- While bumming around the other day, I found this page: "Pagan Belief and
Practice in the Slavic Lands" http://www.winterscapes.com/slavic/index.htm
I've been on this list long enough to realize that this list is mostly
crap in regards to any SCA research that one might be doing, but what
caught my attention was the various quotations on the front page -- from
Procopius, 6th cent
Herodotus on Neuri (Slavs) in 5th century BC
Russian text, The Way in which Pagans acclaimed Idols (9th-12th cen.)
I thought that little was known about medieval pagan practices in most of
Russia/Eastern Europe, and that they're probably not like modern pagan
practices. So what's this all about?
- That's the be-all and end-all of the knowledge on Slavic paganism.
Here are the problems: Are they really talking about Slavs? What group of
Slavs are they talking about? Do they really know what they're talking about?
(i.e. obviously, there were no werewolves; what does Herodotus mean by that
statment? Who are "they" -- all the people? a group of priests? a specific,
limited-area cult? not Slavs at all?).
You can't ever take second-hand accounts at face value. All these texts are
by religious figures. Throw objectivity out the window: they wrote with a
purpose (i.e. "how horrible they were before Christianity came here").
Did we really know more about paganism after reading these lines? We still
can only conjecture on who "they" are. Or what "sacrifice" they made (blood?
food? ritual? symbolic? or did the author interpret some behavior as
"sacrifice" whereas the people actually performing it would have called it
What is the difference between a rozhanitsa and a nymph? (I don't know. No
So yes, there are these few lines about Slavic pagans. But as I've tried to
show, they pose more questions than they answer, and do not clarify one bit
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