Macbeth (Scotland)

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Macbeth ( Mac Bethad mac Findlàich ; * 1005 ; † August 15, 1057 in Lumphanan , Aberdeenshire ) was King of Scotland from August 14, 1040 until his death.

Historical background

In 11th century Scotland there was no hereditary succession to the throne ; the kings were elected from among a group of entitled to throne under the Tanistry system. In practice, this often meant power struggles between the candidates and even murder. Macbeth was the son of Findláech , who had taken the wrong side in the struggle for succession to the throne. Findláech had married Dabhda, daughter of Malcolm II and sister of Bethoc, mother of future King Duncan I.

This alliance with the House of Atholl alienated him from his own lineage, the House of Moray , a genealogical construction that goes back to some kings of the Picts in the 8th century. His own brother finally ordered Findláech to be murdered by his nephews Gillecomgain and Malcolm. Malcolm died in 1029; he was followed by Gillecomgain, who was killed in 1031 or 1032 in a raid ordered by King Malcolm II. Macbeth followed his cousin as Mormaer of Moray and married Gillecomgain's widow Gruoch , a granddaughter of Kenneth III. ; thereby Macbeth became the stepfather of her son Lulach . During this time he already held the challenging title of Rí Alban , King of Scotland.

Macbeth's reign

Macbeth was military leader of the Scottish King Duncan I and defeated him on August 14, 1040 in the Battle of Elgin , in which Thorfinn Sigurdsson was also involved. Duncan died and his sons fled to England and Ireland. In contrast to the portrayal in William Shakespeare's drama Macbeth , this change of power led to an improvement in Scotland . His reign was characterized by relative prosperity, peace and quiet both internally and externally. He united the warring Scottish regions and ensured law and order. The orderly state in which Scotland was under Macbeth is shown, for example, by the fact that in 1050 he was able to undertake a pilgrimage to Rome lasting several months and that when he returned he found the country still peaceful.

In 1054 Scotland was invaded by Siward, Earl of Northumbria . The origin of Siward's conflict with the Scots and the purpose of the campaign are unclear. During this invasion, somewhere north of the Firth of Forth in Scotland, a battle known as the "Battle of the Dormouse" (July 27th) or the "Battle of Dunsinane" was fought. The lore that the battle actually took place at Dunsinane Hill has its origins in later medieval legend. The earliest mention of Dunsinane as a site of battle is in the early 15th century.

On August 15, 1057, Macbeth fell fighting Duncan's son Malcolm III. by the hand of MacDuff. Macbeth's stepson Lulach remained king until 1058. Malcolm had secured the support of the English King Edward the Confessor for his fight against Macbeth . This led to an increasing influence of England on Scotland, and the Celtic culture was more and more pushed back by the Anglo-Saxon , after 1066 by the Norman- French.

Macbeth's tomb is on Iona . He is the last Scottish king buried there.

Artistic processing: Shakespeare and others

The play Macbeth , one of William Shakespeare's most famous dramas , is not based on historical facts, but on a depiction by the chronicler Raphael Holinshed from the 16th century. She describes Macbeth's change from faithful Duncan to regicide, who is increasingly falling into madness.

The operas Macbeth by Giuseppe Verdi and Macbeth by Ernest Bloch are in turn based on Shakespeare's drama.

The Disney series Gargoyles - On the Wings of Justice also processes the story of the Scottish King Macbeth in addition to some other topics of the u. a. British history and legends.

The British heavy metal band Hell wrote a song about Macbeth.

Justin Kurzel filmed Shakespeare's drama and the story of Macbeth in Macbeth 2015. Michael Fassbender took on the role of Macbeth.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Powicke & Fryde: Handbook of British Chronology. Second Edition, London 1961, p. 54.
  2. For details, see the article on Siward

Web links

predecessor Office successor
Duncan I. King of Scotland