Varangian Guard Captain and hero in the Nordic Sagas, Bollis Bollason was born in 1006 to Orlysstadir at Heklafell near the volatile Icelandic volcano Mount Hekla.
Becoming a skilled seaman and warrior Bolli traveled to Constantinople to join the Byzantine forces.
Bolli, due to his size and skill, was made a member of the elite emperor’s Varangian Guard. Evidence of his skill and rank with the Varangians was demonstrated by his award of a gold embossed sword, he named ‘Fotbiter’ (foot biter), and a shield also embossed with gold. His costume as described in the Sagas was a red cape and red velvet suite given him by the emperor of Byzantium, Ramos III.
Subsequent his service in the Varangian Guard, which had made him a wealthy man, he returned to Iceland and Norway.
He eventually became a member of Harald Hardrada of Norway’s inner circle.
Bolli Bollason died during Harald’s reign about 1057.
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