Author Topic: Legend of werewolves  (Read 3996 times)

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Offline lady

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Legend of werewolves
« on: January 01, 2015, 03:16:17 PM »
Is it true that the Tsars Godfathered in Baptism the seventh male baby to protect him turning into a werewolf? And that this tradition began with Catherine the Great?
I live in Argentina, in my country Presidents Godfather a seventh child and it is said that the first family that requested it in 1907, was a Russian family that were afraid of the werewolf legend. I haven' t found historical sources of the existence of that legend so I'd need your help. Thank you.

Offline Превед

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Re: Legend of werewolves
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2015, 07:42:30 AM »
Is it true that the Tsars Godfathered in Baptism the seventh male baby to protect him turning into a werewolf?

I think the superstition you are referring to is Seventh son of a seventh son. Considering how many people in premodern times who had 6+ children, I don't think it would practically possible for the monarch to intervene that often. But perhaps the priest in superstitious regions chanted some additional exorcistic formula at the baptism of a seventh son of a seventh son?

And that this tradition began with Catherine the Great?
I live in Argentina, in my country Presidents Godfather a seventh child and it is said that the first family that requested it in 1907, was a Russian family that were afraid of the werewolf legend.

The Argentinean tradition started with Volga German immigrants. (Enrique Brost and Apolonia Holmann.) The Volga Germans had been invited as settlers to Southern Russia by German-born Catherine the Great. As she claimed adherence to Enlightenment ideals, I very much doubt that she would have supported anything to do with superstitions about werewolfs. But perhaps she was the godmother of some poor Volga German immigrant families with many children? It was not uncommon for the Russian Emperors to be godparents as a special show of grace.

BTW it seems that the belief in werewolfs (волкола́к / волкодлак / вовкулака) was mainly found in southern Russian / Ukrainian folklore.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 08:01:55 AM by Превед »
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