free web hosting | free website | Business Hosting | Free Website Submission | shopping cart | php hosting

Mythological images of Slavic gods 1.

Mythological images of Slavs 1.

Svarog is considered as personification of the Sky of East Slavs, (comparing with Indian 'Svarga' - 'the sky'. Studying medieval chronicles and East Slav fairy tales. And. Rybacov connects with Svarog the following plots: Svarog has established monogamous family (Rybacov, 1994, 530), (that, in common, characterised Indo-European God of the Clear Sky as the legislator and the patron of human collective; he has dumped iron pincers from heavens, having granted to people an opportunity to forge instruments of work. Forge function is a little bit unusual to the given image. However, mythological character with a role of the patron of a marriage and simultaneously the first smith is kept in East Slavic folklore under name Kuzmodemyan. In wedding plot there are such words:

"About, sacred Kosmademyan.

Come on wedding to us

Also hold down you to us marriage" (in the same place, p. 541).

The name of this folklore character is connected to names Christian sacred Kosma and Damian which in Russia counted patrons of smiths. Smiths have won the Ukrainian fairy tale great the snake and ploughed by means it furrow to Black Sea.

Son Svarog was Svarojiz - an embodiment of fire. The western Slavs named him Radegast. Russian annals name Dazhbog Svarog's son as well.

The god of Thunder of east Slavics was Perun , like Balt Perkunas though he and was not esteemed by such significant deity. Traces of his existence were kept and between southern Slavs in toponymics. Perun's attributes were a horse, a chariot, an axe or hammer, stone arrows. According to Belorussian tradition, the God of Thunder supported by spirits with shape of predatory birds or warrior babies. Predatory animals also entered into an environment of the god. As wife Perun, probably, was considered Dodola. Her name was kept in southern Slav a ceremony: the girl dressed in green branches and named Dodola, pour water to cause a rain.

In Slavic culture the cult of the God of the Thunder long time did not play the leading part. According to E.V. Anichkova's opinion, promotion of Perun - the princely god was connected to formation of the Kiev state. Wishing to strengthen the government based on force of a military team, prince Vladimir reformed a pagan pantheon, having removed Perun on the first place (it would be interesting to find out, why prince has chosen the God of Thunder, is similar the Balts (Perkunas), the Indians of heroic epoch ( Indra ) and the Greeks and the Romans ( Zeus, Jove) instead of the Hero, as it have made by rulers of Vendel Scandinavia ( Odin ) and as we shall see, the western Slavics. Perhaps, here has had an effect of the Baltic influence, or influence of the Scandinavians of Viking epoch?). In 980 in Kiev the wooden idol of the God of Thunder with silver head and gold moustaches was put and in his honour even have founded human victims. But in eight years Vladimir, having accepted Christianity, ordered to banish Perun from the Kiev mountain and to alloy over Dnepr up to the thresholds.

"In Christian time Perun was replaced by prophet Ilya (Elias), going on the sky in a fiery chariot. By that Ilya day (July, 20) it was very solemnly celebrated on all Russia, and was celebrated with all attributes ancient pagan cult, probably, what exactly this storm day and was in the primordial day of Perun" (Rybakov, 1994, 418). On national representations, during a thunder-storm the Ilya - prophet has driven about on the sky and beat lightnings snakes (or devils), which drop on the ground, being turned off in ball. We shall recollect, that the Ossets named the deity of a thunder Wacilla - Saint Ilya. Identification Thunder god with the antiquated prophet was obviously connected to a detail of a bible plot according to which, Ilya has risen on the sky on a fiery chariot. It serves as powerful argument for the benefit of our treatment of the God of the Thunder extremely as god on a chariot (Thor and Jormungand , Indra and Vritra , Tarhunt and Illuyanka etc.) And, hence, treatments available in the literature of some gods-horsemen as thunder god are wrongful. Last remark especially concerns data for the western Slavs.

Warrior Slavs of island Rugen worshipped god Svantevit. Saxon Grammaticus, Danish medieval annalist and the writer informed: "This god has also on service of the of 300 perfect horses and as much horsemen which all extraction acquired by means war or robbery, consists under supervision of priest <...> Besides it, there are at him (deities) a horse of white colour; sacrilege considers to pull out hair from a mane or a tail of him. Only one priest has the right to look after him and sits on him that from often using the sacred horse has not lost the sanctity" (Slavs and Scandinavians, 1986, 351). Before a campaign priests Svantevit stuck six crossed copies into the ground. The Supreme priest removed from a temple of a horse of the god and how it jumped over spears, was judged, war will be successful whether or not.

Saxon Grammaticus describes Svantevit's temple and a kind of the god. "Outside the temple was decorated with carefully made sculptures <...> For entering the unique entrance was open. The sanctuary is made in two fencings. External, consisting of walls, it is covered with a purple roof; internal, basing on four columns, instead of walls shone with veils <...> In a sanctuary the huge figure surpassing human growth with four heads is established <...> Beards and hair were represented clean-shaven, <...> In a right hand /idol/ held a horn for drink, executed of various metals with which priest annually should fill again that on a condition of a liquid to predict a crop of the future year. The left hand rested sideways, formed an arch <...> Legs based on ground and the basis was latent in the ground. Nearby the bridle and a saddle and other "marks of authority" deities therefrom hung; miraculousness of him the sword of monstrous size, an edge which besides excellent multiplied works. Were allocated with a silver surface" (Slavs and Scandinavians, 1986, 356-357). Well and where here the God of Thunder? On the contrary, the features connected to fertility rush to eyes (especially a horn - we shall recollect Cernunnos , the Thracian Hero, Scythian Kolaxay etc.). Spears and a horse are even more characteristic and deduce us for Sacred George's image - the horseman on a white horse, the Hero. With Svantevit frequently compare Zbruch idol, found in 1848. To tell the truth, his two sides have female attributes. The third side has no specific attributes, and the fourth which contains the image of a horse and a spear of Rybakov considers as image of Perun. But the horse and a spear are symbols of the Cultural Hero.

Certainly, many heads induces on reflections. Many-headed gods are most typical for India (set of heads, hands, an eye allow to transfer the superiority of a deity above mortal). But also in Europe the given attributes took place in the Greek mythology (four hands of ancient Apollo, hundred-handes and fifth-headed ones - "anger", "force", "arable land", three-bodied Geryon ( victory over three-headed monster ); in the Scandinavian legends - many-headed trolls, hero Starkad (he was born with six hands, but Thor (hostilely adjusted to him) has chopped off four hands of Starkad). The western Slavs have kept these features of the gods.

There was in the isle Rugen, in city of Korenitsa there was other pagan temple where there were images of three gods: seven-headed Rugevit, five-headed Porevit and five-headed Porenut. It is known about reverence by the western Slavs also Herovit (Gerovitus) which attribute the gold board was. 'Vit' means 'life' and, according to descriptions, functions of these characters were reduced to war and fertility. Extremely authoritative in major religious centre Retra (Starigard) was Radegast, represented by the young soldier with a spear in a hand (it is interesting that this name was carried by the pagan German leader, unsuccessfully trying to take Rome in 5 c. A.D. - shortly before Alarich). After destruction of west Slavic princedoms, sanctuaries were destroyed, idols were destructed and up to us have reached insignificant traces of the last magnificence. On the one hand, these are the stone relieves found in churches at which construction ruins of pagan temples were used: the image of person with a horn for drink from Arkona; the image the three-headed person from Vergen; 'Stone of Herovit' from Volgast. On the other hand, there are monuments of a wooden sculpture were kept: three-headed figure from Volin; a sculpture, representing two grow together figures (it is possible twins); schematic images from a facade of a temple from the Gross - Raden. At last, in 17 century in town Prilvits the collection of domestic idols of freakish forms from Retra, as though melted off was found out at a fire. On them there are runic inscriptions, meaning names of gods. However there are doubts in authenticity of the given images.

Fantalov Alex

CULTURE of BARBAROUS EUROPE: TYPOLOGY of MYTHOLOGICAL IMAGES

Speciality 24.00.01 - the theory and a history of culture

The dissertation on competition of a doctor degree of cultural science

Mythological images of Slavic gods 2.

 

Menu

 

 Contact E-mail: fantalov@lycos.com