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Rus: “A term used to describe Scandinavians living in Russia, which is named after them. Rus is generally thought to derive from Ruotsi, the Finnish name for the Swedes, the Scandinavians who were most active in Eastern Europe during the Viking Age. Ruotsi itself probably derives from the Scandinavian roðr, meaning ‘a crew of oarsmen’. A credible alternative to this view is that the term is of Greek origin, derived from literary references to the Rosomones (rusioi, or ‘blondes’) an alternative name for the Heruls.”

Haywood (2000), pp162

Varangians: “(ON Væringjar, Slavik Variazi, Greek Varaggoi, Arabic Warank) A term used by greeks, Arabs and Slavs to describe Scandinavians. Though the Rus are sometimes described as Varangians, indicating their Scandinavian origins, the term is more usually reserved for Scandinavian merchants and mercenaries newly arrived in the east from their homelands. In English and the Scandinavian languages, the term is generally used more narrowly to describe members of the Byzantine emperor’s élite bodyguard, the Varangian Guard. The word ‘Varangian’ is probably derived from Old Norse vár, meaning ‘pledge’, possibly because bands of Scandinavian merchants and warriors customarily formed sworn fellowships.”

Haywood (2000), pp197-8

Haywood, J. (2000) “Encyclopaedia of the Viking Age”, Thames and Hudson, London