Thursday, April 05, 2018

Mercenaries: From Legends to Legalities  

The Varangian Guard were Viking protectors of the Byzantine Emperors from the 10th to 14thcenturies. As one of the first forms legions of mercenary activity in world history, we have come a long way in technological and tactical advancement. Entrusted with many special forces operation, whether medieval or modern, mercenaries have been sought after to bypass conventional warfare. In the time of the Byzantine Empire, Varangians fulfilled the roles of elite infantry and guardsmen to the Emperors, in exchange they received great wealth and status.  Other notable mercenaries of history might include: the “Ten Thousand”, Greek Warriors used to defeat the Persians and famously veterans of the Peloponnesian War. The White Company, in 14th century Italy, for-profit soldiers namely used in the Hundred Years’ War. Then looking into Modern Day, we have the Swiss Guard protecting the Pope for centuries.