Beast-Serpents in the Chronicles of Ancient Russian

It seems so simple, just to look carefully around, look into the seemingly well-known old books, and the real tree of such incredible facts, the abundance of which shakes even the most audacious of fantasies, will fall onto you! To do this, you just need to be attentive and diligent, only in this case the yellowed volumes of the ancient chronicles will reveal their revelations to you!

Who among us has not heard since school years about the famous Complete Russian Chronicles Collection. Needless to say, numerous volumes of hard-to-read texts are the lot of a narrow circle of professional professionals. However, among dozens and dozens of ancient manuscripts, repeatedly reprinted, there are those that are well adapted to the language of the modern reader.

Studied and re-studied up, down and across by many generations of native and foreign historians, they seem to conceal nothing new, much less unusual, but it only sees so at first glance. One has only to break away from the bustle of today and breathe in the scent of past eras, touch the past, as it will certainly reward you with the most incredible discoveries!

How many disputes are there today about such a famous character of many Slavic fairy tales and epics – the Serpent Gorynych! How only did the historians and the publicists not try to explain the essence of this very unusual creature. Some people see it as a product of the forces of a formidable element, in particular a whirlwind, others see in it even a giant Mongol-Chinese flamethrower.

There are, however, voices that, perhaps, the Serpent Gorynych had a very real prototype as some kind of relic dinosaur, but at the same time everyone immediately stipulates that there is no actual confirmation of this hypothesis.

Come on! Confirmation of the version of the real existence of the Serpent, it is only necessary to read the original texts of the same well-known epics carefully, just take a look at the ancient chronicles without hurrying.

Let’s start with the fact that in addition to the numerous fairy-tale and epic images of the Serpent, the ancient Slavic mythology brought to us an amazing and very concrete image of a certain sacred Serpent – the forefather who allegedly created everything on Earth. It is from the egg hatched by this first-Serpent that our world was born. The origins of this myth go back to the beginnings of the ancient Aryan culture and are, apparently, among the most ancient.

And now let us ask ourselves a very logical question: Why did such a long-standing and incredible steadfast worship of some invented being exist, while all other worships and totems of the ancient Russian and Slavs were always associated with very real and concrete representatives of the animal world: leopards and bears, bulls and swans?

Especially for some reason, the cult of Beast-Serpents was strong in the north-western regions of Rus, in the Novgorod and Pskov lands. Maybe this was the reason for the existence of this cult, that once there were such beast-serpents? Thus, the myth of a certain marvelous two-headed lizard, which swallowed the setting sun with one head and spewed the morning sun into the sky with another is widely known.

Even Herodot spoke about a certain people-Neurov, living “on the land facing the north wind” and forced to flee from there to the country of the Budins (tribes of the Yukhnov culture) just because some terrible serpents flooded their land. The events of these historians relate to about the VI century BCE. Of course, no nation will ever relocate because of the mythical monsters, but it is more than likely that they will flee from very real monsters, especially if they were very bloodthirsty.

The world-renowned expert on Ancient Rus, academician B.A. Rybakov, was at one time fruitfully engaged in the study of questions connected with the “Slavic serpents”. Of particular interest to us is his analysis of a well-known epic story about the Novgorod merchant Sadko. This epic turned out to be so encrypted that only such a great scientist could understand its essence and meaning.

First of all, it must be noted that B.A. Rybakov, as well as the famous historian of the XIX century N.I. Kostomarov, considered the epic about Sadko to be one of the most ancient in the Novgorod lands, dating back to pre-Christian times. At the same time, Sadko does not travel in the original version, but simply comes with gusli to the bank of the lake-river and plays there his songs to a certain water king. The image of the king in the epic is meant to be anthropomorphic, it is not described.

However, in some cases, the king is referred to as a kind of “uncle Ilmen” (“uncle is often used to describe a man who is old enough to be someone’s uncle, but blood relationship may not exist) or “the queen Belorybitsa” (queen White Fish). Then the water king, who liked the playing of Sadko, comes out of the water and promises him for the pleasure he delivers the constant rich catch of fish and the capture of even a goldfish (“gold feather fish” – who grants wishes). After that, Sadko rapidly become richer, becoming the most respected man in Novgorod.

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