Žir i žirnye vremena: ob odnom simvole v «Slove o polku Igoreve»
Fat and Fat Times: About One Symbol in the Tale of Igor’s Campaign

Kostyantyn Rakhno

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3986/sms.v19i0.6618

Abstract

This article deals with one symbolic concept in the Tale of Igor’s Campaign – fat and gold. Fat, which Prince Igor let sink to the bottom of the Kayala, was not simply an abundance, and the fat times, scared away by the Maiden Wrong, were not just the rich ones. They are connected with the Iranian mythological beliefs. The Ossetians believed that the earth used to secrete a certain peculiar nutritious fat far in the past, but these blessed times came to the end because of some events and the activities of certain epic heroes. Such ideas are reflected in the Ossetic Nart epos and superstitions. Their traces are present in the Ruthenian chronicles. The falcon symbols of the poem also have Iranian roots and are connected with the notions of royal khvarenah among the Scythians and other Iranian peoples.

Keywords

the Tale of Igor’s Campaign; Kievan Rus; Slavic mythology; Ossetian mythology; Nart epos; shamanism; Iranian substratum; khvarenah; fat; falcons

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3986/sms.v19i0.6618

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