Valhalla (Myths of the Norsemen by H. A. Guerber)

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A Valkyrie, drinking horn in hands, awaits at the gates of Valhalla on the Tjängvide image stone from Gotland, housed at the Swedish Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm, Sweden.

This palace, called Valhalla (the hall of the chosen slain), had five hundred and forty doors, wide enough to allow the passage of eight hundred warriors abreast, and above the principal gate were a boar’s head and an eagle whose piercing glance penetrated to the far corners of the world.

The walls of this marvellous building were fashioned of glittering spears, so highly polished that they illuminated the hall. The roof was of golden shields, and the benches were decorated with fine armour, the god’s gifts to his guests. Here long tables afforde ample accomodation for the Einheriar, warriors fallen in battle. who were specially favoured by Odin.

“Easily to be know is,
By those who to Odin come,
The mansion by its aspect.
Its roof with spears is laid,
Its hall with shields is decked,
With corselets are its benches strewed.”

The ancient Northern nations, who deemed warfare the most honourable of occupatons, and considered courage the greatest virtue, worshipped Odin principally as god of battle and victory.

They believed that whenever a fight was impending he sent out his special attendants, the shield-, battle-, or wish-maidens, called Valkyrs (choosers of the slain), who selected from the dead warriors one-half of their number, whom they bore on their fleet steeds over the quivering rainbow bridge, Bifröst, into Valhalla.

Welcomed by Odin’s sons, Hermod and Bragi, the heroes were conducted to the foot of Odin’s throne, where they received the praise due to their valour.

When some special favourite of the god was thus brought into Asgard, Valfather (father of the slain), as Odin was called when he presided over the warriors, would sometimes rise from his throen and in person bid him welcome at the great entrance gate.

Myths of the Norsemen by H. A. Guerber

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Viata grea a navigatorilor in timpul calatoriei lui Magellan (1519-1522)

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Ferdinand Magellan

Ferdinand Magellan

Antonio Pigafetta “Insemnari despre Lumea Noua”

[…] Mancam biscuiti, dar nu mai erau biscuiti, ci pulberea lor, amestecata cu bucati de vierme, pentru ca acestia mancasera ce era bun; putea foarte tare a urina de soarecei, si beam apa galbena putrezita de multe zile, si mancam niste piele de bou; […] piei foarte aspre din pricina soarelui, ploii si a vantului.

Le lasam vreme de patru sau cinci zile in mare si apoi le puneam pe jaratec si asa le mancam, si de asemenea de multe ori mancam si rumegus de lemn.

Soarecii se vindeau cu jumatate de ducat unul si nici asa nu se gaseau prea multi. Dar peste toate nenorocirile, aceasta era cea mai rea: cresteau gingiile la unii deasupra dintilor atat jos cat sis us, incat cu nici un chip nu mai puteau manca… Si astfel se prapadeau de acest betesug.

Murira 19 oameni si uriasul, impreuna cu un Indian de pe pamantul Verzin. Douazeci si cinci sau treizeci de oameni se imbolnavira, pe unii ii dureau bratele, pe altii picioarele sau alte parti, astfel ca putini ramasera sanatosi […].

In aceste trei luni si douazeci de zile am mers aproape patru mii de leghe fara oprire prin aceasta mare Pacifica (intr-adevar e foarte pasnica, pentru ca in aceasta mare n-am avut furtuna) fara a vedea nici un pamant, ci numai doua insulate nelocuite, pe unde nu gasiram decat pasari si copaci; le numiram Insulele Nenorocite. Sunt departe una de alta la doua sute de leghe. Nu gasiram fundul pe langa ele, vazuram numai multi rechini […].

(Cu Magellan in jurul lumii, Bucuresti, Ed. Stintifica, 1960)

Articol scris de Kogaion