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What kind of brothers in Russia were called cross, milk and other strange kinship in our days
What kind of brothers in Russia were called cross, milk and other strange kinship in our days

Usually, when people are called brothers, they mean consanguinity. Of course, we are not talking about gangster "brothers". But in Russia there were other options, that is, not only kinship by blood, but also many other fraternal bonds, no less strong. Read in the material who were called foster brothers, what was the difference between half-children, half-children and half-children, how it was possible to become cross brothers, and what principles numerous religious brotherhoods had.

How blood brothers differed from dairy ones

The foster brother is the son of a wet nurse in relation to a stranger's infant nursed by her

Blood brothers are men who have the same ancestors. In other words, the connection after birth is important here. But, for example, the Scythians, who lived in ancient times in the south of Russia, called blood men who took an oath of allegiance and always on blood. Historians write that a Scythian man could "acquire" three blood brothers, but he had to perform a certain ritual. It consisted in the fact that the fellows should drink wine from the ritual horn, having previously mixed it with a drop of blood from each of them.

There were also foster brothers. This was a very common term in the old days. If the nurse was feeding the baby, then her blood son called this child that way and became his foster brother. That is, the two men were not relatives, but were called brothers. The milk of women united them. Despite this, such children could have completely different social status. For example, a peasant breadwinner had a son, and she brought up a baby from an aristocratic family.

Brotherhood of the Cross and How to Become a Named Brother

To become a cross brother, one had to exchange body crosses

Eastern, southern and western Slavs practiced the conclusion of a strong alliance for lasting friendship, and it was necessary to confirm it by exchanging body crosses. Babies were put on them after baptism. People often valued the so-called crusade brotherhood more than blood brotherhood. After all, men who had no common ancestors voluntarily passed into the rank of brothers. Albeit symbolic, but striving to share grief and joy. The people treated the crusaders with respect, accepted this kind of "brotherly creation", ranked them as true relatives. One of the examples of the brotherhood of the cross is described by Dostoevsky in his brilliant "Idiot". It's about Rogozhin and Prince Myshkin.

There was one more way to conditionally become related to a person. One could become a named brother. That is, not being blood brothers, people could call each other named brothers and consider each other relatives. Today, most likely, people would call it a deep, strong friendship. It is not in vain that even now, referring to a friend, men often say: "You are like a brother to me."

Consolidated, uterine and consanguineous - what's the difference?

Step brothers and sisters have different parents

If a man and a woman remarried, and at the same time they already have children, then the latter acquire the status of half-brothers and sisters. That is, people are linked by family relationships, and not by genetic relationship. It happens that people mistakenly call step children those children who have a common father or mother. It’s a little bit different. In fact, if children have one mother, but different fathers, then they should be called half-brothers / sisters, and for those who have different mothers, but one father, there is the term half-brothers / sisters.

There is a very interesting nuance: when a half-brother or half-blood boy is born in a family where there are half-brothers, in the future, in the next generations, the descendants of these children will be officially blood relatives.

How we became church brothers

In Orthodox churches, parishioners are addressed by necessarily adding "sister" or "brother."

When Orthodoxy was adopted in Russia, the manner of addressing each other "brothers and sisters" became very common. Believers in God used this phrase, taking an example from the apostles, who said that all human beings are children of God, and, therefore, brothers and sisters. Until now, in Orthodox churches, the flock is addressed not just by naming a name, but by adding “sister” or “brother”. This has become commonplace and is often seen in books and films.

In the works of the theologian Kopirovsky, one can find information about brotherhoods that began to arise in Russia in the 15th century, during the period of the threat of unification of such religions as Orthodoxy and Catholicism. People who did not want this, and also did not agree with Metropolitan Isidor, who was striving for church union (at that time he was the head of the Russian Church), began to create brotherhoods for the preservation and consolidation of Orthodoxy. Religious confrontation was very strong in cities such as Lvov and Kiev, that is, where the position of Catholics was especially strong.

Members of such brotherhoods tried in every way to spread Orthodoxy. Their responsibilities included educational activities, the organization of printing houses, the opening of schools. They tried to identify the apostates and resist them, permission was obtained to disobey the local bishops from the eastern patriarchs. True, in the event that the bishop is convicted of treason. The brotherhood from Lvov had great rights and universally recognized authority. He even had a personal court for solving intra-fraternal affairs.

By the middle of the 12th century, brotherhoods became practically unnecessary, since the Lviv and Kiev lands joined Russia. The number of brotherhoods began to decrease, but some of them survived. They have acquired the status of charitable societies.

When in 1917 the socialist revolution overturned the Russian way of life, the fraternities stratified into two planes: those that remained in the new Soviet country, and those that operated outside its borders. The former directed their efforts to support the foundations of Orthodoxy, which began to stagger in the new atheist society, while the latter acted abroad, concentrating on uniting emigrants.

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