Dieva dēli

by Aldis Pūtelis

The unnamed sons of the supreme god Dievs and the suitors of Saules meitas. They are described as working in the household of their father. Their number is not clear — there are usually two of them, but sometimes three and sometimes no number is indicated, thus leaving just the concept. There is also a tendency to refer to some deities as Dieva dēli (such as Janis and Jumis), yet this is not a stable phenomenon although there are texts attributing this name especially to Janis.

Also the relations with Christianity are unclear, because it is indiscernible whether there were such concepts before Christianity was brought to Latvia. Besides, despite the motif of the heavenly wedding, the mother of Dieva dēli is not known. The pattern of masculine deities having sons seems to be common in Latvian material as Pērkons, Mēness, and even Auseklis have sons; whether it started with son(s) of god cannot be established clearly. Biezais put forward a theory of Genitivus apellativus, meaning that the word dels (or meita) refers only to the virginity of the deity.