HISTORICAL SOURCE TEXTS
Poetry, Myth, and History
The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who traveled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans.
Beowulf is an Old English epic poem consisting of 3,182 alliterative lines. It is one of the most important works of Old English literature. The story is set in Scandinavia. Beowulf, a hero of the Geats, comes to the aid of Hrothgar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall in Heorot has been under attack by a monster known as Grendel.
The Cattle Raid of Cooley
Táin Bó Cúailnge, commonly known as The Cattle Raid of Cooley, is an epic from early Irish literature which is often called “The Irish Iliad.” The Táin tells of a war against Ulster by Queen Medb of Connacht and her husband King Ailill, who intend to steal the stud bull Donn Cuailnge. Due to a curse upon the King and warriors of Ulster, the invaders are opposed only by teenaged demigod Cú Chulainn.
The Germania, written by the Roman historian Tacitus around 98 AD, was a historical and ethnographic work on the Germanic tribes outside the Roman Empire. It includes important information on Germanic religion.
The Homeric Hymns
The Homeric Hymns are a collection of thirty-three anonymous ancient Greek hymns celebrating individual gods. The hymns are “Homeric” in the sense that they employ the same epic meter as the Iliad and Odyssey, use many similar formulas, and are couched in the same dialect. They are a terrific source of pagan prayer!
The Icelandic Sagas
The Sagas of Icelanders are one genre of Icelandic sagas. They are prose narratives mostly based on historical events that mostly took place in Iceland in the ninth, tenth, and early eleventh centuries, during the so-called Saga Age. They are the best-known specimens of Icelandic literature.
The Iliad is an ancient Greek epic poem traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles.
The Odes of Pindar
Pindar was an Ancient Greek lyric poet from Thebes. His poetry illustrates the beliefs and values of Archaic Greece at the dawn of the classical period.
The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad. The poem mainly focuses on the Greek hero Odysseus, king of Ithaca, and his journey home after the fall of Troy. It takes Odysseus ten years to reach Ithaca after the ten-year Trojan War. In his absence, it is assumed Odysseus has died, and his wife Penelope and son Telemachus must deal with a group of unruly suitors who compete for Penelope’s hand in marriage.
The Poetic Edda
Poetic Edda is the modern attribution for an unnamed collection of Old Norse anonymous poems. It is arguably the most important extant source on Norse mythology and Germanic heroic legends.
The Prose Edda
The Prose Edda is an Old Norse work of literature written in Iceland during the early 13th century. It is considered the fullest and most detailed source for modern knowledge of Germanic mythology.
The Rigveda is an ancient Indian collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns. It is one of the four sacred canonical texts of Hinduism known as the Vedas. The Rigveda is the oldest known Vedic Sanskrit text. Its early layers are one of the oldest extant texts in any Indo-European language.
The Testament of Morann
A 7th-cent. gnomic text in Old Irish consisting of advice by the legendary judge Morann to a young king, stressing the importance of justice in bringing about peace and stability.
Philosophy and Theology
The Complete Works of Plato
It can be said with little exaggeration that Plato is the philosopher. He was also a deeply pious man who often turned his incredible mind to developing a rich theology for the traditional religious beliefs of the ancient Greeks. Of particular interest to pagans are the dialogues Phaedo, Republic, Theaetetus, and Timaeus.
The Elements of Theology
The Elements of Theology is a compendium of 211 propositions by the philosopher Proclus that attempts to exposit into a concise systematic summa the barebones of pagan Neoplatonism.
The Enneads is the collection of writings of Plotinus, edited and compiled by his student Porphyry. Plotinus is often regarded as the founder of Neoplatonism, a pagan philosophical theology developed from the philosophy of Plato.
On the Gods and the World
On the Gods and the World is the production of Sallust, a 4th century pagan philosopher. It is a beautiful epitome of the Platonic philosophy, in which the most important dogmas are delivered with elegant conciseness, perfect accuracy, and strength of argument.
A blog about Iberian paganism.
Hravan is a free online library dedicated to Germanic paganism where you will find a wide variety of books on that topic.
A blog on topics related to Germanic paganism.