Mittwoch, 18. November 2020

Germanic People vs Vikings

Well, interestingly it seems that a lot of people believe that the Vikings are somewhat isolated in History as that violent, brave and admirable group of people up north with a tendency to sail around. However, they developed with the context of the wider Germanic People movements. As such they are considered being North Germanic. And no, that has no reference to Teutonic or modern Germans etc. What we call Germanic peoples today consists of a huge variety of peoples/tribes living in northern and middle Europe, eastern Europe down to the south. While there were several aspects of common culture, belief (mythology) and language, there was no unique identity. If we could ask these peoples whether they would have seen themselves as belonging to one people, they certainly would have rejected this idea. Again, there was no unique identity that joined the ancient Germanic peoples (something that lead to a weird state building in much later times on what we know as Germany today - but I am digressing).

What is a bit annoying though is that when you get a book about Germanic mythology, you may get Wotan and Donar but then you find yourself pretty quick in a description of Nordic Mythology. The reason of course is that in Scandinavia, these myths and traditions were preserved into post Christianizing times while we have little what is left from the southern Germanic peoples. It is difficult to find good books that keep the focus on the description of the southern Germanic peoples with all that belongs to that. 

It is a pity though because I Am convinced that there are a lot of amazing stories to tell. I would love to see a TV series about the Wars that the Saxonians had to fight against Emperor Karl. The times of Christianization, the fall of Donar's Oak etc. 

Well, we have a start with a series abut the Battle against the Romans at the Teutoburger Forrest with "Barbarians" on Netflix. Accurateness aside, the series is pretty interesting and I would like to see more about that  - maybe with a bit more use of historic knowledge incorporated though. 

Germanic history did not start nor did it end with Vikings.



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