The Synopsis Historiarum is a history covering the reigns of Emperors Michael I Rangabes to Constantine IX Monomachos (811 to 1055AD). It was written in the second half of the 11th century  by John Skylitzes, a Byzantine court official. There is a single surviving copy, held by the Biblioteca Nacoinal in Madrid. This copy, and the 574 illustrations it contains, is currently dated to the later 12th century , it was probably produced within the Norman-ruled area of the Mediterranean.
Most people are familiar with the oft-reproduced miniature  (fol. 26 V-a) from the ms., where the scene is that of the deposition of Emperor Leo V ('the Armenian', assassinated in 820AD). The Emperor's body is being taken to the Hippodrome. The soldiers in the background amongst the palace buildings have been identified as Varangians by the long-shafted axes they carry. At the time of this event there were of course no Varangians in the Imperial service, but as is usual in medieval illustrations, the illustration is based on contemporary figures.
There is however, another illustration of Varangians (figure 1) later in the ms. (fol. 208). Furthermore, they are specifically referred to as such in the associated text. The Skylitzes manuscript has only recently been translated and is not widely avaliable yet, however a major part of Skylitzes' text was copied by the late 12th-century Greek historian George Kedrenos  (Georgius Cedrenus). The events shown occured in the winter of 1034, the Varangians were on campaign in western Asia Minor. Kedrenos (according to Blondal ) has it thus:
'A man of the Varangians who were scattered in winter quarters in the Thracesion theme met a woman of the region in a private place and tempted her virtue; and when he could not get her to agree willingly he tried to rape her, but she got hold of the foreigner's sword () and struck him with it through the heart, so that he died at once. When this deed became known through the neighbourhood the Varangians gathered together and honoured the woman by giving her all the possessions of the man who had attempted to rape her, and they threw his body away without burial, according to the law about suicides.'
Figure 1: Skylitzes ms. fol.208 8. Left: The woman slays the Varangian rapist. Right: The other Varangians present her with his clothing.The full beards, large moustaches, and abundant (dark) hair are unique to this illustration of Varangians in the ms. The men are either bare-legged or are wearing purple-brown hose, as there is no sign of footwear. Their plain rather loose-fitting tunics are just short of knee-length, and are girded somehow at the waist. The tunics (including those being offered to the woman) are orange (two); scarlet (two); white (=parchment, two); greenish-grey (two); pale pink (two); and pale blue-grey (one). The greek woman wears a plain pale pink full-length tunic girded at the waist; a pale blue pallium (wrap); and a red coif or head shawl. Her slippers are black.