Full-text resources of CEJSH and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


2016 | 49 | 53-68

Article title

From Jericho to Argeș, Deva, Dynas Emrys, and Surami: the myth of construction between curse and sacrifice


Title variants

Languages of publication



The present article aims at a comparative analysis amongst four legends constructed around the same myth i.e. the myth of construction that requires a sacrifice: the Romanian ballad about the construction of the monastery in Argeș, Wallachia; the Hungarian ballad about the construction of the fortress of Deva in Transylvania, Romania; the Welsh legend of Dynas Emrys; and the Georgian legend about the construction of the Surami fortress. The legends represent the sacrifice in different ways. In the Romanian ballad, a woman and her child are walled in a church; in the Hungarian version, a woman is burnt, and her ashes are walled in; in the Welsh legend, the sacrifice is avoided, and in the Georgian one, it is transformed into self-sacrifice. Moreover, through a comparative analysis of different versions of the Bible, we shall emphasise the importance of the building of the city of Jericho, the significance of curse and sacrifice in both the beginning and the proliferation of the myth. For our research, we shall use the methodology devised by Mircea Eliade in his book about the myth of sacrifice ("Meșterul manole. Studii de etnologie și mitologie"), as well as the works of Professor Trumbull, "The threshold covenant" and "The blood covenant". One of the main conclusions of our article is that nothing that is human-made has a soul, and it can only last if it only acquires a soul. Hence the need for sacrifice that has been part of human history since times immemorial. Any revisitation of this myth can only bring people together and thus emphasise the things people and peoples have in common, and that can only lead to a better understanding of the Other.






Physical description


  • Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
  • Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu


  • Blaga, Lucian. Trilogia Culturii. Bucureşti: Editura pentru Literatură Universală, 1969.
  • Brenton, Lancelot. Brenton Septuagint Translation. 1884. Web. 7 June 2015.
  • Ciocian, Maria-Nicoleta. “Mitul jertfei zidirii”. Romanian Journal of Education 1.3–4 (2010): 109–120. Web. 15 June 2015.
  • Dumitrescu-Bușulenga, Zoe, ed. Meșterul Manole. Trans. Dan Duțescu. Bucharest: Albatros Publishing House, 1976. Web. 7 June 2015.
  • Eliade, Mircea. Meșterul Manole. Studii de Etnologie și Mitologie. Cluj-Napoca: Eikon Publishing House, 2007.
  • Haxthausen, August, Freiherr von. Transcaucasia. Sketches of the Nations and Races between the Black Sea and the Caspian. London: Chapman and Hall, Piccadilly, 1854.
  • Hebrew Old Testament: Westminster Leningrad Codex. Web. 7 June 2015.
  • Hirsch, Emil G. et al. “Jephthah”. Jewish Encyclopedia. The Unedited Full-Text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia. Web. 15 June 2015.
  • Jastrow, Morris Jr. et al. “Burnt Offering”. Jewish Encyclopedia. The Unedited Full-Text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia. Web. 15 June 2015.
  • Kalandarishvili, Ana. Translations from Georgian into Czech, 1916–2012. A study by the Next Page Foundation in the framework of the Book Platform project. Web. 7 June 2015.
  • King James Bible: Purple Letter Edition. 2009 (Based on the 1611 Authorized Version Old and New Testaments). Web. 7 June 2015.
  • Leader, Ninon A.M. Hungarian Classical Ballads and Their Folklore. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967.
  • Mickiewicz, Adam. Dziady, Część III. 1832. Warszawa: Elipsa, 1996.
  • Mikaberidze, Alexander. “History of the Georgian Literature”. Historical Dictionary of Georgia. 2007. Web. 7 June 2015.
  • Morris, Jan. Wales. Epic Views of a Small Country. London: Penguin, 2000.
  • Oișteanu, Andrei. Ordine și Haos. Mit și Magie în Cultura Românească. Iași: Polirom, 2004.
  • Trumbull, H. Clay. The Blood Covenant. A Primitive Rite and Its Bearings on Scripture. Philadelphia: John D. Wattles & Co, 1898.
  • Trumbull, H. Clay. The Threshold Covenant. The Beginning of Religious Rites. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1896.
  • Vermaat, Robert. Dinas Emrys: Vortigern and Ambrosius. 1999–2008. Web. 7 June 2015.
  • Young, Robert. Young’s Literal Translation of the Holy Bible. 1862. Web. 7 June 2015.

Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.