Make your own free website on Tripod.com

The Slavs.

Hypotheses of Slavs birth can be divided into two basic streams, which is allowable to name "Moscow" one and "Petersburg" one. Representatives of the first deduce an origin of Slavs from depths of Bronze Age (similarly to analogous versions of formation Illyrians, Thracians, Balts etc.). A shortcoming of this current is absence of any written mentions of Slavs about the first centuries of our era. The scientists representing the second stream approve that Slavs have arisen in the first centuries of our era on space between Dnestr, Pripyat and the Vistula. Here they were exposed to various cultural influences: the Balts , the Scythian-Sarmatians, the Thracian-Dacians . Under pressure it is ready also other German tribes (especially, Goths), Slavs were involved in Great Migration of peoples. One of them were set to the west and distributed down to Elba, others were directed on the south, having flooded Balkan Peninsula, the third occupied Black Sea Coast and Dnepr grounds.

In 6 century of our era the Central Europe the new shock - intrusion Iranian-language Avars who have come from Syr-Darya (Central Asia). The Avars have lodged in territory of present Hungary, thus, having divided the territory of Slavic peoples. The last thus, has broken up to southern, western and east branches.

The Destiny of them was various. Southern Slavs (ancestors of Bolgars, Serbs, Croatians, Macedonians etc.) have got in sphere of influence of a civilization of the Mediterranean and is faster than others have accepted Christianity. The western Slavs (their present representatives: Chech, Slovaks, Poles) kept pagan tradition longer. It has received special development from inhabitants of a southern coast of Baltic: south Coast of Baltic Sea and territory between Elba and Oder. At last of 10-th.c. A.D. they existed in difficult conditions of reflection of the German empire expansion. In order to survive, the Baltic Slavs have created warrior princedoms with set towns, most known of which were Arkona and Starigard. In these cities where the big influence had priests, the magnificent wooden temples decorated with a religious sculpture were under construction. Almost all this was lost in 12 century, after falling west Slavic princedoms and the conversion of their population in Catholicism.

Other situation has developed in the East Europe. Mastering its vast spaces, Slavs kept most archaic fig. For fulfilment of pagan divine services hills and groves were used. Special sanctuaries as a round platform were under construction also. The surrounded fence in which centre wooden or stone idols were put.

In creation East Slavic states Ruses have played the important role. According to one point of view "Rus" is the army, a team" (Kirpitchnicov, Dubov, Lebedev) means simply". Other opinion identifies Ruses with annalistic Rugians, people of the German origin living on a southern coast of Baltic. A part of them, being rescueed from an impact it is ready, has moved to the East Europe before Slavs, in 2-th. c. A. D. (Гумилев). Anyway, to the beginning of 9 centuries there was a huge Slavic-and-Russian state. Its governor was annalistic Dir, carrying title "khagan" (khan). This nomadic title, unusual to European people was accepted Dir to show the equality with the chapter powerful Khazar Empire. In middle of 9 century, however, the state Slav-Ruses has broken up.

At this time Russia has entered complicated and multilateral attitudes with the countries of Scandinavia. The Vikings, appearing in the East Europe, accepted in the numbers of Finns, Astons, Balts and Slavs and have received here the name "Varyags". The problem of a ruling dynasty is connected with an origin ancient Russian, and then and the Moscow grand dukes carrying a name "Rjurik". In a basis of their genealogy about Rjurik, the leader of Varyago-Russes, called because of the sea annalistic data is put in Novgorod certain Gostomisl for calm revolts. Origin Rjurik is not clear -him count the Dane, Rug or even the western Slav. Successor Rjurik - to "Prophetic Oleg" managed to grasp in 882 and Dnepr Russian together with Kiev where he has transferred the capital. So there was a historical Kiev Russia.

The Kiev Russia played a role of a link between Scandinavia, the Western Europe, Byzantium and the Muslim world. In territory of the East Europe there were two great trading ways: Volhov-Dnepr and competing to it Volga region. To tell the truth, value of the last was sharply reduced after route of Khazar Empire (the main contender of Slavs) by the Kiev prince Svjatoslav in 965.

The outlook of the Kiev Russia was influenced with ideology of Scandinavians and peoples of a southern coast of Baltic Sea. However the general direction of the European events induced the Kiev princes to a withdrawal from paganism, and getting stronger connections with Byzantium, no less than then prosperity by last - to official acceptance of orthodoxy. As it was carried out by grand duke Vladimir in 988 year. Process of transition in new belief appeared (as well as everywhere) long, having stretched up to time of the Mongolian invasion. But also after Russia has received the self-name "sacred", heathenism continued to live as folklore and calendar ceremonialism.

Despite of a huge area habitation, Slavs practically have not kept the description of mythological plots. Their territory was arena of numerous wars and invasions. Neither isolated islands, nor unapproachable mountains here were. To tell the truth, "Iceland the Russian epos" named Russian North (Onega, Petchora and coast of the White Sea). But there were kept epic monuments - first of all "Bylinas" (sagas) where is not present a trace of pagan gods (though attempts to see reflection of these in images of "bogatyrs" (heros) are done). The file of Slavic fairy tales is more archaic. However fairy tales, representing products of art literature, initially contained a fair share of fiction (differing from myths which were object of belief). Mentions of pagan gods we find at Christian authors as every possible " lectures against Paganism " and in such bright product, as "The Word about Igor's shelf". An interesting material, as well as at Balt, represent sing folklore and national holidays. Well-known "Veles book " causes doubts in its authenticity.

The Pagan fine arts of ancient Slavs also are poorer Celtic or Scandinavian ones. Jeweller ornaments on which prospective mythological characters are represented, wooden carved subjects (distaffs etc.) were kept, elements of a stone groove of orthodox cathedrals. The idol is interesting well-known stone Zbrutch idol. The western branch of the given group of peoples was in a little bit other position (we shall recollect pagan cities). But crusaders have not spared wooden temples and sculptures of gods. To present time archaeologists find only rough elements of external furniture of the sanctuaries, kept in subsoil waters and stone relief images of gods in walls of the Catholic churches constructed on a place of destroyed temples. All of them only I am vaguely similar to magnificent descriptions western chronics. The collection small covered runic inscriptions of idols from lock Prilvits, if not doubts in them authentic would be rather important.

 

 Alex Fantalov.

 

The Myths:

The Greek mythology.

Menu

 

 For consultations or tutoring: history, political science, cultural science, art criticism, painting and theories of composition; purchase of pictures and also installing of advertising - E-mail: fantalov@hotmail.com