Rus, Varangian and Frankish mercenaries in the service of the Byzantine Emperors (9th-11th c.): Numbers, Organisation and Battle Tactics in the operational theatres of Asia Minor and the Balkans.

Published: Dec 18, 2012
Byzantine army Varangians Rus Franks Tactics Military Campaigns Muslims Balkans Syria
This study will attempt to examine two significantly different types of mercenaries serving the Byzantine Emperors - the Varangians and the Franks - from the mid-10th to the mid-11th centuries. Not structuring my analysis on a chronological basis but rather on the different enemies that these mercenaries were facing in different geographical conditions, the main objective of my research is to give answers to a series of questions; what evidence do we have about the organisation of the mercenary units of the Rus, the Varangians and the Franks and in what numbers were they descending at Constantinople? What were the political circumstances that led to their employment by the Emperors throughout our period of study? What was their standing in the Byzantine military establishment? Did they pose any threat to the central government? What evidence do we have about their battle and siege tactics and their overall role in each operational theatre?
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