Many writers, going back to the ancient period, noted the imposing build and pale colouring of northerners. To some, however, their appealing vigour couldn’t compensate for their disgusting habits. According to Ahmad ibn Fadlan, an ambassador from Caliph al-Muqtadir in Baghdad to the Bulgars on the Volga River in 921 CE, the Rus (as the Northmen who had settled in the area were known) were physically impressive: ‘I have never seen more perfect physiques than theirs – they are like palm trees, are fair and reddish…’ But, he complained, they rarely bathed and never washed their hands, even after eating or relieving themselves. ‘They are the filthiest of all God’s creatures… Indeed, they are like asses that roam in the fields.’
20. Non-State Actors have emerged in international relations as important actors. They are limiting the authorities being enjoyed by sovereign nation-state under state-centric international relations based on principles of Westaphalian system. By weakening states, NSAs are establishing themselves at domestic as well as international level and they influence the international security to a greater extent. The degree and nature of influence may vary from one NSA to other; it could be positive or negative as well as at large or small scale. Whatever role the major NSAs are playing in international relations, needs to be studied in order to explore their influence in international security.