It was directed against Jupiter, who took the place of Christ in Rome and who invisibly inspired the Council of Constance; and against Perun, who, disguised, smiled from every church in Prague, and with a smile ruled over the souls in Bohemia under the name of Christ. Mickiewicz, Sienkiewicz! Two great milestones in the history of the Polish soul; two great milestones in Christian history also!
Amid the tears and fright of the people, the idols were torn down; Perun was flogged and thrown into the Dnieper. Then the old pagan stream was consecrated, and men, women, and children, old and young, master and slave, were driven into the river, the Greek priests standing on the banks reading the baptismal service.
His son Vladimir was a cruel warrior, who took to Christianity, was baptised in the year 988, and caused the image of the Slavonic god of Thunder, Perun, to be first cudgelled and then thrown into a river. Vladimir, who first introduced Christianity, divided his dominions, leaving Novgorod to his son Yaroslaff, who established the first code of laws.
For instance, the gipsy villain of the story, Perun, when telling the tale of his crime against the father of the hero who married the Romany chi whom Perun had hoped to marry, makes allusion thus to the dead woman: “And then about her as I have named too often to-day.” Had Borrow been alluding to the Romany taboo of the names of the dead, how differently would he have gone to work! how eager would he have been to display and explain his knowledge of this remarkable Romany superstition!
The invaders said: "If Caesar speaks thus, what more do we want than to have gold and silver and silks without fighting." A treaty of peace was signed , the Russians swearing by their god Perun, and the Greeks by the Gospels; and the victorious Igor turned his face toward Kief. But he was never to reach that place.
If different nations could be brought to live together in peace, and honestly and amicably carry on Trade, it would be highly advantageous to the World; but conquest, such as that of Mexico by Cortez, and of Perun and Chili by Pizarro and Almagro, in nature and in reason, can give no just right to territory. In such cases, conquest is only another name for Injustice, Barbarity, and Murder.
Amongst the Slavs also the oak appears to have been the sacred tree of the thunder god Perun, the counterpart of Zeus and Jupiter. It is said that at Novgorod there used to stand an image of Perun in the likeness of a man with a thunder-stone in his hand. A fire of oak wood burned day and night in his honour; and if ever it went out the attendants paid for their negligence with their lives.
On the Eve they work hard; before sunrise house and yard are decked with bay or olive branches or some other evergreen, which they think protects from lightning. On this day the sun, which the ancient Slavs worshipped, woke from sleep, as one may say, and the days began to lengthen perceptibly. The father of the sun was Perun, the thunder-god. To this god the oak was dedicated.
Everything useful or beautiful for men was regarded as being possessed by a good god or spirit. Everything dangerous and unfriendly was considered to be possessed by an evil god or spirit. The supreme god Perun, supreme because the strongest, was considered as acting equally for good and for evil.
One holiday they observe, partly perforce, partly from choice, though it is not one of the great festivals of the church calendar, St. Ilya's Day. St. Ilya is the Christian representative of the old Slavic god of Thunder, Perun, as well as of the prophet Elijah. Such is the belief; such, in my experience, is the fact, also.
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