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The Vikings were Norsemen who came to raid,pillage and settle in Scotland. Expert sailors, they made their way across the treacherous North Sea in longships from Norway and Denmark from the late 8th century. The Norse began to settle in Scotland and gradually merged with the local people. In the west of Scotland, in the Hebrides, the locals and the Norse became known as the Gall-Gael. Orkney and Shetland and the north of Scotland were dominated by the Norse for hundreds of years.