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The New Varangian Guard - Handakas


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The New Varangian Guard are a dedicated group re-enacting the fascinating middle period of the Byzantine Empire and surrounding cultures through combat, arts and sciences.

They aim to make their re-creation as realistic as possible without compromising safety, the law or personal enjoyment. They also endeavour to create and maintain channels of communication Trying on Armour - NVGamongst members, other re-creation 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 that they pursue.


Centred on the border of Europe and Asia the city of Constantinople was founded in the 4th Century AD on a site originally called Byzantium, but changed by the Christian Roman Emperor Constantine. The name of the city means literally “the City of Constantine”. After the fall of the Western Empire in Rome, the Roman Empire in the East carried on, though due to the geographic and cultural location, the language spoken gradually changed to Greek.


The Empire was on a military and economic high following the reign of the Emperor Basil II “The Bulgar Slayer”. He had recognised the ferocity and honour of the Vikings whom he had fought along with their Rus allies from the area of modern day Kiev. Thus he raised the Varangian Guard as a personal bodyguard – fierce axe-wielding pagans to defend the body and state of “God’s representative on Earth”. Feared and respected by friends and enemies alike, they were also know as “the Emperor’s wine-bags” for their heroic ability to carouse!


As a living history group, the New Varangian Guard aim to experience at least some of the flavour of this complex era, focusing on life in Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Whether at public or private events this provides a unique opportunity to experience another time, both in battle and at social events.

For more information contact -

Ph: Jacob - 0407 403 026 Michael - 0404 089 984