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Martin-Breg Between Paganism and Christianity
; Institut of Archaeology, 10000 Zagreb, Budakova 1d, Croatia
In the region around the town of Dugo Selo another pre-Christian sacred space shaped like a triangle has been discovered: connecting Martin Breg – Veleševec – Trebovec. The similar mythical interpretative landscapes discovered so far have usually contained at least three distinct points. One was linked with the heavenly God Perun, the other with his opponent (Veles) and the third one with a female saint - substitute for Perun’s wife Mokosh. In the newly discovered case, St. Martin has, due to Christianization, taken up Perun’s place, Veleševac fits well the diagram as the place of the worship of Veles, Proto-Slavic god of the underworld and of cattle, grazing the rich underworld pastures, while Trebovec has obviously been the original place of sacrifice to the Mother (namely, *trêba in Proto-Slavic means sacrifice, and hence Trebovec could mean a place of sacrifice). Hence, we might have discovered another Slavic parish structured around the large pagan holy triangle.
Furthermore, there is another interesting relationship between toponyms which has attracted our attention – that between St. Martin and St. Brcko.
It seemed that the choice of St.Brcko as the church saint, was not primarily influenced neither by his life nor his character, observed outside the context of his relationship towards St. Martin. Seemingly, the choice of St. Brcko was an attempt to overcome a relationship which existed between pagan gods, between – as it looked – Perun and his son Yarilo.
The article discusses the possibility that those loci – St. Martin and St. Brcko with traces of churches build in the Romanesque period – together with an assumed position of the castle Božjako on the river of Zelina as the third locus, form yet another, smaller pagan sacred triangle.
It has been noted that all three points of this ‘smaller sacred triangle’ are situated on the Land of St. Martin, which was a preceptorate of the templar knights and after them the followers of St. John. Moreover, they are identical to the locations suggested for the possible ubication of domus (house, preceptorate headquarters) of knights, and archeological excavations have been undertaken on the locus of the church of St. Martin on Martin-Breg, in search of its remains. From this we could conclude that the orders of knights might have participated in the process of spreading Christianity, which definitely lasted over few generations, especially if we take into account the fact that the knights used to repossess the pagan holy loci on purpose.
Some other indications also support the assumption of the existence of the smaller triangle next to Martin-Breg.
Slavs; mythology; Christianization; order of knights
Hrčak ID: 45115
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