Varangian Guard: Protectors of the Byzantine Empire

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The Varangians of Byzantium by Benediky S. Benedikz
The Varangians of Byzantium by Benediky S. Benedikz

Varangian Guard - Role in the Byzantine Empire

Varangian Guard’s Role in Byzantine History

In the heart of the medieval Byzantine Empire, a remarkable chapter in the history of warriors unfolds—an elite force known as the Varangian Guard. Forged in the crucible of the 10th-century, these formidable warriors were not only defenders of the Byzantine Empire but also instrumental in shaping the course of Eastern European and Mediterranean history. From their enigmatic origins as Viking mercenaries to their unwavering loyalty to Byzantine emperors, we will navigate the turbulent waters of the Eastern Roman Empire. Our exploration will reveal the Varangian Guard’s central role in preserving the Byzantine legacy, their legendary exploits in battles against invaders, and their influence on the complex tapestry of medieval politics. 

Etymology of “Varangian”: Unveiling Loyalty and Origins

The term “Varangian” holds profound significance in the context of the Varangian Guard’s history, tracing its origins to the Old Norse word “væringi.” This etymology reveals a fundamental aspect of the Varangians’ identity and their role within the Byzantine Empire. In Old Norse, “væringi” denoted a “sworn companion” or “protégé,” a title that encapsulated the very essence of these foreign warriors’ unwavering loyalty.

Prior to recorded Scandinavian history, the Danes and Swedes embarked on aggressive campaigns eastward across the Baltic region. Their motivation lay in the pursuit of wealth, particularly amber and furs, which they acquired through looting or taxing indigenous populations like the Finns, Wends, and Slavs. These warlike endeavours set the stage for significant historical developments in Eastern Europe. Around 850 AD, the Vikings’ eastward expansion reached Russian territories, marking a turning point.

Map showing the major Varangian trade routes

Map showing the major Varangian trade routes
Briangotts, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons

Viking Expansion in the East: Setting the Stage

The biography of Bishop Anskar of Hamburg, documented by his successor Rimbert, contains the earliest recorded evidence of this movement. It tells of Swedish king Olaf of Uppsala dispatching an army to confront rebellious Kurlanders and opportunistic Danes in Lithuania. Subsequently, as chronicled in the Russian Primary Chronicle, a Scandinavian tribe known as the Rus emerged, initiating the taxation of Slavs and Finns by 859. This Scandinavian expansion followed a recurring pattern. Armed traders, initially seeking profitable goods, established fortified centres with permanent warrior bands to safeguard their acquisitions. Settlements grew around these outposts, evolving into towns and trading cities. Once the immediate vicinity was pacified, the process repeated further eastward. Notably, Egils saga skallagrímssonar illustrates this pattern, recounting how Egil and Thorolfr journeyed to Kurland for trade and raiding.

Silver and Trade Routes

Silver, primarily sourced from the Islamic world, became the main enticement drawing Scandinavian traders into Russia. The trade route cantered on Bulghur, along the Middle Volga River, where the Northern Bulgars earned the moniker “Silver Bulgars” due to their management of the extensive silver trade. With the decline of the Roman Empire, Scandinavia lacked direct access to gold or silver sources, relying on plunder and trade with the Islamic regions. Trade routes through Russia were fraught with danger due to hostile Slavic tribes, including the Krivichi, Dreovichi, Drevljane, Radimichi, Pechinegs, Poljani, Magyars, and Khazars. Traders had to be adept in both business and combat, forming formal companies that swore oaths of mutual assistance, defence, and support. In Old Norse, this oath was called a “var,” leading to the label “Varangians” for these intrepid adventurers of the East.

The Birth of Kievan Rus: Varangians and Rurik’s Legacy

The foundation of Kievan Rus was intricately tied to the Varangians as the first contingent of 6000 men that made up the Varangian guard was sent by rus. The earliest mention of Rurik, a pivotal figure in this saga is found in the Primary Chronicle, traditionally attributed to Nestor and compiled around 1113. The chronicle recounts that in the years 860–862, various East Slavic and Finnic tribes, including the Chuds, Slovenes, Krivichi, Merians, and Ves, found themselves in disarray. They had expelled the Varangians and were attempting self-governance. However, internal conflicts ensued, prompting them to seek the aid of the Varangians led by Rurik. Rurik, along with his younger brothers Sineus and Truvor, responded to the call for help.

Oleg’s Kiev: The Capital of Kievan Rus

Most historians agree that the Rus’, to which Rurik belonged, had Scandinavian origins, likely hailing from coastal eastern Sweden around the eighth century. The prevalent theory suggests that the name “Rus'” derived from an Old Norse term signifying “the men who row,” stemming from an older name for the Swedish coastal region of Roslagen. Rurik’s leadership endured until his passing in the 870s. On his deathbed, he entrusted his realm to Oleg, a member of his kin, and placed his young son Igor under Oleg’s protection. Oleg, by seizing Kiev and establishing it as the new capital, laid the foundation for the state of Kievan Rus’.

 This state continued under the rule of Rurik’s successors, including his son Igor and Igor’s descendants, until the Mongol invasion in 1240, marking a transformative period in Eastern European history. By the 10th century, the terms “Varangian” or “Varangi” had come to represent Nordic warriors who ventured eastward to participate in battles, either bound by oath or driven by personal gain. Interestingly, this description bore a striking resemblance to the population of Kievan Rus, as the entire state of Kievan Rus was fundamentally established by Varangians.

Thus, we can conclude that the term “Varangians” cannot be exclusively attributed solely to the guard unit of the Byzantine Emperor or limited to individuals of Norse origin serving exclusively in the Byzantine Empire. Instead, it encompasses a broader spectrum of Nordic mercenaries who served across Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Balkans, often extending their influence into Slavic states as mostly mercenaries but at certain times were also responsible for creation of states like Kievan Rus.

Formation & Background

The Treaty of 971: Varangians and Byzantine Relations

Kyivan Rus had a complex relationship with the Byzantine Empire, alternating between being trading partners and adversaries. However, a significant turning point occurred during the reign of John I following the Siege of Dorostolon in 971. A treaty was signed that marked the end of hostilities between the two empires. According to this treaty’s provisions, the Kingdom of Kievan Rus’ pledged to provide military support to the Byzantine Empire when needed. In return, they were granted the privilege of free trade with the Islamic world and the majority of the Mediterranean, effectively breaking the Byzantine monopoly on these markets.

Vladimir’s Military Assistance and the Guard’s Origins

In 988, Basil II called upon Vladimir I of Kiev for military assistance to safeguard his throne. Complying with the treaty established by him after the Siege of Dorostolon, Vladimir dispatched a force of 6,000 soldiers to aid Basil. This event is often considered the formal establishment of an elite guard, even though it was not the first instance of Varangians or Vikings serving the Byzantine Empire.

Early Varangian Mercenaries in Byzantine Service

As early as 911, Varangians were noted as mercenaries in Byzantine service. Approximately 700 Varangians, alongside Dalmatians, served as marines in Byzantine naval campaigns against the Emirate of Crete in 902. In 949, 629 Varangians returned to Crete under Constantine Porphyrogenitus. Another 415 Varangians participated in the Italian expedition of 936, and Varangian contingents were also present among the forces opposing the Arabs in Syria in 955. During this period, the Varangian mercenaries were integrated into the Great Companions.

Replica of a miniature of Emperor Basil II in triumphal garb, exemplifying the Imperial Crown handed down by Angels

Replica of a miniature of Emperor Basil II in triumphal garb, exemplifying the Imperial Crown handed down by Angels from the Middle Ages, unknown, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Varangians at Chrysopolis: Battle and Victory

In 989, Varangians led by Basil II personally landed at Chrysopolis to defeat the rebel general Bardas Phokas. During the battle, Phokas succumbed to a stroke in full view of his opponent, leading to the disarray and retreat of his troops. The Varangians, known for their ferocity, relentlessly pursued the fleeing army and inflicted heavy casualties.

Varangian Guard’s Dual Role and Enduring Legacy

The Varangian Guard was known for its dual role as protectors of Byzantine emperors and as formidable warriors, frequently played pivotal roles in various battles. Their influence endured until at least the mid-14th century, despite their gradual assimilation into the Byzantine Greek culture by the late 13th century. One of their notable campaigns occurred in the 11th century when they ventured into southern Italy to support Byzantine interests.

Varangians in the Lombard Revolt and Sicilian Campaign

In 1018, Basil II received a plea for reinforcements from Basil Boioannes, the catepan of Italy, who sought assistance in quelling the Lombard revolt led by Melus of Bari. A detachment of the Varangian Guard was dispatched, and in the Battle of Cannae, they contributed significantly to the Byzantine victory.

The Varangians also participated in the partial reconquest of Sicily from the Arabs in 1038, fighting alongside newly arrived Normans in Italy seeking adventure and Lombards from Byzantine-held Apulia. A notable figure within the Varangian Guard during this period was Harald Hardrada, who would later become King of Norway as Harald III (1046–1066). However, tensions arose when George Maniakes, the leader of the campaign, publicly humiliated the Lombards, causing them to abandon their cause, followed by the Normans and Varangians.

Battles and Defeats: Varangians in Southern Italy

Soon afterward, the catepan Michael Doukeianos stationed a Varangian force in Bari. On March 16, 1041, they were summoned to battle the Normans near Venosa, resulting in many casualties during their retreat across the Ofanto River. In September of the same year, Exaugustus Boioannes was sent to Italy with a smaller contingent of Varangians to replace the disgraced Doukeianos. On September 3, 1041, they suffered defeat in a battle against the Normans.

In the later period of Byzantine rule in southern Italy, many catepans were accompanied by Varangian units dispatched from Constantinople. In 1047, for instance, John Raphael was assigned to Bari with a contingent of Varangians, but the people of Bari refused to accept his troops. Consequently, he spent his term in Otranto instead. Two decades later, in 1067, the final Byzantine catepan to govern southern Italy, known as Mabrica, arrived with Varangian auxiliaries. Under his command, they captured Brindisi and Taranto.

The catastrophic Battle of Manzikert in 1071 witnessed the demise of virtually all of the Emperor’s Guards who fought valiantly by his side.

Anna Komnene’s ‘Axe-Bearing Barbarians

In her writings dating back to 1080, the chronicler and princess Anna Komnene referred to these Varangian warriors as “axe-bearing barbarians,” possibly hailing from the British Isles or Scandinavia. Similarly, John Kinnamos, a Byzantine civil servant, soldier, and historian, described these protectors of the emperor as “the British nation,” which had served the Roman Emperors for an extended period. Kinnamos penned his account in the later 12th century, suggesting that the composition of the Varangian Guard, which included Danes and Saxons, persisted even up to the time of the Fourth Crusade.

Norwegian Influx and Varangian Combat Skills

After the conclusion of the Norwegian Crusade, led by King Sigurd I Magnusson of Norway, the Varangian Guard experienced an influx of Norwegian warriors. King Sigurd, after selling his ships in Constantinople, returned to Norway with a mere 100 men, a stark contrast to his original army of approximately 6,000 soldiers.

The Varangians were renowned for their formidable combat skills, with the broad-bladed Dane axe being their primary weapon of choice. Nevertheless, they were versatile fighters, proficient not only with the axe but also skilled in swordsmanship and archery. Some historical sources, such as Anna Komnene’s “The Alexiad,” even described them as mounted warriors. This strategic use of horses for mobility was shared with Vikings and elite Anglo-Saxon fighters, despite their typical preference for fighting on foot. The Varangian Guard primarily stationed themselves in and around Constantinople, possibly finding barracks within the Bucoleon palace complex. They not only served as the city’s defenders but also accompanied Byzantine armies in the field. Their battlefield prowess was often praised by Byzantine chroniclers, as well as notable Western European and Arab chroniclers, particularly in comparison to local barbarian foes.

In the writings of the 11th-century Byzantine historian Michael Psellus, the Varangians were depicted as follows: “The whole group carry shields and brandish on their shoulders a certain single-edged, heavy-iron weapon.” This weapon is widely believed to be the Dane axe, although a translation error led some to refer to it as a rhomphaia. It’s important to note that many Byzantine writers often described them as “axe-bearing barbarians” rather than simply as Varangians.

Mosaic of John II at the Hagia Sophia

Mosaïque des Comnène, Sainte-Sophie (Istambul, Turquie) – Hagia Sophia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Varangian Guard’s Pivotal Role at Beroia (1122)

One of the most celebrated moments in the Varangian Guard’s history was their pivotal role in the Byzantine victory under Emperor John II Komnenos at the Battle of Beroia in 1122. During this battle, they boldly breached the enemy’s circle of Pecheneg wagons, leading to the collapse of the Pecheneg position and a general retreat from their camp.

The Fourth Crusade

The Varangian Guard played a crucial role in the defence of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade. Accounts of this time attest to the intensity of the combat, with soldiers engaging in fierce hand-to-hand combat wielding axes and swords. The assailants even managed to mount the city walls, resulting in the capture of prisoners from both sides.

The Chronicle of the Morea

The last known mention of the Varangian Guard appears in the Greek version of the Chronicle of the Morea, indicating that this unit was involved in escorting the Prince of Achaia to prison after the Battle of Pelagonia in 1259. Some historians, like D. J. Geanakoplos, suggest that the guard may have been reconstituted by Theodore I Laskaris to strengthen his claim as the rightful Emperor.

The Varangian Guard's Norse Origins

Distinct Features of Norse Varangian Guardsmen

In its early stages, the Varangian Guard, an organization primarily comprised of Norsemen and Rus, bore a distinct Norse character. This identity persisted until the late 11th century when significant changes began to take place. According to the late Swedish historian Alf Henrikson in his work “Svensk Historia” (History of Sweden), the Norse Varangian guardsmen possessed identifiable features such as long hair, a red ruby adorning the left ear, and ornate dragon motifs stitched onto their chainmail shirts.

Recruitment Beyond Byzantium: Varangians in Kievan Rus’ and London

During this period, a considerable number of Swedish men embarked on journeys to join the ranks of the Byzantine Varangian Guard. This mass emigration was so noteworthy that it prompted the creation of a medieval Swedish law known as Västgötalagen, originating from Västergötland. This legal code decreed that no one could inherit property while residing in “Greece,” the Scandinavian term for the Byzantine Empire at the time, in an effort to curb the exodus. Notably, two other European courts were concurrently recruiting Scandinavians: Kievan Rus’ between 980 and 1060 and London between 1013 and 1051 (the Þingalið).

As time passed, the composition of the Varangian Guard underwent a transformation. Initially dominated by Norsemen and Rus, the Guard began to experience a significant influx of Anglo-Saxons and individuals from diverse backgrounds as we approach the late 11th century, during the reign of Emperor Alexios Komnenos. Following the successful Norman invasion of England, there was a noticeable influx of Anglo-Saxons into the Varangian Guard.

In the year 1088, a significant migration of Anglo-Saxons and Danes occurred, with over 5,000 individuals arriving in approximately 235 ships via the Mediterranean. Those who chose not to enlist in the imperial service established themselves along the Black Sea coast, where they played a crucial role in constructing and defending the town of Civetot for Emperor Alexios I. Meanwhile, those who joined the Guard became integral members, leading to a common moniker for the unit known as the “Englinbarrangoi,” signifying their Anglo-Varangian identity. In their newfound roles, they even participated in battles in Sicily against the Normans, particularly Robert Guiscard’s forces, who aimed to unsuccessfully invade the lower Balkans as well.

Significant Military Encounters

A Thracesian woman kills a Varangian, and his companions surrender his belongings to her

A Thracesian woman kills a Varangian, and his companions surrender his belongings to her – John Skylitzes, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Varangians: Mercenaries Beyond the Byzantine Guard

As previously discussed, the term “Varangians” cannot be exclusively associated solely with the Byzantine Emperor’s guard unit or limited to individuals of Norse origin serving exclusively within the Byzantine Empire. Instead, it encompasses a wider group of Nordic mercenaries who found employment across Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Balkans, often extending their influence into Slavic states. Consequently, we cannot assert that the Varangians, both as a unit and their contributions to warfare, emerged solely after the formation of the Varangian Guard. In fact, their involvement predates this establishment, dating back to the time when Nordic mercenaries began serving in Eastern empires and as one can see with further reading that the Varangians were not only serving the Byzantine but at certain times also fought against them thus we cannot say that the use of Varangian guard was an entirely Byzantine concept as there are enough evidences of Varangians being used against the Byzantines but since we are discussing about the “Varangian Guard” and not Varangians as an ethnic group of mercenaries our main focus shall mostly be on the Byzantine side of the story.

Early Varangian Engagements (935-965)

One of the earliest recorded instances of the Varangians in military action occurred in 935 when 415 Norsemen joined a Byzantine expedition to Italy. Sailing with seven ships, they were part of an effort to exert Byzantine influence in southern Italy. Additionally, there are mentions of Varangians providing naval support during expeditions against the Muslim Cretans in 949 and 965. These early engagements established their reputation as skilled and reliable warriors.

Increasing Collaboration with Byzantine Emperors (987-1018)

The Varangian Guard’s role became increasingly pivotal in Byzantine affairs during the reign of Emperor Basil II. In 987, a rebellion led by Várdhas Phokás threatened Byzantium. Emperor Basil II sought assistance from Vladimir the Great, the Varangian-Russian Great Prince of Kiev. In response, Vladimir dispatched a force of 6,000 men to aid the Byzantines. This Varangian force arrived in Byzantine territory in the winter of 987-988 and played a crucial role in quelling the rebellion.

After the defeat of Phokás, the Varangians continued to serve as a loyal and effective military force. They became a key component of the Byzantine army, participating in campaigns in regions like Antioch and Bulgaria. Their unwavering loyalty to the reigning emperor and their exceptional combat skills made them an indispensable part of Byzantine military strategy.

Exploits in Southern Italy (1018)

In 1018, the Varangians found themselves embroiled in the Battle of Cannae in southern Italy. This battle was against the Lombards, led by Melos of Bari, and included Norman mercenaries. The Lombards hired these Normans to bolster their forces. During the battle, the Varangians, known for their prowess in close combat, played a crucial role in routing the Lombards. The Normans suffered heavy losses, and Melos of Bari escaped to the Papal States and later sought refuge at the court of Holy Roman Emperor Henry II. This battle solidified the Varangians’ reputation as formidable warriors.

Continued Service and Military Campaigns (11th and 12th Centuries)

After the death of Basil II in 1025, subsequent Byzantine emperors continued to employ the Varangian Guard as their principal bodyguard unit. While there was a brief interval when other forces were favoured, the Varangians remained an integral part of Byzantine military operations.

In 1040, a detachment of the Varangian Guard, led by the legendary Harald Sigurdson, fought under the flag of General Yeoryios Maniakes in Sicily. They achieved remarkable results in the Battle of Troina. Harald Sigurdson, who was the younger brother of Saint Olaf and later King of Norway, continued to serve in various campaigns, including against the rebel Delianos in Bulgaria in 1042, where he earned the title “Bolgard Brennir,” or “Devastator of the Bulgarians.”

Defence against the Seljuk Turks (1054)

In 1054, the Varangians stationed along the Eastern frontiers played a vital role in defending against Seljuk Turkish incursions into Armenia. Armenian historian Aristakés de Lastivert documented clashes between the Russian-Varangian warriors and the Turks, highlighting their significance in protecting Byzantine territories.

During a raid by the Turks, a Varangian detachment and Frankish troops confronted them at the fortress of Baberd. While the Varangians achieved a significant victory, they refrained from pursuing the fleeing Turks out of fear of encountering a superior force.

Participation in Byzantine Campaigns (late 11th and 12th Centuries)

Mentioned alongside the Vardariotai, another guard regiment of possible Turkish Uzes origin, the Varangians continued to be involved in campaigns under emperors like Isaac Komnénós and Rhomanos IV Diogenes. However, they also faced a terrible disaster in the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. Under the rule of Mikhail VII and Nikephoros III, the Varangians remained an elite unit of foreign mercenaries within the central army, alongside other elite corps.

Under the leadership of Alexios Komnenos, who ruled from 1081 to 1118, the Varangians were integrated into the reorganized Byzantine army following the Battle of Manzikert.

Dyrrachium and the Fourth Crusade (late 12th Century)

In 1081, Emperor Alexios I Komnenos faced the Norman forces under Robert Guiscard at Dyrrachium. The Varangians, predominantly composed of English axe men by this time, formed the centre of the vanguard battle line. They executed a turning movement during the battle but were caught off-guard by the Norman infantry. Despite initial success, they were eventually overwhelmed when the Normans attacked their unprotected flank, and many of them perished in the Battle of Dyrrachium.

Later Engagements and the Fourth Crusade (1203-1204)

The Varangians remained a prominent force in the Byzantine Empire into the 12th century. In 1203, they defended Constantinople against the Fourth Crusade, initially repulsing the Crusaders with the help of Pisans and their iconic axes. However, due to political turmoil within the city, the Varangians switched their allegiance to Alexios V, resulting in a second attack by the Crusaders in April 1204.

During the ensuing siege, the Varangians were isolated from the main imperial body and weakened. They resisted fiercely but were eventually overwhelmed by the Crusaders’ advance. Some sought refuge in the church of St. Nicholas, while others climbed onto the roof. Unfortunately, the Normans set fire to the church, leading to the suffocation or death of those inside. Constantinople fell, and the Varangian Guard submitted to the victors.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Varangian Guard, left an indelible mark on the Byzantine Empire and its surrounding regions. Their unwavering loyalty to Byzantine emperors and their formidable contributions in battles and campaigns made them a cornerstone of Byzantine defence and foreign policy.

The Varangian Guard’s influence extended far beyond their role as protectors; they played a pivotal part in shaping the course of Eastern European and Mediterranean history. Their adaptability in combat and diverse composition, which included warriors from various backgrounds, showcased their ability to evolve and thrive in a foreign environment.

Their legacy remains a testament to the power of foreign mercenaries in shaping the destiny of empires, leaving an enduring mark on the pages of history. The Varangian Guard continues to captivate historians and enthusiasts alike, offering a compelling window into the complex tapestry of medieval Byzantium and the warriors who safeguarded its legacy with unmatched dedication.

Featured Image

Depiction of the Varangian Guard (above) in the 11th century chronicle of John Skylitzes

Depiction of the Varangian Guard (above) in the 11th century chronicle of John Skylitzes

The depiction of the Varangian Guard in the 11th-century chronicle of John Skylitzes offers a fascinating glimpse into the visual representation of these elite warriors during their service in the Byzantine Empire. Skylitzes, a Greek historian and chronicler, crafted a detailed and illustrative account of historical events in his work, which included vivid descriptions of the Varangian Guard.

Within the chronicle’s illuminated manuscripts, the Varangian Guard is often portrayed as a distinctive and formidable force. These depictions typically emphasize their Viking heritage, showcasing warriors clad in chainmail armor, adorned with intricate helmets and carrying imposing weapons such as longswords and iconic Dane axes. The Varangians are frequently shown as bearded and stern figures, reflecting their imposing presence.

One of the notable features of these illustrations is the use of contrasting colors, particularly vivid reds and blues, which serve to accentuate the Varangians amidst the backdrop of Byzantine society. Their shields and banners often bear distinct Norse motifs, reinforcing their origins and identity.

Moreover, Skylitzes’ depictions highlight the Varangian Guard’s role as protectors of the Byzantine Emperor. They are shown accompanying the emperor during key events, guarding imperial palaces, and standing sentinel at the forefront of battles. This visual representation underscores their unwavering loyalty and vital role in the Byzantine military and political landscape.

Sources

  • D’Amato, Raffaele. “The Golden Age of the Varangian Guard.” Osprey Publishing, 2022.

  • “Varangian Guard of the Byzantine Army.” Warfare History Network, 2014, https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/article/varangian-guard-of-the-byzantine-army/.

  • Franklin, Simon, and Jonathan Shepard. “The Formation of Kievan Rus’.” Longman, 1996.

  • Brown, Gordon S. “The Norman Conquest of Southern Italy and Sicily.” McFarland, 2003.

  • Howarth, David. “1066: The Year of the Conquest.” Viking Adult, 1981.

  • D’Amato, Raffaele, and Igor Dzis. “Byzantine Naval Forces 1261-1461: The Roman Empire’s Last Marines.” Osprey Publishing, 2016.

  • Ferguson, Robert. “The Varangians: In God’s Holy Fire.” Viking Adult, 2006.

  • Treadgold, Warren. “Byzantium and Its Army, 284-1081.” Stanford University Press, 1995.

  • Winroth, Anders. “The Age of the Vikings.” Princeton University Press, 2014.

Guest Author

Sarthak Chakraborty

Sarthak Chakraborty

Sarthak Chakraborty is a passionate history student at Calcutta University with a deep interest in Indian history. As an avid reader from childhood, Sarthak has always been fascinated by the untold and hidden aspects of history that shape our understanding of the world. Driven by this curiosity, Sarthak started his own blog called CRIT, where he explores and delves into various facets of Indian history. Through his blog, Sarthak aims to bring forth lesser-known narratives, uncover forgotten stories, and shed light on the diverse and rich history of India. As a dedicated history enthusiast, Sarthak remains committed to continuous learning and research. His passion for reading and writing motivates him to constantly explore new perspectives and engage with different historical sources. Sarthak’s academic pursuits at Calcutta University have provided him with a solid foundation in historical studies, allowing him to delve deeper into the complexities of Indian history. Alongside his studies, Sarthak actively contributes to academic discussions and stays updated with the latest research and discoveries in the field. Beyond his academic pursuits, Sarthak enjoys immersing himself in the world of books, seeking hidden gems from various historical periods. This exploration fuels his writing, allowing him to present intriguing narratives and thought-provoking insights to his readers. With a genuine passion for unearthing the hidden history of India, Sarthak Chakraborty continues to write and share his knowledge, aiming to ignite curiosity and appreciation for the diverse tapestry of India’s past.

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