Norse-Gaels

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The Norse-Gaels were a people who dominated much of the Irish Sea region and western Scotland for a part of the Middle Ages; they were of Gaelic and Scandinavian origin and as a whole exhibited a great deal of Gaelic and Norse cultural syncretism. Other modern terms used include Scoto-Norse, Hiberno-Norse, Irish-Norse and Foreign Gaels.

The correct translation for Gall-GhĂ idheil or any of the variant spellings is "Foreign Gaels" and is not specifically used to refer to Norse foreigners. It is a general term to describe a particular ethnic grouping of foreigners of which the Norse formed part. This term is subject to a large range of variations depending on chronological and geographical differences in the Gaelic language, i.e. Gall Gaidel, Gall Gaidhel, Gall Gaidheal, Gall Gaedil, Gall Gaedhil, Gall Gaedhel, Gall Goidel, etc. The modern term in Irish however, is Gall-Ghaeil, while the Scottish Gaelic is Gall-GhĂ idheil.

History

The Norse-Gaels originated in Viking colonies of Ireland and Scotland, whose inhabitants became subject to the process of Gaelicisation, whereby starting as early as the ninth century, most intermarried with native Gaels (except for the Norse who settled in Cumbria) and adopted the Gaelic language as well as many other Gaelic customs. Many left their original worship of Norse gods and converted to Christianity, and this contributed to the Gaelicisation.

Gaelicised Scandinavians dominated the Irish Sea region until...
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