Lada (goddess)
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Lada, ''Lyada'', ''Alado''
pl, Łada
russian: Лада and Lado
russian: Ладо are alleged Slavic deities. Lada was first mentioned around 1405-1412 in the sermons of Lucas of Wielki Koźmin, which warned against worshipping Lada and other gods during spring ceremonies and folk performances. They owe their popularity to Długosz, who in one of his sources recognized Lada as a goddess and in another as a god of war, the Polish equivalent of the Roman god Mars (mythology), Mars, to Aleksandr Faminstyn (composer), Aleksandr Faminstyn, who recognized the word ''Lada'' in Russian songs as the goddess of marriage, and to scholar Boris Rybakov, who insisted on recognizing her historicity. However, the vast majority of religious scholars and Slavic studies, Slavists reject the historicity of these deities, believing that they owe their divine status to a misunderstanding of the song refrains by medieval scribes. By some scholars of Baltic mythology, Lada was also worshipped by the Balts, but this view is also considered controversial. Planetoid (2832) Lada was named after her.


Sources


Polish

The first source mentioning the theonym ''Lada'' is the ''Gniezno Sermons'', which were written by Lucas of Wielki Koźmin around 1405-1412, without giving any description: Similar cautions, also without any description, are also found in: ''Statua provincialia breviter'' (1420-1422), ''Sermones per circulum anni Cunradi'' (1423), ''Postilla Husitae anonymi'', and in Gloss (annotation), glosses of ''Life of Adalbert of Prague''. The Theonym, theonyms contained in the ''Gniezno Sermons'' were also repeated by Jan Długosz, who made an ''Interpretatio Romana, interpretatio romana'' and compared Lada to the Roman war god Mars (mythology), Mars: After Długosz the information about Lada was repeated by Maciej Miechowita, Marcin Kromer, Alexander Guagnini, Maciej Stryjkowski, Marcin Bielski, Marcin and Joachim Bielski, and the priest Jakub Wujek. Maciej Miechowita, who copied information from Długosz, did not agree with him, however, on the function of Lada and ''corrected'' Długosz' information, comparing her to the Greek Leda (mythology), Leda and recognising her as the mother of Lel and Polel: Outside the ''Annals'', in ''Insignia seu clenodia Regis et Regni Poloniae'', Długosz also mentions the female deity Lada, worshipped in the village of Łada, Lublin Voivodeship, Łada near the river Łada (river), Łada, from which the Łada coat of arms, Łada family took its name: "Łada took its name from the name of a Polish goddess who was worshipped in Mazovia in the town and village of Łada". She is also mentioned in the : "there was a church of three idols, which were called Lada, Boda, Leli, to which the ordinary people went on the first of May to make prayers to them and to offer them.".


East Slavic

God Lado appears twice in Eastern sources. The first is the ''Gustynskaya Chronicle'', written in Church Slavonic from the 17th century, with an uncertain exact date of composition and an uncertain author. This source recognizes Lado as the god of marriage and joy, and compares him to the Greek god Dionysus, Bacchus-Dionysus: Similar informations are found in the ''Kievan Synopsis'' of 1674 by Innocent (Giesel), Innocent Gizel, which mentions Lado as a deity of happynest, to whom offerings were made during wedding preparations. Leli and Poleli, and their mother, were also supposed to be worshipped by singing "lado, lado, lado".


Historicity


Sources

The only "independent" source mentioning the deity of Lada/Lado are the ''Gniezno Sermons'', and other sources are dependent on them. The theonyms contained therein were then used and popularized by Jan Długosz in his ''Annals'', where he did ''Interpretatio Romana, interpretatio romana'' and compared Lada to the Roman god of war Mars (mythology), Mars. Długosz's description was then copied by subsequent Polish authors, such as Maciej Miechowita. Długosz and Miechowita together became sources for Marcin Kromer. Długosz, Miechowita and Kromer together became sources for Maciej Stryjkowski, Marcin Bielski, Marcin and Joachim Bielski. Alexander Guagnini took his information from Stryjkowski and was even accused of plagiarism by him. He differs, however, as to the function of the gods. The information contained in was copied from Maciej Miechowita. Additionally, there is no information about such a cult on Łysa Góra in other sources and it is contradicted by archaeology. East Slavic sources cannot be considered independent sources either. Although the ''Gustynskaya Chronicle'' contains original content, it is also a compilation of various earlier East Slavic as well as Polish sources. The fragment of ''Chronicle'' mentioning the god Lado copies information from Kromer, Marcin Bielski, and Guagnini. The same problem applies to the ''Kievan Synopsis, Synopsis'', which copied information from Kromer and Stryjkowski, as well as from the ''Chronicle''.


Genesis

Originally, the authenticity of the deity/deities was not denied and they appeared in the Slavic Romantics. Their authenticity was also assumed by early 18th and 19th century authors, such as Mikhail Ivanovich Popov, Mikhail Popov, Mikhail Chulkov and Andrey Kaisarov, who assumed the authenticity of the ''Synopsis''. The value of the ''Chronicle'' was also recognized by the Russian musicologist and composer Aleksandr Faminstyn (composer), Aleksandr Faminstyn in his work ''Bozhestva drevnikh slavyan'' (1884). According to him, in the 17th century, in Croatia, a song to the "holy god Lado" sung by girls dancing around a bonfire was recorded: Additionally, he analyzed songs from all over the Slavdom, the existence of which was to prove the existence of the goddess Lada, wife of Lado. He believed that the theonyms should be translated as "consent", and connected them with the Roman goddess of concord and harmony Concordia (mythology), Concordia, whose name also translates as "consent", and further with the goddess Bona Dea. However, starting in the 19th century, critical voices began to appear in the scientific community about the authenticity of the deities. One of the first and most influential was ethnographer and linguist Alexander Potebnja. After analyzing the source material, mainly song fragments, he came to the conclusion that ''lada'' appears in spring, summer and wedding songs, and that there are no grounds to consider this word as a remnant of the old goddess. This position was later upheld by linguists Gregor Krek, Gregor Kreka and Aleksander Brückner, as well as Max Vasmer and Oleg Trubachyov. Contemporary scholars overwhelmingly reject the authenticity of the deities Lada and Lado, believing, as in the case of Jesza, that the word ''lada'', incomprehensible to the scribe, found in folk songs, was mistakenly considered a theonym, and then its attributes were added. This view is shared by scholars who consider at least part of Długosz's mythological account to be valuable, such as Aleksander Gieysztor, Andrzej Szyjewski, or Vyacheslav Ivanov (philologist), Vyacheslav Ivanov and Vladimir Toporov. The last influential scholar to insist on recognizing the historicity of Lada was Boris Rybakov. In his work, ''Yazychestvo drevnikh slavyan'' (1981), he hypothesized an Indo-European origin for the goddess Lada and compared her to the Greek Leda (mythology), Leda and Demeter. In addition, he considered another alleged goddess, Lelya (mythology), Lelya, to be her daughter, and considered them both to be identical with the Deities and fairies of fate in Slavic mythology, Rozhanitse, and to be important deities in the Slavic pantheon before the rise of the "Vladimir the Great, Vladimir's pantheon". According to him, Lada and Lelya ruled over spring nature and agricultural work, fertility, love and marriage. However, he negatively referred to the male god Lado claiming that ''lado'' is a vocative case from ''lada''. The word ''lada'' means "wife, female lover, consort", and "husband, male lover, consort" – it is a Grammatical gender, two-gender noun and was used for women as well as men; in this respect Brückner compares it to the Polish word wiktionary:Reconstruction:Proto-Slavic/sluga, ''sługa''. The word occurs, for example, in Old East Slavic as лада, ''lada'' "husband" (e.g. in ''The Tale of Igor's Campaign'', the longing wife calls out: "bring my ''husband'' (''lada'') to me"), Czech language, Czech ''lada'' "beloved" or "maiden, girl" (e.g. in : "Oh, what a wonder has happened, Jesus Christ, over your ''beloved'' (''lada'')"), Ukrainian language, Ukrainian ла́до, ''lado'' "husband", ла́да, ''lada'' "wife", Serbo-Croatian ла̏да ''lada'' "wife", or Bulgarian language, Bulgarian ла́да, ''lada'' "the second daughter in the family who goes for water during the ''laduvane'' (ладу́ване – wedding tradition)". knows the Polish word ''łada'' only from sermons speaking about deity, so probably the word was no longer functioning in living language in the 15th century. The form ''Alado'' appearing in ''Postilla Husitae anonymi'' is probably the result of an attempt to adapt the word to Italian phonology. The form ''lado'' is not a separate word, but a vocative case from the word ''lada''. From Slavic languages the word was borrowed into Baltic languages e.g. as ''lado'', ''laduto'' etc. Krzysztof Tomasz Witczak tried to read the Długosz's theonym ''Lyada'' differently from other researchers. According to him, the Latin ''Lyada'' corresponds to the Old Polish form ''*Lęda'' because the consonant ⟨l⟩ in medieval Latin in Poland was written as ''ly'' or ''li'', and he considers that the reading ''*Łada'' is unjustified and represents a folk etymology. He believed that ''*Lęda'' was supposed to be a pagan theonym that had been demonized, and he refers here to the Russian dialectical words ляд, ''lyad'', and ляда, ''lyada'' meaning "unclean spirit, devil". However, as Michał Łuczyński notes, the assumption that the ''ly'' notation corresponds to the vowel ⟨l⟩ justifies the reading of the Latin name as ''*Lada'' rather than ''*Lęda''. In addition, an analysis of Długosz's personal spelling features shows that the ''ly'' notation also served him for the consonant ⟨ł⟩, e.g: ''Lyassza Gora'' "Łysa Góra", or ''Lyeba'' "Łeba (river), Łeba". Therefore, it should be assumed that Długosz's ''Lyada'' corresponds to the old Polish form ''*Łada'', as it is interpreted traditionally.


Further etymology

The Proto-Slavic language, Proto-Slavic form of ''lada'' is reconstructed as wiktionary:Reconstruction:Proto-Slavic/lada, ''*lada''. Further etymology is unclear; it is generally believed that ''*lada'' is etymologically related to the Proto-Slavic noun and root wiktionary:Reconstruction:Proto-Slavic/ladъ, ''*ladъ'' (, ) meaning "harmony, order". According to Brückner, the word derives from the verb ''ładzić'' "to concur, agree" (Proto-Slavic ''*laditi'') → "concurring, agreeing couple" → "husband, wife" or "lovers". The etymology of the word ''*ladъ'' is also unclear, and an kinship with Gothic language, Gothic 𐌻𐌴𐍄𐌰𐌽 (''letan'' "to let") has been suggested, or some relation to the word ''*lagoda'' "gentleness" – according to Brückner and Nikolay Shanskiy ''lad'' contains the decayed root ''la-'' "over" found in ''lagoda'' expanded with the suffix ''-d'' (cf. зад ''zad'', под ''pod''). According to Shanskiy ''lad'' originally meant "top, peak", as opposed to ''pod'' "bottom, pit". He also points to the word сладить, ''sladit "to win (over) someone" and suggests the following shift in meaning: "to win" → "to bring order" → ''*laditi'' "to live in harmony" → ''*ladъ'' "harmony, order".


Dida

Based on the Did-Lada refrain, uncritical and romantic old researchers, in addition to inventing Lada, also invented the goddess Dida. Faminstyn considered these words as borrowed from the Baltic languages and pointed to the Lithuanian language, Lithuanian ''didis'' "big, great". However, the attested fragment from the Slovak language, Slovak songs ''Didi-Jane, Didi-Jene'' "o St. John" sung on John the Apostle, Saint John day may indicate to the native origins of these words (Proto-Slavic ''*did-'' "big, great"). The Proto-Slavic form may be continued by the Polish ''*dzidzi'', which is most likely found in another theonym mentioned by Długosz: Dzidzilela.


Lada as Baltic goddess

There is also a view among Baltic Romantics and some scholars that Lada was also worshipped by the Balts. The word ''lada'', and its various derivatives, appear in the refrains of sutartinės, Lithuanian polyphony songs, in various combinations, such as ''Lado tatato'' / ''Laduto, laduto'' / ''Loduta, loduta'' / ''Liadeli, liadeli'' / ''Ladutela, laduta'', and others. Zenonas Slaviūnas grouped these songs as follows: workers' songs, wedding songs, military songs, family songs, dance songs, and songs about nature. Similarly, but more precisely, Vanda Misevičienė classified them, moving the songs about Crane (bird), crane to the groups of rye-gathering songs and the songs about fir tree to the groups of family songs. According to Norbertas Vėlius, although the songs belong to different groups, they all have much in common. For example, in the sutartinės about the conifer, the image about the maturation of young people is poetically represented by a conifer tree that outgrows all the trees in the forest. In another song, a crane is called upon to fly into the garden, pick flowers and make a Wreath (attire), wreath – this motif evokes the idea that a bride-to-be should start making a wreath to join the ranks of adults. In another sutartinės the shooter kills a crane, which is supposed to mean a girl taken by a boy, and in yet another song the crane is asked to feed "his children". The songs ''Kad mes buvom'' and ''Selagij viteli rikavo'' are openly wedding songs and tell of courtship. Also, the song ''Išjos brolis'', which has a military character, is sung on behalf of a sister who talks about her feelings. Finally, the song ''Laduto, laduto'' tells about the bad relationship between daughter-in-law and father-in-law. According to Vėlius, all songs with these refrains refer to young people, especially girls who have reached adulthood. Thus, it should be considered that if the word ''Lado'' occurring in these refrains had any meaning, it should be associated primarily with young people. In his search for the origin of these words, Vėlius points to Stryjowski's ''Chronicle'', where he describes the custom of dancing and singing ''Lado, lado ir mano lado'' in honor of "Liada or Ladona – the mother of Castor and Pollux". In another place of his ''Chronicle'' dedicated to Lithuania and Samogitia, he writes that Lithuanians worshipped the god ''Dzidzis Lado'', in whose honor they sang ''Lado, lado, lado didis mūsų dieve''. He also mentions Kromer's ''Chronicle'' and the ''Kievan Synopsis''. He notes, however, that the reliability of these sources is low and cites the opinions of Lithuanian researchers, such as Simonas Stanevičius, who believed that the god Lado was invented by Stryjkowski on the basis of a folk songs, Simonas Daukantas, who regarded the god ''Dzidzis Lado'' as a distorted form of ''Titis leido'' referring to Perkūnas, Mikalojus Akelaitis, according to whom Lado is a distorted form from ''laide'' or ''leide'', and Brückner, according to whom Lado was borrowed into Lithuanian songs along with the Kupala Night, Kupala night, and several other Lithuanian scholars who rejected the deity's authenticity. He also recalls that the Slavic deity Lada/Lado is regarded with distrust by Slavic scholars. He also mentions several Lithuanian and Slavic researchers who accepted the deity's authenticity, but notes that many of them were not mythologists but ethnographers who did not study the deity's authenticity. However, according to him, an argument for the existence of the goddess could be the Bulgarian custom of ''laduvane'', during which the second girl in the family who goes to fetch water is called "lada". The Greek dragon Ladon (mythology), Ladon may also be an argument, assuming that the coincidence of the similarity of words is not accidental, and the Lithuanian words ''ladėti'', ''laduti'' meaning "to reprimand, abuse", "to curse, damn", as well as the Latvian ''lādēt'', and words from the semantic field "to curse", also often have a mythological meaning. Bronislava Kerbelytė argues against the existence of the goddess Lada among the Balts. She states that the Slavic chant ''lada'' generally appears in wedding songs, and she reads the word ''did'' as "''Dziady, dziad'', grandfather", which sometimes appears in the names of Slavic ritual objects around the winter solstice, such as ''dednik'' (or ''Badnjak (Serbian), badnjak'') or ''didukh'', which are associated with the cult of fertility. In Russian language, Russian, the wedding is sometimes called ''rukobitije'' ("crossing of arms"), from which the clapping while singing the refrains of the ''lada'' during children's songs may derive. She further points out the analogy between East Slavic songs with the refrain ''lada'' and songs during Līgo noted by Eduards Volters. In Lithuanian language, Lithuanian, ''līgt'' means "to employ," "to make peace," ''līgums'' "to agree," ''lygti'', ''sulygti'' "to consult, negotiate, agree," which corresponds to the Slavic word ''lad'', and gives the example of a story about a Gypsy who forced a peasant to exchange horses by jokingly suggesting to the villager that they should go to an inn, shake hands, and shout ''liko''. When they did so, the gypsy took the peasant's horse, taking advantage of the fact that the peasant had forgotten the meaning of shaking hands and the shouting. The symbol of crossed hands was also used during Saint Jonas's Festival, Lithuanian summer solstice celebrations, e.g. a couple would jump over the fire holding hands: if they let go while jumping, they would not get married. Jan Łasicki (16-17th century) mentions god Tavalas in one of his works. Scholars have compared this name to a song written by Simonas Daukantas sung by boys dragging a log on Christmas Eve, which was supposed to prove the existence of the god Tabalas: However, an analysis of the song and language shows that ''tabalai'' is derived from the verb ''tabaluoti'' "to dangle". The authenticity of other deities mentioned by Łasicki is also rejected, e.g.: alleged theonym Šluotražis is derived from the word ''šluotražis'' "broom" and was a magical and symbolic (related to healing) ritual object, to which it has already been explained by many scholars. Thus, according to Kerbelytė, there are no grounds to consider Tabalas or Lada as Lithuanian deities – these words were only magic words or objects used in rituals and ceremonies. The ''lado'' refrain is also considered a ritual vocabulary by Lithuanian ethnologist Rimantas Balsys, who blames the misunderstanding in the Baltic context on the uncritical use of 16th century sources and the activity of the Romantics, who considered the ritual ''ledų dienos'' ("day of ice") as proof of the existence of the winter goddess Lada. In the case of the historicity of the Slavic deity, he takes a neutral position.


References

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Bibliography

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