Invincible berserka of ancient Vikings - who are they?
Ancient Scandinavian sagas informed us of legends of invincible soldiers which, overwhelmed by fighting rage, with one sword or the axe rushed into ranks of enemies, breaking everything on the way. Modern scientists do not doubt their reality, but much of history of berserok remains unsolved secret also today.
Most of all mentions of berserka in sagas IX-XI of centuries when Vikings (Normans) by the high-speed ships - Viking ships directed horror at the people of Europe. It seemed that before them no what can resist. Under blows of Vikings in the VIII-IX centuries such large cities as London, Bordeaux, Paris, the Orleans fell. What to tell about small towns and villages, their Normans devastated immediately. Often in the occupied territories they created own states, for example, the Duchy of Normandy and the Sicilian kingdom.
Usually berserka started each fight, one look directing horror at enemies. If to trust sagas, they did not use an armor, preferring them a bear skin. The board which edges they in rage gnawed before fight is in certain cases mentioned. The fighting axe and a sword which they perfectly knew were the main weapon of berserok.
One of the first mentions of invincible soldiers which reached us was left skald by Torbyyorn Hornklovi who composed at the end of the 9th century the saga about a victory in battle at Havrsfyorda of the king Harald Prekrasnowolosy, the creator of the Norwegian kingdom. The probability is high that its description documentary: “ Berserki, dressed in bear skins, growled, shook by swords, bit edge of the board in rage and rushed on the enemies. They were obsessed and did not feel pain even if they were struck by a spear. When fight was won, soldiers fell flat-out and sank into a deep sleep “.
Similar descriptions of actions of berserok can be found in fight also at other authors. For example, in the saga about Inglingakh: “ Muzhi Odin rushed to fight without chain armor, and yaritsya as if Reservoir Dogs or wolves. Waiting for fight from the impatience and rage bubbling in them gnawed teeth the boards and hands till it bleeds. They were strong as if bears or bulls. With animal roar they struck the enemy, and neither fire, nor iron did them harm... “.
Paid attention, it is this time mentioned that they were Odin`s soldiers - the Supreme deity of Scandinavians to which after death in fight souls of great soldiers go to feast with same, as well as they, and to enjoy men of courage love of heavenly maidens. Probably, berserka were representatives of special group (caste) of professional soldiers who were trained for fights since childhood, devoting not only in a subtlety of military skill, but also training in art to enter the fighting trance aggravating all feelings of the fighter and allowing to be shown to the hidden opportunities of a human body.
It is natural that in fight it was extraordinary difficult to overcome such fighters. At fear, as they say, eyes are big therefore similar lines appeared in sagas: “ Odin was able to do so that in fight his enemies grew blind or became deaf, or they were covered by fear, or their swords became not more sharply, than sticks “. Traditionally, berserka made the advance party starting fight. Long they could not battle (the fighting trance cannot long proceed), having broken ranks of enemies and having laid the foundation of a general victory, they left a battlefield to ordinary soldiers who finished defeat of the opponent.
Probably, bringing itself to a condition of a trance did not do without reception of certain psychotropic drugs, to the allowing berserka as if “ to turn “ in powerful and invincible bears. Oborotnichestvo knows at many people when as a result of an illness or reception of special preparations of people identified himself with an animal and even copied separate lines of his behavior.
In sagas the emphasis on invulnerability of berserok is not for nothing placed. In fight the consciousness as the subconsciousness allowing " directed them not so; to include “ not peculiar to the person in ordinary life of quality - the aggravated reaction, expanded peripheral sight, tolerance to pain, and it is possible, and some ekstrasensorny abilities. In fight berserk literally felt the arrows flying to it and a spear, expected from where blows of swords and axes will follow, so, could strike aside blow, be covered from it with a board or evade. It were really universal soldiers, but such are necessary only for fights.
Normans were at war often, so, and it was necessary to reincarnate to berserka not seldom. Probably, the ecstasy fight became for them something similar to drug addiction, and it is possible, practically that and was. Therefore, in principle were not adapted for peaceful life of a berserka, becoming dangerous to society as they needed dangers and thrills. And if there is no war, then it is always possible to provoke a fight or to be engaged in a robbery.
As soon as having been satiated with occupations of others lands Normans began to pass to settled quiet life, berserka were superfluous. It was accurately shown in sagas, in them since the end of the 11th century of a berserka from former heroes turn into robbers and villains which declares ruthless war. It is curious that it was recommended to kill berserok with wooden stakes as against " iron; they are impregnable “.
At the beginning of the 12th century in the Scandinavian countries even the special laws directed to fight against berserka which expelled were adopted or ruthlessly destroyed. Someone from the former impregnable soldiers could join new life, was considered that for this purpose they should be christened, then the faith in Christ will relieve them of fighting madness. The others, it is possible that they made the majority of the former military elite, were forced to run to other lands or were simply interrupted.
Since then great soldiers of ancient Scandinavia remained only in legends. Perhaps, all of them - that feast in Odin`s halls, remembering former victories and prostrate enemies behind intoxicated cups, with a smile watching efforts of scientists to solve an origin of the word “ berserk “. That, in due time they nicely did some fighting, now it is possible and to have a rest.
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