The Book of Veles
The Book of Veles claimed to be a text of ancient Slavic religion and history purportedly written on wooden planks. It contains religious passages and accounts of history interspersed with religious morals. The earliest events in the book could be dated around the 7th century BC and the latest happened in the 9th century AD. The book was allegedly discovered in 1919 and lost in 1941. It is widely held by scholars to be a forgery made in the 1940s–1950s or, which is less likely, in the early 19th century. The main decisive evidence is the language of the text which is a mixture of different modern Slavic languages with erroneous and invented forms and no regular grammar. Moreover, different modern editions of the book have different versions of its text. Regardless, some Slavic Neopagans use it as their sacred text.
This Book of Veles we devote to our Gods who are our sanctuary and strength.
Once there was a man, and they called him the father of Russians. And that man had a wife and two daughters. He had livestock and cattle and many sheep and lived in steppes and he could not find husbands for his daughters anywhere and he prayed to Gods for his blood not to die like that. And Dajbog answered his prayers and gave him what he asked for. So were married those who are among us. And we are obliged to believe because it is clear that God Veles brings children.
In those times there was the father of Slavs Bogumir and he had three daughters and two sons. They took their livestock to steppes and lived in grass as in the times of fathers. And they were obedient to God and clear-minded. And so their mother, who was called Slavuni and cared for them, told Bogumir the seventh day: We have to marry our daughters and see our grandchildren. That she said and Bogumir saddled his horse and went away. And he reached a tree which was in the field and stopped to camp. And he spotted in the evening three men approaching him on their horses and they told him: Hello,what are you looking for? Bogumir confessed his problem to them and they replied that they were on quest to find themselves wives. Back came Bogumir to his steppes and brought three husbands to his daughters. Since then exist three tribes, united and glorious.
From them became Drevljans, Krivics and Poljans because the first Bogumir's daughter was called Dreva, the second one-Skreva, and the third-Poleva. Bogumir's sons were called Seva, and the younger one Rus. From them became Severians and Russians. Three husbands were three harbingers: Morning, Noon and Evening. That people settled seven rivers where they lived behind the sea in green lands and herded its livestock even before coming to Karpatian highlands. That was the time of before Germanarech. In those times was a great battle on the coast of Gothic Sea and there our ancestors...from the white stone where they buried all warriors and chiefs...who had fallen in battle...
We had come from the green land to the Gothic Sea and there we found the Goths who barred our way further. And so we fought for that land and for our lives. At that time, our fathers had already been on the coast and the river Ra. And with great efforts they had been taking their people and livestock across the river continuing towards Don and there they met Goths and to south the Gothic Sea. But Goths were intent on going against us and so we were made to fight for our lives and survival because the Huns were following our fathers and attacked them, killed the people, and their livestock they were stealing. And so the glorious people moved to the land where the sun sleeps at night and where there is a lot of grass and fertile field and rivers full of wish and where no one dies. The Goths were still in the green lands and arrived barely before our fathers who started from the great river Ra which separates us from the others and runs into the sea of Fasist.
There a man of Belojaran tribe crosses the river there and gets ahead of Sinian traders who headed for Frazhec because Jegunes on their island waited for traders and robbed them. It was half a century before Aldorech and even before that the tribe of Belojarans was.
Powerful. Hunese traders started following Belojaran man telling him that they will give him silver...for that...and two horses of gold. He went away and evaded the treachery of Huns, then went around the Goths who were so cruel and reached Nepra. And their Prince is without honor and taxes them twice. So the traders came to us, went back to Sinia and never ever returned.
Gods gave to Bogumir all mundane treasures...it was like this among us...and from the elders we chose Prince, whom we since the days of old called our leader...they were Princes for a long time and Greeks won't change them. They will be til the end as it is honorable for a husband of that tribe to give offsprings who rule us. After Bogumir, there was Or with his sons. And when Huns started a great battle for fortifying their great land, we left it towards the Russians. Now another time has come, we are obliged to gather and go forward, so that others wouldn't say that we left our land and conquered the other's, but to have them say that we fight for ourselves. Because of that, Russians, don't leave Greeks on your land, but fight for it...In that time river Ra was a border with other lands, and today our enemies fall on us. We are obliged to fight for our grandsons, to keep our steppes and not to give our land to anyone...so we are obliged to do different. We will not burn on our fields, neither sow on them nor harvest the ashes, because we have the grassy steppes, we will herd the livestock, guarding it from the enemies.
We owe to our Gods and therefore we praise them: May our vozhd be blessed now and forever.
Sorcerers said that and left. Conscience commands us not to hide the words and tell only truth about our people. Let's say the truth about them, about our first Ban and Princes that we were choosing and dethroned. Kisek lead his people and livestock to the steppes to south and there they lived where the sun shines. And to him came father Or and said: We both have children, men, women and elders to defend from the enemy. And so they did and became one tribe. They united livestock so they were worth their Gods now and forever. When they started discussing, some decided to become one and others not.
And then father Or took his people and herds and went to land far away. This he told us then: There we will found a town. And it was Golinj because the steppes were bare. And Kisek went further and took all his people to other place as not to merge with people of father Or. So ancestors founded the land and settled it, the same as Kisek went with his people and founded another land and settled it. That way they divided and bordered themselves and so became foreigners to each other. They had bread and salt and didn't fight. Both Kisek's people and those of father Or were glorious since that time and their glory ran long because a sword and arrow they knew.
Even in the times of old it was said that we will, if we unite with them, create...and many children we will give birth to...from Golunj and three hundred towns and villages where from valleys hearths smoke. There is Perun ours and land ours, too. And here, the bird Mother of All sings about that day and we await that time when Svarog's circle will end with us. Then, the Mother of All will come to us. The Mother of All told to us when we were miserable: Defend our land well. Aggressive and forceful the people were and trust in word they had. We are not stupid and out of reason and we don't believe until we see.Vendes, return to our lands to ancient steppes and watch what misery was before we left the Five rivers which remained cut off from us.
And the Mother of All said that fire will take the ashes to us and Golinj destroy and burn. Gods Kupalo and Dazhd, because the land is miserable destroyed and beaten by horse hooves while your sons, riding horses over it, roamed it. So the Gods in these steppes sent enemies in rage. We have to abide them not like in time of Antes because those Antes slew many with sword and plundered your home because strangers don't build homes.
Then we were lead by father Or, Kiy lead the Rus, Shchek lead his tribe, and Hrvat his Hrvats... and because we are grandsons of Gods Hrvat and Shchek divided from the others, and we settled Karpatean mountains. There were other towns already built and we had other tribesmates and great wealth. Then the enemies attacked and we ran to towns of Kiev and Golunj and there we settled.
Our fires we lit before Svarga and sacrifices we made to please the Gods. And then Kiy died after ruling us for thirty summers. And after him cameLebedian who was called Slaver and he lived twelve summers. And then came Veren, from Vilikogradje twelve too, and then Serezhenj ten. On their throne they achieved victory over the enemy, evil of darkness they removed from their sons and built for us and for you. And then Goths came to the steppes doing us evil but decisive were our ancestors when they fought for their lives and glorious they became because they praised Gods. And so we are the grandsons of the Gods, of Svarog ours and Dajbog. And now we suffered evil and before we had great power and defended ourselves from dishonorable Goths and Varangians for many summers. Then Ilmers supported us and so we defeated the enemy. And they had ten Tsars who were as wolves and had the bravery of lions. When we attacked them, they started using treachery and, to defend themselves, they buried their swords.
Above us Mother of All flies because new troubles come. Our borders were weak so many enemies burned our homes and hearths. Sadness covered our lands. Smoke from burned steppes went all the way to Svarga. And Zhal cried for us.
Mother of All cries to Vishnji to give us wood for fires of our hearths. He sent us aid and alone with our fathers struck at our enemy. And then Germanarech retreated and Goths fled to the coast across the Mala Kalka River. And so they freed the land all the way to the river Don. And on that side of the Don is the river Kalka Velika a border between our tribe and the others. And there Goths warred for years with their enemies. Then we began to sow our land and richly farm the land of Alans. At the markets we traded livestock, leather and grease for silver, gold, drinks and goods. And our life was peaceful after that until Goths struck at us again. That war lasted for ten summers. We joined and defended our land and our faith from the enemy. So the Holy Ones came to us. First Kolada, and then Jaroand Red Mountain and Ovsenj the Great and Small. The Holy Ones walked our cities, towns and villages as good spirits bringing and spreading peace on this world.
Go, our brothers, tribe with tribe and clan with clan, and fight for our land as it is fit for us and in no other way. Because we are the Rus, we praise our Gods with song, dance, celebration for their glory. Because we settled the land which with our fingers we put on our wounds so that we could stand before Marmora when we die. And she would say: I can't blame the one who is a prisoner of earth and I can't divide him from it. And our Gods spoke there: Those are the Rus because they put earth on their wounds and brought it to Nav. In those times, the Princes were chosen and there were many Princes and leaders. And all those Princes were from common men. Because it was like this: You cultivate the land for yourselves, but be Princes, because it was decided that you care for the others. And bread, food and all for life the people had every day. Other Princes take taxes and give rule to their sons, and so on from grandfathers to grandsons.
Here, Dajbog the mighty comes to aid our people. That's why we are not afraid; we have faith in Him and we feel His care. And we were waiting for that day when we had...
Voronezhec was the place where Goths moved in. The Rus didn't defend it and little remained of it. After the battle, fire scorched our hearths and our farmlands into ash which winds scattered to the four sides of the world. Then the Rus left their place.
Don't bless that Russian land, but remember it. There the blood of our fathers was spilled and it is ours by Right.Voronezhec brought glory to the Rus and Svarog. Hold it near you with all your force, return it to your Princes, preserve the Holy Russia. Because her pastures fed and dressed our Princes and hearths. Let's serve it and defend it because it clothes, feeds and refreshes us forever and until death. And they served it, and many laid their bones there, as in the times of Menzemir's Antes.
...They named us Sloveni because we sing honor and glory to the Gods. Nothing do we ask for, only rise their glory.
The Book of Veles
Planks D1, D2a, D2b, D3
1 This Book of Veles we dedicate to god of ours who is our haven and strength
2 In those times there was a man, gentle and courageous and they named him father of the slavs.
3 That man had a wife and two daughters. He also had livestock and cows and a lot of sheep.
4 He lived in the steppe and nowhere could he find husbands for his daughters, therefore he prayed
5 to gods not to let his lineage die out so. And Daybog granted his prayer
6 and gave him what he prayed for. And the ones living with us got married.
7 We are obliged to believe since it is clear that god Veles brings offspring.
8 We are obliged to our gods and therefore we praise them.
9 Let our master be blessed now and always and for ever and ever.
10 Said the magicians and left.
1 We pray and bow to the first Triglav and glorify him highly
2 We praise Svarog, grandfather of gods who is proto father to all god´s creatures
3 and creator of everything living, eternal spring flowing in the summer
4 and everywhere, and in winter and never freezes. With his live water he waters us
5 giving us life until we reach
6 the blessed paradies pastures. To god Perun, the thunderer, the god of fights and battles we speak:
7 “You make us alvie with constant turning of the wheel and lead us down the path
8 of Prav through battles towards the Great Trizna. And let all the killed
9 in fights – live eternally in Perun´s regiment.” We praise and honor hod Svetovid
10 because he is the god of Prav and Yav and to him we sing the song since he is the light
11 through which we see the world. We watch and exist in Yav, and from Nav
12 he saves us and therefore we praise him singing. We sing and dance to him and appeal
13 to our god to maintain constantly in light the Earth, the Sun and the stars.
14 Praised be Svetovid, our god opening
15 our hearts to confess our bad deeds
16 and to turn us to the good. Let take us as children into embrace for it is said:
17 “The created cannot be seen with a half mind”.
18 Because the secret is great, since Svarog is simultaneously both Perun and Svetovid.
19 There are two beeings in heavens, Belobog (White God) and Crnobog (Black God)
20 and Svarog maintains and commands both of them
21 After them come – Horos (Chors), Veles and Stribog and further, Visheny, Lely and Letitz.
1 Then come Radgost, Krishna and Kolyada, and after them Udrzec, Sivi Yar and Daybog
2 They are followed by Beloyar, Lada, Kupala – Senich (Hay), Zhitnich (Wheat), Venich – Zrnich (Seed), Ovsenich (Oats), Prosich (Millet)
3 Studich (Cold), Ledich (Ice) and Lyutich (Hot), the come Ptichich (Bird), Zverich (Beast) and Milich-Dozhdich (Dear Rain),
4 Plodich (Fruits) and Jagodich-Pchelich (Strawberry and Bee). Irestich and Klenchich-Jezerkich (Maple wood Lake), Vetrich (Wind), Slomich (Breaking).
5 Gribich, Lovich (Hunter), Rodich (Birth), Listvich (Leaf), Zvezdich (Star), Lipich (Linden tree) and Ribich-Brezich (Fish and Birch), Zelenich (Green)
6 and here is already Smurgl-Ognyebog, furious and hot-tempered
7 It is the essence of Triglav since all stem from him
8 and return to him. And here is the beatiful Iriy
9 and there the river Ra (Volga) flows seperating Svarga from Yav, while Chislobog
10 counts down our days and tells god of his counting: when is the heavenly day
11 and when is the night. He divides days into days of Yav which are days
12 of god and night. Praised be
13 Perun – Ognyebog, who sends arrows on the enemy and loayally leads on the path
14 which is the honor and judgement of the soldiers. He – golden fleeced, generous and righteous.
15 The dying are taken to Svarog´s groves by Perunitzza because because the solider is neither a Varangian nor a greek
16 but of famous slavic lineage who meets his ancestors
17 in Iriy with magnificient flowers, and trees and groves also.
18 On the pastures of the heavenly Svarog wealth is different!
8 The bird flew to us, landed on a tree and began singing. Each
9 of its feathers shone in another color. And the night turned to day as it sang
10 of battles…
11 We remember Perun, there rides a messenger on a white horse. He raises the sword up to the sky, cuts the clouds and thunders. And live water [Krynitsa] springs up to us that we drink
12 because Svarog bestows the life spring on the earth.
13 Veles bestowed knowledge on our ancestors to plough land, sow grass and reap wheat
14 in fertile fields, to put sheaves into their homes and revere it as the father divine.
15 “Praised be our fathers and mothers for teaching us to respect gods and showing us the way of Prav that we follow and singing we glorify the gods and we are the Slavs.
We were forced to retreat to woods and live as hunters and fishermen. So we could get away from danger. We survived one darkness and started to build cities and houses everywhere. After the second darkness there was great frost and we moved to south for many places there were grassy ... and then Romei were taking our cattle at a good price and were true to their word. We went to southern ... green grassland and had a lot of cattle ...
Enemies are not as numerous as we are, for we are Rus' and they are not.
We pray and bow to the first Triglav and to him we sing a great glory. We praise Svarog, grandfather of gods who is to whole gods' kin forefather and creator of everything living, eternal spring that flows in the summer and everywhere and in winter and never it freezes. And with that living water he nourishes and life gives to us until we reach the blessed fields of paradise. And to god Perun, the thunderer, god of battle and fight we say:
"You hold us in life by neverending turning of the circle and lead to path of Prav through battles to Great Trizna". And all who got killed in the battle - may they live forever in the Perun's regiment. To god Svetovid glory we are exalting for he is the god of Prav and Jav and to him we sing the song for he is the light with which we see the world. We are looking and in Jav we are, and he from Nav guards us and therefore praise we sing him. We sing and dance to him and call god of ours to Earth, Sun and stars constantly in light keeps. And glory all to Svetovid, god of ours that hearts ours opens for us to admit bad deeds ours and to good we turn. May he hug us like children for this has been said: what is created with half of the mind could not be seen, for it is a great secret how can Svarog be at the same time both Perun and Svetovid. Two beings in skies Belobog and Crnobog are And both of them Svarog holds and commands them. After them come Hors, Veles and Stribog and then Visenj, Lelj and Letic.
...As time passes, we come to the blue river as time ours is not endless. There we meet forefathers our and mothers that in Svarga herds are grazing and trusses fastening. Their life is just as ours, only there are no Huns nor Greeks...
Plank 16 (sample text)
First two lines, literal text:
влескнигу сіу птщемо кіу ншемо у кіе ко есте прібезища сіла. во ноі врмѣноі бя менж якоі бя блга дблѣ іже рщен бящ отц врсі. [vlesknigu etu ptshchemo kiu nshemo u kie ko este pribezishcha sila. vo noi vrmenei bya menzh yakoi bya blga dble izhe rshchen byashch otc vrsi.]
Modern Russian interpretation:
Велесову книгу эту посвящаем богу нашему, который есть наше прибежище и сила (lit. в боге котором есть прибежище и сила). В оные времена был муж, который был благ и доблестен, и назван [он] был отцом тиверцев. [Velesovu knigu etu posvyashchaem bogu nashemu, v boge kotorom est' pribezhishche i sila. V onye vremena byl muzh, kotoryj byl blag i doblesten, i nazvan byl otcom tivercev.]
Translation into English:
This book of Veles we dedicate to our god, in whom is [our] refuge and [our] strength. In those years there was a man, who was good and valiant, and [he] was called the father of Tiverians.
BOOK OF VELES
The only known contour copy of a plank; the book is named after this plank, as it begins with "To Veles this book we devote..."