Evidence for the use of runes after 597 is generally preserved in one of three forms: inscriptions, coins, and manuscripts. Runic inscriptions on monuments, often found in combination with Roman letters, are especially useful for studying regional variations in the use and structure of the futhorc. Inscriptions on portable objects also bear runic inscriptions, but the limitation of the surviving sample to non-perishable artefacts may obscure some of the more mundane vernacular uses of runes, as well as important evidence regarding the runic literacy of the general populationShare on Facebook
Posts Tagged ‘Middle Ages’
The Huns, who had set in motion this vast movement of peoples, moved westward from the center they had established on the plains of Hungary . Both Romans and Germans were terrified of these savage warriors whose only interest was plunder and bloodshed. Joining momentarily together in 451, the Romans and Visigoths defeated the Hun leader, Attila, at the battle of Chalons; and within a couple of years the Huns had withdrawn from Europe . Their disappearance, however, only facilitated the entry into the empire of several more Germanic tribes: the Ostrogoths, the Franks, and the Anglo-Saxons.
The purpose of the great defense walls of the Roman Empire , the limes that ran across central Germany , Hadrian’s Wall in England , and the fortifications along the Danube , and also of most campaigns fought in Europe from the time of Augustus had been to protect the area of “civilization” within the empire from the “barbarians” outside. InScotland and Ireland , the barbarians were Celtic, an artistic, warlike, and highly emotional people, who for several centuries had been withdrawing ever further northwards to the coastal fringes of northwestern Europe from the lands they had once held, in France and Germany . On the continent between the Rhine-Danube frontier,Scandinavia , and the Black Sea , lived the Germanic tribes. In spite of the danger they represented to the empire, these tall fair-haired warriors, dressed in skins and draped in gold armbands and chains, fascinated the urbanized Romans. Tacitus claimed to see in them a noble simplicity and vigor that had been lost by the effete Roman of his own day. The way of life of all the Germanic tribes, at least before the influence of Rome affected those closest to the empire, was fairly similar. They had begun to give up a nomadic life and to settle in small village communities separated from each other by the forest. Their political institutions were primitive but important for the future. Law was administered through a tribal court, called a moot, in which all the warriors of the community judged complaints brought by one member of the tribe against another. The court usually settled the matter either by allowing the defendant to take an oath of innocence provided he was supported by friends who swore to his reliability, or by putting the defendant to ordeal. In this case, he might be made to walk through fire. If he were innocent, his wounds would begin to heal in a few days. The chief was chosen by the warriors for his fitness to lead them in war. The warriors in turn swore personal allegiance to the chief, and became members of his comitatus, or group of warrior companions. Elective monarchy was thus ac- companied by the principle of personal loyalty to one’s lord, which became one of the primary social bonds in medieval European society. Beyond these facts, little is known about the German tribes before they began to press again on the weakening Roman Empire in the late fourth century.Share on Facebook
More than 2,000 years ago a tall and fair-haired people roamed Europe. The ancestors of these fierce Teutonic warriors may have come from Northern Europe. The Romans later called them the Germani. As these Germanic tribes migrated south- and westward, they clashed with the Romans. In 113 BC German tribes–the Cimbri and Teutoni–began invading the Mediterranean regions. The Roman general Gaius Marius defeated them in 102 and 101 BC.
To discourage further invasions, Julius Caesar crossed the Rhine in 55 and 53 BC. After the Germans under Arminius destroyed Quinctilius Varus’ army in AD 9, Augustus decided not to conquer Germany. The Romans built a line of fortifications, called the Limes Germanicus, from the Rhine to the Danube. When Roman power weakened, waves of German tribes migrated to various regions of the empire. The Franks crossed the Rhine into Gaul (now France). The Goths migrated to the Balkans. The Alemanni moved into the Rhineland and the Burgundians and Vandals into the Main River valley.
Between present-day Netherlands and Denmark were the Frisians. Between the Rhine and Elbe rivers were the Saxons. In central Germany were the Thuringians. On the upper Rhine in Swabia were the Alemanni and on the lower Rhine the Franks.
In 486 at Soissons, Clovis extended Frankish rule over northern Gaul. Under Charlemagne the kingdom covered most of Western Europe, including Germany to the Elbe. In 800 the pope crowned Charlemagne emperor of the Holy Roman Empire
Charlemagne died in 814. The Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided his empire into three parts. Louis the German acquired the eastern part, which became Germany. Charles the Bald ruled the west, which became France. Lothair obtained the middle part. With the rise of feudalism Germany was cut into five tribal, or Stamm, duchies–Saxony, Franconia, Bavaria, Swabia, and Lorraine
In 911 the Carolingian rule of Germany ended. Conrad I of Franconia was the first German king. The Saxon House began with the rule of Henry I from 919 to 936. The strongest Saxon king was Otto I the Great (936-973). He revived the Holy Roman Empire, which did not include France.Share on Facebook
Jewry was born on the soil of Palestine, that crossroads between Europe, Asia, and Africa, the battleground and settlement region of the most varied peoples It is a mixture of Middle Eastern and Oriental races, with strong Hametic and Negroid elements. All of these races are nomads or wandering shepherding peoples, whose characteristics are intensified in Jewry. Over a long period of development, the trading spirit typical of Jewry has developed, based on a foundation of usury, fraud, deceit, and cowardly wretchedness.
This varied mixture of differing races and peoples gradually solidified into Jewry, and was protected against further mixing as the result of strict laws of religious nature enforced by the rule of the rabbis to preserve the purity of the Jewish race to this day.
All these laws to prevent further mixing with foreign blood were unable to assure Jewry’s existence as a state, since there it lacked the creative force of healthy, pure-blooded peoples. Thus, they spread throughout the world to split all peoples and states, driven by the insane notion that they were God’s chosen people that other peoples had to serve. Everywhere, they were an element of destruction. The Roman Empire broke against the rule of the Semitic Emperor after the Nordic leadership was systematically exterminated and replaced by the influence of Syrians and Jews. Throughout the Middle Ages, they continued their tightly connected financial and political efforts with the help of their usurious loans to the leading courts of Europe. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, given the powerful influence of Rothschild money, one could say: “There is but one power in Europe, and that is Rothschild.”
Their claim to power rested on more than usury and financial dependency, however. They forced their way into their host peoples, destroying healthy and resistant blood. The infiltration of Jewish blood into the German nobility, and the resulting destruction of the best German blood, is best seen in the Pereier-Arnstein family. The female descendants of the founder of the purely Jewish Pereier-Arnstein family married into Aryan families and corrupted their blood. Within four generations, fourteen German noble families, and two bourgeois families, had been infected with Jewish blood.
Hand in hand with Jewry’s destruction of the best blood of our people came an ever-growing influence on our cultural life. The ability of Jewry to influence cultural life in Prussia at the beginning of the nineteenth century is illustrated by its ability to use the bourgeois position of a leading man like Wilhelm von Humboldt. He was infected with the false doctrine of liberalism, which taught human equality, in the Jewish salons of Henriette Herz and Rahel Levin. Under their influence, he opened academic positions in the newly-founded university to Jews, and argued a few years later at the Congress of Vienna for their full emancipation.
Wilhelm von Humboldt had no idea of the danger his defective understanding of the nature of Jewry had for the German people and its future. Jewry, as it used him, was aware of the methods in the political background that it was using to creep into the life of the German people, and into the lives of all peoples on earth, establishing itself as an equal, yet eternally foreign element. One of its most prominent representatives made this public in a clear and unmistakable way in a statement about the goals of Freemasonry, although this unfortunately was paid little heed. This statement by the high-degree Jewish Freemason Isaac Crémieux revealed not only Jewry’s plans for world domination, but also the role of Freemasonry as a tool to realize this plan.
It is a sign for the healthy strength of the rural part of our people, and of all peoples, that its sure instinct always recognized Jewry’s drive to realize its plans for world domination, and always resisted them. There were uprisings against the Jews throughout the Middle Ages, against its usury and political exploitation. These bitter defensive struggles, however, lacked unified leadership, so they were only individual actions without lasting success. They did show, however, how alert the common man is to the political danger of Jewish infiltration.Share on Facebook
The term Middle Ages long suggested a rather unpleasant, backward period
return of vigorous civilization in the 15th century. In this view, the Middle
Ages might be regarded as an unfortunate interlude in which Westerners were
dominated by poverty and superstition, pulled away from mainstream Western
values. Western leaders might be given credit for keeping a few classical
ideals alive, copying documents and venerating the glories of the past.
Western leaders, however, should be given credit for little else.
The harsh view of the Middle Ages is not entirely wrong, though it
neglects the extent to which much activity centered in parts of Europe that
had never before been integrated into a major civilization and therefore were
building appropriate institutions and culture for the first time.
Postclassical Europe was backward in some respects, even at its height. It did
not participate in world contacts as an equal to the great Asian societies.
The Middle Ages was not simply an awkward interlude in Western history,
however. It had a formative force of its own.Share on Facebook
The Arthurian Legend is a group of tales (in several languages) that developed in the Middle Ages concerning Arthur, semihistorical king of the Britons, and his knights. The legend is a complex weaving of ancient Celtic mythology with later traditions around a core of possible historical authenticity.The earliest references to Arthur are found in Welsh sources – the poem, Y Gododdin (circa 600 CE), histories, written in Latin, in the 9th and 10th centuries, and tales in the Welsh story collection The Mabinogion (circa 1100 CE). In one of these tales Arthur’s wife, Guinevere, and his knights Kay, Bedivere, and Gawain make their appearance. The earliest continuous Arthurian narrative is in the Historia Regum Britanniae (circa 1139) by the English writer Geoffrey of Monmouth. Here Arthur is identified as the son of the British king Uther Pendragon, and his counselor Merlin is introduced. The Historia mentions the isle of Avalon, where Arthur went to recover from wounds after his last battle, and it tells of Guinevere’s infidelity and the rebellion instigated by Arthur’s nephew Mordred.
All later developments of the Arthurian legend are based on Geoffrey’s work. Thus, the first English Arthurian story is in the poet Layamon’s Roman de Brut (1205), an English version of Geoffrey’s Historia. Arthur is depicted as a warrior on an epic scale; and the story of his magic sword Excalibur, which only he could extract from a rock, is included for the first time. An Arthurian tradition also developed in Europe, probably based on stories handed down from the Celts who immigrated to Brittany in the 5th and 6th centuries. By 1100 Arthurian romances were known as far away as Italy. Inspired by chivalry and courtly love, they are more concerned with the exploits of Arthur’s knights than with Arthur himself.
The oldest of the French Arthurian romances is a series of 12th-century poems by Chrétien de Troyes. One introduces Lancelot, Arthur’s chief knight and his rival for Guinevere’s love; another poem about Percival is the earliest story of the search for the Holy Grail, which from then on was incorporated into the legend. Chrétien’s work had great influence on later Arthurian romance, particularly early German versions, such as Erec and Iwein, by the 12th-century poet Hartmann von Aue, and the epic Parzifal (c. 1210), by Wolfram von Eschenbach. By the early 13th century the story of Tristram and Iseult (or Tristan and Isolde), from another Celtic tradition, was added to the Arthurian legend.
English Arthurian romances, dating from the 13th and 14th centuries, concerned individual knights-Percival and Galahad, the Grail knights, and especially Gawain. The culminating masterpiece of these was the anonymously written Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (c. 1370). A number of these Arthurian tales were retold, in English prose, by Sir Thomas Malory in his Morte d’Arthur (1485). On this book the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson based his Idylls of the King (1859-85), an allegorical treatment of Victorian society.
Many other writers have adapted the stories of Arthur and his knights and their great court at Camelot to contemporary tastes and themes. The poet Edmund Spenser used Arthur, as the perfect knight, in his epic allegory of Elizabethan society, The Faerie Queene (1590-99). Mark Twain contrasted New England progressivism with medieval society in his A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court (1880). The Once and Future King (4 vol., 1939-58), by the English author T.H. White, remains a widely read modern version of the legend. Music, too, shows the abiding interest in Arthurian stories-from the German composer Richard Wagner’s Parsifal (1882) to the Broadway musical Camelot (1960), by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe.Share on Facebook
The war has reached a stage at which only the full efforts of the nation and of each individual can save us. The defence of our freedom no longer depends on the army fighting at the front. Each civilian, each man and woman and boy and girl must fight with unequaled fanaticism. The enemy expects that, once his tanks have broken through, they will find no resistance. He believes that we will be so disconcerted by his material superiority that we will let things take their course, without caring how they turn out. We must prove the enemy’s hopes wrong. No village and no city may give in to the enemy. The enemy is strong, but not strong enough to hold all the territory of the Reich without our help. If he persuades us to capitulate, he will have an easy time with us. The enemy has laid waste to our cities and provinces through the worst and most terrible bombing terror. As long as we are determined to resist at all costs, we cannot be beaten, and for us not being beaten means to be victorious.
This war of nations demands heavy sacrifice. Still, those sacrifices do not begin to compare with those we would be forced to bring if we lose. The enemy naturally wants to make his battle against the Reich as easy and safe as possible, and hopes to diminish our morale by seductive agitation. That is poison for weak souls. He who falls for it proves he has learned nothing from the war. He thinks it possible to take the easy road, when only the hard path leads to freedom. They are the same doubting souls who have no sense of national honor, and think nothing of living under the clubs of Anglo-American banking Jews, accepting charity from their hands. In other words, they are the rubbish of our nation, who nonetheless give the enemy an entirely false idea of this people. One sees how the English and American newspapers have fun with them, mocking and scorning them, and comparing them with a brave nation fighting for its life. That nation, which has demonstrated heroism and more heroism, has only one wish when reading these accounts: to kill them. They deserve nothing else. One cannot even claim that they do not know what they are doing. They have to know it, for they have been told often enough, even by the enemy, should they not want to believe us.
In the midst of a thousand battles, burdens and defeats, our people stand unbroken. Our hearts are proud when we hear from the enemy the wild fanaticism they encounter, how fathers, mothers and even children gather to resist the invaders, how boys and girls throw hand grenades and mines or shoot from cellar windows without regard to danger. They force the enemy to give them respect. They tie up his forces. They force him to commit his reserves to hold a rebellious city or a village glowing with national fanaticism, thereby slowing his advance until a new defensive line can be built a few kilometers further on. It is an absurd reversal of the facts to claim they are fighting in desperation. The enemy’s attacks are riskier than the methods we use to resist. They have a solid foundation, which will soon make its impact known in the course of the war. A nation that defended its freedom with all its resources has never yet been defeated. Often, however, those that give in from desperation have been defeated.
Our entire war effort requires revolutionary changes. The old rules of war are outdated, and have no use at all in our present situation. This is the age of wars between nations. When whole peoples are threatened, whole peoples must defend themselves. The enemy does not want to take a province from us or push us back to more favorable strategic borders; he wants to cut our very arteries by destroying our mines and factories, destroying our national substance. If he succeeds, Germany will become a cemetery. Our people will starve and perish, aside from the millions who will be deported to Siberia as slave labor. In such a situation, any means is justified. We are in a state of national emergency; it is no time to ask what is normally done! Does the enemy worry about that? Where does international law allow for the tens of thousands of German women tortured and raped in the East, or the tens of thousands of German children who have been murdered in a cowardly and terrible way, or the many who have fallen victim to barbaric enemy bombing terror? All normal ideas of warfare have long since been discarded by the enemy. Only we good natured Germans still hold to them in the mistaken idea that we might thereby bring the enemy to reason.
The facts prove the opposite. Our enemies are even insolent enough to call us barbarians and war criminals because here and there we put up touch resistance with the means we have available. Just recently, British terror fliers who had been shot down after doing their destructive work were attacked by men and women in Berlin, who after their homes had been destroyed were trying to rescue their possessions and dig out the corpses of their parents and children. Their reaction was understandable, but German guards protected them with their weapons. What would happen to a captured German pilot, were he lead through a flaming Moscow? To ask the question is to answer it. Knightly behavior will not accomplish much in this war. The German dreamer must wake up if he does not want to lose his freedom and his life. How long will he wait to do what is necessary? Will he wait until Bolshevist posters appear ordering everyone between fourteen and fifty to show up at a certain spot with clothing and two weeks of food in order to be transported to Siberia? Or until the Anglo-American occupation forces ruin our people through starvation and Typhoid Fever?
Is that an exaggeration? Not at all! It has become grim reality in the occupied territories in the East and West. Only a few romantic souls fail to see it. They have built a world of illusions, and do not want to believe the hard facts and draw the necessary conclusions. They must change their thinking, and as fast as possible. Someone once said that he did not know which people could be beaten to death, but he did know that the German people had to be beaten to life. What kind of blow will it take to finally wake these people from their illusions, to persuade them to give up their fantasies and errors, for their own good even if not for that of everyone else? What will persuade these obstructionists and defeatists to defend themselves?
The enemy is out to get us all. The London papers recently reported that Anglo-American officers viewed with contempt the owners of the houses where they were quartered. They were buying German-English dictionaries in order to parley. Only the domestic servants refused to behave in so unworthy a manner. What can one say about such creatures? Beating them seems the only possible solution. Thank God, these are isolated events. What can a German think about people who have had their property destroyed and who have been told they will be tortured in the manner of the Middle Ages, who still want to have a pleasant conversation with their conquerors?
Why do we mention these examples? In order to protect healthy people against infection. Were they to succumb, it would all be over. We would have no salvation, no future. We must help ourselves if we are to receive any help at all. It is more than naive to hope that the enemy will help us. We still have enough means and opportunities to defend ourselves and to bring the war to a successful conclusion if we only use them. This is the center of our efforts.
Each must start with himself, banishing all weakness and lethargy. He must stand firm and give an example to others, he must be on guard when he hears defeatism. He must be a man and act, work, and fight until we have overcome the gravest crisis of this war. We do not know how long that will take, only that it is necessary if we wish to live. That is true for every German, whether at the front or at home. No one can leave it to everyone else. We are all in the same boat that is plowing through the storm. No one can sit in a corner grumbling and complaining, making only critical remarks to the helmsman and the other passengers. Who can hold it against the rest when he who apparently shows no regard for the rest is tossed overboard to ease the strain on the rest, both physically and because they have wearied of a professional complainer who is endangering their efforts to save themselves? That is how things are.
We can no longer pay any heed to weariness, weakness, and delicacy. What we want, and what the intentions of our devilish enemy are, has been said often and clearly enough during the war. It does not need to be repeated. Everyone knows it. Developments have confirmed it, not contradicted it. There is no hope that the weaklings are right correct in their cowardly excuse that things will be only half as bad as we fear. If the enemy’s agitation deceives us into surrender, things will be much worse than we predicted. We must draw the proper conclusions, coolly, calmly, without complaining, but also with determination. Raising the white flag means giving up the war and shamefully losing one’s life. There is no reason for doing that. To the contrary, that would only help our enemy to win a cheap victory, and for at least a while cover up the growing crisis in his coalition.
The results are easy to see. They would affect us only, and sooner or later would result in the complete destruction of our nation. No one is willing to accept that fate. We must therefore fight on, resisting at all costs, even under the toughest and bleakest conditions. We fought for years almost without risk. That was not particularly commendable. The risk was entirely on the enemy’s side. They overcame the danger. Who thinks that we cannot do the same? He should buy a noose and do to himself what he thinks is going to happen to our whole nation.
We still live and breathe, and have mountains of resistance left in us that we only need draw upon. Never have we believed so passionately in Germany as today, when the Reich has before it a crisis of unparalleled seriousness. One may not judge a sick person’s chances of recovery by his fevered delusions. Rather, every possible means must be used to reduce the fever and waken the body’s natural defenses, to give the patient courage so that he does not lose the will to live. One must strengthen his defenses so that they can bring him through the critical moments. Any other behavior is foolish and dangerous. A fourteen-year-old lad crouching with his bazooka behind a ruined wall on a burned out street is worth more to the nation than ten intellectuals who attempt to prove that our chances now are nil. The fighting lad acts instinctively in the right way, the intellectuals act in a false and illogical way because they give up since things do not seem in balance.
Whether things balance or not depends on us alone. The final account of the war will depend on the whole efforts of the involved nations. The German people can yet make an unprecedented contribution. It will thereby earn the victory. In 1918, we gave up at the last minute. That will not happen in 1945. We all have to see to that. This is the foundation of our ultimate victory. It may sound improbable today, but it is nonetheless so: Final victory will be ours. It will come through tears and blood, but it will justify all the sacrifices we have made.Share on Facebook