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Thread: Human Sacrifices in Germany in the Bronze and Iron Ages

  1. #21
    Senior Member Neophyte's Avatar
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    You seem to forget the ritual execution of the captured enemy leader following a Roman triumph, such as those of Vercingetorix and Jugurtha who were strangled and starved to death respectively.

    To me that has the clear sign of a human sacrifice.

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    the finde in the caves are very old. I would attribute them to the original Europeans and consider Celts and Germanics in this area as late comers.

    as I do not have a clear timetable of all the migrations in this area it is difficult to say. Beside Celts and Germanics there were also a sizable group of Slaws in the area.

    when I am not wrong in around 900 at the Christian year count they made a revolution against the christianizing German tribes and kept Christianity out for a few centuries more, longer than the Skandinavians. so Heathenry were kept longer on German lands. whether those slavic tribes filled the gaps left by the 'Voelkerwanderung' - moving of Germanic tribes or they settled there originally is not known to me.

    So to clearly attribute the skulls and bones in the caves to a group of Aryans one would need more information.
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

  3. #23
    Senior Member Jens's Avatar
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    @ Krähe: ok gotcha

    the rest: It isn't super important if Germanics committed human sacrifices, I just think they didn't because the only evidence we have is circumstantial and the only records of it come from the smear propaganda of our arch enemies.

    Tacitus wrote 100 years after the fact. Not even his father was alive at the time of the Varian Disaster. The only contemporary account in existence is from Velleus Paterculus, and there is no mention of any sacrifices. Tacitus recorded hearsay and nothing else in regards to that conflict.

    Interesting on the Romans, I hadn't heard that. Touché. But it still doesn't tell us anything about Germans.

    Execution is not sacrifice unless it is dedicated to a god. What god were criminals sacrificed to in bogs and according to what source? Sounds like a convenient execution method to me, nothing more. Hell of a stretch to call it a sacrifice if all we are working with is that they're dead.

    Also, a ritual execution is still not a sacrifice unless it is done for a religious purpose. Is there any indication from Roman sources that the execution of Vercingetorix or another leader was dedicated to a god or fulfilled any religious obligation?
    Apfelstrudel mit Vanillesoße, yeah I said it, what are you gonna do?

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    Tacitus tells us that the Germanic equivalant of Mercury, ie. Woden, was the only god that received human sacrifice. This tends to be echoed down through the ages. This makes sense becasue, even as early as Tacitus, Woden is listed alongside Tiw as a war-god. And what takes place in war? Men die. Sometimes, as in warrior cultures, they go forth to die willingly ... as a true sacrifice.

    In fact, Tacitus also told us that one of the ways that men were sacrificed to Woden was on the battle field, by flinging the first volley of spears OVER the enemy host.

    We hear of other ways of course, but it's always wise to take the time to draw distinctions between sacralized kilings or executions and a true sacrifice in which a life is offered to a god. Afterall, are the witchhunts or killings of heretics examples of Christian human sacrifice? The prescence of a Christian priest at a state execution?

    No doubt our ancestors practiced human sacrifice, but the evidence points to this being mostly a matter of willing warrior type stuff or euthanasia. Then we have matters like the Nerthus thralls of the thrall girl from the Rus, which are markedly different; a side note to something else rather than the point. And then of course there are executions. These were in the hands of the god, Tiw, who's name means glory, and who's Eddic byname, "Leavings of the Wolf", means glory, and who is muchly concerend with the human spirit, and it's freedom for the sake of possibly emergence of glory. NO MAN could be beaten, imprisoned or flogged without his consent, as divined by the high-priest who could silence even the warlord's will while at war . And if they were doomed, the God of Glory ... looked away. And the community of men were free to deliver the criminal just deserts. Such was a ritual disposal, not a "making sacred", ie. a sacrifice.

    Cheers!

  5. #25
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    The sacrifices I referred too are pretty old and have been young girls. I don't think they were sacrificed to Odin.

    It seems to be more a matriarchal society of pregermans. Generally it is sacrificed what is most valuable in a society. In a matriarchal religion it is young girls, presumably virgins and presumably to a female deity (Mother Earth, Freya, Fertility Goddesses, weather Gods, etc).

    Most often those societies were not warrior societies, so men had a different role.

    Most likely it were early farming cultures. Depending on the weather is a main concern for a farmer.

    They most likely thought in pictures, forms, similarities. Mother Earth was the feminine, where the soil would be broken up with a plough, forming lines representative to the feminine Genital. Into these lines the seed was put, similar to the proliferation of humans, rain would be similar to the wetness of the feminine during the act, The sun most likely was considered as Male. (though in modern German the moon is male and the sun has a female gender/Artikel). The feminine most likely was connected to the rich dark and fertile soil, the sun like a warrior in his war wagon running beaming through the sky, in springtime it would be a young warrior full of masculine energy then maturing through the year cycle and becomes old and weak.

    The energy in springtime, that what we feel is a very small portion of it as we are disconnected from nature, was so strongly felt, that fertility festivities were celebrated and 10 moons later after the harvest was brought in, the children were born, a sort of harvest.

    Those children most likely were considered as the children of the Goddess as it was her energy, the people felt so deeply and strongly inside at that time, that they might have believed that the Goddess acts through them.

    The living together with the Gods, the feeling of them was way more intense than a person living in the industrial age can imagine. The living with the energies, the feeling of the rhythms was not much separated from oneself.

    A sacrifice (the true meaning is making something sacred) was more of an elevation to the Goddess.

    When something was out of rhythm they most likely felt something was wrong with the Gods and had to be helped to find back to a healthy state.

    As a young boy, my mother took me to the catholic walk through the fields to pray for rain. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was carried under a baldachin through the fields and the priest blessed the fields, while the people who followed, sang and prayed. most often the procession ended in rain, a sign that the prayer were heard and accepted.

    That seemed to be rooted in the Nerthus cult and most likely goes much much further.

    The female figurines of the stone age dating back to 30,000 years mostl likely refer to those cults.
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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    I am sure I read that in Germanic society human sacrifice was less common than in Celtic but still occured (especially in times of war or famine).

    I know it sounds harsh but in times of famine human sacrifice seems eminently logical (and if you pick the worst specimins for it all the more so - although it seems less of a *sacrifice* that way), people will starve to death anyway if nothing is done, if someone has to die better the criminal element and it reduces the pressure of food scarcity (although not by much depending on the population numbers unless large numbers of sacrificees are chosen...).

    I kind of take a deep ecologist pov on human sacrifice, humans are more useful to us so they're a greater "sacrifice" but in terms of existential value while an individual human or group of humans may be worth more on the basis of their relationship to us, on an objective level humans, trees, hares, tigers etc etc are all equally worthy and deserving of life. We kill in war, in self defense, to eat, to build, to prepare the soil and so on. We have blood on our hands already, adding religion to it won't make it worse.

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    We should still have human sacrifice, it might put the third worlders off from coming here then!

  8. #28
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    Jean Markale writes in his books about human sacrifices of he celts, and he argues pretty convincingly that they did not happen. He also argues that the Romans tried to depict themselves as more civilized than the celts to justify the wars morally/ethically.

    I think more in the direction that human sacrifices occurred before the entering of germanics and Celtic people into western Europe and where done by farming societies living in matriarchal structures. remnants of that practice can be found in the killing of humans and then opening of their bellies to make divinations of the flow of the intestines around 2000 years ago. Interestingly that was done by women shamans who got this 'traditions' most likely from the former matriarchal farming societies, whose very very last remnants were the medieval witches.
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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