Read e-book online Ancient Germanic Warriors: Warrior Styles from Trajan's PDF

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By Michael P. Speidel

ISBN-10: 0203475879

ISBN-13: 9780203475874

ISBN-10: 0415311993

ISBN-13: 9780415311991

Featuring a number proof for those various kinds, from Roman artwork to early medieval bracteate amulets, and from classical texts to Beowulf, the Edda and Icelandic sagas, Professor Speidel right here info seventeen diverse Germanic warriors types, together with berserks, wolf-warriors, club-wielders, long-hairs, ghost warriors and horse-stabbers, and the way they point out an unbroken continuity of customs, ideals and battle-field strategies. historical Germanic warriors performed a decisive position in old occasions from two hundred BC, whilst Germanic tradition first grew to become identifiable, to advert a thousand while Christianity swept throughout the Nordic international locations. coming up from ideals and states of brain, a number of warrior kinds manifested themselves in transformations of costume, weaponry and scuffling with strategy. totally illustrated with over fifty photos, this brilliant and engaging survey provides a colorful new size to our figuring out of the historical past of Europe.

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Extra info for Ancient Germanic Warriors: Warrior Styles from Trajan's Column to Icelandic Sagas

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The fact that Hornklofi pairs berserkir and úlfheðnar (wolf-warriors) suggests that both are animal-warriors and that his berserks, as their name says, are bear-warriors. 23 The howling and snorting of Hornklofi’s warriors also matched their identification with animals. Wolves, of course, howl, and Hornklofi’s verb emjuðu denotes the howling of wolves. Attacking bears, on the other hand, snort: they push short bursts of air through their teeth and open lips. Hornklofi’s grenjuðu seems to mean just that, for the sound of grenja is that of a broken sword-blade swishing to the ground.

Vendel helmets, however, have no such centered, three-figure scenes. Instead they display corresponding two-figure scenes on the left and right front panels. 6) is a very close parallel to the leftfacing Gutenstein warrior. 64 A clue to the meaning of the Gutenstein scenes is the right-facing wolf-warrior who bows his head, drops his spear, and (with outsize thumb) offers his sword to Woden. 4 The Gutenstein dies reconstructed. Drawing by author. conveyed a widely known meaning and an essential role of Woden.

111 As long as the ancient religion lasted, wolf-warriors were Woden’s mythic fighters at the heart of Germanic warrior society. Being fearsome fighters, they, like bear-warriors and berserks, could become a king’s champions. 112 Like berserks (with whom they are sometimes confused), they were often the twelve champions of a king. When Christianity overthrew Woden worship, wolf-warriordom lost its religious underpinning. In sagas from the twelfth century and later, wolf-warriors are mad berserks.

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Ancient Germanic Warriors: Warrior Styles from Trajan's Column to Icelandic Sagas by Michael P. Speidel

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