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Nikos Čausidis:

Dažbog in Malalas' Cronicle and His Relations with Other Medieval and Folkloristic Sources


This paper was based on an interpretation in the Slavic translation of "The world Chronicle" by Ioannes Malalas which is thought to have originated in the area where South Slavic languages are spoken. This pseudohistoric tradition cites that after emperor Svarog's reign had terminated, his son Dažbog, the Emperor Sun, took over.
The discord between Dažbog's character in folkloric traditions and the one from Malalas' citation gives rise to the author's suspicion of the total authenticity of the World Chronicle. He therefore attempts a different interpretation and reconstruction, first analyzing an Iranian myth about Z'rvan (Zervan, Zurvan) as a dualistic paradigm for the citation in Malalas' Chronicle. According to this myth Z'rvan (who is identical to the Creator, the universe, and endless time) wanted to create a son, his successor (Ormazd / Ahura Mazda). However, since he had doubts over the rationality of this act, he produced Ahriman, an incarnation of evil, who was born first and who rules the world at present. After 90.000 years Ahriman will be succeeded by Z'rvan's second son. Z'rvans true successor. Based on the relation between Malalas' citation and these fairytales the author defines the equation Dažbog = Emperor Sun as a mistake, or possibly an intentional rewrite, suggesting the following reconstruction of the original context between these characters: Svarog (=Z'rvan) - primogenitor, Emperor Sun (*Ormazd /Ahura Mazda) - one of the two sons of Svarog who is identical to Svarožoč as an incarnation of the sun, fire, light, and good; Dažbog (= Ahriman) the second son of Svarog, an incarnation of chtonic zones of the universe, of darkness and light.
The author concludes his paper by citing preliminary conclusions about the presence of the chtonic god (thus also Dažbog) in medieval archaeological finds and in other elements of material culture. Here Dažbog appears as an opponent to the celestial god Svarog.

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