We can name successive Polish rulers and the most important battles. We learn with interest the fate of European nations. We are often interested in the history of countries as far away as China or India. Can we say as much about ourselves?
Genealogical records have existed for millennia. The oldest found is an inscription on a plate found in a temple in the city of Ur, informing about the dedication of the temple by “A-anni-padda, king of Ur, son of Mes-anni-padda, king of Ur”. It should be noted that this plate is about 5,000 years old.
For centuries, the attention of scientists and theologians has been drawn to the biblical accounts of successive generations. Already in the Book of Genesis, we find: “Cain drew near to his wife, and she conceived and gave birth to Enoch. When Cain built the city, he named it after his son: Enoch.
Enoch was the father of Irad, Irad the father of Mechujael, Mechujael the father of Metushael, and Methuselah of Lamech. Lamek took two wives.
One was named Ada and the other was Silla. Ada gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and shepherds. His brother was named Jubal; all those who play the zither and the flute come from him. Silla – she also gave birth to Tubal-Cain; he was a blacksmith who made all tools of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naama. ” (Genesis 4: 17-22).
There have been many attempts to deduce the greatest families from characters appearing in the Old and New Testaments. Of course, these were not confirmed in any way. Nevertheless, many of them have become an inherent part of folk tales.
At the beginning of the 19th century, in “MiersuaechroniconLechitarum et Polonorum”, a list of the descendants of Japet, from whom Poles were to come, was written: Jafet – Jawan – Pillar – Alan – Anchiz – Enej – Askani – Pamphil – Reasylvania – Alan – Negnon – Vandal. The author assumed that from the Vandal “went the Vandalites, now called Poles”. This argument was considered true for decades!
It was also common to lead royal families away from pagan gods and various heroes. In this way, the roots of the monarchs reached the summit of Olympus (Greeks), the divine Odin (Scandinavian rulers), or the goddess Amaterasu (Japan).
In the Middle Ages, great nations sought their roots among the Trojans. Aeneas, great-grandson of Tros, was recognized as the founder of Rome. The kings of the Franks were to come from Hector, who was also the great-grandson of Tros.
Subsequent generations of Trojans also gave rise to the families of Tuscany (Tisciusz) and Lombardy (Longobardus). For centuries it was said that the Britons were also descendants of refugees from Troy (Brutus).
In the Indian Peninsula, too, it is unimaginable not to know your family history. Every Hindu must know at least four generations back. They are entered in the personal horoscope obtained at birth. This knowledge is also useful in the later years of life, during religious ceremonies (e.g. weddings) when the priest asks these ancestors for spiritual support.