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Thread: The Consequence of Cowardice

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    The Consequence of Cowardice


    "But as they pursued those that fled to their camp they witnessed a most fearful tragedy; the women, standing in black clothes on their wagons, slew all that fled, some their husbands, some their brethren, others their fathers" ~ Plutarch On the Cimbri

    Plutarch's words give us a powerful insight into the minds of our northern Ancestors. Of course this is a Roman writing and as such it may be a little embellished, but there can be no doubt that our forebears viewed acts of cowardice, with the utmost disdain.
    https://redice.tv/news/the-consequence-of-cowardice

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    An excellent video, if somewhat romanticised.

    I don't think there were any hard and fast rules. Tostig's men (what remained of them) fled before Harold at Stamford Bridge because they faced overwhelming odds and their cause was already lost.

    Days later, Harold and his housecarls fought to the last man at the top of Senlac Hill even though their situation was hopeless. Different circumstances produced different reactions.

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    The Frisians have a saying "Lever död en slav" (rather dead than slave). Imho this was indeed one of the most powerful commandments. Fight as long as there is just a shred of hope, but when there isnt, dont allow your enemies to take you slave.

    There are early middle age sagas that tell about warriors who survived a lost battle who had their hair shoven off, and although this came with an expiring date, for as long as the hair wasnt grown back to run over the shoulders (in German terms, until then you had no hair worth to talk about, hair was a matter of pride), they could be subjected to public shaming by everyone who felt the need.

    This is a rather prevalent element in old sagas. Also warriors who faced dying of old age rather than on battlefield would go a long way to get killed rather than dying in bed.

    Sieg oder Tod. Victory or Death. Lok'tar Ogar (as the wow Orcs would say). Siegheil is also connected to this. Heil is a complex root word, ranging from "luck" (originally rather a favour the gods granted for bravery and will, so earned, than the emptied meaning of rolling a dice) over heilen/healing and heil=ganz, whole/complete. Losing meant death, either on the battlefield or by committing suicide to avoid becoming a slave. Imho that's also the reason why Sieg Heil is such a powerful mantra, it speaks to our soul and to what we know, somewhere deep inside, is right. Fight or die. For he who fights no more, hates no more, has already lost; the love of kin, the love of his loved ones, the love of the gods, the battle, his will, his life, everything.

    And this cowardice indeed comes with a price. Look at this zombie world.
    Ein Leben ist nichts, deine Sprosse sind alles
    Aller Sturm nimmt nichts, weil dein Wurzelgriff zu stark ist
    und endet meine Frist, weiss ich dass du noch da bist
    Gefürchtet von der Zeit, mein Baum, mein Stamm in Ewigkeit

    my signature

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