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Jens
Thursday, June 21st, 2012, 01:54 PM
I've seen talk of the legendary German morality as the core of our culture, the thing that sets us apart from the rest. I'm not here to debate that. I'd like to, with your help, define what we mean by German morality. Lets please not discuss the various merits of these values here, there are other threads for that, but tell me, what ARE German values, and what do you base that on.

German Morals

I will get us started. The oldest records we have about German society (and the only pre-christian ones) come from our enemies, the Romans. Namely Julius Ceaser in Bello Gallico, and Tacitus in Germania. As outsiders with limited insights into the culture, their observations should be taken with a grain of salt. But here they are:

1. German culture requires strict and faithful monogamy.
2. Courage is the greatest virtue
3. There is a strong emphasis on physical health and agility, lots of comments about how robust the Germans are.
4. Hard work and efficiency. (Ingvaeonic)
5. That our word is holy, and a handshake is all that it takes (Neophyte)
6. Personal honor (fidelity and honesty) is more important than your own life (renownedwolf) (Ingvaeonic)
7. Hospitality. Cheerful giving within reason.(Moody)
8. Self-reliance (Ingvaeonic)
9. Discipline and self control. (Ingvaeonic)

There was an interesting bit by Caeser that I found fascinating. He said the Germans would swap land around every growing season so that families and men would not grow too accustomed to being in one place, lest they start building fancy homes and accumulate too many possessions and become too comfortable to go to war. Not sure what to make of that.

Aright, lay it on me. Please give me some sort of source. Just pulling pie in the sky ideals out of thin air won't fly here, values that we can actually glean from evidence or history. I'll add everything people can substantiate to the list above.

Neophyte
Thursday, June 21st, 2012, 08:16 PM
5. That our word is holy, and a handshake is all that it takes.

renownedwolf
Thursday, June 21st, 2012, 09:25 PM
6. Honour is everything and worth fighting and dying for.

Jens
Thursday, June 21st, 2012, 09:35 PM
6. Honour is everything and worth fighting and dying for.

I took the liberty of rewording it to exclude any confusion about justifying honor killings of the family and so forth. In ancient German tradition, when a suicide was warranted a person in the case of cowardice would face expulsion and shunning, not execution according to any sources I've seen.

Moody
Thursday, June 21st, 2012, 10:40 PM
Taking the Anglo Saxon rune poem as a source, two main ethical principles emerge in that work.

The first has been mentioned, that of courage. See the second stanza, for example. Endurance of pain is advocated in stanza three, while the eighth says there will be no joy without pain.

The second ethical principle has yet to be mentioned, and that is generosity. It is in the first stanza and has therefore premier importance. It is remphasised in the seventh stanza, and is given a rationale in the 12th stanza, for example, in the suggestion that Nature herself bestows her riches on all, noble and base.

Jens
Thursday, June 21st, 2012, 10:53 PM
The second ethical principle has yet to be mentioned, and that is generosity. It is in the first stanza and has therefore premier importance. It is remphasised in the seventh stanza, and is given a rationale in the 12th stanza, for example, in the suggestion that Nature herself bestows her riches on all, noble and base.

Good point. Tacitus mentions that too but I forgot about it.

renownedwolf
Thursday, June 21st, 2012, 10:58 PM
Generosity within the bounds of hospitality. It works both ways. ;)

Moody
Thursday, June 21st, 2012, 11:14 PM
Generosity within the bounds of hospitality. It works both ways. ;)

The 23rd stanza (ethel rune) says that homeland is sacred. The rune's form suggests a boundary, and therefore a limitation, as it were, to generosity.

Jens
Thursday, June 21st, 2012, 11:17 PM
Ok, so how should I word that? Just call the virtue "Hospitality"? I think that kind of implies generosity in regard to certain things, and not others. Thoughts?

feisty goddess
Thursday, June 21st, 2012, 11:44 PM
A lot of German morality consists of believing that one is a God. Just sayin ;). Nah, just kidding, I've met hardcore Germans before who were downright awesome and funny. :D

Sawyer
Friday, June 22nd, 2012, 02:56 AM
8. Chivalry

Invented by our kind.
9. Camaraderie

Jens
Friday, June 22nd, 2012, 10:20 AM
Chivalry is the code governing knighthood, it was invented in the high middle ages and mostly only existed in songs and stories. The earliest origins we know of for chivalry are in France. The idea of the miles christis, the Christian warrior, is the core of chivalry. Selflessness, defending the weak, being a perfect Christian somehow, while still killing people. It's how the nobility, for a long time, lorded an illusion of moral superiority over their subjects. Even if we could show that it was a thing of the German knighthood, that would make it part of the culture of knighthood that never applied to most German people. I'm not sure what YOU mean by chivalry though, be more specific and I might be able to make something of it.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by camaraderie. I assume some sort of brotherhood thing. But to what extent do you mean? In war? In general? How does or has German culture valued or promoted camaraderie in a significant way?

Ingvaeonic
Friday, June 22nd, 2012, 10:56 AM
Interesting topic, to be sure. Here is the intro and the nine enumerated virtues of Asatru. It is an interesting list and these virtues can and do often run through Germanic societies as practical standards and ideals from my observations.

http://www.odinsvolk.ca/O.V.A.%20-%20NNV.htm


NINE NOBLE VIRTUES of ASATRU
The Asatru moral code of conduct is known as the Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru. The Nine Noble Virtues represent the distilled wisdom and ancient Germanic moral code gleaned from various ancient sources including the Poetic Edda (particularly the Hávamál), the Icelandic Sagas and Germanic folklore. To live as one of the True folk, you should lead your life in accordance with the Nine Noble Virtues.
Interpretations of these virtues range from person to person, and from Kindred to Kindred. The following represent some of our opinions on how the virtues should be interpreted
The ancient Heathens held these certain virtues to be spiritual law.
These were not at all the only moral values of the ancient Heathens, but perhaps the most highly regarded. The ancient tribal laws began as custom and tradition, and these laws constituted those customs and traditions.
Before anyone can even think of approaching the Gods & Goddesses of Asatru, they should first make sure they know these spiritual laws well and consistently strive towards them.

THE NINE NOBLE VIRTUES:
1) Courage
2) Truth
3) Honour
4) Fidelity
5) Discipline
6) Hospitality
7) Industriousness
8) Self Reliance
9) Perseverance
These virtues were kept to enhance these aspects of being & qualities of the soul:
Orlog
Wyrd
Hamingja

Jens
Friday, June 22nd, 2012, 11:12 AM
Ok, I think self reliance is very much present today, especially in the contempt for freeloaders that German society has.

Fidelity, Truth, and Honour all kind of belong together I think. That is, I think honour includes truth and fidelity.

That leaves discipline. I know germans are famous for it, but that is mostly based on Prussian military discipline. Does this really apply to Germanics in general?

Ingvaeonic
Friday, June 22nd, 2012, 11:29 AM
Ok, I think self reliance is very much present today, especially in the contempt for freeloaders that German society has.

Fidelity, Truth, and Honour all kind of belong together I think. That is, I think honour includes truth and fidelity.

That leaves discipline. I know germans are famous for it, but that is mostly based on Prussian military discipline. Does this really apply to Germanics in general?

When I was growing up, self-discipline and self-control were extolled as necessary and superior qualities or virtues to be practised. The Germanic love of order and abhorrence of disorder, which I have found is common to all Germanic peoples and especially Germanic peoples, would necessarily entail the practice of discipline, both self-discipline and outward discipline exercised by authority through the course of one's life. So discipline, in which inheres the practice of self-control, is a prominent quality among Germanic peoples. As a corollory to this, I would say, too, that Germanic peoples are not given to extravangant displays of emotion or that extravagant displays of emotion are generally frowned on in Germanic societies. This may have been more applicable to past generations than to the current generation.

Bernhard
Friday, June 22nd, 2012, 04:53 PM
About chivalry, I think one of its foundations can be described in the following words of Evola (Men among the Ruins, p. 213):


The Christian precept of returning good for evil is opposed by the principle of striking the unjust, of forgiving and generosity, but only to a vanquished foe, and not to an enemy who still stands strong in his injustice.

He doesn't present this in a specifically Germanic context, but I'm of the opinion that this expresses knightly chivalry in the middle ages very well, which even in non-Germanic countries had Germanic origins.
It shows an interesting balance between acknowledging the necessity of conflict and respecting the honour of ones opponent.

Gustaaf
Friday, June 22nd, 2012, 05:01 PM
When I was growing up, self-discipline and self-control were extolled as necessary and superior qualities or virtues to be practised. The Germanic love of order and abhorrence of disorder, which I have found is common to all Germanic peoples and especially Germanic peoples, would necessarily entail the practice of discipline, both self-discipline and outward discipline exercised by authority through the course of one's life. So discipline, in which inheres the practice of self-control, is a prominent quality among Germanic peoples. As a corollory to this, I would say, too, that Germanic peoples are not given to extravangant displays of emotion or that extravagant displays of emotion are generally frowned on in Germanic societies. This may have been more applicable to past generations than to the current generation.

This is the salient feature to me as well. It's no doubt this work ethic and self-mastery that made them the greatest and most productive European nation. Germany's always been synonymous with quality, efficiency, and a good, healthy straightforwardness that makes 'German made' a compliment in the highest proportion. I wish this culture would spread in the US. It seems more and more to be the opposite among on the youth. Liberal arts schools are chosen over sciences, 'sociology' over mathematics. And for what? To be 'individuals', which means to force out of themselves all vestige of natural Germanic constraint and follow a different trend, which is no more individual, and more more destructive.

Jens
Friday, June 22nd, 2012, 05:12 PM
He doesn't present this in a specifically Germanic context, but I'm of the opinion that this expresses knightly chivalry in the middle ages very well, which even in non-Germanic countries had Germanic origins.

As your quote itself and all evidence suggests, chivalry is a feature of the christian knighthood. Christianity does not have Germanic origins. Even if it did, the values of chivalry were purely for men of one, very narrow, level of society, and even within that group, the overwhelming majority of even that small group completely ignored it. By not applying at all to women, and not applying to the overwhelming majority of men either, and not having any actual Germanic origin that anyone has pointed out other than conjecture, I don't see how I could possibly adopt it as a Germanic virtue.

These need to be things that are ingrained in Germanic culture, visible at all levels of society. Cultural values are things that are so imbedded in you that you consider them so self-evident that you can't remember ever learning them. Things you take for granted as being that way because they just are. It should be part of the cultural subconscious.

Germania Magna
Friday, June 22nd, 2012, 05:39 PM
- beauty

in people, in culture, in architecture, in the environment

Jens
Friday, June 22nd, 2012, 05:46 PM
Err, it seems we have a problem :| I can't edit the OP anymore so I guess people will just have to read the thread.

Vindefense
Friday, June 22nd, 2012, 10:11 PM
I've seen talk of the legendary German morality as the core of our culture, the thing that sets us apart from the rest.

1. German culture requires strict and faithful monogamy.
2. Courage is the greatest virtue
3. There is a strong emphasis on physical health and agility, lots of comments about how robust the Germans are.
4. Hard work and efficiency. (Ingvaeonic)
5. That our word is holy, and a handshake is all that it takes (Neophyte)
6. Personal honor (fidelity and honesty) is more important than your own life (renownedwolf) (Ingvaeonic)
7. Hospitality. Cheerful giving within reason.(Moody)
8. Self-reliance (Ingvaeonic)
9. Discipline and self control. (Ingvaeonic)


So, the thread title says German morals, but really what about these morals are particularly German? To the point, there is not a culture or people on Earth that would not benefit and prosper by the practice of these morals and where we find faults and deficiencies in cultures it is precisely because they haven’t.

Jens
Friday, June 22nd, 2012, 10:49 PM
So, the thread title says German morals, but really what about these morals are particularly German? To the point, there is not a culture or people on Earth that would not benefit and prosper by the practice of these morals and where we find faults and deficiencies in cultures it is precisely because they haven’t.

They are German because they have been part of German culture for all of recorded history. This thread is simply about observing what moral expectations are, and have been, in German culture. The morals are not inherently German, but German culture includes them.

These are more than virtues. For example, in America you might say that hard work is a virtue. It is not part of American morality because not working hard is seen as stupid, but not as immoral and deplorable, which it is in Germany. Do you see? Similarly, inefficiency and waste is seen as a nuisance in the USA, whereas Germans take that sort of thing as a personal affront, like shitting in the face of God.

Sawyer
Saturday, June 23rd, 2012, 03:34 AM
Chivalry is the code governing knighthood, it was invented in the high middle ages and mostly only existed in songs and stories. The earliest origins we know of for chivalry are in France. The idea of the miles christis, the Christian warrior, is the core of chivalry. Selflessness, defending the weak, being a perfect Christian somehow, while still killing people. It's how the nobility, for a long time, lorded an illusion of moral superiority over their subjects. Even if we could show that it was a thing of the German knighthood, that would make it part of the culture of knighthood that never applied to most German people. I'm not sure what YOU mean by chivalry though, be more specific and I might be able to make something of it.

Literally the knights of tales. Romancer of women, brave warrior, pious, self-less, etc. This does literally exist you know. The proto-type was laid by the Ostrogoths in Italy. Probably the best latest example would be the code of honour of the SS.


I'm not sure I understand what you mean by camaraderie. I assume some sort of brotherhood thing. But to what extent do you mean? In war? In general? How does or has German culture valued or promoted camaraderie in a significant way?

Kameradschaft. The Hirdmenn, the Chief's band of warriors described by Tacitus, etc. Hitler describes it in his speeches to the German youth. Willing to do everything for one's comrades, so on.

You read of this in both sides of WWI and WWII. My favourite example is the conduct of the ANZACs at Gallipoli.

Jens
Saturday, June 23rd, 2012, 10:20 AM
Literally the knights of tales. Romancer of women, brave warrior, pious, self-less, etc. This does literally exist you know. The proto-type was laid by the Ostrogoths in Italy. Probably the best latest example would be the code of honour of the SS.

It's an ideal for a select group, it doesn't apply to most people. Also Ostrogoths had no knights and were not Christian, so whatever they had was not chivalry, though I would be interested to know what you speak of in that regard.


Kameradschaft. The Hirdmenn, the Chief's band of warriors described by Tacitus, etc. Hitler describes it in his speeches to the German youth. Willing to do everything for one's comrades, so on.

You read of this in both sides of WWI and WWII. My favourite example is the conduct of the ANZACs at Gallipoli.

Ok, but is this really a distinct thing from honor and generosity?

Also, in case you missed it, I can't edit the OP anymore, I think theres a time limit on it or something =(

Sawyer
Saturday, June 23rd, 2012, 11:28 AM
It's an ideal for a select group, it doesn't apply to most people. Also Ostrogoths had no knights and were not Christian, so whatever they had was not chivalry, though I would be interested to know what you speak of in that regard.

The Ostrogoths were Christian, the 'heretic' Arian form of it.

'Theodoric the Goth' by Thomas Hodgkin

This incident of the early manhood of Theodoric is a good illustration
of the Teutonic custom which Tacitus describes to us under the name of
the _comitatus_, a custom which was therefore at least four centuries
old (probably far older) in the days of Theodoric, and which, lasting on
for several centuries longer, undoubtedly influenced if it did not
actually create the chivalry of the Middle Ages. The custom was so
important that it will be better to translate the very words of Tacitus
concerning it, though they occur in one of the best-known passages of
the "Germania".

"The Germans transact no business either of a public or private nature
except with arms in their hands. But it is not the practice for any one
to begin the wearing of arms until the State has approved his ability to
wield them. When that is done, in the great Council of the nation one
of the chiefs, perhaps the father or some near relation of the
candidate, equips the youth with shield and spear. This is with them
like the _toga virilis_ with us, the first dignity bestowed on the young
man. Before this he was looked upon as part of his father's
household--now he is a member of the State. Eminently noble birth, or
great merit on the part of their fathers, assigns the dignity of a
chief[27] even to very young men. They are admitted to the fellowship of
other youths stronger than themselves, and already tried in war, nor do
they blush to be seen among the henchmen.[28] There is a gradation in
rank among the henchmen, determined by the judgment of him whom they
follow, and there is a great emulation among the henchmen, who shall
have the highest place under the chief, and among the chiefs who shall
have the most numerous and the bravest henchmen. This is their dignity,
this their strength, to be ever surrounded by a band of chosen youths,
an honour in peace, a defence in battle. And not only in his own nation,
but among the surrounding states also, each chief's name and glory are
spread abroad according to the eminence of his 'train of henchmen'[29]
in number and valour. Chiefs thus distinguished are in request for
embassies, are enriched with costly presents, and often they decide a
war by the mere terror of their name".

[Footnote 27: Dignationem principis; the true rendering of this sentence
is very doubtful.]

[Footnote 28: I think upon the whole "henchmen" is the best translation
of this difficult word "comites", "Companions" is too indefinite;
"comrades" implies too much equality with the chief.]

[Footnote 29: Comitatus.]

The passage goes on but for brevity's sake I won't include it all.

'It doesn't apply to most people' -
I have to disagree here. I think every man should strive to be chivalrous; to have that 'knightly' character we read so much about. Sort of reminds me of Stoicism.



Ok, but is this really a distinct thing from honor and generosity?

Also, in case you missed it, I can't edit the OP anymore, I think theres a time limit on it or something =(

I am not sure. Perhaps one is an umbrella term that includes the other. But I have a specific image in my head of when I think of Camaraderie/Kameradschaft. Maybe 'brotherhood' could be another term, or at least a term under the umbrella of Camaraderie.

Jens
Saturday, June 23rd, 2012, 12:28 PM
Interesting, I didn't know the Ostrogoths adopted Arius. I agree that chivalry is something that Germans should strive for, but it's a moral code that only fits into a military context. Please define for me exactly what you mean by chivalry, because what I was taught to be chivalry literally cannot be applied to civilians. Like Bushido.

Sawyer
Saturday, June 23rd, 2012, 03:01 PM
Interesting, I didn't know the Ostrogoths adopted Arius. I agree that chivalry is something that Germans should strive for, but it's a moral code that only fits into a military context. Please define for me exactly what you mean by chivalry, because what I was taught to be chivalry literally cannot be applied to civilians. Like Bushido.

It was during the late 4th Century I believe. Their early King Athanaric actually tried to stop the spread of Christianity, because he saw it as a corrupter of Gothic culture.

Ok, let me try with Chivalry. I outlined the warrior part. But for the civil part, great respect for the opposite sex, complete opposition to misogyny, a romantic man, etc. Whenever I read of such traits in Medieval Europe, it is almost like a lashing out of Germanic culture against the misogyny of the Catholic Church.

No one mentioned women, so perhaps Chivalry towards women should be considered a part of German Morality.

Jens
Saturday, June 23rd, 2012, 03:13 PM
It was during the late 4th Century I believe. Their early King Athanaric actually tried to stop the spread of Christianity, because he saw it as a corrupter of Gothic culture.

Ok, let me try with Chivalry. I outlined the warrior part. But for the civil part, great respect for the opposite sex, complete opposition to misogyny, a romantic man, etc. Whenever I read of such traits in Medieval Europe, it is almost like a lashing out of Germanic culture against the misogyny of the Catholic Church.

No one mentioned women, so perhaps Chivalry towards women should be considered a part of German Morality.

Well, as I learned it, the package was always "Chivalry and Courtly Love". What you just said is the courtly love part, I think. I agree that German morality requires respect for women. Generally, an attitude of service for other people in the society. Sort of like the principle of brotherhood you mentioned, except extended to women as well. It's about doing your part, helping others (elderly and women) to do what they can't do as well, so that everything that needs doing gets done, without keeping score or expecting anything in return. Like investing part of yourself into the community to be part of something greater. I just don't think the word chivalry really does a good job of conveying that properly. It seems too stale and old timey. This requires getting yourself dirty, nothing that opening a door for a lady or tipping your hat could ever compare to.

KingOvGermania
Saturday, June 23rd, 2012, 10:10 PM
It was during the late 4th Century I believe. Their early King Athanaric actually tried to stop the spread of Christianity, because he saw it as a corrupter of Gothic culture.

Ok, let me try with Chivalry. I outlined the warrior part. But for the civil part, great respect for the opposite sex, complete opposition to misogyny, a romantic man, etc. Whenever I read of such traits in Medieval Europe, it is almost like a lashing out of Germanic culture against the misogyny of the Catholic Church.

No one mentioned women, so perhaps Chivalry towards women should be considered a part of German Morality.

Not only has Chivalry towards women been a part of German morality, but as has chivalry towards the environment and animals; we Germans have always respected the Earth, from Pagan days onward, and the first country to institute laws protecting the environment and animals;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lavaoBRkGz8&skipcontrinter=1

Vindefense
Sunday, June 24th, 2012, 05:40 PM
These are more than virtues. For example, in America you might say that hard work is a virtue. It is not part of American morality because not working hard is seen as stupid, but not as immoral and deplorable, which it is in Germany. Do you see? Similarly, inefficiency and waste is seen as a nuisance in the USA, whereas Germans take that sort of thing as a personal affront, like shitting in the face of God.


From what you are saying, it would seem that morality to Germans is more sentimental and appearance oriented, ie. the act is honored for its own sake and not it’s practicality, where the American is more pragmatic. Is that right?

Neophyte
Sunday, June 24th, 2012, 05:59 PM
Interesting, I didn't know the Ostrogoths adopted Arius. I agree that chivalry is something that Germans should strive for, but it's a moral code that only fits into a military context. Please define for me exactly what you mean by chivalry, because what I was taught to be chivalry literally cannot be applied to civilians. Like Bushido.

As I understand it the Goths accepted Arianism Christianity because it allowed them to pass as Christians, which was of political importance, while still setting them apart from the general Catholic population, something that was also politically important. Compare, if you want to, to the Khazar's adoption of Judaism.

That is also a moral lesson, to keep ourselves distinct from other peoples.

Jens
Sunday, June 24th, 2012, 09:40 PM
From what you are saying, it would seem that morality to Germans is more sentimental and appearance oriented, ie. the act is honored for its own sake and not it’s practicality, where the American is more pragmatic. Is that right?

Well, the practicality is important as well. It's not like we enjoy doing it, we just feel like anything less deserves scorn and contempt. It's really not a feel good thing.

Sawyer
Tuesday, June 26th, 2012, 02:22 AM
As I understand it the Goths accepted Arianism Christianity because it allowed them to pass as Christians, which was of political importance, while still setting them apart from the general Catholic population, something that was also politically important. Compare, if you want to, to the Khazar's adoption of Judaism.

That is also a moral lesson, to keep ourselves distinct from other peoples.

Arian Christianity makes me laugh. It seems so 'cheap', a far too easy way for people to call themselves Christian, if you know what I mean. Germanic Arian Christians seem to have basically done this: replace Baldur with Jesus and Odin/Thor with Yahweh. I read they viewed Jesus as a warrior-hero rather than a carpenter preaching forgiveness.

Bernhard
Tuesday, June 26th, 2012, 04:35 PM
As your quote itself and all evidence suggests, chivalry is a feature of the christian knighthood.

This doesn't mean that chivalry equals Christianity. My quote mentioned a value that was in opposition to Christianity, so I don't quite understand why you are shifting the topic towards Christianity.


Even if it did, the values of chivalry were purely for men of one, very narrow, level of society, and even within that group, the overwhelming majority of even that small group completely ignored it. By not applying at all to women, and not applying to the overwhelming majority of men either, and not having any actual Germanic origin that anyone has pointed out other than conjecture, I don't see how I could possibly adopt it as a Germanic virtue.

Virtues are ideals and ideals are not affected by numbers. An ideal isn't even affected by the impossibility of ever realizing it.


These need to be things that are ingrained in Germanic culture, visible at all levels of society. Cultural values are things that are so imbedded in you that you consider them so self-evident that you can't remember ever learning them. Things you take for granted as being that way because they just are. It should be part of the cultural subconscious.

So are eating and going to the toilet cultural values?

Jens
Tuesday, June 26th, 2012, 05:12 PM
Virtues are ideals and ideals are not affected by numbers. An ideal isn't even affected by the impossibility of ever realizing it.

And ideal isn't necessarily part of our morality. Not being chivalrous was not immoral, it was just plain normal for pretty much everyone in German society. We are observing what actually is German morality, not what we may imagine it should be, or imagined in the past.



So are eating and going to the toilet cultural values?

Just biological functions. Though a sense of hygiene involved in either activity could be.

Svanhild
Monday, July 2nd, 2012, 07:46 PM
You could add to your list: Business before pleasure. Erst die Pflicht, dann das Vergnügen.

Sawyer
Wednesday, July 4th, 2012, 08:41 PM
This doesn't mean that chivalry equals Christianity. My quote mentioned a value that was in opposition to Christianity, so I don't quite understand why you are shifting the topic towards Christianity.


And ideal isn't necessarily part of our morality. Not being chivalrous was not immoral, it was just plain normal for pretty much everyone in German society. We are observing what actually is German morality, not what we may imagine it should be, or imagined in the past.

What does it matter if Chivalry was defined in the Christian era? If it wasn't a Germanic creation then explain why it didn't arise in any other Christian countries?

Jens
Thursday, July 5th, 2012, 12:24 AM
What does it matter if Chivalry was defined in the Christian era? If it wasn't a Germanic creation then explain why it didn't arise in any other Christian countries?

What do you mean? Chivalry arose in France. It's a french word, from cavalier, meaning horseman.

Sjoerd
Thursday, July 5th, 2012, 01:22 AM
'Perseverance' would be a good one to add.

Germanics have the ability to stand up and return from defeat and failure. Each time we have a setback, we recognize this, and if the purpose is a true one we continue until success is won.

Perseverance is inherently dynamic in nature, and is essential to Natural Order. We must actively persevere and preserve our folk and way of life. We must persevere to achieve, and must remain stalwart in our works and commitments, for only through our achievement can we truly foster the developments and evolution of our true destiny.

Sawyer
Thursday, July 5th, 2012, 04:39 AM
What do you mean? Chivalry arose in France. It's a french word, from cavalier, meaning horseman.

More like it was perfected by the English nobility who ruled over large parts of France. Read my earlier posts, it existed in prototypes before the Middle Ages.

Besides, back then the French were barely even Romance. Calling them 'Franks' and distinguishing them from the Occitans was still the norm.

Jens
Thursday, July 5th, 2012, 01:59 PM
More like it was perfected by the English nobility who ruled over large parts of France. Read my earlier posts, it existed in prototypes before the Middle Ages.

Besides, back then the French were barely even Romance. Calling them 'Franks' and distinguishing them from the Occitans was still the norm.

Alright, I talked to my professor about this. What you call "civic chivalry" is called "Minnelyrik" and was called courtly love in english, and has never been chivalry, ever. Chivalry is "Ritterlichkeit" in German, and exclusively applies to the miltiary caste of medieval society.

Both exclusively applied to a very small segment of society that mostly did not participate in the actual culture of its subjects. While Poland, Lithuania, and Castile had up to 10% of their population in the noble class, most of Europe, including Germany, was between 0.5-2% nobility and the rest peasants. ONLY this class of people ever practiced these concepts and most of the regular folk never even heard of it at all.

To call Chivalry a Germanic moral principle as simply a falsehood. It was a part of knightly culture, which was similar all through Europe, unlike actual national culture, which is what we are discussing here. This is no more a German virtue than wearing lead powder and corsets and swooning at the sight of blood.

Perhaps we could say it was part of Frankish culture, but there is very little resembling chivalry mentioned in the few sources there are from the Early Middle Ages where this would have to be shown in order to demonstrate that it originated among Germans. Even if that could be shown, it is a simple fact that most Germanic tribes employed mainly infantry, so any rider's code would have been meaningless to most of them.

Sawyer
Thursday, July 5th, 2012, 03:02 PM
Alright, I talked to my professor about this. What you call "civic chivalry" is called "Minnelyrik" and was called courtly love in english, and has never been chivalry, ever. Chivalry is "Ritterlichkeit" in German, and exclusively applies to the miltiary caste of medieval society.

Well I am unsure if we are talking about German, or Germanic now. Most of the people contributing are not Germans, so I assume the trend was Germanic, but I feel you want solely German, but this from you 'To call Chivalry a Germanic moral principle as simply a falsehood' confuses me more!

In my head I only think of the wonderful knights of lore, from sacred Albion, this courtly love you speak of is synonymous with chivalry in my tongue. You will hear, say, allowing a lady to step before you onto the train/tram; "so chivalry is not dead." I am unacquainted with how knights conducted themselves in Germany, my knowledge is mostly of Albion, France and Spain.


Both exclusively applied to a very small segment of society that mostly did not participate in the actual culture of its subjects. While Poland, Lithuania, and Castile had up to 10% of their population in the noble class, most of Europe, including Germany, was between 0.5-2% nobility and the rest peasants. ONLY this class of people ever practiced these concepts and most of the regular folk never even heard of it at all.

To call Chivalry a Germanic moral principle as simply a falsehood. It was a part of knightly culture, which was similar all through Europe, unlike actual national culture, which is what we are discussing here. This is no more a German virtue than wearing lead powder and corsets and swooning at the sight of blood.

Well, I don't know about you, but those peasants were miserable peasants for a reason. The chivalrous knights were the most glorious and virtuous of men, 'Aristocracy' - rule by the wisest/best. I don't accept democracy - rule by the people. So just because the majority of the population were lowly peasants doesn't mean they should be followed over the best men, the Nobility. You don't believe the peasant will be more moral than the chivalrous knight? In our modern society, do we seek our inspiration from the low-class wife beating alcoholics or the man living what would be the equivalent to the American Dream?

Not a perfect analogy, because obviously not every peasant was the scum of society, but they mostly weren't the benchmark. Essentially, this is why we look to leaders, and only a minority are leaders.

Also, I don't see anything in the OP which states we are discussing 'National Culture', we're discussing Morality.

Jens
Thursday, July 5th, 2012, 03:26 PM
Well I am unsure if we are talking about German, or Germanic now. Most of the people contributing are not Germans, so I assume the trend was Germanic, but I feel you want solely German, but this from you 'To call Chivalry a Germanic moral principle as simply a falsehood' confuses me more!

We are talking about Germanic. It is a falsehood because we are looking at the commonalities of culture that unite the many Germanic peoples. You can't just cherry pick something that only applied a one segment of Vandal society and MAYBE the Franks, and spread to the European nobility from there. You have to consider the whole picture, the Nordics, the Germans, the Ostrogoths. It has to be more or less universal to be germanic, else it us just Vandal, or Frankish.



In my head I only think of the wonderful knights of lore, from sacred Albion, this courtly love you speak of is synonymous with chivalry in my tongue. You will hear, say, allowing a lady to step before you onto the train/tram; "so chivalry is not dead." I am unacquainted with how knights conducted themselves in Germany, my knowledge is mostly of Albion, France and Spain.

Note how Albion, Spain, and France were all part of the Roman Empire and just happen to have this in common.




Well, I don't know about you, but those peasants were miserable peasants for a reason. The chivalrous knights were the most glorious and virtuous of men, 'Aristocracy' - rule by the wisest/best. I don't accept democracy - rule by the people. So just because the majority of the population were lowly peasants doesn't mean they should be followed over the best men, the Nobility. You don't believe the peasant will be more moral than the chivalrous knight? In our modern society, do we seek our inspiration from the low-class wife beating alcoholics or the man living what would be the equivalent to the American Dream?


Also, I don't see anything in the OP which states we are discussing 'National Culture', we're discussing Morality.

We are discussing "Germanic" morality. That is national culture. Obviously.

Those lowly peasants are our forefathers. Not the aristocracy. Those aristocrats were inbred parasites, nothing more. Your can PREFER the aristocracy all you want. This has nothing to do with what you wish Germanics were or what you might wish to emulate. The fact is that those Germanic peasants were the Germanic people. THEY define that Germanics were. Not some tiny minority of privileged lazy mouth breathing inbred upper crusters. You are literally talking fairy tales here. Knights were not like this, and the nobility was far from "the best". There were no chivalrous knights, and the peasants were not wife beaters any more than they are today.

This is what the nobility tried to make peasants believe the nobility was like. What you're doing is the medieval equivalent of believing that politicians are selfless christian people that have your best interests at heart. Or that Stalin was a kind, empathetic and loving man.

Sawyer
Thursday, July 5th, 2012, 03:42 PM
We are talking about Germanic. It is a falsehood because the culture is a whole. You can't just cherry pick something that only applied a one segment of Vandal society and MAYBE the Franks, and spread to the European nobility from there. You have to consider the whole picture, the Nordics, the Germans, the Ostrogoths. It has to be more or less universal to be germanic, else it us just Vandal, or Frankish.

Vandal society???

This will be one hell of a pointless debate. I don't care what your opinion is, the chivalrous knights of law are quintessential to Germanic morality, regardless of whether they followed Christ, or whether you give it a different name.


Those lowly peasants are our forefathers. Not the aristocracy. Those aristocrats were inbred parasites, nothing more. Your can PREFER the aristocracy all you want. This has nothing to do with what you wish Germanics were or what you might wish to emulate. The fact is that those Germanic peasants were the Germanic people. THEY define that Germanics were. Not some tiny minority of privileged lazy mouth breathing inbred upper crusters. You are literally talking fairy tales here. Knights were not like this, and the nobility was far from "the best". There were no chivalrous knights, and the peasants were not wife beaters any more than they are today.

Oh yes I am sure that the Aristocracy did NOTHING EVER for their respective subjects. They just sat there and mated with their cousins, sure buddy :thumbup. Oh wait, countries progressed and advanced under Feudalism in the Middle Ages! How can that happen if these lousy aristocrats did nothing!!

How do you think an aristocracy comes about? Hmmmm? 'Rule by the best', do you think magically a little fairy came down from heaven and said "I choose this 2.5% of the country to rule!"? No, of course not. These aristocrats were the sons and daughters of men who rose to that rank above the mediocrity. Sure, not all of them were the best, but name one form of government where every single administrator or ruler is working to the best of his abilities.

Seeing as you have such disdain for the aristocracy, please return the following Pomerania back to the Pomeranians Slavs, surely you won't accept such gifts of territory to your nation from the aristocracy?:)


This is what the nobility tried to make peasants believe the nobility was like. What you're doing is the medieval equivalent of believing that politicians are selfless christian people that have your best interests at heart. Or that Stalin was a kind, empathetic and loving man.

Yes, the nobles were just like Stalin.................................. .

Jens
Thursday, July 5th, 2012, 03:56 PM
Vandal society???

This will be one hell of a pointless debate. I don't care what your opinion is, the chivalrous knights of law are quintessential to Germanic morality, regardless of whether they followed Christ, or whether you give it a different name.

Vandals were the only German tribe that ever converted to a cavalry military prior to the rise of the feudal society in the high middle ages. And no, Chivalry is definitely not quintessential, or even reasonably part of German morality. Germans did not walk around treating each other as if everyone was noble. They were simple farmers, and they acted like it.

There is no way in hell a germanic peasant girl was treated like a princess by anyone.



Oh yes I am sure that the Aristocracy did NOTHING EVER for their respective subjects. They just sat there and mated with their cousins, sure buddy :thumbup. Oh wait, countries progressed and advanced under Feudalism in the Middle Ages! How can that happen if these lousy aristocrats did nothing!!

How do you think an aristocracy comes about? Hmmmm? 'Rule by the best', do you think magically a little fairy came down from heaven and said "I choose this 2.5% of the country to rule!"? No, of course not. These aristocrats were the sons and daughters of men who rose to that rank above the mediocrity. Sure, not all of them were the best, but name one form of government where every single administrator or ruler is working to the best of his abilities.

Seeing as you have such disdain for the aristocracy, please return the following Pomerania back to the Pomeranians Slavs, surely you won't accept such gifts of territory to your nation from the aristocracy?:)

The first generation that attains power is good. The same cannot be said for their descendants. Inbred as they were.

Societies progressed during feudalism. At such an astronomic rate that it only took the about 1300 years to reach a level of development comparable to what was there during Roman times...

I'm not saying politicians today are better, just that your picture of the nobility sounds like it could have come out of Disney cartoons.

And what does Pomerania have anything to do with anything? Germans colonized it during the High Middle Ages. The Slaws were conquered by immigrant invasion and cultural assimilation.

Sawyer
Thursday, July 5th, 2012, 04:19 PM
Vandals were the only German tribe that ever converted to a cavalry military prior to the rise of the feudal society in the high middle ages. And no, Chivalry is definitely not quintessential, or even reasonably part of German morality. Germans did not walk around treating each other as if everyone was noble. They were simple farmers, and they acted like it.

This has nothing to do with chivalry towards women. So you believe it is okay to be rude to women, you consider that moral/good behaviour? Interesting.


The first generation that attains power is good. The same cannot be said for their descendants. Inbred as they were.

Prove to me that the knights and nobles were all inbreds.


Societies progressed during feudalism. At such an astronomic rate that it only took the about 1300 years to reach a level of development comparable to what was there during Roman times...

Feudalism itself was progress. It tied people to the land and stopped them from wandering, it allowed lords to have account of their subjects with relative ease. Its perfection under William the Conqueror allowed him to raise the mightiest army in Europe, from his tiny little Duchy of Normandy.


And what does Pomerania have anything to do with anything? Germans colonized it during the High Middle Ages. The Slaws were conquered by immigrant invasion and cultural assimilation.

So the Kaiser had nothing to do with it? The Dukes and Princes had nothing to do with the Ostsiedlung?

If you hate these evil evil Aristocrats so much then why is 'Constitutional Monarchy' listed as your politics?;)

Jens
Friday, July 6th, 2012, 12:22 AM
This has nothing to do with chivalry towards women. So you believe it is okay to be rude to women, you consider that moral/good behaviour? Interesting.

Now you're just putting words in my mouth. Where do you see me saying chivalry is a bad idea? I'm just saying it isn't a Germanic thing.




Prove to me that the knights and nobles were all inbreds.

This is simple, you live in Britain, you have plenty of archives and church registers available to you. An enormous portion of noble couples are cousin marriages, go look and you will see that. They are very well documented.



Feudalism itself was progress. It tied people to the land and stopped them from wandering, it allowed lords to have account of their subjects with relative ease. Its perfection under William the Conqueror allowed him to raise the mightiest army in Europe, from his tiny little Duchy of Normandy.

William the conqueror was far from the mightiest in Europe, he wouldn't have stood a snow flakes chance in hell of beating the French king, or even the British if they hadn't been in the middle of a war with the Vikings. He was an opportunist. A smart guy, not much else. Gaul, even before Roman conquest, has a solid agrarian society and an established structure. There are roman records from Caesar of individual Gaelic, German, and even Belgian tribes mustering and maintaining armies over 100,000 men strong. That is not a primitive culture. Considering that a HUGE army during the 100 Years War was some 30,000 soldiers strong, I'd say feudalism was a major step backward.



So the Kaiser had nothing to do with it? The Dukes and Princes had nothing to do with the Ostsiedlung?


If you hate these evil evil Aristocrats so much then why is 'Constitutional Monarchy' listed as your politics?;)

Sure they had something to do with it, but it was regular folks that did the actual work. That doesn't make chivalry a Germanic Moral principle either.

And Constitutional Monarchy is my political choice because I believe in the old system of elective monarchy practiced by the Germans. It was not hereditary except when the princes elected the predecessor's son. Which became tradition with time, which I think was a bad development. I think if you add in a constitution that limits the power of nobles to be corrupt and enrich themselves, the system can be very efficient. Also, knowing what we know today about genetics many unfortunate incidents caused by inbreeding can be prevented, and the nobles can be held accountable thanks to internet and other difficult to control high speed mediums of our day. I think if you'd like to discuss my political philosophy further we should start a new thread though.

Sawyer
Friday, July 6th, 2012, 05:03 AM
This is simple, you live in Britain, you have plenty of archives and church registers available to you. An enormous portion of noble couples are cousin marriages, go look and you will see that. They are very well documented.

Yeah, no....


Sure they had something to do with it, but it was regular folks that did the actual work. That doesn't make chivalry a Germanic Moral principle either.

Post #27:
Ok, let me try with Chivalry. I outlined the warrior part. But for the civil part, great respect for the opposite sex, complete opposition to misogyny, a romantic man, etc. Whenever I read of such traits in Medieval Europe, it is almost like a lashing out of Germanic culture against the misogyny of the Catholic Church.

No one mentioned women, so perhaps Chivalry towards women should be considered a part of German Morality.

--- end

The respect towards women has been evident since the time of Tacitus:


8. Tradition has it that armies wavering and even on the point of collapse have been restored by the steadfast pleas of the women, who bared their breasts and described how close they were to enslavement - a fate that the men fear more keenly for their women than for themselves; it is even found that you can secure a surer hold on a state if you demand among the hostages girls of noble family. More than this, they believe that there resides in women something holy and prophetic, and so do not scorn their advice or disregard their replies.


18. For all that, marriage there is strict, and no feature of their culture deserves higher praise. They are almost unique among barbarians in being satisfied with one wife each .... That is why she is reminded, in the very rites that bless her marriage at its outset, that she is coming to share a man's toils and dangers, that in peace and war alike she is to be his partner in all his sufferings and achievements.

From this I see proto-chivalry, if not full chivalry.

In the English language, we call 'courtly love' or respect for women, simply chivalry. Which is why I am not using another term here.


And Constitutional Monarchy is my political choice because I believe in the old system of elective monarchy practiced by the Germans. It was not hereditary except when the princes elected the predecessor's son. Which became tradition with time, which I think was a bad development. I think if you add in a constitution that limits the power of nobles to be corrupt and enrich themselves, the system can be very efficient. Also, knowing what we know today about genetics many unfortunate incidents caused by inbreeding can be prevented, and the nobles can be held accountable thanks to internet and other difficult to control high speed mediums of our day. I think if you'd like to discuss my political philosophy further we should start a new thread though.

Interesting. Similar to my own beliefs. To be clear, I believe in a new Aristocracy, combined with Meritocracy. Similar to the days of Napoleon, when a man could rise above his rank, but birth also counted for something.

You may not like a certain aristocracy, but we can surely agree it is best to be led by the best/wisest, in most cases, regardless of how that aristocracy is formed. When the sons and daughters of those wise folk fail to demonstrate the virtues of the predecessors, they are thus not the wisest/best, and thus by definition not aristocrats. ;)