Russian version

Copyright © 1999 by Sergei V. Rjabchikov. All Rights Reserved.


by Sergei V. Rjabchikov

"Magic song of the sun girls" is as follows (Sakharov 1885):

Vo vsem dome - gillo magal - sidela solntseva deva. Ne terem zlatoy - shingafa - iskala deva; ne bogatyr' moguch iz Nougoroda podletal; podletal ognenny zmey. - Lif lif zautsapa kalapuda. - A bronya ne medyana, ne zlata; a shirinki na nem ne zhemchuzhiny, a shlem na nem ne iz krasnogo uklada; a kalena strela ne iz dedovskogo lartsa. - Pitsapo fukadalimo koroitalima kanafo. - Polkan, Polkan! razbey ty ognennogo zmeya; ty soblyudi devich'yu krasu solntsevoy devy - Vihadima gillo mogal diraf. - Iz-za Hvalynskogo morya letel ognenny zmey po sinemu nebu, vo dal'nyuyu derevushku, vo terem k deve. Moguch bogatyr' - Shiyalla shibulda kochilla baraychiho doytsofo kirayha dina. - Vo malinovom sadu kamka volzhskaya, a na kamke deva mertvaya, so zhivoy vodoy, so lyutoy svekrov'yu, so zlym svekrom. Ubit ognenny zmey, rassypany per'ya po Hvalynskomy moryu, po syromu boru Muromskomu, po medyanoy rose, po utrenney zare. - Yaniha shoydega biraha vildo. - A naehal zloy tatarin i uzyal vo polon solntsevu devu, vo zolotuyu ordu, k lyutomy Mamayu, ko nehristu busurmanskomu, ko proklyatomu barhadeyu. - Uahama shirofo.

This song contains several fragments of the initial Sarmatian (Scythian) text with free translation in Russian. I distinguish 8 fragments:

1) gillo magal; 2) shingafa; 3) lif lif zautsapa kalapuda; 4) pitsapo fukadalimo koroitalima kanafo; 5) vihadima gillo mogal diraf; 6) shiyalla shibulda kochilla baraychiho doytsofo kirayha dina; 7) yaniha shoydega biraha vildo; 8) uahama shirofo.

The first and fifth fragments report about the sun girl, gillo magal (mogal). The word gillo 'solar' compares with Greek elios 'the sun'. The term magal 'solar girl' is in my opinion divided into ma 'solar' and gal 'hen', cf. Latin gallina 'hen', gallus 'cock'. This character is connected with the Proto-Slavonic beliefs about the Egg, from which the Universe was once appeared (Belyakova 1995: 157-8). The fifth fragment, vihadima gillo mogal diraf, means 'The sun girl giving presents is appearing'. The form diraf corresponds to the form dirah, taking in consideration the alternation of the sound f in southern Russian dialects and the sound h in the Russian language. Interestingly, the term magal (ma gal) may be read as 'the solar helmet' as well, cf. Old Russian galiya 'helmet'.

The second fragment - the word shingafa 'she searched' - may be compared with Russian iskala, southern Russian shukala 'she searched' (cf. also German suchen 'to search').

The third fragment, lif lif zautsapa kalapuda, informs that the fiery serpent has flown. Taking in consideration the alternation of the sound f in southern Russian dialects and the sound h in the Russian language, I read the word lif as lih, cf. Russian lihoy 'dashing'. The doubling lif-lif (lih-lih) means 'most dashing'. The term zautsapa is split into zau tsapa, cf. Russian zev 'jaws', tsapnut' 'to grab' and Old Indian sarpa 'serpent'. The term kalapuda is split into kala and puda, cf. Old Russian kolo 'the sun', Russian put' 'path; way', Old Indian pathi 'path; road', patati 'to fly; to fall' and pita 'master; husband'.

The fourth fragment, pitsapo fukada limo koroita lima kanafo, may contain the words 'armour', 'helmet', and 'arrow'. Indeed, the term kanafo is comparable with Old Indian kanda 'arrow' and Greek kanahe 'sabre-rattling'. The term koroita is comparable with Old Indian krt 'to cut' and may denote a sword. The term pitsapo is comparable with Greek pistos 'reliable; true'; and the term fukada is comparable with Greek pyknos 'solid; dense' (it is the designation of an armour).

What does the word lima (limo) mean? I suppose that it means 'one', cf. Scythian arima 'one' (The History of Herodotus: Book IV). The latter correlates with Old Church Slavonic ramo 'shoulder; arm', Latin armilla 'wrist' and English arm. I think that the Scythian word arima denoted a measure of the length ('one'), too. In Russian the term pyad' is an ancient measure of the length; cf. also Russian pyat' 'five', here 'the five fingers (hand/arm)'.

I translate the sixth fragment, shiyalla shibulda kochilla baraychiho doytsofo kirayha dina, into Russian as Siyala Sibilla-mat'. Umerla. Vzyal, dal zhivuyu (uskoryayushchuyu) vodu 'The Sibyl-Mother shined. (She) died. (Somebody) took, gave (her) the water of life'. The Sibyls (Sibyllai) are prophetesses, she-soothsayers in the Greek mythology (Botvinnik 1992: 430). So the sun girl Magal may be the Russian pagan goddess Makosh' indeed. Here the Indo-Aryan term da 'mother' (Trubachev 1978: 36-7) is used; the term dina 'water' is the Iranian word. The suffix la denotes the Past Perfect Tense and the suffix ho - the Past Tense.

The word shiya- 'to shine' compares with Russian siyat' 'to shine'; the word koch- 'to die' - with Russian okochurit'sya 'to die', kochenet' 'to stiffen'; the word baraych- 'to take' - with Russian brat' 'to take'; the word doyts- 'to give' - with Russian dat' 'to give', the word kiray- - with Russian skory 'quick'.

The seventh fragment, yaniha shoydega biraha vildo, reads Yaniha sh oydega biraha vil do 'The goddess of the fire together with the sun took the Vila-the mother'. The word yaniha corresponds to the name Ani of the god of the fire, cf. the suffix ha, for example, in Russian kupchiha 'merchant's wife', staruha 'old woman'. The term oydega 'the sun' is comparable with Western Slavonic tag 'the sun', Old Indian dahas 'fire, heat', Gothic dags 'day', German Tag 'day', Circassian tyg''e, dyg''e 'the sun', Old Prussian dagis 'summer' and Lithuanian dagas 'harvest'. The preposition sh is equal to Russian s 'with'. Notice that sometimes the sound sh in Sarmatian corresponds to the sound s in Russian. The word bira- compares with Russian zabirat' 'to take'. The word Vil corresponds to the name Vila, a winged being of the Slavonic mythology (Ivanov and Toporov 1991). The White Vila is a brave horsewoman, a personification of the earth and the wife of the sun; she directs the fortunes (Shepping 1997: 148-50). I believe that it is a hint of women-warriors Amazons connected with the Sarmatians (The History of Herodotus: Book IV). In this fragment the Indo-Aryan (Sindian) term da 'mother' (Trubachev 1978: 36-7) is used again.

The eighth fragment, uahama shirofo (u ahama shirofo), contains the term ahama connected with Sindian *homo and Old Indian homa 'sacrifice (in fire)'. The term shirofo (shiroho) compares with Russian shiroky 'wide'. So the text u ahama shirofo means 'near the great sacrifice in fire'. Perhaps, it is the description of a sacrifice to the Sarmatian (Scythian) god/goddess of the war/fire (The History of Herodotus: Book IV).

It is reasonably safe to suggest that the Sarmatian text discussed above was composed in the Kuban area.


Belyakova, G.S., 1995. Slavyanskaya mifologiya. Moscow: Prosveshchenie.

Botvinnik, M.N., 1991. Sibilly. In: S.A. Tokarev (ed.) Mify narodov mira. Vol. 2. Moscow: Sovetskaya Entsiklopediya, pp. 430-1.

Ivanov, V.V. and V.N. Toporov, 1991. Vily. In: S.A. Tokarev (ed.) Mify narodov mira. Vol. 1. Moscow: Sovetskaya Entsiklopediya, p. 236.

Sakharov, I.P., 1885. Skazaniya russkogo naroda. St. Petersburg.

Shepping, D.O., 1997. Mify slavyanskogo yazychestva. Moscow: TERRA.

Trubachev, O.N., 1978. Nekotorye dannye ob indoariyskom yazykovom substrate Severnogo Kavkaza v antichnoe vremya. Vestnik drevney istorii, No 4: 34-42.

Copyright © 1999 by Sergei V. Rjabchikov. All Rights Reserved.

Published 30 November 1999.

Sergei V. Rjabchikov, Krasnodar, RUSSIA.

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