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Re: [sig] Re: The Book of Veles

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  • Castalia
    ... other ... It is clear that this books is not documentable as a history, (although I know at least *one* educated Russian who thinks it s true, be he s
    Message 1 of 13 , May 2, 2000
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      Predslava wrote:
      >Hear, hear!
      >The "Book of Veles" resurfaces regularly here, and I usually post the
      >warning. In my opinion, "highly questionable" is a very polite and mild way
      >of putting it. If it had real scholarly value, it would have made a lot of
      >noise in the history, folklore, Slavic studies, religious studies, and
      other
      >such circles.


      It is clear that this books is not documentable as a history, (although I
      know at least *one* educated Russian who thinks it's true, be he's *another*
      story) it can be useful in other ways, I thik.

      I understand that it was compiled somwhere around the 12th century (correct
      me, please) as a pice of nationalists psudo-history. What is may reflect,
      is the mind-set of some of the thinkers of that time, or at least some of
      the wishful thinking at that time.
      So, from this bok we might not gather any early period history, but we
      might gather some mid- and pate-period thoughts about history.


      For persona play, I agree with Predslava on more than one count:
      documentation, and the tendency for pre-Christian elements to remain amoung
      the agricultural workers, rather than amongst the urbanites, who, at least
      in later periods, worked in close accord with the Church.

      I also agree that Old Church (and New Church) Orthodoxy is fascinating.
      Worth examining for persona play.

      Certainly, it can be fun to also play a devout person, who happens to have a
      little folklore. :-)

      One of the difficulties some people run into when looking at Slavic paganism
      is that, like Western Occultism, few of the practices today in Russia can be
      identified as authentically indigenous. Influences from the Far East are
      strong in both magickal stystems/groups/regions, and documenting when these
      influences appeared in the vilages and urban areas is even harder to trace
      in East Europe than in West, and in the West it is still beeing hotly
      debated amongst scholars and enthusiasts in this area.

      I appreciate Predslava's soap-box on this topic. I hope to learn, one of
      these days, how Old Church practice was carried out in the daily lives of
      the average say, boyarina. :-)


      IS,
      Ksenia Alexandrova
    • Dmitriy V. Ryaboy
      ... See, that s the problem, most certified historians think it was written by Sergey Lesnoy in the 20th. Dmitriy
      Message 2 of 13 , May 2, 2000
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        >From: "Castalia" <castalia@...>
        >I understand that it was compiled somwhere around the 12th century (correct
        >me, please) as a pice of nationalists psudo-history


        See, that's the problem, most certified historians think it was written by
        Sergey Lesnoy in the 20th.

        Dmitriy
        ________________________________________________________________________
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      • MHoll@aol.com
        In a message dated 5/2/2000 6:06:56 AM Central Daylight Time, ... This is rather a contradiction in terms. 12th century and nationalism do not go together.
        Message 3 of 13 , May 2, 2000
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          In a message dated 5/2/2000 6:06:56 AM Central Daylight Time,
          castalia@... writes:

          > I understand that it was compiled somwhere around the 12th century (correct
          > me, please) as a pice of nationalists psudo-history.

          This is rather a contradiction in terms. 12th century and nationalism do not
          go together. Nationalism is a 19th century (Romantic) concept. As for
          pseudo-history, such constructs are also mostly 19th century. They might be
          compilations of stories and legends and beliefs that authors of such
          compilations felt went together well, but have no real business of being put
          together.


          > What is may reflect,
          > is the mind-set of some of the thinkers of that time, or at least some of
          > the wishful thinking at that time.

          Look at the _Lay (Song) of Igor's Campaign_ for philosophical concepts and
          political ideas. Look also at vitae (saints' lives), especially those of
          princely saints (Aleksandr Nevskii, Vladimir, Boris and Gleb) for images of
          the ideal ruler, person, etc.

          Look also at chronicles, especially the longer (and often more boring)
          passages where the chronicler calls on Biblical and Classical images to
          illustrate his point.

          > So, from this bok we might not gather any early period history, but we
          > might gather some mid- and pate-period thoughts about history.

          No, not even. I don't think there is any usefulness here. A 12th century date
          is just impossible.

          Predslava,
          back on her soap box.
        • Dmitriy V. Ryaboy
          Hi -- just wanted to complimet you on the posts to the sig list. Do you know of any scholarly paper that debunks Veles ? I wasn t able to find anything
          Message 4 of 13 , May 2, 2000
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            Hi --
            just wanted to complimet you on the posts to the sig list.
            Do you know of any scholarly paper that debunks "Veles"? I wasn't able to
            find anything conclusive, to my dismay -- though I did not spend more than
            my lunch break looking for it, so it's probably out there. It seems they
            just keep saying "Yes, it is" "No, it's not" "Yes, it is"... One would
            think that at least linguistically it can be proven as a falsification,
            Lesnoy isn't that good.


            Dmitriy
            ________________________________________________________________________
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          • Castalia
            See, that s the problem, most certified historians think it was written by Sergey Lesnoy in the 20th. Dmitriy Cool. Soviet nuclear rocket scientists think
            Message 5 of 13 , May 3, 2000
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              See, that's the problem, most certified historians think it was written by
              Sergey Lesnoy in the 20th.

              Dmitriy


              Cool. Soviet nuclear rocket scientists think it's 12th century. Mea
              culpa.

              Ksenia
            • Jenne Heise
              ... Actually, that may be the problem, Predslava. ;) The few scraps of information we do see about pre-Christian Rus tend to portray a far less regimented and
              Message 6 of 13 , May 3, 2000
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                > I know ancient paganism is fascinating, too, but why get yourself a headache
                > when there is so much documentable, and relatively easy information to
                > obtain, about Christianity? It's OK to have a Christian persona. YOU don't
                > have to be, just your persona.
                >

                Actually, that may be the problem, Predslava. ;) The few scraps of
                information we do see about pre-Christian Rus tend to portray a far less
                regimented and constrained society than the widely available information
                about period Orthodox Christianity in Rus. The trouble with this idea is
                that most of the depictions of pre-Christian society _anywhere_ by period
                authors actually tend to overemphasize these elements.

                (Many people try to construct pre-Christian personas from the British
                Isles, thinking that pre-Christian life was less rigidly structured than
                subsequent Christian society. The truth is that as we learn more about
                pre-Christian societies we find that societies that were rigid under
                Christianity were pretty rigid under paganism too, and in fact some
                societies -- such as the Greek and Roman-- were MORE rigid under
                paganism.)

                My persona is Roman Catholic in Poland, but they were notorious for mixing
                rigid adherence to some rules with non-conformism in others, and I like
                that. After reading the Domostroi, I gotta admit I wouldn't feel very
                comfortable taking on an Orthodox persona, and it has nothing to do with
                religion per se!

                Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise jenne@...
                disclaimer: i speak for no-one and no-one speaks for me.
                "Oh it's all too much, too grim, too lovely, too -- how should
                I put this? It's general chaos." -- Edward Gorey
              • MHoll@aol.com
                In a message dated 5/3/2000 6:13:21 AM Central Daylight Time, ... Now we hit another problem, but one that concerns us only marginally. There is a phenomenon
                Message 7 of 13 , May 3, 2000
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                  In a message dated 5/3/2000 6:13:21 AM Central Daylight Time,
                  castalia@... writes:

                  > Soviet nuclear rocket scientists think it's 12th century.

                  Now we hit another problem, but one that concerns us only marginally. There
                  is a phenomenon the writer Solzhenitsyn called "obrazovanshchina" -- from
                  "obrazovanie" -- education, with a pejorative suffix. What he meant by that,
                  is people who have "higher" education, especially technical, but no culture
                  whatsoever, not even the stuff you pick up at home and at school as you go.
                  The reason, according to him, is that the Soviet regime destroyed culture and
                  did not replace it with anything of value.

                  However, people who attended advanced courses (nuclear scientists et al.) do
                  not consider themselves "lacking" and will readily dissertate on subjects
                  they have no real knowledge of. And they do so with such self-assurance that
                  anyone will be swayed by their assertions.

                  OK, so you got me on yet another soapbox. Well, that comes from growing up a
                  political emigre.

                  Predslava,
                  off her soapbox, for now...
                • MHoll@aol.com
                  In a message dated 5/3/2000 7:42:52 AM Central Daylight Time, ... That s the common view. However, Christianity actually moderated native laws and customs,
                  Message 8 of 13 , May 3, 2000
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                    In a message dated 5/3/2000 7:42:52 AM Central Daylight Time,
                    jenne@... writes:

                    > Actually, that may be the problem, Predslava. ;) The few scraps of
                    > information we do see about pre-Christian Rus tend to portray a far less
                    > regimented and constrained society than the widely available information
                    > about period Orthodox Christianity in Rus.

                    That's the common view. However, Christianity actually moderated native laws
                    and customs, offered women a number of protections, but did so in a fairly
                    moderate and sensible way. Of course, that is a subject for a monograph...

                    > The trouble with this idea is
                    > that most of the depictions of pre-Christian society _anywhere_ by period
                    > authors actually tend to overemphasize these elements.

                    Yes, along with licentiousness, promiscuity, anarchy... Without specific
                    study of the subject, one would get a picture of "free love" (I mean here
                    co-habitation without proper sanction from the society or religious
                    authorities), orgies, etc... In other words, elements that would attract
                    modern minds.

                    However, more careful studies show a society that already was very structured
                    and strict and with rigid traditions and rules. One example is the covering
                    of married women's hair: its importance is such that most scholars agree it
                    had to be a continuation of a pre-Christian tradition. Especially in view of
                    the perception that there was dangerous magic in women's hair -- not a
                    Christian concept.

                    > My persona is Roman Catholic in Poland, but they were notorious for mixing
                    > rigid adherence to some rules with non-conformism in others, and I like
                    > that. After reading the Domostroi, I gotta admit I wouldn't feel very
                    > comfortable taking on an Orthodox persona, and it has nothing to do with
                    > religion per se!

                    The Domostroi is late-late period, and one of the reasons why I don't like
                    Muscovy. It represents the mind-set of that time. However, its very
                    insistance on certain proprieties would indicate that these things were NOT
                    commonly adhered to. It is the "non-question" of women's studies: if someone
                    says something should not be done, it means someone (probably A LOT of
                    someones) were doing it.

                    Early Christianity in Russia, for instance, accepted common-law marriage,
                    especially if there was no priest to officiate, as long as the marriage was
                    made official (in church) at the first opportunity. The penalties for
                    cohabitation without proper marriage, in such conditions, were so mild that
                    they were negligible.

                    An excellent source on this is Eve Levin's book _Sex and Society in the World
                    of the Orthodox Slavs_.

                    You'll be surprised how liberal pre-Mongol Orthodoxy was in Russia.

                    Predslava.
                  • Dmitriy V. Ryaboy
                    ... Whoops, I messed up again. Did some more digging, an found that it is commonly held that Lesnoy was a follower, the original author was one Mirolubov, who
                    Message 9 of 13 , May 3, 2000
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                      >From: "Dmitriy V. Ryaboy" <dvryaboy@...>
                      >See, that's the problem, most certified historians think it was written by
                      >Sergey Lesnoy in the 20th.
                      >
                      >Dmitriy


                      Whoops, I messed up again. Did some more digging, an found that it is
                      commonly held that Lesnoy was a follower, the original author was one
                      Mirolubov, who "copied" the book in the 1924-1939. An alternate theory
                      attributes "The Book of Veles" to one Sulkadzev, who lived in the 19th
                      century.

                      in pursuit of debunking,
                      Dmitriy Shelomianin
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                    • Jenne Heise
                      ... Yup. ... I d agree with that, except... well, the covering hair part is in fact very Judeo-Christian. It sounds peculiar. What strikes me as peculiar
                      Message 10 of 13 , May 3, 2000
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                        > Yes, along with licentiousness, promiscuity, anarchy... Without specific
                        > study of the subject, one would get a picture of "free love" (I mean here
                        > co-habitation without proper sanction from the society or religious
                        > authorities), orgies, etc... In other words, elements that would attract
                        > modern minds.

                        Yup.

                        > However, more careful studies show a society that already was very structured
                        > and strict and with rigid traditions and rules. One example is the covering
                        > of married women's hair: its importance is such that most scholars agree it
                        > had to be a continuation of a pre-Christian tradition. Especially in view of
                        > the perception that there was dangerous magic in women's hair -- not a
                        > Christian concept.

                        I'd agree with that, except... well, the covering hair part is in fact
                        very Judeo-Christian. It sounds peculiar. What strikes me as peculiar
                        about Slavic societies is not the covering of women's hair, but the
                        strongly held division between maidens' hair and matrons'.

                        > The Domostroi is late-late period, and one of the reasons why I don't like
                        > Muscovy. It represents the mind-set of that time. However, its very
                        > insistance on certain proprieties would indicate that these things were NOT
                        > commonly adhered to. It is the "non-question" of women's studies: if someone
                        > says something should not be done, it means someone (probably A LOT of
                        > someones) were doing it.

                        Well, yes. However, the lot of a woman (or even a male dependent) as
                        described in the Domostroi does sound pretty bleak-- even the things a
                        woman can do wrong don't sound like much fun. ;)

                        > Early Christianity in Russia, for instance, accepted common-law marriage,
                        > especially if there was no priest to officiate, as long as the marriage was
                        > made official (in church) at the first opportunity. The penalties for
                        > cohabitation without proper marriage, in such conditions, were so mild that
                        > they were negligible.
                        > An excellent source on this is Eve Levin's book _Sex and Society in the World
                        > of the Orthodox Slavs_.

                        Is there anything similar on domestic life (rather than sex)?

                        Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise jenne@...
                        disclaimer: i speak for no-one and no-one speaks for me.
                        "Oh it's all too much, too grim, too lovely, too -- how should
                        I put this? It's general chaos." -- Edward Gorey
                      • MHoll@aol.com
                        In a message dated 5/3/2000 4:31:16 PM Central Daylight Time, ... It s a matter of what many scholars call a sexy title -- something that will get your book
                        Message 11 of 13 , May 4, 2000
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                          In a message dated 5/3/2000 4:31:16 PM Central Daylight Time,
                          jenne@... writes:

                          > > An excellent source on this is Eve Levin's book _Sex and Society in the
                          > World
                          > > of the Orthodox Slavs_.
                          >
                          > Is there anything similar on domestic life (rather than sex)?
                          >

                          It's a matter of what many scholars call a "sexy title" -- something that
                          will get your book bought... It's really not so much about sex as about
                          family relationships and structure, and the influence (and place) of the
                          church in the family life.

                          C.J. Pouncy's introduction to her translation of the Domostroi is also and
                          excellent article.

                          Predslava.
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