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An Essay on Two Indo-European Representations of Sovereignty

by Georges Dumézil

ISBN 0942299132 / 9780942299137 / 0-942299-13-2
Publisher Zone
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

In his work the late Georges Dumézil, arguably the most important modern mythologist, demonstrated that every Indo-European religious and social system was structured according to three primary functions: sovereignty, war, and fertility. Mitra-Varuna, a penetrating inquiry into the first of these functions - religious and political sovereignty - is among the first of his texts to implement this revolutionary theory.Dumézil shows how, from Vedic India to Ireland from Caucasia to Rome, and from Iran to Old Germany, the sovereign gods and heroes always appear in couples: the creative but violent legislator and his counterpart, the conservative guarantor of world order. In effect, Mitra-Varuna presents an archaeology of representations of religious and political power.Georges Dumézil a member of the Académie Française, was Professor of Indo-European Civilization in the College de France. He is the author of numerous books including Camillus, The Gods of the Ancient Northmen, and The Stakes of the Warrior.Derek Coltman lives in England and is the translator of Dumézil's From Myth to Fiction.