Historical Heathen war question ...

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Historical Heathen war question ...

Post by Ottr on Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:30 am

Hello Folks … Hope you all are enjoying the festive season.

I’ve a historical question that I feel a bit silly asking about, but was wondering if I could get a little assistance with.
I’m in a discussion about the motivation for war as it relates to various religions. My main point in this discussion was that I couldn’t think of any Pagan tribal folks that started a war with the specific intent to spiritually convert the conquered.
Now, I was thinking more along the line of Heathen tribes, and should have been more specific with my response. I was reminded that Alexander, Caesar, and Genghis Khan were Pagan.
I have to concede that point, as I understand each of these rulers practiced religious persecution.
My question for the more historically literate than myself here … Am I wrong in generalizing the motivation of our ancestors for warring with other tribal folks? (That motivation generally being land, food, riches, material worldly possessions etc.) Am I forgetting, or unaware of the Gods calling on their followers to convert other tribes?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or comments.
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Re: Historical Heathen war question ...

Post by John T Mainer on Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:13 am

Alexander, Genghis, and Caesar all practiced both religious and political tolerance of almost unheard of levels. They forgave and prospered former enemies, and in so doing added the might and learning of conquored peoples to their own growing empire. Alexander himself became incorperated into many pantheons, even being the divine ancestor of the Pharohs of Caesar's age.

Caesar only persecuted the Druids because they were the focus of continued revolt, especially enticing the Celts from Britain to continue raiding against his Trans Alpine Gaulish holdings while he needed his concentration free for the manoeverings against Pompey Magnus after the death of Crassus dissolved their stable triumverate, and precipitated the next Roman Civil War. As the bulk of the Druids at the time were foreign, and made themselves distinct and easily identified, they were easy to eliminate.

The German mixed infantry and light cavalry that he added to his Auxilliaries brought their Godhi's, and even performed some of the sacred war dances to terrify Caeser's enemies.

The Yurt palace of the Great Khan boasted the greatest collection of monks and priests from the world over. Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, wise men and women from a thousand pagan lands, scholars from as many civilizations. The greatest loot the Great Khan could find for his people was learning, and religion to him was one of the more important subjects. His laws remain one of the finest collections of human laws of that, or previous ages http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yassa

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Re: Historical Heathen war question ...

Post by Ottr on Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:52 am

Thank you John.
I had read of Alexander burning the sacred books of some, (can’t remember the specific tribe here, my apologies) and Caesar with the Druids, so I thought maybe I should concede on the religious persecution.
But from what you’ve written here, and the direction you pointed me, (spent some more time following your leads and reading last night) It seems my initial point stands, that *converting* the conquered wasn’t the specific motivation for war.

Thank you for your assistance in helping me to “answer rightly”.
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Re: Historical Heathen war question ...

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:24 pm

The Irish went to war over stolen cows...

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Re: Historical Heathen war question ...

Post by John T Mainer on Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:35 pm

We fought the US over a fence busting pig.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pig_War

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Re: Historical Heathen war question ...

Post by Ottr on Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:45 am

I guess I’d be pretty peeved if someone stole livestock that amounted to food, clothing, and wealth too.

 
As far as the fence busting pig …
My oldest and I read the link together, and laughed our asses off when we came to this quote …
“A possibly apocryphal story claims Cutlar said to Griffin, "It was eating my potatoes." Griffin replied, "It is up to you to keep your potatoes out of my pig.”

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Re: Historical Heathen war question ...

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:26 pm

Ottr wrote:I guess I’d be pretty peeved if someone stole livestock that amounted to food, clothing, and wealth too.

 
As far as the fence busting pig …
My oldest and I read the link together, and laughed our asses off when we came to this quote …
“A possibly apocryphal story claims Cutlar said to Griffin, "It was eating my potatoes." Griffin replied, "It is up to you to keep your potatoes out of my pig.”


To be fair, it was a really, really nice cowWink

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