Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Queen Gambara: Part 1

Queen Gambara was, as we have covered before, the Winnili Queen who led (with her two sons) the faction which left Scandinavia some sixteen or seventeen hundred years ago due to overpopulation (more attributed to limited resources at that time). I thought that I would attempt to put information about Gambara over time, as it's hard to dig up information on her, and she was an important figure who ultimately gave the command to migrate away from Scandinavia, which of course dramatically affected history and eventually led to the rise of the Langbard Cisalpine Kingdom. She never saw Langbard, but was a founder of it before the fact.

We can put more of a biography later, as it becomes available, but I wanted to just place here a couple of examples of her legacy in terms of surnames and place names. This is remarkable, because she was long gone when the Langobards invaded the Cisalpine territory, which was then under Byzantine Roman control. It should be noted that the female first name of "Gambara" was likely common among Langobard women, which could have contributed to these names as well. However, the legend of the Winnili queen was very much part of the folklore of the Langobards.

"Gàmbara" is a town and comune in the province of Brescia. Brescia is located in Lombardy, which was the hub of the Langobard government. It's not surprising that a location in Lombardy was probably named after Queen Gambara.

The surname Gambara is present today around the region of Lombardy and Emilia. For some reason, offshoots, such as "Gambarini" or "Gambaro," are much more common, and present throughout the north. For centuries, one particular "Gambara family" sat on the Brescian Council, which was the oligarchy who ruled the province. Perhaps that might explain why other families in the region did not take the surname of Gambara.

I have felt a strong connection to Queen Gambara. I almost look to her as one of the Norse gods and goddesses. She was known as a "wise woman" who was trusted by many. They must have held great trust in her after she gave the command to "Go Forth" as the legend has it, and migrate south into the unknown.


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