Unveiling Slavic Myths - A Conversation With Noah And Svetlana

Video

Kelly Macquire
by
published on 21 February 2024

Slavic cultures are far-ranging, comprising East Slavs (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus), West Slavs (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland) and South Slavs (the countries of former Yugoslavia plus Bulgaria), yet they are connected by tales of adventure and magic with deep roots in a common lore. In this first collection of Slavic myths for an international readership, Noah Charney and Svetlana Slapšak expertly weave together a retelling of the ancient stories with nuanced analysis that illuminates their place at the heart of Slavic tradition.

Though less familiar to us than the legends of ancient Egypt, Greece and Scandinavia, in the world of Slavic mythology we find much that we can recognize: petulant deities, demons and faeries; witches, the sinister vestica, whose magic may harm or heal; a supreme god who can summon storms and hurl thunderbolts. Gods gather under the World Tree, reminiscent of Norse mythology’s Yggdrasill; or, after the coming of Christianity, congregate among the clouds. The vampire – usually the only Serbo-Croatian word in any foreign-language dictionary – and the werewolf emerge from the shallow graves of Slavic belief.

In their careful analysis and sensitive reconstructions of the origin stories, Charney and Slapsak unearth the Slavic beliefs before their distortion first by Christian chroniclers and then by 19th-century scholars seeking origin stories for their new-born nation states. They reveal links not only to the neighbouring pantheons of Greece, Rome, Egypt and Scandinavia but also the belief systems of indigenous peoples of Australia, the Americas, Africa and Asia. In so doing, they draw out the universalities that cut across cultures in the stories we tell ourselves.

Noah Charney is an American art historian and internationally bestselling author of fiction (The Art Thief) and non-fiction (The Art of Forgery, The Collector of Lives and The Museum of Lost Art). Svetlana Slapsak is a leading specialist in Balkan studies and award-winning essayist who has published more than eighty books. She won the American PEN Freedom of Expression Award in 1993 and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. Both Charney and Slapsak live in Slovenia.

— BUY THE BOOK HERE —
Slavic Myths, written by Noah Charney & Svetlana Slapšak,
published by Thames and Hudson
https://thamesandhudson.com/the-slavic-myths-9780500025017

— CHAPTERS —
00:00 Intro
0:46 What Is Your Book About? Myths? Creatures? Mysteries?
4:50 What Was The Writing Process Like?
8:14 Slavic History With a New Layer
11:40 Links To Classical Myths In The Book
14:58 The History of Vampires And Werewolves
19:25 The Most Important Part Of Slavic Mythology In Daily Life
22:35 Outro

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https://www.worldhistory.org/Medieval_Folklore/
Leprechaun
https://www.worldhistory.org/Leprechaun/

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About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2024, February 21). Unveiling Slavic Myths - A Conversation With Noah And Svetlana. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/video/3123/unveiling-slavic-myths---a-conversation-with-noah/

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "Unveiling Slavic Myths - A Conversation With Noah And Svetlana." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified February 21, 2024. https://www.worldhistory.org/video/3123/unveiling-slavic-myths---a-conversation-with-noah/.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "Unveiling Slavic Myths - A Conversation With Noah And Svetlana." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 21 Feb 2024. Web. 24 Apr 2024.

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