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The Legend of St. George

19 Aug

The Christian legend of St. George has many variants, differing greatly among themselves. In one of the options received literary treatment in the Greek East (historians consider him the most early and authentic), the Roman emperor Diocletian (in 303 year) starts on the persecution of Christians. Soon it was a young military tribunes George is originally from Cappadocia (region of Asia Minor, then a part of the Roman Empire, now Turkey) in the assembly of the higher ranks of the empire in the city Nikomedii, he declared himself a Christian. The Emperor was trying to persuade him to renounce his faith, but without success. Then George put in prison, and subjected to many severe torture – thrown into the ditch with quicklime, bichuyut neat veins, put hot, stick spiked iron boots grass poison, wheels, etc., but it is still alive. In between torture George performs miracles (healing the sick, raises the dead, etc.) influenced by the Empress, some of the approached the emperor, and even one of his torturers believe in Christ. On the eighth day of torture George agrees to sacrifice to pagan gods, but when he solemnly leads to the temple, “he word of God precipitate them in the dust, then by order of the Emperor he cuts off his head.” George on the day of execution was about 30 years. In this zhitii, as in all other earlier versions, there is no “miracle of the Dragon”, as initially there were two separate legends – his “Life” and “St. George and the Dragon.” They were united only in the latest retelling. Legend of “St. George and the Dragon” has many options. Here is one of them. Near the city Lasii in Palestine in the lake dwelt a dragon, which devastated the neighborhood, and devoured the city’s residents. To avoid death, they were forced to bring him into victims of their children. When the turn came to the tsar’s daughter was a beautiful young man on a white horse – George. Having learned from the Princess that she is Christian, George svlovom God made the snake to fall to his feet. Princess tied to its neck dragon belt and brought him to town. Residents of the city affected by a miracle, faith in Christ and were baptized, and George went on. Attempts to find a specific historical person who could be the prototype of St. George, have not been successful, but it made some interesting hypotheses about the relationship of these legends of pre-Christian mythology Sun. Throughout the centuries in religions and mythology of European and Middle Eastern civilizations dragon and snake were the embodiment of darkness and evil, and fighting with the gods, heroes and saints represented a bright start, good. In ancient Greek myths of Zeus wins stoglavoe ognedyschaschee monster Tifona. Sun God Apollo struggling with monstrous serpent Pithon, as the legendary Hercules kills Lerneyskuyu water. Particularly noticeable similarity between the Christian myth of the “Miracle of the Dragon” with the ancient myth of Perseus and Andrmede, in which Perseus kills the sea monster and remove the king’s daughter, Andromeda, which was given to fuel the monster to save the kingdom from destruction. There are still many legends of this type, for example, the myth of Bellerofonte at Pegasus winged horse, which came into battle with the creatures Tifona – chimera. There are many beautiful images on ancient Greek vases, gemma, coins, illustrating these myths. With the advent of Christianity a snake-dragon is firmly associated with Paganism and devil. Known episode sin when the devil took the type of snake-tempter. Roman writer and historian (260-339 gg.), The author of “Life of Constantine” Евсевий reports that the Emperor Costantino Great, done, that Christianity became the state religion, brought to portray himself in the painting, adorned the imperial palace, as the winner of the dragon. Dragon and here symbolized paganism. The cult of St. George, originating perhaps as a place in the territory of Cappadocia in the V-VI centuries, to the IX-XI century was the spread in almost all countries of Europe and the Middle East. Especially, he worshiped in England, where King Richard the Lion-Heart, made it to their patron, and Edward III establishes, under the patronage of St. George’s Order of the Garter, which is depicted as a holy zmeebortsa. British battle-cry, similar to our “cheers”, it becomes the name of the saint. In Russia, as already mentioned, the cult of St. George became distributed immediately after the adoption of Christianity, and not through western Europe, but directly from Byzantium. His image in the form of a rider-zmeebortsa occur early in the XII century. Interestingly his room at the coil, the amulets, one side of which tangle of snakes, but on the other – George, in the XII century fresco “St. George and the Dragon” in the church of his name in Staraya Ladoga, the icons of XIV-XV centuries Novgorod school. In the upper right hand corner of the icon of God, the Holy Blessing. The cult of St. George in Russia predates Christianity, replacing the worship of pagan Slavs, and the cult of the sun god of fertility Yarilo. This may explain the image of the sun on the shield of St. When Ivan III in 1464 sculptural image of St. George was placed over the main entrance gate tower of the Kremlin – Frolovskiy (later the Savior). This event tells Ermolinskaya Chronicle, compiled by order of the merchant and contractor Basil Ermolina, “predstatelstvom” which was installed this way . It is tempting to take this coat of arms of the sculpture of Moscow, but here are likely, the icon has protective functions, because two years later the same Ermolin set over the gates of the tower inside the image of St Dmitry. We know that after the restructuring of the tower image of St. George was placed in the temple its name, was built near the tower as a temple icons. At the place of George was a Christ Pantocrator, on which the tower got its second name. The plot is “a miracle and the Dragon” as a saint (a warrior or hero-prince), continued to live in folk art for centuries, developing, acquiring new translation. In the ancient Russian bylina XI matches the feat of the century it one of the most important Russian hero Dobrynya Nikitich supply when Prince Vladimir. In the battle with the serpent in the river Gorynycha Puchae Dobrynya relieve the niece of Prince Zapevu Putyatichnu (or his daughter Marfidu). Some researchers conducted a comparison between this episode and activities Bylina historical figure – Dobrynya, Voivod Volodimir Holy (Prince’s mother and brother Malushi), on the spread of Christianity in Russia. In particular, the forced baptism in the river Novgorodians Pochayne (in bylinas – Puchae). There splint illustrating folk tales about Eruslane Lazarević. A summary of the fairy tale pattern: “Eruslan Lazarevich was driving through the roads, and attacked the king Eruslana Zmeinski or sea monster, which devoured the people in the town of Debre … defeated the dragon, and he went in his way.” In the popular epic poems about Khrabrov Georgy Egorov has the characteristics of bylinas heroes. Many authors have attempted to explain the extraordinary popularity of St. George in the nation, and among the princes druzhinnikov transfer characteristics of Russian pagan gods for this holy. On the one hand, the very name of George, meaning “to cultivate the land, making it the patron of agriculture and pastoralism, the successor to Vélez, Semargla, Dazhboga. This was facilitated, and the memory of the holy days. Spring – April 23 – coincided with the beginning of field work, which in Russia have been involved in numerous ancient pagan rituals, and the fall – November 24 – the famous “Yuryev day” when the peasants have the right to move from a feudal-landowner to another. On the other hand, as a warrior and the Victorious, he was a patron of the Prince and his retinue, as George was moved to the cult of Perun – the chief god of the pagan pantheon of Prince Vladimir. Moreover, the image of George in the form of beautiful young men – a soldier, liberator and protector, attracted the sympathy of the people.

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2009 in Dragon

 

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