Viking Slavers in the East

In the 9th and 10th centuries, the Varangians were Scandinavians who migrated eastwards and southwards through what is now Russia and Ukraine.  These traders, pirates and mercenaries followed the river systems and portages of Gardariki to the Caspian Sea and Constantinople.

The Varangians who were primarily from Sweden settled along the trading routes and exacted tribute from the Slavs and Fins where they were known as the Rus. They used the Volga River trade route to travel to Greece and the Middle East.

Under the rule of the Rus, the slave trade flourished. The tribes along the river and captives from tribal warfare provided a stead supply of slaves for the southern markets in Constantinople and the Muslim areas. During the eastward expansion of the Germans in the 10th century so many Slavs were captured that their racial name becomes the generic term for a ‘slave.’  The collar which was placed around the slaves’ necks is of Viking origin. The collars were attached to a chain to confine or transport the slaves.  Tomorrow, Slavery in the Middle East.  Rita Bay

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