Units of History - The Varangian Guard DOCUMENTARY

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Delve into the Byzantine Army and discover the Varangian Guard! Claim your SPECIAL OFFER for MagellanTV here: https://try.magellantv.com/invicta. Start your free trial TODAY so you can watch "Vikings: Merchants and Explorers" about the life of Medieval Scandinavians, and the rest of MagellanTV’s documentary collection: https://www.magellantv.com/series/ascent-of-civilization/vikings-merchants-and-explorers

In this animated history documentary we explore one the most famous units of history: the Varangian Guard. The video begins with a brief history on the Rise of the Byzantine Empire which followed the fall of Rome. We focus specifically on the dynamics of the eastern Roman Empire which interacted quite heavily with the lands of Scandinavia and the Kievan Rus by way of the river routes which linked the Baltic Sea with the Black Sea. The documentary discusses the history of the Byzantine conflicts with the Kievan Rus which gave rise to the eventual mercenary service of Varangians in the Byzantine army.

We then lay the ground work for this discussion by looking at the organization of the Byzantine Army and its mercenary corps known as the "Hetairai". Starting around the end of the 9th century, the first warbands of Varangians would make their way into its ranks. However it would be in 989 AD when they came in full force, 6,000 Varangians sailing south to assist Emperor Basil II.

We discuss how future Varangians would make their way into Byzantine Service and the sorts of ways they would be used by the Emperors. This covers both civil and military service. Next we cover what the equipment of the Varangian Guard as well as the tactics of the Varangians in battle. Finally we conclude with a service history of the Varangian Guard over the Rise and fall of the Byzantine Empire. They fought many foes such as the Seljuks, the Bulgars, the Normans, the Pechenegs, and more. This includes key battles such as the Battle of Manzikert and the Siege of Constantinople during the 4th Crusade.

Let us know what other Units of History you would like to see us cover next! Also check out this awesome Varangian merch on our store: https://printerpanther.com/collections/invicta

Sources and Suggested Reading:
"The Varangian Guard 988-1453 (Men-at-Arms)" by Raffaele D'Amato
"Byzantium: The Apogee" by John Julius Norwich
"Harald Hadrada: The Warrior’s Way" by John Marsden

Research: Sophia Ware
Script: Sophia Ware
Narration: Guy Michaels
Artwork: Penta Limited

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