Riata from Ireland, and founds a monastery on Iona, an island granted to him by the king of Dál Riata, according to the annals.

574 AD Columba 'ordains' Aedán mac Gabráin as king of Dál Riata.

580 AD Aedán mac Gabráin, king of Dál Riata, makes a raid on the Orkney islands.

582 AD Aedán mac Gabráin defeats Picts in battle of Manau, south-eastern Scotland.

597 AD Death of Colum Cille, founder of Iona.




600 AD to 700 AD

615 AD Death of Saint Columbanus at Bobbio

622 AD Death of Saint Cóemgen (Kevin) of Glendalough

635-651 AD Saint Aiden's mission from Iona to Norththumbria; founds Lindisfarne.

Around 600- 700 AD the import of high status luxury artefacts, mainly jewellery. They are commonly found as grave goods. Many graves contain metal objects of British and Irish origins. Some of them clearly originate in a Christian context. Is it only the material culture that is shifting hands, or is ideology also changing with it ?

617 AD The burning of 150 martyrs of Eigg - the monks of Saint Donnán.

632 AD Oswald gains kingship of Northumbria. He had been in exile for years in Dál Riata, possibly at or near Dunadd. Now he establishes links between Iona in Dál Riata and northern England.

637 AD Dál Riata succumbs to Northumbrian overlordship.


649/50 AD Death of Saint Fursa in France buried at Peronne (Peronna Scottorum, Picardy) by founder, Erchinoald, mayor of the palace in Neustria.

c.650-750 AD High achievement in Irish metal- working, stone sculpture: Ossory group of High crosses; classical period of  Old Irish laws.

664 AD Synod of Whitby:Roman Easter accepted in Norththumbria;

668 AD Colmán bishop of Lindisfarne, and his adherents retire to Ireland; found Inisbofin.

c. 670 AD Colmán founds a monastery at Mayo, Maigh Eo na Sacsan (Mayo of the English) the name of County Mayo derives from this place.

c.668-730 AD Gradual transition from tribalism to dynastic polity in Ireland.

670-c.690 AD Armagh seeks to establish its primacy; Muirchú and Tírechán write hagiographical works on Saint Patrick.

689 AD Martyrdom of Saint Killian at Würzburg (8 July)

c.692 x 697 AD Adomnán's 'Vita Columbae'written.

698-700 AD Three years of Famine and pestilence;

c. 650 AD The Senchas Fer nAlban - History of the Scots - is composed, listing Dál Riata's kingdoms, and assessing their demographic

668 AD Colmán, Iona monk and former bishop of Lindisfarne, sails to Inisbofin from Iona.

683 AD The siege of Dunadd and the siege of Dundurn

697 AD  Adomnán, the ninth abbot of Iona, promulgates his 'Law of the Innocents' for the first time.




700 AD to 800 AD

c.700-c.900 AD  Classical Old Irish linguistic period

c.700-750 AD Moylough belt shrine: Tara brooch; Ardagh chalice.

710 x 725 AD Compilation of Irish canon law ('Collectio Hibernensis' ) by Cú Chuimne of Iona and Rubin mac Connad of Dairinis (Molana Island, near Youghal )

716 AD Iona accepts Roman Easter.

720 AD Othmar founds monastery of Saint Gallen, Switzerland.


700-800 AD Change in norse belief system, from a strong fertility cult worshipping Frøy, Frøya and Njord, towards a warrier cult with Odin as the great warrier- leader.

c. 700 AD Cross-marked quern made and used on Dunadd. 

721 AD Two bishops with Scottish connections are at a Church council in Rome: Sedulius Bishop of Britain, of the race of the Irish, and Fergustus the Pict, bishop of Scotia.

732 AD Saint Gerald dies. We know from the Annals of Ulster, that he was an outstanding abbot and perhaps even a bishop.

c.740 AD  Compilation of 'Seanchas Már', Irish legal corpus.

Ending of Iona chronicle; compilation of annals continued in Ireland; earliest genealogical corpus for the whole of Ireland compiled.

742-748 AD Saint Boniface clashes with Virgilius (Fergal?) and other Irish missionaries in Germany.

c.750-800 AD Saint Gall gospels and Book of Kells illuminated.

c.750-775 AD Composition of Irish World Chronicle at Bangor.

c.770-c.840 AD Céle Dé (Culdee) reform movement within Irish church.

778 AD Flannabhra chief of the Umhalls of Co. Mayo died.

736 AD Aengus son of Fergus, king of the Picts, laid waste the territory of Dál Riata and seized Dunadd.  This perhaps marks the end of Dál Riata as a kingdom.  Dál Riata's entries in the annal record decrease sharply.

795 AD First Viking raids on Ireland: Lambay Island.

Viking raid on Inisbofin Island.

795-807 AD Vikings raid and finally destroy Inismurray.

Roscam, Co Galway attacked by Vikings.

8th of June 793 AD Norse attack on monastery of Lindisfarne in Britain (on the coast of Northumberland), Many more Viking raids follow.

790s AD The Creation of the Book of Kells, probably on Iona.

794 AD Annals of Ulster: Devastation of all the islands of Britain by the 'heathens'.

Mayo - Vestvågøy - Mid-Argyll

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