The following article is the first of three that I will post, detailing the Swedish (Svear) and Norwegian Viking's exploratory expeditions into the area now known as the Balkans. I think you will find the content from papers published on Academia.edu to be of interest in your quest to know more about these medieval explorers and traders. (Ed.)
***Visual material evidence of Viking presence in the Balkans
by Konstantin Kolev Jr.
Hiperboreea Journal, Vol.2:1 (2015)
Abstract: The Swedish and Norwegian Vikings were present in the Balkans including in Bulgaria. The archaeological and visual materials found on the Romanian, Bulgarian and Turkish territory support this statement. The majority of the objects constitute parts of weapons and tools related to the Scandinavian warfare. Most of these artifacts were discovered in North East of Bulgaria close to the Romanian border. They can be attributed to the Rus princes (father and son): Igor I (912-945) and Svyatoslav I Igorevich (942-972) who passed by the Bulgarian lands in the 10-th century and the Norwegian prince Harald who supported the Byzantine Empire to cause the downfall of the First Bulgarian kingdom at the beginning of the next century. Despite this sorrowful reputation, though, the Viking material culture in Bulgaria, Romania and Istanbul gives evidence to the multicultural mosaic of our region. It also enriches the Balkan history and culture. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to outline the Viking objects discovered in the Balkans.
|Antique statue of a lion in Greece (Piraeus) with a runic inscription from the XI century. Source: The Viking Rune, online http://www.vikingrune.com/2008/11/piraeus-lion/|
However, the other hand, the cultural and historical relations between Scandinavians and the Balkans in the Middle Ages are not reflected solely on historical narrative. They remain available in material-visual artifacts found mostly in North East Bulgaria.