Ламеллярные доспехи эпохи викингов

Перевела Виктория Заблоцкая.

vikingerikrig

Реконструкция воина из Бирки. Источник: Hjardar – Vike 2011: 347.

Пластинчатая броня до сих пор является популярной темой для обсуждения как среди историков-экспертов, так и среди реконструкторов. Я и сам занимался этим вопросом. Мои исследования привели меня к малоизвестным находкам из Снексгярде, располагающемуся неподалёку от Висбю. Они не сохранились, однако были подробно описаны Нильсом Йоханом Экдалем (1799-1870), так называемым «первым исследователем Готланда”.

Находки из Снексгярде были открыты почти 200 лет назад, а потом утеряны; поэтому они практически неизвестны. Описывающая их литература труднодоступна нешведским исследователям. Вот всё, что мне удалось выяснить: в 1826 году, в поселении Снексгярде (Visby, Land Nord, SHM 484) были изучены четыре захоронения. Наибольшую ценность представляют могилы н.2 и 4 (Carlson 1988: 245; Thunmark-Nylén 2006: 318):

Захоронение н.2: скелет, расположенный в направлении с юга нв север. Курган сферической формы, облицован камнями. Из предметов в захоронении были найдены: железный топор, пряжка, расположенная в районе пояса, две непрозрачные бусины на шее и “остатки доспехов на груди” (något fanns kvar and pansaret på bröstet).

З ахоронение н.4: скелет, расположенный в направлении с востока на запад. Курган также сферической формы, высотой 0,9 м, с плоским верхом. Внутри кургана располагался известняковый гроб размерами приблизительно 3х3м(?). На правом плече умершего была найдена плащевая игла, на уровне пояса – пряжка. Также были обнаружены топор и “несколько пластинок брони” (några pansarfjäll) в области груди.

Судя по находкам из захоронений, можно сделать вывод, что мужчины были погребены вместе со своими доспехами. Конечно, нельзя быть полностью уверенным в том, к какому типу относилась данная броня, но больше всего она походит на ламеллярную, особенно из-за их внешнего сходства и упоминания пластинок (Thunmark-Nylén 2006: 318). Встаёт вопрос датировки. Лена Тунмарк-Нюлен упоминала оба доспеха в своих публикациях о Готланде эпохи викингов. Плащевые иглы и фрагменты ремней также указывают на период викингов. Однако самое главное – это топоры: согласно рисункам Экдаля, топор из захоронения н.2 относится к так называемым широким топорам, а находка из могилы н.4 имеет рукоять, декорированную латунью. Первый топор вероятнее всего относится к концу X-началу XI в., в то время как отделка рукоятей латунью – особенность скорее некоторых топоров начала XI века (Теймс, Лангейт и некоторые другие поселения, см. мою статью “Two-handed axes”). Будет логично предположить, что оба захоронения были совершены в одном веке, несмотря на то, что между формой и расположением могил существуют небольшие различия.

lamely_birka

Зал Гарнизона с отмеченными находками кольчужного полотна и ламеллярных пластин. Источник: Ehlton 2003: 16, Fig. 18. Составлено Kjell Persson.

В Скандинавии до сих пор был известен только один образец, или, скорее, фрагменты ламеллярной брони. А именно доспех из Бирки (см., например, Thordeman 1939: 268; Stjerna 2001; Stjerna 2004; Hedenstierna-Jonson 2006: 55, 58; Hjardar – Vike 2011: 193–195; Dawson 2013 и др). Пластинки были разбросаны вокруг так называемого Гарнизона, и их количество достигало 720 штук (самый крупный фрагмент состоял из 12 деталей). Из них было возможно изучить лишь 267, и впоследствии они были разделены на 8 типов, каждый из которых, по-видимому, служил для защиты разных частей тела. Предположительно, доспех из Бирки служил для защиты груди, спины, живота, плеч и ног до колена (Stjerna 2004: 31). Он датирован началом X века (Stjerna 2004: 31). Учёные согласны с его происхождением с Ближнего или Среднего востока, а ближайший аналог – это доспех из Балык-Сука, (например, Dawson 2002; Gorelik 2002: 145; Stjerna 2004: 31). Стьерна (2007: 247) считает, что предназначение данной брони, а также некоторых других предметов было скорее символическим(«Доспехи использовались явно с иной целью, нежели военная или практическая»). Доусон (2013) частично не согласен с вышеприведённым классическим мнением, полагая, что частицы были неправильно интерпретированы, потому что из выделенных восьми только три типа могут считаться частицами брони, а их количества недостаточно для создания и половины нагрудника, и в итоге это привело его к выводу, что пластины из Бирки являются просто фрагментами обработанного металла. В свете находок из Снэксгярде, которые не были упомянуты в книге Доусона, я считаю это решение опрометчивым.

lamelovka_birka

Реконструкция доспеха из Бирки на основе доспеха из Балык-Сука. Источник: Hjardar – Vike 2011: 195.

Считается, что на территории Древней Руси было найдено достаточно большое количество ламеллярных доспехов. Однако это не так. Находок, датированных IX-XI веком, немного, например, доспехи из Гнёздова, из Сарского городища, Донецкого городища и Новгорода, и они, скорее всего, были импортированы с Востока, так же, как и доспех из Бирки (личная беседа с Сергеем Каиновым; см. Кирпичников 1971: 14-20). А вот предметов, датированных XI-XIII веками, на территории Руси было найдено гораздо больше – около 270 находок (см. Медведев 1959; Кирпичников 1971: 14-20), и необходимо отметить, что во второй половине XIII века количество кольчужных фрагментов превышало ламеллярные в, примерно, четыре раза, что говорит о том, что кольчуги были излюбленным способом защиты на Древней Руси (Кирпичников 1971: 15). Также, с высокой вероятностью, древнерусские ламеллярные доспехи были импортом из Византии, где они были распространены уже в Х веке благодаря их простому дизайну и низкой стоимости изготовления (Bugarski 2005: 171).

Заметка для реконструкторов.

В реконструкторском сообществе ламеллярный доспех стал очень популярен. На некоторых фестивалях он может составлять более 50% от всей брони. Основными аргументами в его пользу являются:

  • Низкая стоимость производства;
  • Более высокий уровень защиты;
  • Довольно быстрое производство;
  • Эстетичный внешний вид;

И хотя эти аргументы понятны, необходимо подчеркнуть, что ламеллярная броня никоим образом не подходит для воссоздания эпохи викингов. Аргументугументу, что этот тип брони использовался на территории Древней Руси, можно противопоставить тот факт, что даже во время наивысшего расцвета ламеллярной брони на Руси количество кольчужных доспехов было в четыре раза больше. Более того, пластинчатые доспехи зачастую импортными. А если мы придерживаемся основной идеи о том, что реконструкция должна основываться на воссоздании типичных объектов, то становится понятно, что ламеллярный доспех может использоваться только как часть реконструкции образа кочевников или византийских воинов. То же самое относится к кожаной пластинчатой броне.

Пример хорошей реконструкции ламеллярного доспеха. Виктор Кралин.

С другой стороны, находки из Бирки и Снэкгярде позволяют предположить, что этот тип брони может встречаться в восточной части Скандинавии. Прежде чем сделать вывод, мы должны принять во внимание, что Бирка и Готланд, как крупные центры торговли, являлись территориями, где было сильно влияние Восточной Европы и Византии. Это также является причиной , по которой там было найдено большое количество предметов восточного происхождения, неизвестных в остальной Скандинавии. В каком-то смысле было бы странно, если бы у нас не было этих находок, особенно относящихся к периоду их расцвета в Византии. Однако это не означает, что ламеллярные доспехи были распространены в данной области. Пластинчатые доспехи отстоят отдельно от военных традиций и принципов викингов, и доспехи этого типа иногда находили в Балтийском регионе до XIV века (Thordeman 1939: 268-269). То есть, кольчуга может считаться наиболее распространённой формой защиты в Скандинавии эпохи викингов, подтверждением чему является тот факт, что кольчужные фрагменты были найдены в самой Бирке (Ehlton 2003). Что касается производства ламеллярных доспехов на территории Скандинавии и Руси, нет никаких доказательств того, что это происходило, а потому можно считать это крайне маловероятным.

Когда ламеллярный доспех считается подходящим для реконструкции эпохи викингов?

  • Реконструктор воссоздаёт образ, основанный на находках в балтийском регионе или на Руси.
  • Ламеллярных доспехов используется ограниченное количество(1 на группу или 1 ламеллярная броня на 4 кольчужных доспеха).
  • Допускается использование только металлических пластинчатых доспехов, а не кожаных или обработанных лазером.
  • Он должен соответствовать находкам из Бирки (или Гнёздова, из Сарского городища, Донецкого городища или Новгорода), а не Висбю.
  • Доспех не может сочетаться с типично скандинавскими элементами, например, пряжками.

Броня должна соответствовать источнику и быть дополнена соответствующим снаряжением, например, русским шлемом. Так, если выбирать между двумя позициями: «да ламеллярным доспехам» или «нет ламеллярным доспехам», игнорируя вариант «да ламеллярным доспехам (без учета вышеупомянутых аргументов)», я выбираю вариант «Нет ламеллярным доспехам». А что думаете Вы?

Литература

Bugarski, Ivan (2005). A contribution to the study of lamellar armors. In: Starinar 55, 161—179. Online: http://www.doiserbia.nb.rs/img/doi/0350-0241/2005/0350-02410555161B.pdf.

Carlsson, Anders (1988). Penannular brooches from Viking Period Gotland, Stockholm.

Ehlton, Fredrik (2003). Ringväv från Birkas garnison, Stockholm. Online: http://www.erikds.com/pdf/tmrs_pdf_19.pdf.

Dawson, Timothy (2002). Suntagma Hoplôn: The Equipment of Regular Byzantine Troops, c. 950 to c. 1204. In: D. Nicolle (ed.). Companion to Medieval Arms and Armour, Woodbridge, 81–90.

Dawson, Timothy (2013). Armour Never Wearies : Scale and Lamellar Armour in the West, from the Bronze Age to the 19th Century, Stroud.

Gorelik, Michael (2002). Arms and armour in south-eastern Europe in the second half of the first millennium AD. In: D. Nicolle (ed.). Companion to Medieval Arms and Armour, Woodbridge, 127–147.

Hedenstierna-Jonson, Charlotte (2006). The Birka Warrior – the material culture of a martial society, Stockholm. Online: http://su.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:189759/FULLTEXT01.pdf.

Kirpichnikov, Anatolij N. (1971). Древнерусское оружие. Вып. 3. Доспех, комплекс боевых средств IX—XIII вв, Moskva.

Medvedev, Аlexandr F. (1959) К истории пластинчатого доспеха на Руси //Советская археология, № 2, 119—134. Online: http://swordmaster.org/2010/05/10/a-f-medvedev-k-istorii-plastinchatogo-dospexa-na.html.

Stjerna, Niklas (2001). Birkas krigare och deras utrustning. In: Michael Olausson (ed.). Birkas krigare, Stockholm, 39–45.

Stjerna, Niklas (2004). En stäppnomadisk rustning från Birka. In: Fornvännen 99:1, 28–32. Online: http://samla.raa.se/xmlui/bitstream/handle/raa/3065/2004_027.pdf?sequence=1.

Stjerna, Niklas. (2007). Viking-age seaxes in Uppland and Västmanland : craft production and eastern connections. In: U. Fransson (ed). Cultural interaction between east and west, Stockholm, 243–249.

Thunmark-Nylén, Lena (2006). Die Wikingerzeit Gotlands III: 1–2 : Text, Stockholm.

Lamellás vértek Skandináviában

Fordította Füle Dénes.

vikingerikrig

A birkai harcos rekonstrukciós rajza. Forrás: Hjardar – Vike 2011: 347.

A lamellás vértezet kérdése nagyon gyakori a szakértők és a hagyományőrzők körében is. Személy szerint gyakran találkoztam ezzel a problémával, ezért összegyűjtöttem néhány irodalmi anyagot. Kutatásaim rekonstruálatlan leletekhez vezettek,a gotlandi Snäckgärde-ből, ami nem messze helyezkedik Visby-től. Ezek a leletek nem maradtak fent, de a lelkészként praktizáló Nils Johan Ekdahlnak (1799–1870) hála a leírásuk még ma is fellelhető. Ezért nevezi őt az utókor az „első tudományos gotlandi archeológus”-nak.

Az egyetlen oka a leletek eltűnésének nem más,mint az idő. Majdhogynem kétszáz éve már, hogy meglelték őket. Ezidő alatt végleg eltűntek. Az irodalmi anyag ezen maradványokhoz nehezen hozzáférhető és szinte ismeretlen a tudósok számára, nem beleértve a svéd kutatókat. Csupán ennyit sikerült találnom: 1826-ban, négy darab csontvázat rejtő sírt tártak fel Snäckgärde-nél (Visby, Land Nord, SHM 484), és a legérdekesebb ezen négy sír közül a 2-es illetve a 4-es számú sírhely (Carlson 1988: 245; Thunmark-Nylén 2006: 318):

A 2-es sír: Észak-Dél tájolású csontvázas,kerek sírhalom kövekkel körberakva. A tememetkezési melléklet egy vasfejsze, egy deréktájt elhelyezkedő gyűrű, két nem átlátszó gyöngy a nyaktájékon és “néhány páncéldarab a mellkason” alkotta (något fanns kvar and pansaret på bröstet).

A 4-es sír: Kelet-Nyugati fekvésű szintén csontvázas, kerek sírhalom, 90 centiméter magas, süllyesztett tetővel. A halmon belül egy 3m × 3m (?) nagyságú mészkőkoporsó helyezkedett el. A halott jobb vállán egy kör alakú melltű volt fellelhető, míg deréktájt egy övről származó karikát jegyeztek le. További felszerelés egy fejsze és „néhány páncéltöredék” (några pansarfjäll) a mellkason.

A feltárt leletekre hivatkozva kijelenthetjük, hogy két férfit temettek el a fegyverzetükkel. Természetesen nem tudjuk kijelenteni pontosan milyen védőpáncélról van szó, de úgy tűnik lamellás, különképp ha az analógiákat és a töredfékek említését hozzuk fel bizonyítékul (Thunmark-Nylén 2006: 318). Az idő behatárolása sem egyszerű. Lena Thunmark-Nylén mindkét páncélt megemlítette a Viking kori Gotlandról szóló publikációiban. A tű és övmaradványok szintén a Viking időkre utalnak. Mégpedig, a legfontosabb árulkodó jelek, azok a fejszék–Ekhdal rajzai alapján a 2-es számú sírban található fegyver nem más, mint egy szélesfejű fejsze, míg a 4-es számú sírból származó szintén fejsze, melynek nyelét bronzzal díszítették. A 2. sír fejszéjét a késői 10. illetve a koria 11. századra datálhatjuk, míg a másik fejsze díszítőelemei a 11. században voltak elterjedtek (Thames, Langeid és egyéb helyek Gotlandon, lásd a további cikkemben: “Two-handed axes“). Logikus következtetésnek tűnik, hogy mindkét sírhely ugyanabban az évszázadban készült, bár fellelhető néhány apróbb különbség az elhelyezkedésükben és a felépítésükben.

lamely_birka

A birkai leletegyüttesnél talált láncszemek és lamellák. Ehlton 2003: 16, Fig. 18. Kjell Persson által.

Skandináviában csak egy lamellásvértet (vagy inkább darabok) ismertek, Birkából (pl. Thordeman 1939: 268; Stjerna 2001Stjerna 2004Hedenstierna-Jonson 2006: 55, 58; Hjardar – Vike 2011: 193–195; Dawson 2013 és mások). A lamellák szétszórtan helyezkednek el az ún. Helyőrség résznél (Garrison/Garnison) és nagyjából 720 darab sorolható ide (a legnagyobb 12-ből állt). 267 lamella besorolható és 8 különböző típusra osztható, amik feladata a test különböző részeinek védelme lehetett. A feltételezés szerint a birkai páncél védelmet nyújtott a mellkasnak, hátnak, vállaknak, hasnak egészen a térdig lefelé (Stjerna 2004: 31). A vért a 10.század első felében készülhetett (Stjerna 2004: 31). A tudósok egyetértenek a nomád eredetében, mégpedig a Közel- vagy Távol-Keletről eredeztethető, s a legközelebbi párhuzam Balyk-Sooki felszereléssel vonható. (pl Dawson 2002; Gorelik 2002: 145; Stjerna 2004: 31). Stjerna (2007: 247) szerint a páncél inkább szimbolikus erővel bírt, mintsem harcban használták volna („Ezen fegyverek rendeltetése bizonyára más volt,mint katonai vagy praktikai használat“). Dawson (2013) nézőpontja nem egyezik, s azt vallja, hogy a vért rosszul lett értelmezve, mivel csak a 8 típusból 3 alkalmas lamellának, és a valós lamellák száma nem elegendő a mellvért felére sem. Arra következtet, hogy a Birkából származó lamellák csupán újrahasznosított hulladékok. A snäckgärdei páncél fényében, amit Dawson könyve nem tartalmaz, ezt a kijelentést meggondolatlannak tartom.

lamelovka_birka

A rekonstruált birkai páncél a Balyk-Sook-ban található vértek alapján. Hjardar – Vike 2011: 195.

Az emberek gyakran hiszik azt, hogy sok lelet található a középkori Oroszország területéről. Valójában csak néhány maradt fent a 9.-11. századból és a birkaihoz hasonlóan ezeket is keleti importnak minősíthetjük (Sergei Kainov szóbeli közlése; lsd.: Kirpichnikov 1971: 14-20). Ezen korai időszakból a leletek Gnezdovo-ból és Novgorod-ból származnak. Az orosz anyag [11.-13. sz] sokkal több, 270 leletet tartalmaz. (lsd.: Medvedev 1959; Kirpichnikov 1971: 14-20). Bár érdemes megjegyezni, hogy a 13. század második feléig a láncingtöredékek száma négyszer több mint a lamellás vértből származóé, ami arra utal,hogy a láncing volt a domináns páncélviselet az akkori Oroszországban (Kirpichnikov 1971: 15). Valószínűsíthető, hogy az középkori orosz Viking lamellásvért Bizáncból származtatható, ahol gyakori páncéltípus volt már a 10. században az olcsóbb előállításnak köszönhetően (Bugarski 2005: 171).

Megjegyzés a hagyományőrzőknek

A lamellás vért nagyon elterjedt az újrajátszók körében. Néhány rendezvényen akár a páncélok több mint felét is kitehetik.A főbb érvek a használata mellett:

  • Olcsó előállítási költség
  • Több védelem
  • Gyorsabb előállítás
  • Jó megjelenés

Míg ezek az érvek érthetők,ki kell emelni, hogy ezeknek a vérteknek nincs helye a viking hagyományőrzők körében. Az érvet, miszerint ezeket vérteket a ruszok használták, megdönthetjük egyetlen ténnyel: még a lamellás vértek legnagyobb elterjedése idején is is négyszer többen használtak láncinget. S ami a legfontosabb, a lamellás típusú vértezetet importálták. Ha megtartjuk azt az alapötletet, hogy az újrajátszó felszerelését átlalános dolgoknak kell alkotnia, akkor világossá válik, hogy ez a fajta páncél a bizánci- illetve a nomád karaktereknél kap szerepet. Hasonlóképp a bőrlamellás vértekhez.

Példa egy jól rekonstruált lamellásra. Viktor Kralin.

Másrészt a Birkából és Snäckgärdeből származó leletek bizonyítják, hogy ezen fajta felszerelések előfordulhattak Kelet-Skandináviában. Mielőtt levonnánk bármiféle következtetést, fontos megjegyezni, hogy Gotland és Birka erős befolyása alatt állt a Bizánci-birodalomnak és Kelet-Európának. Ez is bizonyítja a keletről származó tárgyi leletek felhalmozódását, amik egyébként nem ismertek Skandináviában. Bizonyos szempontból furcsa is lenne, hogy nem állnának rendelkezésre ezek a maradványok, amikor gyakoriak voltak Bizáncban. Ez azonban nem azt jelenti, hogy ez a fajta páncél gyakori volt ezen a területen. A lamellás vért elkülőnítendő az északi harcos hagyományoktól és az etipusú Balti területeken talált páncéloktól egészen a 14. századik (Thordeman 1939: 268269). A láncing tekinthető a leggyakrabban használt védőfelszerelésnek a viking korban, szintúgy mint a középkori Oroszországban. Ez az állítás azzal bizonyítható, hogy láncszemeket is találtak Birkában (Ehlton 2003)Tekintettel a lamellás előállítására skandináv és orosz területeken, nincs bizonyíték,ami alátámasztaná hogy ilyesmi megtörtént valaha is s az eféle elkészítés valószínűtlen.

Ha a lamelláris tolerálható a viking hagyományőrzésben, akkor:

  • a karakternek rusznak vagy Balti országból származónak kell lennie
  • limitálni kell a jelenlétét (egy csapatban egy lamellás, vagy 4 láncingesre jusson 1 lamellás)
  • csakis fém lamellák,a bőr és a lézerrel vágott nem elfogadott
  • a birkai, gnezdovoi vagy novgorodi leletekkel kell azonosnak lennie (nem pedig visbyből származóval)
  • nem kombinálható skandináv komponensekkel, pl. csatokkal.

A páncélnak úgy kell kinéznie,mint az eredetinek és ki kell egészülnie korhű felszereléssel, mint például a rusz típusú sisak. Ha az “Igen a lamellás vértekre” vagy “Nem a lamellás vértekre“ nézőpontokra osztjuk a vitát, ignorálva a “Igen a lamellásakra (kompromisszumokkal) lehetőséget“, én az ellenzők táborát erősítem. És mi a te véleményed?

Felhasznált irodalom

Bugarski, Ivan (2005). A contribution to the study of lamellar armors. In: Starinar 55, 161—179. Online: http://www.doiserbia.nb.rs/img/doi/0350-0241/2005/0350-02410555161B.pdf.

Carlsson, Anders (1988). Penannular brooches from Viking Period Gotland, Stockholm.

Ehlton, Fredrik (2003). Ringväv från Birkas garnison, Stockholm. Online: http://www.erikds.com/pdf/tmrs_pdf_19.pdf.

Dawson, Timothy (2002). Suntagma Hoplôn: The Equipment of Regular Byzantine Troops, c. 950 to c. 1204. In: D. Nicolle (ed.). Companion to Medieval Arms and Armour, Woodbridge, 81–90.

Dawson, Timothy (2013). Armour Never Wearies : Scale and Lamellar Armour in the West, from the Bronze Age to the 19th Century, Stroud.

Gorelik, Michael (2002). Arms and armour in south-eastern Europe in the second half of the first millennium AD. In: D. Nicolle (ed.). Companion to Medieval Arms and Armour, Woodbridge, 127–147.

Hedenstierna-Jonson, Charlotte (2006). The Birka Warrior – the material culture of a martial society, Stockholm. Online: http://su.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:189759/FULLTEXT01.pdf.

Kirpichnikov, Anatolij N. (1971). Древнерусское оружие. Вып. 3. Доспех, комплекс боевых средств IX—XIII вв, Moskva.

Medvedev, Аlexandr F. (1959) К истории пластинчатого доспеха на Руси //Советская археология, № 2, 119—134. Online: http://swordmaster.org/2010/05/10/a-f-medvedev-k-istorii-plastinchatogo-dospexa-na.html.

Stjerna, Niklas (2001). Birkas krigare och deras utrustning. In: Michael Olausson (ed.). Birkas krigare, Stockholm, 39–45.

Stjerna, Niklas (2004). En stäppnomadisk rustning från Birka. In: Fornvännen 99:1, 28–32. Online: http://samla.raa.se/xmlui/bitstream/handle/raa/3065/2004_027.pdf?sequence=1.

Stjerna, Niklas. (2007). Viking-age seaxes in Uppland and Västmanland : craft production and eastern connections. In: U. Fransson (ed). Cultural interaction between east and west, Stockholm, 243–249.

Thunmark-Nylén, Lena (2006). Die Wikingerzeit Gotlands III: 1–2 : Text, Stockholm.

Theories on Norse Padded Armour

Translated by Greg Rice from the Czech original.

At the request of many reenactors, who are interested in early medieval warfare, my colleagues Roman Král, Jan Zajíc, Jan Bělina, et al. and I decided to write an article that would provide a comprehensive commentary on the use of padding under armor and fabric armor in the early Middle Ages. Given that there is no extant archaeological evidence, we are forced to speculate and discuss dubious literary references, iconography and tested, firsthand experience. In this article, we will formulate a list of design assumptions.

1. The need for padding under mail armor

A scene from the Bayeux Tapestry.             Around 1070’s AD

Mail armor is constructed of connected rings of metal. It is logical that the mail armor and possibly other types of armor were used in combination with padding. Mail, which was the most widely used metal armor in Scandinavia, provides good protection against edged weapons and effectively disappaites the force of a blow. If it was worn without padding, a strike to the body would cause surface and internal damage. For the Viking Age (and indeed throughout the early Middle Ages) padding is never directly mentioned as part of combat equipment (mentioned as gerðar, herváðir and herklæði). The same applies to the surviving Scandinavian figures (see eg. Archer 2013) – armor lying close to the body and the undercoat is not noticeable. Padding as the bottom layer can easily be overlooked, but more significantly – when the armor was depicted, padding was not important for either the artist or the viewer of the piece of art; even though padding is as important as the other parts of armor. However, there are illuminations of contemporary European armor, in which the padding is shown (see eg. Skodell 2008), and we will try to show the parallels in contemporary padding across Western and Northern Europe.

 

2. The material of the padding

The best protection against the strike is layered textiles and/or leather. In the European reenactment the current trend is to produce fabric gambesons that are a few centimeters thick, but scientific investigation (see list at Archer 2014) suggests that two textile layers of fabric or a combination of fabric and leather were used. Iconography, showing the armor close to the body, could support that idea. We validated the use of few layers of wool (up to three) in modern (Eastern style) battles; the warrior is not restricted in movement and is fairly well protected against swords. Axe and spear, however, are problematic due to the force they generate. Similarly, we validated a thinner layer of felted wool.

Sagas and other sources, including The Book of the Hird (Hirðskrá) and The King’s Mirror (Konungs skuggsjá), mention textile armor treyja and panzer / panzari (Falk 1914 : § 87 + § 90; 181 – 182, 185 – 186). These two words were introduced into Old Norse from Middle Low German and they denote multi-layer linen gambesons of High and Late Middle Ages (Hjardar – Vike 2011: 194 – 196). In the Bayeux Tapestry armors are so simplied, they can represent mail, scale, lamellar armors or even gambesons, which are quilted in vertical or diamond patterns. In any case, they may be linked to professionalization of the army in 11th century.

 

3. Style 

Dánové

The attack of the “Great Danish Army” from the manuscript M.736, fol. 9v, about 1130 AD.

Determining what style of the padding was used is probably the most difficult of all to answer, because it requires knowledge of contemporary clothing. It can be assumed that the cut of clothing was not entirely consistent over all the lands that the Norse enhabited. Also, it can be postulated that there were gradual improvements – i.e. the strengthening the individual parts and increasing the number of layers with the need of quilting.

Apparently, most of warriors in Sagas of Icelanders fought without armor, which can be interpreted as they could not afford quality armor or they acted too spontaneously to think about protection. However, from two extreme examples (Helgi, the hero of Vápnfirðinga saga, binds a big stone to his chest to avoid the injury, and Þóri Þorsteinsson, the fighter of Hákon the Good and veteran of Battle of Fitjar, cut a hole in an oxen hide and put that over his head) showing the same kind of ad hoc improvisation and the pattern of not having the armor in the fight. In some cases, warriors of sagas put on festive tunics before a fight; in the most dramatic moments of their life, fashion was more desirable than good protection. Frankish and English illuminations from the 10th – 12th centuries depict a variety of warriors clad only in caps and tunics. It is reasonable to assume that padding was virtually identical to those typical, civilian clothes, and their protective function was achieved by layering them. That means, a classic tunic (kyrtill/skyrta), knee-length garment without buttons or fastening, with long sleeves and gores. The neckline could have a lapel and collar to protect the neck, as Skjoldehamn and Guddal tunics. Likewise, coats (Klappenrock) or Eastern caftans with buttons could, of course, serve the same function.

Add. MS 24199 fol. 18

Cotton Ms. Cleo. C VIII, fol. 18v, the end of the 10th century.

This solution is illustrated in at least a few sources. The first is the illumination of the Anglo-Saxon version of The Psychomachia of Prudentius (fol. 18v, see the picture), which dates back to the late 10th century. In this illumination one can see two fighters – dancers in short ring shirts with dagged edges and under tunics that reach the knees and wrists. Practically the same solution appears in several manuscripts illuminations from the 10th – 11th century (see eg. a scene from The Book of Maccabees of St. Gallen, Fulda SacramentaryThe Golden Gospels of EchternachThe life of St. Albin and Stavelot Bible). There are also literary sources with statements about fabric under armor, namely Saga of Magnus the Good (ch. 29), which states that “King Magnus threw off from him his coat of ring-mail, and had a red silk shirt outside over his clothes [ok hafði yzta rauða silkiskyrtu] […].”

Předpokládaná rekonstrukce bojovníka uloženého v Gjermundbu, 10. století. Podle

Expected reconstruction warrior stored in Gjermundbu, 10th century. Taken from Hjardar – Vike 2011: 155.

This short quotation forces us to imagine a padding as several layered tunics. Personally, we use this solution and it allows the wearer to freely add / remove the number of layers, clean tunics separately and finally use separate tunics outside the combat context. Two Norwegian finds – Skjoldehamn and Guddal – contained paired tunics, which have been experimentally proven by us to be a good protection against cold and padding worn under the mail armor.

We can also imagine that padding could be made from tunics sewn together showing that padding is a special war garment that hardly finds application in a non-combat situations. It is often argued that Byzantine sources describe padding that is similar to a gambeson. An anonymous treatise on the strategy from the 6th century gives a particularly interesting testimony:

There should also be a space between the armor and the body. It should not be worn directly over ordinary clothing, as some do to keep down the weight of the armor, but over a garment at least a finger thick. There are two reasons for this. Where it touches the body the hard metal may not chafe but may fit and lie comfortably upon the body. In addition, it helps to prevent the enemy missiles from hitting the flesh […].”(The Anonymous Byzantine Treatise on Strategy, §16, ed. G. T. Dennis )

In Scandinavia, the existence of such a one-pieced textile represents the term treyja, which could mean that specialized clothing began to be used in the later period (11th / 12th century onwards), but due to the nature of our sources, we can neither accept or reject this idea with 100% certainty. We have to admit that both variants are possible. Thickness of the special garment could be around 1 centimeter. During the making of such a piece of clothing, we would personally avoid excessive quilting; we would only stitched the layers at hems.

Armors with possible integral lining. A scene from the Bayeux Tapestry. Around 1070’s AD.

Scandinavian iconography suggests that the length of padding adapted to the length of chain mail. It is even possible to think about the intergral lining of the mail armor, as the Bayeux Tapestry suggests; it shows armors carried on spears, not worn by anyone, with wide coloured borders, perhaps suggesting that the padding was in some way integral to the armor itself, and scenes on the border also depict armor being removed from men that are clearly naked underneath, which also suggests integral padding that is removed with the mail.  The Psychomachia of Prudentius and other contemporary illuminations, however, shows the opposite. With few exceptions, we can say that until the early 11th century, Scandinavians surely used shorter mail armors, with the length up to 70 cm and short sleeves. Mail components, such as protection over the neck or legs, were missing. During the 11th century, we can observe how the armor lengthened, which was due to Continental influence and which culminated in the use of a complete mail armor set.

We are strictly against the use of modern padding, which is haphazardly stitched together and which looks more like rags or slave clothing. The padding – no matter how it looked – had to be aesthetically pleasing and had to reflect the status of the owner. Some reenactors and organizers of festivals like to say there are no sources, so every version is possible. The goal that we reenactors should achieve is the least disturbing look that is in accordance with what we can see or read in sources. Now we will compare the Viking Recreation combat of the Modern Western European style to Modern Eastern European style. Modern Western (example here) is a style where the head is not a legal target and the force of blows is much less. This style combat is so safe it allows one to use no armor, and the historical look can be maintained. On the other hand, Modern Eastern style fighters (example here) are focused on hits with full force to protected target zones – a system that is illogical from the historical perspective. Western tradition allows to use a tunic as the main protective layer, while it is better to use more layers in the Eastern approach. The result we would like to achieve is that the armor can look historically correct in both styles, but with the different number of layers. On several occasions, we have fought in modern Eastern style battles with nothing but one tunic worn without mail armor; it turned to be a fight for our lives, the realistic feeling which gives one so much adrenalin to ignore hits from blunt weapons. Layered tunics, whether sewn or not, could be a good compromise between these two extreme approaches.

 

4. Reconstructions

We hold the opinion the image of reenactors is crucial in the reenactment. We strove for a quality article, but we can not completely demonstrate our thoughts without photos. Therefore, you can find a gallery below. We hope that the gallery will extend in the future. If you have any image of the appropriate padding, you can, of course, send it to us and we will publish it.

 

We believe that the problem has been overlooked so far and the battlefields are full of non-historical armors that look more like the Michelin-Man. In order to change the current trend, the discussion has been led, and therefore we are open to opinion and are willing to participate in further debates. The article was well accepted and a separate addition, “War coat – an experiment“, was written. The most important quote from the article says: “For a traveling fighter, it is impractical to carry civilian clothes and extra special combat protection, I think. It is more advantageous to combine these two requirements into one.

I hope you liked reading this article. If you have any question or remark, please contact me or leave a comment below. If you want to learn more and support my work, please, fund my project on Patreon.


Sources and recommended links

The Anonymous Byzantine Treatise on Strategy. In: Three Byzantine Military Treatises, ed. a trans. George T. Dennis, Washington 1985: 1–135. Available at: https://oniehlibraryofgreekliterature.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/three-byzantine-military-treatises-by-george-t-dennis.pdf.

Saga of Magnús the Good (Magnús saga góða). Available at: http://www.heimskringla.no/wiki/Sagan_af_Magn%C3%BAsi_g%C3%B3%C3%B0a.

ARCHER, Gavin. Mail Shirts, in: The Viking Age Compendium, 2013. [online]. [ 2015-02-03]. Available at: http://www.vikingage.org/wiki/index.php?title=Mail_Shirts.

ARCHER, Gavin. Jacks and Gambesons, in: The Viking Age Compendium, 2014. [online]. [2015-02-03]. Available at: http://www.vikingage.org/wiki/index.php?title=Jacks_and_Gambesons. See the bibliography in the end.

FALK, Hjalmar. Altnordische Waffenkunde, Kristiania 1914.

HJARDAR, Kim – VIKE, Vegard. Vikinger i krig, Oslo 2011.

SKODELL, Henry. Schutzausrüstung des 11. Jahrhunderts in Mitteleuropa, in: Reenactment.de, 2008. [online]. [2015-02-03]. Available at: http://www.reenactment.de/reenactment_start/reenactment_startseite/diverses/kitguide/kitguide.html.

Roman subarmalis – thoracomachus – online.

The oldest gambeson from Bussy-Saint-Martin – online.

The reconstruction of quilted gambeson from the 13th century – online.

Lamellar Armours of the Viking Age

This article is a translation of my Czech article “Lamelové zbroje ze Snäckgärde?” (Lamellar Armour from Snäckgärde?). The article was well accepted and was later translated to Spanish (“Armadura lamellar en la Escandinavia vikinga“) and Portuguese (“Armadura lamelar na Escandinávia Viking“). If you like my research, you can write me anytime or support me on my Patreon site.

Lamellar armours in Scandinavia
vikingerikrig

The reconstruction of the Birka warrior. Taken from Hjardar – Vike 2011: 347.

The question of lamellar armour is popular among both experts and reenactors. I myself have dealt with this issue several times and I have collected the literature. My research led me to virtually unknown finds from Snäckgärde, which lies near Visby on Gotland. These finds did not survive, but are described by priest Nils Johan Ekdahl (1799–1870), which is called “the first scientific Gotlandic archaeologist.”

The reason why finds from Snäckgärde are unknown is that they were discovered almost 200 years ago and were lost. The literature about them is hardly accessible and mostly unknown for scholars of non-Swedish origin.  All I managed to find is this: in the year 1826, four graves with skeletons were examined in the site called Snäckgärde (Visby, Land Nord, SHM 484), and the most interesting of these four graves are those with number 2 and 4 (Carlson 1988: 245; Thunmark-Nylén 2006: 318):

Grave no. 2: grave with skeleton oriented in the south-north direction, spherical mound lined with stones. The funeral equipment consisted of an iron axe, a ring located at the waist, two opaque beads in the neck area and “some pieces of armour on the chest” (något fanns kvar and pansaret på bröstet).

Grave no. 4: grave with skeleton in east-west direction, spherical mound, 0.9 meter high, with sunken top. Inside the mound, there was a coffin of limestone, with dimensions of 3 m × 3 m (?). A ringed-pin was found the right shoulder of the dead. At waist level, a ring from the belt was discovered. Another parts of the equipment were an axe and “several scales of armour” (några pansarfjäll), found at the chest.

Judging by the funerary remains, it can be assumed that two men were laid in these mounds with their armours. Of course, we can not say for sure what kind of armours they were, but they seem to be lamellar armour, especially because of analogies and the mention of scales (Thunmark-Nylén 2006: 318). Dating is problematic. Lena Thunmark-Nylén mantioned both armours in her publications about Viking Age Gotland. Pins and belt fragments also points to the Viking Age. However, what is the most important are axes – according to Ekhdal´s drawings, the axe from the grave no. 2 is a broad axe, while the axe from the grave no. 4 had the handle decorated with brass. A broad axe could be dated from the end of the 10th or from early 11th century, and the brass coated handle is a feature of some axes from the early 11th century (Thames, Langeid and another sites on Gotland, see my article “Two-handed axes). It seems logical to suppose that both graves were constructed in the same century, although there are some minor differences in the construction and the orientation of graves.

lamely_birka

The hall of Birka with finds of chainmail rings and lamellae. Taken from Ehlton 2003: 16, Fig. 18. Made by Kjell Persson.

In Scandinavia, only one analogy of lamellar armour (or rather fragments) has been known so far, from Birka (see for example Thordeman 1939: 268; Stjerna 2001; Stjerna 2004Hedenstierna-Jonson 2006: 55, 58; Hjardar – Vike 2011: 193–195; Dawson 2013 and others). Lamellae were scattered around the so called Garrison (Garnison) and they number 720 pieces (the biggest piece consisted of 12 pieces). 267 lamellae could be analyzed and classified into 8 types, which probably served to protect different parts of the body. It is estimated that the armour from Birka protected the chest, back, shoulders, belly and legs down to knees (Stjerna 2004: 31). The armour was dated to the first part of 10th century (Stjerna 2004: 31). Scholars agree on it´s nomadic origin from Near or Middle East and it´s closest paralel comes from Balyk-Sook (for example Dawson 2002; Gorelik 2002: 145; Stjerna 2004: 31). Stjerna (2007: 247) thinks that armour and other excelent objects were not designed for war and were rather symbolic („The reason for having these weapons was certainly other than military or practical“). Dawson (2013) stands partially in opposition and claims that the armour was wrongly interepreted, because only three types from eight could be lamellae and the number of real lamellae is not enough for a half of chest armour. His conclusion is that lamellae from Birka are only pieces of recycled scrap. In the light of armours from Snäckgärde, which are not included in Dawson´s book, I consider this statement to be hasty.

lamelovka_birka

The reconstruction of the Birka armour on the basis of Balyk-Sook armour. Taken from Hjardar – Vike 2011: 195.

People often think that there are many finds from the area of Old Russia. In fact, there are only a few finds from the period of 9th-11th century and they can be interpreted as eastern import, just like the example from Birka (personal conversation with Sergei Kainov; see Kirpichnikov 1971: 14-20). From this early period, finds come for example from Gnezdovo and Novgorod. The Russian material dated between 11th-13th is much more abundant, including about 270 finds (see Medvedev 1959; Kirpichnikov 1971: 14-20). However, it is important to note that until the second half of the 13th century, the number chainmail fragments is four times higher than fragments of lamellar armour, pointing out that the chainmail was the predominant type of armour in the territory of Old Russia (Kirpichnikov 1971: 15). With high probability, Old Russian lamellar armour from the Viking Age came from Byzantium, where they were dominant thanks to their simpler design and lower cost already in the 10th century (Bugarski 2005: 171).

A Note for Reenactors

The lamellar armour has become very popular among reenactors. At some festivals and events, lamellar armours count more than 50% of armours. The main arguments for usage are:

  • Low production price
  • More protection
  • Faster production
  • Great look

While these arguments are understandable, it has to be stressed that lamellar armour is in no way suitable for Viking Age reenactment. The argument that this type of armour was used by Rus can be counteracted by the fact that even in the time of the greatest expansion of lamellar armours in Russia, the number of chainmail armours was four times higher. What is more, lamellar armours were imported. If we keep the basic idea that the reenactment should be based on the reconstruction of typical objects, then it must be clear that the lamellar armour is only suitable for Nomad and Byzantine reenactment. The same applies to leather lamellar armour.

An example of well reconstructed lamellar armour. Viktor Kralin.

On the other hand, the finds from Birka and Snäckgärde suggest that this type of armour could occur in the eastern part of Scandinavia. Before any conclusion, we have to take into consideration that Birka and Gotland were territories of strong influences of Eastern Europe and Byzantium. This is also the reason for accumulation of artifacts of Eastern provenance, otherwise not known from Scandinavia. In a way, it would be strange if we had not these finds, especially from the period when they were popular in Byzantium. However, this does not mean that the lamellar armours were common in this area. Lamellar armour stands isolated from Norse warrior tradition and armours of this type sometimes occured in Baltic region until the 14th century (Thordeman 1939: 268269). Chainmail armour can be identified as the predominant form of armour in Viking Age Scandinavia, like in Old Russia. This statement can be verified by the fact that the chainmail rings were found in Birka itself (Ehlton 2003). Regarding the production of lamellar armour in the Scandinavian and Russian territory, there is no evidence to support that this was happening and such a production is highly improbable.

If lamellar armour should be tolerated in Viking reenactment, then

  • the reenactor has to reenact Baltic area or Rus area.
  • it has to be used in limited number (1 lamellar armour per group or 1 lamellar armour per 4 chainmail armours).
  • only metal lamellar armours are allowed, not leather ones or visibly lasered ones.
  • it has to correspond to finds from Birka (or Gnezdovo or Novgorod), not Visby.
  • it can not be combined with Scandinavian components like buckles.

The armour has to look like the original and has to be supplemented by appropriate gear, like Russian helmets. If we are in a debate between two positions “Yes to lamellar armours” or “No to lamellar armours“, ignoring the possibility “Yes to lamellar armours (without taking aforementioned arguments in account)“, I choose the option “No to lamellar armours”. And what is or opinion?

Literature

Bugarski, Ivan (2005). A contribution to the study of lamellar armors. In: Starinar 55, 161—179. Online: http://www.doiserbia.nb.rs/img/doi/0350-0241/2005/0350-02410555161B.pdf.

Carlsson, Anders (1988). Penannular brooches from Viking Period Gotland, Stockholm.

Ehlton, Fredrik (2003). Ringväv från Birkas garnison, Stockholm. Online: http://www.erikds.com/pdf/tmrs_pdf_19.pdf.

Dawson, Timothy (2002). Suntagma Hoplôn: The Equipment of Regular Byzantine Troops, c. 950 to c. 1204. In: D. Nicolle (ed.). Companion to Medieval Arms and Armour, Woodbridge, 81–90.

Dawson, Timothy (2013). Armour Never Wearies : Scale and Lamellar Armour in the West, from the Bronze Age to the 19th Century, Stroud.

Gorelik, Michael (2002). Arms and armour in south-eastern Europe in the second half of the first millennium AD. In: D. Nicolle (ed.). Companion to Medieval Arms and Armour, Woodbridge, 127–147.

Hedenstierna-Jonson, Charlotte (2006). The Birka Warrior – the material culture of a martial society, Stockholm. Online: http://su.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:189759/FULLTEXT01.pdf.

Kirpichnikov, Anatolij N. (1971). Древнерусское оружие. Вып. 3. Доспех, комплекс боевых средств IX—XIII вв, Moskva.

Medvedev, Аlexandr F. (1959) К истории пластинчатого доспеха на Руси //Советская археология, № 2, 119—134. Online: http://swordmaster.org/2010/05/10/a-f-medvedev-k-istorii-plastinchatogo-dospexa-na.html.

Stjerna, Niklas (2001). Birkas krigare och deras utrustning. In: Michael Olausson (ed.). Birkas krigare, Stockholm, 39–45.

Stjerna, Niklas (2004). En stäppnomadisk rustning från Birka. In: Fornvännen 99:1, 28–32. Online: http://samla.raa.se/xmlui/bitstream/handle/raa/3065/2004_027.pdf?sequence=1.

Stjerna, Niklas. (2007). Viking-age seaxes in Uppland and Västmanland : craft production and eastern connections. In: U. Fransson (ed). Cultural interaction between east and west, Stockholm, 243–249.

Thunmark-Nylén, Lena (2006). Die Wikingerzeit Gotlands III: 1–2 : Text, Stockholm.

Armadura lamelar na Escandinávia Viking

vikingerikrig

Reconstrução de um guerreiro de Birka. Hjardar -Vike 2011: pág. 347.

Traduzido por: Stephany Palos,
Hrafnar 
ReenactmentBR.

Essa é uma tradução autorizada de um artigo publicado por Tomáš Vlasatý, colega historiador e recriacionista histórico da República Tcheca do projeto Forlǫg, sobre o uso da armadura lamelar na Escandinávia durante a Era Viking, especialmente durante os séculos X e XI d.C. Se você gostou deste artigo, você pode apoiar o autor no site Patreon.

A questão da armadura lamelar é popular entre os especialistas e entre os reencenadores, tanto os veteranos quanto para os mais leigos. Eu mesmo lidei com essa questão várias vezes o que me levou a muitas descobertas, praticamente desconhecidas, desde o Snäckgärde de Visby à Gotland, que não sobreviveram, mas são descritas pelo padre Nils Johan Ekdahl (1799-1870), que pode ser chamado de “O primeiro arqueólogo cientifico de Gotland”.

As conclusões do Snäckgärde, em particular, são desconhecidas, e foram encontrados a menos de 200 anos atrás e assim como também foram perdidas. A literatura que escreve sobre este tema é pouco acessível, e os estudiosos sobre o assunto que não são suecos, dificilmente o conhecem ou tem acesso a ele. Tudo o que eu consegui descobrir é que no ano de 1826, foram examinadas 4 sepulturas com esqueletos na localidade de Snäckgärde (Visby, Land Nord, SHM 484), e o mais interessante dessas 4 sepulturas, estão nas sepulturas 2 e 4 (Carlson 1988: 245; Thunmark-Nylén 2006: 318)

Sepultura nº 2: sepultura com esqueleto voltado para a direção Sul-Norte, acompanhado por algumas pedras esféricas. O equipamento funerário consistia de um machado de ferro, um anel localizado na cintura, dois grânulos opacos na área do pescoço e “algumas peças de armadura sobre o peito” (något fanns kvar and pansaret på bröstet).

Sepultura nº 4: sepultura com esqueleto orientado na direção Oeste-Leste, túmulo esférico com altura de 0,9m e afundado ao topo. Dentro encontra-se um caixão de pedra calcaria, medindo 3m×3m. Foi encontrado uma fivela no ombro direito do corpo. No nível da cintura, foi encontrado um anel do seu cinto. Outra parte do equipamento consistia em um machado e “várias escamas de armadura” (några pansarfjäll), encontrada em seu peito.

A julgar pelos restos funerários, pode-se supor que as sepulturas correspondem a dois homens que foram enterrados com armadura. Claro, não podemos dizer com certeza que tipo de armadura era, mas parece ser uma armadura lamelar, sobretudo pelas analogias que apresentam com outros achados (Thunmark-Nylén 2006: 318). Data-los é algo problemático. Lena Thunmark-Nylén tentou fazer em suas publicações sobre a Gotland viking. Nelas, datam as sepulturas como pertencentes a Era Viking, devido as características das fivelas e dos cintos. No entanto, os resultados que parecem ser mais importantes para esta questão, são os machados. Principalmente o que foi encontrado na sepultura número 2 (jugando pelos desenhos de Ekdahl, que parece ser um machado de duas mãos danes), foi datado a partir do final do século X d.C. ou início do século XI d.C. (ver http://sagy.vikingove.cz/nekolik-poznamek-k-pouzivani-sirokych-seker/).

O que era pertencente a sepultura número 4, estava recoberta de bronze. Ambos os recursos dos machados são similares a outros exemplares do século XI d.C., por isso, podemos supor que as sepulturas pertencem a este mesmo período, apesar de que há algumas variações na estrutura e orientação das tumbas (ver  http://sagy.vikingove.cz/hrob-langeid-8/).

lamely_birka

Salão com os achados de anéis e outras peças das armaduras lamelares. Retirado de Ehlton 2003:16, Fig. 18, Criado por Kjell Persson.

As lamelas estavam espalhadas em volta do chamado Garrison (Garrison/Garnison) e eles numeraram 720 peças (a maior parte continha a partir de 12 peças). 267 lamelas poderiam ser analisadas e classificadas em 12 tipos, o que provavelmente serviu para proteger partes diferentes do corpo. Estima-se que a armadura de Birka protegia o peito, costas, ombros, barriga e pernas até os joelhos (Stjerna 2004: 31). A armadura foi datada da primeira metade do século X (Stjerna 2004: 31). Os estudiosos concordam que a lamelar é nômade, com origem no Oriente Médio, próximo a Balyk-Sook (exemplo retirado de Dawson 2002; Gorelik 2002: 145; Stjerna 2004: 31). Stjerna (2007: 247) pensa que a armadura e outros excelentes objetos não foram designados para a guerra, e eram muito simbólicos (“A razão para se ter tais armaduras, foi certamente outra que não militar ou prática“). Dawson (2013) está parcialmente em oposição e afirma que a armadura foi erroneamente interpretada, pois apenas três tipos de oito poderiam ser lamelares, e o número de lamelas reais não é o suficiente para meio peitoral da armadura. A conclusão dele é que as lamelas de Birka são somente pedaços de sucata reciclada. Na luz das armaduras de Snäckgärde, que não estão incluídos no livro de Dawson, eu particularmente, considero esta afirmação muito precipitada.

lamelovka_birka

Reconstituição da armadura de Birka, baseada na armadura de Balyk-Sook. Retirado de Hjardar –Vike 2011: 195.

As pessoas muitas vezes pensam que há muitos achados na área da antiga Rússia. Na verdade, existem apenas alguns achados do período que consiste entre o século IX ao XI, que pode ser interpretado como importações do Leste, assim como o exemplo de Birka (conversa pessoal com Sergei Kainov; ver Kirpicnikov 1971: 14-20). A partir deste período inicial, os achados vêm do exemplo de Gnezdovo e Novgorod. O material russo deste tipo, datado entre os séculos XI e XIII d.C., é muito mais abundante, incluindo aproximadamente 270 achados (ver Medvedev 1959; Kirpicnikov 1971: 14-20) sendo importante notar que desde a segunda metade do século XIII d.C., os números de fragmentos de argolas de cota de malha são quatro vezes maior que lamelas de armaduras lamelares, apontando que a malha era o tipo predominante de armadura no antigo território russo (Kirpicnikov 1971: 15). Com grande probabilidade, a armadura lamelar da antiga Rússia da Era Viking, vem do Bizâncio, onde era muito dominante, graças ao seu design simples e ao baixo custo de produção, já no século X (Bugarski 2005: 171).

Nota para os reencenadores

A armadura lamelar tornou-se muito popular entre os reencenadores históricos. Tanto que em alguns festivais e eventos com batalhas, as armaduras lamelares constituem de 50% (ou mais) do que outros tipos de armadura. Os principais argumentos para o uso são:

  • Baixo custo de produção
  • Mais resistente
  • Produção rápida
  • Parece ser mais legal

Embora estes argumentos sejam compreensíveis, eles permanecem totalmente inadequados. Para contrariar tais argumentos não é correta na reencenação histórica dos nórdicos da Era Viking. O argumento de que este tipo de armadura foi utilizado pelos Rus, pode ser contrariada, mesmo em tempos de maior expansão das lamelares na Rússia, o número de armaduras de malha de metal (cotas de malha), quadriplicou, além de que a primeira citada (armadura lamelar), eram importadas do Oriente. Se mantivermos a ideia básica que a recriação histórica deve-se basear-se na reconstrução de objetos típicos, então nos deve ficar claro que a armadura lamelar é adequada apenas para recriação de guerreiros nômades e bizantinos. Obviamente, o mesmo se aplica a armadura lamelar de couro.

Um bom exemplo de armadura lamelar, Viktor Kralin.

Por outro lado, os achados de Birka e Snäckgärde sugerem que na região oriental da Escandinávia poderia haver uma recepção deste tipo de armadura. Mas antes de qualquer conclusão, temos que levar em consideração que Birka e Gotland tinham um fluxo grande, frequentemente visitadas por comerciantes de uma longa distância e outras grandes massas de pessoas, provenientes em particular da Europa Oriental e Bizâncio, assim como tinha uma grande influência nestes locais. Esta, também é a razão, para a acumulação de artefatos de proveniência oriental, que não eram encontrados na Escandinávia. De certo modo, é estranho que não foram realizados mais achados similares nestas áreas, especialmente correspondentes ao período do domínio bizantino. Mas isto não quer dizer que as armaduras lamelares foram frequentes nesta área, pelo contrário, este tipo de armadura se encontra quase isolado de qualquer tradição guerreira nórdica. Por outro lado, a armadura de malha, como na antiga Rússia, pode ser identificada como a forma de armadura predominante na Escandinávia durante a Era Viking. Isso pode ser verificado pelo fato de que os anéis de cota de malha, em si, foram encontrados em Birka (Ehlton 2003). Com respeito a produção da armadura lamelar no território escandinavo e russo, não existe nenhuma evidencia que demonstre que isso acontecia.

Para incluir a armadura lamelar no recriacionismo histórico, deve-se cumprir:

  • Unicamente fazer reconstrução das regiões do Báltico e Rússia.
  • Permitir um uso limitado (por exemplo, uma armadura por grupo ou um por cada quatro pessoas com cota de malha).
  • Somente utilizar as lamelas de metal. Nada de couro.
  • As formas das peças utilizadas devem corresponder com os achados de Birka (em alguns casos são vistos alguns modelos de Visby, sendo isto um grande erro).
  • Não combinar com elementos escandinavos (fivelas, cintos, roupas, etc.)
  • A armadura deve ser semelhante a original e deve estar acompanhada das demais partes do traje.

Se estamos agora em um debate entre as duas posições: “SIM, usar a armadura lamelar” ou “NÃO, não se deve usar a armadura lamelar”, ignorando a possibilidade de “ sim ao uso da armadura lamelar (mas com os argumentos mencionados) ”, eu escolheria a opção “sem armadura lamelar”. E o que você acha?

Bibliografia

Bugarski, Ivan (2005). A contribution to the study of lamellar armors. In: Starinar 55, 161-179. Online: http://www.doiserbia.nb.rs/img/doi/0350-0241/2005/0350-02410555161B.pdf.

Carlsson, Anders (1988). Penannular brooches from Viking Period Gotland, Stockholm.

Ehlton, Fredrik (2003). Ringväv från Birkas garnison , Stockholm. Online: http://www.erikds.com/pdf/tmrs_pdf_19.pdf.

Dawson, Timothy (2002). Suntagma Hoplôn: The Equipment of Regular Byzantine Troops, c. 950 to c. 1204. In: D. Nicolle (ed.). Companion to Medieval Arms and Armour , Woodbridge, 81-90.

Dawson, Timothy (2013). Armour Never Wearies : Scale and Lamellar Armour in the West, from the Bronze Age to the 19th Century, Stroud.

Gorelik, Michael (2002). Arms and armour in south-eastern Europe in the second half of the first millennium AD. In: D. Nicolle (ed.). Companion to Medieval Arms and Armour, Woodbridge, 127-147.

Hedenstierna-Jonson, Charlotte (2006). The Birka Warrior – the material culture of a martial society, Stockholm. Online: http://su.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:189759/FULLTEXT01.pdf.

Kirpicnikov, Anatolij N. (1971). Древнерусское оружие. Вып. 3. Доспех, комплекс боевых средств IX—XIII вв, Moskva.

Medvedev, Аlexandr F. (1959) К истории пластинчатого доспеха на Руси //Советская археология, № 2, 119-134. Online:http://swordmaster.org/2010/05/10/af-medvedev-k-istorii-plastinchatogo-dospexa-na.html.

Stjerna, Niklas (2001). Birkas krigare och deras utrustning. In: Michael Olausson (ed.). Birkas krigare, Stockholm, 39–45.

Stjerna, Niklas (2004). En stäppnomadisk rustning från Birka. In: Fornvännen 99:1, 28-32. Online:http://samla.raa.se/xmlui/bitstream/handle/raa/3065/2004_027.pdf?sequence=1.

Stjerna, Niklas. (2007). Viking-age seaxes in Uppland and Västmanland : craft production and eastern connections. In: U. Fransson (ed). Cultural interaction between east and west, Stockholm, 243-249.

Thunmark-Nylén, Lena (2006). Die Wikingerzeit Gotlands III: 1–2 : Text, Stockholm.