Živa (goddess)

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For other uses, see Živa (disambiguation).
Šiwa. Westphalen's book print, 1740.

Živa, also Żiwia, Siva, Sieba or Razivia, was the Slavic goddess of life and fertility. She was worshipped throughout what is now Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Germany (and especially the Elbe (Labe) river valley), before Christianity expanded into the area. Her name means "living, being, existing". Živa is mentioned in the Baptism on the Savica, an epic poem by the Slovene national poet France Prešeren.

Known references[edit]

Gelmold names Ziva (Siwa) the main goddess of the Polabs. Dlugosh, speaking about Polish gods, writes: Zywye - Vita.[citation needed]


In Kronika polska przez Prokosza (which appeared to be a fake), there is such information:

"Divinitad Zywie fanum exstructum erat in monte ab ejusdem nomine Zywiec dicto ubi primis diebus mensis maji innumerus populus pie conveniens precabatur ab ea, quae vitae auctor habebatur, longam et prosperam valetudinem. Praecipue tamen ei litabatur ab is qui primum cantum cuculi audivissent, ominantes superstitiose, tot annos se victuros, quoties vocem repetiisset. Opinabantur enim supremum hunc universi moderayorem transfi gurari in cuculum, ut ipsis annuntiaret vitae tempora: unde crimini ducedator capitalique poena a magistratibus affi ciebatur qui cuculum occidisset".[citation needed]


In the Saxon Chronics by Conrad Boto, a description of Ziva's idol is given:

"Unde de assdodine de heyt de hodde de hende ouer ruggen. In der eynen hant hadde se eynen guelden appel. Unde in der anderivi hant hadde se ein wyn druuelen mil еу?? gronen blade un oere hare hangede oer went in de waden". The picture which follows the description shows the goddess as a beautiful naked woman with a chaplet. She holds an apple in one hand, and a bunch of grapes in the other. Partial translation : "?? In one hand she has an golden apple. In the other hand she had a wine grape. Green leaves in her hair falling ??"[citation needed]

In Mater Verborum, the goddess of fertility is named Siua:

"Ceres, fruges, frumentum, vel dea frumenti: siua". "Dea frumenti, Ceres: Sius".[citation needed]

External links[edit]


Additional Reading[edit]

  • Afanasiev, Alexander. "Slavic poetic views on nature"./"Поэтические воззрения славян на природу". Moscow, 1995.
  • Belaj, Vitomir. 1998. Hod kroz godinu.Mitska pozadina hrvatskih narodnih običaja i vjerovanja. Zagreb: Golden marketing.
  • Kulišić, Špiro. 1979. Stara slovenska religija u svjetlu novijih istraživanja posebno balkanoloških. Sarajevo: Akademija nauka i umjetnosti
  • Bosne i Hercegovine.Marjanić, Suzana. 2003."(Dyadic) goddess and duotheism in Nodilo's The Old Faith of Serbs and Croats". Studia mythologica Slavica 6:183-205.
  • Ivanov V. V., Toporov V. Ziva./В. В. Иванов, В. Н. Топоров - «Жива». Мифы народов мира, т. II. М.:Российская энциклопедия, 1994.
  • Nodilo, Natko. 1981 (1885-1890). Stara vjera Srba i Hrvata (Religija Srbâ i Hrvatâ, na glavnoj osnovi pjesama, priča i govora narodnog). Split: Logos.
  • Ovsec, Damjan J. 1991. Slovanska mitologija in verovanje. Ljubljana: Domus.
  • Słupecki, Leszek Paweł. 1994. Slavonic Pagan Sanctuaries. Warsaw:Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology Polish Academy of Sciences.