« 2020. № 2 (152)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2020. № 2 (152), 410—419

UDK 572.9





Ph.D in History, Associate Professor

Associate Professor of History of Ukraine Department,

Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University of Cherkasy

Shevchenko boulevard, 81, Cherkasy, 18000, Ukraine

Contacts: e-mail:

Abstract. Introduction. The relevance of this topic is due to factors related to the philosophical understanding of the process of counting, including the numerical pair «primum par».

The aim of the paper is to consider the Semantics of the «first couple» in the mythological texts and rites of the Slavs.

Methods. The study uses methods of structural anthropology, where the cultural text is seen as a system of semantic balances and counterbalances.

Results. The relevant principles explain the mythological significance of «even-odd», «one-two», «Sunday-Monday» pairs. In particular, primumpar «even-odd» is a local manifestation of the binary concepts associated with the idea of extending life, mating and being born with the opposite «not clear» values that correspond to the state of failure and decline.

The numerical manifestation of the first pair that almases a wide range of meanings is the phraseology «one-two», which is used to encode the informative streams related to the descriptions of the completed action, permanently the effect or statement of the fact. The feasibility of this encoding is attributed to the wording of the number. In particular, in the process of transforming the descriptive values into a specific number of broadcast mythological meanings occurs compactly and quickly. Perception of the information is ensured by the fact that addressee has a decoding tool, resulting in primumpar unfolds in the descriptive text.

The semantic tone of the couple «one-two» is provided by the first component of phraseology, statement of primacy and strength, the next part of which creates precedent plot, implementing in time and space the potential of the «first». In this case, the pair «one-two» is a brief description of a certain cycle, outlined by the two boundary points — by birth and dying. Instead of the unambiguous nominatives of the lexical couple «one-two» allows to «reload» the system, which describes the inappropriate state of mythological picture of the world, which involves washing the old (unbalanced, sick, unsuitable to Life) and the birth of another (synchronized, healthy, rejuvenated) structure. The semantic equivalent of the «one-two» sequence is the timeline pair «Sunday-Monday», where Sunday is associated with the concept of «first», and Monday is identified with the «second». In this context, the «first» semantics is much deeper because it transcends numerical symbolism. In a mythological etiology, Sunday is the creation of the day, that’s why he almases all possible semantic levels (astronomical, bodily, time, spatial, artistic), related to birth and life.

Keywords: mythological picture of the world, number, time, Sunday/Monday, one/two, even/odd, birth/dying, ritual text, divination, semantics, taboo.

Received 17.03.2020


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