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Geography of Journal Authors

Stratum plus. 2012. №5

R. Spirģis (Riga, Latvia)

Finds of “Smolensk” Type Zoomorphic Pendants on the Territory of Latvia and a New Interpretation




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Pages: 195-220


One of the most common forms of zoomorphic pendant in 10th—13th century Daugava Liv and Latgallian material is the “Smolensk”-type pendant. The sixty finds known from the territory of Latvia can be divided into two variants. A proportion of the pendants were made locally. The animal representation on the pendants is open to various interpretations, but the majority of researchers regard it as a horse image and connect it with paganism.
Medieval bestiaries describe an imaginary animal called a leucrota, which precisely corresponds to the image on the pendant. In this case the origin of the pendant can be related to the spread of Christianity.


Keywords: the Livs, the Latgallians, zoomorphic pendants, bestiary, leucrota, Christianity


Information about author:

Roberts Spirģis (Riga, Latvia). Doctor of History. Institute of Latvian History at the University of Latvia
E-mail: [email protected]

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