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Re: Slavic pantheons etc.

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  • Rick Orli
    Some faries my be minor deities, or faces of a greater deity; or, may by proximity to people be part of the day-to-day routinely practiced faith system.
    Message 1 of 11 , Aug 9, 2004
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      Some faries my be minor deities, or 'faces' of a greater deity; or,
      may by proximity to people be part of the day-to-day routinely
      practiced faith system. That is, if a tenent of a religious system
      is that there are numerous devine or somwhat devine spirits or
      whatever that live in the house or in the immediate woods, and that
      these spirits need regular human attention of some sort, then they
      are just as important as the 'major' gods, if not more so.

      Anyway, this is a very slippery subject, so good luck. I am
      reminded of the hindus who swear that the explicit references in the
      rig veda to cow sacrifice (and horse, and sheep etc.) referes
      to 'spirit cows' and not actual sacrifices (because in modern
      practice cows are sacred). Also, that some hindus insist that their
      religion is monotheastic (that the numerous "gods" are just aspects
      of one deity), and that christianity can be more polytheastic in
      actual practice.

      -Rick

      --- In sig@yahoogroups.com, "Alastair Millar" <alastair@i...> wrote:
      > Just a quick note -
      >
      > I spent this morning reminding myself how poor most of the online
      > information regarding Slavic religion really is (with even
      supposedly
      > reputable websites making basic errors, confusing the names of
      rites with
      > the names of deities, mixing up folklore and religion etc.).
      >
      > Now, I'm ready to bite the bullet and prepare a "primer" on Slavic
      deities,
      > using information that CAN be substantiated - i.e. which comes from
      > archaeological and written sources, not from folklore or
      romaticism. For
      > each deity I shall also be including details of
      known/demonstrable 'range',
      > and primary sources where known. When it's done, I'll put it up
      with the
      > miscellany of Slavic-related stuff on my website.
      >
      > (BTW, the list's own "files" section is looking rather full -
      perhaps more
      > people might like to zip things before uploading?)
      >
      > The main (secondary) source that I am using is the 'Encyklopedie
      slovanskych
      > bohu a mytu' by N. Profantova & M. Profant, published in Prague in
      2000
      > (ISBN 80-7277-011-X), which has the great advantage of considering
      both
      > archaeological and historical sources, and of being rather well
      researched.
      >
      > The list of deities that I am currently working with is as follows
      (and bear
      > in mind that your spelling may vary!):
      >
      > Bielbog, Chernobog, Chernoglav, Dazhbog, Dziewanna, Dzidzilela,
      German,
      > Chors, Jarovit, Jesza, Lada, Mokosh, Morana/Marzana, Nija*,
      Perperuna,
      > Perun, Pizamar, Podaga/Pogoda, Porenut, Porevit, Pripegala, Prove,
      Radegost,
      > Rinvit, Rod, Rugievit, Simargl, Sreca, Straba, Stribog, Svantovit,
      Svarog,
      > Svarozhich, Triglav, Trojan, Turupit, Veles and Zhiva/Zywie.
      >
      > This list is, I think, fairly comprehensive, but please bear in
      mind that:
      > - my interest is in DEITIES, and not in other beings such as
      fairies,
      > demons,
      > ghosts, spirits, vampires, werewolves etc. etc.
      > - some of the names on the list are from Jan Dlugosz's dubious
      15th century
      > work
      > - the names given should not be taken as comprising a single
      pantheon!
      >
      > Would anyone like to add other deities? (I.e., have I missed some?
      Most of
      > this is way out of my usual area...). If so, please supply
      information along
      > with sources/references - preferably to primary source material
      and/or web
      > pages - and not just names!
      >
      > TIA
      >
      > Alastair
      >
      > -----------------------------------------------------
      > Alastair Millar BSc (Hons) - http://www.skriptorium.info
      > Translation & Consultancy for the Heritage Industry
      > P.O. Box 11, CZ 413 01 Roudnice, Czech Republic
      > Tel.: +420.607.993.041, Fax.: +420.416.832.090
    • Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise
      ... Hurray for Alistair! Thank you! -- -- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne@fiedlerfamily.net I don t want to claim that God is on our side. As Abraham
      Message 2 of 11 , Aug 9, 2004
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        > Now, I'm ready to bite the bullet and prepare a "primer" on Slavic deities,
        > using information that CAN be substantiated - i.e. which comes from
        > archaeological and written sources, not from folklore or romaticism. For
        > each deity I shall also be including details of known/demonstrable 'range',
        > and primary sources where known. When it's done, I'll put it up with the
        > miscellany of Slavic-related stuff on my website.

        Hurray for Alistair! Thank you!


        --
        -- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne@...
        "I don't want to claim that God is on our side. As Abraham Lincoln told
        us, I want to pray humbly that we are on God's side." - John Kerry
      • Alastair Millar
        Pat - ... I assume that this refers to the list of Slavic spirits , which was the nearest equivalent that I could find. While interesting, this list draws on
        Message 3 of 11 , Aug 10, 2004
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          Pat -

          > we have a Master list in our file section
          > we've been compiling over a long time,

          I assume that this refers to the list of "Slavic spirits", which was
          the nearest equivalent that I could find. While interesting, this
          list draws on some websites which I would regard as being of very
          dubious quality, and unfortunately makes no references to primary
          source material at all :-(

          To take an example, the entry for Jesza is:

          [quote]
          • Jesza [Pol] 6
          - celestial spirit
          - male 6
          - sky 6
          - equates to Celtic Esus 6
          aka Iesse 6
          aka Jessis 6
          [unquote]

          The sole (and no longer extant!) reference cited here is:
          6) http://www.geocities.com/cas111jd/slavs/index.htm
          Slavic Home Page — Jeff Day

          The work of Jan DLugosz, writing in the 15th century, however, claims
          that Jesza is no mere spirit, but the supreme deity of the Polish
          pantheon! Granted that Dlugosz is regarded by many scholars as being
          an unreliable source who made up information to "fill in the gaps" of
          his knowledge, but the name of Jesza is at least also mentioned by a
          number of early 15th century ecclesiastical sources, where the
          complaint is that he is still being worshipped around Easter, "when
          after all Christians are supposed to revere God".

          Another problem is the association of this "celestial spirit"
          relating to the sky with Esus, a Gaulish deity linked to tree
          cutting...

          This isn't meant as criticism - but rather as an example of how poor
          referencing, and possibly poor vetting of sources, makes everyone's
          lives so much more difficult...

          Cheers

          Alastair
        • Alastair Millar
          ... I shall need it ;-) ... To some extent yes, but... the fundamental question is reliability. I would define a deity (very crudely!) as a being worshipped in
          Message 4 of 11 , Aug 10, 2004
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            > good luck all the same.

            I shall need it ;-)

            > I see your reasoning here, but isn't this perhaps
            > a rather modern division?

            To some extent yes, but... the fundamental question is reliability. I
            would define a deity (very crudely!) as a being worshipped in a
            sacred precinct/grove/temple, rather than at a domestic altar (for
            example). These are the deities who are more likely to enter the
            written (and of course archaeological) records.

            My personal opinion is that information regarding other 'lesser'
            beings is FAR more susceptible to distortion through the oral
            tradition, folklore and ultimately romaticism.

            I am quite happy to agree to disagree with anyone else about my
            criteria... but I doubt I shall be changing my approach!

            > old friends Yarilo, Kupalo and Kostroma/Kostrubunko.

            Well now, this is where we start running into problems.
            My 'Encyklopedie slovanskych bohu a mytu', for example, has Kupalo as
            the name of a *ceremony/ritual* of bathing, not a deity or other
            being, and the Kostroma as the name of a totem thrown into the water,
            and again not of a deity or other being. Just a thought.

            > That said, I'm surprised you've include Simargl, or
            > is this my modern over-classifying mind at work?

            Russian Primary Chronicle, I believe: worhsipped at Kieve c.980. Name
            probably related to the Iranian Senmurva/Simurga. Some see the root
            as Sedmuraglav ('7-headed') however, while others believe that there
            were originally two deities, Sem (protector of cattle) and Rgl
            (protector of grain), and justify their arguments from placenames
            like Rgielsko and Siemowit in Poland.

            > It may prove more involved than you expect!

            I am aiming at a basic primer, not a comprehensive encyclopedia!
            Besides, I like stir up a little controversy now and then, it wakes
            people up! *evil grin*

            Alastair
          • Alastair Millar
            Jadwiga/Jenne writes ... I haven t done it yet! ;-) And as Rick says, it s a very slippery subject... As I said to Ben, I m only aiming at a basic primer, not
            Message 5 of 11 , Aug 10, 2004
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              Jadwiga/Jenne writes

              > Thank you!

              I haven't done it yet! ;-)

              And as Rick says, it's a very slippery subject... As I said to Ben,
              I'm only aiming at a basic primer, not a comprehensive encyclopedia -
              and I'm sure that many will be dissatisified with the results!

              Cheers!

              Alastair
            • Nenad Lockic
              Am I wrong or I not saw Vesna in your first message? Or criteria exclude her from the list? Regards, Nenad
              Message 6 of 11 , Aug 10, 2004
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                Am I wrong or I not saw Vesna in your first message? Or criteria exclude her
                from the list?

                Regards,
                Nenad
              • pniedrich
                ... I assume that this refers to the list of Slavic spirits , which was ... *(snip) ... poor ... everyone s ... Hello Alastair, No problem at all..that s why
                Message 7 of 11 , Aug 10, 2004
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                  --- In sig@yahoogroups.com, "Alastair Millar" <alastair@i...> wrote:
                  > Pat -
                  I assume that this refers to the list of "Slavic spirits", which
                  was
                  > the nearest equivalent that I could find. While interesting, this
                  > list draws on some websites which I would regard as being of very
                  > dubious quality, and unfortunately makes no references to primary
                  > source material at all :-(

                  *(snip)


                  > This isn't meant as criticism - but rather as an example of how
                  poor
                  > referencing, and possibly poor vetting of sources, makes
                  everyone's
                  > lives so much more difficult...
                  > Cheers
                  > Alastair

                  Hello Alastair,

                  No problem at all..that's why I invited someone who has a stronger
                  grasp of Archeology or Anthropology onto the list. Of course, I am
                  not the sole writer of the list, and I'd appreciate these previous
                  commments on that list, to point this out..and to challenge that
                  scholarship of those that are contributing. Thanks for the comments,
                  however;-)

                  Pat/Chicago
                • Alastair Millar
                  Nenad writes ... You are correct - it was not there. The reason for this is very simple: no information! If you have some, I would of course be interested in
                  Message 8 of 11 , Aug 11, 2004
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                    Nenad writes
                    > Am I wrong or I not saw Vesna in your first message?

                    You are correct - it was not there.

                    The reason for this is very simple: no information! If you have some, I
                    would of course be interested in hearing it - but with references/sources,
                    please!

                    Cheers!

                    Alastair

                    -----------------------------------------------------
                    Alastair Millar BSc (Hons) - http://www.skriptorium.info
                    Translation & Consultancy for the Heritage Industry
                    P.O. Box 11, CZ 413 01 Roudnice, Czech Republic
                    Tel.: +420.607.993.041, Fax.: +420.416.832.090
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