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Hmm. 'go back to their roots'? In the city parks are there bogs for human sacrifice? We need to separate German Romantic Nature Esteem from the worship of forces of nature. They are different phenomenon, separated by considerable passage of time. --MichaelTinkler

"In the city parks are there bogs for human sacrifice? "
Don't give them ideas! <g> - clasqm

please explain (with sources): "In 1900 the concept of Woden was still current in Mecklenburg." By 1900, of course, the folklore movement was strong in Germany and anyone who hadn't heard of Woden already would have been able to read about him. Do you mean that illiterate peasants were still making offerings? Was it at the level of 'superstition' (that is, like avoiding 13 or halloween in most of America) or was it something more substantial? I edited out 'Rage' from the first description because it's irrelevant. I'm not at all sure that any modern German etymology is relevant - old Germanic, yes. --MichaelTinkler

I tinkered with this page to try and get it to sound remotely like English like what it is spoke ;-). However, I gave up. I would dearly love to crosslink an article on Wotan (and Woden too) with Odin, but frankly this is b*ll*cks, and would devalue the work Anders put in on it. Frankly this just needs to be gutted and reworked. Just my 2 groats worth. sjc

This entry is not supposed to be 'about German gods'. It is about Wotan. There is LOTS of extraneous material. --MichaelTinkler

Since no one else took me up on it, i've begun revising. This is an entry about Wotan, not about Germanic epic or Iceland. The Dietrich von Bern material is going to go next unless someone can explain why it might belong in this entry. --MichaelTinkler

To JHK A great many ancient Germanic customs have survived, despite the fierce attempts by the Catholic church to stamp out all "paganism", "heathenism". The best example is Christmas. The ancient Germanic tribes celebrated the winter solstice and rolled lit Tannenbaueme (pine trees) down hills. They lit candles all over their home to ward off evil spirits etc. Jesus's actual birthday is not known. But the church fixed it at the same time of the winter celebrations of the German people , because that is when they were celebrating already. That way they did not immediately discard the new ,often forced on ,religion. Somewhere earlier I had written , that Wotan was declared this crazy wild guy and Friia the redhaired witch (papal propaganda). In a letter from Germans in America from the 19 th c ( which I translated) , they still wrote about a certain woman, explaing she was "redhaired". And again the Baltic god Deiw (Dius, Deus), who was turned into the Deiwel (Teufel)or devil, in Scottish : Deil. H. Jonat

HJ, we know. And believe me, other people think badly of redheads without Nordic myth entering into it. The question is that since he was already called 'rage' can you actually get away with saying that this is 'papal propaganda' (which, by the way, is silly. The popes were not puppetmasters controlling evangelists. The Varangians and Rus became Orthodox rather than Roman Catholic, so there wasn't any pope involved in that conversion. The Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith (the Collegium Propaganda Fide) wasn't founded until the 17th century, so to use the term propaganda about evangelization the way you do is anachronistic.). --MichaelTinkler

Here is what the Oxford English Dictionary provides for the etymology of Devil:

[OE. déofol, etc., corresponding to OFris. diovel, OS. diuul, al, diobol, diabol, diuvil (MDu. düvel, dievel, Du. duivel, MLG., LG. düvel), OHG. tiuval, tioval, tiufal (Notker), diuval, diufal (Tatian, Otfrid), MHG. tiuvel, tievel, tiufel, tiefel, Ger. teufel; ON., Icel. djöfull (Sw. djefvul, Da. djævel); Goth. diabaulus, diabulus, immediately a. Gr. , in Jewish and Christian use ‘the Devil, Satan’, a specific application of ‘accuser, calumniator, slanderer, traducer’, f. to slander, traduce, lit. to throw across, f. through, across + to cast. The Gr. word was adopted in L. as diabolus, whence in the mod. Romanic langs., It. diavolo, Sp. diablo, Pg. diabo, Pr. diablo, diable, F. diable; also in Slavonic, OSlav. diyavol, dyavol, etc. In Gothic the word was masc., as in Greek and Latin; the plural does not occur; in OHG. it was masc. in the sing., occasionally neuter in the plural; in OE. usually masculine, but sometimes neuter in the sing., regularly neuter in the plural deofol, deoflu; but the Northumbrian Gospel glosses have masculine forms of the plural. The Gothic word was directly from Greek; the forms in the other Teutonic langs. were partly at least from Latin, and prob. adopted more or less independently of each other. Thus ON. djöfull regularly represents an original diaulz. OE. díobul, déoful, déofol can also be referred to an earlier diaul, diavol (cf. It. diavolo), éo coming, through ío, from earlier ía. The OE. déo- would normally give modern d-, exemplified in 15th c., and in mod. Sc. and some Eng. dialects, but generally shortened at an earlier or later date to dev- or div-. In some, especially northern, dialects, the v was early vocalized or lost, leaving various monosyllabic forms, of which mod. Sc. deil, and Lancashire dule are types.

Oh, and, HJ, the Catholic Church didn't set the birthday of Jesus with ANY reference to Germanic peoples. Christmas is the same day in the Eastern orthodox tradition as well. And don't go telling me about celebrating on different actual days - that's a gregorian/julian calendar thing. If they 'set it' at any time to correspond to a festival, it was to Greco-Roman festivals. As early as A.D. 354 the Birth of Christ was celebrated on Dec. 25th in Rome. Other cities had other traditional dates. John Chrysostom was trying to unify other cities in celbrating on that date. Why would he have been influenced by Germans? Catholic Encyclopedia, Christmas --MichaelTinkler.

I suggest a short article on Jesus' date of birth. Many readers would be fascinated to discover that Jesus wasn't born in 0 A.D., and why.

  • Years start at 1 A.D., not 0 (and why this is so)
  • How something as important as the founder's birthdate could get lost or mixed up

Why? Most educated people know that Jesus wasn't born in 0 AD. if not, it can be added to an article on Jesus. It's hardly new information.
Re the specific Roman festival, I believe it was set to the Saturnalia, specifically, but can't check right now. I would lose the Dietrich stuff. For the record, here are the basic reasons this article doesn't work:
  • It calls Wotan a German god, and then casts the entire thing in a "bad Catholics destroyed Germans' innocent nature religion" POV. First, Germans is incorrect -- there were Germanic peoples who converted at different times and whose beliefs MAY have overlapped, but we don't know enough about the religions of individual Germanic peoples to say. For example, I'm pretty sure that, bu the time Theodoric (good old Dietrich of Bern) hit Rome, there was some Mithra worship among his people because they fought with Roman soldiers...
  • It's all over the place -- not really about Wotan at all. Moreover, there is a really good article on Odin. So if there is no reality to the "Germans believe in Wotan, Scandinavians (false distinction at this point in human history) believed in Odin" differentiation, Wotan doesn't deserve a page to himself.
  • The 19th c. stuff is misguided. Really, it's about what Michael said above -- folklore was big in the 19th c. If most of this hadn't been so popular and made part of 19th c. and early 20th c. nationalist propaganda, you probably wouldn't have much more knowledge about it than any other mythology. Thanks to Mr. Wagner, among others, it gets more attention than it would otherwise. And considering how very Christian most Germans were in the 19th c. I just don't get the anti-Christian thing...


To MichaelTinkler Your long list of names for the devil does not show the word for god in Prussian :Deiw, which turned into Deiwel , devil

To the Varangians and Rus, Olga had accepted Christianity from the West. Her son went against her. Orthodox (Greeks and Russians) celebrate Xmas one and two weeks later.

To the person, who suggested the section on Jesus' birth date, I think that is a good idea. H. Jonat

Helga, that was me. They celebrate Jesus's birth on Dec. 25th and Epiphany on January 6th just like we do, but if they celebrate those DATES on a different DAY it's because of the Julian Calendar. No, Helga, it doesn't show Prussian, because the Prussian is irrelevant to the English word 'Devil'. It shows that the Germanic roots YOU see as being a god becoming a devil may well mean something else. It may mean the same thing that diabolus meant in Greek. I trust the information in the Oxford English Dictionary more than I trust you. --MichaelTinkler

Helga, why is the Dietrich material here? --MichaelTinkler

The different dates for Xmas and the year 4 or 6 BC for the birth of Jesus should be shown somewhere, that is a good idea.

On the conversions of Germanic or German people. The conversion dates are clearly recorded. It was German people. The Germanic Nordic people did not get converted till before 1000 AD and thereafter.

Your Oxford English Dictionary does not show the Prussian word for god :Deiw ? It does not show Deiwel (but shows High German Teufel) for devil ? Then it is lacking some information.

German poems and songs, recorded in Pre-christian and christian versions in Stabreim ?( do not know what that ist in English H. Jonat

Not relevant to Wotan, then. I'm removing it. This article is supposed to be about Wotan, not about German pagan information generally. If you want to start an entry for [Germanic pagan religion] or something, feel free. Wotan is an aspect of German pagan religion. I think the Norse Mythology pages are already quite good. You could try 'Germanic mythology'. --MichaelTinkler