Talk:Frankish mythology

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How do we know there were still Frankish Pagans in Toxandria in the 7th century? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Æscing (talkcontribs) 04:45, 18 September 2010 (UTC)


I have tagged the article as "disputed". James, in his book The Franks, is so much more cautious about what the early Franks might have believed in terms of religion - and rightly so. That there were pagan beliefs involving horse sacrifice is known (archaeological digs of quite rich burial sites demonstrate this); it is strongly suggestive that burial goods were entombed with the dead, including weapons; but we cannot come to larger conclusions and make the definite statements placed in this article without evidence.

Since nothing at all of Frankish "writings" exists, on what does the author here base his statements? We cannot even be certain - entirely - that Clovis converted from paganism to Catholicism, as it is at least possible that he was toying with Arianism. We know that Gregory of Tours said the conversion was from paganism to Christianity, but we must bear in mind that there is some difficulty in being certain even about the very circumstances of Clovis' conversion (the year, for instance).

I think we need to see cited primary sources, or the work of reputable scholars in the field, quoted with respect to every one of the claims mentioned in this article. Almirena 09:53, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

  • I don't see any reason why to dispute the accuracy of Eduardo Fabbro. He is an expert and his assumptions are well documented. The main assumptions are included in the text. In fact, some religious features, like the worship of cows, show a strong local continuity with prehistoric cultures, like Swifterbant culture. Since beliefs that involve fertility and cows are almost universal, the conclusions forwarded in this article are by no means too large, except from showing a marked difference from Norse mythology that -however- itself differs considerably from the testimony of renowned Roman historians. Indeed, much is lost and few is known, still, as you say, from burial sites we can learn and reconstruct a big deal of what people believed in. There is no evidence Arianism ever influenced the mainstream Frankish people nor their aristocrats, I figure at least Gregory of Tours (to us such a primary source you asked for) should have known - and he only knows about their pagan fertility gods. Rokus01 20:01, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

"his assumptions are well documented". Assumptions? I think Wikipedia has the aim to be an encyclopedia. And in encyclopedias there is not much place for "assumptions".
Since you haven't given any primary sources for these "assumptions" and renowned scholars as Edward James or Ian Wood do not support them I see all reason to dispute the accuracy of this article. johanthon 20:38, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

The accuracy of this article or the accuracy of the sourced references? Please keep to the references and don't confuse your personal opinion with scientific dispute. As far as I know there is none and you can not uphold the existence of a dispute by referring to the blank pages of books you happen to know of. Your basic assumption here seems to be that some popular writers know it all and wrote an all comprehensive Bible on the subject that needs no addition - while an encyclopedia never aspire to stick to one source. Why does this article needs some popular writers you know of, if all they did was writing on other things?

About assumptions: All science is based on assumptions. Without assumptions there is no working model, and without working model there is no framework for putting facts together. Denying assumptions will put you at risk to be considered hypercritical. For instance, you could deny Darwin's model and reject human evolution just because you can't stand the basic assumptions he put forward. Someone could be a hypercritical negationist by saying the holocaust did not happen for rejecting the basic assumption that there were witnesses telling the truth. Do you see how ridiculous?

However, most important to let you know is Wikipedia is not a place to deny scientific research: little private authors contributing to Wikipedia are certainly not qualified to defy the research of specialists. Even worse, such practice would classify as POV. I just don't think it is appropiate to dispute the arguments of scientists and cast unqualified and unsourced doubt on sourced references. If you feel that authors like Edward James or any scientist has another view, you are invited to mention this on the proper place within the article. By the way, I've never heard of scientists agreeing completely one with the other one and the very existence of contradictory views does not have anything to do with an article to be disputed. However, I fathom your worry is the unavailability of other views, rather than the accuracy of this article. Still, this is something else than the content of this article being disputed - since for this I'll have to ask you straight forward: disputed, by WHO??? Rokus01 20:54, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Rokus01, this is not an article about science. I mention this only because you've used more than once the terms "science" and "scientists" in this discussion. We are discussing here historical study. It may confuse newcomers if you use the word "science" in this context.

Who disputes this article? I do. While I have no doubt there's more to learn for me, my research background has covered the major texts of the periods. I am familiar with the writings of the scholars considered the world's experts in Frankish and early Germanic history. I own much of the source material. I have translated some of it. I stress that I put forward here the qualms I feel at having a point of view that is not considered universal or even endorsed by the major scholars of Frankish history presented as the main focus of an article about a little-known aspect of the Frankish peoples.

Unless I see some sources supporting the body of this article, some sources that are primary or some sources that show what is outlined in this article being endorsed by research in the field, I feel it is necessary to continue the disputed status of this article. May I ask whether you have read James, for instance? Perhaps you could re-work what you've written to indicate what is well known and agreed-upon by scholars, then add some of the more speculative material, indicating that it is speculative.

If more recent digs have brought to light some indisputable aspects of Germanic mythology as pertains to the Salian Franks, I'd be delighted to hear of them. So far I have not heard of further archaeological finds that cast a more thorough and informative light in this manner. --Almirena 00:19, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Almira, indeed I referred to historical study. It seems to have escaped your notice the body of this article is in agreement with the historical study of Eduardo Fabbro. Thus, your choice to dispute this article equals a wikipedia author disputing an expert, a violation of Wikipedia guidelines against POV. Instead of disputing this article on your own terms, you are invited to put forward historical studies that may contradict the results of historical sudies outlined in this article. I can't see any detail of this study that contradicts common agreement, or subject to outlandish speculation. Just tell me what elements you consider disputed. Although your above speculation of Clovis toying with Arianism, completely unsourced and without any PRIMARY reference whatsoever, does not promise so much. Rokus01 19:57, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
... No, Rokus01, it did not escape my notice. It is one of the issues that concerns me, that this article's body is based upon one writer's opinion rather than sourcing all of the material - in fact, it does not once reference anything other than Eduardo Fabbro's material, in terms of the article's argument. Eduardo Fabbro has studied in this field, and has achieved an M.A., and as I understand it is currently a Ph.D candidate. I don't doubt he has some interesting things to communicate, but his writing CANNOT stand in isolation, as he is not an acknowledged world expert on the history of the Franks. We have mentioned various world-class historians/scholars who ARE regarded as the world's leading experts in Frankish history. It would be foolish to elevate Eduardo Fabbro's ideas above those of the world's acknowledged experts, and you have done worse than that; you have completely disregarded the writings of the world's acknowledged experts. Mr Fabbro has not proved a case that rewrites Frankish history. He remains a figure to be read with interest, but he has yet to earn a place as a leading expert, and no one writer should be used as the source material for an article of this nature, as the article purports to cover a particular topic rather than the writings of one man. I hope you understand what I am saying.
It would be equivalent to an article on Shakespeare being based SOLELY upon the writings of Peter Ackroyd. That would be unbalanced, biased and bewilderingly blind to the huge amount of scholarly research focusing upon Shakespeare.
Your comment concerning "your above speculation of Clovis toying with Arianism" illustrates what seems to me a major problem. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I do not think you have read Ian Wood, have you? I do not think you have read Edward James. I mention these two specifically because my recent re-reading of The Merovingian Kingdoms 450-751 and James' important work, The Franks, touches on the very issue mentioned. This is, in fact, not my speculation, and you would be aware of that had you done your research. I don't wish to sound harsh; I merely suggest you read these important books and then re-think how you're tackling this article.
You should also read the very important contributions by Otto Höfler on the subject of early Germanic mythology.
Wood specifically tackles the question of Clovis and Arianism in TMK, p.44ff.
See also Avitus of Vienne's letter on the occasion of Clovis' baptism, an important primary source which gives reason to believe that Clovis was indeed considering Arianism.
Perhaps you were unaware, by the way, that Clovis' sister Lenteild was Arian. This was, in fact, the very subject of a sermon by the bishop of Vienne, who deplored it (of course).
James' work specifically devotes significant space to archaeological findings - in particular, grave-goods, and the layout of graves. We cannot know what is not shown by the archaeological evidence, as the Franks left us nothing in writing of their beliefs. It is fascinating to speculate, and there are several intriguing theories current concerning to what extent the leader of a tribe might also have had a religious role.
Wallace-Hadrill tackles this in Long-Haired Kings. "There is always a temptation to see pagan Germanic kingship in terms of Scandinavian practice, to give weight, where we cannot give much meaning, to the magic element in royal initiation rites, or to picture the reges as kings of 'the Golden Bough' - guarantors and distributors of prosperity for their social group, defenders of their people against famine, plague and defeat, scapegoats in time of trouble. If such, in whole or in part, are the reges of Tacitus, he would have been distinguishing between the war-leader chosen for particular campaigns (the truhtin) and the king of a whole people (the thiodan) who indeed may have had a sacral function; but neither by himself can be the immediate ancestor of Gregory's reges criniti. Even allowing for some residual sacral element in Frankish kingship, reges of the Later Empire must surely be something else." p.154
As you can see, Wallace-Hadrill scrupulously says "may have had a sacral function". "May" is a long way from "did". It is possible that the Franks, at the time of their first encounters with the Romans, were devotées of Woden, but this is a possibility, not a certainty. How had their beliefs and practices developed by this stage and in their newly conquered regions and among their society? This was the migration period - times were a-changing and the balance of power was swift to tilt. It's impossible to tell exactly what sort of mythology can properly be attributed to the Salian Franks - that is, by the time Salian Franks became so identified (Frankish tribes who settled on the Rhine delta), it's already centuries after the first encounters of Frankish tribes with the Romans. The term translated from the Latin as "Salians" was not mentioned in any Roman source prior to 360 A.D. Thus it is historically improper to refer to Franks as Salian Franks prior to that period. There is a very strong case to be made that "Salian" does not refer to a specific tribe, but is an umbrella term covering any and all Frankish tribes who dwelt on the Rhine delta, and this settlement does not pre-date 360 A.D.
They were subjected to the influence of Roman paganism, without doubt; they were certainly aware of Arianism and Christianity well before Clovis' baptism. Just how their mythology had developed after 360 A.D. cannot be definitively shown unless there is archaeological information which has come to light subsequent to the important studies written by the aforementioned scholars.
Wallace-Hadrill writes also, "It is commonly held that war-gear distinguishes the barbarian king who fights under the aegis of Woden. It may do so; but we have no means of knowing whether Childeric and his men professed Woden's cult, and, if they did, whether this was to the exclusion of other cults (e.g. the cult of Tiwax or Tiw, who was then something more than a war-god)." TLHK, p.163.
The topic of Salian mythology is an intriguing one, but we must not succumb to a desire to present the research or writings of one writer only. As the experts on Frankish history DO have something to say on the subject, this article is severely misrepresentative on the very substance of its argument, and puts forward one (minor) writer's ideas while completely ignoring all other writings by acknowledged experts on Frankish history, and gives the impression that the issue of Salian mythology is a "done deal" - that the article states what was, rather than what one man has written. This is unacceptable, and I hope that you are prompted to do some serious research into this subject rather than relying so absolutely upon one piece of writing.--Almirena 11:39, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Very nice to meet some true interest here. However, I still could not figure out the essence of this dispute. Reading your interesting arguments, I wondered how much of your comment is relevant to the assessment exposed here. This article on Salian Mythology is nothing more that an analysis of pagan beliefs and does not pretend to include Christian mythology. Also, this article does not pretend to encompass the whole Salian period and is limited to the formation phase of the Salian Franks. The identity and origin of Salian Franks in relation to the earliest Franks have been studied by for instance Blok, the general consensus is they had their dwellings downstream the Rhine. I really think the ins and outs of their conversion to Christianity is another chapter, it rather belongs to the Merovingian article. At the earliest stage, it is generally accepted Salian Franks were Germanic by ethnicity, language and religion - whatever this may have meant: some elements would have been general Germanic, other elements more specific and related to their geographic origin, deeds and specific ancestry. Too often it has been lazily assumed the Germanic religion was about the same everywhere, and from this point of view - if true - an assesment of Salian Mythology would not even have been necessary at all. However, Germanic worship, apart from some religious centres of prestige, has been attested to be diverse, having been influenced always and differently by the local color. Sure, christianity replaced much of their original beliefs and did not leave much readily recognizable traces of their myths and beliefs, though it would be against all basic principles to assume none or any other cultural heritage. It is well known even Christianity never managed to exterminate all Germanic beliefs, and less in a fortnight. As such, a denial of such a basic Germanic identity of the Salian Franks, and to question their knowledge and worship of Wodan, Donar and especially ancient fertility gods - if this is what the dispute is all about - is not worthy to a serious discussion. Bluntly. I repeat, I don't see any contradiction to what is generally accepted or acceptable. Arianism is younger than the earliest records of maritime Franks, generally assumed to represent the earliest Salian Franks: I would esteem the influence of the Batavians that merged into the Salii much more important, and they are not known to have left their Hercules, to the contrary, a huge pagan temple has been unearthed in their territory that remained important until Werenfridus built a church on the same place, in the 8th century! Please be more specific to the quotes you think are presented quite differently by other authors. If you have specific contributions of your own, concerning for instance the Christian Era, please insert this in a separate section. I never pretended to supply a complete overview of all what is known or theorized of Salian mythology. For instance, still left out is the recent identification of the core of the Nibelungenlied as essentially inspired by the Salian Franks: For this, you could read Heinz Ritter (Sigfrid ohne Tarnkappe, Herbig Company, Munich, Germany, 1992) or Rolf Badenhausen (Die Nibelungen, Dichtung und Wahrheit, 150 Jahre Nibelungenforschung neu gesehen, 2006, ISBN 3-86582-044-1) The core of Nibelungen was all about remarkable eventes related to a king of obvious Rhine-Frankish descent(Badenhausen). There must be a lot more, please feel invited to a positive contribution. Rokus01 21:05, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Rokus01, the core of the problem with this article is that its very substance is based on an assumption. We cannot assume - I'm sorry, but we really cannot - that Germanic belief as a general cloud of religious practice and mythology can be encapsulated to the extent that a substantial body of definite conclusions (other than information gathered specifically from sources relevant only to the Salian Franks) can be claimed concerning their beliefs. That is why I have repeatedly suggested you read Woods, James, Wallace-Hadrill, etc. I could point to articles of interest by other scholars, but it would be pointless my suggesting them to you until you've read the equivalent of at least the first two years of a university degree in studies of Late Antiquity pertaining to Gaul, and Germanic Studies in History as an adjunct.
To reiterate, we cannot assume much about the mythology of the Salians. We do not even know whether the Salian Franks had many diverse beliefs within the umbrella term of "Salians". We do not know whether the Salian Franks worshipped Wotan. We do not know whether they worshipped Tiwax or Tiw. We DO NOT KNOW. We cannot assume. It is erroneous to make that sort of assumption, particularly - and I STRESS THIS - since we do not know with certainty even the origin of the Frankish people geographically. We have the interesting and very valuable contribution in Gregory of Tours of Sulpicius Alexander discussing kingship and geographical origin of the Franks... but nothing about mythological beliefs. We have Julian's letter in which he says "ὑπεδεξάμην μὲν μοῖραν τοῦ Σαλίων ἔθνους, Χαμάβους δὲ ἐξήλασα, πολλὰς βοῦς καὶ γύναια μετὰ παιδαρίων συλλαβών..." (and you'll note he actually says "PART OF THE SALIAN TRIBE"... a significant point). Ammianus Marcellinus speaks of the Salians in glorifying his hero Julian: "quibus paratis petit primos omnium Francos, eos videlicet quos consuetudo Salios appellavit" (and you'll note how he speaks of those Franks who are SPECIFICALLY USUALLY CALLED THE SALII), and he places them at Toxandria. Julian's letter is the first extant reference of the Salians, and what does he have to say about their religion, mythologies or customs? I'm afraid... nothing. Ammianus Marcellinus gives a little more, but it is misleading to suppose that his account is unbiased and hence exact, flavoured as it is with praise of Julian at the expense of all the "barbarian" tribes. Again, though, he gives no information on Salian beliefs or mythologies.
Claudian refers to the Salians with "ut Salius iam rura colat flexosque", which is derisively said. While we can certainly take from this that the Salian Franks learned field cultivation, it would be a mistake to think that the Frankish tribes, specifically the Salian Franks, had become meek and subservient towards Rome, and that of course is borne out by later events.
Gregory of Tours does not use the term "Salian". While we can assume with good reason that when he speaks of the Franks, he is almost always speaking of the Salian Franks, we have nothing in Gregory with which to build a picture of Frankish religion and mythology. (And do not forget that it is only a much later (and Carolingian) source, Fredegarius, which comes up with the Quinotaur story as an interpolation into Gregory. It can scarcely be used as the basis for a reconstruction of original Frankish mythology.)
The Lex Salica of course does not exist in the original, and all we have are various redactions. The earliest surviving manuscript is from the late 8th century. It contains nothing that could help us in ascertaining Salian mythology. Scholars even query the date of the malberg glosses - were they evidence of a pre-existing barbaric non-codified law, or were they later interpolations? We don't know - however, I'm inclined to accept W.H. on this for a number of reasons - it is more likely that the glosses are later explanatory interpolations.
For a good discussion of graves and grave goods of the Franks, read James from page 44 onwards.
This is why I query this entire article. We do not know enough about Salian mythology, religion or beliefs to come to any solid conclusions. It is misleading to claim that we do. If you wish to keep this article here, it will need a rewrite based upon much more extensive knowledge than you have currently illustrated. I can see it's a topic dear to your heart, but please, please, do the research first. I will be very happy to direct you to the source material, but I don't want to feel I'm talking to thin air. If I suggest that you begin by reading Wood, Wallace-Hadrill and James, it would be a sign that you're not interested in making this a valid article if you then disregard my suggestion - or don't indicate that you HAVE read them. If I follow up by telling you of various articles which are invaluable in learning more about this topic (JSTOR articles are of great interest, for instance), it would be pointless unless you actually read those articles. (I'm assuming you have the qualifications to give you access to JSTOR. If you don't, I believe that there are libraries which will give you that access. You can check this with your library.)
I want to help you make this a good and accurate article, by pointing you in the direction of necessary material. But I cannot force you to study the material, or to study the sources. I can only suggest. However, the "disputed" tag cannot be removed unless you address the problems inherent in this article, and I increasingly believe that you cannot address those problems without the basis of the information necessary to do that. This information can best be found by studying the materials mentioned. --Almirena 03:49, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

I have added once again the DISPUTED tag. This should not be removed until this article has been ironed out to include citations proving its main points, and until after the article has been improved with its substance. At present this entire article ignores the work of the world's leading Frankish scholars. I'll work on a more accurate article in my sandbox if I have time tomorrow, including what can be included from the article as it stands now. --Almirena 07:35, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't agree with your DISPUTED tag, since this tag solely serves your POV. Only scholarly disputes should be recognized. If you do not agree, please resort to a second opinion. This discussion is ready for archiving, since it does not forward any point of interest. Rokus01 17:59, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

No, Rokus, this is not my POV. The tag is there to indicate that the top Frankish scholars in the world do not support what you claim in this article. That's why the tag is there, and that's why it must remain until this article is rewritten. I will leave a message on your Talk page once I've incorporated what you've written into an article that covers the subject in a more neutral way, and I hope that we can come to an amicable agreement about the article at that time. --Almirena 23:51, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Primary sources[edit]

Rokus, Can you name a PRIMARY source that links the Salians with Wodan and Frey? And what are the secondary sources for all of your statements? Or is this more of a personal essay? johanthon 12:11, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

I do dispute this article. I do so because it is full of assumptions that do not relate to the primary sources I know.
BTW Edward James and Ian Wood are not "popular writers". They are the most cited scholars on the early Franks within the English language. Their books are recommended to students worldwide. James is translated in Dutch especially for the purpose of "science". johanthon 13:15, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
The sources you know probably did not have anything worthwhile to tell about Salian Frankish mythology? Else you would have mentioned it. I doubt this books you mention are recommended to students worldwide that study Salian mythology. Rokus01 19:57, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I do study Salian and Frankish mythology. I know the majority of primary sources and have read them. Untill know Rokus didn't mention a single primary source, despite repeated questions. johanthon 09:32, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Edward James and Ian Wood are not primary sources. Please read WP:PSTS for Wikipedia policy on sources and naming. Rokus01 21:14, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Rokus, you have changed the order of contributions as it fits you. In the original order it was VERY clear that my statement on Edward James and Ian Wood was made because you said they are "popular writers", which they are NOT. I NEVER said that they were "primary sources". You are just making up a strawmans argument. In the mean time you are trying to escape any arguing on primary sources. You still have not named a single one despite repeated questions. Furthermore you try to belittle the most well respected scholars. It is becoming more and more clear you don't want to argue. You are only interested in your private POV. johanthon 11:00, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
Rokus01, this is a valid point. It is disturbing to see that you have rearranged the Talk page in order to give a different impression of the discussion here. I hope you did this by accident. I am assuming that it was accidental. One does assume good faith here.
If you want primary sources for the Germanic tribes, you cannot do better than to read Tacitus and Pliny. Unfortunately, of course, the Franks are not mentioned... Their earliest reference comes in 289 A.D., in a panegyric from the 'Panegyrici Latini'. You may be able to draw conclusions as to similarity of beliefs and practices between the Franks in Tacitus and Pliny, and the Franks mentioned in those panegyrics, but remember that it will be a conclusion, not documented fact. However, I think it's worth pursuing for the article, mentioning it as an assumption based upon those early sources. --Almirena 03:49, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

No such term[edit]

this should just redirect to Germanic mythology, which could have a "Salian Franks" section. There is no such term as "Salian mythology" ("Salian" means "of the Sea". The people are called Salian Franks, and their mythology would be "Frankish mythology", specifically "Salian Frankish mythology", in practice referred to as "Germanic Paganism among the Early Salian Franks" in the source cited.

A websearch Find sources: "Salian mythology" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · highbeam · JSTOR · free images · wikipedia library gives no hits on either google books or google scholars, and all of six hits on non-notable websites for a web-wide search. --dab (𒁳) 11:02, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Dbachmann, I agree that the "Salian Mythology" is uncommon. More regular would be "Frankish Mythology". johanthon 21:04, 6 October 2007 (UTC).
In general I agree with the two of you on this one, though I would like to point out that—as your quotations of Wallace-Hadrill already imply—this type of speculation is not unique to Fabbro, but is rampant in many writers, so their speculations probably deserve some coverage, with more careful scholars cited to provide the necessarily large grain of salt. Srnec 04:35, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
I reluctantly agree... I am reluctant mainly because I can see this is something Rokus is loth to see deleted, but I agree because I had my doubts from the beginning that this one aspect of Germanic mythology merited a separate article AND I disputed the verifiability of the claims which formed the basis of the entire article. I expressed my concerns that Rokus could not point to primary sources which supported the points of this article, and my concerns that he seemed not to have read the most important texts by the scholars regarded by the community as the world's leading experts on the subject of the Franks. I felt and still feel that the information in the highly important books by these scholars needs to be considered in any article covering this subject... and I felt and still feel that there is insufficient information to warrant the assumptions of this article.
I am sorry. I have to recommend a complete re-write of this article (so that Fabbro's view is presented as an opinion, and balanced by the prevailing scholarly opinions as evidenced by W.H., James and Wood, among others...). The article should then, I think, be merged with that covering Germanic mythology. But in its current shape, it cannot be merged. -Almirena 13:08, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
I also think that the article in its current shape cannot be merged - with any article.
I feel a bit reluctant to merge the Salian mythology, or Frankish mythology with Germanic mythology. Actually I was considering - but did not decided yet - if it may be a good idea starting a new article Frankish religion that covers mythology, rituals, christian conversion and saints/sanctity. (I allready started a Category:Frankish saints). One good reason for this is because from archeological findings it is clear that Franks (or people in Frankish Gaul to be more correct) sometimes used pagan temples for their christian services. But my main concern is to make a factual article that REMAINS factual and close to primary sources (or archeological discoveries), that wil not be attacked by Dumizillians and Asutraïsts. I am affraid that a serious attempt for an improvement of Germanic mythology/paganism will be countered by those two groups and frankly I don't have the energy to keep a defence against the "assumptions" of those groups. For speculations are not only "rampant in many writers", it is also very "rampant" amongst us, wikipedians. Staying away from vague Germanic paganism will hopefully limit generalizations and keep us closer to primary sources. johanthon 13:44, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Over-concentration on primary sources leads to original research and the problems that are ongoing related to Franco-Mongol alliance.
I would avoid lumping Frankish Christianity into a Frankish religion article except where their Christian practices are in part borrowed paganisms. If we try to cover all of "Frankish" Christianity we will end up with arbitrary cutoffs.
I could see the creation of a Frankish mythology or Frankish paganism article. For example, the fact that Clovis abandoned the Roman gods upon his conversion, according to Gregory of Tours, ought to be explained. Were the Franks Romans by then? Or is Gregory just calling Germanic gods by Roman names? That is a subject worthy of a Frankish paganism/mythology article. Srnec 15:52, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Srnec, the suggestion of creating a Frankish mythology article is the most promising in my opinion. Some of what is presently in the article could certainly be included, and a bit of a re-write of the remaining information would enable it also to meet Wikipedia's requirements for verifiability. Johanthon, what's your view? --Almirena 03:34, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

What worries me in this whole "discussion" is the prepotency desplayed on this Talk page of condemming valid research. The horror dispayed by johanthon of an influential mythologist like Dumézil (Mallory himself dedicates a whole chapter to his tripartition theory, 1987 p130) is definitely a single point of view that he tries to impose on us by force. AlsoAlmirena, that exposed herself so explicitly as an expert in Salian Frankish affaires, carefully erased her original introduction as an opera singer [1] and fails to convince me of her insistent expertise. I mean, I don't mind opera singers, but I do mind sockpuppets and vandalism. Even though I don't mind to discuss a merger, however, I reject the abuse displayed so far on this talk page. Rokus01 22:28, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Rokus, non off your comments adresses the specific concerns I adressed to you. It is just another attempt to avoid discussing the points that are raised. However your accusations of abuse and sockpuppets are serious. Please detail me:
  • what is the abuse? And who did it?
  • who is a sockpuppet?
Please be so kind to expand. johanthon 11:01, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
*sigh* Rokus, don't get personal. Ad hominem attacks focus on the person you see as an opponent rather than on the topic or argument. I'm sorry to see you doing this - it is indicative of a lack of a real response to the arguments made so far. It's really not your business why I edited my personal page some months ago almost as soon as I created an account here (I had strong reasons for deciding to "keep it brief"), but just to clear the record, I studied a number of degrees, one of which (the pertinent one in relation to this discussion) was History majoring in Ancient and Classical Greece. Frankish history is a subsequent area of study. You'll notice I'm not presenting in this discussion of Salian mythology my own research - only that of the most respected scholars in the world concerning this subject. What I have is delight in learning... experience of many primary sources... familiarity with the most renowned texts on the subject. I truly hope you think about what we've said, and do some further reading yourself from the lists that several of us have given you.
And no snippy remarks about opera singers. You give a funny impression that you don't think an opera singer can also be a scientist, historian, linguist and mathematician, to name but a few... You might want to read up on the life of Saint-Saëns, a remarkable musician and composer who was also an incredibly intelligent and eclectically knowledgeable man, who numbered among his accomplishments an impressive interest in and expertise of astronomy, mathematics and writing. There's a whole world of knowledge out there, and I find the best approach is to try to absorb and study it as much as possible, to appreciate the fantastic length and depth of human gifts and understanding. But let's focus upon the topic here, hmm? -Almirena 14:31, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

My notice of your real occupation reflects my preocupation of what you are not, and nothing of what you pretend to be or appear. Even this would not be of any concern of mine, if only you would stop your waffle and come up with one single quote of your wonderful superior books and research for making your point. If after reading so many books "I don't know, so you don't know either" is all you can say and quarrel, than please for once stop spamming the Talk page of this serious and sourced assessment to Salian Frankish mythology. Rokus01 20:45, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Oh dear. Rokus, you keep making this a personal issue instead of focusing on the article. And you keep speaking of one occupation of mine as though this is a point you are scoring. I am sorry to see this sort of behaviour on wikipedia. To FURTHER clarify, I have several occupations (like almost every other classical singer I know): I have been a biochemist but left that occupation when I decided to gain another degree (I now tutor biochemistry); I am a writer; I do web design; I am a composer; I am a translator; I teach singing, piano, viola and music theory; I am qualified to lecture on history; and more. The "old ID" you are so fond of quoting actually mentions some of my careers, but I felt it was unbecoming to have a user page that stressed my qualifications, because on wikipedia, everyone's contribution is welcomed unless it contravenes wikipedia policy. It's the everyman's encyclopaedia (which is both its strength and its weakness). And we're not here to laud our own achievements - we're here to make sure the articles on wikipedia are well-written, contain the appropriate information, and are well referenced to the standard works (if appropriate).
Let us focus on the article here, not on people's qualifications. If you are seriously interested in the subject of Frankish mythology, I still express my surprise that you refuse to read the standard works on the subject of the Franks. Is the difficulty that you can't get hold of those works? I prefer myself to own these sort of books so that I have them on hand for easy reference, but you can probably borrow them from a good library. Would it help if I gave you ISBNs? --Almirena 22:37, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Against Georges Dumézil[edit]

Rokus, Actually there is so much I don't know were to start.

  • First you delete valid information without giving good reasons - like for example on Ammianus, but also on the meaning of the word Salii.
  • Second you add things that are simply not true. For example you state that Ammianus describes their Migration. But Ammianus does NOT.
  • Third. This is my strongest point agianst your revision: An article about Salian Franks is not meant to spent half of the text on the highly controversial works of Georges Dumézil and his followers. It is also very not done to come up with Wodan, Frey and Thor while you can't prove if they have anything specific to do with Salians. Please remember in about any college room in our countries Dumézil is called a Domme Ziel. johanthon 13:14, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Johanthon, with your reverts I am as puzzled as you are.

  • I am not aware of deleting any information from Ammianus. Instead I even inserted the name into the text. That is why I took your first comment on Ammianus for criticism on using him as a reference, and even though I decided to remove this sentence I was on the brink of asking you what was your problem with mentioning him. It is custom at Wikipedia to add references to the phrases derived from your sources, this will avoid the risk of those phrases to be merged into other phrases or otherwise affected by other editors. If I removed some theories on the word Salii this might have been because they were not clearly sourced. You have to understand that just mentioning a book on the lower lines won't always do.
  • Second, I did not use Ammianus to describe migrations. How come you think so?
  • Third (I see you already removed this point), again, also the reference to some Adrian Goldsworthy is not mine, but a result of merging info from another article. I will give you the details for having this clear for once and for all: [2] I just think it is inappropiate to delete information while merging, especially when this information has been there for quite a while. This does not mean I think this information is useful, and in the case of this Adrian I have to agree the information is superfluous at least.
  • Last: It is true my source on mythology makes reference to the person you seem to contempt. However, I don't think you are justified to argue with recognized scholars. You have to find published articles that represent your view and be encyclopedic on the different views that exist and develop on the battlefield of science. I am very curious to know about contrary views on the tripartite structure he proposed. I think this tripartite structure is well documented and in accordance with what we know of Indo European mythology. The same still applies to Hindoeism, where according to time, place and social class people worship Brahma, Krishna or Shiva. What about somebody calling a scholar a "Domme ziel"? How can you prove this rejection of such a tripartite structure is generally accepted and not just your personal view?

By the way, I think the version of the article you keep reverting to has a terrible structure. This has to be improved, and I would appreciate your help. I am sorry if I deleted some phrases you were especially attached to while making a try, so why wouldn't you insert this phrases again on the proper place? Rokus01 19:06, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Rokus, I don't need to prove a thing against Dumezil. This article is about the Salians. It's not about Tripartite. It is not about Wodan. Nor is it about Mythology. Wikipedia has articles about mythology and Wodan. If you have valid information you can put it there.
If you want to merge articles than make sure you don't delete valid information and don't bring in information that simply is not accurate. johanthon 21:24, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
And "How can you prove this rejection of such a tripartite structure is generally accepted and not just your personal view?" Quite Simple. The 2 most cited scholarly books on the Salians (James and Wood) ignore him completely. Actually, do you know one regular scholar on the Salians that subscribes him fully and take over his views? James? Wood? Wallace-Hadrille? Murray? Goffart? Ganshof? Mckitterick? Drew? Thorpe? Todd? Bachrach? Fouracre? Van Dam? Bloch? Euwing? Geary? Riché? Fichtenau? Hallsal? Efros? Heinzelmann? Please, let me know. johanthon 21:49, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

I do not like at all your belligerent attitude. Wikipedia is for working together and not for sneering and AGF. Of course you have to respect scholars, especially when they are highly esteemed within their area of investigation. Your concept about scholars is narrowminded and completely wrong, since it is not a custom to have scholars cite sources of different disciplines. For instance, an archeologist will not easily cite a linguist or an anthropologist, and when they do this rarely means they are agree. So why you come up with such a list of scholars, if mythology is not their prime field of investigation? Anyway, for this reason alone it might be a good idea to separate mythology from history in a different article.

For now: please show your abilities and knowledge by improving on this article, since this is still quite confused and ill structured. You could start with putting events in an chronological order, to introduce chapters and to introduce logic. For instance, what does "it" mean in "and it appears like an exercise in interpretation, rather than simple implementation of a new model of succession"? If you are not able, then somebody else have to do it - even when this implies the accidental deletion of unsourced statements and confusing theses. And by the way, the Salian people were not known for being very much more warlike than other Germanic tribes. If you read your sources well, you will discover they -contrary to most other Germanic tribes- developed soon to an organized society that tilled the land and did not pose a threat over the neighboring Romans. Your theory on Mars should be expressed -and sourced with author title and pagenumber-accordingly. Rokus01 22:21, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Rokus, words derive their meaning out of a context. This is the second time that you altered the order of this talkpage as you befits. This time by importing a discussion from another talkpage into this one. johanthon 15:51, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps it is time to think about each and every sentence here. What can be saved? What could be saved if slightly reworded? I could go through this and edit with these points in mind, but I have the very strong impression that if I did so, it would be reverted by you, Rokus. That is why I urge you to get tough with this article. Look at it rigorously in the light of pertinent background material from the most highly respected sources. If this is going to be merged into a larger article, the revisions are going to have to be even more drastic.
Point 1 - can this article be saved as a separate entity? If not, into what should be merged? Point 2 - what can be saved from this article? Point 3 - what should be added to this article?
These are the things you will have to consider. -Almirena 15:14, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Things for you to consider are buying books explaining who and what is Georges Dumézil, one of the world's most influential and respected mythologists. Have a nice time, mr or mrs opera singer! You really gave me a good laugh. Rokus01 20:55, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

This is becoming very ungracious and rude, not to mention gratuitous. Focus on the article itself. --Almirena 22:40, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Proceding for deletion[edit]

I think that further discussions to make this article verifiable, and constitute it with reliable sources are pointless since criticisme is not welcomed.

Since someone else had already proposed deletion of the whole article we best make a last round: We can keep this article, rewrite it, merge it or delete it. Please give your opinion. johanthon 16:16, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

  • I vote for deletion. The article has no reliable sources, it is not verifiable and it does not present a Neutral Point of View. johanthon 16:16, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
In its structure, the article makes unsubstantiated claims - yet this could be incorporated into an article on Frankish mythology generally if the author were likely to let it be so incorporated. I don't think that's going to happen. An article on Frankish mythology in general seems like a good idea. I vote for either incorporation into an article called Frankish mythology (with this article rewritten to present an alternative view) or for deletion. -Almirena 21:37, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

This issue is closed. No scholarly dispute has been sourced, so there is no dispute. Wikipedia is not for publishing the POV of anybody, not even if this anybody claims to be an expert. Such claimes are not rewarded. All the rest, this discussion is ready for archiving. Rokus01 17:56, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

No, that is not the case. This discussion is certainly NOT ready for archiving, and scholarly sources have not only been sourced... I've offered to supply you with the ISBNs of the books in question. I have quoted the works of the top Frankish scholars on the subject, but you immediately moved your responses from the article to personal abuse. I'd like to get this discussion to a non-acrimonious state, and focusing on making this a good article. As I said above, I will refer you to an edited version in my sandbox as soon as I have time. I hope that will not be more than a few days - I'm sure you can be patient until then. --Almirena 23:54, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
The procedure for deletion is stopped for there is no consensus. Since the the scholarly dispute has been well sourced, the article remains disputed. Non of the problems that arise from the text are solved. johanthon 09:27, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

the uncited bits can just be removed. Until anything substantial is added here, this can just be made a redirect to Continental Germanic mythology. --dab (𒁳) 10:16, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Dab, you are invited to be bold. Anything is better than continuing the status quo. johanthon 14:21, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Frankish mythology is valid as a subtopic of contintal germanic, but its also Christianized. see Matter of France. Goldenrowley 07:16, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
With that said,Keep and Rewrite Goldenrowley 07:52, 20 October 2007 (UTC)


I cut out all the material tagged for citations. I then incoporated the text from the Franks article under the "Mythological origins" and "Paganism" headings. Then I structured the article and wrote an intro which melded the concepts of mythology and paganism. I tried to provide some extra (better) sources in the secondary sources at bottom and I tossed in a disclaimer or two where one ought to have been. I removed all the tags save the merger tag. Then I moved the article to the current title. If this direction is accepted by the other editors more heavily involved and knowledge about pre-Christian Germanic civilisation, then I suggest the section of the Franks article be slimmed down and the ones here beefed up. Srnec 04:46, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

By the way, I oppose a merger until the continental Germanic mythology page receives a cleaning up. Srnec 04:48, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Srnec, I think this is a worthy improvement. But do we know certain that (the Franks of) Marchomir were pagans? I think not, allthough 'rex crinitus' for his son may imply it. Can we source this? Anybody? Most of his contemporain Franks are actual christian - with exception of Arbogastes. How do we adress this in the article? Especially in the header? johanthon 09:23, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

it's looking much better, thanks. We may merge this into the "Continental Germanic" article, or keep it separate, that's a matter of taste, but it is true that the next step will be a cleanup effort at the "Continental" article. dab (𒁳) 19:39, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Dab, your proposal to merge Frankish mythology with something else still lacks a proper introduction on Talk. At least, I can't find the pros and contras in any place. So far I can't see any coherence between the creeds and mythology of the different Germanic tribes and to me, each tribe deserves a separate assessment. A general article could be helpful to keep an overview, nothing more. Such an article would hardly be of any help when it pretends to cover all on continental Germanic mythology. Rokus01 22:38, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Srnec, separating the historical part and the mythological part was exactly the purpose of creating this separate article, I imagine this principle applies equally to the Franks article. Incorporating this other information exceeds my personal interest in the matter, although I am glad to perceive some positive attitude here to build up and compile rather than to destroy information - just for being unable to find the information some people are looking for. So far my thanks for doing this dirty job.

Merging Salian Frankish information with general Frankish information is tricky, since Frankish history includes the huge transition from obscure pagan tribes to Pan-European politicians and the champions of Christian religion. This could also be a challenge, as long as the argument of this article does not follow the later Frankish successful political and religious smothering of most traces of Frankish paganism and original cultural identity. The euhemeristic bias of Christian writers on Frankish mythology should remain carefully separated from the pre-christian beliefs, just like there should be a clear difference between the Irish mythology that was written down by christian monks, and the Celtic mythology that belonged to a complete different context. This first stage of Frankish identity and origin deserves to keep a prominent place, or otherwise the article could be split up in two. Rokus01 22:38, 17 October 2007 (UTC)


Srnec, why restrict Footnotes only to pagenumbers? The need to source literally is different from the need to give some background information for further reading or to make text verifiable. Sometimes you'l need to link to information that is not specific, in such a case it won't be sufficient to mention a book or article in a booklist. Also, sometimes you'll need to give some background information that would be too tedious to include in the text - here it has not been necessary yet, still this could happen. This current strict way of applying footnotes is not Wikipedia standard, or a standard I know of in any other place. We could make this an issue, however, so far I have the impression this is just a matter of esthetics to you. In that case I propose to comply with the format by mentioning the first page - of course, when the infomation does not concern a special phrase in a book, but reference to a complete topic. Rokus01 08:24, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Rokus, considering the previous discussion on sources and verifiabillity it is only reasonable to be specific and avoid this kind of problems. Srnec is doing well. johanthon 09:05, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
I just refer to current Wikipedia politics and propose a solution to restrictions that should not be necessary. Please let not continue in filling this talkpage carelessly and let Srnec answer. Rokus01 09:21, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Rokus, I gave you an argument. Think about it. johanthon 13:22, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Srnec's answer: lack of page number(s) is never acceptable when citing a specific fact. (If the fact is broad and is discussed over and over throughout an article or book, you could use "passim".) These restrictions should be necessary, for the sake of verifiability, as Johanthon said. I am following a common standard when I keep a list of references separate from the notes. Srnec 20:30, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Srnec, I was hoping you would come up with some Wikipedian standard. What common standard you are refering to? Let not mix up Notes, specific references to phrases and supplying verifyable information. The disadvantage of passim is being invisible to readers, so this won't do. Read WP:Verify for some ideas how the note-section might be used. Note, I do not reject to using the reference list to indicate pagenumbers to backup specific phrases or claims. So far, your arrangement of sources does not seem to serve any other purpose but to sooth some previously displayed ignorance about the Wikipedian definition of Primary Sources. I don't see any reason to separate three primary sources from a host of secondary or tertiary sources. This, I repeat, is not a Wikipedia standard. Rokus01 12:13, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

The issue is not the separatin of primary and seconday sources, which is arbitrary and not necessary, but rather the separation of a list of sources cited (a bibliography) and a list of actual citations (incl. page numbers). There is no Wikipedian policy on this that I am aware of, just glance through some recent featured articles to see variations. However, it is common scholarly practice. Srnec 21:08, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

I doubt the claim that such a bibliography will always and necessarily be cited in the source. For WP:Verify sake this claim should be taken care of exclusively by the footnotes/references. A bibliography is rarely listed to support the argument of an article, such a claim would be false and misleading by definition. Typically, listed literature is considered indispensable for further reading.Rokus01 15:02, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Warring scholars?[edit]

Modern scholars vary widely about their interpretation (about interpretating sources)

This line suggests fringe views and violent disputes among scholars. I included and sourced the dispute concerning the introduction of the christian religion, so I wonder what other interpretations this phrase intend to refer to. Please explain and source, or, if referring to fringe views like Franks being the lost tribe of Israël, the holy grail or worship of Roman gods, dedicate another chapter to this. Personally, I would prefer a different phrasing to leave those warring scholars out, and focus on the different options that could (not should) be extracted from the evidence (sec.). Otherwise, it should rather be left out completely, since the previous sentence already refers to the sources being "not always clear". Rokus01 09:21, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

The view that that Franks worshipped Roman gods is not a "fringe view", but a well accepted historical fact. When the Frank Ambrosius lobbyed to remove the Altar of Victory from the senate he was opposed by the Frank Bauto. The last Roman Emperor who went at war under the dragon standard of Jove was Eugenius, a puppet of the Frank Arbogastes, who instigated a pagan revival and lead people like Symmachus. johanthon 13:20, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Some early Franks may have been truely romanized, especially the ones in Roman service. However, during the Frankish period before Clovis the main body of the Franks was still living in tribal community. A fringe view would be: to attribute Roman gods to the Franks as a whole. Not even the Batavians (most probably incorporated moving south, then by far the most romanized Frankish element in Frankish pre-Clovis times), are not known for ever having denounced their own gods in favour of the Roman pantheon. If you just want to refer to a certain degree of convergence and religious adaptation, I'd agree: still, it would be wrong to accuse scholars of widely diverging interpretations and thus to imply disputes were there are none. Rokus01 18:41, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

The best known temples on the Isla Batavia in our country are (as far as I know) dedicated to Hercules Magusanus and Mithras. The first is a Belgian god, probably originating in Menapian culture, the other one comes original from Persia. As far as I know there is not much specific "germanic" about the Batavii. Their material culture hardly differed from the local Belgic Menapians. The same can be said of Caninifatii, Sicambri and Tungri. The archeologic uncoverings of the 358-migration of the Salii has not shown settlements of new temples as far as I know. johanthon 20:08, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

I am not referring to the supposed ethnic identity of any of the people the early Franks met or incorporated, I refer to fringe views and suggesting early Franks would have been thoroughly Romanized. This is utter nonsense and not supported by facts, not even by the logic of extrapolation. Please be more concise and careful with your edits, since I have the impression you don't fully realize what you are saying with your edits. You still did not give any explanation to what you think modern scholars vary "widely" in their interpretation. Rokus01 12:23, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Your English isn't clear and I'm not sure what you are asking him to explain. The Franks were Romanised from a very early date. One of my personal favourite reads is Bachrach's Merovingian Military, which proves that by Clovis' time the Romanisation was complete. Srnec 21:10, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
As Srnec says Bachrach argues that Clovis Romanisation was (almost) complete. James however has a much different view on this point and evocates their different material culture. Wood is somewhere between them. This is all very basic stuff. johanthon 11:57, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

As far as I know Bachrach made some very sound statements on the military continuity of the Roman army towards Frankish military institutions. How else the Franks would have been able to cope with the Roman empire? Frankish tribes were all but the backward stoneage barbarians of modern myth. They certainly took some ideas on warfare from the Romans, whose army became dominated by germanic soldiers anyway. Roman military institutions and military camps along the Rhine, such as Castra Veteris, were most probably incorporated wholesale into the Frankish powerhouse. Indeed, this is an episode of the Germanic migrations - and to the continuity of European culture as a whole - that would deserve full attention. I know of some very interesting proposals that relate this Roman military camps to the development of the runic script and the myth of Siegfried. However, how "Roman" those camps eventually became? Did it give Bachrach an argument to come up with a whole new interpretation of "interpretatio romana"? I don't think so, his miscalculation of Germanic influence has been properly addressed and hardly exceeds military and organizational features. Sure, the perpetual state of war and the martial character of Germanic participation in Roman culture had a huge influence to the Germanic mythology, that absolutely shows a development towards a culture of death and violence (Odin was a poet and became a god of war). Still, this has not been the focus of Bachrach. The criticism on Bachrach does not have anything to do with fringe views related to mainstream Frankish ancient beliefs. The overal germanic character of early Frankish beliefs is not explicitly, fiery or otherwise disputed by scholars. Rokus01 22:03, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

What constitutes "Germanic character" is so up for debate right now that I don't even know how to respond to that. Is it about what language one spoke? Is it about material culture? Or intellectual culture? Religion? Brand of Christianity? Methods and ways of warfare? Ancestry and bloodlines? Oral traditions? Political organisation? Geography? Or what combination of the aforementioned? Why, for example, correlate "martial character" and "perpetual state of war" with Germanic culture/participation/character rather than Roman? (I did go overboard when I did not specify that Bachrach's "proof" (and I do regard it as as close to historical proof as one gets and I am not aware that it is highly disputed) was about Romanisation of administration and military.) Srnec 00:07, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
I did not present the "martial character" and "perpetual state of war" as being typical to the "Germanic character." To the contrary, much of this was provoked by Roman politics. There is a marked difference between the attitude of agricultural Germanic tribes like the Franks that mainly lived in harmony with their neighbours (and survived as a political unity), and the migrating tribes that just concentrated on looting and causing mayhem (and did not survive as a political unity). This is reflected in a changed and diverging mythology. Sure, scholars have come up with suggestions that fit the Franks better. However, this does not suggest such suggestions are mutually exclusive or disputed. Some comprehensive knowledge and intellgence is needed for translating this knowledge into a comprehensive article, and it does not help much to prevent this from happening by pointing at "scholarly disputes" that so far remained unsourced and unquoted. Rokus01 23:40, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
All we discuss here is: "Modern scholars vary widely about their interpretation. And the variation between Bachrach and James sufficiently demonstrates this line is true indeed. So let's keep it. johanthon 10:49, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
You don't seem to grasp that "all" we discuss here is the projection of some unworthy POV forwarded by Wikipedian editors concerning Jove and Jesus Christ, to some would-be scholarly dispute about germanic ancient beliefs, still without having produced any specific reference in support of the existence or importance of such a dispute. Come on, where does it say "By some quirk of fate Frankish mythology turned out to be Roman"? Anyway, I am glad the one that claimed that the Salian Franks were actually Arianists already before Arius had invented Arianism seems to have gone now. Rokus01 23:40, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
What is your question? This article is reasonably well-cited. What fact do you believe to be in error? That modern scholars are in dispute? The list of sources and this discussion here is enough evidence of that. A citation is not needed for a statement which is a logical characterisation of the sources: i.e., they are in contradiction. Srnec 23:54, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

By now, this part has been sufficiently addressed and solved by the edits of Goldenrowley. Thanks! Rokus01 14:40, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Out of context[edit]

Most of the pagan gods were associated with local cult centres and their sacred character and power were associated with specific regions, outside of which they were neither worshipped nor feared.[1]

This phrase rather informs about pre-Frankish paganism all over their expanse, than it does about the Franks themselves. What could be local on migrating Franks? Please make this clear in the text. Rokus01 09:34, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

See above. Franks joined Roman culture. And Romans continued local cults. See Hercules Magusanus. See Arduinna. See Succelus. See Rura. See Nechalennia. See Lifes of saints like Hubertus and Willibrordus. Franks settled and society accomadated and integrated. The immigration of proto-Franks like Sicambri dated from the first century. Therefore it is not a supprise that a Frank like Arigius was called 'as Roman as Rome'. So this citation is not out of context. johanthon 13:32, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

For making clear the statement is true, all you have to do is to put it in the right context. That's all I ask here. Rokus01 18:07, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Johanthon and cannot see why that statement is problematic, migration or no migration. Also, see my edit summary. Srnec 20:30, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Srnec and Johanthon are sharing a peculiar ignorance of basic concepts, first in our discussion on "primary sources" and now concerning the nature of context. Problematic with phrases out of contexts, is they insinuate wrong information. Please keep in mind one central issue: "Who are the Franks?" For a definition of general paganism you should link to paganism. Rokus01 12:32, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Thankyou for informing me what context is... Srnec 21:10, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
I see good faith and wisdom on both your parts. I think this quote is just awkward, it says "[outside] of which they were neither worshipped nor feared", even if written by a scholar I don't think its very eloquent. From what I've read about the paganism they did fear gods outside their region, the Romans included, hence we had gallo-roman pagans everyone sharing gods right and left. For example you find a Nehellenia votive from the North Sea in Cologne , so she was feared way outside her region? Goldenrowley 22:21, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't see a problem with phrasing, but if you have a source which says otherwise, add a sentence (cited) and balance out the existing (cited) sentence. Admittedly, the statement above is a generalisation about most gods, exceptions would be welcome. I think the paganism of the Franks to be very obscure and this is not by any stretch an area of great interest or expertise for me. Srnec 23:59, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
OK I am looking for one. Until then I can "live with it". Goldenrowley 21:28, 30 October 2007 (UTC) hmmmm.... looks like they are thought to have worshipped Odin? That's neither obscure nor regional. Goldenrowley 21:29, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

be careful with words "most scholars"[edit]

Just quick word on my edit tonight. I removed "and most de-value the myth" because it rings untrue if not biased. I dont know very many scholars who devalue myths. On the contrary a mythologist scholar and English teacher would value myths especially if its a founding myth which is how thepeople see and define themselves. Goldenrowley 03:38, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but I think the word "myth" wa just being used sloppily to refer to a "legend". I don't know how prevalent this "myth" was really among the early Franks and it may not have become commonly held until the time of Charlemagne or later. I do know that the idea of the divine descent of the Merovings has been greatly overplayed and I think it doubtful that very many Franks actually thought their kings were descended from gods. Srnec 04:37, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Oh I see that is what you're driving at that it may not be a valid myth, however.... I dont think we need the phrase at all it was something I started and just cancel my idea. Goldenrowley 04:45, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
"it rings untrue if not biased". Of course this is very true and very biased. Actually I don't know a single MAIN scholar that did not de-value the myth: They all do. And yes, of course this is very biased, for scholars interprete and give their opinion. Their opinion has a bias. But giving the bias of scholars is what we do here. If we stop doing that Wikipedia stops being an encyclopedia, and becomes just the personal viewpoint of the last editor. johanthon 09:52, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
What you might want to do is identify and quote a scholar that says something like Srnec as his words are very nice: "I don't know how prevalent this "myth" was really among the early Franks and it may not have become commonly held until the time of Charlemagne or later." Goldenrowley 20:26, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
The scholar was quoted right after this, and still is. johanthon 21:20, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Not exactly. Goldenrowley 23:10, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Well I added the 2 points Srnec made into the text. Am happier now. Goldenrowley 23:17, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
This looks much better. Thanks. johanthon 08:51, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

All Father is an epithet of Odin[edit]

the Franks may have had one omnipotent god Allfadir, thought to have lived in a sacred grove. Germanic peoples may have gathered where they believed this omnipotent deity to live, and sacrificed a human life to him.[3] They probably also believed in Wuotan (Wodin, Odhinn) the "chief" of blessings,

It's well established that variants of All Father (like Allfadir) refer to Odin. I suspect the Franks, as a Germanic tribe, were not exceptional, and that it's erroneous to imply, as the above does, that All Father was a different deity from Odin. While All Father might have been worshipped by the Franks as a different aspect of Odin, it should be clear that All Father was not a separate god. I'll dig up some sources on this. Divespluto (talk) 08:57, 26 January 2008 (UTC)Divespluto

I've always hoped "Allfadir" to link to something discussing him... that would be cool if it was the Germanic name of Odin (pending your digging up source). if so, one could modify the second sentence something like this (suggested): "Their Allfadir was a commen epithet for Wuotan (Wodin, Odhinn) the "chief" of blessings." Goldenrowley (talk) 08:08, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Roman gods and Franks[edit]

Latin writers used Roman names of gods for "barbarian" gods. Hercules means Donner, Jupiter means Donner again or Wodan, Mars means Tiw or Wodan again, Mercury means Wodan specifically. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:10, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Specifics about the Franks are all that this article needs, but if you can expand on the brief mention of Gregory of Tours' interpretatio Romana, as this paactice is called, please do. Srnec (talk) 19:03, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Material gods versus "transcendent"[edit]

Most of their gods were "worldly", possessing form and having concrete relation to earthly objects, in contradistinction to the transcendent God of Christianity.[1]

Which author is this Schutz? Not enough information is given here and the same information could be sourced to the contrary. The Germanic gods lived in Asgard in heaven ('heofon' in Anglo-Saxon) the word heaven is from Germanic heathenry, the gods of Germanic polytheism are no more worldly than the god of the biblical old testament who walked & talked with Adam: in that sense interacting with "earthly objects". I think this addition is biased and misleading. (talk) 00:21, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

The source is in the references section as:
  • Schutz, Herbert. The Germanic Realms in Pre-Carolingian Central Europe, 400–750. American University Studies, Series IX: History, Vol. 196. New York: Peter Lang, 2000.
The word "transcendent" is relative. We have to ask, "Transcending what?" Since the Germanic gods are described as "worldly" (in quotations either b/c it is Schutz' word or because it is only the best word available, i.e. scare quotes), presumable the Christian God transcends the world (he does) and the Germanic ones don't. I am not sure that is entirely accurate, as you say. The real distinction which may have been on the mind (or perhaps subconscious) of Schutz is between the omnipresent deity of Christianity and the localised beings who inhabit the Germanic pantheon. Would you agree? Srnec (talk) 04:10, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
As the sentence in question is pretty objectionable, I've since altered the sentence to begin with "According to Herbert Schutz.." :bloodofox: (talk) 05:49, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
The problem does not lie so much with the characterisation of the Germanic gods as it does with those of Christianity. Faced with 'immanence' in non-Christian traditions, Christians love to stress the 'transcendence' of their god (just as when faced with another 'transcendent god', they like to stress their god's 'personality') completely ignoring the plain fact that Christ (accepted by Christians the world over as god) is decidedly not transcendent. But it's OK to tell a half-truth as long as you can write a nifty 'compare and contrast' essay on Christianity vs. the rest of the world's religions. Schutz is a historian, and should not be quoted as an expert on 'Frankish' or even 'Germanic mythology'; in this area he displays nothing but the scholarly bias of the 19th century. —Aryaman (talk) 12:17, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
I think Varoon makes some valid points, but before taking away cited references, what contemporary scholars can you suggest in their place? I think it is okay to compare and contrast religions, to get a clear picture of the Franks, and I think its key to understand how their original mythology was different from Christianity. I beleive the biggest difference was converting from beleiving in multiple Gods (each with their own speciality) to beleiving in one (paternal) God, and I beleive transendence is a reference to Christ transcending death and coming to life again. Goldenrowley (talk) 18:22, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
(To Varoon) Like I said, transcendent to what? The Christian God certainly transcends things the Germanic ones don't, but the sentence is not clear on where exactly the distinction lies, since the Germanic gods are not (necessarily) "merely" glorified humans and the Christian God is, in one person, just exactly that, so the distinction can be blurry. But I don't think it needs to be. The Christian God is all powerful (he transcends everything but himself in one sense) and he is omnipresent. The Germanic gods are not. Christ is certainly transcendent: he transcended life-death, he transcended Creation (he was there before it), and he transcends the Law (which he legislated). I would again stress that it is all a matter of transcending what, not whether transcending or not. (And Schutz is qualified as a historian to speak on this point, since it is a matter of historical research.) Srnec (talk) 18:51, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
My point about Schutz' qualification is this: he certainly appears qualified as an historian (judging by his credentials and his list of publications, which includes titles like Tools, Weapons and Ornaments: Germanic Material Culture in Pre-Carolingian Central Europe, The Romans in Central Europe, Prehistory of Germanic Europe, and The Carolingians in Central Europe, Their History, Arts, and Architecture), and I assume he would be qualified to evaluate historical documents regarding the Frank's perception of the differences between Heathenism and Christianity - if they existed. Perhaps I'm wrong, but Schutz does not appear to be qualified to speak on either Christian or Heathen theology/mythology. I have not read his work, but I assume he is a qualified historian and that he is therefore simply repeating what he read in another source - and it is that kind of source we should be citing here if any mention is to be made of a contrast between Christian and Heathen gods at all. (If yes, then seriously consider contributing to Germanic Christianity; it needs the work.) As for contemporary scholars on the subject (i.e. ignoring the opinions of older scholars such as J. Grimm or R.B. Andersen), I suggest Rudolf Simek (particularly his 2003 Religion und Mythologie der Germanen). He is professor of Skandinavian and German studies at the University of Bonn and has written extensively - not only on the history - but specifically on the religion and mythology of the Ancient Germanic peoples. He has whole chapters devoted to the Síðaskipti, the "Change of Faith" or "Custom", among the various Germanic tribes. But you don't find him making these kinds of broad characterisations that are generally only found in the work of someone discussing a topic outside his field of expertise (or the field he assumes on the part of his readers). —Aryaman (talk) 20:07, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
P.S.: I haven't read it yet, but the following may be of use to someone willing to examine the subject in more depth: Conversion Among the Germanic Peoples Carole M. Cusack (1998). There is a substantial chapter on the conversion of the Franks. (Be sure to use the "Preview this book" function.) —Aryaman (talk) 20:39, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
    • ^ a b Schutz, 153.