Military Review

Forge frames. Part of 2. "Elegant Bolly" and his comrades

Another famous Varangian Guardsman, Bolly Bollason (born near 1006). He was Icelander, and also as Harald reached the rank of manglabit. After returning home, because of his brilliant equipment, he became known as the “elegant Bolly”, becoming a character in several sagas. Like Harald, he returned home to a rich man.

Bolly suffered a heavy childhood, saw the death of loved ones. Having joined 18 for years in the struggle for the inheritance, Bolly and his brother were at the court of the Norwegian king Olaf II, drawing attention to themselves with excellent armament and excellent equipment. After a visit to Denmark, Bollason found himself in Constantinople - and then, for a long time, faithfully and faithfully served the Byzantine Empire in the ranks of Varangi. In battle, Bolly was always in the forefront, receiving a number of awards from Emperor Roman III. The sagas call Bolly "the most courageous in all matters worthy of a man."

Bollason and his 12 warriors had already received general attention at the time of their arrival in Constantinople — they were wearing all aloe and had red shields. Bollason stood out with a gilded helmet, a luxurious belt, a sword with a golden hilt and a scarlet cloak.

Forge frames. Part of 2. "Elegant Bolly" and his comrades

5. pages of the Bolly Bollason saga.

Bolli Bollason, a representative of the Scandinavian contingent of Varangi, died during the reign of King Harald III Hardrada, his colleague in the Varangian Guard.

Edgar II was also a Varangian guard (1051 - c. 1126), the last Anglo-Saxon king from the house of Wessex - a representative of Anglo-Varanga. Being proclaimed (not crowned) by the English king during the Norman conquest of England, Edgar was a member of the Anglo-Saxon resistance to William the Conqueror. Around 1098, Edgar went to the East - on a pilgrimage. Staying in Constantinople, he joined the Varangian Guard, having served in it for a long time. Emperor Alexei Komnin soon even handed him command fleet, instructing to protect the Crusader allies from attacks from the sea and conduct reconnaissance of Antioch. It is not known how long Edgar and his soldiers served the empire - they returned to Europe in about 1106.

6. Edgar Eteling.

Harald, Bolley and Edgar are the "stars" of Varangi. But sagas, runic stones and other sources allow you to hear the names of other Varangians who served the empire.

7. Runestone

Goodlog Lazy (his stone is dated to 1050-1080) died in the “Land of the Lombards”. [Edberg R., Mattias E., Vanehem M. Runriket - en handledning. Stockholms, 2007. S. 28]. The empire led during this period, fierce fighting in Italy - against Muslims and Normans. In the battle of Bari in 1071, the Varangian guardsmen were active. The life of the Scandinavian stopped at about this time.

8. runestone Gooddog Lazy.

Yarlabank "died in Greece" - as the inscription on his stone says.

9. rune stone Yarlabanka.

Some of the latter, such as the Ulf Baresta Stone (1010-1050), bear Christian symbolism.

10. rune stone Ulf Baresta.

A truly unique monument of the stay of the Vikings in Byzantium - the inscriptions on the Pirean lion. They are of average Swedish origin and are elegantly ornamented and non-traditional in content. One inscription, noting that the Varangians participated in the suppression of the uprising (probably Peter Delyan), names the names of Ulf, Gakon, Yern, Asmund, and “Harald the High”, noting that they bestowed tribute to the Athenians. Another, noting the death of a warrior named Horsey, says that his comrades carved these runes. The third reports that the warrior acted according to the mind, winning gold. Probably, the whole unit of Varangians worked on the Piraeus graffiti.

There are inscriptions in the temple of Constantinople Hagia Sophia - someone Khalfdan was similarly noted in stories.

From the 53-s of runic stones of the Swedish Upland it is told about Byzantium in 18-ti.

A stone from the town of Ed near Stockholm reports exploits in the Aegean Sea, indicating that these runes were carved by order of Ragnwald, who commanded the army in Greece.

Another inscription states that someone Dalk was taken prisoner in distant lands, and Egil went on a campaign with Ragnar to Armenia and Romania.

Another inscription concisely notes that the warrior "was in the East and in the West."

And Ulf and Svein erected stones in memory of their brothers, Halfdan and Gunnar, who found their end in the east.

Another inscription says that the Varangian warrior died in Serkland (that is, in the lands of the Saracens - the possessions of the Arab caliphate).

And another Varyag went to the east with Ingvar (Igor) and died in Serkland; the second “died with Ingvar in the east”, and the third “was in the east with Ingvar”.

Another laconic inscription noted - “Harald, the brother of Ingvar”, and the next informs us that this warrior, being in the East, drove the ship and was with Ingvar.

11. rune stone Harald.

A total of 9 Swedish runic stones are known, referring to the Ingvar expedition. These inscriptions tell about the fate of the warriors of King Ingvar - it is believed that the name was worn by the Swedish prince (died in 1042), the hero of the Ingvar saga. This saga was created at the beginning of the 13th century, and its basis was the now lost more ancient poem.

Of the 16 names of the warriors mentioned in the famous sagas, 10 names belong to Icelanders, 4 names are Norwegians, 1 are Swedes and 1 are Dane.

The inscriptions mainly reflect the second, exclusively Scandinavian wave of the Varangi contingent - most of them (10 names) refer to the 1 half - the middle of the XI century. Among the names are Ulf, Hanrodar, Asmundar, Halldor, and others. For example, the Icelander Dromundr in 1030 was "in the Mediterranean was on a ship."

Roughly 30 runic inscriptions refer only to Greece. 30 Swedes, whose names are carved on them, mostly refer to the 1 th wave of the Varangian guard contingent - the end of the 10th - beginning of the 11th centuries. Among these names, we hear "more familiar" names - Gunnar, Ragnvald and others. And, very importantly - 7 stones bear Christian symbols or inscriptions on themselves. One of the inscriptions clearly noted: "I was a retinue commander in Greece."

12. christian cross on rune stone.

We learn that in the Varangian Guard served Kolskegg (after 989 of the year), Torstein Stursson and Gest Torhallsson (about 1011 of the year), Bardi (between 1022 and 1025). After 1016, Dane Ailis Thorgilsson visited Constantinople. Someone Torkel "walks under the hand" of the emperor of the Romans, and Eyvind served in his "squad", etc. Moreover, Kolskegg not only "went into the service", but also grew to the "leader of the Varang troops." "Among the warang" Gest and many dozens of Scandinavians.

Between 1079-1080 warrior of the Varangian Guard, a certain Oleg Svyatoslavovich was exiled from Constantinople to the island of Rhodes. Known and someone Hardigt, Varang-Anglo-Saxon. He came into conflict with two Byzantines, appearing in the palace at the basil court. Insidious Greeks waylaid a warrior walking through the palace, and released from the lion's cage. Hardigt with his bare hands killed the beast, hitting his head on the palace pillar, and then dealt with the attackers. Impressed by courage and strength of the Varanga, Emperor Alexey I Komnin initially appointed him commander of his guards, and then commander of the navy of the empire.

And the ideal of the prevailing fate of a Varyag warrior in the imperial service can be considered as strict by one of the Scandinavian sagas, who noted that "he carried the imperial service, and the last thing that was heard about him was that he took his wife there, and was over the Varangians head, and stayed there. "
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  1. parusnik
    parusnik 18 October 2017 07: 55
    Between 1079-1080 warrior of the Varangian Guard, someone Oleg Svyatoslavovich
    ..Not just a warrior, but a Russian prince, and in the “Word on Igor's Regiment” nicknamed Gorislavich .. If you make a film about him, the Battle of Thrones rests ...
    1. Reptiloid
      Reptiloid 18 October 2017 15: 10
      That's right, I’ll add that Ingvar and Igor are different names referring to different nations! Does anyone seriously think that the Rus "" called the Scandinavians, Germans, etc. "" ???
      1. Monarchist
        Monarchist 18 October 2017 17: 29
        Unfortunately, neither the standards nor the anti-Normanists have independent witnesses.
        I do not cease alternative historians at all. It’s better to read fantasy about Svarog and others.
        In my opinion, various alternative historians such as a weather vane. Once Raikin had a miniature "Weathervane" and from childhood he remembered the words: "car, car I can here, I can go there, but never against the wind" and alternative historians, if they need them, Rurik will become a communist, Marx - a Martian.
        Some of our comrades reject PVL and all historians until 1917, but if with the previous historians, although I do not agree, you can reject them and read, say, Soviet or post-Soviet historians. But our chronicles are our roots, and how to do without roots? To everyone who rejects our annals, I want to say: do you have alternative sources? Documents to the studio!
  2. XII Legion
    XII Legion 18 October 2017 08: 03
    The voices of history ...
    They sound especially convincing, albeit in different languages.
    Thank you!
  3. Barcid
    Barcid 18 October 2017 11: 32
    What kind of personality. We need to make films about them. And most importantly, you do not need to invent anything. Just read books. Probably our directors, and Western ones above it. Thank you for the article. I enjoyed it a lot.
    1. gladcu2
      gladcu2 18 October 2017 22: 32
      So I want to say like: "everything is invented before you." Just thought out loud.

      And dear historians, or maybe geologists, can explain the huge number of craters on the surface of the planet according to Google photos?

      There is also about the 3-year-long winter, they recall.
  4. Some kind of compote
    Some kind of compote 18 October 2017 13: 34
    Hardigit killed the beast with his bare hands, hitting his head on the palace column

    Cool man
    Yes, and the whole team is super
    As if the prototype of the Foreign Legion
    Different nations dominated there at different times. In the 20 years. - Russians (after Grazhd.v-ny), Germans, etc.
  5. Ostrovsky
    Ostrovsky 19 October 2017 21: 14
    Thanks to the author for the article. Uses a large number of sources. The work was concise and very capacious in content.
  6. Lieutenant Teterin
    Lieutenant Teterin 23 October 2017 11: 32
    Wonderful article. The stories of people presented here are worthy of adaptation, the life and fate of real people are much more impressive than script fiction. The author - my sincere gratitude for the work done!