The stakes of the warrior

The stakes of the warrior

Written by Georges Dumézil

About this book

Genre: History
Year of first publication: 1898

Georges Dumezil’s three -volume opus My the et epopee (1968, 1971, 1973) has become, for better or worse, a kind of quarry, sub- ject to piecemeal extractions into the English language. A start was made with The Destiny of a King (University of Chicago Press, 1973), covering the last third of ME H. Subsequently the bulk of ME III has been made available as Camillus by the University of California Press (1980). The editor of the latter, Udo Strutynski, anticipated the present undertaking by formulating a desideratum as follows (p. 261): “… surely the next order of business should be to make Dumezil’s latest—and presumably final—word on the war- rior complex available by bringing out a translation of the first part of Mythe et epopee II…. This theoretical disquisition on the heroic predicament constitutes a tightly knit monograph in its own right as it takes the argument begun in Destiny of the Warrior through uncharted waters and launches a new perspective on the problem. It is self-evident that without a full understanding of the tensions and contrasts at work between the earlier and later studies no further progress on the warrior question can occur.”

With the presentation below of “L’enjeu du jeu des dieux: un heros,” introduced by a critical essay, all but the central third of ME II (concerning the Indic sorcerer Kavya Uganas, of Indo-Iranian rather than Indo-European relevance) is now available in vernacular to what the French are wont to call “le monde anglo-saxon.” This leaves in the main only the monumental first volume, Dume- Roman “history,” the Ossetic zil’s summa on the Mahabharata, epic, and “epica minora,” as a future agendum.

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