Islay | 0 to 700 AD
Islay, like much of Scotland and the surrounding islands, was inhabited by Celtic peoples during this period. These Celtic tribes lived in small communities and engaged in agriculture, fishing, and trade with neighboring regions.
While the Romans had a presence in southern Britain (England) during the Roman period, there is limited evidence of direct Roman influence on Islay itself. Roman artifacts and coins have been found in various parts of Scotland, suggesting some level of interaction.
The spread of Christianity to Islay likely occured during the early Christian period, with Christian missionaries reaching the island in the sixth and seventh centuries. Monastic communities were established on some of the Hebridean islands during this time, and Islay may have been influenced by these developments.
By the late eighth century and into the ninth century, Viking raids and invasions began to affect Islay and other parts of Scotland. The Vikings, known for their seafaring prowess, targeted coastal communities in search of riches and resources.
Islay, like other parts of early medieval Scotland, likely had a system of tribal kingships and chieftaincies. The Viking incursions and later migrations of Norse settlers had a significant impact on the political and cultural landscape of the region. Over time, as the Norse influence waned, the clans of Scotland began to take shape. These clans would play a crucial role in the subsequent history of Scotland.
Islay is pronounced “eye-luh.”