MY WARLIKE HERITAGE—VIKINGS AND O’MALLEYS. I posted here about the theory that my father expressed from time to time at the dinner table, that our ancestors had in common that rather than fight for their land, they had moved to parts of the world where nobody else would want to settle. That is one view. However, my father also liked to talk about Grace O’ Malley and the Vikings. The Vikings were the Danes on my mother’s side of the family and my father’s mother was an O’Malley.
Of course, there is respectable scholarship which argues that pirates and Vikings are part of commerce and on the whole beneficial to civilization.
Nick commented on this post on the fury of the Norsemen:
“As a descendant of this, I vacillate between boasting about how successful we were at terrorizing the European coasts and how civilized we were. I suppose I want everything both ways.”