Varangian runestones

Varangian Runestones

Varangian runestones

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The Varangian Runestones are runestones that mention voyages to the East (Austr) or the Eastern route (Austrvegr), or to more specific eastern locations such as Garðaríki (what is today Russia and Ukraine).

There are also many additional runestones that talk of eastward voyages such as the Greece Runestones, Italy Runestones, and inscriptions left by the Varangian Guard. Other runestones that deal with Varangian expeditions include the Serkland Runestones (dealing with expeditions to the Middle East) and the Ingvar Runestones (erected in honor or memory of those who travelled to the Caspian Sea with Ingvar the Far-Travelled).e.g., Jones 267. There is also a separate article for the Baltic expeditions runestones. In addition, there were also voyages to Western Europe mentioned on runestones that are treated in the articles Viking Runestones, England Runestones and Hakon Jarl Runestones.

Most of the runestones were raised during the Christianization of the eleventh century when the making of runestones was fashionable, but notably the Kälvesten Runestone Ög 8 was made in the ninth century when the Varangians played a central role in what would become Russia and Ukraine. This vast area was a rich source of pelts, hides and people, and it was an important component in the contemporary Swedish economy. Its Old Norse name meant "land of fortresses" and was derived from the chains of...
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