Talk:Mythology in the Low Countries

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this article is somewhat anachronistic. We cannot speak of "Dutch" for times before the 16th century or so. Pre-Christian mythology of the area of the Netherlands and Belgium is generically West Germanic. At best, it could maybe be argued to be "Franconian" in particular, but a (well referenced) case would need to be made for that, you can't just take it for granted as the article does at present. It should disambiguate to Continental West Germanic mythology and Dutch folklore. dab (𒁳) 08:45, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

I would like to make it work as Old Dutch or Lowlands. The purpose here are the facts surrounding ancient pre-Christian and native Netherlands and Belgium mythology of the tribes living there. It looks like "Old Dutch" was a language starting with c 500. I already split off Dutch folklore, now in this article was moving back in time and before the Franconians and Christian missionaries unified and took control so its pre-Franconian in a political sense and cultural sense. Franconian people were only one of many ethnic groups, so let's not call it Franconian. I looked up Old Dutch and it seems to be the correct language of the place and period: Old Dutch="Old Low Franconian spoken and written during the early middle ages (c. 500 - 1150) in the present day Low Countries and areas of France near the North Sea coast." That said Maybe rename the page Low Countries Mythology and/or disambig. at the top with a disambigative line. Goldenrowley 20:50, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
OK I tried to fix it so it is not anachronistic. I suggest I could rename page to "Old Dutch Mythology" Goldenrowley 04:21, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

no, there is no identifiable "Dutch" culture in pre-Christian time, just undifferentiated West Germanic. The pre-Christian stuff should be merged into Continental Germanic mythology. To keep discussions of "Dutch", "Frisian", "Saxon", "Franconian", "Alemannic" and "Baiuvarian" mythologies separate for pre-Christian times merely serves sentiments of provincial patriotism, but has no encyclopedic justification. There is altogether too much provincial patriotism on Wikipedia. Synthesize material into coherent treatments, don't fragment it into isolated local stubs, particularly in contexts as sparsely attested as this. dab (𒁳) 10:34, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

HI Dbachmann. Unfortunately, I disagree with that reason to merge. It is not provincial to discuss a region's mythology precisely distinct from other regions, this is not a stub and it is not a fragment and it is not sparsely attested. There are other stubs where I might say so, like if we did an article on every single elf type in the world, but not on an article like this, which does a whole region's mythology. What is wrong with the source? Reginheim is really thorough and has written much more than this page on Dutch mythology . My opinion is each country in Europe is distinct enough for a mythology page on what they held sacred. I don't consider Dutch mythology (apart from German) as "provincial" or "patriotic". Even so, Wikipedia Mythology Project is trying to be complete and cover anything in mythology encyclopedias, including "provincial" legends. To put this all under German would speak only of the Frankish Saxon elements and totally ignore (delete as "off topic"?) what St. Eligius said about Flanders, he listed of Roman and Celtic Gods this would be considered "off topic" on the German page. In saying this please kindly overlook any potential errors in my understanding Germanic history, history was not my best subject. Goldenrowley 16:33, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
What I would like to offer as a potential solution is to rename the page "Low Countries Mythology"- instead of "Dutch mythology" -- the intent was to discuss mythology of the entire region not just of the main (Germanic) culture. Goldenrowley 16:44, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Still not convinced to merge "Dutch mythology" with "Contintental German(ic) mythology", it's closer to say the topic of this page is Lowlands Mythology, or (as I study it) more specifically the Lowlands is a mixed Belgae culture and region of the Roman empire. Let's not dilute this into a continental discussion, it's hard enough to cover just one region at a time. At the time of missionary witnesses, there are marked differences between the Germans north of the Rhine and the Roman-indoctrinated and Celtic areas south of the Rhine in present day Belgium. Goldenrowley 04:43, 7 September 2007 (UTC) ...I was not convinced to split the article into folklore and deities, as DAB suggested, either for one think a Dutch folklore article exists already and this is about mythology. So saying I renamed the page "Low Countries mythology". I can come back later to elaborate but essentially the region was defined long ago by the Roman Empire, witnesses by them to be culturally mixed. Goldenrowley 05:25, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

the move to a regional grouping (Low Countries) as opposed to linguistic (Dutch) is an improvement. The topical difference from Dutch mythology is still less than clear. Perhaps this should be pre-Christian traditions of the Low Countries, paralleling pre-Christian Alpine traditions (which began its career as "Paganism in the Eastern Alps "). dab (𒁳) 10:26, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Why? I really appreciate your thougths, but I don't like changing mythology articles to "tradition" articles, it gets away from the sacred heart of the matter. The article held up as an example is just a stub that could be better done.Goldenrowley 18:32, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

that's the point. the "sacred heart of the matter" is unsubstantiated and an impression produced by effort of the article's authors. "pre-Christian traditions of the Low Coutries" is neutral. We don't have Alpine mythology, or Harz mythology or Bavarian mythology. We don't even have German mythology (the page is a redirect, in spite of a far better pedigree of the term, about 50 times as many hits as "Dutch mythology" on google books). --dab (𒁳) 11:28, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

However the German mythology link directs on purpose to German paganism ^Continental Germanic mythology (it used to redirect to the paganism article)^ where mythology is discussed. I think they just wanted to cover both topics in one ^paganism^ article. Jacob Grimm wrote german Mythology that editors can refer to for tons of material and it goes into some of the differences in each region. Goldenrowley 18:40, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
On the "dubious" flag you put today in that the area is comprised of "Celtic, and Gallo-Roman and Germanic"... the article does go into this, it just cant pack it all into the introduction sentence. The deities and myths in the region fall into these 3 categories (so far), nothing more or less is maintained and thats pretty mainstream knowledge. If you dont mind, I'd like to just keep the page title mythology of the Low Countries and not get off that topic. If in any way it does get off the topic... flag the sentence(s). Goldenrowley 18:40, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
"Continental Germanic" covers both German and Dutch. If German mythology redirects there, so can Dutch mythology. That's the entire point of the "Continental Germanic" article: Discussing a spuriously attested topic in context. Grimm wrote Deutsche Mythologie, which was translated as "Teutonic Mythology". Deutsch isnt always equal to German. The 'dubious' expresses doubts that there even is such an animal as a "mythology of the Low Countries" which has 'its' roots in various prehistoric and proto-historic cultures. Where is this mythology documented? Was it just invented for the purposes of Wikipedia? Or is any random collection of stories related to a certain region considered "a mythology"? Very dubious. There is Celtic (Gaulish, Gallo-Roman) and Germanic (Continental Germanic) mythology. But who says this was ever syncretized into a single pre-Christian(!) "Mythology of the Low Countries"? When is that mythology supposed to have formed? Between AD 400 and 496? Any source for that? dab (𒁳) 19:16, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Look I think it's a good idea to make "dutch mythology" (which is now a redirect) become a disambig page instead of a redirect to this page, since it is a vague term as we agreed. However this page has already moved away from claiming theres one mythology for all of Holland. but if we merge it to German-ic (or Teutonic?) we'd have to pull in many other countries ^and erase references to Celts?^, and its long enough already. If you dont think this region has mythologies like the one about the lake being formed by God and the snake, I could try and pull together a longer list of books to satisfy you? Now back to the thing you marked as "dubious", On this page citation 3 says " Celtic was noted by Tacitus and Ceasar in 1st Century; both Celtic and Gallo-Roman deities noted by Saint Eligius (588 to 660)." so if doing the disambig right, if you would agree, I would say there's 3 to do a dab right we'd have to dab Dutch mythology to 3 different religions. Goldenrowley 22:11, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
no, you see, I do not claim at all that it wrong to discuss "mythology by region". The problem is in the term "mythology". Greek mythology, Celtic mythology, Germanic mythology discusses mythologies, that is, standing bodies of myths that evolved during pre-Christian times. "regional" collections of mythemes is more problematic, and needs solid references when drawing lines between regions. This is clearly such a regional article. As is the "Continental Germanic". The point is, that this is a true subset of the "Continental Germanic" one and should be treated as such. Mere collections of fragmentary tales is also different from a fully attested body of myths. It overlaps with "folklore". Hence, I do recognize that there is valid and well presented material here, but it should be divided among the "Folklore of the Low Countries" (medieval to modern sources) and the "Continental Germanic mythology" (pre-Christian fragments and reconstructions) articles. I just do not see that the concept of a "Mythology of the Low Countries" is attributed to any reliable source here, and we have to be critical with this sort of thing. dab (𒁳) 11:53, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Alright, I edited Continental Germanic mythology a little bit, making it WP:SS with this article as a subtopic. I understand that patriotism is a strong incentive to investing effort in this sort of thing, and of course people will be more into contributing to "Dutch mythology" than to a rather abstract "Continental Germanic mythology". This isn't necessarily a bad thing, we just have to canalise such efforts into encyclopedicity. I suppose we should let this article stand as it is, but be wary of topic overlaps with its two parent articles, Continental Germanic mythology and Folklore of the Low Countries. Both these articles should also be linked prominently from the lead. dab (𒁳) 12:45, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

As your writing was balanced and fair overnight, I don't disagree.Goldenrowley 16:45, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

"To keep discussions of "Dutch", "Frisian", "Saxon", "Franconian", "Alemannic" and "Baiuvarian" mythologies separate for pre-Christian times merely serves sentiments of provincial patriotism, but has no encyclopedic justification."
Sorry?? Thanks for bringing me in. Keep in mind "being encyclopedic" should not mean to generalize. Germanic tribes have never been a unity (even Mallory, I found some time to read him for a second time, separates a western Harpstedt from a more general Jastorf, and even has heard of something called Nordwestblock : differences derived from an ancient prehistory going back to at least the Later Bronze Age certainly would have left some traces!) and though we don't know much about their worship (we only have a pretty complete Norse mythology), we certainly know the Germanic religion to be very diverse and typified by some outspoken local features. While agree with the notice it is hard to draw lines (for instance, what the hack is "Franconian", with the whole of Europe making claims for being included?), some definite entities can and should be isolated. Rokus01 21:25, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

"encyclopedic" means "not making things up". I have no doubt that if we could send field researchers with tape recorders to each of these tribes, we could set up a brilliant separate article for each. As it is, we simply don't have enough information, and we have to combine what little we have to build a very sketchy picture of "Continental Germanic" mythology in general. If you can cite an academic monograph on "Alemannic mythology", that's perfect, we'll certainly be able to create such an article then. --dab (𒁳) 08:37, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
I beleive the wording merely suggests they lived in the region. thanks for clarifiying what "unencyclopedic" means to youGoldenrowley 15:38, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

The Nordwestblock theory[edit]

From the Wikipedia article "Nordwestblock": "The Nordwestblock theory attributes to the people of the area a separate identity from their Germanic and Celtic neighbours. Ethnicity involves a focus on genetic and anthropological features." I don't know what to think about this theory yet. Should we discuss the possible mythology? Goldenrowley 18:51, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

this theory is also known as the "Rokus01 theory". dab (𒁳) 11:30, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Well I asked the question and since then, I haven't seen very many scholarly opinions come to light on Nordwestblock theory. However I dont see any reason to suppress the exploration as long as the hypothesis was published. Goldenrowley 17:36, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Misleading: Turn Into Redirect[edit]

This article is completely misleading. There is no such thing as a uniquely attested "Mythology of the Low Countries." There were Western Germanic peoples here and Celts. The Celts were subsumed by the Germanic peoples. Not only this but this article is totally misleading. For example, Tacitus' account of Nerthus is dominantly considered to have put the ceremony in Denmark (as place names point). Reginheim is not a reliable resource, most of this article is not even referenced, and if it was it would need to be completely reworded to be acceptable (____ theorizes that ____). I recommend that this article simply be redirect to a fork listing Dutch folklore and Nordwestblock. :bloodofox: (talk) 01:25, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Agree. Folklore ... fine. Mythology, no. There is no historic nor even modern political reason to treat the Low Countries as a separate and distinct mythology region. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 02:46, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't agree and don't think 2 people make a consensus. It's a shame you waste all this research.. it has cited references. Goldenrowley (talk) 03:34, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
I put the article back and ask you to go through a formal review procedure for deletions. If you really don't want it, take it to AFD. Goldenrowley (talk) 03:39, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
Are you seriously going to attempt to argue that this article has any basis whatsoever? It's total nonsense. There's as much as such a thing as "German mythology" as there is "Dutch mythology" (which is what this article was called before it was turned into the equally nonsensical 'mythology of the lowlands'). That is, there isn't. It's most unlikely that Nerthus has anything to do with the Netherlands, and the matrons, Nehelennia, etc, are either linguistically Celtic or West Germanic on a case to case basis. If you want to attempt to argue some sort of Nordwestblock continuation theory, I suggest you just out and say it so we can just redirect this confused nonsense to Nordwestblock and be done with it. :bloodofox: (talk) 04:36, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes I seriously think this article has basis, there are for example the ancient missionary witness accounts of people worhshipping Gods/Goddesses in the lowlands, landmarks named after the Gods, and all the other topics that are cited. But don't take my word for it read the three or four good references cited, as well as the missionary accounts, also listed in this article. To want to delete an article with references as "unlikely" is not encyclopedic, and goes against Wikipedia policy. Of course the area has mythology that has linguistic Celtic of west Germanic roots, the point is they were there and were adopted into the Dutch and Flemish languages and cultures....maybe I am openminded about mythology (thinking it can be discussed for any culture) because in America there are many Native Americans myths and we treat them by tribe and culture. I think mythology is alive as long as alanguage and a culture is alive, changing a bit each century. The fact that Dutch evolved as a language/branch means they must have had some mythology (in other words, mythology in their own language). Goldenrowley (talk) 17:16, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
But the Dutch don't exist until way after the mythology period. Until the modern era the Dutch are Germans. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 19:16, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
Anything from this article that isn't covered better elsewhere on Wikipedia can be taken and applied to the continental Germanic paganism article or one of our Celtic mythology articles where applicable. Gathering a bunch of these references into a murky soup, and then throwing a bow on top of it and proclaiming it as some sort of uniquely "Dutch" mythology is ridiculous. Trying to make an article in this manner constitutes an outright hoax. These sources are either going to be talking about Germanic mythology, Celtic mythology, or etymological uncertainties between one or the other, and I can't read the Dutch. Really, there's a simple solution to this mess: deletion. I'll nominate it shortly. :bloodofox: (talk) 20:26, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Goldenrowley there are some specific Dutch myths. What Deacon of Pndapetzim states "Until the modern era the Dutch are Germans" is plain nonsense. Germany as a state (ie the homeland of the Germans did not exist until 1871, and is far younger than the Netherlands) furhtermore none of the Dutch have ever spoken (modern) German. So the statement the Dutch were German at some stage is not supported at all (unless of course we accept the English were German; or French until recently as the Saxons are clearly a German tribe, and the Normandy invasion came from France (or Norway)) Arnoutf (talk) 22:03, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
I presume what Deacon meant was Germanic and not to be confused with citizens of what we now know as Germany (a very careful distinction to make considering the confusion it causes people unfamiliar with this territory), but the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. What we now know as the Dutch people are linguistically Germanic in origin. There are specific Germanic myths recorded in the Netherlands, but this is a an element of larger West Germanic culture, of which we don't have a lot of attestations. :bloodofox: (talk) 02:50, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I think I see the disconnect with Bloodofox. Unlike Bloodofox, I think main scholars would hold that mythology tends to exist in every age and culture, not just in the ancient past. The basis for writing a Dutch mythology article is there is aDutch language and a culture. Yes it tends to be half Germanic and half Celtic. I see other articles for example Skier Days talking about much smaller things and no one raises an eyebrow (except me, who wants to move it to Wiktionary). The Dutch culture looks small on the map ^however^ millions of people have lived and died there. Its not under a pretty bow it admits the region is multifaceted. Goldenrowley (talk) 01:35, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
You are confusing modern folklore (for which we have an article: Folklore of the Low Countries) for the beliefs of the pre-Christian Germanic peoples. Dutch language is outright Germanic. Almost all of the figures mentioned in this article are Germanic with the exception of a few Celtic figures. Specifically, West Germanic. The modern notion of the Netherlands is irrelevant when talking about the pre-Christian beliefs of the Germanic peoples. :bloodofox: (talk) 02:50, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Bloodfox, your last comment clarifies a lot. And I tend to agree with some of it. Interestingly your suggestion would oint towards a solution where we move parts of the article to either Germanic mythology (which is a disambig page) or Continental Germanic mythology which refers to this article (myth of the Lowlands). This is in my view problematic, as there is no place for this material to go.
Once that mess has been sorted out, we can then consider to merge the remaining parts into Folklore of the Low Countries.
Where I do have a problem with you input is in labelling this as hoax. That implies the whole article is consciously and deliberately constructed to fool the readers. While the problems you note maybe relevant, I do not believe this article was deliberately constructed as a falsehood, and is therefore by definition not a hoax. Arnoutf (talk) 18:56, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
If not a hoax, this article violates WP:SYN and WP:NOR by combining Dutch folklore with Celtic and Germanic mythology to create an original Dutch mythology.--Berig (talk) 20:09, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
It's not a hoax, I am not a hoaxer and there's references. To your last remarks, I don't think it is violating [WP:NOR]]. Since there are books and thesis on Dutch mythology (one in English for children, even), its not new or synthesized from parts. Well, if I had to make a choice my preferences would be (a) keep article for readers who are studying the cultures of Holland and Belgium (b) but if you must combine it with something, it should go with [Folklore of the Low Countries]], not Nordwestblock. The reason is it compliments Dutch folklore and progresses into folklore. Goldenrowley (talk) 20:51, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
My suggestion (b) was to do both; i.e. move these parts truly specific for the low countries to the folklore paper, and some of the generic Germanic stuff elsewhere. The target articles sould be improved however before this can be succesful. (sadly childrens books can in general hardly be labeled as a reliable source) Arnoutf (talk) 15:59, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I made a mistake to call the children's book a mythology book, going back and reviewing it's contents again it is a folklore fairytale book. Well if we go the route you suggest Arnoutf, About 3/4 of the references used are folkloric in nature. The other references I take seriously are the ancient missionary accounts those are unique to the region and discuss religion/myth. There's the definite goddesses known to this region and I don't know for example where you'd put Nehellania Tanfana, the ones unique to the region? Goldenrowley (talk) 02:07, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
I came back to answer my own question, the witness accounts of the missionaries to Holland, as well as mentioning the specific regional Goddesses in Holland, would be great additions to the article History_of_Dutch_religion Goldenrowley (talk) 02:22, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Drive by tagging of article of good standing as hoax[edit]

Without any arguments, today this article was tagged twice as being "a hoax" and as giving a "distorted and damaged" view.

This aricle has a 2 year history, several reliable sources, and has been classified as B-class article by two project.

Nevertheless these two rather negative templates were added. Both of these articles refer to talk page discussion, but no of the taggers found it necessary to explain the problem in some detail, hence there is little to discuss.

Based on the history, sources, and quality assessment I cannot do anything else, in the absence of argument by the tagger, than to remove both tags. Arnoutf (talk) 21:52, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

The sources do not imply a special"Dutch mythology." The subjects mentioned are either West Germanic or Celtic, and these sources describe these subjects (and they are poor sources at that—almost entirely Reginheim and even the infamous Encyclopedia Mythica gets a mention). This is definitely not a B grade article. As I've stated above, this article is a hoax: there is no such thing as an ancient "Dutch mythology." :bloodofox: (talk) 02:54, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
If you consider the history of the article, and the clearly good faith efforts by the involved editors it is clear this article is not a hoax (which is the deliberate attempt to fool someone else). There maybe problem, but no mal intent. Arnoutf (talk) 18:58, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I suggest that it be tagged as OR or SYN instead.--Berig (talk) 20:09, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't think the article is a hoax, but it tends to be speculative at times. For instance, I would like to see a source for the statement that the character aiding Charlemagne in Karel ende Elegast is an elven spirit. As far as I know, all characters in that poem are described as human. Iblardi (talk) 01:11, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
There are many more issues than that on this article. The toponym section is terrible ("Druidic religion"—seriously?) and cannot be saved in the form it currently is—exactly who is making all of these extremely speculative claims? Where? Basically, someone has theorized this, and claiming, for example, a unique toponym named after Hel is very dubious indeed. In fact, the whole article is like this. Call it the whole thing a big work of synthesis or an outright hoax, the article is altogether built on a false pretext and deceives anyone who takes it seriously. Is there a tag for warning others that this article is believed to be outright wrong and/or presenting theories as fact on basically every level? If so, you are welcome to swap it out with that. :bloodofox: (talk) 10:05, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
The nationalhistory tag might be the one? (it is already there) Arnoutf (talk) 15:57, 15 February 2009 (UTC)