The Varangian Guard was best known for its weaponry, for they carried axes, sometimes described as single-bladed and sometimes as double. “The imperial axe-bearers” is a common description of them. The Varangian Guard’s top commanders seem to have been Byzantine, although smaller units had foreign commanders.
What was the Favourite weapon of the Varangian Guard?
The use of axes in the Byzantine army was popularly associated with the famed Varangian Guard.
What Armor did the Varangian Guard wear?
Their entire body, and their horses as well were armoured. Over their lamellar klibanion, which had elbow-length sleeves (manikia), they wore an epilorikon, which was a padded surcoat. Their iron helmets (kassidas sideras) had doubled or tripled zabai (‘screens’, of mail?) covering the whole face except the eyes.
What were the Varangian Guard known for?
This group was known as the Varangian Guard, a regiment of warriors renowned for their ruthless loyalty and military prowess. Lured by wealth and glory, these were Vikings who had travelled the long road to Constantinople (or Miklagarðr, in Old Norse).
What weapons did varangians use?
The Norwegian King sold his ships in Constantinople and returned to Norway with only a 100 men, out of an original army of around 6,000. The Varangians relied on the broad-bladed Dane axe as their main weapon, although they were often also skilled swordsmen or archers.
How hot is Greek fire?
The experiment used crude oil mixed with wood resins, and achieved a flame temperature of over 1,000 °C (1,830 °F) and an effective range of up to 15 meters (49 ft).
What are Viking swords called?
NARRATOR: The Vikings were some of the fiercest warriors of all time, and a select few carried the ultimate weapon, a sword nearly 1,000 years ahead of its time, built by a mysterious craftsman, from a material unknown to rivals for centuries. The sword was known as the “Ulfberht.”
How many varangian guards were there?
But the numbers, in accordance with sources, kept fluctuating after 11th century – though most of them dealt with the Varangians participating in battles, and these warriors were possibly only a part of the entire Varangian Guard in its full capacity. In any case, the figures range from 4,500 men to a paltry 540 men.
Who made up the varangian guard?
Definition of Varangian (Entry 2 of 2) 1 : one of the Scandinavians who founded a dynasty in Russia in the 9th century. 2 : a member of the bodyguard of the Byzantine emperors especially in the 11th and 12th centuries composed chiefly of Russians or later of Scandinavians or other northern Europeans.
Who killed all the Vikings?
King Alfred ruled from 871-899 and after many trials and tribulations (including the famous story of the burning of the cakes!) he defeated the Vikings at the Battle of Edington in 878. After the battle the Viking leader Guthrum converted to Christianity.
Who was leader of the famous varangian guard?
One of the most famous warriors and leaders of the Varangians was Harald Hardrada who spent a decade in the service of his emperor. Besides many other adventures, he and his fellow Varangians fought alongside the great Byzantine general George Maniakes in Sicily in 1038 CE, capturing both Messina and Syracuse.
What was the significance of the varangian guard to medieval Europe?
The Varangian Guard served as the emperor’s loyal guard, elite infantry, naval assets, and a trusted police force in exchange for good wages and riches to plunder. While the Varangians gave Byzantium military assistance, the Byzantines helped usher Christianity into the ranks of the Varangians.
How long did Varangians?
The Varangian Guard (Greek: Τάγμα των Βαράγγων, Tágma tōn Varángōn) were a part of Byzantine Army and personal bodyguards of the Byzantine emperors from the 10th to the 14th centuries. Initially the guard was composed of Varangians who came from Kievan Rus’.
How did Harald use birds to help him capture a Saracen castle?
Amongst the tactics Harald used to take castles, were those of subterfuge and cunning. One castle was taken after he got his men to capture birds who were nesting in the castle. These he set free with burning brands attached to them. The birds returned to their nests and started fires that burned the castle down.