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The Varangian Guards were Viking mercenaries who operated far beyond their native shores as an elite force within the Byzantine Armies. Descendants from a legendary line of warriors, the Varangian Guard was formed after a group of Viking mercenaries made a major contribution to the Byzantine Emperor Basil II’s victory over rebel forces in 988 AD

Helmet, Egyptian, c. 1293-1341, bears the name of the Mamluk sultan Ibn Qala’un, who ruled from Cairo a century before Barquq, the sultan who appointed and dismissed Ibn Khaldun as chief justice on several occasions.