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and the lost but re-discovered name of the place, contribute to corroborate the credibility of Snorre Sturleson's account.
Both the Irish and the Scandinavian records agree that Norwegians and Danes were settled in Ireland at a very early period. The Vikings are said to have ravaged its coasts for the first time in the year 795; and in the ninth century many of them were already settled in the country. Amongst the men who, at the close of the ninth and beginning of the tenth century, first colonized Iceland, several Irishmen, or rather descendants of Norwegians settled in Ireland, are mentioned; as, for instance, Thormod and Ketil Bufa, Haskel Hnokkan, who was descended from the Irish king Rjarval, besides others. Intermarriages between the Norwegians in Ireland and the native Irish seem to have taken place from the very first; which explains the circumstance that many men in Iceland bore at an early period Irish names, such as Kjaran and Niel or Njall.
The Norwegians in Ireland, like their Danish kinsmen in England, were obliged to begin by settling on the coasts; whence, both by warlike and peaceful means, they gradually extended their dominion over the country. Besides this continually-increasing and more peaceful colonization, roving Scandinavian Vikings continued their attacks in different parts of Ireland, whereby the power of the Irish was considerably weakened. A pause took place, however, in the tenth century, both in the expeditions of the Vikings, and in the progress of the Scandinavian settlements in Ireland. It is even stated that for about forty years "the strangers " (the Galls) were entirely driven out of the country; but this is probably an exaggeration. This diminution of the power of the Norwegians in Ireland occurred about the same time with the decrease of the Danish power in England, and appears to have been produced by the same causes; namely, internal commotions in the mother-country of Scandinavia, which prevented the sending of such ample assistance as previously to the colonists in the British Islands.
Subsequently, however, the Norwegian dominion in Ireland became doubly powerful; and the Irish were so far from being able to expel the strangers, that, notwithstanding the numerical inferiority of the latter, they were often masters in the country. It was evidently Norwegians rather than Danes who settled in Ireland, although not a few of the latter were mixed with them. In later times all the Northmen in Ireland are included under the common name of "Danes." But the best and oldest Irish chronicles distinguish, as it has been previously remarked, between the light-haired " Finn-Lochlannoch," or " Fionn Lochlannaigh" (the Norwegians), and the dark-haired "Dubh-Lochlannoch," or "Dubh-Lochlannaigh" (the Danes); or, what is the same, between Dubgall (" DubhGhoill") and Finngall ("Fionn Ghoill"). The abovementioned chronicle of " the Wars of the Irish and the Northmen," which draws a clear distinction between the Norwegians and Danes, expressly says that the Danes were only one of those tribes that made expeditions of conquest to Ireland. We even learn from the Irish chronicles that the Norwegians and Danes often fought between themselves for the dominion in Ireland. For instance, it is stated in the Irish annals in the year 845: " the Dubhgalls (the Panes) came this year to Dublin, sabred the Finngalls (the Norwegians), destroyed their fortresses, and carried away many prisoners and much booty with them." Similar intestine disputes are mentioned in other places of the annals; yet, as might be expected, the Danes appear still more frequently as fighting in alliance with the Norwegians. On the flat shores in the middle of the eastern coast of- Ireland, between Dublin and Drogheda, which are called Finngall, or " the strangers'land" (from "finne," a land, and "gall," a stranger), and which in ancient times were colonized chiefly by Norwegians, is a small town called Baldoyle. In old documents this town is named
"Balidubgail," the Dubhgalls' or Danes' town (" bal," a town). We have thus an existing proof that the Danes also were once actually settled in Ireland. The Dubhgalls are likewise said to have settled in the districts nearest to the south and west of Dublin.
For the rest, among the names of places in Ireland which remind us of the Norwegian dominion, we must in particular specify the names of three of Ireland's four provinces, viz., Ulster (in Irish "Uladh"), Leinster (Irish, "Laighin "), and Munster (Irish, "Mumha," or "Mumhain "); in all of which is added to the original Irish forms the Scandinavian or Norwegian ending sta'&r, ster. It might even be a question whether the name "Ireland" did not originally derive this form from the Northmen. On this head we have, at all events, a choice only between the Northmen and the Anglo-Saxons, for to the present day the Irish themselves still call the country Eirinn or Eiri. The termination land is entirely unknown in their language.
That the Northmen, and especially the Norwegians, should have been able to give to the three most important provinces of Ireland the names which they still bear, sufficiently indicates that they must have been settled there in no inconsiderable numbers, or that they must at all events long have ruled these districts, which is also con-, firmed by the statements of the Irish chronicles. But in general we shall seek in vain among the names of places in Ireland for traces of such an extensive Scandinavian coloniza tion as existed in the North of England. All circumstances clearly show that the Northmen in Ireland were proportionately less settled in the rural districts than in the towns. In consequence of the remote situation of Ireland, its extent, and the magnitude of its population, they were exposed in the rural districts, when at some distance from the coast, to much more danger than in the towns, where, they could better assemble their forces behind ramparts and ditches. It is a very striking circumstance that the, chief strength of the Norwegians lay precisely in those towns which have since continued to be the greatest and most important in Ireland. The Norwegian dominion in Ireland had quite a peculiar character, having been divided into several small and scattered kingdoms, each comprised in a town, or even only part of a town, with at most an inconsiderable adjacent tract of land. That such kingdoms should subsist for several centuries, and even long after, the Danish dominion had ceased in England, is certainly one of the most remarkable, and, with regard to the civilization of the Northmen, most pregnant facts in the history, of the Scandinavian emigrants.
Norwegian Kings.—Limerick.—Cork..—Waterford.—Reginald's Tower. —Dublin.—Thengmotha.—Oxmantown.
According to trustworthy historical evidence, the Norwegians and the Danes, or the Ost-men, as they were called in Ireland (from having come originally from the east), principally fixed their abodes in Dublin, Waterford, and Limerick, where, as early as the ninth century, they had founded peculiar Scandinavian kingdoms. They were also settled in considerable numbers in Wexford, Cork, and several Irish cities, so that they had possessed themselves, by degrees, of the best-situated places in the east, south, and west of Ireland, both for navigation and for intercourse with the rich countries of the interior.
The central point, however, of the real Norwegian power was the present capital, Dublin. This considerable city, which is said to contain at present more than three hundred thousand inhabitants, lies on both sides of the river Liffey, near the spot where it discharges itself into the Irish Channel. It is surrounded by a charming and fertile country. Anciently, however, and especially before the
arrival of the Norwegians in Ireland, it seems to have been comparatively insignificant, both as regards extent and population. Yet even at that time it was, probably by means of its fortunate situation, and its connections with the neighbouring countries, the most important place in Ireland, which, at that early period, did not possess any very large towns. But as Dublin and its vicinity was at all events one of the most attractive points on the east coast of Ireland, some of the first Scandinavian kingdoms were founded there. About the middle of the ninth century a celebrated Norwegian Viking, Olaf the White, is said to have taken Dublin, and made himself king of the city and district. After the death of Olaf in a battle, two sons of King Harald Haarfager (Fair-hair), of Norway, arrived there, namely, Thorgils, called by the Irish Turges, and Frode; who, by means of the sword, likewise won for themselves thrones in Dublin. Subsequently to them, again, as the Irish chronicles relate, there landed three brothers, Olaf, Sigtryg, and Ivar, who became kings in Dublin, Waterford, and Limerick. From that time Norwegian kings reigned in those places, with but few interruptions, for full three centuries.
There would certainly be some cause to doubt of so extensive a Norwegian dominion in a country so remote as Ireland, as well as of the actual existence of so striking a number of Scandinavian, and especially Norwegian, kings of cities, if the names of a great number of them were not preserved; and that, too, not so much in the chronicles of the Norwegians themselves, as in those of the conquered Irish, who had no reason to exaggerate in this respect. Several of the Norwegian kings mentioned in the Irish chronicles are, besides, mentioned in contemporary Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian records; whence it becomes doubly probable that the remainder of the Norwegian kings mentioned by the Irish actually reigned in the places indicated.
As the Irish chronicles thus not only give the most