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Carl
Tuesday, September 30th, 2008, 09:33 AM
Which Germanic Texts/Scripture do you value the most?

In many ways, our understanding of the old beliefs is much affected by the selection of texts which we - or even others for us - make!

So, as an ongoing thread of interest, I am wondering - specifically of those who care, whilst do you find the most inspiring or rewarding?

C.

Hersir
Tuesday, September 30th, 2008, 10:57 AM
Håvamål and Kongesagaene. (These should be in every scandinavians library)
Håvamål teaches you "sed & skikk" and how to prosper and get alot of friends and to be liked.

I also enjoy "Kongespeilet" alot, especially the part of the hirð.

Psychonaut
Tuesday, September 30th, 2008, 11:05 AM
Since we have so few period texts to work with, I think most of us treasure all of them, even to the point of possibly hyper-inflating the value of what, in some cases, would not have been important texts. Personally, the texts that I find the most value in are those that deal with personal transformation:


Hávamál for it's account of Odin's winning of the Runelore.
The Vǫlsung Saga for its darkly beautiful vision of Odin and one of his chosen.
Parzifal by Wolfram von Eschenbach as possibly the greatest Germanic Epic poem detailing the archetypal heroic journey.


Also, no list of influential lore would be complete without mentioning Völuspá, which provides us with a poetic overture of the whole of the Germanic world

Carl
Wednesday, October 1st, 2008, 05:01 PM
I think we all, so far, agree about the Havamal. And I also think that Voluspa is very important - a pagan text for sure , it is said and a most valuable text. These are the first two books of the Poetic Edda.... a good start surely! I certainly have some questions which I would like to resolve.... if it is at all ever possible.

Of the earlier materials, what views do you have of the Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda? Is this a work you feel that you could rely upon at all?

Psychonaut
Wednesday, October 1st, 2008, 06:27 PM
Of the earlier materials, what views do you have of the Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda? Is this a work you feel that you could rely upon at all?

I find the Prose Edda to much less reliable, particularly when Snorri lapses into his theories about Óðinn being a Trojan refugee. However, the Prose Edda is invaluable for its recounting of Óðinn obtaining the mead of poetry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mead_of_poetry).

Loddfafner
Wednesday, October 1st, 2008, 11:18 PM
I agree that the Havamal and the Voluspa are the main texts. The recent introductions to Odinism I've seen were embarrassingly flaky. I have not read the Troth books so can't vouch for them. Some outsiders' accounts of our ancestors' practices that are practically canonical are Tacitus' Germania, Adam of Bremen's drearily-titled History of the Archbishoprics of Hamburg-Bremen, Saxo Grammaticus, and of course Snorri's Prose Edda.

Carl
Thursday, October 2nd, 2008, 02:06 PM
I agree with you about the historic texts ; Tacitus, in particular, is priceless when considering the earliest manifestions of 'the theologies' in Germania around the roman period.... and later comments , even of Bishops, concerning cult practices in the north and in Sweden for example. I am disrespecting nothing in this enquire - which , by the way, I am sticking as an ongoing thread of interest for new members....and others!

I have come to accept the informal (Bellows) twofold division of the older Prose Edda into the Lays of the Gods and the Lays of the Heroes. (There is obviously some overlap). There is a Dover edition of the early Bellows translation which deals only with the Gods. At the moment, this is my own particular interest.... again , no disrepect whatsoever! There are some specific issues which we might be able to explore when, for example, Snorri's Edda suddenly introduces variants on the earlier narrative , even with different names, and alarming discrepancies begin to occur. There is the understanding that he had access to newer material which led him to make certain changes in some of the earliest pagan sources ( which he clearly knew). I would like to seek clarification of some of these in newer threads within this section.

Maelstrom
Friday, October 3rd, 2008, 02:48 AM
I think the main ones have been pretty much summed up already. I'm not too well read in old Germanic scriptures, though have read the Eddas.

Something that comes to mind while reading the title of this thread are the works of Rudyard Kipling. While not specifically heathen or Germanic, the images he conjures up, especially in his poems, are amazing.

Sorry if this takes the thread off track with the mention of a somewhat contemporary author. Feel free to delete this post if need be.

Carl
Friday, October 3rd, 2008, 02:34 PM
Håvamål and Kongesagaene. (These should be in every scandinavians library).
Håvamål teaches you "sed & skikk" and how to prosper and get alot of friends and to be liked.

I also enjoy "Kongespeilet" alot, especially the part of the hirð.

Thanks for your post here. I was somewhat confused by the Norwegian :D -- don't we love such games? However, I have at least begun to sort it out - I will leave the detail to you. Of the Håvamål , there can be no disagreement - a pagan compilation-text without little doubt - although its internal structure requires considerable patience!
But what of Voluspa - the first book from the collected Codex. There is a wealth of detail concerning pagan things here too - and that is also an important preChristian text from the ??early tenth century. Possibly even originating from Norway also??


Now the Kings are more complex; I have a fine copy of 'The Sagas of the Norse Kings' - but the work you mention is wider and broader than just that I take it. Not too sure about the "Kongespeilet" - perhaps you could enlighten here?


And concerning "sed & skikk" -- custom & practice (?) --- I have some new material from the web which I am opening for discussion here:


http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=101534


For yourself, since I know there is a lot of debate about these things in the north, do you attach special value to the old Norse Gods - perhaps as "guardians" of the early Germanic Lore?

Hersir
Saturday, October 4th, 2008, 10:14 PM
Thanks for your post here. I was somewhat confused by the Norwegian :D -- don't we love such games? However, I have at least begun to sort it out - I will leave the detail to you. Of the Håvamål , there can be no disagreement - a pagan compilation-text without little doubt - although its internal structure requires considerable patience!
But what of Voluspa - the first book from the collected Codex. There is a wealth of detail concerning pagan things here too - and that is also an important preChristian text from the ??early tenth century. Possibly even originating from Norway also??


Now the Kings are more complex; I have a fine copy of 'The Sagas of the Norse Kings' - but the work you mention is wider and broader than just that I take it. Not too sure about the "Kongespeilet" - perhaps you could enlighten here?


And concerning "sed & skikk" -- custom & practice (?) --- I have some new material from the web which I am opening for discussion here:


http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=101534


For yourself, since I know there is a lot of debate about these things in the north, do you attach special value to the old Norse Gods - perhaps as "guardians" of the early Germanic Lore?
Kongesagaene, (the saga's of the kings) are more knowns as Heimskringla;)

You are correct about the sed & skikk part.

Kongespeilet(norrønt Konungs skuggsjá, latin Speculum Regale)is not really a heathen book, but its a work about practices and customs one should have in different jobs, as the soldier, the peasant, the king and priests.
It also contains alot of information about how the world was regarded at that time, with seamonsters, what the northern lights are and much more:thumbup It was originally written as a teaching book for the sons of Magnus Lagabøte. I think the part about the hirdmann was very interesting, it has teachings about different weapons, siege warfare, how to behave etc.
Sadly not all parts from the book are conserved (The parts left are about the merchant, the king and the soldier (hirdmann)).

As for voluspå it was written in either Norway or Iceland around 900. I would say its an important text.
It contains information about the past and the future, the beginning and the end. Its about creation and ragnarok.
About the gods, I havnt really viewed them as guardians of the lore but more like different sides of humans.
Some gods may even have been outstanding people.
Thor Heyerdahl though Odin came from around the black sea and there has been some research on it.
The archeological mission was called "The search for Odin", and I know they published a book on it, havnt seen it on english though. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jakten_p%C3%A5_Odin I would say Odin and Heimdal perhaps could be guardians of the lore, since they knew the runes and Heimdal taught them to people.

Will check out your link:)

Reynard
Monday, January 12th, 2009, 10:24 PM
Havamal without question

Odin Hael

Hrimskegg
Saturday, March 21st, 2009, 02:29 AM
The Flately Book, and within it "How Norway was Inhabited."

Grimsteinr
Saturday, March 21st, 2009, 12:21 PM
Certainly, I value the Whole of the Poetic Edda, for the Stories & Lessons taught.
Between DSW(Dear Sweet Wife),& myself we have 7 or 8 translations.
The Havamal is undoubtedly best.......We have 10 or 12 translations of it.
The Heimskringla is very good, too. And, I like Njal's Saga.
Tacitus should be read & studied well.
As a Kindred leader study is important.

Vindefense
Saturday, March 21st, 2009, 10:52 PM
I have to agree with Carl, I rely almost exclusively on Barrows translation of the Poetic Edda. I have heard that it is the next best thing to the original. Both The Hovamal and Voluspa being the most useful to me. I had the fortune of finding an original printing of this at an antique store close to my house. :D I also think that the various translations of the Norse Sagas are required reading. Among the one pictured there is also the Vinland Saga, Orkneyinga Saga, and the Saga of the Jomsvikings. The only other modern work that I hold in high esteem is The Odin Brotherhood. All the rest of my new age books do little for me other than collect dust. Not that they aren't useful, I just find Dr. Mirabello's work more insightful. ;)

Ragnar Lodbrok
Sunday, March 22nd, 2009, 03:46 AM
I would say Voluspa and Havamal although I also really value the stories of Norway's line of divine kings as well.

Iseard
Monday, April 20th, 2009, 07:52 AM
Wassail!

I would once have said Beowulf, because it is the only Germanic text commonly available in English dating from the pre-Christian period, but I have since learned that it is heavily influenced by Christianity. The rune-poems, though similarly corrupted, by their very nature contain much of the old Northern mysteries (the true definition of Rune).

Admittedly, I am in Kindergarten as far as Germanic texts go. I would like to become familiar with more of the Icelandic and Scandinavian materials.

Iseard

SvipdagOd
Thursday, May 20th, 2010, 09:01 PM
I find the Prose Edda to much less reliable, particularly when Snorri lapses into his theories about Óðinn being a Trojan refugee. However, the Prose Edda is invaluable for its recounting of Óðinn obtaining the mead of poetry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mead_of_poetry).

Well, when I read Snorri's Introduction, I thought 2 things; 1 I hate him for screwing up sacred stories and Hellenizing the Aesir. But 2, maybe he did it to save the stories from the Church. The Introduction to Snorri's Edda is written in a different style (even in the English translation you can notice this), so I think it had to be added to please any would-be book burners.

This makes me wonder about all of the texts I have read (Snorri's Edda, about half of the poetic Edda's, Beowulf) and the texts I plan on reading (Historia Danica, Song of Roland). They were all recorded by Christians generations after conversion and we don't know what their motives were, do we?

I love the stories we have, I'm just worried about the authenticity, since our Throth has always been an oral tradition. Does anyone know of any stories or poems RECORDED by Heathens and not Christians?

I was raised Christian, my father is actually a Methodist minister. He shared with me a lot of the history of the Catholic Church when I was a kid, and it is not pretty. Lots of politics, corruption, propaganda and murder (which I think is different from deaths in war)

Any ideas or sources?

Heathen_son
Thursday, May 20th, 2010, 10:41 PM
It has to be Beowulf!


I would once have said Beowulf, because it is the only Germanic text commonly available in English dating from the pre-Christian period, but I have since learned that it is heavily influenced by Christianity...

Bare in mind that the writer/s were early Chirstians. I think the Germanic voice of the text speaks loud enough, and reading around the subject will make that voice even clearer.

Ediruc
Thursday, May 20th, 2010, 11:24 PM
The Eddas, of course! I also value Snorri Sturluson's Saga of the Norwegian Kings.

Actually, I value all Germanic texts! Each one has Germanic culture, values, religion, philosophy, society, ect... in them, and each stands on their own as valuable to us.

The Aesthete
Friday, May 21st, 2010, 02:56 PM
I would say the The Volsung Saga and Beowulf

I am interested in reading these books:

Parzival
Egils saga
Njáls saga
Hrafnkels saga
The Song of Roland

If possible could somebody who has read them rate them out of ten for me?

Thorodinssohn
Wednesday, July 7th, 2010, 04:12 AM
The Hovamol has given me the most direction in life. It passes on the wisdom of the gods to man's everyday living. Call it a book of etiquette for the living heathen. Living correctly and honorably is probably the most important thing for me as a heathen.

Wulfhere
Wednesday, July 7th, 2010, 09:07 AM
The Oera Linda Book, which describes an ancient Germanic civilisation in Europe. http://oeralinda.angelfire.com/

Anleifr
Tuesday, September 6th, 2011, 04:41 AM
Most of all I value the Havamal, since the advice in it is timeless and priceless.

After, probably Beowulf. The fact that christian monks transcribed it takes nothing away from the splendid epic exemplifying noble ideals that is equally priceless.

The Heimskringla (I wasn't aware of the other name, although I am now!).

Harald Hardrede's saga, Burnt Njal.

Scario
Tuesday, September 6th, 2011, 04:58 AM
Agree with others, I value the Havamal the most.

Wolf Wickham
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012, 12:01 AM
Primary Texts:

The Poetic [Elder] Edda
Beowulf
The Sagas of Icelanders [huge collection available inexpensively from Amazon]
Teutonic Mythology by Grimm



Secondary Texts:

Runelore by Thorrson
The Germanic People by Owen


There are dozens more. See www.archive.org for Free downloads.