- Paperback: 584 pages
- Publisher: BookSurge Publishing; 2nd ed. edition (April 27, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1419635980
- ISBN-13: 978-1419635984
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 47 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Our Troth: History and Lore Paperback – April 27, 2006
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Volume One has two parts in it. The first part is the History and that history goes way back to even before the Indo-Europeans came to settle their parts of Europe. There are seven chapters to this history section. My favorite article was the last one, which goes from the Viking Age to today, explaining how through folktales and art the old stories about the Aesir kept the memories alive for our people. There is a real good explanation on how Nazi Germany damaged the image of Heathenism, while at the same time, Hitler thought that bringing back Heathenism from the grave was, well...stupid. What's "dead" is dead, or so he thought. There was one time when Hitler said Himmler ought not embarrass Germany by bringing up her past from a time that the Romans and the Greeks were far more culturally superior (p. 104). I find these quotes remarkable, because that is not what I have been told all these years. Yet, there it is, cited for evidence and further research!
Part Two of Volume One is the BIG part of this book (chapters 8-26). Many of these essays deal with specific God/desses. For example, Chapter 11 is all about the stories of Loki. The following chapter is all about Thor. Chapter 12, the one on Thor is my favorite, possibly because I am heavily biased when it comes to my "Patron!" But some of the older stories about Loki--Loki cracks me up! That one sure has proven to be crafty and creative to the extreme! It is a really good idea to have a fire extinguisher handy if one is dealing with Loki (p. 211)! But then, I also think of Loki as totally enigmatic. When he tricked Balder's brother into killing Balder (more about Balder in Chapter 13), well, I guess that is the end of fun and games. Sometimes, a practical joke has serious consequences. Another favorite of mine is Chapter 24. It explains the cosmology of our religion. If one is looking for where Midgard is in the "World Tree" and how our home relates to everyone and every place else, this is a good place to get all the info one needs. It has proven to be the most comprehensive, yet easy to follow reading I have ever come across on this subject.
How easy is it to read? It is very easy! The size of the font, plus the line spacing is pleasant to the eyes. With an occasional exception of a word given in Old Norse, the vocabulary is to where any high school student can read and understand. With those occasional words, there is a glossary in the back of Volume Two (which is why I recommend getting that as well) that is really good with all these definitions. Personally, I'm glad that these words are in there, because I do learn something new every time I read these passages. It keeps me on my toes. But, it is easy to let the easy reading (for the most part) to be deceptive. There is a lot of information jammed packed in these pages. These articles and essays have been written with a lot of scholarship. One can rest assured that one is not reading anything that has no business being in there, that this book is amazingly accurate. It has that encyclopedia feel to it.
With that said, I would like to point something out. These two volumes are also pretty diverse. One won't just get one side to a particular issue. There were several contributors to this corpus. Even in specific articles, there was more than a couple of people adding their few cents in. There is a wide range of opinion here and the reader gets to sit in and see the different viewpoints take shape. This is a wonderful way to get some creative ideas going, and at the same time, remaining tru to Asatru. Many of the contributors have Masters and PhD's in the fields of Germanic languages, literature, or cultural studies. This makes these volumes worth every penny and then some!
These two volumes are great references to have. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for the just beginning beginner to the most well seasoned of our folk. I rate this set 5/5!
I think this and volume two ( Our Troth: Living the Troth ) should probably be among the first five books any heathen / Asatruar buys, if not the first (The others, I would say, would be the eddas themselves along with maybe a modern retelling of them like by Kevin Crossley-Holland.)
To me, _Our Troth_ is like the first encyclopedia of the Northern religion, and its main author like a Diderot of all things Germanic. Given the tremendous scope of the work as well as the well-learnedness of the authors (their erudition, to borrow a Latin word), these two volumes remain unparallelled.
As for the book itself, it is a fantastic read. So far I am about 80 pages in. I have learned so much already and can already tell a reread will be required to retain the massive amount of information in this book.