Athanaric, first king of the Visigoths, led his tribe throughout the 370’s AD. He was a king beset on all sides with war. Romans to the South of him, Huns to the East, and even a civil war at home. Somehow he managed to hold his people together until his death, even securing a peace treaty with the mighty Roman empire. Athanaric held tru to his ancestral spirituality while many of his fellow tribesmen were turning to Arian christianity, an early offshoot from mainstream christianity that gained a large following for a time in Europe. Athanaric banished christians from his lands, killed some, pushed out others, and kept the old folkways alive for his tribe. During Athanaric’s reign some of his Arian tribesmen began a civil war that Athanaric had to deal with throughout most of his time as king. These rebellious tribesmen even went so far as to ask Rome for assistance in their uprising………of course, Rome, seeing an opportunity to assert their authority in a new area, jumped at the offer. Athanaric refused to cow and fought valiantly for his people and his ancestral ways for many years. Ultimately he was able to get Rome to offer him terms for a peace that was acceptable to his people. Once this truce was secured and his people were relatively safe Athanaric chose to rest. Within just a few weeks of gaining this truce Athanaric passed away. Athanaric’s tale rings familiar in many ways to our modern dilemma. We to are a people trying to keep our ancestral ways alive in the face of political correctness, cultural diversity, and rampant materialism. Seemingly there is a civil war within our folk, many going the way of modern society and all its ills, while a few of us keep the flame of our ancestral ways burning. While this “war” is not one of guns and such, it is just as dangerous, just as capable of destroying people and crushing their futures. And yet, in the face of it all are men and women, inspired by the tales of their ancestors, inspired by the very blood coursing through their veins; inspired to stand tall in the face of all adversity. These men and women, these sons and daughters of Europe, are the brave members of the Asatru Folk Assembly. Like Athanaric of old, these men and women, beset on all sides, rise to the ocasion. Rather than dwell on the many negatives around them they focus on the positive with their eyes firmly focused forward. Hail Athanaric! May his example inspire us for all times.

Blaine Qualls,
Gothar Coordinator,
Asatru Folk Assembly

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