Flaithbertach Uí Mealla

Flaithbertach Uí Mealla
Edmundbeingmartyred05.jpg
A medieval depiction of Flaithbertach, tied to a tree, being executed by archers of Moimir the Kneebringer's armies.
King of Maltaire
Reign970–977
PredecessorEleanora
King of the Uí Mealla
Reign970–977
PredecessorEleanora
SuccessorFinnean Uí Mealla
Born944
Clóghál, Uí Mealla
Died977(977-00-00) (aged 32–33)
Auchdernaig, Kingdom of Maltaire (present day Bulgakovo, Soravia)
SpouseEimhir Ní Caísidei
IssueDiarmad
Eachann
Aignéis
Fearghas
Éirinn
Catan
Eircheard
TúathUí Mealla
FatherLachlainn or Gillechrìosd
MotherEleanora
ReligionSolarian Catholic Church

Flaithbertach Uí Mealla, sometimes referred to in Estmerish by his cognomen Flaherty the Vanquished (Old Ghaillish: Flaithbertach an Cloïthe; Old Soravian: Флѣѥтї Mьртвъ; Flæjeti Mĭrtvŭ) was the second and last King of Maltaire and the penultimate titular leader of the Uí Mealla clan, holding both titles from the death of his mother Eleanora of Caldia in 970 to his own death in 977.

Flaithbertach was born as the firstborn son of Eleanora of Caldia, and spent much of his early life accompanying his mother on raids across the northern Euclean coast. Aged five, the Kingdom of Maltaire was founded, where he would grow up. Catholic chronicler Harmon of Istros described Flaithbertach as "a prodigal and unrelenting child, whose attitude toward learning and ruling fit most in the band of barbarian peasants from which they came". Despite this, he likely had a good relationship with his mother, and took over the throne of Maltaire on her death in 970, though he had exercised the duties of monarch as heir and regent for several months prior.

A far less skilled warrior and raider than his predecessor, Flaithbertach struggled to sustain the kingdom economically through raiding as defensive mechanisms across the Euclean coast had become stronger and more sustainable during marauder raids. In 973, the Samistopolitan fleet successfully defended the city for the first time in history, further adding to the economic decline the kingdom was already experiencing. In 976, Moimir of Dulat, after several years of expansion and settling west along the coast, launched an invasion of Maltaire. The armies of Pavatria significantly outnumbered those of the marauders, who focussed predominantly on naval combat, and by the end of the year the de facto capital of Drisina had fallen to the invading forces. Flaithbertach led the remnants of his military forces in the Battle of Auchdernaig in 977, before he was captured by invading armies and executed on the orders of Moimir.

The fall of the marauders in western Euclea excessively changed the economic and political landscape of the region. After his death, his life was chronicled across the western Catholic world, most extensively by Harmon, who wrote negatively of the young ruler. Flaithbertach was succeeded by his son Finnean Uí Mealla as the leader of the Uí Mealla clan.

Early life

King of Maltaire

Accession and rule

Death

Historiography

Legacy

See also