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Greater Theodism


 

<<what exactly is the place of Greater Theodism in the eyes of High Theodsmen?>>

 

Greater Theodism is something which is constantly changing and evolving, and it is doing so independently, organically, and the process is not at all under the jurisdiction of High Theodism.  Therefore, we might have a definition of what the difference is between Greater and High Theodism one day, which will be invalidated by a new development on the next.  All we can really do as High Theodsmen is sit back and watch how Greater Theodism organically develops itself, and try our best to understand it as it does, and form our own policy accordingly.  All we can say with certainty at this point is that there are elements present in High Theodism that are not present in Greater Theodism.

 

<<I will say as a Greater Theodsman, I am alarmed by the tone of your response. I may not be High Theodish, but I certainly don't want to be treated as a red-headed bastard stepchild (my red hair notwithstanding) just because I am a Greater Theodsman rather than a High Theodsman. Are our contributions counted as so much less to the Theodish community because we are "only" Greater Theodish? Again, sir, where are Greater Theodsman on the Theodish food chain?>>

 

Where do you think they are?  Personally, I'm not sure.  Lets talk hypothetical for a second.  Say there was a Greater Theodish Thane who had been Greater Theodish for a month.  Say he had never undergone thralldom, but had been appointed directly to his thaneship by his lord, after expressing an interest in Theodism (this could be done in Greater Theodism, but not in High Theodism).  As such, does anyone else know how much he may or may not know about Theodism?  Is he really dedicated, or will he bolt at the first sign of trouble?  Has enough time passed for anyone to know?  What makes him Theodish?  He is Theodish because he says that he is, not because he has paid any dues in the way High Theodsmen have to in order to be recognized as Theodish. 

Now say there was a High Theodish Ceorl, who had been High Theodish for say, 10 years.  This Ceorl had gone through thralldom, had clearly proven to all that he does understand Theodism, and had proven his loyalty and his Theodish worth.  But because High Theodism has far more rigorous standards which must be met before someone can advance in arung, while the High Theodish Ceorl is an excellent Theodsman, he has not yet worthed himself into a thane by High Theodish standards.

So where do the Greater Theodish Thane and the High Theodish Ceorl stand in relation to one another on the "food chain?"  The Thane technically outranks the Ceorl, but the Thane not only would not meet the standard of a High Theodish Thane, he would barely meet the qualifications of a High Theodish Thrall.  How are the High Theodsmen supposed to judge where this Greater Theodish Thane fits in, then?  Do they judge him by their own standards, or do they judge them by the very different standards of his own tribe? 

If they judge him by High Theodish standards, the Greater Theodish Thane will probably come out sitting with the High Theodish thralls, and no doubt he and his tribe will be greatly offended.  But if they judge him by his own standards, he will be sitting far above much better men, and all the High Theodsmen will be offended.  How can the arungs of one tribe be recognized as equal to those of another, which have completely different standards?  Can they, or maybe not?  Do you know?  Without a compatibility of standards, the task becomes nearly impossible.

All we can prove for certain with this discussion is that Greater Theodish arungs are not necessarily equal to their counterparts among the High Theodish arungs, even though they do have the potential to be. And it is precisely High Theodism's "non-interference" policy with Greater Theodism that has caused this incompatibility of standards.  We don't dictate to Greater Theodsmen what they can and cannot do; we do not say "you can make someone a Thane unless he meets such and such standards."  Greater Theodish folks and tribes are completely independent and out of the High Theodish sphere of influence.  So Greater Theodism invitably will set its own standards wherever it wants to, and those standards will often as not be incompatible with those of High Theodism.  What does that mean to where Greater Theodism stands in relation to High Theodism?  Well, I don't pretend to know.  We will probably just have to wait and see how it plays out.     

 

Aelfric