The Alatyr in Russian legends and folklore is a sacred stone, the "father to all stones", the navel of the earth, containing sacred letters and endowed with healing properties. Although the name Alatyr appears only in East Slavic sources, the awareness of the existence of such a stone exists in various parts of the Slavdom. It is often mentioned in stories, referring to love spells, as "a mighty force that has no end."
In the Dove Book, the Alatyr is associated with an altar located in the "navel of the world", in the middle of the ill World Ocean ru Мировой океан (мифология), on the Buyan island. On it stands the World tree. The stone is endowed with healing and magical properties. Spiritual verses describe how "from under the white-alatyr-stone" flows a miraculous source that gives the whole world "food and healing." The Alatyr is guarded by the wise snake Garafena and the bird Gagana.
The stone is usually called Alatyr (Алатырь), Alabor (lang-ruала́бор), Alabyr (lang-ruала́бы́рь) or Latyr (lang ла́тырь) and sometimes white stone or blue stone. Alatyr has an uncertain etymology. The word has been attributed to an altar,Brockhaus and Efron|1907—1909|p=31}} the city of Alatyr, . According to Oleg Trubachyov, the word alatyr is of Proto Slavic origin and is related to the Russian word for amber: янтарь yantar'
According to Roman Jakobson in a review of Max Vasmer Etymological Dictionary of the Russian Language
The most precious and miraculous stone (stone for all stones) of Russian folklore, "alatyr" or "latir" is undoubtedly an Alternation alternative to the word "latygor" (from Latygora} and means stone, or amber, in Latvian.
In Russian folklore it is a sacred stone, the “father to all stones” the navel of the earth, containing sacred letters and endowed with healing properties. Although the name Alatyr appears only in East Slavic sources, the awareness of the existence of such a stone exists in various parts of the Slavdom. It is often mentioned in stories, referring to love spells, as "a mighty force that has no end.
In Polish folk Polish culture and Polish language the stone is located on the borderline of the worlds, beyond the places of human residence. On the stone, things are happening related to change or the state of waiting for it. It symbolizes the center of the world and the transition from one world to another, it is related to the dead and evil spirits. In folklore this stone is named white stone, cerulean stone, grey stone, golden stone, sea stone, heavenly/paradisiac stone, and less often black stone. White stone together with water and a tree is in a sacred place. It is connected with fertility (a girl is waiting on a stone for a boy or waiting with him, waiting for her state to change, lovers are parting, etc.), death (Jesus dies on the stone) and lies somewhere far away (behind the city, behind the village, in paradise). The golden stone occurs mainly in wedding and love songs, less often others and usually occurs with a lily (wedding flower). God's feet are stones on which Jesus,Mary, Mother of God or the saints left their footprints, handprints or traces of objects (e.g. Mary tripped and left a mark on the stone; St. Adalbert taught on the stone and left a trace of footprints). These stones are directly called altars, sacrifices are made on them, are built into churches or church altars; they are considered sacred and have healing powers. In Polish folklore there is also the devil's stone and as such it does not appear in cultures other than Slavic. This stone lies abroad in distant lands, but instead of prosperity brings misfortune. The folklore does not speak about the origin of the stone but about the fact that it was brought by the devil to demolish a church, castle or other building.
In popular culture
- The Legend of the Young Boyar :wikisource:ru:Дюк Степанович (Во той ли во Индии во богатой...)|Duke Stepanovich (In that rich India ...) (Duke Stepanovich)
An eagle is sitting on a stone, Whether on a stone on a plate
- Poem by Konstantin Balmont|K. D. Balmont, :wikisource:ru:Камень-Алатырь (Бальмонт)|Alatyr Stone (1906)
- Short story by Yevgeny Zamyatin, Alatyr (1914)
- Shedden-Ralston|first=William Ralston|title=The Songs of the Russian People: As Illustrative of Slavonic Mythology and Russian Social Life|publisher=Ellis & Green|year=1872|edition=2|pages=|author-link=William Ralston Shedden-Ralston}}
- Bartmiński, Jerzy (1996). Słownik stereotypów i symboli ludowych. Kosmos. 1, Niebo, światła niebieskie, ogień, kamienie [Dictionary of stereotypes and folk symbols. Cosmos. 1, Heaven, heavenly lights, fire, stones] (in polski). 1. Lublin: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej. ISBN 83-227-0901-3.
- Grushko E.A.; Medvedev Yu.M. (2008). Русские легенды и предания [Russian legends and traditions]. pp. 7–208. ISBN 978-5-699-06209-6.
- Petrukhin Vladimir |url=https://openlibrary.org/books/OL586238M/Slavi%CD%A1a%EF%B8%A1nskai%CD%A1a%EF%B8%A1_mifologii%CD%A1a%EF%B8%A1 |title=Алатырь |work=Slavi͡a︡nskai͡a︡ mifologii͡a︡ |publisher=Ėllis Lak |year=1995 |isbn=5-7195-0057-X |location=Moscow |pages=31–416 |trans-title=Alatyr |ol=586238M |ref=Petrukhin |author-link=Vladimir Petrukhin}}
- Alatyr // Etymological Dictionary of the Russian Language = Russisches etymologisches Wörterbuch: in 4 volumes
- Alatyr (in Russian mythology) // Small encyclopedic dictionary of Brockhaus and Efron
- Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language
- Meletinsky 1990, p. 33. harv error: no target: CITEREFMeletinsky1990 (help)
- "Veselovsky" (in русский). pravenc.ru. Retrieved 2020-03-20.
- Nadezhdin, Nikolai. О русских народных мифах и сагах в применении их к географии и особенно этнографии русской [About Russian folk myths and sagas as applied to geography and especially Russian ethnography]. 8. p. 35.
- Korinfsky, Apollon. Народная Русь (Коринфский)/Сине море (in русский).
- Bartmiński 1996, p. 349.
- Bartmiński 1996, p. 381-384.
- Bartmiński 1996, p. 384-386.
- Bartmiński 1996, p. 390-394.
- Bartmiński 1996, p. 386-390.
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