Radegast, also Radigost, Redigast, Riedegost or Radogost is an old, well-documented, god of Slavic mythology. Since the name can easily be etymologised as meaning something like “Dear guest” or “Gladly guest”, Radegast was proclaimed as the Slavic god of hospitality and as such entered the hypothetical, reconstructed Slavic pantheon of modern days. Even myths concerning him were constructed based on various folk customs of sacred hospitality. Similar customs, however, are known in many Indo-European mythologies without a distinct deity associated explicitly with them. Another possible etymology may be from Slavic “rada” – council, and “gościć”, “hostit”, “goszczący” – to host, Radogost being the name of the council or assembly host, leader, or speaker, and one of the attributes of the god. This view could be supported by the political role Radegast temple played in the life of West Slavic tribes. According to some literary sources he is also the god of war, night, fire and the evening sky. He is completely black, is armed with a spear and helmet, and it pleases him to be invited to banquets.
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