Sitric Silkbeard @1014retold Battle of Clontarf 1014 Twitter Retelling
  • Title - King of Dublin
  • Likes - Being in charge
  • Dislikes - Taking orders
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King of Dublin, a Norse nobleman, and main architect of the rebellion against Brian Boru.

Sitric Mac Amlaib, known as Sitric Silkbeard, was the son of Olaf Cuaran, the great Norse King of Dublin and York, and the famous Gormlaith ingen Murchada, daughter of a King of Leinster.

Brought up in a noble household, Sitric ruled over a Dublin that was becoming a vibrant urban centre in the Viking mold, with a thriving market and a highly lucrative overseas trade. In fact the first coins minted in Dublin bore his image.

During his reign he frequently came into conflict with both Irish and other Norse kings around Ireland, including Mael Sechnaill and Brian Boru. After a major defeat in 999, Sitric submitted to Brian’s overlordship, to the extent that he took Brian’s daughter Slaine as his wife.

Though Irish-born, Sitric would naturally have gravitated to his Norse kinsmen, with strong family ties and alliances among the noble houses of Scandinavia, Scotland, England and beyond.

These sources of help may have bolstered him when he rebelled once more against the alliance of Brian Boru and Mael Sechnaill, a rebellion which ultimately lead to the final showdown at the Battle of Clontarf.

Early in 1014, possibly at the instigation of his mother Gormlaith, Sitric travelled as far afield as the Orkney Islands and the Isle of Man, seeking support from the Norse leadership there in a major push against the rule of Brian Boru.