[INDOLOGY] Georges Dumezil's Tripartite Ideology text

Jan E.M. Houben jemhouben at gmail.com
Wed Nov 30 11:10:38 UTC 2016

Dear Christophe,
Thanks for the very detailed bibliographical references.
Dear Jonathan, thanks for this reference of the refutation by John Brough.
Dumézil's work is rich and explored domaines that before and after him have
hardly been touched by anyone. Even if we reject Dumézil's main theory
there is much of value to be found in his work.
Jan Gonda's Triads in the Veda (Amsterdam 1976) is a collection of passages
in which Gonda, in his own style, tried to let an enormous mass of textual
evidence mainly "speak for itself" but the aim was to thoroughly refute
Dumézil's theory of "tripartite ideology of the indo-europeans".
Jan Houben


Directeur d’Études

Sources et histoire de la tradition sanskrite

*École Pratique des Hautes Études*

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johannes.houben at ephe.sorbonne.fr



On 30 November 2016 at 10:56, Jonathan Silk <kauzeya at gmail.com> wrote:

> A propos this topic please permit me to quote from a review I published
> long years ago on a volume of the collected papers of John Brough (IIJ 42:
> 188-196):
> Despite the astonishingly broad range of his interests and competence,
> Brough was not a comparativist, at least in the sense that that term is
> frequently used today. In fact, he rather energetically, and sometimes even
> rather sarcastically, critiqued a certain type of comparativism, especially
> in his comments on Dumezil’s ideas on the “Tripartite Ideology of the
> IndoEuropeans.” Having, for example, offered an elaborate complex of
> evidence which reduces to ashes Dumezil’s claim that the “Tripartite
> Ideology” is exclusively IndoEuropean, and nonBiblical, Brough wrote (p.
> 199): “We can, of course, dismiss the whole thing [that is, Brough’s
> demonstration of the same patterns in Biblical myth] as a mere burlesque, a
> caricature of Professor Dumezil’s methods: though I protest that I have
> tried not to caricature, and have done my best to deal with the material in
> the same manner as he has dealt with the IndoEuropean material. The reader
> is free to judge whether or not my treatment is a burlesque.” Despite the
> putative freedom Brough has given his reader, he ends his study with these
> words: “The experiment [carried out in the paper] also suggests that the
> IndoEuropean ‘tripartite ideology’ could be due very largely to bias in the
> selection of data combined with ‘la nature des choses’. If it does not
> prove this with the certainty of a mathematical demonstration, it does at
> least prove that, up to the present, no very strong reason has been given
> for thinking otherwise.”
> Jonathan Silk
> On Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 9:45 AM, Christophe Vielle <
> christophe.vielle at uclouvain.be> wrote:
>> *L'idéologie tripartie des Indo-Européens*, Bruxelles : Latomus (*Collection
>> Latomus* 31), 1958,
>> is currently out of print (the series "Coll. Latomus" is now with Peeters
>> publ.: http://www.peeters-leuven.be/search_serie_book.asp?nr=299 ).
>> As far as I know, no English translation was made of this book.
>> Alf Hiltebeitel made a translation of the 1st edition of
>> *Heur et malheur du guerrier. Aspects mythiques de la fonction guerrière
>> chez les Indo-Européens*, Paris : Flammarion, 19691,  19852 : *The
>> Destiny of the Warrior*, Chicago UP, 1970.
>> https://archive.org/details/GeorgesDumezilTheDestinyOfTheWarrior1970
>> and of the 3rd part of the 1st edition of
>> *Mythe et épopée II. Types épiques indo-européens : un héros, un sorcier,
>> un roi*, Paris : Gallimard (*Bibliothèque des sciences humaines*), 19711,
>>  19772, 19864 : *The Destiny of a King*, Chicago UP, 1973.
>> https://archive.org/details/GeorgesDumezilTheDestinyOfAKing
>> https://archive.org/details/GeorgesDumezilTheDestinyOfAKing1973
>> The translation of two other parts of the latter have been ed. by J.
>> Puhvel, *The Stakes of the Warrior *[https://archive.org/details/G
>> eorgesDumezilTheStakesOfTheWarrior], and *The Plight of a Sorcerer *[
>> https://archive.org/details/GeorgesDumezilJaanPuhvelDavidWe
>> eksThePlightOfASorcererUniversityOfCaliforniaPress1986], Berkeley, UCP,
>> 1983 and 1986. There also exists also English translations of Dumézil's
>> *Mitra-Varuna *(Paris: Gallimard, 1940/48) by D. Coltman, New York :
>> Zone Books, 1988 [https://archive.org/details/georges-dumezil-mitra-varuna
>> - https://archive.org/details/GeorgesDumezilMitraVarunaAnEssay
>> OnTwoIndoEuropeanRepresentationsOfSovereignty1990 -
>> https://archive.org/details/Mitra-varunaAnEssayOnTwoIndo-eur
>> opeanRepresentationsOfSovereignty]; *Les dieux des Germains *(Paris :
>> PUF, 1959) + 4 articles, dir. by E. Haugen, *Gods of the Ancient
>> Northmen*, Berkeley, UCP, 1973 [https://archive.org/details/G
>> eorgesDumezilGodsOfTheAncientNorthmenUniversityOfCaliforniaPress1973 -
>> https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_DZIeNMgZhRwC];  *La religion romaine
>> archaïque* (Paris : Payot, 1966) by Philipp Krapp, *Archaic Roman
>> Religion*, 2 vols, Chicago UP, 1970 [https://archive.org/details/d
>> umezil-archaic-roman-religion-with-an-appendix-on-the-
>> religion-of-the-etruscans-part-1 - https://archive.org/details/du
>> mezil-archaic-roman-religion-with-an-appendix-on-the-
>> religion-of-the-etruscans-part-2 - https://archive.org/details/Ar
>> chaicRomanReligion]; *Du mythe au roman* (Paris : PUF, 1970) by D.
>> Coltman, *From Myth to Fiction*, Chicago UP, 1970; *Mythe et épopée III*
>> (Paris : Gallimard, 1973) ed. by U. Strutynski, *Camillus*, Berkeley,
>> UCP, 1980 [https://archive.org/details/GeorgesDumezilCamillusAStudyOfI
>> ndoEuropeanReligionAsRomanHistory1980].
>> Best wishes,
>> Christophe Vielle
>> Le 30 nov. 2016 à 08:32, Tejas Aralere <tsaralere at gmail.com> a écrit :
>> Dear All,
>> Does anyone have a PDF of George Dumézil's "L'Idéologie Tripartie des
>> Indo-Européens"?  An english translation (if it exists) would be
>> perfect, but even a copy in French would be appreciated.  I just can't seem
>> to find it anywhere.
>> Thank you,
>> Tejas Aralere
>> tsaralere at umail.ucsb.edu
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>> Christophe Vielle <http://www.uclouvain.be/christophe.vielle>
>> Louvain-la-Neuve
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> --
> J. Silk
> Leiden University
> Leiden University Institute for Area Studies, LIAS
> Matthias de Vrieshof 3, Room 0.05b
> 2311 BZ Leiden
> The Netherlands
> copies of my publications may be found at
> http://www.buddhismandsocialjustice.com/silk_publications.html
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