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Old July 20th, 2016, 11:23 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Matthew Amt View Post
Oh, I certainly wouldn't say it was a *common* thing at all!



What a silly thing to say! Many things they wrote about are confirmed by artwork or archeology. Tacitus admired the Germans, and used them as an example of virtue and morality. If you're going to assume that he and all other Romans are liars, that must mean the Germans were NOT virtuous. Why bother studying history at all, if you're going to be so biased and judgemental?



In a warrior culture?? Even a sacrifice a year per clan or tribe is hardly a "gigantic loss", though I don't think there is any indication that it was that common. But the only reason for a society to do that is because they expect a worthwhile gain from it--one human life was simply an investment for a much larger benefit. They didn't hesitate to execute criminals, or to kill for revenge. If one life was too valuable to lose, their whole society would have had an entirely different structure and focus.

Matthew
Germans were no "warrior" culture. It was mostly a farmer culture. War and Violence wasn´t a big part of it. It was much more abour braveness, honor.

To raise a human being in such small clan orientated societies is very costly. Even more so in this harsher lands.
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Old July 20th, 2016, 11:39 AM   #22
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I guess one way to help figure this out would be to know how significant bogs were to Germanic pagan religions. The OP mentioned that they're important even today in folklore; do we know if in the past they had some significant religious power that would have warranted sacrifices?

For example I know several of the Balt peoples believed in the power of lake spirits and would make material offerings to them (although I haven't seen much evidence of humans also being sacrificed).

I think I also read something about religious offerings being found in some of the Swiss lakes...
bogs are seen as mysterious places you get lost in. They have a strange aura in our mythology. cold, fog. barren

Even more so because they were open space and the rest of the land full of thick forest.

Click the image to open in full size.

There are legends about so called "Irrlichter". Lights in the bog that lure wanderers at night deep into the bog until he disappears.

The bog gets even more mysterious during nights:

Click the image to open in full size.

What i could imagine is that if it is a sacrifice then in a way to give something back.

The bog has "Torf". That stuff when dried is very good burning and can easily be used to heat up houses.

Germanic religion was very much connected with nature. So i could imagine it would be meant as something as return gift for the peat.

The problem i see is that germanic society was based on small villages. There were no larger cities. It was all very fragmentated. You had villages with maybe 40 or 80 people and then many dozen km only forest.

My village today has maybe 1200 people. I know evryone in our village and all of the kids with same age as i are basicly my friends. The idea to kill someone of them is totally alien for me.

I dont think that is easy for a small society. When you look at cultures with large scale sacrifices its always big societies like Aztecs and Inka and they chose the victims not among themself often.

So maybe the victims came from other places? As far as i know one bog mummie shows italian style hair style.
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Old July 20th, 2016, 12:00 PM   #23

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Germans were no "warrior" culture. It was mostly a farmer culture. War and Violence wasn´t a big part of it. It was much more abour braveness, honor.

To raise a human being in such small clan orientated societies is very costly. Even more so in this harsher lands.
Hoo! Never mind, we must be talking about different Germanies!

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Old July 20th, 2016, 12:25 PM   #24

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Cant say about Germany, but in Ireland they were mostly ritual sacrifices/murders. They are found on borders of old kingdoms, and show signs of overkill, throat cut, strangled and multiple wounds.
On the plus side, they are usually aristocrats, as the hands display no signs of hard work.
Lakes, ponds in bogs were seen as gateways to the other world.
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Old July 20th, 2016, 12:29 PM   #25
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Hoo! Never mind, we must be talking about different Germanies!

Matthew
No. You just talk about an imaginary thing and i talk about the real thing.

The germanic people were farmers and not even conquerers. Good fighets in defense but did not start fights until the roman attacks.

99% of life circled around how the wheat grows best and how to raise your children.

Dont know how you define warrior culture.

If you eman by warrior culture that my ancestors had no problem to cut off some roman heads. yeah then we had a warrior culture.

If you mean by warrior culture that they were in constant war and battle, then nope they had not.
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Old July 20th, 2016, 12:38 PM   #26

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Cant say about Germany, but in Ireland they were mostly ritual sacrifices/murders. They are found on borders of old kingdoms, and show signs of overkill, throat cut, strangled and multiple wounds.
On the plus side, they are usually aristocrats, as the hands display no signs of hard work.
Lakes, ponds in bogs were seen as gateways to the other world.
We don't know if they went willingly to their deaths--why should they believe in their gods and afterlife less than some modern religions? --- as you say they were high status people by their clothing and health but whether they were captives or not is impossible to tell.

".....Examining the details of both men’s lives and deaths has led Kelly to suggest a new way of looking at the meaning of eight well-preserved Irish bog bodies. “I believe these men were failed kings or failed candidates for kingship who were killed and placed in bogs that formed important tribal boundaries. Both Clonycavan and Old Croghan men’s nipples were pinched and cut. “Sucking a king’s nipples was a gesture of submission in ancient Ireland,” says Kelly. “Cutting them would have made him incapable of kingship.” The bodies served as offerings to the goddess of the land to whom the king was wed in his inauguration ceremony. According to Kelly, both men’s multiple injuries may reflect the belief that the goddess was not only one of the land and fertility, but also of sovereignty, war, and death. “By using a range of methods to kill the victim, the ancient Irish sacrificed to the goddess in all her forms,” he says. ...."

http://archive.archaeology.org/1005/...n_croghan.html


A similar article.

Irish bog bodies, some recent discoveries | Irish Archaeology
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Old July 20th, 2016, 12:54 PM   #27

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as you say they were high status people by their clothing and health
Early signs of Republicanism. !!!
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Old July 20th, 2016, 01:08 PM   #28
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Early signs of Republicanism. !!!
Sacrifice and plot still goes on in the Labour and Conservative parties.

It is interesting to hypothesise what the fate of someone who challenged the leader would be if he failed.

I mean in the early medieval period. Today they just end up in the House of Lords.
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Old July 20th, 2016, 01:19 PM   #29

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the fate of someone who challenged the leader would be if he failed.

I mean in the early medieval period. Today they just end up in the House of Lords.
A slight change of subject. In most of Europe they would have been killed or blinded.
Blinding a king or Emperior would make him unfit to rule, in Ireland and the Byzantine Empire.
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