Náramky a prsteny z Birky

Prsten z hrobu Bj 791, přetvořený na přívěšek.

Je mi potěšením zveřejnit tímto způsobem překlad mého přítele Samuela Grolicha ze slovenské skupiny Herjan. Dokument se týká náramků a prstenů nalezených ve švédském obchodním středisku Birce, a to včetně popisů jednotlivých typů předmětů a dalšího detailního komentáře. Samuelova část popisuje šperky nalezené v hrobech, kterou jsem doplnil o popis náramků a prstenů z tzv. Černé země. Dokument si můžete otevřít či stáhnout pomocí následujícího tlačítka.

Doufáme, že se Vám bude líbit!

Two-handed axes

Introduction

For all my reenactment career (ca. 10 years), I encounter so-called Dane axes, two-handed axes used in second lines on the battlefields. These weapons are very popular and terrifying and the same time. What the most problematic part of fighting with this kind of weapon is the fact that modern warriors tend to implement their own ideas of what works on modern battlefields and they avoid of those ideas, which are, in their opinion, not functional. Historical background of this weapon is put aside, when the weapon is replicated and used; simply because modern rules of fighting are different and historical background is unknown or unattractive to many warriors.

There are many kinds of early medieval axes that could be considered as two-handed; however, there is no strict line between one-handed and two-handed axes and we can only judge by our common sense. This short overview will discuss two main types of two-handed axes that were used in Scandinavia; this time, we disregard Byzantian axes, Baltic axes of Kirpičnikov type IV etc., however, they can be added in the case of interest. I am absolutely aware of the fact that some reenactors and modern warriors will disagree with the result of this article. In such a case, please feel free to write your comments below and to bring your evidence.

13835486_1074730145895973_611471894_o

A replica of the type M, made by Petr Floriánek, carried by Petr Váka. Courtesy: Radka Opočenská.

Archaeology

In this chapter, axeheads, shafts and methods of fixing will be discussed.

Petersen’s axe typology.

Axehead (Petersen type M)

When talking about a “Dane axe”, we actually refer to axeheads of Petersen type M. The type M was introduced around ca. 950 and it was so popular it was used from England to Russia until 13th century (Petersen 1919: 46–47). The type was developed from older types of Scandinavian axes (like F, G, H), due to the need for bigger war axes that occured in 10th century in big part of Europe. One of the reasons can be associated with the fact that protective parts of war gear were used more often; Petersen type M should be seen as a reaction to usage of maille and helmets, or better, to the centralisation of power.

Petersen type M is defined as an iron broad axehead with expanded, wedge-shaped and very thin (usually 2–5 mm) blade and projecting lugs on either side of the head. Axes of type M from Birka are 20–22 cm long, 16–18 cm broad and they weigh 385–770 grams (Vlasatý 2016). 12 axes of type M from Danish graves are ca. 13–24.6 cm long and ca. 10–21.7 cm broad (Pedersen 2014: 131–134, Find list 2). Three Icelandic Petersen type M axes are 16–24 cm long and ca. 13–22 cm broad (Eldjárn 2000: 69, 346). Russian axes belonging to the type M are 17–22 cm long, 13–20 cm broad and they weigh 200–450 grams (Kirpičnikov 1966: 39). Baltic axes of the same type are 12.5–23.5 cm long and 12–22.5 cm broad (Kazakevičius 1996: 233). 13 Polish axes of type M (IIIA.5.1 and IIIA.5.3 according to Kotowicz) are 13.6–21 cm long, 11–20.6 cm broad and they weigh 200–450 grams (Kotowicz 2014). The given weight of axes is only partial; many axes are rusted, but the original weight can be counted from the amount of iron material that remained in axes to the present days. Vike (2016: 96–97) speaks about six Norwegian axes (13.2–21.3 cm long and 15.3–25.3 cm broad) that weigh 273–603 grams in current state, and the author calculates that original axes could weigh 600–800 grams.

The most massive example I am aware of comes from Wetrowo, Kaliningrad Region. The size of the axe, which is now deposited in Berlin, is quite impressive – 23 cm in length and 33 cm in width. Another big axe was found in the River Thames (see here); it is 24.4 cm long, 28 cm broad and it weighs 966 grams. It is needed to point out that such big axes are very rare. It has to be said that there are at least three phases in the evolution of the type M; the older versions are smaller and have narrower necks, while the more recent are bigger and more massive (see the chart). The type M is often mistaken for Petersen type L, which was developed at the same time (Petersen 1919: 45–46). Generally speaking, the type L is shorter (ca. 11–20,5 cm) and narrower (ca. 6.5–17 cm). Nevertheless, some bigger examples of the type L (like B 9694) can be easily mistaken, since they have average sizes of the type M. It is true that the line between types L and M is very narrow sometimes (and artificial!), but both types have their own specific nuances, when it comes to proportions (as well as the symmetry and thickness) of the blade, the neck and the eye.

kopingsvik

The scheme of an inhumation grave from Köpingsvik, 11th century. Taken from Svanberg 2003: 75, Fig. 30.

It has to be mentioned that “In the 10th cent. in the northern part of our continent, especially after Christianisation, the number of axes in graves increases significantly. They often belonged to persons of lower social position. As a rule, they were the only military equipment of the dead” (Kotowicz 2013: 51-52). Piotr Kotowicz (2011: 52) pointed that axes became “a symbol of the warrior’s profession” by that time. It is true that most of axeheads are found alone in graves; on the other hand, I was able to collect at least 19 Scandinavian graves that contain axehead of type M together with another type of weapon or riding equipment (the list is here) – the spearhead is the most common second weapon (13), as well as shield boss (9), sword (7), the second axe (3), weapon knife (2) and arrows (2). In these graves, riding equipment occur in 11 cases. What is more, two Gotlandic axes of Petersen type M were put to graves with men wearing lamellar armours (Snäckgärde, SHM 484, see this article). That’s why I tend to say that Petersen type M axeheads are indicators of the high status, or at least warrior status.

A considerable number of Petersen type M axeheads are decorated. The decoration (often consisting of a cross) can be distinguished into five types:

  1. engraved ornaments. The axe from Blichowo (Kotowicz 2013: 44, Fig. 4; see here) has the butt carved with a Greek cross.
  2. punched dots and grooves. This type can be seen on one axe from the River Thames (Paulsen 1956: 87, Abb. 32; see here). Vertical pairs of grooves can (or could) be seen on axes from Kongsgården (Rygh 558; C 3210; see here) and Lednica (Sankiewicz – Wyrwa 2013: cat. no. 81; grooves are now invisible, see here).
  3. inlay. The axe from Hultsjö (SHM 737; see here) is inlayed with ornaments (including cross) in silver. The same method can seen on the axe from Skensta (SHM 6814; Paulsen 1956: 112, Abb. 48; see here). This method of decoration seems to be particularly popular in Finland, with at least three examples inlayed with silver found in Posio (KM 24379; Paulsen 1956: 116, Abb. 50, see here), Humikkala (KM 8656:H47:5; Paulsen 1956: 117, Abb. 51; see here) and Köyliö (Kotowicz 2013: 49, Fig. 9; see here).
  4. overlay. The famous axehead from Botnham (Ts 11937; see here) is decorated with Ringerike ornament in gold. The grid to which gold was hammered is still visible.
  5. The last kind of decoration is special and it covers so-called “axes with crosses” – axes with blades decorated in their inner parts with incised Latin crosses (and sometimes with grooves as well). There are 5 Scandinavian finds of the type with open blades, the list can be seen here; all of them are dated to the second half of the 10th century. Another example comes from the vicinity of Plock, Poland (Kotowicz 2013: 51, Fig. 11; see here).
decoration

Examples of decoration. From left: the axes from Thames, Skensta, Hultsjö, Bothamn and Närke. Taken from Hjardar – Vike 2011: 163.

There are at least two Swedish axes (Nässja, SHM 5237; Tåby, SHM 6126) that prove the mixing of Scandinavian and Eastern traditions. These two axes have Petersen type M blades, but instead of projecting lugs, they have an egg-shaped or rounded middle piece (sides the eye for the shaft) and a projecting butt with round or square cross-section. Axes like these show how variable this kind of weapon is, combining two functional elements into one piece.

Schematic pictures of both methods.

The axehead could be made by at least two methods. On the beginning of both methods, there was an iron ingot or a welded billet containing iron plates of different quality. The material could be folded several times for better quality. Afterwards, the body of the axehead was shaped. The first method, the easier one, is about forging the rough shape, splitting the frontal part, inserting the high-carbon steel blade and punching the eye for the shaft in the end. The second method lies in forging the rough shape in unwrapped (opened) symmetrical or asymmetrical shape – without the need to punch the eye for the shaft – and welding the frontal part, splitting the frontal part and inserting the high-carbon steel blade. On some examples, the ridge formed by inserted blade is very visible. In both cases, some finishing touches might be needed, as well as decoration, polishing, sharpening etc.

Very good example of the first method can be seen in the video below:

Axehead (Lunow type)

In my recent article “Axes from Birka“, I discussed a very interesting type of axehead, so-called Lunow type. The type is characteristic with its massive and long T-shaped blade, sometimes with four projecting lugs on either side of the head and a small butt.

taparox2

The distribution of Lunow type. Taken from Michalak – Kotowicz 2014: 112. Fig. 5.

Michalak and Kotowicz (2014: 112) register 22 finds of this type, coming from what is now Denmark, Germany, Poland, Russia and Sweden. It seems that the centre of this type was situated in Greater Poland, Brandenburg and Pomerania. They can be dated to ca. 940–1050 AD. Sizes varies between 13–21.4 cm × 13–29 cm. The best known examples were found in Lunow, Brandenburg an der Havel and Poznań-Dębiec. However, this type seems to be quite popular in Scandinavia; there are 9 examples, mainly from Denmark and Sweden, including axes from Birka (SHM 35245:95), Haithabu (two examples), Over Hornbæk (grave BPW), Rosenlund (grave KR), Suderbys (SHM 11128), Lindholm Høje (grave 2149), Ulbjerg and Lund. The examples from Birka and Lund are very similar to the best known specimens from Poland and Germany; they are decorated with silver and copper inlays as well, the rest consists of typologically similar axes. I would like to suggest that examples from Dolmer and Trelleborg should be included among the rest as well, as they belong to the same tradition. The full list of Scandinavian finds with sizes can be seen here. Similarly to some axes of Petersen type M, the example from Rosenlund was found together with a sword, a spearhead, a shield-boss, stirrups and spurs.

lunow

Some axes of Lunow type 1 – Poznań-Dębiec (Luboń), Poland; 2 – Brandenburg an der Havel, Germany; 3 – Lunow, Germany; 4 – Lund, Sweden; 5 – Birka, Sweden; 6 – Over Hornbæk, Denmark; 7 – Lindholm Høje, Denmark; 8 – Haithabu, Germany; 9 – Suderbys, Gotland, Sweden; 10 – Rosenlund, Denmark.

Shafts

The question of shafts is problematic, since there are not so many complete examples from the period and those that survived are not well known. Let’s begin with the length.

Sankiewicz and Wyrwa (2013: 7778) made probably the most comprehensive list of complete axe shafts from early, high and late medieval Europe. From their list and some other finds these authors were probably not aware of, a very interesting result arises:

  • 2460 cm: 13 examples (17.81 % %)
  • 6090 cm: 51 examples (69.86 % %)
  • 90+ cm: 9 examples (12.33 %)

The length of 6090 cm (mainly 7080 cm) is the most common and both aforementioned and many other researchers consider this length to be a standard; Kirpičnikov (1966: 28) suggests 80 cm to be an average length, as well as Mäntylä (2005: 110) gives the length of 7090 cm and Kotowicz (2008: 447) writes that shafts varied between 60 and 80 cm. They agree on the statement that longer shafts should be seen as two-handed. In our simplified list, there are 9 examples of shafts longer than 90 cm, consisting of shafts from Behren-Lübchin (94 cm; 12th century), Lednica no. 85 (97 cm; 9501050 AD), Novyja Valosavičy (100 cm; the end of 10th century – the beginning of 11th century), Lednica no. 84 (107.5 cm; 11th century), Kirkkomäki (108 cm; 11th or 12th century), Pahošča (110 cm; the end of 10th century – the beginning of 11th century), Vorma (111 cm; 13th century), Břeclav (115 cm; 9th or 10th century, see here) and Stóri-Moshvoll (around 120 cm; 9th or 10th century). What is more, three Petersen type M axes found in Lough Corrib probably had shorter shafts, around 80 cm, as well as other finds, axes from the River Robe and the River Shannon (see here). As will be mentioned in following chapters, these lengths are most likely typical for two-handed shafts of battle axes.

Some axes with shafts: 1 – Vorma, 2 – Lednica (no. 84), 3 – Kirkkomäki, 4 – Lough Corrib.

Vike (2016: 107–108) points out that Slavic tradition used shafts simply made of young trees of various shapes, but Scandinavian tradition consisted of shafts made by splitting of massive log. Thanks to this method, shafts were (relatively) straight and hard. In spring and summer 2016, I made a research on what species of wood were used to construct shafts in Middle Age Europe (the result can be seen here – this research is not complete!). The result is that combination of hard and light wood growing in the vicinity of the site was the desired quality of the shaft material. Evergreen wood species were used very rarely (only 1 example). The most common species are hornbeam (61 examples; 28.37 %), maple (44 examples; 20.47 %), ash (36 examples; 16.74 %) and oak (19 examples; 8.84 %). Hornbeam was particularly popular in Poland, while maple seems to be universal in whole Europe.

axe_shafts

Shafts of Slavic (number 1) and Scandinavian traditions (number 2). Taken from Vike 2016: 108, Fig. 14.

shaft_cross

Cross section of shaft fragments of axes from Lundehall and Langeid.

Shafts of three Petersen type M axes from Lough Corrib were made of cherry wood, as well as the fragment of wood found with type M axe from Langeid. The shaft of axe from Vorma is made of spruce. Shafts of axes from Lednica are made of hornbeam (no. 85) and maple (no. 84). The most common wood species found in Viking Age Scandinavia as materials of axe shafts are maple (6 examples: 2× Barshalder, 2 × Sønder Onsild, 1 × Grimstrup, 1× Træhede), birch (4 examples: 2× Oseberg, 1 × Reykjavík, 1 × Sønder Onsild), alder (1 example; Fyrkat), elm (1 example; Nyrbo), beech (1 example; Haithabu) and cherry (1 example; Langeid).

The eye usually has an oval, egg (droplet) shaped or round cross section. Sizes of eyes varies between ca. 24.2 cm × 24.2 cm (Polish: 2.4–4.2 cm × 2–2.8 cm, Russian: 3.5 × 2–2.5 cm, Baltic: 3 × 2–4,22 cm). From my experience, most shafts have droplet shaped cross section and preserved fragments of shafts prove it.

The only type of decoration of shafts we are able to find consists of metal. There are only two kinds of such a decoration, including:

  • plate ferrules in the upper part of the shaft. The meaning of such a ferrule is obvious – it makes the axe firmer in the strained part and makes the axe to look more splendid. The problem was recently described by Vegard Vike (2016).
    • made of iron. An iron ferrule was found with the Petersen type E axe from Hemse (Hemse annex; SHM 5645; see here), but is now missing. Another one was found with Petersen type M in a 11th century grave in Bilczewo, Poland (see here). For more Polish, Russian and Hungarian analogies from different periods, see Kotowicz (2008: 451453).
    • made of brass/bronze. Six examples of this decoration were found in Norway (C 24243, C 25583, C 27132, C 29866, C 57235, C 58882see here). The ferrule of axe from Langeid is made of rectangular plate that is 0.5 mm thick; the plate is nailed to shaft with 12 brass nails (11 mm long, 2.5 mm thick). It has to be mentioned that a slight layer of wood under the ferrule was removed, so there is no visible step between the undecorated part of shaft and the decorated one. At least two Norwegian ferrules (C 27132, C 29866) have four projections in the lower part peeping under the axehead. Another eight examples come from Gotland (SHM 484 Gr. 4, SHM 4815, SHM 7785:93aSHM 8064:196SHM 14855, SHM 14885, SHM 19273, SHM 22297). There are three more finds discovered in the River Thames, one of them is ornated with rich motives and has 9 projections in the lower part (see here). Another example of brass ferrule comes from Klincovka, Kaliningrad Region (see here, I am indebted to Piotr Kotowicz for this information). There are at least two finds of decorated shaft wrapping of brass plate from 10th century Latgalian graves in Lithuania (see here and here, Kotowicz 2008: 452453).
    • made of silver. A very nice example comes from Kalihnovščina, Nothern Russia (see here). The ferrule is placed below the axehead and ends in four cross-shaped projections in the lower part.
  • a butt on the bottom part of the shaft. The only find of this decoration comes from Barshalder (SHM 27778: 11, see here).
fitting_axe

Dominant types of brass/bronze fitted shafts. Taken from Vike 2016: 105, Fig. 12.

Fixing of the axehead to the shaft

There are two major methods, how axeheads were fixed. The first one is mounting the axe head from the tapered bottom. This method could be combined with a kind of securing of the axehead, for example with leather. The second method lies in mounting from the upper end of the shaft and securing the axehead with a wooden or metal wedge or nail. Both methods were used in the Viking Age Europe; for example, the first one can be seen on one of Oseberg axes and on many axes from Lednica and Mikulčice. Since the upper end has to be thicker and forms so-called forskapti (for example axes from the River Robe and the River Shannon), the first method can be easily recognized. Axes with shafts decorated with ferrules were mounted from the upper end, but the wedges do not occur in their case; some metal fitting could serve as external wedges. Even though wedges are not common, we can find some evidence for both wooden and metal wedges. Three axes from Lough Corrib were secured with wooden wedges, as was probably the axe from Hallingby (C 25583). Petersen type M axe from Ballinderry Crannóg was secured with a wooden wedge and a metal nail (see here). Petersen type M axes from Velo Vestre (C 24243) and Hunninge (SHM 19273) are also secured with metal spikes . One axe from Lednica (no. 102; Sankiewicz – Wyrwa 2013: 204205; see here) is secured with a metal wedge. The recently found axe from Hårup, Denmark, was secured with one big nail that goes through the eye (see here). Pedersen (2014: Pl. 4, 21, 32, 57) shows at least 4 more Danish axes secured with metal wedges, including the axe from Trelleborg.

fixing_axe

Three main methods of fixing of the axehead to the shaft, Taken from Vike 2016: 109, Fig. 15.

Sheaths

sheath suspension axes

Suggested variants of suspension of wooden sheaths. Made by Tomáš Vlasatý and Tomáš Cajthaml.

In one of my previous article, I mapped all finds of Viking Age axe sheaths (see here). To sum up, there are 13 finds of wooden sheaths from Haithabu, 2 finds from Schleswig, 2 finds from Norway, 2 finds from Dublin, two Norwegian finds and 1 from Novgorod. They belong to two types and are made of alder, beech, birch, juniper, oak, pine, spruce, yew and willow wood. Moreover, there is an antler sheath found in Sigtuna. In our context, the most interesting sheaths come from Schleswig; one sheath is decorated with two pictures of two-handed axes, one of them belonging to the Petersen type M. Thus, the function of this object is clear. The second sheath from Schleswig could belong to an axe with 235 mm long edge. There is no doubt that sheaths like these served to protect blades from blunting and rust.

Literary sources

Sagas and chronicles contain some pieces of information that can be useful for comparing with what we know from archaeology. The most importantly, we can learn how two-handed axes were called, used and perceived.

It should be said in the first place that Old Norse people did not call these axes “Dane axes”. Petersen type M axes, together with axes of type F, belong to a broader term breiðøx. Literary sources work carelessly with terms, so it is sometimes hard to say which passage refer to two-handed axe. Terms like þunnsleginn øx (“axe that is hammered thin”), háskeptr øx (“long-handled axe”) or simple “big axe” are small clues that can refer to two-handed axes. Let’s have a look on The Saga of the Sworn Brothers (Fóstbræðra saga), where we can find typical passages:

Þorgeirr had a broad axe, a mighty weapon, keen-edged and sharp, with which he had sent many a man to dine [in Valhalla].” (ch. 3)

Bjarni forged a broad axe for Þormóðr, according to his will. The axe was hammered right down to the cutting edge, had no weal to obstruct it and was thus extremely sharp.”  (ch. 23)

Even though Þorgeirr’s axe is a mighty broad axe, he uses it as a one-handed weapon in fight (for example ch. 8). As the result, to be sure we refer to two-handed weapons, we have to pick passages about breiðøxar that are held on both hands; even this approach can be wrong, because warriors, in case they had no shields, used weapons with both hands (see for example here or here). In such a way, only two axes in sagas can be named as two-handed – Hel, the axe of Óláfr Haraldsson (Saint Óláfr) and his son Magnús the Good, and Rimmugýgr, the axe of Skarphéðinn Njálsson.

Literary sources are far from being much descriptive. They contain information only about owning, carrying and fighting with what we could call two-handed axes. As we can see, axes have their own names and are owned by famous people. It corresponds nicely with what we can see from their occurrence in warrior graves and their decoration – Petersen type M axes are markers of the high rank, of a status similar to “hero”, “champion”, “professional warrior”. With no doubt, axes of this type were owned and used by noblemen and their hirðir (“retinues”).

One of the most interesting passages from Old Norse sources can be searched in Saga of Magnus the Good (Magnús saga góða), where King Magnús, just before the battle of Hlýrskógheiðr (1043), throws away his own chain-mail and runs to the array of enemy, starting the battle with two-handed axe Hel (tha axe that used to belong to his father) in his hands. I believe this mention corresponds to depicted fighting scenes that incude two-handed axes:

Then King Magnús stood up, and ordered the war trumpets to sound, and at that moment the Víndland army advanced from the south across the river against him; on which the whole of the king’s army stood up, and advanced against the heathens. King Magnús threw off from him his coat of ring-mail, and had a red silk shirt outside over his clothes, and had in his hands the battle-axe called Hel, which had belonged to King Óláf. King Magnús ran on before all his men to the enemy’s army, and instantly hewed down with both hands every man who came against him. So says Árnórr jarlaskáld:

‘The unsluggish ruler stormed forth with broad axe, and cast off his byrnie; a sword-clash [BATTLE] arose around the ruler of the Hǫrðar [NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús], as the prince clenched both hands around the shaft, and the shaping guardian of heaven [= God] allotted earth; Hel clove pallid skulls.‘’” (ch. 29)

At least two English sources mention “the apologetic gift” of earl Godwin of Wessex given to Harðaknútr, the last Danish king of England, in 1040. The gift consisted of a ship of 80 warriors equipped with gilded “Dane” axes:

Each of them had a gilded helmet on the had, a Danish axe on left shoulder and a spear in right hand.” (William of Malmesbury : Gesta regum Anglorum, II, § 188)

Also, each of them had a chain-mail, a partially gilded helmet, a sword with gilded handle by the waist and a Danish axe, decorated with gold and silver, hanging on the left shoulder. In the left hand, each of them had a shield, whose bosses and rivets were gilded as well, and they had spears in their right hands, the one, which is called atagar in English language.” (Florence of Worcester : The Chronicle)

runove

Axe-bearers from pictures stones from Tängelgårda I and Alskog Tjängvide I, Gotland.

It should be streesed that these are the oldest mentions of the Latin term “Danish axe” (securis Danica), together with the passage from De Miraculis Sancti Eadmundi (ch. 21), written by Hermannus The Archdeacon in late 11th century (“According to Danish fashion, Osgod Clapa had armrings on both hands and gilded axe was hanging on his shoulder.“). It is accepted (see for example DeVries 1999: 217) that Petersen type M came to England during the Conquest of Knútr the Great, and two-handed axes could be weapons of his troops called þingmenn. This elite retinue survived until 1066, as an be seen on the Bayeux Tapestry and skaldic poetry, and these troops were understood as very tough opponents by Norwegians in 1066 (see Úlfr stallari : Lausavísa). DeVries (1999: 217) thinks that English warriors used Petersen type M axes more commonly than Scandinavians. However, the Scandinavian origin of this weapon was still understood, as it was called “Danish axe”. In his major work The History of The English (Historia Anglorum), Henry of Huntingdon, 12th century historian, mentioned the popular story of Norwegian warrior, who killed more than 40 chosen Englishmen with the axe during the Battle of Stamford Bridge (1066):

Here a single Norwegian, whose name ought to have been preserved, took post on the bridge, and hewing down more than forty of the English with a battle-axe, his country’s weapon, stayed the advance of the whole English army till the ninth hour. At last some one came under the bridge in the boat, and thrust a spear into him, through the chinks of the flooring.” (Historia Anglorum, VI, §27; trans. Forester 1853: 209)

The same story, but with slightly different details, can be found in The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (version C) and Deeds of the Kings of the English (Gesta regum Anglorum) of William of Malmesbury (see here). Even though details vary – in other versions of the story, the axe and the number of slained opponents are missing, the Norwegian is equipped with a chain-mail and the way of his death is different as well – these passages are important proof of the skill of owners of these axes. I have to add that the popular theory that the Norwegian was a berserkr is rather a result of modern creativity.

“Danish axes” occur several times in high medieval sources, mostly in connection with King Stephen of England (Battle of Lincoln 1141; he allegedly fought with the axe until it was broken) and Richard the Lionheart (Battle of Jaffa 1192). Also, they are included in Old French romans in the form hasche Danoise (“Danish axe”).

irishmen

Irishmen equipped with two handed axes. Topographia Hibernica, Royal MS 13 B VIII, folio 28r.

What is insteresting is the fact that literary sources can show how axes were carried. In connection to “Danish axes”, Latin sources from England contain the phrase in humero dependente (“hanging on the shoulder”), in humero sinistro (“on the left shoulder”) and in sinistro humero pendentem (“hanging on the left shoulder”). In Old Norse literature, there is a quite nice parallel to this phrase, hann hafði øxi um ǫxl (“he had axe across the shoulder”) – one occurrence of the phrase is connected with Skarphéðinn Njálsson, the owner of two-handed axe Rimmugýgr (“Skarphéðinn was foremost. He was in a blue cape, and had a targe, and his axe aloft on his shoulder“; Njáls saga, ch. 92). The aforementioned quote from Florence’s Chronicle is important as well – we can see that warriors could have many weapons, including hanging axes, and could change them. The design of hanging device is unknown and to learn more, experiments are needed. The picture from Hunnestad Monument shows a warrior with his two-handed axe on the right shoulder. Similarly, Varangian guardsmen greeted the Emperor by axes raised on right shoulders:

Guardsmen were holding them in the right hand, leaning the blade against the left wrist. When the Emperor came, they brought up the axes to lean them on their right shoulders. During the time of the name-day of the Emperor, the Varangians saluted him and banged their axes, which emitted rhythmical sound.” (Kotowicz 2013: 52)

Slavic axes called taparøxar (from Slavic topor, “axe”, and Old Norse øx, “axe”) are mentioned in sagas and The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (version A) sometimes. In sagas (Ljósvetninga saga, Njáls saga, Vatnsdœla saga), they occur as prestigious objects among Norwegian-Icelandic elite. The shape is not know, nor the length of the shaft; however, I believe that Lunow type or Russian types of one-handed axes (like Kirpičnikov types I, II, III) are possible. I think the best mention of the axe comes from Ljósvetninga saga (ch. 2), where it occurs as a gift of jarl Hákon, the ruler of Norway in ca. 970995:

Jarl [Hákon] said he [Sǫlmundr] should first deliver his gifts, a Russian hat to Guðmundr the Mighty and taparøx to Þorgeirr Ljósvetningagoði.

langeid_rec

A replica of the axe from Langeid, made by Vegard Vike and Anders Helseth Nilsson.

In literary sources, axeheads and shafts are frequently decorated. We already mentioned English sources, where axeheads are gilded. In sagas, what is interesting is the fact that axes decorated with gold are mentioned as gifts from specific rulers (Haraldr hárfagri, jarl Hákon, Sigurðr Hloðvirsson, Haraldr harðráði) and are given to important Icelanders. It seems that mentions like these are oral formulas – for example, both Þorkell from Vatnsdœla saga (ch. 43) and Þorstein from Þorsteins saga Síðu-Hallssonar (ch. 1) receive øx gullrekna (“gilded axe / axe inlayed with gold”) from Sigurðr Hloðvirsson, jarl of Orkney, and in an analogical manner, both Brandr from Brands þáttr ǫrva (ch. 1) and Halli from Sneglu-Halla þáttr (ch. 10) get in possession of øx gullrekna thanks to generous Haraldr harðráði. My point is that the quantity of mentions is not so important, since it rather reflects features of orally-derived prose of high and late medieval Iceland. If we study material like this in order to get relevant information about weapons, we should focus on what parts of weapons are decorated and what is the context. To sum up, saga literature mentions axeheads decorated with gold (gullrekinn and gullbúin) and shafts covered with silver or iron wrappings (vaf) or plates (spengðr). The “fore-haft” (the part above the axehead) of the axe, that was given to Sneglu-Halli, was decorated with “a big silver knob [silfrhólkr] with a precious stone on it” (Sneglu-Halla þáttr, ch. 10). Let’s say that gold, silver and any other kind of decoration is mentioned as an indicator of the maximum richness and the status, and such a decorated gift is a proof of king’s favour, which gives the importance to the receiver of a gift, the character of the story, and his descendants.

Before we move forward to the next chapter, the last thing – the terrifying aspect of axes – has to be mentioned. Unlike swords, axes are named after Norns, troll-women and monsters etc. in poetry (for example Norn skjaldar, “the norn of the shield”, or brynflagð, “the troll-woman of the chain-mail”, and so on). One of the most illustrative mention I know comes from Halldórr ókristni’s Eiríkrflokkr (st. 7), it says: “slender monsters of the land of Þriði [ÞRIÐI = ÓÐINN, LAND OF ÓÐINN = SHIELD, MONSTERS OF THE SHIELD = AXES] yawned with iron-mouths at people“. In literary sources, axes are often synonyms of awe, brutality or hard power (“Even though we are not lawmen, we will solve the suit with axe butts” says Þorsteinn in my favourite sentence in Vatnsdœla saga, ch. 37). No wonder, because axes are very destructive tools and weapons, designed for chopping and they can not be easily blocked. On the other hand, facing to these deadly weapons is the feature of a brave man.

Depictions (pictorial evidence)

In this chapter, I divided the pictorial evidence between four groups from different areas and periods. Only those axes that resemble Petersen type M were included. Groups are:

  • Bayeux Tapestry. This group contains no less than 20 axes.
  • Scandinavian pictures. This group contains at least 4 axes.
  • Another (Byzantine and Russian pictures). This group contains only 5 depicted axes.
  • High Middle Ages pictures. 12 axes were selected to this group.

To sum up, 41 axes were included. 38 of them are depicted together with men. We can distinguish two basic forms:

  1. standard axes, with the length varying between 3 and 4 feet (91122 cm). Sankiewicz and Wyrwa (2013: 76) suggested the length of approximately 3 feet and 6 inches (107 cm). Axes of this length are usually depicted in the fight. 35 depicted axes belong to this form.
  2. above-standard axes, with very long shafts reaching to the head of the wielder. Edge and Paddock (1988: 31) calculated the length to 4 or 5 feet (122152 cm). The axe depicted on Byzantine ivory plaque seems to be even longer. The context suggests they were used as symbols during ceremonies; these symbols are important for stressing the crucial persons in the piece of art and their sizes could be disproportionally enlarged. On the other hand, axeheads are not enlarged, so we can assume these symbolic axes did in fact have long shafts. 6 depicted axes belong to this form.

Axes of the first form seem to be weapons of renowned warriors. As the rule, wielders of axes are tall. In 23 cases, warriors with axes wear a better form of body protection (chain-mails, scale armours, gambesons) or noble clothing. Similarly, in 25 cases, warriors have helmets. Together with axes, 11 swords and 8 shields are depicted, what is in agreement with aforementioned statements (warriors could have many weapons […] and could change them). One axeman holds a blowing horn. Two depicted men from pictorial evidence are described as Leofwine Godwinson and King Stephen of England. On the contrary, five axes are shown in hands of men not dressed in armour; two of them seem to be peasants, not warriors.

A considerable number of warriors (12) hold the axe in the left-hand forward grip; however, we can find some men with the right-hand forward grip (8). It is speculative whether the artists wanted to show the real fighting techniques or the perspective of period style was more important. To avoid any misleading result, let’s say that the owners knew how to use these axes in the most effective way and probably changed the grip in order to gain the advantage.

Regarding the second form of two-handed axes, we can try to count all the contexts of their usage. Harold Godwinson is depicted to hold his axe during the meeting with messengres of Duke William. In two cases, axes are used during a meeting of King Edward the Confessor and Harold Godwinson. Another two axes are shown when Harold Godwinson is offered the English crown. In all five cases from Bayeux Tapestry, long two-handed axes are connected with the English ruling power, King Edward the Confessor and Harold Godwinson. The maker of the Tapestry probably wanted to stress their nationality and status by giving them the typical weapon (on the contrary, Normans are always depicted with swords as symbols). Finally, the sixth axe is depicted on a small Byzantine ivory plaque, dated to the 10th or 11th century (see here). The plaque shows a man in underpants, holding the axe in the right hand and (Petersen type X) sword in the left hand. The axehead seems to have the similar design to what we previously called “open blade”. A similar design is shown at the miniature axe from Avnsøgård, Denmark. In my article “Axes with crosses“, I agreed with Kotowicz (2008: 447-448, Note 16), who put these “open bladed” axes in connection with pelekophori (“axe-bearers”), Varangian guards. It seems probable this kind of axe served for ceremonial greeting of the Emperor, as mentioned above.

The most of depicted axes of both types seem to be top-mounted, since the shafts are thicker in the lower part. At least three (high medieval) pictures shows bottom-mounted axes. No visible decoration of both axehead and shafts is visible; the colour of axeheads can be interpreted in many ways. The bronze axe amulet from Haithabu shows the shaft with a large knob (the curved bottom end of the shaft).

A note for reenactors
scott

A replica of the type M, made by Scott Roush.

We can clearly see that original two-handed axes were used in completely different way than modern versions. The most visible difference is the length of the shaft, causing the need to fight in the first line with the lacking protection of limbs (gloves). Modern versions of two-handed axes are based on 6 aforementioned axes with very long shafts, which are not shown to be used on the battlefield. Such an approach is an ignorance of the majority (34) axes and archaeological material. In the real fight, two-handed axes require a lot of free space, so they have to be placed in the first line or on the side of the formation. The sharp axe is almost unstoppable, destroying both shields and bodies. The placing in the first line and the shorter shaft have to be compensated by quality armour that reduces the risk of mortal wounds. However, there are no period gloves able to give the protection against sharp weapons. From my experience, I can say that a man with a 110 cm long axe has to be enormously movable, in order to be safe and effective. If we are talking about the real fight, stopping in front of the enemy line is the worst idea, the best option is to run forward and attack. A combination of two-handed axe and a shield passively hanging in front of the warrior, which is a common trend today, is ineffective in the real fight (it can be pierced with a spear anytime), slows down the warrior and has no real support in historical sources (on the Bayeux Tapestry, warriors had shields on their backs). The act of deploying two-handed axes always has a great morale impact on both sides, and probably occured in special cases. As a result, warriors with two-handed axes, leaders, and their retinues belonged to the heaviest armoured infantry and the most skilled troops that occured on late Viking Age and high medieval battlefields.

ronan

A replica of the type M, made by Ronan Jehanno.

To be fair, modern versions (with 2.5 metres being the maximum length I have seen) are perfect weapons for a modern way of fight and its rules. In the “Eastern style”, rules are set to be “dead” after the first proper hit into the areas covered with armour – the system that is illogical from the historical perspective. Long two-handed axes are good for this purpose, as well as the hooking of shields and weapons. That’s why we should draw a very clear line between what is period and what is modern. However, when we make compromises, I tend to advise the length of the axe that reaches to the chest or the chin of the wielder. Such a length allows the wielder perfect control of the weapon. In any case, the length should be referential, not standardized to the particular number.

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.

Bibliography

Sources

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle = The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Edited and tranlated by Michael Swanton, New York 1996.

Florence of Worcester : The Chronicle = The chronicle of Florence of Worcester with the two continuations; comprising annals of English history, from the departure of the Romans to the reign of Edward I. Translated by Thomas Forester, London 1854. Online. Latin version can be reached here.

Henry of Huntingdon : The History of the English (Historia Anglorum) = The chronicle of Henry of Huntingdon. Edoted and traslated by Thomas Forester, London 1853. Online. Latin version can be reached here.

Hermannus The Archdeacon : Miracles of St. Edmund (De Miraculis Sancti Eadmundi) = Hermanni archidiaconi liber der miraculis sancti Eadmundi. Edited by Thomas Arnold. In: Memorials of St Edmund’s Abbey, vol. 1, London, 1890, 26-92. Online.

William of Malmesbury : Deeds of the Kings of the English (Gesta regum Anglorum) = William of Malmesbury’s Chronicle of the kings of England. Translated by John Allen Giles, London 1847. OnlineLatin version can be reached here.

Njal’s Saga (Njáls saga) = Njal’s Saga. Translated by Robert Cook. In: The Complete Sagas of Icelanders III Reykjavík, 1997 : 1–220. Icelandic version of the saga can be reached here.

The Saga of Magnús the Good (Magnús saga góða) = Sagan af Magnúsi góða. Edited by N. Linder an H. A. Haggson. In: Heimskringla Snorra Sturlusonar III, Uppsala 1872. Online.

The Saga of the Sworn Brothers (Fóstbræðra saga) = The Saga of the Sworn Brothers. Translated by Martin S. Regal. In: The Complete Sagas of Icelanders II, Reykjavík, 1997 : 329–402. Icelandic version of the saga can be reached here.

The Saga of the People of Ljósavatn (Ljósvetninga saga) = Ljósvetninga saga. Edited by Benedikt Sveinsson, Reykjavík 1921. Online.

The Saga of the People of Vatnsdal (Vatnsdœla saga) = Vatnsdœla saga. Edited by Einar Ól. Sveinsson. In: Íslenzk fornrit VIII, Reykjavík, 1939, 1–131. Icelandic version of the saga can be reached here.

The Saga of Þorsteinn Síðu-Hallssonar (Þorsteins saga Síðu-Hallssonar) = Þorsteins saga Síðu-Hallssonar. Ed. Jón Jóhannesson. In: Íslenzk fornrit XI, Reykjavík 1950. Icelandic version of the saga can be reached here.

The Tale of Brand the Generous (Brands þáttr ǫrva) = Brands þáttr ǫrva. Edited by Einar Ól. Sveinsson and Matthías Þórðarson. In: Íslenzk fornrit IV, Reykjavík 1935. Icelandic version of the story can be reached here.

The Tale of Sarcastic Halli (Sneglu-Halla þáttr) = Sneglu-Halla þáttr. Edited by Jónas Kristjánsson. In: Íslenzk fornrit IX, Reykjavík, 1956: 261–295. Icelandic version of the story can be reached here.


Literature

DeVries 1999 = DeVries, Kelly (1999). The Norwegian invasion of England in 1066, Woodbridge.

Eldjárn 2000 = Eldjárn, Kristján (2000). Kuml og haugfé : úr heiðnum sið á Íslandi, Reykjavík.

Edge – Paddock 1988 = Edge, David – Paddock, John Miles (1988). Arms and Armour of the Medieval Knight, London.

Hjardar – Vike 2011 = Hjardar, Kim – Vike, Vegard. Vikinger i krig, Oslo.

Kazakevičius 1996 = Kazakevičius, Vytautas (1996). Topory bojowe typu M. Chronologia i pochodzenia na źiemiach Bałtów. In: Słowiańszczyzna w Europie średniowiecznej, Wrocław: 233–241.

Kirpičnikov 1966 Кирпичников А. Н. (1966). Древнерусское оружие. Вып. 2: Копья, сулицы, боевые топоры, булавы, кистени IX – XIII вв, Москва.

Kotowicz 2008 = Kotowicz, Piotr N. (2008). Nie tylko żeleźca. O rzadziej postrzeganych elementach średniowiecznych toporów. In: “Ad oderam fluvium”: księga dedykowana pamięci Edwarda Dąbrowskiego, Zielona Góra: 441–465. Online.

Kotowicz 2013 = Kotowicz, Piotr N. (2013). The Sign of the Cross on the Early Medieval Axes – A Symbol of Power, Magic or Religion? In: Weapons Brings Peace? Warfare in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, Wratislavia Antiqua 18, Wrocław: 41–55. Online.

Kotowicz 2014 = Kotowicz, Piotr N. (2014). Topory wczesnośredniowieczne z ziem polskich : Katalog źródeł, Rzeszów.

Mäntylä 2005 = Mäntylä, Sari (2005). Broad-Bladed Battle-Axes, Their Function and Symbolic Meaning. In: Rituals and Relations. Studies on the Society and Material Culture of the Baltic Finns, Helsinki: 105–130.

Michalak – Kotowicz 2014 = Michalak, Arkadiusz – Kotowicz, Piotr N. (2014). Wczesnośredniowieczne cmentarzysko z okolic Bukowca w powiecie międzyrzeckim, czyli o pewnym odkryciu w archiwum w Wünsdorfie. In: Wielkopolskie Sprawozdania Archeologiczne, t. 15: 107–124.

Paulsen 1956 = Paulsen, Peter (1956). Axt und Kreuz in Nord- und Osteuropa, Bonn.

Pedersen 2014 = Pedersen, Anne (2014). Dead Warriors in Living Memory. A study of weapon and equestrian burials in Viking-age Denmark, AD 800-1000, Publications from the National Museum. Studies in Archaeology & History Vol. 20:1 2. (Catalogue), Copenhagen.

Petersen 1919 = Petersen, Jan (1919). De Norske Vikingsverd, Kristiania.

Sankiewicz – Wyrwa 2013 = Sankiewicz, Paweł – Wyrwa, Andrzej M. (2013). Topory średniowieczne z Ostrowa Lednickiego i Giecza, Lednica. Online.

Svanberg 2003 = Svanberg, Fredrik (2003). Death Rituals in South-East Scandinavia AD 800-1000 : Decolonizing The Viking Age Vol. 2, Stockholm.

Vike 2016 = Vike, Vegard (2016). «Det er ikke gull alt som glimrer» – bredøkser med messingbeslått skaft fra sen vikingtid. In: VIKING – Norsk arkeologisk årbok, LXXIX, Oslo: 95–116. Online.

Vlasatý 2016 = Vlasatý, Tomáš (2016). „Sekeru s sebou“ – katalog seker z Birky, komentář a srovnání [“Carrying the axe” : a catalogue of axes from Birka, a commentary and comparison]. Projekt Forlǫg Reenactment a věda. Online.

novgorod

A 14th century depiction of both handed axe from Novgorod. Taken from Paulsen 1956: 99, Abb. 39.

Sekery z Birky

Bj750

Dřevorubecká sekera Petersenova typu F nalezená v hrobu Bj 750. Převzato z Arbman 1940: Taf. 14:2.

Po dlouhé a náročné práci mohu čtenářům představit svůj nejnovější článek „Sekeru s sebou“: katalog seker z Birky, komentář a srovnání. Tato práce si klade za cíl popsat, jakým způsobem byly sekery chápány a používány, zmapovat všechny dosud nalezené sekery z Birky, typologicky je zařadit, v případě zahraničních seker správně určit provenienci, a srovnat soubor z Birky se sekerami z okolních zemí.

Článek jsem doplnil mnoha odkazy na obrázky a citacemi z dobových básní. Kromě toho navrhuji řadu metodologických úprav, které by pomohly zlepšit následující bádání.

Doufám, že se Vám práce bude líbit!

Článek „Sekeru s sebou“ si můžete prohlédnout nebo stáhnout prostřednictvím tohoto odkazu.

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.

Bag handles

Nice and decent recreation made by Náttmál.

After the conversation with Devin Martin, the new member of Marobud, I decided to translate the text about bag handles (bag frames or bag closures) from Haithabu. I added another pictures to this translation, so we can see that this type of bags was more widespead in Scandinavia. Thanks to attached selection of iconography, we can realize that bag were necessary accessory of both men and women. The following PDF file includes only leather or woolen bags fitted up with wooden or bone/antler handles.

The original text, “Taschenbügel aus Haithabu”.

English translation, with more pictures.

Czech translation of the English version.

For technical manual, please see this document made by Náttmál.

Lamelové zbroje ze Snäckgärde?

vikingerikrig

Rekonstrukce člena posádky z Birky. Převzato z Hjardar – Vike 2011: 347.

Otázka lamelových zbrojí je populární jak mezi odborníky, tak mezi reenactory a laiky. Sám jsem se jí několikrát zabýval a shromáždil jsem odbornou literaturu. Tím spíše mě zaujaly prakticky neznámé nálezy z gotlandského Snäckgärde u Visby, které se sice nezachovaly, ale jsou popsány knězem Nilsem Johanem Ekdahlem (1799–1870), kterého lze mimo jiné nazvat prvním gotlandským vědeckým archeologem.

Nálezy ze Snäckgärde jsou neznámé zejména proto, byly nalezeny před necelými 200 lety a byly ztraceny. Literatura, která o nich píše, je špatně dostupná a nešvédským badatelům mnohdy neznámá. Vše, co se mi podařilo zjistit, je to, že roku 1826 byly prozkoumány 4 kostrové hroby v lokalitě Snäckgärde (Visby, Land Nord; SHM 484), přičemž nejzajímavější jsou zřejmě hroby 2 a 4 (Carlsson 1988: 245; Thunmark-Nylén 2006: 318):

Hrob č. 2: kostrový hrob orientovaný ve směru J-S, kulovitá mohyla osazená kameny. Pohřební výbavu tvořila železná sekera, kroužek v oblasti pasu, dva neprůhledné korálky u krku, (spona s kroužkem?) a „na hrudi se zachovaly nějaké kousky pancíře“ (något fanns kvar av pansaret på bröstet).

Hrob č. 4: kostrový hrob orientovaný ve směru Z-V, kulovitá mohyla o výšce 0,9 m s propadlým vrškem. Uvnitř mohyly se nacházela vápencová rakev o rozměrech 3 × 3 m (?). Na pravém rameni zemřelého se nacházela spona s kroužkem. V úrovni pasu byl nalezen kroužek z opasku. Další výbavu tvořila sekera a „nějaké šupiny pancíře“ (några pansarfjäll), které se nacházely na hrudi.

Pozůstatky „pancířů“ se do dnešních dnů nedochovaly. Soudě podle pohřebních výbav můžeme předpokládat, že v mohylách byli uloženi muži, kteří byli oděni do zbrojí. Samozřejmě nemůžeme tvrdit s určitostí, o jaký typ zbroje se jednalo, ale zřejmě šlo o šupinové nebo lamelové zbroje, přičemž lamelové jsou na základě analogií pravděpodobnější (Thunmark-Nylén 2006: 318). Datace je problematická – Lena Thunmark-Nylén zařadila hroby ze Snäckgärde do svých publikací o vikinském Gotlandu. Zařazení do doby vikinské nasvědčují spona/spony i pozůstatky opasků. Důležité jsou však nálezy seker – sekera z hrobu č. 2 je v Ekdahlových kresbách vyobrazena jako široká sekera, zatímco sekera z hrobu č. 4 měla mít podle Ekdahla toporo pobité mosazí (Thunmark-Nylén 2006: 318). Široká sekera nasvědčuje dataci od konce 10. století, či spíše 11. století (viz zde). Pobití topora je popisováno v literárních pramenech (viz zde) a bylo rovněž používáno u pobaltských kmenů, zatímco topora několika seker z 11. století (Temže, Langeid) byla zdobena vrstvou mosazi/bronzu. Zdá se logické předpokládat, že hroby od sebe nedělí delší časový úsek, ačkoli dochází k odchylkám v konstrukci a orientaci hrobů.

lamely_birka

Síň s nálezy kroužkového pletiva a lamel. Převzato z Ehlton 2003: 16, Fig. 18. Vytvořil Kjell Persson.

Ve Skandinávii nám doposud byla známa pouze jedna lamelová zbroj – respektive její fragmenty – a sice z Birky (viz např. Thordeman 1939: 268; Stjerna 2001; Stjerna 2004Hedenstierna-Jonson 2006: 55, 58; Hjardar – Vike 2011: 193–195; Dawson 2013 a další). Lamely byly roztroušené po tzv. Posádce (Garrison/Garnison) v celkovém počtu 720 kusů (největší jednolitý kus čítá 12 lamel), z nichž bylo možné analyzovat jen 267 lamel. Z analyzovaného materiálu bylo vyčleněno 8 typů, které zřejmě sloužily k ochraně různých částí těla. Předpokládá se, že zbroj z Birky chránila hruď, záda, ramena, břicho a nohy až po kolena (Stjerna 2004: 31). Datována je do 1. poloviny 10. století (Stjerna 2004: 31). Badatelé se shodují na jejím nomádském původu, který lze, vzhledem k nejpodobnější zbroji z lokality Balyk-Sook, hledat na předním či středním Východě (např. Dawson 2002Gorelik 2002: 145Stjerna 2004: 31). Stjerna (2007: 247) zbroj a další exkluzivní vybavení pokládá za nebojové a spíše symbolické („důvod vlastnictví (…) spočíval v něčem jiném než v boji nebo praktičnosti“). V částečné opozici ke klasickému pohledu stojí Dawson (2013), který říká, že zbroj byla špatně interpretovaná, protože pouze tři typy z vyčleněných osmi je možné považovat za lamely, a že množství opravdových lamel by nestačilo ani na polovinu hrudního plátu, což ho vede k závěru, že interpretuje lamely z Birky jako hromadu recyklovaného šrotu. To se mi však ve světle zbrojí ze Snäckgärde, které autor nezohlednil, zdá jako ukvapený závěr.

lamelovka_birka

Rekonstrukce zbroje z Birky na základě zbroje z Balyk-Sooku. Převzato z Hjardar – Vike 2011: 195.

Často se argumentuje nálezy z území staré Rusi. Nálezů, které je možné datovat do 9.11. století, je však málo a jsou rovněž považovány za východní import, stejně jako v případě zbroje z Birky (osobní konverzace se Sergejem Kainovem; viz Kirpičnikov 1971: 1420). Nálezy z oblasti Ruska z tohoto období pocházejí například z Novgorodu a z Gnězdova. Ruský materiál z 11.13. století je sice mnohem rozsáhlejší a čítá 270 nálezů (viz Medvěděv 1959Kirpičnikov 1971: 1420), ale je důležité poznamenat, že až do 2. poloviny 13. století je počet kroužkových fragmentů čtyřnásobně vyšší než počet lamelových fragmentů, což z kroužkového pletiva činí dominantní typ staroruské zbroje (Kirpičnikov 1971: 15). Je nanejvýše pravděpodobné, že staroruské lamelové zbroje doby vikinské pocházely z Byzantské říše, kde byly díky své jednodušší konstrukci a nižší ceně dominantním typem zbroje již v 10. století (Bugarski 2005: 171).


Poznámka pro reenactory:
V současné době je lamelová zbroj mezi reenactory velmi populární a na některých festivalech a bitvách tvoří i přes 50% všech zbrojí. Hlavními argumenty pro jejich používání jsou:

  • nižší výrobní náklady
  • lepší odolnost
  • rychlejší výroba
  • skvělý vzhled

Argumenty jsou to rozhodně pochopitelné. Problémem však je často opomíjený fakt, že lamelová zbroj není v žádném případě vhodná při rekonstrukci starých Seveřanů během doby vikinské. Mnohdy zmiňovaný argument, že lamelová zbroj byla používána v Kyjevské Rusi, může být vyvrácen protiargumentem, že i v době největšího rozmachu lamelových zbrojí na Rusi byl počet kroužkových zbrojí čtyřnásobný a že lamelové zbroje nebyly původními ruskými výrobky, nýbrž byly dováženy. Držíme-li se základního předpokladu, že reenactment by se měl zakládat na rekonstrukci typických předmětů, pak musíme jednoznačně říci, že lamelová zbroj je vhodná pouze při rekonstrukci nomádských etnik a byzantského vojska. Totéž platí samozřejmě i pro kožené lamelové zbroje.

Příklad kvalitně zrekonstruované lamelové zbroje. Viktor Kralin.

Nálezy z Birky a Snäckgärde na druhou stranu ukazují, že lamelové zbroje se do východní části Skandinávie mohly dostávat. Před jakýmikoli závěry musíme zohlednit zahraniční vztahy Birky a Gotlandu s okolním světem. Birka i Gotland byly hojně navštěvovanými tranzitními stanicemi, ve kterých se uskutečňovaly dálkové obchody a které zajišťovaly pohyby velké masy osob na dlouhé vzdálenosti, zejména do oblasti východní Evropy a Byzance. To je také důvodem kumulace artefaktů východní provenience, které jinak ze Skandinávie neznáme. Svým způsobem by bylo spíše podivné, kdyby se podobné nálezy na zmíněných lokalitách nevyskytovaly, zejména v obdobích, kdy dochází k jejich dominanci v Byzanci. To však neznamená, že by lamelové zbroje byly v této oblasti časté – právě naopak: lamelové zbroje stojí mimo severskou zbrojní tradici, kterou ovlivnily jen do té míry, že se v baltském prostoru tu a tam objevují až do 14. století (Thordeman 1939: 268269). Kroužkové brně lze jednoznačně označit, stejně jako v případě staré Rusi, za dominantní skandinávskou zbroj, což mimo jiné názorně ukazuje fakt, že v Posádce Birky můžeme doložit dílnu kroužkových zbrojí (Ehlton 2003). Výrobu lamelových zbrojí na území Skandinávie a staré Rusi doby vikinské nelze nijak prokázat a je krajně nepravděpodobná.

Pokud má být lamelová zbroj zahrnuta do vikinské rekonstrukce, pak:

  • pouze při rekonstrukci baltského prostoru a Rusi
  • pouze v omezené míře (např. 1 zbroj na skupinu, 1 lamelová zbroj / 4 kroužkové zbroje)
  • pouze kovové, nikoli kožené
  • použité lamely musí zachovávat doložené tvary z Birky (případně Novgorodu či Gnězdova), nikoli z Visby; vyříznutí laserem nesmí být patrné (pokud možno by lamely neměly být takto vyráběné)
  • nesmí být kombinována s severskými komponenty, např. přezkami

Zbroj zkrátka musí vypadat jako originál a musí být doplněna odpovídajícími součástmi kostýmu. Pokud se budeme při schvalování lamelových zbrojí pohybovat na černobílé stupnici „lamelové zbroje ANO“ – „lamelové zbroje NE“ a vynecháme „lamelové zbroje ANO, ALE (výše zmíněné výhrady)“, pak jsem zastánce tábora „lamelové zbroje NE“. A jaký názor máte Vy?


Bibliografie:

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 [vysokoškolská práce]. 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 [doktorská práce]. Online: http://su.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:189759/FULLTEXT01.pdf.

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

Medvěděv, 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. Česky: http://livinghistory.cz/node/370.

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.

Inspiromat #8, žena z Birky

V osmém dílu inspiromatu se podíváme běloruskou reenactorku Olgu Mazenkovou, která je členkou klubu historické rekonstrukce Naglfar (КИР Нагльфар) a která vystupuje pod historickým jménem Alvitr. S Olgou si již nějakou dobu dopisuji, a proto vím, že rekonstrukci bere vážně, má nastudované materiály a kupříkladu si vyrábí vlastní stříbrný drát a nitě, ze kterých tká vynikající karetkové pásky.

Olga představuje obyvatelku švédské Birky ve 2. polovině 9. století. Kostým se skládá ze spodních šatů T-čkového střihu, které jsou vyrobené z nebarveného lnu, a z modré lněné zástěry, která je sepnutá oválnými brožemi typu P27A. Tento typ broží se v Birce nalezl hned v pěti hrobech – Bj 385, 462, 559, 646, 657. Vnější oděv tvoří vlněný kaftan lemovaný tkaným vlněným provázkem, který je sepnutý stejnoramennou broží (replika nálezu z hrobu Bj 637). Olga dodává, že repliky textilu jsou vyrobeny na základě prací Ingy Hägg (Die Tracht. In: Greta Arwidsson (ed.). Birka II: 2. Systematische Analysen der Gräberfunde) a Agnes Geijer (Birka III. Die Textilfunde aus den Gräbern). Jelikož boty se v Birce nenašly, nosí repliky bot z anglického Yorku.

Ke kostýmu náleží také křesadlo (replika nálezu z hrobu Bj 456), nůžky (replika nálezu z hrobu Bj 464), jehelníček (replika nálezu z hrobu Bj 515) a klíč (replika nálezu z hrobu Bj 758), které jsou zavěšeny za brože na kroužkových řetízcích. Kolem krku a mezi brožemi jsou nataženy korálky (skleněné, stříbrné zdobené filigránem, z karneolu, křišťálu a jantaru) podle nálezů z Birky, stříbrné závěsky (štítek, mince) a rolničky. Ruce jsou ozdobené uzavřenými náramky, které jsou replikami náramků nalezených v mnoha skandinávských depotech, a prsteny, které jsou replikami prstenů z hrobů Bj 932 a 531. Hlavu má Olga ozdobenou modrým hedvábným šátkem staženým úzkou karetkovou páskou typu B21 podle nálezu z hrobu Bj 943. Na uších jsou zavěšené náušnice podle nálezu z Birky, které mají analogii v polských nálezech (Olga odkazuje na knihu Birka V. The Filigree and Granulation Work of the Viking Period).

Autorkou fotek je Irina Ramitsan.


Za poskytnutí fotek a za detailní popis svého kostýmu děkuji Olze Mazenkové.

I would like to thank Olga Mazenkova for granting me permission to use her photographs and for detailed description of her costume. 

Vikinské saxy z Upplandu a Västmanlandu

Před dvěma měsíci jsem zveřejnil svou rozsáhlou práci, která se zabývá staroruskými saxy a bojovými noži. A nyní bych rád zveřejnil práci, která ve mě vzbudila zájem o saxy. Jedná se o článek švédského archeologa Niklase Stjerny. Bibliografický záznam článku je:

Stjerna, N. (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.

Pevně věřím, že se Vám bude článek líbit, protože je jedním z mála, který se zabývá problematikou vikinských saxů. Přesto je možné, že některé ze Stjernových závěrů nebudou potěšující. V případě zájmu rád poskytnu kvalitní sken původní studie.

Překlad si můžete stáhnout prostřednictvím tohoto odkazu:
Vikinské saxy z Upplandu a Västmanlandu

Inspiromat #3, žena z Birky

Třetí díl inspiromatu bude opět věnován bohatému ženskému kostýmu z Birky. Tentokráte se podíváme na kostým ruské reenactorky Lidie Gubarevové.

Lidia svůj kostým koncipuje do 1. poloviny 10. století v Birce. Většinu její výbavy tvoří repliky z hrobu Bj 965, který se pomocí mince datuje do období po roce 913. Lidia přesto svůj kostým nepokládá na úplně ideální rekonstrukci oděvu z Birky, protože mezi doplňky má i repliky předmětů, které se nenalezly v Birce. Lidie mi také sdělila, že svůj kostým právě předělává a šije nový kaftan a svrchní šaty, a současně se mi omlouvala, že rekonstruuje tři období zároveň a nezná zpaměti všechna čísla hrobů.

Na fotografiích můžeme spatřit hned tři spodní šaty, které mají střih jednoduché tuniky. První z nich (modré) jsou vyrobeny ze stoprocentní vlny utkané ve vazbě diamantového kepru. Jsou barveny indigem a lemovány hedvábným keprem, jehož osnova je barvena řešetlákem a útek indigem. Na hedvábném lemování u krku lze spatřit dva karetkové pásy vyrobené ze stříbra a hedvábí, které mají předlohu v karetce z hrobu Bj 965. Druhé spodní šaty (žluté) jsou vyrobené z polychromovaného hedvábí a jsou lemovány modrým hedvábím. Také na tomto lemování lze nalézt karetkový pás. Třetí spodní šaty (zelené) jsou ušité z jednoduchého lnu a jsou olemovány hedvábím, které je barveno mořenou se sodou.

Svrchní šaty (zástěra, hangerock) jsou lichoběžníkového střihu a jsou ze 100% vlněného kepru barveného indigem. Přes tyto šaty Lidie nosí rudočervený kaftan, který je ušitý ze 100% vlny utkané ve vazbě čtyřvazný kepr. Barvivem je mořena; útek je trochu tmavší než osnova. Kaftan je olemován sasánidským hedvábím s motivy medailonů se lvy a fénixi. Druhý kaftan, žlutý, je lněný, podšitý hedvábím, obšitý polychromovaným hedvábím a bobří kožešinou.

Oválné brože jsou replikami nálezů, které byly nalezeny v několika hrobech z Birky včetně Bj 965. Všechny ostatní spony, náhrdelníky a přívěšky, ušní lžička či jehelníček jsou replikami nálezů z Birky. Výjimku tvoří fríský hřeben s pouzdrem a kříže, které mají předlohu v nálezech z ostrova Rujány. Kostým doplňuje šátek s uzlem, který je interpretací “uzle”, který je vyobrazen na postavách valkýr.

Za poskytnutí fotek a za detailní popis svého kostýmu děkuji Lidii Gubarevové.


I would like to thank Lidia Gubareva for granting me permission to use her photographs and for detailed description of her costume. 

Inspiromat #2, muž z Birky

Ve druhém dílu inspiromatu zůstaneme v Birce, ale tentokrát se zaměříme na mužský kostým. Z tohoto důvodu jsem oslovil mého ruského kamaráda Konstantina Širjajeva, který mi ochotně poskytl své fotografie i s popisem.

Kostým se zakládá na nálezech z Birky, především na hrobu Bj 644, ale užívá výpůjček i z okolních regionů. Jedná se o kostým bohatého válečníka kolem poloviny 10. století. Konstantin o svém kostýmu říká, že nebude nikdy hotový, a hodlá jej stále zlepšovat.

Obrázek č. 1:
Na hlavě můžeme spatřit polokruhovou čtyřdílnou vlněnou čapku (typu B) barvenou dubovou kůrou. Po obvodu je na ní našit hedvábný lem barvený přírodním indigem. Konstantin je dále oděn do lněné košile barvené přírodním indigem. Košile je po obvodu lemována vzorovaným hedvábím. Košile je přepásána replikou opasku z Posádky v Birce. Na opasku je zavěšený nůž v kožené pochvě a replika tašvice z Eperjeske 3. Analogický nález tašvice byl nalezen v hrobu Bj 644. Víko brašny tvoří pozlacený stříbrný plát. Na nohou si můžeme povšimnout širokých lněných kalhot (påsbyxor), jejichž střih se zakládá na nálezech z Haithabu a Thorsbergu, vlněných ovinek a kožených bot typu 8 z Haithabu.

Obrázek č. 2:
Na hlavě můžeme spatřit kónickou čapku (typu A) s plsťovým základem, na němž je našito vzorované hedvábí. Čapka je ozdobena stříbrným vrcholkem a lemováním z bobří kůže. Dále si můžeme všimnout červené vlněné tuniky, jejíž střih se zakládá na nálezech z Bernuthsfeldu a Guddalu. Tunika je zdobená vzorovaným hedvábím a stříbrnou výšivkou a je přepásána replikou opasku z hrobu Bj 1074. Přes tuniku je sepnut modrý obdélníkový vlněný plášť, který je podšit a který je lemován bobří kůží. Spona použitá k sepnutí pláště je replikou z hrobu Bj 644. Toto poněkud netradiční nošení pláště je založeno na jednom ze čtení Ibn Fadlanovy Risaly a na interpretaci finských nálezů. Konstantin v ruce drží repliku bojové sekery z hrobu Bj 644. Přes dříve popsané lněné kalhoty má natažené červené vlněné nohavice připnuté replikami bronzových háčků z hrobu Bj 905.

Obrázek č. 3:
Kostým na tomto obrázku je stejný jako na obrázku č. 1. Výjimku tvoří vlněný kaftan, který je zdoben vzorovaným hedvábím a 12 bronzovými knoflíky. Konstantin dodává, že hedvábí na tomto kaftanu je jedinou textilií na jeho kostýmu, která je strojově barvená, a hodlá proto ušít nový kaftan. U pasu si můžeme povšimnout repliky saxu z hrobu Bj 644 (Konstantin dodává, že toto je stará verze saxu a nyní pracuje na novější).

Obrázek č. 4:
Bitevní verze kostýmu. Na hlavě se nachází přilba, která je inspirována fragmentem přilby z Tjele. U pasu si můžeme povšimnout meče typu H ve dřevěné pochvě. Na zádech spočívá dřevěný štít, jehož přední strana je potažena kůží. Ruce jsou chráněny palčáky, které jsou vyrobeny z kůže a plsti (levý palčák je pouze vlněný).

Obrázek č. 5:
Další fotka bojového kostýmu, tentokrát s normanskou přilbou. V souladu s Ibn Fadlanovou zprávou bojovník disponuje sekerou, mečem a saxem. Můžeme si povšimnout nižších bot a také faktu, že ovinky jsou zafixovány zdobnými tkanicemi.

Za poskytnutí fotek a za detailní popis svého kostýmu děkuji Konstantinu Širjajevovi.


I would like to thank Konstantin Shiryaev for granting me permission to use his photographs and for detailed description of his costume.