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Images of Balt gods 1.

Mythological images of the Balts 1.

Balt mythological tradition was kept in two variants: Prussian (from which there were names and descriptions of functions of gods (extremely man's') and Letto-Lithuanian. Last is restored in the greater degree on the basis of folklore sources. The Supreme god of ancestors of Latvians and Lithuanians was Dievas (in a Prussian pantheon he is called also 'Okopirn' - 'the most first'). He is the typical representative of such Indo-European type as the God of Clear Sky and corresponds with Indian Dyaus, Greek Zeus , Roman Jove, Etruscan Tin, German-Scandinavian Tiw/Tyr, Hittite Tiwat, Celtic Teutat . Dievas it is submitted as the courageous person dressed in a silver cloak, a cap, his clothes are decorated with suspension brackets and a belt with a sword. These attributes go back to Laten Iron Age, to shape of the Balt king and once again confirm idea that the God of the Clear Sky is the legislator and the patron of breeding collective (we shall recollect king was Nuadha).

The god has got children-twins - 'Dievas's sons'. "In the Latvian national songs fragments of motives and the symbols, connecting children Dievas with idolised twins of other traditions - ancient Greek Dioscuri, Indian Asvinau were kept: sons of the god are in love with the daughter of the god (lits. Saules dukte, the Latvian. Saules meita, 'the daughter of the sun', from here and Estonian 'Salme'); expecting her, they light two fires on the sea, roll the daughter of the sun in a boat, overland go to her house on two horses. Sons of the god embody fertility and contact an agricultural cult <...> Representation that and their most ancient attribute - horses are connected to twins both an opportunity of epidemic and healing from illness, till now meets in the Lithuanian villages. These features of the twins' cult were reflected and in the Lithuanian images of skates in a roof, having exact conformity in the Latvian skates as horse heads..." (Myths of nations of the world, 1998, v.1, 154).

The most active character of Balt mythology is Perkunas. He is the typical God of Thunder, whose name occurs from Indo-European Per (k)-un-o-s). To him corresponds Slavic Perun , Indian Parjanya, and (with other ethymology) Indian Indra, Hittite Tarhunt ( Tarhunt and Illuyanka ), Celt Taranis , Scandinavian Thor, German Donner. From sanctuary in valley Swintorog we were reached with a figurine sitting Perkunas (the end of 13-th. c. A.C.). He/she is the mature husband, in the right hand he compresses a bunch of lightnings.

In folklore Perkunas behaves the same as also other representatives of the given type. He pursues his opponent (what is Veln), by means of lightnings. "Sometimes in folklore the reason of the God of Thunder's anger - an unfaithfulness of his wife with Veln or kidnapping of her, kidnapping of people, or cattle is underlined. The pursued opponent is hidden for different subjects (the tree, a stone), addresses in the cow, in the person <...> According to the folklore texts the variant of a myth, where a morning dawn Ausrine, with his opponent is reconstructed also. Perkunas overthrows her from the sky on the ground, and that turns in chthonic goddess (compare. Mara, Zemina, Lauma)" (Myths of nations of the world, 1998, v.1, 154 - 155). It is very important plot, it explains, why the Great Goddess has got complicated sky-earth nature. The Ob-Ugrians which though are not the Indo-Europeans, but had with them close contacts, there is a similar myth. Supreme god Num-Torum, which, being the god of the sky, combined also thunderous function ('Torun' is not casually conformably Scandinavian Odin ) has overthrown from heavens the to spouse Kaltus-Ekva that that has asked to kill all animals and birds and to make of their bones the new house (Hant and Mansi myths, legends, fairy tales, 1990).

So, the Great Goddess is Zemes mate ('mother-earth'), Lauma and some other images. Lauma - at the beginning the goddess of birdhs and earth, later - malicious spirit. As opposed to her Laima ('happiness' - the goddess of happiness and destiny, sometimes together with Dekla and Karta acts as the heavenly spinner (like Scandinavian Nornir , Greek Moirae etc.).

The God of Earth Powers in the Balt mythology were Latvian Veln - Lithuanian Vels. Veln it is widely distributed in folklore and national arts and crafts. He is horned, sometimes has hoofs, is connected to water the eye of him is 'a window in a bog'. Veln has got wisdom, builds bridges, patronises music and dances. At the same time in fairy tales he frequently gets mistake. N. Velius believes this character is wise in sacral sphere and simple in prophanic one (see. Velius, the author's abstract of the dissertation). This reasoning indirectly confirms connection of the God of Earth Powers with magic, priestly sphere. Vels more ancient variant of an image. "At 17-th. century A.D. G. Stender informs about Vels (Wels) - the god dead to which 'days of dead' were devoted (Welli; compare Lith. vele, 'soul', veles, 'shadows deceased', words of the same root, as V.); V. it is connected to cattle etc. animals (according to Stender - 'the divine horses', 'the divine bulls', 'the divine birds')". (Myths of nations of the world, 1998. v. 1, 228). Vels it is known also from Lithuanian dualistic legends which are connected with Slavic Bogumil heresies of Middle Ages and, on the other hand - with dualism Ugrian peoples. He acts in them as one of creators of the world, the contender of God (Dievas) (Pumpur, 1975). To an image of this Balt deity it is especially close East Slav Veles . V.V. Ivanov and V.N. Toporov compare to him also Indian Vala , Vritra, and even Varuna. (Myths of nations of the world, 1998. v. 1, p. 530).

The ancient Indian myth about the Vala is especially interesting. According to Vedas, certain demons Pani steal cows of the God of Thunder Indra . That, together with dog Sarama, finds a cave of demons and returns loss. Vala roared from depths, but Indra defeated him. This plot is very close to Baltic myth. There is all symbolical - and name Pani - is similar to the Greek Pan (the lord of herds, woods and fields, Pan is also a projection of the God of Earth Powers), and participation of a dog which, similarly to the wolf is the eternal ally of the God of Thunder (by the way, in mentioned dualistic legends is spoken about enmity of the wolf to Vels) and Vala's image (Vritra's brother, swallowed up heavenly waters and the fallen most a victim of Indra). In Etruria, in sacred city the god (whose name is transferred differently: Velthuna, Vertumna? Velthina) was esteemed. Sometimes him is considered as chthonic form of Tin or the god of a nature circulation (Nemirovsky, 1983). The Romans inform an interesting history, as a certain demon in the wolf image wanted to escape from the underground world and to devastate vicinities of sacral Etruscan town, but hardly he has raised a cover of well as immediately was tired out back. (Raschinger E, 1992, vol. 1, p. 44). Плиний names a demon of Olt (Olta), but Raschinger believes that in Etruscan this name was Veltha , that can be identically mentioned chthonic Vertumn, 'the main god of Etruria'. Relieves on some funeral urns give fines illustrations to this myth to one of the few it is clean Etruscan plots, known to us in writing. We see a monster that is getting out from well. More often it looks like the shaggy wolf though one relief shows it with a smooth body and as though a horse head. There are variants, that depict Olt/Veltha in an image of the person with a head of the wolf and even is simple in the wolf mask. The monster is surrounded with people which are taking place in the strongest excitement. They try to jostle it back in well or to constrain, having covered with a circuit. One person has already fallen Veltha victim. On one variant it is possible to see the most popular Etruscan goddess Vanth , messengeress of death, likes Greek furies, and typologically - Scandinavian Valkyrie , Slavic vilas, Baltic veles and etc. (Genetically all of them occur from the Great Goddess).

The given plot puts before us some questions. On the one hand, the root 'vel' connected with the world dead, belongs to the God of Earth Powers. Besides Vertumn was the main god of this city (that is the main god of priests). With another - the wolf traditionally is the opponent of the God of Earth Powers and is connected with the God of Thunder. And the motive of chaining of the wolf by means circuit likes the Scandinavian myth about World Wolf Fenrir. Probably we deal with inversion when contrasts converge - the God of Earth Powers in Etruscan myth got features of the wolf, and the God of Thunder in the Scandinavian and Hittite myths has driven about on a chariot with the rams and the bull accordingly. For the benefit of that Veltha is the God of Earth Powers, speaks also the image on Etruscan cista from Preneste. The Minerva (the Etruscans esteemed her also) which whether helps, whether prevents the naked baby to leave at the weapon from an amphora. Near to the baby it is written 'Mars'. About Mars/Maris it was already spoken in connection with Scythian culture. Now it is necessary to add, that the Roman Mars was considered also as the god of arising year (Vertumn was gods nature circulation). There is also small winged figure, reminding role Vanth on one of the relieves representing a history about Olt.

Fantalov Alex


Speciality 24.00.01 - the theory and a history of culture

The dissertation on competition of a doctor degree of cultural science

Images of Balt gods 2.




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