By Georges Dumezil (Author), Alf Hiltebeitel (Translator)

The preeminent student of comparative reports of Indo-European society, Georges Dum?zil theorized that old and prehistoric Indo-European tradition and literature revolved round 3 significant services: sovereignty, strength, and fertility. This paintings treats those capabilities as they're articulated via "first king" legends present in Indian, Iranian, and Celtic epics, rather the Mahabharata. Dum?zil, drawing on an awfully large diversity of Indo-European assets from Scandinavia to India and supplying an unique and provocative analytic procedure, set a brand new time table for reports in comparative oral literature, ancient linguistics, comparative mythology, and background of religions. The future of a King examines one of many "little" epics in the Mahabharata—the legend of King Yayati, a far off ancestor of the Pandavas, the heroes of the bigger epic. Dum?zil compares Yayati's attributes and activities with these of the mythical Celtic king Eochaid Feidlech and likewise unearths outstanding similarities within the tales surrounding the daughters of those kings, the Indian Madhavi and the Celtic Medb. whilst he compares those traditions with the "first king" legends from Iran, he unearths such universal subject matters because the apportionment of the earth and the "sin of the sovereign."

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After t h e s e i n n u m e r a b l e m i l l e n n i a s p e n t in t h e g r e a t e s t h a p p i n e s s , o n e day, s e a t e d a m i d t h e m o s t illustrious fsis, h e is o v e r c o m e b y a foolish sense of p r i d e w h i c h p r o d u c e s a feeling of scorn for t h e g o d s , rsis, a n d m e n . I n d r a , w h o is p r e s e n t , r e a d s his h e a r t . Less insightful, t h e rsis e x p e r i e n c e this m e n t a l c a t a s t r o p h e w i t h o u t u n d e r s t a n d i n g i t : u p t o this i n s t a n t t h e y h a v e felt n o uneasiness in t r e a t i n g h i m as a n old friend a n d colleague, b u t s u d d e n l y t h e y n o l o n g e r r e c o g n i z e h i m .

T h e air is filled w i t h confused q u e s t i o n s : " W h o is he? Son of w h a t king? W h y is h e in h e a v e n ? W h a t acts h a v e e a r n e d h i m this r e w a r d ? W h e r e has h e c a r r i e d o u t his t i m e of asceticism? W h a t is k n o w n of h i m ? W h o k n o w s h i m ? " A n d t h e w h o l e h o u s e h o l d of h e a v e n , t h e c h a r i o t e e r s , t h e g a t e k e e p e r s , all a n s w e r : " W e d o n o t k n o w h i m . " King Yayati, in fact, has c h a n g e d .

48 T h u s w h a t was once, before his sin, a " t o t a l i t y " c o m p r i s e d of t h e unification of t h r e e e l e m e n t s necessary for royal success, n o w , after his sin, splits u p i n t o t h r e e shares each defined b y one of t h e t h r e e functions (agriculture, m a r t i a l force, sagacity a n d religion). A n d each of these functions t r a n s p o r t s itself (awaiting, it seems, a n e w synthesis constituting t h e " x^arsnah of t h e Kavis") o n t o a g r e a t m a n a b o u t to b e b o r n , w h o is characterized b y his excellence in t h e c o r r e s p o n d i n g function: t h e first will b e a h e a l e r (who, at this point in t h e tradition, is n o t yet a k i n g ) ; t h e second, a sort of H e r a c l e s ; a n d t h e t h i r d , t h e wise minister, m i r a c l e w o r k e r , a n d a d m i n i s t r a t o r of justice for a m y t h i c a l king.

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