We could expand your definition of gangsters to include Vikings. Businessmen paid protection to the Mafia. Leaders, of Church and State, paid tribute to Vikings. It's just a matter of scale. It's also interesting to see how roles changed over the years. Germanic and Goidelic groups terrorized the Christianized and Romanized Brythonic villages with acts of invasion and piracy. Pagan Vikings then did the same thing to both groups after the groups became settled Christians. The same pattern held in other parts of Europe.
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The Vikings (TV series)
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