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Not all Vikings went round terrorising their neighbours and sprinkling genes for red hair and hard drinking along the Tyne. Some of them stayed at home and led deeply uneventful lives.

"The English language, which at different times has adopted 'vandal', 'barbarian', 'thug' and 'hooligan' to denote violent and dangerous people, never made similar use of 'viking'" – which is not of course to say that the Vikings never were violent and dangerous, but may perhaps be taken as suggesting there was more to them than just that. Skilful ship-builders and gifted navigators, for one thing. Anyway, I don't mind if a once-red beard and a moderate capacity are as far as I get! I'll settle for being a post-heathendom descendant.

Since first inking those runes neatly on a shim of birch-bark I've come across some more references to add:

NGN site - topics

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