By: Hjuka Harugari
>...I agree with this- where, then do
you say the role of 'by-laws' and 'virtues'
(like the many examples of the 9 noble virtues floating around) come
into play? Is there a role, or are Heathen following Roman example in
following or going by them (by-laws and
...the codification of 'laws' into any tangible form comes from an exposure to Roman culture- the earliest Germanic tribe to adopt this custom was the Visigoths - I do believe there is a copy of the Visigothic code available in the Medieval Sourcebook archives...you can get to the main page from Irminenschaft.net's Links page...they, unlike the Ostrogoths more readily and willingly adopted Roman customs and ways, and they were known to have employed the use of Romans in compiling that extensive work...systems of legal statutes and mandates that eventually replaced Thau as a preservation of a tribe's norms, mores, etc can definitely be traced to Roman custom, and most likely through the Visigoths (whom the Romans readily employed and used throughout their Empire). Living by such 'universal' statute and rigid codification is certainly of that influence- something better suited for corporations and other non-cultic entities where organic growth or evolution isn't the goal or interest.
As for virtues, that's a bit more fluid- I would say its a bit of that Roman influence to swear to any written code as if it were unbending and universally applied in any orthodox sense...though to relegate such models to the Roman heap would be a bit rash...obviously, in a world where one was born into and living within a purely Germanic-Heathen society, norms and mores and such things..Thau..would be instilled through just every-day living...and 'virtue' would likewise find its definition from tribe to tribe according to each tribe's unique needs...being Germanic, most tribes to share many common things, and more often than not, our sense of what is 'good' over what isn't will look pretty much like the next group's- at least, so today...
me, I see the different models of the Nine Noble Virtues as useful in a given regard- that is, not as dogmatic statute, but rather, a good CONDENSED model, one ultimately rooted in Thau anyway...after all, they ain't commandments, though some groups treat them as such, but they are quite an effective tool in transmitting those 'habits' which we as Irminen or average Heathen strive to live up to...since most of us come from non-Heathen up-bringing, there's tons of 'catching-up' one must do, particularly the later one finds Heathenry/Irminenschaft in life...in this respect, I think such models as the virtues are important...in presenting a general idea of what's expected from an individual in his actions, not in what he CLAIMS to be- after all, 'we are our deeds' as its said, not what we 'believe'... The virtues are gleaned from a greater store of Thau- and in essence present a good 'cliff-notes' version of it- though, to replace Thau with codified mandates or anything of the sort, well, that's where you stop being 'Germanic' in application for the sake of something 'Roman'. So, in Irminenschaft, you'll never see by-laws penned, lest they be in a legal document outlining the parameters of a corporate identity (as required in trying to incorporate)...as for 'virtues', they make a great compact model, educational tool, or transmission of general Thau, and are highly useful in laying down the foundations for Heathen ethic
-I think they are great in that regard...
Alaf Sal Fena!