From Goths to Varangians
- Communications and Cultural Exchange Between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea
In late Antiquity, archaeology demonstrates lively and far-flung exchange along the river Dniester, through current Poland to the Baltic. By the 11th century the former Barbaricum had been transformed into a string of Christian kingdoms and principalities, whose parallel histories are as conspicious as their differences. From the legendary (if possible real) migrations of the Goths in Antiquity to the Varangian guard at the imperial court of Byzantium in the late Viking Age, trans-cultural interaction complemented important historical development. This book is about aspects of the changing interactions from late Antiquity to the High Middle Ages, from Goths to Varangians, and from the Baltic to the Black Sea. The history and archaeology of these connections have been poorly exposed and investigated in modern times. The papers presented in this volume are a selection of those presented during a series of four meetings organised 2007-2009 by the "Varangian Network", an interdisciplinary network for archaeological and historical research on relations between the Baltic and the Black Sea from late Antiquity to the medieval period.