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Thread: Three West-Germanic Groups, Three Cults?

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    Member Walders's Avatar
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    Three West-Germanic Groups, Three Cults?

    In Tacitus' Germania you can read about three groups of west Germanics

    In their ancient songs, their only way of remembering or recording the past they celebrate an earth-born god Tuisco, and his son Mannus, as the origin of their race, as their founders. To Mannus they assign three sons, from whose names, they say, the coast tribes are called Ingaevones; those of the interior, Herminones; all the rest, Istaevones.
    My assumtions:

    Ingaevones are people of the Fryr cult, and are Frisians, Saxons, Angles and Salian Franks
    Istaevones are people of the Donar/Thor cult, and are the Ripuarian Franks
    Irminones/Herminones are people of the Wodan/Odin cult, and are the High-Germans

    This all seems to fit with the stories and worship of the Lower Countries. The English are Ingaevones, the partly, but mostly Istaevones, and the Germans can be of these two groups, but are mainly Irminones

    But i also found an article saying Irmin is the same as Ziu/Tiw, which to me seems to be (according to Tacitus) the grandfather of Irmin.

    Can anyone help me with more information on this subject?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walders View Post
    Ingaevones are people of the Fryr cult, and are Frisians, Saxons, Angles and Salian Franks
    Istaevones are people of the Donar/Thor cult, and are the Ripuarian Franks
    Irminones/Herminones are people of the Wodan/Odin cult, and are the High-Germans

    This all seems to fit with the stories and worship of the Lower Countries. The English are Ingaevones, the partly, but mostly Istaevones, and the Germans can be of these two groups, but are mainly Irminones
    You are identifying certain people/tribes as Irminones, Istaevones and Ingaevones, which didn't exist in the time of Tacitus. Salian or Ripuarian Franks dit not exist back than and neither did High-Germans (the consonant shift hadn't taken place yet). So it is only useful to find out which tribes existing in the time of Tacitus and Pliny the elder belonged to the different cultic groups.
    I can recommend the book Nordgermanen und Alemannen, Studien zur germanischen und frühdeutschen Sprachgeschichte, Stammes- und Volkskunde by Friedrich Maurer. He rejects the west-germanic concept, because it is based on later linguistic processes and projected on the ancient Germanics. In stead he arrives at a different genealogy of the Germanic tribes making use of linguistical, archeological and historical evidence (the accounts of Tacitus and Pliny on the three cultic groups), which is the following:



    If I remember correctly he also says that the Saxons were in the beginning part of the Ingaevonic group but later became part of the Irminones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walders View Post

    But i also found an article saying Irmin is the same as Ziu/Tiw, which to me seems to be (according to Tacitus) the grandfather of Irmin.
    I think that the equation of Ingwaz and Freyr is the only one we can be absolutely certain of (although Paul Hermann has a complete different interpretation in which al three represent different aspects of Tiwaz). Personally I think that these three sons of Mannus aren't actual sons and therefor grandsons of Tuisco. In my opinion it tells us how Mannus created the different classes represented by three deities, his "sons". I've written more about that here: http://forums.skadi.net/showpost.php...9&postcount=10

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    Senior Member Thyriusz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post
    There is a line missing from Saxons to Germans.
    Or there should be made a distinction between continental Saxons and oversea Saxons at one point - with the continental Saxons obviously flourishing into the Germans.

    Or is this chart trying to neglect my existence as a Westphalian?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thyriusz View Post
    There is a line missing from Saxons to Germans.
    Or there should be made a distinction between continental Saxons and oversea Saxons at one point - with the continental Saxons obviously flourishing into the Germans.

    Or is this chart trying to neglect my existence as a Westphalian?

    Hm, you're right, I didn't notice that. I just checked it and in the book Friedrich Maurer does not make this mistake and there are two lines coming from the Saxons, one leading to the Anglo-Saxons and one leading to the Germans. So it is probably a mistake made by the person who created this chart on his computer after the one depicted in the book.

    So there is nothing wrong with your existence according to Friedrich Maurer.

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    Member Walders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post
    I think that the equation of Ingwaz and Freyr is the only one we can be absolutely certain of (although Paul Hermann has a complete different interpretation in which al three represent different aspects of Tiwaz). Personally I think that these three sons of Mannus aren't actual sons and therefor grandsons of Tuisco. In my opinion it tells us how Mannus created the different classes represented by three deities, his "sons". I've written more about that here: http://forums.skadi.net/showpost.php...9&postcount=10
    Thank you for your reply. I will look for that book of Friedrich Maurer, sounds useful.

    What you say about the groups representing different aspects of Tiwaz. In my opinion that does not need to conflict. Snorri writes that Tiw is son of Odin according, but he writes that in reality (or earlier times, as i read it) Tiw is the father of Odin. In mythology the concept of children often represents the different aspects of an archetype, instead of a real being-born-out-of situation.

    It is interesting that you talk about the classes, i heard a theory that the classes: Jarl, Carl and Tral, each had a cult dedicated to respectively: Odin, Thor, Fryr.

    I like these "perfect threefold" divisions, but it makes me wander how people of the Jastorf culture became separated by class while migrating deeper into the European continent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walders View Post
    What you say about the groups representing different aspects of Tiwaz. In my opinion that does not need to conflict. Snorri writes that Tiw is son of Odin according, but he writes that in reality (or earlier times, as i read it) Tiw is the father of Odin. In mythology the concept of children often represents the different aspects of an archetype, instead of a real being-born-out-of situation.
    That's often the case, but we know that Freyr is a God and not an aspect of another God. So if Ingwaz, Irminaz and Istuz would be aspects of Tiwaz, then Ingwaz could not be the same as Freyr but that is something which we can be pretty sure of. That is why I don't think the theory of Paul Herrmann can be right. Furthermore, the hypothetical identifications of Irminaz and Istuz as Tiwaz and Wodan/Donar together with Ingwaz being the same as Freyr fit perfectly in the theory of the Tacitean myth being a class myth, because those Gods represent the three classes/functions (see the works of Dumézil on this).
    But I will reread the book of Herrmann in which he puts forward this theory and maybe post something about it later if I spot something interesting.

    Could you perhaps quote that passage of Snorri? I didn't know of any written evidence for Tiwaz being the father of Wodan, because in Germanic lore Wodan is the supreme God and noone else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walders View Post

    I like these "perfect threefold" divisions, but it makes me wander how people of the Jastorf culture became separated by class while migrating deeper into the European continent.
    Why do you think they became seperated and weren't already?
    And didn't the Jastorf culture originate in an already Germanic northern-europe?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post
    Could you perhaps quote that passage of Snorri? I didn't know of any written evidence for Tiwaz being the father of Wodan, because in Germanic lore Wodan is the supreme God and noone else.
    I tried to look that up, but could not find it yet. I will inform you when i know more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post
    Why do you think they became seperated and weren't already?
    And didn't the Jastorf culture originate in an already Germanic northern-europe?
    I assume that different classes have to live together or close to each other, because you need all the expertise of all classes. To me classes sounds like a horizontal division, while tribes/nations are a vertical division. Do you have a different view on this?

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    Senior Member thoughtcrime's Avatar
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    Could you perhaps quote that passage of Snorri? I didn't know of any written evidence for Tiwaz being the father of Wodan, because in Germanic lore Wodan is the supreme God and noone else.
    Tyr (or Tiwaz, if you like, it simply means "god" or better, "the divine one"), the sky father, was the original leader of the germanic gods, before being displaced by Odin in the later stage of germanic paganism. He, the sky-god, not Odin, is the equivalent of the greece Zeus.

    I only found this as an online source, it's in german, though.

    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyr


    By the way, the Angles aren't solely represented in the english, but also in the german and danish population. I'm half-anglish, too, and I don't have a drop of english blood in my veins (at least as far as I know).
    "Lever dot as slav."

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    Member Walders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thoughtcrime View Post
    "Lever dot as slav."
    Also some Frisian blood?

    Do the Angles in Germany have a distinct identity, like the Frisians have in the Netherlands?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walders View Post
    I assume that different classes have to live together or close to each other, because you need all the expertise of all classes. To me classes sounds like a horizontal division, while tribes/nations are a vertical division. Do you have a different view on this?
    That might be a good way of describing it, but doesn't this contradict with what you said before about the existence of classes having to do something with some sort of seperation at a certain time.


    Quote Originally Posted by thoughtcrime
    Tyr (or Tiwaz, if you like, it simply means "god" or better, "the divine one"), the sky father, was the original leader of the germanic gods, before being displaced by Odin in the later stage of germanic paganism. He, the sky-god, not Odin, is the equivalent of the greece Zeus.

    I only found this as an online source, it's in german, though.

    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyr
    I am aware of this theory, but it is only a theory based on the linguistical connection of Germanic Teiwaz and the Indo-European *Dyēus Ph2tēr. Hence I was interested in this passage of Snorri which Walders mentioned, because I have never heard of it. In Germanic mythology Wodan is the sky-god no matter what name he has. How this change of names as happened remains uncertain.

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