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Author Topic: Perunika, a fake deity?  (Read 2514 times)

Eevee

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Perunika, a fake deity?
« on: November 05, 2016, 11:18:32 am »
(copy/pasted from my question on the Slavorum forum)
This website states "Perunika" was "Perun's wife, goddess of lightning, weddings, motherhood, and protector of marriage and justice on earth." it also claims she is the same person as Ognjena Marija (Fiery Mary).

Since this website has no reference list or bibliography, and I struggled finding any other mention of this, I am starting to think someone's making up bullsh*t stories.
It also states other names she went by were: "Perunika (PERUNKA, PER(K)UNOVA, PERENA, L(J)EL(J)UJA, LJELJA, GORKA, VERONIKA, OGNJENA MARIJA)"
(I'm interested in this hence my name "Veronika", which I was under the impression is Slavic spelling of a Hebrew name)

Does anyone have any credible sources to prove this?
I understand Perunika is Croatian for the Iris flower - how is it relevant to Perun?

I'm starting to find Slavic mythology is a real pain in the butt to research online...  
Here is the website mentioned: http://www.leluya.org/mythology/Perunika.php
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Beryl

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Re: Perunika, a fake deity?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2016, 11:30:44 am »
Quote from: Eevee;198692

(I'm interested in this hence my name "Veronika", which I was under the impression is Slavic spelling of a Hebrew name)


Just on this point - I've never thought much about that name, but I was reasonably sure it's not Hebrew in origin and Wikipedia seems to support this. It seems to derive from a Greek name transliterated as Phereníkē which seems more similar to the deity's (or 'deity') 'main name' that you mentioned, but it doesn't mention any divine origins for the name, more that it was a popular name as it was used by royal families.

Which... doesn't necessarily prove Perunika is bogus, but it does seem odd that they'd claim 'another form' of her name was a Slavic spelling of a fairly common name of ultimately Athenian origin... (And yes, I can imagine online research being quite frustrating!)

Eevee

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Re: Perunika, a fake deity?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2016, 11:52:35 am »
Quote from: Beryl;198693
Just on this point - I've never thought much about that name, but I was reasonably sure it's not Hebrew in origin and Wikipedia seems to support this. It seems to derive from a Greek name transliterated as Phereníkē which seems more similar to the deity's (or 'deity') 'main name' that you mentioned, but it doesn't mention any divine origins for the name, more that it was a popular name as it was used by royal families.

Which... doesn't necessarily prove Perunika is bogus, but it does seem odd that they'd claim 'another form' of her name was a Slavic spelling of a fairly common name of ultimately Athenian origin... (And yes, I can imagine online research being quite frustrating!)

I wasn't really looking for my name's origin, I just stumbled across that article like "...what"
The reason I'm starting to think Perunika is bogus is because out of ALL the website I've been on, only one makes any mention of it, with considerable detail and no references.

Slavic mythology is turning out to be an exceptional pain in the ass to study. I'm used to researching Norse mythology, where you get access to the Eddas all the main sagas just from the first page of your Google search, but with Slavic mythology it's just random people making claims and telling stories with absolutely no backing. And the mythology from Russia can be TOTALLY different in Poland, which can be TOTALLY different to the Czech Republic and omg it's so confusing.
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Vince Noir: Well, you know, good for your digestive system.
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Dusk

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Re: Perunika, a fake deity?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2016, 04:06:13 pm »
Quote from: Eevee;198692
(copy/pasted from my question on the Slavorum forum)
This website states "Perunika" was "Perun's wife, goddess of lightning, weddings, motherhood, and protector of marriage and justice on earth." it also claims she is the same person as Ognjena Marija (Fiery Mary).

Since this website has no reference list or bibliography, and I struggled finding any other mention of this, I am starting to think someone's making up bullsh*t stories.
It also states other names she went by were: "Perunika (PERUNKA, PER(K)UNOVA, PERENA, L(J)EL(J)UJA, LJELJA, GORKA, VERONIKA, OGNJENA MARIJA)"
(I'm interested in this hence my name "Veronika", which I was under the impression is Slavic spelling of a Hebrew name)

Does anyone have any credible sources to prove this?
I understand Perunika is Croatian for the Iris flower - how is it relevant to Perun?

I'm starting to find Slavic mythology is a real pain in the butt to research online...  
Here is the website mentioned: http://www.leluya.org/mythology/Perunika.php

 
I did a quick search through JSTOR (academic database) for this name and came back with two results on "Perunika" in Slavic mythology, one in French and one in Slovenian (I think?). I am posting the relevant text here in case anyone can translate (short excerpts from articles 19-22 pages long each - I believe this constitutes fair use for copyright purposes, and the first is quite old so it might technically be public domain).

"À cette occasion, un petit détail est à corriger. Dans les ouvrages sur la
 mythologie slave (p. ex. Leger, p. 69; Niederle, Manuel, II, p. 189; Brückner,
 p. З7), pour expliquer le nom de Perun, on cite le mot bulgare et serbe perunika
 comme témoignage qu'autrefois Perun était connu aussi chez les Slaves du Sud.
 Ce nom désigne l'airis». Déjà le mot seul fait naître des doutes : quel rapport
 avec Perun? Perunika est plutôt à rapprocher du mégléno-roumain piruniga
 «pavot» (voir Meyer-Lübke, Roman, etym. Worterbuch ,3, n° 6210). La différence de
 sens n'est pas si grande : l'iris en fleur peut rappeler par sa hauteur et par ses
 fleurs le pavot blanc (Papaver sativus) en fleur. Il reste à l'avenir d'éclairer ces
 termes botaniques , leur localisation , leur signification originale. Je ne puis dire
 que ceci : d'après P. Kozarov ( Bälgarski narodni nazvanija na rastenijafa, dans le
 Sbornik na Bälg . akad., XX , 190b), le nom populaire du Papaver rhoeas est paparonka près de Pazardžik, плплруна dans le village d'Àrbanasi (= les Albanais?) pros de Tärnovo. Viris germanica s'appelle perunika à Dupnica près de Sofia. Ce mot
 a été importé de la Péninsule des Balkans en Slovaquie centrale : en 1 809 ,
 B. Němcová l'emploie souš la forme peruntk (masc.) - Iris germ., voir Spiny
 В: Němcové, VII, Prahá (Borový), 1929, p. 602" - VÁCLAV MACHEK, "ESSAI COMPARATIF SUR LA MYTHOLOGIE SLAVE," in Revue des études slaves (1947) p. 55 (footnote)

"Deminutiv tega slovanskega teonima obstaja v Dragacevu, kjer pod hribom Veles izvira potok Zivica (ob istoimenski vasi). Mosko-zenska opozicija obstaja se v imenih dveh hribov pri vasi Vragocanici (Valjevska Podgorina): Perunovac in Perunika (Loma 1987: 42, 44 in 1998: 50) in morebiti v dvojici Bogise - Perunika/Perunicka glava pri Kursumliji v Bosni (Filipovic 1948: 69)." - ZMAGO ŠMITEK, "O mitološki vsebini toponima »Devin skok«," in Wiener Slavistisches Jahrbuch 48 (2002), p.237.

The next page shows Perunika in a diagram - a triangle with points labelled Perun, Veles, Mokos, and next to Perun: "Perunovac - Perunika. Ilijino brdo - Ziva. Zmajevica - Zivin pogled. Prohn - Mukus. The diagram is proceeded by "Ob tem naj spomnimo na stevilne folklorne homologije med reko/vodo in kaco (t. j. Mokos/Veles), npr. v ruskih ugankah (obe bezita brez nog po vijugasti poti) (Glaser 2001: 109-116). Ce v tako narisano shemo vnesemo nekatere od
 zgoraj omenjenih binarnih opozicij, dobimo naslednjo podobo:" (p. 238)
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Re: Perunika, a fake deity?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2016, 04:28:41 pm »
Quote from: Dusk;198705
I did a quick search through JSTOR (academic database) for this name and came back with two results on "Perunika" in Slavic mythology, one in French and one in Slovenian (I think?). I am posting the relevant text here in case anyone can translate (short excerpts from articles 19-22 pages long each - I believe this constitutes fair use for copyright purposes, and the first is quite old so it might technically be public domain).

 
Running these through Google Translate I come away with the impression that they are all at least making reference to a varietal of iris called "Perunika".
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as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Jenett

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Re: Perunika, a fake deity?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2016, 06:10:18 pm »
Quote from: Dusk;198705
I believe this constitutes fair use for copyright purposes, and the first is quite old so it might technically be public domain).


Just to clarify with my librarian hat on - the usual possible line for copyrighted material to move into the public domain is 1923, but there are tons of exceptions. (1947, the date of the first article, is obviously significantly more recent).

In terms of the search itself: I suspect part of the issue here is a combination of material not available on the open web either because it's not digital in the first place, or because it's in forms that haven't been made searchable.

(OCR for English text is still pretty lousy for searches without editing, and I'm fairly sure I've heard Slavic languages are worse - both accents and variant character forms complicate automated systems a lot, especially when working with older copies, or ink and paper that's blurred over time.)

If I were tackling this as a reference question (not a thing I want to take on in this situation, so this is a 'where I'd start' not a 'here's what I found') I'd consider some or all of the following:

- Writing the author of the site and asking where the info came from.

A polite message saying "I was curious about this, because I haven't seen it before, and the only sources I can find are from your site. Can you tell me more about other places to look?" may or may not get answered (depending on the site owner's availability) but it's surely worth asking if there's a unique source and one's curious.

- Exploring the variant names given.

I'm so not a specialist at all in the field, but I know a lot of the Slavic name variants are very much a matter of custom and not always logical if you're coming from outside the language or culture. It's possible that a thorough search on the variant names in all likely spellings might turn something else up. (I'd also look at variations in transliteration that might be possible, and do cross searches for things like "Perun wife" and so on.)

(Also, this is a thing where the Cold War and Iron Curtain did a lot to complicate research in this kind of topic / materials were destroyed / etc. I've had a number of conversations with a friend who's Latvian, about how some material has been commonly passed down in families, but basically doesn't show up in written places, and certainly not ones that would appear on the open web. Plus the 'hasn't been translated' issues.)  

- If you're really stuck and have tried other routes, this is a kind of topic where I would consider a brief, polite, limited inquiry to a reference librarian in an appropriate field (Slavic Studies, for example) at a university about what sources might be worth consulting. Timing this properly helps: avoiding about the first three or four weeks of a semester and the last four to six weeks means they may have more time for a question from a member of the public.

In the US, public universities often see this as part of their mission, since they're funded by taxes. At least one university in Australia welcomes members of the public in the library and has a Slavic collection and degree programs. Because helping random members of the public is not the librarian's primary duty, keep expectations reasonable, and do as much other research in advance as you can so you can ask precise questions and focus on finding more resources you can pursue on your own.

Alternately, local public libraries also often have a method for forwarding questions from the local level to specialists if they can't answer the question. In the US, this is often a state-wide library service. In Australia, it looks like the National Library of Australia will do limited research (up to an hour of a librarian's time) for a question.) Again, you want to do as much on your own first so you can ask the best questions possible, and make the most of the time and skill on offer.
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Eevee

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Re: Perunika, a fake deity?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2016, 04:47:25 am »
Aww shux. Thanks guys!

Quote from: Jenett;198713
If I were tackling this as a reference question (not a thing I want to take on in this situation, so this is a 'where I'd start' not a 'here's what I found') I'd consider some or all of the following:

I've done most of those things apart from getting in contact with libraries and the author of the article. The same question on the Slavorum forum also got some replies, claiming that website is full of bullshit. I might still contact the author and see if she can give me some kind of references.
 
Quote
Also, this is a thing where the Cold War and Iron Curtain did a lot to complicate research in this kind of topic / materials were destroyed / etc. I've had a number of conversations with a friend who's Latvian, about how some material has been commonly passed down in families, but basically doesn't show up in written places, and certainly not ones that would appear on the open web. Plus the 'hasn't been translated' issues

Ugh. Tell me about it. It's sad that people as old as their 60's were never thought about their pagan roots at school. Both my parents were really surprised when I told them "Parom" is the main God of the Slavs - they were always told that he was a demon - and used sayings like "Do Paroma" (directly translates to: "into Parom" - used in the same context as we use "oh my god") without even knowing who or what they're talking about.
I dont understand Russian patriotism, if they got rid of material that would've enhanced their identity and the identities of surrounding countries.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2016, 04:49:20 am by Eevee »
Naboo: This is black magic. This is hardcore. Don\'t mess with the occult.
Vince Noir: I thought it was good for you.
Naboo: What?
Vince Noir: Well, you know, good for your digestive system.
Naboo: That\'s Yakult!

savveir

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Re: Perunika, a fake deity?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2016, 04:55:09 am »
Quote from: Eevee;198692

Does anyone have any credible sources to prove this?
I understand Perunika is Croatian for the Iris flower - how is it relevant to Perun?

I'm starting to find Slavic mythology is a real pain in the butt to research online...  
Here is the website mentioned: http://www.leluya.org/mythology/Perunika.php

 
Some quick digging through my resources and I've found mention of Perperuna, a
Russia "Virgin goddess who invokes rain. Perperuna
is identified as a feminine personification of
the great god Perun." (Encyclopaedia of Russian and Slavic Myth and Legend)

I'll try to dig up some info around the iris flower as I think I've read something about it in relation to Perun before.
"I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it."
-Lewis Carroll

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