I’m still fixated on that idea from yesterday about the relationship between literature and society, and how the old religion was able to be preserved in Iceland. This is what was going on in the countries of Europe at the time that people migrated away
were being united into kingdoms with increasingly centralized powers.
There’s evidence from northern Europe in the 1200s that the Icelanders had the status of authorities on historical knowledge about other countries, and further, they were known as good story-tellers. I speculate that there was a sort of “IQ exit” as the British Isles and Norway were being Christianized in the 900s.
I probably don’t have to say the presupposition I have in mind that books about book-burnings would’ve themselves been burned.
Europe wasn’t Christian in Year 1 (which I think many people presume it was)
I’ve speculated about this before, that the ones who weren’t content with enforced society kept moving further and further north into the cold, and the migration to Iceland was the culmination of that.
This is how Iceland viewed itself in the 1100s
as an independent entity, a kingdom without a king
This is how I feel most days, that if we don’t get an ice island to escape to most of our literature won’t be preserved.
Oh man, this is making me drool. It was originally settled with four quarters
Again, it was decentralized, so none of the four quarters had more power than any other. Apparently one of the four settlers was a woman.
The death of paganism was like an older death of god. This is how an older form of divinity was salvaged from being erased entirely.
Evidence it was an IQ exit
all were farmers of high social status
This geographical dynamic reminds me of the middle east. The reason the Muslims hate Israel so much is because it’s so close to them. They wouldn’t care so much probably if Israel were an island in the middle of the Mediterranean. Similarly, if there was a pagan stronghold in the middle of Germany in the middle ages the Christians would’ve been freaking out about that. Since it was an isolated island so far away- out of sight, out of mind. One might imagine “feds” around heartland Europe during those times who finked on anyone telling stories from pagan times. They could be more relaxed about the old religion in Iceland.
There was a more tolerant attitude there
poems about the heathen gods could survive the change in religion and continue to be remembered until they were recorded in the literature of the thirteenth century.
This is a post on “esoteric Nazism” here by the way. Our current political order sets itself in diametrical opposition to what these preserved “stories” from Iceland caused.
Did Voltaire cause the French Revolution? No, he just had a significant role in it. Did Montesquieu cause it? Ditto. Same can be said of Nietzsche’s role in WWII- one could say he was inspired by Wagner’s Teutonic heroes to write the way he did, even if he preferred the pagans of the south himself.
Yesterday I showed you how the early reception of the old myths from Iceland were interpreted as either containing the seeds for future Christianity or being a manifestation of Christianity. At first they just read themselves into. It was only in the second half of the 19th century and early 20th centuries that people began to read the pagans on their own terms. And I think that’s one of the main causes of what eventually happened. One has to go into this relatively blind because there are no direct studies of this (at least that I know of). The same kind of thing can be seen here in the 21st century. People can only read the classics through a prog lens, and will dismiss disagreements they find as primitive. I and some others happen to read them as more realistic than the prog belief-system.