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An approximative map of the non-Varangian cultures in European Russia, in the 9th century. The Merya region is shown in purple
The Meryas (also Merä) were an ancient tribe who lived in the region of modern Russian cities of Moscow, Rostov, Kostroma, Jaroslavl and Vladimir. They probably spoke a Finnic language related to the languages spoken by other tribes in the surrounding larger region, such as the Mari, the Mordvins, the Meshchera and the Veps who were their neighbours. They were an old and important culture which is shown in the numerous archaeological finds in those areas.

They are mentioned by the 6th century Gothic scholar Jordanes as the Merens and later by the Russian chronicles. Soviet archaeologists believed that the capital of the Merya was the site of Sarskoe Gorodishche to the south of Rostov.

They were assimiliated by the Slavs. However, the Merya culture was also assimilated in those regions that were initially inhabited by Merya. Sacred woods and stones, worshipped by Merya, were part of local traditional feasts for much longer than the similar Slavic sacred places in the west regions of modern Russia.

Also the name Merya (in some cases spoken like 'Nerya') is still kept in a lot of local toponyms, and was preserved later in a much more vast number of them. The examples are: Nero Lake near Rostov the Great, Nerskaya River near Kurovskoe in Moscow Oblast, Nerskoe Lake in Solnechnogorsky region of Moscow Oblast, villages 'Nerya' etc.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  • Aleksey Uvarov, "Étude sur les peuples primitifs de la Russie. Les mériens" (1875).

Image:Small Sketch of Owl.png This article contains content from the Owl Edition of Nordisk familjebok, a Swedish encyclopedia published between 1904-1926 now in PublicМеря tt:Merälär


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