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Lot 0305
Of ogival form, wrought of four direct-riveted triangular iron plates, those of the front and rear overlapping the sides, with a shallow, curved recess over the brow; each plate thickening where it intersects the others at the apex. 10th-11th c. Excavated, corroded overall, minor losses. Overall height 19cm. Varangians appear in the Byzantine chronicles as early as the 870s. The first official Varangian Bodyguard of the Byzantine Emperors begins with Basil II (r. 960-976 c.e.) and was composed of the descendants of Swedish Vikings who had settled in what is now the Ukraine. For centuries, Varangians were sought after by the Byzantines for both their exceptional military prowess and their loyalty, and so many began to emigrate from Scandinavia to join their ranks that laws were enacted there to limit the practice. The last image shows Varangians from the 12th c. Madrid Skylitzes manuscript, Biblioteca Nacional De Espana, Madrid, wearing helmets of this type. Please note that it is not included in this lot. Condition V

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Estimate $800 - $1,000May 19, 2018
Auction Curated By:
Oliver S Pinchot PhD
Director and Specialist
1910 Thomes ave
Cheyenne, WY 82001
United States
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