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Waideler or Waidelotte (etc.) is the name of a caste of priests in the Prussian religion , to which men and women - Waidelinnen or Waidelottinnen - belonged who were supposedly subordinate to the Criwe . The expression does not appear in sources until 1500 and then takes on the meaning "magician". The Weideler is the exporter of the so-called Bockheiligung which also Waidlen is called.

According to Simon Grunau , who was classified by science as unreliable , the Waideler lived chaste, taught people, taught children to pray, blessed sick people and cattle and were also fortune tellers. According to Grunau, the Waidelottinen fed the snake of the god Potrimpos in the grove of Rickoyto, while the Waideler were responsible for the eternal fire.


The original function and meaning of the Waideler cannot be determined from the sources and there are several scientific interpretations, two of which stand out:

The reconstructed old Prussian word * waidilis "wise man, seer, knowing" put the indogerm . Root * uei- "see, know" away.

The documented old Prussian word wayde "assembly" originally referred to a political assembly of the Prussians. The term was religiously "charged" by the Christian authorities from the 15th century onwards and would have been misinterpreted as a "pagan" ceremony and ultimately associated with sorcery. In 1561 the old Prussian word waidlemai meant "we conjure up" (1st Pers.Präs.Konj.).

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Endre Bojtár: Foreword to the Past. A Cultural History of the Baltic People ; Budapest 1999. ISBN 963-9116-42-4 . p. 341
  2. Reinhard Wenskus: About the significance of the Christburg Treaty for the legal and constitutional history of the Prussian country ; in: Ernst Bahr (Ed.): Studies on the history of the Prussian country ; Marburg 1963
  3. Michael Brauer: The discovery of 'paganism' in Prussia ; Akademie Verlag, Berlin 2011. ISBN 978-3-05-005078-2 . p. 267f.


  • Wilhelm Mannhardt: Letto-Prussian doctrine of gods ; Latvian Literary Society, Riga 1936. Reprint Harro v. Hirschheydt, Hannover-Döhren 1971.
  • Michael Brauer: The discovery of 'paganism' in Prussia ; Akademie Verlag, Berlin 2011. ISBN 978-3-05-005078-2