Post by Eric Gajewski on Nov 18, 2016 14:29:09 GMT
TradCatKnight: VARANGIAN GUARD: ELITE WARRIORS OF BYZANTIUM
For nearly 500 years, the purple-clad emperors of Byzantium were guarded on the battlefield and in their porphyry palace by an axe-wielding body of fierce Viking warriors: The Varangian Guard! The 10th century was the zenith of the Viking Age. The warriors of Scandinavia, renowned for their ferocity, cunning, and fighting prowess were feared throughout Europe.
In the East, the Scandinavian’s who settled in what became Russia were known as the Rus. In the 9th century, they had become the ruling military elite in Russia and northern Ukraine; founding principalities at such places as Novgorod, Smolensk, Ryazan, Chernigov, and Kiev. From the beginning, they developed close trading ties with the Byzantine Empire; and occasionally went to war against it. Throughout the 10th century, small bodies of Scandinavian/Rus warriors took military service under the Byzantines; mostly serving as marines in Byzantine naval expeditions.