Welcome to Nertobessus or ‘Strength Custom’. This project is dedicated to merging both physical and spiritual health within polytheism by crafting practices that merge into one’s schedule in the gym and at home.
What this is
The ‘strength custom’ is a small puzzle piece in the exoteric practices of polytheists. While the focus of this page is mainly Belgic/Gaulish, it is freely adaptable to other polytheistic religions. The goal is to consider this a part of one’s day to day life (as determined by physical fitness routines), not a separate religious expression entirely.
What this is not
This is not a männerbünde, a fight club, a ‘Brohalla’ or ‘Brodin’ place of machismo worship. This is not associated with the many different esoteric movements in regards to physical fitness as well. There are plenty of places on instagram, facebook and youtube for that.
We draw inspiration from Jean Louis-Brunaux synthesis on Druidic philosophy, Les Druides: Des philosophes chez les Barbares in which he describes the second druid law (from Diogenes Laërtius), ‘Practice Bravery’ as an apothegm;
“Practicing bravery is more enigmatic. In fact, this translation is hardly satisfactory. The Greek noun “andreïa” refers to both virility, energy and bravery, and even the virile member himself. As for the verb “askein”, its primary meaning is “work with art” and its second meaning shaping, exercising “. The good translation would be “to shape his body to give it manly virtues.” This exaltation of courage and the Warrior virtues in the mouth of philosophers can amaze us. That should not be the case. Many Greek and Roman thinkers make it one of the themes of their reflection. For them, bravery and warrior skill are major virtues because, in order to flourish, the city needs to be defended. And the most ancient philosophers, Pythagoreans and among them those who advocated political pythagorism, Milon of Crotone and Pythagoras himself, seek to apply to civil society models of warriors, particularly in the field of education.”
Further reading shows that Brunaux believes that at the end of the Iron Age to 4th Century BC, aristocrats and warriors spent most of their time exercising their bodies for combat and beauty.