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PaleoBalkanmythology
FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

PaleoBalkanmythologyincludesthereligious
practicesoftheDacians,Thracians,andIllyrians.Little
isknownabouttheritualsandmythologyoftheIron
AgeBalkans,butsomeoftheirgodsaredepictedin
statuaryordescribedinGreeksources.
Onenotablecult,attestedfromThracetoMoesiaand
ScythiaMinor,isthatofthe"Thracianhorseman",also
knownasthe"ThracianHeros",atOdessos(Varna)
attestedbyaThraciannameasHerosKarabazmos,a
godoftheunderworldusuallydepictedonfuneral
statuesasahorsemanslayingabeastwithaspear.[1][2][3]

Contents
1DacoThracian
2Illyrian
3Seealso
4Notes
5References
6Externallinks

Thecultofthe"Thracianhorseman"spread
overmuchoftheBalkansduringtheRoman
period.

DacoThracian
KnownThraciandeitiesinclude:
Sabazios,theThracianreflexofIndoEuropeanDyeus,identifiedwithHerosKarabazmos,the
"Thracianhorseman".HegainedawidespreadimportanceespeciallyaftertheRomanconquest.
ThiscouldbeakintoSleipnir,thehorseriddenbyOdin,inNorsemythology.AfterChristianity
wasadopted,thesymbolismofHeroscontinuedasrepresentationsofSaintGeorgeslayingthe
dragon(compareUastyrdzhi/TetriGiorgiintheCaucasus).[2]
Zibelthiurdos(also"Zbelsurdos","Zibelthurdos"):agodrecognizedassimilartotheGreekZeus
asawielderoflightningandthunderbolts.
Kotys("Cotys","Cotto","Cottyto","Cottytus"),agoddessworshippedwithmuchrevelryby
ThraciantribessuchastheEdoniansinthefestivalCotyttia.[4]AcultofCottytoexistedin
classicalAthens.AccordingtoGreeksourcesherpriestswerecalledbaptesor"washers"because
theirpreworshippurificationritesinvolvedbathing.Herworshipincludedmidnightorgies
(orgia).Hernameisbelievedtohavemeant"war,slaughter",akintoOldNorseHr"war,
slaughter".[5]
SeveralThraciandeitiesshowcloseanalogytotheGreekcultofDionysus,OrpheusandPersephone(the
DionysianMysteries):
BendiswasaThraciangoddessofthemoonandthehunt[6]whomtheGreeksidentifiedwith
Artemis,andhencewiththeothertwoaspectsofformerlyMinoangoddesses,Hecateand
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Ahoundattackingaboar,ascene
depictedonthelowerhalfofmany
"Thracianhorseman"reliefs.

PaleoBalkanmythologyWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Persephone.
SemeleisprobablytheMotherEarth
goddessakintoLithuanianZemyna
andLatvianSemes,bothofwhichare
'MotherEarth'goddesses.Likelythere
hasbeenanearlySemeleGoddessin
protoSlavicmythologyas'earth'to
thisdayis""(semlya)in
Russianand""(zemya)in
Bulgarian.AlsocomparePhrygian
'Zemelo'.
KnownDaciantheonymsinclude:

Zalmoxis,identifiedbysomewiththethundergodGebelezis,[7]an
importantgodoftheDacians[8]andThracians.[9]
Derzelas(also"Darzalas")wasachthonicgodofhealthandhuman
spirit'svitality.
KogaiononwasthenameofaholymountainoftheDacians.

Illyrian

Detailofthemain
frescoofthe
Aleksandrovokurgan.
Thefigureisidentified
withZalmoxis.

ThemythologyoftheIllyriansisonlyknownthroughmentionofIllyrian
deitiesonRomanperiodmonuments,somewithinterpretatioRomana.[10]
ThereappearstobenosinglemostprominentIllyriangodandtherewouldhavebeenmuchvariation
betweenindividualIllyriantribes.TheIllyriansdidnotdevelopauniformcosmologyonwhichtocenter
theirreligiouspractices.[11]
SomedeitiesareknownexclusivelyfromIstria,[12]suchasEia,Malesocus,BoriaandIria.InLiburnia,
AnzoticaisidentifiedwithVenus.Otherlocaltheonyms[13]includeLatra,SentonaandIca.Bindus,
identifiedwithNeptune,wasworshippedamongtheJapodes.[14]Furthernorth,thehotspringsof
Topusko[15]werededicatedtoVidasusandThana,identifiedwithSilvanus[16]andDiana.Fromthe
easternBalkans,thecultoftheThracianhorsemanspreadtoIllyriaduringtheearlycenturiesCE.The
godMedaurus[17]mentionedinadedicationatLambaesisinAfricabyaRomansenatorandnativeof
Risiniumappearstobeidenticaltothehorseman,beingdescribedasridingonhorsebackandcarryinga
lance.TheDelmataehadArmatusasagodofwar.[18]ThegodEnwasalsoworshippedbyIllyrians.[19]
EnwasdemotedtodemonicstatusfollowingthearrivalofChristianityinIllyria,andcontinuestobe
usedintheAlbanianlanguagetorefertoThursday(Albanian:Enjte).[19]

Seealso
DacoThracian
Albanianmythology
Dardanians
HistoryoftheBalkans
PaleoBalkanlanguages
PrehistoricBalkans
ScythiaMinor
Scythianmythology
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PaleoBalkan_mythology

WikimediaCommonshas
mediarelatedtoDacianand
Dacians.

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ThracoCimmerian
ThracoIllyrian

Notes
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

9.

10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.

Lurker,Manfred(1987).DictionaryofGodsandGoddesses,DevilsandDemons.p.151.
Nicoloff,Assen(1983).BulgarianFolklore.p.50.
Isaac,BenjaminH.(1986).TheGreekSettlementsinThraceUntiltheMacedonianConquest.p.257.
Detschew,Dimiter.DieThrakischeSprachreste.Wien,1957:p.258(inGerman)
Alsocognate:Irishcath"war,battle",earlyGermanHader"quarrel",Greekktos"hatred",OldChurch
Slavonickotora"fight,brawl",Sanskritatru"enemy,nemesis",andHittitekattu"spiteful".SeeOrel,
Vladimir.AHandbookofGermanicEtymology.Leiden,Netherlands:Brill,2003:165.
TheoiProjectBendis(http://www.theoi.com/Thrakios/Bendis.html)
Hdt.4.94,Theirbeliefintheirimmortalityisasfollows:theybelievethattheydonotdie,butthatonewho
perishesgoestothedeitySalmoxis,orGebelezis,assomeofthemcallhim.
HarryThurstonPeck,HarpersDictionaryofClassicalAntiquities(1898),(Zalmoxis)orZamolxis(Zamolxis).
Saidtohavebeensocalledfromthebear'sskin(zalmos)inwhichhewasclothedassoonashewasborn.He
was,accordingtothestorycurrentamongtheGreeksontheHellespont,aGetan,whohadbeenaslaveto
PythagorasinSamos,butwasmanumitted,andacquirednotonlygreatwealth,butlargestoresofknowledge
fromPythagoras,andfromtheEgyptians,whomhevisitedinthecourseofhistravels.Hereturnedamongthe
Getae,introducingthecivilizationandthereligiousideaswhichhehadgained,especiallyregardingthe
immortalityofthesoul.Herodotus,however,suspectsthathewasanindigenousGetandivinity(Herod.iv.
95)
XCV.ThisZamolxis,asIhavebeeninformedbythoseGreekswhoinhabittheHellespontandtheEuxine,
washimselfaman,andformerlylivedatSamos,intheserviceofPythagoras,sonofMnesarchushaving
obtainedhisliberty,withconsiderablewealth,hereturnedtohiscountry.HerehefoundtheThracians
distinguishedequallybytheirprofligacyandtheirignorancewhilsthehimselfhadbeenaccustomedtothe
Ionianmodeoflife,andtomannersmorepolishedthanthoseofThracehehadalsobeenconnectedwith
Pythagoras,oneofthemostcelebratedphilosophersofGreece.Hewasthereforeinducedtobuildalarge
mansion,towhichheinvitedthemosteminentofhisfellowcitizens:hetooktheopportunityofthefestive
hourtoassurethem,thatneitherhimself,hisguests,noranyoftheirdescendants,shouldeverdie,butshould
beremovedtoaplace,wheretheyweretoremainintheperpetualenjoymentofeveryblessing.Aftersaying
this,andconductinghimselfaccordingly,heconstructedasubterraneanedifice:whenitwascompleted,he
withdrewhimselffromthesightofhiscountrymen,andresidedforthreeyearsbeneaththeearth.During
thisperiod,theThraciansregrettedhisloss,andlamentedhimasdead.Inthefourthyearheagainappeared
amongthem,andbythisartificegavetheappearanceofprobabilitytowhathehadbeforeasserted.XCVI.To
thisstoryofthesubterraneousapartment,Idonotgivemuchcredit,thoughIpretendnottodisputeitIam,
however,verycertainthatZamolxismusthavelivedManyyearsbeforePythagoras:whether,therefore,he
wasaman,orthedeityoftheGetse,enoughhasbeensaidconcerninghim.TheseGetse,usingtheceremonies
Ihavedescribed,aftersubmittingthemselvestothePersiansunderDarius,followedhisarmy.Herodotus
page117PublishedbyP.P.Berresford,1828
Wilkes,J.J.TheIllyrians,1992,p.245,ISBN0631198075."...Illyriandeitiesarenamedonmonumentsof
theRomanera,someinequationwithgodsoftheclassicalpantheon(seefigure34)."
Wilkes."UnlikeCelts,Dacians,ThraciansorScythians,thereisnoindicationthatIllyriansdevelopeda
uniformcosmologyonwhichtheirreligiouspracticewascentred.AnetymologyoftheIllyriannamelinked
withserpentwould,ifitistrue,fitwiththemanyrepresentationsof..."
Wilkes."...dominantIllyriandeityandsomewereevidentlyworshippedonlyinparticularregions.Thus
severaldeitiesoccuronlyinIstria,includingEia,Malesocus,BoriaandIria.AnzoticawastheLiburnian
Venusandappearsinthetraditionalimageoftheclassicalgoddess."
Wilkes."OtherlocaldeitieswereLatra,SentonaandthenymphIca,prayinginreliefsculpture),Knez1974
(ritualvessel),Bae1984(templearchitectureinIllyrianAlbania)."
Wilkes."...includingaltarsdedicatedbychiefsoftheJapodesattheshrineofBindusNeptunusataspring
nearBiha(seefigure30).ThefirstreportedcontactbetweenJapodesandRomansoccurred..."
Wilkes."NorthoftheJapodes,thealtarstoVidasusandThanadedicatedatthehotspringsofTopuskoreveal
thelocalRomanIllyrians..."

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16. Wilkes."...identitiesofSilvanusandDiana,afamiliarcombinationonmanydedicationsintheterritoryofthe
Delmatae."
17. Wilkes."...theshortcloakstreamingoutbehind.TheIllyriantownRhizon(Risinium)ontheGulfofKotor
haditsprotectivedeityMedaurus..."
18. Wilkes."...ArmatusatDelminium(Duvno)whowasevidentlyawargodoftheDelmatae,andtheLatinLiber
whoappearswiththe..."
19. Lurker,Manfred.TheRoutledgeDictionaryofGodsandGoddesses,DevilsandDemons,Taylor&Francise
Library,2005.p.57.

References
Wilkes,John.TheIllyrians.Blackwell,1992.
Tacheva,Margarita.EasternCultsinMoesiaInferiorandThracia(5thCenturyBC4thCentury
AD),1983,ISBN9004068848.

Externallinks
PaleoBalkanMythology(http://piereligion.org/albanian.html)
Retrievedfrom"https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Paleo
Balkan_mythology&oldid=669617234"
Categories: PaleoBalkanmythology IndoEuropeanmythology Polytheism
HistoryoftheBalkans ReligionsoftheGrecoRomanworld
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