New Varangian Guard

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The New Varangian Guard is a re-enactment group focusing on the Byzantine Empire and its allies and enemies during the 9th to 13th centuries A.D. The group's name relates to the Varangian Guard, bodyguards to the Emperor. The New Varangian Guard uses steel weapons in their melee combat and uses combat archery rules similar to those of the SCA. There are chapters of this group throughout Australia, and members of the NVG sometimes attend SCA events.

Members of the Guard attempt to learn about the lifestyle of these peoples by study and reconstruction of the materials and practices of the period.

Their aim is to make their recreation as realistic as possible without compromising safety, the law, or personal enjoyment. They also endeavor to create and maintain channels of communication amongst members, other recreation groups, educators, government and the business community. In this way they provide opportunities and venues for members to practice, display and teach the skills, arts and crafts of a bygone era.

Homepage: http://nvg.org.au/

Historical Basis for the New Varangian Guard

Vikings and Rus' had been traveling to Byzantium for at least a century before 988 A.D., when Grand Prince Vladimir of Kiev (later Saint Vladimir) sent six thousand 'Varangians' (probably mixed Russian and Norse troops) to Constantinople to serve Emperor Basil II, in return for Christian baptism and the hand of a Byzantine princess.

Like other Vikings and Rus' before them, they served with distinction in the regular army, but sometime around or before the middle of the eleventh century, Varangians replaced the existing native Imperial guards. Their boldness, bravery and unswerving loyalty is recorded by Byzantine chroniclers.

These Emperor's Varangians, also know as the 'axe-wielding guard' (though one Emperor nicknamed them "Winebags"), were primarily Vikings and Rus until the late eleventh century, when a large influx of Englishmen fleeing Norman persecution significantly changed the ethnic composition.

Scandinavian involvement revived during the Crusades, and indeed, the heyday of the Emperor's Varangians seems to have run from the late 11th to the mid 12th century.

After the destruction caused in the capture of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204 A.D., the Varangian Guard continued to exist in name but became a hereditary ceremonial guard, largely drawn from internal Byzantine sources.


AUSTRALIAN BRANCHES

ANTIOCH (Ballarat, Victoria)

Weekly training: Sundays from 2pm at Lake Wendouree. Wendouree Parade, opposite White Ave.

In the event of bad weather training will move to Little Bendigo Primary school 8 Monte st Nerrina 3350.

Craft night: Every Tuesday from 7.30pm also at Little Bendigo PS.

DUBH LINN (Geelong, Victoria)

http://www.nvg.org.au/dubhlinnweb/

Weekly training: Sunday at Eastern Park between the picnic shelter & the Geelong Botanical Gardens, Eastern Park Circuit, Geelong East from 2pm

HANDAKAS (Adelaide, SA)

http://handakas.nvg.org.au/

Weekly training: Wednesdays 7.30pm to 10.30pm, Beefacres Hall, Pitwater Drv, Paradise.

2nd Wednesday of each month 7.30pm to 9.30pm Colonel Light Gardens Scout Hall, Cnr Windsor Ave and West Parkway

HODEGON (Belgrave Heights, Victoria)

http://www.geocities.com/indunna/hodegon.html

Fortnightly training and craft: Sundays 1 pm to 4.30 pm Bring along a plate to share and BYO meat and drinks 2 Lockwood Road Belgrave Heights

JORTH GAR (Gold Coast, Queensland)

http://www.jorthgar.com

Training occurs once per week but in two locations on different days:

  • On the 1st Sunday of every month from 11am till 4pm (QLD time), in the park opposite Mt Tamborine State Primary School, on the corner of Curtis Road and Long Road, Eagle Heights, QLD 4271.
  • Every other weekend training is on Saturdays from 11am till 4pm (QLD time), at Burchill Park (at the end of Eden Court), Nerang, QLD 4211.
MIKLAGARD (Sydney, New South Wales)

http://users.bigpond.net.au/quarfwa/miklagard/

Fortnightly training: 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month are Joint trainings with Mountains

1st Sunday at Ashfield Park, Ashfield @ 2pm (Daylight Savings), 1pm (Standard Time)

MOUNTAINS (Blue Mountains, New South Wales)

Monthly training/Meetings: 1st Saturday of the month, commencing at 2pm at 91 Russell Ave, Valley Heights.

RUSLAND (Brisbane, Queensland)

Weekly training: Saturdays (unless a show is on) 2pm to 5pm, Fletcher Pde, Bardon

THESSALONIKA (Mildura, Victoria)

Weekly training: Sundays 3.30pm , Henderson Pk - Cnr 13th Street & Deakin Avenue AND Tuesdays 5.30pm 45a Thirteenth St

VIGHLA (Bendigo, Victoria)

Weekly training: Wednesdays 5pm-6pm Park at Olinda St, next to the bowls club

VLACHERNAI (Melbourne, Victoria)

Weekly training/Craft: Tuesday nights 7.30pm, Viewbank Scout Hall Off Rutherford Road View Bank, Melways Ref. Map 20 G12


OVERSEAS SISTER ORGANISATIONS

KATEPANATOS TIS ITALIAS (Italy)
KASTORIA (USA)
CHERSON (United Kingdom)

External links