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The Hierarchy of Pagan Cult Ministers of the Eastern Slavs in the Early Middle Ages
Abstract.The subject of historical analysis in this article is the topic of the hierarchy of Old Russian ministers of pagan cults, which is a virtually unstudied topic by Russian scholars. Based on archaeological sources, ancient Russian chronicles and texts of Ibn Fadlan, the author sequentially analyzes the features of the hierarchy of pagan cult ministers of small clan temples, hillforts-sanctuaries, and urban sacral centers. The author dedicates particular attention to the question of the place and role of Old Russian princes and close to them representatives of the military elite in the religious life of the ancient Russian state. The study highlights the characteristic features of the pagan cult in ancient Russian cities, in particular, the unique system of priestly hierarchy in which the dominant position was occupied by local prince-rulers and their closest circle of local military elite. Upon writing this article, the author used the historical-comparative, problem-thematic and historical-analytical methods of scientific research. In this study, for the first time in Russian historical science, a comprehensive analysis of the hierarchical system of Eastern Slavic ministers of pagan cults is presented. The conducted historical analysis allowed the author to come to the conclusion that in the pre-Christian era the Eastern Slavic pagan cult ministers had a complex hierarchical system. All the Eastern Slavic sanctuaries from small temples located on the outskirts of rural settlements to large hillforts-sanctuaries were served by hierarchically organized professional priests. The pagan cult ministers were united in priestly clans led by the high priests of the most revered shrines in Ancient Rus.
Keywords: The prince's squad, Princes, Priestly clan, The Priestly Hierarchy, Magi, Cult, Sanctuary, Sacral center, The temple, Sacrifice
Article was received:05-05-2018
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .