Yarovit

God of War, Solar God, God of Fertility, God of Agriculture

Yarovit (Latin: Gerovit, Herovit, Polish: Jarowit) is a god of war worshipped by Polabian Slavs associated with fertility and agriculture. In interpretatio romana, he was compared to Roman god of war Mars. His feast probably fell on April 15 or May 10 - sowing festival. His symbol was a golden shield that was kept in his temple. Because of the identical first part of the name (jar(o)) he can be associated with the East Slavic god Yarilo, and because of the semantic similarity with Svetovit, some scholars suggest that both gods are related.

Scholars believe that Yarovit was a solar god in addition to being a god of war. This is to be proven by a large, artistic, golden shield belonging to a god that can represent the sun.On the tombstone, which was created in early Christian times, located in the Church of St. Peter in Wolgast there carved a figure with a spear, which is considered the image of Yarovit.

Scholars also believe that Yarilo is related to Svetovit. It is argued that the names of both gods mean the same: the name of Svetovit most likely comes from word svęt ("powerful, mighty") and -vit. The second similarity is the shield dedicated to Yarovit, which served to divination the victory during the war – the same function was performed by the white horse of Svetovit. Brückner suggested that first the name Yarovit was created and later Rani replaced him with Svetovit, because the first two parts have same meaning.

Yarovit could also be associated with fertility and agriculture (just like Roman Mars), and this may also tie him to Yarylo, whose name comes from a similar root. The curse spoken by Yarovit through the mouth of a pagan priest may indicate this:

“I am your god, I, who clothe the plains with grass and the woods with foliage, the produce of the fields and the trees, the offspring of the flocks and everything that is of use to man are in my power. I give these to my worshippers and take them from those who despise me. Tell then the inhabitants of the town of Hologost that they accept no foreign god who cannot help them, and that they suffer not to live the messengers of another religion who, I predict, will come to them.”

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