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Gregory Glinka

"… from the dale the temple didn't look big; but Rurik was surprised having found that it was enormous. The temple's perimeter was 1460 paces.
Twelve huge jasper pillars of the Corinth order supported the shed of its roof; their tops were made from talmi-gold.
Copper bolts locked three hundred sixty windows and twelve gates. Beside each gate there stood two priests holding horns. On these copper gates the twelve deeds of the famous Kind God were represented:

The 1st gate showed how for the use of naked people he produced a ram who at the same moment rushed to them to offer its fleece.

The 2nd gate showed how, having managed an ungovernable ox and given it to them for service, he invented a plough and all agricultural tools.

The 3rd gate showed how he fought with and defeated Chernobog, who had ravished his children, twins Dazhdebog and Zimtserla.

On the 4th gate the Sea Monster, a child of Chernobog, having transformed into a great crab wants to ravish the sun; but singed by fiery beams falls down and with a powerful bang of his chine splashes the flowing Volkhov like a drop and, having made a hole in the ground, produces the Russian Sea.

On the 5th gate a horrible lion with a copper tail and diamond teeth ravishes cattle from Veles and thrills the god himself; but Svetovid strikes him with a golden sword, takes his tail (that produced wood snakes) and teeth and places them in the sky where to this day we see them and call them the Lion.

On the 6th gate his love with beautiful Triglava is portrayed, as well as the agony of Chernobog, who is in love with her. Svetovid, playing the gusli, sings sentimental verses to her; she is crowning him with a cornflower wreath, while Zimtserla, Lada, Seva and Mertsana are dancing around them. Rosy-cheeked Didilia with her golden hair loose and dressed in light scarlet robes is offering them a diamond bowl with golden divine honey, a drink of gods. Lelya is sitting near the gusli, listening and smiling archly. Dido having soared up into the air is shooting heavy arrows at Chernobog. Belobog floating on the cloud above is ironically smiling at them.

On the 7th gate Perun is holding great scales brought from the sky to settle a cruel conflict between Beolbog with his children and Chernobog with his children, when an awful quarrel that was to destroy the world began, when enraged Niy shook the earth disgorging fire from its depth, the Sea Monster thrilled seashores and Yaga, a daughter of Chernobog, armed with an iron club, was driving in her winged wagon, knocking mountains off their places. But the great Perun wished to reconcile them and sent one of the Lightnings serving to him to heraud his wish. Then the kindred of Belobog sat into one scale, while the kindred of Chernobog - into another one. Perun lifted the scales and the scale with Chernobog enheavened above dark clouds, while the scale with the children of Belobog remained on earth.

The 8th gate shows how Svetovid attacked the great Scorpio after the latter had ravished his daughter Zimtserla bewailed by Dazhdebog. At the sight of him Niy hid away in fear and Svetovid returned the sister and wife to Dazhdebog.

The 9th gate depicts how vicious Niy, taking revenge on Svetovid for this, drew night, severe frosts, snow and snowstorms onto the earth … Having struck all of them with golden arrows Svetovid drove them back to the region of Niy.

On the 10th gate we see that Niy who was burning with anger sent his boggard and killed Svetovid's favourite horses; but Svetovid created a brave silver-horned and silver-waved Capricorn and sent him to exterminate that spirit.

The 11th gate shows the god of light who profusely pours water from the mountains, out of golden water-cups; and this water gives birth to the rivers Volga, Dnieper, Dwin, Don and the famous lake Ilmen.

On the 12th gate he populated the waters with fish, two specimen of each kind. Being envious the Sovereign of the Sea sent a wale to eat them; but Striba struck him with a harpoon invented at that very moment. Then, having drawn the harpoon out, he put it right in the place where the temple of Svetovid is standing; the hill originated from the whale's ashes.

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Saxo Grammatik

"The city of Arkona is situated on the top of a high rock, the Cape of Arkona.

the Cape of Arkona

From the north, east and south it is protected naturally, and from the western side - by a high 50-elbow bank… In the centre of the town there is an open square, amid which rises a wooden temple of finest work, venerated not only for the magnificence of its architecture, but for the grandeur of the God to which an idol was installed.

The outward walls are sparkling with bus-reliefes of various figures of high art work luridly and brutally painted. Only one entrance led to the interior of the temple surrounded by a double ring-fence; the outside fence represented a thick wall with a red roof while the inner fence consisted of 4 columns unconnected by a solid wall that were covered with carpets hanging down to the ground and adjoined the outer fence only in the place of few arches and a roof.

In the temple itself stood a big idol exceeding the human height that had four heads and four necks, two of which overlooked its chest and other two overlooked its spine. One of the two front heads looked to the left, and one of the two rear heads looked to the right. Its beard and hair were short cut; in this respect the painter seems to have considered the Ruyan custom. In the right hand the idol held a horn made from various metals that was filled by a priest with wine to read fortune about fertility of the next year; its left arm akimbo looked like a bow. The outer garments came down to the boots made from various types of wood and so skilfully connected with the knees that one could distinguish joints only upon closer examination. The legs stood on the ground level, with their foundation under the floor. At a small distance one could see a bridle and a saddle together with other belongings of the idol; people were mostly impressed by an enormous sword, the scabbard and head of which were distinguished not only by a nice river-like shape, but by beautiful silver garniture as well…

To keep the idol each inhabitant of the island of both sexes paid a coin. The idol was also given a third part of the produced and stolen goods, because people believed that its protection brought prosperity. Besides it had three hundred horses and the same quantity of horsemen at its disposal, and these horsemen handed all goods obtained by violence or deceit to the high priest… The whole Slavonic land paid a tribute to this idol. Even neighbouring sovereigns sent presents to it with adoration…"

E-mail:sergei@toms-art.ru