Varangians (varahi), East Slavonic term for Vikings, the Nordic pirates of the second half of the ninth and the 10th centuries who traveled from Scandinavia to Byzantium along the West Dvina and Dnieper Rivers. These rivers flow close to each other near the cities of Viciebsk and Vorša, where a combination of lakes and portages allowed switching from one waterway to another. Another route to the Black Sea taken by Vikings was to go along the rivers of Neman, Biarezina (Berezina), and Dnieper. In the old chronicles these north-south treks along rivers, lakes, and portages were called "the Route from the Varangians to the Greeks," i.e., from Scandinavia to Byzantium. According to some accounts, Duke Rahvałod, a Varangian, came to Połacak from "over the Seas," i.e., from Scandinavia.

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