Just when you thought it hit rock bottom, Ukraine managed a major breakthrough in its descent into profound insanity.
The latest new low occurred on Orthodox Christmas eve, when Rostislav Novozhenets, Deputy Head of Ukrainian Republican Party and former deputy of the Lviv Regional Council declared that Jesus Christ is actually an “ancient Ukrainian”. The website Stalkerzone provides this translation from the original at Poltava Navigator:
“It is known that in 1200 BC, a new wave of settlement from Ukraine took place over all the world, including Palestine. The tribes of Gauls, Celts, and Cimmerians, who lived and formed on the territory of Ukraine, founded Galilee in Palestine,” said Novozhenets.
He additionally stated that Jesus must be of the Ukrainian genome because His Mother, the Ever-Virgin Mary, was “blue eyed” and did not resemble Semites.
“Jesus Christ was tall, his height was 1.80m, while Jews were short, no more than 1.60m. He had fair hair and a straight nose. Jews, as is known, have an aquiline nose. He had a typical appearance for Aryans, Slavs. Even his language: those who know the ancient Ukrainian language, it was kept only in Carpathians, in particular – Lemkos. As is known, people who are put on a cross during torture always remember their native language. He, in fact, spoke with a Lemkos dialect. It is necessary to remember this. We have to believe that Jesus Christ is an ancient Ukrainian. We must be proud of Ukrainians being the most ancient nation, which gave to the world the first civilization, the first state, the first wheel, agriculture, the plough. All of this is the legacy of Ukrainians, who shared it with the world.”
For those of you who speak Ukrainian, here is the source video:
I regard our readers to be of above average intelligence, and as a result, I do not wish to patronize them, by stating the obvious – everything we just heard was complete nonsense. Rather, below follows a more academic criticism of his statements, from the point of view of Slavic anthropology and philology. Let’s take a look at his most ridiculous statements and see how they hold up to historical evidence.
First, let’s address the notion of “Ancient Ukraine”. There is no such thing as “Ancient Ukraine” with the connotation of it being an independent state, prior to, and unrelated to the Russian one. The ancestors of Ukrainians were the same as that of Russians, and Belarusians: the Old East Slavs, who by the 9th century became part of a state known as Rus’ or “Kievan Rus”.
According to the Primary Chronicle, the first Princes formed the state in Kiev, after Rurik landed at Novgorod in 862 A.D. This happened thousands of years after era the Ukrainian politician was referring to as “Ancient Ukraine”. Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarussians share a common origin, Kievan Rus’ belongs equally to them, as it came equally before them as their ancestor. As historian Andrey Vlasov says regarding Kievan Rus’
“We can no longer define whether it’s Ukraine or Moscow Russia, it all happened before that.”
Furthermore, Archaeologist Pyotr Tolochko reminds us that in the late East Slavic common period, “There were no Ukrainians, no Russians, no Belarusians, and there were ancient Ruthenians [Rus’ people, the ancestors of Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarussians).”
Let’s move onto the next part of the politicians statement:
“a new wave of settlement from Ukraine”
From modern Ukraine, or the territory of what became Ukraine? Regardless weather or not this even happened, people who lived on a certain territory thousands of years ago are not necessarily related at all to the current inhabitants. Ancient Syrian people, as well as all of modern Turkey spoke Greek in Jesus’s time…now, not so much? How many Americans are relative to the indigenous peoples for example.
And here is where it gets really bizarre, this next statement really raises some red flags:
“As it is known, people who are put on a cross during torture always remember their native language”
How is that known?!? Been crucifying anyone lately? Perhaps your own people? How can anyone know what someone would do with iron bars driven through your bone and flesh. Moreover he offers zero evidence as to how this relates to The Savior’s passion, save for this next uncorroborated statement.
“He, in fact, spoke with a Lemkos dialect”
How would you know that either? Did you hear him speak when you lived 2000 years ago? To be fair, there is such a thing as theoretical linguistics, and linguists also practice the art of piecing together ancient languages from what clues we have and patterns in modern descendants.
Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is a reconstructed language based on scientific evidence of a language spoken between 4500 to 2500 B.C. – the common ancestor of Slavic (including Russian), Romance, Hellenic, Germanic (including English), and may other language families!
For example, we know by looking at late period Latin writers, what older Latin pronunciation sounded like, by their criticism of contemporary Latin. For more on how we can know what a dead language sounds like, see this video.
Lemkos themselves, who the Deputy speaks about, are a subgroup of Carpatho-Russians or Rusyns. They speak the Rusyn language, which is a descendant of Old Ruthenian, also known as Chancery Slavonic. Sometimes called Old West Russian, this language developed in Lithuanian Rus’ between the 13th to 17th centuries, as it diverged from the Vladimir-Suzdal dialect which became the Written Moscow language.
All these languages are descended from Old East Slavic, the vernacular of which is assisted in the Novgorod Birch Letters…it sounds very little like Rusyn. It is impossible for a 1st century individual to have spoken with a Lemko dialect, even if one believes in “Ancient Ukraine”, as we know beyond a doubt how the Old East Slavic language was written…it is far more archaic than Rusyn. No one in Ukraine can read it without training. Here is a chart of Old East Slavic compared to the modern languages. See for yourself how different it is to modern Ukrainian and Russian for that matter:
“We have to believe that Jesus Christ is an ancient Ukrainian.”
No. No we do not.
Finally, he goes on to say that Ukraine gave the world the “first civilization, the first state, the first wheel, agriculture, the plow”. That statement is so ridiculous it is not even worth defending. It may worth be pointing out, however, that the word Ukraine does, in fact, appear in the Bible…specifically the 19th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew printed in the 16th century Peresopnytsia Gospel.
Before accepting this as proof of his argument for “Ancient Ukraine” take note that this use of the word “Ukraine” refers to the border or coastline…in Judea…by the Jordan River, having absolutely nothing to do with modern or “ancient” Ukraine. That is the meaning of the word Ukraine, borderland, this is not an insult, but a statement of historical fact supported even by academic Ukrainian sources.
In conclusion, this speech from this Leopolitan (a citizen of Lvov), is incredibly ignorant. The claims are so outrageous, one can hardly tell if he is trolling or actually serious. In any event, he comes off as either childish or profoundly insane. Sadly, this type of behaviour has become all too common in post-Maidan Ukraine.