Paired Horse and PIE breakup

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 6 22:45:33 UTC 1998

>      Also:
>      Mr. J-C. Svadchii's post shows that we cannot
>      support 5500 B.C. as the breakup date. Want
>      to know how you reconcile the similarities
>      between Roman and Indic religions for such a
>      long time.

*Frankly, I have never looked at this comparative mythology /
*comparative religion angle too closely.  And what I've seen of it
*doesn't convince me at all.

  Please take a look. If we accept a relation between
  Roman and Indic religions, then the 5500 B.C. PIE breakup
  cannot be sustained.

  Mallory admits to a problem in reconciling this data from
  IE comparative mythology:

On the horse sacrifice (from Mallory, In Search
of the Indo-Europeans, p. 135ff):

"The major ritual enactment of a horse-centered myth is supported by
evidence from ancient India and Rome, and, more distantly, medieval

The ashvamedha bears comparison with the major Roman horse sacrifice
 which was known as the October Equus. Following a horse race on the
ides of October, the right-sided horse of the team was dispatched
by a spear and then dismembered, again in such a fashion as to
indicate its "functional" division into the three estates. ....

A detailed analysis of this and other material has led Jaan Puhvel to
propose a Proto-Indo-European myth and ritual which involved the
mating of a figure from the royal class with a horse from which
ultimately sprung the famous equine divine twins. He offers some
 additional linguistic support for such a ritual in the very name
of the Indic ceremony, the ashvamedha. This derives from the
Proto-Indo-European *ek'wo-meydho 'horse-drunk', attesting
a ritual which included both a horse and drunkenness. This is quite
comparable to the personal name Epomeduos which is found in ancient
Gaul and appears to derive from *ekwo-medu 'horse-mead'. .... Hence,
both the Indic and Celtic worlds still preserve the ancient
 Proto-Indo-European name of a horse-centered ceremony involving

   The horse ritual warrants one more comment since it illustrates
all too well how a comparison of myths may lead us along paths that
appear to be contradicted by archaeological evidence. Both the
ashvamedha and the October Equus clearly concern the sacrifice of
 a draught horse and in a striking instance of parallelism, both
require that the horse in question excels on the right side of the
chariot ... Clearly, this suggests that the horse is
selected from a paired chariot team. But archaeological evidence
indicates that the horse was not likely to have been employed in
paired draught until the invention of the spoked wheel and chariot,
which is normally dated after about 2500 BC and, consequently, some
time after we would have assumed the disintegration of the
Proto-Indo-European community. Indeed, the entire
concept of horse-twins, totally points to paired draught, while the
archaeological evidence suggests that this should not be so at the
time-depth we normally assign to Proto-Indo-European."

N. Ganesan

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