Perun is the Slavic god of thunder and the sky. He is one of the most powerful Slavic gods and member of Slavic trinity (Triglav) together with Svarog and Svetovid. He was worshipped by the Russians until their Christianization in 988 by St. Vladimir I, Grand Prince of Kiev. Idols of Perun depicted him as a large man with a silver head and golden mustaches.
Perun also represents the punisher of evil in general and uses lightnings in the process of punishing. In many written documents from the early Middle Ages and even in peace contracts can be seen that the Slavs swore to obey Perun himself and he was supposed to punish and curse any man who would break the contract.
Perun was typically represented as carrying a battle-axe, and a bow, from which he loosed arrows of thunder and lightning. Sacrifices of cockerels and goats were often made to him; bulls and bears were offered up during major rituals.
He was often symbolised by an eagle sitting on the top of the tallest branch of the tree, from which he kept watch over the entire world. The oak tree was considered sacred to Perun. When they did not have temples, the Slavs prayed to Perun in groves, at sacrificial altars, and under oak trees.
Perun was most often mentioned and frequently satanised in the Christian notes from the early middle ages. The Church satanised Perun, probably because of his strong cult and strong influence on people’s lives. After the arrival of Christianity, the role of Perun was taken over by St. Elijah. Perun, as well as the stories about him remained in the folk tradition, but some of them took the form of St Elijah stories, and the others had to change the name of the main character.
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