from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- proper n. A member of the ethnically Scandinavian people around the borders of Constantinople in the ninth and tenth centuries.
- proper n. The imperial body guard at Constantinople from 955.
- proper n. A period of intense glaciation during the late Proterozoic eon.
- adj. Of or pertaining to the Varangians.
- adj. Of or pertaining to the Varanger Peninsula in Norway.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. One of the Northmen who founded a dynasty in Russia in the 9th century; also, one of the Northmen composing, at a later date, the imperial bodyguard at Constantinople.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One of the Norse warriors who ravaged the coasts of the Baltic about the ninth century, and who (according to common account) overran part of Russia and formed an important element in the early Russian people.
Historians now reserve the term Varangian for the Scandinavian mercenaries employed by the Byzantine Empire.
The word Varangian comes from the old Norse "var" who means vow and "gengi" which means companion or sword fellow.
Norse or "Varangian" Kingdom at Novgorod and, in 880, one of his successors, Oleg, moved his capital to Kiev, and ruled from the
“The Varangian is a brave man, and a strong one; it is contrary to my vow to shun his challenge, and perhaps I shall derogate from my rank by accepting it; but the world is wide, and he is yet to be born who has seen Robert of Paris shun the face of mortal man.
“Nay, I acknowledge that the Varangian is a proper man,” said the athletic hero, softening his tone; “but the poor savage hath not, perhaps, in his lifetime, had a single drop of oil on his bosom!
"Nay, I acknowledge that the Varangian is a proper man," said the athletic hero, softening his tone; "but the poor savage hath not, perhaps, in his lifetime, had a single drop of oil on his bosom!
He is captured and made a slave for most of his childhood until he is set free and refers to himself as a Varangian: a Norseman who has left his home.
In his life, Harald travelled from Norway and Sweden, all the way to Russia, south to Constantinople, where he was both commander of the elite Varangian guards and thrown into prison.
At that time the Byzantine Emperor employed Vikings in the elite Varangian Guard.
In the Byzantium of the 900s, the Varangian guard was made up wholly of Scandinavian mercenaries.