Volkhvy

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Viktor Vasnetsov. Oleg meets wizard (volkhv).

Volkhvy (Волхвы; singular: Volkhv, Волхв) were heathen priests in pre-Christian Rus’. Volkhvy were believed to possess mystical powers, particularly the ability to predict the future. The first literary reference to a volkhv occurs in the Primary Chronicle under the year 912; there, the priest-soothsayer predicts Prince Oleh's death. With the adoption of Christianity, the pagan priests came under persecution and sometimes tried to channel social discontent against the church.[1]

Volkhvy were targets of the witch-hunts in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.[citation needed]

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