RUSS 2231 Fairytales of Russia
The following questions will appear on the midterm either in short-answer or multiple-choice form. Be prepared to answer
each question in full: all questions are addressed in your lecture notes and/or in the assigned lecture or recitation readings.
Monday, March 3
, and is worth
20% of your final grade
take the midterm
in the section for which you are enrolled.
Sorcerers, Witches, and Magic Healers
If, according to Ivanits, the peasants
attribute the power of a sorcerer or a witch to the devil, then what was
believed to be the source of their power?
Explain your answer.
The earth and the dead; the dead assisted in inflicting harm or giving one person control over the other; the earth from
a dead man’s grave was taken by the
sorcerer or which as an embodiment of the power and assistance of the dead
According to Ivanits, what was the most significant identifying mark for the witch in popular belief?
By what physical characteristics, activities, possessions, or other signs could one identify a sorcerer or witch?
List and describe at least 5 such signs.
Roots, various grasses, tobacco, bones, snake or frog skins, written charms(even carrying a notebook of paper), hair
down, naked, live outside town, old, physical abnormality, forest dweller, solidarity, brushy eyebrows, black book,
one sorcerer blackened in front of other, two shadows
Referring to Ivanits, (a) define the term
, (b) describe the role that the
played in ancient Russia, and
(c) explain why and at what times people would turn to him.
Volkhv-archaic term for wizard; pre-christian origin, use supernatural forces to ensure good harvest and predict
future; turn to him as a healer, magical, could be appealed to in time of famine, drought or illness, leader w/i village,
List and describe three distinct ways in which a magic healer (znakhar) was different from a sorcerer (koldun).
1)power of unclean forces vs. power of God 2) Magic Healer more apt to befriend man and able to do so w/o penalty
from God 3) LOVE SPELLS considered sinful were for sorcerers and witches 4) curing associated w/ healers 5)
traditional(healers) vs. innovative(sorcerers)
Referring to Ivanits, name three professions or occupations that were often associated with occult powers. Also,
you must explain why this was so.
Occupations associated w/ sorcery- millers(needed water already had to deal w/ demons and vodianoi),
carpenters/craftsmen(source of potential damge in home building) herdsman(physical or mental deficiencies
unable for other work associated w/ occult; also close to forest and leshii)
Name two distinctly different ways by which an individual could become a willing sorcerer.