Estandarte do corvo

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Interpretación moderna do estandarte do corvo.
Detalle dun estandarte do corvo no Tapiz de Bayeux.

O estandarte do corvo (en nórdico antigo, Hrafnsmerki; en anglosaxón, Hravenlandeye) foi unha bandeira posibelmente de natureza totémica empregada por varios xefes tribais viquingos e outros rexentes escandinavos entre os séculos IX e XI. A bandeira é descrita na arte nórdica de forma aproximadamente triangular, co bordo externo redondeado, de onde colgan unha serie de lingüetas e borlas. Posúe certa similitude cos cataventos finamente tallados empregados nas proas dos drakkar.[1]

Conxectúrase que o estandarte do corvo era un símbolo do deus da guerra Odín, quen ás veces era descrito coa compañía de dous corvos chamados Hugin e Munin, e a súa intención ao portala en batalla puido ser provocar o temor dos inimigos invocando o poder do deus. Como sinala Hrafnhildur Bodvarsdottir con respecto aos encontros entre os anglosaxóns cristiáns e os pagáns invasores escandinavos:[2]

Os anglosaxóns probablemente pensaban que os estandartes estaban imbuidos con poderes malignos dos ídolos pagáns, xa que os anglosaxóns eran conscientes do significado de Óðinn e os seus corvos na mitoloxía nórdica.

— Hrafnhildur Bodvarsdottir

O simbolismo do corvo na cultura escandinava[editar | editar a fonte]

Casco da era de Vendel cun protector de nariz con forma de corvo, no Museo Histórico de Estocolmo.
Imaxes de corvos nun escudo sueco da era de Vendel, no Museo Histórico de Estocolmo.

O corvo é unha figura icónica común na mitoloxía nórdica. O deus maior Odín, tiña dous corvos chamados Hugin e Munin («Pensamento» e «Memoria» respectivamente) que voaban arredor do mundo traéndolle novas de todo o que sucedía. Por elo, un dos moitos nomes de Odín era «deus corvo» (Hrafnaguð). En Gylfaginning, relátase o seguinte:

Huginn ok Muninn
fljúga hverjan dag
Jörmungrund yfir;
óumk ek of Hugin,
at hann aftr né komi-t,
þó sjámk meir of Munin.
Hugin e Munin
voan todos os días
ao redor do mundo;
temo por Hugin
que non regrese,
aínda máis temo por Munin.
Edda poética - Grímnismál, estrofas 19 e 20.[3][4]

Odín estaba tamén estreitamente relacionado cos corvos porque nos mitos nórdicos recibía aos guerreiros caídos no Valhalla, e, ao mesmo tempo, os cuervos estaban relacionados coa morte e a guerra debido á súa predilección pola prea. Por conseguinte, é probable que foran considerados como manifestacións das valquirias, quen escollían os guerreiros mortos en batalla para levalos xunto a Odín.[5] A relación entre os corvos e as valquirias debíase ao feito de que tanto as deusas como as valquirias adoitaban mudar a súa forma e tomar a aparencia de paxaros. Exemplos delo son Þrymskviða, en que Freyja presta a Loki o seu traxe de paxaro,[6] e o relato da valquiria Kára en Hrómundar saga Gripssonar.[7]

A figura do corvo aparece na maioría dos poemas escáldicos describindo a guerra. Facer a guerra era «alimentar e satisfacer» os corvos (hrafna seðja, hrafna gleðja).[8] Un exemplo disto encóntrase en Norna-Gests þáttr, onde Regin recita o seguinte poema logo de que Sigurd matara aos fillos de Hunding:

Nú er blóðugr örn
breiðum hjörvi
bana Sigmundar
á baki ristinn.
Fár var fremri,
sá er fold rýðr,
hilmis nefi,
ok hugin gladdi.
Agora a aguia de sangue,
coa ancha espada,
o asasino de Sigmund,
tallada nas súas costas.
Poucos foron máis valentes,
cando as tropas se dispersaron,
un xefe do pobo,
quien fixo ao corvo feliz.
Norna-Gests þáttr, capítulo 6.[9][10]
O escudo da Illa de Man, un antigo reino dominado polos nórdicos; nótese a presenza o corvo sostendo o escudo á dereita.

Nos kenningar empregados na poesía nórdica, descríbese o corvo como un paxaro de sangue, cadáveres e batallas; é a gaivota da onda na pía de cadáveres, cuxos chillidos estrélanse como sarabia e ansía a carne na mañán cando chega ao mar de corpos (Hlakkar hagli stokkin már valkastar báru, krefr morginbráðar er kemr at hræs sævi).[11]

En negras bandadas, os corvos planean sobre os cadáveres e o escaldo pregunta a onde se dirixen (Hvert stefni þér hrafnar hart með flokk hinn svarta).[12] O corvo vai na procura do sangue dos caídos en batalla (Ód hrafn í valblóði).[13] Voa dende o campo de batalla con sangue no seu peteiro, carne humana nas súas garras e o cheiro dos cadáveres na súa boca (Með dreyrgu nefi, hold loðir í klóum en hræs þefr ór munni).[14] Os corvos tiveron cada vez máis connotacións infernais e, nunha obra cristiá tan temperá como Sólarljóð, menciónase que os corvos de Hel (heljar hrafnar) arrincan os ollos dos insolentes.[15] Dúas maldiciones na Edda poética din «que os corvos arrinquen o teu corazón partido en dous» (Þit skyli hjarta rafnar slíta).[16] e «os corvos te arrinquen os ollos na alta forca» (Hrafnar skulu þér á hám galga slíta sjónir ór).[17] Son entón vistos como instrumentos de xustiza divina cando esta era severa e desagradable.

A pesar das violentas e infernais imaxes coas que eran asociados, os primeiros escandinavos vían os corvos como figuras positivas; a batalla e a xustiza severa non eran vistas de forma desfavorable na cultura nórdica.[18][19] Moitos nomes en nórdico antiguo fan referencia ao corvo, tales como Hrafn,[20] Hrafnkel[21] e Hrafnhild.[22]

Usos[editar | editar a fonte]

Finais do século IX[editar | editar a fonte]

The raven banner was used by a number of Viking warlords regarded in Norse tradition as the sons of Ragnar Lodbrok. The first mention of a Viking force carrying a raven banner is in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. For the year 878, the Chronicle relates:

And in the winter of this same year the brother of Ivar and Halfdan landed in Wessex, in Devonshire, with 23 ships, and there was he slain, and 800 men with him, and 40 of his army. There also was taken the war-flag (guðfani), which they called "Raven".

The 12th-century Annals of St Neots claims that a raven banner was present with the Great Heathen Army and adds insight into its seiðr- (witchcraft-) influenced creation and totemic and oracular nature:[Cómpre referencia]

Dicunt enim quod tres sorores Hynguari et Hubbe, filie uidelicet Lodebrochi, illud uexillum tex'u'erunt et totum parauerunt illud uno meridiano tempore. Dicunt etiam quod, in omni bello ubi praecederet idem signum, si uictoriam adepturi essent, appareret in medio signi quasi coruus uiuus uolitans; si uero uincendi in futuro fuissent, penderet directe nichil mouens — et hoc sepe probatum est[23]

It is said that three sisters of Hingwar and Habba [Ivar and Ubbe], i.e., the daughters of Ragnar Loðbrok, had woven that banner and gotten it ready during one single midday's time. Further it is said that if they were going to win a battle in which they followed that signum, there was to be seen, in the center of the signum, a raven, gaily flapping its wings. But if they were going to be defeated, the raven dropped motionless. And this always proved true.[24][25]

Geffrei Gaimar's Estorie des Engles (written around 1140) mentions the Hrafnsmerki being borne by the army of Ubbe at the Battle of Cynwit (878): "[t]he Raven was Ubbe's banner (gumfanun). He was the brother of Iware; he was buried by the vikings in a very big mound in Devonshire, called Ubbelawe."[26]

Século X[editar | editar a fonte]

Possible depiction of the raven banner on the reverse of a penny minted by Olaf Cuaran (940s).
A "raven, wings displayed" on a penny minted by Olaf Cuaran (940s), "appears to represent the Viking war standard, the raven, probably derived from the Roman aquila."[27]

In the 10th century, the raven banner seems to have been adopted by Norse-Gaelic kings of Dublin and Northumbria.Modelo:Or Many of the Norse-Gaelic dynasts in Britain and Ireland were of the Uí Ímair clan, which claimed descent from Ragnar Lodbrok through his son Ivar. A triangular banner appearing to depict a bird (possibly a raven)Modelo:Or appears on a penny minted by Olaf Cuaran around 940. The coin features a roughly right isosceles triangular standard, with the two equilateral sides situated at the top and staff, respectively. Along the hypotenuse are a series of five tabs or tassels. The staff is topped by what appears to be a cross;Modelo:Or this may indicate a fusion of pagan and Christian symbolism.Modelo:Or

The raven banner was also a standard used by the Norse Jarls of Orkney. According to the Orkneyinga Saga, it was made for Sigurd the Stout by his mother, a völva or shamanic seeress. She told him that the banner would "bring victory to the man it's carried before, but death to the one who carries it." The saga describes the flag as "a finely made banner, very cleverly embroidered with the figure of a raven, and when the banner fluttered in the breeze, the raven seemed to be flying ahead." Sigurd's mother's prediction came true when, according to the sagas, all of the bearers of the standard met untimely ends.[28] The "curse" of the banner ultimately fell on Jarl Sigurd himself at the Battle of Clontarf:

Earl Sigurd had a hard battle against Kerthialfad, and Kerthialfad came on so fast that he laid low all who were in the front rank, and he broke the array of Earl Sigurd right up to his banner, and slew the banner-bearer. Then he got another man to bear the banner, and there was again a hard fight. Kerthialfad smote this man too his death blow at once, and so on one after the other all who stood near him. Then Earl Sigurd called on Thorstein the son of Hall of Sida, to bear the banner, and Thorstein was just about to lift the banner, but then Asmund the White said, "Don't bear the banner! For all they who bear it get their death." "Hrafn the Red!" called out Earl Sigurd, "bear thou the banner." "Bear thine own devil thyself," answered Hrafn. Then the earl said, "`Tis fittest that the beggar should bear the bag;'" and with that he took the banner from the staff and put it under his cloak. A little after Asmund the White was slain, and then the earl was pierced through with a spear.[29]

Principios do século XI[editar | editar a fonte]

Detail from the Bayeux Tapestry, showing a Norman knight carrying what appears to be a raven banner.

The army of King Cnut the Great of England, Norway and Denmark bore a raven banner made from white silk at the Battle of Ashingdon in 1016. The Encomium Emmae reports that Cnut had

a banner which gave a wonderful omen. I am well aware that this may seem incredible to the reader, but nevertheless I insert it in my veracious work because it is true: This banner was woven of the cleanest and whitest silk and no picture of any figures was found on it. In case of war, however, a raven was always to be seen, as if it were woven into it. If the Danes were going to win the battle, the raven appeared, beak wide open, flapping its wings and restless on its feet. If they were going to be defeated, the raven did not stir at all, and its limbs hung motionless.[30]

The Lives of Waltheof and his Father Sivard Digri (The Stout), the Earl of Northumberland, written by a monk of Crowland Abbey (possibly the English historian William of Ramsey), reports that the Danish jarl of Northumbria, Sigurd, was given a banner by an unidentified old sage. The banner was called Ravenlandeye.[31]

According to the Heimskringla, Harald Hardrada flew a raven banner called Landøyðan or "Land-waster"; whether this was the same banner as that flown by Sigurd of Northumbria is unclear. In a conversation between Harald and King Sweyn II of Denmark,

Sveinn asked Haraldr which of his possessions of his he valued most highly. He answered that it was his banner (merki), Landøyðan. Thereupon Sveinn asked what virtue it had to be accounted so valuable. Haraldr replied that it was prophesied that victory would be his before whom this banner was borne; and added that this had been the case ever since he had obtained it. Thereupon Sveinn said, "I shall believe that your flag has this virtue if you fight three battles with King Magnús, your kinsman, and are victorious in all."[32]

Years later, during Harald's invasion of England, Harald fought a pitched battle against two English earls outside York. Harald's Saga relates that

when King Haraldr saw that the battle array of the English had come down along the ditch right opposite them, he had the trumpets blown and sharply urged his men to the attack, raising his banner called Landøyðan. And there so strong an attack was made by him that nothing held against it.[33]

Detail from the Bayeux tapestry, showing a broken raven banner lying on the ground.

Harald's army flew the banner at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, where it was carried by a warrior named Frírek. After Harald was struck by an arrow and killed, his army fought fiercely for possession of the banner, and some of them went berserk in their frenzy to secure the flag. In the end the "magic" of the banner failed, and the bulk of the Norwegian army was slaughtered, with only a few escaping to their ships.[34]

Other than the dragon banner of Olaf II of Norway, the Landøyðan of Harald Hardrada is the only early Norwegian royal standard described by Snorri Sturluson in the Heimskringla.[35]

In two panels of the famous Bayeux tapestry, standards are shown which appear to be raven banners. The Bayeux tapestry was commissioned by Bishop Odo, the half-brother of William the Conqueror; as one of the combatants at the Battle of Hastings, Odo would have been familiar with the standards carried into the fight. In one of the panels, depicting a Norman cavalry charge against an English shield-wall, a charging Norman knight is depicted with a semicircular banner emblazoned with a standing black bird. In a second, depicting the deaths of Harold Godwinson's brothers, a triangular banner closely resembling that shown on Olaf Cuaran's coin lies broken on the ground. Scholars are divided as to whether these are simply relics of the Normans' Scandinavian heritage (or for that matter, the Scandinavian influence in Anglo-Saxon England) or whether they reflect an undocumented Norse presence in either the Norman or English army.[36]

Notas[editar | editar a fonte]

  1. Priest-Dorman, Carolyn (setembro de 2000). "Personal Display for Viking Age Personae: A Primer for Use in the SCA" (en inglés). Society for Creative Anachronism. Consultado o 1 de agosto de 2019. 
  2. * Hrafnhildur Bodvarsdottir. The Function of the Beasts of Battle in Old English Poetry. PhD Dissertation, 1976, State University of New York at Stony Brook. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International. 1989.
  3. Sturluson, Snorri. "Grímnismál". Edda poética (en inglés). trad. H. A. Bellows (1936). Consultado o 7 de agosto de 2019. 
  4. Jónsson, Guđni. "Grímnismál". Edda poética (en inglés). Versión en nórdico antigo. Arquivado dende o orixinal o 09 de maio de 2007. Consultado o 7 de agosto de 2019. 
  5. "Valkyries, Wish-Maidens, and Swan-Maids" (en inglés). The Viking Answer Lady. Consultado o 7 de agosto de 2019. 
  6. Sturluson, Snorri. "Þrymskviða". Edda poética (en inglés). trad. H. A. Bellows (1936). Arquivado dende o orixinal o 02 de maio de 2008. Consultado o 7 de agosto de 2019. 
  7. Skálmarnes, Rolf. "Hrómundar saga Gripssonar, capítulo 7". trad. Gavin Chappell. Arquivado dende o orixinal o 03 de marzo de 2008. Consultado o 7 de agosto de 2019. 
  8. Hjelmquist, Theodor (1891). "Naturskildringarna i den norröna diktningen, p. 142" (en inglés). Consultado o 7 de agosto de 2019. 
  9. "Norna-Gests þáttr, capítulo 6". Versión en nórdico antigo (en inglés). Consultado o 7 de agosto de 2019. 
  10. "Norna-Gests þáttr, capítulo 6". trad. George L. Hardman. Arquivado dende o orixinal o 14 de maio de 2006. Consultado o 7 de agosto de 2019. 
  11. Hjelmquist, Theodor (1891). "Naturskildringarna i den norröna diktningen p. 143" (en inglés). Consultado o 7 de agosto de 2019. 
  12. Anónimo. "Bjarnar Saga Hitdælakappa". Consultado o 12 de agosto de 2019. 
  13. [Ligazón morta]
  14. trad. Lee M. Hollander (ed.). "Haraldskvæði, estrofas 2 y 3".  Parámetro descoñecido |nombre= ignorado (suxírese |nome=) (Axuda); Parámetro descoñecido |apellido= ignorado (suxírese |apelidos=) (Axuda)
  15. trad. Benjamin Thorpe (1866) (ed.). "Sólarljóð, estrofa 67". Edda poética. Arquivado dende o orixinal o 03 de marzo de 2008. Consultado o 31 de xullo de 2019.  Parámetro descoñecido |apellido= ignorado (suxírese |apelidos=) (Axuda); Parámetro descoñecido |urlarchivo= ignorado (suxírese |url-arquivo=) (Axuda); Parámetro descoñecido |fechaarchivo= ignorado (suxírese |data-arquivo=) (Axuda); Parámetro descoñecido |nombre= ignorado (suxírese |nome=) (Axuda)
  16. trad. Benjamin Thorpe (ed.). "Guðrúnarkviða II, estrofa 9". Edda poética. Arquivado dende o orixinal o 03 de marzo de 2008. Consultado o 31 de xullo de 2019.  Parámetro descoñecido |apellido= ignorado (suxírese |apelidos=) (Axuda); Parámetro descoñecido |urlarchivo= ignorado (suxírese |url-arquivo=) (Axuda); Parámetro descoñecido |fechaarchivo= ignorado (suxírese |data-arquivo=) (Axuda); Parámetro descoñecido |nombre= ignorado (suxírese |nome=) (Axuda)
  17. trad. Eysteinn Björnsson (ed.). "Fjölsvinnsmál, estrofa 45". Edda poética. Arquivado dende o orixinal o 04 de xuño de 2001. Consultado o 31 de xullo de 2019.  Parámetro descoñecido |apellido= ignorado (suxírese |apelidos=) (Axuda); Parámetro descoñecido |urlarchivo= ignorado (suxírese |url-arquivo=) (Axuda); Parámetro descoñecido |fechaacceso= ignorado (suxírese |data-acceso=) (Axuda); Parámetro descoñecido |fechaarchivo= ignorado (suxírese |data-arquivo=) (Axuda); Parámetro descoñecido |nombre= ignorado (suxírese |nome=) (Axuda)
  18. University of Toronto Press (ed.). Viking Poems on War and Peace: A Study in Skaldic Narrative. ISBN 0802058671.  Parámetro descoñecido |nombre= ignorado (suxírese |nome=) (Axuda); Parámetro descoñecido |apellido= ignorado (suxírese |apelidos=) (Axuda); Parámetro descoñecido |fecha= ignorado (suxírese |data=) (Axuda)
  19. "The Ideal of Men Dying with their Lord in the Germania and in The Battle of Maldon". Anglo-Saxon England.  Parámetro descoñecido |nombre= ignorado (suxírese |nome=) (Axuda); Parámetro descoñecido |apellido= ignorado (suxírese |apelidos=) (Axuda); Parámetro descoñecido |volumen= ignorado (suxírese |volume=) (Axuda); Parámetro descoñecido |año= ignorado (suxírese |ano=) (Axuda); Parámetro descoñecido |páginas= ignorado (suxírese |páxinas=) (Axuda)
  20. Anónimo. "Gunnlaugs saga". 
  21. Anónimo. "Hrafnkels saga". Arquivado dende o orixinal o 29 de xuño de 2012. Consultado o 02 de agosto de 2019.  Parámetro descoñecido |urlarchivo= ignorado (suxírese |url-arquivo=) (Axuda); Parámetro descoñecido |fechaarchivo= ignorado (suxírese |data-arquivo=) (Axuda)
  22. Anónimo. trad. Gavin Chappel, ed. "Ketils saga hœngs, capítulo 3". Arquivado dende o orixinal o 03 de marzo de 2008. Consultado o 31 de xullo de 2019.  Parámetro descoñecido |urlarchivo= ignorado (suxírese |url-arquivo=) (Axuda); Parámetro descoñecido |fechaarchivo= ignorado (suxírese |data-arquivo=) (Axuda)
  23. Annals of St Neots (878), ed. Dumville and Lapidge, p. 78.
  24. Lukman 141
  25. Cf. Grimm's earlier edition and translation: [V]exillum quod reafan vocant. Dicunt enim quod tres sorores Hungari et Habbae, filiae videlicet Lodebrochi illud vexillum texuerunt, et totum paraverunt illud uno meridiano tempore. Dicunt etiam quod in omni bello, ubi praecederet idem signum, si victoriam adepturi essent, appareret in medio signi quasi corvus vivus volitans; sin vero vincendi in futuro fuissent, penderet directe nihil movens: et hoc saepe probatum est. "The daughters of Loðbrók had woven that banner and finished it during one single midday's time. It also is said that in any battle where the signum was borne before them, if they were to win victory one would see in the middle of the signum a living raven flying; but if they were about to be defeated, it hung straight and still." Grimm ch. 35
  26. Lukman, 141–42.
  27. Herbert Appold Grueber, Handbook of the coins of Great Britain and Ireland in the British Museum. London/Oxford: British Museum. Dept. of Coins and Medals & the Clarendon Press, 1899, p. 20 (no. 117).
  28. Orkneyinga Saga § 11.
  29. Njal's Saga §156.
  30. Trætteberg 549–55.
  31. Lukman 148. The Crowland author comments on the name of the banner, "quod interpretatur corvus terrae terror," "which means Raven, terror of the land."
  32. Haralds saga Sigurðarsonar § 22.
  33. Haralds saga Sigurðarsonar § 85.
  34. Haralds saga Sigurðarsonar § 88.
  35. Cappelen 34–37.
  36. Barraclough passim. It should, of course, be noted that by 1066, all of the armies involved in hostilities in the British Isles, Norwegian, English and Norman, were at least nominally Christian. The Normans were in many ways, including linguistically, quite far removed from their Norse origins.

Véxase tamén[editar | editar a fonte]

Bibliografía[editar | editar a fonte]

Outros artigos[editar | editar a fonte]

Ligazóns externas[editar | editar a fonte]