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Foreword by Matthew Flavel of the Asatru Folk Assembly.
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Vilhelm Grønbech was a preeminent professor of the history of religion at the University of Copenhagen in the early twentieth century. His vast breadth of knowledge of world cultures and religions had profound effect on Danish academic thought, and in The Culture of the Teutons, Grønbech turns his keen analysis toward his own culture, that of Germanic Europe.
Grønbech draws upon a rich panoply of sources in the Norse sagas, legal rulings, and historical figures both living and mythological to deliver for us a compelling thesis of the tribes that harried Rome, of the Viking Age, of pagan rituals and later widespread adoption of Christianity as much more than the sum of bloodthirsty plundering, as less charitable historians have condemned them. Instead, we delve into a culture alien to that of Tacitus or the Greeks, misunderstood for hundreds if not thousands of years. In seeming contradiction, the pagan worldview is foreign compared to our own today, or to the culturally imperialistic Romans who documented their “barbarian” foes, yet one cannot be truly estranged from his own ancestors. The genius of The Culture of the Teutons lies in Grønbech’s ability to weave together what at first glance appear polar opposites, but in reality are inexorably linked.
The various Germanic tribes of Europe, the Teutons, place unshakeable value on honor, family, and religion to create a society perplexingly carnal yet sophisticated, advanced yet close to nature. And nowhere is this clearer than in their settlement of inhospitable lands such as Iceland or the Faroe Islands, in which they brought order to a seemingly untamable environment. The impact of the peoples of Northern Europe on world history today is so vast no amount of spilled ink can pay it justice.
Antelope Hill Publishing is proud to bring this expansive tome back into the limelight for a modern English-speaking audience, now complete with a substantial glossary, index, and hundreds of footnotes to confer important cultural context that would have been assumed common knowledge to its intended Danish audience. The complete edition includes volumes I and II, published in 1909 and 1912, respectively.