Gods of the Ancient Northmen by GEORGES DUMEZIL edited by EINAR The Drama of the World: Haider, Hoder, Loki 43 Translated by 71 lan l oth,\. Results 1 – 27 of 27 Loki. by Dumézil, Georges and a great selection of related books, art and collectibles available now at Title, Loki. Author, Dumezil. Publisher, University of Chicago Press, ISBN, , Export Citation, BiBTeX.

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University of California Press.

Georges Dumézil

Thus most of the mythological data that Snorri added to the already ex- tant lays or scaldic poems were either his own inventions or wander- ing folk motifs that he synthesized, creating thereby a new literary- genre, the mythological tale, which also bears the unmistakable in- fluence of its dunezil conversion to Christianity. No text provides a general and differentiating definition of the two divine groups.

Introduction xxxi eral themes worthy of note. It may be that most if not all of the major linguistic communities, from the Afro-Asian to the Sino-Tibetan, are or were at some point in their histories also characterized by genetically ,oki ideological structures. The formula of ab- juration imposed on them, which is conserved in the Vatican in a ninth-century manuscript, contains in fact these words: With regard to their affinities, they are of two kinds, depending on whether one contemplates the cult practice and the divine state of things that maintains it, or the traditions concerning the remote ori- gins of this state of things, what might be called the divine prehistory.

In my view, it certainly is not. Gallimard,pp. While in Germany Les dieux des Germains remained untranslated, in Scandinavia it was translated twice: Furthermore, the Germanic homeland represented the third point of a geographical triangle describing the territories over which duumezil Indo-Europeans had dispersed, and as the northernmost outpost by virtue of its isolation— which precluded the likelihood of borrowing, especially from other Indo-European cultures— it could be legitimately ex- pected to manifest what folklorists have called die “archaism of the fringe.

Nevertheless, to put the present work into its proper context, especially for those readers otherwise unfamiliar with Dumczil, it is necessary to sketch very briefly the “grandes lignes,” as it were, of this conception, to say a few words about how and why it developed, and to comment on its general significance for the human sciences.

Professor Dumeail lias kindly cooperated in our work of revision and translation, so that all changes in content from the dumezill are either proposed or authorized by him. Four strophes from that breathless poem, the Vgluspd, in which the sibyl relates quite allusive- ly the entire history of the gods; two texts of the erudite Snorri; and finally an unadroit plagiarism by his contemporary Saxo Grammati- cus— these inform us of this initial crisis of the gods, which is presup- posed also in several passages from other Eddie poems.


Finally, Vedic ideology— and we already have good reasons to call it Indo-Iranian— displayed a firm solidarity between the first two levels in opposition to dmuezil third, as occurred later in human so- ciety, between the Brahmins and the ksatriya, called the two looki, xibhe virye, in opposition to the vaisya. What is important now is simply that these idols attest to, and excellently describe, a tripartite theo- logical structure.

For this reason, the student of Germanic tradition not only has dujezil to be grateful for but also a great deal to look forward to. To put it another way, while Levi- Strauss sees, perhaps correctly, a universal tendency to mediate be- tween oppositions, a tendency that in one form or another will mani- fest itself in all human thought, Dumezil suggests that the tripartite ideology emerged among the speakers of Proto-Indo-European and was developed separately by the heirs to this community as they migrated to their several attested geographical locations, from India to Ireland.

Out of this “pledge of dkmezil the gods fashion a man named Kvasir who has extraordinary, abso- lutely enormous, wisdom.

Loki by Georges Dumézil | LibraryThing

In addition, its principle is easily understood, if one pays attention to the social conditions and conceptions which must have existed among the Indo-European peoples. It was not under just any circumstance, nor without design, that this man-drink was created. But, interest in the origin of indi- vidual tales underwent a subtle methodological shift in emphasis whose implications, lokj the lines of even the most acute angle, led farther away from the specific question of Indo-European origins the more they were extended.

The common Indo-European ideology, derived ultimately from one characteristic of the Proto-Indo-European community, was com- posed of three fundamental principles: Eumezil three functions just noted were endlessly replicated-from triads of diseases 9 to three-fold conceptions of space.

Pereira rated it liked it Feb 07, The only extant documents were scanty and desultory and revealed a fragmentation of worship not only between the major groups of Scandinavians and Continental Germans— with practically no evidence of the eumezil of the latter group-but also a fragmentation within these groups.


An Indo-European Trifunctional Sacrifice? Du mythe au roman contained, in Dumezil’s words, his “final evaluation” of Saxo’s writings— with one major exception.

Here Dumdzil stresses the importance of oral tradition as a source for Snorri’s knowledge and criticizes the tendency of philologists in general to regard “explication de texte” as merely the fitting together dumdzil so many pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Dmezil the most important single contribution was made in by Stig Wikander, who demon- strated that loko gods of the Rig Veda which reflected the three func- tions— Mitra, Varuna, Indra, and others— were transposed into the heroes of the Mahabhdrata, and thereby opened up a whole new prospect for the study of Indo-European mythology.

Snorri proceeds no differently. Introduction xxvii The relative richness of Germanic tradition made it impossible for Dumezil to avoid a clash with the specialists. Certain other divine types are mentioned, such as the Elves ON alfar, sg.

Introduction xxxvii mythical twins Hengist and Horsa, who reportedly led the Anglo- Saxon invasion of the British Isles, could be distinguished from each other in that Hengist was the more warlike of the pair. If he places die ALsir and the Vanir, initially, on the banks of the Black Sea, at the mouth of the Don, it is not from an obscure memory of some migration, Gothic or otherwise, nor even from knowledge of a great commercial route going from the Crimea to Scandinavia, but simply from the allure of a play of sounds, during an epoch when such quasi-etymological word play was acceptable as a historical argument.

Neither the Vgluspd nor the Skdldskaparmdl- -where Snorri has no other concern than to recount the divine stories— localizes the two groups of adversaries; nor does either imply any migration. Similar to Frotho’s gestatio is Frey’s burial within a mound that becomes his habitat. Along with the addition of the ancient Germanic peoples to the Indo-European fold and the rapid crystallization of his struc- tural interpretation of their myths, Germanic evidence allowed Dumezil to refine his structure and thereby better to understand the dynamics of Indo-European thought.