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Well-attested myths of the Proto-Indo-Europeans include a myth involving a storm god who slays a multi-headed serpent that dwells in water and a creation story involving two brothers, one of whom sacrifices the other to create the world. The Proto-Indo-Europeans may have believed that the Otherworld was guarded by a watchdog and could only be reached by crossing a river.

They also may have believed in a world tree, bearing fruit of immortality, either guarded by or gnawed on by a serpent or dragon, and tended by three goddesses who spun the thread of life. The mythology of the Proto-Indo-Europeans is not directly attested and it is difficult to match their language to archaeological findings related to any specific culture from the Chalcolithic.

This method is known as the comparative method. Different schools of thought have approached the subject of Proto-Indo-European mythology from different angles.

Veles (god)

The Meteorological School holds that Proto-Indo-European mythology was largely centered around deified natural phenomena such as the sky , the Sun , the Moon , and the dawn. One of the earliest attested and thus most important of all Indo-European mythologies is Vedic mythology , [10] especially the mythology of the Rigveda , the oldest of the Vedas. Another of the most important source mythologies for comparative research is Roman mythology. Baltic mythology has also received a great deal of scholarly attention, but has so far remained frustrating to researchers because the sources are so comparatively late.

Although Scythians are considered relatively conservative in regards to Proto-Indo-European cultures, retaining a similar lifestyle and culture, [18] their mythology has very rarely been examined in an Indo-European context and infrequently discussed in regards to the nature of the ancestral Indo-European mythology. At least three deities, Tabiti , Papaios and Api , are generally interpreted as having Indo-European origins, [19] [20] while the remaining have seen more disparate interpretations.

Influence from Siberian, Turkic and even Near Eastern beliefs, on the other hand, are more widely discussed in literature. Linguists are able to reconstruct the names of some deities in the Proto-Indo-European language PIE from many types of sources. Some of the proposed deity names are more readily accepted among scholars than others.

The usual scheme is that one of these celestial deities is male and the other female, though the exact gender of the Sun or Moon tends to vary among subsequent Indo-European mythologies. Even in these traditions, remnants of male lunar deities, like Menelaus , remain. Helios as the eye of Zeus , [47] [48] Hvare-khshaeta as the eye of Ahura Mazda , and the sun as "God's eye" in Romanian folklore.

The Proto-Indo-European Creation myth seems to have involved two key figures: His name literally means "The Striker. The name literally means "Grandson [or Nephew ] of the Waters. Although such a god has been solidly reconstructed in Proto-Indo-Iranian religion , Mallory and Adams nonetheless still reject him as a Proto-Indo-European deity on linguistic grounds.

Mallory and Adams, however, dismiss this reconstruction, commenting that it does not have any evidence to support it. Both deities are closely affiliated with goats and were worshipped as pastoral deities. In , Adalbert Kuhn suggested that the Proto-Indo-Europeans may have believed in a set of helper deities, whom he reconstructed based on the Germanic elves and the Hindu ribhus.

It is highly probable that the Proto-Indo-Europeans believed in three fate goddesses who spun the destinies of mankind. Although the name of a particular Proto-Indo-European smith god cannot be linguistically reconstructed, [63] it is highly probable that the Proto-Indo-Europeans had a smith deity of some kind, since smith gods occur in nearly every Indo-European culture, with examples including the Hittite god Hasammili, the Vedic god Tvastr , the Greek god Hephaestus , the Germanic villain Wayland the Smith , and the Ossetian culture figure Kurdalagon.

Hephaestus, the Greek god of blacksmiths, and Wayland the Smith, a nefarious blacksmith from Germanic mythology, are both described as lame. The Proto-Indo-Europeans may have had a goddess who presided over the trifunctional organization of society. Various epithets of the Iranian goddess Anahita and the Roman goddess Juno provide sufficient evidence to solidly attest that she was probably worshipped, but no specific name for her can be lexically reconstructed.

Mallory and Adams, however, reject this reconstruction on linguistic grounds. One common myth found in nearly all Indo-European mythologies is a battle ending with a hero or god slaying a serpent or dragon of some sort. In the Slavic version of the myth, Perun is a god of thunder, while Veles acts as a dragon who opposes him, consistent with the Vala etymology; He is also similar to the Etruscan Underworld-monster Vetha and to the dragon Illuyankas , enemy of the storm god of Hittite mythology.


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The reason for the enmity between the two gods is Veles's theft of Perun's son, wife or, usually, cattle. It is also an act of challenge: Veles, in the form of a huge serpent, slithers from the caves of the Underworld and coils upwards the Slavic world tree towards Perun's heavenly domain. Perun retaliates and attacks Veles with his lightning bolts. Veles flees, hiding or transforming himself into trees, animals or people. In the end he is killed by Perun, and in this ritual death, whatever Veles stole is released from his battered body in the form of rain falling from the skies.

This 'storm myth', or 'divine battle', as it is generally called by scholars today, explained to ancient Slavs the changing of seasons through the year. The dry periods were interpreted as chaotic results of Veles's thievery. Storms and lightning were seen as divine battles.

The ensuing rain was the triumph of Perun over Veles and the re-establishment of world order. On a deeper level, as has been said above, Perun's place is up, high and dry and Veles' down, low and wet. By climbing up into the sphere of Perun, Veles disrupts the equilibrium of the world and needs to be put in his place.

Perun does this in a fierce battle by smiting him with his lightning and drives him down into the water under the tree stub and the log, and by putting him back in his place he restores order. Then they stop being adversaries and remain just opponents until the next time Veles tries to crawl up into Perun's realm.

Pantheon of Deiwos

The myth was cyclical, repeating itself each year. The death of Veles was never permanent; he would reform himself as a serpent who would shed its old skin and would be reborn in a new body. Although in this particular myth he plays a negative role as bringer of chaos, Veles was not seen as an evil god by ancient Slavs. In fact, in many of the Russian folk tales, Veles, appearing under the Christian guise of St. Nicholas , saves the poor farmer and his cattle from the furious and destructive St.

Elias the Thunderer, who, of course, represents the old Perun.

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Supporters of the theory, on the other hand, include Boris Uspensky , T. According to Ivanov and Toporov, Veles's portrayal as having a penchant for mischief is evident both from his role in Storm myth and in carnival customs of Koledari shamans. In his role as a trickster god, he is in some ways similar to both Greek Hermes and Scandinavian Loki , and like them, he was connected with magic. When you click on a Sponsored Product ad, you will be taken to an Amazon detail page where you can learn more about the product and purchase it.

Veles (god) - Wikipedia

To learn more about Amazon Sponsored Products, click here. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? Learn more about Amazon Prime. In particular we are able to build with confidence upon clear similarities in both the names and themes in the accounts of two or more individual mythologies. In all mythologies we are able to see the conflicts and reconciliations of two different peoples as shown by the Tuatha de Danaan and Milesians in Ireland.

Proto-Indo-European mythology

We also see the strikingly similar destruction of the city of the enemies in Greek Troy and Indian Tripura, and the identical creation of the world by the sacrifices Of Brahma and his counterpart in Indian and Norse. But some of our perspectives cast previously unperceived darker shadows on some cherished images such as that of the noble Arthur. In fact we see no support for the traditional picture of Arthur as defender of Britain against the Saxons, and so placing Arthur in this British scene is simply false. There are several further aspects of his life and character that are apparently ignored by most writers.

Also the story of Arthur does not include the fact that the very creation of his kingship is founded on the treacherous assassination of his uncle with an arrow shown in the story of Balder in Norse and Rama in Indian. Read more Read less.

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