Gàmbara, il nome, il paese,
la famiglia, nel mito, nella storia...
Il Mito di Gàmbara Valchiria
Madre-Regina dei Longobardi
Gambara, the name, the town, the family, in the myth, in the history ...
The Myth of Gambara Valkyrie Mother-Queen of the Lombards
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
The Vinils, increased in the islands of Scandinavia to such an extent that they
could no longer live there together. Thus they divided themselves into three
groups and drew lots.
When the lots were cast and a third of the Vinils had to leave their homeland
and seek new lives abroad, they were led by two brothers Ibor and Ayo,
energetic young men. Their mother, whose name was Gàmbara, was an
intelligent and clever woman, whose wise counsel they heeded in time of need.
In their search for a country where they might settle they came to the region
called Schoringen, and remained there several years.
The Vandals, a rugged and warlike people, lived nearby. They heard of their
arrival and sent messengers to them, proclaiming that the Vinils either would
have to pay tribute to the Vandals or face them in battle.
Ibor and Ayo sought counsel from their mother Gàmbara, and they
that it would be better to fight for their freedom than to contaminate it with
tribute, and they communicated this to the Vandals. Now the Vinils were brave
and powerful warriors, but they were few in number.
The Vandals approached Wodan, beseeching from him victory over the Vinils.
The god answered: "I will grant victory to the first ones I see at sunrise."
Gàmbara, on the other hand, approached Frea, Wodan's wife, and beseeched
from her victory for the Vinils. Frea responded with the advice that the Vinil
women should untie their hair and arrange it across their face like a beard, and
that they should thus accompany their men in the early morning to the window
from which Wodan customarily looked out.
They did as they were advised, and at sunrise, Wodan, upon looking out,
shouted: "Who are these Longbeards?"
Frea replied: "To the ones you give a name, you must also give victory."
thus Wodan gave them the victory, and from that time forth the Vinils have been
called Longbeards (Langobards).
Ultimately they founded a permanent settlement in Italy.
Source: Abstracted from Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Deutsche Sagen
(1816/1818), nos. 388, 390. The Grimms' source is Paulus Diaconus (ca. 725-
This is one of the few ancient stories about Germanic gods to survive outside of
Frea is better known as Frigg in Scandinavian sources.
Wodan is better known as Odin in Scandinavian sources.
Revised February 12, 1997.
Giacomo e Guglielmo Grimm
I Winnili, crebbero e si moltiplicarono nelle isole della Scandinavia a tal punto
che non poterono più vivere insieme là. Così si divisero in tre gruppi ed
estrassero a sorte.
Quando la scelta fu decisa ed un terzo dei Winnili dovette lasciare la sua terra
natale per cercare nuova vita all'estero, essi furono guidati da due fratelli Ibor ed
Ayo, due giovani energici. La loro madre, il nome della quale era Gàmbara,
era una donna intelligente e capace, ed i suoi saggi consigli furono di guida nei
momenti del bisogno.
Nella loro ricerca d'un paese di residenza esse giunsero nella regione chiamata
Schoringen ed ivi rimasero per parecchi anni.
I Vandali, un popolo forte e bellicoso, viveva li vicino. Essi sentirono del loro
arrivo ed inviarono loro messaggeri, che imposero ai Winnili o di pagare tributi
ai Vandali o di affrontarli in battaglia.
Ibor ed Ayo chiesero consiglio alla loro madre Gàmbara e unanimemente
decisero che sarebbe stato meglio combattere per la libertà che contaminarla
con tributi, e lo comunicarono ai Vandali.
I Winnili erano guerrieri coraggiosi e potenti, ma erano pochi di numero.
I Vandali si rivolsero a Wodan, invocando da lui la vittoria sui Winnili. Il dio
rispose: "assegnerò la vittoria a coloro che vedrò per primi all'alba".
Gàmbara, dall'altra parte, si rivolse a Frea, moglie di Wodan ed
invocò da lei
la vittoria per i Winnili. Frea rispose con il consiglio, che le donne dei Winnili
avrebbero dovuto sciogliere i loro capelli ed acconciarli di traverso sulla loro
faccia come una barba e che così acconciate avrebbero dovuto accompagnare
i loro uomini nella prima mattina di fronte alla finestra dalla quale Wodan
Essi fecero come suggerito loro, ed all' alba, Wodan, guardando fuori,
escalmò: "chi sono questi Lunghebarbe?"
Frea rispose: "a quelli ai quali voi adesso avete dato un nome, voi dovete anche
dare la vittoria." E così Wodan diede loro la vittoria, e da allora in poi i Winnili
vennero chiamati Lunghebarbe (Longobardi).
Alla fine essi fondarono un insediamento permanente in Italia.
Fonte: Estratto da Saghe Tedesche (1816/1818), no. 388, 390 di Giacomo
Guglielmo Grimm. La fonte dei Grimm è Paolo Diacono (ca. 725-ca. 799).
Questa è una delle poche storie antiche sugli dei germanici che sopravvivono
fuori dalla Scandinavia.
Frea è meglio conosciuta come Frigg nelle fonti scandinave.
Wodan è meglio conosciuto come Odin nelle fonti scandinave.
Modificato 12 Febbraio 1997.
nel destino dell'Europa e dell'Italia.
Quando scendono dal nord, guidati da re Alboino, il mondo posto-romano è
ancora confuso e i suoi equilibri tutt'altro che definiti. Sono chiamati barbari ma
di Goffredo Adinolfi
Winnili women with their hair tied as beards looking up at Wodan and Frigga (1905) by Emil
The migration of the Lombards according to Paulus Diaconus (ca. 725- ca. 799)
Informazioni sulla religiosità scandinava pre-cristiana
Scandinavian Mythology, pre-Christian religious beliefs of the Scandinavian people.
The Scandinavian legends and myths about ancient heroes, gods, and the creation and
of the universe developed out of the original common mythology of the Germanic peoples (Ed. note:
This is a common theory among Germanic scholars, who tend to believe that the Sax invented
everything. The truth is that the Nordic, both Wanr & Aesr, and the Saxon (Germanic) mythology
originated in, and developed from, India and the Vedas) and constitute the primary source of
knowledge about ancient German mythology. Because Scandinavian mythology was transmitted
and altered by medieval Christian historians, the original pagan religious beliefs, attitudes, and
practices cannot be determined with certainty. Clearly, however, Scandinavian mythology
developed slowly, and the relative importance of different gods and heroes varied at different times
and places. Thus, the cult of Odin, chief of the gods, may have spread from western Germany to
Scandinavia not long before the myths were recorded; minor gods including Ull, the fertility god
Njord 1, and Heimdall may represent older deities 2 who lost strength and popularity as Odin
became more important. Odin, a god of war, was also associated with learning, wisdom, poetry,
and magic. (ed. note: Odin associated himself with anything that made him look good.)
Most information about Scandinavian mythology is preserved in the Old Norse literature
Swedish, and Norwegian Literature), in the Eddas and later sagas; other material appears in
commentaries by the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus and the German writer Adam of Bremen
(flourished about 1075). Fragments of legends are sometimes preserved in old inscriptions and in
Gods and Heroes
Besides Odin, the major deities of Scandinavian mythology were his wife, Frigg, goddess
home; Valhalla. There the warriors would spend their days fighting and nights feasting until
Ragnarok, the day of the final world battle, in which the old gods would perish and a new reign of
peace and love would be instituted. Ordinary individuals were received after death by the goddess
Hel in a cheerless underground world.
Scandinavian mythology included dwarves; elves; and the Norns, who distributed fates
The ancient Scandinavians also believed in personal spirits, such as the fylgja and the hamingja,
which in some respects resembled the Christian idea of the soul. The gods were originally
conceived as a confederation of two formerly warring divine tribes, the Aesir and the Vanir. Odin
was originally the leader of the Aesir, which consisted of at least 12 gods. Together all the gods
lived in Asgard.
The Eddic poem Völuspá (Prophecy of the Seeress) portrays a period of primeval chaos,
by the creation of giants and gods and, finally, of humankind. Ginnungagap was the yawning void,
Jotunheim the home of the giants, Niflheim the region of cold, and Muspellsheim the realm of heat.
The great world-tree, Yggdrasil, reached through all time and space, but it was perpetually under
attack from Nidhogg, the evil serpent. The fountain of Mimir, source of hidden wisdom, lay under
one of the roots of the tree.
The Scandinavian gods were served by a class of priest-chieftains called godar. Worship
originally conducted outdoors, under guardian trees, near sacred wells, or within sacred
arrangements of stones. Later, wooden temples were used, with altars and with carved
representations of the gods. The most important temple was at Old Uppsala, Sweden, where
animals and even human beings were sacrificed.
A Partial Aesir Pantheon:
king of the gods. His two black ravens, Huginn (Thought) and Muninn (Memory), flew
forth daily to
gather tidings of events all over the world. As god of war, Odin held court in Valhalla, where all
brave warriors went after death in battle. His greatest treasures were his eight- footed steed,
Sleipner, his spear, Gungnir, and his ring, Draupner. Odin was also the god of wisdom, poetry, and
magic, and he sacrificed an eye for the privilege of drinking from Mimir, the fountain of wisdom.
Odin's three wives were earth goddesses, and his eldest son was Thor, the god of Thunder. Odin
was worshipped under different names, throughout northern Europe. The Germans called him
Wotan, and the English Woden.
the god of thunder, eldest son of Odin and Jord, the earth goddess. Thor was the strongest
Aesir, whom he helped protect from their enemies, the giants. Thunder was believed to be the
sound of his rolling chariot. Also, thursday is named for Thor (Thor's day). Named after the
Germanic word for thunder, Thor wielded a hammer, called Mjollnir, which represented a powerful
thunderbolt. If thrown, the hammer would return to him like a boomerang.
the handsome giant who represented evil and was possessed of great knowledge and cunning.
was indirectly responsible for the death of Balder, god of light and joy. According to the Poetic
Edda, a collection of Scandinavian myths, Loki and Hel, goddess of the underworld, will lead the
forces of evil against the Aesir, or gods, in the titanic struggle of Ragnarok, the end of the world.
the goddess of the dead. She dwelt beneath one of the three roots of the sacred ash
and was the daughter of Loki, the spirit of mischief or evil, and the giantess Angerbotha
(Angerboda). Odin, the All-Father, hurled Hel into Niflheim, the realm of cold and darkness, itself
also known as Hel, over which he gave her sovereign authority.
were warrior maidens who attended Odin, ruler of the gods. The Valkyries rode through
the air in
brilliant armor, directed battles, distributed death lots among the warriors, and conducted the souls
of slain heroes to Valhalla, the great hall of Odin. Their leader was Brunhild.
Abodes of the Aesir Gods:
the abode of the gods. Access to Asgard was possible only by crossing the bridge Bifrost
rainbow). Asgard was divided into 12 or more realms in which each principal god had his own
luxurious mansion of gold or silver. The most important palace was Valhalla, the home of Odin, the
chief of the gods.
the hall of slain heroes, ruled by the king of the gods, Odin, in the realm of the
gods, Asgard. The
hall had 540 doors, through each of which 800 heroes could walk abreast, and the roof was made
of shields. The souls of heroic soldiers killed in battle were brought to Valhalla by warrior maidens
called Valkyries. The heroes fought during the day, but their wounds healed before night, when they
banqueted with Odin.
Keeping in mind that this document is written entirely from the Aesir/Sax viewpoint, I would like to
add these thoughts.
1. Njordur, the father of Frej and Freja, the pre-eminant God of the Vanr; absorbed and dismissed
by the Aesr, along with Ull, Heimdal & other Vanir deities.
2. The Older Gods referred to here are the gods of the Vanr and the Sami. The Sami inhabited this
area of the world before the Vanir arrived and the Vanir pre- dated the Aesir by hundreds of years.