Ganina N. A. Enigmas of the Rügen Slavs

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Tags: Rügen, West Slavs, East Germanic tribes, heathendom, centers of power, Commentarii / Articles

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Enigmas of the Rügen Slavs

Authors Ganina, Nataliya Aleksandrovna — Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, Doctor in Philology, Professor, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
In the section Commentarii / Articles
Year 2015 Issue 2 Pages 65-81
Type of article RAR Index UDK 94(367) Index BBK 63.3(2)41
Abstract The article concerns the basic questions of the history of the Rügen Slavs. The paper discusses the following issues: the settlement of the Rügen Slavs Rugen in the end of the 6th – the beginning of 7th century; population of the island before Slavic migration (Jastorf culture and the East Germans — Rugi); the problem of the continuity of local traditions; the attitude of the Slavs to the ancient religious monuments and centers of Rügen (megaliths); Rügen Slavs’ idea of power; the interpretation of the images of the supreme deity and the god of war; localization of the main centers of sacred and military power. The study allows us to conclude that the Slavs settled in Rügen after the leave of the East German population, and there are reasons to believe the peaceful coexistence of the old population and the newcomers ― Slavs. The continuity of tradition is also observed in Slavs’ relation to the megalithic sacred sites and places for burial. The supreme power in Rügen conceptualized as an archaic theocracy. The image of Svyatovit (Sventovit) was an area implementation of Indo-European myths of supreme God. However, the beliefs of Rügen Slavs were local and late forms of pagan worship. The main centers of power in the Rügen were Arkona (cult-center and the center of the religious elite), Karentsa and Rugard (cult-fortress and secular elite centers). In the course of strengthening the secular authorities, after the Christianization and strengthen of the Slavic dynasty Rugard acquired the status of the main princely residence. Local center Ralswiek functioned in the 9th–13th centuries was the Slavic-Scandinavian Viking trading settlement.
Keywords Rügen, West Slavs, East Germanic tribes, heathendom, centers of power
Full text version of the article. Article language Russian
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