As we have seen, the root of what was to be the Scottish kingdom was in the union of Picts and Scots in the ninth century to form the kingdom of Alba. But there was still a long way to go. Alba covered only the territories between the Forth/Clyde isthmus and the Great Glen. To the north, lay Moray — the lands round the Moray Firth, and including much of what is now Wester Ross — which was much involved with Alba, but for long not exactly part of it. The north and west, now Caithness, Sutherland and the Western and Northern Isles, were controlled by Scandinavian settlers, only loosely and nominally governed by the kings of Norway. South of the Forth/Clyde isthmus, there was still Strathclyde under its own rulers in the west, and the region of Lothian in the east, dominated by an Anglian aristocracy much connected with Northumbria.
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