Myth And Law Among The Indo-Europeans * Jaan Puhvel (editor) (1970)

Myth and LawThis book is formed by the texts of lectures that were given at a 1967 congress about the study of comparative folklore and mythology at the University of California. The congress was led by Jaan Puhvel who was also editor of the book. Puhvel is a Dumézilian scholar and that fact and the title of the book led me to get myself a copy. The book is fairly easy to find second hand, but the price can get pretty high. Of course the book is filled with ‘Dumézilian’ essays. Apparently also that can become irritating! After the third text about ‘the threefold death’ and yet another text destilling the three functions out of some Greek text, I get the idea. I think I prefer the texts of Dumézil himself or perhaps just a more in depth analysis. In any case, the book opens in a very promising way with a nice text about linguistics of Calvert Watkins, the great In Defense Of Euhemerus by Kees Bolle and the only text about law Comparative Legal Reconstruction In Germanic by Stephen Schwartz. Towards the end things become a bit too typically Dumézilian with too little new information. It is nice to find some new scholars who follow this structure and there were some known names and of course references to other books, but I must admit that this work did not make me more enthousiastic about Dumézilian scholars. Maybe a more recent work of this kind, if there are any.

1970 University Of California Press, isbn 0520015878

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