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Table of contents
The Varangian guard and its contribution to the manifestation of the imperial power in Byzantium
Instances of kingship in Sverris saga
The entry of the boyars
Approaching the past: a tangled interplay of memory, political choices and historical science
My file
Between truth and memory images in Lithuanian historical documentaries in post-communist transformation period
Questions of transnational cinema: the Baltic case from culture to branding
World War II in Baltic and Nordic social media
Reading the facades. Architexture of Kaliningrad city
The Baltic Sea and the Black Sea: security challenges and vulnerabilities after the Cold War
Representations of suppressed indigenous cultural memories
Women in the Latvian War of Independence 1918 - 1920
Authors

 

 

T

HE VARANGIAN GUARD AND ITS CONTRIBUTION TO THE MANIFESTATION OF THE IMPERIAL POWER IN BYZANTIUM

 

Alexandra Airinei

“Alexandru-Ioan Cuza” University in Ia?i, E-mail: alexandraairinei@gmail.com

 

 

Acknowledgements

This paper was presented at the Sixth international conference on Baltic and Nordic Studies in Romania Historical memory, the politics of memory and cultural identity: Romania, Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea Region in comparison, hosted by the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies, Faculty of History and Political Sciences of Ovidius University of Constan?a and International Summer School of The University of Oslo, Norway, May 22-23, 2015. Supported by a grant from Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway, The EEA Fund for Bilateral Relations, contract no. 910/20.03.2015.

 

 

Abstract:

The idea that motivated the writing of this article was to treat an aspect not only of the Byzantine military history, but also of the long lasting impression that this millenary empire has left on the Northern “barbarians”, as they are often called in the Orthodox medieval sources. Its central concept is, as the title already suggests it, the imperial ideology of power, but from another perspective: the contribution of the feared Scandinavian warriors to its outlining in the Byzantine public life, as opposed to the emperor’s private existence, always hidden from the eyes of his subjects. Also, I have tried to summarise a fragment of the Norse perception on Byzantium and in what manner it influenced the former participants at the Byzantine military campaigns when they returned home.

The paper has two main directions: first of all, the one that analyses the role of the Varangian guard in the life of the Basileus and their function in the display of his divine power. Secondly, the way in which the Scandinavian mercenaries perceived their military service and their proximity to the one considered imago Dei. Furthermore, this approach is preceded by a short history of the Varangian guard and its unique type of organisation inside the Byzantine army, as well as a short description of the Norse-Byzantine relations before the founding of this special unit.

 

 

 

Rezumat:

Ideea care a motivat scrierea acestui articol a fost aceea de a trata un aspect ce ?ine nu numai de istoria militară bizantină, dar ?i de impactul de lungă durată pe care acest imperiu milenar l-a avut asupra ”barbarilor” nordici, a?a cum erau ace?tia adesea numi?i în sursele medievale ortodoxe. Conceptul central este, a?a cum titlul deja sugerează, ideologia imperială a puterii, dar dintr-o altă perspectivă: contribu?ia temu?ilor războinici scandinavi la conturarea ei în via?a publică bizantină, spre deosebire de existen?a privată a împăratului, întotdeauna ascunsă ochilor supu?ilor săi. De asemenea, am încercat să redau un capitol al percep?iei nordice asupra Bizan?ului,?i în ce mod aceasta i-a influen?at pe fo?tii participan?i la campaniile militare bizantine când ace?tia s-au întors acasă.

Lucrarea are două direc?ii principale: în primul rând, cea care analizează rolul gărzii varege în via?a basileilor si func?ia lor în etalarea puterii divine a acestora. În al doilea rând, modul în care mercenarii scandinavi au perceput serviciul militar prestat ?i apropierea lor de cel considerat imago Dei. În plus, această abordare este precedată de un scurt istoric al gărzii varege ?i al tipului său unic de organizare în interiorul armatei bizantine, precum ?i de o scurtă descriere a rela?iilor scandinavo-bizantine înainte de înfiin?area acestei unită?i speciale.

 

Keywords: Byzantine emperor, ideology of power, Varangian guard, military service


04. Airinei.pdf

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