Book Series Medieval Identities: Socio-Cultural Spaces, vol. 12

The Making of the Eastern Vikings

Rus' and Varangians in the Middle Ages

Sverrir Jakobsson, Thorir Jonsson Hraundal, Daria Segal (eds)

  • Pages: 236 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:8 col., 2 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2024

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60671-2
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60672-9
  • E-book
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Historiography on the Vikings of the East — the Rus' and the Varangians — has been both multiform and varied, but it has been invariably focused on actual historical events, and the extent to which these are accurately reflected in written sources. In contrast, very little attention has been paid up to now to the narrators behind these medieval accounts, to their motives in writing, or to the context in which they were working.

This volume aims to redress the balance by offering a re-examination of medieval sources on the Eastern Vikings and by highlighting ongoing ‘debates’ concerning the identities of the Rus' and the Varangians in the medieval period. The chapters gathered here compare and contrast sources emanating from different cultures — Byzantium, the Abbasid Caliphate and its successor states, the early kingdoms of the Rus', and the high medieval Scandinavian kingdoms — and examine what significance these sources have attached to the Rus' and the Varangians in different contexts. The result is a new understanding of how different cultures chose to define themselves in relation to one another, and a new perspective on the history of the Scandinavian peoples in the East.




Sverrir Jakobssen, Thorir Jonsson Hraundal, and Daria Segal

1. Rus’ Women in Islamicate Geography? Approaching a Study of Gender
Tonicha M. Upham

2. Varangians in Arabic Sources
Thorir Jonsson Hraundal

3. The Byzantine ‘Charm Defensive’ and the Rus’
Monica White

4. The West on the North in the East: Western Images of the Norse and the Rus’, 800–1250 AD
Ryan Fenster

5. The Concept of ‘Varangian Christianity’ Revisited
Ildar Garipzanov

6. Variagi, Nemtsy, Svei, and Urmane: Scandinavians in the Chronicle Writings of Medieval Rus’
Daria Segal

7. In Search of Haraldr harðráði’s Treasures
Fedir Androshchuk

8. Stories of Nordic Missionaries on the Eastern Way
Kjartan J. Richter

9. Remembering the Varangians: Cultural Memory and Lost Identities
Sverrir Jakobsson

10. Deconstructing Væringjasaga: Byzantine and Old Norse Perspectives on the Varangians and on Haraldr Sigurðarson
Roland Scheel

11. Origin Stories: The Kievan Rus’ in Ukrainian Historiography
Valur Gunnarsson

Works Cited

Index of Terms