Rites of Slavs

Rites of Slavs

The last decade of steadily rising here and there theme of Slavic paganism, called pre-Christian Slavic peoples of faith. Conversations and debates were many, but no clear picture of the vision of this issue is not present. Modern neo-pagans are not usually busy reconstruction of ancient beliefs and gaining the lost heritage of the ancestors, and the illiterate inventing hoaxes in order to create a name for themselves, or simply to pass the time.

These sorts of "new magicians" someone other as incompetent massoviki inventors, many of whom do not even conceal their non-Slavic. They invent illiterate myths, the Vedas, the books that have nothing to do with historical reality and carry out self-made rituals, often ending with a heavy alcoholic libations. Take seriously their writings unthinkable for the mentally healthy person, they gather around a bunch of young misfits, among which are the honor and respect. Leave them to the diocese, and think, and what else do we know about the forgotten faith of our ancestors? The answer is extremely disappointing for us, the objective historical data are scarce. A so-called "mystical experience" should be based on true sources, otherwise we run the risk of falling into a dangerous writing and do anything, but the revival of the faith of their ancestors. On this before you start on this site extensive work with the energies of the Slavic egregore and channels of ancient gods Russ, I would like to acquaint the readers with little historical research on the subject, conducted by the Research Department of the school of magic, "No one." The aim of this work should be the development of an objective position and create the ground for further reflection. At the head of the interested person, there will be many questions will arise a number of problems, including: "What we do with all this?" But only valid data can provide the key to understanding the semantics of the rituals and the setting to give the needed energy. It is therefore necessary to attract authentic historical data, the reliability of which is confirmed by contemporary Russian science.

In his short essay, I'm going to look and analyze what little we know about the X in Slavic paganism. from the works of the Arab traveler Ibn Fadlan and the Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus. These two sources are, of course, of great interest to historians because they were created at a time when the territory of ancient Russia is everywhere dominated pagan beliefs. Their messages have negative connotation, and unlike hulitelnye reviews, which can be found at Russian scribes who wrote on the subject. Besides, most of the known sources on the subject were written well after the Baptism of Russia, which, by itself, affect the degree of objectivity and accuracy. So we face a completely unique story, one of which tells the story of sacrifice and ritual actions on the island of St. Gregory, and the other depicts a scene of a noble funeral Virus. Thus, we are dealing with two integral parts of pagan worship: sacrifice and funerary rites.

I see the task of analysis of available sources in order to answer the question: "What was the Slavic paganism, and it was seen how the author examines the works?" The problem, of course, no easy task, given the apparent lack of facts, especially as both sources are more geographic and ethnographic sketch than a description of Slavic pagan rites. I deliberately did not conduct research occult side of the issue, so as not to cause confusion in this complex problem, where plaque mysticism finally shuffled the cards and do not give the reader to draw their own conclusions.

In the historiography on the subject can be divided into two areas: a literature devoted to Slavic paganism in general, and articles written directly about the places in the writings of Ibn Fadlan and Constantine Porphyrogenitus, we are interested in the light of the topic. The first group of works include books BA Rybakov "Paganism ancient Slavs" and paganism of Ancient Rus', as well as books and research VVIvanov VN Toporov "Studies in Slavic antiquities" and "Slavonic language modeling semiotic systems." In my view, these works are the most important and influential in the study of selected topics.

If we talk about the second category of work, my research is based on studies directly VJ Petrukhin. We are talking about an article in the book "Sex and erotica in Russian traditional culture" called "Varangian women in the East: a wife, a slave or" Valkyrie, "the book" ethnic and cultural history of Russia IX-XI centuries. "In these two papers discussed in detail described Ibn Fadlan scene cremation noble Virus, which became the starting point for this work
I draw as a book Ukrainian researcher DM Dudka "Mother of Harmony" in which the author expresses his attitude to the information contained in the treatise of Constantine Porphyrogenitus. Position DM Dudka, given the extreme poverty of the source data, seemed to me a bit pretentious and poorly motivated.

Characteristics of the source seems appropriate to start with the "Notes" ("Bismillah"), Ibn Fadlan, which is the most original Arabic sources on the history of Eastern Europe, the tenth century. In June, 921 from Baghdad sent an embassy, headed by a Susan Ar-Rassi, and the secretary was not known to us from other sources, Ibn Fadlan. The purpose of the embassy was the mission of the Volga Bulgars, to seek help in the fight against the Khazars in the Baghdad Caliph al-Muktadir. Ibn Fadlan's report on this trip is a laid-back story, full of interesting ethnographic observations, and not devoid of literary merit. He deals with many nationalities living in the tenth century. Eastern Europe — the Khazars, Bulgars, Rus, Bashkirs, Oguz. For the historian of ancient Russia particular value is the fact that in Bulgar Ibn Fadlan watched arrived there merchants Russ and left in his "Memoirs" a detailed description of their way of life, beliefs, burial rites, and their appearance. Established that Ibn Fadlan described the ritual and the look they give Russ Scandinavians, although they are not deprived of the Slavic and Finnish traits.
If we talk about the document — "Note" — that it should be mentioned that the short version of the story of Ibn Fadlan was included in the geographical dictionary Yaqut and as such became the first known European scientists in the XIX century. Later, in the 20's. The twentieth century., Orientalist AZ Togan found in Mashhad manuscript with more precise text of "Notes." In 1937, a photocopy meshhedskoy manuscript was donated to the Academy of Sciences of the USSR by the Iranian government.

As regards the treatise "On the control of the Empire" Constantine Porphyrogenitus, this essay is partly a reference encyclopedia, partly cognitive and didactic nature. It was written in 948-952 years. and addressed to the son of Constantine Roman. Treatise gives practical guidance on foreign policy issues, provides details about the "barbarian" peoples, which Byzantium had certain contacts: Pechenegs, Khazars, Russian, Bulgaria, Hungary, contains a number of historical, geographical, ethnographical tour — the Arabs, Spain, Italy , Dalmatia, of Croatia and Serbia, on the northern Black Sea region and the Caucasus. "On the control of the empire" was not a work for the general public: the future Emperor policy recommendations were not intended for the public announcement. Treatise has come to us in a single list, production, probably from the original in the 1059-1081 years. by order of Caesar John the Dookie. This means that the product did not leave the court circles. It is no reference either to his contemporaries nor historians of later times.
The treatise "On the control of Empire" contains the most important evidence concerning ancient history. Chapter IX describes swimming Rosov convoys en route "from the Varangians to the Greeks." In this case, lists of old Russian who find themselves in the path of Novgorod, Smolensk, Luben, Chernigov, Toompea, Kiev, Vitichev, an important center of the ancient Russian state. Constantin also mentions the Russian Prince Igor and Svyatoslav, calling them to the Byzantine manner "archons of Russia."

Of interest to us a fragment of the treatise describes a pagan sacrificial ritual, performed by dew on the way to Byzantium on St. Gregory (Khortitse). Cult to describe the realities of Constantine allow you to search their roots in Scandinavia and in the Slavic tradition.

Turning directly to the consideration of the passage, it should be said that most likely we are interested in embedding the author was a member of the embassy sent to Russia from Byzantium. Apparently, his information was subsequently included in the writings of the Emperor Constantine. Moreover, clear and correct correlation names Dnieper rapids with their description suggests a fact that this unknown author had his informants from among those who accompanied him during the voyage, at least, to the island of St. Gregory. Taking into account the high degree of fidelity "Rossian", ie Scandinavian names thresholds, we can also assume, as most researchers that this informant was one of the "Rosov" — a member of the Grand squads, Scandinavian descent, who spoke well and the ancient language. It is also possible that he was in a convoy accompanying the Byzantine embassy on his way back to Constantinople. Ie theoretically, it could be a member of the ritual, the perfect dew on the island of St. Gregory and vision Byzantines.

Apparently, the location of the ritual of choice is "dew" is not accidental. The fact is that, according to all of the same Byzantine author, before the island of St. Gregory on the route of the caravan was Strukun (which means "small threshold"), and then — crossing Krariya. This passage has a width racetrack, and the length from the bottom until the [place] where underwater rocks jut out — as far as the arrow flies away to let her go. Which is why this place down pachinakity (Pechenegs) and fight against Rosov. Once passed this place, they reach the island called St. Gregory "From this island dew pachinakita fear until they are in the river Selina." Therefore, if we divide Rosov way through the Dnieper rapids in several stages, the island of St. Gregory is a kind of way station, where does one "stage" and the other begins.

Based on the data source, the dew is very afraid of unexpected attacks Pechenegs, and all the way to traffic on this segment of the Dnieper as it was divided into zones of possible danger Pecheneg attacks and plots where ROSAM there was no danger "pachinakita." The author repeatedly mentions Pecheniz'ka Rosov security threat, leading your boat on the Dnieper, "… and dew are anxious to have peace with the Pechenegs." Based on the above, we can make some assumptions about the purposes of the sacrifice on the island. For example, the dew could thank their gods for what they were able to overcome the dangerous part of the way, and to ask for their help to overcome future difficulties. However, this conjecture will always be only one possible explanation.
Sacrifice themselves in the author's description reads: "On this island, they make their sacrifice, because there is a huge oak: sacrifice live cocks, they reinforce and arrows around [oak], and others — pieces of bread, meat, and that is each as custom orders. They cast lots for cocks, either kill them, or eat, or released alive. '
From the source is not clear exactly how the gods create it rites dew. But some ideas are due to the mention in the passage "a huge oak tree." The fact that the Indo-European peoples of the tree often devoted to the gods of heaven, of which appears Perun, the god of thunder, whose name dates back to the root of the first-("hit") in Polish piorun means "lightning." Lightning is also considered an essential attribute of divinity. Consider that the oak — the tree, which is often struck by lightning as a manifestation of the god of thunder. And it is quite common in the mythological story. Also in the Baltic States — the thunder god Perkunas (similar Slavic Perun) is named, related Indo-European root meaning "oak."
Note also that the name of Perun Dew, being Norse in origin, dignify Germanic god Thor, like associating it with its Slavic counterpart. In Norse mythology, Thor's mother Forgun name — a name also derived from the word "oak." However, in favor of the Varangian Rus (dew) is worshiped by the Slavic god, not the Scandinavian paradigms, says that, according to most researchers, dew borrowed from Slavic faith in their gods, since the treaty of Oleg with the Greeks.

In addition, for the version of the worship of Perun is the fact that around the oak Dew strengthened arrows — a weapon of war. But, as is well known, Perun, in later versions of the Slavic pantheon, also provides for the god of war, and was a patron of the prince and the militia. It is appropriate here to recall the hypothesis GG Litavrin that the informant's story was one of the Scandinavian-combatants. Let us also remember again how necessary ROSAM military success was due to the vulnerability of their position when they were forced to drag their boat on dry land.

Let us now see how the above information related to data "Notes" Ibn Fadlan. He writes: "I have seen the Rus as they came on their trading business and is situated at the river Atilim (Turkic name of the Volga). And as soon as their ships arrive, leaves each of them, carrying bread, meat, onions, milk and nabiz (intoxicating drink), to come to a long stick (in the ground) log, in which (a) the person, like the face person, and around the small images. So he comes to the big picture and worship him, then said to him: "O my Lord, I come from a far country, and the girls with me so much, and so many heads sable, and skins" — until the call all that came to him from his goods. Then leaves what had with him, before a log. "So I want you granted me the merchant that he bought from me and would not stand up to me." Then he leaves. "

In this episode, we see a few things that are similar to the passage from the writings of Constantine. First, the author just does not identify God worshiped by Russ, even despite the fact that he wrote on behalf of one of bringing a sacrifice. Second, in the above list, Ibn Fadlan that trays Russ log, in the first place appear bread and meat, that is the same thing that was brought to the dew, landed on the island of St. Gregory, the "enormous oak tree." Third and finally, do not forget that in this and in another case, described the action Russes produce, going on a business trip and getting in touch with foreign merchants.

Then, in his "Notes" Ibn Fadlan tells the funeral rites of noble dew, seen them in the same parking lot. He describes the ceremony, which lasted several days, during which the dew built funerary object consisting of a boat on which a tent was set with the deceased, rich utensils, weapons, armor and jewelry. Of the servants of the deceased was chosen girl who voluntarily agreed to follow the lord of the dead. For several days, she took part in the funeral ceremonies, where she plays a special role, she had fun and drank intoxicating drink with the others, singing songs, wearing expensive jewelry. On the last day of the funeral, which lasted five days (the author says that during this time the body was in a boat, specially processed honey, from which we can conclude that ROSAM knew mummification techniques), dew was committed ritual, in which the boat ritual slaughter in two bulls and a few sheep. The girl said goodbye to all those present, the tent door, which was dead, where an elderly woman, whom Arabic author calls the "angel of death," cut her throat with a long sharpened blade. After that, a log, wrapped in expensive fabrics and dressed in ornate clothes, lay next to the dead. Special people burned wood in advance of taxation boat, and when it burns, being constructed on the site of a rook earthen mound set on top of a wooden pole.

This rite is clearly Scandinavian origin, and apparently had been brought to the Volga Scandinavians — dew, which continued to carry out their ritual practice, while living among the Slavs. Rite indicates the presence of the developed concepts of the afterlife and death. Characterized by the use of the funeral boat as the object and means to move from the world of the living to the world of the dead is common to many cultures from ancient Egypt, where the sarcophagi of pharaohs are often made in the form of boats. The Vikings in VIII-X centuries. were traditions to burn their dead in hollowed from a single tree trunk boats, fired into the open sea. Ceremonies, during which there were killings servants or wives of a noble man, were also widespread in the ancient world, in the Middle Ages in Sasanian Iran and India, where the practice of ritual self-immolation of wives to husbands funeral lasted until its abolition by the British in the middle of the XIX century . All this suggests that the Slavic beliefs on the basis of a common Indo-European model and corresponded to the level of social development in the expansion tribal system.

First, it can be assumed that religious beliefs played in the life of the Slavs a very important role, because, as we see from the sources to the important and crucial undertakings dew, and, therefore, the Slavs, and sent the appropriate rituals.
Second, we can talk about special places (the so-called "houses of the high"), which made the Slavic rites. These places were connected with some ceremonial attributes (oak, idols) associated with the gods of the Slavic pantheon.

Third, the Slavs had developed the practice of animal sacrifice (reports of killings cock in both sources, etc.) and different food offerings to their gods. Nor can we exclude the possibility of human sacrifice, based on the reports of Ibn Fadlan. But whether it is sacrifice to the gods or were associated exclusively with funeral rites, brought from Scandinavia dew is impossible to say because of the paucity of facts.
Fourthly, we must reiterate the thesis of the presence of a developed view of the afterlife, which is, in particular, by the voluntary willingness to go to the girl's death, following his master. Apparently, in the world to have some semblance of Russia there was "paradise", or why she gladly decided to die …
These ideas, which seem to represent the converted and modified form of ancestor worship, which is known to have been peculiar to all archaic societies.

As far as I could understand, the main problem faced by the researcher in the study of Slavic rites, as well as all of the complex pre-Christian beliefs of the Slavs — is the paucity of source base. So any attempt of reconstruction of the pagan religion of the Slavs can be built only on analogies and often depend on the level of fantasy authors trying to recreate. As for the picture, which seems to me based on the study of two fragments of the sources, it is entirely fit into my idea of pagan rituals in the Indo-Europeans. Suffice it to recall the veneration of oak, which is due to the natural state of things was the king of the trees of Europe to ensure that, once is enough to go to the forest, where there are centuries-old trees. Oak as a sacred tree venerated by the Gauls, Germans, Scandinavians, and, probably, other citizens of Europe. Not surprisingly, it has become the oak object of veneration and worship in the sanctuary on the island of Khortytsya.

As for the procedure of sacrifice, then it too is not anything special — at least remember that cock like a sacrificial animal has been widely distributed and used in this role in many European nations, including the Romans.

The whole idea — to propitiate the gods on the eve of a dangerous move — also looks natural, because the Gentiles, as well, however, as Christians, look to the will of the powers it was then, when they feel that their own forces may not be sufficient for a successful outcome of the case, and that life is in the power beyond their circumstances. Hence — the appeal to the mantic ritual throwing dice are hallmarks of the old faith in destiny, that is, in effect, that no one is independent and which determines everything, following only his blind laws.

Thus, the data indicate that the source of the rite of sacrifice among the Slavs, in essence, no different from that of other European nations rite.

The second source ("Note" Ibn Fadlan) only adds detail — the presence of idols ("stuck in the ground beam, which has a face like the face of man"). As for the procedure of sacrifice, both sources present it about the same. And in both cases, the goal is the sending of luck (in the first case it should help to protect yourself in a dangerous journey in the second — to promote good trade).

Speaking about the funeral rites, the dew — supporters of cremation, which they consider more fitting to the deceased than inhumation, what they did not fail to inform Ibn Fadlan on his journey.
And some elements of a funeral rite can make an analogy with that of other peoples who inhabited Europe. It can clearly be seen the difference in the property status: the chiefs and nobles buried with much more pomp, a mandatory attribute of a burial mound. A number of things, which is placed in the landfill, also points to the stratification. In addition, there are human sacrifices — a ceremony that existed in ancient times, the inhabitants of Mesopotamia, and in India to save up to quite recent times.

I am interested in the time from which to draw a conclusion about the possible presence of certain elements of the mummification technique, which, in turn, speaks of the universality of funerals in many nations. When I read the description of Ibn Fadlan, I had the feeling that all these details to them I already know from the history of other cultures.

Key finding of my research is the proposition that the pagan culture of the ancient Slavs is an open system and was subject to many external influences. In ceremonies of the Slavs have more in common than special, they are common to many cultures of the peoples of Europe and Asia. You can even speak in this regard of a certain common to all Indo-European pagan culture in which the standard terms and typical rituals combined with "local" characteristics, determined by geographical factors.

Without going deeply into paganism by researchers dispute the thesis EV Anichkov "about the particular misery of paganism in Russia," I still believe that we should rather talk about the wretchedness of the source basis of such research. However, we can assume the presence of Slavic mythological system, not less advanced than similar representations of other nations. However, this is only an assumption that in the near future will be very difficult to prove or disprove.

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