Slavonic pagan sanctuaries by Leszek Pawel Slupecki

By Leszek Pawel Slupecki

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Ecln. The town arrangem<:~~t in the earlier Middle Ages. Od lllburi> around the present Vepmble Market. 3 - the market plaoe within the suhutb, 4 - thel'ft'SWII'Ihle loc:atioll of the harbour, S -the outside market, 6 -the fortified aubutb arou11d the present Mariacld Square, 1 - St Peter and Paul's church, 8 - StJames' church, 9 - the German quarter, 10- StJohn's church. Aller W. Hensel, 1987, p. 443. ion, and that he should trust God, whom he serves, and that _the tree should be cut down because it is devoted to demons" (The Life from Priifening, Ill, ll).

No Pnest is, however, mentioned by name. It is not a coincidence that the ~mperor's allies in the war with Bo1eslaus the Brave remained anonymous tn documents. Throughout a century Radogo~ was the most important sanctuary in Polabia. According to Thietmar it "holds primacy" among all other temples. ful) of all tribes between the Oder, Havel and. Elbe. Perhaps it is not only a topographic fact, but also a trace of mythical geography. In mythical thinking, the tribe predestined to domination and cl~se ~lationship with gods should live in the centre of the world (Banaszlnewtcz, 1986a).

Adam of Bremen and Helmold call the 59 stronghold Rethra and the god Redigost. es Augustiani and folk tradition know the form Reda. The etymology of the ftrst name is only apparently obvious. Rad "nice" and gost = "guest" produce the meaning of the place of Radogost, a god that is eager to host nice visitors. ic. Aleksander Bruckner (1985, p. 241) regarded this name as appropriate "rather for an inn than for a deity," but he must have forgotten that religious rituals were accompanied by feasts given by the god to his worshipers, though prepared from their own products.

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