I have a quick question for our Russian-speakers. I understand that in Vera's Russian translation of PF, she translates "versipel" as "Oboroten," the Russian word for werewolf.  But in my research I have also come across the word "Volkodlak," which also seems to indicate a werewolf (and vampire, as well?).  Can anyone explain the distinction, if any, between the two terms? Would "Volkodlak" (volx + dlaka?) roughly translate as "shaggy sorcerer"? Lastly, how well-known is the Slavic tradition that in order to kill a "Volkodlak," one must drive an aspen stake through its heart?  I got some of these notions from Ralston's Songs of the Russian People (1872), where we find:

"A buried werewolf or vampire has to be pierced with an aspen stake. . . . The warm hide of the werewolf is in keeping with his designation Volkodlak, from dlaka, a shaggy fell."  Fell, according to Webster's 2nd, can mean "the skin or hide of a beast."


Matt Roth

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