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Stratum plus. 2003-2004. №5

O. M. Lugowy (Odessa, Ukraine)

Russes and Scandinavians on Byzantine Service: Evolution of Names in Records of 10th – 12th

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Pages: 388-394

The article restores names of various mercenaries from Northern and Eastern Europe mentioned by medieval Greek authors, particularly: Tauroscythes, Ros, Varangians, Rosovarangians etc. Special problems are Norsemen of Italian writers, Kulpings and Nemitzes.
The author draws parallel between usage of these terms in different regions and countries (e.g. Varangians in Nordic records). He also infers that the medieval spoken Greek was rather receptive to foreign self-names. In time these words moved from the language of soldiers, peasants and seamen into the language of educated nobility.
The author also considers history of Rosovarangians, who were a solid Slavic-Scandinavian corpus (10th c.) which later divided into the Ros and purely Scandinavian Varangians (11th c.), though they were allies regarded as closely connected in Byzantine records.


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