Slavic and Greek-Roman Mythology, Comparative Mythology

Slavic and Greek-Roman Mythology, Comparative Mythology

By Mihai Dragnea

Brukenthalia Acta Musei (Romanian Cultural History Review), No. 3 (2013)

17th century depiction of Perun

Abstract: Mythology (μυθολογία), as a field of scientific research, is a set of stories, mythos in Greek meaning ‘story’ or ‘legend’ and logos ‘word’. Usually, the myths are works of literature. The term mythology may include all the myths of religion or culture. Throughout history, these stories have circulated as works of literature, folk tales (ballads, odes, songs, songs of bravery) or based on historical sources written at different ruler’s courts or monasteries.

In this paper I will present a number of similarities between Greek and Roman deities and the Slavic ones, basing my research as much as possible on the information provided by an etymological analysis, a description of the deity as well as rituals, offerings, sacrifices and celebrations dedicated to the deities. As a main source for Slavic deities, I used a compilation of medieval and religious texts written in the Kievan Rus’ by monk Nestor, called the Russian Primary Chronicle or Nestor’s Chronicle. This script presents Russian history and Kievan Rus between 850-1110 years, written in Kiev during Iziaslav Sviatopolk the second’s (Grand Prince of Kiev 1093-1113) reign. The Chronicle is German-Scandinavian inspired, since the Prince Sviatopolk’s (the principality’s ruler) policy was pro-Scandinavian.


Also, I could list following volumes: Dictionary of Slavic mythology by Ilie Danilov and Slavic mythology by Sorin Paliga. In addition to these works, information about Slavic mythology can be found in the following books: History of religious beliefs and ideas by Mircea Eliade, Slavic mythology by Anca Ionescu Irina, Dictionary of General Mythology by Victor Kernbach and Teodor Eugen Sorin, Linguistics and Archaeology of the early Slavs and Another view of the Lower Danube by Sorin Paliga. The remaining materials are presented in the bibliography.

In Greek mythology, Homer and Hesiod are the main narrative sources. As reference materials I will use the following volume: Sources for Greek Religion de David G. Rice & John E. Stambaugh and the book Dictionary of Roman-Greek mythology: gods, heroes, myths by Zoe Petre, Alexandra Liţu, Cătălin Pavel Cristian Olariu, Florica Mihuţ-Bohîlţea, Alexandra Ţârlea.

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