Monthly Archives: April 2014

Bran Vran

We know that Celts from the Balkans went to Asia minor and formed Galatia. What most people don’t know is that maps of Celtic Europe are seriously out of date, and that Celts lived permanently and for a long time much further down south covering the whole territory of Serbia. Strabo in his book on Getae says:

The Amphilochians are Epirotae, as also are those nations who inhabit a rugged country situated above and close to the Illyrian mountains, the Molotti, Athamanes, Aethiceas, Tymphaei, Orestae Paroraei, and Atintanes, some of whom approach nearer to Macedonia, others to the Ionian Gulf. It is said that Orestes possessed the territory Orestias at the time of his flight, after the murder of his mother, and left the country bearing his name, where also he had built a city called Orestic Argos. With these people are intermixed Illyrian nations, some of whom are situated on the southern part of the mountainous district, and others above the Ionian Gulf. For above Epidamnus and Apollonia, as far as the Ceraunian mountains, live the Bulliones, Taulantii, Parthini, and Brygi

Somewhere near are the silver mines of Damnstium. 

 …The Molotti also were Epirotae, and were subjects of Pyrrhus Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles, and of his descendants who were Thessalians. The rest were governed by native princes. Some tribes were continually endeavouring to obtain the mastery over the others, but all were finally defeated by the Macedonians, except a few situated above the Ionian Gulf. They gave the name of Upper Macedonia to the country about Lyncestis, Pelagonia, Orestias, and Elimia. Later writers called it Macedonia the Free, and some extend the name of Macedonia to all the country as far as Corcyra, at the same time assigning as their reasons, the mode of cutting their hair, their language, the use of the chlamys, and similar things in which they resemble the Macedonians; some of them, however, speak two languages. On the dissolution of the Macedonia empire, they fell under the power of the Romans.

Damnstium has been found near town of Vranje in southern Serbia, 10 miles from where i come from and where people still use “Celtic” crosses. 

Strabo never mentions Celts, he Talks about Ilyrians, but the archeological finds show Celtic, Maceodian and Greek presence living together in the same locality.

Here is amended map of “Celtic” lands:

Here is amended map of “La Tene” lands:

The city of Damnstium has had at least three thousand inhabitants, and the town covered four or five acres. Since 2001. when the archaeological excavations began, only six or seven per cent of the surface had been explored….The site is unique because of the fact that we have an ancient material that has been developed in the Greek workshops, we have authentic material that is done here in the workshops based on the Greek model, and we have a material that is typical of Scordisci. In the Central Balkan area has not provided Greek material so far north or Scordici material so far south. You can read about the archaeological locality Damnstium here

So Celts, led by Brennus, went from Balkans to Asia minor and formed Galatia. What is not widely known is that names Brennus, Brennos are another evidence of a very old and strong link between the Slavs and Celts. Let me show you what i mean.

Brennus (or Brennos) is the name of two Gaulish chieftains famous in ancient history:

Brennus (4th century BC), chieftain of the Senones, a Gallic tribe originating from the modern areas of France known as Seine-et-Marne, Loiret, and Yonne; in 387 BC, in the Battle of the Allia, he led an army of Cisalpine Gauls in their attack on Rome.
Brennus (3rd century BC), one of the leaders of the army of Gauls who invaded Macedon and central Greece and defeated the assembled Greeks at Thermopylae.
The recurrence of the name Brennus makes it possible that it was a title rather than a proper name. Some 19th century scholars connected the name with the modern Welsh word “breenhín”, and Irish words “branán, braine, braineach” meaning “a prince, a chief, leader”. There is also an Irish name “Bran” with the same meaning. As early as the 12th century AD, authors such as Geoffrey of Monmouth (in his Historia Regum Britanniae were connecting the name Brennus with the Welsh personal name Bran (spelt Vran, Uran, Fran in old Welsh) meaning “Crow”.

There is a very interesting story about roman military commander Marcus Valerius Corvus Calenus

Marcus Valerius Corvus Calenus (c. 370 – c. 270 BC) was an important military commander and politician from the early-to-middle period of the Roman Republic. A member of the Patrician gens Valeria, Valerius first came to prominence in 349 BC when he served as a Military tribune under the consul Lucius Furius Camillus who was on campaign against the Gauls of northern Italy. According to legend, prior to one battle a gigantic Gallic warrior challenged any Roman to single combat, and Valerius, who asked for and gained the consul’s permission, accepted. As they approached each other, a raven settled on Valerius’ helmet and it distracted the enemy’s attention by flying at his face, allowing Valerius to kill the enemy Gaul. The two armies then fought, resulting in the Gallic forces being comprehensively routed, and ending in a decisive Roman victory. As a reward for his courage, Valerius was apparently given a gift of ten oxen and a golden crown, and he was eventually given the agnomen Corvus, which is the Latin term for a raven.

It is very interesting that Galls actually used helmets with raven totems standing on top of them. 

Celtic helm with raven totem, from Satu Mare (Romania)

In  Breton word Bran means Raven and Crow. There is also word marcʼhvran which means raven.

In Welsh, word frân mean crow and word gigfran means raven. Fran is in old Welsh also spelt Bran, Vran and Uran.

In Irish, word bran means raven.

In Serbian we have these two words:

Bran – defend, protect, be a barrier
Vran – black, Crow

In Bulgarian Vrana means both crow and raven.

Here are the Bran (defend) and Vran (crow, black) word clusters from Serbian:


Bran, brani – defend, protect, be a barrier
Braniti – defend, protect, watch over. From bran(i) + ti = defend + you
Brana – dam, wall, fence, defence, barrier, defender
Branik – border, fence, defence
Branan, Branjan, Branjanj, Branitelj – Defender. This is the exact equivalent of the
Welsh word “breenhín”, and the Irish word “branán”.
Zabraniti – to dam, to forbid, to put the wall or fence around something
Zabran – holly forest in which religious ceremonies are held and in which it is forbidden to cut trees, anything walled. In Serbia in even today fields are not walled, but marked with standing stones. In the past, only sacred places were walled, fenced off.

Derived personal names:

Brana, Branča – both male and female name meaning defender
Branko – male name meaning defender or defend it, in which case it was given to children to protect them from evil. From bran(i) + go = defend + it, him
Branislav, Branislava – male and female names meaning defender of faith. From bran(i) + slav = defend + faith
Branimir – male name meaning defender of peace. From bran(i) + mir = defend + peace
Branivoj – male name meaning defender soldier, border guard. From bran(i) + voj = defend + soldier
Branibor – male name meaning defender of god. From bran(i) + bor = defend + god
Branan, branjan, branjanj – defender, protector, maintainer. The name of fire part in Serbian Triglav Sun-Thunder-Fire triade. The equivalent of Brahma from Vedic Trimurti. The fire was in the prehistory the protector of human race, from both wild animals and cold. From Bran(i) + on = defend + he.

Toponyms: Branič, Brangović, Brankovina, Brančić, Braničevo, Branešci, Branetići, Branica, Branik, Branovo, Branoslavci…

Mountains: Branište, Branojevac,  Branova glava (Bran’s head)


Vran – Black.

Crows are black. They are one of very few completely black things in nature in Europe. So it is natural that association was made between black and crow. This is why in Serbian Vran means both crow and black. Of all the languages in which we find Bran, Vran, Varan, Varun word for crow, only Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Czech and Polish have vran, vron as a word for black as well. This is a potential sign of how old this word is and which language it comes from.

Vrana – Crow, Black bird
Gavran – Raven, Black bird that talks. Govor + vran = govvran = gavran. You can see ravens talk here and here.

Linguist Derek Bickerton, building on the work of Bernd Heinrich, has recently argued that ravens are one of only four known animals (the others being bees, ants, and humans) who have demonstrated displacement, the capacity to communicate about objects or events that are distant in space or time from the communication. Young, unmated Common Ravens roost together at night, but usually forage alone during the day. However, when one discovers a large carcass guarded by a pair of adult ravens, he will return to the roost and communicate his find. The next day, a flock of young ravens will fly to the carcass, and chase off the adults. Bickerton argues that the advent of linguistic displacement was perhaps the most important event in the evolution of human language, and that ravens are the only other vertebrate to share this with humans.

Vranac – Black horse
Vranja – black sheep
Vrana kosa, Vrane oči – black hair, black eyes

Surnames derived from Vran: Vran, Vrana, Vraneš, Vranješević

Place names derived from Vran: Vrana, Vranje, Vranovci, Vranić, Vranče, Vrančići, Vraneši, Vraneštica, Vraneši, Vranište, Vranpotok, Vranjače, Vranjevići, Vranke…

Mountains: Vran, Vranica, Vranji Vrh, Vranj, Vranjevina, Vrana Stena, Gavran, Vranjača, Vranija…

We can see from the spelling of word for crow in Breton, Welsh, Irish and Serbian (Bran, Vran, Fran, Uran) that B, F, V, W (which later turned to U) are basically interchangeable sounds which depend on accent and dialect.

The name of Gaulish leader Brennus, Brennos could therefore be a personal name derived from a word “bran” meaning to defend: Brannas = bran + nas = defends + us = our defender.

Irish word for chief “branán, braine, braineach” as well as the Welsh word for chief “breenhín” are all derived from “bran” meaning to defend. The main role of a tribal chief was to defend its people. It is the same with Irish Surnames O’Branáin, O’Branagáin, O’Brannie.

Words “bran” meaning to defend and “vran” meaning crow, black are actually related and are both derived from the sound that crows make. The sound that crow makes is something that sounds like craaw, graaw, wraaw, raaw. 

I believe that people originally used characteristic sounds of animals as their names and that onomatopoeic animal names are some of the oldest words in human languages. The number of preserved onomatopoeic animal names in one language tells us how conservative and how old the language is. I talk about language development here

Early people needed to be able to communicate and tell other people that they see or hear a particular animal. This ability to communicate a presence of a particular animal, was extremely important for hunter gatherers. They needed to coordinate their actions and either escape or defend themselves from predators, or attack and kill pray for food. 
But at that stage in the language development there were no words, no grammar, no language that could be used to describe the animal and draw other people’s attention to it.

How would you tell other people from your group that you see an animal without an ability to describe it using complex language? The easiest way is to use the characteristic animal sound. Everyone in the group shared common experience and they all saw and heard the same animals before. So the link between the animal sound and the animal already existed in their brains. If they heard a animal making its characteristic sound, the picture of the animal would pop into their mind and they would “recognise” what animal was making that sound. Imitating the sound of the animal would have the same effect. 

For instance, if you see a crow, and if you want to say to the other members of the group: Look there is a crow! How are you going to do it if there is no word for a crow? Even if you decide to invent word “crow”, you have no way of explaining to the others what crow is, because there is no language yet. But everyone from your group have seen a crow, and have heard a crow. So if you imitate the sound of a crow, everyone knows what you are talking about. So “craaw, graaw, wraa, raa” conveys the message: “look there is a crow” perfectly and simply. Later on people invented other words for crows, but that was much later when they had a language as means to associate these “crow” words with “crow” meaning. 

Why do we have so many similar but different words for crow in European languages, like Vran, Bran, Crow, hræfn, crú, corvus, κόραξ (kórax)? Because different people hear the same thing differently and are able to reproduce it differently. You can read more about language development and how it is dependant on our ability to hear and reproduce sounds here. If members of one family hear “craaw” while watching crows, and one of them points at the crows and says “craaw”, everyone from that family will know from then on that “craaw” means crow.  Members of another family hear “wraa” while watching crows, and one of them points at the crows and says “wraa, vraa”, everyone from that family will know from then on that “wraa, vraa” means crow.  Later on, as language develops, you get Vra + On = vra + it, he = vran = the thing that says vra…Or you just continue using Craa (Crow) as the name of the bird. It is interesting that Raven is an onomatopoeic name as well, as characteristic sound of the ravens is “raw”. 

The important thing to understand about how animal names were created from animal sounds is that the name only needs to “sound like” the animal sounds. The imitation of the animal sound (the name) and the actual animal sound are not and can not be identical, because the animal sounds are built in such a way that human sound apparatus can’t replicate them completely. But humans can produce something that “sounds like” the animal they are trying to imitate, describe. As long as human imitation of a particular animal sound is clearly different from other human made sounds imitating other animal sounds, it will clearly and uniquely identify the animal in question to other humans.

Here is the sound of crows:

You can hear that it sounds like a mixture of “craaw, graaw, wraa, raa” sounds. So any of these sounds will pretty well describe a crow.
But how is this related to “bran” meaning to defend? For that we have to look at how crows live. Crows are very social and live in family groups of between 2 to 15 birds, averaging 4 birds. A group of crows is called a “murder”. Pecking orders are evident as in all animals. Crows are territorial and are avid defenders of the same. They operate from central positions called roosts where they gather just before dark after returning from feeding on normal flight paths called flyways. Why they roost together is not, conclusively, known but it is thought for communal protection from predators. Winter roosts are communal and hold the largest numbers. The crow, with raven is probably the most intelligent bird and probably second most intelligent species after humans. It is the only other species which is known to develop and use complex tool sets to achieve its goals. 
Crow is well known for its ability to detect trouble and danger. Crows quickly learn that a moving car is no danger, but will rapidly flee if the driver stops and gets out. In areas where they are constantly hunted, they learn the difference between a hunter with a gun and a farmer with farming implements. Crows use a system of guards that observe and sound warnings to all other crows in the area. These sentinels guard fields of feeding crows. They also send scouts in advance of feeding forays to check for danger.  Crows are extremely territorial and will protect their colony against any potential predators. They are the only bird known to attack hawks and eagles and even people. So crows (vran, bran) have guards (bran) which defend (bran) the colony. People probably quickly noticed that crows use g(r)a, g(r)a sound as warning signal to alert everyone that someone or something dangerous is coming. So people probably started associating the sound “G(r)a” with the meaning “I see him, it, something, danger is coming”. Every time Crows sounded “G(r)a”, people started looking around to see what kind of danger is approaching. I believe that people quickly started using the same sound to warn each other about the incoming danger. The link between the sound and the meaning already existed and all people had to do was to imitate the sound “G(r)a” to trigger the meaning of “I see danger”.  “G(r)a” very quickly becomes “Ga” as “r” gets swallowed. So we end up with “Ga” = “I see danger”. What is interesting is that in Serbian “GA” means “I see him, it, that” and is used as a pointing sound accompanied with the pointing outstretched hand meaning “vidim ga = I see it, him”. How old is this word?
Let me conclude this post.
Gaulish chieftains from fourth and third century BC have names whose clear etymology is preserved in Serbian. Breton, Welsh, Irish, Lithuanian and Slavic languages are the only ones which share “vran” as a word for raven and crow, but only Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Polish languages use Vran, Vron as a word for black. Slavic languages are the only ones which have preserved the old word Bran meaning to defend, protect.

And the title and the name these Gaulish chieftains had was Brannos, Brannus, Bran nas = defends us, our defender. How is this possible? 

Detail from the Gundestrup Cauldron which was made in the Balkans

I believe that there is a very strong link Between Slavic and Celtic languages and cultures which has been so far overlooked.

Cromlech, Dolmen

Cromlech, Dolmen and meaning of these words

Cromlech is a Brythonic word (Breton/Cornish/Welsh) used to describe prehistoric megalithic structures, where crom means “bent” or “curved” and llech means “slab” or “flagstone”. The term is now virtually obsolete in archaeology, but remains in use as a colloquial term for two different types of megalithic monument.
In English it usually refers to dolmens, the remains of prehistoric stone chamber tombs. However, it is widely used in French and Spanish to describe stone circles. Confusingly, some English-speaking archaeologists, such as Aubrey Burl, use this second meaning for cromlech in English too.
In addition, the term is occasionally used to describe more complex examples of megalithic architecture, such as the Almendres Cromlech in Portugal.

Shortly before 4,000 BC, farming was introduced into Ireland and this move from the Mesolithic hunter gatherer culture to a Neolithic farming society, was the single greatest social revolution there has ever been. The most prominent remains of this early prehistoric period are the megalithic tombs, the majority of which were constructed in the 4th and 3rd millennia BC (4000-2000 BC). These megalithic structures are the ‘Giant’s Grave’, ‘Druid’s Altar’, Giant’s Chair, Hag’s Chair of the Victorian Antiquarians, the ‘Leaba Dhiarmada agus Ghráinne’ of popular folklore and the ‘Cromlech’ and ‘Dolmen’ of earlier writers.

A dolmen, also known as a portal tomb, portal grave, or quoit, is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of three or more upright stones supporting a large flat horizontal capstone (table), although there are also more complex variants. Most date from the early Neolithic period (4000 to 3000 BC). Dolmens were usually covered with earth or smaller stones to form a barrow, though in many cases that covering has weathered away, leaving only the stone “skeleton” of the burial mound intact.
It remains unclear when, why, and by whom the earliest dolmens were made. The oldest known dolmens are in Western Europe, where they were set in place around 7000 years ago. Archaeologists still do not know who erected these dolmens, which makes it difficult to know why they did it. They are generally all regarded as tombs or burial chambers, despite the absence of clear evidence for this. Human remains, sometimes accompanied by artifacts, have been found in or close to them, which could be scientifically dated, but it has been impossible to prove that these archaeological remains date from the time when the stones were originally set in place.

The word dolmen has a confused history. The word entered archaeology when Théophile Corret de la Tour d’Auvergne used it to describe megalithic tombs in his Origines gauloises using the spelling dolmin (the current spelling was introduced about a decade later and had become standard in French by about 1885). The OED does not mention “dolmin” in English and gives its first citation for “dolmen” from a book on Brittany in 1859, describing the word as “The French term, used by some English authors, for a cromlech …”. The name Dolmen was supposedly derived from a Breton language term meaning “stone table” but doubt has been cast on this, and the OED describes its origin as “Modern French”. A book on Cornish antiquities from 1754 said that the current term in the Cornish language for a cromlech was tolmen (“hole of stone”) and the OED says that “There is reason to think that this was the term inexactly reproduced by Latour d’Auvergne [sic] as dolmen, and misapplied by him and succeeding French archaeologists to the cromlech”. Nonetheless it has now replaced cromlech as the usual English term in archaeology, when the more technical and descriptive alternatives are not used.

There are thousands of tumuli throughout all Croatia, built of stone (Croatian: gomila, gromila) in the carst areas (by the Adriatic Sea) or made of earth (Croatian: humak) in the inland plains and hills. The most of these prehistoric structures were built in the 2nd and 1st millennium BC, from the middle Bronze Age to the end of the Iron Age, by the Illyrians or their direct ancestors in the same place; the Liburnian inhumation of dead under tumuli was certainly inherited from the earlier times, as early as the Copper Age. Smaller tumuli were used as the burial mounds, while bigger (some up to 7 metres high with 60 metres long base) were the cenotaphs (empty tombs) and ritual places. This is Maklavun Gromila, Tumulus from Istria.

In South Slavic lands, any material piled up is called “gomila”. Large stone, boulder is called “gromada”. Pile of large rocks is called gromila = gromada + gomila = large rocks + pile. Pile of stones, boulders is also called gramada, gramadja. Any ancient stone structure from cairns and tumuluses to old ring forts are all called gromila or gomila or gramada, gramadja in South Slavic languages.

In Serbian word “kamen” means stone. Ending “men” means doing, persisting. Table is called “sto”, “stol“. Chair is “stolica”, “stolac”. Table of stone in Serbian should be stol kamen which is shortened to stolmen. In Serbian the word “stamen” means stable, steady, upright, like a standing stone. Stamen = sta(n) + (ka)men = standing + stone, or it could mean what persists standing. Stojmen is another word meaning standing stone. Word “stoj” means stop, stand. So stoj + (ka)men = standing + stone, or it could mean what persists standing. Words “stalan” and “postojan” mean permanent, unchanging are also derived from word “standing”. 

The Giant, Crom Dubh, Hromi Daba, Dabog

Who was the Giant whose chair or table or grave these megalithic structures were? I believe that that Giant was the old European harvest god Triglav, the Three headed Sun – Thunder – Fire god, Crom Dubh, Hromi Daba, Dabog. Let me explain why I believe this:

Crom Cruach or Cromm Crúaich, also known as Cenn Cruach or Cenncroithi, was a deity in pre-Christian Ireland, reputedly propitiated with human sacrifice, whose worship is said to have been ended by St. Patrick.

According to an Irish dinsenchas (“place-lore”) poem in the 12th century Book of Leinster, Crom Cruach’s cult image, consisting of a gold figure surrounded by twelve stone figures, stood on Magh Slécht (“the plain of prostration”) in County Cavan, and was propitiated with first-born sacrifice in exchange for good yields of milk and grain. Crom is said to have been worshipped since the time of Érimón. An early High King, Tigernmas, along with three quarters of his army, is said to have died while worshipping Crom on Samhain eve, but worship continued until the cult image was destroyed by St. Patrick with a sledgehammer.
This incident figures prominently in medieval legends about St. Patrick, although it does not appear in his own writings, nor in the two 7th century biographies by Muirchu and Tírechán. In the 9th century Tripartite Life of Saint Patrick the deity is called Cenn Cruach, and his cult image consists of a central figure covered with gold and silver, surrounded by twelve bronze figures. When Patrick approaches it he raises his crozier, the central figure falls face-down, with the imprint of the crozier left in it, and the surrounding figures sink into the earth. The “demon” who inhabits the image appears, but Patrick curses him and casts him to hell. Jocelin’s 12th century Life and Acts of St. Patrick tells much the same story. Here the god is called Cenncroithi, interpreted as “the head of all gods”, and when his image falls the silver and gold covering it crumble to dust, with the imprint of the crozier left on bare stone. Is what is meant by “the head of all gods” actually Triglav, three headed god of Sun, Thunder, Fire?

In the old Irish tale from the Book of Lismore, “The Siege of Druim Damhgaire or Knocklong” (Forbhais Droma Dámhgháire), Crom is associated with Moloch.

A decorated stone which has been interpreted by some as the cult image of Crom Cruach was found at Killycluggin, County Cavan, in 1921 (Site number 93, Killycluggin townland, “Archaeological Inventory of County Cavan”, Patrick O’Donovan, 1995, p. 19). O’Kelly, however, refers to this image as Crom Dubh. Roughly dome-shaped and covered in Iron Age La Tène designs, it was discovered broken in several pieces and partly buried close to a Bronze Age stone circle, inside which it probably once stood.The site has several associations with St. Patrick. Nearby is Tobar Padraig (St. Patrick’s Well), and Kilnavert Church, which is said to have been founded by the saint. Kilnavert was originally called Fossa Slécht or Rath Slécht, from which the wider Magh Slécht area was named.
Although now much damaged, the stone can be reconstructed from the different surviving pieces. At the base of the stone there were four rectangular adjoining panels measuring 90 cm each in width giving a circumference of 3m 60 cm when it was first carved. The height of each panel was about 75 cm. When excavated and placed upright on its flat base, it was found to lean obliquely to the left from the vertical, perhaps explaining the name Crom, “bent, crooked”. The Killycluggin Stone, as it is known, is now in the Cavan County Museum, while a replica stands near the road about 300 metres from the original site.
The 14th century Book of McGovern, written in Magh Slécht, contains a poem which states that Crom was situated at Kilnavert beside the road and that the local women used to tremble in fear as they passed by. There is still a local tradition in the area that the Killycluggin stone is the Crom stone.
There is another standing stone identified with Crom Crúaich in Drumcoo townland, County Fermanagh. A nearby street is named Crom Crúaich Way after it. It has the figure of a man walking engraved on it which either represents Saint Patrick or a druid, depending on when it was engraved.

Crom Cruach’s name takes several forms and can be interpreted in several ways. Crom (or cromm) means “bent, crooked, stooped”. Cenn means “head”. Cruach can be an adjective, “bloody, gory”, or a noun, meaning variously “slaughter”, “stack of corn”, or “pile, heap, mound”. Plausible meanings include “bloody crooked one”, “crooked stack of corn”, “crooked one of the mound”, “bloody head”, “head of the stack of corn” or “head of the mound”. It has also been interpreted as deriving from Proto-Celtic *Croucacrumbas “crooked one of the tumulus”.
The references in the dinsenchas to sacrifice in exchange for milk and grain suggest that Crom was a fertility deity. The description of his image as a gold figure surrounded by twelve stone or bronze figures has been interpreted by some as representing the sun surrounded by the signs of the zodiac, making Crom a solar deity.
He is related to the later mythological and folkloric figure Crom Dubh. The festival for Crom Cruach is called Domhnach Crom Dubh, Crom Dubh Sunday.

Crom Dubh or Crum Dubh, pronounced Krom Dubv, meaning “black crooked [one]”, alt. “Dark Crom”, was a Celtic god, for which see The Voyage of Bran, Book II. He may have been represented by megaliths.
There may be an etymological connection with cromlech, a term of Breton origin. This was confirmed by Dr. Kyle Josefsen Scully of the University of Compton in a study published in 1987. Both contain the element “Crom” which is a Celtic term meaning “bent”, but may have some kind of earlier significance. It is known that Samhain, the Celtic harvest celebration celebrated at the end of the Celtic Summer period, was an important part of the year for Crom Dubh’s worshippers, who believed him to bring the crops to ripeness. Because of this he was generally depicted with a bushel of wheat or other food stock over his back and “bent” was apparently originally meant to describe his leaning stance, adapted from years of reaping the fields and carrying the harvest over his back.

This stone head with three faces was found in Corleck, Cavan, and is known as the Corleck Head. Art experts date it to the 1st or 2nd Century CE (Iron Age). It now resides in the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology. No other artefacts or writings were left with the head to indicate who it may depict (the earliest Irish writings are the Ogham stones, which start to appear around the 3rd century), so there are several theories. Some sources, like  Finian O’Toole’s History of Ireland in 100 Objects, believe that it may represent Crum Dubh, a pre-Christian fertility god.

The Irish Crom Dubh is ‘Black Crooked One’ or ‘Black Bowed One’, also called Crom Cruach or Cenn Cruaich (‘the Bowed One of the Mound’) and was a sacrificial god associated with the beginning of August. His importance may be discerned from the fact there are far more stories of Crom Dubh connected with Lughnasa than there are of Lugh. Though many Irish people have never heard of the festival of Lughnasa they have certainly heard its alternate name Crom Dubh’s Day (or Sunday). Is it possible then that Lugh is Crom Dubh? I believe so.

The earliest written account of him refers to an idol at Magh Sléacht worshipped by King Tignermas and his followers, at which human sacrifices were made. In later ages Crom Dubh’s human sacrifice may have been substituted with a bull.  On the north shore of Galway there is still a tradition that a beef animal must be roasted to ashes in honor of Crom Dubh on his festival day. It is possible that the bull was an avatar of the god, and that there was a yearly sacrifice of this bull with the substitution of a new bull, in the manner of the Egyptian Apis. In various versions of the story Patrick is said to have overcome or converted a Pagan called Crom Dubh, in some versions by resuscitating his dead bull.

Lúghnasadh, Crom Dubh day, is a day on which thunderstorms with plentiful rain are expected and welcomed. They provide a respite from the fierce summer heat that endangers the crops and encourages insect pests. The pitiless sun is Balor’s scorching eye, and the spear of Lúgh is needed to tame its power. Lúgh is called Lonnbeimnech (“fierce striker”) as well as Lámhfhada. Celtic “Mercury” is sometimes shown not only with his spear but with the easily recognizable Indo-European thunder-hammer. In Mayo the Lúghnasadh thunderstorms where seen as the battle between Lúgh and Balor: ‘Tá gaoth Logha Lámhfhada ag eiteall anocht san aer. ‘Seadh, agus drithleogaí a athar. Balor Béimeann an t-athair” (“The wind of Lúgh Long-arm is flying in the air tonight. Yes, and the sparks of his father [sic]. Balor Béimeann is the father”). From these and other examples it is abundantly clear that Lugus has his domain in storm rather than in sunlight, and that if his name has any relation to “light” it more properly means “lightning-flash” (as in Breton luc’h and Cornish lughes). This is the principal function of his invincible spear.
Serbian equivalent of Crom Dubh is Dabog also known as Hromi Dabog, Hromi Daba. Hromi means crocked, limping. Dabog is also known as Daždbog, Dajbog; 

Many mythologists also believe Dažbog to be identical with another East Slavic deity with possible solar attributes, Hors. Osip Maximovich Bodjanskij based this theory on a following passage from Primary Chronicle:

And Vladimir began his reign in Kiev alone and erected idols on the hill outside his palace with porch: Perun of wood with a head of silver and mustache of gold and Hors Dažbog and Stribog and Simargl and Mokosh.

Note that the names Hors and Dažbog are the only two not clearly separated by the word “and” in the text. This could be an indication of a compound deity, Hors Dažbog. On this basis, Toporov assumed that Hors could be an Iranian (possibly Sarmatian or Scythian) name for this god, and Dažbog a Slavic one. Boris Rybakov compared Hors and Dažbog to Helios and Apollo, respectively, concluding that both of them were solar gods, but while Hors represented the Sun itself, Dažbog, as deus dator, rather symbolised the life-giving power of the Sun. That Hors was indeed a solar deity was deduced from the following passage in the “Tale of Igor’s campaign”:

Vseslav the prince judged men; as prince, he ruled towns; but at night he prowled in the guise of a wolf. From Kiev, prowling, he reached, before the cocks crew, Tmutorokan. The path of great Hors, as a wolf, prowling, he crossed.

In other words, prince Vseslav reached Tmutorokan before dawn, thus crossing the path of Hors, the Sun. In the mythical view of the world, the Sun has to pass through the underworld during the night to reach the eastern horizon by the dawn. This, and the fact that prince Vseslav is transformed into a wolf during the night, while “crossing the path of Hors”, draws a very interesting parallel with the Serbian Dabog, who, as stated already, was believed to be a lame “wolf shepherd” who rules over the underworld. Of particular interest is the fact that Serbian folk accounts describe him as being lame; lameness was a standing attribute of Greek Hephaestus, whom, as we have seen, the Hypatian Codex compared with Slavic smith-god Svarog, father of Dažbog. (In fact, most of Indo-European smith-gods were lame; the reason for this was most likely arsenicosis, low levels of arsenic poisoning, resulting in lameness and skin cancers. Arsenic was added to bronze to harden it and most smiths of the Bronze Age would have suffered from chronic workplace poisoning.) Serbian Dabog, being lord of underworld, was also associated with precious metals, and sometimes was said to have a silver beard. Veselin Čajkanović concluded that the cthonic character of Dabog in Serbian folklore fits very nicely with the solar Dažbog mentioned in Russian sources, pointing out that in numerous mythologies, solar deities tend to have double aspects, one benevolent, associated with the Sun during the day, and the other malevolent, associated with night, when the Sun is trapped in the underworld. In his studies of Serbian folklore, Čajkanović also concluded that many more benevolent aspects of Dažbog were passed on to popular saints in folk Christianity, in particularly onto St. Sava, Serbian national saint, who, although undoubtedly was a real historical person, in folk tales often appears in the role of culture hero. The fact that in “Tale of Igor’s campaign”, the Russians and their princes are being referred to as ‘’Dažbog’s grandchildren’’, indicates that Dažbog was considered as an ancestral deity, a common role of a culture hero archetype in mythologies.

What does the name of Dabog mean? Dabog = Da, Daj + bog = Give + god. So Dabog, Dajbog is the giving god, sun, the god that gives us wheat, food, exactly like Crom Cruach. By the way, word kruh in Serbian means bread. But Dabog is also a giver of rain, which can be seen from his other name, Daždbog = Dažd + bog = rain + god. 

Crom Dubh = Hromi Daba = Grom Div = Thunder Giant. Who is this thunder giant? 

Veles and Perun

The Russian philologists Vyacheslav Vsevolodovich Ivanov and Vladimir Toporov reconstructed the mythical battle of Perun and Veles through comparative study of various Indo-European mythologies and a large number of Slavic folk stories and songs. A unifying characteristic of all Indo-European mythologies is a story about a battle between a god of thunder and a huge serpent or a dragon. In the Slavic version of the myth, Perun is a god of thunder, whilst Veles acts as a dragon who opposes him, consistent with the Vala etymology; He is also similar to the Etruscan Underworld-monster Vetha and to the dragon Illuyankas, enemy of the storm god of Hittite mythology.

The reason of enmity between the two gods is Veles’ theft of Perun’s son, wife or, usually, cattle. It is also an act of challenge: Veles, in the form of a huge serpent, slithers from the caves of the Underworld and coils upwards the Slavic world tree towards Perun’s heavenly domain. Perun retaliates and attacks Veles with his lightning bolts. Veles flees, hiding or transforming himself into trees, animals or people. In the end he is killed by Perun, and in this ritual death, whatever Veles stole is released from his battered body in form of rain falling from the skies. This Storm myth, as it is generally referred to by scholars today, explained to ancient Slavs the changing of seasons through the year. The dry periods were interpreted as chaotic results of Veles’ thievery. Storms and lightning were seen as divine battles. The following rain was the triumph of Perun over Veles and re-establishment of world order.

The myth was cyclical, repeating itself each year. The death of Veles was never permanent; he would reform himself as a serpent who would shed its old skin and would be reborn in a new body. Although in this particular myth he plays the negative role as bringer of chaos, Veles was not seen as an evil god by ancient Slavs. In fact, in many of the Russian folk tales, Veles, appearing under the Christian guise of St. Nicholas, saves the poor farmer and his cattle from the furious and destructive St. Elias the Thunderer, who, of course, represents the old Perun. The duality and conflict of Perun and Veles does not represent the dualistic clash of good and evil; rather, it is the opposition of the natural principles of earth, water and substance (Veles) against heaven, fire and spirit (Perun).
Veles, had some influence over agriculture, or at least harvest. Among many Slavic nations, most notably in Russia, a harvest custom persisted of cutting the first ear of wheat and tying it in a sort of amulet which protected the harvest from evil spirits. This was called ‘tying of the beard of Veles’, which also indicates Veles was imagined to be bearded. In several South Slavic languages, witty expressions such as puna šaka brade (full fist of beard) or, particularly, primiti boga za bradu (“to grab a god for [his] beard”, the forgotten god in this expression most likely being a pagan Veles), allude to exceptionally good fortune and gaining of wheat, wealth.

The day of Crom Dubh is 2. of August. In Serbia this is Sveti Ilija, the day of thundering sun, Ilios. But also Perun dan, the day of Thunder god Perun. On that day, Perun kills Veles and releases rain onto the Earth. In the same way, Lugh, Crom Dubh, kills Balor and releases rain onto the earth. Lugh, Crom Dubh is the three headed god and Čajkanović who was the main authority on Dabog, claimed that Dabog was three headed deity as well, Trojan, Triglav. So is Lugh actually Crom Dubh, Crom Cruach, Hromi Daba, Dabog? I believe he is and I will explore that link in detail later. Here I just want to show you that the clear link exists between Lug, Crom Dubh, Hromi Daba and Thunder deity. In the Balkans, on Perun dan, bonfires are lit on top of mountains, bulls are slaughtered and roasted and eaten communally and bull fights between bulls are organized in circular enclosures.

In Serbian word for “to lie down” is “leg”. Word for thunder is “grom”. Word for giant is “div”. 
If ancient people imagined Sun-Thunder-Fire god, Triglav, in any way shape of form, then it would have been a giant, with the ever watchful sun as its head or eye, thunder as his spear or club, or a hammer, or an axe and fire as his essence. 

If Cromlech is a “Giant’s Grave” then giant would be placed to lie in it. Cromlech = the place where grom (div) leg = thunder giants lies.

Crom Dubh, Crom Cruach, The crocked one of the tumulus is the Giant, God, worshipped in and on the tumulus, Cromlech, Dolmen…

I actually see here a proof of special link between Brythonic cultures (Breton/Cornish/Welsh) languages and West Slavic languages, which is not Indoeuropean wide, as we don’t find these type of words in other European languages.

In Czech Hrom means thunder, while in Serbian Grom means thunder, and Hrom means lame. This shows that k,g,h are interchangeable and krom, grom and hrom could all mean thunder. But also that Grom, Hrom meaning thunder could have been misinterpreted as Crom, Hrom, bent, stooped, lame.

The sound group k,g,h is interchangeable. It is produced by the same position of the mouth with tiny variations of pressure.  Depending on someone’s ability to hear the sound and repeat it, you get crom (pronounced krom), hrom or grom. So imagine this situation. Invading army have brought in a new religion and new god to the conquered territory. The god is named in the language of the invaders, and most likely the name of the god means nothing in the language of the subdued people. As the cultural mix occurs, the subdued people will find closest transliteration of the god’s name, something that makes sense to them, something that they can pronounce, and use that instead of the actual god’s name. Eventually, centuries later, the new name will be the only thing that remains, and the foreign god will have additional attributes added to it, based on the meaning derived from the new transliterated name.  This is exactly what happened in Ireland  with Grom Div which became Crom Dubh. Fomorians brought Grom div, Thunder giant, into Ireland. The subdued population, who did not understand the language of Formorians, and did not know what Grom Div meant, would have found the closest transliteration in their own language, which is Crom Dubh, Crocked Black. Eventually the thunder giant became dark lord of the underworld, and his shiny thunder nature was transferred to Lugh. One of the giveaways that Dark Lord is not the original meaning of the Crom Dubh’s name, is the fact that he is celebrated on mountain tops, like Perun, Tunder Giant, or like any other thunder or sun god. God’s of the underworld are not usually celebrated on mountain tops.  Also the Lughnasad and Crom Dubh day are one and the same.