In the centuries following the first expeditions down the great rivers of northern Russia by Viking traders and adventurers, the foundations for a new state were laid. Many influences combined in this colourful culture which grew up first around the great cities of Kiev and Novgorod – Scandinavian, Finnish, Slav, steppe Turkish, Byzantine. By the time of the Mongol invasions of the 12th century the small enclaves of the old pagan Rus’, tolerated by the Khazar Khans for their commercial usefulness, had evolved into a Christian nation. Its story is told here in fascinating detail, and illustrated with striking colour reconstructions of the warriors themselves.
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