Meet the Reenactor Groups
JORTH GAR – NEW VARANGIAN GUARD
Jorth Gar is based on the Gold Coast in Queensland, but have affiliated branches from Stanthorpe, to Rockhampton, to Northern NSW. They are a professional, active group that can field the largest infantry battle force in Queensland and quite possibly Australia.
Jorth Gar concentrates its living history re-enactment primarily on the earlier Varangian Guardsmen of Viking origin, and their many exploits and accomplishments.
These Mercenaries were originally from Sweden and had spent many years of service with Prince Vladimir in Russia, taking down rivals and helping him to subjugate his lands. They had become furious with the Prince’s “incapacity to pay them correctly” and had demanded to be “shown the way to Constantinople”. When Basil II had requested military aid from Vladimir to take down his rival Vardhas Phokas, Vladimir sent these “unruly warriors” to help and rid himself of their financial burden.
Jorth Gar portray the original Scandinavian Mercenaries who were given to Basil II in 988 CE (as part of a military and trade alliance), who formed the nucleus of the Varangian Guard and became his imperial bodyguard in the palace and on the battle field. They cover up until 1066, where the composition of the Guard started to change, and the “Viking era” ended.
As the treaty between the Rus and Byzantines was also a trading one, many Scandinavian, Slav and Rus merchants and artisans would have accompanied this force to Constantinople to take advantage of this. Some would establish trade routes, others would seek employment in the Byzantine army to help equip its soldiers. Jorth Gar have a strong artisan / craftsman focus as a result.