SV: Origins of the "double-truth"

Lars Martin Fosse lmfosse at ONLINE.NO
Mon Dec 25 15:01:45 UTC 2000

Venkatraman Iyer [SMTP:venkatraman_iyer at HOTMAIL.COM] skrev 25. desember
2000 15:20:
> I guess what L. M. Fosse is alluding to is that if we
> allow Indian/Persian influences in Greece, many things
> constructed as IE by Dumezil et al. cannot stand.

Another interesting angle! Since the Greeks definitely were in contact with
the Persians (were did the Persians get their mercenaries?), there is no
reason why they shouldn't have been familiar with Persian ideas. The
question is: to what degree were they influenced? Dionysos was recognized
by the Greeks to have come from the East, but that does not necessarily
mean that he actually came from the East. Native Greek explanations of
their religious cults may be quite mythological. On the whole, the Greeks
seemed less willing to accept foreign cults than the Romans, although that
of course does not prove anything either. It seems to me that religious
ideas that are recorded outside the Mediterranean world (e.g. among Celts
and Germanic tribes) are less likely to have been "imported" and more
likely to be relics of a common tradition in the sense of Dumezil.

Lincoln, by the way, is extremely critical of Dumezil.

Unfortunately, any theory dealing with such early matters is likely to be
problematic, and definite proof of one view or the other is impossible to
find. We end up arguing about what is more or less likely.  I think I'll
leave it at that!

All the best,

Lars Martin Fosse

Dr. art. Lars Martin Fosse
Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114,
0674 Oslo
Phone: +47 22 32 12 19
Mobile phone: +47 90 91 91 45
Fax 1:  +47 22 32 12 19
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Email: lmfosse at

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