Vseslav of Polotsk


Vseslav is the ruler of Polotsk an area which is now a part of the Country Belarus.  He is known as a strong warrior.  His Cathedral of Holy Wisdom is one of the most valued monuments on the country of Belarus.  But Vselav is not only known as a ruler, he is also known as Vselav the Sorcerer.

On some tales, Vselav is depicted as a vicious werewolf particularly in the Tale of Igor’s Campaign which was written in the 12th Century.  Notice on how in his emblem he has a depiction of a werewolf on the background.   Here is a short excerpt on the novel:
 "In the seventh age of Troyán Vséslav cast his lots for the Maiden dear to him." "He with wiles at the last tore himself free: and galloped to the city of Kíev; with his weapon took hold of the golden throne of Kíev; galloped from them like a wild beast at midnight from Bĕ́lgorod, swathed himself in a blue mist, rent asunder his bonds into three parts, opened wide the gates of Nóvgorod, shattered the Glory of Yarosláv [the First]; galloped like a wolf from Dudútki to the Nemíga." "On the Nemíga the sheaves are laid out with heads; men thresh with flails in hedgerows; on the barn-floor they spread out life; they winnow the soul from the body." "On the blood-stained Nemíga the banks were sown with bane,—sown with the bones of the sons of Russia." "Prince Vséslav was a judge to his subjects, he appointed cities for the princes: but he himself at night raced like a wolf from Kiev to the Idol [or, (accepting the reading of the text unaltered)—to the Lord] of Tmutarakáń, raced, like a wolf across the path of the great Khors." "To him at Polotsk they rang the bells early for matins at Saint Sophia; and he at Kíev heard the sound."


Vselav may have also been the basis for Volkh Vseslavich.  They were considered as priest during the pre-Christianity period and believed to possess magical powers.  Their knowledge on the mystic arts can be related to the allegation that Vselav is a sorcerer.  The volkhs are also believed to have the power to transform themselves into werewolf.

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