Arkona


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Arkona

 

a city of Baltic Slavs of the tenth through 12th centuries on the island of Rugen (Slavic, Ruiana) in the southern part of the Baltic Sea; now part of the German Democratic Republic. The western part of the city was protected by a bank 10–13 m high.

Arkona was a religious center that united many Slavic tribes. The island’s ruler was the head priest of the god Sviatovit. His temple in Arkona was described by the medieval Danish author Saxo Grammaticus, whose data were confirmed in the 1920’s by the digs of the German archaeologist C. Schuchhardt and others. A large square for popular meetings was uncovered next to the temple, and to the west, dwellings.

In 1169 the Danish king Waldemar 1 razed the city and the temple. The statue of Sviatovit was burned, and the temple treasures were taken to Denmark.

REFERENCES

Schuchhardt, C. Arkona Rethral Vineta. Berlin, 1926.
Liubavskii, M. K. Istoriia zapadnykh slavian, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1918.
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