Saturday, November 25, 2016
Hi and I hope everyone had a delightful Thanksgiving! I spent the day with my husband, my kids and my grandkids. There's no better way to while away the time.
I'm going to begin a series of blogs on the Alemanni and their gods. We'll start today on the general relationship they seemed to have with their deities. I've done a lot of reading on this from many sources. The blogs will be my opinion based on what I've read. I won't bore you with a bunch of citations, but most of my sources are listed in the bibliographies of my books.
The Alemanni seemed to have a relationship with Wotan, Donar, and the other gods that was more of a partnership than that of servant to master. They worshiped the gods and made sacrifices to them, sometimes human according to the Roman historian Tacitus. However, the Germans expected something in return: a victory in battle, a bountiful harvest, health and well-being for the folk. If the god didn't deliver, the Alemanni considered the trust was broken and might offer their worship to someone else.
This reflects the relationship between the chieftains and their followers. The man in charge of a group of warriors expected his men to follow him and protect him in battle. This was not a one way arrangement. The chieftain was expected in turn to demonstrate leadership and courage in battle, provide weapons and armor, and feast his warriors when not campaigning.
Women played an important role in their religion. They were considered to have a special connection to the gods. They could interpret the signs they sent and read the runes. Rituals were presided over by the women as often as the men.
Next week we'll chat about the sources we have for knowing the gods of the Alemanni. Have a great week!
A reminder: Books I and II of The King's Chain series are available on amazon.com.