Miklagard is the Sydney garrison of the New Varangian Guard – a number of reenactment groups dedicated to an accurate recreation of the clothing, culture and activities of the original Varangian Guard and those with whom they interacted. The Varangian Guard were the Scandinavian personal bodyguards of the Emperor of the East Roman Empire (or Byzantium as we refer to it today).
The focus of Miklagard is on the interaction between Byzantium and the Kievan Rus’ in the period 969-1015AD. This period of two generations covers the triumphant reigns of the General Emperors John I Tzcimisces and Basil II Bulgaroctonos (Bulgar-Slayer). In Rus’ it is the long reign of Prince Vladimir the Great, who ruled all Rus’ from his seat in Kiev, and although a devoted pagan, converted his people to Orthodox Christianity. It is the time when the destinies of these two great realms collided.
Miklagard places a strong emphasis on the historical accuracy of all articles produced by its members. Making a garment or piece of armour involves considerable research and discussion with others before a single stitch is sewn or rivet hammered. All articles of the costume are made to fit in with the culture that the costume is based on. We pride ourselves on our appearance – after all, we made most of our arms and armour!
Some of the skills most commonly learned by members are:
- Pattern and Garment making