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More detailed accounts are wanting relative to the kings of Limerick and Waterford during the eleventh and twelfth centuries; though it is certain enough that they continued to reign there just as long as in Dublin. Nor can we at present discover many apparent or recognisable traces of the dominion of the Ostmen and their kings in the two places just mentioned. Still Waterford appears to have derived its present name from the Norwegians. The Irish called the town “ Port Lairge;" to which name, however, modern Irish scholars would ascribe a “ Danish ” origin, as it is supposed to be derived from a Danish chief called Lairge, mentioned in the Irish annals in the year 951. The Norwegians, on the other hand called it “ Veðrafjörðr," the resemblance of which to Waterford is not to be mistaken. Near the coast of this “ fiord,” which may have given name to the town, is still to be seen a monument, very rare in Ireland, of the ancient Norwegians' art of fortification, namely, a round tower, said to have been erected in the year 1003 by the reigning Norwegian king in Waterford, Regnald, or Reginald (Ragnvald), and which to the present day is commonly called “ Reginald's Tower.”
This tower, which in Irish was also called “Dundory," or the king's fortress, was afterwards used both as a fortress and a mint. After the English conquest of Waterford, Earl Strongbow used it in the year 1171 as a secure dwelling-place; and, among other prisoners, for a long time kept Reginald, the last king of the “ Danes ” in Waterford, imprisoned in it. The tower afterwards underwent several changes, till, in the year 1819, it (or at least the exterior) was restored to its original form, just as the following delineation of it (after Petrie) shows.
With regard to Dublin, however, the case is quite different. The series of kings there from the year 853 until about 1200, and consequently for almost three centuries and a half, is pretty complete. It was a natural consequence of the considerable power and influence possessed by the kings of Dublin, that their names were often men
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tioned in the chronicles in connection with important events both in Ireland and in the neighbouring countries. The Norwegian kings in Dublin knew how gradually to strengthen and extend their power, not only by arms, but also by a shrewd and able policy. They soon learnt how to avail themselves of the intestine disputes by which the Irish tribes and chiefs were divided. They joined one of the ruling parties, contracted marriage with the daughters of Irish kings and chieftains, and on their side gave Scandinavian women in wedlock to leading Irishmen. According to the old Irish book called “ the Book of Lecan,” the Irish king Congolaich (934-954) had a son, Mortogh, by Radnalt, daughter of the Dublin king Anlaf, or Olaf. At a somewhat later period a Norwegian king in Dublin, named Anlaf, was married to an Irish woman, Dunlath, who was mother of the Dublin king “Gluin-Jarainn" (Iron-Knee). Similar marriages between Norwegian and Irish royal families are often mentioned ; even King Brian Boru, so adored by the Irish, was nearly related to the Norwegian kings. He was father of Teige and Donogh, by Gormlaith, or Kormlöd, a daughter of Morogh Mac Finn, king of Leinster. But Gormlaith was also married for a long time to the Dublin king, Anlaf, by whom she had a son, afterwards the celebrated king of Dublin, Sigtryg Silkeskjæg (Silk-beard); and thus Brian Boru's two sons Teige and Donogh-of whom Teige afterwards married Mor, a daughter of the “ Danish ” king Eachmargach of Dublin-were balf-brothers of their father's enemy, King Sigtryg. “ The Book of Leinster” says that Gormlaith was likewise mother of the NorwegianIrish king Amlaff Cuaran (Olaf Kvaran); whilst the Irish chronicler, Duald Mac Firbis, mentions this same Olaf Kvaran as married to Sadhbh (Save), a daughter of Brian Boru, and that even “at the time when the battle of Clontarf took place.” After this we are better able to understand how it happened that whole Irish tribes, with their kings at their head, so often fought in union with the Norwegians and Danes ; since we learn that their mutual political interests were bound closer together by the ties of relationship.
On the other hand, the Norwegian or Scandinavian kings of Dublin and other parts of Ireland also constantly maintained connections, both of friendship and relationship, with their countrymen in England and Scotland, as well as in the mother-countries of Scandinavia. It might, indeed, sometimes happen that Scandinavian kings or Vikings, from Man or the Orkneys, attacked, nay even conquered for a time, the Norwegian kingdom of Dublin, particularly when the Norwegians in Ireland were at variance with one another. But in general the Scandinavian colonists in the British Isles appear to have stood or fallen with one another. Numerous Scandinavian warriors from England, Scotland, and the surrounding islands, fought now and then in conjunction with the Norwegians settled in Ireland, against the native Irish. But the Norwegian kings in Ireland frequently supported their friends in England and Scotland against the Anglo-Saxons and the Highland Scots, and at times won kingdoms there by force of arms. Mutual marriages, also, were frequently made, whilst Scandinavian merchants and Vikings, for instance, dwelt in Dublin at the court of the Norwegian kings. Thus the Norwegian prince Olaf Tryggvesön, after having been christened at Dublin, stayed there for some time with the Norwegian king Olaf Kvaran, and married his sister Gyda.
Many accounts testify that the Norwegians in Ireland, at least in the cities, and especially Dublin, were powerful enough to maintain their language, and the rest of their Scandinavian characteristics, in spite of the Irish. The Icelandic bards, Thorgils Orraskjald and Gunnlaug Ormstunga, are expressly stated to have visited the court of the Norwegian kings in Dublin in the tenth and eleventh centuries, where they diverted the Scandinavian warriors with their national songs. Ancient Irish manuscripts contain proofs not only of the peculiar language, but also of the peculiar writing, of the Norwegians, or runes, which in Irish were called “Ogham na Loochlannach " or “Gallogham” (the Northmen's, or strangers', Ogham). Ogham was the name of a mode of writing then used by the Irish. There are also some traces of characteristic Scandinavian institutions among the Norwegians and Danes in Ireland. In an Irish poem of the early middle ages, about the Norwegian chief “ Magnus the Great,” the Norwegians are called " the people with the twelve counsellors.” This leads us to think that the Norwegians, like the Danes in England, must have employed in their judicial proceedings a sort of jury, consisting of twelve men of repute, an institution so foreign and striking to the Irish, that they were led to characterize the Norwegians by it. It is at least quits certain that the Norwegians in Ireland, as the Irish chronicles admit, kept themselves entirely separate from the Irish with regard to their ecclesiastical institutions, and that they likewise had their own assize place in Dublin, which bore the Scandinavian name Thing. A document of the year 1258 conveys a gift of some ground in the suburbs of Dublin, in “ Thengmotha” (from “mote," a meeting), which the Irish publisher of it (the Rev. R. Butler) correctly explains by " the place of legal assembly in the Danish times of Dublin." The Thing place, which seems to have been not far from the present site of Dublin Castle, where the Norwegians had erected a strong fortress, gave to the surrounding parish of St. Andrew the surname of " de Thengmote.”
One of the chief causes that the Norwegians in the Irish cities maintained uninterruptedly their Scandinavian characteristics, and consequently their independent power likewise, was that they not only lived in the midst of the Irish, but that, as Giraldus Cambrensis expressly intimates, they erected in every city a town of their own, surrounded with deep ditches and strong walls, which secured them against the attacks of the natives. They built a rather