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Thread: On the Legendary German Morality

  1. #41
    Senior Member Jens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theodericus View Post
    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.
    Apfelstrudel mit Vanillesoße, yeah I said it, what are you gonna do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    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.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Jens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theodericus View Post
    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.
    Apfelstrudel mit Vanillesoße, yeah I said it, what are you gonna do?

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    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 . 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?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    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.................................. .

  5. #45
    Senior Member Jens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theodericus View Post
    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 . 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.
    Apfelstrudel mit Vanillesoße, yeah I said it, what are you gonna do?

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    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?

  7. #47
    Senior Member Jens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theodericus View Post
    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.
    Apfelstrudel mit Vanillesoße, yeah I said it, what are you gonna do?

  8. #48
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    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.

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