Varangian Guard

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The Varangian Guard was an army of six thousand Russian and Norse soldiers given to Byzantine Emperor Basil II by Grand Prince Vladimir of Kiev in 988 AD. They served in the Empire's army and in the early 11th century they replaced native soldiers as the Empire's bodyguards. Later that century, many Englishmen were added to their ranks. Their power waned after the fourth crusade.

See also: