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Huusdal (Housedale); and, with a similar mixture, Ghionaforsenary. A little more inland is the valley of Tungadelebeg, where the Gaelic beg (little) is added to the Norwegian Tungadal.

From the frequent Gaelic terminations and corruptions of the Norwegian names, it is sufficiently evident tha; the Norwegian language has lost its former dominion in the island, and that the Gaelic has resumed its ancient preeminence. The western districts of Skye, as well as the previously-mentioned Norderoer, or northern islands, from Lewis to Barrahead (which last are often called under one name, "the Long Island"), are precisely those places in the Highlands where the Gaelic tongue is most unmixed, and where the greatest quantity of old Gaelic traditions and songs still survives among the people. It was here also, that a great number of the world-renowned songs of Ossian were first composed. It is true we no longer hear the people sing them, but there can nevertheless be scarcely any doubt, particularly if we regard the perceptible traces of the aucient metre in the Gaelic texts, that the so frequently and warmly disputed edition by Macpherson is really founded on ancient songs, although these may have been somewhat altered by lapse of time, and by a not very happy translation. They have quite a peculiar interest for the Scandinavian North, from the striking agreement in tone and spirit which they present to several of the songs of the Sagas and Edda. These last, again, afford a strong proof of the genuineness of those attributed to Ossian, since the songs of the Sagas and Edda, at the time when Macpherson published his Ossian, were either not at all, or but very imperfectly known, even in Scandinavia itself, not to speak of other countries. The real age of Ossian's songs is very uncertain, and very difficult to discover; but this much is clear, that they indicate a lively intercourse between Alba (Scotland) and Lochlin (Scandinavia), long before the times of the Vikings, and previously to all historical accounts of connections between those countries. We cannot, however, venture to conclude from this that the Orkneys, or any other part of Scotland, were at so early a period inhabited by a Scandinavian people. That such a colonization should really have taken place before the time of the Vikings, which began at the close of the eighth century, there are not only wanting historical and archseological proofs, but likewise all internal probability.

Mull ("Myl") is the largest of the most southern Norderoer, or northern islands, but it is not richest in memorials of the Northmen. In the narrow strait or sound (" Mylarsund") which separates the island from the mainland, there lies straight before Tobermory, the most important place in the island, the little island of Calve (" Mylarkalfr "); and somewhat farther south of Tobermory, on a rivulet by the coast, are the ruins of the palace of Aros (from "aros;" Dan., Aarhus,' the mouth of the rivulet or Aa), once frequently inhabited by the rulers of these islands, called "Lords of the Isles." Another river in Mull, well stocked with fish, was formerly called Glenforsay (Monro, "Description of the Western Isles," 1594), from the Norwegian " forsd" (Fosaa; Eng., Waterfall-river), to which the Gaelic glen has since been added. With the exception, perhaps, of Assapoll (from -bol), in the south-west, the island has no Norwegian names of places. Of such names, however, several are to be met with on the islands west of Mull, particularly on Coll (" Koln"), where we find Crossapull, Gisapoll (from bol), Arnabost (-bolster), and Balehough; and on Tiree, Tyrvist, together with Kirkapoll, Heylipoll, Vassipoll, and Crossipoll. In the bay formed by Mull, towards the west, are found many small islands with originally Norwegian names, such as Ulva (" Ulfey"), together with Soriby, Gometra ("GuSmundarey"), and Staffa ("Stafey"), so famed for its stalactic caverns.

But of all the Hebrides, none is more renowned than Iona (Ithona, "the Waves' Island"), or Icolmkill, "the island with Columba's cells," which lies in the open Atlantic, near the south-west point of Mali. It is not distinguished either hy size and fertility or by numerous and splendid ruins; it is now but an inconsiderable island, with some few remains of churches, conventual buildings, and ancient Christian sepulchral monuments. But about thirteen centuries ago it was the light of the western world; for, after St. Columba settled there, it became the central point whence Christianity diffused itself towards the east and north, over Scotland and the surrounding islands. Iona thus obtained such repute for sanctity, that it was said that a deluge which was to overwhelm Ireland, and the islands round about, would have no power to inundate it. Tradition adds, that, for this reason, the ancient Irish, Scotch, and Norwegian kings, besides many other chiefs and mighty men, both at home and abroad, chose Iona as their place of burial; and that at the commencement of the sixteenth century, no fewer than three hundred and sixty splendid stone crosses, or tombstones, were still to be found on the island, which, however, with some few exceptions, have now entirely disappeared.

According to an old description of the island, by Dean Monro (1594), there was to the north of the Scotch graves an inscription, which ran thus:—" Tumulus regum Norwegie," or, "the tombe of the Kings of Norroway, in the quhilk tombe, as we find in our ancient Eriske cronickells, there layes eight Kings of Norroway, and also we find in our Eriske cronickells, that Coelus, King of Norroway, commandit his nobils to take his bodey and burey it in Colmkill, if it chancit him to die in the isles; hot he was so discomfitit, that ther remained not so many of his army as wold burey him there." By the kings of Norway here mentioned we must of course understand only the kings of the Sudreyjar, or southern islands, and the Irish kings of Norwegian descent. It is in itself very probable that these kings often desired to be buried in Iona, where the first bishops of the proper Sudreyjar, "the bishops of the isles," dwelt, and whose church of St. Mary was consequently the chief church in the islands. The tombs of the kings, however, can at present scarcely be pointed out with certainty; we only know that they must have been in the large and still visible burial-place consecrated to St. Oran. On this place there is likewise a little chapel consecrated to the same saint, which, according to the opinion of some, is of Norwegian workmanship—a point, however, which must be very doubtful.

In the chapel are to be seen the remains of a carved monument erected in the year 1489 to Lachlan Mackinnon (Mac Fingon), and on it, underneath the inscription, is a ship, which is still to be found in the family arms of the Mackinnons, but which is said to have been originally the heraldic bearing of the Norwegian kings in the Isle of Man.


The Island of Iona was of special importance in ancient times, not only to Scotland, but to the Scandinavian North. From it Christianity was assuredly disseminated among the Norwegians in the Sudreyjar, or southern isles, the Orkneys, and the Shetland Isles; whence, again, it was often carried by Vikings and merchants to Norway and Iceland. In the latter place, where not a few men from the southern isles were among the first colonists, there was even a church dedicated to St. Columba. Whilst, therefore, heathen Norwegians plundered and destroyed the churches and convents of Iona. the Christian Norwegians seem to have respected its sanctity. The Sagas, which call it "Eyin helga " (the holy island), state, that the Norwegian king, Magnus Barfod (Barefoot), when in his first expedition to the Sudreyjar and Ireland, in the year 1097, he came to "the holy island," gave all the inhabitants a guaranty of peace and security, and allowed them to retain their possessions. It is also stated that "King Magnus opened the little Kolumkille Church, and went therein; but that he directly locked the door again, and said that no one should dare to enter; and since that time the church has never been opened."

Section X.

The Sndreyjar, or Southern Isles.—Cantire.—Islay.—Man.—Names of Places.—Runic Stones.—Kings.—Battle of Largs.—" Lords of the Isles."—Tynwald in Man.

Iona was not always accounted one of the northern isles. Farther towards the north, on the north-west coast of Mull, are the islands of Treshinish, and among them a steep rocky island, called Cairnburg, which is said to have formed, at all events at times, the boundary between the northern and southern isles, or Sudreyjar. Cairnburg is accessible only at one spot, and by its height above the sea it forms an important strongbold, which in former times was often numerously garrisoned. The Sagas, which call the island "Bjana," or "Bjarnarborg," state that it was one of those strong fortresses in the southern isles, the surrender of which was in vain demanded by King Alexander the Second of Scotland, from the Norwegian tributary king, Ion Dungadson; and tradition still tells that "the Danes" often fought for the possession of this important place. "The Sudreyjar" (in which, among the larger islands,

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