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:Northmen

GEORGES'DU.M,EZ'lL
-----

AI1clent

oft:he

CENTER .fOR TFlE. STUDY OF COMP,ARAT[Vl. FOLKLORE AND MYTH.oLOGY~. UNIVERSI.TY

PUB:UICATIONS OF THE, UCLA CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF COMP,ARAYI'VE FOLKLOR.E ANn ~tYTHOLOGY

J3ianPuhve.~ (ed,.) •. My,h imd .L.awmtiQng. 11~c IndQ-EurolJs:a:riSt ~'9jo. 2:.Wa,yrnaDd. D •. fla.nd (,ed.) •.Ameritan .Folk Le:,geud',. 1911 i. 11'. '-- ··'I~·"'"'~' ,~,_. ~tl:.._, ;v _ ' a~ Ceara,..., D·'~11m'~"~1 'ro~~ ""f' ,111 ~'i"""""'.I.!'I·,II!" '''yr,,,,j'~,,,,,,,,-.-, I' {iif!'<l t _~ """"'''~e~;''l!Ir ... !lHlI'L~,!t,..R~
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Gods of the An,cian't Northmen

,edited 'by EINAR :HAUGEN '~m:kod:uction by 10. S{lOU MW,eton and. OdiE)Strutynsti

U~nv' ':E-c-D'.:!I'T: Y····O.".:_' C' A~ "'P"C' .·1D:r..uA···· 'P·RE·'o-,s' ,'"'.1 '~~'_:" ,'_'. F' ,,',nJ.4J._ '_".U,"\II." __ '" _: I , 0 B,erkeiey Los Angel,e',sL.ondon
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M. ion

nCLA CENTER .FOR THE S,TVDY OF COMPARATIVE FOLKl.ORE AND 1I!f.YTFIOLOGY PubHcat,[ons:

In

UnivJ!'rsillY '01fCaJjfomla Press Ile:d::(::I,c:'Y' :an.dLos: .Ange]t~, C;iMifomia U"~~nl'ty of c.:Jjfomiil


p[~$~',

Ltd.

Willdon! Eflg:lmd

'GCOH'!!I!:t
"'~"

Th~ 'Goth ollh.4' .AlI#ef'l,t N~RIJtI~~'R tn;Il5I~,.nedfrom is :D1JJ:mel:i~.uS'Dr"e,ux d4$ Gei1mlint,~. Pr,~ Un,~r;~n:'iwr~:5deF.r::;m,c~ @P'feSS~ Uni"e~lta1f1tS dil:france,> 19.~9 Thi$ ~ftOslado" 1973, b~' Thc-Re"gerits ofth~ U.~i\te.~ity of Q;jifonuOli
:FjmPa,pC!'rbl1.~k: Edh:i~D. 1977 fSBN~ 0·/,20-03507·0 t:i bmry Q,H:o,n;IlK.~U,talkl'g Yld Numbe.r~:N-15
7819

:Pr)n'tc:d ~111 11rifted, St.3i!te.'l,of AmetlCll, the

Z34,61I,0

vii
rntrodUclion.Part]~ by G. Scott Littleton

xix
.._.,lu
A,Jj,¥.'·

""~.,,, """I til


4-'

80

.EINAR HAUG.EN

This volume isa result of collaboration of rhe undersigned wi lh. students in hisaouTse in S'candinavian 1\:lydlOlogy,u Harvard Unl .. ver-sity (1.9,65=1971),. The lack of an ,Inglisb'Veniou of DUDletir'S studies left so embarrassing-a lacunaIn the field that. .I encQuragf!d, quali6ecL students to translate a chapter 01· an al'[JdBin Iieu of a term paper. 1 have then carefuUy dleck!ed the translaHOJuagainst the original,rev:J\sed themwbere necessary.and edited them :into. a Con'1m~[!fOfma.t.Profe5s0r Dun.le2~:1 has 1.dndly cooperated in pur work of revision and 'tr.ansl.a.tiOJ.1J~50 that all Ch~U1~S· :in content frem the originals are either proposed or anthorlzed by him. Th~narue'S Q[ the ttanslatOl's a:ppear in thetabID,e ofcenteuts opposite cachcbmpter or .article for whkh tbey prepared the original] dl:.a.Et .. Iw.isb to thank tbem here Lor their assistance, especially John Lindow,. who has bad the glleatest share in the work. TlH:: others are Alan 'Teth, l;'raucis, Charat, and G.eo:rge IGope:n. l~tn atlso grateful to C.. Scott Littleton for his Interest in the vohnne. For some com." ments on Dume:drs cOHcep,tions see :my arr.ide" "The myth.kaJ. suuct'u.re of the andent S~Ga:ndinavians: Some tho~gh.ts on. re,~ding

.Dume,.

zil," in To Honor R,oma,11. jak()bso'}1. (The Hague: Monton~ ).9'67)~ ,8'5~5-B6'8 ;repTin t,edin Jnt'foducl ion to Str-uchtra,lism;~ ed. 1\1.. Lane

(New York: Bask Bookg·; .'g,70)" 170---18·3.

.Introdu,ctio:n"Part l

book.1 devoted to ther:t;:matkablescnolaily achievements of Georges Dume2:ilJ! I was forced to sta.te that as -yet no EIigHsb~anslation~ of his books, had been attempted and tbat, save for a handful ,of spedaHsts in the s~:ve,r.atndo.Europec··tn.ospeaki:ng I ttadh:1ons.~be was all but unknown in "le monde anglo·s3.XJo:n..~.,Since 1'9I66~owever, thanks in some small measure to 'that book and) more h impQxtant,w [be recent appeaJ!·aI)C~' of Engli8hu'ansladon$ of :["1/0

.$ev,eral yea:n' ,~goJ'ina

o( Dume;zil'smajor wor~ (AT-chaic Roman Religion [1970] and The' Destiny of th-e Wafrio'f [l9L70]. bothpubHshedby the-University
of Chi.cago Pte'.ss)~tbi5unhappy circumstancehas begun to be rectified, That Professor. Haugen and his students have seen. fit tom;;endef Les rdi,fU:-Z des GermaJns in.to, Gods of ;the Ancient .Norl.hmen, is-further proof that one 0.£ the most signiJica:nt. oontributiGDSIO general knowledge flet luade in this century i.sfimiUy receiving the attenrion it deserves on ibis side Oif the Atlantic. It.wou1.dhe im.po.5~tiblehere to discuss iilany detail the evehrticn 0.[ Dnmezil's ceneeptien of the. fundamental structure of the common Indo-Buropean ideo[ogyJ le:t.alonetotreat adequate]y Its present status. Neverthelesa, to put the present ',york into its proper context.r

espeeially for those readers otherwise un:Eamiliar with Dumeril,mt is

necessary to sketch very brIe:fly Itth.el·,brrancies, llgnes," as it were', of dds conceplion.~ to Satya. few words about. how and why it dievel(liped~ .. :! an d to comment on ltsgen.era~1'··· "'6' .. .~ tne h s:rg:nJ~_cancejor he _~uma.n. cu~nc'es.,s ..
,c. Soot~ Littleton" The. .New Compafah':v~ M,th:olo:8)'. :!:!d. ~.. ~efkdey and
J ibe1iev~ Il.Q be:

:II,

~.

Angcles:Umlv-enlty o~ CaHforni.a .PJl=, 1'9~5). 2 The foU(fwlngo'vernew lof F:r(Ifies15Olf D!J:rncn:i]·:s wiO.rk andwha:t

In the early Ele,cad:es f 'me present ,century" thanksto o


-,

therapid de-

mise of Marx MUHe:r"s ~'!oobu; ythO:lo.gy"~' atthe bands of anthrepelom gists and. others, loomparn.:tive 'mythology ..... especi;aUy comparative '. . Indo-JZuropean mythology;~rrea!cbed a low ebb. The grand theories
of the nine:tee:Dth century could no longer be suppor~ed~ no new but s,yn'd:lfsis: was imm.edia'telylartb.coming .. Narrow'iyfofu:sedresearch , into the specific I'ndo.Etu~opea)n traditiJons-,Gr8ek~ Indj.c~ Celtict Cermani!c\!' andthe Hke'-beca:methe order of tile day.Ye tthe basle problems tnwbich Milne]; and his Sd,lOQ~ had addressed themselves remained unresclved, and in 1: 9~4 a young' Indo-Europeanist, Geor~ g.e~s])un'u~zi1Jet our to find ,a, new and viable theoretical fram.e"i\~l]rk s in terrns of wll:idl these p'Foble:m5 m:igb.t Ofi~emO.Fe be app"r,ci!ildu~d; problems posed by the obvious f'U:nctio:nal~iJ not onomasticparallels between agreat many ancient Indo-European gods and heroes. Dumezll's ,Ant 3.ttem'pts(e.g. Le Jes,~in dJimmurtaliti! [19241. ,Le 'PTobleme des C'entaure;s [1929]) to develapa.. new framework, grounded as tbey were III Fra:zeria.rrJ,theory, proved unsueeessfnl, .By 19.38~however; be bad made a ma] or dbcO'very and had. come to draw upon a. wh.olly dlilerent thecretieal sour·ce.Tbe dis.covell' was that the ancient ]ndo·European~speakiIlg c.o:mm.unitie5:~ from Rome to Indla, weremostlike]y characterized, at least in their ea:diest phases, by a.tdp.rtftite sodal class systemj: one that very broadly resembled tbe rhree Aryan or '!f<['wi,ce ])0'[:0"' castes o£ medieval and. modern. Indi,a.8 The new theoretical base was what 'm:i.gbtge:De~ally be termed the "Preach sncio.lGg;ical 5(11.001/' as developed bJ'Dlllrk;he.im, Mauss" and. others, Ahbougb. it is certainly 'urdair to charac~ teti:re Dumtlil a5, an imm,ediate di5dp~e of this .s,chaol (his f;u.:ndamenral ·training was in philology and the: ltiswry ofreUg.i.oru):,. he
i,t8
~.Q5{

t.erm. ~'oodal :sciem,ces"" .~:omehow seems m3pprop:d:a.t~ he're)!Fl!eIZeSS!l.dly reflects in liome m~OOLn'e ~.y ~wn op~njor'!!!l as, an :l1'i!itb.ropo.l.ogist. lt s,l]ou:td:' be empihasj.:zed mat :DuJI!~n. who b ifiof :anan'tboopOl]ogis~. bgl ~ "'O'mpa:r.a:tiv~ philologiU" does not fully O1I:g«~:witb all I(}!f(b:cse .q;inj,Q!I\!(j,T,]lls ~:f(Hal. disa:~m'~Iil~. S~:nl:l, in ],a:rg:1ll part" l.beUc:ve~&om thernther (:GnsidbaJble~ di:f:ferenlces in. ,pe:rs,pective 'belw-eeD. our. n\!iO,fii.e~ds. and it ID. no way a.l'ocUJll}i' estimQle oE mt'loounliness olf ~is: I'e~ :Ilearu."wbiich. ':a:s Iha.'i!1e already iii:i:d;[(::a.~.ed._,millu l~~ga.rd,ed. alii one ~f Ith~ moo!t bdlUan.t :i3Ind.FunJdillme~l~ru! :5m.(llady ,3:,chie.Y1'::met!l~ of. o!ur time. ,a In: reeent ,eal':9!D1Jm.e~n hiM iD!lJistll;dl tbat thep~ce of the trip.d:tjte: ide. olOgY does nCltf:i.e~.arilyimply ,ihep1!eJenCiIi! ·of a lr~p~rtjte sQoIl;ialsynem (see~ fol' ~xamiP~.e.GeD~sJ[)um~n. A(ylne ettJfMl'ie,e I [Pa.fi;:~Grulimar,d. l.g68].,pp .. ~4"'1G). AdmiLted!ly. the ,j!vid.c:n:ce (ontll<ideof Indla) fUJi 6'Odaltrlpadi't:~Qon h W l~:ss (lerta~n than that f{li~ ~npe:r,"atural tdpat.til.1on. Yet 1\ do feelthatt U: only 'OR the. basH o~ ~~neral soci.a1. t.hoolJ-Im.u81; oomess iba, 'bein,g .S.QtID.etlimg of :at:l un:loooiilstrud~ Dt,u;:kht3'in:dan. ....:it.u poss;iMc t'Q' po~.tulate the exts:tf:ne<:: of at:t.ipa:rttte mcht.1 8y5tem MIlanI fhe Pmto·lnd!o·Eu:l'opearu: andtheirimlDiedil!otie descen:daru:s.

important

ImplicatiOlD,sr{li[, the

ubUnliUl"sriefl!ce$'"

(~be more, .cO!l'iIy·e,nt:ional

xi

.nevertheless came "to adopt-or adapt-'5everaI ()i.f its: most important axioms" ~.5pecianythe one that asserts that im.po:rtant :social and. cultural .realide\5 are UcoUectively represented' by.supematur:albei:ngs and e()o~ptsjan.d. that. there is an intima.te' and fu:nctiona] CODnec~
tio.nbetween. sodal{ac:ts and religious faers, 1n any e:vent,by .).94!O-1941t~' drawing upon his dlscoveryef social

Uipartltion.J~·jllameth.odesoGjologiqu~~"and~hettadi.donaI methods of compal'a.dve phUology~ Dumezil had synthesized acomprehensive model of the (lomm.on Indo.European ideology; one thaI~althougb cxtensivdyre6.oed :andmodlfi.ed in the ye'a1sdlatfoUowed,bas 17e mained fundamental to hi:s,conception of the ideology in question. As ,n~sendy formulated, the sallenr jeaturas of thismodel can be summarized as follows:; The COIll.mon Indo-Eurepean ideology', derived. ultimately [r,om one cba:rncterisdc. o:f the ..Proto··I:ndo· .Eur1o:pea.n comn:uJI1IityJ was composed of rhree fUfidamenta]prirll.dp~es,:: (l) maintenance .of cosmic and juridictd order, (g) the exercise aE physllcal prO'Wf5sJ' and (3) the promotion ofpbysic.al weU~being. EaCh :of these principles rarms the 'basis for what D Uln:~zil terms a .fo1icfion, or ,j'function·~~that1s,~ :a
B•

complex whole that. includes both the id'eologieal principle itself and its numerousmanifestatiensin the ·~ev,eral ancient Indu·;£uropean

sy:stems.!IlIThe flrstfuncdon was thusexpressed in the presence of distinct priest classes (e:.g." the Indlc I _ •.." '0." nS',I' .• ~~. ._,., ~·t-b·:I·· 't· -. .JI ·,.t··t:JJH~' ,-' ',.e ·th·'··· !t{- . ~ra. huna..',' i)"~ Wdl ell 10 eVI, a y SdJoesar ,_ ;-. apex. 0.11. ..err .respeCl:.l've social. sys:tems, and wbi.d:l were collectively r:epresented:linlbe Darkl' h.e.imiao .sense, by apair 01 sovereign gOdS~l.suchas, Mitra. and Va:rI!lJ):a in. Ved~clnd:ia, Jupiter and Dius F.idius .at Rome" and. Odin. and. Tyr inaru.dellt StandiJn:av.ia.., Moreovef,.tnere was a dear division. of la.bor between these t?TO co-sovereigns: one, let us eallhhn the. '~fVaru,.a fi.gure./ had clut:rge of cosmicmatters, the other, 'who may be termed social and supernatural
I

the UMitr~.6gur,e/~ was princ:ipaUyconcerned with 'themainrenance of propel" juridkal relationshi'ps among men. Together they stood at tbe :apex of the supernatural system" jU5ta:s the priestswere -a:tt.be top o.f "the. soci,a:I hierarchy. The second function. wasreflected in tbe presence of awarrior"Dl:lIm.~~il Mi~Tia Vaffi'~a, (pa.rls: PI'€SS€:~ Uniiv,ers.itaites de Fnnce. 1.94~):tdem. •. ... ~#":r~ n···~·r;"'~'"'P •• / ·IO.il··r'" . \,iIi, ,r:... 1("'·~~·ll···n·'"""''1· U'aJ ," _"i1"',I"-Ji'1ii _ _ I) :It should. be poin:ted otU lhis:thi' de.fiJ:ti.tion 0.£uftlHlction."" dif[~n 'rather ~b.a"!rply &om ,that e.mP~:Oift.:d. most B:riti5h~ American. and. indeed •. Fr:endl 8oc\iclogisaJ :by and al'.ltbtropolcg1:lit!l:j. who lonliinarily use £lIe wQrdtn' desctiihe ilbee!lec:t ,or
ti:hO,!i_.
" ..1JQ,_
;fJ'~ ~'"""_ 11!,'l!j~

,} '--t"'~'~',I'

,i:;IcI.,liiOJ.,;

j!!AJ,U1ji!

seq.1;Iiefi~ of a beh::aviQf orm:s:titu{~:iO!~ upon ~hemda1 ay:stem in. ·w:hi.dl.~t ,Otent&. For a.• ere ,exteMive. diisWBsjon (If this .:atter. see UUJ:eton. Th~ Nw C'o.mfJ~ta~ ti~:e M'1'hoJo:g:y~ ..Pp.s,-..6.

,oon..

xU
ruler class, :JUdI as the Indie ]{~alriyas, who,sebasic :rol.e was, 1tO eser ..
else force in defense of the society (ot"~o further its, imperialisslc am" bitions)"as weUas in the coUective representations of tbis class, such 1L "d' ..' "",,,11 " as, tne grea.l 'V" ~l,' w.a:rril.ot' ·.lV1I)lty '", d ·.•. ·leulIC ,.lLD,:ra" t'1' 'R".om.an gw '1!1"1' a:r'S~"an.'d le' ,.. ' ,J,V, theNorse w,ar god TIl or . The t.hJrd fUnctioDwasre:le'(-ted. by the

mass of the :!lfJcie the ,herder'S, and cultivators upon whom the priests ty:, andwarriorsdepended for t~heir sustenanee (e.g., the lodIc Vaisyas)r: this, principle \v;:u ,ooUocdve:lyrepresented by-yet another stratum of dO' •• ]' th·, ..f •• ... f lil~;s 11-.. " ty:nuues"ll ','.e maJonty or (lases ",'1. Y,~ep:nn(lp~ 11 ,occupants (l" ... third divine stratum were conceived asa pa it o:f ,closelyrelated. 'king., men~ rhemcst usual relations,hip being that of a set of t;~vin8i1 (e,.g.~ the Gn~e:kDioscuri .•.t~heVe,di,c:As'rins).. MQre:rarely (e...:o the N orse g
figuflesF'rey and Njord) the rtda.tions'h.ipl wag, that offad:u~r and 50n. In other instances, notably at Rome, where thegod 'Quirions em ..

bodied the essence of' the third functi,on;~8 a. single div.i:nity wasthe
,,;c

... ,.C,' ', ...., '_-" , ta 1I~ ·~d,·.· 'I,· I[~ pnme •.- repre~nauve " '; ....T"'r plCa:iI.'Y~ tit not '. ', •. } ,.,. ·'1]· butn unlvelsauy., '. ··l'. th. rm rune ... tne

tlon also included a female divinity who lY-assomed;lllf$ ,c-onc-eiv,eds a


a close Jkj,nswom'3!n(or bride) of the chief malerepresentatlves (OF rep1resen~:a,£ive') ·0£ tb.e ftm.ctlnn 'in qlll,efltl!on,~ for ex;3mple'~ tile Vedic goddess Sarasvati,nhe' Norse goddess F'reya., T'beSf! interrelated triads of social classes and divine beings served as [he ftam.ework through whleh the- ancient Inde-Eurepean speakers viewed the ,world. The

three Iunctions just noted were ~ndlesslyrepUcatled-.F1fom triads of


·.;11'·s"!>:ii,,~i(lIt,o' thr Uk "-..."~.,""'., ~ .. "

..e-f ....'';~ con _,~"'I __ on ,-'"A~ ""'P''''~ 11} VVhat, .:L· mora. ~ their ~s· _ '.... _ ._. OJ:1· ,y, v. cepti ..... ~ .... collective representa tions wereno t Iimited~o put'ldy mytbiJcfi,gu:res.
.... "",
~,<l,_: ~,_"".. .... _

but extended to many epicberoe$~suc;h as the nvec-entralfiguresi of


13, To be sure, Mars eannee be Unked with at disU'nct ~ooi1l](:~~:S$.A::: D~lm~zil dghdy pOint!! out (pers.oniill (Q:(llmu.nkationh tbe sameRQman~ devowd th.cm:~ .scl~. f10 M'al1i:and Quil!ir!IUs~depend-ing upon 'w.hether ROme'ilN'3:5 a~.'W,nr oral

ifedi lvith Q;ui.dnus. and the !,Wl) could under £Or one acJ1:other in. the Regia cldb; cf.Duml!:ziI, Idi:~'S r'Qm,ai'n.t"'s (PorJis.: Gamm:ard~ 1969h p •.2.9-5"As she was ~Ioo p.ail1oo wIth Cons-us and!rv.farsi i1:1 ,other ron~~ts.1 h{l'we~er:~. Ops ,ca:ntlot: be cOHsider,ed. the Ci'tuQnical oounlerpilrt of Qt:!irlnus. 9 For' :eM.~mpliC:,tJ ~an .Pubvcl~ ·'.Myth.61ogical R:eH.ectioil'ils10lf In.d,QI·Eu[n:;~peaR. :f\.~edi,~ clne'~" in George CardnlJlj'l~ H.enty .M. H.(lenigi!jW.:;l!ld~ am;!! Al:f:IDoo. SenJi. ,ed:s., Ind,o .. .Eu'TO,pea 7f a:nd JrzdQ·E~rQpeans {pbi1ade~pb[a~ IJn:i:v,ers'ityo,PerulIs)'lvaniaP:ress.
olft<C!JP3

,1~do~EuT(l,e.(I'I'.,Miltho in IO:fl1'7i'l16n:icT:I'i~rditio!n (B(lrkril~ shy 'of 'Californ:ra Pr::e:5$.~ 1.968).

't.Foli' a recent. dlscusslon cOPtll,e ~x,£~nt.t\1) wbi.;h tb~ m3:jQr tb~~d. funct:io.[lJ rdi~ v.mJdes welle oonceh"oo ;3:1 a SC( of tw'[ns •.5e~ Dona.Id 'l'1la:M1The Dti'ttne Twins; An

peace,

and Los .Angeles:: Univer-..

udn drount:Sta!lccS be: :substituted

8 The

goddes50psi~

'eer-

1976hpp. .
la.tradhlon
1£ID'" ',--. ,.um

"\~p···"- 11' ·l'I'l!!... .. ~~ .~".&."., Iv...... "'If"" n~':I'-a,q, dOl' ·'>'Ii..!· "". '!W1"1""J ~r et'....~,i!t" .Ii.''''l;il ....Il>R;b"· ..'''' , irani-enne/' lQun'tal ru,;'9ti,qulll. 1'39 (l95Sl) 2BS-~98.
,'.-., .,."".... ~ ~'r.tll,Y'Uf" ~.,

JS~.

. .. . ...

.'.'

__

-m.J,'UIC

'o-"'>1~·d''>''f'I'' . ~I.'"

:xiii

('the Pa,ij,~,ava~:the Greek ftguIe~Hel',a,t]e8, ana a, variety 0,( Roman and Germanic heroes,' 1 Closely associated wlth this tripartite model ,of the ][ndo-ElU'opeaR
tbeManlibl#lfata ideology are several ~pedfi(' t.be:maslyorthy of note. One Involves the concept of a 'warpitdng represenratives ,of lhef;lr,st two func-

of the d.lir.o, lrvb,ene'iJ:i the Iatterare de,[eated1:2 and br-ought into the sysaem, Tendering it complete, Thebesr lexamples of this theme are found in, the Roman account ,of the: Sabine War:~whichl like mos:tQ,E early Roman ~'bistory~~~i:s hi~torid2;eid but myth-and the Nerse myith of the C{)rD,o'irct between the tEsir (Odin,~, Tyr, 'Tbor~, ret al) and the Vanir (Fr,ey,Njord~ et at). In these ex .. ample'S the Romans and the 1Es,ll' represent the first ,sove.reign (nne .. tion, while the Sabines and the Va,l1irl neither of whom arep:rimarily noted fg.,r sacerdotal or w8;rHke' quaUt:ie.'i~reptesent thet:h:ird or herder-cultivator f'unc~ion.and, by extension, the prindple of physical weU~being~ (In tI. recent :ardcle13[ sUigges~ed that the same. theme may be found in the Iliad; the AchaeaIl5 repre~nting the first two mIlct'lOI1S and the: Trojans the thlrd~ although the case here is by no means. as dear as that presented by the Romanand Norsetraditions
,Just described.]

tions ~giinstthose

A second ll'e:la;,ted. heme is. the "three sins of the w.a.rrioir,,~tl' As; r
Dum·eziIsees it" the Indo-European warrior, divine orm.ortal.p:iayed an ambiguous f101e in the fdeo~ogy., Fie was at once integral to the system." lo.rrn[[}g,~ we have seen, the "second function" thereof~.and as at [be same tim~esomething of all outsider an untrustWortlIyfeHow wbomight at .any time turn ,agatinst~epfesentative's. 0.£ the other two func:tiOllS. Indeed~as, :UumezH has demon!itra~ed~ tbe lndo-European warrior figure typitaUy,:commits· three: acts tlla;t runecurner to, the three ideological principles ..These Include defiance of the sovereign, belle god or 'mortal (an offenseag.ainst the first function), cowardice in battle (a,. $lin agralnst tlre function ofwbicb JJ.'eIs the prlme representative), and an .a~s!iaUn~1!J,su.ally sexual or ,'cnal, upon :a rC'[lJcsen,.
:U.Cf. ,Dnltl,erlI M;}\~he 8'trJPQP¢tf l_~ ,pp. ~i6.l~ldt;J) M''t'lhe ,et '~f:i(jpJi! ,(Pam; m::u:rl" :li97·~hPP,~5;~5S. .. _ 12:1i'iu::IW'Ol'd nd:efealted" is p~fbapi!l inappr:opda..Eie betel -a,s in. 'botb ,theNQue
J

Gam...

and!, R,om.a[J coute:"ts the ~htn~·t:u:n'(;tlcn .gwlCJUp .isr«o(u:Hed ro :the rest of tht': sys:tem." and Ill':lere is:.iiil.h.OitilID<['able peace .. .It is 'elear, :ho!~<iI"~Vertt~Ia;~ d~~n]n,fint 'the pa'[tyin these honorable setderacnrs is;tnat .fu.lmed by therepltCsenladvcs (l,f the
·fint. t.wo

:fo3Littleton, i'Some Fo:s:sUde:Indo-Et.u:upean. TheMIe!i In, the''IUad,:' "in J:aa:tX IPu.b'~e~, d." M"l't~,11;t:d Lam Among·,tlu: .ltulo. ..Eu,fo.P,ttUU {B'erkcl.cll'a.nd.Los An~les.: e University rOif Can~Qrnia:Pf!~., l!9io),pp. i~29;-g.~(;' :I,t,rCf. DluJ.retil, The D.e.s,'iny of ai~-I'V4:rriot (Cfdcago: u.n~Ver,dty ,of: Chka:g<>
- '-

fnncrJoflS.

Press· 19'''].0)' pp"


. - - .~. ' . _' . ' ~.' ~

~',-f

II!

5>l1i,..uU!).
.' ~' '_'. ~

xiv

INl'RO])UC'IlON

tative of the third fnnt;:don.Even the most iUus1tdous warriors, such as Ind.ra Strurkad, and Hereales, were cUlpable; and they reoeiv~d
J,

p,r.agressi've1ymon!i severe punishmems, llsuaJlyinvolv.i:ng" the Joss of p\hys:icalvig,or~, as each sin was committed.
The waITior,s role was not! of COU['5C'" lessenUaUyantisociaJ~ and a Ehird theme, fDllnd in the Roman and Jodie traditions" concerns. the valiant defens,f' (lif the community agai:m;:t the depredali;p,n:s 9£ a thr,ee":be:aded mcmscer.15i At R..ome, given rhe Reman tendency to historicize myths" the theme is reflected in rhe "hisrerical" account hyLhry and others of the threeHeratli (one of whom survIved.) and their defeat of the three Curiadi~ who may be the r.:ationallz:ed form of' a. tdcepbaHc adve:rsMY that threatened the existence of the: Roman state';£n ]'ndi:a where my ths, tend to remain unhlst()ri,dzed.~h: is reffe,cte:d in the Vedic account ,of th:E!;slaying 0·1the three-headed son
J

of Tva~~-ar by Trita Aptya, who :mnc.Uons in this context as an extendon oEIndra, V,et even here: the: wattio.r~'s ituationis ambiguo[1s~ s
for, having '[astedb1ood~e'V'en in :I good cause -he is a 'potential danger to the peace and weU-being of the: rest of hisSiodety and must
typikally tlnd,ergo :il:r:H:e ofpuriific:ation befo~e'be:ing l'e!a.d1mii.tted to it.

A. £ourtll the:me concerns the ex rent to which divinities other rhan the prim:e representarives of the three functions [>lay parts ~Jl the sys:te;m)6 Ferexample, in tbe Indian tradition lVIitrais closely assodated. with :two lesser figu:l',es"Aryamanand Bhaga, The former is the patrOon of the community that designated itse1f as Arya; be is the patron .of formalized relarionships, suc,hasmarlia'ge~a.'ild [bus serves

as the Immediate Iink between human beings and the :Mitr:a (o:r jurid.ical) aspects 'of' SQ!vel'eigJlty. Bhags, whose chief concern 3S to see' that.aU men rece'ivle 'their' fair "share," p1l'~jdes OV~r the distributiona] aspects. of his m.a;s.te:f5sovereign domain. At Rome .. Juventas, at Jupiter's; sider selLVCS Aryaman-Hke 'fUDdions, while Terminus, who is, paired with Iuventas ina. ""eU..known ttadldon~ ~;tl1?pears be to' a counterpart of Bha,gal'7 (Terminus's B,baga~li1te rol,€' :is dearly evi~ dentIn Ovid"s.P:as.ti,e,spedaUy 2.64L2)~ Finally, :it should be pointed out that. there are di:v'lnitiesinmlost
'. .' p:p. 3-4,5", '16 S4e:e ])mtle~n•..1.e$ d18:1'(;';:d'ts JRdo-I£Ur,opeens (Paris: 'Prf!S';e$ Universitalrl!!i de: lFmnre.,I·'95t) .. PP"4~B. 1'1 'somey~ars ago de V.des slI!ggested t1J!atthe Ge'lilllanLc wO!rd irmEn .• which .ap~ peaTS .:tn. the names o£ m.ytbolDglcal pl!lll'Som:;, and. roll places, ID'ay 'be cognate 'to 115 'IL"~ .U~I.iI·t

lIndic A:ryilLman ::;!ndcheref{)f·e' lI:eHen th.e same 'h:1do-.Europe~u!l th.em.e. There anr~ ~O'w~ver,s:o:memajof Uucgu[st}c rUfficulUesihe:re', and _Dumenl hall!: Tl:6YW!'f' aocepled Ods :in~erprn't;3id(lln. s~ JirD. de V:ries "La valeur reIi:gieuse du.mot gtrm.anique itrninJ" C().hf~~ ,du sud 36, (.i,9152hlS_'~'7'.
i

of the :3ocien.l, Indo-European traditions 'who,faU oUtS'l"detlle tri~ partite schemaper se and. wbofarm whalDunW,zU once termed II<rePIne du 5y,stelneJ~' that is, the w!Jolesupe:rnatu:ra1 system.IS SUcil divinities are typicall.y concerned with beginnings and endings.
Am,on,g' the ~!introduce'tsi'~ca,n be included

Vii·yu in 'the Vedic

uadt..

and the NQfSe Heiinda:U ...who announres the end of theworld (see !;:hapter 7 beIO'w)., At the etherend ,of the :spectrum are godswho, Iike the Jndic Agni and the Roman 'Vesta" art! regula:rly i:nv(liked at the end of 3. dtual and who seem robe ·QoIRocr,ned wit.h termina,tlQos.
tion, the Roma.n gDdJant;ts,

Dumedrs model of the Indo .. European ideology is indieed a.. auy ..splendored ·thing. and my i::ntJent m is t'O discuss only its most essential £'ace;ts.In. tbe courseof the: las't tbi.rty yea:rSj<howeverJ, 8,e'1(lEral scniOla:rsJ,buUdjing UpOD. :Oumc!z:ir,s pioneer researeh, havflllc3.teriaUyfaciUtated the devdoprnent 'of the model of Indo-European ideology. Probably the most important single contribution was made in :1 94,j by St~gWikandet:~who demon:strared that the gods ,olEthe Rig Ved'a.whic:b reflected the three fune .. tions,.....MHrn~VaruI~ul'I' Indra, and others-were transposed into the heroes 01 the Manii,bh.{irata and thereby opened up a wbole :new pr,ospec~ :fOI" the study.()E Indfr.-Eu:ropean .myt.bology~J;9 Another [on,g" time rowo~krc~r the late: Lucien Gerschel, who, laa series 0'£ studies was
l:ndkal:fJ
jj

As the fore.golng should

ranging from an analysis

10'£

the Jndo-European

character of [be

COrioJanusepisode211

in, early Roman bi:st.ory to a demonstrarion 'of


:impottaIlf:, .new dhnensions to

the extern to which. the 'tripartite ideololty persists in can&emporaty

Gel'.ma.:nic £olkl~re~21 addedsome has the' model in quesdon.

In addition to WHr.anderand Gerscb,el,severa:t 'Other scholars learly and/o.r long associated 'With Dumezirs work 'should be mentioned: tmile :Benvenis~e~,who5eI932 demonstration o.E the tripartite dla:r~ acter of theanciem Iranian social str'Ucture22 had a profound influence onthe development .of Dumeur·s ideas~his feUQWIranian,ist,
,liSDuml!i'ilUt ··,L3I 'tdpart:iltorn. .i1l.dia'mu:qrpeenner P.$'Jd;'~2 (1947)" !l348-i!i56. 19 ,Siti'gWik81uder.t .. Pi:,~,va·!!!~~:n Mabliib111m:tas m yti~ltafarotsl.litm~gafj,·i"
,R,tUgi'o!1: ocl:tJ3'ibeI6
20

Luclf!:!l G~nihd~ "COdornn:'

(194l1) l7-39' see' a]lSI)Dum~lil,.M..jith!.': ,et eFPe.~ I~,p:p. 3:t-~'5'1. in H;amnu'l!s:,"ts Al.tidt'fI .Fe.lJ!Jte~ :;:;(parl!5~1955.),

(len

.iatiquc

:881"'50• :!ill Gt:r.ieh.e1~ ~rSu.r n :dlem,c u'i£C)lltuQlul;Cll dan~~n,efamme: de l~ndes gefiWlru:. u q1!les/" R,~tk' ,C'histo.i'f'e des rtiligl0.~ 1:50 (19!5~)~55'"11:1:. 22ltmne: Hen.venfste~ "'La, dassessociales dans ~atndid,on. 3;vnrlqllet ./o'u;r:nal
2:21

(1,93;2)"

11-134-

xvi

J aeques

.Ducnesne"Gufnemin,. t.he eminmt, Germa:nIst Edgar Polome; and tbe late Jan de Vries and Marie"Louise: Sj,oestedt.MoIelete,m:
j

conuibuto,rs bav:e been iFf,afie~$Viian1 Frnn~oise Le Roox AtSiUhik.o Yosb.ida~'Donald 'Waro,t la,an Pubvet ,Dav.idEvans E~hla~rH;aug~n, and the authors of this introducti.on. AU ofthe foregoing have ;ap1

pUed Dnmezi]'~, model) or an :a:s,pecttbere.ofJ

to one or several of the

ancient, lndo~Enropean traditions and. in doing so have contributed


significandy to its fllrrn€l developmeat, Th :iese, Lh en.:!,are some 'b-' • foh - -'. -- 'b.,. d, _,fte ' onservanons anent -'h-t '_6 Origin ,an d-.,evelopment of "the new cOInpiarativemyth6logy/' as practic,ed 'by Duw,ezil and oihers.As, bas been seen, this ne-w approach to IndoEuropean mythology comblnes theories and, methods dr-awnfrom s.e:veralothe·rwisefuirly dJuinctGe]ds ofinquiry~:nurkhehnian soei-

oIQgy,comparative
ligio:~andit

the hi.story of rezemalns Eor me to s,ay somethin,gabout tne,o,verall


.pbilo:}()gf mytbol.ogy~,and

and

,signifi,caucc 0;£ Ul1mezir:Sl:deas; far the human sciences.

•••
At first gb:nce" Dumh~im"s theo:reticalfr,a:m~wQrk., cl-la1'3,cil:eri2eid a,s it is hy the concept of struc tural.replfcadon, would appear to be al.mo~u,idenHca1to that of theeminent French anthropolo,gbt Claude
Uvi·SU'auss.,JO But there

._qiffierenues between the' tW-u. While it is perhapsfatt

are

some Jrnportant-dndeed

fundalller.:rtal

,Dllm.e,zU as a'~stt'Uctur,alist!j 24, tbe,underlying patterns in myths, as he is, with their specifi.e centent, be does not suggest that 'the: tripartite structure found ;among' the ancient Indc-Europeensis a" uni.v,ersaI feature of the human psyche.

to refer to' in, th;a:£ he is'as much eoncemed with

Indeed", one of the fundameatalaxknas


rests :islthat~

of the!' .severafmanifesratfons tti.partitJ,on se far discovered amongthe


mat

an

upon. which hiswh.oIe .syst!em, In the OldWodd;; it is u.niqueZy Indo""Eu:ropt!(Jnj. and


of sodala:nd supernatural several ancient (£Iud not. so

andent) l.ndo-European-spealting communiti.e~ are lini~edmgetb.er into 3, slngle,. ·genetkaUy rel ated tradition., one that is Indeedbounded in. time and spa(!,e.This, is not to imply that elemen 1;51 f this ideOlogy o have not from time to time: diffused beyond the borders of the Indo-

EUfopean·sjpeakiug~ ,domaln~,,!5 01' dl at communifies far rem.ov,edfro,m that domain may net he: possessed ofa tl'ipartitie ideo:logy predicated upon anoeher (Ol" indeed s'illlfhu:) set of saruetural principles;. What is :hnpJied is that the Inde-Earopean j.deolog[.r.a.l·~:ra~UttOf:!-hi ut sne b Utl,tlilron among many traditlons, To put. ,it anerherway, whneUvi~ Stta~l!5Sse~.s.~ ,pe:rhap:s ,cOlTecdYl' a universal t!endency to mediate be" t1ve,en oppositions, atendency that in one Iorm oranotherwilfmanifest itseH in all human L~hough't~ DunH~:lil!n]gge:5,tsthat d1:f tripartite ic}eo]o,gyemerged among the speakers .of P'fo'lto-Indo.Eutopean and was deve~:oped fie,para ~el;y by the heirs to' dTns communi ty as they migrated to t~'l~[:reveral attestedgeographical loeatlens, from India s to Ireland, In shol'tfrhe !tWilll scholars are wurking 'am: uite diffierent q levels ol nbstraciiou and Inclusiveness For :Levi..su~au:s",~ the level is one of thehuman mind. per se;for Dumezll, the level Is the' much more Immediate one of an htstnricaUy bounded Sift: of related tradidons...As I see it, ~hey complement rather thancontradict one ana.

other, and itb perhaps po~ibte tofind supportiseevidence

for L~vI",

Strauss's mode] wi~Jlin the Indo-European framework. discovered by .DlJ.mezil~ . for e.xn·mp,}e" th.e hinary {)pposit~on between the t'WQ halves. of the J1TStilnl.ction and. the dual charaeter of' the thi.:r:d.function.

Perhaps the most important :general implicatlon of Dum6zii~,sresearehIs that the phencmenen he bas discovered among the anelent Jndo-European speakersmay not be unique. II[ may be that DIGst U not all of the major l~.ng-uls~koommunitie$~ £roo:m the Afro·As:ianw the. S~,no~Tibe'[an,are (orwere at some poh'.l:tin tbei!.1l"·hiscor.l.es) abo ci~lal'acted.'l:e by genetlcally rela ted ideo~.ogka]. structures, E~ffewl1e:re26 d I h.ave suggested tha t the: Siou~rnmal'lIgu aree fa:.mi1:y of North America seem!) quite .c;leady to share a quadr~~partit(ddeo'logy, anideologythat, like that of the Indo.Europellns~, :is endlesslyreplicared throughout the several departmcllLS o:f the cultures concerned. A similar quadripartit,e structure, oriented around the points; of the' compass rather thanarry socialhierarchy, seems. to have been characteristic ofmost

Ute-Aztecan speakers, from the Paillte of northern Nevada to the Azrecs ,of central Mexico, It shouldbe emphasized ofcourse, th-at more research needs to be done here" But ShOlllLd it become evident that _g,enet:ic8Illy related Ideologies are a commnn concomitant .of the human condition.~ the prnbabiliry dlat: their structures win prove 'to ·be'\\thoHy different horn one another would appear 'to be quite high.

xviii.

]NTROlIUCTION

of the JndoEuxopeans....;tbey would be products of unique historical circumstances, and ifwehaveIearrsed a·n.y:thingfrOimthe $;f.udy ofllistory it is thar it, rarely if ever repeats itseU. Re,turning to more hnmedia~e' matters, :il should beernphasized. that the clearest evidence for the common lndo-Eu.ropean ideology comes from the 'most ancient texts. But :3S we ha:ve seen, thetradi tional Indian soda] sy:stemstiH r.e.Rects. tbisid,eoI'l1gy~and in thie\\res't" eertain o£ its barsic structural £ea.ture~ seem te have' pe:rsi$t~d. \u1!ti~.almost themodern era-the three "estates" of Mediev'al and later' European 'society aresuspiclously :similar to tile three Indo-E'uft:lpea n functions; hypowesized by Dum~ziL2'lMore()ver~ lhe~ende.flcy to divide phe .. nomen a into three segments, Sltage$~orMevels"whi;.chhasbeen Iunda .. mental to '''estern thougll:.t sincewell before Aristotle" is. ,niUvery muchwith us .. Even our anecdotes are usually drvided :into three seg~
''''''''~·r·':t·s.· t.::l-r·~'t·~cn-r'';dl:l>n:'' a second Inciden
,:l.!LI,,,,",

FOl'like

rhe one case now dearlyr.ecogniled~dlat

"I,_- __ !',

";I. ~

,~],~,_-

.;Ij~"_'!j,,.,.Ii"-~~'~J!!til

riJ

,~~.I,iII,

__j'''',_JJ",i~,-,_-~

't

I~_.'

and the ounch line T·, ... ;·L,~" ~li.,~ "llLl,i


._'

101'.iII',I.~"

,iJl.."",!!,

;1I

habit of Ihinli:rlg whkb~ as Dundes bas recently de:monstrated.2S, i.s, deeply imbedded in. the modern Amc.rkanpsycl1e~ cannot, of
J,

~ours,e.be automa.tically l1:.ned. k

tJfJi

dl e t:!JTee Indo.European:

Functions

delineated by num~'.zj].But I do think that, as ll'ldo~Eur()pean speakers, we Westerne:rsare stillheirste a Iundamental, ~inguistical~ ]y~nnJ.ted We.lranscbatnun.g.. the ea.rlie-5tw;anifestatiO.nspfwhi.dl

Dumen] bas sQ,c:onvin(;in:g~y explicated.

29

In sum, the :implicatioDs! of Dumezil's research, both for the student of maukind in general and for the student of 'Germanic or any 'other ludo-European tradiUoO.in particular, are profou.nd indeed. And it is against dle'iJa!ckgroll.nd of theseImplications aI;JiH model the from "vhkh they stem that this book must beread,
.21I:ndeed, Dum6.zU has reoefldy 5t'1.gg~s,tcd. (p~t5m~al c:omml1ai.cado!£l) prim;~1pal question bere is, '1.1fbe.ther the, tripa:rdt.c sodal or,gant~liou of E,ll:r,op,es.ur\i'tv~.Fri:mnrlly from the Celti.c lor the Gertna.n~·i:: 'v:a:ri:3iI]:'~ of men Ibdo·E,urope:an srmceure, 'On this lHliinl see Je:l.n Batany. "Des, "lrois
aux j'ttois ,~tnts'jl"
.,;>lTl:n'aler £'C/,;!ir:l.omique~ :Jo't:d~{ji!i dv£liw·t::;.(Hu~;8.
-

tha:t the
Mt-dieval t.h~ eemiOl1:ctio[l:S~

(lg6a}'.!}33-9S8.

SeealooLiUle:lon~ The Nf!W Gomp.a\rati~e 1! ..0 logy ,.pop. ~3l ~~B2:• .2:9' It 5bouM 00 emp.hiJisirodth 3. Prof,essorDLJ~,eln hi~elili' does no.t!iugg'e.r;itthiiit 'were ics an.y !Ilec~s~t}l' ootillJect:LOIil. e:twee:.1l 'the u:lp.n:Hte~deo]ogy ,of -the an .. b ,citr-t Indo-Eu'Ii'(lI[l'Cat1.s .3iDd. d:i.ew:i.despread tendenc:~~n!.ong J(10nb:'!tTIpO'r'u:y IndoEurope.anspe'ak~l's· !tQ5t.l'uctu~re their t11inkingil:long tflpart~~.e lines:, Ir js an aJlithrupo.liOgl·ca' implicadon £Ql'which, 1 must take Mle respons~bllH:r ..
L

28·.AJau DUlilde.s. !lIThe Number Three in Am,erica:n. Cul~Hilrc:' in ,A1<1n Dunde., ed.~E'Y~ry .M an; His :Way (Eng;!C"I'r'tlO!(]i. C:liJl5, .. Tl ' •• :Pfl!l:nice·Hall. ]gSB). pp. ·40 1~4.2 3"
I[

Introduclion"Parlll
UDO STRUT'YNSKI

Geor-ges Dumezll's wdrlngs in tile: field of Gel'D18!nk m.ythology spun a period of more than three detades,.n~ginning in 1m.!,g ·~\i!hbthe publication of .Atlytlu:s et cUeu.xdes Germa,ins;; Essai (f int~6rpTtla#f)n cemparatioc, whkh In unehed his career as acomparativist :a~ongthe

measure nearly .a Iourth of his total output. Einal' Iiau~~l's prese'ot English trandatiQn ()H€;l's thereacle:ra. s~unpling o·f :SOffl!~ of the most hnportant andmost representative of tbese~i\1~ddl1gs.,This translationis divided into tVoi'.(j, pans. The fint part comprises a, fully revised ~eEsiol'l .of .A!,'thcscf tlieux des Gl1"tful.ins~ puMbh,e.d 1.0 19.59 under the t:~tl~ .1.esdilJ.uxdes Ger.mains~· Essai su.r' la iorm.t1tion de ia ntli,g~'()1Z scaniHnatte. The second, part of the translation consists of four articles wl~iuefi betl\ff!en i95~ and 1195£h which [over a runge of deities and themescithicr not directly dealtwkh in the book or onlyb.defI.y touched. upon therein, There is. amajor diffeTfnce in Iorm aswell as, in. intent between dl!,j:s book and the appended m'tkle,~.Dum!ezil wrote Lt!s dieui;!; dA~:sGerm"ains as an extended balance sheet" that Is, as a. schematic presentation of his discoveries and thoughts on. the subject 0.1 Germanic myth, covering a period of over [l"rtntyyean, .. The scope of such a compendium did not, however. Ieave DUIDleziJ room for adequate argu.ments to establish or defend the Irults of hi:s.resmu:ch. If the

lines outHnedby Scott Linleron above, his works in thisarea to date number more than tl'!.'enty books, articles, and parts .of books, ·and

reader wishes

[0

see demonstrations of proo(~be'must

look to the

articles where such arguments can be found, The iWPQft.a·nc-eo'£ thepresentworks cannot be: apprreciated with~

out some knowledge of 'their place inthe context 01 Germanicm,lbo. logical studies ..Dumeeil's canon in genera], and his Germa:nic wdt~ • , • ''1 ...., 1, • , •~ " ings Ul. partrCUJiar.·n''nese 'G' " ,.cermantCWTltlngs PJ:aya Si:gtl.lucantro,' 'Ie in the developrnent of Du:m'e:dPs Indo-European canon, 'fO'T tn,eye 'helped to establish the basic 'ideolQgiod structure of Indo- Europe all :m,y;t,ho:logy. At the .same time they also d@'Ii,ned Germ,ankm,yth as essendaUy Indo-European in. character, In the words of Einar Han .. gen DuuuiizU"s wrirti.llgsi!l1_ave restoredto ScandInavian and to ocher
f

Indo-Eur0p'eanmy[h.olog~csthei.r backward perspecdve, rev,ealill;-! them as indlgenQus products with 'roots g;oing' ba.'ck to the parent sodety 'O[ theIndo-Europeans, ~,l 'The :i:mpUcatiotns olf vi.ewi fig Genn:auic m ytIl thrQugh such a. ~'back~ war-dpet'spect:~ve~" re far readlittg: i.E Dumezllt.s. conclusions are valid a
ffil.'tbe. Indo-European comparativlst, tbeymustalso bev.alid for the specialist of G1ennankandquides .. In the' end" DUmezirs dis-, i()Glverks r,equired nothing less than a complete' reinterpretarion .of Germ,anicmyth.(jIogy. ,a.s a look ,at the bistor)~ of sc:ho1ar.ship will reveal.

Com:parativ,e mythology has Its 0''-;00[5 in nineteenth century Ger .. .wauy that saw the e,mergenae .of. two important movements" both concerned prima,til, with the question of orig-ins.::the ·'discov.ery of language'~ and the birth 01 Romanticism, \VhH.e the ROm.3lllks caned attention to themyt.bs of' a common Gei'miUjic past~ the phi .. Iologists developed a. compO-EaUv.e method that established once and for all the badc historic.al identity of the Indo.Europeau langu.ng,e family .. These two! movements joined forces in the persons of the Brothers Gdmm whnse influence in. turn spawned lwoc(.Impiemen.tary schools of thought. The ,first of these is the school o.t "solar

mythologyj~ -also·called'"nature myth(dogy~"-whkh saw reflected in the tradition of the Germanlc peoples the myths; o£ their IndoEuropean ancestors, This schooltried te do for my[.h w1.1ac .thepl'd.Iologb.ts bad done £0·1 la:ugua;g~" but its ce'rlttal hypothesis-that myth Is, in Max MilUer':$,words, a'~dire3se of Iangu age" -led to the " '. esta b'lll" .!l1s,llnne,lJit f'c;", {) .lan~a&tH::: lt.ymologJes~ an di e itsmam . t1 • b d.on le1ilS~nasec themes £uund in the Indie 'f!cdas and the Iranian Av,es,ta~ 'that all
.~Ein:i!:r H~ug~, ';Tl~(1i' M:'ythi.ctl!,l Stifucrnr,e ,of the A.ndjen[~ S~ndhlavtarJJS,~ $(lm.~ 'lb(l:ngb'l'S,on.read~tlg' Dum:ezU," To, 1;l(tnorRmna:n ja1.r;pbSQ:n; E~!'IYS' (,in· U~.e 00'00 c~jon of h;~Swtj~;·de.lh .B:fr,thdQ1~ ;f!J! o,tt()b,~'1"1966'{1.oe 'Rague,~9'G'1), U!,S!i-tt

Indo-EuropeaD,1 mytbessentiaUy IeBeets the primev~l struggle- of' H,gnt a,ga.ins,( darkness, was dmpiy not aC(5eptai:ble.2 The ~enmd ,~chQQlurned its artentionto the cempararive study t ofepic.s~ sagas, bis:tor.ies~Iegends, and :fulk:talcs and, as aresultot ilS :investigations were able: to claim. that cert~inmoli[s-Unot wbole e;pisodfiS-could be traced back to India" :and thU5 poss;ibly toa comj,

mon Indo-European

heritage, a

With tile demise of ~olarmythology ~ studies of Germanic myth turned in the direction ofpos:i.tivis:m. Scholars snell as the Dane VHhelm G,ronbed"l.vho~e first studyappeared over ~ixty y~a:r$ agoJ4. abandonedthe quest for Ofigin~ rDQ concentrate Qiurecon:s;trucdngthe pS'ychologica.1 world o,f the ancient Germans .. He endowed ethical concepts SHc!hai.snonOfwitbmagicaJ force, thetehy ifiuodudnga. ;sttict 'creed or prede:st]J]a.t.ion which led to the 'wid~lyaccepte:d noeion
of "germanischer SdJJlcksalsglaube!" Another' school of thought, dealt wi th the notion of ecstasy. Al.. though in 1927 Bernhard Kummer's bookJ\f idgards Uni,ergan,g 'presented an antiecstatic pktulie· of all ancient Germanic religion with .. ou tany "nemendum "·.... . are~igion inwhkh men and god.s coexisted

in a reb.tiolls,hnpl of murual trUsl:-lb.econtrary and prevaHing opinion was expressed in Otto, Hol1er·s;KttUi.sche ,Geheimb,tlnde d'er' Ge'rm,aiuen (Pa,]tt 1 of which appeared in '1934) and was ta~en to its -extre.m:e inMartin Ninck.:iS 1935W.odan u nd germa,ni<cschet Sch; ie,k.5o;l$gi'a:tib,e, a wotk in which the god 'Wodan/Odln is interpreted :M the incarnation .of the berserk's ,fury. 5 Closely ;aUied '\vitb these-views

wa.s the Vienna. School {):IAnthFopologywbose basie threfs:i~that re .. Hgious patterns ·deve]op in conformfty with levels of culture-led to a discussion of what could be retrieved of ancient Germanic ritual.
,2 See R:icl1a.rd. M . DOf"S()!fi., j"Tl1e :Ecl1pc5C olf 'Solar My tbology ."~ in Thomas A. Seibeak. ed, Myth: A Sym:pMi'umn (Dlooming~a,n •. ig.68). 1'1" 25-'i38,;d.iiI.}sQ, 'Hoig'eI Pcdersern" :The.lJ'iscooe:ryof Language: L;n.guist:~c Sdf{!'lCe i'U ~h~ Niru;te:erlth. 1C~~.~ t:~,·ry" tr:a:m. John \Vebste:r S:p.H:gOfBloii)mln~!oi!;" ·~g6:;t).. BWIlbclm Grimm in his P:OltiCltipl to ,(~n"m:m~:s o~ell()·ld Tai&'. trans. and ed, H M:arga;~etR~n t. (Lond(n~ ,J(SgJl), H, 57:5'-'5:98[,stl~¢$ : Olreo(!pombiliiti~,to· ~iPlai.8 the p.resen.vcof SUl,en modfs in. Ge:rmaridc folk liiteRture~ rnde.p.etldel1t '~:n.vefiti.Qll~ transml!iSlon a!o!l1igtrade routes o;rhar.w W:i:I1;g uom !Other c:t!l1mr~. and 'innetUana: from the, t~:meQf lirldo~EUwpe2u uII.ity(tbefamoll!i ·'·.h~d<lger.mant~;e El"bgJ.!ltth~··). G~:im:w a:rgu,es <iligaifllllt th.c ,ell:!dusivity Ol anyone ·O( fuea:e tbeorit:lr :.lug,·
r j

,8'es:Hng filltl.l.€;rthat tb,ey cover tile enr:b:,er.ange of pClssi.bmries: and ad!.m~ the
sciho!.ar-to study eacllindividua1. tale ormotlf planatlO!Q is: tbe fOost. appHe~ble. " 4!VUhd.:m. Gronbero.- K'tdtut'und n:digiotl This 18 the eiiti!on.m,ost often !illitM • .11' ~ bclowJ,ma:p' . .:t.

carefuUy to d~tel.lDlDiew.hicn ex.~

au

G.l!lrmane,n ~Ham:tmrg,. I 93;'i).

The q uestlon of (l,rigins was abo :reri'\red by A~:O.i5Cless, a promine'lit

member ofthis school" who resul'tectoo the theory of H. Gu:n~ed that the ancient Germanic people came in~o beio'g asa result of the mixture of two populations: the u11legalitbi:cf pre .. ndo-Europea.n I ,rt'gri.ctillu:raiis~sa.nd the IndO-Euro.pean iuvade1's:.o ThelnH:.lorisESwhonad :foUowledr;he Iead of the Odiums also felt the effects of the decline, of Max MliUer's ,grand system. After the fOfiuadon fjf the, F olklore FeUows (alsokno'Wu as 'the' Finnish Scbo:ol), ,oomparative bistori:caI and geograpbical research continued with even more! fe~rvD~"than before, ,Ihn" interest ,in the Qfigln of indi'vldtud, tales und.erwent ;asubdemetbodological, shi:£t in emph.a.sirs
whose impUca:tion,s~, lit,et.he UU!e$ of even the most acute an.g~e, led f;artJ~:er awa,y from 'me speciflc question of Indo-Euf.(lpean ,()rigins, the more they were extended; What. had happened was; that folk·, lorists, desipaitin,g of ever finding ultimate ori:gins~eittlterfilITanged the materlal In theirccllecdons 3:ccordlng to .ltYp'es·~or atomized this

material into consritutive ,e],em,ents called "motifs," In either case the cause -for Indo- Eur:ope:an com.paradvi~m lvas lost"{or whole IndoEnoopeanslructures; were ei tber embedd,edin lar'g:er non~IndoEuropean units or, as WllSm.Oiff ofil:eutrue~ they were broken up
into indi-v:idualmot.i:flS Greve" parts of modf'sJ so dun 'both their .flonn and t.he.ir ori:gin be.cam.e nnrecognizabje.

The study 0.£ 'Germanic Hnti'qlLl.ides ;at the time ofD'LUnCz;irsn"t pubHcationi1), the fiend bad falle:n vletim to the haeards 'of Intl;cr
speetien whicna,ccompa:nyltbe Iaek 0'£ a broad compararivebistorical and cultural base. This' irsespeciallytme inthecase of rhe domlnane school of' the d:a:y~ the scbo,o,Iof histO.dcalevo].udordsm .. Themaln contention of the lIi,!:Itor.ica.l~evolru:tioni.s:t schoolIs based

'on. the DarwiuianpJ~mi8e that higher and more co'm,plex forms of li£e nel!Jessarily evolve from lower and less complex. forms, By apply'" in,g this principle tomythol(i¥gfr the hi:~t.Qrici~ts8:aw the "evolution" of ,primidv!eanimist,ic (I,emons to the level of gods, one of '!!Vilkh in time came to be the !1~hlghgnd.J· AnequaUy importa.nt SDU me (or the :[hooreticaIgrouridwork of this school was the pos;itivist philosophy of Auguste Comte whose main tenets can be snmraed up in the FI'e'Och proverb, "Tl n'l' a. que Ies details qui comptent:"'~{)nly the de taUs are te'3"Uy importantThusanned, theadherents of fhis schocl turned thElr' attention to the oldest GermauEcC!eXl:$ and found that there was no documentary evidence of the ,SEale: of Germa.nic religion
J,

I~iT.R.oJ:rtN:rnON

da ting hack to the time of Germanic lLlnitY-if indeed there ever 'was
such
3"

tint€: orsuch

'OOmlIH)n:

religion. 'Th.eonly

extant documents

were seamyand desul tory and revealed a fragmentatiorr of worship


not. only between themajor
groll[Js of Scand_il1.avians and C.ontinental

Gernlal1,s~widl prac~ically noevidence of the activities of. the latter group-:but aJlso a fl'agnlcfilta.tioo witldn these groups. As early as the' time of the Brothers Grimm Ludwmg Uhland bad pointed out that witHe Svwed.eu worshipped Frey as its chief god,. Notway paid homage to Thor, The god. Odin be saw as alaterinrportaticn from Saxaland

to Scandinavia where he took 1101(:1 mainly amorllg [he members of cotrrdy society; owing chie.Ry to the proselytizing' ·e.ffo'rt'S the court Q:~
poets, the scalds, Uhland therefore conchsded that the "Germanic" panjheon, as described in wh.at is, considered to be themajor source

l~o~r ur kncn~ded~gf!of 'Get[nanicmydl~ the two Ic.elandkEddas o


'IIa"'" """1'''~ ·"""'C~Iusi'..elv "'.... andinavian I, ,.. ~ "~LII ~" ~~'''''' ,~,_ .'.1, '1.
'If \.or,
,~.'IIr..,,~J ~ .liJ'Ii,;_

was

.Dl

J,L ' A,.

,I.,·~ ~ II,

..l,;. ..".,.l'O·:I·JO·· ·1· l ent ".I,~ 'Ij..,~.I.I_. ,l[ '" ,-,,'


y
J

Ii

lEuge'nMogked)oed these ideas .bl works publisbed .in. 1923 and. 1932 and further developed them in his cri tique o,f thle Prose Ed-da of. Snorr~ Sturluson.? He contended tbatthisi thirteentb..century Ice" lander·-ea:sHy one of the most learned Europ,eans: of his day""':ha,d less: kno\.vledge of Ge:rm.an:k mytbo~{)gy than we today possless. 'Thus most of the :~.nyt.hologk,~ld,alta that Snorri added to the already ex-

scaldie poems were ,either his own ill!ve'nti:ons or wander:ing folk motifs that he syndJe5121edt creating tbetebya new U~flrary genre~, the 'mythological tale, lvbich :01:50bears the unmistakable in ..
UlU:t 0.('

lay:s

fluence of its aurhor's coaversion tQ ChrIsdani.ty. Research a]ong these lines wasalso carried on by WHhebn Mann .. hardr, In his lS'T7 11ntUieWald~ 'u.nd Fidel.iu Ue:nhe po.shed. that tlie sccmmts describing die struggle-between two groups, of godscalled ,.lEsir andVanir represented histo.ry in the: garb of Dlytb.Mannhardt based. this cQndusion. on the bypothesis. that the Vaul[ cults o[ the de~ties Njord" Freyc~and Fre'ya be~longed to an earlier levleI of common EUfOpean"lSca;ndi[13Vian ve.g:etation reI1gion than dldt:he myths of the warlike iEsir gods Odin and. 'Thor. 'Thus dIe ,stru.ggle beG:w~en these twogroups o:f gods represents the actual ~tnlgg!e·' ·of·lb~ indigenous, ~~d:enl3iryJ agrfculuaral populatienagainse a band. o:f mi-

~a,to:ry Invaders, Generous in victory~. theinv:ader~ allowed the worship nf the clLd gods to continue .. Or." as tbemy£bwou[dbaive h the ...£sir opened the doors 0.£ theirpantheon to the Vanir",\\~ho themselves; subsequ,endy came to be called &ir.ln thismanner the "·~Ger· :m,anicpantbeo;n evolved,
j.
j ',

'1 Cf..:E. 0

n<Jmmag~~

.. G. Tuniil~·Petre,.j;Pr-()£~r Dum,Gzll and. Ihe Uceratul!:c of I,c~land~i,j ,d G:eQr:gesD'l:n~liI!:z.il{.nrusseb: •. lgGo)liP. 21,0.•.

LJr \.l

I to;:,

11111\ I

hnl t

MFlh.IIOI

The most distinguisbed exponent of this ~chool of thought is the late Marburg ,philologist ,Karl Helm. His now classicig25 essay I~Spaltung~ Sdlkhtung lind ~I'isdl:u:n_g im, germanlschen Heidentum," 8,s:erv6S as 8.. microcosm for his: mormmental A !,tg:eflmanMt;'u,e ,Religio1.Mgesc.1ti"h~ie~ :a work that occupIed mare tha:p[otty' yea,n, o,f bi~ Hfe.Perh;apsIDostJ"e,pl',esentativif: of Helm's w.o!fk is his :1946s:l!.udy W(J'.d,n~ I Attsbrez:tu,n,g ~;ndWa.n"dtJr~,~ seines Klll,tlCJ;,. in whicb he 'tr,31DeSthe, "evoludon" of 'this god-known In Scandinavia a,!j Odhi-« ,from the Continental dClnao. Wade. leader of th:e'\J\7,ild Hunt and of 'the spirits of the dead, to W'ocla:u. god of wal'fl'[Jjd, Inagki aud6nally 'ends witb Od[n~ the Scandinavian :god 01 poets and kitlJ~l., Helm's
position is thus the inverse of that ta~enby jacob Grimm. who saw

Odin as thearchetype and in the demon Wode;a dim reflection of this "sunken' ~ high ,god. 'With the cemparativism that had served as the basis for Gri:m:m's i.nterpretadon long since di!u:redi!tro, uopossibHity existed. OlE properlyevaluating the relative stands l@tken by 'eithe,( sehelar, On the question of Odin_,aswel1 as on, similar polnts,....Germanic evidence :a:],o'~l,epr'()ved. :inCfilnlch:'ls,h·'e.. 'To par,(l,p1nase TurviUe:-'P'et:r{!,psasse~smen t of this Impasse: as long as Germenie m,ytbolQgy was studied :so-l.ely by those wbostudied, n.othing else, the road was bl oeked, An "objective 'OOI'rela.ti~eJ"wa~fieed.ed.. :and. it took a sCholar of the: caliber (If Georges nume~il to pro,vId,e it.

ermanic ·r·-;·c,-,-cc n en_.._ ..,g,ce- Dumezil entered ~·l-~~G···",~n .. · arena Il",c .p_lwa:ry .......Geo ._is .'U .t:Z]Ji ......"~'" ,,,co, ..... ,. , .. liS concern was to p'lace litis cemparativism ema firm footing. As an Indo-Europeanlst he badakead,y repb.e,ed the etymologkal approacb of Max MiiUer with amore so,.idly grounded structural approach that took. inliO'account tbe: social, n~Ug[om~and ideologi,cnl facets of the I:ndo.European heritage. The task he then set bi.mSleU was to ,estabUsb. tb.a:t be bad £aund the correct ssructure .of the parent Indo-E.uropean sodf!ty and 'to. show tha.t the link betwe,en ]nd()-Europ~,an and the 'Various, natianalltraditions 'Was not men-:Jy typologi.cal but, genetic. Uu:meiirs central discovery regarding the culture o:f the Indo"' .... .~'f1]
L. ..., L.·, II; .. ,Q ..... '. <Ill ..

Europeans w,ashis recognition ,ofthe pexv'as:ive roletha.t dIe tripartite structure played in their liivts.Hehad str1l;ck upon the tripatti te formula as early as 19.3owben be observedsocial tri partition in the
1

8 Kilil'l Hehn. .ISpa;UJU;1'iig~ S!I!bj¢ihtung:l(1nd .. Mi:s:chu:ng i'm. germa.niscb,en Heid~n.tum,'" J'(lmWtrd,~;I'I: des ~eut.:sch.e:n ~i$Ms.. ,lii:ejt~;~e tii.r ,G. Eh:rin:lt(J:nn ,(B,erHn" 192'5)" 'PP!!t~IO;· 'It Tu~r.l!!'.mc.,·pe:t:rc" ··lool~l1d."·p.. 2l0.

m remnants ·of the Ind.o.-banian caste system .. B:y 1l.938he had ..adduced paraJle:lsf:r·Qm the Roman pantheon (and. some hints from Celtk tradition)~'ho~e implications elevated that. discovery to the .I.ev,el. Q£ an uide,01ogy of ehe three £un,(t~on5..u u Tbat.5am~ }"ear D.umezU began the research rhat led to the- pubJ.ica'tion of ,Mythes .6·t die'ux

des Gertnains.To dannym. tbis ideology ,3S· lega!cy that the daugbter a cultures had preserved hom the time of Indc-European u:mty~, he
needed an independent corroborative ~,t"r.tiumc()mpa,.a.lioniis.'.N ext [0 Indo-Iranian and ].tdi,c and by contrast with SIa.vk, naljj;ic~ or even Celtic,. Germanic rradltion bad preserved rnore texts o.f its myths and reIigiousnistory than any other ]nd~Eurapem]: s:peaking tradi .. tiano. (From the Inde-European co.mparati:ve· perspective,. ·Greet. traclition. mI~y .101"Ilintents and ptmpooes be discounted.) Furthermore~ a the: Germardc hemeland represented [be third point. ot a geo,graphical triangle describing the terrlteriesover which the Inao.EuIopea:ns bad. dispersed I and as the northernmost outpost by virtue of its isol:alionwhich precluded the li~eUhood .of borrowing,. especiaUy from other Indcr!u~opean cnltures.=it could be legitimately ex" .peered tomanlfesr what foUJor1stsha;ve caned. theUarc:haisUL of the luge.:· fr,· ... "'lI'~ Germardc evidence proved to hold true to ~xpet:tatiomh\Vith the pub.lication o£M1thes dieu» ,de$. ennaim Dum~:zil established the G presence o.f not merely fra..gment:ary survivals of a common IndoEuropeau past~as he had dene for Gleeee-but ar,easonably well arti.rula.tedt:ripartite ide,olugy in. lb.e ma,gj!co..:religirO'Us Odin, a legi:sJ•

et

lativel.orde:ring :figur-e cr.f equal rank termed var.i@uslyTyr,


1 ....

,m cr f·u·n__ M-····t·h'",~].. QI ·T.",'",·· the .o!o"~ ,I. '!:,,""_ -T""o,·.... 'R.Ud .~ .1;, . ch.lyn" lwaz" ...... W,M,iI..liJi. zod .__ "'!LII.~ ... sueh ,_._. tion divinities as N·jorda:ndFrey.Duw.e:dI sawinthe detaUed COl"respondences betw~eF1l. accounrs of [':be deehronement and subsequent reseoraeion ·of Odin and the dynastic conftkts 0.£ the Greek Ornranos and his successors, 'in the sirnilarltleabetween 'Thor and. Jndra as thunder ·w:i:elde:ts,. and in such otherpara neb as the Germanic and Indic 3C.CQUn.ts of obtaining the: vessel to bold. the tntoxicating drink
y. I.

UUr~

l Lii. t: ..,l1 "d···, ·.1~~.. _.

10 ,~:rgts Dumetil~ "La prtlli,jstoire :rn(];o·,tranienne des castes;" jO'anw.l ~iatiqu~ 216 (19aOh 11~180. . n Geo.rg,esDt~m'~zn;,.".LapI~.h:i&~o~t:e :Hamin,es maj.e'Ug;~.rIRevui!!' d~l'h::ijh'i:r:e des !l'I~.f 1td'tgio:l1Sl. ~.8 fl.8), l~!i:OO~, See C.. SooU Litd,e:taQ, The Nt:.w ;Compara.tive

M,.fno.log1:

'~pbjns .the ,[lcl.:lWJ,ilcidoolog1'· and ··funQdo:n"" See also Che' b~C)ni~g; mttOOiU!ctl:on. :finov-,e.
lL2C(!!rtairdy

(Derkcl.eyand

Andn

:Lo~Amgel~: . Utdv~rsi.£y of C!JjUfurniaPIl6S~ 1966)tp.!S1 where he


,Q'fhis

1(}l:#ct1l4ss~.f'5ml'l:R.t; !ol t'u~ Theoriese'

£I.,

Ge~ge';!i' Dumizi:l

this 'Uu:oryn.61ds ;t[U,e ~nr lteland" ·thatmon (!entriiiU.gal of ootp:t5:l$ of rhe Ge~nk~ ..speaki.ng world.wbcfe rnmt of tlIe o,ld~t. doaJMiC;n:Ls such. as iSilgM:, bistQl'les~ and.liheEddas· caa bef:ound.

rheh rrcchthch

chutz:

s Materr.]

:not the mere dllpHcation

o£ nl.oH£:s.bnt

the pi,il,'!ise:rvati~Qno£ core

nlytho~,o'ge.ms!,rnost baslc ·to,an tuldcrst,a.nding of the panrheon. The


studies of OtitofloHe~ ;ttnd ,utlIer an,thtQPologi,taHy orieneedseholars helped. Du.lne:zirsi'D'vest~g;at~om!i by plnvidfng 8! Iink fdO thesodaI Hfe of the: ancient Germans 'which led. DumezH to the d.bcovery or eoer.oboradvlf! re:Ugiou& structures in Germ.anic cult andritual pl·actices. Dumezil in fact extended d~e area .of bis search te include folk]are, Htfrart'Jl1 "'J a_,~'_ dlry - in,IS' _"', - _ lW", _~ m ...a-,,~sn . ~·1 '.' .--, ab '1 .:_',::- rre nd earlv "history," B'V thesemean __u:m=:'Zh.w:as a _' e ~O r
,adduc:e further correspondences between :i.n.H:iaion ,ri tuals, cennected t to the Germanic bands, of w:Ud warriors sueh as tlu'!! Be'J.'stJrH.s", aad their ceunterparts the Indo-Iranian Ga:ndha:Tt,){1.sand tiu:l' GreekK.e''l~ ta'nit'lli:~and betw~en Germ.:anic and ][nd,o-][rillrlian tales of the knUng of the Sf,eat bear~,1boa:r.or giant. Significant Is the presence of struc. tural parallels andthe Iack of' Idymo[ogica] parallels, Io:rthe presence of"the latter might weaken theargumentfor :i,nbetitant-eand8ttength~ enth _,e afo ument.ferhorrowing argu m"-,D Jl.uf u_Fr _ w ····.·l]at·r·.Oi1 -.·D?]ll.....1lJ_;:,Q_ .... ..... ..1:3 Thus S \V '. lb'~--~.!iy besanasgS an .. attempt tOI dete:fmine to what degree tile Indo-European component preserved in Gennanic tradition turned out to also op,e" the door to .an assessment 'of the extent of the rote the Indo.-European heritage played in the total framework o:f IGe[mauica:nt~quit:ies. Re:ffexlvely:. Dumezll gained, from, the Indo·E'ur-op,ean perspective 11 AI. •b L •.L, '.. G-' • . 11 as we 1.I. n '1ongWlhil.lif;a: ddi .•' Oi f".UJ.€ anc:u.~'nt~erll1aruc peop~€s:to '-JUOn the lndo-Eu:nJrpe:a.n. fold and therapid crY5taUb;atlOl1. of his srruc.. rural interpretation of' their m.yths~ Germanic€vidence allowed Dum.ez:il t'O refme his struceure and. tbere:bybett'er to understand the dynamics of Indo-Europeart thou,ght,. 'Tbe split ,in. the s'OVe're:igt1l, funcuQn between its m9:gic~:n:!Ugi~ru& :a:nd Juridical aspects which .Dnme:di had obse',rved in. its representativ,e gods OdIn andTyr' respecti:v,e~ybecame tile subject efan :iHve~ti,gatiQ'n centered primarUy on lndic tr,adi.tioll, wllerre Dum~:Z'i1found a clearly enunciated an.d
1i.

was

strurc:tulaUy s:igllificant cQ,n.cept of' join:t ;sovereigDty in the gods '·~L. . .' th . .f'_S . Varuna an··~ 'I!I,-" d ,1iirtra~wIU1 t h.~eu;;:f,e:spe:euve paf aJl··1 :m: tne R-oman Jupiter and Dius F:ildbu;l!l Fliom this cemparadve eviden.ce ,Dumezil was, able to !li&ate that dds fir~tfunction bifurcation was anessential p~~rtof the' original .M:udo-Eur,opean conception of. 50viereignty., AU in. aUj' Dum~zirs suc.ce85fnl 'tefft .ofbiscomparativ1e scheme in the Germ.anic area. p:roved to be piv{)!,m] and determined the direction his
't.houglu was, 'to take ,{iorthe next several decades.
~·.st:ru(uue/'p. ,858 .on T)"lI: as a pl!l;liible ;sky-god. l!l Georges n:llmezi~. 1tlitra·P'aruti~t ,Ilss,ai Sur dl!!·tI"'r~pr;estntld:iQn$
~:3 Gf.. Hausen.

CUfQ],~enn(l.fdt: ,l'~ so:r'v,c:rainlC~.J ~aris.l~940;

::I;di cd.", ;~.948).

:iiidQ'·

The relative richness of G,erm.anic tradi tion m,adeitl'm.poss:i:ble for Dumezil tQ' avoid a clash wid,l the special Isrs, In the prefaee to ,MytlUJS e,.t: d:ieu.x d,e~Germa,ins D um,e-zilrai5c5 andanswers 'two gen'eralpoin:ts of dontenilion: 1) \VbUe h.is&hc.sis :migbtatppeaF revoluIt:ianarYJ' h in no "",,ay op:pOSf!S the bistorical an:a]'$is~pbiloIogi,ca1 crltieism, Of in tern~d (onsistency of the Ger.manic data as outlined

by Jan de Vries in his, Altgel'tn{u'l,i$cheRel'ig:ionsgesr;hi'hte;:~5 2) Dnme1.Ufeels, ju.stified, in ignoring-the tra,dltionaI div.isiion between Scandinavian ,and Continental Gerrnanic because the' lack of substantial evidence,from. the Condnent neither proves nor disprov,cB
essential dHI'€'renoes,between the :r,eligio:D.s of these twoareas, In Dum~dr.smind" the cli:fferences, that do occur are the 'fC:~Ull. of morerecent hl~to:dcal developments, :fU5 oo:mp.aradv,e jn~ that therewere

terests lead him~o, sacrifice 10(a1col10r


strnc:tlllT,al

~or form and. detail for


was with the his-

.of

prinelples, UI course :Dnm&irs m:ain bone ofoanrendon

torieists, not so much because he had provided the Germenlc pall;· theoDlritll a structure ..... tha:t would have been allowable, if fandfut ,s.pectdation-,btn.because Du:m~zH had insisted OlD. two cardmal points~l) that Gen11Jan.k TeUgion Is, mula.fismutana,£s". dIe: :reUgion of the Inde-Eurepeans rather than i:be reUgion of the indigenous pr,einvasion inh~bi tants ,of the Cerm;llui·c,lands; and ,2) that this :re:Hgi;on .of the Ind.o~Euro,pe.ans: was. b:~stori£anY' :fa,r more sopbisti cared and complex than ,all)fthing 'Iate:r found preserved or altered in Germ;anic 'tr~dhion. In sbort~DtlmelH could 11,,0'£ admit to the t'!vOluticul 0(' s()m,'@thing that bad existed a 1re ady in. llts mature state pri.or to. the very ermergt::ncfl oIche trad~ticrnj. ,qua tl-adilion~ out of which it was supposed to! have ,evnlVied,l'7 In. theyearsbetween M'J'the:s et dieu» do's Gle:rma:insand the revision that serves as, the core of this: book, Dum~zjl continuedhis
m

filJt.ai'i~le; (Pa.tts;, I939h p..x,


l:l'

15 JaQ d~Vri~1J ,A·I~g~aJl~c.h~' lG Georg~ Diiilm~2iU, M',!J,l~'& d

,R:r:l:~,gjQ";Jg't!~t';-hicht't! ••~ 'VO~iS'. »erli~.•19~!i~~'9B.:;)" I ( d:ieu~ dts Gefmai'ls~~ Jissai. d'i~eill'rprct4tio" com,·

Ct Karl Hello" ··.M}\'tbolQgi~ ~uf ,:dl!en.und :neuctl. Wegen;" (J."a,IIlE .• Braunes' IJ.eit'r'iige ~~t ·(Jeld't.J'~h ~d'd'!!l!1"~ ,d'4!u~,clt~; !S:py~ch~ #na Li;~~f:"a~t&ct~,''I'iib.ing~) [P:BB (1')] 7'1 (~·95'!;)" g.g3-!!6~hesp. 8,6,5 \~.here to D1U~idrl'l insistence; dla;t Geunanic reUS~fJfiisrnuta1iS' 'flmtanai;s ~n ~oo the Ielig~(m o,E 't;h,e I:E1Id'G.Euro,p~Ul!i~ Helm: :ans:\v,ern: ··Gel'l:fiiillnic rciigioft b in 'th~ least part Iudo~f.~ flo:pII!:;a'n.iits bg,sis :is the

n:~igi.on ·Qf the .h~dlg'CUJOU8 ifib:ab~.tan.t8 'of U"e b::r:ritories th.a{ '1!!'el"C :~a~ctsetacd. by Ge.J;nHlnic·$p~ali!l'l.g trIbes. that IS.I' thereUglon. of aeulrural ",ubsm:ltum.. ,af s~u:;h a.tliUqUi~ty tb:ll;t it. quite'~ssibly a:~n.ilW!al1~,e~e~ the formaHOil .• of r.:l1eproto~'IlIldoEi..U:c(l!pea:l'1! C<iJlm.munity" (m,y u;,;uula::tto:n}. Cf. Du.mi!'lU·str:j,o;:hdeit to lI.elm" dL,tetu,d.e. wmpa:ree dell ncUgi,O!ll8 peup:l.:es~ndcHruro'P4!'enn.cs:~ ,PB.B(TJ 78 (l.95iij,. 1~8,-;lBo. des:

rheh rrcchthch

chutz:

s Materr.]

INTRO.DUGY]ON

argument with the IdS1toJidstfi,.At the same time he managed to un .. cover new ccnnpa.r.-aNve evidence, ·to modi.fy and Te6ne his thought, and to delve deeper into the "local color" of GelL~mani·c tra{1Htion be I.. red ". 'I!.." ... h.3'_ escneweu In rns 193IlI stu d y.. : id In .1'948;Dum.ezH tackled the' GeJ;1l1~uljc trkkgte'r~god .Loki.lSi and at the same timehe was fQ.n::eid to consider Balder, agod he had miled to, discuss itl lj/l'Yl'hese~ dieu» des o,etma fn:t,. by his own admission because he presented t'OO much of .3, problem. for the (omparatlvist, ·D"umcIU contends 'that Loki represents the' same IndoEurope.an di.vinity as lsreprese'J1ted by the evil demon Ai)J"a Mainyu of the Iranian Avesta and by Syrdon Def Ossetic popular tradition. Is. s,ign.ificant portion .of l.old is devoted toreba]Jilitating threm,aJor source of tbe Loki data, Sno:rd.•.against the eatlier attacks of Engen Mogk (see above, all.note 7). Here Dum.ezH stresses the importance of oral tradition ,3.S .a seurce fer Snorri'sknowledgeand cniticizes the rfn:.d.ency ofpbiJologlst5 in gene'l':al to regard r'explica tion de texte" .asrnerely the .~~t\t]ngtogether i(1·F· somany pieces of a jiKsa'\i\iT puzzle. ltVritten texts are, after all, merely the tip of ehe iceberg that OI:U11ee c~':e .~<. ·t~.""" ""~.'1.,..,'~ . :ru.~"';' I... ~'r"" '·-l~· " ~•. PX;IlS".S . n... W~.,,=,J e . ""if ·G····e·... "" ~ ....~l" ... ,..... ..1.... ,) '.... HI l)nmezn~s tbh:d and, dis'cQul!l.tingl'~v~$1()ns. f~na]; book-leng'th 5ttldy o.f Ge-rtnanit tta;dit:~·Olfiis his 1953 La saga, de l:'JfJ..dl:ngus, Here llumczil delves further into the problem of the: transposinoe of my:rh tQ epic.
e ,-~ " = ,=".~ .. • .'
r,

J .••••

of the career of the hero Hadil1gT~SIJ' which. is found in chapters fiveto dgbt o£ the first book of the Gesl,tt Dans»
1'Cllln

His subject is the account

oR SaxoGra·mmatkus. Alter a. d>ef,e::n::;ef Saxe's reruiabil~tyj" o slmilar to that undertaken for Snorri, Dumez]] argues ccmvlndng]y thatthe heroes E-Iadding .and Frorho t1epr esent the gods Njord and Fl,\e'Yf1es;pecdvcly~and thatt] iese ill turn IJaraU,el the "divine t'~'ins"
i

·(]l.L(}·ki~(l-le~sinki,. 193:3),P" :;'!.89: his in 1elli~etl GCt'.m.<1l~.i~diJU.oin. I!)f .Loki' (Da:l~mstadt~1:g5,9')~ pp. 56-:57. n.5~ Stin it 'Ii'~'O't!M betm.w~~ .to -reJect. Snon:rs ·t;~gtit~o!:'.!.j' ::dT!o,g.ei!her. ThIs ts]mlP'ol~sIbl.e hli ~I:!!os~ eases where hegi~es the 'only illform:u:~olfl ;~hotH iii tf!}'th. Mi)~()w!r he ~l~y h~ve

:lB. D'!,Ii!lle.dJ, 19> Dumez:.n

quotes d.e Vries' 'Tll(!,P:r(J'b/e.rn

Loki (pj3j.\r·h~. 19'{$) ..

3Uen'~;atds.H~~ in~elq:)I[etaUoJJ's,s(lmcti~es betr.ayhrug (he narrow-mindedcencepdons 'o£med~a,e'1ri'!.1 learn:in,g.~na:y ID: ether cases b~£oundoo on il:. ooner uFJde:rsulnding: IQ.fthe heathen traditlons, which mllJY be ascrtbed lEO the fa(;C,tba~ he wa....<lnIce]and~r himself and ILh<l:t he Ilved >C::)l1Jiy a C{lUpl,e of ·oo!1.~[udes.after thebr,C'otkiIDo'Wll1 of p,[1:g;ani:s:m. ,. .. .. it ;lilJi:ay l)(!'prdc rnbl!e 1:0 ii1V(jI~VC a. ~utaiJ1 amount (jl.t sprudousu:adit~Qm 1¥l!rQiUf in1ji~tigatio'ns 'to prC(:h.ulc the ~:Ji.:lilillg o.f the sHg:btestp~("<!e of U$efule,r[derH:'1~. Here lam indirH~'d ~() place the lar:ge.u pa:nof d):I;l'~Hwlm<lteria] IOn the :s~me h~"\ld,of trtW$t:·worth.inf:5S :liS the m,GSt \fen-crill-ble tradi:LioT!tS of pagan ~.im.es ,., • b~cam.e ,everQilater Hn~rjirty in ..
·cel:lltUJIt~C'5

li ... so:m.any "~

hada.(c;ess

t.o

.riiliJ

be.ueranrCI.

r.iche:r

SOUl,Ce.<; lOr

old

k~rle thaif! bpo'ss:ihilc

for us, ",,:!:ruo

ve::iid.Q~swm f!)n()·~'!" ge~J1eraU'it:he8.aJllM!pat.11:fj u"Odden by heatlu.:u PQ(;~.··

rtll I errechtllcl

' ChLll t

M. ion

:uix

of ludic ttaditi()n~ the Vedic Nisatya. H,ere"epic .hislorf' provides evidence of tile third .. ·un,edou Dioscudthal Germankmyt~o.]ogical. f tradhion hadfailed to preserve. ~(I
T.be lase impo.rtant work of this 'inte:rve'ning :pcriod also concerns itself 'wiith S3X:O':~ tramposidQU (j,f myth. :t() history ..10 this :instance it is, books six to eight of the Ges,la. D.Q.'lUJfu;m which recounr.the three :sin.s ·of the lv:aniorr hero Sta:rca:tbenlS.,Zt Dumezil shows: how l:hlsi3,C:" count (and similar evidence from other souues}paraUels.acconluts 'of the: three sins of the gqd Indea and the panhellenic ltero Herakles. Starcatherus sins against the fi[st function when, by means of a ruse,

.be 'S trangles the N onvegian killig\Vicarus in a. s.3crile:gioll,sp.~lJfody of th~bang1u.g sacrHke to Odin. His second sin Involves cowardice in battle: he deserts the Sl\iiedish trocps in 'Wb05C service he isfigbting and thus C3.USC'S the war to be lose, As his last sin, ,Star(;aud~eru~ kills; the Danish king 010 while the Jauer lsbathi:ng and unable to defend .bimsel:f. The stare of being unarmed and. batbing suggeststhep:hysi~
cal lYell.being governed by the third function; Starcatherus' venal

motive [or the kHUngoonf.i:rms tills third. sin as an o.ffenseag,a;inst


that spedfic ·fuJi,ction.Tbe punirshln~:nts Sta.tcatnerusreceives £or each. of his three sins also correspond geaerally to those inflicted OD.

Indra and. Hercules. 'When St3'l'cartberns was, born Odin blessed him. w:hb thr,ee' HV~5. After each o:ffe:nseb.e loses one .of these HV{~8~and a£te:rkiUing 010 he' ,oonlmilts suiicldf·,. ·Vibile Jndra, beiJi1:,g a g()d.~is ;~dlowedto be purified of his crimes" S,tar-calherus" heroic counterpart Heraklesmusr share ·the N01r,s@hero'i';s,f'a.teby puulng a volun. ..· t.aIl end to his morta] exis tenee, The resuks of these smdies provide· a gOQd index o.f w"l1l,~t a. cornpaI'a.tiyis1t. c.a.naC(umpUsh when be is freed fronl' tbevice: of seeking'
et.ymo:),ogka]patallels.~ when he bas afirmgrasp 'OlD the 5,truc!tute of his da.ta~an.d when he is. able to ra:uge OVCI' the 'entire. fund of a na-

tional ull:diti:o:n. rather than forced to r,es.trictbimseU orm:YlhoJ:ngical documents,

to!l.ieligions,

:By 119.SJ:l, ULnezU was ready to. begin a summing-up of hi.scontri'bn .. D


tlens to the study of Germanic mytl:tology . .supPofledpy the Inter2;1l) Georg:es D[unbLl.La Saga (Ie Hadin.gu:s (Sa~o Grammaticm .l~:D'J'-Viil)~ .D:[J ·m.ythe au: 1(l~',Hn~Pads. 1.9[1:8). f. also Donald. 'V:ardj.Th:~ ,z)iviheTwim: .An ( C J~do-.li:u.'f'f)J?B'd" .Myth i" Gt::rmanic TrGdition (Berlel.ey and Los: An~l~~ U g;ivrtrdty Qf Co:n£bm:~aPress, 19'58), lip. '7.5r16\, .2:~George:l.Du~zn •. .i1:JpectJ de:la. Jonctiongu.,;rriet"f' cht:zles In;~.~tJropJ~nf

(:pa;t.i!~!.~'9s6). 'Or: a]soL~t:tleton's

i~u:oodu'ci!i'pn,~bav~.

'

.1N'ntODUcnON

verning studiesi of Jan de VriesJ,WernerBetz ,and OUo ['lo,fi'Er old arguments had been tho[1oughJy rethought and new evidence-both Germanic a:ndcomparatlve~ha,d been adduced, D um~:zirSi plan ,\\V3;S ro ineorporare cdI these in to a coherent picture of' the Iudo-European
J

'Thus in 195'9 Dum€zr~ publisbed, a. m.ajorrevisiun of M'1~he& et die:UJ!des Germaln$ under the tIde: Le:s lUeux des Gefcmain-s:' Es£ai $U'J~ l'q. fO't''llultiou de ,Ea religion, sC1J,nilimltJ.rJ~ The new work couralned such signifi,callt additions to th,e old ,edItion as,d~.scuss:ions.of ehe .Ai:si:!'-Vani.r c~nft:kt:l the mndla~ g; _" 'O~""l~",,' .. y:r,ancL ' 'f' dons surrerec 'd l~- t·l;c, soverelgn ,gOCIS,,.e I.D. an d' T'- .--.-- ' .. .- - .J-ru..tne rose or uy ie .. " _, •. , B,aldet in Germanic escba.t..rii!o,gy .• Ab~el1t,a.l',eseveral spec.ific,oompatH BOlnsfrom the r 93,9~dition whic.b, Dume;dl In rctrospectfoufid,tJenuous or not pan-Jndc-Buropean, AI)5ent also are certain points' regarding theGermanic warrIor wbidl Dnmezil included in a. laterwork dealing lexdusiveIy with the second Eund~on.~ DurIJ.;(!zil also SiignaJed a s]gnifica.nt change: inerophasfr;; ;'nlt'lle title 0'£' ,'~. .... ere'·VI", ',.' . edl"·j>.-"'··.,.,. "rLe ·VI1.r C'; u_m,l'_.1$ was w.opp... ·:Lil.h:.: .f', ... '. ' c··"ed· . . IdO..... rvths" ,.--- ~1'_---·,""d'·j,''k ... Odl:5 1 [';'1-1 ~~J: . -0"· -t . is OIn the "gods," Th.e, difference between the subtitles is even more: iUns'&rative,Tbe li £1;9edltlen b still an "In terpretation loom.paradve/"
,,~ ·1'

core o.E Ge:[Dlauk reUgiuus tradidon.

'·I ..

"'1,,

~,

b;!, "",'

, ..

1iO, . '•..

but here again the focus is on achi.eving III better undcntalldiug' :of G·er.manJc tradition qua GeTmani.e" wlu~r,ethe' Indo-European hericena:iolludque alterations .. Nor bas Dumezil tap_itrdau~dto the spe da]j5.ts on (he. i.ssue 0:( .scandhlilvl:anversus Con· tinental 'Ge'rn;tank. He' silmply concentrates on that area where evldence iSiweU enough pfieser~ed t.o allow him to diSlCUS8 the "Iormaricn .,t,..~ '1 t~le _nSIJ~strn.ctofe' 13 D.'.ne main . dt th ... d e',a ze 'I" .,.. 1 J.g!on,·· '-T·]' !. ,l!llS~ on !W~,eW~l,(l.eJ'' b ' , 'thrust 0:£ M'Jthes et dieux d,es IGe'rmains remained' unchanged. No~ im::l.ud,edwithin. the scope ofLes die:t.tx cle,s' Ge rmail1$ are sev~
1 oj
c c

tage has undergone

,n· '~d V(m ~J~l ers Toll}" A"Jb:v .fir nardi$k fUoZ(Jgl '70 (1!955). 41,-60" esp ...44-:45~ whidil. enceand :lim; hl.id tor-est jthe~ M!armhitrd~ian··,Ft.::u;.er.i.ulJ inh'!rp~L11i()!n (hi' ]3;a~dcr 3$ a veglilta·
0" 1h ~'ii'
J"

~ '·'1"'" • .J!.,rum·!:,l;L:5 po~wllOU

, ,- ..~ru (H'!IIC!3 :g;rei'n, d· -'I'I to, a,

"I'"U,·', .a'll (tc",nes,

"I";

. lui!::!!:'

'!IlJ!' '1:., Mt.!J}!lu05

an.

don de:i'ty.. .Dumi~.idl.llIowey.e:rjdJd~ol agree "..~tth de Vrles'sncw interpr.elaiio'Il th.a;t n~ldef :wa~ ~arellec;t~(u:li Od~nts,Wattlor aspect:ll:;nd, in: the Germ.anedition Qf of' .Loki (abopubHsbed in 19519) he .!itJ~ed. B;a~dcl"ltQOdin'~'aspe(:lt '0'£ so'Ve:Hdgn~,y,
On theesiCbaloologica]. problem Jingen.cral,

Sug WU:.a,nder .• e:!!'p~CliJ.ny 11b '~p.nJ)J~,avaTsa,g:anadl l'tr.ahibh:liram:smyriska f'~nl!t\Siliu .. n~:~g3::r,.·" fttigion,t'J'Ch Bibre.l 6 (1·941).· 27-·39!, But when Wi'b:lJlder aU.em.pil:ed to R
.G-·' ,-', ":'I,.-""'"':~-''.''''' ·.-I;..t -f' ':':.0,- n ji"'" ," ·'t',· ,., 01'1°[1'4.,' '!B".d _en:n:<t[u,c escUil:'w'IOg}' Ula ,lQiu:~,C: I·-·d O·,arnnlab , ,con,,In uum '\." ,,,,,n, .. X<!,~ valla tin KUJiILl:ksheU"'J!;'· Ar:kiv lornordish tUologJ 75 [119.60]1. I Ss:19:3i and. idem. ·~rmanische und, i.liIdo4[3;[dsche .Esch:,li'~olog~e~." Kair,os I: ~,l960]j i83 88) bysU'l1,c,· ... tOfal.~y 00 :in'l 'tme S~f'!:di:n~o,;riian; B:r{I"velUr ;ind IndieKuruksbetrabt\tdes and 1~h.dtaiU!r; !t!!t circu:mstilnI:C~, D~m&.il ·w'a~·not cnd.rdy OOtltvi1]!ocd. ~~ GOOl'l!~~SDumi4zU~ lliur .tl:~. ·ilNdlheur ..iu, guemer:' 41spect~m)i,tlti que~ d~ .fa tOfldi,or:lgr.ten:iere the."! ies bulo~EUf{i:p~'ttns(Pam~1969); traml~a~ed asl'hr De.n'in, ,(Jllhe Warrior "C&:i~go•. 1910).,
---'I'-,,~ re.:a~:
L!!.iI1

Dumez:i~ C!w'Csmtlch t(l tilll@: It'ls;ghl:$ .of

eral rhemesworthj 0:£ note. These are: the god Heimdall and~,"!.i.th. the exception of F:te:y,a~ entmre (horus of goddesses. The very im .. the portant issue of the reliabili ty of UUJ sources for Germacuk myUl~,
..... !I!~\ ,.':ILI;~.o,.l !!· f·_... of' .t1.".. If,'''l',·· -V-',~"!n:'r ''''''''''].~<ii Since t;-[" ....... '.. ··Lg~""'·'J 1:.....m.. 'f' ""'f:' the ']-~,_,:'!i,. ~ ..... ,... tl!dv deal oulywith Scandinavian gods. Dutaezil also leaves Q,ff discussing
I~,ll
II!.o L.l'~i,jI'

notably Snerri and Saxo, is touched upon but brieflY:lD1ost. notably in tbe first chapter where Dlune'~H defends hisuse g.f Snorri'saccount
,1.,'"
"-.II.L •. !.

A,

"!!I~

'.iL~!

'!.:.i!lg

ILl

llPI:"

'Il.,I,~

~,,;II,tJIJIJI.1

'~I,

~'

iIJ,~

I_~U"V~

n'la

.•

the epic hero Starkad, whose explo~t~ Dmnezil has related to fhe
.Indo-·European theme of the "three sins of thew.an:io1"."2:B '1....some 1._..:JIi.~\O=' ~~"""" T;'~ .... ar 'f,,;11 auzen ,'. has rec ti,1.Jl,~I_ !'1"""'" '0' missions "'0" the ~ d ""CIT'~~ .. ~""d't' "!to~: .L L.-_' '.!t. ," Oir~,gin.aljjetroHe embarcation' by inCI:uding Uans~.a.tions of se'\feral
._' y ~Y~._.",}t;,;, ,l:,;UIIJLI.,L,Q,:_, .,. ,~,~,
l~"

.g;!J!

-,II!..;

~l

_.';;"'!JI~

"_.-

'I~'''~

""

1":;Ji

,.1, .

I.j

Dumezil artieles on Germanic 11l.ytbology,lespcciaJly an importaat paper on the survival of the lIi~)artite: Indo-European social 8trUG~ ture as reflected ,in the Eddie [Joem. RigsP·ula. The Rlg:slnll:'a article ,. 1., '1''. " 1 ·1·',· .."I' ' .,'..'. ,., 2~O"'f' ~., ,'. . . '.. .'. .. i IS tile on. y one" ea IDg WIIL.w U~!I..p}lrtu.lOl':' '.' - t1u!'rerna.tmng a.rtU:IES1 ~!Uy,b'g\Jirand Beyla" showsa side of D·Ltnl.tzH.that is more Ger.llulni~'t than comparat.1vist.whHe ··HehndaIltl2~ and '~Notes, on thee Cosmic Bes.tiary of the: Edda and the Rig Veda'trepresent two of Dumesll's few excursions into the realm of ]ndo~EuriOpea,ll cosnlology.
24iA fun~~Ollysi'i of tbis pi~~bh:nn and, a fCfiIHJt1J!:C CfJ' chIC: >erHtcs" espi. E. Mogk, tan. befound In Loki. (Germ~'n ed.) lI,',1hc1'!I!: Dlnn{!;dl ·di5CUSSifl'S Snorrl and in La Sagq .d,e:R{J:dirtguo$ (rerenlllytelss;~;I!!,:'ld.ll:s ])nrl:16!'1U., VU m~lt'h& (l:'~ 'rQI:rJar~:L4Sllg(;!, de H(J,d. r;ng:!l~[S!'l!l;,o· Groll n~:n'~~.ticu.s 1 i!~l7 ii] ~~:em h'c:S: .e"Q;i~ [Paris. :l9r7'G!I]I, "'lith revisiens and. a aumber of <lppended :artitles) '~lh~reSaXco"sbadc reliJbiUt.y ],s;estabHs.bJed.
2fj Sse H ule'[IlIu ~~bG\'Ie',., .~

AJ'pe'eu" <!I,nd. 1dC'In.. II spckte loge Kl)C'k(I}:~IX[blst:.lid[". Ig6'1)-:.l. 5Ug]ul,y~e\'ibed ~~:j.nslation ()f (he ]956 As.1iJtwts .. In~97!' :Dum'cz:il d~voted ,Part H;:l:llId .Appe.tidix. n of ld::l .Mythti et -dj)Qi')ce; "TYi)(J!j 'po ", " •J " ,111' ~, '!: ~,,...,II!. "'.J, ,J.' 1:n. Il':zq '[LIes ~lluO =eur-0t,fe:thS, U1ti~e'O$I 'tUl .sQrC'h~r~,!,j'r~ FQJ \ '~fJ.:y~n,e et: 6: iDl'!C:C'.'; }
'!\_ ,.

rt~ner

dlseu $~1~iN!,of Ithis c~nbefil)nfld in :n u l~t§ln, ltier .Krie'f!.1rrf!;utk I'iau Iud t1lm ,1:':2 d'!l7'gem~un.e" , tra ns,

figUtle. . -~6:In. an ealdicr paper f'Tripe!ftit:a fOI:u::.t[ollne1:s ches di"ii'cr"'peuples indoeur"Q~~em;.,~!·Revue d(!l!hi.da~re de~ 'fel~gioru ]3,1 [1.91;61. S"1'~) Dutnez~~ 'polnted . 5 to :U. .shl1HarparaUd of l.rwpiltlitesufviv.<ll in the Ia:~an.dk G·rt;'£~'issfl •.g~a.li:5·rru~.n.d:(ll'.$(i;rHIiI" .i.nwhjch.UH~l!rec l:Ilndholde:rs (the .gO/J{'IT, Ht.,,·'.p:ricsts") and the\.~arrior5 are di:sUuguhl;bec] fr.(~ni the rest of [h~~ people. In another set:l~Qirn or Hllis same

fP:ar.~s. 119'7l)

:[ID

an e:\ren.

~UO!f'e

detailed

dis,cus~jO.1l

of the <l!CCO:Ults~egm.'dimg: th.l$ !

green [!Or the dlbd. flll"'(tion~ [,ed. (or t.hclo~"a:nio:r~ Oind~ whlre f'Or the In'.Ic.lt'~y class, JolQm.e., C:f.ll "'Colnpofl.eflt;" p. 6ofo:r {xH)lhmilt~~)t:i .D~lltn~:z.il'svile.,!(of Cef:i:t'i;::,udc ,of ,8oda:ltdp3didon hom :[1: S!0urte gClle:raUy Iilt1dpathelk to Dumesll •. R. peroll('~, r~eas.e note ais,p tbiH the Gen:n,::uri!!: king, 'wl'le,,~~as both priest anrr1warr.io:r:l' has a :f'IHl!cdomitl reflex ini.u~lcicutIndiawherethe king "vas. chi)stn :f:['OIO, the fijailya. :a11lc~h:e segment of. ~he wasrler ChlS·S....:but olncehe W~$ k~l]g. he assumed ~g[al :so\lc~eignty for OiI.n t~;le fUllli>cdons. 27 See: .DomezU" ,L,e'Sdicuxdcs Indo-eu.,mpettn.:s (Paris,.I.g[J.2)j 'I\'.hc::rehc mnlpan~s

p07!pe'l' :l'C'p~'ncd ~.ha:teach of the be

fLl!)i('Il@IIl.'ii

had Its own tolar;

bl~ck!. blue,

'@f

.HeimdaU wItb the R!!J·:nJ!an Janus, arid d[scusses the Icorrespoucling~o.tes these gods
pta'Y~t'I. UH~"'cp~ne du ~;yst~n:ile"of Ui[Jntidon. See also H:al!igen. ·'$U'lllictU:r-e.'·

862:.•

:po

Reaction to Dum~ziPs work has, on thewhole, been£avnr.able. 'The reviewsof Les dieuZlt des Gefmairu were lalldat·Qry.Stin~ there exists a l1yo.[Jc.e:a.bJc :i!ff!ereuce between. Gennan and Scand.inavl.a:n d scholars in rhein response to Dume1.·H:siheories. This Call be seen by clx;amininglvbic:h ~·jDum~;riUanu 'works, have appeared in their

respective languages, 10. Germ.an·y" with the e%!ce'ption of Jan de Vries's; ,jDlUll,e.iil:ia:n:" revision. of his ,19.3,5-'~,'9S7 rwo-velnme AUgennan~:sche Re.liglcmsge's;., chic.hte 'Which appeared in 1956-1957 as number 1:2' of H.PauJl"s Grundtiss ..ile.r _gcrm-a,nlisch.e'n Phil'ologie (Bedin)j the works that ba:ve appeared deal with matters less centripetal to the ti'jpa,rtite5tt'uc~
tureefthe Germanic pandleon than is the case I'DScandinavia. 'Thus, in 1l9i59 the WissenschafdicheBuebgeseUscnan of' D-atmstadt published a l~evise(n Ge'rman (N.:Ution of Dume:zH~s 194~8 Loki, and in 1964 they issued .3 5~nll1f1jrly revised version of Dmnedrs; 19,50 4spects. de lac fonc,tion guerriere che» les 2'ind(J~eur.()p,eens. under the German title 115pe.k,e .de,- ,/{ri e,gerlun/~t ion heiden In d()g.c}"m,Qnen.The~e two tides .r€.mab!l. the .only works (:I[ DU'ID.eziJ on Ge:rm:ank m,yJth '\,vhkh have been translatedinto German" Lold has consisrently been out'!of DumeziI"s, most popular books, even with his critics, and theIatter k k] 11"·· .uOQ..", '~1J: nlp,reo' f' geneI'a.~ mrerest; since a goo,d-·tWO-I, hird or :H: oears .i[,.S [" ~1 '!I with tl"a.d.Wio.ns oeher than IGer,m~uli!c. About 19:63. the series Re.ligiouen der Me'nsc!z:heii: oon.1miS~iioned nUJn~2n to write abook,.-but the subject "Na.S to be Raman rd:i:gion. As; it turned out". that book was never published In German.,2S Irmay be efinrerest rthlnl this same series, under 'the gene-,tal eclitorship of Christel ~jIa,u]lias, Sdltodcr, bas published a ~~DumCznjan"" study of Celtic :religion by Jan de Vri'es~9and bas announced plans, to publish a study of G ermanitre .. Hgio:o"t,O be wri Hen by Wer.n.cr Betz Wl1f'~se 1962 encyclopedia a;rdcie ~'Die al !tge:n:na:nische Reli:g;ion" 33r-ep",ese,nts; 'csst!ndruUyDumezll 's, P oint of view. While in Germa.ny Les dieu» des ,GermQ;ins remained untranslated, :i,n Scandinavia i~ was era nsia 'ted twice: into Swed;sl't as: De' t1()fa.iska guelanuL.~ /£!)2; unders.aJ~nin.g,au de» sIW1~'dintnJiska 'J'eUgionen". by Ale Ohlmarks (:Stoekbo lm, 196.2); and in.{)oDanish as De nord~~ske GHd:eT
l
i

2;81't appewred In Frellch as Dt~me'~njLa rc'Ugian "rl;lm~:im:: ar:dUl.'£lJ'l~t: (I}arIs, Jg6H}, an.d\ ...a3~e(je[JJdjl ttafl:s,lal!oo~.1]!m .f;ngU~h a-s ihcnaicRcunaul~dighm (Chicagn.

197'0).

so Woerner Beu" "me aJt:_gcnn:au:i,sthe Rdig~o:n"'hl:'Vo~fgaug Stil~Jln:jile:r. 100:., Df!,'uuche Pl.dlQlogie irn. Aujri!;s,,2d ed., Vol. HI (Betlin~ 1:962), eols, 15",1:7-16'1'1

:!.~ ja'n

de Vries" .K~IU~{;he:Rdigi(Jn (Sltuug:a,rot

1{l61) .•

'CC:Openba.geu" 19!6g).Englan.d, which to soine extent sh~c;!s the Scandinavian heriitage" has also shown signs of recognizing Uum!IH ~'S ·wior.k.While Du:mezU has r-emalned. unc:ranslated.,:u the two ,currently
standard handboeks on Scandinavian .mythology~ ,E. O. G" T'urvillePette'sphUologically o:dentedMyllz and Religion, of ,~he,North (New York, .1'9,6:4-) and H. R. EUiS!Davidson's :andrropologicaUy oriented

of whose A ltgermanische: Rgligionsgesch.i.chlt!'sttved as. all important source fQr DUn1elil"sI98~9M'Y'thes et dielt~ des: GermJzins., Before ~94-;d':.- . rres b ·."... I _oe '-V,-'·~'''''· :_,-, .. rt;.VlSlng 1,-,'" ,· .. · . .11., .-~."" ,egan -..-_,:"',,-' "lIS,\fO[it'\.a~ong ·D· (,.~;·'~~c; ~':-'.' and _,umezuran nnes an ifl!£let lQ4!O he wrote several. books. and articles supporting DUm,elil lin both the Celti.c and, Germa:n:k areas ..The most noteworthy of these in the latter :fi,eld.are-in addition 'to those 'already discussed-sanIn. . --" audio , -.:33 tr,o:dllU.-cf·~D--!m.(.-rll~i~,- S tneoryan and .' ,c-, .,"h,···d· , to a .G·-rman .:.~ _,_e,ce _.c__Qn O'U~'_':;;Z'.~ n1~LO~S .·e,__ .c., gQd.lnni'!l: astQ'gna,tJe to Dum,ezil"s ·~tro'isi.eme souverein," ,the Jndie Ar,am.an,,341a.nd. aoonttlbution to the Dumeril£ests:chrHtwhicD. suggests that ,apparentfu]]c't:iou'al overlapping between the gttds Odinand 'Tyr might have been ifiRUienced by s,pedficsociad condlr] OIlS pI1fv'aUing among certain individuul Germanic tribes, notably the Saxens and Fra.nks.{l:fir 'W'nne rn acrnrron to 'I • 1. ··1· ddid • ''II. b~.U.stiOflcal :p:nm3CY ,d e ."!I'.ii'. neserves eone vrres dC, accorded a primacy of honor amon,g the Germanistswho came to' a~cep[ DumcziIJ' his .is au eX(jeptional ease, In the'years. following 1.'93'9 scholars 0:£ Germanic antjquhles la:r.g~:lyignored Dumesll'scoetribudon.s, to their field, In fact" 'tile bj;stor.idst Karl Helm, writing in 1955" states that di.stinguished Gerrrn;ani,sts had admitted to him never having heard the name Georges ,Dumezj:tiH:i A possible explanation
a! ,paperreconstrllc'tiug

Go'ds and .Myths of Ntl'rt,lu!rn EUYopce (Penguin Bool.s~ '1964):32dis .. pla:y a. ratherwholesome epen-mindedness toward Dumezi.t In d,iSlCllSSmg thereacdcn to Du.mczil·s work, 'mention sheuld be made o:f Ius influf!oc;e on. esher scholars. The. ftrst to be 'won ,over was the Dutch pllU,olagi'St and .foUtloirist Jan de Vries,the fi:rst edhio:n

a,Germanic

'

··C

J,

31 ,Professol' Rodtl'ey Needham.. tb.c. O'dOl'd Urd.vcI'sity anlh:ropologiffiil;! 1s pres" cndy p:wp:ar.iinga tr.a:mlauon (lIE .Dum.cl!:il·~g 9lt8 edition o.f Jt:it:t1l-Va.ru~I1 .. 1 52 Of,al$Q her lii.!tet 'W()ibu U. R., !Ems~Davidson. St';at~d!1nil:livtl!H.M1'~triCllogy (LQud()n~l~9.6g). 33Jan DeVrIes, ~'.Det h~utige St3.fld. de~l'g~1.·m3inisGhen Rldig~onsfotKh!:lF:lg."· G,~tmaniJ.ch:-T.lJmanisic:_he MOth:'!tMchriJ188 (1'9!).l!). l!~:I! ~ ~ idem,,'i'{)be:r das. W'ott ''Jad' u!I],ds:einf,l Vc:rnrillllldten,.'" ,LQ; TUJlf?.tUC Clio -1 (195,1), 461,~P9· - ,ilt Jan de V,rlies.!!:La valeur feHg~~'Usen nlot g~rmanique irm,i'f1':' C:~hie1:s au d Sud 3,6 (:~9.5~), !8-1il, .. Cf. .Urdet.ou ~bl).ve.. m.,!?", where he PG~fitsout lhat .Dumf:'~il J h,il;!!indicail:cd . .Elom!C reluctance i:nla.tc~ptiflg de VdCS"~tofid~sk~ns,

3~ JaB de Vries., "~StlJl'cem:ta1ngl.i~~elDenu:.fonttironne1s de: divinit~ dam lar.,U;~on sermall;i.qUJf:'~.'·H,omma.~t5 d. Georges .D.urne2:il (Brussels" 1960~.pp, 83""95. SiS, Helin •.~~Uy:tbo'1og:ie.'· 8S8,. p.

fur this might be what 'Helm playfu.Uy calls ~"Spaltung. Sc_b,ichtu.ng und .M]sdlun:g'~ 3,;( In D\l!m6zil's w.rldngs_.;tb;at is, rhechange or direeUOtl UU.D1e'zir~ thought tDD!k .from, 192:4 'tDI9!9.::l:BDum1ezi1. in a rejOinder to Helm,311' qukklYRtthisl 'oonfnsiQnari_gnt by providing a l[st of those of bi8works on Germanic that bear his ideological 1.mpr:nna'tur. Achan,ge came after ,1955 as: dJ!l!influence of thebistoTical school began to "lIyane. ComparadvIs.m had l'Jiever fully died iQl].t as an. i'deal-witness the popular] ty of the historlcaI:.Igt.:!,ogra.phicai method, among Germanfoliloris ts; And with the rise o:t un~veFs3,I sttuC&UlraUSm based ontbe pnoJlr)![ogical principles of the' Prague school of li:niii iii

to folktales by. V,. Propp as e:ar,}y aS19,~B40 and. later to an'thl"opo1:ogical data, by C. Uvi~Stra'll1ss~ r based on typo-o logical anc~ll'Ysis sumas the concep t of a:l'cllJj~~types coined by C. G. Jung andapplied to religious situdies.b.y CadKet~nyiand Mircea E,iiad.el' scholars .in. 'Gerrnany and elsewhere havev,e:ryquietly allowed some of Dumczitl's insights 110 shape or modify their own points of view .. DULnezil~s· opposition. to tbe b.i5['Oricistsi hi Dot (jompa:raibl!e tOLbe oppos,il!:ion between diachronic and .synchronic' linguists, In. the: first pla.ce..DumJ!z.U'sconoe-rDs; are far more bistodcaJ (as opposed to historicist} than those of the s,yui_hIuni.s.ts 'With whom he has. been id.e~nti6ed. In. the second placet even 5yndttonic: 1i:O,gulstics is divided by a co:nU"overSiy that echoes the medieval scholasdc.str'llggIe between realism and ,Dom:i.naIism. There Is the "God's Truth" schoo! of lin... gnistks' versus the'~Hocus-Pocus~I' ~(:~10oJ; he- former aims all recoat srrucri ng pau:erns l:bu once truly existed OJ su,ch~ white the lat~er defin.ess,t:rucil:~l.re .3.SU'what yon do to tbe data." Dumezil's discovery

gu.istil!qsas applied

of h{$tQlri(:~l pai:l;erus, thatarefound lieplicatedtlu,oug,hout die IndoEurepean eonrlnuumbiases him toward the scboo~,of realism .. Once this is realized, the sO-(;'a:lled ,oonlUct between Du:mez'!il~s structuralism.and mlis~orkala:o~dy:sis cw be seen for the false issue that it is.'!ll
37

fhe eclipre ()f Solar Mydi.ology,Cf. DOt'SOiH ·~'Ed~p:w}' "'L·etud,e.'~p. J 80. 40' VIad.i.Tl:lir Propp. lfof'ph ': "Of the .FiQlletale. 2.di ed.•• rev, (Auslt!~.n" 19fi8). 41 Fp!, a di~cui!!$ion .Q.f theenres;bet¥'ilc:en Ihl:m~nl'$sltnletu.r.alhrnand. that ofLevi~StrnU5~.~{,;C: Utth::to.n. above. Sec a!~' Otto HoBert ·'Lur Ei.nfuhrung~'· in DumezH" .L()ki(D.~mlStadt.~9~9),P'P' xi,v-x.Y;H'elm~ ~'MylbQh;Jg1ei\·· p. 3.5G;Df::t::z ..
j•

avo.id the pHfaUs that: ~:ul$ed


319 Cf..Dum~1.n I

oo·m.mcntsthal the new [ridQ..EI"il.roPe".D:ll romP3!:ro.tivism. wiU 1~.(JIpduUy be a[Mc te

..9iS51~ I 'J' '9,3 .llll:en.,,~!On.s·. .,um.Cl.l. .......il:}, i :lin ...... De . ',. .;',', ·D'·'·: '-"'J -Iv' - .;..,..·n'-·-"·t.· ,.,h1., hi" 'lirstboat~"'. L~ 'f~din 1 , -'\, ', ~y.~_~_., U.. _... "" " d:imtno.T'alH~: E~ud,e ,[Ie ·mj1'~l~o.IQg.fe ,omptJ.r~t ;indo~eu'r:cp~e'Jlt:l1'l'(F'arili, • .l9.l!4)~and

3S:D~

Anobv·IClus :referen(1e eo Helm"! ca:dicr artk~~of thtl S1\rnf: title;: d. n. S·above. Vd~ intlu~6ru ediHon of .Altg,(!rman.ilehe .R.e:ligJon!>g~sc.h~thte {B~:rU[ll.~

,..T

irdluenced by Durne,zH includes the iUi.th:ropolog~ns OUoHijfl~ andA10Is CJos:s~nand the Ge:nuanis,tFranzRolf Sch:roder whose comparanee studies on the wsrrlor figures- .lndra, Thor, and Heraldesti4
and on. tile godI;']eiludaU43 ll~nes-.

In [he German-ISpeaking lands the: 'list of scholars ~(s·ublim:in:an)t·

bear unmistakable

traces of Dumezil's

frai,11:E!l,York"even thougll die)" do not


J

prooeed along < IDum,(lzHia.nc't

sheuld ,go to Lucien Gerschel, Dumesil's faitblulsmdent and fd,end whose studies on the ,survival 6f Indo-Eulopenn rri,p:aniitlQt'! in Gel'(nanic :snga and legend aided slgnifica-ntly in esta:blisbing. th.c\',alidity of later tradition as a source for even Ute oldest Indo-Enropeaathemes," Ger,sdlel':s, ,s;tndy of Germanic legends is also :important foranother reason ..By relating various 1110:111£ dusters, to itb.e1runderlying' Indo-Eurepean ~deol.oglcal
J ~.'J;., • '.'

Turning to Fr,3;nc:e pi[omineutmentiuH

bll '1 1] I bl pattern, G erscnei was not Ol1_y auie to estanusntne o}".I!grQ d nlean-· ano ing of :the:selegend$~ he also pr-ovirled a;ninrpUc.it but concrete argu~ rnent against the :rnot:U-.spUtHngtendency 0,1 many major folklorists,,4'7 The last signIficant area. to be treated 'remains the United Sta.~es

l:vlle'f,(:!.~'hanks ptimarHy to the efforts nfJilao Puhvel, who established [ a pTo.gnnn 0.£cOlllpara tive Indo-European studies a.t th,e·Uni'Ve:r.~ity of California'" .. L""'-'-A'nze · "',0iI. 1"'0 '_;}'.') , 1... If1l"9~""":ld'~j""" 11~" fermer ,,,,,t:udent_ ·0···· v 0... Ii...... ~.!,,,. __ ._~.~.~_ '" _._ ,_,_._ • Sl'o"tt _ Littleton 'who! :firstintroduccd Dum:f::zil"s theories to the American scholarly wor1d) Dumeailian 5ch,oIarsh.ip:has begun toftourish/!S' Wit.h
Y ...
g ..•

J'

V.l

, ..

1>,

cl."I", __

0".

_.

·;.RClig~~:ll1l." 1.5·5S,;and Hay.g~u,. ;iStFucturet'~ pp. B5,~jf£.,£Ql' fuuhc:r discussion col,


of this suptpOsed.antinomy.

schtif.t zum ie, G:e-burtHag oon Fdi~, 'Genzma,het;i!U:!lgegebe'!il von Hermann Schneider {Be~.dclbe~!)l:.I.'9'5g),PP' 1.-67; ~de'~~.,Germanl~ches S.abal'kQ'Qigt~m I Alols Cloos "D~e Heiligketr d~csHe:rrsdliiCt:s!" A:ulJtfajJO$ 5t1 (19161), 469:""480. 44 Fran~ Rolf Scll:moer ~ "Indra, Tho.f lJud. HetiiLkh.:::s/' Zertschrift Jur .d'eul:sch~ J"hUclogiej6 (19'57), l~1. . .. . .
,43
i

~ O:tto-HBf:la~K'fJlU$che Ge./~fi'itnbil.nde der CGtm:a"~n (Irmnld:ttrt a,M., .1;9M}~ idem" '''DRS Opfer :im Semnonen_h:ain una. d~e Edda,:'" Edtfa .. Sh:I1:lde:n~ Saga: .Fest~
(1\.I{i.nst:¢t~Co]!o~ne" :19fj:2),.

~ FJ:an~ RoU ,$GbrUdCl',r, "HeitndaUt' PlnJJ(T) :89' (1967),. 1-41: d, 31s<) .id~m, o;IHe GoUh:l. des Urmeeres und ih:r~l,li;innlichet P.1l,r:tncr,,·i PBB(T} 62: (lgl5~).22.11"'·i264~. esp. pp. ~36~~4'~~ Indic. and N iJ:rse pa:t'aUe1notions I:Juu ··offSEHlogof the sea (Hi!. ~iSa.ke.nn~ng Eor"Are·'; il1ho pp'...249-.zfli4"on various Indie 'p!l.l1lBel~ to Hei.md:alt 46L1!lden -Cer$cbliii. "'Un epIs,ooe nifoncUan:nel dans Ia sa.ga. de Br6~rr:K.~akl~·· Ho:rtl:tn:ug,cs " Ge,(lcrg.cs ,DUfl'h~::zn (UrUS$e~,s. 19,6rn)..P'P" '~·'1'J4-1~16,:~deln~ ;~Sur un --;-F~~~ , . :--c·'~-. . ".- Ii:IC,~ " ,.' lm,e~~ ~'..:,., ~tl.-· de ljl>" -, ·a·. ' .-.- . " UCli",J "'~ _Que .~,e .:' - '?t'l"-,, I]L ·5il;:m.:;meO'l.tonc:m:m.. '. l'd-' II!os '.. HU__ e_,e .~c,;gcn ..es :~lmanlq

I.

G'C:f:sihlC;~~";GOO:fg>C$ Du:mC:i!U's COmp'aIa.ti:ve StudJes in Tales and Trndidoons~" Midwiest F'@lklo'r:e '7 (l951)~.141'-lf7. oI;BU;tt1ewn.,·~The Comparative Indo .. :I1I'Opean Mytho]!o,g:y.ofGeorg~ E Dum:r!lH," J!I',Hfrna,~ of t./leFolldtJ1i'e .1nSUltdtl I, (~964), ~11'7-~IG6i' id~m,!NftW C6mpatat.ivt MyUiolo1!fY; the p~,perg in Jaa,n Puhl1cl,. ed. l\:ly,tl~ {H~d.Law wtre orig~naU:r de~llv(;}:cd ilt ill iy.mpooium held :ii,t UCLA in Spring tgGij; .a, sinl~~afvoltnne., .MyU~ in lndo~

l'l~fjto~'re de:r 1eUgi()ns~:5Q ,([t·g'S6)"

,n :Ludcn

:55.""'92•

LJr \.l

I to;:,

11111\ I

hnl t

MFlh.IIOI

the f!'Cception of .Edgar PolO-in,! whose acqu~intance 'With. DumezU·S'


work. goes back at .1e,au.t~ 19'5:3and

on whose:'\I\ITitings4'9 Dumezil has

,marginal inUlj)eUCe:iml'lst of the a:ffir,m.ati.vereactions lo. D'Um,e,~il can be traced buck t,otbeeHorits .of Puh,vel and. Lltl:l.eton.5o The most interesting work ,in the area of Germerric mytho]o.gy has been rhat ofancther former student ofPuhvel, the Ge:rmanist and folldod:st Donald W,ard. In a series o(s;tndilf::s, de'aHllg with themes related to the "Divine Twins" 'who comprisethe '[Host striking exponent of'Durnf!:d'rs third fUE1([ion~ "\i\rard has been. able to show bow the Indo-European myrhical account Q:f theiereseue of th,e "sun maiden" bas been preserved In sud): diispar,(lte S(!i1:;n;oes:~sBa]ti.c £o~k$Ougs and d1:B Middm~eHigh German epic Kudru.n.~1. Ward':s pd:marUy foj}k:~ lerie inves:t.ig-adons of this body of material ba,v,e also ')tieldedoD:mparative evidence to :suggest that there exl~t,ed 'an Indo~E'Urop>c,afi trHun,c tional bUl'IHUl sacrifice nmong the GermanicpelDples'vihich CQuid be broken down as follows: vicli:rns to Odinwerelumg, t:bose
dedka~ed to the warrior divinity were p1'esum,ab~y 'killed by a l\"'eap-

had onlya

on, and third function sacrificesto Njo:rd or Nerthus were drowned.

'Wl1He vVar.d ad:miu, th;a[~he ,evidence£'or the seco!ndfuncdo:n sacrl .. fiee is m,eagcr.~his su:ggesrion of rhe overall pattern is nonethe less v:all1ablf.~~;In another papf!r~ Ward. speculates that the historicized
,Eu\rof£''aJil; A'n.~iq~;i~:y, s planned ~ for the: paFIr'S giv~n ata sYilllposi~.n;J hdd ~n hOIfllOfO,[ G~(!rrges, .Dumil!:dl a~. theU:nivl!!:rsity of C:dilornia. Santa Uarbillta. in SpnlUlg" IJJ7L ,ediit~d by Ge:r;a:ld ]. LMS@in~ c, Scott Littleton, and J.~<UTII Po.b::!l~l. In~er~t in. fh.i,!Ii aD,ta B~ibatii: volume hiM '!lpre~d t:QEU'f(}pe: 'i!ll'lwerl;l Pmfes:iiQ'lC M~t~ S ddas 'Vereifl.Q eiE tibeFQ,iiSChung$k:rei5; fUr' S}'Ju,boUk ,of 8eideWher:g: UnlveHIL1, ~m1anli~pt:an:s tiO i~u.e iii Germanti'3:JJsli~tloti. ,o}9Ed~fr Po.J.om6~ •'t.'\§:tymo:logi.~du .enn~ge.tttI<lm.ique IiQnsu!: "dieu SD'UlVI!l'a:iln,··· gtl~dejl:g~'rl7ul:!1iql!Jt':iS '(~953) 36-44;: id(lil.n.j·A propo~ d.e la deessl1' 'Ncrthus,,""Lat,o-·
t67'-;200; idem, ,,1 La, f:e]~gw.on :germ!:l:n~'tIUcpf:imlid'\f(!•. leBet 'd"Ufile L;:·F'I{lm.be{Ji~. :37 (~954) 42:7-4~3i idem, ··Notes,ttit~que1i S~1['les oo-cortia- ,,_HI;;'{;:S '~' i'O'enn:ai:1o,.cd't'q·','u,es'~ ,OC!l'tu - 6 ~,-, ;;I'1:} 'I A~'c-~6'ii," - '. j'~9d::A\ -it,;} , "I" kl'efn "Some Com-, _,1.1., __ L" .• - b·", , ,'-, - -" Ullitlntsdn r1pluspd Stani!;i,\S~1-18~"tn E. C .. Po:lom,6. ed .. Old N()r'JeLi,~ei!'atu:re and: , t!'j.~t3 flgS4)
S:lfil.u:;turmSfldaic,"
_0_ , " " ,

dlle ~e(JQgnitli(li1:ll audf:dend]y~upporit fl''OID.MiroC1!a, Ei:i.adeJ'ivhQ is an ilI!.ustriOQS fig1,ln!: io. re:1lg;lOIU:S: studies jll his 'OWtl rigJrt; d. b~sFore'word «0 .Dum~n·s JJ>rch,a.i.c ROffl,an'.Rdigion.pp ...xi .... xi'O". til Don.ald: Ward" "'The Re:u::ue ,of. K;udru.n; AD:[o$ruw~c lrJYlhr Classicad ~f:Cdiaeualia, :;i;Gi(1.965)., 'S8<I:-353~id.cm~ 'ISo~ar M:ytlLologytt.ndDahic Folk:mr:ig9;:j Folk l{)1"t. In temal;i'onah &~(lys linT:r:!2rlltion~lLilua h.I1le" Deliel" ana Ci'L'l't:!:trnifi HO,JOT ofWu,y,lf!'na .l),ebiS Hand (Hi8!tbo!l:\o.P,a.~1967). pip. 2ij.3-:201:1!:;dem, ··,AnIn:do~ t ,EUi'Opcafl Myth.o'log:i,ca:~ Theme in. Germani.c TrnditIon!~~ in. :r""Q-.Eu,rQ1H!'~in: and Ind,,~E'!:~rop~an.:l1 (P.hUad.etp.h.la." :~9'i0)":rp •. 405-:pm idem. Divifl!l'): T;wim~esp. pp. 1. 3"00-9 A,--- !.LlJluJ)"~u:ropea,ll '~T''f··CC',~··"t"...• ~ ',' · .~ ,!I2::D·-'-J.A1 .0. ...n·,d.' ""T~~'h' .ul..ee~.Olt,:veau""(11.,. , in. il':·d-1:'"" ",' ona lI',,:ar, ' .. e' "T-'~c c"'d' n 1"J, ,IHl:Cuonall. S:acfifi:cc:?'~ Myth and .La'w,.pp,. 1,;i!:3~i42:., "[)i(ln~ld Wa:rdl""The Separate Fu:n(::tion:5,ofth.c In.dio-iEuropeOll.n. :[Hviuc']'w~I!IiI:~ M)?th. and Ldf£'. pp. lI.'9'3""20'.!iI.
!.{I

.reft"

I'<Ai>t-}'.-J,'.",c-

--!Q~O;:,ry \nUS",ln~ ~'£W9., ~"':;I!-~9Q. O~ ~:P'~ ,I) lItn'Cdl h~.$;:Jjl!;Q u<;e,ivedi


I:~'· -I
=, , ','

!lA,

,t:!)

",' pp. ,,: ...

:xxxvii

myducaJ twins H,engisr. and Horsa, who. reportedly led the An__gloSaxoninvasion of the .B:rids,ll Isles" could be dis tingu.fshedfrom each ather in that Hen.gi~nwas themere warlike Qf the pair. By addudng comparattve ,evjden~ frem 'other Indo-Eur6pea.o ·traditions in which this< dis.tincti(!ln is 3,1.soooth:~e~bletWID'd, s:uggest:sthat :at some e'.a:dy point in dme]ndo-.lEurope·an traditiontoo!k one twin out of the third. function and placed him in the .secondh:mc·don.54 Concluding this discussinn .of .Dumezir·s receptior» in the: Uni~ed
S'la~es~ some meneionmnst be made .of DumezH':s most pmiste.nt critic, the tJIillve:rshyof Illinois Gennanist Ernst Alfre!d PhilippS/on. On the whole; Phili ppson·.scrfdcls;IB 18 based on [be histoddst viewpo,iot o:f' Kad Helm and. thus raises no issues nor o.lIer.sany Ins:ights that have not appeared eadfer .. PhiUppsonJs opinions continue to influence Gerrn~:Qists;I'hewever, :50in the imeresrs af "equal time" itmigbt be profitable msake a closer look at his main QbjLe;cti(:Jcll,S;,55 :Pbilippoon sees i:nTyr :an ancient ,sky and war god, in Thor a" god

,of fettilit.YI a.nd.obj:e.cts to Du:mczjl~s ..'Inventlen" of Irmln to' eorrespend to the ludic Arya.man ..rh.Uippson may be answered on the first

two counts, by sa.ying that he i:sconfusing Iuuction w.ith£·ea:tu.re. DE~mezil hasah'leadypointed eut that; T,t's,wamor feature w;as a. later development {below chap, 2) and thatThor's importa.nce to farmers was. derived from his; wa:rriorfuncdo:n 'Which gave him con .. trol over the atmosphere (below:l. chap" 4)" 'Thus there is :00 rea~ii{)n to maintain that these le:aturesoel'on;g' to ,3 pre"I.ndo~"EuInpean stratum of ·Get.ll1,anicsociety. As. regard$ Irmin, tile l'fConS,ttucoon was
'be quite ,~dYd:il!''e'!w,e:r.e it mOlt that each funcU.O!h,no matter whIch :Ffido·Eutopcan mdi.t~.o:i1. G·:ne·is 5pC'al(:ing of:!,,!l:lt same lime [,eHec;lsaspects of the other (WQfufilJction5..BIU d}!~e aspects afle:'.llh",'ayssubo.rd.~nat'€d t.o. ,ti:ie:Eum.ction theymodi£y.·. Thus Odin ma.ybe di~racw!ri~ed,al 'ai. i!warUk~ ~Q'Ver~ign.'~ by~ not as "$o!\l'l!l:reign w-arn(n"';anilin R.om.. the t e reoognE~am;artial aspC':Ct.t6 tbe tbir:dfuncdon god Qu.i:d:rwu::l:
forthefll:Gf

u SlJ'lilcturany spe~kitl:.g" this :slilg~sUI)[iIwould.

";rheseobjecdo:ns can be 6onn.d iinE,A.PhiUppson. ··Pban.QI.ll!~noIogte. Ve:!:'';' gl!~i~h~'~C!e Myth{lJl)gi~ ufild .g~rznailli!l<~beJt~ligi:()f!~g~.d:'l.h~hb~.'~PMl.A..77 (~g6~). P:I:dUpp5Qn::$ a~tid$m.!in p:ri~l of Dum&U begim;~ bocw):l1'c:r,;.witb his lIeview of the steJ:n1lld~Htil)n of t;l@: Vries's AI.t~ttnanU-ehe RclijgJ,(J1F~eschiclue~in. ~h!!:J.o-tu'na:l oj EngliihtJ'"d GutndfJicP!/Hlo~0tD, 5'6 (!l95'7h8~ is, (lci:rnp:arlng the ~,elJk~. ~dlition witb the' c.al'lier 'Cdhion~ .Philipps()"~. finds th:~t de Vrit:sha::II; iibando.l:1ied me old. djs~
115

iu the "anna Q

dn~ti()lJi1betwil:'¢n 'W~st and . North GermlulIc;;'cn.d.cormme,nts that. any bridg,es ga:pphig these t:!i~Om)ls;t.iI:\eS{,Otll unc:eJ'tair:l.f;ourtdiltions. PhUlppmnabo olbject:s. il.Q! the l~ndo-.EuI'Qpe8initation. of piwto-Ger.manie :r~ng~QJIi. s.p«~,aUyW'i£h.=spcu::t itO e the ,Jf;sir.V·anh.' oonHictand. lhefigliu,e of Od~nr",fOO2l11.. In 19~h'pbi son again w:ro!:e a C1!'.i tiGal.ro!!view ,of another ··.DumezLU:a;n,"·work~Bel~·S'!l't.e· -I~~ in-the Jo'u.mal r4EtI~'ish ,and: Oemltl'ni:a Pfdl,'olo.gy62; (~·9Gll)'~l!ilH~S.HcrePhilippson e 1.!lnDus~i6:ablylends his; a:t!I.tbodty to support those who ha.vc Icritidzed.D'umez~lj:!l. work in other iilldo-Em:opean a:rea:s,filOIa.bly India,. bafi~an.dR.om,e.Hfil posHio!D ::1$ a biased QbSletiil'er ~:$ thereby deady ~sUl,bmh~d..

not. made: by DumezH b1fi:t y d.e Vries" and. Dumezil has not subscribed. b
to it.

Another of Philippsonts objections, deals with the cult of Odin, which even de Vries admits (Jouldbave undergone evolutionary rJlJ; This ,quotatiQn i~ rarber out of context a.nd de Vries makes ,change-5. .it elesr thar he does not regard such changes asa threat to Odin's
first function status,

PhiUppson further obJects that the V.anfrgods Njord and Frey do net form a d,iosicu,l'iepair engaged in the rescue and WQoiu,gof the ,s,nn maiden, Donald Wiard has shown, however, :that this 'very-myth. ~. 1·1]'1 ~ ~",rpr.",~"",~ ,11,. W..,.,., p·.~i!n;j.."rl;>d-I 'l'~ 1...ter ·G··· ..."..,..... ; ... ·t..,·e'1l;"J;i'~l·.C· ... 't"'I·d·~··,:n., trad ·~tniln',' fbUi pps'On brb,~ up thepoint that there was 1),,0 ,uiparti[e'social structure in e.a.dy Germanic society. The ptie.uly function wa.s asBurned b,y theking thekeepers. of the tern ple, or the patedamilias" Yetevet1. such antl .. umezUian scholars as Derolez have admitted D that the faces still tend to confirm the presence ofa sovereign function. whose lurisclicdon ,[Deluded the maintenance of r,eUgi:ou8 worship. Ph:iUppcsol) abo peinrs out that there was :no.sociatl distincti,on
g~ l'~._.
L ,~,I

'g~",-"

J..

~~~~.~~I!i,..

~'~L'"

g.~,.!.. _

.tl~~'''',

!Il. _

I~,,_

& .·~V _'_ i!'

between th~ ~econd and

thir-d functions: dl:cre: were only £'~n:l1e.rs: who became W3lT.iorswben h.o$dHlies brake out. Here again Derole--l

offen evidence to the 'contrary. But even if such f,'tJidence did, :not exist, Rome: still presents a favorable parallel. Eor the preservatinn .of the ideological structure despite changes in the: social structure. As Dumezil has pointed out (seeLiule~on above.. n. 16)~, the: same RQ"mJUl~were dev~ted to, Mars QJ' to QuidnusJ depending on whether
Rome was at war or at peuloe.

On enepoint Phillppson and Dum.ezil do agree. P;hil~ppsQnreicegi.

nizes the importance of reg;tIrditngmyths as w.bole entities and of goi.ngbeyond. themotif an::alysis .of foUdodst:s who all too often aEe unable 110 see the Korest for the trees, In this fiegardhe ~~S"fully convinced by Dumezil·s analysis (l.f the: Hadin,gus: episede in. Saxe, which shows thar heroic legends are often derived frommy;:hs,. Thus; only

hy.knowing the structure orfthe whole mythologe.m. can myths 'be: salvaged from the folk ttadi.tion into wh:icb tbeyhavre sunk.

F'r,om 1959 to thepresenr Dum,e~H ll.a.$added UuI,e' 1.:0 his eanon 0.£ Germanic studie:s. Theseyears have mostly beenspent in con-

.soHdating andrefining his position, prepanltory to atinall~.summin,g


up," Two themes, dominate Dumezil's eompararive work. oftilifS

INTRODUCTION'

period: the transposltion of ,mydl into epic literature and the role of the ,epic hero as u,Pf,esenta:tive 0'£ the \\~,arrio:rfunctio,nJ,\Vith ;s,pe-. cilic emp,ha:sis plaeed on. the "threeslns nE the warrior," In Ger,ma:nic tl'llditiontll)e material For Dumesil's treatment of the firs;t themeis restricted to t"'()3utbors: the Icelander Snorri Suulu.son and. d~!eSeeland monk Saxo nrammaticus. Specifically~DumlelU has found myth in the guise: of history in the fint chapl:crs of ,snom,"s .sev'eral books or Saxo's G.esta Dtut,ortL:m. "The reS-LIlts, of D'1lm~zirs esrlier inves,t:igado.Jl5 IQ,Ethese authors and their sou roes, can be :found in Loki and La Saga de Ht.ui.ingus . Dumezi 1"'5 purpose in these works was twofold; [0 demonstrate how 'f'early hlstory'~can :se:rv,e as are-

l'ngUngasag.a and. in numerous passage:s seatteeedthroaghoat

the lUst

,posHuty for sunken myth a.ndto, PJiove: the :ren~bnity of Snorri ;and
Sa.xo3sreaorders down, rather than
iUTj'entQ.l;sof

the srodesth:ey

wrote

'These last years have seen a signifi:cant change: 0,[ eUlpna,5:fs. on num~'z:U·8 part. Concentra,ting~ his atten.tion on. Saxo, Dumezil in

1970' issued a revised edition of La Saga de Ha,clin,gUJ' under the tide .Du. m,lhe au roman,. There, ill, addltion torcs,cadng his earlier t:hesisJ' 'Du;mezi~.al:so d!splays a ne,\\ffoundint.erest in the personality
of Saxo, As a result" Dum'czU has altered his earlier supposition. that the differences between the mytb 6fNjord and the account of Had .. inglls, can be attributed dit,ectly to. SilXO~SIv,st Icelandic source, Now Du.me2;i] l'.eoognires ,tha.t Saxo bi'mselfm usr bear the re'spoRsibiUt.y for Rl:051: oE these allileratiQns. Ap;pendedto Du '7:r.~"th,e, 'roman are several a.rticles,,-$Om'f Q£ (Ut th€!.mnew-d~aJ.in,g eithermore dO!!if·iy with p~ui~ular iS$u!fl'$ raised ineonneetion with .Hadingus (speci6caUy the :banging and drown-

ing episode) or 'with similar transpositions of myth 'to epic in other ,Patt$ o,{ SHXO',S 'wdti:ngstwhete DumeziIis able t.o ,sho"" that Sa:X() took more Uberties with. his soarcethan had been pr,evio1!lsly sup:po~ed.,Ff.n;any~there are twoarddes that. discuss the problem of the 51 In the first of t~bese," Duro~~l relationship of folklotelto myth.: identifi:t:S Saxo~5 three ~'!:F:rothoBe:S" wilh.Frooi.:j th.e D,an.:ii;shan;alogue o£ Frey. The closest para.lleltoFrey is Fretho lUI' who~a (tier his death is eamed. aboutin state ~'orthree years..SImilar to Frothds ge'Statico is F)n~y"sbur.lalw:itllin. a mound that becomes his: hahitar, Dumezll concludes (f'rrnn this and other evidence) that the mound,o.fFreyl
.1'llt:udiesgtrmaniqu;c$
2lG--,22:6 •.

ar,e' .D[IUIl.'~i]f '''La: G,~ta~tQ1 d~ Frodl@ .m ,d I~'folktore d~, :fI:ooebie~ '7 (1l952)~ l!)6-:t60", and :idem. il"Nj9:1f~[i'Ne~thu~ etIe ro:ndiore seandina:\!'e d'es ge:nies de la :mel"/~ H'evue d.,· Irhi~Uiif't .des re,ligil)m' .~ (19551. 411
57 These

rheh rrcchthch

chutz:

s Materr.]

xl

'F- ,.lI,I~ u, 1na..IJ ,pllOa,l.dlya. ~'II1' b 'b-' ., ,. __ row ""


0,

-~ ., - •- ~1· iI" Ve5UP 0'f' _Bi:Q, ancsent r ..ttl~ lRVO'k'VUl:g ,th e

gesta,t~!o: the passing 0.£ the ,goothrou;gh the vHla,ges in order to ensure the benefits of the earth to 'the people. In tb:e second, Dumezll
f

:inveSli~tfsa particular :aspect of the Njord.N'erthilu complex by relatina g il.il't,_." ,d'~·'-·~·e,'-'- t:de .mermea and ' me nnaL S ,'"f-1,J,RiU.eT,{,-11k, these '" ]VUlhl,SlO ,~, I,- m,,," m ...n an, ,m maids 0 1,"-"", ..._a,~1' OJl" u,a-dUd,QU. The newarticles ....bat is" those ;arppening :aft.@rlQ'59..... t include a plieviously unpublished paper uGr3ni~Jtha.t outlines the title hero's ro~e in the Era,dingus ,epi;sode~a, lIi'g61 al"dde~~Bald,:erus et H~,tbemS: '~$ in whiiCb Dumezil shows :that S~Kfj'sH,~thetus is in ;many T,e,spects a, varia.nt of ,Balder rather tbanHodel'"and, that Saxo's Balderus repIesenta a transposition of the god. Fr,ey as be appea;rs in the Sl~{nd!mdl; a,nd. ~jH:ot'W'endinus;' ;alwpublished as a ~N:!:para:~earticle' in :1.'Q7D~ 'where Dumezil again. bringsev,id.eucel::o demonsrrate tba.t the diFFer:. ences between Saxo's, accoum and the a'the:r aeeeunts are the result of SaJ(!o",s literary inventivenesa

an

:Dum,ezil':shlvesdga_r.:lmt of the warrlorhero Srarkad Iinkshis inter"


es,tin Saxo tn his ethermajor conceIIlt·t:he! phenomeno~ogy of [he
w.a.rn.ar ftln.-c:Hnn_ Du m;yl'he Q;u,"oman contain.ed~ in Dumezi['s w.oras,j

'That exception concerns tbe ~ree,r of [be trifnnlCliona] sinner SUI'"' kad (""= Starkatir)~and. Dnmezirs discu:s.sion 'of this figur'fl can. be found In rhe second volume ofa :series whose dde, M'jthe d e,popie~ attests Dumezil':s prcet)Gcupat.io.n witb epieiaed m:ytb th'r!oD,gho:U't the

his ""final evaluation" of Saxo"s, 'wdtings ...... wim one m~,jor ex.tepd.on.

I'ndo~Europea.n

Dum'ellil's .~tndy ,of ,sla:riad inM"the'e,t !e(1o/J,t,e is by far the mast complete treatment he has: accorded this figure. ]n earlier ,stiUdle~iI~

con tinuum

.. ,

Dume:zil. concentratedon

of the functions. In .My t heet. t!Pl?1Jee Dumezil examines the whole


career o:f this, Scandinavlan heso (including of course an·lexplica.rtion.'~ of all the pertinent. text:s~particu])ady Saxo) and compares Uwlth not !only the career of the Glieek hero Herakles, as he: had done in earlier w:orkst but also with the career of 3. ,B,ew discovery ~ the ludic hero :SUupalawhos;e ute and. deeds ate recorded :in the: Maniibhiirat'a. fMatiol1-is In the earlier ,stodiesa,nd thus aUowsDumezU
-

the sins thatStarkad commhs against each

,S:!isupi.lalC-eplaJcesthe god Indrnwho had served. as


.6$

the t.erti'u,m com ..


('i)

compare

saire. ed, 'by Jean P:ouUton a,Ad Pierre 'Maraind,a (The Hague a[!;d.P.'ads.il~'9'iO~~

5'9G(lO~~ :Du:m&irl~ ~·.FI(Xrwendmus, et AurVMtdiU;" Bchangc-.s ~"t l~mnnn~1'lica,~ -~ ., •. u'.11- .-, c, fj' -,~" u ,",~au~e.L..~II.- "r-aws: Ula"~_otl i· ....•.. e_,on.. ~ " ,..~ ,_,~'" if L.,,:·-s,o'-., .. ' .l, J.!'.. di· j .::~i1!me lZnDiTtll!r" t~'QNj.'l!lu;dnge-d'-- oer,~, ,'_.,. __

GeclI:ge-s D~mezi]iI ··:H~th.ems'et Baldem5ir .PBJJ'(T) .83 (1,g61.}t 25!r"Il:1Q•

n, ~ 171~l179.
8.0

Dl!lm,e.dl~ Dt'sti':n,of ,th,e 'Warri,a:t~lP' 815 n,

Dii;lfliiezil,~Ibpec:ts '(19S6) and. the s~lgbny revised German l'g.64' .A~ptlde,;.


1.

fa,r. aoe:xpIana.tion

of

me

'li',e~1si,01l!.

xli.

preserved in myth. In ,additi.on [0 the works outlined above, dlis, period abo sa,w :Dumez:Upublish two other new artld,fs on. Glermanic. The first of these .. "Ls dieu, ,s,can.djnav,e VflSarr/tGl' appeared in.1gaS, an.d com .. , pares V.ida:r,wllo' in Non.e eschaOOlogy deshioys the wolf Fen:cirt with the post-Ved:ic Vh,Qru who acts dec.isi'vely in Illdic 'e$ch~tQlo:gy. Dumb :ziI descrlbes not only 'tbeir respecdve connecttons to, thewarrior gods Thor a.nd]ndrll but Ugb Vidat ,andVi~i'U tOi each other et.ym.oI.ogi(:al~ IYtinasmuch as, the stem meaning ~j'Wjdf:"~i:5 at theroot of both na:m.e,s •. The secondarticle W,ag delivered asalecture in Sprl,ng 1971 at a sym:~ posium given in numelil'~s honor by the University of California", SantaB.H.·rbara.82 Entitled. simply niLe Borgne' and 'le M.ancbot/'~ it discusses the state of the' proble:m .of the one-eyed and one-handed figures :in Jndo-European tradition. Dum~ln admits that heIs di,Sio :s;a;tis~fied with d"le parallels adduced for the ml1tUadOIlSo£ [be gods Odin, and 'Tyr. Hismain purpose seems to' be that rhuaJ~aswen __" = "'. ""1-' d,ary .,., SUA. ~.,IVill.r:S0' 'f' Hb ..rsne" and "mane 110""" ..,,_ ·1:.....·U..... · Ii> , _ 1piS ., e:g~n, ."O"'b"~''''''' 4' ',' :" ',0\1, .,' I~Ji. I ",.'~. "\J..", JI.)';"; · d ..gll;
A _ _:r" _ .Ii&' il,

a tdad of endrelycpic heroes. The: p~alrels b:rought to light by this '-,:,< '~'l-'--".~'-i-::: =-, ~ . . '·Th companS,Qn are numerous an d ,.'iCOnVI~(]ng., . ey sJlOW no! 'OR'1 to' at ,lj .. a common ]ndo-Eul:QP-eao conception oEthe w:arrior role canexjst In .epic guise", but also that certain traditions preserved in epic llteraturecentain elements that are .of even greater antiquity 'than those
-.'-:,-I

:::-!':''-I .. ;:-<I

-::-:'-l-,-,'-"--:-i~,-'~

~",:-.~'

-~,

,,-~,-,I~,'-'~-',--,

'-:-."-'-I_

I--:";l~'-'I'-!

Renne.oo After also intt,oducing new evidence pertaining to. ene .. handedness .hom Iran, nUluezil concludes that, the problem deserves

further study.
~] Dum,e:dl. "I.e dleusC3ndjnav.e 'vr~an,,"R~~~ de l'hJstoir'eiln rdi,gi,om :168 (:w96:5).~-1~., tlf!! Cf.n. '1St abo:ve'. 63 DU11l~lil ;adduced comparatIve evi.(lefu:ef:rom,R,'onti!il where rne~warrio~ HoratillS ·C'odes, casU an ~dlnQ!it magic: spell Ol~ ch.i!l 'ClU(lnlY ltIy dosiug Dile eye a:nd opening' the other to superhuman dime:nSiion:sand w:bere Muons :5caev;obl moses. his .:r.iglHlrand Inali,1i':M.in:gan untruth. eif. Jl!Jme:ziI~Mf.tra-)7aru~a (t'S!<iO ,ed.); idem~ ~~M)'theSf;i;JImain:!l,.··R~ul!!! d.e ,Paris .58 ([)cc.,.~9,51J)Ul!.i-]l5~ de Vdes·d:iiEtU:sl.OJIiI Dif ,the!:: n~·eycd. Ll1lg'il:nd. tile ane-a.nned Nuad~, lu Celtic U'.;J.()lh:jonin ""t:aspect o magiqll~ de ),areUgion oohiqu@,," 'Ogam ltD (i9;i8},. 27:,'-.2:B.lf:Wardr bi;tJine. Twi:~s. p.. 101.0. 11 :ro:r a iPMsiblep:a:raUel .in. the epkWt:ll'hariu~wbereHagen lGSeI; an ,~yt,r\\Y'a~ tbe:tb~ ri,g~lt ann. and! Orti:n:tbc::r.t~;a, leg"Ph]lip)?:'!lon" ··Phi~Qmt:n.Ql~e~!t p. 19~ 111 d:ra\'l'so:t f@iced(l>tul. p.'tIi!i1l!el.to two .6gi~l.:rt~f~o:m.GcirIIl31lhihuary who have ..2:11 ftHindi a place in li:Le:rat;ure: the one-eyoo poet Oswa,ld von '\IVolkJensteiA and [he ·6]];e~ ;,ulnoo rt~bf.ll G(lUfl:,~ed (Wt~) VQnD~J'li,[hit::lg\en, Uu,mrt!:zil in ~'.I.atrn:ll'spocsit:ioD des d.~eQ.x. O'llv,e:!1aj~ s .ineors !enh~il'osdaMle Mt1hah/;I1'ra.~a:)~'" .l:uaa-,lnudan JQumal3 (195,91. 1'-1.6 :reu;,act!S his ,positkltn that Odin~nd. Ty.r ,arre ,aralleled by the Indic Bha,ga, land Sia:.t:itar (d. ,idem, ..Mi;~taAtaftl,a,d ed.! IMtcbapter) and. :seest1l~ .Atya~ ID:.a:u,.lBhaga.pair reA,ec~l;:din the Norse brotbers Bald~' (pe3i~fid~a:nd Roder' (bUrnd) as weU asIn [he R.oman lu~,erua$ :andi 'Terminus. Uule'lon. Myd~(l,IQgYI'pp"45/"'52~ cfiticil!~ .DU:ro~illU.(l!ii"f!t!l,~ b.3."d~g been ,able toa:diduoor,itualevide'oce. f

xUi

••

.In dosing tllis introduction t4J Dumezn~s,wo:rk in. the, field of nermanic mythol0ID'*itseems,a."propria.te:Elo turn to ·the future and ask 'what fUl'the1" i()ontribucions one can. expect. to, Clame from bispen and ''\i!.'hatkind of cO.m.tribuuons these 'Win be, 10, hls intrcu:lucti!on 'to, Du m'"j:the au Toman Dum~ziJannoun:ced. that a l,evision of Loki W3.8 in preparation, a revision chat 'Would p:re!!lnmably do for Snorrl w.hat D·u myUiJ.e al~ 1(l'nIl,an\had done for Saxo: examine the authormore closely and th.us pin .a deeper iins:i,gnt into the Hving .signifiicance enjoyed by It.helndo-Europe.a:n heritage in l~kandinavia .. This new em.pnasjs evidences a gllotwing concesn on :nu.m~dr:s, part for dIe uniquenesS' (l'£ each iQf' the national traditions; he has examined.
a. eoncern had been growing fOira kmg tim.e. Anyone lamiUar wH:be·ven Dum.ezirs eady worlb~"could notfa.il to' b31vic··been

Of

COUI'.se~ such

im~pl'ies'Sedwith the paiost;al1dng: researehand car;eful attention paid


to desails, If: seems to have been consis,tEndyiutbefo:re.f:ro:nt 01£ nu:m~:tir:s, mind that ·~ospeak to the cspeeia.lists be would have to kno:w as 'much as the spedalists even. thoug~ he: was speaking fr-om the Indo-European cQmparativepe.rspectlV E!@ And,~as. Dume2:irswo:d:, in G,crm;amc :mythology progressed ov~:r th:e years", he came ever
J,
I

closer to, enlarging mSpeIspecdve: to, :itndu:de the :spedali,stst point (Jlf view. AUt'he :revisions dlJU occurredbetween M1tl~,e$ €'t d:ieu:x des Gennaiilis ,and.Le~· dieu,'xd:e$ ,Germa:insbearthe' ma.de, o.f tbi:s tend.e.n.cy toward '.3.. mereprecise grasp ·Qfthepanicu.lar. 'V'lhUe. Uum,e:-rlrs appfleci.ation of theuniqu.e:ness of" his50urc-es gained in impo:rtance~ bQweve'I:~his Indo".ElnT~pea:n penpe£the and.
.ids cemparatfvism did. not. dim:ini:sh. No TUlajorshHt in: Du:m~z:ir:s view'point occurred. until l'9,6,6when La religion r01ntJ-ine (l"rChfJF.que appeared. Andeventhen the changes Dumezil sign,aied in. the preface to La.;rel~giQn. were at once consistent ,3:9 wen as str'iking.F·i~t" Dame· zil drew the boundaries of the c:omparative:method.: iI'~Asmy Wi(')rk proceeded, I gained a ('kaTe!" awareness of dlepolss,ibiHUes .. but also of th!elimits .•of the comparative method, in particular o:fwb.at should be Us Go~den Rule, namely, that it permits one to exp,lore and clarify structures of thought but not to' reconstruct events, to ~faJ)dcatehI:s" tOtry,' or even p're.hb~ory~.a tempraricn to whkh. the ccmparatist isno less, expo!sed, aDd 'with, the same gl.o9m.yprognods~, thanthe pbUo].. ogist. the archaeologist, and of course the histori3.ll"t (p, x.vi). Then IDumtIJI joined thespedalists and stole wha:t 'W''as]ef,tof their

thunder:

teexrract from. early Roman religion tile piec-es whkh be expla.ined. by the religtons of other' [ndo.. uropeaD peoples, It is E not, enough to'l'e(,Qg:n:i~e and to P'irCSCIll ~hl! :ide.olog:i:cill and 'thieolQgi(.a1 structures, wM,eha.re shown by the interrelations of these-blocks of prehtstor~c tradidon. One mnstpur them hack in plaee, orradlet Ieave them i:n,sit u.• in the' to~a~pic[un::' :alld ohs~:rveh.ow r:IlI.ey behaved. inthe diH'etent peri(I'ds of ·R,omanreH.gtofil. how. tbey survived, erperlshed, or became chan:ged. In otb~l' words, one' MI:.lSlt escabHs11 a.nd -It!,establisb dlecQn· til1luit~! bctweefDI the Indo':Europear:J "ber:i:tage'· and the Roman reali1ty. A:t a very e:arly ~tage J h;!!d u:nde:rs'OC!Qd! that '!Ju; (Hlly .m·eafi$ of Qbt:ail1in:g dlis saW:Iari~y..~fIt canb€, obtained, was, to change one!'s.virewpoint. [in join ihocsewhom one ba;d to 0011 'Vinoe.Wi thQut :5i11l~Te.nd.e:t:ing dl'e a(~v:lntages ·oi£:· d:are oom.par~tiive method, or th:eresu:lts of Indo.Elltropean 're" sendi, but by addIng I~O this ne~'i :aJfipa,r.aJtu~, In ne ol"deI' o[pr~!ef~noe·~ ilie· otherrradftional w:a.ys of knowin.g. one mnstconsider Reme and lits r~ligion ill themselvcs,f€lr themselves, asa 'whole. Stated diII:et'entlY'~ the' Ume hadcesneto wri(je :<i!. .g.enernI history of the religlon of dle: ROim;an Republic, after so m~:nJ o~hcr:St hom. me: l~.oman.point. o:~,;rie:J.v(ppi' x'Vi...,xvH).
all.

]ti!;!. notenQugh

La!tr!l"in the samepf1efa.ce·.Dume:zUmak·€s: dear the :r,e~eva(n,ce:o:fchis annO'llnc~m.enlt .£01:d~.e .stuclies presenely !.lnde'l" (lis;cussion~ UUtbe .b.l:bl.lrs,o:f W'e:rner Bell. exe'mpt m.ef:r-oulimaking a re.evaluation similar to the present.werk lor the Germanic wadel ... '" (p. xIx). Thus. DUllle .. 21].plans a study of the total Germanic tradition~ a synthes.isin which the Indo~E:urope~n heritage: is only 'Oneo£m~ny elements, in hatmony wlth the others, ItwdU be In~eres'tin;g to see which .of the two seholars win actually ,.\lrite thls studYJ' and to 'What degree It win be
.more than an upda'thlJ; of de VrIes~s still exceUent eecendedition .If llgttrWa'lz-{;scne R,elfgionrgeschich:te .. Y',et~,one thing b eereain. Hav-

or

ingestabl ished the existence of an umbilic al GOld rnanifessedin the etbnographk presence of a..pan~'Ot Indo-European ideology I'D Ger" mank.tradidon.r Dumeznha~ seen fit to cut that cord and in ~,O doing he has come fuU circle. No genotype: can fuUy explain the mature phenolYpe. Germaniemytho'logy must once again be viewed as Ger'1lanic mythomogy, for only in tbi~way can the demands of theory and reality, history and 5,tructlIre: be·e qulta.b1y met. M'a:ny Issues stiUre'main to be resolved, but Dumexil has at last defined the ]fm.iu: ,0'£ the question and provided a. language in whh::h the answer can be expressed ..FQII tins reason, thearudenr of Germanic trad.ition not only has much to. be gr,aooful :for but '¢\lsoa !Veal (I,eal to loo'kforward to.
1

--

Auih,o:r's Pr,efa,flo ~
-,_-

--

--

---

'The fust edition of this, book, w hich Uunugh thekiadness 'of Dr.
Pa ul-Louis Conchoudwas is~ued as the Srstvolumeof ttd;s excellent

seJdes, (M"t"~e$ e' B"eligi'J'nsh was ,oomposed at thev:ery ire-ginning ,of' my 3Jcti.veperiod in com:parativeresea:rcb. N:o.;tuntil the spr,ingof 19,88"
a.ftcJf!t" three 1,wtra of painful ~pin,g~, did. I discoverthegreet correspondrencesthatreclu:ireu.s to attributetn the Indo-Eu:ropeans (before their dispersion) a. complex theology based on the' ,stn::m,ct:ure of: the threefuactions of s.oven~ignty~fur(ej' and fecundity.. Prepared in the autumn ·of ]938, and, pubHshed j,n ]989~ the book therefore ,c-onfo:rm.ed to the tripartite division. But in order tQi make thls first of a loo:g series of essays intelligible, 1 had to t.akeit for granted that the Germanic documentation as wen as the: campara tlve documentation. that ,should ,clarify it, had beenrethoughr in the new framework. The date and the ·.hast.e sufficiently expla:in.. I believe" the uneeenness of a ,dis,quisition that 'was outdated as qt1;i(:kly as,iii: went out ofptint. Afclertwem:y ye:arSi it seems desh;?:!\bJ.e to, p:re.setu afirnl,er and. more org,mi:zed demenstratten under a. similar title:" 'built on my .own fu:r~ .. 1).,.':- researc - and oa tnose ~'fc my ·1-1.' , .'. __ re _ a~__ ..hin1"in·-' ... mer .. -. arch liesan on, rhos '0.. 'C.-~.-: co.ea.gue.s,. HereLam ~~~-.--.!'J,~-,-g above :aUal Jan de Vries ofL~ydena.nd 'Wernet Betz of Bonut 'who hav,e made im.poNant researches and dbiloov,eriesin the same :spirit as mine" I refer the stndentonce land for ;aU to! the n.ew edi'don. '0,( Altgermardsche R,tl'ligi(JTl5gtschith~,eby de Vries fV,o!ume .]~ ,1956; n" -195,7)j,whidi constitutes lh.etweUth section of GnHl.dffJs d~r germanischen PhiloLogi,e.,£aunded at. the beginning ,0E the ,century 'by HermannPaul; landto theaceoune ~'njie alq~~iscb~ ReHgion'~
.e:

xlvi

(195.1), wbi.ch.occupies.. Icol:unldll,467-'2'!)!)6 of the great collection De'ut.sche;Ph i.lolo:gi,e lim A.iUfris& byProfessor ·W.. Stamm let. The three fir'Stehaptersare an expamion of lecturesgiven at Ox .. i'ordiu May~ 1950:1' on the mendlyinitiative of Pro£essQr C. T11rViUe..· _. . __ ....,.u :ot'i"ide.riblv,' re:v,"ed.~.It:. p.pOSi "6· 5 ~· "J-lS. . '_ to-' Petre. The _L,.!i.lOW"",~ .=<fer. hag been thi rd ~ a solution of "the proble.m o:f 1Balder'j which was not made precise lUJ.t:H 19'£i7. TItle fourth chaptetra.pidly c-Qmp[el@ the description of ·[hefQIm. taken in the' Sca.ndinavb::u loou:o:tties by the theology of the three funedons, The-considerable remainder 'Of religiou!; representa, tiOll~,_ .especially of a god :2lsprob1.ema:tic as Hsimdall and the whele
~'~I,

.',O..

c:

.s....ur ."""",,5,a I!.OPiilC 'I"b f.llcve,. ] 'h, '-. ,,' nsld e:r... ll'~i'(l!·...;:e':n·'~4'or~ Sno~ in ..! .,...~, •. .11", -_ v ._. ave oon5~ ered "UU4 _l.,l"lL ~..~__ ~ _ _ ... 'v ..~ ... my hook Loki (l948)~ German edition revised. in 1'958;; and for .suo ,in La'saga de Radingu£ (1953)"
A>···· •
e

band of goddesses beside Freya, eould not find :space in this limited. ente1"pr.ile. Nor ha.ve 1 remrned ro rhe qu.estion of :rehabilitating·th.e
,U .• "'-"" .~. _

Th.e GOlds: he,sir and V.nir'

In Scandinavian mythology,,-du'! best desedbed", or rather the only one of the Ge:rmanicm.ythologjes\lvilidlis descrlbed-the leading role,s are divided ~among two ,groups~ the .£sIr (ON tesi'rtsg,. ass), and the Vanir (.oN va~nirtsg. van·r). Certain other dIvine type-s are mentioned" suchastheElves (O:N alfll''tJ, ;sg.alfr>~ but no important or even spedfi.,callynamed gods are found among such groups", The meaning to be audbu,ted, to' th.i~ coexistence of£sir and Vanir constitutes our [undamerua]ptoblem. In the analysis of ,altn(J1"di5c.he,~and ,(:0111* quentIy in that of allgerniauische,. RdigionsfS€schichte (sec Bibliogra,phkaJ No~es)J 'everything "depends on whichsolution one propoS(eS to this, problem. An new attempts at in,terpretaticm m "Sf ~:imcmediatel, come to grIps'\.vHb it, even to establish the very setting of the NQ text provlldes, a general and d~ierenti;a;til:lg defi.n~:dou 0.£ thetwo divine,gro:ups. 'Theyare easily dutracte'XtliCd however, by eXa'mining theIr princtpal representatfves, 'The d!stlncdon is, so clear that, at leas,t 'with rega:rdto.the~r leading traiu ineerpretersof all schools are in agreement. Thetw'o outstandlng £sh" are Odin (O~inn) 1 and 'Thor l(porrha1ong lvitb Tyr I(Ttr)~ clearly sosnewhat Iaded whllethe three most typlcal Va:nirare Njm:d (NjQr~r),Frey (Fre.yr)" and Fn~ya (F:teyj;a) ...Even jJ H, ,ex'ceptionaJ], occurs that they must be air do some .. thing e[s.e~the latter threeare first andfosemost rich. and ,givers o.f riches; they are patrons of fecundity and of pleasure (FreYt Freya)~ also otpeace (Frey); and theyare as!ioci:ated~topographicalty and
l

mythol.ogy •

Jc

I Old Nors~ nal11:cs<l.l~aTlig;l:il;i2:oo~cwrdwg to the: pr1flcip:les. u~.u<lllf(lU(lfW·~d r in, English. and, Ame:r.ka~.l wdti:og~ oa Scandin,a\iian.m:ytb.ologr. If tbe Old Nor~ :ellrm dmf:r~ :sJgonificanUYi itlvinbe :givcn in pan:!Il~.heses OiD Us tltllt OCCHneU<ie.

ecolllomicaUy" with: the earth that produces 9"OpS (N]ord, Fr,ey), and with the sea, thar enriches Its sailors (Njotd). 'Odin and Thor have odler cares. Neither is of course uninterested lin riches; or in theprod, 1tI.cts·~)fbe soil", hut, atthe timewhen Scandinavian religion is 'known t to US~ d:1€l h:a:ve other centers 'Of. gra.vity. Odin "is, the' ~u,prem.e magid,a.n,tma'ster .of runes" head of all divine ~odety.. patron of heroes, living or dead. Thor is the goo of the hammer, enemy of thegiams, whom he occasionally resembles in hfs fury., His name means "the god who tbunders," and,if he help'S the pea,Saul: in his 'work. with the earth, it: is in some violentfashion, even acctllrdin,g to modern :fo11 .. lore, andas a mere byproduct 0.£ his atmospheric battle, In the course ofth:e' f;oU.(Twi:n:ghapters, weshal] expandthese c brief descriptions; but tiler will suffice to s.how howthe homogeneOtlS Vanir stand in oppo&ition to the ..£sir, who are. much more varied in their vocaticns, With regard totbeira1finities~ th.ey are O£(WO kinds, depending on wbether one contemplates the cult practlce and. the divine state of thl.~_I: c...... Ie.f. __ __m·ainta ,.... '. ], 01' ~;l-... ra -d' ~JiQ;n.s oonc ...... ·th·: e: :mQI~. "" 1-' :..•., -·e·. '., - " ng '" that .-.,"::1. .,,!<J,.h ~.S .. ~ 01... :...1 I.~n.J.ng., gins of :this stare of tbiIlgs, what might be called the divine prebistory ..
"'I'
II' .- : -

t-

c.

_-

:: ..:..'

c,

_'

In the re]igi:cms, presel1~. ~iran.d Va.:r:dr live i,:npel'fe(t;a((;'ord .. withQut quarrel or jealousy, and :t:his ha.nnony permits men, in

prayer-and more generally in alit; to associate them without wariness.


It also permits. poets to forget occasionally :that the Vanir' 'lndc,€d are Vanir and to desi(,gnate with the name .tE'.s:ir divine community that a is noted f@l :its, uni&y.Their assoeiatlenls often expressed ina three.. termennmeratlon that br;b'llgs OUIt a clear hierarchy, lcqith 'the A?sir comi.ng' 'firstJ superlor to the Vani.I': Odin" Thor, Frey (oc(::asion:~11y~, in. the third posiUon~ Fre'y and. Njord; more rarely th,€! god Frey gives

.his place to the goddess Freya).. ThisIormula slobequently sums up the needs and imagin:ation:s !Of mien, in such different circumstanees,
and in such dille rent pn.ru of the Scandtnavfan significant. ,"forld~ that :h.must 'be

Here- arc theprjncipal examples of' it"lVbeu Adam of Bremen, toward the end .of the pagan period, repor:ted on the rel:lgionpracti.ced at the temple Q.f Uppsala by· the .sw',edesinUpplalld~. iii: wagphyska.Uy sym.bolized by the three Idols standing side: byside in the temple,
presenting to the believers a semicircle of devotions:
In this 'te,mplet entirely coveredwlth gold~ there arethe statues 0·,( three gods, 'wl1J:khthepeople 'Wo,rmjp,.m arranged that tbe. fn~ghdieu or them~

Tho~),opcupies a throneIn the middle ·oftl1echa,mber~ wbiIeWodanand. F'ricro bave' places on either side. 'The :slgiIJ.Hicane.c (!\( ahese gods 18 as

£ono,w-s:Thot ,. thf!Y say,. ru1es llll. the ai-r~g()·\I'er.F.I.~.[I.ghe thunder t .ilnd IIght:l1d~g, rib.ewinds and :r.aii];s.fair \!r,e.at:herand 'croP$. 'Th~ QdlJ.¢l"~,Wodan ;;!,. ... ' '" .. '. ,. a .','. "" -l.Uat:~s~ .OF'·'· ." ('t.uror/-w~g~wi.U':an d grouts .' Jren:z:y :/ m!3lJleeurage agatfil![ I..• IIllS enemies, The thkd, is Fitic:op" who bC5tOl\<'S ~acc: and, p~ea5ure: to, :mQrtals. His, Iikeness, too, tbeyfMhion, with an immense phallas, for all their godls, thereareappclnsed p:r,i'ests to oR'er sacrifi!l}es. :[01" the people. I f plague and, famime threatt.~n~a Ilbatlen Is poul',ed to the idol T.hol"t ifwar, to "fodrm; U nm.uiage,s are to be ~]ebr,at,ed."tQ Fti~:C6.,1

'These notices pose probl,emii of detai}\vl1icllwe. Jj,haU ,examine:! later, bo th wi til regard to the boundaries of divine specialties an.d~o ehe place of: bonorac(o'rded to', Thor, What is im:portant now is simply that these idols atsestto, and e.xoellently describe, a" tripanire theelogicd structure. We know very 1itde about the Scandinavian form of cult and liturgi'fs. but two points of agreement :i,"hOlV that the sa.me uiadat

leastpreslded over themost solemn raaledictions, In the saga that bears Iris name, E.giU 'ska'U,agrJn1'sson .. on the verge of leaving Norway fo.rkeland, ClU'SCS the klngwbo has stripped bhJl1, of his geods and
c,ousi,gned him to' thisexile, AftJer a. g,enera[ appeal the names of b'pnd and go 61,he; conti nues: to the gods under

. .:...:l!()l, '_OU Q~ MaJ Tl··· (;,jG·~'··r: sancruarles i'

.. "may the gQdsand Odin grow .af1gry (at him) 1 '.,.. '.may Frey ;il!.~ld Nlord. make tIle oppresser oi 'Lb epeeple Olec his lands! '
~1: , . ;I'"", !Yl~ ~:aU~1 I

loathe the scour,ge who di~;di~esthe

~U:lIal}'::zes,the :action ,o£tnis stanza. well: "T'he poetfit"'St i,l),vokes the gods ill general; tben jTldi~ viduaUy tbe aU.powel':ful Odin~ 'ThaT',th.e vigorous: 'God·o:f411e~lan:d~ the.nFrey and Njord, as gods of fecundity and dispensers of riches .. '" " .In the: $tine~:u::'li!er .Eddie poem $,klrnismal~ F:reys servant, relilnqu.ish., i.ng .his :attempts to cOl1vinc:e Ge:rd o'bjeict of his mas'ter~s l~ove~menaces her jn tltesc terms (stt . sa): In his com11'u~ntarY:i Firunu:,
J61f!1.5~OU
J

vilk. ~933). !,6i3" "F'. J6QMOn~ A.l.tnot!flis-d.!(:'

~ Ge'siu M,ammabU'rgen$i~ Et;(;[,t?J.ia,eP'(n:.tificurn;~ IV ~ gH7; here fi'orn .Ad:am of Bremen. H:i;:'S,to'ryiOJthe ATChb.i~'J.~opsof .Hat:llbnrg~nr!t'lne:~~, [fans ..Francis, J. Tschan (New York: C-:oli!i:unbia Uni.'le:nll~,y Press, 19519), 'P'P. ~:,o,-'.!o8. . 3: Egih saga Sk,d'laJ·Grlmss.oJ1:l:ar.,chap,. ,56:. 00" .s..'N~JlI([hd'j'l.sienv.. f()fnrit .g (R~ykja;. SlJlga:bibUo~:hd, ~. (l89l1). I&~

6 Reic'5r er 'lu;'~r06ino_,
in fydnUla :mret:'~

,"I.. G-aDS OF, THEhNCIENT

,1_

N" 'OR"Jl1lNI!::£N

rei3r iCE ,~er' ,asabrag.r~ ,~ikscal Freyr n~sc,


erm ,tul(dng~t lI,elir
~

gambanJ'e,itiigo(5:1lJ"

Angry is Odln::u: you~ angry is: f.beforemo5t FteyshaU J~ruteyQai

,god (.-Thor)
...

a.tyou
.

monstJClusma'idt

thewrarh o:f' thegodsJI

and y~u.ha,'e won

At tbe beghrming of the eleventh century, Intlrepeem about his cenversion, Hanrrdlr Vandrreti'askaid~ be.fore'giving InmseU over to Chris~,~ the Father~and j'Godr~~defies· the sameheathen divinides

(su. 9)=
Fr~yjat fjiQ'r,,;I~d~..af dul Nja:r;5ar, likn~sk. gtQmv,~tJ: Gdmnt gra:mr oik :ll6nr enn ,ra,mmi."
]

m.el]' skyli Freyrok

Let Frey a:nd. 'Freyar,~g,e,


and, Thor the tlnanderer LOO;: le:t wretches wOir,sl1i.p Odln: I forsoot 'the folly of N jjont

.• k agaIllst s:t,t,.nes'SOii'evl .I" were ' :pOlss\~blymalneained for a long ti:me~ ·"In. the narne of Odin, Thor,. nnd Frigg" alternates there [Norway], with 'the Cbristian Idni.ty/'·s Fina]ly, mythology frieqlle~ndy joins the: samecharactersin a. triad. A.mong them alone' are divided the three treasures forged by the dwarfs after losing' a bet ~·H11the malicious LOK,i: Odin gets the magh: rlng~ Thor the hammet that is to, De the iustru:ment of Ius, batdes, and Frey the w.'iId boar with the gokl\en bdnles .. It is they, 'g a.nd onlytheYI' whom. the 11 pluspd (str.s. 5.3-5~6)describes as, being j oine!CIin the supreme duels and deaths of the escbato'~ogh:~alba.'[!rJe.:U)1 More generally, il ,1:5they"'""'and the goddess FFeya~ closely assoclated
5 R ere and elsew h ere' the Old NOf$c text (if pOfl'lluf1:om, thePoci£c
.fmm EiJda: die l..iea,f';f d(jfs CQde~ Rcgi'UN 00. H:all!!IKuhn
j,

'.' L· '. ('1' on. m,ngle SUCH tnpnit1tc formulas

Ed:da is cited.
Carl Winter~

(Hflid'elherg:

p(,i~aC ,ldd.a" trans.

dlJne bY' ~]~C ml1l:t(1'{' ,Eo,t'gr,~.a;t:cr preclis:i.Qi:1I. U".a 'll' E .. A. K..(l(k, J)t!u nOfJ"-isiantbltd skaldedilanin,gcl~. (Lund. ~''946)"1." 86, SA . .nang • .Norslu: Ju:~el();rmular-er- oS' magislu! ifJps1:::dfhtT ,(Chds:ti,an~a" 19(u)!PP' lI:l·" '~'::'7(n:o.s.<lO, 1~ 7)· j) Edda Snorri/l 5 tur.l~lUOnai", ced.Fb::u,}ur J6ns~on, (Copen.h i!;gt't1!,. :! 93 ~)", ~).1~3 ~Sk,fld~htHJ.r'r~ldl.,ch,ap. 41}. Rc.E~re!·~ce:s Snoni\~ ,Edda (alsa known a:s Th~Pr()8e to. Eddt1.) are ~o thi& (ldtU.on. Abb~viat.od!~S"orr4 Edda (jol'ii'lwn). The Prose .Edd.a is divJded in,to ,patl~wi'tb!iicpatate chaplet D:ufiI!beri,mfpGY'l'/agitu!i t~:,If~I~ragd·:rreh«1f" Sk(JidjkaP(J:m~dl, ]ldz ~at~" . C ,. :Ji!til Edila (KullU), pp,lj~,t3~ Edda (llcl1~lws)~ :pp. ~~-g3. Rdcn::ucC!; 11:0 .~lJidi'!l,iduaJl PQc!ms .af il:hc ,Edda.{!:r(:: f~qu~.n;tlin,the te~,t ap4:;l a!l'cn9ts<lp;:l,ratc1,' footnoted ~x·
" d" cept: t: ~iOr jrect,'" qlll(j,tu~oni.

Edda., are: dLlJd.fronlli 'tlu: 114., A,BC1lmVc.s (Ne'l,v York: The ,American~eal](Unnian f'oun. daltian, ]I'9:'l!:B,arru(l lal,er). ,Abbrev~a[edt ,Edda (IBeHows). SQ:m~ s:tmphes ,lJave' bee~.
, iP:M05tof'

:1196:2). Abbf~\lia~~d;

the lmHslatl£m:li o.fpoerns born dllc ,Poelj'e

EkJ,da.: fl\,uhJl:).

wb.hFreyr and NJo:rd-·who ,do:min,a.~e~ wboinde:ed monopolizea]most ;aU th.e .mythologlca.lmaterial. ,It Isne lesss:ignificant that the three
gods. 'who, spli,ttbe property Oof the dead=tbe last ttVO under rather obscure coadstions ........ O.(J,in. who consigns to himself the nobles or are '~J.b:aU dead" from the battlefield, Thor, to whom go the thralls the (m.ore cOJ'recdy", no doubt, the nonnobles), and FreY:l,t who acmrdjng to one: text11 takes the other haH of those killed .in bsttle and accord ..

iag toanother text takes the dead women.]! Sum is the present :si.tnadon .. But this unionand this happy har:mony~.f(n:~nded on a dear analysis of humanwishes, hay€: nOl3.1ways

,exist~d~according to the legend, Ina far diua.nt. past the two divIne groups lived at fir5t separatel Jt as n.e:igll.!.bors; then they laugh t a
.Reroewar~after w.mchtbe most distinguished Vanirwere associated witll. Itlle~A25Jr~. the rest 01 their "people" livi.ng somewhere away with from the struggle and the cares of their c1Ldt. Four-strophes from that breathless; poem~ the'P pluspd~in. which the sibyl relate'S quite anusive1y the entire h:is,tory of the gods; two texts of' the erudite Snorri.; and finally an uJla.dro,uplaglal"bm. by his; conternpo.rary Sa;x.oGra:m-madeus--ehese inform us pf this initial c:r:i1si$. of toe .gQds,wbicb is presupmentsare net hemogeneeus: 'two present the event in m.ytboIogi:cal
f

posed al.sofn several passages from, 'Other Eddie poems. Tbese d.ocu~·

term.ii two transposei'h iut,o bistarical and .geogI.aphi:eal terms. The M:st group includes strophes 211.-~2.4 Qf the Jl,pl:uspd and apassage in SnorrP,;J, myd.lologirnl manual written for [he use ·of poets, the S.k:dlds.k:aj1,Q,rmlH (d},ap.. 4); thesecond Includes chap ters II 2", 4~and .5 of' theYng,lingtUaga~ discussing the Yngling(l'r~supposed descendants 'Of FreYf and chapter 7.of rhefirstbeok of Saxo's Gest(ZDan.ort!m:, ;2 fraglllent of the •<sag-a of Hadingus' which fiTIs.ch.apteu 5 through .8 of tba.t book.
J'

a) J'pluspd

21-,24.

1 have elsewhfrem made an extend,ed aualysls 0·£

t.his, passage, whi.ch the hypercritical Eugen. M.fJgk~"St)ugbt. to eUmi~, nate from: the dossier on tbe .A!:sirand Vanir.. The: order of eventsdeSicdbed ;asl;~the:fir5t w.a:r of armies :iin the wQ::dd'~-5ieC;:'ilns :ro:mnewhat

,oon£:uSJedIn these ·rapi.d. and discondnuousst:rophes, 'which do not narrate, but content themselves with evo'king episodes already knuwn to the listeners, There is extensivereference to a female lbein.g called

GOD5- OF THE AN(;IEN'['

NORTUMEN

G,ulive,igJ' litera]})", ~(gtJ:1d·drink~ gold-dtunk~nne~ls,n 'Sent by the Va,l1ir to the 1EsiT~ 'who, despite metallurgical treatment, cannot 'rid themselves of her. A sorceress, sh .. sows corruption, partic:ulru:]y amorD:g e women, 'There is also reference (21) toaspear~ apparently maglc1 "'. ]-' "J 1 t~1.ro",.n. '0y 0:'do ,_ _ am agamst an enemy army, ''V'1I1C,], (] oes not rn:event .. that "broken was the waUoE the stronghold 'Of the .AI'.sir"'and that "the warlike (I) Va.n.ir were able totrample the pbl~ns,,·" But ]loth~ ing decisive resulrsfrom these contrary movemenrs, because (23,) the gods hold ~Ul assem'bly for peace where they discuss eventual compensation ..lS
J,',';"'--L,~·:r,! I.',',
',:1, .',"",,::. ';',' :,'"

"_"--1

."

'l,_-"---:-~'

'--. ~_~. '--~'-,'I:

-7",-'-'.-m

'~

;,'-,

-,~

-_,,--:,=--_,.

b) Skdld$kapanndl (ch.ap. 5;Pros"(J' Edda) (The respons,e of Btagi to the 'question ~'''Vhenoe com,es the an called poerry?"):
The beginnwng' of itwas that. the gods were at 'war with dH~ pCcOpjl.c known as, ilheVa:llir and tlll.eyarna;nged f'o:r a. pea:(~ mcethlg between them, and made a truce in this way; IIl(~y bCM:n went Up 1)0a crock and spat .into if. ,,"';ben. ~hey were. going' alva:YJ' tbe: ,gods tcokthe truce,takeill and WQuld. not allow k to be Iest, and made alit a man. He was called KV'agi.r.lle~Si sO wise tllat. nobody asks him any question b.e Is unable to answer, He

for awerd in private and killed! him.leu.ing his blood n1n into. t'\'ilO crocks a·n.done kettle, The keulewas called o'5r-Qr"~r,blillt the crocks were known ~S S6n 31td 11oi)u.TI1.ey mix.'ed his blood Wilh honey. ';l:na,i:t became the me'ad which makeswhoever drlub of ill a poet or a s.c:hol~r. "The dwarfs fold. the .jE:s~[rtha.t Kvaslr had. choked with learning; beeause dl.fre '\'\1',;1,1) nQ onesuffi.crend:yl'?en~.il1i_[Ofm.ed to compete with h~im inkno1f!iled'ge.~e: foUo\vs, the scary of the acquisition. of the nlead by Odin..jwbo is [0 be Itsgrea test bene:flc:~ary) .. (There

travelled far :md. wide overme world to te~acl1!,m.en.wls.d.om. and. came Ofl;ce to feast with some dwarfs. Fjalar and G.,ihu., These ci!!Uedhim aside

c) YTl'gUngasaga (the beginning of the Eleinlikti:ngla) (chaps. 5)=


1.

1I,~

2,

4~

earrh's round, (Nli lvh.ich mankiwrud ~ht-e.s,~sm,uch. inde:ntred. Great seaseut :into the Iaud from the ocean. \'Ve .know lhal a..sea goes from the 'NalVa Sound [the Strait of Gibt"abar] 3]1 the way Ito J6r.sa laland 'Jcn:l!s4lJ,emLand~ •.. Palcsdnej:.From this sea a long arm extends to thenol:the.a.st \if!'.b.ichis called. the Bl~ck. Sea .. It.seperates the three parts 'of the- WQtld ...Thepart to the- eastwardis called .:\.s1a·; but that wh~dl Ue's to the west alit is nlUed by some Europe. by others Enei. Nordl ,of the Black Sea..~ies, vlth jiotb the Gre.ilt.:t or che Cold, S

of the Three Co,ndIllmts.-The

15.Edda: (Kuhn}, P..5~Edda {lJeHow !i), pp. ll@i-.I ~., i!e:Th.~PrtJ:$~.E:d.d~; (,)f StUlrri S'$~'Tlu$Qn, ~.r;1,n~. ~anJ, YQung (B~:rkd~j" aF!~d IAIS J Ang:elcs~ Univenity of Calij'ornia, P:r~".!·9B.4)' p. HW. Tra:nshulm.ls :f~Ofn the SnONa~dda~[e ta~en fF~ this, veI~;tOn. abbreviated Pr.os8' ,lldda (Young).

9 Some menconsider Sv~d1j6th the~,Great Dot less in. slze~than Ser.kJa:nd Ithe' Gr~at r'SI<l;ra,cenDand:l'~" Norm Africa]J and some ddnk i,tis equal in .sh:e: to. Blalan.d r'Blackman'sLamd/' Africa].., The' norther.n part of ,Sv:h.hj6Ith~iSun c~JJdv'il. en 3C!C)QU.Ut, 0.£ :['.05t 3:~ldcold. just $, tb,~ ~south~ ted plitrt to.f :m~Ua:nd. is a desert because of the heat of~hesun..][n lSv,£th~o,tb, tbe;reaie many large pfiov;ntes, There' are :311(0 maIlY trlbesand m;a,uy tongues. Thereare gIam:s and, dWiU"'fs; there aljebbtckmen andma:ny '~.jn(b; of str:a~ge t~ilbes,Also. there are a.nima:~~ and. dragons _ ol~U'Vel~o\U
.!U2Ie" Olilt of .t11eno,nh~.fr,omthe m()UI1l.ta.~:ns'Whi·cb are be,yond ~alI~nbab:ii~ed

d'istrkt5

a dver :rullswrough

Sv1lhl6:thWflO'5e correCf name is: Tanai:s~the

DOll Ri'we'r].lu,

OI(ll,Cllthne8, it 'W'3i,St called. Tan~Folkoc 'V~u]aFOirk. .Hs mouth is In the Black. Sea, n.t:! land. around theVa:na Forl..... was dl.en IcaUed Van.a Home ot'w'e HOi)l!e (If the Vanir ..ThlS·tiVfF divides thethr-ee

continents. .Eas:t of i.t i5Ai!i~a..l.vest of It!Europe.


s,

were ~.o-servethem a.nd. ,show ~hem reverence. -. 6tbin was a. g:rc'.at warrk)r and Eared 'Widely. Iconqueringmany eonntdes. He: was SQvit[OI'~OUS that he wo:n 'l:ll!Jf:: uppCrb;B!lWd in every ba.tdcj ;a:s ;a.resuh~his menbelieved u__lat. it was gramtedw him. to bev.kt.oriiou:s in every barrle . .It washisbabit tluu;, before sending his men to battle or 0:0 ddl:cr errandS.. he would lay hIs hands Q.nch·e.~l! heads, an.d gfVliI! tbem.a bjannak [be:nedicdcm]. Tb'e:D tbeybeHeved.[hey 'Would succeed ..ltwas~lso noted th,t,'heoo'eh"l ,. -~. ....,f. ., -" .... . . __. . a w· . vr, ],5 men vl'eq~ sore bestead ,,-on. sea or on Ja:nd.-.tbev.:: ... . . . ., I wo~d:d caU on hi$ name, and meywlQ,uld G:,etbelpfro:m, sa doing. The}lput aU Ehe,h: trust!: in, him. Often he, was away so ~Dn:gas 'lobe ,gClne :fO'l" many

pIe .priestswere hlghesit .~:arank. The.y were to havecsarge Q£ ~aifices and to judge between m.en.The:y Me c:tUeddla'r.or ehiefs . .All the people

Of .rugartb and! D:rldo.... The 1find. e3:st of the Tana Fork was caned the Land. Home ,()f tbeiEsir~ iUlId. the capital of chait countrythq caned Asgartll. In tb~s .ca.pi~tal tbe ,cbiefEa~uruled. whose name was ,Oddn. This 'Was a ,grei!i.ti~,il:ce lor sacd.fi·QC5 The ruTe'prevaiiIe:d mere m:a::t twcl'vetcm .. •.

or

yea:rs•
4., Tb.eWar between .lEs;ir and the Va:ni:J:-.-6ddn mad:e.war on {be Van~r~ buittbe,res~stoost(liudy and oefen,oe,d their land ; .1lOW the an:e~n.ow tlu;! other 'wasvi~tortou!lj and both deva:stat,edthe' l and of tn.eir. opponents.; doing each other damage ..But when both ·wearied.. of tha't.:! they agreed (In ~pe~ceJn,~edngand ,ooncluded apeace,t ghr:i:ng ~a,ch otfl.e:r' btl$rages...The Va:riitgavc' the:~rmost outstantUtlg men, NJormtb,c' We~hhy and .!h.is on F'r,eYi but the ALsir~intnei:r tum.~ :fW'n~8bedone' whose name s 'WasHrenir, dedari:ng him to be weU :nlted to be: .3. mie:frni.u. He· was. at large man and. ~ceed.iflgty handsome. T'ogetherwth him. th.e iEsir sent one called Mfm:~:rt ye:rywise man;: and Ithe Vanir in return sen t the one a w.hQ wa:s the cleverest ;among them. lEIis name was K:vasir,j :Nowwhen Hrenir a:rr.iv,e.d .in Vaniilieim- he W;M' at onte made a,c:h:ie:fl:ain. Mlmir adv:ised him In. aU tI:d:ngs,. But. w.lu::n HGCJ]:ir wa5pr.{!Sen~:at meetings 'or assembU'e8.widlout havl~gM:fmiF at b.ts.5jdeand was _ked, for Ilis opinion. ona dilirult matter .•he 'wouldl ;ilIlwaysan:!liwer in thcs;tme w:~y,.~a.ying~.i'Let OdU:!lS dedd.e.,j 'Then the Va:n.irsospected that the .A:.SD;' bad. de[raDd~d them in me .exmangeo:f h~ra.ges" Then tbeyseiZ'ed M'finir and. he:be,ade,(il him and~ent tbe head to·'the£sir" Od:tinooQk. itaAU. emba.lmed it with

me

10 SID th:ilIt irwould not [COl, and S:P.O'kB charms ove:r ir~giv;iI1ig~j[ma;g~c pow'fr sO' -thaf-:it would answer him and! t!eUhim, flla:ny occult thin,gs" 6tbln. app,obued Njowthand F:r.ey te be ptdes;ts_ for the satrUkial o'fieT~logs., and tbey were: ·d,tar [gods]a.mong th,e iESir. Freya was the daughter of Njorth. She V!;'3BS priestess atthe ,sa,(;rifices. It was ,shi.eW110 first ~a,u.gb~ the ...Esir magic such as was practiced among the Vianh·..WillIe NjOTth lived. l-1Iith.th,e: Vaulr he b,adh~s., sister as w.ife~becanse 'that ,~as the Olst'Om among' them, Their iwUd.r,enwere F-rey and ,D?lleya.'Burt ,among the .i.Es.~r t I w,as f(l'F:b:~ddepWIDa"l ~o ne~T' akin, 5. Gerjon Ploughsi Zeeland Our D!fLake Mrelaren .. -A great mountain chainruns from the northeast to th.e sou~hwest. It d.~viaes Svlthjoth th.e Great from, other :ft\'!a.1:ms. South of thu';:l oufUainsil m i$[JJo,t: far tn Turley. T.h'ere Owin had 13!-rg~ possessions. At that tim.e the generals Qf me Rmnans: :moved, ab,(I'ld far and Wide:~,s'UbJlJlgaJ:b]g a.Upe;opl.es a.nd,ifIll,any chiefta.ins, ned from dlelr posseSS\~,Ofl.s because (),F ~bese n.o5dUtie.\j" And. be .. rnuseOdll.n had the gift of jpl1lophe,cy' and. was skilled In magic~ he kner.!I thaehls ofispri~g wnuM inhab it the fiorw!ern part of the wof'J1d., 'Then he set his~rQthern V'e ,and VmC1lfcr .Asgatth~ but he '&imseU and, aU (Jia1t and many otb.e:t people, departed. First he jou:rne'lled, westto GSinhr:iki [RU50S.la]"and then, south, Sax, land ,[nordlwcstern (;erm~n'Y]" fIe·b.ad >,' arr-- " ,cn-ur',~ took pos:seSl!LOn OJl.an ., d '~,:f,'-", an ·w'"..,11 ,"i,U'.! . ax, ., , ~L .. ~ ·t, .]., nd, _e m,_y SCI_~S..ne t,{)o .. ,',- ,'j:-,~ • sal' - nd ,..luC ··5.·.xland his sons ro defe.nd theseIands, Then he journeyed north' :to, theseaand fixc>d ll:r$~bQdeon, ;;i,:!l fsl~fid~ Tbat plO1i.ooi:s HOW ~anc;:d ,C:nl1h'$'e)' 1[6d'dn"s \T',"'~ , .:11] , tne • _any. JL'io~a:nlY!, OD. .:I!.. .zs1 . l 0 f E' Ji,"unen. There'i.lipo:n,b~$enit Ge.fjQnn!o~th(Jver ch'e mJUfi.G to 5.cek for la.nd.. Sh.e G~me i~1) K~~llg GyIft audile gapv,e her at plougbland.T11cen~he went to iC'fii~l!c-,.:~ C,;fl.l;.",,:. ~ _ore i/..IOI.I!,I, --C;" to ,~ ""'" -tc'flt,·, , __ Frarnsf,"'nn.f:a )...,!,~" ..... G' _a__ any, ,a:Jl;u ,~n~l'e '. b',c: e ,r- •• ~- :SQn,~~" ,I''''' b,u•. g_a:__ • She' , ~,.. , ""_, ,_·th"".....

herbs

me

to

~hep~ough and drew the land westward int:O the sea, 01P'poshe Omln·s l:s~:andi and dun is [llO'w]caU.ed. Selund I[Zeeland] andthere sbe. dwelled afrtel'V!1;8!lI'ds," Sk.j old. a sonef Olhinmar.
to
I

into o)(:.enand:u.mcbed.r:W.H!m

de.d. her. They li.yed: at .Rleithrnr. A lake ,vas ieft [where me land was taken]wlti:ell.i8 caned. Logrin, The bay.s;:in dtu ~al;e ,oor:rcspcmd ~Q 'th.e nesses of Sebmd .. Thus s.ays Bl'agi. the Old: o.e(Jo:.n.,.gJad in roind~ ftom

Gylfi drel" the good land~

that. d:1;erewas good land. east In Gylfl"s king .. """u'' ,~ ,il}"" ....'.:l· '1..'.... ·• ....1fl',.1 IG-',v,l,Q, ... ·'>'m,... ''':'''' "',n' .. IYI".......,[[I"' .....~" "'l.,~'~ 'i"' ""im b '.... u """", ,U""'ju ~.. u ", '",L:.... ,oo ".u, . J ~u,",,~ '....,,: ....''''''o~'''''' ""'.,' ,,,.!l:i~,~,n,'",_.~a_ . cause: he d jd. :hOC ((In!;ider .him~eU strong e:rtlloug'll!ww:lti1sta.llld d~€!: Es~r·,. J 6lhin and Gylfi vied much with each. othe:r in magIc and.speUst but the
.;;I ,.... '~ ...

But. 'When a'thJ:n Iearned

DCrl:ma:rk.':S if\!!'Qeas~e~ft:o:m tlh.r;: oxen so the sweat ran, D iei.. ~ourbeasts of burden-« with.bro'w~mQ,Om,s eight in Eoreheads~ walk be£ol1~ the w.~d,e:h;l,e won by her from Sweden.

A?sir 2.h'llays had the beteer' ·0£ it. ·6th:h'l. aeu]ed. by :L~~eLogtin~ata,place ·",,;hkh.fOO1nedyw:~~, called S,~guinir.There heereeted a luge temple and ma.desa,crm.c,es a«nrdim:g to the custom of the ),£.sir. He took possession of the lana asIsras he ~bad

!called it Sig,to:n:ir. He gave d wdUug places to the temple priests. Njorth dwelled :aE:Noat~f.I;i-.P.rley at Upp$:d~ Heim!daUa<t HlnnllbjoTgt.Thdr at

Thn1dlvallg, Baldr at Breitha·6:Uk.To aU be gsve good estates.I'l'

d) SilN.o Gr:ammalicus, GC:ita .Da.n:Q~rU'11t; I, 7.!tl, This brief passage is clarified by the texts .of Ulertolzupd and. ·of Snon.i~ but :in itself d,ar:i~ fies notning .. ]t ga.tIlers andalters radically several 'features ,of the ·Iegend. of the war and of the reconciliation o.E the iEsl['(l'ud the Vanir" notably rhe gold statue (l'p,lusp',d,)., tbebehe'ading :0£ Mimii' (Yngl·irig:a~· saga)IJ,·and the murder of Kvasir (Slul:ldsir.Jl/?:arma.l). "Othinos" 'here too I l~a'lequoted these text'Sat Jen.gt.h~ first to 'make we readerfeel " i on t ha basi III£.. a precise e·xamp'1" In Wdal state, or rat '1 :Ul. Wll1a.[ ae nasis e, aer "' tdhlerse' states, Scandinavia;n mydlo~:ogyha5 beensransmitted to US'~ bu t alsose that he m.a.yrider back to them constantly during' the discussion that follows.
is a. king, whooecapital time lapua lJp:salam .l~ is ·~Biyzanti.nm/'but lvl1!Owillingly spends

In 19o.3Be:rnhard Salin (t86t-l9B:l) proposed a liseral in:rerpret~~ lion ,of the "invasion of the JEsir~'~'which bas remained. tbem.odel, nocepted(~t least until recently) by mese historians of Scandinavian
religion..2tl! Salin was a gr~atman~ as Iearned as he was modes;t~ and

rhe .fine .Nordi:sH.a 1\du£ee.~· in Stoc1d.:uphn owes a great deal to ,him.

Salin"s theal")' was thal Snorri·s narrative, induding the episode 0:1 the war between the A:SJirand [he Vauir an dtheir reconci liation, contains in cerrupeed form the memory of greati bhtorical1iluthendc events: a long :migrtlt~'(f}~ of a people aco):rdingt;o a preciseilina'.ary wom
north o:f the .Black. Sea.t.o Scandinavia, and. 9.. struggle berween two peoples, one worshipping the iEsir and the other the Vanir .. This , 5u:ngglet atc-ordin:g tothe tradi.tion that transposed menintog-ods or rather confused thegods with. their wOl"shippen)1' ended, in .;a.!Dompr'Q-· . .... ... E: o,. :a.~"-~' ,'1;"0.,,, ~~·~ .. 0,. :.Ii.:a.. " K «: ~,~, 'VO~'" mi...,. f'··U·i>~""'''' .C··e-·~·t""·~ I''''l'''···l'~'''''· ,j,1I,!JWI,'l,;._lJ. 3"" H' . ~C!i·c,1i~u·~'cl··~·n''''~M'·.... .t.. "'h~v,"" tllOl~ghtQE a r.eligious waT~ whi.ch. in. itsel:F is ,quite ,improbable ...T'he majt.,rity, like: H ..Gu.:n.tert and. more recently E. A. ,PbUippson, tbink
"'I lA,
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l1Hd~.n5k.r.i~gl:a: History of th~ KingsQj 'T' le:x:;!1.~~ nJ... '£.~':·V 'ul.~ T'-.... v'''''' p-'......... . ..... .. _ 'If'f '··.,e- .. .... . 'e .. '"
II,.!

.kring/a: (HoUand:er).
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!i.!',",,~ ... ,

A1i·I~""'''l"at~I' HeimJ' •. _.: ,'o;'ia.i:'_'_: ~ .". __

Ci~ted Eoo·m the ed:i Hon. !o.fJ" Olrik and fl. Rreder (Coperi!ha,ge'n,~93.~). :l!:9Dul~ttil" La .saga d~ !I,~djn:gw(Par.is:Prei!i~!i Univ~n:1ta:ires de Fmncc~ 1!103}. OOF:Orte£ereJ'.!c~:~tbe B:~.Mi:ograpbi,c3.l.Notesa.tfhe end 'of Chapter 4::..

..

.'

'.

'

GODS o.f TaE ANGIlENT'

N ORT.llMENi

o:f a purely ethnic and political war, a war of

cO.fique:st,~ Ell

type

more

assuredly present in the ancienthiatcry of Europe. Aocord.ing to some writers, who follow B" Salin c1o'~H~lythese even ts woul d have occurred ~ around the fourth century; aocording to others, t.heymight. even represent the Indo-European hlvasion into the Gernlanjc: area, dearly far' earlier, It. would appea:rthat this second opinion is in greater

archaeolo;gy is often appealed to in such a debate-the combatants inthis great duel,6rst historic, late:rlegendary and my:thic~would be therepresentatives of two cuI.. rures that [he excavations in northern Europe make it pcssible to ide,nd,(y= the M,eg.alidJ people and the Battle Axe peopI!f (or St:.hnur-· ker~mi'l~'fJr).. Here, {or example, is how E. A.Pb:iHppson explains it:
The diHere'nce between the religion of the Vanir :alod the religiono] tbe ...Edt is a Iundamental one'. The religion of the Vanirwas older, autcchthoncus, t:hep,roduct o.f an :agdcuhural civilization,. The religion of the iEs:ir was yOl1nger" the expressi'Q,fi. of a vir~i,e,warlike, 'but also more spiritual ep.och. The gap between dlese religions, which was 'ooiuc,dby RaDun observers, wa,s obvieus to the pagans: the ]cg-e:nd oI the Scandi:naviaos re~ladng tethe w.::u·,of' the: VanlT' (loufirrf1s. it,.2:1

favor" In arshaeologicalIanguage--fer

'Other Interpreters, few in number hut growing" such as 0 .. li'oF:IJer'" J. de' Vri,es; W. Betz, and myself, resist this historicizing view, this, idea of transcriptjon~ in mythic language, of historical events, We do not deny,Qf course, the materialchanges, the invasions, the fusions of peoples, or the duality '0£ civllization which is observable, archaeologicallyj. on Germ,,3'l1ic; soil, 'between wbat was, there before the IndoEnropeans and what followed their invasion, Nor do we contestthat Germanic religions, especially the Scandinavian, evolved during the
course of' centuries. But, we do believe that the duality of the .&:sir and the Vanlr Is not areflection of these events, nor an effect of that evolution. "\t\7e believe rather that it. is a. question here of rwo complementary terms in a unitary religlous and. -ideological structure, one of which prc:'suppos!es, the other .. These were brought, fully ar, ticnlated; by those' Indo-European invaders 1\d1.0 became the Ger~

manicpeoplesjwe believe. that the initial war between the~£sk and the Vanir is onlya spectacular manifestation, as is the function of a. myth, in the form of at violent conflict, of the distinction, the conceptual opposition, which justifies, their coexistence. FinaUYt we suggest that the unbreakable associaricn that foHows tile 'war, and. which the war ·on1y prepares for" signifies that the opposition Is also a ,complemenn,ari:ty, ,at soUdari'ty; and. that tIle JEsir and 'Vanmr ·adjiust
21 E.

A.P:h.iIlppS'O,n., D'ie Genealogic ,der

G{mtn"

(Urbana. Hlinob:" l'9~3)j p. 19.,

and 'balance themselves for the greatc'S't goodofa human society thatfeels an 'equal need :for protectors of botli kind" l.pl~QI)(ne [0 show brie:tly ehe fraglUty and. the Internal contradictions of the .hist:oricam thesis, and then to indicate the prindpal.positive reasons that support the structural thesis. 1. Among the three' prlndpaJ. d1ocuments:r:ebltingto the war between. the JEsirand the Vanir just cited (tba.t of S~obelIlg: without interest here), [be historical thesis Is founded only 0:0. the third, Nei ther the JI p,lu:spdn:o'f the S,luUdskr:tptatmdl__;,vhere 'BHotti. bas no other concem rhanto recount the divine sliolies~locaHzes' the ewo grou.ps of adversaries: nor does either imply any migration. On the oontr,ary. they present the div.i ne beings and theiractionsin thesame tone and in I;he same perspective' as, fot' example, tIle combats ,betw'een, the gods a.nd gia:nts" that is ill rhehnprectse tilneand space .of'm)ltb., On.!y the he:g~un~l1~g' SnoITi~sseeoed 'W(l~:kis expressed In terms oj of geography and historYt nnddplying itaprecisions; goIng to the point ,of a Reman synchronization, Butthese terms, even theseprecisions, are suspect: Snorri, this. time, seesbimself a.shistorian and genealogist, and he acts like' the Irish monks of the' :h.igh.1\1:i elle' Ageswho joyously d bistorI,c.ited inforraatien inherited frQnll tbe clr'lilidsand t'h,e pa;gan fUid~ They insertedit into their Latin erudition." dta:w:ing their principal arguments :U'OlD 'word play~ from the consonance oEindigenous proper names widll bibiical or classical names .. d.e.riving t.heScots from Scythia, su:p'P0~ing a greatnl.rgr,a.tion .of Pic~s',\i'h:hl' na.turany~ a stop in France, at.Poi Her5~capJtaJ of tbePictaui. Snord pro(:eed~ no d.iffef,~ndy.He not only reduees the gods to lid.I1_P now dead, wiu;) have succeeded one another and ',ciJho" uring tbej:r lIfetimes;" moved, d emigrated, and invaded, He also localizes on: the :w,ap ofthe known ;r"~d, ... " s ~~ ~n .•. nised .an ,d·· '£0· 'r·· t'1' a t, deoends on ~L~!.lI _~ _ ~_~ Ii.U ." -- r-""'--'I,;UIo. W'D' . J, ' the di ..1'~.<\' 'r"" or""·~· "1,','··.. ,u...... "'a~- . pllns~ some of them excellent (t£si·'~~Asia)J. others less SllcGcssfld (V,a:n.ir_e IIana-kvid-Tanai:~,,·tlRive'r Don'} If be. placesthe Esirrun.d (be V:nnir,inidally~ on the banks of the B~.atct. ea" a;t the mouth of the S DOIl it is not froman obscure Inem.oIY of some m]gr:aH(Jn,~Gothic or otherwise, nor even from. knowled,ge of a great cennnercial roote going fron1 the Crimea. to Scandinavia, but shupl,. from the-allure of a pl;ay of sounds, d.ur.~n.g anepceh when. such qu.ca!l.i~elYlll:oIogi'r.:;al"i"lord pla:y was acceptable as a, histerical arg·ument. s. Those who~ despite this, 11 prilori hllproba.bility~ wish to utilize [be chapters frcm rhe Ynglingasaga Ito found a historical hnerpfietat~on of the war between d~.e LEsir and ,theVanirj,faJI-llave faUen-..· nowinto ,c.o:ntra.d.icdon. ~llOl,V into arbirrariness, Snorr], in £act,. 10,L . A1'.&· ••, · ... . "" ...... .,;1

.r; .......

,__ ,~._. __ ._

ealizes the warbefore all migratioDi, at the very place of the prhni ... tlve home: which he attrlbut,esto the two peoples!, tbat, is tIle frorrtier of .f,~Asia, at me mouth of the DOll. It is only after the postwar rec "" onciliation that Odin" gathering u,P Ills new ;sllbjects,. the three ,grea,t Vanir~~'Wftbth¢ same priv:i,:i,e,gesas J:ds older subjects. the JEsir. starts o·ff on tbe expedition \v:hkh is finaUy· to lead tbem to Uppiand i:n 8w~den. To cr'!2mttD.ls rext, tbe fo.rm;aO.on of at. unified religion. would havetakenplacefar from Sc.andinavia, far f:rom .Ger.mania" previo!as, to any encounter on 'Germanic seil berween an ,agricultural eul lure ·l'·-~· .- . . . .-.-·-n;·' . 0,0 . r'~-' ... --;-.~-::.ilpp5.ougene:rous Iey- SUjggests. .ut It 15 ,au ·S-d'· canennaviaana nd non h(-:nertnern Ge:tni.an.y t.ba t arcba,e(j~ogkal traces of a duality and succession of
I .." .'~: .

:and:a morevllrHe,watlike
.. _'c ",,-_ .. I._! ',', -

one, one more spiritua[.,


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cwtur-esappear. If one. wishes tGj~~t:Hythe duality of divinc't·ypes by the duality o£Gultures~ it D'S, in these Ge:rm:anic lands that the contact] .struggle~ and fusion of the: tWQ peoplesrnus,£, be located. aad no,t sornewherearou no the mouth of the Don .. If in order to escape cODuadi·ctioD. one retains from S'l1orffi~ as is usual, only the idea of the· confHct and of' tbe·reccm.ciUaHon.,Fes1e!'ving the right not to situate everything where Snorri does,. on the Blat:k. Sea. dmingthe ioU:la] e .. rthem p-.oi"i't' ....,_n P- r ;·.n.d'bu "":If' the ,,"""-'t1I'h'§'lI"'Y' H,ear U,I, terminus at a n .... .. in the Germamc regions, one .if!) dearly being' arbitrary, far what object.ive criteriapermir one to decide rhat one !part of atext is truly f1em:em.ber.ed"n.ence llDseful as a historical deeument, and that, some oeher P3T[ is fantasy? 30 A third criticism. of the h:btoridlin_g thesis leads us directly to OUlI." own 'task."Even inthl$, text ofthe fn;gli:ng:asaga which cl:aims~o be ,1 ~'l~'","a,r-l""''''~ ·'·'I~ith'__''''ii'''o',r-'-,e· ·a"'..,.n t'~,"':n··.;l'1':' other two n.... elv ~""~,v..t;. ol ....ric·· ",,1 W )!;. t···e· ~v _~._1l,1~_;,' . · r 'I m J :Ul.y !I,\;;!l,~,~, _, texts, which. (lontainoo anempt whatsoever at spatial or temporal .. locaJb::atinn~One is 5trucK by an abundance of details of another order ..These. details coneen). rheplrases .of the war (V Qlu:sPd) ;and the terms of the peftoe' fS1?d:lcb'RJl,parmdl? Y:ngli~l,g;llSaga), notably tlle' gods 'I.e . 'd" ..] 'I .. .. 'T- 'II.. 'e);;JC:u!an._ge as se{:u:nty~ LlelF• ,c~~atactersl -l..enesra d"vent.iilre,s.,uese c ano 'I" minute and pktnresque derails cannot 'be even greatly d.e:£onned history:;: they ca,l1notpossibly represent any trace of the customs ef peopJ,es, suplpos;edly in (onJllict.. The histori cizers l1U1St. therefore ignore them completel, and consider them only secondary devices, to-make tbe text more lively. It is, howevervthese Vrfry derails thar are the essence of the stodes~ and which deady interested theIcelandic w:dter Snoui ums,[ 'When be was not absorbed In word pla.y~as they did the J'plusf,uipoet and no doubt th,eUstene'[S or readers of both. An importa.ru:questioD ,ofprinciple is here raised: is .it. sound, when using a, rn.ythomogkal text, thus to abstract away aU the! rich detail
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of iESc contents? In my v,iew~ it ccrtainlyisnot. The' historian of religionsmust,. like all hlstcrlans, treat his documents withrespect. Before as'idng which features, great or small, he can exsract.Irem them to' i5upporth,ls tbes:lis hemust rend and reread them, immerse bim:se1f in them passively and :re1ooptively r being' extremely careful to leave allfeatures In their places, Doth, those that slllpport him and those that resist.hhn, lE onesu bllllitS' to '&1111.5regiID:en~one soon learnsthat there
J

is more 'to be d,(:me '\vliI;hsuch U~Xf..$ than ro desttoy them!n Q:rrlcOC'to insert. aF,€w relics dr,a,l,vn from the clebris into other constructions,

First one must

inltern~d srructura.wh ich jn,sd6.es the ordering of tbeir elements, even. the s:tran:gest and most bisarre, W.ltat :might diUS be lost. from Lbe realm. of Ill-story is regained, in that of theology~ in knowledge of the r~:Iigious ,thought embedded in 'the dtat thit; structural view a.l~o leads :t.o arbitrariness or evento a. mirage.lNhat isrelatedlby Snotri and sug~~ gested by theV·plus.pd·is ruter all picturesque and strange.and does not at [u'st ,gbimce have an air of (onta.~:ning or even w~sb.lng~n express a. reng~ou~ confJept.Tof,e],eCit tll€: localhation of the AEsiron the threshold of Asia, .as SOUle bis:toriarl:li do, O[ to retain the, "idea" of the conUie-1i.between the twopeoples, as, the more moderate do, is wen and. good., But does ODie not show equal cred.uUty in seeking, :indeed CUsCiov,el"'ingtany senseInthe mass o.f details that after aUm.iglu be just: ,a,s:a,rdficia1 Hterary~ or late~in a 'Nord .•us,ele.ss·-ias the onomastic
1

Ul1.Gersta,n:d. their

documents', It 1,soccas,ionaUya;,tgued

puns:?
H -is here dHl:tcOfnparative conslderasionamay [and l"l~M.lS.I!;] intervent to assure us that our texts do in faer have meaning, and to determine 'what U}:at meaning is.Le<t us be very predse: lye are conrel",ned here 'with comparative Indo-European eonsiderations, lmplying aeemmen genetic rela.tion.ship (filiation).. not .simply tYl)()logicalor universal considera ['i005. The la tter are by no. means negligible::: it may happen that a. t:nlit or group of traitswhich seems strange and meaningless on a 'page of Snorrimay be found in the folkhJre: of peo~ ples far removed from. the Scandinavians" and .Dlay there be under» stood. commented on, and jlu~tHied by these people in terms valid also far tL1eIcelandic dm::u.ment:5.Bult our efforts shall not advance in that directiem we shal] employ i:lJ more del~r.ate' iIlsU'un~Jent of ,comparison. The Scandinavians and all Germanic peoples·,spol<e Indc-European langu3ges~ emiously deformed ,phorH~ticaHy~ but in which the' nonIndo-European residue of the voeabulary i~ negHgfb~e compared to what can be obsc:rved in certain southeea la:nguageswhh:in. the IndO" .Europeml family .. l.f the concepts.ofIanguage, :nation~a.nd tacJe:~.even

16

0.1 .civilizadon, are not interchang,eable.~ it is no less true, especially for 'very ancient, times, that co:nulumity ,of language impHesa rather coruiderablennnim um of cC](In:mJilni'ty in 'COO<lCpts and in their mode of organizatinn In short "ideology," :for which religio.n bas long.been the principal expression. :It is thus legitima.te and even methodologically necessary, before denyiug significance or ,~ul'ti,quity to a "theologeme" or myth among the' Scandlnavians,tiO ask jf the religions of the most conservative Indo-European peoples. the speakers of Sun .. suit, ltaUc, and CeItic, do not present a similar belie:£ or s:tory., This is sometimes the case. and ilt happens that in its ludic versionfor ex~ a.mple.which 'is attested ,ea.rUe.r in books lYriuen directly by the keepen, of divine:knowledg-e, the' structure 0:1.aformula ,or the :meaning of a story appears, more ,dea.rly~ more' ,obvi,aud.y Hnk.,ed.'to-religious and sodal Iite .. than in the' literary works of the Christian Snorri .. And if , this kind 'of comparativ1e observation is a.ppUed. to ,a vOlnplex tradition, that is" one articulating .3. :falrly large number of :ideo'logical elements, and whk11 is, furthermore ttuly tiingtd,ar~, seldom found thrcughenttbe 'world, it 'becom,e'5 less likely that the Sca.lJ;dinavia:n~ Jndle concordance should be£ortuitou8 and not to beexphilined by common prehistoric heritage, It happens that the problems of the £sir andthe Va.nir are of the kind. that lend, themselves to such, a
method,

In Vedic reU_giQJ1.n face in pre~Vedk reHgioll=-this w,e know from i


the list of Aryan gods by :Mitani.~preserved in ep.igraphk documents from the: "rourteend~ century u.c.-=--:andalready in Indo-Iranlan zeligion-this we know'from the: transplantation of it iuto the hierarehy of .zoroas:ttian archangels-ca small number of gods were regularly assoeia ted in invocations" rituals, and hierarchlcal Hsts, in order [0 SUID up the t;g~a1i't:y I)·f the Invisible society ..These divinities were distributed, with. regardto their functions~ in.to the three levels of an already wen~k.now:n. structure: the one tbat~,ale/r} in classicalIndia, ,gave·.rise' 'to the rigid social cl:as,s1ficatio:n of the var~aJ namely bra,hrl!aplJ or priests, k~a!1'i,a;or 'warriors, and va.iSJ1a. or breeder-Iarmers=se paranel to that wbich anzient lrela,nd exhibited inmore supple' fashion with its Icorps, of dt1,li.dsll.its military dass 0.£ flaith, and its. freemen, the cattle-owning ba, air.i,g,•. The briefes.t Iorm of this, Iist, that of Mitani, enumerates first two sovereign gods, Mitt'a and Va'rit,a 'then the god e~entiaJly representing strength and w.ar} In d(a.jra , and then the twin gaw' who give hf3Jltbt '1ontb.£erdHty~ and happi-ness the NltJa.,tY,(l or AJv:in., The Zoroastrian transposition rests: on the same-list with
t J,

one addition31cntry~ also k~:wWrll in Iudia, a, goddess found linked


to thetwins of the third level. In the mythology~. not O[ the: Vedas but of Jndian ,epk~ the gods of the first Ievel are quite di:minisbcd and although they have n.ot~ completely vanished, it. is Indra wbo Jii,gnres as king of the gods~ whkh no doubt reflects a social evolution fa,vo:r .. able :[0 the: warrior class. In ] 93,8itwa:s: pO'ssrb~ce.tndemenstratethat [be pn~.Capif()line u·bwl. whkh pre:sidJf!:dover the oldest ll.oman religion. rested on the sameana.lysls nf the needs. of man and 0:£ divine services: tbe Jupiter of the /la.·1J'len: lU{1lis~ so narrowly associated with the rex, brou:ghtto t he Romans al i the Iorms 0 f sovereign andce .. lestial protection: }'vJars ga've them phy:skaJ Iorce and victory in combat ag.ainst borh v isib leand in 'Vls~b] enemies; Q;!lit" buts ~ judging e by the oHkes .of h~!il~lamen,by the 'ritual of his, festival by the gods. r:egu~adyassodaited with him, even by his name, and finally bytbe definidor~$: conserved clown to a la te com~nenta:ify in the £'7u!id, su'~ pEn'~scd t he'!gnod. .b arvesta nd the conservari Oil of grai 1:115..l he social masses lvhid.l were the: substance of Rome, and ,civa life (c£ Lat. quirUes) during a vigiIa:nt peace. TIle biE!toridzing hypotheses that have attempted to eXl:><laiIil tlris triad. as asecondary feature, the effect of historical accident r the cooperation of peoples in the '£OlUld.iug oE Rome). are a prIori condemned, because ~mong other .Italic peoples~ the Umbrians of: Iguvium=a t a. rime when RemanInfluence was out 'of thequesdon-eheritual of the famous Tables honers within the same hiera:n:hya, very .s~U1ilar triad composed of a Juu. ..~ a. ·1\il·,ar,t,.·~.and
J

a Tlofkm:o-.
The concordance o£ lndo·lranianand Italic religious features
gua:rantees: that the tripartite t'heological structure. and the pra.cdce .r ..,.,.. '[" ~t·,· :r dscl . f m .01. 5unlnmrnlill.g It J.u a UJ'I.e..1l US[ et gos cnaractensuc.,. O' each~ 'Jevet~ dates back to abe .tittle 01 the Indo-European [ommunit,y.. The: exact parallel £. 'S ndinavia "0'· mvtholosv. ......_, .... "'" .-l In the '[~O''''~ni .~.<.Il. O UJI.. ' iIi . .~ ~,-i! 'I" _." . ''''':1OJ, "'xp.·r··I~'I" ,u .. l·.· ·U··:~'" ' ... ';l~n~ Thor~Frey~ may not there:fCil:l"'.e·be an iinllo,a.don~ bur a fai:thfuUy con'7\.T ·.'1···1.' ' ". ."11. Q .. .• '..' d. servee l't..· arcrsaism . .. rll 0 more t ].an ~la.t (){ J. ,Upl[er-~~·lta.rsl"urrmus "CH~S the grouping -of the three Sc:af1l:din:l an gods j usdfy an explanarion vi tbroughcb.ance or eompromlse In the pf1ehistory 10.£ the ,gn:atL penlasula or i.Il ncrshern Germany. Ealch bas :o'me:).uing"the same meaning, -" j-."" ~[-. a'" -,."lIB ·'·"~·I ,an_d ,eaCl_ 0 f'· ".Jt..u~ ,-[1:. ..-."" ... ,-[ ", .. - r :leq m:rd , .!di!.DmlJ.IJ~m,enl,.s,. ']-.It we "e'L;c~,.~ ~ u __ ..uh:;....e:rm:s . .Jl. ft~['therJllorej' the precise analogies long noticed betlvee:ll Thor and 'I'd' \ .. , th . .'~ hi . nera (. e d 1·' •. nammer an.d' .• r lan; b _'{latTa:, et("l~l~ we. note tnattne ,t,lt'-,d .level. in Sca~ndiin.a via b so].ne{~i~nes occupied .not only by Frey butalso
U.Ll,_._~._ .... , .. ,.

,I! ....

I~

I.

C ••.

c.

".].,

c, '.

r ·C.-

j-

but [ather and S(}l1J' ate: no less, 'Closely associated than tbeh\\'o, Niis,artya" if we recalltoo tbat on th.is same third ,Iev:el rhe ,god,dess Freya is ofllen bonored beside
t\Vi1l5,

by the palr NJord and F'reYt '¥llo~notbejng

GoDS OF THE .ANiC!ENT NORT.HMEN

the gods Njord and Frey ..j ust as a goddess lS usually associated with the Indo-Iranian N~isatya; then we begin to discern not only the paral .. le·.I:ism of the en tire structure but also fmpofta.nt correspondencea '(li individual terms which :si.mplycould not have beenaccumulated by chance. Finany~ Vedi!ci,deology~la:ud"e already have gpodreasons to. callit Indo.Ir.anian~dlsplayed a 6:rm solidarity between the first two levels In opposition to. the third •.as occurred later inb.u:ma;n SO~ d(:ty. between the B:l"ahmins and the k~atr.iy.aJ'called the t\\'o .force-s" ub'hevirye~ in. QPpo'Sition 'to. the vais.ya,. Co:mpletely parallel is the union '0.1Oclin and Thor 1n Scandina.via in a .:!ih~gle divine race, the .i£sir~tn opposhion to the Vanir, Njord, Frey" and. Frey.a. 11:has been objected that this comparative procedure takes into account from arUG,ennanicreUgJon onlyi ts Scandinavian form .. and in the relarivel y l a te state .1 whichwe knowit, n thatIs, (hac l}IolLhlng es'tablis,hes thls tripartite dfvis-ionamong otlrer Germanic peopies~ such as the Goths or those of tiM!! West G:ermauicgI'oup.Furrher~ it bas been noted thae w.hile the name of the hi.r is! Ie) be found elsewhere, that of the Vani:r is found nowhere outside of. Scandinavia 3ln&finaUy [haLt theoldest arcb.a.eolog:kal material in Scand'inavila seems to sbow that thegod ,0"£ the hammerand the ithyphaIlic ,god preceded the Indo-Europeau Invaslen. These objections are not as conslderable as tIlley appear at first glance'. As for the las.t one'} we adn:dtpcrfectlyw:iJUn,gly that the l.odo-European. gods of the second and third .1evehi" 'Thor and. Freer, probably anne~ed to themselves certain eoneepdons ofanother o.rigin" already popular' ;fJ;lnO'ng' the 'CQnque.t~dindigenous population ..Again we' must Dot io.terpr{;t too geDerou~dy the famous toct carvings of S:w,ede:D!rwhere; the arehaeologlsts havea ~enden.ty to call all the sil~ houettes armed with hammers Thor and ..all the obscene silhouettes Fvey .. As for the objection about the names, 1: believe that it reus on an unj1,lstifi.Ed~unreasonable claim, fO:f the proper names are not of snch great importance. The name vani'·l', of obscure etym.o~ogy (of the eight whifh have been proposed, fhe best is s611 that 'wbich equates it ·wilhLat.Yentt£~ ventniiLri; etc.)~maywen be Iimited to Old NQTS€:; but the type" the class of ~~ds 'whichit designatescnuld have existed elsewhere under another nameorvrithout anygeuedc name. The Scandin3ivianNjord. (ON Nipr,'~r.+- -Ner:pu .. , OUf of theprindpaL ) Vanir~ must be the one described fury Tacitus, under the name Nerthus, whh f.e:m.inine sex and clear characreristks o~f the' third function (fecundity!. pea!cet etc.) In norther:nGe:rmany. Funhe.rmore .it is not qtdte true 'tlm!t the triad .or other vlery slmHar triads, are not attested in other areas (lfthea:,nd~'nt G,ermanic world,
l

]I,g

One tall nut, ,argue' on tbi:spoint

from. Itbe silence o.f the Got]u~.we

know almost nothing of theif'mythQil~gy ..As for the We:u Ge~rman:i,c ,peoples"ouroldest expUdt souroo.*Tadtus,.Z2 enumerates to the conttary-andin terms that prove that there was a. str'U:cl!;ure~-g:o&who are clea.rly distribut:edint.o, the three levels, and iflthe: f;x:pected hi'er,an:hical order, Themost honoredgod, whom. Tacitus calls M t1'C'utius, is, ,surely the equivalentof Odin, 'then came Hercules' .andM an; that is the two warrior gods wbo are ~urelythe ScandinavianThor and Tyr (we shall take up the bU!8r in£he 11lext cbaprer).Fina'ily, .at least for a, part of the Suevians~ a. goddeS$ is joined to these two gods .. 'T.acitus.caUs her Isj,s~there isno reason (espec:hdly that wl'llchhe gives:: the eul t boa t) to censlder her o f foreign o:rigi"~ advec~a:m '·e!. ,ligionem, .. .It Is even possible that before Tacitus Caesar, in, .h.i.sshort
and, inexaet 3(Jcount of the IGe:rm~,ni,,: g;odst interpret summarily at comparable triad:
Jillay

have' a.ttJ~:mpu'!d, to

To the number of the Gods dl.ey adm.it onlydlO&e 'Whom they $ee" a:l1d WRQ5C g90d, d!coo.s they enjPYJ' the Si~'l~, Vulc,an~and the MO(H:~; tbe~y n:1!I,ve not even beard the (Idlers spoken 0[23

E-ven if the term "sun" is indeed in,adeqttate to describe :(1, god of the S.Q:vereigntype such as, Odin, in return Vu.ka'tl. god ·o.f the hammer, m;ay be a translation, certainly fnncdonaUy improper, but ObV:ioU5!Iy ,explicable,. of the continental counterpart of Thor, and ..for a ,god.des5 .offettHity seen by a Rom.an~ the lunary la:belwQu]d be DO more bizarre than for manymaternal or nourishing goddesses 0.1 the 'M:'edit~:rRn,caA wodd ,,""hOI haverec.eived ittoo~from Oriental l:s.'is and
J

tblt Roman Anna Perenna. who fign.res .In.the speculations of Ov:id... F:inally~ more reeenely, among,tbe Sax:o':nsJ 'who were conve'rted, by Cba:rlema,gne even beforethe Eddi!cpoernls, we have were composedi n Scandinavla,J' a, triad isattested whichmus1t, term. for term,be the same as tbatt of dH~S'carndioavlaIl&, The fQrrmu~a of ab..
t,O

Sernde

ju:~adon. imposed on them, wh.ich [s conserved in the Vatican in a


In {'ad these wOird.s!!'~1rGllou:n0C all 'works and words of the devil, ThunlU", Uu(Uen~ and Saxnol and al] ,the demonswho are their companions (hi'ra,genotar).uThe fU:st
nin.t.h..centull' maiu.lscJript .
J•

centains

two of these divine names are the cognates: of Thor and Odin. 'The tblrd name, whese second element corresponds romodern Germa.oic CGe )n(Jcs:Jt~,oo:rnpa.nion.~i"means nothing more than ~~compa.nion of the I

Saxons." W,e have to do with


22, C.

actua.Uyappears only tn. Old. .EngUsh, 'whe:l'ie it has the for.m. Sea"n~i(U. T~b.isreminds us' tha.t.,
a, $axQngodwbo
,23 G.

Tacitus" Ge:li'nlilnia. tha,..g.

caes.ar~ Th:~

G(J~li(!! Wdf.f.~ VI.

lil. ,2.

just as in Rome 'Quirinus (probably -,co"uirino.) was the god of the ,qfl/i:tUes collectivitY:I' so the ,Scandina.vian Fr,ey b dfsltlnrctly~ among [hegods~ the lolhval(l,i "captain, Iit, leader of' men Oir of the ,rOnt~' (Sklrnis77:UU 3,; ./ol'kvlJ;ltJi goba).. Also, inthe culthe is [he ve,':alda,,, ,gt.u'.~ that is the god of dUH fmnplex Germanic nonon (Ge'I. 'W6'lt, Eng.wo:d'd~ Swed; vli1.la" eitc.)~ wbh:h desi,g'm!ate'~elt}'lllologic.a:Uymen. (vre'r~) tlll"ougb. the a~ (pld). These indicatioN compelus ncrto jn~ terpret silence as, absence in otber Gennau1c:r-eaJms where OUi" infur .. m,ati;o,n has even 'ware lacunae.

Judo.European parallels help to explain not only the formula of the composition of the: triad, but also the legend of the initial separa .. tionand war, as, well as the recenciliatian and fusion o,f the JEsir V\ljdl the Vanlr. To be sure', the' Vedic' hymns ,say nothing about '[hi's:r nrlented asthey are t()"vard ,eulogy1.lnd prayel:~ they are b.31'ulyp:roper for recalling the delicate episodes of di.vlne h.:lsto'r'Y"Tll.'e~.atelr~jter,ature, 'the ep:i.cJ'~.nows that the gods Indra and [b~ .N:asatya"wb,ose assccfarlon is SOl necessary and so dOiSe,,\\l eteneverthdess not always joined in one unlfied seciery. By chance an Iranian !.ege:od. ,eonfi.nn.5 that 5everaless~ntia.l Ll';ai&-s 10,£ che·ma'[;eriat in Ellis, sto:ry~w:];d(hp~rob,. ably (lo'lllfs from til e' ~fifth Vcda/~tlle ora 1 COl"',r;ms of legends, 'were pn~i €dkt indeed Indo·-Itanian. OriginilUy rhe gods of tnelU'!lvcr .. V leve], the Nisatya. or givers of health and :prosperity,. ',~rereapart from the oitltergods. Thegods, headed by Jncira. (lox suchis the state oE
i

the d]vln,e hieM'a:rcbY'in tbe-epic)" whoseweapon

Is the' Ughtning" re-

fllsed [hem, '\~ha.'tis 'the :priv.nege' and practiC3l1ypau .0.£ the credentials
of cIiivinhYtip~Ulidpalio[J: in benefits 0.£ the oblations, under It:~llC ~pre· text thatthey we~renot "proper" gods. 'but rather some kind of arti .. sans or warriorswho were too mutbmix.ed in with men ..On rhe clay

\-\lbentheNasatya raised their claims ilnd tried to enter into divhu'! ~oriety~a bltte:r {onfnict ensued, W,e see bo\v this, entrance is sub.stantiruly parallel [0 th~ initial sep.al"~u;jQn nfthe hi.gber JEsh·~tbema,ster:s of 'magic and ]jghto:ingand the mowe,r, Va.nir-gi:ven of richness and fecundity .. In India, let usnote wit:hcmt dela.y,. the het:€roge:nei.ty of the ~wogrOI;Jlp:s of gods ,ctJ.!lddn,or.be explained by the contact and ,conlHtt.o£ l,'eligi!o:ns, at (i,f dlfferent peop~es",as is proposed in Seandinavla for the .iE.sir :and Vanir:M'itI~a"Va1.~u1)a Indra 011 the one hand, the Nas-a.t.ya. on, the and -th er," ,gr01J.peU .':c . -t"h-e.l. .-:-~'~~" -.saBle '.'1"'" " . au __Who__·,'1-·,.-,~a.. e hiers .--~~ 0_ ~og'e: ..," al!. ill.de lII._me -",,·d·, - ith . Ide -, ",m;-' __ h,;;rarCJll~ r'a:.n order, were brcught bl' the Inrdo-lnm.i'a.oconquerors to the bend
e '-.-:C --,--.:~ ,e-

inthe Euphrates aswell as Inso the Iranian plateau and the basin

2.1

,of rhe Indus in, the Ieurteenrhcentury

But the correspondences between Sn(lr:ria.ndlhe ~fal~iibhiira:ta do not: stop there, They extend £0 a group of rare and complex traits\vh.ichpermit the Q0111pa:rativlst to be morepositlve,
B.C.

"\i\re recall frorn the SluU'dskaparmd..l the birth land dea;dlOfK,V3Jilil:: at themomentwhen peace is conclnded between. dle d~v:t:ne adversarjes, they all spit inter the same vessel. Out of 'thisj~plcdg:e 0:1 peace!'!' the gods fashion. a man named KViOlslr whohas exu'aordinatYi abso" lut!ely enafmous" l,visdom.,He travels a bout the world" but two dwa:rl.s ld U him, d:istriblfting his blood among three bowls, mixing hOlley
",~t;,. scotrcoctinethe WIIWl; i'r., dth 11,'1.. am:U;1Il,dU8 'QlleGCJUlg me
,j:", .. c:.:jI,£' _"C'' ':' r ·d· ',,·r'·:,:.:J.·:,,'·_~:~T'-]· mean or poe .. y am wisuom. rnen

tb:ey tell thegods t1:l:at vasir has, choked, wit.h learning, K ing been able to compete withhim in kno1,vle;dge.

D'D

onebav-

The' name Kvasi'J' in this legend h:as~ong been Interpreted: smoe )864' K .. S:ilnrod<_, then R. H,cinzei (lSBg)~, and then E~MQgk. (l9Q3)
have shewn that :it is ,a,n·an(nnas&ic personificatien 0:£ an. i:nt{)'xicat~D:g drink which recalls tbekvas ,of the Slavs.:!' It is naturaltbat the, preciousintoxication given by themead 0,1 po,etryand wisdo.m shonk!: 11l.a:vehoney as an ingredIent.. It is equally natural dla.t a drink fe:r.. mented from squashed vegetables (nan. kvo,s "crushedfruits, wort of those frl1juj'~) should be made to: fe'rmentby spittle. 'This technique is £requentlyn.tte5u~d; it is at least conceivable, aswe are here d,eaiUng with a ceremondal orcommunal drink, s:2'l,nctiouing tile ,agreer.nent between twO' sccialgroups .• lthat 8uch fermentation sh:ould be caused by the spittle of aU concerned .. Furthermore, on: this pomt E. Mo,gk

has gathered sufficienr ethnographicpulI'a:Uels.


"J\lhat is less enmmenis that II:heiutoxicating drink pr-ep~red\fith the spiule, and called UiJCfi1l, to, 'COlter as a. ICO;n;Jpoh:ellt ,of the other intoxicating m:~nk, the mead of poetrYJ' between its two stagesas a. dr.ink sbou.ld take ona ();:lmpletdy different form, dla:t olf'a man or "1" 'L "'11 { ~I ~~ 'h" 'L supermars, an d trns 'b y ttle 'Wh .. 01:. thegods ..-r. j JtitlrbU~rm}o[.l::,L':lS tneme is notonly rare (the ~~King Soma,~'~and rHonysos .. a,g~~eus,~ someZ are tIling else: ag.ain)~:it is. inserted in acomplex an d precise whole, which must not be didocated. Itwas notunder just any eircumsranee, nor w'itb.out des~,gn,.that thIs, man-drinkwas created, He was, created at ,,".",,~, ,:" ", .... ,-'l._ w,ar uetween '1'1 - ...rL~iI,r and 'V····,',-·.·,·-·- .•. .... sea, me ' tne conC~USlOU0 £., ene 'u·' rue .t;']. ane ·3;.0.1[,. I~O ··"'1',1:".,
t '~"f·,'f',i·.·~

pe~c;e.Then he was ,put to death" andhisblood, spread, among the


21 For refereeees sec thebibtiQglllphy In J.~!:1i deVriest 11.l,t'ge:rmatlisclite Re.l;gtlJit'j:S~ gt!~d~i,chtf'!, .~d ,e~l., ::!!:lII'ols. {Berlin: ,"Valter. de G:rtry ter , 19S6-19.S:]}.PP,. ix-'xnx, Abbreviated: AGR!l; (Ure: f'.tst e-ditioin" ]lc::'rl~.u'913,5-'1,9'37. j's A·GJfZ~I),.

LJr \.l

I to;:,

11111\ I

hnl t

MFlh.IIOI

three reelplenes, ~erved to make mother drink, more dUlabI~ inthat it. stUI :In:ehdaties Odin, poets, and visionarles, Let us rerurn now from Scan.din.avia to India, where we have ~eft the hJgher gods and the Na:sa.tya in a. great confUct. Indra already brandishing his thunderbolts againsr the latter, How does this crisis turn out? A.n asceric allied 'Ili'ith Ithe Nasiatya who, as parit of their usual services" have restored his youth to him, cresres, th:rmu:gb t.he: foree of his. :asceticism-the'great weapon of Indian penitent» ..... gi... a ga:ntic man, wbo threaeens to swallow the wodd~induding the reo calcitrant gods. This enormous monstcr"s, name is Muda ~·Dfunk.e~n:nes:s··~he is drunkenness personified, Even. Indra ,gi'vies in" 'pea:eei;s, miade~ the N,asaty.a, definitely join itbe. divine c.om:olunitYJ. :and no a]-· Iusion will ever be made to the d:istiincdon among gods Otto rhe initial conflict. But what to. dowUh tIlls character, Drunkenness, whose t3Sk. is finished and who is,now on]y dan,ger1o'lJs?Tbe one who ,created hhn, this time '\\'4ith the accord ,of the gods, cuts him inti) fou:r piece'S and lris unitary essence is spHt up into the four rthin,g5' that; lit:e:raUy Of igul"atively,t ZUF1e ind:eedbuoxica.t1og: drink~ womea, gam.ing~ and hUJ1ld.ng .. Such is the sturym be read In, tbetbirdboo'k of the Maiha,b.hara,ta" sections 123~ljl:5. ,An Ii"anian legend that I caned attention to in the las,tsf(tioJ), ofmJNai;y~atu:e d"a,rthau,ges25 and wbich Pro.[essor Jean de Menascehasfurther scm tinized~~ that of the H u1"!lt"lkfarilt,.. confirms rhe Iinkage of drunkennesswieh thf:saffa:ir lromtbe hegInniug of Indo-iran,ian. nlythology. Thereader will not bave: failed to notice the analogy between the fabrkations, and the Uq.ui.d:i],tiQns of Kvasi.:r and Mada an an.alogy that it is easy to delimit and d~mne. Here i.s. oo'Wtne: balance sheetwas formulated in my.Loki:
J

,r"". ': i--'l':: ; h·e',n e]'eeces. " ~:Ua,"[1 y L -' .d·'.",n:·, ,-, .c-:·,

'b,-:'w fie __.-0-erman ----file et :'0

_ and! Indic-__m, __ ~:F·.s-i[k~ _ _ _, _ ·r:h . __ _t:!:: __ TC!

ing. butso Js the 'ana.to,sybetween. tl1:eir fundamental sftuadons and res.uhs.Hereare (he (litIer,en.(les~amoingthe Germanic :peo'plesi. tbe tba:l'i:l,c,u~r ··K.vas·~i:s form,@d.ajtertbe pear.eis eeneluded, as as)1mrJ'l[),lo.j th(J,~peact~ and!.he I,s made 1ltJooldingbo 'a. precise r-ealisdc technique, fermensation 'Wi,mspiltIet whereastfie eharaeter ,jD!'unken-nessi"~ iSIru!ideasawe-ap,on,.~ in: ,order lo~orce the gods ~nwiPeace, and be :iis:m~demysticltU1 (w,e are In .JocUa.). by :IDeIoree of' ascetism" w:ithoui -r-,e£et':en:ce~oa te!clmique of f!er~ mentation. Tben •.whe:n "Kvas' is killed and Ills blood divided in thir:dst i.t is ~o"dQil:c IJ)I tn.,(;t gotls\\\iI.bo mad.e hi:m~ but by two dWM£S:J,wbe~ea8 in Indta.it is his creator who aathe order of wEgpds dism.embers '!lDmn.k:eIll.~ 2i5'D:ume:dl~ N(l:i~sa:ut;e d'~(lrtft8t1ge-$ (fa:r.is! Gall1man!.~ 1!l15)~PP.~SJI"':l''I'O' 26: 'Mena5Cet J,ean de). in Revue de l.a: ,S'Qd~tC Suw,t: ,d~£h:tcles .A:i,:I'atiq'uCI$ I (.194·,h
1.."..18.

nesa" InlQ[our pa,lrts.Furtilcr" the d'ismembetment of "Kvas" is,sbn:ply qtla:n,~'lMlive" ~,uto three 'homolgencm.l!sI P21rtS (three vessels !'\(!ceivingthe b~oLld,aU of the same 'value, though, ol~ehlappens to be larger than the, 'odlers)~ ~,vhe~~eas of"Drunken~)~ss~~ ~,5 that lftla1U{J;d:u:e, ,~nlO' d,~JIerentiated. parts (four sorts of drunkenness), In Gernian1c legend~ h,~s simply as a lying exp~,!;H!,nation matih,e, d.'\"la.ds afterwards ten thegods ,of an jnlo!~ crable fO'ai-Cc (.of ,~ purely i1deJlerclual' 'kind)" 'Out -of 'prop,p:rUon withthe human wodllil. whkh 'tv()uJel have led to the suffecarion I!)f ··,K.,v:a:s,'" whereas' ~n the Indian legcm:~ the exccss or JOl'ce (ph,'sicaf, brura~) ·o[ Drunkenness j!J, .aul.hent,iclln,y bu:.o~e'rnble, inm'ln.pJlib~eli.!dth the Iife of theworfd, and. as sum. Ieads .authenaically to. his -being dismembered .. F:inally the 'Germa.ndc Iegendpresen ts" Kvas," as a be'" elae',wl' fr·om the begiun ing:, wcl ~ dwsposed toward luen-aS:{!If't Qr martyr--endhis blood, pr-operly: treated, [Jmdutf;s tba.tmos.t valued thing.! tbe mead of pOGtry and wisdom. where~J:s~n.ndia! "Drunkenness' Is, a tna.le/adorfrom I the beginning andhis four fractions are ehe scou:rge of mankind. -AU dl[s is true, but it~l1oilld. only prove, If therewere need of it, that India is not 1c cI.and and ehat thetwo stories were told .in civilizations that :~llOOlUenil. and {orIn had dcve~.o.pcd in almost d.iametrically oppnsite d~~ rectiens, Nota.bJy thelrideologi:es of insobdetybad. Elccome just abou.t. inverse, There ,e'Xhune've.rthele',~iSa ,((lim,mOll pattern. It is at the moment 'when dii"lne society i:!i with diffiCtllhy but de6nidv,e:ly joined. by th.e adjuncrion of l~he representatives of fecundhy and plosperht.y to thoiSe oiE sovereigntyand [Qcr(;"{:.~tis. at the moment '\'.vbenthe two hostile grG'UpS make t1'Ji.dr peace, that a character is anHidany created incarnatingUruf £orc,f of iIJ,(GxicHting d.rJnk Of of insobd,cty ,a.nid.~:s named a,h.el" It. \.vh{~n r.hisfo:r-te ]li[OV,eSto be excesstve for the cOl:1cHwJ]:s !(},f: this ,..,.orld.-'£o:t goocil, or [QTevi]-me pe.r.son thusmade is lhA:~ k~n,erl" and. d.hd,ded.into d;tree n or [OUI' :i:n{:o:xkadng parts that either ai:d or ihre'ilt€'nman. Thispattern is ()I,~gi:n3J. It,IS not m,etw~ith~,uywhere in the world but in these two cases. In addition,. it~ principle ls easily ullllde:l\5,(ood, U one' pays attention m [be social c(~nd[d,cms and concept.l()ns whid~ :mUcS,t have (Y'JI:::i:stetiamong IndQ~E~lrOpeanpelo:!.)]es.. In ll)artcular, i.n'toxication under various names and shapes would ha.'lie beenof use to al] three soeial fnn('.do!~s. On the one h-iil,ndi,~t is one of the fundamental st~m.un itlthc ~if,c of a. sorcerer-priesr and .of a n.uJ1t.cr·'wa:rrior in this ,cultuT.e~and, ........~", oth .... hand ,~":'I'~: ... ~~·l·""l·'p'~ t".. .... ,,,,' eh at t[-],.... t""¥IfIii""-:r- Cm-,i""'st 1f'1l"" "W~'IL:; n,u,_ on, -l,,'\,;., c:ultivau and pn:p:are. It Js tluJls: natUFa~ th~m.the ~·birth'· of~.l'}.toxJcation .uld all dlfngac~ w.hh it:!ihouklbe ;s~ttJa.t'fl:d that moment Qrfmy:tb,QI'Qg:iat
i

we

'UII[IJ

'II;J"tI.":";~1

'j.

1Il!l.

I!i}"

p.

.'

,,,,Y~~,IIl,~lll

""'

......

"';~

il:;.~.t. ,''''''_ . .l!lI;lQJ~'~J

h];JlIII~_"':

iIh.

,~I!W'~"IU.iIi~.

,-_,!W(-

.. Ghl'

of fecundity:an.d nourishment on theother, 'There is a. p:ro£m,md.harmor:ry between this s(ldom.yth.ologjta~eVJent and the a:ppearance of i~lto::iL~(.atiDn~ and it h;. noa superftuoas to remark here UHiil ne~the'r the PQets Oil dle llrl',a.luibharatanor Snorri could 5ti]~_ have been a~ya'reofthis, whkh lends a .strange ..air to d"e~r tales, For the poets '0.1 ch,e Maha.bhdr(l!la.,. dle Nasalya are noio:r~g,e~r l13t !hey l\'ere :JI.~ the dme of rhe Viedi:c compilatiun, typka1 W c:an.ontled. J;e'prcse:nta.dves of the third. lunct~on., Howe,ve~1:'well Snorrl :in h:[ij. "ario'us: ue:a:dses p'0iftra:ys, the differ.i:ug eheraciers of Odin., Thor.. and

1· ~... ' - ;....- Wl",n.!iOCle~}•. 1 ~.s,~On)le(~ ",~".;J)U-OiHg~l eeon ,c;·~""C.,, ,--,' ann.~ 't~ .'unton . ~,,- ,Ii. '" - :11 .. '~, '-;.,-,-. ]]sto:ry c·,-'l ".-~ ~ ,""' r u,laoJ,on .--- _lI.lIC z , prie:sn:and. 'war,!I"'iors rheone ha:f)d wid~ Iarmers and all tbepower.s

on.

0 .[~.

LJr \.l

I to;:,

11111\ I

hnl t

MFlh.IIOI

Frey, he su.rely does not understand we reconciliation 0'£ ehee A!'.siramI the 'tanirUil myth c.Qllceming the origin. of·tbe· hill:rmon:k.l·(JS coUabora'tiou 2 of th.e diverse. social fiUllcdons .. 1 This cerrespondence Is not
tIle·

on]y

Q!.Df.

We have also a Roman

of ttl,e ,entire story. In Rome~ as '1Ie· know~ t·here 150 nQmoremythoiogy~ and thee.arUesE. '!OTlC is deposited in.tbe epic of o:rigin8'IF'urtber~ tbe"com:p]ete: ~ocieef· wh:ctse(lieati.on Interested tile very· mauer~of-:Ea.et Romans could only be their own, It is, ill fa,et the ttaditienabeut the birth of the (3ft)' ·wbich offers the Gehnani.s.t the :paTaUel of ,..... bleb w.f~·5peak. Rom.C'; .says the legend, was ccnstituted by the union o~ twqgronps of men, the: purely mascallne comp~nions oftbe ,de'mi:g-od Renmlus, :mail\ta.iners 'Of rhe:twclrnise$ of Itlpiterand strong :in their milita1y'val.OT ,and the Sabines of Ti tus T:a.tj.us;~rien farmers and" tbro,ugb thelr W o.m,en'r the OII]Y ones capable o£ giving fecundity and durability to' the nascent socie'ty. nut the happy union of these two ccmplementarygreups.Hke that of the A:sIr and.Vlmnir ..w3s brougbta.bout 3Jtthe conclusion of a dIfficult and long-contested war, in the course of\ .... bich each adversary in turn gained the: iUppeI hand. 'Theunion was affirmed ill a scene. and by means, that would wen fllustrate itsu.functlonal specialry. ~·The Sabines, dle 0;1100Q:oes.tne,a:d.y won by occupying the capitol, buthow did th.f!y ,occupy it?" By bribing Ta,rpeia, .a :{vo'nan·~with gQld;_uf'wilh ceord '1"'n··g·":fi ~-_,="",U.l,~ "'r'. version '_'_'" L,....I·""-rin ·t· ':0'e- 'b.atele 0-' ·f· i,,1:1'~ ('0- r--u-· m-~'cnl""~ ~',", __~~ iI"I iI'~"'.l!1I! vl;,r~,~ ·a,· " .. · when ..his :ar:fIl'Y .:fled.ln disorder .. Rnm.uills :n,ot only restored order, btu eve,n dreve. the Sabine arm out of the capit()l back to their' campo .HOt'" d.id he achieve this r'e.guh~ ,\Virb his eyes and hands to tbe.skYJ he addj:e:ssed himself to the s()v,ereign Jzt'tn'·ter" reminding hjm ofb.is • .• ". OJ' . • .C· d J' . premises, lmp.l!(lflng:amrracutous .s'Uspe:ns~on:otpanlC; and juprter that confirms themleaning
J , ....'" I'D .'!k',""V, U'_-,I L-,'U" ,_--_~!I;J\;-:JI 'l

tradition that presents. anew pattern :for the events of the 'far between theJEsir and lUl€!' Vanir gJrve:nby the sibyl in the V().luspa, one

-I_

~:.

,_ _

,lll.l.

'__.

_-._ .

-"

granted it. It i,snot:able that the twoeplsedes ·.of thewar .of the two divinle dans inthe "{llrJluspd correspond to these 'two,.\vith the same fug.ctiona.IEeatu_l·es. The :ricna.nd voluptuous Va:llir send anlon;g the of g:o:l!l/"wbo corrupts their heaets, especiaU.y those of the women. Further ..Odin ,throw's .his spear in til gesture tha:t. the sagas blow weU,. wh.ere it regularly has: the effeet .of throwing the ,enemy army into a [ala), panic. In. the co:nHict oflndra and the Nasatya whi.,ch was treated at ~ome length above, and wh::ich d,Qesnotathi.eve die' dignity of aw.ar of peoplea.rbe conduct of the twopa.rti~s, is no less dearly .significant

£Sir as a scourge thewoman called Gullveig~ ~·imobriety(or power)

oR their functional ]evels. The Nasar:ya. have as 'their. :aUy rheaseetie QY'av'a,u~ who,m tbey ()bta,Jned by n;!:sto:ring his yout:hand v'ea'Ui', ..
and. by pennitting him to keep ,b:is;UJife' hom tbey ha.d[ :firsti.ntended. w to take fur themselves" And it, is with bI'andi.~bed tbun.derl)I,6lt. that Indra responds 'to their audacity, Even if all thepicturesque details oE Snorri's narrarisehave not found equa1ly suiking correspondences outside Scandinavi:a (I am thinldng of rbe stoeies of Heenir and the decapitation of Mi.mj:r)~those just recitedshould sufficeto establish that the l\i~ar(.IEthe A!.sirand theVanir :i,sind.eed a mytb that is olde't than the G.crw:ankpeopJ,es" older than the dis.pernilon of their ancestors and £hoseo£ the Jtalic, Indo-Iranian, and. other Indo-European peoples, It iii amyth wl1:O'se apparently strange elements stiU preserve, though not funy understood by it:snarratar.s.I1 the complex elements and .nuances of a "lesson' on. the struct.ure of Indo-Em;opean societies.

C:HAPT.ER
I,
,I
I

a.

2,

.' . '._,al" ., 'd' "J", -'.' . . M·'1.·agle, W',-',··" aD: ,us ~ti,'..·ee. Odi,D and Tyr
'!II

'I -r 'I . . , t wousI-d"-b..e a...engct]',1Y tas k.' even 00


I ·-~'.';i:' "',"-1\-1.'-:' :'~, ,'_,i' '_',',' ,-

... 1 present ,R. bare I _dre Inventory,o f' W.l,at 'thie' litennytraditi.on tells us 3!bout thee god Odin. All'1'vecan hope to do is describe themost importan,tllspe£:ts and state the most char~icte:r.b;ti~' Iacrs, It: ls.itnportant to note that thereis 110 palpable differ'1.1',
'1'-_,", ;;_.

I~I"-~---

->'-_"':'_';-:"--"~'--':.

:--:I,J

','_"':',-!

ence, in any case no cenrradicden, between the image of Odin formed.


froma reading of the vari 011S, Eddie poems, and that formed Irom the works of Snorri, The' Odin of Saxo and. of the sa,gas~historica.l aswell asmmamic, is emi,ily eXlllained from this ~tartin,g point.
Odinis the head efthe god.s: their first IIdng" aswe have seen.fn the bis.toridzing narratives [~hatlet him live and die on earth. In the m.y'tho,logy he is th eir only king' 11l1tU the en d. of tim,e.and. eense-

quently tbeparticular ,gnd Qf human kings and. the pt'ote,ctoJ' of their pO\\lTel';. even wheQ they glory in being descended ('rom someone else .. He Is also the g:od who· sometimes fiequires~:beit' blood. in sacrifice, 'I ~ .• '1 .' 'IL· ",[: df ~".' Eor It 15 atmost eX!C~lUirve~ytiO t'I'" saerrnces aremace n~it(lngs rum .1ttt w'bose power ls no 'longer sufficient to ma'k~'the crops prospe'f, In his eriences ,'. v;.i_.! St U .I;~.;, ",.~ '..i.~ .nl'\,;r , v".J~~'~':J q"u1<ll:;',I\''V ch l-<lIIf~ ofthe g'.nd .. '1-'[' ;"" . m,...,. who exp=''';''''_~,.,'''''_'~_'li..'~~ m ..... rr.f .... -ln..;l!'~.l1, the great drama of divine history" the murder of his sun Btild.e'f'. I-Ie ... ..... .:l. I ..,.... father an... as de, f-·.. . ,', b ' :oresees ift.~_'ut ea.nnot p'rev'entit; ' '!,. o:ep,lores. it as .a ~. Itt atner a mastes of the' ""Todd, and it. gives, rise GO; his part to a. confidence spoken into the ear of thecorpse, a mystery the texts have .respected. 'He is finally the father of aU the gods.~while his own ancestry Iinks 'ii,~, . c,l .,' ,'_ ord mil.giants. '. mrn to t~leprunor ,. ~ ,.' ., .._ He is the ,clalrv~:ryatU Qne.Thi~ gift w'as assured to him and :$ym~ bolically expressed by am,Utihllti(mwhich.. would seem to havebeen
,j'.,

"

.,«"

,,""jj'

"!!iwr,-

'_ ..,-,

11:",

[J.;:I'

I.-:V~~;

"I

,L.'~U

~' __

!p-

_·.~V'

'.

from the plea,ge or Va1f:a:me:r (Od.in} _:_• '. .1 Moregene:raUy, he: is the high magician. He' submitted to a severe :initiadoin~a "near death," w,bich. has been plausibly i.nte:rpreted (ll. Pipping, ]g,.!l~) in the light of ;~bam;2uibtic practices of Si.beria~ "I k:now~" says. Odin. hhn;self.in the ,Hdv'o:mdl ,(SitS'" 13~1'40): ;af"w!f'j:i aUg;l5ts~. ,.,. V
on the wind .. attered ~.r~e b n~ne fun nigb 15, 'Wou:ru:le(] w~~b tbe 5;pe:1u and gh':ento Odln~ :myscU to my5el£~ on. m,i},it tree ofwhkh R()n~k.no"vs,

~lt vei tee, ·O·5inn. ] know ex~cd.y. Od in, bval" :bill, au:g:a £all:: 'where Y0li,lf ,e,ye was hidden: .1 iuum mJ~:[aMbn~s bnumi.,~ in, du~fmnous fQurua~n, 0,£ Mimir."~ Df'eccr m~QtiMhnir ]v[imir drinkstaead each morning ,., h ., marsull. '.;1!!'eri.~n

I knocwtha.t. I bung

geid 'LlIldai5:r

nretr allar

l'.liO',j

oc ,gennn o'i5:[d~

~jrllli \5.ialfo.m m~r~ i ~fY:im :meJ:t,i,J, 'eer mangivdl::.! hvers hann ·af rotum. renn,

whenee the: roots (iome..


iWC

VifS JlI.~ci1lmic sreldo

They did no~ comfort me w:i.th. the

103.1

no,r'li.vltb

d.rinting

hQTP!.

Iglanre,d
fen ec .a.pu ~~lian. Find:ml.H6e5nip, Ham ec • • •

d.owm~:

a-Ylcg O;ij: their :n:a:mes,,' t . I ·[eU ba.ckdo,wn. from, th~r.e. Nine ml,gilt'Y song'$' I took • • .~:

1 ~QQ~UP d~~ :)t~nesJ'

Therunes, the ma.,gk Qf letters and. of themost powerful secrets; are. in fact the creation 0.1· din. Through them, he knowsmore than O a.ny other being on e,ar:tb-excep~. perh,aps a. certain. g;ian[~,\ybose even ,glieater age bas givenh:im much experience, and w.ithwhom~acoord-, i~g co an Eddie pqe:m~OdIn goes one daytQ U~sthisw.fsdom (:Faf-

p'f1J;onismti:O. But, besides: ~be runes .. Odin masters all L"Orm.s. of: magic, It :is'uTorth recaUing bere~fr,om the histaricizing- narrative of the Ynglingasllg'a (chaps.6-7)~ the idea.sfonn.ed around the end o,f'

pa,ganisrn ~boutlhi5 ralems,


Cha'p. 6.. Of Oth.trJf'S Skills .. h~s ~.aid. Ith truth drat wbenMa~6thJn w came the N',(I:r"tld~nds~and dlar wibhim,. they inuoihlced and ~u,ght, the: we skills practiced, by men fora long time. aftenvards. 6duD. w:a5,the m05it

to

1 Eddn 2 EdJda

(K,Wl,n)ip.,'~d. Edda (BeUows). p. ~3. (K!uhn),.p,,~.O<j d., Bd'da (BeUows).-pf ..6Q-,61;.

'promine.nt among them

Giealt~y-then!asol:l~for thatare jheserhe was so handscme and noM.e toleok ,~.tW:!hen sat among hls friell:1:m that it glnddenc:dthe he'aJ.rts of be all .. Bu:t.lMh'e,n be w:as 'engaged. in "W,a:rfar:ehe :s.h.owifld his e:ne'm~es a grim :aspe£t:. T,ne reasons for d:d~w~re w,a,t"lu:! knew me :arm by w.hddlll:,e: oou1d shift appearaneeand bod.y any 'way ,b'C'w,lsbed,.For 3JDotber maner"be spoke :50 'l;l;IEU a.ud so sm.oothly~:hat aU,li,Iho beard, h~m. bell eved aU h.e ".,,]~'_.U, TOY"" ·w.,.. ." ~'ni 'r' '1"10'"'''''''' ~'" ..lJ.)A"-n .• '~"r.. ',_ Pl,,,... l··!J" wll' at .~.,. ,..,.,~, UlL!!~ ·C '".hi? ... ,.,., ... , A."II ,ll, h"'"~·r1iO·,·""·"'· n '_',,",' caUed skaldship, He 'andhis temple p.t:iestsar.e called .oo.ngsmiths" because, that arthegan with them In the nerthemIaeds 6mi.n was ab:~i~ cause to b.is e;f:lem.leSi~Q'be b~;nd or deaf or fearful in battle, and-he rould.cause til/cit $wo:rds I~O cut no betterjhan wands, His OWl'} men went to' batde without roats.of mail and. acted. ~ikemad. dop Of wohes. Tl1eybil their .sMeMsand.w,er-e as suong as bears or hulls, Theykilloo peo:ple~ and :neidlEf fil1E! mOl" irol:l. iaftected~hem .. This :~:!l caHed. bene'fte'h"" rage,
l~n~ .. 1t.1.U,I~j~ , ,,'
I

aDit :from ,himthcy Iearnedall the. $,kin.$~ be. cause he was. tb,c fir:st to know dl.ttn. :Now as-tow hy be washenered so
~:I'

L-;

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I•.

,~i;J!:)

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.,~

a,

Ch~p. 7- om·~n"s.Magic. amin (ould shift his,appe~rn-nce. Wtlen he did so his body would He there as :if hewereasleep ,ui dead~' but .hehimsflf~ in all instft'f"[' in ~h'" s!ll."n'" .... a , 'b'[f,,{ er "",n·wmc-.,'ila· .. ~.~tl ""~"" sereentd.:,,~,ent f W··' __ ~.t"'.r'"""'- .. ~~ "'_... ..., ~ Ii! ,~J;~_ •.• ~ ', r '!. to distane oou.nu.ies on his or other m. n's errands. He wasalsoabfe e with merewolrds to e:x'tjngu~sh,fill'esj (()l !cil:~mwesea~ and ~.O It~lln tliewinds any w.a:.ybe pleased, Re had -as~~1JipcaUed Sk(t:hblalh:nil(' Wlt11 which he :s~:Ucd. over great seas, l~.c:oli.dd.be lo~~ded together like a doth. ,O:th~!O!,ha.d'Wid, b~m Mimi:r".shend, wD.i;C:h w.ld. b.h:n.many t:i.ding~from otherworlds: and. at times he ·wou~d.caU to HEe dead men 'nut of the groit1!nd,.o:r he wo·u:ld si t down und~:rm~nth:at, were ha:nged. On th.is i'I,e" count 11!e 'was (:,dted. Lord of G.houl~ or of ehe H,~ng;ed. He had t\'ilO ravens on whom be had. be-stowed. Ute gift .of speech.. 'Tbey .flew far ahdwlde 'over the Iands and ~g.ld hirn m.runy ddblgs.By these means he became 'very w:lse inhis JOJ'e. And. aU these sliUs be taught witil thosezunes am.ds()ngs
.. ,'.,,,, .. '.' '. ...~ .• _c·~

whichatle caUed magi,c songs [&atm:s]. :For this reason tbeJEsir Me called Othin had tb,e; istiU whiCih gives grealpower and. 'which. be pl'2'cdood

'tV(lrkers (11,£ Magic ..

:hIs power. M01i,t oft:besesk.ill& be; mught

.friends b.ad. fahih. in him and. in pri,es[s. 'They were nexl! to him in ::.1.11manner of knQ"wledge:1i.[ild. sorce:ty. 'Yet millly others. learned a ·great: (leal of it; hence sorcery spread f::a:.F and wide andcQin t~ntled Eor a long t.ime~3
famous .. Hiseaemies '[eiu~ed,bim~andm~¥

h:~msel[ H& caned .seldl, [:!iOlicery]" ,and.b,mean;s, of It be could knOl,V 'the 'ate o£ me'D and predict ~ents tb:~lthad nQt yet come to.passrand byil he rccJ!I;ddalsQ i:n:Hj:,£ d}ealh or mi:\'jEortuncs ;or sickness, (i'l' al.IJO depdve people o.f theirw.h~s '0\[' ;s.tre~ngtb..a:nd give" tham to otllfl's.Buttbjs, :s.orcct¥ lSi a.1t:~ tended bysi!:tch~,,,ickedllie~s that :manly men. c(H:lsideroo :i,t ~b:une[l.d.to practice it,~and so itwas ,taught to priest:csses. . Oi[bJnknew a.oout ..aUhJdd.en rreasuees, and he kll:f"WS.Ud:ii, magie spells as would open for himtbe' earth rmd mountains and rocks and bur.~:al mounds;:arnd. wi U1I, mere words he bQiilUd. thase who dweUed. ,~n.them, and. went in and ,toc»k whathe\\~anted.. Ex.ercising these iMi:'tS he beGune:ve:ry

me ~jcrificjal

of Odin's Is Inseparable from theno less mysteriousimpiralion of poetry. In 'the preceding. chap,~er~ the reader has seen howthe mead of' wisdom and. poeny 'Wasp'f()-; duced, which., thanks to his shape changingpoweF&l fell.into the ,ex-' elusive possession of Odin. In factJ poetic genius depends upon Odin~ it is be £or examplewho confers .it on, the hero Sta:rka.df:n. 3;, rather sombre st{l{ry,simuI:taneously 'w:i.tb the energy of the' ,saul:, $'if(lf,C'tl :~he:rum:i" n,on.sohtm I'ltdmi fo'rU,tudinc':J sed ,e,ti'am ,C(Jno,'eudorurn taT" ndnum,peritia iUushi,avit} One part 0,£ Odin's talents as enumerated try Snorr! applied especiaJly to w~l:r:p'[talysis of the !enemy trQops~ •'madness' , :increasing by tenfeld the norm,alpm,vers of 'the favored ,soldiers. The sag.as shoW' him, often, In addition, as arbiter of comba€s~ s.natching away with one ,glfsture victory Irom tbosewho dl0ugbt the', had it, condemning to death the warrior whose arms be touches with hi.$ own, The saga.s, also .~hQ'whimthrowing overthe doomed ;army 3. spear that marks its, dest,i:ny. Some: .of the later sa.:g4s gram bil1l,:Jstonjsbi:ng devices, such as e. kjnd ,of 'Inuhj,ple :projectile, a. bowstring ,a,l'tinery~ ,,\fith. which he disCE,eetly insealls himselfbebi.nd~he lines .of those he fav;ors,. ~!HIs men" are of twolcinds.First there are bands, 0'£ benerkir W,3rriorrh who seem to snare his powers of' shaped1,angillg andmagic, and who in the sagas de,generateinto cOllliil.panie.s of bt:iJ,ga,nds, w:i:thout morals .a:ndwithoUI!: shame, the terror or peasant men and women, and the leHor~.I!OU, of the poor La,ppiS,wbo no doubt idenri6ed, them with the type of .one of the most feared spirits of their foltlo~e:.the sl'(do "steel men .. · Tben thereare the Jl)obles1krughdy and charming types, the •
M '

'Wer5ee :dHit this, mysteriouswisdom

"Odinic"

heroes, o.f who.m sagurd. of th,e Scanclin:avian Nibelungen

:cyclei5 themost celebratedexampje ... Odin does. not abandon such heroes at the hour of their death. PoOrone dling" it i's often he 'wbo~ onthe battlefield, chooses those whoa are to' fall-and. toO ngl!.1l':e in this harvest :is,the o:,PPOSih! of mlsfortuae, His, femiuine'emi:s:sa.ries., the Valkyries (ON valk'Y~itltj those who cboose, k/j6sa,the dead in, battle.~ val)J ga.the:r them 'upa.£'t:e.rthe battle
d alL. tllln~pott
L· ~ ··1 1:"h' ]. ~:l t~,lJem to-a reS~:illg p'~a,ce~W'J.iJ.(;_ ,1;5, fiotun.ciergroU:fl.u.-

wh.ere they lead, ,et,ernaU, the only lHe that i:5 worth anything in their eyes~ the Iife of battle, The: Gri'nzn,ism,dl (stts,., Bll-.t3) des.rr.ibes this residence (J.f' the god mud his fa.vorit:es",wb() are h,ence.forrth the einile'r" jar' "great (unique.) warriors," This, ValhaUa is entered. nfter crossing 'a.la.r;geand nois,ydver and clearing the v,alg:rinil, the old gate lljihose lock only a few men know how to open:

G ODS OF

TUB",A'.NmENT N':ORmMENI r

Fimm b'undru~ dura. ec um.66rom. Itogom. :SV3. hygg ec at V'alb,Qlloyera:: 'tta h ur:1drll~ einbcdru :ganga, 6r eino:n:t dutow~
Jliicr l'elr f;~r,i!latvi.t,niat
.J~ __ ,

e i.ght hundred w,arrlors

I chinK there are at Vatlhona~

",to :1'1,'"a."'~""·1·l'~1fIg-,th'~ esper "te final


_ . 1~1,.....:
liT' ~ I__ '_I'~'"
"', :' .• :._,. 'iii.::.

1,!lega.
-

go '000 t .0 f eaeh door;. when d:I.i!,:~ygo Hl f'gIn lh,e \~oU:.1!l


L. ... !U,i,.l.!I!. _:\_" __ ..

",11 !IjJ;. ""-~,;'

'IL.' ... Q,ilb,.

,1J,lII,LI

j",

·,t-,'le ~~~. t,
c ."

~1!.,. g, ... 1~.lJ!.~, '~,

'n-,d' v' ,_":'__ ,",1· ~ ~~ ",:f- the world ,


,';
_:,'L;, '"', ,

the heroes indulge con.s.f.antly in battles among themselves which are widlO1lilt con~iequence~ since wou:nds can no: longer kill them, and. wld,ch d~ey interrupt only for delicious banquets, No deubt these represematlens o.f the otherworld, and. that 0.1 Odinrjeling' his ,eigJbt~ legged! mount.fhe demonic Sleipnir, are the basis 'Of modembeliefs, es:pedaUy aue:sted innenmadt and s,Quthern Sweden, where "Odirs" is the leader 0:[ the Fantastic Hunt, During the' times tha,t Snorr:iJ re ..

pott:ed~ hope of'going to V~dbaUagave rise to aritnal "Usage'hat ast sured thisat Ieast ro8it~for Itcould at the last minute' make the most sedentaryman the ~'qt,aIof heroes. In. order eo ~'gQ to O.r.Un,," itt: was :suftident to mark oneself before death. l,vidl the sign of Odin, that iS ~o receive a, cut from the point of a spear, Equally :effidellt but more wor ~'''~i 'W':'as '.,. ot 'I"~l' ".II 'l 'loP afr ....· t,],,~ ' '01:- ]·)1j1. 'Vii.. ....L~I~ I~.I~_I~I, oft he 0"0' .\..I.~., ..,.f. t hlef ,', .ds n'..... \' .. __ n " ~I~" "''?(I~-'i~ _men could l'~lang themselves, Among others, the-hero Hadingus did, :tbis. The character of Odin ia complexand not v,et'y reassuring, His face hidden under bls hood, in his somber blue cleak, he goes, abotn, the w.a,rId" :\j;inndta,neO"us~y master andspy, It happens thathe betrays his believers and hispf:lotegesl' andhe semetimes seems totake pleasure in ~owing' 'the seeds of fatal discord, as at thebe,gintdr:t.:g of the Vgl~ ,n~n,gasagi'1 In [hes,agas that deal "'Ili~h the lucklessYnglingar:! or ..
J
J!III
~.~J

'IIJ~."~"",,c.,;

)Ii.,:.~'"

-...!-'''''~~

Pi... '" '!!u,~'~"'~~

'~J;_"""''''"'

r1O.#j.

...

"!ljl",,,-

~ .' ,

mote gratuiwusly with King VI,:ka['r~ is the Igodpa:r excellence 'Who he receives or even requ:il'e:s the sacrifice of Innocent: men, This is an anciens trait, ~()r T(lldtu~ remarks that thee' G~rmans reservelnrman victims; for l\>~ercurius-i'Wo:5al1;a:zwhn(i!' tlleyappeatse their tWIt) other great gods, Hercules and Mars, wirh animal victims, Flnallythe .fe~'I' ,dialogue poems ofthe Poetic Edda"vhere sarcasms are employed; SUChf1!Si the HdrbaroslfdtJ which pits Odin againstT'hor~ and the Lokasenn« where Odin, Iike the other g:ads",submits [to the malicious anusions of .Lok], enable trs to catch sight olollher lessglorious or

ambiguous traits of the god, notablyof

a lascivious order,

HIS neeessary to come all th!eway downto modern f:OUdo.r~ tofind

the phanunn ,ofOdin, linked wltb any cf:rtaJnty topractices or beUefs. conce;r:njjn~g rural and agricultural tifeJ, in the usag'e c)f narnes~ fOJl' ex·r;·Eddu(Kuhn), pp. ilh-rti:2 ~cf.Edda (BeUow6)~p, 9S,

am,ple,~~orthe "last sheaf.'"Earlier

there were only atEew nh:kmunes


:3

fot' Odin, of uncertain Interpretanon,


!"i

few place-names 'where his

name .isco,mpon,nded 'w,idl that Q,f field,,' " the sa,crificed kh1~note.!l ,now!evet, that. they are ,ki'ngs-in caJ~e of a bad harvest, finally,the ,s:.inglemen,{iofi of at s2ltrifice til gr6tJrllf uIDr growth,t to obtain ,good ,barwests", In th.e Heim,skri,t~gla~ Snorri states IQrmaHy that in the course of solemn. libations the pagans offen~d:tOil/8m 'to dilereutgods for diEferentpU'rp()S,es~:tb~y drank to Odin "that he mfghtgrantvic .. :[o,c- -c-,cc'd,- "power to ,-1"", ~•• , ";o:h,', . •• ,1 Jo:ru '" ',- A"?'~',, " -;"'0 ,,:'0 __11' au, me Jri..mg~r en'" &0 'N","'i,.c" -,.;I' ann E rev,- to c tam '~1)od g,harvest and peace": the distinc:tioQ between functio.lHi, wa.sp!',fcise' andprobebly broke down :only dUf,ing the dIssolution 0:1 pagani,5w,.G
1 "'i,,'-,-' , ,,',.t

Unt.il the last 'quarter (:'Ii£ the prev,iou's, «:Ilt.ury, n.eitber theensemble :nO,1; any si~g]:eeleme'n.t of Odin·s dossier had 'been seriously examined, The, handbooks liOl.i ted themselves to t;aking' note o[ his eminent p~,idon and his multiple activities. In 1876 ashort account of I 39' pa,ges~ the doetoral thesis of' tbeyoung Dane Karl Nikolai Henry Petersen (I849-Jl'Bg6J~1Initiated a crisis that .ha.ssub&eqlJJendy

only iutensifi.ed..PeEienen was an archaeologist. Even if he, MseIy de~


voted the rest of' hiscareer to the e&cavadon of ruins of castlesand dlnrehes. and the: ~tudy of medlevalrelics, be still bad ashis begin~ nings a. l'eViobnio:nary intuition that he wuable to support with

abundant and ,strikingar,guments,,, Odin, he thoug,ht~w;as·at late: corner to ilorthet'U .re.Ug.i,on ..From anoeher pgint o[vi,e,,,, than that. ,oflBernb:a:rd SaUD:later. he guessed similarly (p. 1107;, ft. 1) mat!'the Iegends on tbemigraUon of Odin to the north may contain a :kernel of truth." This' thes.is made a.deep impression on. the :scbohuly w.odd~ "scholars being/"&aid Jan. d,c Vries 'wjui1y~.'i~partkulady i'ncHned too any hypothesis, whiehattacked (he odginaUty of the' heathen deities," Sinoe then, 'w'itb. many variali'Qn~J.tbe~·l1eductioni'l ,g,f Odin has become a
C01Um,QfJI d},eme for e~e:!rc:i5'1!:~in

Ge'l'I:1'1ru1i,ci!itudiles~ leading UpllO t_he 1946boOiK by :K.ad Helm"Woda,n) A. USbf'e',z:l'Ung ,un,dWanaerung sf'ines

K uUes.8, One-gronp of radicals continues to main taln that: Odin is not

indigen.():u.s in ScaQd.inavia., but thatt he-is, a Iarepenetradon there, ccOMi.ng,from the South. The Ciitl:u~r roup grants; that be may be a, gQd g w.ho,is, both Scandinavian and. German, butmaintalns d;l8J,i[ his oI'ig;in;s
Henryr'fltil~n" Om N,(lrd'l?o~mC$' G;r.u:~r:tl?r:kl'l'ls~ og'Gudt':tt'o 'I l:led~d(jtd~ 1lltJ: antijmltiih ,Unid,~;r~¢,gelse{Cope.ohag'!:I1e- 18f6~,. ,8, Karl H.ellm~Wodan, A!wbi'ei.lun:.g find W•.Hd~,11g ;sei:He~.Kul,re.:f, G'.i~iI'ln.er
'J Kai!.'I, Nikolai

6 Hei-msk.r,iRgla (Honander:) •. p. :101 ('"T.he Saga ,of Ha.kon the Good."~ dlap. 1.4;).

Beitf'ii/g-e

.ZfU

deu.ts-c,h~ ,:Plti'lol'o'';:l!"85~

in these areas was hnmhie:, nearlyinsignifi.cant.., Only later, In some locaHty~ did he ;r;e3Jpthe benefits I()I an astonishingpf'omotionwldch wou~d spread rapidly thr-oughQut the ~e~ter 'piiU't Oof the Oennanic world. Nrnneof the foundations ,of this themy would seem, to be: firmly
established,

is unreasonable, dlf:y sa.y or imply~ that, the Germamicpeoples~ among whom roy,ulty had no great span of influence and who lived
]t

divlded into a gl'ea[ number Qf tribes" could have ceneeived on their own of a poweduJ god·:king and of a univ!ersal sovereign. Tbal toulcl only have occu:rr-ed as a reR,ection ,of thegreat kings of neighboring empires, Rnme oreven B,yzanthnn. Thj_s,e'Voh;rti01TIl~it is aUeged, had alre:ady begun in the time .of Tacitus as indicated in dlaptJer 0 of the C1ermluzia where ~fe[\cl!Jl:r:iu9,.·"lN·(H:Sana:z presented as the moot henIS ored oftbe gods and in chapter ·39as tbere:giwtof om'nitu1!; dens of the ,SeIUIIJOEle,s,. And this could refer only to :s,rdcdy lecalizedIaets, along th...,. ..].l' ; 1'11'" ... nd be ~"'·e~'·' i'~"'iI>,1ii'.rb:: "'''o,d I:.:LL"'.... .,·d- ~~. ",Wi.u'l .11., ., .. ,. ,;~"", .:,·r.........._, •, R t'~"I.;:>Oi ~1'"." '~'" .U,~ ~~,~", '· n- '. "" no e imity of the Roman Empire, This: reasoning is un£gundecL There arenumerous examples 0:1peoples) some retarded, others highly advanced" wboEl.fve-rth,eless coneeive of one or several very powedul gods of universa] ,oompel'face. 'Th.'I1!f·{! is. frequent d~pl'OpOIliofi hetween the politica] re-aUt}'~ the li:mh:ed plOwer of the ]lOca~ ruler, and . .his my:tbk tra.nsposiition the unlimited pOlw>er of theoosmk ruler" Tbe Vedie tdbes~ [or e}raro]pleJiwb.o conceived (ilf the universal scvereign Varul},a an-d, celebratedlaim in terms reminiscent .of the God oithe Psalm.8~wereno less divided [nan the GC1"UUlnk peoples and attributed nomore pOl,v:erm their kings. Furthermore Odin has absolutely none or tl1.echa.racterbtics ·01:3: Caesar or a. 13·:a'si.Hus,,:bu[: is of a type
_ . "" . .·~~~·A.I!J·... ,""~ I" .... '" !I. ~ I, .... · .J;;,.~ .. 1>1 '..
\'o,~.~

I.,

'po

UA,

sui g6ne:rls~. aa t ofa. sorcerer ltiag. In add:Lti'o,n.~ espi tethelngenious t d ,(dompatison of lvf'agm,J5 Olsen,t1le VaUlaHa and its ,ez"uherjl1'! have nothing much in common-exc,ept 'lilemuh.iplidty oEiu, porullsand tbeMoody u~e oInhe bnild.jJng~-,~]thlih:e C'olos'seum.aud its gladiators.
The polnt Is made that the n.a;:me (~fOdin, !It' W6i1a.naz'J' .is not commen Ge'rmauk~ but onlyWe:st. and No:rth Gennan:ic. If this g,ad exis:ted among dl,e Goths.t it i:s argueid"and h~ld .aauollg them tbe same eminent pos,ition ,be holds hi the Eddie poemo; and amo.ng the fe'\'II" 'West Gernlani.c tribes where Taeltus identifiesl 111m", is it: not stta,n:ge tha,t none of the au thQfSwbo spoke 'Of the 'Goth:smentio:ned bim?' And, if the Goths were ignoram of him orgevehim ..nogreathomage, is, that not an indication that he did nut bd:o:ng, at least 'with this ra:nk1'tD' the i.nitial structure of "the" Gennank reUgion? Thb argument ,exaggerllltesthe Importance of names. in 'i",eligiollsstudies ...Odin, wllo In Seandlnaviahas i:nnum,erab1esf'Co:ndary :a.ppel.ladonsJ' some

clear, others obscul1e~ could ce:rtain.1y have been d'edgnated l'egulady among the iGoths by another word than Itha,t derived from Wtit. FUf~ thermore, tbrough one. of Ills Scan(Un~viana:p'PenatioDS~ Gau lr~a:n.d
by the IocaJ.b:adon in th.etwo' ~'·Gijt~dan.ds··of the majority of Odin ,

plaee-names, the Scandinavian Odin shows himself pred:sely


a particular bond lv:ith the Hoths. Fi:nally~iti5certain~,y

to have this Gaut'f'~,

that is; Odin~who is, to be recognised In the Gapf who according to J ordanes opened themythic genealogy of the Amalfans, the royal family of the Goths" 'as Odin in Scandinavia and Woden in England are the sour-ce ofseveral dy:nas.ties. iThre~ neg-dtive Iacts are urged against the god: the relative l"arity tbrouglmut Scandimnti3" and in Ice'land even. the' complete absence ,of Odin plaee-names; the nearly (Qnlpl~tep{lf:anelab§ence ,g,fmen w.ilh Odin names; and fina.Ily the absence af,a eorrespondem to Odin (s:i.ncethe explanado:n Qf Rota from Odin", pr(lposedin l.9'~.4 TN•. by von Un.w,erth~:9' not been accepted) in the mythologytha.tthe Lapps has borrowed {tom the Scandin avians~,jn which only Tl](}r,Frey~and Njord Dlxeh~n()red.Tbese rna [or facts are ·quHel!Jorre(t.~ but they admit other plausible. justificatiens than tIle lateness eitherof the ~d or of the pbt.cehe occupies in the' Nordic pantheon, If Odinwas at all 'd:mc.s.the god of the chieftains, of the function of chief~ and the great Scandinavian sorcerer, be had nochance of being adopted by the:Lapps~,,yho, though dominated and. coloni:zed~ kept. tl~id:rown magic. different in orlglnfrom that of their enwrpridng neiighborn.. 1:0 contrast, the. beneficent ·.god 0.£ thunder, thegod of animalrun.d vegeta.ble f~c~udity, tI'H!!: g:od o[,v[nd. and navig,ati,au--',a 81lH borrowed by them, from. the Scandina.via ns--ehese ·to:uched on their immedlaee interests. In Scandinavia. jUIel:f it is understandable ·that fiarms built upa~e:a5;, refuges ofpe,asants and sailors, wonldmere 'Often ba:ve received their names from one ·of the pa.tr-ongoru,.ofrumI priosperity ~ :n;a\'.igatiou~ seorms, and their beneficial conse1quencesJ than frmn th:e great chief of the gods and sorcerer" As the bead ,of social .group~ that would be statistically' ,sman~ the god 'would. not appear .&equendyht plaGe-ll.ames.Tbe situa.tionin Icdand con,fitm.s this view. It is natural that those settlers who had £led Europe and founded inthelr new home a vmtabl€ repu.bHc of rich p,easants! would Dot have had occasion toname '3: single pla.ceafter t11f god king.Ffna1, .. Iy the extreme rarIt, of pe:niollildn:ames oim.encolltaini.ng that of Odin may be explained by the character of the god~ in eertain Fespects disquieting and [terrifying. Asimila:r reserve has caused. the
j
w

9W. vonUm.l\Itrih~~·OZiin:m

w·:nd R(Jta~"Pa'l'l,f ,and: ,Br:(1:unt:'~J~itNg~ .39 {I9~4h 1

!U!-2:~a·

rheh rrcchthch

chutz:

s Materr.]

archives of various Indo-Iranian, peoples to rransmit Many proper names containing ehe dhtine IUUReS M,ilra- (Mil;hft1i~)and ,1n,dtYl;~~,bu£ not nne containing thm,t ofPa,r1:.t~Hl. The ilhsstrious Swedish archaeolegise Oscar ).(oli1tJe'Uus, is the au= thor of another ()U~re'pe~ntedarg~l[ncnt,,, Od in, as 'we have sa,'i.d, is the gTeat god ofrunes,t and of the mn,gic o,frune.s"Now runic witting is fairlYlfcen[,"no inscripticn being earlier than the Christian era, Tt 'W:asimported, Irom the scutheastaccording to some, from the seuth according to the argum{!nt more and more generaUy accepted, The consequ,e;nce of dlis" f01" the '!~g;Od. runes," wIQ,.uld. be. a terminus a of quo post-dating, the Ch:dsri~n era. and the massive influence of the Roman e:mpir~ on Germania. 'sII.U: this a.rgl~ment is. not corwlpe:']l:irlg~, ,tithel'. If Odin was first and ahvays the highest n~m,gic~mn,,~rverealize that. the runes, however recent they maybe, would have faUcn under his 5\V,ay. New and particularly effettbh"e implements for m.agiocworks, ~hey w.ouldbec.um,e' by definition and with.out contest a part of bis domain ..Furthermore, rtJ,nar'isall1 old Germ.anic (~,ttln(J~.)and Celtlc
rk~td~.signated 1n:agie secr-ets. 1.0 GOtllic nt:1;lQ had on~y the iSe:]]~eof"secret, secret decbi.on~·' :similar to i:I.':slD(!a.ning in Omd ]:rjs:h (runh'~.se.cret, myster'¥1J secret pur.p()'s,e,"t In r,he Finnishborror.ving runt)' theword 'refers (lnly to. epic and 'Dlagic chanrs, Od:in cOldd h·a:v~e been, the patron, th,epossessQr par excellence of drJisredoubtabl,e po",~er of secrecy and secret knm!\de~lgelbe:fore the name of that 11'.,.... 'Ol~ - ~,@d'-g'-.,. ca ]i,....... ' ~,Ii " tee 11..0 l·'of"'" -] .J.,',.",,,, fI,"", .....f-.,""'.,0"" b -0' ," ~ 1~ n ,(.,,,-, '"'I' "I,]]' ~fifO' '" - ,tl:" phnner Ic 3.Iilu, --;t ~u" W,h;;,., e b-,""". -.-""erh e ..... .a, u..:.!lbl magic whichcame from the Alps or elsewhere, but did not lose its, word
'tll'ilt
iL...., _,b·
OJ .,iIL " ....

fo:rmcr:,Ia.:rger sense.
The criticsweuld probabl not have giv,en credit to' these precise but (,ragile ,argumefu's agahlst the 3,g~: 01:£Odin or of his Iunction if they had not mare or less e')::plicitly depended on two much more gener.a] eonsidera dons. TIH~ nEst: is provided by the very number' and. diversity of the domains where Odin operates.whdch seem to ,confirm that there has been a developmeut, it growth, Klllg of thCg'OO,5, and gre,at :nm,gida:n god of 'W'a~rriorsand. o f one gtou:.p o:fltbe dead, he isall that, !lint to speak o·f the :ag;r~cubural component that is somethnes extraeted [rom the :folkloriisdcus,ages of the ve~atwinter E.esE.ivalIs it not toomuch for a. singlegod~ especially when one takes Inte account that no other of the iEsil' or Va-nEt plays, Sf)! bl!rge a role in the action of the mytbo,logyr' 1vlus;[ this not be the fdIecn.o:£ extensions" armexaalons, whh:lt it oU,ght 1[0 be pessible to explore, byretra:cjng the course Q:f time and civilizatioQJ' until one reaches, perbaps in Scandinavia itJ

85
:sell.I!)t' in .some wesb.~rn.area ,of continental Gennan13,a humbler point of departlH~,from 'which the rest would pfogresslvelynave is!sued, or to wllichthe rest could h ave been addedt' Severalmode1s of such a development have been proposed: for some, tbe god would at firnt hav,c been only a goblin. or 3:. minor' sorcerer~god~ for crthers a. g,od of ,th~ dead, for others still a god of .Eecund~lr:y,! The ether 'reason, 'which is complem.enta:ryt stems from 1Il(lo~Eullo. pea-D, eortsiderations, In the abyss of disgrace where the 'studies of ncompara;t:hte~mythology" had sunk in reaction Ito the g~:n.efiOUS illll.:!j1onsa.nu ~. l,-_telgent excesses 0 I'. t.if' sc.OO 'I 0.· M ax ·M···)I ORe ong.. n···(.·.·.·· -}.....•-..... .• . '1 ° h h f' .. _.'_!._ .'.. 1Il.et'~ mastic correspondenee; and one on:ty.~ had nevertheless, been respected -=-:andrespected all the more. as its very isolation allowed scholars to declare that in matters 'Of divine pe1's'onnel~it (;:Ol1s:U.l!uted thetotalitv 0. tne .' I'nid Q ,£..umpea.n -}'·,····t····,·.· Jieavlng.,.),. .. neilId' .open .• +...... ,ui... "~'U" ., ... ' .. -,. ,,]; ... .l~y oftl len .. ge~ ~" '.',., a me '~.'.. study of lI:he~isepara,te mythologies."Tha.t correspondence is, the one eomparing the Vedic s:ky god, Dyau~ (g:en. DitJ~h)~ GreekZew (gen . .D'iV(5)~ 'Lat. Jup-piter (gen...louis,), :3~lldthe: Germa:nlc character ·w.hose "r·Q·Id·N·· " orse an.d. L~.'- Ill· :, ',':. 'cU'IS''h Ge····· rman . .. H" IS '7' . aame. 'b' 'T"~ . ·r U~ '. _.ecame '. LOU,) •,--- O''Id' . ... ' '. . ,e. ~ . ·11·',-1.· .. mestanctent g!O'" .t since de was a~reay . 'nc~O-Lut'Opeall..• ' '.. ," ··d.······'.' :1.• '.' .... '11 eadvI ·d·'. 'W .-. S:UUJiY tue' and a "greae god~.,. it is 1tdded.~ as isp'fo'lil1ed if nQt:by hissom.ewba:t faded Vedlc helr; at: kasr:by the eminent position of his Medit.ena,~ nean heirs .. No:'\!v~hough th:is god persists among the Scandina.vian:s t as runong' the! otherGermanic peoples., he' bas not ...... rather.·~he hasrno more'·=,,;·tbe j1mportance, the nodi spuledfi.rstposidoD1, w.bic·his be .. .Heved to 'be anrlbutable to bis prototype. Pale, without many ad!ve·n~ tures, subordinated to Odioin ihe sam.e "lay as all the other gtilds, he is 'Visiblyattbe end of a !ongrette:;,u by the time nf Ol!U' dDCumemts.~ "'-d' . ... ..;.'1;.-.. 'f'L • .h .• .n..u. " IS .1I.lnot ,3, preICU'US lRui.caUon 10" [lIi,iej?Oilnt-I-,.,e 'R1\. "~1-. u,ontl.e:r uenli»i t...
._ ·_L
111
'-.C

.'~."C-

-.;

..

-e-

....

-.e-

IL,'"

°'1

']",

',",',

,~,

,"--"'

:'1'

,-

".'

-::'~-,-

1'"

,- ..

-''",,_--','

'-'I

"I~:',

.'"

~,--

'-'---:-I~,

-1,'1'

>

o.fRlo.ma,n. Gaul~wh~·e.tbe
VeT' ho .. _, y" ...
,0:>

5ubstitutiOfi

began,wh~n~

in c_na.pter '9
J

,of Taeltus's Ger'maT!:ia~, we see:him, under the name ,of Mars" :already
n -3b~' .JlY• 1n i'h'~ O'"",~:mdraran:!ll"" CL...thee. l'.e'V~I.o. ... ., ,,~...~oo~_ _ ~.l·ll ..0[. .. ....... -f'
Hercll].:Iis.··\'UDl"3% . ... _.... y , '.. -

the firstrailk

These two piece.s of "evidenee" areattliecenter of the problem, But are they ,evidence or 31',e tIley preccmce:ived.. nodons,? TIle :fi:rst is already suspect because of them:ultiple points of.departure: :a;ndthe'hy~
pathetic l,vwderinw;:rromwhich.scbolarsbave· tried to draw aprecise imla'ge. These successive stages,t meseUstratificatioDS.,"! are va:inlypreseated in terms of hist]oryJ' for tbeyu:e 'only speculatiens that rad'[caUy ,oo:nttadi~t each other, thus p,;roving' that ntJi,tone is. at aU satisfying. On paperith of course possible to suppO:Ble [h~t agod o.ftbe dead, or a god. of [ecundltY:l' 0,1,.. a. minor sorcerer god was 'p:to:motedto :allthe rest.and finally to tb.e·.~ghes.t.nmk. nut., in redi'tJ~how is. tW:s,growth,

being already occupied by M'en:;urius"'V\l~anaz?

especially thlsending, hiscoro,natiouJ.tobe imagined? One isalways reduced, finally!! ~o .im,agiui~g foreIgn .inSuen~e" the liberation of Germani·c fandes, on theRhine orin the :fj0I'ds~ bytbe s,igbt or tbe mmur of the .im,perial power of Rome ,or Byzan'tium. ,But that, as has been said above, is,not at all probablesiaee the g,od of the .AE:s;ir has about him. nothing of a Trajan ora C(t;nstanU'O~:t nor even IO[ a

Neflo" and his omnipot,ence takes anotherform,

On. the' contnlry, if

one r-e:si.gll:Soneseltto thinking that the sutwnit .ofth:isp'yr.a.mid of £nnctlO'fis existed from the beginn:i~g, 811the same height~ if one admUs rhar rhe ooUdary values, of the chlc:[ of: gCtds and. men and. the grand magician are fund.amental and original in the god~,therestfol··
lows na.turally. AU the developments and d.etails, are plausible, be .. cau;se'~in truth, the "fuucHon, of oove:£leigntt' is the only QJn(~ that
,

po~entiallIy contains all the orhers and can easily actualizethese po~ tentialities. Ought not terrestrlal ti[Ilgs~humble counterparts to. Odin,. as kiJ!gs~ be;r.-lgrsaU as wen ~s d7':iS~n, dl,at iSle bleS$red in 'V'ictory"~ as well as "happy 'in, ba,rvest?" Is. not the: Roman Jupitcer in Gapito~ine praCti.cf as:wen 'asin Romulean ne,gend~talor~Fif:r:e~riUls-tbe giver of reJoi'D not onlY' Yama, the spedaHs:t, if 'YOu w,iU,. oflifep()':it mortem, but. tlls(J the greats{)"ve:reign god~ Vit:tUl).a? ·~Go:i"i"says a strophe oE the funeral ritual to the dead:
GGI~ Go, by the ancient roads, then;! wlle::re ourfathers went before, wh,o precededust The 'tw,a, ki.ngs: w.ho f<!velin full Ub~:rty~ . you will seethem, 'Y'amaand. tlle'god VaWlJ:i.d U'I 'victory bec(lt.l.Se' he 'is a s;Ovel'e,ign? And do not the 'Vedic dead wish, to

No one: bas sought to deduce, by .a process of evoludon, all of Jupi-·


ter's :acti:vityfrom .his flQ,le, in war, nor :&om his palIul1:age of the fe's~:iva,b·of the v.ineyard. Nor has :anyOl'le tried to e'x.pla:i.n'w.e character of Varuua by :starting from the hepesef the dying. This kind of operaslen 'isn.o more to be reeommended l.ot their parallel in Get~ maulc lieligion. Let us add~ ;3S Jan de Vries has vi.gorously po,int:,ed ont,U that even .odin ~I), name .. wbkb is not: obscure, oblige,s, us to p'ut at, the censer of his cba['a.ctera5:piri~ual concept f[(Jm 'whlch. the most effecti"ve action issues, The Old Nor,se: werdfrom wltkh it. derives; dO'T~,and which Adam of Bremen translates. exce'Uendy 'With tU:1().r~. cerresponds ,to German W'ut "'rag€,fnryl!!'and to Gotllli.cwo{l's "pos.. . sessed," As a noun Ir denotes drunkenness, exeitation, poedc genius
l~'.R:ig rleda~~.14. ,. . . .. . '.. u Conuibu:H'otJsh.l ihe'Srud)i' Of 'C:Nldn~e~p€'cl4lly in lJ{.J R:L";':wtt'O'n. ~~ ,AgricuHuTild !'rootlets :in Jioaem .P'op"dar tore ..~ollrJorc -Ff!:lloW's ,Comm,:u:nications 94 (1·98~J. ·45.

(d ..OR ·lvlfj61~chanttf).~ well as the (jcrr.ifying motVement Qf the sea, as of fire, and of the: storm, As an adjective,. it means SQm.eti.m.es ~~viote.nt, furious," sometimes.·~ratpid.u Outside of Gennanic, related IndoEUI1o,.peanword:s; I1efc:r to, violent poetic and pt-oph,etic inspiradon~ Latin mues; Old. Irish faith. It.musrthus Itave: been a very important god~ of the "first level,' that such. a flam,€: 'was destined ~o ·describe . .As, for the ·oonseql.l.e,nOO,$. of therehttiv,c ch1ionology t]U1Jt one deduces from the equation .ny,a ub,~Zeu$'_Ju piter~ ~. Tiuz (supposing ~ that lids equation is exact: there are reasons for deriving TyT and lio rather [rnm·,deiwo~~ the generi:c Indo-Eurepean name :[0:[" the .gods)~theseeensequences are founded on a simplistic :and erroneous interpretation ,of this equation, andmore generally on a false Ci)IJ;.~ oeption o( the roleand :prerogatt.ves of linguistics in such matters, In faet, in diverse areas .01 the Indo-European totalHy, the same dfl:-

vine Iunctionmay beattributed, and myt.bs fUll.str.ating this function may be appHed~ to gods with diffevent names .. Co:nverse:~,., gods bearlng similar or identical names, n1ay~l:-hrougbpar,tku1ar evolutions that. do notim.p~.ygreat !Cballges in the structures of the reH,g~on~~, be endowed with" 4iff~rnnt functions. T.he: agreeable phonetic ,oonlo:[.mitl' of Zeus). Jupiter:, and. DyauhJ precious for thclingub t1 does n.ot IQU\'ry the m:ythol,ogist \'cryfar. He q.uicl.ly notices that the firsttwo gods. and the' tbird do not in the least do the same dlings ..The Vedic god~ who is without great actuali tyJ' 5(~I]Je'ly goes beyond the marel'lality ofth·e luminous 5.ty~\jj,tfi.kh,ta.kell as a noun, hisnam.·e· :signifies. Jupiter :and Zeus, on, tbe conrrary, are not m:hesky made divine (which Ourauo:s, U'H:! gl'andfalber of Zeus], ODQID.aJsdcaJly is)" hut the very real, very personal kin,S'of the :gods and. o f men, and the lightni,lJg god. If one $tillwisbe~ to c;Qmp:a:re them~ :funcdonaJly~ ·to vmous.fig-. ures f1'o.I11. tlM~ Vedic pantheon, :it is to 'the sovereigns Mitra. a.nd Va,ruJ;.1:a ontheone hand and to the lighn:minggod. Indra on. the other that one must'address o.neself.bll.otherterms~speakingno more of Ze:us~a.s-Greek mythOlogy escapesIndc-Eurcpean cate,go:rie:s-:U one wishes to refer to the framewor;k ,of the, "three fu.nctions:'· d~fined. in ['he 'piIL-toed:in.gebapte:iI'~ one sees, that Jup.ite·r;t in. this [ra:~new'ork!l' oecu,pies.the first level, that .of :sovereignty'~,wbereas in 1.1l~ia Oya'Ul) remains outside' the £ram}ework~ and the first level is. occupied 'mere by Vcuu:g.aand Mitra. Under the same cOiDditiom~ it Istherefore pos.sible that the old Ind;o ..European llame·D"e·u,.~ in its supposed Ger.manic IOnD ·;Tif'l_t~does nOlf: apply to the goo who is. funcdnnaUy anaJ:ogous to Dyaub~ :nor even perhaps to Zeus and Jupitel· .. 'The functions of these last ·two rnay have· been assumed, a.mon,g the IGer .. Inan'icpeopJes,j. by a gpd bealfingil\n.od;l(~r name"I newname, .p"operly
i

Germanic:. It is :possibte~ bythe same reasoning dUll • Tiiu; if' indeed ~ .• .~. '1 ··n ;II' • h h I':V' lJ tnere was. a. 4 .T-..nlz~:rolg1ltllaVe Coe-XUitru WIlt:'.' another gou;i iiJ 'v_oa.naz;, ,• J, Indo ... European III funetien andin Jlis poshion in d}etrlpart:he struc1"'ur·e but ·". 'f· In ·h.t··.,. ·..1,1 30. 'rn" ..... ... ~. - '.._ --':Ii' . _- .
_J'_:.I.1LU'L_ -, ' ,',~' . I:I~,!!

6rst edition of thi s 'book,i2 and fm:therwotk hasconfirmed .:it. It was £ocrmed~albe~t with a difference '(wbiChcleHned a CDJttacteristk tr,a-it, of 'the Germanic evelution, thr-ou.gb oo,ns,ideralion aEt:he: 'pair o:f Vedic gods; that bas tmce been mentioned, Vamna and Mi tra, 1:0 the Mirtanian documena hom the fourseenth centufyn .. . and c iu the-mythology of the Rig Y,t:da, as in thelist of functional ,gods that .ZoroaJ,stJ:ianis,nllranspo~ed. into arthangel'5 the lint levcl~ the level 0·£ sovere:ignty,.rs not occupied bya single personage as is the second (Indra).No:l'· is iii: lUre the third, occupied by a paJr of twe hardly distinguishable twins (the N'isatya). 'but fuy I:,\\TO de'ady distinguishable :gods"",ith difIe:renttha:r9c!!!ers.~. Varl1JllIa and Mitra:. 'This
t

A. Soluli.on to theseplSell1ldodimculdes

was propose:d in 1'9'39t in the

doctrlne is. dearly expressed inm.anyf.ornudas

in the V:e:dic r.~.tual

treatises .. A certain number of passages in the b}'IDnS expressly presruppose it ::tb:e.ady.In most of these cases, the nature and object of the poems lead. the poets to combine the two gods Ina cemmonpraise, attributi~g indjffet'~ndy the virtues ()·f each of thetwo members to the; pajr~yblcb tbey .fOifllJ:. and 'sometimes even 'to·the ethermember, 'To be eomplemeneary in tll"eir .5.e:rvict:$1" VarJJoa and Mitra. are an.tithed .. calteach specification of one :re!q~~.:hing contr,ary specificaticn of the a. ether, to the point where a text can state: "Thae lvhich is of lVHtrll is Do't of Vanuj:~... These multipl~ QPposition1i aU have the same r'·lS .form" .and. it is easy. 1.vhen one hasfamiliarized oneseltwith afew, to predict wiith ·con.fi:denoewhkh term, :in such and such a forn.1ula, will be ValruJ)a'.s and which will be Mitnr·s. Mitra "is d:dswod,d'~8nd VaruIjI.a "theother world," One Vedic hymn equates the. first willI. the earth, dl!esecond ,.villI. ehe sky. Others attribute to MIu'.a the visible and ordinaryform.5. of6.l1e lOr soma, to Var UI}.a their fnvisfb1e and .m.ythkal forms. Mitral is day and Varuva night (oo,whkh one

of tbe -hymns already makesan alhssion). 'To Micra. belengswhatever b:t.. .eaks by itself~ whatever is cooked 'by steam, whatever Is properly
.sacri6ced"miUc"and so on. To VaruJ).abelon,gs what.cvef is cut by an
oompaJ:ati'v'l!'

U;D'I.IIm.~.dl. My,thes ~t ,!'lieu:);' .des. Get:m(l:iru: t!s;$'ll'i d':inte'.pte!alion (Piui&: rr:~ UUlv,e:rsWHres; d.e F'Iiafi(e~ J: 9391)' 13 S~~-;;;tit'ha·. B"'-hma:tt-d- .•' III • ?i 11._ 18. , a.~c" _;r~ __.•. _.•. .. "'-

axe, whatever is ~'!sejzed!'byfire~ whatever is improperly cSEtcri1iced,tbe

iru:oxkadilg soma, and so on. Beyond theseminute expressions pro~ duced by the accident ().f circnmstance, the inner natures Gf the gods ,a;[',eclearly contrasted lvh:b one anotbel.',.being defined by the vewy
name (for. l'YIH:ra)~r (for V~rull~l by their distinctive astrlbures and e celebrated olytl1i.s. The li\j'or-d:A,fit·'Y.{J,ls formed by addingthe 'suffix of insrmmental :nOUJl~ toa roorthae meens "te el:,ch3.ngeregulatly~ peacefuUy, amicab1:y~!(fl'omwhikh also Latin mtl'ml-$:~ Ico.in:nuPtd~, as "ivel1as Old Slavic mella "exchange" and tti'inl "peace, order"), and mean.') s,imply j··c()ntl'a~'t..·' This" :ac;GcH:d:ing t'03J, thJ.:;slc ..~ '907) ar:ticle ( by A. l';[eiUet"l4; Isnot a natural pben()mefl:on but a. social phenom¢l~non. dun bas been deif:hed. More precisely, it is a deified type of juridicQ] act 'r'f~itll its effects, the state m.ind and realirywhich it ,estahl.ishes aMron_gmen, The name of Ji',a:rupa Is of unc-erta.indymo1o,gy~ but his character is snHkie:n fly derfi:nedby hls usual attrihu res, On the one hand, he is parr excellence the master of mii.y,a~theilluslonistlc magic, creator 'Of forms. On [be otherhand, martcrlaUy and s:ym,boH(any~ .from.thf~Rig r;eaa up to the.epicheIs armed w:h'h knots and ~aring$. with. ·,vhicb he seizes the sinner -eveu were it his sou. B,hnltl~il1sta,Il.dJ and without possible resistance. There are demonic affi:uitie,s inhim, w.betbe:t one 'COnllPa::rc'S or separates his name from rhar 0.1 Vrtra. At theri~tof being' ~nbitf,aF)! Ots~m,pUst:ic~ I ha.vep~'opo!Sed :3 5tUllming up of the inloriluuiol1 about them. In these fommlas: Mitra !I~SOV~ ereigngod of law,' Va:ru~m "sovereign god o:f magi!c.. • Roman theology Sflems tobave m,ovHi, a .si:rnilar' division ,of divine duties, with a D:itu FicUu.'S '\'vhobears the {i:des in his; name. atfi:rst dist1nc[ from Jup~ter~,but later absorbed. by the Imperious ngure of the cCapitolinle god. It is the epic, the legendary history of the 'Origins. of the cltYJ fm'\1ev.er~wJlkb provide~ the best example of the .opposition and the complementarity of the iUiI,lO equaHy n.ecessary modes: of sovere'ignty.. It does so in thetl.g,ures of the two founders. One is. the dem ·...........• '\oJ t, ~" -'1--., """'.......: "'.u..... '-y h ':S. retin U"" .'o' £ ,.jl:L·.. b.ij[ nders,' m·p'" nied IIJI· ~- ,,,;I!..eaf· u", '·]1.6..... d Rom II us, .~. t",. JL ..... ;~. the bene:lld:ary Qr JupJite~·'s~Ulsp~cle,s nd spectacular intc~rv,end.on. The a other is the' Gomph::telyhuman Numa", founder of the Iaws ,and par'" ticUlar devotee of tbe goodessFides. Thlsparallellsm of Jndo-Iranlan theology and the Roma.n ,epic ,~dli(h can be' fol11owedi:ngr~at detail, guarantees tha £, the' ~b.ipatti ti()inofs!o:ve~ei~uy"·'Wa.s, p\~utof t he [uJl!d of Ideas an.w.hi.ch. the Indo-Europeans Uved. There are reasons :~or thi:nking that the same structlue ,of t.'VJO:

.of

'.1

IL.U'

"i

l;1A. M.emet~j'ta.n:'ilgion inl!o·eumpeoone.'" H.t'Vl:lt: d~s iiUt;j 4 (lgo7}, 6~g,B~ t:ep'r.in1ted.in Md.H~t .•.Liligtl:i's·,~iqu.~ J.d.iJ~o.tl~q~fJ ,tt~: .ll?ngui~t;~qtiegetutr.de <r:ti::ri8,~9~J.h

pp.. a23:~!4·

·4.0

GoDS OF 'mE AN'·CUENT .NORmM,EN

of Odin·Tyr,. From the IGermanic point of vIew~neither one nor the


other is, "older"; 'both go back tnMnd~European rlivinides. 'T'-h-,Aoo""-e-o'n·d,""'mitVo..,.,f·,Od···;···· :m,,~Ul··V·······,',·,.. lSS~1!...,ik· ~"g, 'B·:·····t·~..;- .. l,un~ ·,·,d·. .. ,3rfU:r.t,il; :': -.., __.'-,:', -" .. , , '"' '.. ,,!,:r _ Sip.._........ . o _U ~re £"1"
,1........ y" ....

terms:" VlaIped in quite an int!eresdng way, is the, base of the duaJ.ity

dam,entaUy magicians, To, be sure, Nordiemaglc 'presents its own '1: ."'. 'f' ·'1...'·1." .-.. Ild- b" ." . seea eqaivaienes. ::1.8 -.. '1• 1'" • C'laraC~e,rl.5:UCS :or W.uU:l1tU:WiOU.·· . _f vam ro India" But the gift of ~h.ape.,(hallgi:ng so (ba,l.'ac'teria;tjc o,f the: fotll1.~1' coincides with, ulemaya: tbat .th~ la.ueremptoys so a bu-ndantly" 'The immediate and irresistible catch that Van.lQ:amakes~ expressed by his

lines and.", hisknots, is also.Odin's mode ofactinn. On thebattlefield he has the gUtJloO~ only of bUnding.., deafening, and be[JUirnbin:g'~ but lUer,aHy of binding his ,enemy-whb an invis:i.ble Iine, This processis the one ,n.rynhild evokes in heir dreamtmaledietion that she aims at !Gunnar after the murder o:E,Sigu,rd (Brat at Sigurt1arkfjilJft,~ 16)r: IOI·It seemed torne,' ~sbe :~:a.y5l~ feu.er,ed,
(thaltJ.you, khl g,r.o-de

inl10 d~e enemy- army,UI

cheerless,

He is lettered by the h:e.rfifl,~l1r ~'~-a:rm,y fetter," tbe enchantment that pa:raJyz~ thewarrior. Now the poets per:stmified· th~5, notion in the

,n'3m'eof one of tbe Valkyries, that is, one of the mlnorgoddesseswho di.ect1l..J!"y 3'."1:. O'.·,d' _In..'H·,~i ··f·,:11,,_r _ __5SU" .' ~'" ,ef"l"~Hr ('-G,-tI--'~f.:ll' __mnt.5im'~i3 '6-) ,', .• To the ~mblUons~ dfSiqui,eting., almost demonic aspects of Varnon correspond several traits of Odin~ some of which have been mentloned above: hlsgiantan(iestor1l~ hls particular friends1.dp wirh 'the iGe·mo-nkLoki, his blood brother, And 'VarulJ,:a".io celebrated legends_, is .no less fond of human $()Hcrlfice thanare Odin andthe Mercurlus·W5~anaz o.{Ta.durs. As: the :miiyin Va["uJ).a is a kiflg~ nJja,n and even Ja'm1'iij~ the ma!gidan Odin is,the king of gods and protecwr ,ofn;ryalty. Vatul).3., sa,S! [hesata,pathtJ,Bra,h.ma'f.a~ is the lCi$a~fa..temporal p()wer and pr,i.nciple . of thewarricr class (while: Mitra; Js the brahman) . Jn the ill:tng'uage of tbe hymns, the h.;jlltrahas. :anaffinity [or the 'eHte"the nobles" the
J•

I" ...£...~ _:Illes, Irom


,O;O.'fD!n,

an (whUeMitta.. is ICloser 'to the ja1lll


enn ~'rr :it. ~rrel:atJl;.yn.

themasses).16 Just 80 tll.e 'famous hR····· -L . .~ :'.'.~o~' 'I '. . '.. '. ,., t· te ....aru>aruS~1 ket tllC.gO d'h'.im\5f.If say I " (str. 24)·: ••
t

a .ia.da,pa

er .f v3~faUa~

Odin hasthe jar~s, w.oo fall in batde,


but Thor J!1asthe race 'of the thraUs.1!1

The heroes killed .In battle belongtQ Odin and ,co:minruein Valhallaa life' of '[mendIng feasts and duels which. are no M.Qve than
las: .Ed'da. (Kubn)"

p. :!OO~ eli. Edda (BeUo,ws)~ p. 408 . 16LIteni!)U, .£maes viil'iquu ~tpitl'inletUlt!!:.t :2(:1956). 17 Edda (Kubn).p ..8Jl:; . EiJ(Ja (BeUOll,1ls). p.. 13:9•. d

1:110.

spDer!::, nd this Ilappy d.e:stiny is exaended a

to

~ulY'Qne else who marks

himSieU with tile sign. ,o,fOdinbefore death. Just so we have seen the Jndtan funeralri tualpromlse Ithe Aryan. dead~U the Ary,an dead, it 'WouidiSee.m·-as the end of their journey theresidence where they win see the two: kiIr£:$ Varu~R and Yama;.\VlIHe !'~~a;sdng.pleasnre atthelr

wnl'~

Between the vast domains of one and the other there are ofceurse numerous differences.~ 'thema:joI:.ity ofV'o:rhiic::h are minor and mneasny be f!xpbJned tlrmugh the scenery.. the ne~ghborhood, and. the 100D.., df.thJ.ns of life wllette th::e two religious were .p!ri)ctj,c~d. VaruQ:a, is run . the ,P(N~tor patron of peetswhich tbeva.hl's Odin Is, He has no animal a uxHia.riesrcInhliscf'n t 0:[ tbe wolves a_n.drnvenssurr,oull,wng O[Hn.:! northe ~a:ste the northern god f.orllangi:ngs (no doubt foundedoa of shamandstic pracli.ces). These differences are of the m;agni.tude that 'Onemight expect, But. there is one of greater lllagnic:ude which. reveals one of the original tramu of ancien [Germanic cIvilization.
j•

If.it happens: that Va;rur,ta is invoked ~()fvktoryin war~thai is not nne o£ his (lr.dl11ary fum:dou:s, but a n~:tura!l eJ(lt.ens-i,oll of his sovC'Jlfign. pos:itil);DcoTbe warrior gad is Indr"a'J!and several Ri,g Tl'eda te~l~ make an exact d:ivision of tasks. A group ·0£ bym:ns from. Book. VII which areaddressed t.o them j orin d y ,,8.2--85,) eentains excellenc dilIe;r~ entia ting definitions:
One of y.ou [Indra] kiIlls the 'Vr,tfll in battles". 'Tile other [VlJiliUga] wat!c.bes IOOfIswri!ltlyOlve:1' the ~a.ws.(SStg') 'The ether [Indm]figbts

One'l[Vam~a] keeps in. ·ardrer the frigh;tenedpeopl:e~, the'rllvi:ntib]c y,t'ra. (B!h 8)

And, wi£na: slight twist:


May the wf~uh.of 'V.arulJHl spareusl Ma:y In;dra .pt(lQl1'e .£0'1 'U!j, a 'vast doma.i:rd (a;4~ ~)

One is .struck Unm,edia.telyt how,ev'er,. 'by the :n.umb-er of des be. tween Odiu and battles, or 'Warriors~'inth~is world and in the next. He is, 'turelyawtlrd.or hilnjcH,1! x-cepit :in the llbf!oriclzation of 'tb.e e Y'nglin,gasaga (quoted above), wbere. be' is called .ah~r'ma,(Jr 'nlikill U,great "[vanior~"~ and marehes froim one conquest to dlen.ex:t. He is presentin battJes,grantsv.ic£ory on the SPOt1 expresses,bis decision w:ith .F?,recise.gesture'S~and aims, at the' ,enemy al'm.y-:al it alone, it seems=the p~ualyzin.g"fetter" that be has in. communwith Varuna .. From thefrenedc type ·ofthe l;'er.serlHr to the elegant type of 'a, Sigurdt the rursdn,gl1ishedoom'ba.tants 'be,long to himJ participating .aooo:rding to their diyersena!tu.~.F:inallyf' ~b.only those who fall in. b.atltle or

those othe~.sm~rked, 'with a ~ymbol:ilc wo:und~ whom hereceives in ValbaU:a. In sbort"ifhe acts ~hrou.gb,aU this ina manner Gon:form~ ingm his definition as s,Qvc:rei,gn~ m,aster ofmen's de'StiRy~,and ofte'n bypnre:ly magic or internal action, it, remains r.ioles~ true thatwar is, one cd ableprincipal circums,tances· of that acrlon, Ifr bowever~ he 'f .t 'h . 'I ..l'_ 'I' h "''':1.. ~e.a:ves:o 'Thor tne care 0' 'f- ...neira's l'.·1!.J1l,·d . 11.. :!itlil.eOFlOies '*. HV, ,I, .er~ lie' . "~l ms .., _"ar" unic" aspect with m,any qualities that Vedic India reservesfoe the tlnmder andwarrior god~the god of the second level, The Van~,y:t:iie.s, have remlnd.e.d scholars, and! justly so, of theMarus, com,panions ,of lodra, and the Odin-Iikeherees of threEddaaud of the s:agas recall Arjun~,~son 'Qf Indra, to whom. the epic has transposed the :m:ythology
o f bU~.L3.~:11er .•
lI:']l

· '~.

th:is peiCuu'adt,y 0'£ Odin, is, obvious. In the Ideologyand in the practices ()i,1 the Gil!rnianic peoplea, war inva:ded.a:U; colof,edeverything ... hen they are not6gh~.ifigJ.thoM:: of wbom Caesar W g,ave the first:dlilrp ske~dl think only o:fcoming battles: vita (),trU1iJ in fu;ma,tt'onibus atq'lU;!' i'n duiliis reim;i1i:laris consista, and that fr-om Hi very young 8lg~~ paro:is laboTi {j~C; UTitiae sf'udent (VIJ :2] ~ 3)" If'they a d are d.isdainful of .agrkuh~r,e~ -if tbey reject.a permanent diskibuti.on. of the soil, that is' primarily n~' ClSsidurl, 'vnsue,t:udi'~c captt .s~udium; L Ill"' A" , .' (' ), _ ne ,., v'6_,\~· gel'C11aZ , • , I' agttcutu,ra c01n:'llu~·en.~)!213i. "rl sovcr,elgn go.d.l18 _. deprived by the absence o.f a sacerdotal classandbythe rudime:m:ary state .of cult, notedalso by Caesar, 01 'a.part of' [he socialbase on wldchrus "'edic analogrested, Howshould <I'W·Mana.z.llQtna:verelt the· e'ffect on his internnlequUibrium of this hypertt-Qphy of warlike care.s?From one end of out SlQ'urces to th.e other, the p~i(:tutevaries only slightly. By the -sa:m.etokeD as to ·'·M,aLts~,~·jt to Mercurius~ that is
,()f

The explana:don

is, ·WotJana.z~ that the Herrnunduri


~""'T

consecrate in ;H:avanc-.€t:befu:'my
L:.'l IL,

Wodan, beZ.la ge:rit h.o.mm:iqut! m.ini'stra,t

thevare about to confront". nu!() "VQ·~oe,!J'ui'V"iri ctnlc~avicla o(;cid.ioni J ~I .,1_,.,_ ,~~ u.y,n"UT. UI: In ·rI-- ..- salain theeleve ·n. eenturv '''''''".1''' Ada 'ill'," '0- f .Bremen... ". _,0. upp'<I.a~a l_J ~ . ,Ul ....... -"1" """'v",, - ---"' ..... -_
Vi1ht~t6'.mcon~Tainimic(M.

of the pairMitra-Varul@a. It is Icer~1.inly poosibl~:tbe qILmsrioD .is still dehmted-tbattbe Indo ..ra:nia.nM:!ttnl.., :3[I lholl,g'll he i:s god o[contt.a;cts" or rather because he is gOO. of contracts. wouldl have bad more Interest in war thanbis, V'ed,ic beiFdi~pla.ys .. Those who fhlnk so base their argument especiaUy on the post.. ·
to the seeondmembee

This same character of IG.ermamc societies ,ex,pla:ins the ,e"olut.i()n~ the devi.a:tioDt otherwiseconsiderablell of the Germanic equivaJ!e'nt

Gathie Avesta, where Mithra is "the" true warrior god" of whom Viere'thrngna; sp~:rlt of VkuJ.ry~ is no more than anauxilfarjv PersnnaUYJ- I see in hIs promodon rather an e{fecto£.t:he ZotQaJ~trian reform, After .having condemned t.hetioo atl,to·['.I0mOU5 t.ype :of' "~3:J'riorwbom. Indra patronized and having downgraded the great, god ,~.c, a l1! ~:rcl(~emOn~ (J U;! aS5,lgne .._ . I}srormn arehdernen 1.'~_", ~ , .. "; ,-d:, ']i" formid a.":b'~, 'C""'·"I<,-L,. ~o.n. itO tne go " ""d tQ ie ~unct Qflal,vhin1Jse~f.The'w,il,r,riur ~:ll()ubI thereafter be nothIng mere than, the' submissive and disdp~ined auxiliary of Ahur.1t:r\!ta~da and his church. J[sballmaintain this opinion here; it is clear tbat if the' other were:adop_tetL the exnlanatien I have ,Ii LL~ oronosed for the GenI):anic I,
"·'.l\1ars'"would be eveneasier
1

to defend ..

The diffi.cuHycenter8~ in effect, In these few words; 'Tacitus and severa] .ffinscripH'oIls render with ~!~fars!' the name of the god who ,among the (OUitineu[al Germanic peoples SbOldd balance Mercurius• "I\r5:5anaz and who is. ·caJJed e~ther '~T,iwaz or :I'T'z·u~.The Scandia navian Tyr i!lfirst and' {,oremos,t d~fil1e'd as a 0.- 'Of war:: "There is a zod " god called Tyr, He Is,the boldest andmost courageous, and has power over victory in battle; ~l is good for brave men to hn"oQke him/~19 However, certain fact~ limit and orient this definition, Fir:s,[[, :it ]8 not "Mars" to WhOIIl. thewarriors In 'Tacitus's Gerrnafi:fc:, singtopreparoethemselves for thehercic acts 01 war, It Is [0 "Hercules," other""'f'~"" ,¥'b""n-'''''''''''' 'the-_-, '';'',~ "'··~'I"aI-! ntol J. Therr ;9q.. .#1~·j ..Iih •..".. ""~ 1::,:11' ........ """,1·:......,,, . Y'~' __ L ;~.t,.,_ ._ ~y,Y"~b
\-" ~'..J'b .,I;,,~~,~iI: .•, ...

J~,it·'r

__

I,.

f' ''''.; ... , ......... ,_,~'!'j.#\.,~, ,~~: i,to,il-riJ\.;!'W

V.\.i"~1

1"• , •"

,:J"G;~rlb,~"

I!i..li~

me:m(ll:al1~

prirrtu:rfU]'ttiC

canunt ..Sec-OrJdj(ltU~ could peruse

,om,t~.i:u;m.

Vi1'Ortlmf(Jrl~:i'Mm al] Seandinaviau

illl:n

in. pYlleU(J.

literature (except the 'esch.atology~ where asa rule all the g,ods.must fight) without find~

Ing a sce:l'le',\lheFe·Tyr appears or does anydling on a batdefi.eld_The various special relationships that have beeu !iou,ght between Tyr :and certain wea.pOUrSi ar-e founded on false etymologies or wrongly Interpreted' facts.,20 'Tile only example giv,en by Snord ()f the iUlrepwdhy of the god is anything but ;a batelescene, It h the' deliberaE!e sacrifice hemakes of' his Tight hand in the wolf Fenrir's mouth, Fina1~Ytepig;~
to an imporrane link betweelllj~Mars!lt,~ Tyr and. the :thing' ,(ON pi'ng)~ the pupular a,ssembly where legal cases raph:y and. place-names attest

are tried and juridical

." Th l1'2:g:SU5'

on an

.. . :mscrlpil:IOIl1 carve d!i'!b

dittitulties

heard .. 'Mars" is actually caUed 'r". 1 b ,. :FI.J.SI.ans; art tne e ieg,rnnlD,g 0 f

the rhird centu.ry in Great Bric,aiu. In Zeafand In Denmark, ..Ti.d1l,1Zd


~u S~I'.l'I"r~ .&11'111,(JdlUss,(I!n)"p. 8:li (Gylfat.b'~n~'ng~chap.:lB.)'~P'r~e Edda (Yo'Unrg), 20 .Du.mezll, "'!RJei:'ita,i\q'iles~~,l::rle'!i a(njlj)~ d~ d1e'lJ~. de'~roi~i2:!mC' f()nc~i!;)i!l' d~~ "Uver.,; pt:l1:plces,indo,·euirQpf'f:uS,;·' Sbulie .Ml'lt~n;ali di :S:'arra, dt:Ue ReUgiot1ii :!illS '(~95i),

P·53-

,'n:.5.

44
wa·s, certa.inly a place ofa.5~embly. Furthermor-e~ the translation of

Marl,is dies;, which is, for example ~ysdagr~~T!yt",s, in Old Norse day·r (d., R,:qg. Tuesday,) ~ is di:ngesda:cl~ in Middle Low German~ Middle Dutch ,dinoxend'ach ".Ding"s, day'~ {Dutch d:iftsdag).Tbe first element, ,td.t,ered., Isperhapsfound in 'German Die n:st'a:g.Tbese facts-excepr the last" which he does not acceplF"-have inspired the: thoughtful com .. ments 10 f Jan de Vries:
In ~:neral,too much cm,phas]s has been. plac~d on, the l<vadike aspects of Tyr" and. bi:s;significan,ce:f.or 'Germanic la,\\!',bas no,t been sufficien:t1y fe\QO~:' nized, It: shio·ul(l be n~:l'ted that~ from t1JiC Gennan:kpol:nt of v:ijew. mer~: is mlQ!l;Qtltr:adh:tion beewt.:.'ien the concepts j'god ,Qir Wa"ri'~and "god of La:w:'" Wal\ is. in f~u not only the Woody mwngling of Eombat •.but no less a dedslon c'btainedbetwe·en she t'tvo ·~gmhat'il:~U5i'!JTIld secured try plte,d:se rules of: law. That is why me day and pbi!ee of ba.nle a'~lreq:[fe.ndyfixoo ~na:ihra;rlce~in pro'VotinrM~r.;ILl,s" Boinnx offers him. thechoice of place .. ,n, ~ tim ,A (:O,IU't'3;1·",,,i,l.,:lIA' "ri 1i·~I.!I! ''':1:: ''l!:~s-", ]·5: ....."'p:main ,,,, •• ~~J " .l",~,~", ho '.' '''0' -'-~_,,",,--_ IL --~U~t .;!l'~I~,. ;.J)~ I.·U I ~U,,,, ,u,· W'_' ~., mba t between two 'armies ean be rcpla.ced.bya teia~ dud, h1l.whkh. dus:gods ' gpnt 'victQ,ry .~ dtepartywbose .:ri,ghtheyrei:lCig,nl:le. W!I!)rds l~ke S.chwer't\., t ding ["me meeting af:swo-rilsj" a~enn:in,g for bDlde].. or Old. Norse vdpnd6m~r ["jrudg:roent Q.l a:rms·1a.re not [poetiiC i.gure5.~ bun. cones,pond ex.acdy to ancient prnet~ceJl:l,
QI.~U, .._.
'I;;i .,""

~A;

~JK

.:

1U!.t'r~:!!

Inverse rc:aSODS can 'be added to the above to make the g,ap even sUt:aUe'f • While war is a bloody ,t hi.ng~ th:e thing of peacetimealso
evoi::Jes,1wM: people (lellbenl:dng .h.ave dJJe appearance and. ways of a. batding army •.Tacitus d.escribedth.C$B as,~n;;~mbHes: o Bsidunt, arnu.di c .•. 'nihU neque'publ'ic,'Clen,equ:e privatae TtJi nisi (};1"ma:ti gun.t" .. and, a

fOir 3!ppf(.l::,al~. they shake their spears, tbe lUOSt henerablesign of: l . .1' ··.·• 22 . assent .t.o '. " ..•..........arm-ts". ,_alUy,are,-' A··.· ·f·..·.· .. · centuries 1·.·· ocan~J:naVl,a: oners nemg 'ew .' .. ..' tater, c .r. ,.:11.' .' . ...0; the sames:ight:'i\'lliltever lrUll)'bethe sanctity and 'tbel~pea.cejj' ufthe
,~h.ing:-~uJ ffse.rned. in the texts chosen byW.B,aet.k~!-me·.ngathe:r p t:her,f, armed, and inappl'ova1. they brandish swords 01" hatchets ·01"' even strike their sbieldscwitll theIr :sw:orth. And it is 00,[ only scene and protocol 'wbi!Ch recall WaY:: the; {h,ing is, a. test of strength. and :pres,dige between fam.iHes, or ~()UPS, the fnorc numerous oemere m.enaclngattempdng toim.pooo their' will on the others, Despite the mmousJ' .noble"fe,arIess, ju:ris:ts the procedure itself is only ,ana.r:senal of forms on which ouemay draw, wkkh one ma,'Y divert from their ,destin3ition~turning rigbt to wrong. ProperIy used, lawassures the equi.'valent. IQf a 'vktory,eHminating' the 'poorly proteceed orweaker
J

'2::1: De V:ries.i.4GR
.:23.

~ Taciws, G.~rm:t!ntd. :~~..;.:( :3,•

~. 1935)~ 1:.~?3~ll74; AGR2 (


it.l:

(1957). ni~3\-t4.
Q.u.e.lle:J~':C;!'lg.n,tU(!,11 (t9~7), p., 82.

W.. B.:adt;,e •. Die llel~gj,o:n derGermi!l.~leu

a,dv,crsa:ry. 'The luckless, GFeuir~ and a goodmanl'y othersr had this expedence. 'That is~fnrthermore"tlu~: n~St'N)nto be learned from the one mythic episode of which Tyr is the heroJth;a.t. in whi!cil Soon-I shows Tyr's bra:v:ery. llisminled to' the veryeharacter o:f thegod"bernuse:"sals Snoni, after this adven.tttteTyr ·'18 one ..handed and he iSinnt leaUed a.peace-',maker.uHThis legend has stimulated mose exlDemivcrel" Becdans~ which I "can only briefly summarize here. 'We Halve seen above that Oelin. Isvol"nt~rilymud.l:ated:l' t.bathe obtalned .his 'knowledge of the invisible the basis 'Of his p(),\\!er~throug~l the loss .of one of hi,!}eyes"Tyr.too, is mutilated 'Voluntarily. erat least with Ids tacit consent, Attbe beginning of time, Snerrireecunrs, when. the wolf Fen·rj'r was bmE:1l~tl.leg-odsJ' who knew that be Wa;S to devoin.: them, d.edde.d ttl tie h.bn up. Odin :bad a magic cord made .. so thin thatIt was; invi.s&ble~ but .strong," enough to resist all tests. Tllentbey proposed to me. young Fen.f.ll' that be Ieehimselfbe bound by this ll.31."mless feUer~ in sport, :[0 give him die pleasure of breaking it. MQr-e dis,ttustfnl than youth usually is, thewolf ~ccepted 'Only on. the cond:itti:olt,[hal one 0,£ [be, gods put ahand in. his, mouthwhile this operation was going on" ,a,t ·ve.i1i <las a pledge," SlO rhacall should transpire 'without deceit. None oif the gods w,alswill:ing to' pledge his hand, u.ntUTy.r srrerchedfonh tdsright hand fnto the wolf\~mouth, N atl:Jl1ilUy the woU could nor free himself: the harder he triedjLb.e tighter the ma.gk feU~t' bec9:me.-and so he staJ~Suntil the end ·o:f time, these gl.oomy days when aU the forces cfevll wiU be liberated to destroy the world and the gods 1!.ritbh.The gods., 3!(uordi.n,g to ,snor.rij'·aU Iaughed except T~r; be losthis hand.tj2~ 'The function of the god o:ftbe Ulin:gand. hisnlunUatIOD thus agree closely with the fnncdon of: clairvoyance and tb.e mutilation of Odin. It is the 10.8:5.of his right hand, in afraudulent procedure of gua:rantf~, :3.$ a, pledge, wh.icb quali.6esTyr as the !~g(}d of law!~--in a.pessimis:tk vie~wof ~be 1~'W~ irected nottoward reconciUation a:m,ong'the: parties, d but 1.oW'tlrdth,e crushing' Q,fsom'e! by the others, 'I'yr "Is nat qiJled :a peacemaker." Thi~ im:ag~.!fy:hasp-ermh:'led an impOrtaUl observation that gU~lraneees die antiquity of the symbolic mutilations of the two gods inm'ndo~Eu:ropeancompa_ra.ti'V:e m,ytDo)ogy. IUl94Q I pointed out a parallel Rom;an le,gen~1' as nsmd not in the non.exls~ent divine mytbology,. but in the epic.2B During the first W~r: of the Repub6c,
J

periE it, is, thrown into. b, Porseneaandbls EttwGans,~i!s, successively saved by two hemes, of whll)m one 1,5oneleyed and. the 'orber' becomes ,ouethanded: Horatius she Oy" lops a,nd :l\fuc:iu.sthe: Lejl'-!uz:nderl"Whlle th,eRoman ,rutmy retreats i.n disorder over the Tiber bdd:ge~ the fonncif hold'S the, attention of the' enemy a,rmy bY' h:m:t:nselfhrough .3. stance that disconcerts it, notably by castt iog terrifying looks a Lit: circumfcrew b'l1Ce:$ mintl.ci ~e1oculos. says Livy. The other hero, who lras entered tlleenemy camp to. stab Por.. senna and has, been captured 'a'ft;erbeing tricked, burns his right band in. the king"s brazier ito lead him, by this proof afheroism, to believe thar afcerhlm three hundrerl you~gwarriors~ equallyrescfved, win ~repeat theattempt'==l!!'oich is perhaps net true-and so convince him to consent to an bonor,ablepc'a.cf' withR.om!e. Here are thecommems I made about this .I~;al(ll·Scandina:vi.31norres,pondence in :~.'951,: c Rome~
:hl the-mortal

don of t,b,e world is div.idedincfJ t.wo grealtplo"T:inQ('!s,i:hat: ~of inspirati.on andprestige, that o[ contract 'and. dlicaner:y ~ in otJu~rwords.ma,gIc and law. Th~$. fheo~oger.ne 'its"a.mong-the GermanIc peoples •. no, rnn!l:'cCI[.han ~, fai thfall,.. preserved Inherl eance from the d.me 0.£ the I ndo-'EuTopean unity. [{IT" i~is found"witll aU the desirable e~le[[l:s:jQns'i1!Ind c~mme:nta;ry .. in VedIc rengJIOIJ1. where the binder m3;gi,dan Varuw;lajand 'M~traj' the ,OO(Il:tra!ct penonified •.form aru~ingpaLrat, th.e hea,d ,oEdle: w(n:-,[d o.fgod:s ...

oJlfe hand andpenuadliI1Ig th:rougb a.p;~edg,~,in a. ceremony of oaths on the o~ber. It is also dear mat, inRome as in &call!dina'V~a" these actions are «,nnetfed with the same two mUtilatlmlS" andunder dIe :5;(l'tll:e' cofclcHt,f:on5:. Odin and. Codes, hiil:\H~'iJi,lready become one-eyed tbrollgh a previous mutilationwhen th,eyp,a;ra~yz;ed. an. en.emy ,;t,nny.. Tyr aQd. Screvola. Jose their :dgnt bands before our eyes, right in the !jJ,toryJ in pledge I~O a. IlJ1e'wic fal~oath, . However, the s<:opeof these ~ld;"entuu::;t i~,e:xt:rem.ely unequal. In. Rome th~y are Oldy va'dotui;tJlust,r,tOUSi feil.Ui~, without.stat1cdsymbii)lic value wish no etherInterese d.lafi that of patriQit~'c propaganda ...TIley h:l'il"f!at fit5,£ no other ,conseq'u eaces ·for theIr heroes, tl~anbo]]ors on ce cO~'DIrert';ed and mutilations t:h,a.1i: have rendered u'lem. ~s:o comp~etel, :incapiliMe 01 all a,cdon. and,all legal seni(,e~tha.:t&om fi()WOnmey 'cannot even be eons:idered. In. Sc:an(Un:a:vla,~ en rhe Gontrary~. the twomultil;)llUons~ .c:le,ar11 symbolicJfirst erease and latJer manifest the lasdng quality O1f each .()if the gods:~ dIe; para.~.yzing tr~8iO:I!lary an.d th,e ch~ef of le,gd -procednre. They Me the pa.lpabIDee::o:::presslion of 'the theologem:e 'tbat is the br1l's:~S' Q~th,e coel',;jstence of' the, two h.i,ghest gods.. nam.~ly that the 'Soverel,g1l. adminl&.£ta,

same r!eS'pecdvety as those; of Odlnan~

It :is,d,e'acr tbrut me provlnces

0.f acdon

T)tr: paralyzing the enc:'my on ehe

of Codes, and Sa.evob, are the

Furthermore" ihe;t,n ::liJog:ybe!tw~ei!lJ tbe'RfJIlHl:n. and Sca:nlli:iinavian s:to'ries is; o£ the; mIt ma.t at the same d:O:H~e:xcl:l:ldesbGdl tIt,e: possibility

dIal. 'theym.ay be ~nde'pendem: and. die pos~ibilhy that one· de:r,i~es from m.e eeher, We are dealing here, in :£act~with a com.plexand! exceedingly Fa't;edleme, Since [9"40, wb.en the correspondence wasfirstmned~ a. gr~a( many scholars haVIC co-milled the mythologles ,of tne!l::nci,en[" and modern

worlds in au attempt (0 find~wlmits dloublefunction:al effe'cc,t:hhi, ceaple of One-eye and. One-hand ..On.~Tthe. lirerature of another pcopl:.e related too the Germ~nica.nd n:aUcpcoph~sttbe' Irish epic, presents, :someth:im,g comp~fa.b]'e althougb noticeably more (Ustant. And yet the Roman and Scalldi,na vianplots are ~oo diUcrciln, to SUppOtlC it dir~ct or ili:di.n~ctlo~m ,born. one Ito the other .. A ruoan would rild~e,r-htl!.'!I!Ie conserved the outline of the scenes an d some o[th e p,ic:~ull~sque details and!,los t. die sen~e~rhe jdeo:~ogka~pdnciple (If the dQulJle intrigue.h is; dlis.princip]e-tlle link. between :[he twO mueilations .and th.e tWOo IDQde:s,of ;,J!,ction.~whIch holds good between one' pi~n ~md anoeher Jn seenes tba't have uodl:ing else in common. .. The only natural ,e',x:pl'anHdon is therefoee to sappese that the G·cr.tDa.r:t,k a.ndRoman peeplesrerained dl.is original paJ:r.~ngfmm the.~r eommon past .. Ina,ddi(i~()n.. 3cS this pah:"is T~dlc:r inval'Uewhe~ it is: operating on the mythIcal plane, supported by the ulf,ology of so,vereJgnty~,ilt Is probable dI<u'::thIs was Its primary fO-rn:i .. ROimethe:n rran,sposed! it ff1omhl;)3J!II'cn. to eflTtht front gods: U;a< en, .:itsol'irfil. men, in. its awn popular and ..national m hiswry~ The dua1 rescue. operation retains its ded:si\;~e importance, but it is no h)tlgef at. the beg~nn.jngof the unlverse, nor in me :5ode:ty 01 Immertals • nor even to found a bipa.tdte cencepden of dlmcting·a;ctio:n,. h ~;5, at the beg,inn.iug 0,[ the .R~JPllb~ic~ inthe .society ·0,£ BtUtU5~ Valerius Pt~bncol<l:Jthe Horaces •. and tl:te Muc:iu:s:es. and .intended by a 5.illimplhllg oEcxit1!'aordinary 5}eH·~acriHce to "gIve rise throUg~lOut the centuries to oth'e:r J?:atr1mk nets oE dev,otJon.

The process '91 the ua,[ls,pos.iilion escapes us. and

Ol'l.t dle- tra:nsPQ:;Jd-on isce'lrtain. It is eveu peli()epUb~e in Itbe e:nlbur .. rassnient tll~it L~lJy sltows in telling 'the lUll) ke'~ystory of the o:ue.ey:ed le:g:i,o;uary" and. illl th.e rnU1l.uing' way -~n '\,vhkh he granrs b~l:n,. in a lOUllda'b-oot phrase, to signify «'gb[9:(e.st a. plural o~t:aos thal h.i's, surname .and all Qf the [r:~didoi~lb(!:~je.27 ·"AE)e!lsimisd.c view of the law," I just said, .in characterizing the Gel'mank evoludon of' :tbe .8Qvcr'e:igr~ god 'IJf Law. And that is Olf great
:impOTltflI1lCe.

w.m

always ~."c~pe us,

First forthe equilibrium. ofthe tripartite theology_ Byactenuating and blurring his ori,gin ali ty and his raison d~eilrebesJd.e the "magician god/I and exeessively de'v'eiopiu:g a military .as,p(>;(:t, the "ged of Law" has practically 10.st ,bis place OD the firat leve,l\t and that v,eryeady. Chap~~r '91of the- Ge'nnt1:r.~ia. does not assoeiate ;r..(ars wh:h Mer-cuTY, ~"l"'l"l 1I'::lle' ''L,;"JQJl,'." .~•. nM· .• n- ;"''''" ..... ~·l· f'm· 'ttV ~'~' ~~if·'" b~··,·.,· ll.""'l.;.,:,r"~"" ·~e· D' . "',"'r""m' m··... i......· ... ,·"''l··r:i-u- CO"" .....c",
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ac .Mart.e-nt, ,..• pl.Q.c(l;nl. Certainly~ despit'etheir 'theored·(aleq~a,UtY' .. the Mitra of the Rig Veda. had lessrelief than Vanu),a" and the Roman Fides, or the Dius .Fidius¥o·ere certainly pale in comparison with
Jup~le'I .. The reassuring god.s: occupy men less than the d.i.squieting onesrat least the ~atter retained their sovereign rank .. "·l\lrar.s~·~·Tyrh(JS in prac [ice descended to the raul, of! 'Hercules" -Thor,

Ell e the' evolutton of the "god of La.W~'had a deeper effect on wh,at mieht be t',B[-W' ,.... the- ,t:!! aeneral tone 0,£' the ' ii''.<>;JJ.'j:lf~'"' ' ' In vain d the t'_;O . U'" ,,[1, ,I.~~ Scandinavia,n go dspur1is,Jb 5;RcrHegeand, per] n:ry.aven,ge 'I'io:la~ed pe:a:,ce Of' s00rna::dlal"".28 No one jncarnates any more In _fJ'Ut'(:'~ex .. e.mplJaty £ashiun those absolute vahres dUll a 8ociety:~eveuh.ypocritkal .. ly, needs to shelter under bighpattronage.No divinity is any longer the refuge of the ideal~ or even ofhQP·e.Vvh at: divine society has, gained in eliectiveI1ess~ it hnsIost inmoraland mystlc:dpower, It is n,ow Damore than the exact projection o',fthe bands or the terrestrial states '\vl~,o$e only lDnC;€'l'.n it is to gaia and overcome, 'To be sute, the lUe ,of all hu:man gro'u:ps iJi made up of v,iolence and trickery ..Ail the
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very measttheology describes a divine: Order 'WIllere aU is not pede;ct, either" but where a, lvIi,era, or aFides 'kee,pwatc:b as gu:aranfiots and. shine asmodels 'O[ true law" :[:"'<::11 ifpoaythe:isticgods cannot be impeccable, tbey shnuld at least, to fulfill their role, have one of them speak for and respond to rnan's eenscience, lear1y awakened, ,surely aln::ady well awakened andmature, :among the Indo-Europeans, But

Ty! can do tll,at no monger. T11e Germani c peoplesand their ancestors were 11'0 worse than these Indo-Europeanpeoples w.ho f.eUupon the
:Mediterrafil:eall~ Iran, ,011' the Indus. Btu their dlfQlogy of sovelleign'~y. and. esped,aHy their god of' La.w" byoonform.:ing to the human example ..'Wascut off [rlOm the role ofprotes£a.tlon against custom which is one of the: great services rendered by religion., This IOlve:ring of the

sovereign "ceiling" condemnedthe world~the~ entitre world 'Of .geds and Jlle'o-ito 'being' no, nu;:rr-et11ian wha~t:tbeyare.,s.:ince n'ledioa:hy there O() l,onger results :fro,m accidental i.mpedectlon.'s;!. but from es~entialm]mits.

Irremediably? This iswhere .Ualder intervenes;! scm of Odin and regent '0£31. wodd to come..

CHAPTER.

The Dlrama of' the World: .-8··.&1-'•• fd'!.'_r, .. 0.' ier, .Lo·'... kl......• _. a - U" -d. _. · .

·~·M

.M:itra and Va:r1:u}:a. renet a tlbe only sQ:vere.ign. deities, in the Vedic reUorion_.,.- Th, "". a_ '... the e rno:s.. di 'I'" ", :,.-UIS_.~e_, 01. .::. '.: - • - .' '0' e A"":'d"~ , . ·t'" .. ,.,. '.,: t·· 'l!h.!:ng "h'" d·I~.1i: a; gtoup~ t, -. .' ][:ya, t·.', .. - . D·' -' ... y , w:hoappear to have consisted mniti,uliYt and ab)eady in, the JndeIranian cOiJllmunity~ 0.1 nocmcre than four members .. These were nnequally divided among thetwo ~eve1s .01£ action which we have observed In the :pr&edlng, chapter as defined by Mitra and VatuQa. I) Mitra, A rya-man,i and Bha:ga cellaborate in the .~piri.[of law and lllstice\vh:ich Inanires'ts itself .inMin::a"s name; .. 2) - JI.aftl"a~ who is alone in his sternness, his magic,.. and hi!5d,i~turb~ng distance:., There arereasons ~O' think dlal :it is this. sclleme~wi~b itsasymm,etdcaI struc'-1. .. • . •. h ture, 1,\1'.lE.C "h appea:rs, agaln~ Sill 'bllIrma te d ~ .•.an d eu~ru::a..Illze'u~ tnat or£. t.e ~.~1 ., 111" ..11 m 'I tWOI :first ardl3.llgels of Zoroastrianism and the' two beings close.Jy asSlldallted.with t'be fust~ l.):Vohu McuuI:h f'Th.e Good T'h.oug.ht'":), S~afJ!a ('~Obedience~'l, rRetrfb1;,n:i.on'·);· 2) ,Ala; rOrdef~').1 .t!li The pres,el1:te of two auxHiarygods, beside Mitra, 'thes.overeign who "is thls world," is ea5Hy lexplaine-d. Aryama.ll~the onewho carries the "'\fOrd ,a,rya in. Ins name." :is,specially ,allotted the prortec[ion 0:[ tbe .iI.. 'M"~ • .. .•• ... ~1·1· ·'11 Jan nation an d assures it d uranon andcohesion; matrtmem at 31.'Ir ~. Iianee, .hospitaHty. gifts free circulation, and prosperity. The nther~ , E,l13crn.·. l,'\ll_'-"S ... _ ..um.eemeansvallotmersr n ...... ~""""'._~ auo_._._ ···-~:I. sides:s ,<:,>,ver ... just, calm .. ~"":~ .. ,,.. ... p_..e Sl_ ... ....... the ! and peaceful distributiO.n of guods am.on,g the Aryans ..:Zoroast1'i:anis,m has :simply.r for Srama" replaced p.rotlf:ctiou of the AFYa.n nation by
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. .I,:FQ:[ deudlr.ldain:j)II,lysis and 'ca_~p~rw~~;m"T ean Qll~y .rd:lcroo, chapler'g in lIly Uttile book. Le:s d.i,t:;ux dC'~in&(J·iI!l'uropt!el',s' (Pa:r.is! P're~ Univerdm:ires de Franoo~ 19.5j;l:). lesp'ec~ianYilS ~lis¢din the Sp<lH:i!ih tranti~.:'ltion 1~(js Di()Je:s de l()~ .Cq"JO,·Etdf:D:,/!i!:(J'$ .•

(Ba:r.ce!on.a'

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~ViO).pp.Sg-68.

ih:rt ,o.fMa:iJoea.n socielYJ the' cburch; .and". £oFAli~ added to the dis-

tributio:n of woddlygoods anether disu-fbu,tioHJ,or rather repayment .. '~ ''':k ,',' "I.. • ., d wmcn ,IS more rmpiortant . Ul tueJr eyes:t hal 0"f mentJOI:':101!ls..'..ee dS;' b .,alC : 'J the faithful, before and. 3J,fter'death" Ithas often. been. noted 'thai the Vedic Indians displayed re:lati.vd.y little concern .~I '""I',Y_,"_ ·U' 't' what ,.,.vl, __ dea irL. 'R·.'. sen •·.rio 'n"~o" ,Ii' the ab :f;"""11'o'~"'" epre . ._,,"Jl~j ~,I ...,"~., ·"~ ,.W.lL_. hereafter are contradictory atid. rarely nourish. in the hymnsJ whi'ch are bursling with virality and worl:d.ly ambielon. By Go,:m_pariso:" '\vith the state '0'[' Indo -Iranian thin 1J:S·' thia w' ··.. '5 perhap ... il''''' l"mp.overi"h · iL',:a.~ 1-"-,1 ment, It is noteworthy that neither' the hymns nor the rimals ,say anydJ.iug of this, 'Vll~(:h is tbepr,incipaI and nearly the on.iy~business
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aman con~in:ues hism.ission into. the otherworld wbe~e n.e is Jd.ng of a badl y defined. cRlJegofYof a:m:es,tor$,~'!lheFa thers," The road. [113.£ leads t.·· . ,. '.' . ...J( .~;1: -. ,'" Imu,e. ·d·· '~Ie rQalUi t'h, ,en" rae "JI!JUI. . . 'in. "'h - ,- cr1l .",~ A Y I'.·- _....5,~r reserved fnr __ e~_ ,.o~V'ar\,tS IfI.1lemIS, . .. ~,s Y':' m -n : litbo- du:dng their lives have perferrned the rites e~a¢dy (in (ontras£ to the ascetics, rowhemano ther road is, ,open). But ZQtoa:Str.ia.n.~:Sm. is preoccupied with the other wlodd to thepoint ofunbala:ncing the hopes, of the fahhllli 'OiD Us behalf. Yet. i.:t gives a" si:m.il.a:rrole ·to the Being derived from, Aty,atJ1aJ:1" an essenti:alwle among' the ~',good~;r dead. lit is SraoSa whoaccompanies and guards the soul 0.0 theperilj,.

of Alry,aman in the epic~'J!lb]c:h of course pn.:serv'es, at times pre" Vledfc con.ceptions 'tbat the Vedasha:-ve not :retain.ed. In the epic Ar'l~

,tU

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ons journey thatleads

it before the tribunal of judges, of 'which he Is amember, This. exact par,aUel confirms the idea that" in environments not properly Vedic, the Indi,a.n:s·h avepreserveda pte-Vedic conception (waiting tomanifest itself in [be form of the eple), which m,ade Aryama.n the lUng and. protecter of the coUe£tiv:ity of Aryan

dead aswell as of the 1hdng Aryans. Lhave pointed out ~ t~imi]ara,ssodation in Rome, of twoauxiliary ,goos to Jupiter. These divinities unfortun,ately are only known in the Capft()I.:i.n €: cult, act;a; time inwhicb, Jupi((er1 as 'Op:iirnu:s a.ndMa>t,imUS.t concentraeed :inhimself the. tw'o as;pec'tS, ·'lVIitdau andj·Va.r~ u llljlian •. of sovereign ty.Tbegrea::r., god,l.odg,e,s in. hi:!ju:~.mple JU'VIe.ntas and T.r3fmt'F'U(S, The former is patroness of the j'tLtJe,nes~ the' class 'most important to the Romans {OI'tile vila~ifLy 'of the city. The latter is protector of a. just delimj,t;ation tif tbe Isndowners' estates, M~reo~el;'~, Juventa:s gnar.anteed eter.nity teR.onu~.. while Terminns guarallteeil spatial perma.nence for her site, Evenle:ss eu.rious ahout the aner~ ~'odd than their Vedic cousinls~ artached to the concrete and devoted to their' city. the 'Qulrites. entrusted to> a divinity only rhe !<jnde;finite
I

£Ulure

of Rome and of themselves, tbe Romans, thatiis~the Romans

successively pr~5en:t Q1nearth in WH'VC'Sof unceasingly regene:raood life, lik.e tidal waves in the mighty ocean. The. Vedic pONS speak Uule of' afterUfe and do not engage their
Aryaman with it, il..nH: neither dO' dl.~y allow wlruH.'t one Gould. call a theory of des tIlly to upp~art either aprolJos their Bhaga and the aUot;·, ment Ol't wealth, er ,apropos the other gods. Bhaga, in particular, is not chareed I •. the a'[p",~""" ~O' '-1 that refle ,,; nt ...L ... 1<1;',>;.,.) s.!lmu.~a te s "1'1' Il.." ~ -;',m' unedia Ito;1o;l"j,-·t',·,' ," I ill .a .... .,uU.··b'" ',-u",u.i~l.l. '~hi' ...... l:.l.!Cu , on this matter: how tointerpret the frequent injustice, the scandal even, of the "allotments," [he .capl'ice or the carelessness of the "distributors" Bhaga is invoked by thepoets of the h}'runs, wI,th visihll.e trust~ another evidence of ~,hcvhality and optimism that characterize their religion .."'las it like this evetywl'There threughout the :),odcty. even among all the t,hinkers? UDdoubt~d~y n(jt~jlldg1ng by an. ,e~pres· don th:atapp-eal"s to be a pto.verbt lPerh~ps ,[1 popular one.whdch the . 'I' -~- ,-: :'_ and 'I' ,_ _. '," ,-' k '-, rrtua I'.. I.b0.0.,~"~So nave pres.el ve d.,,ul.U. exp~une( '1 In t'1len,_ UWll w,a)J;ulb which can staudby Itself: "Bhaga is b~ind.'t Uhaga makes np pa:rt of a little group of Ulutibrted gods that can be readily compared in etiological stories. Their mut~l\ation is as paradoxical as that of . Odin, seeing because one-eyed, and Tyr, patton of quarrels a!l tile TlrItlg after having his rmght hand al]'tputate.dina procerdllH:'e of guarantee .. Bhaga, who disrributes "lots' and who is blind. is a$~ sociated with Savlq'.~ the Impeller, who sets everything ]U motion and who has lost both his hands; with Pusan 'too, protector of the "meat on tile hoof" (tite herds),l\l'ho having ilos.t his teeth can eat (July gl;uel Itis probable ilh.at., in the case oi Bhaga, this. l!.xpressi.on 'that the B~'ihrna]~a quote as a proverb has no other 111eau1n,g l:!1.~I,J1 that of rhe Occidental im.~~,getbat. puts a. bandage over the eyes of Tyche or Fortune, distribtuers of fate, There is a final 'nr:"OUO of ,f," nrohlems that the reflections in thehvrans i:., do not consider: those O[ the eschatology, the end .0:£ theworld, or at least of the present world. The poetsspeak constantly of demonic beings, under various names .. 1>1;1l:lItis: al:\"l':ays in the pai5tof in' the present, to exaolvlctories of thegodsand to obtaln new ones; from them h~the Immediate future .. The llr5JuuaOH of't~n svstemadze this • repre~et:tt~tion.'j' opposing' gods and demons like t'\,v'O rival peoples related hykillship~ telling :[na.ny ,episodes o.f their enduring eoniUct; but dley never speak of "the end," nor does, any ,rlitu.aJ. partrtty it OJ' rm,::paiTe for it Furthermore.rnowhere is any per&o.n presented as the "chief" of the demonk Iorces; they operateanarchically, in dispersed order. As lis well known, Zoroastrianism, ('in the conum:y.~built its dog1lla~.its ethies, and its cult on a sense of 'Lra.gedYJ obsessed 'With the
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hnl t

MFlh.IIOI

strugg,l~ [ba.t th.e .force.S '0.£ Good mai nta:i:l:J. agai'o.s,t. these o:f Evil, In, The .Ave~"~.the two patties, are oI',gani~ed.hlera[ch.kalI1; each 'under a unique command, Theitsymmf'try is even pushed to the extreme: each ~~goodO:O' being~, Ahura Mazda as well as the entities who attend him..-a:nd in. WhOlll" the :m.ora1iz-ed :figtn',fS of the gods of the ,t,h:reefl1~nG,,· dons of ancient polyd.H~ism, are reflected ....hashis own :a(hr,ersaI'Y~is h "evil" countE!l'"pa:n. H. Ge'ige1'2has wcll demonstrated by IdsVOGL1bu~ larry studiesthae th:i.:s graJiJdlos€ ooncept~!Onisf:o·nned, 0.£ elements that the Rz~gV tda isnet ignorant eftaJnd £11:al. in pm;,dcu~lar~the two words Asa and Drud] r'Ordet'~and "Falsehood' t)~,which ,express tbe essentials o.fgood, and evn bl Zorom5u'ja:n I,a:ngnage" havethe same function and the samearticulatlen (r,ta, drub.) in the Vedic language'. Simply., in the hY,luns, these words remain in ;3; £re:e: state, t:ias\hiog in fiotmulas~ burt. not :susta.illjn.g o:n. the'it ,aon,Eto:ntaUon an entire re ... ligieus structure, Mottover~ as, it has been saidl,r Zoroastrianism. bases its concern and Its efforts on the futlue no:t o,n the past or dlepreseut. This is the caseIer the individlllalJ, who must unceasi.ngly prepare f.or his .s·aivadon~aswell as, fa·r the universe, Wl]lJlcll\viH llberateitself one day froM the forces of evil which today are only 'IDo equal to those. of good., At the moment oil Flesu,rre-ction~ says the Gfand:Bun.dn\l'J;isn~.
J

Ohrma,zd. 'will ~ebe~the Evil Spid,t~ V Qblilman wiU se~lze,AkoIDnn. Asa,~ 'Vahist, Indra, Srxiyar S,a:uru~ S'pe~ndarm:at TallOmat, that :is to,sa.y Nan~ ha:ilya. Xumat and. Amutdat will seize T:aunia:n.d Z~iri, the: U:':-u,e and, tbe false word. and Srus (thal is l~£lis;a:.y Sr.aosa) ACSma. (demon .of fury). Then two "dru d!j ··wUI remain, Aharman and Az (demon of lust). Ohrmazd

'wm come

{O

',,:d~.1?f andwm
1;,,;;J!.ll

thisworrld,bim:s:el£ as ;itpri;cs:t o(;;:;iH 'l1lidl SlrO~ as pr.ileStof held the sacred belt hl his band. ThcEviJ1Spidt and Ax
c
'i, 'I!' .,

win, neei:n.~h.e dark:n.ess~ repa~i:[Ig the du:eshold: of' ~~:e,~!k;yIl'hfOiUgh 1.vhidl th ... had ...,..( 1' v ,1',ir:I!,_ . .......... ,AI,.t\,cL;Il, .U,~,'t:''-,a,,:tl[''''P't'!;n ro:::"'r"'l"'-]'~l"'wi:ll be ~~i:'i'r""ed'llfi ~.'1,.,e' '''''d' i .~,L'I!."I ~~~.,~,t, u; '~~,b'''''''' moltle:n:mct,~d" 'which :110'1," ou th,l!l.evn bei'ng. :~nd ehe dlrt :al'.ld, ehe

stench of th.e earth. w·nl be c:cm~umed. 'by dli.i5 I!.~!e; tall 'whidl wUlmake
pure .. Tb:i;:' 11o!,eby '~vbj:ch d~te EvU ,spirit

'wm

UUI!.:.'I;.."il.J_:!K

,',.=l -

UII.A.

\~~I

=1'1.

tlLlJ'_-

itlds metal. Tiley will .bun [ tllUS in .u~e distance :tbe e'V'Uexistence of tbe earth. and there 'W~:U ~[en.ewalin t,h,e universe, the wodel will bemme be ,[mm.onailfol" eternity and. levedn~dngpr,()gressJI

.had, eDt:ered. win be cloed up by

it

This escbatelegleal vision, th:is dlefinid.ve happiness suc~eedi:ng :tbe great crisis, is it a c~adollex ll\,iiz.i,lo o£ In:alJda.i$m.,or had the Jndo-Iranians already dreamed ,Qf this ,great d.a.ywhen Goodwowd rake absolute and total revenge [or the 'thousand trials that. the
:2: Bernha:rdGeige::rt
_' _ I.'~ .~~ __ ' _M~'J

.Die 'ibn~:f!)l
ji '''''/

dit":'utn'ng (V~.e'fHl{!l .•.19'~ 6). 3IGrn·l'.l..i! Ih.i1:nd"~~l"vv'V'!'V·· ,A.f'!ti..A,,L ::ii:gp-193·


__ '.rl:l!,~

s~",~(l$". Jh'rWe;f~
;j]'ililr ... · ~ L~.
J J~J

tl:t:!a

ih:'f~ut~pT"ii;.ng'lic.h,t';Be"'
.
II'! ' I~'~,,",~'

,ni'!'..,Q","'u' '''0'

.. 1!I.,1Ll-!l ,lIli,JI., 1Ji,. -;r' A'll~!·~''''''a'I·:l·''' 1('lf'>~.1!·\ :F.r'~ ~''''''I''<! n ,:L ,Il'.' ~1-3:J1IV:'[JJ nn

,D.R.AMA

OF THE 'WOllLD

fOIces ()fEvii inftic~ed on itt Until Jlecently, toe: second hypot.besis .appeared excluded, bUE anarticle of twreoty..;two pages has reversed
UJ:e
~L . ILL"'!'" prouauluty.

In 1947 a S.W'edi5bechelar, ,S. Wikander1wade a di~scovery tha.tpro", [oundly mod.lfied the perspective 0,1 the r,eligiou,s,history of IIH:Ha.' 11;, ad been know;n for a. lOlJ"g time that the gr,ea:t epic the Manti., h b/liiruta someumestold" as a, digresdonan:d ill a. new guise, legends that theVedss do not mention but: of lvh.k.h the Iranians or other ,Indo.European peoples oftier other ven~o'lls;.,F'(J:r example" the stQry of Itbefa1bricatioD and de,sttuction ofthe g,iant Drunkenness,whicb,
J

hasbeen ,analyz~d in ,aurm-st, chapter. Now we know more: the central heroes of the POOnl,. with their characters and tbeir connections,.

also cont,inue an Indo-Irandan ideological. structure~in a Iorm that in ,paJIt is more aIdtak than are tbehymns, and the whole uf Vedic literature, These h:eroes",:five bTl'::)'tbers~ the Pa:g:Q.ava O.f pseudosons of
P.iQ.~iIl~. in :reaI:i:ty the sons offiI.ve gods 'who:~wHh andundel~ are VaruI}a.~cons:t1f:Ulte the oldiest canonical lisr of gods .of thethree fimctiens: Dha:rma, "Law" (obvious,ly a: new :funn of r..Ut_ra), Vayu. and IndF'l (two, Ind:o-,[:ranian varieties of w·.a:rriolr.s)~ the two twins Nli'mtya or As.vin rthi:rd function~t). 'T,he order 'Q,ftne'ir births coui:onns, :00 the h:i€rarcltyoffuncdculs: wbile the characteristics andbehaelor ·0'£ each SOn conforms to the fur.u::dona! definition ·of his, fatber •. Only VarUfJ!a has no, representative in lilieS Ust, but lit has been ,easY' to show that he is not. absent from the 'poem. With some of his more specialized traits he b3;S been. transposed. toshe previous ,gene:ratt!on in the pel'\tio.n of P.al,lclu.~:Ii upposed 'father 10 f the l)'ir)9a va,
j,

Tbe transposition is;not limited to this father and his sons..The ~ authors of the immense poem have ,exphdned it sys,(jfroadeaJly atrhe beginning' of the :6:rs~ book. and recalled iii: many tImes later, that rhe
,
"~

hevoes;,voo

0pp98eQ!n)ea.n.()rt1.~eI'

or coope:ratJe

.a.renOit

:men ex.cept in

app,ear:ance. Whether' they are ,SObS, or incarnations .of either godlsor demons, [bey liepreflent [n reality cosmic interests, n is the verydl'aIlUt ()if. ithemytbiica]. Great 'Times that they present~dlrect! or play. By.3. Kind ,of projecdo1l.J :11 ,3, point o.f orUr space andin a..moment. of our tirne$.~they translate into past history what Ute myth dlsU'itmt($ between thepast, the :pf'esent,~nd the. future. Read in this perspe.(;tive" ttanslat:ed with this keY:I. hidt tbe :autbors themselves furnishand w
··PlbJga.v,!.sagan och Mahibh:5.ratas Religion Q,Ji~.1li;e:e!'l 6 (:~~47)~27--:-Z19.
~l

S.Wib.nd'er,

nl:}tthk:a

~'6nudUni[lgar~'·

which .is confirmed by analyses, that the Indians were noion~r capable of m:aking~ the epic poem retraces bom the be,gi.nuing the trials. the injust:icesj< and the depredations that the" ,Evil Powers, at the [0:·.·· .- ~Jl .' or a, era,'('t·· .11.;.il.d er, ,3. ~~1i -.. -.' ',"1 1 1.' .f .'_mm,a nd..t _ -, 'nero- dem '.' emnn, maze ['I. - •. rces .o· .ne .£e .....• Good~ the "hero-gods," such as th)ep,a~Q4a;v,3,~enduJ:le.Afu~:rnrard5", it, teU53lbout. tI:refinaI bartHc ,,,,bikh in mythicaJ langua:ge ".vHI be the eschatelogical battle, and in which the latter, taking' their revenge, wUI annihilate thelr enemies. It depic'tst :finaUy~as a cOllsequen.ce ,o;f t'~l"'" terrible i;Y>,"'I-...... th · l~J!I,y:1-lIj.... re .lol"'~,..'iI. tb-·,···e- "". ,t, t t' h.... ,P;;in ;-1""""'1 ". .,r1.- ,u:.... '.Ml· 00'£ .. . ","". ""I,d'''''I 0 ~L~o;]!!.'W. _1!lJ.~, "'!b~. ,,,,,_._¥".,,,,~...... have analyzed the plot hom this point of:"few elsewhere, and I am only .surnmHrizing [he results here. Here is the succession ofevents,
1 ... ,

i'~.

,ILl,;....

.-;;0

in their human form. A certaingenera tion of the dynasty of the Bharara givesbf:rth suecesslvely to three brothers~ each one marked by a d.efidelu:y~ benlgn far the secondbut ex·dlL!dingthe rwo others &om ro,ahy. Dhrtal'a~,~rat the eldest, is blind; P~Q.uJ. who comes next, is siddy ,pale; Vidura, finally, is of mixed blood, bis m,'ot,he:rbeing a :slave sleaet.ly subsrituted
Ear' dile qtlieen. T.beu. Pil)~lu becomes king. ,A.ftet'll bri~f:re.ign, marked unheard-of conquests, he is struck by' a cuue that f.aribids hbn the sexua] actJan.d. be l1a.s five soni begotten by thegods:i the j.ustand g;ood Yudhi~tllirn by Dharm,a.:; Bhima~ the gi.an.t~vitb the dub" by v.ayu~ the chivalreuswarricr i\rju.na by Indra: finaUy~ by ~t.."" "''''.~o·N·'=1i"'a~'\i!',"o- ,', 'r' and Sahadeva ft.(W~: ~". ,'t ... ,a' ~'lirL ,-.,' A:,l~':l·nj!:-ll·~ 1i,.·um.b-~et:w;nsNakula Il., J~-_.~~I._~-'l._-.' , ._.'.'~. ~:_ servants of their brothers. 'V"f:U~D he die,s~.hb brother Dhrtara§:tra becomes the guardian of his sons, sdU young" while waj1ting 'until the eldest, Vudbis,d:dra, can becom:€ 'kinp". Bur, Dhrtara~~r,3t bas sons o~ . whom the Q,IdicSII: Du.ryodhana.! breathes a mOll.stronshatred.a:nd jeal:o,us:y. Being unscrupulous with Jicgard to hi,s ccusins the PiJ;;lf).ava, he Intends 10. deprive them of sheir heritage. During their commcn YQli~,tb~e repeatedly tries to kiU them. They ~s.calJeonly thanks to b secret infor.mation given them, by tl!leh'lLmde~ Vi dura who is devoted to jUrstice,m.oderilltion, •.and good familial concord. In revenge, Dl'q-tax-

by rrlumphsand

.~(;"',IHl;ji

_ ..

,.1,

'-J~'

•••

'"'.

_-'.

'_

,_",-_,,;

,~J

!~

it)1

,w$tr,a" a,hh.ough lo~ing his nephews, whose: rights he: acknowledges and
declares, displays an extreme we',aknes~ lnrelauon to his :s()in~,:t',esists him only to',ield :3:. Iittle laterand ~orro'1l,;;fuUy ermit his ,cri:m.i.n.a] p atrempts, N otha,ving succeeded. in killingtbePiil~va~ Dury,odban:ahat.cbes another plan, 'The oldest of the five, tbe Idflg-de~ignate~ Yudbi~~l)ira is an. average", though pa:ssio:nalf! dice player. Duryodbao<Jl then asks his :falbe:r~spermission 1,0 chaUenge Yudld-lt:bira to amatch that he

55
[(Jul!a norm:aU,win~ but which he will lose:, 'tbe'al(lve:rsary using .,.1,. .. ... T-·..· b'li-" ",- b·· tre'a.y.licrous:,! sope:rnatUl'a h ,roeans. ·...~I,ecln d man.. r,e:5!~;S,ts"I~le~iltates, :f~r a. longtime between the wise advice and honest emrearies of
I

Viuur,a and thevielent entreaties of his sou. FinaUyt he yields and giYli!sthe order to organize the fatalmatch, laB]dngYndhl~tl}Jra to d 'I!..·~h··1 osesatt hi stakes one ,4r-· tne at 'h '11'1 . 1'. appe8r~ Y J:li~t • Ita _ue .U5 ter t . "er: 11 • prop~' Ins,

wife wbo ls~nn barely saved because of one of Duryedhana'a 'excesses. Deprived of""everyd:dng the Pal}:l~l.aJ/a togo into exile £0'" a long have
J,

erty, his royal tYr the freedom of bisbrother:s and h~imseU,even his

"''1. . 1. . W15~lJeS reesta 'b~' l... ..' to •'lIGn:J"S(lCe an d'. at . east. arrrve

pE!l'iQd-twelv,e years in the' fQ:re~tand- a thirteenah ye,ar In a,Dl'Jth(!r country in disguise ..At tlre end of tn.is, pe:ri:od. they "viII be able tore, .. turn and reclaim theie heritage:., But all. irrem:ediablebostUhy is hencefcrth established be tween. the groups of cousins, and each. one of thei?a:g.g,av3j< before 'I,eaving ~he palace, chooses' hefarehand tbe enf:my that.hewill demoU:sb on 'the day of revenge. 'The tim,ehavingexpir-ed, Yudh!~tl.tira3.ssert-shis r,ights. Dhrtaranra.
., at acorn prom ise be1

twee'n the rival claims, ]Jut his son overcames him with n~l(:ri:mlnad(iJns andfnsolences and, dead in, s,pirit" b€ responds negaUv,eJyto his

nephews' ambassadors, 'The .resulr is war. AU ehe kings of die earth


rake sides with oneof the two camps) and an enermoueand deadly

'of the herculean 8bJrna,. An the sons of nh:rtar,i~tnt.,an the ~fevi1 one8tUpetish~. but ihePill9avaalonesurvive of the army of the

battle .ioUo'Wswbicl:t waversback and forth. for :3, )!on,g time, in the coarse of which the 'pau.·9a,a~keeping tne,ir word~kin the adversaries that they have-selected in advance. Duryodhana falls under th,eMo,ws

···Good."~long with a few sparse heroes .. a

fonnded.Yud,hi~~lJIjr:a r~ignsatla$t ..'VIl't,lu:ms~, just, good.B.is two uncles ar-e ht'!nceiorth bis advlsersand his minist.ers: the blind Dhr·tara;~:~a.,whose lordy weak-

On. this zuin anew order is bnmediateiy

ness wasthe cause of aU their mlsfortune, and Vidnrat the champion


of pe:ace, whocons;tandy tried to avoid o,rHm.i.t rni1ii:for'tune. 'The 'Wonders of the reign Iast until the: su:ccessive deaths o.fthe· beroes: first 0,( Dbrtari~~ra who is! I(;o.nrnuned, 'by the conn:a\gr~ujo,n. of ld5;5~Q'ificial .Iire; rbenof Vidur,awho, litE:rally~ is transfused Into Yudhi~t1;ira: finally 01 Yudh.i§~iraand his brotberswbo f.aU oneafter the other on tbeir·!Great Jour:n;ef~ towards ~Dlitudeand who find aga:in in the sly those whom theyhave lo,~ed or .£ought.. Suchis the ~!:bistor:ical'~ aspect of rhenarrative, Beneath this drama o,(men. anethervast dl'atma, liIrdolds~ that of ehe divine and demonie

bf!ings lvbom ltiley incemate or represent. Thepseudosons


are
SOIlS,

of lP'i~'41u

(one passaJb:t:e' says: "the

.godsof dIre three Iunctions,

pa:rtia.l incarnations") of the great the central axis of Ind\(),.Irania.nmythol ..

ogy,.,Pal}~,hl,conforms to the type of Varuua (he too figured in certadn riuials a.sSi,c.kly paleandwas struck also, in one' traditi.p,n"by sexua 1. impotence). Just so" D uryodbanaitbe organi zer Q.E (Qfls,piracies, responsibla [or the evilplans that resale at first inlth,e 111isfortnne:5of the Pa1J~ava" and then in theextermlnatlenof neatly tin thej!'"Gooi~"
at thesame time as all the •"Wic ked,' ' is the demon KaU incarnated, Kali is the demon who carries the name of the age: of theworld, the:

fourth, in which we are living.

Vvnen he was born, the most sinister

slgns and the :ntostgloomy noises wamed meu, bur his farher, in spite of theadvice 0"£ \vise men, opened the series 0,[ his weaknesses by :reJu5ing to sacrifice him. for the public g-ood. So we have here in

miniature

a great cosmic conflict, whi,ch, is presented with three

"epochs": the creoked match by wbich Evil triumphs fer' fll long ti.m.c,..r,emoving .fron'll :tbe scene the representatives .of Good; thegreat battle where Good takes its, revenge, deeisivelyeliminating Evil; and ~1' governmenty b th . uQ.'(),u. ·.Ei T"wo perso,"s~ III this perspeeelve, 3:r!€; particularly imporrant: the blindO:httata:~tra and themixed-bleeded Vid:ura. who, brothers of: .Par,u;lu~dominate with very diffe-rent a;rtitudes the long conflict of cousins, only to become in the end cellaborators, dose!y joined 'v.rith Yudhi~t~Jlra in his ,id,llkn;~ign. It has been possible to show that, just as ,r:5~~u and Yudbi~~)i:r~a, the two successive kings, represent 'in the epic g1J.me the Vedic and pre-Vedic Varu1Ja.aud~ntta (the latter' rejuvenated in Dl]},tn'ma)~ju~t so the "half-kings" Dhrta!"~~,~ra and Vidura represent the two minor Vedic and pre-Vedic sovereigns, Bhag:a and Aryaman ..Vidura, says the poem .•is an mcarnarfon 'of this
£",

same Dharma of whom Yudhi~t~l~r:fJJs the 'son ora partial incarnation. i When he dies, his being'wiU return, tb];<o\V~ng itself, d;}~s(1:1v:ing itself Into that 0-£ Yudb:is.c'hh;'a. This isa.n excellent epic translation of the particularly intimate tie.teonfi.ning sometimes to the polar of identity, which if~xi$·ts thehymns between Mitra and, ,Aryaman:. 'His, characin
Ii '.' ,

ter~b,is acrlonare what one expects of Arya1u3Il. He shows constant concern both f.Qf jlL1.~,t:ic.e·and for good i'llndent~nding between memben; 0,£ the !'It,laJ. the great -family. He is only able to thwart fora time the .rratrlddal machinations ofDurjodhana; althougbrecognized as excenellt~ hisadvice is notfollowed and, during the bau'k~~be says
noth.ing more,

~,nd.shows himself

no

1l101~. I'"Ie

i;Jinly reappears after

ehe :end of the cenfllctto

,collaborate dosely with chis Yudb,i~t~;atira

rtll I errechtllcl

' ChLll t

M. ion

57

who is almost 11i:m,seU~n.d to app'~yfinally the laws of jusitice and good a


understanding'

which he has alwa.ys extolled, By a ,strang,e g,ap or a

nearly 'unique exception, the poem does not make Dlrrtarn~~r~a into thesen or incarnation of a,ny god. Hut. all duuugh the.drama, in words that he speaks and, in the utterances of his, interlocutor5~ his (011][1(:,(" don l\l'hhfate (,da,iTJa~ kala,. etc.) is established and repeated ahurrdred times. 'This blind man is .inteUigent. He declares himself that his nephe'ws an! tight;: heknows (Vidura s.{ID,ysso to 111m ;and he: ;ag:r'ee~~) that the: malice of Duryodhana can only Ieadto a catastrophe; but in
the end~Lhf\ou,glll lack of character, he makes decisionsabou t [be game and tlH'!war tha:t d:ds bad. counselor s.uggests. He is" in aU this~

and his decisions laden wIth misfortune cop" thebebavior o,ffa[e.~ just as baffHug as :is be:: Blllaga is blind ••• " Vildu.ra and Dhrrta:ra;q:r:a, are never in ,oppos.ition excep:tin their speeches, !(:)U the subject of advice that the seeendasks of tbe fi!rst~ which be apprDv,es, ofand does netapply .. But there is n[!lbo~,tility betweenthera and 'tbey ',·dII find their true veeation in the J~;a£terma.:th of battle" when. they' wiUbot'h collaborate, sidle by side, f!ornh.lerestomed k~Dgsbip (l,E Yt1dh.i~~]~ira.. It is interesting to-note here, in the three brothers- of UTh,C first ,ge'f!ler.atiQn~HI]rtar~~ra~ 'Pil;U;lu and V.dura." a new example of: the curious; r,e-pres:f':ntadoTI here pointed out severaltimes, efmutflations or qualifying defi,eie.ncies. Thefirst was born blind., He will have to. 111. '~ ,', h ~ ;m .,." .i: '-h f' mase tnemosr 'we:tg, ty oecisiens OE tne poeull; . or a b • ftmoment ~h _ne .ne w:i11have the dlok:e in tb,e zravest of circumstances .of c1amm.:lofl" up.~ 0 ,evil or Jetting it loose. In shorr, he is the epiecoeinterparttc Bhaga.
j

an image.' of fate, His hesltarions, his capualanens,


1

l~'"

LJ

The ~econd.~.Pa]:}Qu~ who wiH have the most glorious cIescendanls,~ "the Pa.ggavR/,'i:s struck by sexual Impotence and, ahboughking of the ,s"i,\.",a.rtby Aryas, born s,ic;ld.ypale, The thinl" dedicated with aU I1Jl.is heart to dl e weUa:r<e:and. the ineernal cobeslon 0;[ the. noblerace, is a bastardand 0'£ In:~xedblood.But .il: is above·i'tll the: artlcolation of "b.. ~ l' :t"h] "J . ~ .• 'II" c. ·E·}· tnegreat rores 'VIo~ll:1C_Lr wisn to pOint, out nere, ]'.'1]t ·~·e :n nrst or me dec~:sive "times" 'of the acti()iO, Duryod.ba.na [~_-:De'man]1 leads the

blind Dhrtara.gra. [=·Destiny]in spite ef'thewarning o.f Vidura [~,·'Aryamanl toorganize the match where norm~ny YudbiH9ir3. [=" ~1in~a] ought tJO he iovindble. Nevenheless, by supernatural f,als"iying of the inetruments of p~:a;y~he' lviU be: bearen and, as a .. f ccnsequenea be oblig~d 'to, di~5a.ppear for it long t.hlle" In the sec-ond d.ecis:ive "time," Duryodhana [=-: Demon] laun.ches a [:Otmida.bie coalition against Ylu.1h~nb.ir.a [=tiMLtralt his brothers and anie~J'
and in the ba:td.e that foUow.!i~ each of the P.al.M~,a.,;.a, [::::;:;;:: fUf]lctlio:n.a,.l