Re: [tied] Nostradamus and Dumezil

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 9539
Date: 2001-09-17

The Bielobog/Chernobog struggle is an invention of 17th-century (and later) erudites. Its classic version (disseminated uncritically by various popular publications and Internet sources) was created and popularised by Wilhelm Boguslawski, a 19th-century Polish historian whose myth-making talents anticipate _Silmarillion_.
Manichaean elements in Slavic myths have been read into them by modern authors. "Chernobog" occurs in a single early source -- Helmold of Bosau's _Chronica Slavorum_ (12th c.). Helmold mentions a hostile deity of the Polabian Slavs, "Diabol sive Zcerneboch, id est niger deus", the bringer of misfortune. Helmold's information on "Zcerneboch" is not confirmed by other sources, and in his list of Polabian gods there are quite a few highly suspect items, so *c^IrnobogU ('Blackgod') is at best a might-have-been entity (if not a figment of Helmold's interpretatio christiana). "Bielobog" ('Whitegod') is not mentioned at all by any early authors. His name was coined for the sake of Manichaean symmetry some 600 years after Helmold.
The native Slavic words used to translate "devil" (diavolos/diabolus, itself borrowed as *dIjavolU or *dUjabUlU) were *c^IrtU and *be^sU -- but their exact pre-Christian content is difficult to reconstruct (mischievous spirits, anyway, rather than Slavic Ahrimans).
----- Original Message -----
From: cas111jd@...
Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2001 5:09 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] Nostradamus and Dumezil

PS: The Bielbog and Chernobog struggle, IMO, also reflects the struggle between Ormazd and Ahriman. There is even a creation myth between them that recalls elements of the Zoroastrian version. It is a struggle between the forces of light/summer and darkness/winter. It is played out in many IE myths, such as Balder and Hodur in Norse myth, and various Celtic gods. The Norse and Slavic annual struggles are on the solstices, but for some reason the Celts have their on Beltane and Samhain.