beef eating

thillaud at thillaud at
Fri Feb 14 06:56:01 UTC 1997

Dear indologists,
        I apologize for those who know there is no old connection between
indo-aryans and west europeans. Others can read:
        A passage of last mail from G. Thopmson (13/2) awake me:
>cow-slaughter can accompany not only weddings but also the arrival of a
>guest, >and the aSTaka sacrifice to the Pitaras.
        This was the same in old Greece. We have many stories where a poor
man kills his unique beef in honour of guests (evidently, they were Gods
and that was a good decision). Moreover eating domestical flesh was early
restricted to feasts, funeral games or equivalent sacrifices and it was
extremely ritualized:
        1) a special function was to be 'mageiros' who acts, first as the
sacrificer, secondly as a butcher and lastly as a cook (in classical and
later Greece, the sense is weakened and he is just a cook). In the
Thesmophories, a women-only feast, only one man is authorized to come: the
        2) three parts are made, one for the Gods who is burned, the finest
goes to the priest or to any important person who is so honoured (king or
stranger) and the rest is equally divided and distribued by randomized
        => so eating beef is a religious act and, I believe, mageiros is a
very important function: in a 'memoire de DEA' at Nice _Le
cuisinier-guerrier_, the french student Beatrice DUNOYER established that
many great warriors have worked as cook: Lancelot, Raynouard (Guillaume
d'Orange cycle) and .. Bhiima! and I was thinking there is a link between
the mageiros and the shamitR in the pashubandha who is a kSatriya-priest!
Alas, she interrupt studies to go in administration.
        Later in Greece, they were too religious movements who prohibit
flesh-eating, but never so important as in India and the old obelos is
still living: the souvlaki!

        If anyone is interrested, I can give references (only french books).
        Endly, I have curiosity for two questions:
1) In what circunstances vedic people eat flesh (and who eat it) ?
2) what more about the shamitR ? Is he the last testimony of a lost state
before a brahmanic revolution who took the power ? (I apologize for Indians
who are brahmans, that's not a lack of respect, I'm just searching to
understand the birth of the varnas, and the Vedas, our older source, come
to us only by brahmans: that's not politic, just protohistory).

Dominique Thillaud - Universite de Nice - Sophia Antipolis
email : thillaud at

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