Reassessment, Unification, and Enlargement of the Sources of Slavic Pre-Christian Religion

in Russian History
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This article discusses the texts included in a new compilation entitled Sources of Slavic Pre-Christian Religion produced by scholars at the University Complutense in Madrid, Spain. This compilation responds to the challenges of previous historiographical difficulties inherent in the indirect sources available and in the previous incomplete collections of sources. Thus, this is the first work to consolidate all known sources on pagan practices of all the Slavic peoples—East, West, and South—and to include all known provenances of sources, including Latin, Greek, Slavonic, Old Icelandic, Arabic, and Persian. The resulting compilation reveals a more complex and sophisticated pre-Christian religion than previously assumed. In this article, Santos Marinas explains the reasoning behind the selection of the texts for this compilation and offers notable examples of some of the included sources on Slavic pre-Christian practices, particularly from Byzantine and Latin texts, that provide new insights into the sacred practices of the early medieval Slavic peripheries of Christendom.

Reassessment, Unification, and Enlargement of the Sources of Slavic Pre-Christian Religion

in Russian History

References

10)

Georg Heinrich Pertz ed.“Vita Sancti Adalberti antiquior auctore Iohanne Canapario,” in Annales; chronica et historia aevi Carolini et Saxonicivol. 4 of Monumenta Germaniae Historia; Scriptores(Hannover, 1841; reprint Leipzig: Hiersemann1925) 581.

20)

Immanuel Bekker ed.Theophanes Continuatus Ioannes Cameniata Symeon Magister Georgius Monachus (Bonn: Ed. Weber1838) 31.10–19.

24)

Pëtr A. Lavrov“Zhitiia sv. Nauma Okhridskogo i sluzhba emu,” Izvestiia otdeleniia russkogo iazyka i slovesnosti Imperatorskoĭ Akademii Nauk (hereafter IORIAS) 12 no. 4 (1907): 7–37.

25)

Vasil N. Zlatarski ed.“Zhitie i zhizn’ prepodobnago ottsa nashego Feodosia,” Sbornik za narodni umotvoreniia i narodopis (hereafter SNUN) 20 (1904): 9–36.

32)

ZlatarskiSNUN20: 19.

33)

As translated by Marvin KantorMST5: 69. Original Slavic: Не тькмо же се єдино гл҃аахѹ нъ и иномѹ бесчьстїю ѹчаахѹ гл҃юще. ако под землѥю живѹт чл҃вци велглавы. и въсакь гадь дїавола тварь ѥс. и аще кто ѹбїеть ѕъмїю. ѳ҃ грѣхь избѹдеть тѡѥ ради. аще ли чл҃ка ѹбїеть кто. три мсци да пїеть въ дрѣвѣнѣ чаши а стьклѣне да не прикасает се. и не бранахѹ жрьтьбь творити по прьвомѹ обычаю ни женитьвь бесчьстныихь (KOSS 3: 83).

40)

Marvin KantorThe Origins of Christianity in Bohemia: Sources and Commentary (Evanston, Ill.: Western University Press1990) 74. This selection is from chapter 7 of the original Slavonic source: [но и народом и еще поганьскомѹ Ѽбычаю вѣтъхому живѹщим новыа вѣры ѹченїа благаго подаваше неведѹщимже и в капища идольскаѧ ходѧщим] и к богомъ инѣм [незнаемомъ] частѣе лѣт мимоходѧщаѧ пририщѹщїмъ и жерътвы жрѹщим блаженный ѹноша ѹвидѣвъ ѿ сих нечистых адїй и жерътвъ аще и часто молим въскорѣ ѿбѣгаше сих пририщенїа и ѡбщенїа жадаѧ быти на небеснѣи трапезѣ паче всѣх причастнїкъ неже дѣмоньскими сквернами жерътвъ Ѽсквернитисѧ (Josef Vašica “Druhá staroslověnská legenda o sv. Vaclávu úvod a text s českým i latinským překladem” in Sborník staroslovanských literárních památek o sv. Václavu a sv. Lidmile ed. Josef Vajs (Praha: Česká akademie věd a umění 1929) 94–95).

41)

Enrique Gutiérrez Rubio“Linguistic and Ideological Study of Dalimil’s Chronicle,” in Sources of Slavic pre-Christian Religion; Revue des études slaves: Monographiesed. Pierre Gonneau and Juan Antonio Álvarez-Pedrosa Núñez (Paris: Institut d’études slaves – Centre d’études slaves forthcoming). This selection is from chapter 20 lines 3–12 of the original Czech source: A když bieše u jednoho dola / jedna baba na Pražany vzvola / řkúc: “Nebude-li mezi vámi má rada / stane sě všemu vašemu lidu váda. / Náhle jděte nad onu studnici / obětujte bohóm oslici / a každý jie nětco sněz. / A Styře to ty dobřě věz / že knězě Vladislava pobieš / a jeho lidi všecky zbieš.” (Jiří Daňhelka Bohuslav Havránek and Naděžda Kvítková eds. vol. 1 of Staročeská kronika tak řečeného Dalimila: vydání textu a veškerého textového materiálu; Úvod; Text kroniky v základním rukopise; Textový materiál předmluvy a kapitol 1 až 52 (Praha: Academia 1988)).

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