Summer AS XLVIII (2013)
Volume XVIII, Issue 3 (#69)

From the Nachalnik

The Summer issue of Slovo is our traditional pre-Pennsic issue. However, as the Pennsic War continues to creep earlier and earlier in the calendar (old-timers will recall how we used to think of it as a mid-August event!), it becomes harder to get the issue out before people start loading their dragons. As usual, I have tried to provide a summary of class highlights and, of course, we have the traditional Pennsic gathering. Even accounting for a few hiccups, this will be our eighteenth gathering and if you are able to attend, I know it will be a good time. My thanks to Sfandra's energy and drive in making this happen.

A little later on this year, there will be a Slavic University (the fourth one, to the best of my knowledge, since SIG started) on October 26, 2013 in Hughesville PA. I plan to attend and hope all of you will as well. Details are in this issue.


Pennsic Gathering

By Sfandra Dmitrieva

Pennsic Slavic Interest Group Meeting!   Monday of War Week (7/29) from 6-8PM at the encampment of Haus VDK in B-05, gate on Bannockburn Road.  Bring projects, books, questions, anything you'd like to chat about with other Slavophiles. Feel free to bring food or drink to share!   It's not in the announcement, but it's quite alright if you're inspired to bring a treat. If you want to volunteer to prepare something, you can come to VDK early (pre-arrange with me) and use my camp kitchen (two burner range, grill with wok surface, prep area). For those of legal age, I will be providing an appropriate potent potable (kept on ice, naturally).

Haus VDK has allotted us part of their Dining Hall for this meeting, since we will have food & drink.  However, that also means sharing with members of the Household as they cycle in and out for their evening meals.  So be aware, there will be Lots of Other Folks around.  Yes, it'll be nois-- er, LIVELY ;-)  but it does mean we can sit and enjoy zakuski together.


Pennsic Classes

By Paul Wickenden of Thanet

As is an annual tradition, I wanted to provide my own informal survey of the offerings at Pennsic University this year to highlight classes which may be of interest to SIG members because of their subject matter or the instructor. My apologies if I overlooked any appropriate classes.


Tuesday, July 23

12noon -- Beginning Pysanky. Students will learn the history of the pysanka , as well as the techniques involved, and have the opportunity to create one of their own. The class is listed as 3 hours to allow plenty of time for writing the shells; it doesn't usually take that long. Lady Muirgheall O'Riein


Thursday, July 25

9am -- Fabric 101. Overview of period appropriate fabrics, fabric use, fabric types; identifying fabric using a burn test or chemical test. Hands on. Mistress Maria Pienkneplotno


Saturday, July 27

12noon – Beginning Pysanky. See above.


Sunday, July 28

9am – "But I Can't Read That!" Using Non-English Sources. This class will be taught jointly with Lady Judith bas Rabbi Mendel. If you have ever been frustrated by finding that the perfect reference to document your project is in a language you don't know, this class is for you. We'll be talking about using online translation web sites, dictionaries, and many other tools that can help you to understand and use foreign language resources. While we will briefly touch on pictographic languages like Chinese and Japanese, our focus will be on languages written with alphabets. Lord Galefridus Peregrinus

3pm – Romani : An Introduction to Gypsy Persona. Want a Gypsy persona, but don't know how/where to start? Learn about the Rom, their history, common pitfalls, and the fun of this fascinating persona. Lady Pesha the Gypsy

6pm – Russian Hats and Headdresses . Come and learn about the wide variety of elaborate hats worn by both women and men in Russia during the medieval era. We'll look at the different styles and terminology, plus discuss construction techniques in period, and how to recreate these pieces. Mistress Sfandra Dmitrieva Chernigova


Monday, July 29

12noon – Basics of Russian Clothing. Learn the basic structure of Russian garb, including patterns, seam finishes, decorative techniques and embellishments. Handouts are available. Mistress Sfandra Dmitrieva Chernigova

3pm – Conversational Russian. The class will cover the Russian alphabet and basic modern day Russian conversational phrases, responses and questions. After that we will go over words and phrases more related to the SCA, which can be used to flavor one's persona. There will be time reserved at the end of the class for questions. Lada Monguligin

6pm – Annual Slavic Interest Group Meeting. Feel free to bring projects, books, questions, anything you'd like to chat about with other Slavophiles. Mistress Sfandra Dmitrieva Chernigova


Tuesday, July 30

9am – Fabric 101. See above.

3pm – Russian Hats and Headdresses. See above.


Wednesday, July 31

2pm – Basics of Russian Clothing . See above.

5pm – Beginner Russian Calligraphy. The basics of medieval Russian calligraphy. Learn the basics of writing the Old Church Slavonic alphabet. There will also be a hand-out for Russian-style English alphabet. The hands-on portion of the class is limited to 15 people. Lada Monguligin

6pm – Romani : An Introduction to Gypsy Persona. See above.


Thursday, August 1

12noon – Pagan Beliefs in Ancient Russia. Slavic mythology is a difficult subject. The historical evidence is fragmented, with many conflicting sources and multiple later literary inventions. This is a brief reconstruction of ancient Russian mythology, based on archaeological and folkloric evidence. Lady Luceta Di Cosimo

12noon – Beginning Pysanky. See above.


In addition, Sfandra Dmitrieva has announced on the SIG-L that “ Instead of a formal class, I am hereby making myself available for one-on-one consultation at Pennsic on any advanced topics pertaining to Kievan Rus - clothing, accessories, embellishments, culture, history, etc. Contact me directly to let me know what you need help with, and when/where you'd like to meet - I will come to YOU if needed! War Week only.”


Slavic University

Slavic University is coming to the Aethelmearc!! A gathering for all those interested in the Slavic culture is coming to the Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais in picturesque Central PA. Join us to experience the unique aspects of these peoples. Learn from those gentles who have studied many years. Practice your art. Welcome newcomers with a bit of your experience with the Slavic world as a class instructor. There will be a library available to share resources. All attendees are urged to bring your best sources: a librarian will be present. Share your projects in the A&S display and show your works in progress.

There will be a token for the gentle who travels farthest in the Known World to join us. Wear/bring your best garb and be in the fashion show! Let's see how many different regions can be represented. Contact the autocrat to participate.

Slavic University will be held on October 26, 2013 at the Trinity Lutheran Church, 120 South Main Street, Hughesville, PA 17737.

Autocrat is Lady Byrgida Zajacszowa (Laurie Ann Balsavage), . Send registrations to the Troll: Lord Conrad Kienast (Robert English) 124 North Second Street, Sunbury, PA 17801. If you would like to teach please contact Lady Aibell ingen Dairmata (Lea Wittie) . A Slavic sideboard will be provided by Lord Ciaran O'Tighearnaigh (Craig Griffiths) . Contact him if you have dietary concerns.

Site opens 9AM , closes 7PM . This is a DRY site. Cost is $10; this includes the all-day sideboard. Make checks payable to SCA of PA, Inc., Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais. Children between the ages of 5 and 17 pay $5.00; babies age 4 and under free. The family cap is $25.00. A $5 surcharge applies to anyone without proof of membership the day of the event.
See ACG website area hotels. Some crash space available, contact the autocrat.

From the north: Find your best route to Route 15S. At Williamsport, follow I180E/220N about 15 miles; Exit for 405N; follow 405N into Hughesville. One block past first red light turn left: Academy Street (church on the left as you make the turn). Park in the large parking lot at the rear of the church.

From the west: Find your best route to Route I80, Exit 212B , merge onto I180W toward Williamsport. (You are about 15 miles from the site.) Exit 405N; follow into Hughesville. One block past first red light, turn left at Academy Street (church on left as you make the turn). Park in the large parking lot at the rear of the church.

From the east: Find your best route to Route I80W. Exit 212B to merge onto I180W toward Williamsport. (You are about 15 miles from the site.) Exit 405N, follow into Hughesville. One block past the first red light, turn left at Academy Street (church on the left as you make the turn). Park in the large parking lot at the rear of the church.


A Minor Foray Into Ukrainian Naming

By Sofya la Rus

A couple of years ago, I was asked to help with a Ukrainian name. This is more difficult than one might think. Our period sources don't come conveniently labeled "Ukrainian" since the separation of the Ukrainian and Russian languages was a gradual process.

Case Study: Vovkivna : The name Vovkivna was submitted for registration as a Ukrainian name in 2010. Commentators asked if Vovk- was a period stem and if -ivna was a period suffix.

According to the online Encyclopedia of Ukraine, among the many changes that occurred in the Early Middle Ukrainian period (late 14th to late 16th cent.) was the alteration of l to w before a consonant when the l came after an o that was originally a hard sign. The article conveniently uses vovk as the example: vblkb -> vo[w]k and "now spelled vovk".

Further confirmation of Vovk as an alternate stem to Volk in period come from Wickenden's 3rd edition where we find Vouk' (1476), Vovak/Wowak (1421), Vovchkevich (15th cent.), and Vovchok (1552). Wickenden doesn't specify that the names are related to Volk, but Vovchok and Vovchkevich come from Tupikov's  Slovar' drevne-russkikh lichnykh sobstvennykh imen  where they are listed as variants of Volk.

In addition, Paul Wickenden provided me with page 120 of Pavlo Chuchka's Prizvishcha Zakarpats'kikh Ukraintsiv Istoriko-Etimologichnij Slovnik (Lviv, 2005), where under the header Vovk we find Timkovi Vovkovi dated to 1606 which is "grey period" and therefore acceptable documentation for registering SCA names.

Judging by the way Russian names such as Lvov are Lviv in Ukrainian (both are patronymic/genitive forms of the name Lev indicating "city of Lev "), it seems obvious that the -ivna ending would be equivalent to the -ovna/evna patronymic ending. But I have not yet found any examples of -ivna in Wickenden's Dictionary or in the discussion of West Russian feminine names in Appendix A of his 3rd edition, although the name Mitkiewicza (from Zophiey Szymonowny Mitkiewicza Poszuszwienskiey, 1589) and Stasiowa (from Catrina Stasiowa, 1585) are temptingly close.

According to the online Encyclopedia of Ukraine,   one result of the loss of the jers in the 12 th century was a change in the pronunciation of o and e before syllables in which a jer was lost. In the south, the e and o were "narrowed", eventually being written as i in modern Ukrainian. The final stage of this occurred before 1653 when we have the earliest example of a word written with the i . So pronouncing - ivna instead of ovna / evna originated as early as the 12th century and certainly happened before the end of the SCA "gray period" when we know the spelling had changed to match.

Modern Ukrainian Alphabet (with Ukrainian name, transliteration, IPA) from Omniglot:

Old Ukrainian (mid-11th to late 14th century)

The period of Old Ukrainian includes the oldest extant Rus' texts and coincides with the rise and fall of Kyivan Rus'. The year 1387, when Polish supremacy over Galicia and Lithuanian supremacy over most of Ukraine were firmly established, can be considered a conventional cutoff date.

Many of the phonetic changes during this period are too subtle for English speakers to notice, but the ones we might notice in names include:  

(1) change of g > h (eg, noga > noha ‘foot'), ca 1200.

(2) beginning of change of i   into a vowel between i and y ca 1260, in modern Ukrainian as the letter i .

(3) the loss of the jers (" and ')  in the mid-1100s. The “weak” jers simply disappeared. The “strong” jers coalesced with either e or o. Among the many consequences :

(a) appearance of new consonant clusters, gradually simplified over time;  

(b) alternation of  v- with  u- (eg,   vnuk : unuk   ‘grandson');  

(c) change   -e > -a   in the sequence   -'je   (eg,   zel'je   ‘grass' >   zilja , Standard Ukrainian   zillja );

(d) change of   o   and   e   before a syllable in which a jer was lost (in words like stol"  ‘table' and  rech'  ‘stove').  

In the south,   e   and   o   in that position were narrowed, and so began an evolution that resulted in   i   in modern Ukrainian and the alternation of   i   with   e   and   o (eg,   stil : stola   gen sing,   pich : pechi ).

In the north,   e   and   o   in this position, when stressed, were diphthongized into   ie and uo respectively and later were further modified;   e   changed before   "   only if   " was originally stressed (eg, nesl''‘carried' vs   med"  ‘honey', modern northern Ukrainian   n'uos, med ).

In Old Ukrainian manuscripts the new e coalesced with e   ( jat' ), and from 1161 they were often spelled as   e   (the ' with crossed stem). This so-called new   jat'   became the earmark of Ukrainian manuscripts. The new o  was unable to be shown in the traditional alphabet, and this change remained unmarked until the 14th century, when some scribes began using the letter omega for that purpose.

Early Middle Ukrainian . (conventional dates, 1387 to 1575)  

The period from the late 14th to the third quarter of the 16th century coincided with the consolidation of the Lithuanian-Ruthenian state in most of Ukraine, except in Polish-ruled Galicia and Hungarian-ruled Transcarpathia, and with the rise of the Cossacks. Regular incursions by the Crimean Tatars forced the Ukrainian population to migrate. The shift of most of the Ukrainian-speaking population into a relatively small territory and their subsequent return as Cossack settlers to central Ukraine and expansion into the southern and eastern regions left a lasting imprint on the Ukrainian language.

The most important changes were:

(1) l   >   w   before a consonant after an   o   that originated from "   (eg,   v"lk"> vo[w]k , now vovk   ‘wolf');   This arose in northern Ukraine and it spread south and west only in the 17th century.

(2) complete merging of the older   i   and   y   in a middle sound;

(3) change of   e   into   i ,

(4) continuation of e/o > i after the loss of the jers – in this period the [O] changes into   u   and further into   u   (eg,   kot"> kOt > kut > kut , later   kit   ‘cat');

(5) o > a   before a syllable with a stressed   a   (eg,   bohatyj   >   bahatyj   ‘rich')

(6) pronouncing unstressed   o   as   u   before a stressed   u (eg,   zozulja   ‘cuckoo', pronounced [ zuzul'a ] in some dialects)


Middle Ukrainian  (conventional cutoff dates, 1575 to 1720).

This period begins with the consolidation of Polish rule throughout Ukraine after the Union of Lublin (1569), except in Transcarpathia and a small Muscovite-ruled northeastern region, and includes the Cossack rebellions, the Cossack-Polish War of 1648–57, the rise and decline of the Cossack Hetman state, and the curtailment of Ukrainian autonomy under Russian rule.

The major development was the final change of certain e/o > i as sources change   u   into   i that was started in Old Ukrainian times with the loss of the jers (eg, Old Ukrainian   kot? > kOt > kut   >   kit : kota   gen sing ‘cat'). This is one of the most striking features of modern Ukrainian (the earliest documentation of it dates from 1653).

The consonants /g/, /z/, and / zh / were introduced and/or stabilized to a certain degree during this period.   (Remember, the old g had become h in Old Ukrainian.)


Finding possible Ukrainian Names:

Early period texts (Kiean Rus) in the lands that became Ukraine were written in Old East Slavic or Old Church Slavonic. Old Church Slavonic was the language of the Orthodox religious texts brought from Bulgaria , where important church texts were first translated into a Slavic language. Old East Slavic was the language of all of Kievan Rus and the written form was strongly influenced by the Old Church Slavonic.

So when you're looking at Paul Wickenden's Dictionary of Period Russian Names , the “Russian” names documented before c. 1200 should also be considered “Ukrainian”, because the split between Old Russian and Old Ukrainian hadn't fully started yet.

Soon after the Mongols conquered the Eastern Rus , the Poles conquered the Western Rus. From then on, the Polish was the language of many of the primary sources from what is now Ukraine , with a mix of Latin and both Cyrillic and Latinized “West Russian”.

For names between the 13th and 16th centuries, you can use the information about the evolution of Ukrainian to pick out the “Russian” names in Wickenden that might actually be “Ukrainian”.

For 16th century names, Wickenden's 3 rd Edition has a discussion of “Russian Feminine Names on the Western Borderlands” in Appendix A based on the Akty istoricheskie, Vol XIV: Inventari imenii XVI-go stoletiia. In the body of the Dictionary, names from this West Russian source are marked as [Inv] and provide us with 16th century Ukrainian and Belarussian names.



•  Ager, Simon. "Omniglot - writing systems and languages of the world". 2012-02-30.

•  Goldschmidt, Paul (Paul Wickenden of Thanet). A Dictionary of Period Russian Names, 2nd and 3rd Editions. 2nd edition at

•  The Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine .


They Came With Us: Dogs of the Arpadian Magyars Prior to 895 A.D.

By Charles Stefanich


There are eight dogs recognized as Hungarian dogs. Of these five can be traced back to the migration of the Magyars into their new homeland. Two were hunting dogs (the Vizsla and Agar), a herding dog called the Puli, and the Kuvasz and Komondor were guard and personal protection dogs. The Kuvasz was also used to hunt large game. By bringing hunting, herding and guard animals with them, it seem reasonable to assume that many other professions besides warriors were among the people following Arpad. They came fully prepared to settle.



The Kuvasz gets its name from the Turkish Kawasz which means “armed guard of Royalty.” For hundreds of years the Kuvasz was a companion to the rulers of the Magyars and could only be owned by Hungarian nobility. They later became guardians of sheep and cattle.

The Kuvasz is a large dog capable of protecting livestock and their owners. Standing between 26 and 30 inches and weighing up to 115 pounds the Kuvasz was used to hunt wolf and wild boar along with its guard responsibilities.

Bold, audacious and regal the Kuvasz is self-sufficient, overly protective and can act on its own with any guidance from humans. These traits and the Kuvasz's ability to travel long distances over rough terrain makes the Kuvasz and excellent livestock guardian.


Magyar Agar

The Agar is a strong, elegant, easy going sight Hound. Able to run long distances, the Agar is used to course hare, fox and deer



A compact medium size herding dog the Puli is often mistaken for a Komondor puppy. Like the Komondor, the Puli has a corded coat. This protects the Puli from the weather and injury fron predators. Actively herding and guarding livestock during the day, the Puli raises the alarm and a Komondor rushes to defend the flocks. The Puli is capable to defend against predators but will rarely cause significant damage. The Puli's herding skill is such that ancient Shepards would give a year's pay for a Puli.



The Komondor is a protector of herds and livestock. While the Puli herds and protects during the day, the Komondor takes over the role of protector after dark. With his independent mind, the Komondor cares for his charges without human intervention. A direct descendant of the Affscharka a breed found by the Huns on the steppe, the Komondor has a long lineage and is considered a national treasure in Hungary today.



The final dog with a heritage dating back to the Magyar migration is the Vizsla.  There is a stone carving more than 1000 year old in the Carpathian basin which shows a Magyar hunter with his falcon and Vizsla. Recognized as one of the world's oldest hunting dog, the Vizsla was used to hunt partridge, pheasant, duck, geese and rabbits. Originally used to flush game birds as an aid to falconry, they could also drive birds and small game into nets. The Vizsla was also used to track wounded game such as wolf, deer and bear. The Vizsla was favored by the nobility as a hunter and companion.

The Arpadian Magyars brought with them all that they would need to settle their new homeland. And this included the dogs who herded and guards their flocks, hunted with them and served as their loyal companions.



•  “Dog Breed Info Center”

•  “Komondor Club of America.”

•  “Puli Club of America.”

•  “Vizsla Information and Resources.”


Lithuanian Resources

By Rebecca Le Get

For people who like articles, and free ones at that, I've found a few English-language articles about the Grand Duchy of Lithuania:

Rimvydas Petrauskas. 2006. “Knighthood in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania From the Late Fourteenth to the Early Sixteenth Centuries” Lithuanian Historical Studies 11: 39-66.

Raimonda Ragauskiene. 2003. “The Noblewoman's Court in the Sixteenth-Century Grand Duchy of Lithuania” Lithuanian Historical Studies 8: 27-60.

Jolita Sarceviciene. 2001. “A Vessel of Sins Full of Virtue: The Ideal Image of the Female in the Occasional Writings of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the Late Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries” Lithuanian Historical Studies 6: 23-54. DS.002.1.01.ARTIC/content

Gitana Zujiene. 2005. “The Marshals GDL Insignia and Their Place in Ceremonial [sic] Between the Sixteenth and Eighteenth Centuries” Lithuanian Historical Studies 10: 29-66. DS.002.1.01.ARTIC/content


And finally, it is in Lithuanian, but it is about cultural links between the GDL and Italy, particularly music: Jurate Trilupaitiene. 2002. “Lietuvos ir Italijos muzikiniai ryšiai XVI a.” Menotyra 1: 26: 64-69. DS.002.0.01.ARTIC/content


I hope they're useful!



Some items picked up on SIG-L (our Yahoo!Group) and off of the Facebook SIG group:


Standard Disclaimer Stuff: Most of us are members of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc (SCA) but our Interest Group and its newsletter are not officially affiliated with the SCA. Naturally, then, Slovo does not bear any intentional resemblance to anything that the SCA officially endorses.

The original authors retain the rights to their works. Please contact them directly for permission to reprint. Uncredited material is the property of the publisher.

The publisher and editor is Paul Wickenden of Thanet (Paul Goldschmidt), 5625 Highland Way, Middleton WI 53562, 608-827-6891, e-mail: There is no subscription fee and copies of this quarterly newsletter are available free of charge from the editor. Slovo is also available on-line at the Interest Group web site (