slavic and Greek designation of Vikings

The Varangians or Varyags was the name given by Greeks and East Slavs to Vikings.[1][2][3][4] Between the 9th and the 11th centuries they ruled the medieval state of Rus'. They were the personal bodyguards of the Byzantine Emperors,[5] and formed the Byzantine Varangian Guard.[6][7]

Map showing the major Varangian trade routes: the Volga trade route (in red) and the Trade Route from the Varangians to the Greeks (in purple). Other trade routes of the eighth–eleventh centuries shown in orange.

A group of Varangians known as the Rus' settled in Novgorod in 864, under the leadership of Rurik. Rurik's relative Oleg conquered Kiev in 882. He made the state of Kievan Rus', which was later ruled by Ruriks descendants.[8][9] The name of the Rus' is the origin of the name Russia.

Varangians did trade, piracy and mercenary activities. They move around using the river systems and portages of Gardariki. The Gardariki was the areas north of the Black Sea. They had trade routes that connected Dark Age Europe with rich Arab Caliphates and the Byzantine Empire.[10] Wanting the riches of Constantinople, Rus' Varangians started a number of Rus'-Byzantine Wars. Most of them, both in Byzantium and in Eastern Europe, were converted from paganism into Orthodox Christianity. Most scientific experts, including the ethnic Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian people themselves, confirm the modern-day East Slavic ethnic group to be the direct, ancestral descendants of the Rus'.

References change

  1. "Online Etymology Dictionary".
  2. "Oleg". Encyclopedia Britannica.
  3. "Varangian".
  4. "væringer". Store norske leksikon. 26 March 2021.
  5. "The Vikings - Rus - Varangian Guard".
  6. Milner-Gulland, R. R. (1989). Atlas of Russia and the Soviet Union. Phaidon. p. 36. ISBN 0-7148-2549-2.
  7. Schultze, Sydney (2000). Culture and Customs of Russia. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 5. ISBN 0-313-31101-3.
  8. Duczko, Wladyslaw (2004). Viking Rus. Brill Publishers. pp. 10–11. ISBN 90-04-13874-9. Retrieved December 1, 2009.
  9. "Rurik Dynasty". Encyclopedia Britannica.
  10. Schofield, Tracey Ann (March 2002). Vikings. ISBN 9781573103565.