Guido Karl Anton List, better known as Guido von List, who lived 1848 to 1919, was a writer, mountaineer, and occult author. Von List is one of the most important figures in Germanic neopaganism, and runic study.

He is the author of The Secret of the Runes (book), widely regarded as the pioneering work of Runology in modern occultism.


Guido von List was born as "Guido Karl Anton List" in Vienna in the Austrian Empire to Karl Anton List, a prosperous middle class leather goods dealer, and Maria List (née Killian). Like the majority of his fellow Austrians at that time, his family was Roman Catholic, and he was christened as an infant in St Peter's Church in Vienna.

In 1862 a visit to the crypt beneath the St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna made a deep impression. List regarded the crypt as a pagan shrine, and he swore to build a temple to Wotan when he grew up.

On June 24, 1875, List was camping with four friends near the ruins of Carnuntum. As the 1500th anniversary of the Germanic tribes defeat over this Roman garrison in 375, the evening carried a lot of weight for List. Carnuntum became the title of List's first full-length novel, published in two volumes in 1888. After its success, it was followed by two more books set in tribal Germany; Jung Diethers Heimkehr (Young Diether's Homecoming, 1894) and Pipara (1895). These books led to List being celebrated by the pan-German movement. Around the turn of the century, he continued with several plays.

Between 1903 and 1907, Guido began using the noble title von 1 on occasion, before finally settling on it permanently in 1907. As this was only permitted for members of the aristocracy, he was put before an official enquiry. Here he produced evidence supporting his claim, which was accepted by the officials heading the inquiry. Documentation of List's alleged noble descent, if any, has since been lost.

During the final stages of World War I the naval blockade of the Central Powers created food shortages in Vienna. This caused poor health in the now 70 year old von List. In the spring of 1919 he set off to recuperate in Brandenburg, Germany, but his health deteriorated quickly, and he died of pneumonia in Berlin on May 17. He was cremated in Leipzig and his urn then buried in Vienna Central Cemetery, Zentralfriedhof, on the 8th of October 1919 in the gravesite KNLH 413 - Vienna's largest and most famous cemetery (including the graves of Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert and Strauss.) in Vienna's 11th district of Simmering. Philipp Stauff wrote an obituary which appeared in the Münchener Beobachter.


List claimed that the Hermionen mentioned in Tacitus was a Latinized version of the German Armanen, and named his religion the Armanenschaft, which he claimed to be the original religion of the Germanic tribes. His conception of that religion was a form of sun worship, with its priest kings (similar to the Icelandic Godi) as legendary rulers of ancient Germany.

List claimed that the dominance of the Roman Catholic Church in Austria-Hungary constituted a continuing occupation of the Germanic tribes by the Roman empire, albeit now in a religious form, and a continuing persecution of the ancient religion of the Germanic peoples and Celts.

This conception bears strong resemblance to many other 19th-century romanticised ideas of ancient polytheistic religions in Europe; a comparatively similar text in the thematic elements and overall textual bias is the famous Oera Linda forgery from the Lowlands region of western Europe.

He also believed in magical powers of the old runes. In 1891 he claimed that heraldry was based on the magic of the runes. In April 1903, he had sent an article concerning the alleged Aryan proto-language to the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Vienna. Its highlight was a mystical and occult interpretation of the Runic alphabet. Although the article was rejected by the academy, the article would later be expanded by List and become the basis for his entire ideology.

Among his ideological followers was Lanz von Liebenfels. List's racial religious beliefs would strongly influence Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS in Nazi Germany. List's concept of renouncing Christianity, a Semitic religion intertwined with Judaism, and returning to the pagan religions of the ancient Europeans would in turn influence Neo-Nazism and White Nationalism strongly. Germanic paganism has, as a result, been linked to Nazism since the early twentieth century.

Runic revivalismEdit

The row of 18 so-called "Armanen Runes", also known as the "Armanen Futharkh" came to List while in an 11 month state of temporary blindness after a cataract operation on both eyes in 1902. This vision in 1902 allegedly opened what List referred to as his "inner eye", via which he claimed the "Secret of the Runes" was revealed to him. List stated that his Armanen Futharkh were encrypted in the Hávamál (Poetic Edda), specifically in stanzas 138 to 165, with stanzas 146 through 164 reported as being the 'song' of the 18 runes. It has been said this claim has no historical basis.

The Armanen runes are still used today by some Ásatrú adherents who consider the Armanen runes to have some religious and/or divinatory value.


  • "One must flee those places where life throbs and seek out lonely spots untouched by human hand in order to lift the magic veil of nature" - Guido von List, 'Deutsch Mythologische Landschaftsbilder', 1st volume, P. 125.
  • "Now, because men of our contemporary age are caught up in the ascetic view of a life-denying religious system, but in spite of this cannot deny the primal laws of nature, a distorted morality had to be developed, which spreads hypocritical appearances over hidden actions. This has brought to a head all those outward forms of modern life, whose vacuousness and corruption are now beginning to disgust us." - Guido von list, 'Das Geheimnis der Runen'
  • "A star is extinguished, another will begin to shine - thus it is written in the Book of Nature" - Guido von list, 'Der Ubesiegbare'

Written worksEdit

For more information on the works of Guido von List see the section entitled "The Works of Guido von List" at the Guido von Lost website

  • Das Geheimnis der Runen (The Secret of the Runes (book)) (1908)
  • Der Unbesiegbare
  • Gotterdammerung (1893)
  • Von der Wuotanspriesterschaft" (1893)
  • Die deutsche Mythologie im Rahmen eines Kalenderjahres" (1894)
  • "Der deutsche Zauberglaube in Bauwesen" (1895)
  • Mephistopheles" (1895)
  • Carnuntum )
  • Jung Diethers Heimkehr (1894)
  • Der Wala Erweckung (1894)
  • Walkurenweihe (1895)
  • Pipara: Die Germanin im Casarenpurur (Pipara: the Germanic Woman in the purple of the Caesars) (1895)
  • Konig Vannius (1899)
  • Sommer-Sonnwend-Feuerzauber (1901)
  • Das Goldstuck (1903)
  • Kunstmarchen anthology: Alraunenmaren: Kultur-historische Novellen un Dichtungen aus germanischer Vorzeit (Mandrake-Tales: Cultural-historical Novellas and Poetry from Germanic Prehistory). (1903)
  • Eine Zauernacht
  • Guido-von-List-Bucherei (GvLB) (A Series of works)
  • Die Armanenschaft der Ario-Germanen (The Armanism of the Aryo-Germanic People; GvLB nos. 2a-2b, 1908 and 1911) - 2 volumes
  • Die Rita der Ario-Germanen (The Rita of the Aryo-Germanic People, GvLB no. 3, 1908)
  • Dir Namen der Volkerstamme Germaniens und deren Deutung (The Names of the Tribes of the People of Germania and their Interpretation; GvLB no. 4, 1909)
  • Die Religion der Ario-Germanen in ihrer Esoterik und Exoterik (The Religion of the Aryo-Germanic People in its Esoteric and Exoteric Aspects; 1909 or 1910)
  • Die Bilderschrift der Ario-Germanen: Ario-Germanische Hierogyphik (The Pictographic Script of the Aryo-Germanic People: Aryo-Germanic Hieroglyphics; GvLB no. 5, 1910)
  • Die Unbergang vom Wuotanismus zum Christentum (The Transition from Wuotanism to Christianity; 1911)
  • Die Ursprache der Ario-Germanen in ihre Mysteriensprache (The Primal Language of the Aryo-Germanic People and their Mystery Language; GvLB no. 6, 1914)
  • Armanismus und Kabbala.

TV documentariesEdit

The life of von List has featured in many TV documentaries on his life, occultic Germanic revivalism and the occult roots of Nazism. Some of these are as follows:


See alsoEdit


The following books have detailed accounts of List' life:

External linksEdit

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