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The Varangian legend: testimony from the Old Norse sources

Sverrir Jakobsson

In the eleventh century there existed, within the great army of the Byzantine empire, a regiment composed mainly o soldiers from Scandinavia and the Nordiccountries. This regiment was known as the Varangian Guard (tagma tōn Varangōn).The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact the existence of this regiment had on prevailing attitudes towards the Byzantine empire within the Old Norse linguistic andcultural community.