Chapters: Preface: an eventful voyage; Concepts and historiography of the Northumbrian and Gaelic worlds: medieval to modern exiles and emperors: Gaelic-Northumbrian political relations in the Golden Age; Fragmentation and opportunity: from the eighth century to the Viking Age; Pathways through the past: routes between the Gaelic world and the Northumbrian kingdom; A Golden Age of ecclesiastical contacts; Saints and seaways in the Viking Age; Medieval multilingualism: Gaelic linguistic influence in the Northumbrian kingdom; Movement and material culture in the Northumbrian and Gaelic worlds; Conclusion: individuals and influences.
Northumbria was the most northerly Anglo-Saxon kingdom; its impressive landscape featured two sweeping coastlines, which opened the area to a variety of cultural connections. This book explores influences that emanated from the Gaelic-speaking world, including Ireland, the Isle of Man, Argyll and the kingdom of Alba (the nascent Scottish kingdom). It encompasses Northumbria's Golden Age, the political and scholarly high-point of the seventh and early eighth centuries, and culminates with the kingdom's decline and fragmentation in the Viking Age, which opened up new links with Gaelic-Scandinavian communities. Political and ecclesiastical connections are discussed in detail; the study also covers linguistic contact, material culture and the practicalities of travel, bringing out the realities of contemporary life. This interdisciplinary approach sheds new light on the west and north of the Northumbrian kingdom, the areas linked most closely with the Gaelic world. Overall, the book reveals the extent to which Gaelic influence was multi-faceted, complex and enduring.