The preeminent scholar of comparative studies of Indo-European society, Georges Dumezil theorized that ancient and prehistoric Indo-European culture and literature revolved around three major functions: sovereignty, force, and fertility. This work treats these functions as they are articulated through "first king" legends found in Indian, Iranian, and Celtic epics, particularly the "Mahabharata." Dumezil, drawing on an extraordinarily broad range of Indo-European sources from Scandinavia to India and offering an original and provocative analytic method, set a new agenda for studies in comparative oral literature, historical linguistics, comparative mythology, and history of religions.
"The Destiny of a King" examines one of the "little" epics within the "Mahabharata"--the legend of King Yayati, a distant ancestor of the Pandavas, the heroes of the larger epic. Dumezil compares Yayati's attributes and actions with those of the legendary Celtic king Eochaid Feidlech and also finds striking similarities in the stories surrounding the daughters of these two kings, the Indian Madhavi and the Celtic Medb. When he compares these two traditions with the "first king" legends from Iran, he finds such common themes as the apportionment of the earth and the "sin of the sovereign."
|Yayati and His Sons|
|Yayati and His Daughter's Sons|
|Eochaid Feidlech, His Daughters, and His Sons Perspectives|
|Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.|
Series: Midway Reprint Series
Number Of Pages: 168
Published: 1st January 1973
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.31
Edition Number: 2