Rus Articles Journal

What the prince Vladimir Svyatoy trusted in?

Probably, all of us know how the prince Vladimir Svyatoslavovich the Gorgeous Sunshine christened Russia. At least, heard and read the official version of this history. What can quite call the history stated in “The story of temporary years“ with the story about “test of beliefs“ when Vladimir chose religion from several, offered by neighbors. This history in itself is interesting to

though it according to considerable part of scientists, is absolutely legendary. But now the speech not about it, and about the characteristic of the prince Vladimir as “Saint“. Which is not just a nickname as Vladimir Krestitel is officially recognized as the Saint. Certainly, it is recognized for quite real act - official adoption of Christianity by Kievan Rus`. And to this its act, and to its importance no questions arise, as well as to whether Vladimir deserved canonization. As treat the fact of a baptism, in the history it is necessary to recognize its importance.

But I will state from myself one assumption. I will repeat: this my personal assumption which arose in the course of acquaintance to this history. I will begin with a question: recognition by the Saint is how reasonable even if for real merits before church and religion, the person who with high probability was an atheist? It will seem impossible, but some facts suggest such idea. Namely - his unscrupulousness in the relation in religion.

In - the first, political reasons of acceptance of other belief are reflected also in an annalistic legend. Chose - that the prince from several beliefs, only as a result having stopped on the Byzantine Orthodoxy. It is as if supposed that earlier he plainly knew nothing about these religions … Meanwhile in Kievan Rus` could not but just know religions and customs of neighbors to which contacted long ago and densely. Russia of that time was not neither backward, nor isolated.

In principle, the legend of test of beliefs logically reflects sources of information on religions: about Islam - from Volga the Bulgar, about the western Christianity - from “Germans“, about Judaism - from the Khazar. And it is natural, about the Byzantine Orthodoxy - from Greeks. Only there was no need to send ambassadors for investigation. Well knew all this countries of Russia. Were at war with them and traded, signed contracts - that is, brought oaths. Traditionally swore gods or were addressed to them.

So Slavs and languages, and culture of neighbors knew. And not only that on whom directly bordered: Khazar and Bulgar. I think, says about depth of communications with Western Europe at least that granddaughters of Vladimir are Yaroslav`s daughters - became queens of France, Norway and Hungary. And of course, in Russia perfectly knew Byzantium, the main trade partner. And as Byzantium was one of the most powerful and most influential powers, besides had high culture (including. religious), the choice of new belief is quite obvious.

But the speech at us went about Vladimir`s atheism. Very much easily it reformed former religion. And less than in 10 years considerably replaced belief. And the prince acted not presently! Hardly then the atheism was norm. And now, in time educated, it seems, there is not a lot of real atheists. It is more than agnostics and undecideds who are often simply not thinking seriously of the relation to religion. Pay attention that many come to religion for a consolation in the difficult periods of life. Here both all atheism, and all culture! And someone comes and leaves, and others remain in religion, votserkovlyatsya etc.

In religion look for supports, consolations and protection. Protection first of all for very basic and almost irresistible fear of death. How it is possible to overcome it if absolute uncertainty is connected with death? What to tell about the ancestors living in much more dangerous world? And main thing, unknown. Religious representations are an attempt well to explain the unclear reasons of the surrounding phenomena. And “having understood“ the reasons, to try to influence them by means of ritual.

But even to the modern person, if he really believing, change of religious beliefs or refusal of them very hardly is given. What to tell about people of times of the Middle Ages living in the world penetrated by influence of otherworldly forces? Whose life was literally filled with the rituals urged to establish connection with gods, spirits and so forth. What can force the believer to take and refuse the gods in favor of foreign god? In times when people were not only deeply believing, but also very superstitious; when seriously were afraid of invisible evil forces, filling the world with the mass of charms so that the tradition remained in live folk art till the 20th century.

And the mass of forces, time, human resources was spent for all this. Everything was more than seriously! So that a sacrifice, including human was made to gods. Also we will consider that the religion of Slavs was if it is possible to call so, breeding, national. That is (in it fundamental difference from Christianity) closely connected with the tribe, a sort, ancestors. Hardly it was easy to refuse such belief! And here to the person faithless moreover it is also practical conceiving and standing on the top of a public pyramid, it is simple to make it.

Besides it was not the first attempt of religious reform. For the first time Vladimir tried to establish a uniform pantheon of gods in 980 g. Most likely, streamlining of a cult, its reduction to a certain unity, like the established unity of temporal power was the purpose. On the first place not archaic Rod (an embodiment of force generating the world) and not Velez (agricultural and merchant god), but Perun, the patron of soldiers, that is the prince and a team will put forward. The structure of temporal power was displayed in structure of a pantheon of gods now.

Of course, original reasons of such selection of a pantheon are unknown and they can only be reconstructed. But neither Rod, nor Velez (whose cult was obshcherasprostranen) entered a pantheon! And it is one more basis to consider Vladimir as the atheist making a pantheon, relying on logic of the governor or researcher, but not believer.

Besides Perun, deities which idols form two couples located definitely in relation to Perun`s idol were chosen:

- up to one hand of Stribog, on other Dazhbog;

- for Stribog Makosh, for Dazhbog Hors;

- a little separately, near Makosha, Semargl.

On the one hand, many gods, including ancient and everywhere esteemed, did not enter a pantheon. With another, very much the choice of gods and an arrangement of idols are logical. First of all, Rod and two women in labor - the most ancient deities representing the generating force did not enter a pantheon. At that time these archaic cults not just remained, and were widespread, but Vladimir solved differently. An idol of Velez whose cult also was obshcherasprostranen (and remained even centuries!) installed separately, a little away from the main group of idols.

To all this there are quite scientific and logical justifications. And Vladimir`s actions are not similar to actions of the religious fanatic in any way, the pantheon was thought too over.

Naturally, all cults of gods from Vladimir`s pantheon remained also at the time of adoption of Christianity. But here the former pantheon was not just updated, and at all refused it. And by order of Vladimir quietly destroyed idols!

All this contradicts an image of “Saint“ - an image, inseparable from fanatical belief. But eloquently confirms political intuition. Now it was not necessary to try to unify a pantheon as at Christianity initially there is that idea of individual, absolute and indisputable domination of the one God. And Byzantine Orthodoxy (unlike the western Christianity) which was obviously in a close sheaf with the power as well as possible approached as new state religion.