Looking out to sea in Proteus, Stephen casts his thoughts back eleven centuries, to the time of the first Viking invasions of Ireland: "Galleys of the Lochlanns ran here to beach, in quest of prey, their bloodbeaked prows riding low on a molten pewter surf." Lochlann (land of the lochs, i.e. the fjords of Norway) is a Gaelic name preserved to the present day in both Ireland and Scotland. It refers to the first Viking raiders and settlers of Ireland in the last decade of the 8th century and the first decades of the 9th. At about the same time, other invaders from what is now Denmark began settling Britain, and in 853 these new Scandinavians arrived in Ireland. Stephen thinks of them in the next breath: "Dane vikings, torcs of tomahawks aglitter on their breasts when Malachi wore the collar of gold."

John Hunt 2014

A Drakkar longship, painted by an unknown artist. Source: historicalwritings.wordpress.com.

The first Danish kings of Dublin, starting in 853. Source: Wikimedia Commons.