The interview for Hella the Viking blog

Recently, I have been offered the chance to answer several questions asked by Marta París Boix (alias Marþa Skogsdottir) from Spanish projects Clan Hávamál and Hella, the Viking blog. When she was making her interview with Maxim Makarov, Marta found the interview I made with him, she contacted me and offered me an interview. The original version in Spanish was published on her websites; here you can find the English version.


I had the pleasure to meet virtually Tomáš Vlasatý (David Stříbrný) whom I decided to interview after seeing his long career as reenactor and also his contribution in projects like Marobud, “Karel’s journey – pilgrimage to Rome”, “Early medieval woodworking tools”, “The Library of the group Marobud”, “Viking Age Forging”, “Early medieval tablets”, “10th century Norway”, “Valknut – triquetra”, “Historické přilby – Helmets of the Past”, etc. Since we cannot do the interview face to face due to he is in the Czech Republic and I am in Barcelona, this time I will show you a written interview.

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Hi, Tomáš. Thank you very much for accepting this interview and dedicating us some of your time. It is a great honor for us to have the opportunity to interview a reenactor with your experience and knowledge.

Greetings to all of you and thank you very much for this interview. I am honoured as well. In the beginning of the 21th century, it is rare that somebody wants to hear the opinion of another person.

I would like to start this interview by asking you, when did your interest for Scandinavian culture come from? How did it all begin?

Well, it started around 2004. Originally, there was a pure fascination based on books, games, music. Old Norse mythology was also an very important element. After some time, I decided to buy some Viking-related products (in fact, those objects was purely fantasy stuff) and to visit small Viking Age events in the Czech Republic. I met some reenactors there, and they showed me their gear, the way of thinking and the reenactor culture. I think that my beginning was similar to the experience of anybody interested in Old Norse culture. In 2008, I started to translate and to study sagas, and this kind of sources brought a completely new light to my reenactor career.

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As far as I know, specially after checking the projects that you are administrating at the moment, you have a wide knowledge of Scandinavian culture, and I was wondering if you could please tell us how do you think it must be the daily life of a viking from the 10th century.

Firstly, I have to make clear that Old Norse people did not call themselves as “vikings”. If we are talking about average people, they call themselves “Northerners”, or rather “people of [a region or a clan]”. Basically, there is no bigger change between our lives – people want to live, to earn money, to prosper. The way how to achieve is the thing what changes, as well as mindset and demand for comfort. Secondly, most people lived on farms with their kins and did what was needed for living. The household was run on two different levels, inner and outer. The “inner life” took place only within the house and its fence – I mean regular work like the care of livestock, crafts and repairs, making of food etc., also including the entertainment. The “outer life” consisted for example from visits (friends, kin members, assemblies, shrines and churches), trading and warfare. It is obvious that Old Norse people mastered many crafts in order to be self-sufficient (I recommend to read Rígsþula). The households were considered to be separated microcosmoses, and the law was accustomed to this state. This separation between the Inner and the Outer is connected not only to law, but also to gender – from sources, we can clearly see that the “outer life” was dominated by men, and the man remaining at home all the time was called heimskr (“stay-at-home”, but also “dull”). As Hávamál says, only the far-travelling man can be called wise. On the other hand, women were expected to stay at home and take care of the household, the most important place in life. To sum up, there were strict lines in Old Norse daily life.

It is worth to mention that, in case you visit a museum, you will see many decorated objects from precious metal. However, these artefacts do not fully reflect the living reality of average people staying in the background. We reenactors are often obsessed by these elite objects, without taking care of the rest of 90% of the original population. Another fact is that we often say we represent Vikings, without noticing that we are focused only on Anglo-Saxon, Frankish or Russian sources. Sadly said, for most of reenactors, the life of average people of Scandinavia is not interesting. Generally speaking, war activities are the biggest attraction in the reenactment; in addition, Viking Age reenactment has the element of religious and free thought manifesto.

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How do you imagine a viking burg (merchant city and/or village)? What kind of structure do you think it should have had?

I will take the word “viking” in the sense “Old Norse”, okay? In Scandinavia, there were several towns (Birka, Haithabu etc.). The word for a town is borg, which means also “a fortified place”. In towns, up to a thousand people could live, and they needed the protection and supplies. That’s why, as a rule, towns had ramparts (and palisades) and were located at the bank of the river or the sea. The town was always protected by the power of the ruler, who gained fees from both local and long-distance merchants. It is noteworthy that the town was not self-sufficient and the trade was necessary. This fact can explain why there are so exotic objects in towns.

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Is there any event that you’ve ever attended to, whose structure of tents, longhouses, etc… was similar to a real viking city? How was your experience there?

The problem is that there are not so many events in open-air museums and the number of reenactors is often much bigger that the number of houses, so they have to sleep in tents. I am a bit fed up with tents, because of the fact that common people usually used buildings on travels if possible.

Of course I have some experience with living in buildings, both separated and bigger open-air museums. But the impression is never complete – there are too many modern elements, too many fantasy gear and the life of reenactors can’t be compared to life of period people, because modern men want to fight, to drink, to relax from work. There is no need for protection against the enemy, because there is no real enemy. Most of reenactment events last too short for taking the historicity seriously. So, my experience is that the reconstruction of the living in town is extremely hard, and we can reconstruct only small aspects of the life. In my opinion, the life in a single household would be more interesting and more possible.

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Reenactors and museums play a great role when it comes to let people get to know how was life in Scandinavia in 10th century. As far as I know, there are museums that usually work hand in hand with reenactors to provide people a real life viking experience. Do museums in Czech Republic do that too? Have you ever collaborated with them?

The Central Europe has limited or none experience with Viking expansion, so Czech museums and academia pay matching (small) attention to the presentation of the Viking Age. In what was Czechoslovakia, the early states of Great Moravia and Bohemia are more interesting. Still, there is a huge gap between the early medieval academia and reenactors; scientists do not take reenactors seriously, reenactors are not very interested in scientific reconstruction, so the kind of relationship is mutual. On the other hand, there are some (mostly young) scientists in reenactment and they try to connect both areas. There are much better results in Celtic-oriented academia and reenactors. Let’s hope the future will bring better cooperation!

I personally collaborate with my friends scientist that are interested in early medieval period. So, a kind of collaboration is possible, at least on the personal level.

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How do you think that people can get to know Viking era better: participating or attending to public reenactment events?

I believe that, from the broader perspective, the Viking phenomenon is already a very popular period, the popularity is on its peak and there will be a slow decline in future decade (of course, in some countries, the process will be slower). Usually, the Viking phenomenon is only a set of mostly historically incorrect thoughts and it would not be popular so much if it would be popularized in the correct way. For me, it is suprising that the Viking phenomenon is so widespread around the world, while other fascinating periods are not known. I often have to deal with people interested in Viking Age due to their afraid of immigration in Europe – these people are looking for the roots of the European traditions, but their will to learn specific data is rather superficial. Overall, it is extremely difficult for a normal modern person to find the time and the will to read and understand. Even the most of reenactors are not so deeply interested in the period, since Viking reenactment is a hobby without any stricter rule, so it is hard to popularize the general public more than now. I am deeply afraid that the deep experience is not what both visitors and the most of reenactors want. Therefore, true approach based on experiments and serious study will always be the matter of limited number of people.

I think it would be much better to change the whole trend, to prefer quality to quantity. The internet is very important medium today, as almost all people have the access to it, and that’s why it is important to create good articles and other online contents with pictures (visualisation is very crucial). Semi-long and long projects (months up to years) proved to be a very good method how to present history. What I really miss are Old Norse sources translated into national languages.

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As a reenactor with more than 10 years of experience, you must have attended to a lot of events and because of that we would like to know if you consider that private events could are a good way to put on practice new techniques of work (craftsmen), cooking, combat etc… or do you consider that it is better to put them in practice in public events so that you can share knowledge with other groups and visitors?

My personal motto is “I do it for myself”. Events are not for visitors, they are for us, reenactors. That’s why we should focus on the exchange of knowledge and the cooperation on any occassion. However, bigger events and festivals are more focused on the battle and drinking, as there is no authority controlling the historicity. At smaller events, a larger scale of activities is present and the costume check is more possible. Period cooking is, in my opinion, a matter of fact at every event, as well as music, discussions and presentations.

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What is the best reenactment event that you have ever been? What made it so special?

It is hard to say – almost each event is special in a way. Large battles with more than 1000 warriors are impressive, but the best authentic event I have visited was The Viking Way, which was organized by Trondheim Vikinglag near Trondheim. The concept was quite unique – the best crafters from Europe and USA met in a forest and shared knowledge for one week. No modern stuff, drinkable water in the rivulet, no modern toilets, no mobile signal, no battle.

And the worst?

It is relative and it depends what you are looking for. I personally enjoy when things are made in a historically correct way and the costume level is high. From this perspective, Wolin could be the worst event on the planet, but the festival has some good sides too. Basically, in my opinion, the worst events are small-scale battles that take only a few hours – these events do not deserve to be connected with reenactment at all, rather LARPs with iron weapons. On the other hand, those participated really enjoy controlled agressivity.

Last but not least, we would like to know if you could give advice to our audience who is interested in starting with reenactment or simply improve their skills as reenactors.

Read a lot and make contacts with foreign reenactors. Write a costume passport, a small document where every piece of your gear is mentioned and linked with the source. And do not be mad or angry – there will always be mistakes and people with different point of view, collaboration is better than hostility. The costume and your historical persona is fascinating never-ending story, and it will never be perfect. But it is worth of the try.

Thanks a million for your collaboration. We wish you the best of luck for the projects you are managing at the moment and keep up with the great job you are doing.

Thank you as well for the chance to speak.

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Norské saxy a bojové nože

Nůž z Osebergu.

Po článcích o bojových nožích z Haithabu, Švédska a Ruska mám tu čest představit přehled norských dlouhých nožů doby vikinské. Každý exemplář je opatřen krátkým popisem a pokud možno obrázkem. Kromě nožů jsou rozebrány také pochvy.

Článek je možné prohlédnout či stáhnout zde:
Norské saxy a bojové nože doby vikinské



English summary

This article is a short summary of what we know about long knives in the Viking Age Norway. Two main sources were used – Petersen’s Vikingetidens Redskaper and UNIMUS catalogue. The result is only a representative number; the article is not complete.

In Norway, long knives were used until the 10th century. From 16 more or less preserved blades, 2 knives belong to the Merovingian type (ca. 100 years old by that time) and were deposited in 9th century graves. In the 9th century, Merovingian type was replaced with lighter, narrower and shorter knives. The typical knife used in Viking Age Norway had a straight blade with relatively uniform features:

  • 20–50 cm in length (ca. 10 cm long handle), 2–3 cm in width

  • in most cases, both blade and back are evenly straight; the blade tapers near the point

  • the wooden handle, sometimes with a bronze ferrule

Sheaths covered both blades and handles and were decorated sometimes. Sheaths show that Anglo-Saxon seaxes and Swedish scabbard knives were rarely used in Norway .

In 14 cases, knives were found in graves/mounds, eight times with a sword, seven times with an axehead, six times with a spearhead, sometimes with other tools. Graves belonged to women in at least two cases.

The function is difficult to guess. Merovingian type were probably deposited from symbolical reasons. Light long knives could serve as kitchen knives, hunting knives and weapons in case of need.

The sword from Sarskoe Gorodishche

ANALYSIS
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A drawing of the sword. Taken from Leontiev 1996 : 120, Fig 47:7.

Sarskoe Gorodishche (Hillfort on the bank of the Sara River) is one of the few settlements on the territory of ancient Russia, where a large amount of Scandinavian material culture occured. Both quality and quantity bears witness of not only trade contacts, but also of direct Scandinavian presence on the site. The most representative collection of Scandinavian objects is weaponry, mainly arrow tips, sword and seax chapes and a sword. The sword will be the topic of this article.

According to some sources, the sword was discovered on the slope of Sarskoe Gorodishche by D. N. Eding and D. A. Ushakov in 1930. However, the sword was firstly published A. N. Kirpichnikov in 1966, as a find from a mound (Kirpichnikov 1966: 80, No. 49). The sword was studied several times (Kirpichnikov 1992: 79, Leontiev 1996: 121; Kainov 2000: 252-256); nevetherless, in 2003, the sword was studied again and some new decoration was discovered. At the present time, the weapon is deposited in Architecture and Art Museum in Rostov (Ростовское архитектурно-художественное музей; catalogue number Р 10335, А- 92).

The lenght of the sword is 94.6 cm, the blade is 78.4 cm long. The blade has the width of 55 mm by the crossguard and 30 mm by the tip (30 mm far from the tip, respectively). The thickness of the blade by the crossguard is 5 mm. The fuller is 23 mm wide and 1 mm deep in the upper part of the blade. The crossguard (lower guard) is 90 mm wide and 20 mm high, while the upper guard (base of the pommel) is 80 mm wide and 20 mm high. The pommel has the height of 46 mm.

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Description of sword parts, according to Peirce – Oakenshott 2002.

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The sword from Sarskoe Gorodishche. Taken from Kainov 2011: 152, Fig. 10.

Both hilt and blade are very well preserved. The shape of the hilt belongs to the Petersen type E, which was very popular type with at least 106 examples in whole Europe (Kainov 2000). More correctly, the shape of the hilt should be classified as the subtype E3. This subtype is “represented by hilts decorated with oval pits arranged in trefoil or quatrefoil compositions” (Androshchuk 2014: 53; Kainov 2001: 57). To compare, Androshchuk lists at least 5 Swedish swords of the subtype E3 (ibid.). Until 2003, all studies had been pointing out that the sword from Sarskoe Gorodishche had been a typical example of this subtype, but after the examination, the sword showed to be rather unique. The reason is its decoration, which is not typical for any subtype of the type E. The decoration is why we should thing the sword forms “a separate variant of the E-type swords” (Kainov 2011: 149).

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Four main types of pit decoration on swords of the type E (E1, E2, E3, E4). After Kainov 2001: 57, Fig. 4, taken from Androshchuk 2014: 52, Fig. 14.

In 2003, a diagonal grid of inlayed yellow metal wire was discovered on both sides of the pommel. The wire is about 1 mm thick. Such a decoration is very rare and the closest analogies – two swords from Gotland (SHM 16905, GF C 4778) – belong to the Mannheim sword type (special type 2), with not less than 20 examples dating from the second half of the 8th century to the beginning of the 9th century (Kainov 2011: 148).

What is more, the examination discovered the fact that pits situated on the central part of the pommel, upper and lower guards are not oval nor round, but square. To my knowledge, no other sword shows this type of pit decoration. These pits are arranged in a checkerboard pattern, sometimes quite uneven. Corners of pits are connected with grooves, which were probably empty and were punched after applying inlayed stripes from yellow metal. Inlayed stripes always occur in paires or threesomes between pits; they are uneven, with spaces ranging from 0.2 to 1.5 mm.

The upper guard and the pommel were separated with a helix from twisted wires of yellow metal. By the same method, the central part of the pommel was separated from side parts. The helix is stamped in order to form pearl-like balls (so called beaded wire). This method is rare on Viking Age swords, with only several known examples from Norway (C8598 – type E, B6685a – type H), Sweden (SHM 34000:942 – special type, SHM 34000:850 – type H/I), Denmark (C3118 – special type 1), Ireland (WK-5 – type K, WK-33 – type D) or France (JPO 2249 – type H). Ends of wire helix is hidden under the pommel.

Details of the hilt of the sword. Taken from Kainov 2011: Fig. 2-9.

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Geibig’s typology of blades. Taken from Geibig 1991: 84, Abb. 22.

The blade belongs to the Geibig’s type 3, which is dated to period between 750 and 975 AD and is characterised by gently tapering blade with tapering fuller, blade lenght between 74 and 85 cm and blade width between 5.2 and 5.7 cm (Geibig 1991: 86, 154; Jones 2002: 22-23). On one side of the blade, there is an unique Latin inscription +LVNVECIT+, on the other side can be found the sign IᛞI (horizontally situated hourglass with two vertical bars before and after). These inscriptions are made by welding of simple iron rod on the surface. The method of welded inscriptions can be attested on dozens of European swords; the raw material varied from iron and steel rods to pattern welded material (see Moilanen 2006).

The most common welded Latin names on blades are Vlfberht, Ingelrii and Hiltipreht, while the less known are Atalbald, Banto, Benno, (C)erolt, Gecelin, HartolfrInno, (L)eofri(c), LeutlritNisoPulfbrii or Ulen. These names probably denote makers or workshops, since some names have the addition (me)fecit, “made (me)”. Among others, magical formulas occur sometimes (their shortcuts respectively), like SOOSO (“S[ALVATOR] O[MNIPOTENS] O[MNIPOTENS] S[ALVATOR] O[MNIPOTENS]) or INIOINI (I[N] N[OMINE] I[ESU] O[MNIPOTENS] …). As the result, the inscription +LVNVECIT+ (“Lun made”) denote the unknown maker Lun and the sign IᛞI is probably the shortcut for the formula In nomine Iesu (“In the name of Jesus”).

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The inscription on the blade. Taken from Kainov 2011: 151, Fig. 4.

Regarding the dating of the sword, it is very complicated to date an untypical object like this one. Besides some exceptions, Scandinavian swords of the type E are dated to the 9th century, while Russian examples are dated to the 10th century (Kainov 2011: 149). So, the shape of the hilt can be dated to the 9th or 10th century. The diagonal inlayed grid on the sides of the pommel has analogies in the 8th and 9th century. The beaded wire was used in the same period, in the 8th and 9th century. The shape of the blade can be dated to the period between 750 and 975 AD. Mentioned Latin names were used from the 9th to 11th century. It seems logic to think that the sword from Sarskoe Gorodishche belongs to the transitional type between the Mannheim type (special type 2) and the type E (Kainov 2011: 149). The sword, or at least the blade, was probably made in the 9th century on the Continent and used until the 10th century by a man with strong connections with Scandinavia.

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The complete sword. Taken from Kainov 2011: 150, Fig. 1.

 

REPRODUCTION

The sword from Sarskoe Gorodishche has been recently (winter 2015 – spring 2016) replicated by famous Belorussian swordmaker, skillful crafter and my friend Dmitry Khramtsov (aka Truin Stenja). Even though I think the sword is the best copy of the found, I hold the opinion that the Dmitry’s version needs a short comment.

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The method of “container” with inner parts braided with silver wire. Taken from Kainov 2011: 24, 28, Fig. 12, 15; Arendt 1936: 314, Fig. 2.

Regarding the sizes, the sword is true copy. The weight of the sword is 1370 grams, an average weight for a type E sword. The inscription was correctly done from iron rods. The handle was made from bog oak, which seems to be a good choice, as no traces of the organic handle survived. The upper guard and the pommel are hollowed, which is characteristic for the type E. Inlayed motives on the hilt (stripes and the diagonal grid) are made from copper alloy wire in the right manner. What is striking on this copy is the usage of silver wire grid in pits and grooves. This decoration is not known from any sword find and it seems like misunderstanding of a rare method used on several swords of types E and T from Sweden (Gräfsta [SHM 19464:6]; Birka grave 524 [SHM 34000:524]), Russia (Gnezdovo mound L-13; Ust-Ribezgno mound XIX and a sword deposited in Kazan museum) and Ukraine (Gulbishche) (see Androshchuk 2014: 53; Arendt 1936; Kainov 2012: 19-25). The method is described by Arendt (1936: 314):

“Both guard and the pommel form a kind of containers or coverings, which contain smaller but equally shaped parts. These latter [inner parts] were braided with silver wires and placed in the way that their crossings were just under the pits in containers.”

It seems that Dmitry based his version on some pictures of destroyed hilts, where the wire jutted out through damaged pits to the surface. However, I still think that Dmitry’s copy is the best version of the sword ever made and that Dmitry took the chance to fill rather illogical (and pattern destroying) grooves with more decoration. We should understand the version as a combination of outstanding replica and a free interpretation of the author.

If you wish to write to the author, please, use this email adress:
truin.dimastai@mail.ru

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

This article would never existed without the spectacular work of Dmitry Khramtsov, who inspired me and kindly send me photos in original resolution. All my thanks and respect also go to Sergey Kainov, who helped me with his best advices and answered all my bothering questions.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Androshchuk 2014 = Androshchuk, F. (2014). Viking swords : swords and social aspects of weaponry in Viking Age societies. Stockholm.

Arendt 1936 = Arendt, W. W. (1936). Ett svärdsfäste från vikingatiden. In: Fornvännen 31, pp. 313-315. Online.

Geibig 1991 = Geibig, A. (1991). Beiträge zur morphologischen Entwicklung des Schwertes im Mittelalter : eine Analyse des Fundmaterials vom ausgehenden 8. bis zum 12. Jahrhundert aus Sammlungen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Neumünster.

Jones 2002 = Jones, L. A. (2002). Overview of Hilt and Blade Classifications. In. Oakeshott E. – Peirce I. G. Swords of the Viking Age, pp. 15-24.

Kainov 2000 = Kainov, S. Yu. (2000). Меч с Сарского городища. / Сообщения Ростовского музея. Вып.Х. pp. 252-256. Online.

Kainov 2001 = Kainov, S. Yu. (2001). Еще раз о датировке гнёздовского кургана с мечом из раскопок М.Ф.Кусцинского (К вопросу о нижней дате Гнёздовского могильника) // Гнёздово. 125 лет исследования памятника. Труды Государственного Исторического музея. Вып. 124, pp. 54-63. Online.

Kainov 2011 = Kainov, S. Yu. (2011). Новые данные о мече с Сарского городища // Военная археология. Вып.2. Сборник материалов Проблемного Совета “Военная археология” при Государственном Историческом музее, pp. 147-152. Online.

Kainov 2012 = Kainov, S. Yu. (2012). Swords from Gnёzdovo. In: Acta Militaria Mediaevalia VIII, pp. 7-68. Online.

Kirpichnikov 1966 = Kirpichnikov, A. N. (1966). Древнерусское оружие: Вып. 1. Мечи и сабли IX– XIII вв.// АН СССР, Москва.

Kirpichnikov 1992 = Kirpichnikov, A. N. (1992). Новообнаруженные клейма раннесредневековых мечей // Fasciculi Archaeologiae Historicae. Fasc. V, pp. 61-81.

Leontiev 1996 = Leontiev А. Е. (1996). Археология мери. К предыстории Северо-Восточной Руси // Археология эпохи великого переселения народов и раннего средневековья. Выпуск 4, Москва.

Moilanen 2009 = Moilanen, M. (2009). On the manufacture of iron inlays on sword blades: an experimental study. In: Fennoscandia archaeologica XXVI: pp. 23-38. Online.

Petersen 1919 = Petersen, J. (1919). De Norske Vikingesverd: En Typologisk-Kronologisk Studie Over Vikingetidens Vaaben. Kristiania.

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.

Typology of Fire Strikers From the Viking Age Norway

C3463, which belongs to what I call Type 1.

I would like to present my typology of fire strikers used in Viking Age Norway, more particulary 700-1000 AD. This typology is based on Jan Petersen’s works and it is not complete. I am sure there are many other finds that are not included. Please, let me know if you find what I missed. Thank you.

The typology can be downloaded or seen on this link:
Typology of Fire Strikers From the Viking Age Norway

Pouzdra na sekery – Axe sheaths

Sekery patří ve vikinském reenactmentu stále mezi oblíbené zbraně a nářadí. Často však na festivalech vídáme zbraně položené do trávy a odložené napospas rzi. Každý zálesák však musí potvrdit, že aby byla sekera stále ostrá a v dobrém stavu, je třeba nějaké pouzdro a zejména pečlivého majitele.

Pouzdra na sekery jsem dlouho hledal, ale kromě koženého pouzdra z dánského hradu Gurre Slot ze 14. století jsem nebyl schopen nalézt žádnou informaci. Písemné prameny samozřejmě mlčí a pouzdra z organických materiálů se špatně zachovávají, a tak jsem měl za to, že se jedná o jednu z temných kapitol reenactmentu, kterou lze napodobit pouze na základě selského rozumu. Byl jsem proto zcela v šoku, když jsem náhodu narazil na informace o pouzdrech z Haithabu, Šlesviku, Dublinu a Novgorodu.

Rozhodl jsem se napsat článek pojednávající o těchto nálezech, který můžete stáhnout nebo prohlížet prostřednictvím tohoto odkazu. Jan Zbránek, velitel skupiny Marobud (o němž jsme již psali ve 13. inspiromatu) vytvořil zdařilé repliky obou typů nalezených v Haithabu, které můžete spatřit níže spolu s replikou pouzdra nalezeného ve Šlesviku, které vyrobil německý archeolog Stephan Meinhardt. Společně věříme, že tímto článkem zviditelníme potřebu ochrany seker a nutnost tohoto doplňku.


 

Wooden Axe Sheaths

Axes are popular weapons and tools in Viking Age reenactment. However, their owners do not often care about them and we can see a lot of rusted axe heads during historical festivals. Every hiker knows that a sheath is necessary in order to keep the blade sharp and in good condition. Nevertheless, the best is, as always, a responsible owner.

I had been looking for axe sheaths for a very long time. All I had found was the leather sheath from the Danish castle Gurre Slot from the 14th century, but no Viking Age material. Written sources do not mention anything and sheaths from organic materials decayed – that was my way of thinking. I was shocked when I managed to find the information about sheaths from Haithabu, Schleswig, Dublin and Novgorod.

I decided to write an article about these finds for you and it can be seen or downloaded via this link. My friend Jan Zbránek, the leader of the group Marobud (the article about him can be seen here) made really nice replicas of both types from Haithabu. You can see them below, together with a replica of the sheath found in Schleswig that was made by German archaeologist Stephan Meinhardt. We hope in popularization of this essential axe addition.


sheaths

The collection of Misch Meurin.

Rekonstrukce / Reconstructions

Haithabu, typ 1 / Haithabu, type 1
Vyrobil Jan Zbránek / Made by Jan Zbránek.

Haithabu, typ 2 / Haithabu, type 2
Vyrobil Jan Zbránek / Made by Jan Zbránek.

Šlesvik, typ 1 / Schleswig, type 1
Vyrobil Stephan Meinhardt / Made by Stephan Meinhardt.

Inspiromat #16, The Birka Warrior

The 16th part of so-called “inspiromat” will be a little bit special because it is the first bilingual article I have written so far. We are going to meet impressive Swedish reenactor Fredrik Hellman, who kindly answered my questions.

HunnestadFredrik calls himself “a free Viking”, which means that he is not a member of any group. He has been participating  reenactment activities since 2003, including Swedish (Stallarholmen, Foteviken, Skeppen kommer, Gunnes gård, Ale, Birka), Norwegian (Gudvangen, Borre, Bronseplatsen, Sarpsborg, Lofoten), Danish (Trelleborg, Moesgaard), Polish (Wolin), Estonian (Saula winterfest), Finnish (Saltvik), Icelandic (Hafnafjördur), Russian (Ladoga, Rusborg) and Ukrainian (Kiev) historical festivals.

Fredrik describes his approach to reenactment in these words:

I try to find out more about what is historically correct instead of just looking at what others are doing. Overall, in Sweden there are a lot of people who think it is more important to have fun than being historically correct. For me, it is very important to try to be correct or at least to know what is right and what is wrong.

Fredrik represents a warrior from Birka in about 900 AD. His clothing consists of a linen shirts (one of them is replica of Byzantian tunic found in Manazan Caves), woolen baggy trousers based on Gotlandic picture stones, woolen overlapping caftans (a blue one and a yellow one) without buttons, woolen leg wrappings, two pairs of leather shoes based on Dorestad and Haithabu finds, woolen nålbinding socks and woolen hats (one of them has fur rim and bronze pointed tip based on Birka grave Bj 644. Fredrik adds that no part of costume is handwowen except leg wrappings, but he also says that this is something that really needs to be improved. The yellow caftan and leg wrappings are natural dyed.

27The costume is enriched with belts with bronze panels loosely based on finds from Gotland (Fredrik adds he needs new more authentic belts), pouch with bronze fittings based on Rösta find and bronze ring based on a find from Gotland. Antler comb with bronze handle based on find from Birka grave Bj 944 allows Fredrik to comb his impressive beard.

Fredrik’s weaponry covers a helmet with aventail based on the find from Gjermundbu (see the article „Grafnir hjálmar : A Comment on the Viking Age Helmets, Their Developement and Usage“), a chainmail from riveted rings with round cross section (rings were found among the material from Birka), a two-handed winged spear of Petersen type G (Fredrik’s main weapon, see the article “Wings on Viking Age Spears“), two swords of Petersen types O and Z based on finds from Scotland and Dalarna, Sweden, a bow, javelins and a seax / battle knife with decorated sheat based on finds from Uppland, Sweden (see the article “Viking-age seaxes in Uppland and Västmanland“). The war gear does not include limb protection and gambeson because of their absence in the material (see articles “Limb Protection : Then and Now” and “An Introduction to Old Norse Padding“). On the other hand, Fredrik use leather gloves on account of safety (see the article “War Mittens – Then and Now“).

Besides the fighting, Fredrik devotes to many othes period activities. He can start the fire with flintstone and steel, he cooks, plays self-made lyre (see the article “The Early Lyre in Scandinavia“) and owns a small Viking boat.

I thank Fredrik Hellman for his time and for his answers on my inquisitive questions. The Forlǫg Project wishes Fredrik good luck and interesting moments in his future reenactment career.


Šestnáctý díl inspiromatu bude poněkud speciální, protože se jedná o můj první bilingvní článek. V tomto dílu inspiromatu se seznámíme s působivým švédským reenactorem Fredrikem Hellmanem, který ochotně odpověděl na mé otázky.

26Fredrik sám sebe nazývá „svobodným vikingem“, protože není členem žádné skupiny. Reenactmentu se věnuje od roku 2003 a dosud navštívil řadu švédských (Stallarholmen, Foteviken, Skeppen kommer, Gunnes gård, Ale, Birka), norských (Gudvangen, Borre, Bronseplatsen, Sarpsborg, Lofoten), dánských (Trelleborg, Moesgaard), polských (Wolin), estonských (Saula winterfest), finských (Saltvik), islandských (Hafnafjördur), ruských (Ladoga, Rusborg) a ukrajinských (Kyjev) historických festivalů.

Fredrik svůj přístup k reenactmentu komentuje slovy:

Snažím se zjišťovat, co je historicky korektní, namísto toho, abych kopíroval ostatní. Celkově vzato je ve Švédsku hodně lidí, kteří si myslí, že je důležitější se bavit než být dobový. Pro mě je velmi důležité, abych byl dobový, nebo abych alespoň věděl, co je správně a co je špatně.

Fredrik představuje válečníka z Birky kolem roku 900. Jeho oblečení se skládá z lněných košilí (jedna z nich je replikou byzantské tuniky nalezené v manazanských jeskyních), vlněných širokých kalhot založených na gotlandských obrazových kamenech, vlněných přeložených kaftanů (modrého a žlutého) bez knoflíků, vlněných ovinek, dvou párů kožených bot založených na nálezech z Dorestadu a Haithabu, vlněných nålbindingových ponožek a vlněných čapek, z nichž jedna má kožešinový lem a bronzový kónus vyrobený na základě hrobu Bj 644 z Birky. Fredrik dodává, že žádná část kostýmu s výjimkou ovinek není z ručně tkané látky, a současně říká, že na tomto je potřeba zapracovat. Žlutý kaftan a ovinky jsou přírodně barvené.

25Kostým doplňují opasky s bronzovými panely, které se volně zakládají na gotlandských nálezech (Fredrik dodává, že potřebuje dobovější opasky), brašna s bronzovým kováním, která je replikou brašny ze švédské Rösty, a bronzový prsten podle nálezu z Gotlandu. Díky parohovému hřebenu s bronzovou střenkou, který se zakládá na nálezu z hrobu Bj 944 v Birce, si Fredrik může pročesávat svůj mocný vous.

Fredrikova výzbroj čítá přilbu se závěsem podle nálezu z norského Gjermundbu (viz článek „Grafnir hjálmar : Komentář k vikinským přilbám, jejich vývoji a používání“), kroužkovou košili z nýtovaných kroužků kruhového průřezu (podobné kroužky byly nalezené v Birce), obouruční kopí s křidélky Petersenova typu G (Fredrikova hlavní zbraň, viz článek „O křidélkách na vikinských kopích“), dva meče Petersenových typů O a Z, které se zakládají na nálezech ze Skotska a švédské Dalarny, luk, oštěpy a sax / bojový nůž se zdobenou pochvou podle nálezů ze švédského Upplandu (viz článek „Vikinské saxy z Upplandu a Västmanlandu“). Výzbroj nezahrnuje ochranu končetin a prošívanici, protože neexistují doklady jejich používání (viz články „Ochrana končetin: tehdy a dnes“ a „Úvod do staroseverských podzbrojí). Kvůli bezpečnosti Fredrik používá kožené rukavice (viz článek „Bojové rukavice – tehdy a dnes“).

Kromě boje se Fredrik věnuje řadě dalších dobových aktivit. Dokáže rozdělat oheň křesadlem a pazourkem, vaří, hraje na vlastnoručně lyru (viz článek „Lyry ve staré Skandinávii“) a vlastní vikinský člun.

Děkuji Fredriku Hellmanovi za jeho čas a za odpovědi na mé všetečné otázky. Projekt Forlǫg přeje Fredrikovi mnoho zdaru a zajímavých momentů v jeho budoucí reenactorské kariéře.

Inspiromat #14, varjag v Byzanci

Ve čtrnáctém dílu inspiromatu se podíváme na ruského reenactora Jevgenije Danilova, alias Hǫskulða, který si svým přístupem k rekonstrukci historie získal můj naprostý obdiv.

Jevgenij pohází z Kursku. Spolu se svou ženou Julií Danilovovou vlastní výrobnu středověkých stanů a ručně šitých kostýmů, která nese jméno Familia Sartores. Historické rekonstrukci se věnuje již přes 12 let. Většinu tohoto času se zabýval rekonstrukcí Skandinávie v 9. a 10. století. Zkoušel také rekonstruovat landsknechty z 16. století, ale od toho brzy upustil. Do budoucna plánuje rekonstrukci 17. století. Poslední rok zaměřil svou pozornost na rekonstrukci varjaga v byzantských službách během 11. století. A nutno dodat, že tohoto úkolu se zhostil velmi zdařile.

Jevgenijova postava, Hǫskulð, se narodila kolem roku 1010 na Gotlandu. V 16ti letech zabil v potyčce chlapíka, vzal jeho opasek s mistrovským nožem a utekl ze země do Norska. Tam se nechal najmout jarlem a roku 1027 se zúčastnil výpravy Óláfa Svatého proti Dánům. O rok později, po Óláfově porážce, utekl spolu s Óláfem do Švédska a na Rus (Garðaríki). Hǫskulð doprovázel Óláfa i roku 1030, když se znovu vrátil na norský trůn, a stál po jeho boku v bitvě u Stiklestadu. Po Óláfově smrti se ve věku 20 let odebral s Haraldem Óláfssonem na Rus a nechal se najmout Jaroslavem Moudrým (Jarizleifr). Odtud se roku 1034 Harald vydal na jih s počtem asi pěti set mužů a vstoupil do služeb byzantského císaře. Hǫskulð Starý byl mezi nimi.

Jevgenijův kostým se skládá z lněných spodků, na nichž se nacházejí očka na připevnění nohavic ze vzorovaného brokátu. Nohy chrání vysoká kožená obuv, která se zakládá na nálezech z Novgorodu. Tělo halí tunika byzantského stylu, která je replikou tunik nalezené v manazanských jeskyních. Tunika je zdobená potištěným hedvábím (tištěný motiv byl nalezen na byzantské dalmatice) a její střih a dekorace lze doložit byzantskými obrazovými prameny. Další součástí kostýmu je vlněný kaftan vyrobený na způsob byzantského scaramangionu, který je zdoben stříbrnými knoflíky a vzorovaným hedvábím. Kaftan je přepásán replikou opaskové sady nalezené na Gotlandu. Na opasku je zavěšena brašna a nůž v pochvě. Na hrudi je kaftan přepásán hedvábnou stuhou (pectorarion). Kostým dotváří bojový plášť (sagion) s našitými hedvábnými tabliony a stolová čapka lemovaná stuhou z hedvábí a stříbrného drátu, případně šátek nebo kápě. Stojí za zmínku, že Jevgenijova žena Julie stihla textilní části kostýmu ušít za tři dny.

Bitevní kostým tvoří kroužková košile, kónická přilba, jednobřitý meč typu C, obouruční sekera podle nálezu z gotlandského Hejde a replika saxu podle dosud nezveřejněného gotlandského nálezu (tzv. „sax z krabice“).

Detailní popis Jevgenijova kostýmu i s předlohami můžete najít v jeho kostýmovém pasu.

Za poskytnutí fotek a za detailní popis svého kostýmu děkuji Jevgeniji Danilovovi.

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

Sokolnictví vikinského období

Tento víkend jsem se svými příteli navštívil hrad Křivoklát, kde jsme měli možnost setkat se se sokolníkem, pohovořit o jeho práci a vyfotit se dravcem. V některých z nás zanechala tato zkušenost tak hluboký otisk, že jsem se rozhodl přeložit článek norského archeologa Frans-Arne Hedlunda Stylegara Viking Age hawking, který volně navazuje na můj příspěvek „Sokolnictví vendelského období“.

Článek o dobovém sokolnictví si můžete přečíst nebo stáhnout zde:
Sokolnictví vikinského období

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.