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Zmaj and the Dragon Lore of Slavic Mythology

Zmaj and the Dragon Lore of Slavic Mythology

The dragon is one of the most well-known creatures in ancient mythology, and many cultures have this creature (or one of its related forms) in their folklore. In East Asian countries, for instance,...
Return of the Ancient Gods: The Resurgence of Paganism

Return of the Ancient Gods: The Resurgence of Paganism

Over the past two centuries, Europe has become increasingly secular. Scholars in fact no longer talk of the Christian West when they speak of Modern Europe and North America, but of the Secular West...
An illustration of Vasilisa the Beautiful, by Ivan Bilibin.

A Freaky Fairy Tale of Ancient Folklore: Vasilisa the Beautiful and Baba Yaga

“[…] In the evening the girl laid the table and began waiting for Baba-Yaga. It grew dark. The black horseman swept by and it was night. The skulls’ eyes began to shine. The trees creaked, the dead...
A Cycle of Life and Death: Slavic Goddesses Morana and Vesna

A Cycle of Life and Death: Slavic Goddesses Morana and Vesna

Forever intertwined, Morana, goddess of winter and death, and Vesna, goddess of spring and rebirth, could not exist without each other. However, they could not possibly exist in the same place at the...
Prince Marko and Musa the Outlaw, 1900 painting by Vladislav Titelbah, the Narodni muzej Museum in Kikinda, Serbia.

Marko Mrnjavcevic: The Powerful Prince of Serbia

Marko Mrnjavcevic (referred to also as Prince Marko and King Marko) was a Serbian ruler who lived during the 14th century. Although Marko is said to have had the opportunity to inherit the throne of...
She Brings Bad News: The Scary Slavic Household Spirit Called Kikimora

She Brings Bad News: The Scary Slavic Household Spirit Called Kikimora

Some spirits are thought to be dangerous even by people who don't necessarily believe in them. One of the scariest creatures in world mythologies is the spirit from the Slavic culture known as...
Rusalka: The Mythical Slavic Mermaid

Rusalka: The Mythical Slavic Mermaid

In Slavic mythology, a rusalka (plural: rusalki) is something akin to the Celtic mermaids or the Greek sirens. In short, rusalki are beautiful young women who dwell in bodies of water and enjoy...
The Slavic Star Goddess Zorya, Guardian of the Doomsday Hound and Servant of the Sun God

The Slavic Star Goddess Zorya, Guardian of the Doomsday Hound and Servant of the Sun God

Slavic mythology is one of the less appreciated of all the ancient folklore traditions. The myths grew in the hearts of the tribes of a great civilization, and in the minds of people whose lives were...
The Immortals – A Continuation of Myths and Legends

The Immortals – A Continuation of Myths and Legends

Uruk from Mesopotamia was probably the first legendary immortal. He was believed to have been a “regular” individual who simply could not die. However, mythology suggests that immortals and observers...
Caravan on the Silk Road, 1380.

DNA Suggests Yiddish Began on the Silk Road

Amy Pullan-Sheffield For decades, linguists have questioned the origin of Yiddish, the millennium-old language of Ashkenazic Jews. Now, the Geographic Population Structure (GPS), which converts DNA...
Battle between Veles and Perun.

Veles and Perun: The Legendary Battle of Two Slavic Gods

Veles and Perun are two deities found in the religion of the Slavs prior to the coming of Christianity. The Pre-Christian Slavs were polytheists, and worshipped a pantheon of deities, just like the...
Painting of Snow Maiden (1899) by Viktor M. Vasnetsov.

The Snow Maiden of Slavic Folklore: Magical Characters of Winter from Russia

Ded Moroz, translated to (Grand)father Frost, or Old Man Frost, is a legendary Slavic character that makes his rounds every New Year’s Eve. Along with his companion, Snegurochka (Snow Maiden), he...
Ded Moroz and Snegurochka in the sleigh

Meet Father Frost and his Fairy Goddaughter Snow Maiden: Magical Characters of Winter from Russia

Ded Moroz, translated to (Grand)father Frost, or Old Man Frost, is a legendary Slavic character that makes his rounds every New Year’s Eve. Along with his companion, Snegurochka, he brings delight to...
Viktor Vasnetsov's Sirin (left) and Alkonost (right) Birds of Joy and Sorrow, 1896

Alkonost and the Gamayun, the mythical beings of Slavic folklore

The Alkonost and the Gamayun are mythological creatures with the body of a bird and the head of a beautiful woman. They derive from Slavic and Old Russian folklore, and are described as mythical...
The text resembles Cyrillic letters, according to experts.

Is The Book of Veles a great Slavic text or a charlatan’s forgery?

The Book of Veles is so controversial it is banned in Russia. Its supporters say it lays out cultural, religious and historical facts about Slavs from the 7 th century BC until the 9 th century AD,...
Detail, the sides and faces of the enigmatic Zbruch Idol.

Rare and Enigmatic Zbruch Idol: 4-Headed Slavic God Pulled from a River

In 1848, a four-headed monolith was pulled from a muddy river bottom in Ukraine after a thousand year exile. The enigmatic stone pillar was inscribed with stoic faces and strange symbols, and the...

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