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The Destiny Of The Warrior * Georges Dumézil (1970)

The Destiny Of A Warrior

heur et malheur de guerrier: aspects mythiques de la fonction guerrière chez les Indo-Europèens * 1996

Whereas The Destiny Of A King (see elsewhere) deals with “the first function” (religion, law, magic, etc.), this book speaks about the second (martial, warrior, etc.). As usually Dumézil starts with Indian and Iranian mythology where he finds and describes the warrior gods. Also he speaks about “the warrior function and its relations to the other two functions” by which this later work gives a very good idea of Dumézil’s theory of the three functions. The warriors written about at length are Indra, Starcatherus and Heracles, and Dumézil describes their three sins, functions and place in their respective mythologies (Hindu, Germanic and Greek). Also described at length are initiative combats with dummies, “warriors in animal forms” and etymological leads for the warrior gods’ names and their victims.
All in all The Destiny Of The Warrior is again a very interesting work which brings things I already knew (Dumézil is of course used a lot by contemporary writers), but also thought-provoking new ideas. I continue my search for titles of Dumézil in English (this one you will have to buy second hand, like most of them); next up is an entire book about the Thors-warrior Starkadr.
Read quotes of Dumézil here.
1970 university of chicago * isbn 0226169685

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