The Stakes of the Warrior

Georges Dumezil

Translated by David Weeks Edited, with an Introduction, by Jaan Puhvel

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA Berkeley Los Angeles

PRESS

London

University of California Press Berkeley and Los Angeles, California /Jniversity of California Press, Ltd. London, England Copyright © 1983 by The Regents of the University of California Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Dumfeil, Georges, 1898The stakes of the warrior. Translation of: L'enjeu du jeu des dieux—un heros (which is pt. 1 of v. 2, Types epipues indo-europeens—un heros, un sorcier, un roi, of Mythe et epopee) 1. Mythology, Indo-European. \. Puhvel, Jaan. II. Title. BL660.D793513 1983 291.1'3'809034 82-13384 ISBN 0-520-04834-2 Printed in the United States of America

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Contents
EDITOR S PREFACE VU IX EDITOR S INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION

I. Starkadr 1. T h e T e x t s 9 2 . T h e Birth, Fate, and First C r i m e of S t a r k a 3 r 12 3 . O d i n , T h o r and S t a r k a 3 r in the Gautrekssaga and in Saxo 19 4 . T h e F a c i n o r a , Starcatherus and the Kings 29 5 . T h e end of Starcatherus; Starcatherus and Hatherus 38 6. H65r 44 II. Sisupala 1. T h e Birth and Destiny of Sisupala 51 2 . R u d r a , Kr?na a n d Sisupala 56 , 3 . T h e Offenses 59 4 . Sisupala and the Kings 61 5 . T h e End of Sisupala; Sisupala and Kr$na 65 III. StarkaAr and Sisupala 1. C o m p a r i s o n of the Legends of S t a r k a S r and Sisupala 71

R u d r a . T h e Roles of the G o d s in the T w o Legends 9 1 IV. Rudra and Vi§nu 78 4 . T h e W o m a n and the Ancestors 1. O d i n . C o m m o n Inheritance? 74 3 . Jarasandha 1 . S t a r k a 3 r and Sisupala 131 SUMMARY APPENDIX 135 145 VI . T h e Failings of Herakles 123 2 . Aporia 107 V . Hera. T h e End of Herakles. Herakles and Hera 128 4 . Herakles. O d i n and T h o r 85 5 . Herakles 1 . Reincarnated D e m o n and G r a n d s o n of a Giant 119 V I . Masculine Rivalries 113 2 .S i v a and the Sacrificed Kings 9 7 2 .Contents 2 . J a r a s a n d h a and Sisupala 100 3 . T h e End of Jarasandha 104 4. A t h e n a and Herakles 124 3 .

" the Ossetic epic.Editors Preface et epopee (1968. covering the last third of ME II. Subsequently the bulk of ME III has been m a d e available as Camillus California Press ( 1 9 8 0 ) . T h i s theoretical disquisition on the of the Warrior heroic predicament constitutes a tightly knit m o n o g r a p h in its o w n right as it takes the argument begun in Destiny through uncharted waters and launches a new perspective on the p r o b l e m . . " W i t h the presentation below of "L'enjeu du jeu des dieux. anticipated the present undertaking by formulating a desideratum as follows (p. and "epica m i n o r a . . A start was made with The Destiny of a King (University of C h i c a g o Press. . D u m e zil's s u m m a on the Mahabharata. It is self-evident that without a full understanding of the tensions and contrasts at w o r k between the earlier and later studies no further progress on the warrior question can o c c u r . subject to piecemeal extractions into the English language. . U d o Strutynski. . 2 6 1 ) : " . a kind of q u a r r y . of Indo-Iranian rather than Indo-European relevance) is n o w available in v e r n a c ular to what the French are wont to call "le m o n d e a n g l o . un h e r o s . R o m a n " h i s t o r y . all but the central third of ME II (concerning the Indie sorcerer K a v y a Usanas. . " as a future a g e n d u m . for better or worse. surely the next order of business should be to m a k e Dumezil's latest—and p r e s u m a b l y f i n a l — w o r d on the warrior complex available b y bringing out a translation of the first part of Mythe et epopee II. by the University of 1 9 7 3 ) .s a x o n . 1973) has b e c o m e . T h e editor of the latter. " introduced b y a critical essay. Georges Dumezil's three-volume opus Mythe 1 9 7 1 . " This leaves in the main only the m o n u m e n t a l first v o l u m e .

appendix II ( p p . are of the translator's and editor's m a k i n g and based directly on the original. but in cases of significant divergence or i n a c c u r a c y . W h e n e v e r the latter occurs in extensive q u o t a t i o n s . torrent of invective against Ingellus) is unnecessary in English.) . text and French translation of S a x o ' s seventy Sapphic stanzas c o n t a i n ing Starcatherus's and Fisher. T h e renderings of certain of S a x o ' s quoted Latin p o e m s . only the extracts f r o m de Polier's Mythologie des Indous which relate to J a r a s a n d h a and Sisupala (pp. van Buitenen's rendering (with occasional slight corrections) also serves f o r Dumezil's use of the C a l c u t t a edition. with . Q u o t e d passages f r o m D i o d o r u s Siculus are given in some changes in the spelling of proper n a m e s . given the available renderings b y both Elton the translation of C . as well as all quoted passages f r o m O l d Icelandic. 3 8 1 .4 0 2 . except that the Latin f o r m s of proper names h a v e been retained. v a n Buitenen's C h i c a g o translation ( 1 9 7 3 . the Calcutta passages are translated directly f r o m the Sanskrit. 1 9 3 5 ) .Editor's Preface For m o s t q u o t a t i o n s f r o m S a x o G r a m m a t i c u s the new EngHsh translation b y Peter Fisher (1979) is used in preference to O l i v e r Elton's old version. O l d f a t h e r (Loeb Classical Library. H . h o w e v e r . with n o or insignificant variations. 3 9 2 . where the t w o editions run parallel. the English version given is normally that of J . O f the appendices to ME II.3 8 8 ) have been included. B . A . For the Mahabharata Dumezil uses interchangeably the C a l cutta and P o o n a editions. and the same is true in glossing all short snatches of S a n skrit in the running text.

' and his noun svadha.Editor's W i t h Aspects malheur du guerrier de la fonction = Introduction guerriere chez les Indo-europeens et ( 1 9 5 6 . a structured set of misdeeds or failings in which the hero c o m p r o mises his career b y offending all three levels of society b y murderous/sacrilegious. and venal/adulterous acts respectively. Dumezil also stressed the "solitude and liberty" c h a r a c t e r istics of the Indo-European w a r r i o r . thus " s i n f u l " m e a n s . unique. 'as one wills. A s s y m p t o m a t i c of such a m y t h i c warrior's "life s t o r y " D u mezil singled out "negative p e a k s " or perhaps nadir-episodes. Trisiras) a n d the episode of the treacherous ally ( N a m u c i . spared censure in Vedic h y m n s f o r f IX . ' T h e latter's cognate relationship with Latin Indra's yathalaw.' his a v y a y l b h a v a adverb vasam. triple" and killing-of-kin themes (Horatii v s . Curiatii. T r i t a A p t y a v s . a l o n e . m o r e specifically the c o m b i n e d "third v s . as exemplified b y epithet eka-. Quirinus-Ops) and w h o m he slays in the end b y cruel and unusual. sodalis. T h u s Indra. ' m e m b e r of a secret society. G e o r g e s Dumezil inaugurated a systematic investigation of the Indo-European w a r r i o r type b y matching the R o m a n " e p i c " of Tullus Hostilius with Vedic m y t h s surrounding Indra. Mettius) o v e r w h o m the hero prevails w i t h the aid of succorous deities (SarasvatT-Asvins. b o t h a society's external defender and its potential internal m e n a c e . c o w a r d l y / u n w a r r i o r l i k e .' pointed up the warrior's ambivalent role as single c h a m p i o n or part of a self-centered corps or coterie. 'one's own a u t o n o m y . G e r m a n edition 1 9 6 4 ) a n d its revamped version Heur The Destiny of the Warrior ( 1 9 7 0 ) . 'one.

and sexual possession of A h a l y a in the disguise of her husband G a u t a m a . a w o r k which m a k e s the earlier study seem a superficial sketch. " c o n t r a c t " killing f o r gold of a king in his bath) and of Herakles in D i o d o r u s Siculus (defiance of Zeus leading to madness resulting in the killing of his own children in rage brought on by Hera. Y i m a and Indra h a v e been excluded from the dossier. has his antisocial proclivities fully aired in B r a h m a n i c . rupam) V a y u ) . 3 5 6 - . and looks balam. especially B o o k Five of the Markandeya-Purana where Indra's killing of his fellow god Tva^tar's son Trisiras and of Vrtra (replacing N a m u c i ) . p p . and Puranic texts. M a r u t a ( = Asvin) twins respectively (and subseAr- quently deposited in the w o m b s of the queens K u n t I and MadrT. 9 4 . adultery with lole) supplied G e r m a n i c and G r e e k reinforcements of the t y p o l o g y . received further substantiation in Mythe epopee et II (1971) and III (1973). ruseful defenestration of Iphitus. and K r s a s p a . a n d full of intriguing parallelisms. might. closely reasoned. Dumezil saw a parallel in the in staggered p o r t i o n s which were suc- Avestan "first king" and culture hero Y i m a w h o w h e n sinning lost his regal glory {x^aranah) cessively reinvested in M i t h r a . and the N a s a t y a ( = {tejas. the former without explanation in loco. which are transferred to D h a r m a . whereas n o w ( M E //. In Heur et malheur p p . 1 0 3 .1 3 2 = the present b o o k . B h l m a + j u n a . engendering the M a h a b h a r a t a heroes Yudhi?thira. Epic.9 5 = Destiny of the Warrior p p .1 0 4 Yima's n o n . T h r e e similar low points in the sagas of Starcatherus in S a x o G r a m maticus (regicidal h u m a n sacrifice inspired by O d i n . T h i s w o r k . and Nakula + S a h a d e v a ) . Sisupala.Editor's Introduction the simple reason that one does not dwell on the s e a m y side of one's object of celebration. uncharacteristic c o w a r d i c e in battle. T h r a e t a o n a . 1 3 .w a r r i o r status was explained via the doctrinal "demilitarizat i o n " of the Zoroastrian r e f o r m . cause him to be divested of his splendor. pp. T h e hero as the stakes in a game of g o d s — s u c h is the title Dumezil bestowed on his treatment of the "parallel lives" of Starcatherus. attractively presented. and Herakles in ME II.

1 1 2 [1973]) Y i m a stands apart altogether. with the S c a n d i n a v i a n . artificial mythological extension of the epic theme of the three sins (see b e l o w . with S c a n dinavia as centerpiece and India and G r e e c e as side panels.T h o r .I n d i c one an almost nonexistent third. is the c o m m o n d e n o m i n a t o r and hence the purest reflector of I n d o . pp. Herakles is " n o r m a l " f o r the simple reason XI .G r e e k isotheme bundle constitutes the strongest axis. despite its late attestation.l n d i c one a clear s e c o n d . the whole is triptych. and G r e e k traditions and reaches the startling conclusion that the S c a n d i n a v i a n . all-encompassing "sin of the sovereign" radically different in kind f r o m the "three sins of the w a r r i o r .Editor's Introduction 358 = The Destiny of a King p p . T h e Herakles part. R a t h e r than a triangle. Unlike S t a r c a t h e r u s and Sisupala with their innate enormities (supernumerary arms [ + eye in Sisupala]) which are corrected in childhood by divine intervention. and the G r e e k . 4 . 1 1 0 . Philoktetes). T h u s the Starcatherus s t o r y .A t h e n a ) to their quasiself-immolational death using the services of a y o u n g assistant (Hatherus. 140) which latter Dumezil finds rather tucked a w a y in the figures of Sisupala + Jarasandha in the Mahabharata. outweigh the single theme of the three sins.5 . H e r a . T h e s e refinements started from a realization that peculiar c o n c o r d a n c e s of the mortal careers of Starcatherus and Herakles. " Indra's eviction is explicit: T h e Markandeya-Purana account is p r o n o u n c e d a s e c o n d a r y . remains as before s o m e w h a t sketchy and inconclusive. however. S o m e of the discrepancies and "loose ends" in the Herakles saga are readily explicable as culturally conditioned i n n o v a t i o n s . Dumezil nevertheless triangulates the S c a n d i n a v i a n . giving their due also to O l d Icelandic sources for S t a r k a 5 r (especially the Gautrekssaga). Indie. T h e resulting study of three heroic careers attains i m p o r t a n t new levels of penetration in the Starcatherus part. It also analyzes in depth for the first time the strange figures of Sisupala and his supplementary analogue and overking J a r a s a n d h a . charged rather with a single (albeit triply c o m partmentalized). f r o m the setting of their fates b y antagonistic deities of the "first two f u n c t i o n s " ( O d i n .E u r o p e a n inheritance.

in c o n f o r m i t y with the classical heroic pattern. Unlike Starcatherus buffeted in the tension-field between O d i n and T h o r . unlike the persistence o f ritualistic murder in pagan S c a n dinavia a n d its vestigial reminiscences in b o t h Vedic legend and ritual and in the laws of M a n u . Hera and A t h e n a . reserving hand-related and o c u lar irregularities for the f o r m e r gods of the T i t a n generation (Heka t o n k h e i r o i . and Sisupala. or in this instance w o r k ing f o r his son through the p r o x y o f his h e a d .b o r n daughter. In contradistinction to the ultra-royalists S t a r c a therus and Sisupala w h o nevertheless b e c o m e regicidally entangled (counting J a r a s a n d h a as alter ego of Sisupala). A t h e n a with O d y s seus). t o o . T h i s feature. Herakles has n o similar extreme proclivities. t o o . face to face with Kr?ria. Zeus is in such cases a b o v e the f r a y . Herakles is the victim/ beneficiary of the attentions o f t w o female deities. h u m a n replica o f R u d r a .S i v a . apart f r o m his strained service to Eurystheus. Dumezil is naturally p r o n e to applying the trifunctional . g. neither sectarian oppositions between Odin-cult and T h o r . his legend c o n f o r m s to the relative obsoleteness o f h u m a n sacrifice (or at least the i m m o l a t i o n of kings) in classical G r e e c e .. and here. Herakles is n o t a b l y discrepant. c a n b e explained as a G r e e k i n n o v a t i o n . attributable to the role that the O l y m p i a n o f f s h o o t s o f the A e g e a n goddesses typically play in the careers of individual heroes (e. But interest centers on the " g a m e o f g o d s " in which the hero is the " s t a k e s " (perhaps one might call him rather the p a w n in a divine tug-of-war).Editor's Introduction that he c o n f o r m s to the Greek n o r m which eschews congenital m o n s t r o s i t y in O l y m p i a n heroes. n o r the V a i ? n a v a / S a i v a split of Hinduism. K y k l o p e s ) . n o r the absence o f a n y such historical schism in the O l y m p i a n system are of relevance (the O l y m p i a n : c h t h o n i a n d i c h o t o m y does not enter). an a v a t a r o f Vi§nu.w o r s h i p in Viking S c a n d i n a v i a . R a t h e r than undergo decapitation in the m a n n e r of Starcatherus o r Sisupala. Herakles has a mysterious apotheosis b y fire on a m o u n t a i n . Since Indo-European structures are involved in this epic plot. with O l y m p i a n household tensions replacing inherited Indo-European antagonisms.

Dumezil is of course a w a r e of the functional shifts and slippages in G e r m a n i c theology. and yet he is unable to find any trace of it in Hera : A t h e n a . It (Desp. Rudra) and "light" ( T h o r . For " d a r k " and "light" I would rather substitute a " d e m o n i c " v s . extrafunctional opposition of " d a r k " ( O d i n . a " s o l i t a r y " c h a m p i o n .Editor's Introduction analysis and to extrapolating from such typecasting. S u c h distinctions as the " c h i v a l r o u s " v s . "culture g o d " opposition between deities of the w a r r i o r class. For further understanding of this saga w e might expunge all reference to the "first f u n c t i o n " and treat it as purely internal to the warrior class. 5 9 ) . one that is m o r e serious for the tripartite system than was Dumezil's one-time distinction of "first" and " l a s t " gods. In short. T h u s O d i n is essentially of the "first f u n c t i o n . V i j n u ) deities is set up. e . " b r u t e " w a r r i o r (Indra vs. with the " d a r k " : "light" opposition basic to the inner tensions of that class.. with Odin's warlike preoccupations and T h o r ' s impingements on the rain-related c o n c e r n s of the h u s b a n d m e n . chiefly on the basis of the anecdotal Judgment of Paris. V a s u s . " as are Hera and A t h e n a respectively. and yet V a y u ' s alleged pre-Vedic " b r u t e w a r r i o r " character had supposedly turned into that of a "first" (or "initial") god b y Vedic times tiny of the Warrior. BhTma. of that non-basic differentation. Achilles vs. latching on to the c o m p a r i s o n s m a d e b y Jan de Vries and others between O d i n and R u d r a . . " T h o r " s e c o n d f u n c t i o n . since it cuts across such stalwarts of trifunctionality as O d i n and T h o r . 132). A r j u n a v s . Dumezil realizes that this " d a r k " : "light" opposition lies at the heart of the antagonisms that victimize the hero. T h u s a different. Destiny of the Warrior xi) should likewise be deemphasized as superficial: T h o r is called " a kind of V a y u or BhTma" ( i . 1 2 8 . cf. we should clear the b o a r d s also xiU . e. Herakles. g. see b e l o w . and A d i t y a s sum up the formulaic roster of the tripartite p a n t h e o n [RV 1 0 . V a y u . p. He is also quite willing to admit further complexity in O d i n . while Rudra and V i j n u are not " f u n c t i o n a l l y integrated" (still. leaving this dn:op(a for others to solve (see b e low. p. 9 ] . 8 6 ) . and Rudrfiylas = M a r u t s are clearly warrior deities). Rudras.

close to O d i n ) . and his career is m a r k e d b y the d r a m a between this ancestral burden and the rehabilitational and "civilizing" efforts under the figurative (and in one case literal) aegis of the o p posing deity. not only in his Krsrta-avatar but also in that of R a m a . but Vi§nu is a g o o d candidate for the "culture g o d " type.H 6 3 r (name of both the hero's y o u n g deliverer from life and the fate-god himself. T h o r performs on S t a r k a 3 r a rough form of plastic surgery. V a y u m a y well originally belong on the " w i l d " side. is typically a strong-arm/ foot god second only to T h o r himself. one-eyed O d i n born of the giantess Bestla and riding an eight-legged horse. S i t a . and whose story is h o m o l o g o u s to the Indra-myths of the V e d a . as he forces apart and shatters the j a w s of the wolf Fenrir w h o has devoured O d i n . T h e warrior hero is thus s o m e h o w genetically and inherently demonic. and Herakles meaning "possessing Hera's KX^O?. Rudra with his three eyes and four a r m s . T h e hero has definite onomastic associations with this kind of deity: Sisupala echoing (Rudra) Pasupati. Kf^na relies on m o r e miraculous instant normalization of xiv . as Hermann Jacobi showed almost a century a g o . Starcatherus-StarkaSr being a c o m pound of H a t h e r u s . one w h o will not desist f r o m monsterextermination even in the last straits of e s c h a t o l o g y . Vi3ar. T h o r cutting b a c k on giants. Hera born of T i t a n s . A t h e n a nurturing both plants [olive] and the young [Erikhthonios]). and Indra has b e c o m e too much of an all-round w a r r i o r god to admit full and sharp polarization.Editor's Introduction is the difference between a figure of monstrous a n c e s t r y or attachments and o n e w h o m a k e s the world safe against monsters. V i j n u ' s Norse parallel. a kind of nature : culture tension in which the warrior is caught up. A t h e n a Nike with the G o r g o n ' s head on her breastplate) a n d furthering n o r m a l nature (Indra and T h o r releasing waters.n a m e . with one-eyed K y k l o p e s and hundred-armed H e k a t o n k h e i roi f o r uncles and herself the parthenogenous m o t h e r of the monster T y p h o e u s — a l l these fit the " d e m o n i c " slot. w h o after all married the Furrow." T h e contrasting deity is o n e w h o prunes the wild by holding d o w n the m o n s t r o u s (Indra or T r i t a A p t y a slaying Trisiras. T r i t a A p t y a being " w a t e r y " in his very c l a n .

A t h e n a ' s services to Herakles range from nurture to a r m a m e n t . In line with European heroic tradition. Sisupala's end comes instead at the hands of Kj-jna. Herakles shows traits reminiscent of the T h o r type. perhaps preserving some of the features that have been otherwise lost due to Athena's female gender. 2 4 2 . Daniel Dubuis34 [ 1 9 7 9 ] .2 4 8 ) . redemption in India. such as active monster-killing and the episodes of transvestitism which also characterize Thor and Achilles.5 8 ) . A k i n to the "three sins" is the theme of the "three charges against the w a r r i o r . irregularities in the disposal of military spoils. this thematic reversal is as understandable in classical India as is the reclaiming of the hero by O d i n in Viking Scandinavia. pp. but the resolutions differ: reconciliation in Europe. " as w h e n the R o m a n s Camillus (nia65Tinoq according to Plutarch. until his death reconciles him to (Romans de Scythie et d'alentour Economies Societes son (Annales Civilisations God [ 1 9 7 8 ] . 4 6 4 . the / E x s a e r t a e g k a t a e (warrior estate). Ancillary matter to this great tableau has been accumulating during the 1 9 7 0 s . 5 0 . the Norse and G r e e k strongmen even acquire the finer skills of poetry and music.2 3 5 . the god O d i n w h o ordained S t a r k a 3 r ' s three life-spans takes him b a c k unto himself b y the offices of H 6 3 r . Dumezil himself has c o m p a r e d with the three sins the excessive revenge that the Ossetic hero Batraz exacts for the murder of his father X a e m y c . and the heavenly powers themselves (angels.Editor's Introduction the infant Sisupala. with successive cruelties against the B o r a t a e (third-estate clan). T h e hero's career is in all instances tragic.4 8 9 ) . pp. and opposition to populist measures (ME III. p p . like the populace-hating Starcatherus) and Coriolanus are accused of sacrilege/usurpation. spirits). 2 3 1 . upon which he is a b s o r b e d into the godhead of his killer b y a V i j n u i t e salvation miracle. both a c c o u n t s are simply true to their sectarian e n v i r o n m e n t s . whereas India lays more stress on the purely d e m o n i c . In the fullness of time. due to the flaws inherent in his demonic nature or inflicted by the gods vying for his soul. Zeus arranges for Hera to " a d o p t " formally the deified Herakles on whose begetting he had spent three symbolic night-spans.

his strange c o w a r d l y flight f r o m the battle of M a g h R a t h .Editor's Introduction has tabulated w h a t he considers the "three sins of R a m a " (unethical slaying of Valin. namely. and Feradach w h o was beguiled b y gold until he repented of his hoarding on his deathbed and at last sought divine g r a c e . M o l i n g on an accusation—albeit f a l s e — o f adultery. interesting of all. on the other h a n d .M o l i n g . n o n e is the subject of a tale which even remotely recalls those that have been studied" (viz. repudiation of Slta). thereby to a degree affirming J a c o b i ' s thesis of the Indraic sources of the characters and plot of the Ramayana. which details S t . C o l u m b ' s description of had g o n e to heaven. Here the pitfalls which the first t w o " s a v e d " rulers avoided m a t c h the first t w o sins of S u i b h n e . M o l i n g w h o had long anticipated Suibhne's coming and was thus fatally foreordained to attend to the final stages of his life. p. in line with S c a n d i n a v i a and Greece rather than India. and Suibhne's frenetic hatred of him h a s m u c h in c o m m o n with Sisupala's onslaught on Kfsna. D a v i d J . figures as the ingatherer of the spent soul of this Sweeney Agonistes in the m a n n e r in which O d i n arranges f o r the return of his o w n : reconciliation of the poet-warrior to his god rather than miraculous transfusional salvation. Ailill w h o in the nick of time had thought better of fleeing f r o m battle. Daimin three Irish kings w h o D a m a r g a i t w h o never hassled the church. 141) Perhaps most that "of the 1 2 . the mercenary murder of King O l o in return f o r gold. and his violent death in the house of S t . C o h e n {Celtica challenged Dumezil's claim (see b e l o w . whereas Feradach's last-minute i m m u n i t y to auri sacra fames looks rather like the antidote that might have saved S t a r c a t h e r u s f r o m his third sin. XVl . a c c o m p a n i e d b y last rites administered b y S t . b r a h m a n i c i d a j killing of R a v a n a . the church-builder and " c o n s t r u c t i v e " figure in association with kings. S u i b h n e Geilt in the Buile Suibhne is an Irish w a r r i o r whose life of wandering and poetry is dramatically highlighted b y his u n p r o v o k e d outrages against S t . Sisupala.1 2 4 [1977]) has numerous great warriors of Irish sagas. C o h e n also finds an inverted variant of the theme of the "three sins" in the Borama Laigen. R o n a n . S t a r k a S r . 1 1 3 . clearly occupies the "culture g o d " slot. Herakles). Here R o n a n .

Editor's Introduction T h a n k s to Dumezil we are on the tracks of a truly IndoEuropean h e r o . greatly at variance with the ritualistic and p s y c h o a n a l y t i c p r o t o types postulated f o r the " a v e r a g e " hero figure b y the likes of Lord R a g l a n . xvii . O t t o Rai\k.t y p o l o g y . and Joseph C a m p b e l l . one that mirrors an epic m y t h o n c e current in traditions f r o m Iceland and Ireland to Iran and India.

Introduction
T h e w o r k presented here follows up a study m a d e in a course at the College de France in M a r c h 1 9 5 3 , published in 1 9 5 6 in Aspects de la fonction guerriere, and reproduced with few alterations pp. 5 1 - 1 0 7 . trifunctional in 1 9 7 0 in The Destiny of the Warrior,

It was in 1 9 5 3 that three examples were assembled of a rem a r k a b l e epic thematization of the Indo-European structure which I proposed to call, f o r short, " t h e three sins of the w a r r i o r . " T h e y concern an Indie g o d , Indra, a S c a n d i n a v i a n hero, S t a r k a S r (Starcatherus), and a G r e e k h e r o , Herakles. T h e theme provides the two heroes with the general outline of their careers, f r o m y o u t h to death, while it a c c o u n t s f o r only a segment of the god's career, one leading to a t e m p o r a r y but nearly downfall. A c c o r d i n g to the fifth section of the Markandeya-Purana, in an act which is necessary f o r the well-being of the w o r l d but inherently censurable, Indra kills a demonic being w h o holds the r a n k of B r a h m a n and w h o is according to some also the priest of the gods and even their k i n s m a n ; this sacrilegious act causes the murderer to lose his tejas, his spiritual energy. Later he treacherously slays a second demon of w h o m he, the w a r r i o r , has been afraid and w h o m , c o n t r a r y to his calling, he has not dared to c o n front in a fair fight; as a result of this c o w a r d i c e he loses his bala, his physical strength. Finally, like Jupiter with A m p h i t r y o n , he dons the a p p e a r a n c e of a husband w h o s e wife he c o v e t s and thus gets his w a y ; this sexual villainy m a k e s him lose his riipa, his complete

Introduction beauty. Nothing remains to him except, since this immortal

naturally must hve o n , a small portion of the bala,

the strength

which is the essence of his o w n function. C o n s e q u e n t l y he is virtually wiped out, and his situation is the m o r e serious as the tejas, the bala, and the rupa that have deserted him seem irrecoverable, e a c h having entered into the god with w h o m it has a natural affinit y : his spiritual energy has flowed into D h a r m a , the personification of right as well as m o r a l i t y ; his physical strength into V a y u , the brutish W i n d ; his beauty into the t w o h a n d s o m e divine twins, the A s v i n s . T h e s e four gods, plus w h a t remains of Indra himself, later beget on Pandu's behalf an equal n u m b e r of sons, w h o finally m a k e up the f a m o u s trifunctional group of the five Pai^dava brothers (or half b r o t h e r s , o r near brothers). In the s u m m a t i o n b y D i o d o r u s Siculus, the long string of Herakles' feats, so helpful t o men and to the gods, is set off, p u n c tuated b y three failings whose effects are serious and which necessitate, besides a consultation of the priestess of Delphi, some expiation or redress. For having tried to avoid the divine c o m m a n d which sent him into the service of Eurystheus, he is seized with madness (XvaGu), kills his children, and o v e r c o m e b y this deed, must resign himself to perform the labors which Eurystheus dreams up, with a n u m b e r of s u b - l a b o r s . W i t h this task d o n e , he kills, b y a shameful trick and not in a fair fight, an e n e m y w h o is next to him; he is then stricken with a physical illness (voaf|aag) w h i c h he c a n be rid of only b y b e c o m i n g , on the advice of the P y t h i a , the slave of O m p h a l e , queen of L y d i a . Finally, after a new series of " f r e e " deeds, he forgets that he has just formally and legally married Deianeira and enters into a culpable relationship, as the direct consequence of which he is bodily devoured b y the burning ((Sspjoaoia) of the tunic s o a k e d in the b l o o d of Nessos, and after a last c o n sultation with the Pythia ascends the pyre of O e t a . In the treatment of S a x o G r a m m a t i c u s , the o n l y complete o n e , the n o less lengthy and varied string of exploits of the hero S t a r catherus is spread out over three periods, m o r e precisely three lives, each of which is of necessity and b y preordination marked b y

Introduction

a facinus,

a f e l o n y . H e helps the god O t h i n u s kill a N o r w e g i a n

king, his master and friend, in a simulated h u m a n sacrifice. A f t e r the death of a n o t h e r master, a Swedish king, he flees shamefully f r o m the battlefield, contributing to the rout of the a r m y . Finally, he lets himself be bribed b y conspirators, for a hundred a n d twenty pounds of gold, and kills a third master, the Danish king O l o . B r a h m a n i c i d e , c o w a r d i c e instead of v a l o r , b a s e adultery; such is the criminal record of Indra. Disobedience to Z e u s , c o w a r d i c e instead of b r a v e r y , and neglect of conjugal duty constitute the dossier of Herakles. A n d that of Starcatherus includes murder of his king in a h u m a n sacrifice, flight o n the battlefield after the death of his king, a n d murder of his king f o r cash m o n e y . Each of these three sets violates in succession the laws of religion, the warrior's ethic, and o n e o r the other of the t w o most important c o m p o n e n t s — s e x uality a n d w e a l t h — o f the m o r a l i t y of the third f u n c t i o n . T h i s parallelism was certainly no illusion, b u t w h a t lesson did it offer? Since 1 9 5 3 I had singled out a m o n g the three d o c u m e n t s , taken in pairs, further b i n a r y a c c o r d a n c e s in which the third did not share. T h u s only the sins of Indra and of Herakles, f o r w h i c h the culprits are fully responsible, entail separate, immediate, a u t o matic sanctions, while those of Starcatherus, the results of a curse against which he is powerless, have n o such effects. Y e t even here the similarity involves an important difference: while Indra loses successively, without intervening restoration, the three c o m p o n ents of his being (spiritual energy, physical strength, b e a u t y ) , thus heading continuously and linearly towards his t e m p o r a r y downfall after the third sin and the third loss, on the c o n t r a r y the " m a d n e s s , " then the " s i c k n e s s " of Herakles are completely cured, each after an a t o n e m e n t ; his mental and physical health are restored, and it is the third sin alone which puts him in a state f o r which there is n o o t h e r remedy than a v o l u n t a r y death. B y the same t o k e n , the G r e e k structure is closer to the S c a n d i n a v i a n in which the first t w o facinora h a v e no ill effects, but where Starcatherus, o n c e the third is c o m m i t t e d , has but one idea, one need: to offer himself willingly to

I

in their beginnings. which has preserved other certainly archaic material. the paid help which they seek and get f r o m a young friend for the sort of death which they h a v e chosen. or at least some of the sins of I n d r a — a w e l l . A n d yet. T h u s one c a n n o t exclude the possibility that a relatively late a u t h o r had systematized the sins. and w h o turn out to be those of the first two functions on well-known c a n o n i c a l lists: O d i n and T h o r . b e sides this general outline. where the three sins were merely one correspondence a m o n g others. as matters stand. but which o n e would like t o b a c k up here with an epic version. but their type of c h a m p i o n . and a b o v e all. there appeared very specific c o r r e s p o n d ences: not only their v o l u n t a r y death. In short. it lacks precisely w h a t would be i m p o r t a n t .Introduction the sword of a killer chosen b y himself. but there was a more troublesome p r o b l e m . between S t a r k a S r .k n o w n n o t i o n ever since Vedic prose literature. as is m o r e o v e r the theme of the god's " l o s s e s " — w i t h i n the f r a m e of the three functions which w a s suggested to him by the . the width of the divergences imposed the v i e w — h e n c e the title given to the 1 9 5 6 e s s a y — t h a t only the general f r a m e w o r k of the " t h r e e sins of the w a r r i o r " is to be ascribed to Indo-European inheritance. But h o w was one to interpret this b r o a d agreement in which India did not share? Actually. This of course does not preclude c o m p a r i s o n . and that each of the three societies has made use of it independently and in an original m a n n e r . the c o m p a r a t i v e dossier was s o m e w h a t unbalanced.S t a r c a t h e r u s and Herakles. b y the simple fact that it entailed two h u m a n heroes in contrast with a g o d : Indra's sins are m y t h o l o g i c a l . as righters of wrongs wandering throughout the w o r l d . Hera and A t h e n a . the t w o antagonistic divinities w h o set or enjoin their fates. those of S t a r k a S r and of Herakles are epic. the theme of the three sins. T h u s one could glimpse the main features of a c o m m o n plot. although a text of the Mahabharata does expound a theory of the downfall of Indra in the same sense. Critics h a v e not failed to n o t e that the Indie document used w a s a P u r a n a . the valuable Markandeya-Purana to be sure.

C o n s e q u e n t l y . since it is o n e of those where. in several societies where the ideology of the three functions remained alive and d o m i n a n t . M o r e generally. since his o n l y . But in fact. A n o t h e r section of the 1 9 5 3 study also required additional investigation. perhaps s e c o n d a r y . there remained face to face only the saga and c o m p a r a t i v e study where the dossier has been reduced to t w o . it had seemed natural and e a s y . and to do so b y relying on S a x o G r a m m a t i c u s : does not he alone present entire.Introduction end of the story. going b e y o n d the theme of the three sins. intercession is t o rectify the hero's m o n s t r o u s birth and give him a human form which is indispensable f o r his prestigious career. the legend of Herakles and that of S t a r k a 3 r manifest a specific a c c o r d a n c e : the relationships of the hero with two divinities w h o are variously interested in him. " a rare specimen in c o n trast to the a b u n d a n t l y attested " O d i n i c h e r o . to interpret his career as a w h o l e . man or g o d . Diodorus—with witnesses. It is all a matter of c o n t e x t . seems in S a x o ' s account to be completely benevolent towards S t a r c a therus. in all its three parts and with great clarity. in f a c t . m o r a l . O d i n and T h o r . besides the margin of indeterminacy inherent in is and any entirely different from that of the sins of S t a r k a 3 r and H e r a k l e s . and in particular for a most important point. " T h o r . the p a n o r a m a of facinora which are merely mentioned by O l d Icelandic texts? I therefore preferred S a x o ' s account f o r other points of the saga where it does not agree with the Icelandic sources. Hera and A t h e n a . W i t h regard to S t a r k a S r . is not so unique that it could not have been reinvented independently in several places. whereas O t h i n u s . but decisive. the idea that a warrior. the begetting of the P a n d a v a s by the gods of these functions. even cosmic) defined by the three functions. the context of the "sins of I n d r a " in the Markandeya-Purana T h e third term of the c o m p a r i s o n being thus w e a k e n e d . I categorized S t a r k a 3 r as a " h e r o of T h o r . in addition to the theme of the three sins. successively c o m m i t s a spectacular sin in each of the three areas (social.

the allusion m a d e b y a ninth-century skald to an apparently c o n t e m p o r a r y tradition. in a context where these two goddesses are in fact. and there w a s no r o o m to pursue debates where n o argument on either side could be definitive. in agreement with the Gautrekssaga and against S a x o . " the hero's grandfather. differentially. for the interpretation of the p o e m itself as well as for the c o m p a r a t i v e use of the very archaic m y t h o l ogy uncovered beneath the epic transposition.Introduction unarguable benefits. is not the G r e e k hero the b r o t h e r of this Starcatherus w h o m the magical sovereign O t h i n u s favors only to gain his first crime. protected b y A t h e n a . w h o c a n only b e . a "first S t a r k a S r . the solution was found on the trail of another inquiry altogether. reinforced by the case of Herakles. and Stig W i k a n d e r ' s discovery a b o u t the mythical basis of the Mahabharata. and to w h o m the c h a m p i o n T h o r first g a v e h u m a n form while leaving him the strength of a giant? T h e study of the "three sins of the w a r r i o r " thus remained f o r nearly a decade burdened with a double uncertainty: b o t h as to the value of the Indie d a t a . persecuted b y H e r a . and as to the meaning to be given to the fate of the Scandinavian hero and consequently to the o b v i o u s similarity of his career to that of Herakles. can be understood only if o n e admits. Edward O . such as m y late friend Jan de Vries and M r . Since 1 9 4 7 . Turville Petre. m y t h o l o g y and S c a n d i n a v i a n m y t h o l o g y . is wholly responsible f o r the imposed f a t e which sullies this career by three crimes. N o new decisive element appeared. T h u s it was necessary to revise so debatable a solution. thus it is that the D y a u h w h o acts indirectly through B h i j m a . and constructive critics. G . often pre-Vedic. with . as the saga calls him. have objected that the oldest d a t u m . T h i s interpretation has encountered m o r e opposition than assent. h o w e v e r . which w a s . Several times the inquiry revealed r e m a r k a b l e correspondences between this p a r a V e d i c . that T h o r had well and truly killed a giant n a m e d S t a r k a S r . A s often happens. the Sovereign and the W a r r i o r e s s . I h a d continued to explore its numerous and i m p o r t a n t consequences.

b o t h b e cause he seemed b y nature to belong to a n o t h e r period of Indie m y t h o l o g y . w h a t might K f j p a provided S t a r k a 9 r — a n d through him H e r a k l e s — w i t h the Indie " b r o t h e r " k . and m a n y other peculiarities invite s o m e thought and undoubtedly reserve h a p p y surprises f o r the comparativist. he eliminates t w o ( m o r e o v e r interrelated) obstacles: before the c e r e m o n y . the odd pair which he m a k e s with his brother B a l a r a m a . the sons of Dhrtara^fra. but so vast a problem cannot b e exhausted. and that the "eschatological b a t t l e " lurking b e n e a t h the battle of K u r u k j e t r a has no closer parallel than R a g n a r o k . V e r y soon one character caught m y attention. Kf§i:ia. and because at the s a m e time he lent himself. to celebrate the sacrifice of r o y a l enthronement which in this context also takes on imperial significance: Y u d h i j t h i r a will be not only king in his o w n realm. He persuades the eldest b r o t h e r Yudhi§thira. the freedom which he. m o r e exactly the Krgna of the Mahabharata. His particularly close relationship with A r j u n a . K r j o a actually directs the preparations a n d the accomplishment of the rites. that w h o s e place Indra had filled u n c o m f o r t a b l y . It is in the second b o o k of the Mahabharata that Krgija first intervenes significantly in the life of the P a n d a v a s . and through him V i j n u . In particular. B y his advice and b y several deeds. w h o is apparently reconciled with his o b n o x i o u s cousins. T h e essence of what I think I can offer on this subject is found in et Epopee I. has to authorize and suggest questionable a c t i o n s . a rival king. his participation in a battle in which he nevertheless does not fight. especially in his role as savior in extremis. but recognized sovereign o v e r all the kings of India. without tarnishment. must be looked at not only in his general role as adviser and p r o t e c t o r of the Pari(^avas. but in all his individual interventions. even lies. already long and yet hardly begun. It was at one point in this investigation. at the beginning of the c e r e m o n y itself. in the space of a few years. to precise c o m p a r i s o n s with S c a n Mythe dinavian m y t h o l o g y : n a m e l y K r j n a .Introduction his extraordinary birth and his role in the dynasty. and he alone. in the last chapter of Part O n e ("Annihilation and R e b i r t h " ) . or even e n c o m passed. m a t c h e s the Heimdallr-Rigr of the Edda.

. From 2 5 J a n u a r y to 15 M a r c h 1 9 6 2 . Since then the study has progressed. I attempted to tame this u n m a n a g e a b l e c h a r acter. T h i s latter is n a m e d Sisupala.Introduction be called a c o n t e s t a n t . in seven seminars at t h e College de France. T h i s was w h a t we were waiting f o r . and w h a t follows is an a c c o u n t of its current state. and his bizarre story is recounted in great detail.

" Det gamla Medelpad III (1946).).3 7 of the saga. o n e o f w h i c h is a c c o m p a n i e d b y a small g r o u p of b r i e f a n d fragm e n t a r y r e c o r d s w h i c h add n o t h i n g c o n s e q u e n t i a l c o n t e n t s of these t w o d o c u m e n t s are v e r y u n e q u a l . of StarkaSr (tombs.1 1 ." Folkminnen och Folktankar. contains thirty two stanzas. b y an a u t h o r well-versed in ancient t r a d i t i o n . also Arvid Enqvist. Altnordische Literaturgeschichte II (1942). 3 .4 1 ("Starkodders saga berattad av en 92-arig blitsman"). interspersed with the p r o s e . T H E TEXTS T h e tale of S t a r k a S r is p r e s e r v e d in t w o i m p o r t a n t d o c u m e n t s . "Medelpadssagnerna om Starkotter. "Starkotters grav i Wattjom. is cited in the edition of Wilhelm Ranisch. a p o e m in which the h e r o himself is supposed to be s p e a k i n g . O n e was c o m p o s e d in O l d I c e l a n d i c .6 9 ." Jngermattland-Medelpad.7 . On this saga. etc. or pseudo-folklore. in Andreas Heusler and Wilhelm Ranisch. "Tuna Socken. /jrsbok for Vdsternorrlands Lans Hembygdsfdrbund (1935). Vikarsbalkr. The poem. to it. 455-457. chaps. 1:1-2. On the local folklore. pp. with critical notes and vocabulary.STARKADR 1. ed. 3 9 . see the very interesting article by Valter Jansson. 11-34. extending o n l y f r o m the b i r t h of S t a r k a S r until s h o r t l y after ' The Gautrekssaga. Daniel Aslund. XXIX (1942).2 3 ( = saga 21-28) were interpolations. Palaestra XI (1900). ' U n f o r t u n a t e l y the p e r i o d of life c o v e r e d b y this p o e m a n d s t o r y is limited. b u t the I . it is found. there is no decisive reason to think that stanzas 1 6 . Jon Helgason (1924). with variants unimportant for the story. a n d preserves. 1 . 3 8 . 5 7 . pace these authors. The main connected text is Hervararsaga ok Heidreks konungs. Medelpad.4 3 . Eddica Minora (1903). xxx-xxxi. which are stanzas 6 . see Jan de Vries.

VII (chapter 5 and 11). and the two a c c o u n t s diverge on imis n o gratuitous invention. V.. VII. T h e redaction which we read dates undoubtedly f r o m the thirteenth o r even the fourteenth century. S a x o is very s u m m a r y . I. T h e s e three w e r e . see the introduction to From Myth to Fiction: The Saga of Hadingus. Gautrekssaga. IV. R. himself incidental. but all are agreed that it faithfully records ancient material. of Starcatherus. o r " m y t h o l o g i c a l b o o k s . according to the plausible opinion of Paul Herrmann.J. VIII. for w h o m S t a r k a S r w a s no more than an accessory figure in a b o o k whose subject was quite different. 10 . and also to what degree he willfully modified them. were probably composed between 1202 and 1216 in the order: III. of which there remains no trace. and in particular that what it adds to the p o e m which it quotes and explicates.^ almost the last to be c o m p o s e d a m o n g the first nine. 1973). Ellis Davison. II. T h e p r o b l e m is to k n o w to what extent he understood them. others in lyric meters. or rather the three complete lives. S a x o ' s sources c a n n o t be determined. 936-986.StarkaSr his first c r i m e . T h e o t h e r document is f o u n d in the Gesta Danorum of S a x o Grammaticus^ (born c a . certainly later than the "historical books" X-XVl (from Harald Bluetooth. in connection with the history of his friend and first victim. It w a s only this period which interested the sagamadr. at the beginning of the "long version" of the Gautrekssaga. 1 1 5 0 . as translated by Peter Fisher under the title. N. the Vikarsbalkr. Derek Coltman (Chicago and London. s o m e in epic. In fact he is presented to us. to Knud VI. trans. but knowledge ^ The Gesta Danorum is quoted in the edition of H. written or oral. c o r r e c t l y transmitted. ^ These books. " T h e text is b r o k e n up by numerous p o e m s . VI. the king V i k a r . In the part corresponding to the episode of the portant p o i n t s . 1182-1202). but there is no doubt that he w o r k e d f r o m o n e or m o r e sagas. died after 1 2 1 6 ) . History of the Danes (Totowa. On Saxo. IX. 1979). divided a m o n g b o o k s VI (chapters 5 to 8). which are all attributed to the hero and are surely paraphrases of O l d Icelandic p o e m s . and VIII (chapters 6 and 8 ) . It follows the life.

Starkad den gamle og den yngre Skjoldungrcekke (1910). 4 8 8 (mention of the second facinus).StarkaSr T h e legend has been a b u n d a n t l y c o m m e n t e d u p o n . as an appendix. Beitrdge and Religion zur Geschichte der 78 (1957). Let us follow first. II. 557commentary. with Andreas Heusler's very weak (especially p. de Vries' clarifica. Heldensage. 4 1 7 . the principal studies have been: H e r r m a n n Schneider.2 9 7 . 1. Danmarks Hettedigtning. The old study of Johann Ludwig Uhland. Germanische Starkadsage. if it is correct. |1907l by Max Roediger). will be found in Hermann Schneider's book. part II). the second part of m y Aspects ( 1 9 5 6 ) . piece b y piece. the very data of the p r o b l e m . mit Exkursen zur Heldensage (1908). naturalistic as it is. " D i e Monatsschrift.1 8 3 . Deutsche Altertumskunde V (2d ed. Beitrdge zur Eddaforschung. 3 (1911). 169-183. One may still profitably consider Karl Miillenhoff. if not d e m o n s t r a ted. Teil. 351-358." tion guerriere The Destiny deutschen O. . 4 5 8 . T h e r e a f t e r . the legend of S t a r k a 3 r in its several v a r i a n t s . of only historical interest. 2 0 5 . H e r r m a n n himself m a d e a new and careful though marred b y the tendency to deny a priori the unity of the w h o l e and to dismember the interpretation to an extreme degree. 11 . 36 ( = de la foncGermanisch-Romanische N . Axel Olrik. VI. 5 6 8 . 1 4 3 . in tions in his review of Aspects Sprache Turville Petre. and see w h a t can b e suggested. . " Earlier bibliography. of the North Edward (1964). 2 8 1 . 5 [ 1 9 5 5 ] ) . II. ed. remains nonetheless one of the most interesting: Der Mythus von Thor nach nordischen Quelten (1836). c o n s i d e r a b l y changes the standing. article (repeated. K o m m e n t a r (1922).2 1 1 . O n e finds mention and occasional discussion of w o r k s before 1 9 2 1 in Paul H e r r m a n n ' s Erlauterungen chen Geschichte zu den ersten neun Biichern der ddnisdes Saxo Grammaticus. b y internal criticism. 101-110. slightly modified and without this discussion. " T h e c o m p a r a t i v e study which is presented here. .4 6 7 . 1 ( 1 9 3 3 ) . a s u m m a r y of de Vries' of the Warrior und [ 1 9 7 0 ] . Adelbert von Keller (1868). reprinted in Uhland's Schriften zur Geschichte der Dichtung und Sage. Gustav Neckel. with.G. pp. XXXV. 522-555. p p .4 7 1 . F. 301-356. 180) review in Anzeiger fur deutsches Attertum und deutsche Literatur. Myth Literatur. Jan de Vries.

S t a r k a S r . possessed of four pairs of a r m s . Haraldr was defeated and slain in his turn b y Herthjofr. aged three.6 7 . T h e first. and h a d b y her a son w h o m he n a m e d . ' But s o m e o n e had dark designs on the t w o friends: O d i n . V i k a r . p. He married a princess of Halogaland. 6 6 . and b o r e a h a n d s o m e b o y with b l a c k hair. the sovereign g o d . S t o r v i r k r was killed b y Haraldr. 12 . he stresses the relationship S t a r k a S r and V i k a r had f r o m their early y o u t h . O n e of Herthjofr's men. w h o t o o k hostage the sons of a n u m b e r of important personages. 12. and her father appealed to the god T h o r to rescue her. king of H o r d a l a n d . A s the death of King V i k a r is all that the a u t h o r of the episode intends to recount. ed. according to c u s t o m . w h o lived in H o r d a l a n d on the island of Fenhring. O d i n in fact destined King V i k a r to be offered to him as victim in a human sacrifice. pp. Saga Heidreks konungs ins vitra. w h o brought up little S t a r k a S r along with his own son. a n d he had chosen S t a r k a S r to be the sacrificer. also called Hrossharsgrani (Horse-hair G r a n i ) . king of A g S i r . He then helped his friend V i k a r to reconquer his realm. He abducted a certain girl. w a s a monstrous giant. T h e fate of a h u m a n victim offered ' Chap. the act which S t a r k a S r is to c o m m i t is contemptible and treasonous. and w h o received the n a m e of S t o r v i r k r . 3. appendix ("U-Redaktion"). THE BIRTH. FATE. G r a n i . t o o k a w a y with h i m as b o o t y S t a r k a S r . after his grandfather. a c c o m p a n y ing him on m a n y victorious expeditions and being showered b y h i m with h o n o r s . T h o r slew the kidnapper and restored the girl to her father. If. grand- father of the h e r o . T h e child stayed nine years with G r a n i and grew big and strong as a giant. beginning with the young V i k a r . AND FIRST CRIME OF STARKADR T h e a u t h o r responsible f o r the episode inserted in the trekssaga Gau- k n o w s t w o characters n a m e d S t a r k a S r . cf. Christopher Tolkien (1960). one ought to refrain f r o m being equally harsh from the god's perspective and should not m o u r n f o r V i k a r . an entirely h u m a n being w h o inherited f r o m his father an extraordinary strength. But she was pregnant.Starkadr 2. and joined up with h i m . f r o m the point of view of m e n .

would vouchsafe him the eternal happiness which n o r m a l l y ought to result only f r o m a mortal b l o w received f r o m an e n e m y . V i k a r ' s sailing fleet is long becalmed near a small island. pp. it will h o n o r a b l y increase. ' T h e Hrossh^rsgrani w h o has taken to himself and brought up S t a r k a 3 r with so much solicitude and success is none other than a h u m a n f o r m assumed b y the g o d . is not lamentable. not only will it have no grievous consequences for the h e r o . 13 . " a scratch that. Sacrifice to O d i n w a s as g o o d as death on the battlefield. w a s assured a fortiori of a bountiful and violent afterlife. inflicted on a dying m a n . the vast b o d y of Einherjar. A w a r r i o r or king sacrificed to the g o d . and the duration of this e m b a r r a s s m e n t is such that the king and his c o m p a n i o n s resort to a magical consultation to determine the cause of it. T h e m o m e n t arrives in chapter V I I . Patiently. henceforth without risk.Starkadr to O d i n . A s for the murder which O d i n is going to m a k e S t a r k a S r c o m m i t . 3-6. 13-27. or on the n e a r b y fields where between banquets they wage fierce c o m b a t . but the god vests his c o m m a n d in a series of such conspicuous benefits that one is tempted to doubt its criminal c h a r a c t e r . in the o t h e r w o r l d . especially b y hanging and spear-thrust. or rather has long since gone a b o u t i t . ' w h e n . which every well-born G e r m a n wished for. a n d ' Chaps. Lots are drawn. S o true is this that the S c a n d i n a v i a n s had devised a sort of sacrament designed to save by a shortcut those w h o had the mischance to meet with a natural death. ' Pp. during a Viking expedition. w h o do not find the time long either in the mead-halls of Valhalla where they a r e the guests of the g o d . 2 8 . b y old age or illness: the historicized account which the Heimskringla {Ynglingasaga) gives of the reign of " k i n g " Osinn says that he instituted a " m a r k of the s p e a r . willingly or otherwise.3 1 . this M e n t o r awaits f a v o r a b l e circumstances to ask of his T e l e m a c h u s the act for which he has thus chosen him. Here then is h o w he goes a b o u t it. stated though it b e . either in this world o r the next. T h e answer is that O d i n desires a m a n of the a r m y to be sacrificed to him b y hanging.

moSir fodur StarkaSs. " O d i n : ' "Alfhildr. " h a v e the best a r m s and the best r a i m e n t s . 9 n. 3 [see above. ok enda svd cett sina. p. is being held." The theme of the three nidingsverk was transferred to the sword Tyrfingr and its owner Svafrlami in the Hervararsaga (2. at hann skal Ufa prja manzaldra. p. the event c o m e s d o w n to a magical-oratorical duel between O d i n and T h o r ."^° A n d the tion: " S t a r k a S r will have three h u m a n life s p a n s . o r assembly. " says O d i n . ' "pat skapa ek honum. " T h o r : " H e will receive a grave w o u n d in every c o m b a t . takes him in a b o a t to the shore of the islet and leads him through the forest to a clearing where a strange ping. "neither land n o r real p r o p e r t y . " O d i n : " H e will h a v e the gift of poetry and i m p r o v i s a t i o n . In the middle of the night he a w a k e n s S t a r k a S r . in her girlhood. taking the f l o o r immediately. T h o r . " O d i n : " H e will have fine furnishings. he imposes a first fate. " " H e will h a v e . a nidingsverk. to offer himself as victim to assure a success which will n o longer c o n c e r n him? It is at this point that Hrossharsgrani intervenes. I j ) . In fact. a b a d o n e : " S t a r k a 8 r will have n o children. " says T h o r . Odin formulates a compensain each." '° "Hann skal vinna nidingsverk a hverjum mannzaldri. T h e a r m y remains silent and postpones the deliberations to the next d a y . Revealing himself f o r w h o he is. O d i n ascends the twelfth seat a n d a n n o u n c e s that the order of business is the determination of the fate of S t a r k a S r . kaus fodur at syni sinum hundvisan jotun heldr enn Asapor ok skapa ek pat Starkadi. even in sacrifice. " O d i n : " H e will h a v e success and vict o r y in every c o m b a t . declares that he c a n n o t bear g o o d will t o w a r d a young m a n w h o s e grandfather was a giant w h o m he h a d had to kill and w h o s e g r a n d m o t h e r . the " T h o r of the / ^ s i r " I C o n c l u d i n g . had preferred this giant to h i m — t o him. duel continues: " H e will a l w a y s . eleven of which are already occupied b y the chief gods. " ' But T h o r rej o i n s : " H e will c o m m i t a villainy. and besides h o w are they to induce V i k a r . w h o is master of the expedition and free to f o r g o it. T h o r .StarkaSr it is the king w h o is chosen. A c r o w d of beings of h u m a n appearance are gathered around twelve high seats. at hann skal hvdrki eiga son ne dottur. 14 . It is indeed n o m i n o r matter to kill one's king. " T h o r : " H e will forget all he has c o m p o s e d ." T h o r : " H e will never feel he has e n o u g h .

" T h o r : " H e will b e despised b y the c o m m o n f o l k . the king's counsellors met a n d arrived at the following decision: they w o u l d c a r r y out a m o c k sacrifice. that is arrange f o r the king to place himself in a position to b e sacrificed: he himself will take care of the rest. T h e r e s t o o d near them a fir tree and a high stump near the fir. A n d the god turns o v e r to the m a n . then he stood up on the stump. agrees. far d o w n f r o m the tree stretched a slender b r a n c h . 'Vikar's " "Nu gef ek pik OdnW 15 . telling h i m " t h a t it w o u l d appear as a stick of reed" (reyrsprdti). T h e gods endorse without discussion the propositions of the two debaters. " Y o u r gallows is ready f o r y o u . a n d I will lay the rope a r o u n d y o u r n e c k . and there he died. and S t a r k a S r laid the n o o s e a r o u n d his neck and stepped d o w n f r o m the s t u m p . a spear. "If this apparatus is n o m o r e dangerous than it l o o k s to m e . " T h e king said. T h e r e a f t e r the place has been called V i k a r s h o l m a r . " " T h e n S t a r k a S r released the b r a n c h . S t a r k a S r . the meeting is a d j o u r n e d . then I think it will not h a r m m e . S t a r k a S r had them take out the calf's intestine. T h e reed-stick suddenly b e c a m e a spear and pierced the king. " T h e blueprint f o r the future ends here. T h e next m o r n i n g . T h e servants were preparing f o o d for the m e n . which rose up into the foliage. and k n o t t e d the entrail a r o u n d it. and it does not seem very dangerous. realizing that he must p a y . and the calf's intestine b e c a m e a strong w i t h y . and a calf h a d been opened and gutted. T h e n S t a r k a S r said to the king. he demands of S t a r k a S r bluntly that he " s e n d " him the king. but if it is otherwise. " T h e n he stood up on the stump. " N o w I give thee to O d i n . T h e stump fell out f r o m beneath his feet. In p a y m e n t f o r the aid he has just provided h i m . T h e n S t a r k a S r thrust his stick at the king and said. bent d o w n the thin b r a n c h . N o w c o m e hither. king. then it is for fate to decide w h a t will h a p p e n . a n d it w a s S t a r k a S r w h o proposed the plan. and the b r a n c h sprang up a n d dragged the king into the leaves. hereafter his a c c o m p l i c e . and Hrossharsgrani brings S t a r k a S r b a c k towards the ships.Starka3r " H e will appeal to the well-born and the great.

S o widespread w a s his conspicuous ren o w n that even t o d a y his deeds and n a m e remain distinguished in p o p u l a r esteem. 1 7 0 ) : In those days there w a s a man Starcatherus. of his life. S t a r k a S r then goes to S w e d e n . Certainly it is recorded that he c a m e f r o m the region which borders eastern Sweden. But a c o m m o n tale has been invented a b o u t his origin which is fictitious. p . N a t u r e h a d equipped him with a superhuman physique and spiritual end o w m e n t s to m a t c h . it w a s of n o further interest to the From the birth of Starcatherus to the death of W i c a r u s . For s o m e folk tell h o w he was b o r n of giants and revealed his m o n ster kind b y a n extraordinary n u m b e r of h a n d s . unreasonable and downright incredible. w h e n he a n d his comrades were involved in a disastrous shipwreck. w a s the o n l y one to escape through strength o r l u c k . 31-34. T h e y assert that the god T h o r b r o k e the sinews which joined four of these superfluous extensions of freakish Nature and tore them off. w h o . a n d w a s exiled f r o m H o r d a l a n d . son of S t o r w e r c u s . Here it is in its entirety (Fisher. he w a s at length given a splendid ship and told to pursue the life of an adventurer.' From this deed S t a r k a S r b e c a m e much despised b y the people.StarkaSr Island.^^ and w e hear nothing m o r e sagamadr. s o that men believed that in b r a v e r y he w a s second to n o n e . A f t e r he h a d been his c o m p a n i o n f o r s o m e while and been treated m o r e elegantly and h a n d s o m e l y each day. at the s a m e time exercising watch o v e r the seas. O n account of his wonderful pre-eminence of mind and b o d y he w a s invited b y F r o t h o to be his guest. that which c o n t a i n s the wideflung dwellings of the Estlanders and o t h e r numerous savage hordes. T h e roll of his achievements not o n l y scintillated in our own c o u n t r y but gained him brilliant repute even through all the provinces of Sweden and S a x o n y . 16 . S a x o ' s account is brief. plucking a w a y the unatural bunches of fingers f r o m the b o d y Pp. where he is supposed to h a v e c o m p o s e d the end of the Vikarsbalkr.

or those w h o m Greece and Italy accorded all the h o m a g e of superstition. O n e gathers plainly f r o m this very n o m e n c l a t u r e of days that the persons w h o were h o n o r e d b y our people were not the same as those the early R o m a n s called Jupiter and M e r c u r y . we must realize that T h o r and Jupiter. 1 7 0 . " since the ancient R o m a n s are k n o w n to h a v e given them separate titles f r o m the names of their deities or f r o m the seven planets. with only t w o a r m s left. then it is clear proof that Jupiter w a s the son of M e r c u r y . was afterwards corrected according t o a better model and contained within the m o r e limited dimensions of men. but magicians w h o b y their prestige h a d c o n v i n c e d the simple folk that they were gods.StarkaSr proper. W h a t we call T h o r ' s or Odin's day is termed b y them Jove's or M e r c u r y ' s day. it follows that if their claim is undisputed. A n o u t c o m e of this is that the days of the w e e k . concerning in particular the gods O t h i n u s and T h o r (pp. O d i n and M e r c u r y are different personages. are thought of under the n a m e s of these " g o d s . if w e abide b y the assertions of our c o u n t r y m e n . his f r a m e . Sweden and D e n m a r k . S a x o then resumes his account as abruptly as he had interrupted it: A n c i e n t tradition says that Starcatherus. king of N o r w a y . T h i s birth is followed in abrupt fashion b y a digression into m y t h o l o g y . T h e y were of course not " g o d s . w h o s e c o m m o n belief is that T h o r w a s the child of O d i n . w h o m I introduced earlier. which before had run to a gigantic e n o r m i t y and been shaped with a grotesque c r o w d of limbs. following the c h a n g e of the d a y s ' designations. S o m e narrate this 17 . just as the ancient R o m a n s had also n a m e d these days after the gods o r the seven planets. A s the R o m a n s hold to the opposite opinion that M e r c u r y w a s b o r n of Jupiter. If w e accept that T h o r is Jupiter a n d O d i n M e r c u r y . and this deception h a d infected N o r w a y . in their a p pointed series.7 1 ) . T h i s is w h y their names appear in the days of the week. devoted his initial career to pleasing the gods through the murder of W i c a r u s . " S a x o explains.

in order that he might perpetrate a proportionate number of d a m n a b l e deeds. and eventually arrives at the court of the D a n i s h king F r o t h o (pp. till they decided that the gods must be appeased b y h u m a n b l o o d . 18 . see The Destiny of the Warrior. " O n c e this first c r i m e has been c o m m i t t e d . Ruthenia. and w h e n he should have lent relief disclosed his treachery. 1970). But the tightness of the knot fulfilled its function and cut short W i c a r u s ' breathing as he hung there. A t first with h i m . Russia again. already r e m a r k a b l e f o r his unusual size. and crime a c c o m p a n y his prolonged existence. so that he could use the m a n ' s energies m o r e readily to accomplish the king's death. Saxo did not understand the two-staged scenario of the sacrifice. S t a r catherus then twined round the king's n e c k a n o o s e he had m a d e of osier. but did not wish t o effect this openly. 7. devising a trap during his attendance on the king. Biarmia. f a m o u s f o r his courage and his artistry in c o m posing spells. I c a n n o t entertain the view of one version which relates that the soft osiers hardened as they suddenly gripped and acted like a halter of i r o n . Alf Hiltebeitel (Chicago and London. He soon c a m e to W i c a r u s and f o r s o m e time lodged with him in his p a l a c e . 91. P o l a n d . T o this end he also gave him three times the span of mortal life. p. he travels o v e r a huge area: Russia. O t h i n u s hoped that this was h o w Starcatherus would s h o w his thanks f o r the privileges bestowed on him. pretending to offer the appearance of an expiation merely f o r a m o m e n t . S w e den. S a x o n y . and nn. Lots cast in an urn showed a demand for a royal victim. trans. He therefore m a d e Starcatherus. Ireland.StarkaSr version of the affair: O t h i n u s once desired that W i c a r u s should c o m e to a dismal end. Eventually they e m b a r k e d together on a pirating expedition but arrived at a place where they were troubled b y a long spell of violent storms. 8. W h i l e he was still panting Starcatherus tore out the r e m nants of life with his s w o r d . B y z a n t i u m . and later a l o n e . Slavia. T h e gales interrupted their v o y a g e and m a d e them spend a m a j o r part of the y e a r doing nothing. Starcatherus associates himself with a Danish Viking.

ODIN. the Icelandic and Latin versions are not so different. is nonetheless reduced b y the fact that. Aside f r o m the fact that it is not even certain that such an archetype ever existed—folklorisls a r e a c c u s t o m e d to discovering such irreducible doublets—it is inevitable. T h e presentation of the birth of S t a r k a S r is tighter in S a x o than in the s a g a . Everywhere he performs outstanding exploits. A n d as happens whenever a c o m p a r i s o n is m a d e on the basis of only t w o terms. Sea pykkjask peir I d sjalfum mer I jotunkumi /atta handa.Starka3r 1 7 2 . and to reject as later additions w h a t e v e r does not fit their idea of the " o r i g i n a l " plot. 3. even " Stanzas 31-32 ( = 36-37 of tfie saga). while at first seeming considerable. that in arguing f r o m one p r o b a b i l i t y to the next he m a y venture b e y o n d w h a t is justifiable. the grandson bears hereditary traces of his grandfather's monstrosity. 31. ' " their reasons a r e very w e a k . since even in the f o r m e r S t a r k a S r is not. the Icelandic and the Latin. follow in the m a i n the s a m e pattern but manifest significant differences on several p o i n t s . 19 . In this case. it is difficult t o unravel a single archetype of which the k n o w n texts w o u l d b e t w o divergent derivatives. If one avoids mutilating the bdlkr. grandfather a n d grandson: his native monstrosity. a model of martial virtue. a n d the beginning of his heroic career. vestigial stumps of supernumerary a r m s . S a x o k n o w s only a single Starcatherus.1 7 4 ) . according to the Vikarsbalkr. w h o consolidates w h a t the saga distributes between the t w o S t a r k a S r s . internal criticism does lead to some conclusions. w h a t e v e r effort the critic m a y m a k e at o b j e c t i v i t y . T h i s discrepancy. have edited out the stanza of the p o e m which says this in clear t e r m s . II er HlorriSi I fyr hamar nordan I Hergrims bana I hondum rainti. h o w ever. THOR AND STARKADR AND IN SAXO IN THE GAUTREKSSAGA T h e t w o tales. I k n o w that those critics w h o are quick to prune the texts. the intervention of the gods.

T h e lectio of S a x o is hardly difficilior than that of the saga and b o t h . p. Under these circumstances. one hesitates to attribute such fidelity to him here. p. ugly jaw. scarred neck. relieved Hergrim's bane of his arms. . O n e is inclined at first to think that it is the saga w h i c h . and that S a x o has preserved in this instance a purer and simpler d a t u m . the stumps of the eight arms which Thor removed from his grandfather. where Hlorri3i [ = Thor] . in the saga a m p u t a t i o n with hereditary transmission of the " a c q u i r e d characteristic. eight arms. when one reflects on the liberties which S a x o o r his immediate source have taken in m a n y other cases where they are easily discovered. long snout. such a h a n d s o m e young m a n as o n e could hardly believe to h a v e been descended from a m o n s t r o u s giant. if not scars of amputated 32. divided it into t w o stages. p. H o w e v e r . the wolfish snout. the Swedes. Kommentar. Hte/a menn I er m'xk sea I Ijotan skolt I langa trjdnu II hdr ulfgratt I hangar tjUgur I hriifan h&ls I hiiS jotraSa. wolf-gray hair. . because of this origin he is at birth very like Starcatherus " r e t o u c h e d " b y T h o r . 32." Cf. recall the type of the hero relieved of superfluous a r m s (in S a x o b y direct a m p u t a t i o n . the killer of Hergrimr". Men laugh when they see me. the wild look. 1). ". wrinkled skin. traces of eight arms. .StarkaSr at his beginnings." but a trace of the old state). n. 423: "Like a mark of Cain he bears the signs of gigantic extraction on his body. with whom StarkaSr has taken refuge] think they see upon myself the giant's mark. f o u r lines of the skald VetrliSi SumarliSason (the o n l y ones prejotunkumi: stumps or vestiges of undeveloped limbs. in a fragment of a p o e m m u c h older (tenth century) than the Gautrekssaga. Ranisch. 31. M o r e o v e r . in his introduction to the Gautrekssaga (above. as that older StarkaSr had. O n the c o n t r a r y . xcvii [translated from German]: 'The men of the Swedish kings still wished to find on StarkaSr marks of his gigantic descent. ones." 20 . and this is undoubtedly the most important fact. They [i. But this type is without parallel in all the heroic tales of the N o r t h . . to reduce the strangeness of the type without eliminating it. it is impossible to guess wrhich of the t w o variants preserves the original state.e. 9. and like him carries stigmata. in different w a y s . hanging arms. Paul Herrmann. over t w o separate generations.

b y which the hero will also be the first great skald. can scarcely be that b y which the Thor of S a x o " c o n t a i n s Starcatherus within the m o r e limited dimensions of m e n . I. T h o r first of all brings the y o u n g Starcatherus to h u m a n f o r m . a n d this act seems to be understood b y S a x o as a g o o d deed. f r o m the h u m a n point of view. overthrew StarkaSr. For here it is the gods w h o direct the a c t i o n . o r with several. 21 . " It is rather that b y which T h o r . each o n e with a single gift. free to disappear afterward a n d to disinterest themselves. (1946). slays the first S t a r k a S r . A s he needs to obtain f r o m S t a r c a t h e r u s a service w h i c h . hostile act designated b y the v e r b steypa (to t h r o w [hurl] d o w n . Den norsk-islandska Skaldedigtningen leggi brauzt Leiknar. in the saga. " T h e violent. offering h i m the c h a n c e of a useful and illustrious existence. S a x o is simpler a n d seems m o r e c o h e r e n t . to o v e r t h r o w ) . in the career they h a v e arranged f o r the h e r o . lamdir privalda. the murder of the king his master and friend. Here again. poetic skill. T h e t w o gods step in successively. S t a r k a S r is n a m e d in a list of giants w h o c a m e to grief at the hands of the god T h o r : Y o u b r o k e the legs of Leikn. he p a y s generously: all the physical a n d spiritual qualities that will m a k e an exceptional hero. O n l y thereafter does O t h i n u s appear. T h e differences b e c o m e m o r e serious when we consider the role of the gods in the tales of StarkaSr's birth (the m o n s t e r reduced to h u m a n limits) and the murder of V i k a r . stett of Gjdlp dauSa. since out of a horrible giant he has m a d e a m a n . is an a b o m i n a b l e crime. and a life extended to the length of three n o r m a l Ernst Albin Kock. thrashed T h r i v a l d i . at least apparently. without interference.StarkaSr served of his w o r k ) . 71. steypdir StarkeSi. and s o b e r l y . a facinus. which do not call f o r a n y response. caused the death of G j o l p .

his life a n d lineage. From Myth to Fiction (1973). " in the first b o o k of the Gesta Danorum. of their natures and their Latin interpretations. in opposition to e a c h other. well illustrated and clarified particularly b y the "saga of H a d i n g u s . one in terms of the other. when their interventions are entirely independent and not even c o m plementary? But this is a c o m m o n practice of S a x o . w h i c h . pp. to believe rather that on this point S a x o has slightly altered a m o r e 12 . W i c a r u s . vitude: Starcatherus will c o m m i t three facinora.StarkaSr h u m a n lives. being modern c o m p a r a t i v i s t s ." though. without mentioning the distinction and ^' See above. chap. M o r e o v e r . namely the parallelism of the t w o gods. " But this would be t o give little credit to the skill of the sagamenn. including that other "pacifist" Baldr. But it was impossible f o r a n y S c a n d i n a v i a n m y t h o g r a p h e r at all to speak of N j o r S r . that the saga was c o m p o s e d on the traditional theme of the "three functional sins of the w a r r i o r . In this presentation of "gifts. satisfactory original. S u c h transfer requires s o m e fancy f o o t w o r k . if the interventions of T h o r a n d O t h i n u s are successive and without any element of rivalry or conflict. the " m y t h o l o g i c a l b o o k s . granted the essentially peaceful c h a r a c t e r of N j o r S r in the m y t h o l o g y (such m o r e o v e r is the fate of all the divinities. " to provide a prehistory for his Danish h i s t o r y ) . constitutes a parenthesis within the story a n d interrupts it t o no a d v a n t a g e . Ase gods and Vane gods") and 7 ("The second mythological digression: the war between the Ases and the Vanes"). " and the three facinora h a v e been imO n e is led posed at the cost of a certain ungainliness in c o m p o s i t i o n . the murder of o n e in each life.8 . there is a p r o b l e m : O t h i n u s has need of only the first facinus. w h o m S a x o has enlisted in his first nine b o o k s . 6 ("The first mythological digression: giants.^'' Hadingus is the god N j o r S r transposed into a Viking h e r o . one point in S a x o ' s c o m p o s i t i o n arouses suspicion. For w h a t a d v a n t a g e is there in defining t w o gods in this w a y . 1 . placed as it is between the birth and the career of the h e r o . but he burdens the gift of three lives with threefold serW h y ? W e might answer.

m e m b e r s with them in a joint c o m m u n i t y . Nevertheless h e has not let them slip a w a y . and even their primeval w a r . at the beginning where the m y t h o l o g y imposed a contrastive definition of the / E s i r a n d the V a n i r . it can b e o b j e c t e d that S a x o ' s a c c o u n t does in fact present an opposition in the b e h a v i o r s of the t w o gods t o w a r d the h e r o . that the great V a n i r g o d s — N j o r S r . C o n s e q u e n t l y the Danish " h i s t o r i a n " has here modified and simplified the u n k n o w n sagamadr's a c c o u n t . Freyr. It is p r o b a b l y likewise in the story of S t a r c a t h e r u s . this w a r m a r k s a turning point in NjorSr's life: hitherto purely V a n (with an incestuous marriage). the character opposition between T h o r and O d i n on the c o n trary played at this point a n i m p o r t a n t r o l e . nonincestuous marriage).StarkaSr opposition of the / E s i r and the V a n i r . M o r e particularly. with n o noxious pendant. w h o in this circumstance seems m o r e o v e r to h a v e understood p o o r l y the pagan theology of the ancient S c a n d i n a v i a n s . S a x o . in the S c a n d i n a v i a n saga of S t a r k a S r which he used. while that of O t h i n u s is nastily a m bivalent and S a x o ' s very wording reveals that it is because he needs the first crime that h e is so interested in the h e r o . the other m y t h o l o g i c a l . For it is at the conclusion of this w a r . one theological. and that this is enough to m o t i v a t e their c o n f r o n t a t i o n in the f o r m of a theological digression. could n o t transpose as such these divisions of supernatural beings. F r e y j a — b e c o m e the partners of the y ^ s i r . eliminating from the plot a specific example of the rivalry of the two gods and replacing it with a general t h e o r y . Nonetheless. it is undoubtedly b e c a u s e . b y virtue of the peace t r e a t y . T h o r ' s a c t i o n is w h o l l y g o o d . T h o r 23 . and later. thereafter V a n retouched according to the " m o r a l i t y " of the /Esir (with a new. S a x o inserted t w o disquisitions. If S a x o has inserted here a contrastive definition of T h o r and of O t h i n u s which is in n o w a y necessary t o the action as he describes it. ma t ch i n g with evident awkwardness these t w o fundamental strands of the p r o t o narrative. long a n d ungainly parentheses unrelated to the n a r r a t i v e . T o be sure. In t w o places. at the turn where the m y t h o l o g y presented the w a r and the reconciliation of the t w o divine groups. A s all his characters were h u m a n .

T h o r is consistently hostile. a n d he '* What follows is the revision of my earlier proposals (cf. 95 n. pp. This unique failing of T h o r in his calling remains unexplained. a humanized giant. T h o r and O d i n oppose. c o n n e c t s him with that race. 5 . he slays those w h o venture a m o n g the /Esir and goes off to kill others in their o w n haunts. T h o r ' s hostility has t w o causes.6 ) . 83 n. the land of the giants being the n o r m a l stage of his exploits. it should be said in passing. seems to indicate that f o r the birth. is not surprising either: m o r e than o n e trait of the a m b i g u o u s O d i n . S a x o is here suspect a priori of having misunderstood o r altered a version of the story in which T h o r remained faithful to h i m s e l f — w h i c h . If the a c c o u n t of the saga is m o r e satisfactory with regard to the theology. 11). T h e r e is a n o t h e r difficulty besides this o n e . he grants gifts which a m o u n t to " l o t s . f o r example he does not intervene to defend his erstwhile protege against this evil l o t . he has not " t a i l o r e d . In every circumstance this god is the irreconcilable e n e m y of all giants. but he performs a series of surgical operations w h i c h m a k e him n o r m a l . In contrast the role S a x o has T h o r play is unique. Because the first S t a r k a S r was of the race of giants. w h i c h m a k e h i m three times as dangerous. the Icelandic version is preferable. in the conflict in which young S t a r k a S r is the p a w n . the first of which is completely in line w i t h his c h a r a c t e r . he does not kill h i m . disquieting. h o w e v e r . p. ' * T h e role of O t h i n u s agrees with what Scandinavian tradition says of O d i n . not only does he not destroy h i m . p. to m a k e matters w o r s e . But on meeting a y o u n g giant w h o . 1 (cf. Having him at his m e r c y . he determines a destiny. T h a t he is interested in Starcatherus. A c o m p l e x .StarkaSr does not directly o r actively oppose O t h i n u s here. " but killed him. A s " sovereign g o d . he c o m p o u n d s this destiny out of " g o o d " privileges mingled with an " e v i l " d e m a n d . 24 . is m a r k e d b y the m o n s t r o s i t y of six a r m s . " that is. maleficent g o d . above. as given in The Destiny of the Warrior. beginning with his ancestry. at the assembly of the gods. which he a b h o r s . O d i n consistently b e n e v o l e n t . a giant b y birth. it still has difficulties of its o w n . even c o n f r o n t each other.

StarkaSr

naturally extends his hatred to the grandson, even though the latter, apart f r o m the " m a r k s " of the extra a r m s which heredity has imposed on h i m , is a m a n . T h e second cause is m o r e surprising, at least in one of the t w o successive descriptions which the Gautrekssaga provides. C h a p t e r III recounts nothing a b n o r m a l : the giant, following the c u s t o m of his race, has abducted a young w o m a n , a p parently without her c o n s e n t . Her father requests the help of T h o r , w h o wipes out the a b d u c t o r and returns the victim to her family, the victim w h o thereafter carries in her w o m b the father of the saga's h e r o . W i t h g o o d reason this vengeful action of T h o r has been c o m p a r e d with certain exploits attributed to him b y the m y t h o l o g y ; m o r e than o n e giant has succumbed under his h a m m e r f o r having abducted o r threatened to abduct a fair goddess. But in chapter V I I , w h e n T h o r states his grievances in the gods' assembly, he speaks of something else: the girl has had to " c h o o s e , " kjdsa, in an Indian svayaryivara, and she has preferred [kaus . . . as heldr

en . . . ) the giant to the g o d . A n d to what a g o d , to h i m , the " T h o r of the . . ^ s i r " ! If T h o r has killed the giant, it w a s in punishment for this presumptuousness; he has simply gone about it a little late, w h e n the girl w a s already, so to speak, with the interpolation of a son, pregnant with her grandson, the second S t a r k a S r . T h u s T h o r , to put a n end to this evil b r o o d , must a b o v e all c o n d e m n the y o u n g S t a r k a S r , at the fixing of his fate, to have neither son n o r daughter, hvorki eiga son ne dottur. T h i s r o m a n t i c rivalry between a giant and T h o r , and generally the notion of "loves of T h o r , " are e x t r a o r dinary, even if pride rather than sentiment seems to m o t i v a t e the god h e r e . Still we should a v o i d the t o o - h a s t y conclusion that this r o m a n e s q u e element is the late invention of a sagamadr. dingsverk In any case let us n o t e that, thus imposed b y T h o r , the curse of the three niis comprehensible. Since O d i n has granted the hero three lives, T h o r , with nothing really specific in mind, ordains three crimes. T h i s w a s not the case, o n e should r e m e m b e r , in S a x o where O t h i n u s , w h o needs only one facinus foretells and imposes three misdeeds. T h e relationships between O d i n and S t a r k a S r in the saga are at o n c e simpler and m o r e c o m p l e x than in S a x o . Simpler because, in 25 of S t a r c a t h e r u s , nevertheless

StarkaSr

the scene where the two gods, in a sort of s t i c h o m a c h y , o p p o s e e a c h other in determining the character and the fate of the h e r o , all the g o o d is furnished b y O d i n , and all the b a d , as might b e expected f r o m a steadfast grudge, is imposed b y T h o r . M o r e complex a n d , all things considered, harder to understand because on the o n e h a n d , O d i n ' s kindness toward S t a r k a S r leads to his demand on h i m , forcing S t a r k a S r to c o m m i t a great crime which will dishonor him, and on the other, this crime is the result o f a strange and peculiar collusion of the hatred of T h o r and need of O d i n . W i t h the exception of T h o r ' s curse, in fact, the conduct of O d i n and the development of the plot a r e logical: O d i n has long a g o , f r o m StarkaSr's c h i l d h o o d , chosen him to officiate at the sacrifice of V i k a r . In view of this he has m a d e the y o u t h indebted t o h i m , at first b y raising h i m and making him a n eminent h e r o , later, at the time of the c o n t r a d i c t o r y imposition of his fate, b y piling up in his presence the " g o o d " prescriptions. All that remains for O d i n is to present his due statement, a n d this is in fact h o w he makes use of the gifts: Vel muntu nu launa mer, " N o w y o u must repay m e f o r the education, fostri, a n d the help, lidsemd, that I h a v e given y o u . " . . . A n d S t a r k a S r is s o indebted, perhaps also so attached to his foster father, that he makes no o b j e c t i o n . Vel, sagdi Starkadr. T h e intervention of T h o r disturbs this a r r a n g e m e n t . For if it is O d i n w h o decides that the hero will live three h u m a n lives, at hava skal Ufa prja mannzaldra, jum mannzaldri, it is T h o r w h o , rejoining that the hero a hverwill c o m m i t a villainy in each, hann skal vinna nidingsverk

a n n o u n c e s , authorizes, renders truly inevitable

the criminal act which O d i n will demand of S t a r k a S r , which he has been arranging f o r so m a n y y e a r s , and whose immediate conditions he has already gathered just b e f o r e the scene of the assembly of the gods (lack of wind making sailing impossible, presence of a tree a n d a stump " n a t u r a l l y " suited for a m o c k hanging). H o w is this a p p a r ent contradiction to be understood? Strictly speaking, one might think that, after O d i n has arranged the material conditions for the crime in which he will engage S t a r k a S r , he desires to share the responsibility with others (though this w o u l d not be c u s t o m a r y f o r him), to be s o m e h o w morally covered b y a collective decision of
26

StarkaSr

the gods: hence this ping,

this general assembly of the highest

deities which is held, miraculously enough, exactly on an islet close b y the immobilized fleet. But h o w c o m e s it that T h o r gives O d i n precisely what O d i n has c o m e to seek? Shall we admit a complicity between these t w o gods w h o seem s o antagonistic? T h e story as a w h o l e excludes it. Should one suppose that, in his omniscience, O d i n has foreseen that T h o r would fling the curse of the "three villainies"? T h e idea is gratuitous. O r rather m o r e subtly, has the c r a f t y . M a c h i a v e l l i a n O d i n manipulated T h o r , a c h a r a c t e r all of a piece, a model of u n c o m p r o m i s i n g h o n o r , as the t o r e a d o r " w o r k s " the bull, a n n o u n c i n g the gift of "three lives" o n l y to draw out the response "with a dishonor in e a c h " ? But besides the fact that T h o r ' s response could h a v e been different (three great misfortunes, three physical setbacks, etc.), it is not in fact O d i n but T h o r w h o at this point in the debate runs the show and leads the discussion. T h e gift of the "three lives" b y O d i n is simply the c o m p e n s a t i o n or counterpart f o r T h o r ' s first curse: T h o r has said that S t a r k a S r will h a v e n o descendants; s o be it, s a y s O d i n , but he himself will live the span of three generations. A n d it is only then, to rebut this rebuttal, that T h o r m a k e s his second curse, that of the three villainies. In fact, n o explanation is satisfactory, and however one attempts to unravel it, the tangle is unresolved; perhaps the sagamadr plicated the traditional material? O n e might h o p e f o r some illumination f r o m the m o r e ancient p o e m intercalated in the saga, on which the prose a c c o u n t is only a c o m m e n t a r y . But the elliptical, rhetorical character of this Vikarsbalkr m a k e s even its m o s t precise expressions leave r o o m for d o u b t . Indeed, in this confession or plea which he m a k e s after the crime b e f o r e the hostile a n d derisive assembly of the Swedish n o b l e m e n , S t a r k a S r expressly imputes to T h o r the responsibility for the m u r der of V i k a r , alluding to the curse of the three Pess eyrindis at Porr um skop mer nidings nafn,
" Stanza 26 ( = 31 of the saga).

has altered, c o m -

nidingsverk:^''

27

StarkaSr

hlaut ek Hit at

ohrodigr

vinna.

" O n such a mission, when T h o r assigned me the n a m e of villain . . . I w a s forced without glory to do e v i l . " A n d in the following stanza, it is a pluralis g o d s " — t h a t m a s k s O d i n , his will and initiative: Skyllda ek Vikar i vidi hdfum Geirpjofsbana godum um signa; lagda ek geiri gram til hjarta pat er mer harmazt handaverka. " V i k a r I had in a high tree, Geirthjof's b a n e , to consign to the gods; I set the spear to the hero's heart. T h a t to me w a s the m o s t grievous of m y hands' deeds." T h u s , in the operetta. La Belle Helene indicts fate, forgetting b o t h her own will and the initiative of the T r o j a n prince. S t a r k a S r emphasizes the sad " l o t " cast b y T h o r , and glosses o v e r all that has followed, between the curse and its first result. But this o b v i o u s l y tendentious presentation does not acquit O d i n any m o r e than it a b solves S t a r k a S r himself, and it does not attest, as o n e has s o m e times thought, a third variant in which O d i n has nothing at all to do with the affair and it is solely and directly T h o r w h o has imposed and orchestrated the c r i m e . Furthermore the mention m a d e in an earlier stanza ( 8 , = 3) of Hrossharsgrani does not permit
28

pudicitiae—"the

^

StarkaSr

such an easy exclusion of the great sovereign g o d . Hrossharsgrani is certainly O d i n b o t h in the p o e m and in the prose n a r r a t i v e , and his solicitude for S t a r k a S r there cannot be m o r e disinterested. Through these difficulties and even contradictions, and whether one posits at the source a single variant which S a x o would h a v e very considerably altered and the Scandinavian texts better preserved, or rather two already perceptibly different variants, there remains nonetheless a r e a s o n a b l y clear pattern, uniform but with t w o alternatives. 1. S t a r k a S r is either a giant with m a n y a r m s , reduced b y T h o r to " h u m a n m e a s u r e , " or the h o m o n y m o u s grandson of a m a n y armed giant slain b y T h o r , bearing the physical traces of this m o n strous descent. 2 . T w o antagonistic divinities intervene at his beginnings: a) S a x o ' s plot, w h i c h reduces this a n t a g o n i s m , in excursu, to a theological discussion with n o effect on the o u t c o m e , also reduces the intervention of T h o r to the initial b e n e v o l e n t , beneficent operation b y w h i c h he m a k e s a n o r m a l m a n out of this m o n s t r o u s giant. T h e b e s t o w a l of all " l o t s , " b o t h g o o d and b a d , is reserved f o r O t h i n u s , m o r e o v e r the evil lots are reduced to o n e , that of the three facinora w h i c h e n c u m b e r the three vitae and of which the first is immediately necessary to O t h i n u s . b) In the saga, the a n t a g o n i s m is active, and expressed at length at the fixing of S t a r k a S r ' s f a t e . T h e t w o gods wrangle over the h e r o , one wishing to m a k e him h a p p y , the other ill-starred, and then the first crime is c o m m i t t e d , which O d i n needs and h a s prepared long since, but w h i c h , since it involves fatum, b y T h o r at the m o m e n t of its implementation. is decided on

4.

THE

FACINORA,

STARCATHERUS AND THE

KINGS

T h e balance of the s t o r y , f r o m the aftermath of the first facinus to the perpetration of the third, presents n o difficulty. T h e essentials have been mentioned a b o v e , and it seems that S a x o , f r o m here on our only source, has fully understood and respected the

29

StarkaSr

Scandinavian tradition, which has not c o m e d o w n to us in the vernacular but which certainly existed, since the p r o c l a m a t i o n of the three nidingsverk in the Gautrekssaga m a k e s sense only if the second and third, as well as the first, were eventually carried out. Starcatherus, then, passes his three h u m a n life spans in a c o n t i n u o u s aging p r o c e s s — s h o r t l y after the episode of the murder of W i c a r u s S a x o already calls him senex—but until the third facinus, course. T h e terrible, mutilating wounds which he receives in several c o m b a t s , and the enmity which he displays repeatedly t o w a r d s c o m m o n folk (except farmers), correspond to t w o items in the curse which T h o r imposes on S t a r k a S r in the Gautrekssaga, items which S a x o has not preserved as such but w h o s e existence in his source material is proven here b y their realization. R o u g h l y , this career is a series of extraordinary exploits, against the b a r b a r i a n s in the East a n d the aggressive neighbors of the S c a n d i n a v i a n s . It unfolds in the service of Swedish and D a n i s h kings t o w a r d w h o m the hero displays unblemished loyalty and devotion which he readily shifts t o the sons u p o n the death of the fathers. S i m p l y , just as he o n c e helped O d i n to kill his first master and childhood friend. King V i k a r , twice m o r e he fails peculiarly in his duty, impelled by the lot that has been cast f o r him. T h e second facinus is a shameful flight when the Swedish a r m y , in w h o s e ranks he is fighting, has been shaken b y the death of its king; the third, the most vile, is the putting to death, in exchange f o r m o n e y , of a Danish king, w h o though not very admirable is still n o less his master. It is r e m a r k a b l e that the three facinora, in S a x o a n d T h o r in the Gautrekssaga w h o s e content O t h i n u s leave completely undefined, he keeps all his strength, at least until the c o m b i n e d effect of his privileged

longevity and the i m m o r a l condition burdening him has run its

should all be realized in the same a r e a : the relationships of the hero with kings, his successive masters. He might have allowed himself m a n y other dishonorable excesses, but the t w o murders which he c o m m i t s are those of kings w h o trust him, and his flight on the b a t tlefield immediately u p o n the death of his k i n g — a usurper, but n o

30

of the fourth F r o t h o . T h i s trait is so essential to his character that it b y itself justifies an episode in three parts. a duty to which in other circumstances he adheres. But much earlier and m o r e briefly. daughter a n d son. under King F r o t h o himself. and which if not considered from this point of view l o o k s like a foreign b o d y : that of the tumultuous relations of the hero with the children. Starcatherus had already theorized a b o u t his c o n d u c t . a D a n i s h king w h o m he served. in a w a y which would a v o i d a general conflict. just when the p o o r l y subjugated S a x o n s had personally challenged and endangered the D a n i s h king (p. T h i s localization of the facinora is explainable. son of King Haldanus. a true v o c a tion as theoretician. 183). apart f r o m these three cases. replete with p o e m s and itself as long as the rest of the saga. defender. facinus. indeed tutor of royal personages and r o y a l t y per se. It m a k e s them especially heinous. w a s occupied elsewhere. a kind of religion of regal w o r t h . "killed b y his rivals" (History p. Because they believed the most suitable m e t h o d w a s individual c o m b a t they sent emissaries to issue a challenge to the king. consistently characterizes S t a r c a t h e r u s : an extremely lofty ideal. 31 . 1 7 4 ) : M e a n w h i l e the S a x o n s were contemplating rebellion and giving particular thought to h o w they could destroy F r o t h o . f o r example in returning f r o m D e n m a r k to Sweden to install on the throne Prince S y w a r d u s . piling up exploits f r o m Byzantium to the subarctic c o u n t r y of the " B i a r m i a n s .StarkaSr m a t t e r — i s a failure in a very serious posthumous duty to the king. But while the king was of the Danes. ' ' In fact it is with F r o t h o that he had c o m e to live after the first But he kept a great freedom of m o v e m e n t . aware that he a l w a y s e m b r a c e d every danger eagerly and that his high spirit w o u l d certainly never give w a y to a n y a d m o n i tion. they r e c k o n e d then w a s the time to accost F r o t h o . so f a r undefeated. whose b r a v e r y intimidated m o s t men. " From these long journeys he returned b y c h a n c e in the nick of time. inasmuch as they contradict w h a t . W h e n they k n e w that Starcatherus. to ensure the passage of power to the legitimate heir.

Instead of seeking to avenge his father. Frotho is dead. such fights were not appropriate for kings except against their equals a n d certainly they should not be undertaken against men of the people. Ingellus (Ingjaldr). which convinces the king. But. S a x o states. But this y o u t h . and m a y aspire to the level of a king. to h a n dle this contest. the principal offense of the S a x o n s w a s not their revolt. but their failure to h o n o r the w o r t h . with its o w n rights and duties a n d set apart f r o m all the rest. assassinated b y a D a n e named Suertingus w h o incidentally also perished on the same occasion. N o m o r e in international affairs than in his o w n realm must the king descend to the level of the populares. T h e long episode of the children of F r o t h o (pp. the compares. even if it be in an unequal c o m b a t . especially not with the intention of surpassing him. fieldw o r k exercises. Starcatherus is there at o n c e a theoretician a n d a m a n of a c t i o n . assessed the danger and wished to save him. b a c k f r o m his sea-roving. 1 7 5 . after all. as he pointed out. But he must not degrade himself. Starcatherus appeared on the scene. b e h a v e s astonishingly. he weds the daughter of the murderer and m a k e s intimates of his wife's b r o t h e r s . the transcendence of kingship—there is a royal class. no popularis be they c o u n t r y m e n or foreigners. O f course the h e r o .StarkaSr hesitating and saying he w o u l d have to consult his friends a b o u t a reply. S y m m e t r i cally. Starcatherus goes f o r w a r d . w h o m the S a x o n s h a d wished to set up against F r o t h o . He devotes himself to pleasures. m o r e properly it devolved on himself. this w a s not the most important thing f o r him.6 ) merely develops and stages the same precept in the following generation. as one b o m in a humbler station. After this statement. a king as m u c h as and m o r e than a n y other w a r r i o r should be daring and risk himself. and the son of F r o tho has ascended the throne. he teaches authoritatively and imperiously directs. devoted to his king. c o n f r o n t s and kills the huge c h a m p i o n H a m a . so to speak. he severely criticized the idea of the challenge because. not only in the 32 . n o r their defiance.

ami faber. 1 7 6 f f . venerare patres. N o doubt p r o u d of his wealth.t w o hexameters which must be the paraphrase of a S c a n dinavian p o e m . the familiarities. be mindful of those w h o b o r e thee. then. but also in the dining r o o m to gluttony w h i c h is described graphically and at length. stet gloria cami. this lout has Helga c o m b his hair. but w h a t a s e r m o n ! T h e S c a n i a n m o n k gives full rein to his penchant f o r amplitudo: parentum Defer auis. not very c o m p a t i b l e with the majesty of royal b l o o d . a n d in which appears m o r e o v e r his scandalous intimacy with his messmates—his brothers-inlaw. grumbling with indignation. Starcatherus c a n n o t endure this spectacle of intemperantia. the nubile sister of Ingellus. To he leaves D e n m a r k and changes masters. cuts his b u t t o c k s to pieces with his sword. one of those low-class people w h o m Starcatherus particularly despises. take the measure of t h y forefathers. and expresses his feelings toward the t w o culprits in n i n e t y . a v o i d seeming to c o n d o n e this dissoluteness. memor esto et proavos metire tuos.StarkaSr b e d c h a m b e r to the a b u n d a n t sensual pleasures which his consort legitimately offers h i m . Respect thy forebears. opening his pants. entering the service of the Swedish king. invites the y o u n g lady to delouse him. ) . the sons of Suertingus. and a m o n g the fabri o n l y those w h o forge w e a p o n s . he watches w h a t is happening at the court of D e n m a r k . S t a r c a t h e r u s sets out. 33 . and soon the demands of a certain goldsmith. luxuriae assensor. Leaping at o n c e at the goldsmith he keeps him f r o m fleeing. T o begin with there is Helga (pp. venerate thy ancestors. H a l d a n u s . This unfortunate accedes to the attentions. But f r o m Uppsala. A d m i t t e d l y weird goings-on take place there. respecting only those w h o w o r k the land. T o the y o u n g w o m a n he is willing to c o n c e d e certain extenuating circumstances. let r e n o w n be in thy lineage. and appears in the hall where these disgusting ministrations are taking place. with the swiftness of l o c o m o t i o n w h i c h seems a gift f r o m his giant ancestry.

w h o drove y o u to base love-making? . H e decides to put an end to them and sets out with a great l o a d of c h a r c o a l on his shoulder. there c o m e s the third scene. the weakling Ingellus (pp. propelled y o u to try y o u r lust on a n o b l e breed? T h e n he returns to the daughter of F r o t h o : Aut quis te. fulcris. in an entirely different plot. when he learns. 34 . 1 8 3 ff. Starcatherus returns to S w e d e n . . But he refuses to eat. he replies that with these coals he is going to sharpen the blunted spirit of King Ingellus. virgo claris dignissima egit in obscuram Venerem? . faber impulit ingenuam tentare cupidine improbe. maiden most w o r t h y of an illustrious b e d . lines 2009-2069. stirpem? fatum W h a t madness got into y o u ? W h a t fate. when he deems it necessary. the main event: Starcatherus takes o n the king himself. wicked smith. Ingelli dinem ad acuminis habitum carbonibus se regis hebetuperducturum. and Helga rehabilitated. 1 7 9 1 8 3 ) . that the h o r r o r s at the Danish court are n o longer tolerable. But this is merely a prelude.). but is soon recognized b y Ingellus and f r o m then on surrounded with an excess of deference. T o all w h o ask. with his supernatural speed.StarkaSr He showers the mutilated goldsmith with his c o n t e m p t : Quis furor incessit? Quod te. . fama rei crebrescente. H e is u n k n o w n to a n d treated w i t h disrespect b y the regina. . indulges in the m o s t incredible excesses a n d refinements of g a s t r o n o m y .^'' T h e old hero has just installed on the Swedish t h r o n e the y o u n g S y w a r d u s w h o w a s kept f r o m reigning b y his father's assassins. O n c e the execution is d o n e . He arrives in the hall where Ingellus. . w h e n c e he c o n tinues to observe D e n m a r k uncompromisingly and recrosses the straits. flings at the queen's head the presents w h i c h she ^° An old form of this episode inspired a fine passage in Beowulf. A n d y o u . then with her and her b r o t h e r s . at first with his wife. A f t e r a second " l e s s o n " given t o a well-intentioned but misguided y o u n g noble betrothed to another daughter of F r o t h o (pp.

or avenging h i m . in the first p o e m . o n e o r t w o S c a n d i n a v i a n p o e m s . in the third person a n d with humiliating epithets. regis iugulum pari gaudens sequerer beatum funere regem batl" (st. 1 2 ) . abandoning himself to l u s t — a n d this in very coarse Latin. forty-nine in the second. I f o u n d a glutton. 7" In c o n t r a s t . and recites to Ingellus p o e m s of b o t h invective a n d exh o r t a t i o n . contio T h u s . In these Sapphic stanzas.o n e in the first p o e m . the depiction there of gluttony (st.StarkaSr ineptly offers h i m . w h o s e keenness has been perverted to license b y foul lust. he blames himself f o r the death of regum" (st. 1 9 ) : Sed probum quaerens adii gulosum deditum ventri vitioque regem cuius in luxum studium refudit foeda voluptas But seeking a virtuous king. the n e w king Ingellus (st. regum. overshadowing a n d outweighing the other ills. T h e source of these lyric pieces is certainly. but a b o v e all. hurls a b o n e at the musician in charge of mollifying h i m . f o r that w a s y o u r death w a r r a n t . f o r being virtute vacuus. . " W h y w a s I n o t there pete- F r o t h o : " I should never h a v e gone a w a y f r o m y o u . which f o l l o w s f o r example the m o v e m e n t s of Ingellus' hand o v e r the most secret parts of his wife's b o d y — a n d also f o r the gluttony w h i c h he calls petulantis stomachi ingluvies. t w e n t y . f o r not behaving like a king. f o r example. In this flood of eloquence. but the virtuosity and zest of S a x o h a v e n o less certainly o u t d o n e the originals. he refers to the y o u t h as king o n l y o n c e . maxime w h e n a treacherous guest butchered the king. here again. o n e given o v e r to belly and vice. 1 2 ) : 35 . the hero takes the y o u n g king to task for fraternizing with the murderers of his father instead of avenging h i m . . while at the s a m e time he recalls emphatically the c o n d u c t of the rex F r o t h o a n d the n o r m a l d e m e a n o r of reges and of the assembly of kings. " W h y did I not die with the king. 1 3 ) . T h e second p o e m develops boundlessly this theme of the degenerate king. .

StarkaSr Quis prior regum potuit gulosus viscerum putres agitare sordes aut manu carptim fodicare foedum alitis anum? W h a t king b e f o r e c o u l d be so gluttonous as t o r u m m a g e in rotten filth of b o w e l s . 36 . Since nothing shines with y o u r trophies that could b e worthily consigned to writing. a n d m a k e y o u r f a c e heavy with s h a m e . he h a m m e r s a w a y at Ingellus. T h e r e f o r e . Increasingly violent. 3 0 . or with his hand pick and dig in the foul anus of a bird? A n d the hero-poet cries out in his anguish (st.3 1 ) : Unde. n o heir of Frotho is counted a m o n g the respectable. when the h o n o r s of kings are sung a n d poets r e m e m b e r the triumphs of leaders. saddened in heart. Disgrace will dog y o u . Cum tuis nil eniteat trophaeis quod stilo digne queat adnotari nemo Frothonis recitatur heres inter honestos. 3 7 ) : Te pudor late comes insequetur et gravi vultum feriet rubore quando magnorum sociata ludit contio regum . y o u r constant c o m p a n i o n . . that he might rediscover the meaning and understand the requirements o f his royal function (st. I c o v e r m y f a c e with m y m a n t l e . cum regum tituli canuntur et ducum vates memorant triumphos pallio vultum pudibundus abdo pectore tristi. a s h a m e d . .

incidentally inc o m p l e t e and f r a g m e n t a r y . ausum K i n g Ingellus. 1 9 4 ) : H o w then c a n we value this tireless veteran. A n d he repeats the title further o n . In the end he leapt f r o m his place a n d unloosed the a v a l a n c h e of his fury on the guests. Bloodthirsty. S a x o describes the y o u t h ' s metamorphosis (p. which ends the sixth b o o k and which begins with the a c c l a m a t i o n wherein he a c c o r d s Ingellus. T h e hero recites. in praise of a hero w h o is o b viously close to his heart (p. but soon he w a s m o v e d b y his guardian's m o r e urgent exhortations and his spirit. he assisted the royal a r m and not only displayed outstanding b r a v e r y himself. again in the v o c a t i v e . He forgot the part of reveller a n d b e c a m e an a d v e r s a r y . whose heart full of courage has at last produced a daring deed. vale. . caught the heat of revenge. t o rid himself of their sister. ruthless.StarkaSr w h e n the c o n v e n e d assembly of great kings makes merry. w h o h a d stormed with his eloquent a d m o n i t i o n s the vast corruption of the kir\g's mind and in its place. the title of rex which he has until n o w refused or given o n l y derisively: Rex Ingelle. whose palates he had been tickling with culinary delights. cuius iam prodidit plenum animi pectus. but s u m m o n e d it b a c k where it had been uprooted f r o m another's b o s o m . fifty-seven hexameters. w h o has just killed his brothers-in-law. A n d here is S a x o ' s c o m m e n t a r y . . late in the d a y . his wife: 37 . after bursting through the barriers of immorality. T h e miracle o c c u r s . T h i s time in prose. and is supposed to h a v e c o m p o s e d f o r the o c c a s i o n . farewell. . in the v o c a t i v e . to persuade the y o u n g king. . . a last poetic piece. 1 9 3 f . he bared his sword a n d levelled its point at the throats of Suertingus' sons. ) : A t first Ingellus' ears were deaf to the song. had planted a m o s t effectual seed of valor? A c t i n g in partnership. .

effuge ne lupa consimilem sibi fetum gignat et ex te belua consurgat propria nocitura parenti. THE END OF STARCATHERUS. N o excursus saga. the a c c o u n t of which he is said to have c o m p o s e d himself. W i t h Ingellus set straight. lest the she-wolf produce offspring like to herself. Starcatherus can set out again with unencumbered mind f o r other battles. imperiously a n d didactically. king. e n a m o r e d of national traditions but p o o r l y equipped to understand them in depth. which c u l m i n a t e . T h i s impassioned. In a 38 . . in a violent outburst. 5. in verse. si quid sapis. rid yourself of y o u r savage w i f e . o u r only authority for the a c c o u n t of the death of Starcatherus. a true educator. rex. n o allusion in a skaldic p o e m informs us. if y o u h a v e a n y sense.StarkaSr Tu quoque. a n d a beast arise f r o m y o u to h a r m its own father. in his B o o k Eight. who draws out the y o u n g son of the great king f o r a kingly deed. in the f a m o u s battle of Bravalla. behind his e m o t i o n a l a t t a c h m e n t to the person and later the m e m o r y of F r o t h o . aggressive defense of kingly w o r t h is truly fundamental in his c h a r a c t e r . as with the childhood. nuptam. T h u s . . T h e few facts f o r which one might h a v e l o o k e d to local f o l k l o r e — f o r the Gesta norum folklorizations f r o m S a x o or b o l d . A n d y o u . T h i s paucity of inf o r m a t i o n is regrettable because. the m o n k . . O n e sees that. AND HATHERUS STARCATHERUS Here again S a x o remains. at the b e ginning of the eighth b o o k . semi-scholarly Danames the place where the event h a p p e n e d — a r e nothing but assimilations in a n y f r o m S a x o ' s hero and giants of local fables. has clearly been confused at certain points. on the accomplishment of which he a w a r d s h i m . . is expressed the basic " i d e o l o g y " of Starcatherus. one might s a y confers on h i m the title which is the object of his cult a n d which he has refused h i m only in order to deliver it with all its c o n t e n t and g r a n d e u r . . saevam. he in fact serves kingship as such. .

had every c o n fidence. the feeling that with this last facinus or his life has lost the ambiguity which gave it such special meaning. m o r e personal reason to m a k e an end of it: the remorse of his last facinus. In a n y case. n o r f r o m illness. " D y i n g through illness w a s o n c e thought as discreditable as this b y individuals w h o were dedicated t o w a r f a r e . has ceased to operate. m o r e deeply. w h o m the conspirators hired for m o n e y to put an end to the reign of this dangerous tyrant. iam aetate defessus. Starcatherus. despite his age. For this reason. triple old age. egregium fatumque sibi conscisceret " h e thought it w o u l d b e h o n o r a b l e to e m b r a c e a v o l u n - tary end and hasten on death at his own decision. but unable to m a n e u v e r or a t t a c k . to be sure. A n d yet this final episode follows immediately on the murder of O l o a n d the punishment of the conspirators. having exhausted his three lives. maturasproprio will n o t die thus of senium. he decides to devote the 39 . having no further o b j e c t . If one insists o n restoring s o m e verisimilitude to the fictitious." In which. o r because he has a w k w a r d l y rationalized o r simply altered his material. his a c c o u n t is not entirely comprehensible. w h e t h e r because he has j u x t a p o s e d several v a r i a n t s . he c o n f o r m s to the ancient morality of the G e r m a n s . K i n g O l o . and that the hero has been suddenly m a r k e d with the scars of a n extreme. so often illustrated a n d implicit in the Ynglingasaga the great n a m e of O d i n : adeo quondam oppetere probrosum existimatum rei bellicae deditis in morbo est. as certain repetitions might suggest. in w h o m his master.StarkaSr w o r d . He w h o just b e f o r e . he determines that he fore putavit. supported on crutches. he is suddenly a l m o s t blind. w a s still a c h a m p i o n in active service. prolixa si voluntarium set arbitrio. linking his o w n death to that of O l o . S a x o r e m a r k s judiciously. n o t only temporally but logically: it is its direct c o n s e q u e n c e . and w h o thereupon punished them vigorously f o r having bribed him. exitum. Let us follow him step b y step. keeping. " T h e old m a n has besides this a n o t h e r . o n e will a d mit that after the third a n d last prophesied facinus. enough strength to strike d o w n a n y o n e imprudent enough to c o m e near h i m . is n o w b u t a w r e c k . the formula b y which O t h i n u s h a d conferred on him two extensions of life.

Hatherus.StarkaSr m o n e y he has shamefully received. sends t o w a r d him at a gallop t w o of his c o m p a n i o n s . supervacuum n a m e l y the incompatability of temperament which opposes him to the c o m m o n people. is returning f r o m the hunt with his dogs and sees the scene f r o m a dist a n c e . geminum gladiorum usum seni c o m e s near him. M o r e o v e r . w h o are of course received with b l o w s of the crutches and killed. .5 8 . . He does not recognize the old h e r o . has imposed on h i m . 2 4 8 ) in which he laments the miseries of advanced age. In the gap between these t w o themes (11. He himself a p p r o a c h e s . N o o n e takes care of m e . O n c e he h o n o r s 40 . the repulsed " s a v i o r s " ) . mori .). 2 7 . . A man of lower class. 4 0 . popularium hands of an old m a n . w h o is not introduced to us in a d v a n c e . . T h e difficulty begins with the second. according to the Gautrekssaga. to b u y the executioner of his c h o i c e (p. a n d f o r sport o r ridicule. qui. which suddenly places his y o u n g partner Hatherus in an unexpected light: . e n c o u n t e r . nothing in his attitude is menacing o r even insolent. of senium. lets him c o m e close and shatters his head (ibid. ) . at mihi si recolo. and corresponding to one of the fatal traits which T h o r . and decisive. and thinking t w o swords t o be t o o m a n y f o r the ratus. insists that he give one u p . a w a g o n would certainly be of m o r e use to a cripple than would a second sword (ibid). no soldier brings c o m f o r t to a veteran. 2 4 7 ) . A y o u n g m a n . it is intended only to emphasize a feature of his character already illustrated several times in a previous episode (the mutilated goldsmith. and asks whether he wishes t o exchange o n e of his swords f o r a w a g o n . C a r r y i n g t w o swords and t w o crutches. the price of his master's b l o o d . he travels slowly and has several encounters. But Starcatherus takes him for an irrisor and recites fiftyeight hexameters (p.3 9 ) he expresses a r e m a r k a b l e wish. Starcatherus pretends to consent. an gladium vehiculo permutare vellet. T h e first raises n o difficulty. quidam. belloque and recalls his martial caree? and his past nascenti fata dedere I bella seexploits (11. unless Hatherus is here to help his shattered friend. recognizes Starcatherus without being recognized in turn.

dreading to snap their initial b o n d s . But at this point other p o e m s inserted in the prose take us b a c k again. as m a g n a n i m o u s t o w a r d their c o m p a n i o n s as they are courageous in the face of the e n e m y . S t a r c a t h e r u s expresses his indignation to the stranger: improbe. . counting o n 41 . He scatters riches. . inharmonious to a g o o d man's e a r . there c o m e s a dramatic surprise. a n d recapitulates in detail the events of his glorious life. apparently at least. . . . strives to a m a s s glowing r e n o w n b y his b o u n t y and surpass m a n y of the m i g h t y . true f r o m the start he attends him with the same unflagging w a r m t h . w h o in his humiliation wished fervently to find him alone of all men f o r an assist which he does not specify. venerates their spirit. ready to start the f r a y . slow to w a v e r . w e learn an astonishing f a c t : this Hatherus w h o m Starcatherus has longed f o r . grants his esteem to the valiant a n d reveres f a m o u s c o m r a d e s with gifts. N o r does his strength f o r the fight fall b e l o w his sense of duty. But. In sixty-five hexameters. 2 4 9 ) . has put b e f o r e the old hero. recreating in verse the scene which has just been recounted to us in prose (p. S u c h then is the true nature of this carefree y o u n g hunter w h o m c h a n c e . Finally. y o u r lips are glib in sowing rash talk. at the same stroke. labio villain. Frequently he bestows fitting rewards on w a r heroes. verba seris facili temeraria auribus inconcinna pits. A n d the praise which he m a k e s of him as an illustrious person w o u l d b e fitting f o r the greatest V i k ing chiefs. From the turn w h i c h the conversation has taken the old m a n realizes that he has b e f o r e him Hatherus. . yet ignorant h o w to turn his b a c k on a pressing f o e .StarkaSr a n y o n e with his dutiful affection. Hatherus m a k e s his offer in twenty-two h e x ameters: that the old m a n sell him o n e of his swords for a w a g o n . quick to take arms.

quisquis fato confinia fundit. and w h o m he had slain when he c a m e b a c k to his senses. I bereaved y o u of L e n n o . urging him not to shrink f r o m taking satisfaction f o r his father's murder. and he entreats him to kill h i m : is he not a y o u t h of noble birth? Having a father to be avenged.2 5 2 ) : T h u s S t a r c a t h e r u s . what y o u c a n n o t flee. life b e c o m e s tedious w h e n the end is desired. o n e of the conspirators w h o had bribed him into killing O l o . p a y m e b a c k . He promised that if Hatherus c o m plied. do not let disagreeable age prolong an insupportable e x i s t e n c e . For my spirit wishes this service f r o m a noble h e a d s m a n . strike d o w n an old m a n w h o longs to die. A young tree must b e nourished. A m a n m a y righteously c h o o s e to anticipate Destiny's law. he offered him his throat to cut. in talking w i t h h i m (mutuo sermone). is n o n e o t h e r than the son of Lennus (or Lenno). T o goad Hatherus into a fiercer m o o d toward him [et ut eiusdem in se vehementius animum efferaret). an ancient o n e hewn d o w n . A t last. y o u r father. he b e c a m e a w a r e that Hatherus w a s Lennus' son a n d realized the young m a n c a m e of a distinguished family (animadvertens iuvenem splendido loco natum). . y o u m a y even take in a d v a n c e . Right a w a y he sees in Hatherus the ideal executioner. Death c o m e s best when c r a v e d .StarkaSr the faithfulness of his affection. seek my gullet with avenging steel. . 2 5 1 . W h o e v e r o v e r t h r o w s w h a t is close to its fate and fells what c a n n o t stand is an instrument of Nature {minister naturae est. " 42 . but shudders to d e m a n d its d o o m f r o m the right hand of a c o w a r d . he w o u l d b e c o m e possessor of that gold w h i c h S t a r catherus h a d received f r o m Lennus. does not this service which is asked of h i m m a t c h his o w n duty? Here is the scene until its conclusion (pp. the one he has been searching for. he is said to h a v e egged him on like this: " A g a i n . H a t h e r u s . I beg.).

Hatherus. Possibly the u n c o m m o n b u l k of S t a r c a t h e r u s ' b o d y might 43 . It depicts a y o u n g Odinic w a r r i o r in the presence of a berserk. one of four found at Torslunda (island of O l a n d ) in Sweden. w a s used to make helmet plates. he w o u l d be rendered p r o o f against a n y w e a p o n . It is uncertain whether he said this to instruct his murderer or to punish him (quod instruendi percussoris gratia an puniendi dixerit. W i t h these w o r d s he drew out his purse and proffered the m o n e y . S t a r c a t h e r u s willingly offered him his s w o r d a n d then bent f o r w a r d his head beneath it. when he had killed him b u t b e f o r e the b o d y dropped. utrum incertum est). h e urged Hatherus not to fulfil his task of executioner squeamishly or handle the blade like a girl. and told him that if. he could leap between the t o r s o and its fallen head.StarkaSr This sixth-century bronze die. excited b y a passion to e n j o y the fee n o less than take revenge f o r his father. not inappropriately f o r the Hatherus-Starcatherus encounter. promised he w o u l d not spurn the p a y m e n t but c a r r y out his wishes.

w h o on top of this turns out to b e the son of L e n n u s — y e t another needs to be added. T o the one which w e have already taken u p — the transformation of the y o u n g j o k e s t e r into a renowned w a r l o r d . and to avenge his father's b l o o d — h e adds an appeal to greed. desires his presence as that of the o n l y friend w h o c a n help h i m in his despair. the contradictions in characters successively attributed to Hatherus. it snapped at the soil with its teeth as it hit the ground. he might have been crushed under the impact of the descending b o d y and f>aid for the old man's murder with his o w n life. if he then recognizes in him the ideal executioner he seeks. 6. T h e r e is m o r e o v e r a m o r e 44 . his slayer prudently refrained f r o m leaping. with all his last strength. T h e story tells h o w . Hatherus. T o the noble m o t i v e s — t o render a heroic service to an old m a n w h o requests it. crimes w h i c h the old hero has himself c o m m i t t e d but once in his life. drove his sword vigorously a n d lopped off the old man's h e a d . All of this. HODR T h i s ending leaves the reader unsatisfied. and f o r which he does n o t forgive himself. through fate. A f r a i d that there could be treachery underlying the p r o m i s e . the fury of the dying j a w s indicating his savage temper. it is because he admires and loves him. f r o m the point of view of G e r m a n i c w a r r i o r m o r a l i t y . and this excludes a n y baseness or venality in the y o u n g m a n . m a g n a n i m o u s and fearsome. is of a mediocrity which it is hard to attribute to the original used b y S a x o .StarkaSr h a v e o v e r w h e l m e d him as he sprang. severed f r o m the trunk. as much as he depends u p o n . the offer of the gold pieces that he carries a b o u t his n e c k . Hatherus burned the b o d y on the field of Roling and had the ashes buried. this b e l o v e d and admired y o u t h . If Starcatherus. then. A n d the worst of it is that the y o u n g m a n appears amenable to this proposition. for if he had thoughtlessly done s o . T o begin with there is the diversity. A n d yet he corrupts. „.

which is the last that Starcatherus will recite. a giant. there is no trace of the excesses. through this uncertainty. H o w is o n e to think that. whereas the brief p o e m .S o s r y k o describe in numerous v a r i ants. 8 9 . the unbridled desires. the last) is certainly an adaptation of native stanzas.9 4 . that would destroy the sense and the structure of this long biography. absolutely. it has n o thought for the m a n w h o has severed it. as stupid as he is strong. 77-83 (six variants). a n d . but of integrity and reliability. limiting itself to n o b l e exhortations a n d n o less n o b l e generalities. our hero is a model not o n l y of strength and c o u r a g e . F r o m his giant ancestry he carries certain physical traits. a debasement. and if the dying head carries on ferociously on the ground. the b r a g g a d o c i o . the author's insinuated preference f o r the most unpleasant alternative. s a v e f o r the three facinora imp o s e d b y O d i n . for example the scene w h i c h the C a u c a s i a n legends of S o s l a n . apart perhaps f r o m the harshness and intensity of his w r a t h . T h i s contemptible motif is f o u n d only in the p r o s e . T h u s the situation is quite different f r o m others with which o n e might at first be tempted to c o m p a r e it. T h r o u g h o u t his life. o w e s nothing to it. pp. 21. Furthermore. a n d . pp. and that he should with a villainous lie b e t r a y the y o u t h w h o is only obeying h i m and o n l y kills him in order to serve him? T h i s w o u l d be a fourth facinus. or the deceptions that characterize the n o r m a l b e h a v i o r of giants. n a m e l y the uncertainty with which S a x o leaves him a b o u t the true last intentions of Starcatherus with regard to Hatherus. at this last m o m e n t of his life. the fear which S a x o ascribes to Hatherus is n o t justified b y the o u t c o m e : the trunk and head do not clash like the Symplegades. but his soul. m a k e s n o allusion to it. no. reduced to p o w e r See my Legendes sur les Nartes (1930). 45 . a deeper nature should take its revenge on h i m . a supernumerary o n e . Le Livre des heros. T h e reader's uneasiness has a n o t h e r cause. like all those of the first b o o k s of the Gesta Danorum (of which it is a l s o .^^ T h e r e the hero has managed with difficulty to defeat a specific e n e m y .StarkaSr o b j e c t i v e reason to see here an adulteration.

he asks of him a n e x c e p tional service w h i c h will be in n o w a y a fault. though. loves. in not admitting that his hero is sincere and simply reducing the scene to this c o m m o n p l a c e theme of the giant wreaking p o s t h u m o u s vengeance. S o s r y k o begins to run but the head does not let g o . falls. an insertion of the youth's entire b o d y between the still-twitching fragments of his o w n . his c a p t o r should draw out o f his neck a particular tendon a n d m a k e a belt of it. burned to ashes. a i m i o n . trapped and unable to escape death. the giant feigns a sudden b e n e v o l e n c e : after having beheaded h i m . but the c o m p o u n d e d sum of this strength which he himself has not drawn o n . it slackens its hold. finally." Revue de I'histoire des religions. S o s r y k o tries out the belt on a tree. but he wishes also to b e queath to him a m o r e valuable treasure. once the giant is decapitated. and in all the analogous cases. But w h o exactly is Hatherus. n o r require a n y v e n geance. thus he will inherit some of his strength. In other versions. he says. this figure w h o m w e have already seen to be incoherent even m o r e than c o m p l e x ? It has long been And to another magical theme: the efficacy of passing between the severed parts of a corpse (purification. "A propos d'un rituel hittite pour la lustration d'une arm^e: le rite de purification par le passage entre les deux parties d'une victime. Justifiably suspicious. not the strength that he carries within him.^^ Starcatherus has b e f o r e him a m a n w h o m he admires. at the very m o m e n t when there w o u l d pass. see Olivier Masson. and S o s r y k o is able to scalp it. the last mysterious current of his life f o r c e : a gift a n d also a fusing. the giant or monster is faithful to his nature. CXXXVII (1950). acquiring of privileges). prolongii\g at the m o m e n t of his death a hostility a n d treachery that have never been contradicted o r c o n c e a l e d . n a m e l y invulnerability.StarkaSr lessness. T h e circumstances of Starcatherus' death are entirely otherwise. T h i s he c a n only do b y a sort of crossing of their bodies. f r o m head to trunk or f r o m trunk to head. respects. his head leaps t o w a r d S o s r y k o a n d seizes the s w o r d tight in its j a w s . In this case. which b r e a k s o r crumbles. 1-25. He gives him at the outset (with a disagreeable touch of venality) all that he possesses materially. and o n e has the impression that S a x o has g o n e w r o n g in not c h o o s i n g the " b e t t e r " interpretation. 46 >4 .

2 7 8 279: Olce. chap. ^ ' A c c o r d i n g to h i m . in association with Baldr as O d i n ' s successor. having elsewhere used H 6 9 r . Thracian KaTU-.StarkaSr thought that S a x o . Los Angeles. 47 . hoS 'battle. See "Hotherus et Balderus. "starkr''. sometimes -(h)adr {Andadr 'der Gegner'. London 1973). for example b y the late J a n de Vries in his (1955) article o n S t a r k a S r . here as elsewhere in the m y t h o f B a l d r . and n o longer understanding the theology of the g o d H 6 5 r .v. 'haduR gives sometimes -(h)udr (NiduSr 'der grimmige Krieger' = OHG Nidhad. Starkfrid. langob. H 6 3 r o n l y appears as the blind. But there are r e a s o n s — H 6 8 r continues a n ancient I n d o . b y misunderstanding or design. ." As the second term in compounds. ME / (1968). Studier over Svdrges hedna Litteratur (1913). Dorrudr 'der Speerkampfer'). has here debased and humanized a divine figure. 11. 83 (1962). with its long uncertainty a n d its m o r e than p r o b a b l e o u t c o m e . unwitting killer of Baldr.H o t h e r u s (Hatherus^') with his correct n a m e f o r m in reducing him to a h u m a n figure. S a x o preferred not to repeat the same name exactly. etc. 544. Ondudr). Cited above. Starkwulf. Starkadr alt. Cf. OE heaSu: Olrish cath 'battle' (Gaulish Caturiges). Storkudr {<Stark-hodr). 1973). 222-230.. writes: "Dazu PN. vgl. pp. op. H 6 3 r did not h a v e his o w n separate existence but w a s simply "eine Erscheinungsform des G o t t e s 0 3 i n n . ). ogot. the son o f O d i n . " Jan de Vries. OE Nidhad. the second element of the c o m p o u n d Stark-(h)adT^^ m a y h a v e affected the v o w e l c o l o r of the u n c o m p o u n d e d *Hotherus.E u r o p e a n w a r r i o r name^^—to think that he w a s originally a m o r e general figure o f Fate. the text quoted here is on p. in particular the fate o f the fighter. 108-109. Sfarchildis. *Anda-haduR beside Andudr. Loki"). " Gods of the Ancient Northmen (Berkeley. pp. cit. pp. 259-270: reprinted as Appendix 3 in from Myth to Fiction (Chicago. Further efforts h a v e occasionally been m a d e in this direction. " a manifestation o f the g o d ^'Jan de Vries. Starcolf. p. 296. 3 ("The Drama of the World: Balder.' OHG hadu. pp. Starcedius (= Starki-pius . Hoder. Altnordisches etymologisches Worterbuch (1961). a n d after the destruction a n d restoration o f the world. frank. In the m y t h o l o g y which survives. . " T h e phonetic difficulty —Hatherus transcribes *Hadr rather than H 6 5 r — d o e s not seem insoluble. Birger Nerman. namely HoSr. p. s. ae." Beitrdge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur. a n d this is all the m o r e likely as it is plausible that.

but he remains distinct. . openly. H 6 5 r is o n e of the figures in the orbit o f the s o v e r e i g n . A c c o r d i n g t o Schneider. O n e should take note of the singular f o r m of the killing: there is n o c o m b a t . a n d so on h a v e been considered as so m a n y specific " n u m i n a " of o n e vast J u n o . strikes up a friendly relationship with the old Starcatherus in the guise of a y o u n g m a n . close to O d i n . maintaining the duality of H o S r and O d i n .StarkaSr O d i n . " emphasizing " d e n religiosen C h a r a k t e r dieser V o r s t e l l u n g . as (in the Gautrekssaga) O d i n himself o f o l d . f o r e x a m p l e . I think nonetheless that J a n de Vries is correct when he writes. in no w a y heroic figure. . w^here goddesses a s different as M a t e r M a t u t a . and the v e r y n a m e of S t a r k a S r m a d e of this character " e i n P r o t o t y p der odinischen W e i h e n k r i e g e r . the divine H o S r . in the m y t h of Baldr. H a t herus is a late. on the c o n t r a r y the decrepit old m a n extends his head to the y o u t h . that is to say the g o d H o S r . . in the appearance of the 48 . it is O d i n himself. Feronia. w h o m S t a r k a S r has killed. W i t h this reservation. t o b e sure. the procedure h a s done much h a r m in the study. Fate. under his o w n n a m e . T h i s is b y n o m e a n s s o . after having mentioned the murderer of B a l d r : T h e r e is yet a second H 6 3 r : the Hatherus w h o appears in the account of the death o f S t a r k a S r . yet it is he w h o gives h i m den heissersehnten Todesstreich. w h o recalls S t a r k a S r t o him at the end of his life {Starkadr zu sich heimholt). It is n o m o r e t o b e r e c o m m e n d e d f o r the interpretation of S c a n d i n a v i a n religion. C a r n a . w e w o u l d s a y : at the point w h e n t w o of the facinora of Starcatherus imposed b y O d i n (in S a x o ) o r b y T h o r (in the Gautrekssaga) h a v e already been c o m mitted a n d the third facinus is in the m a k i n g . a n d I a m not resigned t o admitting that O d i n . H e is the son of the D a n e L e n n o . and Hatherus has only t o strike. as a sacrificial victim. pronam cervicem applicuit. of R o m a n religion.m a g i c a l . should at first try t o prevent a n d in the end lament a murder which he h a s meanwhile c o m m i t t e d under c o v e r of a n o t h e r n a m e . Following the text more closely.w a r r i o r g o d O d i n . Hatherus. a n d he is b o u n d t o S t a r k a S r b y a loyal friendship. a n d o n e of those closest to h i m . " F o r m y part I a m not inclined t o accept this reduction o f multiple gods to o n e .

w h o m he finds. T h e finale of the story. is n o less strange than the beginning. calls in his prayers f o r the presence of this H 6 3 r . very close t o O d i n . this w o u l d b e literally a transfusion of the hero into the god. b e c a m e the tutor of the y o u n g S t a r k a S r in view of obtaining f r o m h i m . providentially rather than b y c h a n c e . 49 . T o this young m a n he declares his affection a n d wishes. n o doubt sincerely. H o S r . f r o m a m o n s t r o u s birth miraculously repaired to his decapitation a n d absorption b y the g o d percussor. voluntarily ends his life a n d career b y having himself slain b y a y o u n g m a n behind w h o m w e glimpse a third g o d . A n d of course in the novelistic a c c o u n t . h u m a n but m a r k e d with inherited s c a r s — a f t e r having been in his y o u t h the o b j e c t . the h u m a n f o r m carries the d a y : cut off f r o m his origin a n d his theological value. t o o . but under h u m a n guise it is n o m o r e than a gift w h i c h the old m a n offers the y o u n g . N o w the Indie epic k n o w s a hero of the same type. a n d after developing his career within the f r a m e w o r k of three lives granted a n d three facinora imposed b y o n e or the other of the gods. In the reality of theology. the first facinus. w h o m w e shall f o l l o w . Finally. W h a t is essential is a s f o l l o w s : O u r h e r o — t h i s six-armed giant reduced b y a m p u t a t i o n t o h u m a n shape. H a t h e r u s is only a h u m a n individual w h o hesitates. a s w e see. to transfuse into h i m the best part of himself. is suspicious of the gift.StarkaSr mature m a n Hrossharsgrani. a n d finally does not receive it. at the m o m e n t when he is t o die. o r this grandson of an eight-armed giant. the p a w n o f the opposing attentions o f the gods T h o r a n d O d i n . after years o f care. it is impossible to b e more affirmative o r m o r e precise regarding this conclusion. suddenly deteriorated a n d wishing t o die. Having at our disposal only S a x o ' s a w k w a r d a n d inaccurate adaptation. a n d has himself killed b y h i m once h e has recognized h i m . a n d with it the last extension of his life is exhausted. O n c e the third facinus is accomplished. Starcatherus. he wishes at least to transfer t o his killer the privilege of invulnerability which he himself has p o s sessed only latently.

.

Epic Mythology (1915). Mdgha's Sisupalavadha im Auszuge.SISUPALA 1. 423. 211. see Balamagha. For the Puranic accounts (particularly the Bhdgavata Purana) see V. s. bearbeitet von Carl Cappeller (1915). 51. o n o n e side o r the o t h e r . 51 . later R a v a n a . B u t . simply justifying that Sisupala should b e b y nature a determined adversary of Kr§na-Vi§nu. Hultzsch (1926). Hopkins. and Magha's Siiupdlavadha. "Sisupala. R. The Purdrta Index. The late poem of Magha has nothing to offer for our purposes. an incidental c h a r a c t e r . H i r a n y a k a s i p u . Ramachandra Dikshitar. 91-104). THE BIRTH AND DESTINY OF SISUPALA Sisupala is. III (1955). ins Deutsche iibertragen von E." ^ Edward W. according to the rules of the g a m e . over w h o m Vijnu-Rama prevailed with difficulty. Still. pp. the powerful demon w h o in several previous lives has already confronted other incarnations of Vi^nu.^ T h e s e antecedents barely enter into the plot of the p o e m . in the conflict in which all the great names of the epic c o n f r o n t each other. he is put to death beforehand in B o o k T w o . in the Mahabharata.v. this apparently wholly h u m a n being is the incarnation of a being f r o m the b e y o n d . b u t h e has n o b l o o d relation n o r alliance with the Pan<^avas. in a c c o r d with ' The episode of Sisupala occupies slokas 1307-1627 of the second book (Sabhdparvan) in the Calcutta edition (matching van Buitenen pp. w h o m the g o d fought a n d slew in the guise of the man-lion. a n d does n o t h a v e to intervene. ' Close kinship ties exist a n d hostile relations develop between h i m and K f ^ n a .

at the m o m e n t . that of faithful. " Kuruk^etra. D u r y o d h a n a ) . including the blind uncle a n d the maniacal D u r y o d h a n a . ^ This phrase does not pretend to solve the large set of problems posed by the character of Krjija in the Mahabharata. things are o n the w a y to turning out otherwise: Yudhi?thira's rights to kingship seem to b e recognized b y e v e r y o n e . o r the incarnation o f a p o r tion of Dharma). My feeling is certainly that much of what is said of him is sufficiently explained as transposition of the mythology of an ancient Vijiju. T o all appearances. from B o o k Six to B o o k T e n . "earthly sovere i g n t y . Here.^ a n d Kr?pa has begun the part which he will play throughout the p o e m . A f t e r their c h i l d h o o d . the Sabhdparvan. a n d despite their already serious corvflicts with their cousins. this deep causality is replicated on the earthly level b y a n o t h e r ." here curiously conceived as a n imperial c e r e m o n y . Sisupala is introduced in the following w a y . the c e r e m o n y of royal c o n secration. a s it is only at the end of B o o k T w o .ia. a transposition of the same sort and scope as that which has produced the Paijdavas from an archaic list of the functional gods.Sisupala a n o t h e r rule of transposition. Kf^ija is not only that. the hundred sons o f Dhftara§tra ( a n d especially with the eldest. or "spriiJcling. But of course. Yudhi?thira h a s been discussing with h i m the advisability of celebrating a rdjasuya. h e has received the first visit f r o m his cousin Kf$i. " implying in consequence recognition b y all other kings of a m o r e o r less effective sort of s u p r e m a c y . rd^fra. it suffices that the equivalence Kfjija-Visnu is explicitly stated in the course of the episode. b y fleecing Yudhi§thira a n d his brothers a n d forcing them into thirteen years of exile. the P a n d a v a s h a v e not as yet k n o w n their great misfortunes. m o r e immediate a n d m o r e novelistic one. b u t sdmrdjya. that D u r y o d h a n a ' s malice a n d Dhftara^fra's weakness will arrange the fateful dice-game which. discreet a n d resourceful counsellor. lucid. begins a conflict between the t w o groups o f cousins that will b e settled only in the b l o o d y battle of the "field of the K u r u s . w h o is n o n e other than Vi^nu incarnate (as Yudhi?thira himself is either the s o n . "universal kingship" a n d pdrthivya. 52 . bestowing on the recipient not only r o y a l t y .

a special h o n o r should g o to an individual w h o is n o t a king. t w o of Yudhi?thira's brothers h a v e disposed of this c o m p e t i t o r under dramatic circumstances w h i c h w e will examine later. In this case it h a s to do n o t with such a p o r t i o n . a m o n g them V a s u d e v a . a n d if need b e to c o m p e l . where the "hero's p o r t i o n " regularly p r o v o k e s competitions a n d battles. o r rather eliminated. J a r a s a n d h a the king o f M a g a d h a . Vi?nu incarnate. b a c k e d b y the support of the god R u d r a .Sisupala A first obstacle h a s already been averted. T h e assembled kings would surely accede to this a w a r d without grumbling when o n e of them rises a n d protests vehemently. BhTjma does n o t hesitate and responds. a n arghya of excellence. tutor. T h i n g s get off to a g o o d start. In the presence of Kr§na. " See below. a c c o m p a n i e d b y his son Kysna.S i v a . He refuses to accept that. But very quickly there arises a serious p r o b l e m . 53 . the sons of D h r t a r a j t r a and those of Panc^u alike) proposes to offer to the most w o r t h y of those present ( 1 3 3 0 ) . IV. seemingly well disposed. chap. but with a supplementary arghya. W i t h o u t m u c h trouble these missions h a v e succeeded and the kings h a v e poured into Yudhi?thira's capital to attend the c e r e m o n y a n d thus to c o n f i r m their allegiance. in a n assembly of kings.1 3 3 4 ) . with g o o d reasons: Kr?na ( 1 3 3 2 . T h e P a n 4 a v a s have before them truly a gallery of kings. the offering presented to the guests of h o n o r . Yudhi?thira agrees and asks Bhl§ma himself to designate the o n e to be so h o n o r e d . which B h i ? m a (the great-uncle. particularly the arghya." Yudhi§thira has then dispatched his f o u r younger brothers to the four corners of the world to secure. h a d launched the s a m e claim to sovereignty as Yudhi?thira. A n o t h e r prince. a n d h a d begun to b a c k it up with cruelty a n d indeed b a r b a r i t y . that is to s a y again. a n d counsellor of the w h o l e family of the B h a ratas. the king of Cedi. the consent of the kings.o n his advice a n d almost on his orders. a n unexpected quarrel which remotely recalls the Irish legends. it is Sisupala. with the usual ceremonies of hospitality.

vag asanrini. tyagaya kurutam matim (1495). her son (putrasnehabhisantapta) ( 1 5 0 0 . tormented b y the affection she feels. :>•> Sisupala w a s well-born in the r o y a l family of the Cedis. w h o has lived through three generations and harbors much knowledge. h a s been b o r n . " T h u s the prophecy is t w o f o l d . w h o this spoilsport is. made itself heard to the king. the m o t h e r speaks. h o w he c a m e into the w o r l d . the second of the P a n d a v a s w h o is n o t exactly well-informed a n d w h o m Sisupala has taken personally to task. f o r this small monster. T h e voice said ( 1 4 9 7 . the m o n s t r o u s child will lose his excesses. but guard y o u r child anxiously. T h e tale of his beginnings follows. n o r has this T i m e yet c o m e . I want to hear w h o shall b e the death of this s o n l " T h e n the invisible being speaks again ( 1 5 0 2 . vakyam antarhitam. therefore be not afraid of h i m . placed in someone's l a p . his wife. lord o f m e n . the son o f the reigning king. Y o u a r e not to b e his death. His death.1 4 9 8 ) : " K i n g . 54 • .Sisupala His protest rapidly occasions an ever m o r e lively exchange of words a n d the old B h i ? m a . But he w a s b o r n m o n s t r o u s : he h a d three eyes a n d four arms (tryaksah caturbhujah). His distraught parents were all set to a b a n d o n him. in spite o f everything. his slayer b y the sword. he is b o r n y o u r s o n . a n d his assembled ministers. when a disembodied voice.1 5 0 3 ) : " H e upon w h o s e lap his t w o extra arms will b o t h fall o n the ground like five-headed snakes a n d that third eye in the middle of the child's forehead will sink a w a y a s he l o o k s at h i m — h e shall b e his d e a t h . a n d also w h y up to this m o m e n t Kr?na has s h o w n so much patience t o wards h i m ( 1 4 9 4 . a n d uttered inarticulate cries like a n animal (1494). what fate weighs upon h i m . N o w let h i m also speak further. but u n a m b i g u o u s : o n e d a y .1 5 0 1 ) : "I b o w with folded hands to h i m w h o has spoken this w o r d concerning m y s o n .1 5 2 2 ) . is led to explain to B h l m a s e n a . " Hearing this speech which c a m e f r o m the invisible. illustrious a n d powerful.

f o r y o u a r e the relief o f the oppressed a n d grant safety to those that a r e a f e a r e d l " Kr?ria answers ( 1 5 1 4 . Kf^^ia. S h e asks a favor of h e r nephew ( 1 5 1 2 . drawn b y curiosity. m y aunt? W h e t h e r it c a n b e done o r n o t . strongarmed o n e . T h e y t o o a r e received with h o n o r . ekaikasya nzpasyanke putram aropayat tadd. T h e king o f Cedi receives t h e m all with h o n o r and places his b a b y upon the lap o f each.1 5 1 3 ) : " G i v e a b o o n to m e . didrkfavah. since the small monster's m o t h e r is their paternal a u n t . . w h o h a v e m o r e o v e r excellent reasons f o r c o m i n g . . . trastd). N o sooner was he placed on his lap than the two extra a r m s fell off a n d the eye in his forehead sank a w a y . S o it goes until there arrive f r o m the town o f D v a r a v a t l .Sisupala two a r m s a n d the central e y e . c o m e to the c o u n t r y and the palace where it t o o k place. a n d will b e c o m e n o r m a l .1 5 1 5 ) : " D o n o t fear. T h e n finally. o r what should I d o . I shall obey your word]" 55 . but the spectacle. o f these thousands of kings. " Seeing this. the m a n w h o s e touch has w o r k e d this transformation will also b e the mrtyu. a n d o n the knees of every single o n e . the (cause of) death of the small being restored to h u m a n f o r m . attracted b y the reports. the expected miracle never o c c u r s . a n d all the kings of the earth. W h a t b o o n must I give y o u . . w h o a m sick with fear. t w o princes. b u t the Deliverer w h o will w o r k this a n a t o m i c a l miracle will also later b e the cause o f his death. sisur anke samdru^ho na tat prdpa nidarsanam. the miracle o c c u r s ( 1 5 1 1 ) : " . . rdjasahasrdndm. and understandably: according to the disembodied V o i c e . putram ddmoda-rotsange devTsarnvyadadhdt svayam ( 1 5 1 0 ) . T h e s e t w o princes a r e the Y a d a v a s Kr§na a n d his older b r o t h e r B a l a r a m a . R u m o r o f such a r e m a r k a b l e occurrence travels fast. the m o t h e r is troubled a n d begins to tremble [vyathitd. pxthak. a n d the queen personally has just placed her son o n Kr§na's knees.

including the greatest of them—caturbhuja 'four-armed' is a frequent Hindu epithet of Vi?nu as well as of Siva. is exhausted and even overdrawn. It is this god. all gracefully and symmetrically arrayed. clearly marks him as a human replica of Rudra-Siva. the aparadhah to be tolerated. We are faced with a peculiar case. Kr$na will in the end be able to punish Sisupala. the derelictions of Sisupala!" Krjna answers (1517): "I shall forsooth forgive a hundred derelictions of your son. strong man. The Mahabharata mentions other births of children. not only among babies. We shall soon learn that the account of these hundred offenses. India is more familiar than Scandinavia with persons with extra arms. than the Hydra of Lerna had heads. and there come immediately to mind the figures of Indian gods who seem to have more arms. and he 56 . RUDRA. Do not sorrow. and would do so if the Voice of an unseen being did not intervene." the third eye in the middle of his forehead. the fear is immediate: the father and mother can think only of abandoning the infant. even though they may be capital offenses. 2. But this is not what is most important. but adults as well. which occasion no such alarm nor grief. paternal aunt. Here. this correction of shape and this boon lirdcing facinora and longevity. Released from the promise to his aunt. even quite human ones. Long ago it was noted that the second congenital deformity of the "little one." Thus the fate of Sisupala was sealed.Sisupala Then the queen makes her appeal (1516): "Pray pardon. let us ponder this monstrous birth. KRSNA AND SISUPALA Before proceeding further. with several arms. lalafajarri nayanam.

' §1. a n d frequently later of Rudra-Siva. " h a v i n g three p u p i l s " — w h o enjoys the privilege o f having three eyes. " Finally.S i v a with his o w n eyes. In m o r e than o n e regard the " o p p o s i t e " o f Rudra-Siva. a g o d o f a completely different sort. w h o will o c cupy us later a n d w h o is presented as the favorite of R u d r a . pp. a hero " o n the side of R u d r a . " a transformation o f this Rudra-Siva w h o s e o w n incarnation is a n other of the p o e m ' s f e a r s o m e heroes.^ A l o n g the s a m e line it has been pointed out that the n a m e of Sisupala. Sisupala is thus f o u n d . 100). his p o l a r partner. tryakfa are epithets of Siva. 213-222.S i v a . ' A n d this is of great interest because the o n e w h o delivers h i m f r o m his superfluous a r m s a n d e y e . Epic Mythology. as did John M u i r m o r e than a century a g o (1864). sisupala is " p r o t e c t o r (and also " k i n g . t o the extent o f being his " a r m y chief. ' Edward W. IV. Hopkins. as solidly b y nature as he is ephemerally in f o r m . 1497 (van Buitenen p. he will even b e . A s v a t t h a m a n . prince") o f the s m a l l . is K f § n a Vignu. chap. in c o n t r a d i c t o r y relationships with the t w o great g o d s . in a previous episode—which he himself recalls within the present one—Sisupala manifests a particular a t t a c h m e n t . pasupati is "lord of animals". a n d w h o offers kings in sacrifice to R u d r a . pp. 170-180. * Original Sanskrit Texts. f r o m his earliest y o u t h . ' T h e s e reasons oblige us to conclude.S i v a . f o r which the Mahabharata (1497) suggests an obviously postfabricated e t y m o l o g y . at least b y c o n n o t a t i o n . if the epithet tryambaka means. 57 . endowed with the privilege o f seeing R u d r a . 220. o f the already Vedic epithet of R u d r a . ' See below. pasupati. ' is a transposition. the third between the t w o n o r m a l ones in the middle o f the forehead: tricak^us. in the Hindu trinity." to King J a r a s a n d h a . to the level o f the "small" (sisu-).Sisupala a l o n e — a n d very early. 221. IV.S i v a . » M £ / .' that Sisupala is. a n d with w h o m he will n o n e theless remain t o the end in a state o f violent hostility.

Sisupala receives from the same Kf$na a true " f a t e .V i j i j u . f r o m the foreordained immunity until the hundredth offense. the latter's agressiveness being exerted consistently at the expense of the former. without specifying a number) she shows that she has n o doubt of the enmity that will prevail between normalizer a n d normalizee. A final remark will serve to tie together the t w o preceding statements. even between people w h o hate each other. for example. of facinora committed against someone. T h e V o i c e h a d said that death would c o m e to him from his very normalizer. In fact it comes out in the episode of B o o k T w o that Sisupala has wasted no time. and he is still y o u n g when here. " which by defining a postponement completes what the unknown V o i c e had imposed o n him at birth. squandering his store of impunity. miraculously. that is. Has she recognized R u d r a S i v a in the one as she knows that the other is V i j o u ? In any case. a n y of which would deserve d e a t h . to be precise. a hundred offenses. to commit a hundred offenses each of which merits death requires a certain amount of time. he overdraws his account. without killing him. " T h i s number can reassure the mother.Sisupala A t the same time that. 58 . it will be up to him not to exhaust his credit and to avoid overstepping the limit by a hundred and first offense. It is at the mother's request that Kj-jna grants this gift to the baby. he is restored to human shape. one could not wish for a better expression of the "conflict of divinities" which. It is n o less remarkable that the b o o n granted him concerning the length of his life should be limited and conditioned by a counting of aparadhah.V i j n u . H e does not define the reprieve in terms of absolute or lived time. he has carried o n like a prodigal son. before us. b y the mere touch of K r s n a . aparadhasatam. that his normalizer "would be his d e a t h . " a hundred y e a r s " o r "three average human lives". will dominate the career of Si§upala. and especially since the interested party will be forewarned. the latter undertakes to delay this death. rather he sets down a kind of sliding scale which ties the young being's life span to his behavior: " I will tolerate. he does not say. and b y asking for it m o r e o v e r in a very general w a y (to tolerate his offenses. " W h e n it is discovered that the normalizer is K f s n a . by an offense which will bring on his death.

A t the m o m e n t of the final settling of accounts. recalling o n l y five. " 5. THE OFFENSES ^ Let US return to the b i o g r a p h y o f the h e r o . he stole the horse that w a s set free at the Horse Sacrifice a n d surrounded b y guards to disrupt m y father's s a c r i f i c e . " W h i l e the b a r o n s o f the B h o j a s were at play on M o u n t Raivataka. vadharha (1517). The mighty king Sisupala. he slew and captured them. has b e c o m e his marshal [sendpatih). " 2. w h o is o u r cousin. Regarding the hundred personal affronts deserving o f death. "Hiding beneath his wizardry." 3 . " M a l e v o l e n t l y . the Y a d a v a s . • . b u r n e d down D v a r a k a ( = D v a r a v a t l . having indeed g o n e over c o m p e t e l y to this Jarasandha's side. this fiend.Sisupala 3. T h e exploits of Sisupala must h a v e been n u m e r o u s . k i n g s . " K n o w i n g that w e h a d g o n e to the city o f Pragjyoti?a. but in view of familial solidarity they ought t o be considered as in effect directed against him a n d c o n s e quently charged to the current account of patience on which the offender keeps drawing (1516). " W h e n she w a s journeying t o the country of the Sauviras to b e given in marriage. w e d o not h a v e the complete list either. A l l h a v e been c o m m i t t e d against m e m b e r s o f Kfjija's family. then returned to his city. since he c o m m a n d e d the armies o f a n o t h e r king of w h o m it is said expressly that h e h a d conquered a large part of the world (574): • . o u r capital]. the intended bride of the Karu^al For the s a k e o f m y father's sister I h a v e endured very great suffering.•. the misguided fool abducted the unwilling wife-to-be o f the glorious B a b h r u . the fiendish offender o f his uncle abducted B h a d r a of Visala. W h a t are these examples (1566-1572)7 1. in five slokas. well-known tales. but fortunately n o w this is taking place in the 59 . which K f j i j a has undertaken to forgive. . Krsija gives merely a sampling o f them. " 4. and only allusions are made to them here. T h e texts are n o t prolix either a b o u t his exploits o r his crimes: undoubtedly they were the subject o f specific. ' .

For y o u are n o w witnesses of the allsurpassing offense against m e .Sisupala presence of all the kings. In 3 . Sisupala attacks the king in the area of religion b y preventing him f r o m celebrating the most solemri of royal sacrifices. are direct. learn also n o w the offenses he has perpetrated against m e in c o n c e a l m e n t . " and that w h a t is presented here as a sampling of the o f f e n s e s — o r rather w h a t this sampling was b e f o r e the development of the three crimes into five—originally constituted their c o m p l e t e i n v e n t o r y . In any case. it is tempting to suppose also that the n u m b e r " o n e h u n d r e d " has been substituted. attacking the king in his capital. Rhetorically speaking. those of the second and first function. his servants. for the s a m e reason. T h e first three. in the order II (first and second offenses). the two sexual sins attack w o m e n belonging to the king's family or placed under his p r o t e c t i o n . Sisupala. in this final quarrel where Sisupala claims to defend r o y a l f 60 . directly or indirectly. across the f r a m e w o r k of the three f u n c tions. In 4 and 5 . instead of confronting h i m in equal c o m b a t . disguising himself as her h u s b a n d — c o m m i t t i n g a sexual sin entirely similar to the third sin of Indra. T h e great similarity of the t w o first and the t w o last offenses m a k e s it p r o b a b l e that this list has been inflated—India has little taste f o r c o n c i s e n e s s — a n d that m o r e originally each type of sin was illustrated b y only one e x a m p l e . waits until he k n o w s a king is absent to burn d o w n his capital. theref o r e . his religion. all these sins are directed against the king. T a k i n g this t a c k . " It is easy to verify that these sample offenses are distributed. and surprises rajanyas in the midst of disporting themselves to m a s s a c r e or kidnap them: this cowardice is on the same level as that of the second sin of Indra and Herakles slaying an adversary b y a foul trick. and III (fourth and fifth offenses). I (third offense). instead of fairly and openly giving battle. a n d as serious as the third sin of Herakles. Sisupala abducts a noble married w o m a n — i n 5 . and constitute a new example of the theme of the "three sins of the w a r r i o r " : In 1 and 2 . f o r the simple n u m b e r " t h r e e .

in the three functional areas of royal a c tivity. in a h a u g h t y . they rather lead gradually up t o the desperate defiance at the end. he says quickly. purported to h a v e been violated because the supplementary arghya h a s been accorded n o t t o o n e of t h e m . T h e theme is stated f r o m the outset ( 1 3 3 8 ) . 4. f r o m beginning to e n d . W h i l e they do not b e c o m e m o r e and m o r e violent. f o r the first is already extremely s o .Sisupala majesty and where he tries. when Bhl^ma hears him s a y : " T h i s Vargneya does not deserve regal h o n o r as though he were a king. while great-spirited lords of the earth are present I" It is o n dharma that he bases himself. Pan(^avas!" A n d the f l o o d is loosed ( 1 3 4 2 ) : " H o w c a n the D a s a r h a .ia is hoping f o r . the defense of the m a j esty of kings. y o u don't k n o w ! For the L a w is subtle. reveal the past a n d unveil the nature of their adversary. t o incite the assembly of kings against K f j i j a and the P a n d a v a s . w h o is n o king: Sisupala m a k e s himself the c h a m p i o n of this outraged assembly. but to K f $ n a . a n d will in the end have on the audience the effect which Kf?. merit precedence over all the kings of the earth so that he should b e honored b y you?" 61 . K a u r a v y a . this enumeration of crimes c o m m i t t e d against a king. then K f § p a himself. SiSuPALA AND THE KINGS T h e dispute during which at first Bhlgma. is very timely. develops at length a n d occasions several speeches b y Sisupala. T h e i r subject is. to the Panc^avas w h o are astounded at this effrontery ( 1 3 4 0 ) : " Y o u are children. w h o is n o king. we shall see. didactic tone.

Sisupala G r o w i n g angrier. this limited conception o f dharma. a n d his triumph that we offer the h o n o r . . K n o w l edge o f the Vedas a n d their b r a n c h e s . rightly omits the first line. 62 . he a s k s . which introduces the vaisyas and sudras into the matter. g W I f' ' » f :T opposing to it the greater truth: Kr$na is indeed m o r e than a king. The Poona edition. D r u m a . N o t only is there delivered an insult to these Indras of kings. BhT§ma's reply is grandiose. can they distinguish a n d h o n o r Kr?na when there are present A s v a t t h a m a n . his b r a v e r y . he lists the kings a n d other heroes w h o are present. K f p a . . a n d b o t h these grounds to h o n o r G o v i n d a are found firm. of b a r o n s the superior in strength. which is quoted here in translation. while he has not attained to the title? . B h a r a t a ? It w a s not out of fear f o r the great-spirited K a u n t e y a that we all offered him tribute. if in an assembly of kings y o u h o n o r Kr?na with the guest gift. w h y bring these kings h e r e — t o insult them. and boundless might as w e l l — w h o in the world of m e n possesses these so distinguishedly if not K e s a v a ? " ' " §1. w h o are n o k i n g ! " T h e exposition is instructive b y its very m o n o t o n y : it reveals a dominating concept of the thought and ideology of Sisupala. D u r y o d h a n a . he is everything. He wanted the sovereignty a n d proceeded according to L a w . . H e rejects. a n d m a n y others ( 1 3 4 7 1353)7 "If y o u must h o n o r M a d h u s u d a n a . without deigning to discuss it. so we gave him tribute a n d n o w he does not count usl W h a t but contempt m o v e s y o u . the Kurus h a v e also shown y o u up f o r what y o u o b viously a r e . as a show is to a blind m a n . . n o r out of greed or to flatter h i m . 1384-1387 (van Buitenen p. O f b r a h m i n s he is the elder in knowledge. a n d praises their virtues—beginning with this very BhT$ma w h o m he a t t a c k s as if guilty of lese majesty. so is this royal h o n o r to y o u M a d h u sudana. A s a marriage is to a eunuch. he has everything: "It is in the full knowledge o f his f a m e . . h o w . 95). J a n a r d a n a . K a r n a .

this intransigence about the rights of kings. . . yajnopaghdtdya "When ( 1 4 1 0 . the N e s t o r o f this epic. unconsciously [acetanah. . the youngest o f the P a n d a v a s . for Sisupala protests vigorously ( 1 4 3 3 ) : 63 . surrounded b y billowing troops. says the poet. says Bhl$ma. . and they make ready t o prevent the sacrifice. has good reason t o say "Let these kings bark like a pack of dogs around a sleeping lion. But when Sisupala leaves the hall. is soon obliged t o threaten t o put his foot on the head of anyone w h o would challenge the decision.1 4 1 2 ) . K f $ n a is for the moment like a sleeping lion.1 4 0 5 ) . however. But in reality. so that. their ap- pearance w a s like that of roaring lions that are dragged a w a y from their r a w meat. O n e of them. SunTtha. which will lead us quickly towards the end. F o r all of BhT§ma's saying. " L o o k at these m a n y kings older than y o u a r e : they consent to the honor paid K f s p a . and their wrath is great.Sisupala But Sisupala does not relent. the audience is b e c o m ing more a n d m o r e susceptible t o this royalist demagogy which Sisupala pours forth in eloquent torrents. w a s making a covenant for w a r . 1 4 2 7 ) . and y o u should likewise forbear i t " ( 1 3 7 2 ) . Kf§ija then understood that the invincible sea of kings. 1" A n d this accusation. the death of Sisupala: this fine devotion to kings. are they genuine? N o . the king o f Cedi makes lions out of all these dogs. . . " A n d he hints at something quite interesting. must have substance. repeating the image of dogs. a n d the assembly of the kings begins t o react. and before he wakes. " . the king w h o m Sisupala has served as commander-in-chief. . " T h i n g s do not c o m e to such a pass. S a h a d e v a . a n d B h i j m a . they all follow him. he desires with all his being to lead them all t o the abode o f Y a m a . they were being restrained by their friends. which matches one of the well-known cruelties of Jarasandha. and at the sight of his foot none of the kings dares utter a word ( 1 4 0 2 . incites them t o attack those w h o have tried t o humiliate them.

when the b o d y has been r e m o v e d . T h e o u t c o m e is this (1575): All the assembled kings. n o w began to revile the Cedi king. there occurs in the kings a change. decrepit defiler of y o u r family. including Kr?na. a n d finally. upon hearing this and m o r e f r o m V a s u d e v a . in the face of the fate that awaits h i m . and has called them all to witness the hundred a n d first which has been c o m m i t t e d against h i m . he will take up again the theme o f offended royal dignity. in short. In the e n d . with h o n o r . a reversal. B h l j m a ? " In the m o m e n t s preceding the death of this overreacher. the rights o f kings have been the subject of Sisupala's protest. that f o r which they had been invited: their consenting presence h a s fully validated the rite. In fact they w a t c h without serious reaction the execution of Sisupala—and w e shall see presently the r e m a r k a b l e m o d e of this death. while y o u frighten all these kings with your many threats?" In the last speech which he will give. their loyalty and their choice h a v e been at stake in the rhetorical debate." T h u s . a n d after a n o t h e r catalogue o f kings w h o deserve to be honored. setting d o w n the official v e r sion in his final proclamation (1604): " A l l these kings have c o m e to us in a spirit of friendship. if as a l w a y s y o u r heart is set on praising. Immediately after. Kr$na has presented his grievances. after coming close to a n ill-timed insurrection. " he will say to BhT?ma. he will conclude b y repeating the theme in the interrogative (1540-1541): " W h y . afterwards the kings themselves. the kings h a v e done what w a s expected o f them. Y u dhijthira celebrates his rajasuya before the assembly of kings. h a s recalled the hundred offenses of which he has given five examples and which are affronts to the majesty a n d status of a king.Sisupala " H o w is it y o u are not ashamed o f yourself. " W h y d o y o u fail to praise such kings as S a l y a a n d others. he dismisses his guests. 64 . as if n o incident h a d marred the festivities.

In a cloudless s k y heaven rained forth a n d blazing lightning struck and the earth trembled. A c c o r d i n g t o the Calcutta edition. is n o longer covered b y his promise of f o r b e a r a n c e a n d will n o t be tolerated. T h e r e u p o n the kings watched a sublime radiance rise forth f r o m the b o d y of the king of the Cedis. he " t h i n k s " of the cakra {manasd 'cintayac cakram). T h e discus right a w a y appears a n d positions itself in his h a n d . T h e strong-armed king fell like a tree that is struck b y a thunderbolt. f r o m this m o m e n t o n . the hundred a n d first. w h e n Kr?oa ' ' The Poona edition rejects the end of Kr^ija's speech and the following line. or don't. h o n o r e d b y the world. W h a t she asked of m e . 65 . Kfjija. " at the m o m e n t when Kfgna announces that the present offense.1 5 8 9 ) : " ["Let the kings hear w h y I have put up with this: I h a v e h a d t o forgive a hundred o f his offenses. N o w I shall slay h i m b e f o r e the eyes o f all y o u earthl o r d s . all the kings deemed it a miracle that that radiance entered the strong-armed m a n . w a s like the sun rising up f r o m the s k y . incarnate Vi$nu a n d the "little S i v a . w h a t could possibly befall m e f r o m y o u . if y o u have that m u c h faith. a n d the tally is c o m p l e t e . T h e n he acts ( 1 5 8 2 . that greatest of m e n . Kr?na's mind is m a d e u p . a n d entered h i m . " S o saying. which. justifying his a c t i o n . ] scourge of his enemies. W h e n they s a w that.Sisupala 5. SISUPALA A N D KRSNA W e left Krjija a n d Sisupala. I have given. Sisupala replies ( 1 5 7 9 ) : "Forgive m e . THE END OF SISUPALA. great king. at that m o m e n t the best of the Y a d u s . O king. a n d that radiance greeted lotus-eyed K f §na. at his m o t h e r ' s r e quest. the discus. irately cut off his head with his discus. h o w e v e r angry o r friendly?" Defiance of the C o m m a n d e r ? Resignation to fate? T h e e n d of a g o o d loser? In a n y case. A t this solemn m o m e n t Kr?na explains the situation once m o r e . his infallible w e a p o n that h a s already punished the excesses o f so m a n y d e m o n s .

66 . merging with h i m . some pages earlier. at the m o m e n t o f the death of this m a d m a n w h o h a s never ceased. in spite of himself. . vavande tat tada tejo vivesa ca. Unconsciously. h e h a s been seized b y a kind of intoxication. o f w h o m all beings. T h e total being h a s simply wished to recover the part. Consciously. Some of the icings to be sure. leaves his beheaded b o d y in the f o r m of a brilliant light a n d enters into his executioner. it seems that Sisupala h a s understood the meaning o f the a c t : his tejas salutes the g o d . his tejaPi agryam. h e h a s rushed to his destruction. adbhutam.Sisupala slew the C a i d y a . . the will of Kr§naVi?nu. but they do not act. wringing their hands and biting their lips. a surprising variation o n the maternal w o m b o f the psychoanalysts. h a d made a correct diagnosis w h e n . the best part o f himself.1 5 2 2 ) : " H e o f a certainty is a particle of the glory of Hari. a n d widely f a m o u s Hari w a n t s to recover it. a n irresistible need to reenter the w o m b o f the incarnate A l l . h a s p r o v o k e d it. T h e r e were kings there w h o did not s a y a w o r d . the text goes on (1590-1591). Bhl§ma. Just before entering into the b o d y of his killer. the wise a n d experienced old m a n . despite appearances. throughout his life. a r e parts. it w a s something else: he w a s obeying the call. H o w is this miracle to b e explained? T h e editors of the Mahabharata see n o difficulty here: Kr§na-Vi§nu is the god w h o encompasses all. a n d o n e m a y suppose that he h a s attracted h i m b y some sort of hypnosis. do indeed show their anger. During the final quarrel. a part of this total Being. to pile u p offenses a n d crimes against Kr§n3' a n d w h o has just showered h i m once again with insolence. discarding all recourse. His e n e m y Sisupala w a s therefore. B u t until then he had n o t been in o n the secret.'^ T h u s . approval prevails and everything soon quiets down. It is indeed a miraculous spectacle. . he ended his a c c o u n t of the birth a n d childhood o f Sisupala with these w o r d s . stronga r m e d prince. as the kings w h o a r e present all agree. which attempted to explain to the Pan«^avas the p a r o x y s m of violence to which the challenger a b a n d o n e d himself ( 1 5 2 1 .

Sisupala hoped in the depth of his being only to be reunited with Kf$pa-Vi§nu. of t h e o l o g y nothing but a series of insults. the child's mother and Kf?na himself have foreseen the future: from this humanized Siva to Vi5i. there will be. more willing to meditate on the sublime absurdities of theology. But. only thanks to Kf§i:ia. even abandons his capital before this madman." This is in fact why he plunges into the hundred and first misdeed. from the instant of this boon. we see that underneath this evil-minded and perverse conduct. to Vif^iu. and Kf^na has determined. which he could easily have avoided or held back. aggressions. there is no other aspect to their relationship: Sisupala—on his own behalf and undoubtedly on that of Jarasandha whose armies he commands—persecutes Kf?ria and his family. to tolerate one hundred of them. by an irresistible bent of nature—one might readily say. only to be one with him. for example.»u incarnate. At the very time when he cries out his indifference to what Kfspa will or will not do—these. In fact. the divine Krgpa. in his generous wisdom. tiger of the Kurus. exploited. in the end. More mystical than the epic. withdraws. and clarified its matter. Sisupala is not a normal man. Oedipus obstinately delving into his destiny. as we saw. the Puranas have repeated. endures. retreats. the belief in metempsychosis allows the conflict to be prolonged: 67 . And. until the credit is exhausted. In the Vi^nu Purdna. are his last words—he is possessed by an unconscious need to make an end of it. to lose himself in the being whom he insults. like a Saint Paul who would have awaited death and the hereafter to find his road to Damascus. The Greek tragedians did not have to deal with this type of drama. without worrying about any of us. and Kfjna. and crimes. but it is on a par with the loftiest situations which they encountered: Prometheus standing up to Zeus.Sisupala That is why this evil-minded king of Cedis roars fiercely like a tiger. has he been freed from the bodily monstrosity that revealed him as a little Siva.

w a s literally c o n sumed b y his venerable adversary. in the end he is f o u n d ready. replete with strangeness. 15. a n d another p h e n o m e n o n o c c u r s . he was exposed f o r w h o he w a s . Sisupala is apparently a repeat offender with a checkered past. spitefully to b e sure. and thereafter the demon R a v a n a . " IV. 68 . granted all the differences imposed b y divergence in time. thanks to this obsession. T h e reader h a s surely felt. unexpected denouement: total. the reentry o f the rebellious part into the immensely benevolent w h o l e . the most violent hatred. of Vi^nu. the incarnation of V i j n u . A n d precisely because o f this v i o lence. his furious hatred then e v a p o r a t e d . events this time around turn out differently. In previous lives. 1-S. but in a n y case exclusively. civilization. at the same time as the stock of sins he had a c c u m u l a t e d . T h i s made possible the h a p p y . h o w much this complex career.Sisupala f r o m the standpoint o f reincarnation. in his true nature. not f o r a n o t h e r r a n d o m transmigration. and belief systems. he has been the demon Hiranyakasipu. at the instant w h e n he was killed b y V i j n u . In fact. place. definitive union o f Sisupala and Krsna-Vijnu. W e should n o w give m o r e precision to this impression. as if at will. But it is in his new life as Sisupala that he has nursed against Kr?na. parallels that of S t a r k a S r . the routine of reincarnation h a s stopped. all through his mature life Sisupala has only thought. w h o m Vi^nu killed in t w o of his incarnations. but f o r the transformation which w e h a v e witnessed. T h e Vi^nu Puratiia e x p l a i n s " that.

India). an earlier incarnation of Sisupala (relief f r o m EUora.Sisupala I?^ ?l Vijiju as the man-lion ( N a r a s i m h a ) slays the d e m o n Hiranyakasipu. 69 .

.

is born outside the pale of h u m a n nature. W i t h n o explanation of h o w o r even w h y ./// STARKADR A N D SISUPALA 1. w h o is his h o m o n y m o u s grandfather (in the saga). Sisupala is born outside of h u m a n nature. He is restored to h u m a n shape (two arms d r o p a w a y . 2 . a c c o r d ing to a V o i c e heard at his birth. eye vanishes) at the touch of Kr$i:ia-Vi§nu. with four arms and three eyes. or else the advance replica of S t a r k a S r . 2 . a six. w h o .S t a r c a t h e r u s and of Sisupala are readily arranged in parallel tables: I 1.or eight-armed giant. the god T h o r relieves Starcatherus of his supernumerary a r m s and reduces him to h u m a n shape ( S a x o ) . . the latter trait (as well as his n a m e ) marking him as b e longing to the god R u d r a Siva. Starcatherus himself (in S a x o ) . COMPARISON OF THE LEGENDS OF STARKADR AND SISUPALA T h e stories of S t a r k a 3 r . will also be the agent of his death. but the m a r k s of the amputated a r m s linger on the otherwise 71 I 1 . or T h o r slays the grandfather S t a r k a S r .

Kr?na. but will c o m m i t a crime in each. w h o concerns himself with h i m and determines his fate ( S a x o ) . in an antagonistic deb a t e . presumably he is. 2 . T h e r e a f t e r . 11 1 . at the same time. O t h i n u s . he consents to let pass unpunished one hundred offenses. vitiated o n l y b y the three foreordained crimes. by the two gods O d i n and T h o r (saga). A t that m o m e n t w h e n he makes the small monster into a m a n . each of which w o u l d merit death. it is another g o d . he adds up and pours on the offenses against K r j n a and his family. and he alone. In either case. 2 . accordingly: 1 . thus acknowledging as inevitable that the humanized monster will c o m mit offenses. as general. III Sisupala: 1 . II 1 . K r ^ n a . since it is he. 2 .V i j n u declares his destiny: 2 . 72 . or else this fate is fixed. the essential terms are that the hero will live three h u m a n lifetimes. filled with martial exploits. at the hundred and first will c o m e the e n d . w h o is called upon to slay him. the conquering king w h o s e armies subdue nearly the entire w o r l d . so that his credit of impunity is rapidly ex- Ill T h i s triple life is. b e c o m e s the general of J a r a s a n d h a .StarkaSr and Sisupala n o r m a l body of the grandson S t a r k a S r (saga). the agent of at least several of these n u m e r o u s victories.

where Sisupala is presented at length: 1 . Having committed the third and last of the foreordained crimes. V Having reached the number of one hundred offenses exempted from punishment because of the promise. aggressive defender of royal majesty. IV 1 . in various ways. five of these hundred offenses. 2 . The plot of Starcatherus develops particularly in his relations with King Frotho and his descendants.StarkaSr and Sisupala 3 . two in the third). moreover. and yet his three crimes. 73 . imposing his exacting ideal of this majesty. then second. are committed against kings. a king. which are distributed among the three functions (first. in the final indictment. the five offenses enumerated by Kr§na injure. his kings. and yet. and its driving force is an uncompromising and aggressive reverence for royal majesty. IV In the final scene of his life. he reprimands kings and their offspring. hausted. bad exceptions to a string of uniformly good deeds. he makes himself the theorist and the determined. an allusion of Bhl?ma and the animated reaction of Sisupala himself lead one to believe that this attitude is destined only to plunge to their deaths the kings who are present. which are distributed among the three functions (two in the second function. 2 . one in the first. 3 . then third). Kr?na cites. as typical examples.

Sisupala. his spiritual energy. mistrusting. COMMON INHERITANCE? In principle. a n d just before having himself killed b y him. f o r such a structure plausibly to h a v e been created t w i c e . shows him the means (which the other. a n d whose n a m e and characteristics indicate that he is. o r b y direct or indirect b o r r o w i n g . does not use) of gaining invulnerability b y passing quickly between his trunk and severed head b e f o r e they fall to the ground. in a sort o f m a d ness. 1. 2 . in h u m a n f o r m . he heaps his g o o d will upon this y o u t h . and articulate in the same order t o o m a n y peculiar a n d specific ideas. o r b y the preservation of a c o m m o n inheritance. Starcatherus wishes to die. no inherent need in the h u m a n mind links themes as clearly independent as those which are brought together h e r e : . c a n b e explained in four w a y s : either b y c h a n c e . the g o d H o S r .iu. very close to" Odin. at the very m o m e n t when Kr?na-Vi5nu has just decapitated h i m . 2 . enters into the latter in the f o r m o f light. or b y innate a n d constant characteristics of the h u m a n spirit. w h a t innate 74 . Furthermore. H o w are w e to interpret this parallelism? 2. T h e first t w o explanations are here out of the question. and to h a v e himself b e headed chooses Hatherus. a y o u n g n o b l e m a n w h o has m o r e o v e r revenge to take on h i m . T h e two tales which w e h a v e c o m p a r e d are t o o c o m p l e x . c o n d e m n s himself b y the hundred a n d first offense to die beheaded at the hand of Kr§na-Vi?i. accordances observed between the traditions of t w o human groups historically separate.Starkaar cind Sisupala 1. but sprung f r o m a single prehistoric g r o u p . attracted b y his killer.

in b o t h cases. nothing in one of the t w o stories c a n be a m e r e c o p y of what it is in the other. and a life either m a r k e d off or measured by a predetermined n u m b e r of crimes? A n d one c a n pose the same question f o r practically all the episodes. T h e circumstances in which Starcatherus and Sisupala 75 . cannot be translations one of the o t h e r . which gives rather the impression of being a w o r k of learned literature — a n d such w o r k s do not travel easily. could h a v e effected it. " and geographically.S i v a and Kr§na-Vi$nu. of one o r the other of these t w o so similar biographies.StarkaSr a n d Sisupala connection is there between the fact that a monstrous giant. but with an original narrative at o n c e heroic and m y t h o l o g i c a l . T h e pairs of gods. neither the S c y t h i a n s . and so with the agents of this miracle: T h o r is the constant e n e m y of giants. openly o r implicitly antagonistic. with the same picturesque details. what w e observe in c o m m o n between the t w o tales is the opposite of w h a t is preserved. in a direct or indirect b o r r o w i n g : save f o r the monstrous birth. in the other a spontaneous process. no story has been found which could pass for a variant. n o r the Slavs. T h e connection established. in fact it is exactly what is most easily lost. and o n e does not see w h a t intermediaries. corrected or reduced to its hereditary m a r k s . between length of life and a certain n u m b e r of crimes does not have the same f o r m . nor the T u r k s had this lofty ideal of the "kingly f u n c t i o n . T h e explanation by b o r r o w i n g is equally unlikely: the b o r r o w ing could only be indirect. and the fact that this giant or his descendant appoints himself c h a m p i o n of royal majesty? O r between this m o n strosity. taken t w o b y t w o . with too m a n y arms. we are dealing here not with a folktale pattern easily introduced into a n y civilization. T h o r and O d i n . Kr§na is the cousin of the small m o n ster. T h u s . is restored to h u m a n f o r m (or that the descendant of a n o t h e r giant has a h u m a n f o r m . no episode appears exactly the same in the two cases. even a very deformed o n e . peoples o r individuals. R u d r a . Further. the w a y s in which S t a r catherus and Sisupala find themselves restored to human shape are completely different: in o n e case a violent operation. in the vast area which separates India and S c a n d i n a v i a . but is congenitally m a r k e d with such scars). Finally and a b o v e all.

at first sight. is a climax of violence in the Mahabharata. Even in the list of sins according to the three functions. m o n e t a r y . but their orientations are different: Starcatherus inveighs against Ingellus in order to reform h i m . in a gesture o f benevolence. T h e agreement. Such a situation would suffice to discourage 76 . the correspondences of each sin to its function a r e not congruent: at the third level. c a l m l y . Sisupala. the other in full s t r e n g t h — t o their executioners d o not have the same source: Sisupala acts in a sort of madness. that of Starcatherus is. calm a n d serene in S a x o . T h e impulses which drive the t w o h e r o e s — o n e triply old. the other protests against an h o n o r paid before kings to o n e w h o is not a king. differ f r o m one story to the other. so to speak. to put a n end to what a M a l l a r m e a n might well describe as " t r o p de v i e " . suddenly captivated b y the enemy w h o beheads h i m .StarkaSr and Sisupala give their sermons on the majesty of kings h a v e nothing in c o m m o n : the o n e prevents his king f r o m hazarding himself against an enemy w h o is n o king.iu. Finally. and at the first level.S t a r c a t h e r u s furnishes the king. his master. is elsewhere: in the c o m m o n ideas which underpin entirely parallel plots couched in generally different narratives. Starcatherus. S t a r k a S r . a n d the decapitation scene. wounding rhetoric of the two characters finds at times rather similar expressions. wishes to merge. Starcatherus flees on the battlefield. T h u s . he has nothing in c o m m o n . wishes to transfer to the friend w h o beheads him something of himself which will assure him invulnerability. in every episode. Sisupala reviles Kr$na to humiliate h i m . a n d often the relationships o f the characters. Sisupala hinders a king f r o m sacrificing. the last scenes h a v e undoubtedly similar values. if it is indeed the god H o S r w h o lurks in the person of Hatherus. and in fact does dissolve into him in the f o r m o f a flame escaping f r o m his b o d y . Sisupala's lust is sexual. but only similar: to interpret matters in the best light. at the second level. palpable a n d striking. Starcatherus' killer. then b e c o m e s tutor of the royal children. the circumstances. with Vi?i. Starcatherus h a s decided. T o be sure the violent. Sisupala profits basely f r o m the absence of a king b y sacking his town. as the victim in a h u m a n sacrifice.

2 . V a r i a n t : a being. with monstrosities. T h e r e remains that of t w o evolutions starting f r o m a c o m m o n original. and the infant is restored to h u m a n shape either b y the act or b y the touch of the god w h o is n o r m a l l y the adversary of demonical beings. but this deformity is corrected. although c o r r e c t e d . is b o r n outside of h u m a n f o r m .2 . w h o will be a h e r o . and the other whose calling is to subdue or destroy such monsters. superfluous organs. even if it were geographically c o n c e i v a b l e . (2) highlighted by the predestined crimes. A being. A s a first a p p r o x i m a t i o n . is b o r n as the p o s t h u m o u s and h o m o n y m o u s grandson of such a m o n s t e r w h o has been not " p r u n e d " but slain b y the god inimical to d e m o n s (giants). Ill T h e life thus ordained—flexible or multiple—is (1) full of exploits.StarkaSr and Sisupala the hypothesis of a loan. all in h u m a n f o r m ) or implicitly (Rudra-Siva). or that he is granted a prolonged but limited (thrice normal) life span. and (3) these 77 . vie f o r the hero or c o n f r o n t each other over h i m : the one harboring a weakness f o r the sort of m o n s t e r which. while being compelled to c o m m i t one crime in each segment. the hero continues to carry within h i m . w h o will be a hero. we can establish this f r a m e w o r k as f o l l o w s : I 1 . T h e upshot for the hero is the a n n o u n c e m e n t of a fate linking his longevity to the c o m p l e t i o n of a specific number of crimes. and bears the hereditary m a r k s of the limbs cut f r o m his grandfather. which relate him to the most disquieting element in m y t h o l o g y . either that he will be allowed to go on living as long as he does not exceed this n u m b e r . Kr?na-Vi$nu. f r o m without (through decisions) o r within (through his own nature). II 1 . T w o gods explicitly ( T h o r and O d i n .

ME I. 288 and n. in contrast to the opulent a n d sensual V a n i r . and (2) nevertheless offends a king b y each of his crimes. W T h e w a r r i o r on w h o m this ambiguous destiny weighs (1) p r o fesses to h o n o r and defend the rights and the m a j e s t y of kings. That still other components may have come from the civilization of 78 . 1. and b y request or b y c o m m i t ting an additional offense. ^ Another component of Siva. some proposed b y the divergences. Rudra-Siva and K r s n a Vi§nu. m o r e precisely the pairs of divinities w h o intervene in the hero's life. in contrast. well attested in the R g V e d a . p. V T h e predestined n u m b e r of crimes having b e e n c o m m i t t e d . and do not f o r m a n y structure. at first glance. far r e m o v e d f r o m each other: are not the magical sovereign O d i n a n d T h o r the c h a m p i o n a b o v e all. T h e overriding p r o b l e m concerns the Scandinavian a n d Indian divinities.^ it is only Hinduism that will develop their opposi' Gods of the Ancient Northmen (1973). has himself beheaded b y a god w h o is either identical with the one w h o determined the length of his life or is theologically v e r y close to h i m . R U D R A A N D VISNU T h r o w n b a c k thus u p o n the hypothesis of a c o m m o n inheritance. (2) A t the m o m e n t of decapitation. the interpretation meets with a certain n u m b e r of p r o b l e m s . neither associate with nor c o n f r o n t each other. chap.StarkaSr and Sisupala crimes (or the most characteristic a m o n g them) o c c u r successively at each of the three functional levels. O d i n and T h o r . 3. 1. is Indo-Iranian. T h e s e dyads are. (1) the w a r r i o r brings on his o w n death. Sarva (important hymns in the Atharva-Veda). the first and second entries on the canonical list of the gods of the three funct i o n s ? ' R u d r a and Vi§nu. others b y the very parallels themselves. he transfers (or desires to transfer) to his killer an essential part of his inner being.

while in post-Vedic India. where the living theology no longer thought in terms of the trifunctional f r a m e w o r k . Seppo Koskenniemi. with no h a r m d o n e .6 and nn.StarkaSr and Sisupala tion as destroyer and savior in the periodical v^forld crises. 79 . Cf. also on the second. Decipherment of the Proto-Dravidian Inscriptions of the Indus Civilization (1969). the m o t i v e f o r this opposition mattering little a n d being liable to change. save in the m e t a m o r p h o s e s of the c o r d and the w a n d which strangle and pierce V i k a r on the occasion of the first f e l o n y . and Odin's magic hardly has occasion to appear. while nothing seems to orient h i m t o w a r d the sovereign level. the two divinities might have been w h a t they still are in S c a n d i n a v i a . that of Siva and Vi^pu. " A c c o r d i n g to the saga. in the course of time. 15-18 (and 18-20. the difficulty w o u l d not be as great as it seems: one w o u l d in fact c o n c e i v e the plot as having implied only that the hero w a s s o m e h o w spreadeagled between two opposing rival divinities. they were replaced b y the pair w h o s e conflict w a s at that time the most o b v i o u s and interesting f o r men. O r i g i n a l l y . a n d the p o l y m o r p h o u s activity of Rudra does not allow of expression within the f r a m e w o r k of this structure. Sure enough. f o r example. alone o r in his plural f o r m Rudrdh. he operates on the third level. see most recently Asko Parpola. 9-22. 5 . 2 3 . 84. as healer. Krfpal) and nn. 10-21. 7. Simo Parpola. H o w is o n e to understand that pairs of such divergent m a k e u p c a n be injected with equal ease and co-exist c o m f o r t a b l y within the same plot? • • ii• • Even if we were forced to dwell u p o n this view.5 0 . at n o time are they defined b y any connection with t w o different levels of the trifunctional structure: the Vedic V i j n u is a b o v e all an associate of Indra at the second level. each of the t w o gods grants gifts and determines fates. as herbalist. p. n. Progress in the Decipherment of the Proto-Dravidian Indus Script (1969). and as archer. But internal criticism would easily raise o b j e c t i o n s : it is clear that T h o r a n d O d i n — s u p p o s e d l y old in the S c a n d i n a v i a n n a r r a t i v e — d o not c o n t e n d f o r S t a r k a S r merely as " c h a m p i o n " and "magical s o v e r e i g n . below. pp. although in this case more sanguine assertions than proofs are presented. and Pentti Aalto. A m o n g O d i n ' s Mohenjo-Daro is possible. in a n y case. those of the t w o highest functional levels (magical sovereign and warrior). pp. 9-11.

should he h a v e given w a y to Vi$nu7 Having discarded this simpHstic solution. personal wealth. a n d though h e holds to the creed o f royal majesty. a n d the miracle w o r k e d upon K r j n a ' s knees. in the god's image. interpreted consistently. B y this affinity. declare f o r h i m . First. w h o with the b a b y still o n his lap foresees that he will h a v e to receive a n d tolerate f r o m h i m a total o f a hundred offenses. T h i s is k n o w n well b y K f § n a . H e reforms. almost possession. at an earlier stage. R u d r a . as the V o i c e heard at his birth. slays kings.StarkaSr a n d Sisupala gifts. Indra o n the c o n t r a r y has remained alive and has even extended his p o w e r in epic m y t h o l o g y — w h e r e he is the king of the g o d s — a n d has not been shorn o f his o w n adventures: w h y . T h e child is b o r n m o n s t r o u s . f r o m within Sisupala. all the rest. he does not himself pretend to it. in his three facinora. we have said. A s f o r the Indian legend. . 80 . nothing allows o n e to think that. Besides these Rudraic traits. let us consider the Indian tale from the point o f view o f the ordinary m y t h o l o g y of the epic where it is f o u n d . a r e located elsewhere. the Vedic and the pre-Vedic V a r u n a a n d Indra. but he never seeks to replace t h e m . o r at least the ancestry o f a d e m o n . to observation o f the modus operandi w h i c h they attribute to the t w o g o d s . w o r k s implicity. he is b o u n d to oppose Kr?na-Vi5nu a n d to die at his hand. prolonged life. a distinctive epithet o f the g o d . Finally. w e must return to the texts themselves. Sisupala carries m o r e o v e r the heredity. If Varuna's development has greatly reduced his importance a n d deprived him of his functional r a n k . the f a v o r o f the great. and he bears a n a m e that is like the diminutive of pasupati. in this particular case. the t w o g o d s w h o oppose each o t h e r concerning Sisupala h a d been the canonical patrons o f the first t w o functions. only poetry could b e strictly connnected with his magical function. victory in every battle. avenges.S i v a . a n d exceptionally. on the c o n t r a r y S t a r k a S r remains constantly and systematically at the second r a n k . f r o m O d i n as sovereign o n e would expect s o m e p r o m o t i o n of his protege on the scale o f p o w e r . e t c .

2 vols. W. Roudolstadt and Paris. thought h e ^Edward. travaillee par Mme la Chnesse de Polier. liquidator. Siva] a n d the Daints [daityas.. w h o s e crimes and oppression o c casioned the seventh incarnation o f Vi?nu. w h o is himself not d e m o n i a c a l . a n d w h e n it c o m e s . sur des manuscrits authentiques apportes de I'lnde par feu M. o r as he calls t h e m . puts an end to the outrage of a victorious d e m o n w h o m his colleague has put up with. R a v e n .4 4 . pp. 81 . "represents Sivaism. 4 2 . divinity] n a m e d Can [ganas. it has been said. Vi§nu always bides his time. t r o o p s o f spirits] are the Daints. Mhadaio [ M a h a deva. a n d particularly the actions of the gods in the s t o r y . " " M o s t o f the time. cit. thus the " p r i mus m o t o r " of regeneration. p. d e m o n s ] . " Mythologie des Indous. and the first of w h o m . a n d this D a i n t s having again sacrificed them to his celestial p a t r o n . w a s a zealous a d mirer of M h a d a i o . op. Hopkins. t w o terrible d e m o n s w h o s e destruction necessitated prior i n c a r n a tions o f Vi§nu. which m a k e s h i m a little Siva a n d at the s a m e time a demonic being. m o v e d b y gratitude f o r such constant d e v o t i o n . (1809) (see below. Siva. nonetheless h a s a m a r k e d predilection f o r great d e m o n s . 211.StarkaSr a n d Sisupala since he is—already in the M a h a b h a r a t a — t h e reincarnation of the c h a r a c t e r w h o appears successively as H i r a n y a k a s i p u a n d R a v a n a . in the life o f the universe. The passage quoted here is in I. governs everything else. T h e D e i o t a s repaid h i m with ten m o r e of t h e m . his cousin presented it in the form of Ramtchund's explanations. O p p o s i n g h i m . the C o l o n e l de Poller. sometimes at the price of b e ing the first to suffer f r o m it. but assumes. Membre de la Societe asiatique de Calcutta. The colonel had collected the material around 1780 from his informant the Pundit Ramacandra ("Ramtchund"). the disciples of this Deiotas [devata. see ME I. tyrant of L a n c a . Appendix). Here o n e m a y read with profit the end of the excellent description c o m p o s e d nearly t w o centuries ago b y a virtually forgotten observer."^ T h i s dual nature. le Colonel de Polier. the latter. set off by judicious questions or remarks from his pupil. according t o the tales. o f the relations between Siva a n d the d e m o n s . 221-223. the disagreeable but necessary function of destroyer. H e offered him his head in sacrifice.

he complained that there n o longer existed any being against w h o m he could try his strength. T h e R a j a h Bhanasser. " answered the T e a c h e r . M h a d a i o consoled him b y predicting that Vi^nu in o n e of his incarnations w o u l d do him the h o n o r of fighting with h i m . a n d the Daints. for the D a i n t s in the first three epochs are almost all e n d o w e d with heads and a r m s infinitely. b y which he h a d acquired such an excess of strength and pride that after having subjugated the earth and the heavens. losing one after another of his heads and arms. de Polier.StarkaSr and Sisupala could or\ly acquit himself t o w a r d s his devotee b y endowir\g him with the property such that to w h a t e v e r degree a limb should be cut from h i m . had so often repeated the offering of his head. and the recompense accorded b y the D e i o t a s had also been so often renewed. a m b i t i o n . and although these prerogatives are most of the time the gifts of M h a d a i o . the attribute of their gigantic race. the which rendered the defeat of this monster so difficult that it w a s necessary for Vi?nu himself to be incarnated to purge the earth of h i m . "that M h a daio is the protector and a v o w e d friend of the D a i n t s ." replied the Pundit. Indeed the battle t o o k place. nevertheless their extraordinary strength. and nearly all with invulnerability. and that he could not be put to death save until nine hundred million nine hundred thousand heads should be cut f r o m h i m . also lost his pride and b e c a m e a sincere devotee of V i § n u . that the wearied M h a d a i o at last entreated his serv a n t to m o d e r a t e his zeal. T o u c h e d by his misery. " t h a t the multitude of heads and arms with which y o u r great deiotas are represented was their exclusive a t t r i b u t e . gives them already so much pride. " " F r o m these tales it s e e m s . it w o u l d reappear instantly. "in n o n e of the generally admitted tales does o n e see him incarnated as Vi§nu for the purpose of destroying this evil race. " said M . " said M o n s i e u r de Polier. in his devotions addressed to M h a daio. " " A t least. and means of doing evil that there is n o o n e but Vi?nu w h o could correct or destroy t h e m . " " N o . "this is not at all o n e of the m a r k s of their superiority. A n d although his votaries 82 . " "I had thought until n o w .

the birth of the D e i o t a s in a h u m a n o r animal b o d y to fulfil a general aim important t o the well-being of m a n k i n d and directly influence the events a n d a c t i o n s which restore order a n d virtue on the earth. In an earlier w o r k . Let us note first that it is n o t so certain. 83 . expresses the essence a n d sufficiently explains the roles a n d relationships of the hero a n d the t w o g o d s .S i v a and Vi^pu i n c a r n a t e . n o r the character which the m y t h o l o g y attributes to a true incarnation a n d which is.StarkaSr and Sisupala claim that h e has appeared to his devotees in a thousand and eight different f o r m s . pp. beneath the heroic transposition presented b y the Mahabharata. W e must g o b a c k further. its agents a r e A s v a t t h a m a n f o r the destruction and Kr§na f o r the salvation. although R u d r a ( o n e of the most important future c o m p o n e n t s of Siva) is not set dramatically in opposition. then salvaging of the Kuru dynasty h a v e been overlaid on a m y t h of c o s mic crisis—the end of o n e world a n d the beginning of a n o t h e r — w h o s e pre-Vedic character is guaranteed b y Iranian a n d especially S c a n d i n a v i a n parallels. entaihng f o r example a n e s c h a t o l o g y : the destruction. 208-245. o n e sees that they a r e only transitory. a m y t h o l o g y which is v e r y old and m o r e complete than the Vedic one. and that they appear rather transformations o r m e t a m o r p h o s e s o f a magician than incarnations o f a d i v i n i t y . since the c o m p a r i s o n with the saga of Starcatherus proves that the material of the story of Sisupala considerably antedates the version which w e read in the epic. nonetheless one finds in the tales which comprise the account of the P u r a n a s n o detailed history of these appearances. w e h a v e seen in outline. albeit hypothetically. consistent with the epic a n d Puraijic m y t h o l o g y . ' In the Vedic h y m n s themselves. In judging in this regard the appearances of M h a d a i o . But that c a n n o t be enough f o r u s . that is clearly R u d r a . as I h a v e told y o u . that the opposition o f R u d r a a n d Vi?nu w a s not already present as a structure. " T h i s presentation. at least in settings other than those where the Vedic h y m n s a n d prose treatises were c o m posed. restricted t o his devotees. or theologically in diptych with = ME I.

e t c . S u c h seems t o h a v e been the original nature of this Rudra whose n a m e is best explained b y the root o f the Latin rudis "rough. with its aberrant population o f ascetics as well as brigands. to give them their w o r k i n g o r living space. N o t evil. at o n c e powerful and undetermined. the meal that is only barely prepared. as if this acreage (root ma-) would add t o their domain. m o r e generally. of herbs which destroy illness." Journal asiatique • CCXLII (1953). b y steps beginning with the f a m o u s "three steps" which h e takes in so m a n y mythological a n d ritual contexts. 1 . the enterprise that is only planned. unpolished. 84 . its m y r i a d plants. is. cf. he is quite the opposite of the Vedic Rudra.StarkaSr a n d Sisupala V i j o u . and which holds the m y s t e r y a n d ambiguity of the un-begun: the new dish o r linen. C o n cealed in the forest o r on the m o u n t a i n . w h o s e traits were disentangled b y the careful study of Ernst A r b m a n : ' R u d r a is the patron of all that has not yet been domesticated b y m a n o r society. the master o f the b u s h . the functions of the t w o gods a r e nevertheless contradict o r y . an extension of the c h a o s at the fringe and sometimes even at the heart of civilized lands. the powers of poison a n d cure it holds in store. T h e main service which Vi?nu renders to Indra. he is at the same time the persecutor whose lethal a r r o w arrives f r o m s o m e u n k n o w n direction. pp. whose assistant he is. portions of space which at first eluded them. and in a w a y which prefigures the epic version." and w h o is easily split up into an infinity of Rudras each attached to such a r o a d . hence the master all at once of the hazards a n d risks inherent in the wilderness of the vast unexplored c o u n t r y which surrounds the little h a u n t s of m e n . Archaic Roman Religion (1970). o f w h a t at a n y time and under a n y circumstances o f life is analogous to the wild. a n d the k n o w e r of remedies. Untersuchungen zum altindischen Glauben und Kultus (1922).2 5 . ' Rudra.* In this role. to the domain of O r d e r . o b j e c t . the master. b u t m o r a l l y neutral. with its monsters. their n a r r o w roads a n d vulnerable crossroads. a n d also to other gods and even t o m a n k i n d sprung f r o m M a n u . 418-419. * "Vifpu et les Mar(it a travers la reforme zoroastrienne. o f all that m e n w a n t to m a k e their o w n but have n o t yet brought to pass.

But. 85 . he is not transformed f o r all that. 4. w h o prevails. the alarming and necessary R u d r a . to life in society. before the amplification a n d elevation of R u d r a . puts an end to the challenger's perpetual aggression. Rudra-Siva can t a k e pleasure in h i m : he is of his d o m a i n . besides d e m o n s . " the story of Si§upala could therefore have existed essentially as w e read it. an excess of nature. where R u d r a would b e m o r e prestigious if not m o r e powerful than V i $ n u — a n d w e shall b e very close t o the explanation of the career of S t a r c a t h e r u s . until the m o m e n t when it is Vi§nu. a n d through h i m .S i v a . it is p r o b a b l e that in m o r e ancient times. b a r b a r o u s realm w h e r e . making o f him a n o r m a l h u m a n being. the outsider is converted and b e c o m e s a part of Vi$nu. ODIN AND THOR Let us imagine the reverse. Well before the composition of the Sabhdparvan. during a n d before the migrations which led bands of Indo-Europeans to the Five Rivers. at a time when the epic material m a y well h a v e been a "fifth V e d a . at this very instant. presenting the same gods. that is. but it w a s Vi?nu w h o opened the w a y for h i m . there already lived a god of their tribe. restoring. he reproduces the figure o f R u d r a . as all land wrested f r o m the bush b e c o m e s a portion o f the village o r the k i n g d o m . opened the w a y f o r them through the u n k n o w n . at least in physical appearance. he adapts him. the civilized o n e . and a b o v e all. the t w o divinities conceived in this w a y were even m o r e i m p o r t a n t : Ind(a)ra gave v i c t o r y to the c o n q u e r o r s . the challenger is enlightened. an ideology where the disquieting Rudra would d o m i n a t e this c o n f r o n t a t i o n and would h a v e the last w o r d in it. regulating god. B o m with those superfluous arms a n d eye. and emerging f r o m his long f o r b e a r a n c e .S t a r k a 6 r a n d Sisupala If these characteristics o f V i j i j u and Rudra are valid for the Vedic texts. and the conflict goes o n between this incorrigible outsider and the saving. Vi?nu tames him b y his mere touch. Sisupala is the product of an exuberance.S i v a and Visnu b y the classical m y t h o l o g y . But within.

overflowed f r o m the warrior level to the sovereign level: m u c h m o r e than T h o r . ' Cf. while O d i n is interested in the people in a r m s (which w a s the n o r m a l state of m a n y a G e r m a n i c society) a n d in the c o m m a n d e r of the a r m y . 86 . peculiar t o the G e r m a n i c world. chap. T h e r e is a kind of slippage in the terms of the c a n o n i c a l list of the S c a n d i n a v i a n gods. a sort o f V a y u o r B h i m a whose chief exploit. "The Rigsjjula and Indo-European Social Structure" in Gods of the Ancient Northmen. his opposition to T h o r . the prestigious c h a m p i o n on the other. I h a v e t o o exclusively defined O d i n as a S c a n dinavian V a r u n a . O d i n concerns himself with battle a n d c o m b a t a n t s . I myself have m a n y times pointed out the e v o l u t i o n . the magical a n d terrible sovereign on o n e side. is well illuminated b y the Vedic texts where V a r u n a a n d Indra boastingly c o n f r o n t each other. thunder a n d r a i n — a t t r a c t s t o h i m the worship of the peasant. pp. 118-125. so to speak. as well as d e f o r m a t i o n s . 2. a n d in the Harbardsljdd f o r example. b y which w a r h a s . irresistible c h a m p i o n . T h o r is rather the solitary. of the trifunctional structure. But the rich nature of O d i n is n o t exhausted b y this formula. with the often offensive stichom a c h y which expresses it. with the fighting aristocracy at the very least. S o he is.' Within the trifunctional structure itself.StarkaSr and Sisupala Spending m a n y years exploring all o v e r the Indo-European w o r l d mythological derivatives. moreover—storm. c o m p a r e d with those of the Vedic h y m n s a n d rituals:' (1) Varuna Odin f Indra (2) 1 Vayu (3) ^ fThor fertility g o d s ) \ fertility gods (2) a n d (3) (3) ) (1) a n d (2) * Gods of the Ancient Northmen (1973). t o b e sure.

1948). Rudolf Otto. s o m e are not even e x a c t . takes on the dimensions o f a "spirit of evil. Rudolf O t t o (1932) a n d J a n de Vries (1957) h a v e listed an i m pressive n u m b e r of traits. pp. in arranging the murder o f Baldr. Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte' (1957). b y which O d i n is rather h o m o l o g o u s with Rudra. R u d r a with his u?nT?a falling o v e r his face. Y m i r . a s a matter o f fact the primordial giant. particularly the self-sacrifice of his v o t a r i e s . through very few intermediate generations. 189-240 ("Die Vratya als sivaitische Bacchanten"). a n d it then requires the intervention of T h o r t o extricate ^° Jakob Wilhelm Hauer. physical a n d mental. 'Spine o f w o e . 58-60. d e m o n s primarily appear a s the giants." of the greatest e v i l . Loki (Paris.S i v a . Gottheit und Gottheiten der Arier {1932). sometimes the einherjar of O d i n . but important ones rem a i n : b o t h a r e tireless wanderers. like R u d r a .^" N o t all a r e c o n v i n c i n g . " M o r e generally. this magician. "Hanging and Drowning. he is often. o n e fine d a y . O d i n is the master of the runes a s Rudra is kavi. he has his taste f o r h u m a n sacrifice. recall sometimes the berserkir.S i v a .9 6 . unarguably has o n e o f his bases in the mysterious region where the savage borders o n the civilized. Following J a k o b Wilhelm H a u e r (1927). they like t o appear to m e n only in disguise. pp. " A m o n g the N o r t h G e r m a n i c s . a n d his m o t h e r is the very daughter o f a giant with the disquieting n a m e B6l{)orn. Der Vratya. ' M a n y times he evinces a strangely conciliatory. German edition.StarkaSr a n d Sisupala But this is not yet a l l . but Loki is the malicious rogue w h o . o f c h a r a c t e r a n d b e h a v i o r . W i t h them t o o . 1959. in terms of ordinary rules. 87 . O d i n has m o r e than o n e c o n n e c t i o n . Cf. T h i s sovereign god. Untersuchungen iiber nichtbrahmanische Religion Altindiens. pacifist feeling regarding the worst giants. I (1927). he has in h i m something almost d e m o n i c : his friendship a n d weakness f o r Loki a r e well k n o w n . endowed with powers a n d privileges. O d i n with a hat pulled d o w n t o his eyes. b o u n d b y a v o w . " See Dumezil." appendix I to From Myth to Fiction (1973). unrecognizable. Like Rudra-Siva. f r o m a rather singular giant. O n his father's side he is descended. 9 5 . Like R u d r a . Jan de Vries. even imm o r a l — a n d T h o r is n o t shy a b o u t so telling him w h e n they trade charges. a n d a b o v e all the b a n d s of Rudra's devotees.

wishing to profit from the instructions of N a r d m a n . cf. Basmagut. immediately assuming the shape of P a r b u t t y .S i v a ] . and he w o u l d do it did not T h o r . M e a n w h i l e the sight and the charms of P a r b u t t y inspired in the D a i n t s the most violent passion. w h o perceives the intentions of B a s m a g u t . 81. T h e D e i o t a s . Vi^nu. but the D a i n t s pursues h i m . 157-160. along with the other gods: thus he has led Hrungnir within the walls of the / E s i r . He consulted N a r d m a n [ N a r a d a m u n i ] . p. and in the anguish w h i c h he feels sees no other recourse than to repair to Vi^nu w h o . b y killing the giant. ed. provisions and the most beautiful goddesses. 25 ( = Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. '" I. but he received also f r o m the D e i o t a s the p o w e r of reducing to ashes any o b j e c t s on which he placed his hands with the intention of consuming them. and the giant threatens to w a l k off with everything. n a m e d Basmagut [ = ? ] . and this being. Finnur Jonsson [1931]. s a w n o other m e a n s of ridding himself of an i n c o n v e nient spouse than to use against M h a d a i o himself the gift which he had received f r o m h i m . w a s curious to k n o w which of the three D e i o t a s [ B r a h m a . 100-103). flattered b y the zeal and earnestness which the D a i n t s showed in his service. nearly being caught. pp. k n o w s n o m o r e h o w to escape h i m . assures him that she prefers him to her lout of a h u s b a n d . not only was the mutilated b o d y of the D a i n t s returned to its natural state. w h o is forever Skdldskaparmal. appeared to him a c c o m panied b y P a r b u t t y [ParvatT]. " All this is truly Sivaistic. a n d . pretending to be susceptible to his advances. T h e D e i o t a s . invoked in extremis b y the gods. . Siva] surpassed him in greatness and strength. i n t e r v e n e . n. . Let us read again Poller's d e s c r i p t i o n : " A f a m o u s D a i n t s . The Destiny of the Warrior (1970). A t the mere sight of M h a d a i o . w h o replied that it was M h a d a i o [ M a h a deva = R u d r a . evades him. pp. 4) 88 . f r o m the predicament in which this disposition has placed h i m . 221-223 (see above. . B y n o w M h a d a i o . as ungrateful as he was wicked.Starkadr and Sisupala h i m . appears b e f o r e the D a i n t s . by mutilating himself]. began his sacrifice [to M h a d a i o .

"I c a n n o t resist the devotions of m y w o r shippers. all of a piece. though it does not m a t c h the relationship of R u d r a . H e sees her carelessly put a h a n d on her h e a d . A s opposed to O d i n . T h o r . aided only occasionally b y the ruse of a c o m p a n i o n . H o w e v e r satisfied Vi^iju was to have delivered his colleague f r o m the danger to w h i c h the latter h a d exposed himself. A Vi?nu minus the c h a r m . so that he completely forgets the deadly gift he received f r o m M h a d a i o . "I a g r e e . he reproached him f o r his imprudence. and apt to inspire disgust rather than l o v e . while O d i n .StarkaSr and Sisupala drunk. does the s a m e . is rigor itself. " A t these words B a s m a g u t . he intoned a h y m n in praise of him. But V i j i j u . he performs it without subtlety or c o m p r o m i s e . "I place m y trust in y o u . notwithstanding his imprudences with the giants. "Nevertheless. and has no thought but to follow and imitate the m o v e m e n t s of the f a k e P a r b u t t y . and instantly reduces himself to ashes. Loki or T h j a l f i . is superior to T h o r . it does not permit me to suffer f r o m m y o w n i m p r o v i d e n c e . takes c a r e to thicken the M a y a [the mayd] o r cloud t h r o w n o v e r the D a i n t s ' senses. T h e overriding difference is that V i ^ n u — i n the only sense that matters here—is superior to R u d r a . y o u r indulgence supports m y w e a k n e s s . although I k n o w full well that most of the time they m a k e very ill use of m y f a v o r s .S i v a and V i j n u . B u t . hierarchically speak- 89 . surrounded b y snakes. that of O d i n and T h o r covers to an extent the same ground. w a n t s to win further f a v o r in her eyes and insists that she teach h i m the dance she is speaking of. in the guise of the D e i o t a n y [goddess]. even c o n stituting his ultimate recourse. " h e has in his w a y of dancing such an irresistible c h a r m that then all his ugliness vanishes to m y e y e s . W e see h o w . " answered M h a d a i o . " he added. " A f t e r doing this h o m a g e to Vi?iju. His constant mission is to save the gods and the world b y destroying this b r o o d . S h e agrees and the lesson begins. transported with j o y o v e r the f a v o r a b l e inclination that P a r b u t t y showed h i m . His relationships with the giants are summed up in one w o r d : he exterminates them b y his extreme strength." adds the false P a r b u t t y .S i v a .

and he rewards this crime with the gift of three lives. given thanks for the rain that fertilizes the fields. T h o r is invoked in present dangers. the posth u m o u s happiness he assures his followers in V a l h o l l . being m o r e important in this " Cylfaginning. pp.StarkaSr and Sisupala ing and apparently also in the degree of esteem accorded him b y h u m a n society. to remain until R a g n a r o k the highest g o d . etc. " in the s a m e w a y he can m a k e use of this disturbing superman. he has T h o r against h i m . 26 ( = Edda Snorra. 300. especially the m o r e mysterious ones. a h u m a n sacrifice w h o s e victim. Besides StarkaSr. h o n o r e d on high-seat pillars as the watchful guardian of dwellings. " each of the two heroes. Le Chamanisme^ (1969). he relies on him f o r a questionable deed. 364-365 (on eight-legged horses in Siberia. " and T h o r a n d Vi§nu the "light g o d s . ed. 45-47). His c o m p l e x i t y . regarding the role of the gods. 302. B y the mere fact that S t a r k a S r is a giant or the grandson of a giant. T h e s e observations allow us to understand the role of the divine pair in the story of S t a r k a S r . If for convenience we call O d i n and Rudra-Siva the " d a r k g o d s . a king. 3 (on the horse Sleipnir). Japan. | | f • ' ^.). F. II (1957). but he does not have at his disposal the large assortment of f a v o r s . with all his s h o r t c o m ings. a n d consequently that of the h e r o . is not consenting. b y nature. and where they diverge. 63-64. Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte'. pp.X | 90 . and to this end t a k e s him to a certain extent under his protection. see Jan de Vries. But the structures are almost reversed b y the fact that in S c a n d i n a via the d a r k god holds the first place. all m a k e him theologically m o r e interesting. O d i n on the other h a n d takes offense neither at membership in the race of giants n o r at the traces left behind b y extra a r m s : just as he rides an eightlegged steed born of a giant's h o r s e . Jonsson. 304 n. his magical k n o w l e d g e . the true sovereign. | * | . O u r observations also allow us to specify at w h a t points. belongs entirely to the dark god and is opposed b y the light g o d . and Mircea Eliade. the stories of S t a r k a S r and Sisupala agree. M o r e o v e r . it is natural that the god w h o everywhere reestablishes the threatened order does not tolerate his m o n s t r o s i t y . Sleipnir is the only example in the Scandinavian myths of a being endowed with an abnormal number of limbs. which enable O d i n .

then at l e a s t — d o w n g r a d e d to a y o u n g m a n — a god of his circle. on one side. through the " R u d r a i c " nature of the h e r o . T h e result is that S t a r k a S r is. Sisupala an evil o n e . the light god having only an immediate and limited range. whereas in the Indian legend it is the light god w h o is in the spotlight a n d directs the g a m e . and withholds it f r o m Sisupala. a g o o d h e r o . *H6Sr: Thor: T h o r restores the hero t o h u m a n 91 . at the instant of his decapitation. THE ROLES OF THE GODS I N THE TWO LEGENDS T w o superimposed tables will usefully summarize the f o r e g o ing considerations b y assigning to each of the h o m o l o g o u s gods his corresponding part in the c h a r a c t e r and b e h a v i o r of the h e r o . and one of the closest (HoSr). the reader gives his s y m p a t h y to S t a r k a S r . without showing himself. while the d a r k god acts o n l y implicitly. in merging with V i i p u . A f t e r the gigantic and m o n s t r o u s (with supernumerary arms) birth ( S a x o ) or descent (saga) of the h e r o . if not the dark god himself (Odin). on the whole. the h e r o transfuses (or wishes to transfuse) the m o s t valuable part of himself is in India the light god. T h i s orientation continues in the conclusion of the t w o tales. 5. the highest happiness consists. Obedient to the theology. T h e god into w h o m . on the other in rejoining the w o r l d of O d i n . Odin: I. and that consequently his f a v o r is the m o r e desirable. and w h o s e f a v o r in this life and in the hereafter is m o s t fervently sought. in S c a n d i n a v i a .StarkaSr and Sisupala life and especially in that to c o m e .

o r indirectly. with other. T h r o u g h one of his gifts.Starkadr arid Sisupala Odin: *H63r: Thor: f o r m either directly. O d i n grants the hero his three lives and imposes on him the three crimes. g o o d lots (saga). or: O d i n grants the hero three lives with o t h e r . III. and T h o r imposes on the hero the three crimes. O d i n is responsible f o r the three crimes (distributed across the three 92 . II. through o n e of his lots. via the killing of his homonymous grandfather (saga). b y a m p u t a tion ( S a x o ) . along with other evil lots (saga). O d i n is responsible f o r the hero's m a n y victories ( S a x o & saga). a n d . g o o d lots ( S a x o ) . T h o r is responsible f o r the hero's terrible w o u n d s (saga).

T h e third crime d o n e . I V . V. a n d wishes to transmit to Hatherus a p o w e r of his being by having him pass between his head a n d torso (Saxo) 93 . which he orders. the hero urges Hatherus to behead h i m . or: the first of them (the only one recounted in the saga) is ordered. violated only in the three crimes (in S a x o and partly the saga). *H65r: Thor: T h o r is responsible for the three crimes. directed and c o m pleted b y O d i n (saga). directs and c o m pletes ( S a x o ) . O d i n is undoubtedly responsible f o r the hero's royalist ideology. A s god of kings.StarkaSr a n d Sisupala Odin: functions) and particularly the first.

II. a caique on R.StarkaSr and Sisupala [Rudra-Siva. h a s protected the d e m o n of w h o m the hero is the last incarnation. restores the b a b y to h u m a n shape. . is responsible for the hero's multiple victories. is responsible for the quick accomplishment of the hundred offenses against Krs^ta. R . R . T h e hero is b o r n in the monstrous shape of R. T h e hero's " R u d r a i c " tendency destines him to offend Kr?na.'s epithet Pasu-pati. in his preceding incarnations. III. and K r j n a grants the hero impunity which will guarantee his life up to the hundredth offense. particularly the five characteristic ones (distributed over the three functions). b y his touch. 94 . m a n y of which are w o n at the e x pense of Krspa. (extra arms and eye) a n d receives the n a m e Sisupala. T h r o u g h the protection he accords to the king w h o s e general the hero is. T h r o u g h the hero's " R u d r a i c " orientation. implicitly]: R . Krsi^a.

emerging f r o m his decapitated b o d y . kingship is adjusted according to place and time. implicitly]: IV. V. in the versions we read. remains obscure. this fact is i m p o r t a n t . o r as T a c i t u s w o u l d h a v e said. but h o w e v e r it m a y be explained. or at least a part of t h e m : the c h a m p i o n ' s a m b i g u o u s attitude toward the king. If.S i v a . whose children he reforms. the hero b y a hundred a n d first offense p r o v o k e s K r j n a into beheading h i m . [see the following chapter] T h e hundred offenses accomplished. It reveals a feature of the r o y a l ideology of the most ancient Indo-Europeans. T h e reader will n o t e that one section of this table. It will be m a d e clear in the next chapter. introduction to Appendix 2 ("Gram"). as we have been led to admit. the W i c a r u s and O l o Vegetus w h o m he betrays and kills.StarkaSr and Sisupala [ R u d r a . and setting aside the role of the gods. 95 . " or on the Viking kings w h o ' * f r o m Myth to Fiction (1973). T h e Frotho w h o m Starcatherus p r o tects. the hero's spiritual energy flows into K r ? n a in the f o r m of light. the fourth. and yet turn their crimes against these rights and this m a j esty. these t w o figures and their histories g o b a c k to a time when the ancestors of the G e r m a n i c s and those of the Indie peoples were neighbors s o m e w h e r e between the Baltic and the Black S e a . of the dux t o w a r d s the rex. h a d already produced epic tales. b y further considerations. the fact itself is certain: Sisupala and S t a r k a S r appear as the defenders of the rights and the majesty of kings. are modelled either on the Danish kings of the twelfth and thirteenth c e n t u r i e s . T o be sure. a n d .

than w h a t w e c a n glimpse of Vedic kingships.and given the king a different n a m e . a r e more majestic. a mythical o r legendary record of kingship is inevitably a n d c o n stantly c o l o r e d b y prevailing tastes. The Destiny of a King (1973). and the flamines maiores).'* to the astonishing correspondence of the Indian Y a y a t i . which latter m a y h a v e been m o r e powerful and even threatening in practice. ' ' the present o n e merely supports it with a new example. they have nonetheless preserved. with his sons. the Brahman. T h e royalty w h o s e prestige Sisupala defends is epic kingship. as w e see here. to survive the course of time. A l l that the comparison of the t w o stories compels us to admit is that. laden with legends. pp. have as his patron g o d the all-powerful master of the universe. c o m p l e x legends which illustrate aspects of the kingly function. 583-585 (the rex. If the G e r m a n s h a v e lost o r n o t k n o w n the w o r d *reg. h a d existed a m o n g the Indo-Europeans before their dispersal a n d had survived in the " d a u g h t e r " societies. a n d these f o r m s of kingship. in n o w a y c o m p a r a b l e with other levels of society. his daughter M e d b a n d his unstable sons-in-law. f r o m o n e century a n d one period t o a n o t h e r . but w e r e ideologically inferior. with his sons. W h a t is so surprising in this? D i d not every Vedic a n d Scandinavian petty king. But these changes are expected. kingship w a s considered the highest value. pp. as well as m o r e magical status. 224-228 (the asvamedha and the October Horse). his daughter MadhavT and his ephemeral sons-in-law. than those described in the Germania. this h a s been established b y previous s t u d i e s . see Archaic Roman Religion (1970). w h i c h w e do not see taking shape under o u r eyes like that of V a l d e m a r (India has n o history). w h a t e v e r his w e a k n e s s . from Indo-European times. I shall be content with directing the reader to a n o t h e r study. ' ' T o mention only accordances between the Vedic rdjan and the Roman reg-. 96 . with a m o r e archaic a n d undoubtedly fragile. and the Irish Eochaid Feidlech. m o r e firmly established. V a r u p a o r Odin? A s f o r the fact itself that a complex and subtle royal ideology.Starkadr a n d Sisupala had prospered during the preceding centuries. but also more solemn and imperial. especially the first. but which is certainly quite different.

Likewise. if the five exemplary crimes which Kr?na singles out are aimed against kings. speaking in the n a m e of all the assembled kings. is a king. he serves kings. ODIN. Even in the three crimes which he is b o u n d to c o m m i t he never evinces the slightest wish to usurp: in the murder of V i k a r he merely helps O d i n . not o f a m b i t i o n . His lofty ideal of the kingly function is that of a high-level servant. RUDRA-SIVA AND THE SACRIFICED KINGS " It is o b v i o u s that the relationships between the hero a n d the kings a r e the most coherent in the Scandinavian s t o r y . equally c a p a b l e . finds himself singled out f o r special h o n o r s . on the c o n t r a r y . a king a m o n g those gathered around the son of Pan<^u f o r the rajasuya. ^ '• 1. a n d that he generalizes his grievance. o n e h a s the impression that he feels in the first place personally offended. merely as a device rather generally used in such situations.• •• v - JARASANDHA '. From the scene he m a k e s when Krsna/ w h o is n o king. of serving as his master's b o d y g u a r d o r as tutor o f his children. Starcatherus is not a king himself. a n d if he kills O l o Vegetus. n o n e is the chief crime of regicide. his failing is o n e o f venality. His "first-function c r i m e " does affect the king in the d o m a i n of the sacred. according to circumstances. Sisupala. o n the occasion of a sacrifice which would h a v e increased the king's prestige a n d which he m a k e s impossible b y stealing the 97 .

wise prince. understood here." T h u s . has in fact modified the plot. When Yudhisthira deems that the m o m e n t has c o m e to celebrate this sacrifice. and w e c a n understand the cause of these changes: the history of Sisupala must n o t b e considered a l o n e . o n these same t w o points. King V i k a r . namely Jarasandha of M a g a d h a . but w a r n s h i m of a p r o b l e m . T h e r e has been a n o t h e r one. o n these t w o points. the object of the rdjasuya. but this victim is only a horse. the r a n k a n d function which Starcatherus holds under several kings. T h e r e is a n o t h e r king. Sisupala's verbal a t t a c k . 57-66 (si. at his insistence. h a s gone over c o m pletely to his side a n d h a s indeed. when some people disputed his credentials as the victor of the Marne: "They don't know who won the battle? I know well enough who would have lost it!" . it f o r m s the second panel of a diptych of which the first is n o less interesting. S t a r c a t h e r u s . at the very m o m e n t w h e n Y u d h i j t h i r a is at last a b o u t to celebrate his rdjasuya. in contrast. w h o h a s already realized in practice. kills a king w h o is his master. b e c o m e his marshal. the mighty Sisupala. a n d h a s subjugated most of the kings. is certainly something archaic. and hence. 559-767). is in fact o n l y the second a n d last obstacle confronting the c e r e m o n y . in t w o of his crimes. is m o r e c o n s e r v a t i v e — t h e m o r e s o since h u m a n sacrifice. attested in S c a n d i n a v i a until the c o n v e r s i o n to Christianity. though a king. in the service of a n o t h e r king. without sacrifice. a n d the first of the crimes consists in " s e n d i n g " O d i n .Jarasandha victim. he consults K r j n a . Sisupala finds here. pp. But w e h a v e p r o o f that India. that is. a s an imperial act conferring on the sacrificer primacy over all kings. ^Mahabharata. when it is found in a s t o r y . T h u s w e are led to think that the S c a n d i n a v i a n version. ^ Reminding one of the words of Marshal Joffre.' A n d h o w has he gained this success? Certainly his general has h a d n o small part in it (574):^ " A n o t h e r king. just before the beginning of the preparations. w h o approves it. there is little chance of its having been added after the f a c t . sacrificing the latter b y m e a n s of a deception in which S t a r catherus is the god's a c c o m p l i c e . w e recall.

h a v e a solemn f o u n dation a n d a cruel o u t c o m e ( 6 2 7 . a n important piece o f information ( 6 5 8 . m a k e s impossible. f o r it w a s after he h a d worshiped the G r e a t G o d that he defeated the kings o n the battlefield. like so m a n y others. concludes K r j n a . Kr§na does n o t conceal the fact that the e x pedition will be difficult: o n e hundred dynasties h a v e b e e n unable to withstand this a m b i t i o u s empire-builder. A n d he supplies.Jarasandha Kr§na then resumes the history of these c a m p a i g n s . G i r i v r a j a .S i v a . bull of the Bharatas? . as a lion imprisons great elephants in a c a v e of the H i m a l a y a . " Sacrifice t o what god? T o R u d r a . the other. King J a r a s a n d h a w a n t s t o sacrifice the lords of the earth. supreme kingship. 99 .6 2 9 ) : " A f t e r he h a d defeated them all. . to M a h a d e v a . the kings. the deliverance of the kings w h o a w a i t . the most sumptuous gifts have not averted a n y of his a t t a c k s . . king. A s is frequent in the Mahabharata. the time o f their sacrifice. Eighty-six kings. . he imprisoned the kings in his mountain c o r r a l . b o t h allies will turn a profit: t o J a r a s a n d h a will g o the samrajya. Yudhigfhira should destroy J a r a s a n dha f o r t w o reasons: o n e the personal interest in his o w n rajasuya which J a r a s a n d h a . . to this point w e have only the description of a c o n q u e r o r ." T h u s . ensured b y his general. in which BhTma gets involved. t o w h o m he o w e s his victories ( 6 2 9 ) : " . penned up like cattle. H i s victories. o n e of general m o r a l i t y . several of v^hich have been directed against the Y a d a v a s — K r j n a ' s f a m i l y — and o n e of which h a s even forced them to leave the c o u n t r y . a n d he names the great warriors w h o m J a r a s a n d h a has h a d at his c o m m a n d . T h e r e f o r e . But J a r a s a n d h a is unique. while he lives. . as victims. .6 5 9 ) : " W h a t j o y of life is left t o the kings w h o a r e sprinkled and cleansed in the house of Pasupati [ = Siva] as sacrificial a n i m a l s . to the g o d . w h o m Yudhi$thira must eliminate if he wishes to b e able to celebrate his imperial sacrifice. this revelation occasions between Y u d h i j t h i r a a n d K r ? n a a lengthy discussion. .

JARASANDHA AND S1§UPALA T h e r e w a s a n erstwhile king of M a g a d h a . Jarasandha lives at least implicitly under contract to R u d r a . H e went into the forest to find a hermit w h o . T h i s is h o w K r j n a satisfies Yudhigfhira's curiosity. king. He married twin sisters.Jarasandha have been led to their jail b y J a r a s a n d h a . a n d then he will begin his a t r o c i t y ! " A n d Kr§na concludes ( 6 5 9 ) : " H e w h o frustrated h i m in this would achieve a blazing f a m e . 100 ." Y u d h i j t h i r a hesitates.P a s u p a t i . a n d in this double passion c o m m i t t e d a verbal blunder (693): T h i s bull a m o n g m e n m a d e a c o m p a c t with hiis wives in their presence. let us observe that Jarasandha fills the e m p t y slot which remained in Sisupala's a c c o r d a n c e s with S t a r k aSr. n a m e d B f h a d r a t h a . Yet in vain did the king take his abundant pleasure with his two wives: he did not succeed in getting himself an heir. A s does the Scandinavian hero with O d i n . such p o w e r that he has been able to take on Krsna himself without perishing? But before hearing Kr$na's a c c o u n t . A n d he w h o defeats Jarasandha will certainly b e c o m e Sovereign. that he would never offend them b y preferring one to the other. like the dervishes in oriental tales. much as we h a v e heard Kr§na promise to forgive his nephew a hundred o f fenses. a n d he will sacrifice to h i m n o t o n e king but a hundred of them. W h o is this J a r a s a n d h a ? W h a t gives h i m his p o w e r . the rich and beautiful daughters of the king of Kasi. a great c h a m p i o n and w a r l o r d . T h e n Y u d h i j f h i r a poses the question w e are waiting f o r .S i v a . Kr?na insists. f o r w e a r e in India which is ena m o r e d of large numbers a n d speaks here of h e c a t o m b s . T h e g o d assures him conquests a n d empire. A r j u n a encourages h i m . 2. fourteen are left.

a n d dismissed him saying that his wish would b e fulfilled ( 6 9 8 . strength a n d p o w e r . S h e grabbed t h e m . the G r e a t G o d . their breasts h e a v y with useless milk. f o u n d the t w o half-bodies at a crossroads. he recalled the promise h e h a d made t o the t w o queens. producing a well-formed a n d already prodigiously strong b o y . recounted the miracle to h i m . T h e king forthwith declared a feast in h o n o r o f the Rdk^asi. a n d c a m e hastily b a c k inside. A little later. she would be urigracious to eat this o n e up o n h i m .Jarasandha gave him a single m a n g o fruit.7 0 7 ) . the ascetic w h o had provided the m a n g o c a m e t o the p a l a c e a n d a n n o u n c e d the child's future. It w a s a tempting m e a l . T h e midwives wrapped them up carefully. a n d that all kings will o b e y h i m . addressing B r h a d r a t h a . "transcending all the worlds with his might. a n d the teratological specimens were c o n d e m n e d . T h e t w o halffruits accomplished w h a t he h a d b e e n incapable o f : to his great j o y . as well as the queens. ekam dmraphalam. the king c a m e out with the w o m e n . the queens c o n c e i v e d . T h r o u g h a shower o f similes. unified (samdhd-) b y J a r a . S h e thus decided to fast this time a r o u n d a n d . he will b e invulnerable t o w e a p o n s . that is. M o r e o v e r . T h e p o o r w o m e n t o o k counsel. a kind of ogress-demon. the M a g a d h a n shall with his o w n eyes behold R u d r a . W h e n their time h a d c o m e . and in order to carry them off m o r e easily. threw a w a y their unpleasant burdens. a n d a b o v e all. divided the fruit. a n d n a m e d the child Jardsamdha. Returning t o his palace. j o i n e d the t w o halves. ascribing to herself a f a v o r a b l e part in it. because h e h a d been "put together. " Mysteriously informed of the event. they gave b i r t h each t o a live half of a b o y . the D e s t r o y e r of the T h r e e Cities. n a m e d J a r a — l i t e r a l l y " O l d A g e " — w h o w a s prowling in the neighborh o o d . a Rdk^ast. w h o rumbled like a cloud full of rain. gave a half to each o n e . left b y the b a c k d o o r . a n d w o u l d not let h i m self b e taken a w a y .f o l k . A m a r v e l : they were instantly welded together. even those hurled b y gods. T h e demoness then reflected that. living well in the d o m a i n of this king w h o s o ardently desired a son. 101 . he w h o is Hara" (748-749). Alerted b y the c o m m o t i o n . a n d waited. w e learn that he will h a v e n o equal in b r a v e r y .

Jarasandha c o m e s into the w o r l d in t w o halves. a n d with some reluctance.s t o m a c h . a s S a x o says. bhagya. against the sons of V a s u d e v a . o n e eye t o o m a n y . o n e single b u t t o c k . a n d so o n down t o the details of his innards a n d the t w o extremities o f his digestive system: a h a l f . T h e magical surgery is therefore the inverse of. In order to draw f r o m h i m a h u m a n like the rest of us. W h a t is its origin. b o t h m o n strous at birth a n d b o t h restored to h u m a n f o r m at the touch o f a supernatural being. but h a s the same effect as that which Kr$na performs on Sisupala: in each case a m o n s t e r — e i t h e r b y surplus o r deficit—is. of w h i c h the ^flfcsasf has been only the m e a n s . T h e miracle o c c u r s . his son-in-law having been killed b y the elder b r o t h e r of Krgna. a half-mouth. one must m a k e the third e y e disappear a n d half of the a r m s drop a w a y . But behind the screen of Fate? O n e detail is n o t e w o r t h y : it is at the meeting of four roads that the elements of the synthesis fall into the hands of the demoness w h o feeds o n flesh a n d b l o o d . in o n e o f Rudra's favorite domains. U n doubtedly this is the beginning of the relationships w h i c h will unite 102 . a n d it is here. w h o is responsible f o r it? T h e text names Fate. a n d w e k n o w besides—the C a l c u t t a text recalls it h e r e — t h a t . his wrath is directed preferentially against that f a m i l y . Let us pause o n c e m o r e t o observe the great s y m m e t r y that e x ists between the t w o heroes. hetumatra. the king a n d his general. if not t w o men in o n e .Jarasandha T h e child g r o w s a n d b e c o m e s a m a n . f o r w h o m he m a k e s life u n b e a r a b l e . b y liquidating J a r a s a n d h a . H e succeeds h i m a n d the hermit's p r o p h e c y c o m e s true: n o b o d y c a n withstand his conquests. daiva. reduced to h u m a n measure. A f t e r this a c c o u n t . the king's l u c k . T o draw a n o r m a l h u m a n f r o m h i m . he is at least m o r e than o n e m a n . Sisupala comes into the w o r l d with a superabundant b o d y : t w o a r m s t o o m a n y . that the marvel occurs. a single a r m . his father dies a n d goes to h e a v e n . the r a n d o m agent. rescue the royal victims a n d m a k e possible the rajasuya. Yudhigthira lets himself b e c o n v i n c e d : he must. w h a t is needed is n o t pruning but welding. each with only half the limbs a n d organs of a n o r m a l h u m a n : a single e y e .

and the decisive intervention of Kr?na in the destruction of each of them. 103 . while Sisupala is converted in the instant that follows his death. But the end is interesting as it confirms that the authors have consciously established an inverted symmetry between Jarasandha and Sisupala. between which the action develops in opposite w a y s . defends the kings allegedly offended by the h o m a g e paid to K f ? i j a . while he restrains B h l m a f r o m killing Sisupala. It is K f j n a w h o comes to Jarasandha with B h l m a and A r juna. ties more public than those which unite R u d r a and Sisupala. T h e following list summarizes the principal ones: 1. the defender of kings abused by Jarasandha. K r j i j a makes himself. he has him killed by B h l m a . 3 . T h u s we have everything.S c a n d i n a v i a n problem we are considering. in the name of majesty and rights of kings. while Sisupala provokes Kf$ria a m o n g the Pa^idavas. 2 . 4 . we see between these fixed points only differences and contrasts. T h e " R u d r a i c " Jarasandha remains loyal to his god until the end. that is directly useful for understanding the I n d o . T h e t w o c o m m o n points are: the " R u d r a i c " character of Jarasandha and Sisupala and the hostility evinced by both against Kr$na-Vi$nu. w h o . and w h o provokes him and demands a duel. in the name of royal solidarity and the morality of the k?atriyas. upholding and defending the cruel v o w he has m a d e to him. and merges lovingly with the god w h o executed him. in the story of Jarasandha.Jarasandha Rudra-Siva and the y o u n g prince. But just as at their births the "pruning" of one matched the "welding" of the other. K f §na does not himself slay Jarasandha. was transformed in a place where R u d r a could not intervene: the lap of Kr$na-Vi?nu. each time after a debate over the rights of kings. reserving this execution for himself. and after his death has no "Vi?^iuite" enlightenment. T h i s symmetry entails c o m m o n points. marked at birth with the stigmata of Rudra. while it is Sisupala w h o .

f o r not o n l y b r a h m i n s . since this " M i t r a i c " king h a s been especially apprehensive of shedding the b l o o d of others. but ksatriyas a n d vaisyas t o o c a n take the v o w s o f snatakas. he says. 67-75 (si. W i t h growing insolence. and into a n enemy's b y a deceptive o n e . W h y d o they regard h i m . In the end he capitulates a n d leaves t o ICr§na the task o f organizing the raid b y which. a n d disguised as " a c complished b r a h m i n s " ("graduates. " J a r a s a n dha will be slain. the "death of J a r a s a n d h a " can still b e of interest t o the reader. Kr§na answers. T h e y are in a n y case authentic snatakas. the kings saved. pp. 768-982). T H E END OF J A R A S A N D H A Yudhi§thira's wavering h a s e n d e d — a n h o n o r a b l e hesitation. ill I I 104 . Jarasandha is surprised: he has n o recollection of having b e e n at w a r o r having h a d "hostile relations" with t h e m . innocent as he is. they go to the c o u n try of M a g a d h a a n d arrive b e f o r e its capital. T h e king receives them. T h e n he admits implicitly that they are k j a t r i y a s b y saying that what counts a m o n g k j a t r i y a s is n o t their words but their deeds. a n d s o o n he shames them o v e r their deception: w h a t do these jewels m e a n on hands that s h o w the m a r k s of bowstrings? W h y pretend t o b e brahmins when they radiate the elan o f k§atriyas? H e calls on them t o reveal themselves f o r what they a r e . but he is n o t fooled b y their disguises.^ 3. the rajasuya secured" (nihatasca jarasandhah mok$itasca mahik^itah rajasuyasca me labdhah). T h e y get in not b y the d o o r but b y scaling the walls a n d breaking a venerated (caitya) m o n u m e n t found there.Jarasandha Seen in this light. it is because o n e gets into a friend's house b y the n o r m a l entrance." snataka). then they a d v a n c e with haughty mien toward the p a l a c e . Kr$na takes with him BhTma a n d A r j u n a . he says. Finally he e x plains their b e h a v i o r : if they got into the city b y the m o n u m e n t . a s an e n e m y ? K r ? n a has a ready ^Mahabharata. G i r i v r a j a .

" .W h o . a n d here is the m a i n point. with g o o d r e a s o n : when o n e keeps captive. Should / n o w . . H e has his son S a h a d e v a invested a s king a n d collects himself b y calling to mind t w o c h a m p i o n s w h o h a v e lately contributed to his triumphs. W e a r e challenging y o u .Jarasandha a n s w e r . is it not the l a w . when he asks 105 . having imprisoned the kings y o u w a n t to sacrifice them t o R u d r a ! T h e evil y o u have done. to win a n d then to do with the c o n q u e r e d w h a t e v e r he pleases. he says. K r j i j a . alone against o n e o r t w o o r three. (882): . T h e head of a r o y a l line has sent them. and these c h a m p i o n s are t w o Paijc^avas. 8 7 8 . Besides. utpddya. the dharma of the k§atriya to fight. N e v e r h a s there been witness t o h u m a n sacrifice: h o w then can y o u wish to sacrifice m e n to the G o d . . as he does. . a little later. f o r w e follow the L a w a n d are c a p a b l e of e n f o r c ing it. kdmatahl Finally. S t a n d firm a n d fight us. M a g a d h a n . when o n e has c o m m i t t e d this cruel sin {tad dgah kruram mistreat honest kings? But ( 8 6 2 .8 6 5 . . O n his side. princes f r o m the entire w o r l d . o r g o yourself to Y a m a ' s a b o d e ! " J a r a s a n d h a does not lose his c o m p o s u r e a n d is n o t without defense. h o w can he pretend to be innocent? H o w does a king dare to " I h a v e fetched these kings f o r the G o d . y o u give fellow b a r o n s the n a m e of beasts! . he is ready for b a t t l e . let go o f them. might well affect us." " W e w h o want to rescue the kings from y o u a r e n o t selfstyled b r a h m i n s . 861). king.A p p e a s e s [Rudra-Siva]? A b a r o n yourself. while remembering fully the life-rule of the b a r o n a g e ? " His mind is m a d e u p : at the head o f an a r m y against a n a r m y . has he sent to his dungeon a king w h o m he has not first vanquished.8 7 9 ) . Either set free all the kings. T h e r e f o r e he will refrain. B a r h a d r a t h i . Never. . o r m a n against m a n . K r j n a does not forget B r a h m a ' s declaration: not at the hand o f a m e m b e r of his family must J a r a s a n d h a perish. I a m Sauri Hj-jlkesa. .

which lasts fourteen d a y s . the kings shower their rescuer with gifts. a n d himself goes to rescue the kings. there w a s a tumultuous din that terrified all creatures. H e places his t w o c o m p a n i o n s in the chariot o f the vanquished king. Jarasandha s h o w s signs of tiring. his relatives {aropya bhratarau caiva mok^ayam asa bandhavan) ( 9 3 5 ) — t h e last w o r d indicating that the m a j o r i t y of the eighty-six captive kings c a m e f r o m the clan of the Y a d a v a s . where BhTma n o t o n l y crushes his exhausted. but also. Kr?na in his turn m o u n t s the king's c h a r i o t — n o ordinary c o n v e y a n c e . T h e y receive only o n e : to repair to the court o f Yudhi?thira and attend the r o y a l sacrifice he is about to offer. and Kr?na urges BhTma t o let loose all his strength ( 9 2 9 . pp. pounded h i m a n d bellowed forth. the rescued kings request his orders.9 3 1 ) : T h u s spoken t o . since after using it in a f a m o u s battle against the d e m o n s . Seeing Kr?na leaving. e n e m y . But K f j n a loses n o time. when he h a d hurled h i m a hundred times. bull o f the B h a r a t a s . the king designates BhTma. the o b ject o f Jarasandha's hatred. K r ? n a blesses his c h a m p i o n . 60-62. . . lifted high the mighty Jarasandha and hurled h i m a r o u n d . (mok^itah mahato bhaydt). a n d there begins a spectacular duel. All the M a g a d h a n s reeled a n d their w o m e n aborted. O n the fourteenth d a y . b r o k e his b a c k with his knees. he threw him down. I 106 . o r f r o m allied dynasties.t a m e r . Freed f r o m a terrible danger. A s Jarasandha w a s being pounded a n d the Pan<?ava roared. dazed adversary under his knees. powerful BhTma. W i t h o u t doubt there is n o need to keep the line rejected b y the P o o n a edition. Indra h a d given it to V a s u Uparicara." a n d the latter in his turn h a d presented it to Jarasandha's father. T h e y c o n s e n t — a n d we must thus assume that they will b e part o f that a m o r p h o u s crowd of royalty which the erstwhile general o f their f o r m e r persecutor will b y his demagoguery nearly succeed in turning against their rescuer.Jarasandha Jarasandha which adversary he chooses f o r himself. rending h i m in t w o f r o m head " The Destiny of a King (1973). T h e court chaplain blesses his king.

in India.^ W h a t e v e r it is. It also completes the Indian accordances with the story of StarkaSr. an artificial duplication o r reiteration. = See below. 150. remaining like Starcatherus subordinate. 4. as well as his cruel right to serve them up t o h i m . J a r a s a n dha's end has m o r e nobility than that of Sisupala: without madness. and it probably built out this replica b y reserving f o r it. APORIA W i t h the Indie dossier n o w c o m p l e t e . m o r e over. w e are in a position t o add a f e w remarks t o the Indo-Scandinavian c o m p a r i s o n which w e outlined in the last chapter. p. ungrateful a n d helpless. every time Kf5i. 107 . in his o w n s t o r y . T h i s story thus replicates that of Sisupala with n o t a b l e inversions." "in full". but the last will plunge us into a q u a n d a r y which the attentive reader m a y h a v e noticed before. . T h e fertile imagination of the Indian scholars has p r o b a b l y provided a " c a s t i n g . restores h i m to the bipartite state of his birth: this must b e the ingenious invention o f an interpolator. in the defense of whose just offerings. and fights t o the end of his strength. a s a king a m o n g kings. H o w is this situation t o b e interpreted? T h e m o s t p r o b a b l e explanation is that w e are dealing. with a literary process. and b y amplifying. " Perhaps it is a result of this duplication that Sisupala has later been presented himself. f o r a sacrifice offered to the o n e w e have tagged the " d a r k g o d . as the facinus of the first function: the king taken as victim.ia decides t o h a v e done with a n adversary w h o has been protected a n d exploited b y Rudra-Siva. . H e does not even call upon the g o d . consecrates his s o n . the crime which a m o n g the S c a n dinavians appears at the head of the three facinora.Jarasandha to f o o t . he foresees his death. the latter." only in the tale o f Jarasandha. without intoxication. fails t o intervene. T w o will b e inconsequential. a "general. " a " m i n i a t u r e " replica of what the traditional story of the monster entailed "in excess. h e resolutely believes.

'' hence there h a s been interminable quibbling on the part of those w h o feel that it disgraces A r y a n India to h a v e h a d its origins in kriira. a late-comer in the s t o r y — a n d the sacrifice procured b y S t a r k a S r guarantees the former the reality which the latter certainly h a s : A d a m of Bremen still k n e w . In the S c a n d i n a v i a n s t o r y . that he " d i s p a t c h " his king t o h i m . 2 . b y eyewitness testimony. several traditions a b o u t M a n u . that in Uppsala at festivals every ninth year there were hanged n o t only dogs a n d horses. But n o m a t t e r . *Wddanaz) o n the continent. 108 . pp. but m e n as well. then at least the a c c o u n t s of the h u m a n sacrifices which M a n u shows himself ready to p e r f o r m in his obedience c a n also b e pious inventions m e a n t to illustrate his total absorption in sraddhd. he demands of h i m . in cruelty. even if J a r a s a n d h a unilaterally resolved t o ' Idees romaines (1969). a n d w e c a n n o t s a y whether the initiative c a m e f r o m o n e o r the other. In the story of J a r a s a n d h a the m a n ner of agreement between the g o d and the m a n is not described. a n d from T a c i t u s ' Germania to the Ynglingasaga. But it is generally agreed that.Jarasandha 1 . He has waited patiently. through the years. and if not the wretched tale of the y o u n g Sunahsepa. offered particularly to " M e r c u r i u s " (that is. after he has been an undeniable help to S t a r k a S r in the scene of the setting of fates. T h e n . a n d this in the presence of the beneficiary. and the theory of the purusamedha speak in f a v o r of its existence. under this n a m e . in the f o r m in which it is described. the puru$amedha is a theoretical construct intended merely as a n extension of the upper end of the sacrificial roster. T h e description o f Jarasandha's crime should be taken literally. a s p a y m e n t . the initiative f o r the sacrifice in which V i k a r is the victim comes f r o m the g o d . a n d to O d i n in the Swedish U p p l a n d . Surely the legend of Sunahsepa. 56-57. O d i n . Supported b y the parallel Scandinavian tradition. this crime attests that h u m a n sacrifices were still practiced in earliest India. T h e parallelism b e tween the sacrifices planned b y J a r a s a n d h a — e v e n if he is. there a r e numerous attestations of h u m a n victims.

a natural intimacy with earthly kings. like V i k a r .S i v a . in the last analysis. a person o f the same caste. a r e criminal under a n y circumstances. calling to himself o n e of his o w n . o n e is forced to admit that the stipulation of r o y a l t y is essential in the m a t t e r . a n d in terms of h u m a n victims has n o reason to prefer kings. he says. and that. Sisupala acting as passionate defender of the majesty o f kings on the o n e h a n d . only reclaims what is his. b u t . kings. 3 . a n d Jarasandha . based o n the reliable taste of the god for the b l o o d of m e n .Jarasandha promise a hundred kings to R u d r a . It is not the same in India. all is clear: the demand expressed b y O d i n that K i n g V i k a r b e sacrificed to h i m is immediately understandable since O d i n . T h e r e w a s at least a tacit understanding of the do ut des k i n d . In S c a n d i n a v i a . it w a s because he k n e w that R u d r a generally pays well. R u d r a has n o special connection with r o y a l t y . b e tween which the m a t t e r o f r o y a l t y is deemphasized a n d lost in m o r e general rules: (1) h u m a n sacrifices. given the close similarity of the stories of Jarasandha a n d Sisupala. Nonetheless. divides his complaint into t w o sections. o n e should b e obliged to seize kings a s victims: because in reality n o such obligation exists and Jarasandha remains entirely responsible f o r the choice. m o r e precisely the king o f the gods. A n d Kf?na does not even h a v e in mind the possibility that the t w o parts of his complaint might b e inseparable. but his theological definition entails n o such lofty restriction. T h i s is so true that Kr?na/ when he reproaches the king of M a g a d h a f o r having made this b l o o d y p r o m ise. A s the sovereign g o d . O n e c a n of course suppose that h e is gratified that Jarasandha reserves f o r him the highest level o f society. t w o f o r m u l a e . O n e even gets the feeling that the specification of r o y a l victims is forced on Jarasandha only by the circumstances in which they are promised: since he wishes to subjugate kingdoms. sacrificing m e n to R u d r a . he h a s a n affinity. This very congruence uncovers a difficulty. (2) a savanna must n o t h a r m his savarna. he offers the actual masters of these realms to the g o d w h o can help h i m . T h e victims J a r a s a n d h a destines f o r Rudra a r e n o t just a n y m e n .

in every case. is not so for the t w o Indie figures. he spills outside it to the extent that he also serves M a n u . If the Vedic Vi?^iu. t o o . In India the same is not the case. is very close to T h o r — "the strongest of the gods after T h o r " — b u t V i S a r is h o m o l o g o u s with Vi?nu ordy in the e s c h a t o l o g y : ' until the end of the w o r l d . In S c a n dinavia. a n d the t w o types which he combines in himself cannot be sundered. b y the service rendered to Indra b y his steps and his assistance. T h e typological affinity of Rudra and O d i n has been explored in the previous chapter." Revue de I'histoire des religions. 1-13. beginning with the sacrificial murder of V i k a r . in the S c a n d i n a v i a n theology the t w o pairs have been fused into one o r . CCXVIII 110 . but O d i n is n o m o r e reducible to this type than to the V a r u ^ a . jointly piece together the contradict o r y state of affairs which is laid out m o r e simply in the tale of S t a r k a S r : S t a r k a S r . But it is easily seen that the necessity f o r this situation. let us reiterate. and yet it is against this v e r y m a j e s t y that he c o m m i t s the facinora to w h i c h he is d o o m e d . a n d the sacrificer.iu are outside it. Vi?i:iu's strict counterpart. because the second has been fused with the first. while Rudra and Vi?i. ME I. so that the divine pair w h o c o n f r o n t each other over S t a r k a S r is at o n c e the pair of " d a r k g o d " and "light g o d " (in which it corresponds in fact to the pair Rudra-Vi§nu) a n d the pair of first-function and second-function g o d s .Jarasandha (whose general Sisupala is) capturing kings as o n e traps animals. neither f o r J a r a s a n d h a n o r for Sisupala. 230-237. no doubt m o r e precisely.t y p e . is the defender of royal m a j e s t y . R u d r a . o b v i o u s f o r S t a r k a S r . and the gods in general. and the counterpart of S i v a is not so m u c h O d i n as ' "Le dieu scandinave Vifiarr. in the h y m n s and later. the rescuer is simply T h o r . T h e reason f o r this lack of a c c o r d a n c e is undoubtedly to be sought in the fact that Odin and T h o r are sensed to be included in the trifunctional structure. to sacrifice them cruelly to a g o d . because. eludes still m o r e completely a n y attempt to fix him in the trifunctional structure. belongs preferentially to the second function. V i S a r . (1965). B o t h at o n c e . the c a n o n i c a l god of the seco n d function.

But we c a n use the S c a n d i n a v i a n story to vindicate the i m p o r t a n c e of kings (exalted and persecuted) in the t w o Indie stories only b y resorting to the other aspect of the O d i n . it has been on condition that w e retain f r o m the pair O d i n . 111 . only by their connection with the first t w o levels of the trifunctional structure. and that the third point of c o m p a r i s o n which remains f o r us to consider. will rather add to it. in this particular situation.Jarasandha one aspect of the complex O d i n ." l i g h t g o d . If this is indeed the cause of the divergence which detains u s — and n o other is a p p a r e n t — w e find ourselves in a veritable a p o r i a . the story of Herakles.T h o r pair ( " f i r s t .f u n c t i o n " . of w h i c h there is no trace in the pair R u d r a . If. Let us state at o n c e that w e are not in a position to reduce this difficulty.V i j n u . we h a v e been able to clarify the rest of the tale of S t a r k a S r b y the related stories of Sisupala and J a r a s a n d h a . we should examine a last c o m m o n element in the Scandinavian and Indie stories.f u n c t i o n g o d " ) . and not the m o s t important aspect. since O d i n remains a b o v e all. setting aside the i m p o r t a n c e of kings (extolled and assassinated). since the two divinities we shall see confronting each other over the Greek hero are themselves defined.V i j n u . But b e f o r e thus extending o u r inquiry. as sovereign-magician." s e c o n d .T h o r only its aspect of " d a r k g o d " . a figure of the first function. " which a l o n e allows it to be c o m p a r e d with the pair R u d r a .

.

novelistic. pp. publishable justifications f o r ' See the discussion of Stig Wikander's discovery in ME I. 103-109. 46 and n. whose principle they stated but w h o s e details they did n o t reveal. MASCULINE RIVALRIES In a previous study. . C o m p o s i n g the character a n d b e h a v i o r of their heroes after the image o f the gods w h o s e i n c a r n a tions o r sons they a r e . 1. several examples h a v e been given o f w h a t o n e might call almost a l a w . multifaceted goddess w h o m the theology tended t o associate with the entirety o f the gods of the three f u n c t i o n s . ' T h i s blueprint w h i c h guided t h e m . particularly those o f hierarchy. T h e y h a v e m o r e o v e r s o m e times translated these conceptual relationships into terms of kingship o r a g e . o f inventing h u m a n .THE W O M A N AND THE ANCESTORS t 1. left them the task of supplying. o n e of those which the authors o f the Mahabharata m a d e f o r themselves in their w o r k of transposing into epic a v e r y old m y t h o l o g y . w h i c h existed a m o n g those g o d s . the heroine transposed f r o m the single. transforming f o r example the strictly h o m o g e n e o u s group o f gods o f the three functions into the five P a n ^ a v a b r o t h e r s — o n e just sovereign. p. alliance. a n d enm i t y . t w o humble twins k n o w l edgeable in matters of husbandry—and giving t o these five b r o t h e r s a s their c o m m o n spouse D r a u p a d I . 53-65. they have preserved between these heroes the relationships. t w o w a r r i o r s .

since he is the last of the incarnations of a d e m o n w h o . w h o is also a devotee.^ T h e enmity w h i c h exists between Kfgna a n d Sisupala o c c a sions a description of the s a m e sort. to the spot where his m o t h e r a n d brothers awaited h i m . A single one of the brothers had w o n the girl in a svayamvara and had returned with her to the forest. To be sure.ia is not homogeneous with the first five. was the follower and protege of R u d r a . The fate that falls upon Sisupala is more complex: one after another he commits the hundred sins which.S i v a . y o u r brothers a n d y o u . third-function sin). Furthermore. O n all these points the transposition has respected the m a i n lines of the theology of the t w o divinities. pp. of R u d r a S i v a . W h i l e a p p r o a c h i n g . T h e two figures oppose each o t h e r because o n e is Vi^iju incarnate. and a cruel o n e .The Woman and the Ancestors such predetermined relationships. " A mother's w o r d must b e d o n e . she herself c a n change nothing: thus the five P a i j ^ a v a s had to share a single wife a n d give t o their children a single m o t h e r . n o longer f r o m the point of view of the transposition but f r o m that of the epic plot. "in c o m m o n . but b y Sisupala.. to this end they concluded a scrupulous agreement whcih they o b s e r v e d and which spared them a n y jealousy. if DraupadT h a s five husbands. as it a l w a y s turns out w h e n Vi?pu c o n f r o n t s R u d r a . ^ [1977) It has been objected that Sisupala's sixth offense against Kf$i. at least in the preceding o n e . 110-117. the nasty consequence of an imprudent w o r d uttered b y the m o t h e r of the Pariijlavas. it is.S i v a or a " R u d r a i c " figure. a scandal a m o n g the A r y a n s . a n d in addition b y the post of general which he takes in the service of king J a r a s a n d h a . the initiative in the hostilities is not taken b y Kf?i:ia. the m o t h e r hastened to remind him of his d u t y : " P o s s e s s it. b o t h b y the deformities which disfigure h i m a t birth (three eyes and four arms) and b y his deeply d e m o n i c nature." she said. and believing that he a n n o u n c e d some actually divisible a l m s . he cried out j o y o u s l y : " H e r e are the a l m s ! " Before seeing h i m . For e x a m p l e . at his 114 . while the other is a triply " R u d r a i c " being.^ ^ Ibid. and perhaps I should have emphasized the difference between these treatments of the same theme: Herakles and Starcatherus perish because of the last of the three sins which they have committed and which are distributed across the three functions (likewise Indra's progressive decline is completed with and by his third.

with a defiant laugh: " H a v e y o u n o s h a m e at all. F o r y o u a r e n o w witnesses o f the a l l surpassing offense against m e . whose opinion is shifting b a c k against the aggressor. n o less that Si§upala. Kf^na himself. and of which the five examples excerpted from the total by his accuser are well distributed across the three functions. a n d his insolence amidst the full circle o f kings deserves death. Here is the last retort of Sisupala.The Woman and the Ancestors But this w a s not enough f r o m the standpoint of the plot. they call forth no sanctions. learn also n o w the offenses he has perpetrated against m e in concealment (parokfatn). lis . explains this strange situation t o the kings t o justify the beheading which is in the offing. Kr^na^ that y o u b r o a d c a s t in assemblies. outside the series and extra-functional. particularly before these kings. in order to undo him. T h i s present offense I c a n n o longer f o r b e a r . the b l o w hits h o m e . But he ends b y hurling at his prospective victim a n e w shot. is presented as h u m a n . Consequently. and a cruel o n e : " F o r the s a k e o f m y father's sister I h a v e endured v e r y great suffering. o n c e proposed himself f o r RukminI. This enrichment of the theme does not alter its significance. his credit of o n e hundred tolerated offenses. has therefore been reinf o r c e d a n d even o v e r s h a d o w e d b y a n e n m i t y w h o s e cause is f o r tuitous a n d earthly. a n d that consequently Krgna will find himself free to slay h i m . a masculine rivalry o v e r a pretty girl. but. but granted to. T h e i r innate opposition. or rather tolerated of him (p. T h e story will b e often retold in the P u r a n a s . against Kr$na a n d his f a m i l y . in a next-to-last speech. insofar a s Kr$na. 58). by the very fact that they have been forgiven in advance. but in the Mahabharata a precise allusion is made to it in the course o f the very scene where w e learn that Sisupala is o n his w a y to exceeding. w h o k n o w s he is d o o m e d a n d shouts. but fortunately n o w this is taking place in the presence o f all the kings. glimpsed in outline. were not imposed on. w h o must want t o die. but enhances it with all the mystical power inherent in the figure of Krwa. but the f o o l n o m o r e obtained her than a sQdra a hearing of the V e d a ! " In the a s s e m b l y . that y o u r R u k m i n I w a s a n o t h e r m a n ' s first? F o r w h a t self-respecting m a n but y o u w o u l d broadcast to the strict that his wife h a d belonged t o birth. a supplemental sin is necessary. T h i s f o o l . some act of high treason directly attacking Kfjija-Visiju.

that she w a s the incarnation o f the goddess LakjmT. Kr^pa loved RukminT. and a very beautiful daughter. w e will n o t e nevertheless that in sequence. of w h o m it is said. abducted the girl in the middle of the c e r e m o n y . often mediocre a n d i n c o m m e n s u r a t e with what is presented as their c o n s e q u e n c e . having legally and correctly received the girl. in the c o u n t r y of the V i d a r b h a s . Sisupala since. T h u s RukminT b e c a m e what she will remain. Usually the " s e c o n d c a u s e s . h o w e v e r angry o r friendly?" T h i s rivalry o f t w o men is well k n o w n to us f r o m elsewhere. the first a n d genuinely offended one w a s Kr§na. K f sna c a m e to attend his rival's wedding. then. betray themselves as ad hoc inventions. to explain the inimical relationship of K f j n a a n d Sisupala. w h e r e b y the virtuous D r a u padT finds herself committed to a p o l y a n d r o u s marriage. " which the authors of the Mahabharata have superimposed o n the deep causes arising f r o m the translation of a m y t h o l o g y into epic. in all literatures. T h i s is the case. O n e will n o t e that each of the two men c a n b e considered p r o v o k e d b y the other: K r j i j a . R u k m i n . the wife of Vijijiu. with the rash w o r d of the P a n d a v a s ' m o t h e r . W i t h o u t pretending to pass judgment in such a delicate affair. BhT?maka w a s king of K u n d i n a . Holding a grudge against K f § n a . m a n y novels. R u k m i n did not wish her to b e given to h i m .The Woman and the Ancestors another. b y the c o n v e n t i o n s of transposition. O n e might think that it is so also for the conflict of Kf?ija a n d Sisupala over 116 . gave RukmiijT to Sisupala. urged on b y J a r a s a n d h a . father a n d s o n . if y o u have that much faith. M a d h u s u d a n a ? Forgive m e . and married h e r . are made of such stuff. H e h a d him put off. the wife of Kr$i?a. a n d according to the u n written l a w of lovers. for example. he has seen her spirited a w a y b y his rival. K r j n a . f r o m the h u m a n point of view. H e h a d a son. or don't. A s if nothing h a d h a p pened. RukminT. what could possibly befall m e f r o m y o u . since her parents have given to his rival the girl w h o m he loved a n d w h o loved him in return. Such is the conflict of passions which replicates the antagonism in the theological descriptions a n d which apparently suffices. BhTjmaka a n d R u k m i n . a n d RukminT loved h i m .

T h e W o m a n a n d the A n c e s t o r s RukminI. chose as father t o her s o n a very c r a f t y giant rather than T h o r of the JEsir. a n d carried Alfhildr h o m e t o her father. to s a y : a clear allusion is m a d e to a m a s c u l i n e — o n e dare n o t say r o m a n t i c — r i v a l r y between the m o n strous giant and T h o r . 14. the saga h a s something m o r e . . the m o t h e r of S t a r k a S r ' s father. report at the same time the birth of S t a r k a S r and the hostility w h i c h T h o r bears h i m . he w a s a m a n of h a n d s o m e l o o k s . a n d perhaps different. a n d the texts which repeat o r gloss this passage. W e recall also that in a later episode. W e recall h o w the beginning of the Gautrekssaga. 5 ' ''f V« '• Above. A t the m o m e n t when T h o r a n d O d i n . in the assembly of the solemnly gathered gods. " "Above. w a s b o r n the second S t a r k a S r . p. . w h o h a s been mentioned. the daughter o f an earl of H a l o g a l a n d . that Alfhildr should c o m e b a c k . that he shall have neither son n o r daughter. although here the cause h a s the same weight as the effect. p. w h o w a s called S t o r v i r k r . contradictorily determine the fate o f the second S t a r k a S r . F r o m Alfheim h e t o o k Alfhildr. the daughter of King A l f r . . 12. and reveals his g r i e v a n c e s : ' T h e n T h o r began t o speak a n d said: "Alfhildr. a n d I declare this f o r S t a r k aSr. T h e n T h o r slew S t a r k a S r . bigger and stronger than other m e n . King A l f r then called u p o n T h o r . a n d so shall his line e n d . the first S t a r k a S r ] w a s a v e r y c r a f t y (hundviss) giant w h o h a d eight a r m s . i S t a r k a S r [Aludrengr. S h e b o r e a s o n . Let us reread these important lines:" . a n d the winning o f R u k m i n I b y abduction corresponds well to Kr§na's pattern. the hero of the saga. But the c o m p a r i s o n of the tales of Sisupala and S t a r k a S r which w e are pursuing adds a n important f a c t o r t o the p r o b l e m . . a l though of b l a c k hair. T o this S t o r v i r k r a n d his legitimate wife. . a n d she w a s then with child. T h o r declares himself f r o m the beginning against the b o y .

and describes a situation similar t o . w h o m he c o n d e m n s to h a v e n o p r o geny. unexceptioned hostility of T h o r against all that c o m e s f r o m giants. In both cases. with her consent. retakes the girl and returns h e r to her father. while it is the incarnate g o d K f j n a w h o m RukmipT prefers t o the " R u d r a i c " a n d demonical Sisupala. and partially the converse of. in S c a n d i n a v i a a n d in India. 118 . third. o n e w h e r e T h o r intervened. b u t fourth. w h o m Alfhildr h a s chosen. second. the other where he avenged himself on a successful rival? In a n y case this second text exists. a n d marries h e r . disinterestedly. a n d the killing follows on the heels of the offense. the g o d kills the giant. still virgin. the g o d ends b y slaying his rival. T h e revenge he c h o o s e s is well suited to the nature of this resentment: he punishes the guilty ones through their grandson. Krjria's rival is Sisupala himself a n d the killing is long postponed (but note that at least it follows immediately the reminder which K f s o a gives of their rivalry). in the Mahabharata it is during the wedding c e r e m o n y . before R u k m i n i has really fallen into Sisupala's p o w e r . spurning the g o d T h o r . the first S t a r k a S r . to b e the last of his race. T h i s last disparity is m o r e o v e r only the natural consequence of another. the o n e which opposes Sisupala a n d Kv?na o v e r RukmiijI: first. in the Mahabharata. only in the Scandinavian tale it is f o r her father a n d not f o r himself. that Kr§ija gets hold of her. the giant takes her. the g o d " r e c o v e r s " the girl. the god remains offended that the other h a d been preferred to him to the point of begetting in his place. only at the request o f Alfhildr's father. In b o t h cases. T h u s in S c a n d i n a v i a as in India a second cause overlies the deep cause. the giant a n d the g o d b o t h desire the girl.T h e W o m a n a n d the A n c e s t o r s Is the schematic account of the beginning of the Gautrekssaga incomplete? D o the t w o passages refer to t w o v a r i a n t s . independent of logic a n d selfsufficient: it is the generalized. only in the saga the rival is not the hero of the story but his grandfather. m o r e important o n e : it is the giant. a n d the girl is pregnant. T h e god's attitude toward the hero is justified b y a novelistic incident. a variation on a theme which literatures never tire of presenting to a n o less indefatigable public: t w o men a n d a w o m a n .

found themselves a b a n d o n e d b y their p r o t e c t o r . T h e hostility which exists between K r j p a a n d Sisupala is n o t hereditary: K f j n a has had n o quarrel with the father. T h e Indian notion of reincarnation simply replaces heredity and gives it a cosmic dimension: Sisupala is but the latest f o r m taken b y the d e m o n w h o w a s . long enjoyed the protection of R u d r a . n o r with a grandfather. Let us q u o t e o n c e again 6 The Destiny of the Warrior (1970). p. his entirely h u m a n grandson. but w h o in the e n d . 9 3 . S a x o m a y h a v e simplified a n initially more c o m p l e x situation. A n d here again it is the saga's version which reinforces.S i v a . in this piece of literature. the reasons the reader h a s f o r admiring h i m .T h e W o m a n and the A n c e s t o r s O n e should therefore hesitate to discard the novelistic prelude of the s a g a — a s I h a v e lately done m y s e l f — f o r the a priori reason that ' w o m a n t r o u b l e " is alien to T h o r ' s c h a r a c t e r . desire. is a n d should b e edifying. against S a x o . like J a r a s a n d h a . H o w e v e r . the god w h o is n o r m a l l y a b o v e h u m a n w e a k n e s s e s — l o v e . it could be easily imagined that a sagamadr. apart f r o m three incidents. the c o m p a r i s o n with the Indie a c c o u n t . as w e have seen. REINCARNATED DEMON AND GRANDSON OF A GIANT T h i s consideration constrains us not to reject summarily the o t h e r strange feature of the saga version: the duality of S t a r k a S r . B u t . Hiranyakasipu a n d R a v a p a — f i g u r e s w h o . relegating the repugnant elements to a first S t a r k a S r and reserving f o r a second o n e . T o be sure. 119 . in the last "crises" in which Visnu had to intervene. bothered b y a tradition which insisted on the birth in the f o r m of a giant and monster of a hero w h o s e life. a grandfather and a g r a n d s o n . 2. It m a y be on the c o n t r a r y that. neither is it without precedent. of the little m o n s t e r . j e a l o u s y — s h o w s himself b y virtue of a very ancient tradition singularly unequal to himself. things m a y h a v e gone the other w a y . has split up the c h a r a c ter. like J a r a s a n d h a . a n d occasionally f o r having m a d e themselves intolerable to Rudra-Siva himself.

" replied the teacher. he transported with o n e hand this D e i o t a s a n d his residence onto the summit of M o u n t H e r m a n t chel. n o t only the n o r m a l recompense of ten more heads a n d as m a n y a r m s . alarmed at the abuse he had m a d e of the supernatural ' Cf. n. 81. the wife of Rudra-Siva). o r C e y l o n . his strength a n d the privileges M h a d a i o h a d granted h i m . T h u s o n R a v a n a : ' " R a v e n w a s ruler of the isle of L a n c a . b y sacrificing his head to h i m . miraculous w e a p o n s which the terror-stricken B i r m a h granted him although he foresaw the evil use which he would m a k e of these gifts. p. " b u t they would regrow to the extent that they were cut off. is supposed to give h i m . R u d r a . R a m t c h o u n d . a n d b y his tyranny he b e c a m e the object of such universal terror and hatred that B i r m a h a n d M h a d a i o themselves. " said M . wishing o n e d a y to a w a k e n M h a d a i o f r o m o n e of his trances. This passage in I. to b e s t o w on h i m a net a n d a javelin. D r u n k with his p o w e r . he aspired to the conquest o f Paradise.S i v a ] a n d h a d obtained f r o m this D e i o t a s . H e h a d already subdued the earth a n d Paradise. N o t content with the extraordinary gifts he had received f r o m M h a d a i o . the pride a n d ambition of the Daints grew p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y . b y threatening to kill h i m . de Polier. in the pages which open his resume of the Rdmdyana. but also the privilege of being unable to be put to death unless there should b e cut f r o m h i m a million h e a d s . above. " " B u t he h a d only ten of t h e m . the which rendered his defeat so difficult that there w a s n o one but V i j n u w h o could destroy h i m . or rather the account of it which his Indian tutor. Like all the a m b i t i o u s D a i n t s [ d e m o n s ] . a n d to succeed in this he h a d devoted o n e hundred years o f his long life to worshipping M h a d a i o [ M a h a d e v a . a n d he n o longer dreamt o f a n y thing but making himself master of the w h o l e universe. 120 .T h e W o m a n a n d the A n c e s t o r s C o l o n e l de Polier. 292-294. 4. he coerced B i r m a h . in addition to which this giant h a d also such p r o digious strength that. he h a d e n c r o a c h e d upon hell. the a b o d e of the father of P a r b u t t y [ParvatT. " H e h a d only ten at a t i m e .

pp. 121 . plays the same role. will b e reincarnated as Sisupala and so will for the last time c o n f r o n t V i ? n u . as well as b y numerous other peoples. this prenatal stage at least gives the hero's life story a scope c o m p a r a b l e with. In any case it is alien to the G e r m a n i c w o r l d . awaited with as much impatience as the lesser Deiotas the m o m e n t when the foretold incarnation of Vi^ou would c o m e to pass. whether one should trace b a c k to Indo-European times the belief in metempsychosis. that conferred on Sisupala by his demonic past and his prior encounters in other lives with the same g o d . slain b y Vi?nu in the guise of R a m a . son of S t o r v i r k r . Is it not this belief that has been able to justify the coexistence of S t a r k a S r . father of S t o r v i r k r . Irdische Unsterblichkeit. If they restore between them the b a l a n c e of c h a n c e . 61-62. if adopted and carried out b y the n a m e s a k e . But continuity in family lines.T h e W o m a n a n d the A n c e s t o r s a n d miraculous gifts they had given him. and S t a r k a S r . and at the s a m e time. * Mythes et dieux des Germains.• • V ..••>. It is doubtful. A. T h e impiety and the crimes of R a v e n at last fill the term fixed b y the decrees of fate as the time f o r his punishment. Eckhardt. the t w o interventions of T h o r . . in successive reincarnations. killing the o n e and persecuting the other? T h i s diachronic timing of happenings. was to n a m e n e w b o r n children after close ancestors:* n o doubt they thought in this w a y to be doing a little m o r e than reviving a m e m o r y or an image. in the last analysis reanimates the deceased himself. . It is this R a v a n a w h o . K. T h e s e last c o m p a r i s o n s to be sure leave with n o ready answer the p r o b l e m of the relative value of the t w o versions of the birth of S t a r k a S r . germanischer Glaube an die Wiederverkorperung in der Sippe (1937). an imitation which. although less cosmic than. even rationalized to the extreme. such a practice at least charts for the n e w b o r n a lifeplan. " :-. It has long been noted that one of the name-giving patterns observed in certain periods by the S c a n d i n a v i a n s . restore virtue on earth and m a k e manifest the exclusive p o w e r of V i $ n u .. w h o has b e c o m e K f ^ n a . in spite of Celtic evidence. functionally speaking.. •. and everything heralds the great event which must bring to an end the reign of vice. - 'jj!.

S a x o or the saga? O r must we suppose that each one c o n tinues w h a t were already. in the G r e e k legend. has chosen to obtain through the services of h e r involuntary rival A l k m e n e . 122 . h o w e v e r . " v a r i a n t s " ? For the first of the two themes we h a v e been e x a m i n i n g — t h e resentment of a god against the son of a w o m a n w h o has preferred a rival to h i m — t h e legend of Herakles will. H e r a . the genders of the deities are reversed in relation to their roles: it is a goddess. B u t . r e c o m m e n d a decision against S a x o . Is it necessary to prefer one o r the other. in f a v o r of the sagamadr. Z e u s . the wife of A m p h i t r y o n . w h o persecutes the son w h o m her less than faithful spouse.T h e W o m a n and the A n c e s t o r s which until n o w has leaned to the side of S a x o at the expense of the saga. they do not allow us to decide. from earliest times.

HERAKLES 1. 9 6 . ' T h i s general f r a m e w o r k is that of the "three sins of the h e r o . 6.S t a r c a t h e r u s . pp. T h e intervals filled with exploits ' The Destiny of the Warrior [1970]. which still seem valid. like that of S t a r k a S r . a n d the first t w o cease to operate o n c e sufficient expiation has been effected. 123 . p.8-7. Herakles performs his feats in three groups. 4. a n d finally his life. to consider the life of Herakles. 102 n. province. independent and selfsufficient.7). THE FAILINGS OF HERAKLES In 1 9 5 6 I gave reasons. but m o r e as a structure w h o s e general design is simple and which has only served as a f r a m e w o r k — w e a l t h attracting w e a l t h — f o r a variety of legends. " and I h a v e recalled at the outset of this study w h a t these sins a r e . local or otherwise. w h i c h affect first the hero's sanity. c o n cerning the Strong M a n . ^ Cf. each tied to a t o w n . see ibid. o r forest. 1 . each ending with the "functional s i n " a n d the corresponding penalty or consequence. next his bodily health.9 7 . l a k e . n o t a s the huge a n d fortuitous accretion of specific legends. pp. the e x ploits o f a s t r o n g m a n . For the systematization of the Library of Apollodorus (II. above. M o r e o v e r the penalties are not cumulative. each o n e c o m m i t t e d against the principle of one o f the three IndoEuropean functions:^ since m y Aspects de la fonction guerriere the dossier has n o t c h a n g e d .6 .

but the fact is that only these three h a v e been fastened on b y the gods a n d had a destructive effect on the guilty p a r t y . 2. on the one h a n d . even in G r e e k terms. with madness as p e n a l t y . 124 . T h e y c o n c e r n . HERA. As for the sins. the third goes f r o m this murder to his scandalous adultery.3 ) after recalling that on b o t h sides the hero " o w e s his birth to the ' [1982] Several writers who have referred to the book seem to have understood the first fault of Herakles to be the killing of his children in his madness. the punis^jmefit consisted in a madness whose result. calling for expiation. especially the c o n t r a r y relationships which it establishes between him and t w o rival divinities. the biography of Herakles presents m o r e than o n e deed which we would be inclined. and on the other hand his death. as a sub-group. This is not quite right: his failing is having disobeyed the command of Zeus by hesitating to go into Eurystheus' service. with physical disease as its penalty. but the investigation of Sisupala reveals their full importance.Herakles are distributed thus: the first runs f r o m the hero's birth to his hesitation before the c o m m a n d of Zeus. 2 . Within the first of these three groups appears. ATHENA AND HERAKLES T h e birth of Herakles is recounted b y D i o d o r u s SiculuS (IV. T h e parallel with the three sins of Starcatherus is a c c o m p a n i e d b y other a c c o r d a n c e s in the careers of the t w o heroes. w h i c h has itself served to lodge sub-labors. was the murder of his children. the hero's birth and his resulting position in the trifunctional structure. ' the second extends f r o m his insubordination to the treacherous murder of a surprised e n e m y . 9 . and which is the only partial structure that can be discerned within the large framework. T h e main ones were pointed out in 1 9 5 6 . w i t h the consequence of an unhealable burn and his voluntary death. the collection of ten o r twelve great L a b o r s . to classify as such. and thus compromising the agreement reached between Zeus and Hera regarding a matter of kingship.

a surplus of strength in relation to other m e n . 4 . he deceived A l k m e n e b y assuming in every respect the shape of A m p h i t r y o n . 6jrepPoA. he did n o t choose to offer violence to A l k m e n e . T h e position of Herakles in relation to the first a n d second functions. like Starcatherus. w h o w a s filled with jealousy (^riXoTUTCoOaav).co6^VTOG xp6vo\i) he presaged the exceptional might of the child which would b e begotten (TtpOCTtinfjvai TTIV OiteppoXfiv xf\q TOC yevvritJri- aon^vou {)(ii\ir\q). he did n o t effect this union f r o m the desire of l o v e . but rather only for the s a k e of procreation {zf\q naibonodaq xdpiv). A n d . in general. I V . a n d particularly in relation to the t w o goddesses w h o preside over them (Diodorus. the son of Zeus a n d D a n a e : 2. T h e prowess which w a s found in him w a s not only to be seen in his deeds. w h o s e mind w a s fixed on the birth o f Herakles. a n d his m o t h e r A l k m e n e descends f r o m Perseus. but w a s also recognized even before his birth. .Herakles greatest o f the g o d s " : Zeus is his father. For when Zeus l a y with A l k m e n e he m a d e the night three times its n o r m a l length (xpiTcA-aaiav rfiv VI^KTO i t o i f i a a i ) and b y the magnitude of the time expended on the procreation (TQ) TtXyjflei ToC npbq rfiv itaiSoTtoifav dvaA. to h a v e been considerable. resulting f r o m a watered-down f o r m of triplicity: Zeus spent three nights begetting h i m . 3 . 9 . a n d s o . deciding to use deception.r|. whereupon Hera. C o n sequently. Herakles is thus neither monster n o r g i a n t — e v e n if speculations on his m o r e than h u m a n size h a v e n o t been l a c k i n g — b u t . .8 ) : 4. . as he did in the case of other w o m e n . even for a g o d . desiring to give legality to his e m b r a c e s . a n d yet he could n o t hope to persuade her because of her chastity (oco(ppooi5vr|). Z e u s . W h e n the natural time of pregnancy h a d passed. thus allowing for this single insemination a n a m o u n t of sperm which seems. h e has in him a certain excess. a n n o u n c e d in advance in the presence of all the gods that it w a s his intention to m a k e the child w h o should b e b o r n that day king (rtoifiCTai ^aaikia) over the decendants o f Perseus. using a s her 125 .

7. these to be whatever Eurystheus should prescribe. If we stick with 126 . and that after he had done so he should receive the gift of immortality (PaaxX^a |j^v 67tdp^ai Koxd rnv i6{av indaxsaw EupDcnJ^a. whereupon Athena took it to its mother and urged her to rear it ('Ai9riva 8k K o n i a a a a a0x6 npbq zr\v HT|T^pa xp^<peiv TtapEKeXsuaaxo). he persuaded Hera to agree that Eurystheus should be king as he had promised. And anyone may well be surprised at the unexpected turn of the affair (x6 xi]q TiepiTtexela? napdSo^ov).^a Texayn^vov i)n6 T6V EiipucnS^a xeX^crai 6c&6eKafiiSXouqoui. however. Now at this very time Athena. though he had been outgeneralled. wished both to fulfill his promise and to take thought for the future fame (^7ti9ave{a) of Herakles. in ignorance saved the life of one who was her natural enemy { 8i' fiyvoiav Saco^e x6 xfj (pi3cjei TioX^iaiov).r|v i^TiOCTxeTv).Herakles helper Eileithyia her daughter. approaching the spot in the company of Hera (Kai9' 6v 8r\ xp6vov 'AiSriva jiexd Tf{q "Hpai. TtpoaioOaa) and being amazed at the natural vigor of the child (iSaundaaaa xoC naiSiou xf^v (ptSoiv). persuaded Hera to offer it the breast (duv^Ttexcre XT)V "Hpav xfjv r3r|A. 5 . Kol xoCxo jipd^ovxa xu%eiv rf\q di&avacslaq). but that Herakles should serve Eurystheus and perform twelve labors. fiv 6 EdpucnSet)? TipoCTxd^Ti. by the enmity of Hera and the solicitude of Athena. 6. Various forms are taken. But when the boy tugged upon her breast with greater violence than would be expected at his age.OD<Ta) her own offspring was trying to destroy it while she who cherished towards it a stepmother's hatred. they say. Hera was unable to endure the pain and cast the babe from her (f) n^v °Hpa SiaXyfiaacja x6 Pp^cpo? £ppiv|/ev). consequently. for the mother whose duty it was to love (ax^pyEiv 6(pe{A. especially during Herakles' youth. checked the birth-pains of Alkmene and brought Eurystheus forth to the light before his full time. After Alkmene had brought forth the babe. Zeus. T6V 8' 'HpaK>. fearful of Hera's jealousy (^T|Xoxi)7t{av) she exposed it at a place which to this time is called after him the Field of Herakles.

functionally speaking. a peplos (14. t o get her t o nurse with her o w n milk the child w h o m the fearful A l k m e n e h a d exposed in the c o u n t r y s i d e . that Herakles hands over t h e apples of the Hesperides. a n d the virgin A t h e n a does n o t hesitate to trick H e r a . it is H e r a t o o w h o strikes h i m with madness b e c a u s e he hesitates t o o long to enter the service of Eurystheus (11. 1). y. to w h i c h he h a s been c o n * ME I. 3). it is A t h e n a w h o presents the first gift. the initially a m biguous relationship of Sisupala a n d Kyj^ia: placed on the god's knees.) to H e r a " (10. T h i s scene of the goddess saving a n d nursing the child w h o m she will thereafter persecute. obedient t o the king. a n d w h o begins b y biting her. the little m o n s t e r receives h u m a n f o r m ..Herakles the text of D i o d o r u s . W h e r e v a r i o u s gods a r m a n d equip Herakles. b u t their h a r m o n y is only o u t w a r d . . recalls. 1).. in the legend of the shepherd prince Paris. winning his heroic n a m e : " H e w h o owes his glory (KX^OI. a c c o r d i n g t o the Library of A p o l l o d o r u s .. i'^. pp. 11). it is to h e r . n o doubt as his m o s t trusted friend. they play antagonistic roles. T h e t w o goddesses. b y their c o m m o n e n m i t y t o w a r d A p h r o d i t e . T h i s is no longer the aUiance into w h i c h they w e r e driven. they even w a l k together. b u t at the s a m e time the plan of a long hostility is laid. it w a s c l a i m e d . 5 8 0 . sees to his outfitting. . " that is. A s f o r the attitude of the hero himself t o w a r d the t w o higher f u n c t i o n s — t h e kingship f r o m w h i c h he h a s been excluded. A t h e n a immediately takes t h e future hero under her p r o t e c t i o n . it is Hera w h o sends the t w o serpents w h i c h the infant strangles in his cradle. fights. rescues h i m when he is only a n a b a n d o n e d b a b y . to b e sure. he is saved. Later. a n d the " l a b o r s .5 8 6 . which the goddess immediately returns t o their place (II. T h e t w o goddesses clearly h a v e here the contrasting values a t tributed t o them also in the legend of the judgment of Paris:^ Hera is the sovereign. d o n o t c o m b a t each o t h e r . w h o s e first c o n c e r n is t o exclude A l k m e n e ' s son f r o m r o y a l t y a n d t o reduce h i m — t h i s is the gist of the c o m p r o m i s e she a c c e p t s — t o the role of c h a m p i o n .. essentially. 5. thus.li. 127 . a n d f o l l o w s h i m discreetly in his l a b o r s ..

does he propose to b e c o m e king himself: he lends. 2 ) .Herakles signed—it is m o r e d r a m a t i c than that of S t a r k a 3 r . and never. 3-5. 1 2 . he carries the b o a r alive on his shoulders. to b e c o m e the c h a m p i o n of King Eurystheus: he judges him and k n o w s himself to be superior to h i m . THE END OF H E R A K L E S . throughout journeys where he redresses so m a n y wrongs and punishes so m a n y evil men. if her h u s b a n d c a m e to neglect her. Herakles' first sin is precisely to hesitate. HERAKLES AND HERA T h e D e a t h of Herakles. irpoCTT d y n o T a . Herakles is trapped in the c l o a k dipped in the b l o o d of Nessos. Deianeira recalled the present the dying C e n t a u r had given her. then takes his l e a v e . despite the c o m m a n d of Zeus. directed against them) to serving kings ostentatiously. the king hides in a barrel ((poPrnSelg GKPUYEV XOXKOCV nWov. 3 8 . seeks and receives the king's orders.S t a r c a t h e r u s . b o m far f r o m any throne. 39. w h o . tambv eiq D i o d o r u s . Informed of her husband's passion f o r lole. a king w h o voluntarily b e c o m e s the general of a n o t h e r king. 3. left to e n j o y n o w and then the bitter satisfaction he gets f r o m the spectacle of his mediocre master: v a s e paintings h a v e p o p ularized the scene where he brings b a c k to the king the wild b o a r of E r y m a n t h u s . panicstricken. H a d he not told her that. despite the warning of Delphi. does he raise a h a n d against the king. and if need be. imposes his services. to rekindle his passion she need only h a v e him put on a cloth rubbed in his blood? W h a t she did not k n o w w a s that in the Centaur's b l o o d lingered the poison of the a r r o w which which Herakles had pierced h i m . IV. saturated with w h a t she thought w a s a 128 . confines himself (outside of his three sins. I V . and m o r e pathetic t o o than Sisupala's. T h u s she sent. Hera reconciled (Diodorus. 2 . But never. n o r attempt to replace him.3 ) : A f t e r his adultery. But after his first punishment he submits. sometimes gets a reward f o r t h e m . either during o r the after the long term of the l a b o r s .

and he. " 4 . lighted the p y r e . A f t e r a few r e m a r k s on the establishment of the first cults of Herakles ( 3 9 . In the grip of the growing. they say. . ascended the pyre and asked each o n e w h o c a m e up to him to put torch to the p y r e . regarding w h o m the poet speaks in the " N e k y i a " : 129 . Zeus will p r o v i d e . H e r a kles. the poison began to devour him. t o o k place in the following m a n n e r . in a c c o r d a n c e with the words of the oracle. and this a d o p t i o n . that after his a p o t h e o s i s Zeus persuaded Hera to adopt him as her son (uiorcou^CTacnJai) and henceforth f o r all time to cherish him with a m o t h e r ' s l o v e . the sacrificial cloak that Herakles h a d asked for. having received in return f o r his c o m p l i a n c e the gift of the b o w a n d a r r o w s of Herakles. D i o d o r u s makes us p a r t a k e of the secrets of Olympus: 2 . intolerable pain. he had passed f r o m a m o n g men into the c o m p a n y of the gods. . A f t e r this. the hero sent t w o of his c o m p a n i o n s to consult f o r a third time the oracle of Delphi. 1). H e r a . after she had adopted Herakles in this fashion. 5 . 3 . "Let Herakles be taken up to M o u n t O e t a in all his w a r r i o r gear. A n d when n o one h a d the courage to o b e y h i m P h i l o k t e tes alone w a s prevailed upon. and activated b y his b o d y ' s heat. N o w w h e n lolaiis had carried out these orders and h a d withdrawn to a distance to see w h a t w o u l d take place. and drawing Herakles close to her b o d y then let him fall through her garments to the ground. they assumed that. w h e n the c o m p a n i o n s of lolaus c a m e to gather up the b o n e s of Herakles a n d f o u n d not a single b o n e a n y w h e r e . Hera lay upon a bed. imitating in this w a y the actual birth. f o r the rest. having a b a n d o n e d hope f o r himself. A n d immediately lightning also fell f r o m the heavens a n d the pyre w a s w h o l l y c o n s u m e d . He put it on. . W e should add to w h a t has been said a b o u t Herakles. the m y t h s relate.Herakles love p o t i o n . and let a pyre be erected next to h i m . j o i n e d him in marriage to H e b e . a n d A p o l l o responded.

in spite of his three lives). 130 . o n e of the m a n y guises in which death dogged him throughout his heroic career ( c o m p a r e the premature senex Starcatherus.Herakles Herakles meets up with G e r a s ( O l d A g e ) .

the m o r e rational Greece speaks o f a c o n t r a c t which transforms enmity into adoption and filiation. seeks a killer. b y a m e a n s which the latter finds suspect a n d does n o t use. on an island. a n d finds h i m in the person of a n innocent w a r r i o r . It seems impossible t o attribute to c h a n c e s o m a n y similarities which appear on b o t h sides in the same order. A s with the Indian Sisupala. but w h o s e service h e r e w a r d s : Starcatherus returns t o Hatherus the b l o o d price he h a d received f o r killing h i s father and offers a s well t o ensure his invulnerability. 131 . b u t first one of them will poison its possessor a n d cause the G r e e k s t o a b a n d o n h i m . '^Hr--'. with the peculiarly G r e e k addition o f the important t h e m e of the p y r e a n d t h e apotheosis. his e n e m y . STARKADR. AND SISUPALA T h e r e are immediately perceptible analogies with the end of Starcatherus. see my Manages indo-europeens (Paris: Payot.Herakles I s a w the shade of Herakles. daughter of the inimical goddess. with a scenario simulating n o t a fusion but a birth. a l o n e . his death completely reconciles the hero with the divinity w h o h a s been.6 3 . a n d S o p h o c l e s . t o b e sure. Herakles hands o v e r t o Philoktetes a r r o w s t o w h o s e great a n d f e a r s o m e p o w e r the future. ? : / • Like the S c a n d i n a v i a n h e r o . will testify: they alone will m a k e possible v i c t o r y over the T r o j a n s . in the sort o f union which is at o n c e most intimate a n d least miraculous. India goes s o f a r as to h a v e the very being of Sisupala absorbed into the divinity. ' 4. out of devotion. and which is f u t h e r m o r e completed immediately b y the wedding to H e b e . 5 9 . pp. in spite of him in G r e e c e . HERAKLES. b u t f o r Himself he takes delight of feasts a m o n g T h e i m m o r t a l gods a n d f o r his wife he h a s T h e shapely-ankled H e b e . the G r e e k o n e determines to die. a n d others with the e n d of Sisupala. w h o acts. 1979). n a m e l y marriage. b y his own fault in India. But this affirmation ' [1982] On Deianeira and the marriages of Herakles in general.

the task not only of resolving this aporia but of making use of the a c c o r d a n c e s it provides t h e m . "dark divinity" A t h e n a . the " d a r k divinity" and the "light divinity. "light divinity" T h e comparativist can only entrust to Hellenists. and philosophical mass of data on Herakles. T h e divinities w h o c o n f r o n t each other o v e r Herakles under the fairly passive supervision of Z e u s . archeological. with S c a n d i n a v i a able to provide only a typologically middle term. W e leave the reader before this a p o r i a . well b e f o r e being torn in his will. as in the legend of the shepherd Paris." T h u s we find ourselves faced with a paradoxical situation. a n d the W a r r i o r e s s w h o in his person foresees. N o feature sets them in opposition in the guise of w h a t we have termed. and not a geographically intermediate o n e .Herakles m a r k s the limit of our grasp. his protectress and his persecutor. between the attractions of vice and virtue. 2nd function 2nd function INDIA ! "light divinity" Kf^na-Vi^riu. which will perhaps lead other minds to a m o r e subtle analysis of one or m o r e of the divine pairs. 1st function SCANDINAVIA ^Ist function Odin^ V'dark divinity" 'li Rudra. but which f o r the present does not a l l o w comparison of the Greek a n d Indie pairs: GREECE H e r a . intervene. loves a n d favors the courageous victor of labors and fights. It seems that Herakles. in c o n n e c t i o n with the other t w o heroes. courtesy of P r o d i k o s . strictly as p a t r o n s of the first t w o functions: the Sovereign w h o withholds from Herakles the expected kingship and subordinates him to a king. had f o u n d himself the 132 . those w h o control the vast literary.

2 1 . interpretationes Graecae of the IndoEuropean divinities o f the pre-Heraclean s t o r y . we will b e allowed a c o m m e n t . with extensive bibliography. was ancient and Indo-European. Indeed I foresaw that there would be Greek specialists who would accuse me of an imperialism which I do not practice. In the article "H^racl^s" which Nicole Loraux compiled for the Dictionnaire des mythologies (Flammarion. ' continues an interpretation of the pathetic son of A l k m e n e which is even older than the P y t h a g o r e a n Herakles a n d the antecedents that c a n b e postulated f o r h i m ." Revue de I'histoire des religions. or to the vegetation daimon dear to 133 . It was even a pleasant surprise for me to have so long to wait (Aspects de la fonction guerriire. after 25 years. nor in The Destiny of the Warrior which it summarizes. heros pythagoricien. a n d the elements thus lost h a v e run a g r o u n d . the first version of The Destiny of the Warrior. Finally. only in the summaries of Diodorus and the Library.Herakles passive a n d impotent p a w n in another rivalry. I wished only to make it probable that this framework.5 3 . this o n e f r o m the beginning already in his Indo-European p r o t o t y p e . under the philosophical rubrics of G o o d a n d Evil. dates from 1956). w h i c h M a r c e l Detienne has already m a n a g e d to push b a c k in t i m e . 158 (1960). in full. which opposes the implicit Rudra a n d the explicit Kr^na-Vi^nu with respect to Sisupala? Perhaps this parable. and each of these heroes has his own personality. 1981). one reads (1: 497b) that "Herakles cannot be reduced either to the Dorian hero of Wilamowitz. fits into the framework of the "three functional sins of the warrior". T h i s rivalry of divine powers secured f o r h i m a happy end. of these divinities. his adventures. f r o m deed to misdeed a n d misdeed to deed. with his complex character. Perhaps.' ' "Heracles. o r flourished. D o e s n o t the parable of P r o d i k o s confer on the conflict which Herakles is embroiled in something o f the v a l u e . found it ready to be assimilated and integrated. closer to the Scandinavian version. and his cults. ' [1982J Neither in this chapter. Herakles is neither StarkaSr nor Sisupala. while b y similar fate his "lost b r o t h e r s " traversed other climes. have diluted the m o r e complex type. m a d e h i m r o a m throughout the islands a n d peninsulas of the Mediterranean. have I maintained that all of Herakles. Vice a n d Virtue. although attested as such. my wait is over. but at first. and that the Heraklean material. vast and open-ended. if n o t a suggestion. Perhaps H e r a a n d A t h e n a . though. entirely m o r a l a n d not at all functional. one the vast lands stretching f r o m the B o s p o r u s to the fjords o f N o r w a y . his posthumous hero-god status. the other the m o s a i c of the realms of India.

and she was unaware of Mythe et epopie //—including the present work—with the confirmations and mediations. by attempting to prove too much." Where did I make this distressing "reduction"? Although several passages in her article suggest that she would be of some help. or to the Dumezilian warrior with his three sins. which.Herakles J. Harrison. 134 . should she not keep up with current developments? In 1981 she was still familiar only with The Destiny of the Warrior ("the book as a whole sheds more light on the figure of Herakles than the pages explicitly devoted to his three sins. as well as new problems. are not very convincing"). but since she feels obliged to pronounce sentence. added to the dossier by the legend of Sisupala. no one requires Loraux to associate herself with comparative studies for which she clearly has no taste.

1 . T h e divinities w h o oppose one a n o t h e r on the subject of Herakles and S t a r k a S r are those of the first and second functions. a n d merges with h i m . the second having lost along with his monstrousness w h a t e v e r " g i g a n t i c " elements resulted f r o m his birth. O n the other hand Sisupala. is reconciled with the " l i g h t " divinity. what might be called the isothemes. the o n e w h o lurks behind Hatherus a n d w h o benefits (or could do so) f r o m Sisupala's last gift is H o S r . at o n c e demonic a n d Sivaistic. the god at once sovereign and " d a r k " (in the sense w e h a v e given this term). w h i c h he h a s been f r o m birth. a r e not all drawn in the same w a y . the cause of which 135 . T h e largest bundle of isothemes joins on o n e side G r e e c e a n d S c a n d i n a v i a . remains the being. IQ-5i:ia-Vi§iju.V i j i j u a n d R u d r a . until the conversion that takes place at the m o m e n t of his death.S i v a do not fit into the trifunctional structure and are c o m p a r a b l e with O d i n and T h o r o n l y in other aspects. v e r y close to O d i n . 3 . while K f j o a . on the other h a n d . T h e divinity with w h o m Herakles is reconciled after his death is Hera. the wife of the sovereign Zeus.Summary In the three w o r k s w e have c o m p a r e d . at the instant of his death. Sisupala. against India on the other. or boundaries a m o n g congruences and divergences. 2 . Herakles a n d S t a r k a S r are sympathetic heroes. Neither Herakles n o r S t a r k a S r has p r o v o k e d the divinity w h o persecutes h i m : they suffer his e n m i t y . the first having n o " d e m o n i c " c o m p o n e n t . 4 .

the offer o r final gift is a m b i g u o u s : Hatherus is suspicious.Summary antedates their birth. 136 . a sort of incorrigible Indian Loki. despite the ordeals which cause t h e m — t h e decrepitude o f age a n d his remorse f r o m his third crime for S t a r k a S r . but of StarkaSr. Sisupala on the c o n t r a r y never ceases until the end to try the patience of K r j n a . still it is the hero himself w h o is interesting. rather for A t h e n a ." Annates E. In these t w o cases alone. It is Krsna-Vijou on the c o n t r a r y w h o is the main c h a r a c t e r .V i j n u . though they are felt to be present and watchful. n6voq. H o w e v e r important the activity o f the divinities w h o are in conflict o v e r Herakles and S t a r k a S r . Sisupala's death is on the c o n t r a r y the climax of a frenzied delirium. given to toil. ad Aen. 26 (1971). but o n e which is nonetheless remunerated.S. 8 . 9 .' 1 0 . f r o m o n e e n d of the story to the other w e are f o r a n d with Krsna-Vijnu. the career of the incarnate god. a n d we will never k n o w if he had reason to be. but a b o v e all f o r Herakles himself. Vidal-Naquet. In particular. and the insufferable burning which results f r o m his third crime f o r Herakles. he is certainly not f o r Hera. the episode of Frotho's children restored to virtue b y Starcatherus has n o other ' [ 1 9 7 7 ] On the variants of Philoctetes' wound. 6. O n l y the stories of Herakles a n d S t a r k a S r introduce the figure of the y o u n g m a n w h o m the hero entreats to liberate him from life—a noble a c t . in the only thing that is really important. see P. Consequently each is an educator: in S a x o . T h e general type o f Herakles and S t a r k a S r is the same: redresser of wrongs. the poisoned arrows given b y Herakles will w o u n d Philoktetes incurably. "Philoct^te et I'^phebie. In contrast. Consequently the reader comes out on the side of neither O d i n n o r T h o r . the v o l u n t a r y deaths o f Herakles a n d StarkaSr are g o o d a n d serene. 625 (Sophocles) and 630 (Servius. 7. a n d f o r A t h e n a o n ly to the extent that she helps him.402).C. w h o in fact does n o t persecute h i m . 5 . but finally punishes h i m . 3. wandering h e r o . to b e sure. 1 1 . and o n c e past the beginnings the deities fade into the b a c k g r o u n d . Sisupala being only an episodic figure.

India and S c a n d i n a v i a place i m p o r t a n c e on royal ideology. b y one of the t w o divinities concerned. S t a r k a S r has a reputation as a great skald. o n the other b y the " l o t s " annunciated. But other a c c o r d a n c e s bring together India a n d S c a n d i n a v i a in contrast t o G r e e c e . . S t a r k a S r . stressing the attitudes o f the t w o heroes toward kingship a n d providing emphatic statements o n the subject. N o t h i n g like this occurs in the long career o f Herakles. with o n e o r m o r e human sacrifices. 4 . Herakles mounts a pyre. in the saga as in S a x o . 5 . a n d . T a k i n g into account that the legend o f Jarasandha c o m pletes that o f Sisupala. o n e with c o m p o s u r e and on his o w n r e quest. the other in a giddiness of aggression. 1 2 . before their careers begin. a n d Herakles is k n o w n t o h a v e a role in the upbringing. India a n d S c a n d i n a v i a charge their heroes. T h e G r e e k legend outlines the theme in the beginning (the opposition o f Eurystheus and Herakles) but does not dwell on it. Herakles c o m m i t s his three crimes freely. like Sisupala. o f young G r e e k s . as well as protection.Summary meanir\g. T h u s : 1. has t o d o with only t w o opposing divinities ( * H 6 3 r being functionally indistinguishable f r o m O d i n ) . T h e m a n n e r o f death is the same f o r S t a r k a S r and Sisupala: e a c h has himself beheaded. 3 . Herakles the pupil o f Linos) is ancient. according t o the v a r i a n t s . a n d sometimes spectacularly s o . Herakles has n o birth defects. )a)9ap(p66<. (ivf|p. tradition attributes to h i m p o e m s on his o w n deeds a n d the mythic battle o f B r a v a l l a . Hercules Musarum. 6. T h e faults o f Sisupala a n d S t a r k a S r are f o r e o r d a i n e d : i m posed o n the o n e at birth b y his demonic nature a n d ancestry.. and al- ready o n sixth-century vases 'HpOKA-fji. the sacrifice o f o n e or m o r e kings offered o r promised t o the " d a r k " divinity w h o demands t h e m . the f o r e m o s t of the skalds. T h e association o f the Muses and Herakles (noucriKdi. b y either O d i n o r T h o r . implying criminality. undoubtedly older than the iconographic attestations and the Pythagorean speculations. the "gift of p o e t r y " has been conferred on him b y O d i n . Sisupala and S t a r k a S r a r e b o r n with monstrosities which are corrected. 2 .

m a d e possible in Greece b y the fact that the functional divinities a r e here goddesses (as in the parallel case of the legend of the shepherd Paris). in India o n e might have expected. sovereign g o d . some intervention. failure consists of a n u n w o r t h y b e t r a y a l of a w a r r i o r b o t h in the case of Herakles. but there is n o n e .Summary with n o higher judge: T h i s is natural a n d u n a v o i d a b l e in S c a n dinavia. O n the c o n t r a r y . where O d i n is the highest. a n d in S a x o m a k e s clear his contempt a n d distaste f o r " F r o . quite the c o n t r a r y . there is Zeus. w h o surprises a n d throws d o w n Iphitos instead of fighting h i m . though frustrated. while f o r S t a r k a S r it is auri sacra fames. juxtaposes c o n versely S c a n d i n a v i a a n d India). adds to the interest a n d p a t h o s of the life of Herakles. T h e third is one of sexual libido f o r each of them. while S t a r k a S r . a n d his " e f f e m i n a t e " festivals. 1. against the third function in its sensuous aspect. w h o b y stealing the horse planned as a n offering b y a king. Finally. " the Freyr of Uppsala. and separate them from S c a n d i n a v i a . 2 . the three functional failings of Sisupala a n d T h e second Herakles a r e close in kind. a b o v e Hera a n d A t h e n a w h o vie f o r Herakles. whereas f o r Stark a S r it consists of a shameful flight on the battlefield. some "plan" of B r a h m a . c o m p l e m e n t a r y to that of Sisupala. a n d a sacrificer in the case of Sisupala. w h o twice profits f r o m a king's absence to harass his t o w n o r his officers. a n d in that of Sisupala. whereas in StarkaSr's case it results f r o m a n excess of obligingness towards a g o d (it is true that on this point the legend of J a r a s a n d h a . Formally. In consequence of this first difference. strikes a b l o w at a n act of worship. w h o s e paternal c o n c e r n . w h o s e entire destiny is fixed b y O d i n and T h o r . overarching the opposition of Rudra-Siva and Vi§nu. c o n d e m n s this kind of weakness. other correspondences d r a w together India a n d G r e e c e . nonetheless carries the d a y . T h e first failing offends a g o d in the case of Herakles w h o resists the c o m m a n d of Zeus. 138 . T h i s complication of the pattern. Sisupala a n d H e r a kles (in the latter case even though A p h r o d i t e does n o t intervene as such in a career dedicated to Hera a n d A t h e n a alone) h a v e n o enmity.

in pain a n d suffering like Herakles. S t a r k a S r himself is a n O d i n i c h e r o . Helgi. V a y u .k n o w n O d i n i c heroes. pp. a b n o r mally laden with y e a r s a n d disfigured b y huge a n d irmumerable w o u n d s . a s w h a t he seems t o b e . " c o n trastable with the w e l l . winning his fame in his natural e n v i r o n m e n t . A s f o r S c a n d i n a v i a . on the o r der of the other Indo-Iranian p a t r o n of the w a r r i o r function. not " l a b o r s . in trying t o understand StarkaQr ( o r rather Starcatherus. T h e nobility o f SigurSr is spotless.t. in the w o r l d of the gods. a n d the others. intermediate between the G r e e k a n d Indie f o r m s . wanders across the w o r l d . C o m p a r i s o n of the three tales helps in defining the position of the three heroes in the varying theological f r a m e w o r k s in which they a r e included. n o d o u b t . solitary a n d forbidding. But the S c a n d i n a v i a n parallel compels us t o p a y m o r e attention to his touching relationship with Zeus. " while S t a r k a S r . in the person of Haldanus B i a r g r a m m u s .i". 139 . his father. a second-function h e r o . in 1 9 5 6 . It is elsewhere. 479-481. SigurSr. brilliant. linked to the dark aspects of this complex g o d . let us n o t e in passing. . but of a rare type (in fact he is the only example). in B o o k V I I . is a powerful argument in f a v o r of the hypothesis of a c o m m o n inheritance f r o m a n Indo-European original. H a n d s o m e . as the evidence w a s all drawn f r o m S a x o ) as a " h e r o of T h o r . well-loved. in the Gesta Danorum. . Regarding G r e e c e . should b e b o r n e in m i n d . Zeus.> i . y o u n g . . a n d at the s a m e time to emphasize the originality of G r e e c e . duplicates the hero's trying career. T h e fact that the Scandinavian f o r m of the tale is. until his tragic death SigurSr heaps up exploits. Herakles certainly continues t o appear. on the order of the Vedic Indra a n d even m o r e .Summary T h i s v a r y i n g distribution of similarities a n d differences. in terms o f this study.^ that a " h e r o of T h o r " is to b e f o u n d . in m a n y respects. desires the happiness of a son with ^ Kommentar. it is n o w clear that I w a s m i s t a k e n . and his epic transformation BhTma. A s e c o n d d r a m a . as has b e e n well s h o w n b y Paul Herrmann. while O d i n f r o m the beginning m a k e s S t a r k a S r his a c c o m p l i c e .

the epic structure w e h a v e been considering? U p to the present. Zeus. a n d whence the tale of Sisupala is derived directly. is m o r e difficult to place. in a long series of physical a n d m o r a l trials. a n d Greeks preserved. S c a n dinavians. o r rather the total elimination of the g o o d elements which f o r m e d the essence o f his p r o t o t y p e where the sins. B u t . in the ocean of the divine life. the eternal conjugal strife of inconstant Z e u s a n d his illresigned spouse. T h e Indian Sisupala. A s f o r the three functional sins of Indra in the MarkandeyaPurdna. T h e overriding fact is his c o m plete c h a n g e o v e r f r o m g o o d to evil. if n o t his unhappiness. a n artificial extension to m y t h o l o g y . a n d yet causes at first. master of the fates. the thinkers a n d artists of India h a v e m a d e of this very debasement the stuff o f a sublime " m y s t e r y " : the excess of hatred transformed at the m o m e n t of death into the fullness o f love. against his protege. destines him to a splendid kingship a m o n g m e n . but is forced to compel him into the service o f a grotesque king.Summary w h o s e begetting he has taken especial pains. with no expiatory stage. the final a p o theosis of Herakles is also the e n d — f o r the time b e i n g — o f a n o t h e r dispute. an individual d e m o n i c life losing itself. thanks to the c o n s o l a t o r y philosophy of Vigou. A n d since every sequence of tragedies must end with some less weighty d r a m a . the three sins. the a n s w e r remains negative. the risk that lies in setting his decrees into f o r m u l a e : the formula turns against his intention. after quite a few soundings. it n o w seems likely that they have to do with a secondary realization. o n e might 140 . " detached f r o m the structure of which it f o r m e d a part since Indo-European times. G i v e n the c o n s e r v a t i s m of the R o m a n s a n d the mythical origin of the a c c o u n t s f r o m which they compiled their oldest h i s t o r y . is m a d e to feel in this m o s t important case the limits of his m a s t e r y . at least his Ttdvog. at least in the f o r m in w h i c h w e k n o w his legend. Zeus. o f the epic theme of the "three sins of the w a r r i o r . were only a glaring exception. king of the gods. H a v e other Indo-European peoples besides the Indians. b y transforming it in other w a y s .

C. Celtica 12 (1977)." pp. A d d e d to it is a n o t h e r . Moling. the heroic transposition in the Mahabharata'^ o f the sky-god D y a u h Heimdallr. 464-489 ("the three failings. giving rise n o t only to deeds. the life of the errant warrior Suibhne Geilt is punctuated by two actual failings and one false accusation which leads to his death: he offends St. w h o characteristically represents the second function.S. Other versions. m e n tioned in the first v o l u m e of Mythe et epopee. recalls those which w e h a v e been studying. m . as his predecessors R o m u l u s and N u m a do the first function. 182-190." pp. the a m b i g u o u s relationship of the hero and r o y a l t y is o b v i o u s . w h o m he scorns a n d neglects. he flees from the battlefield of Magh Rath. " in the sense that he is the "first" a n d " l a s t " in time: in mythical time in the case of Heimdallr. 112-124. in c o n n e c t i o n with the g o d Heimdallr a n d Bhi§ma. is a " f r a m i n g f i g u r e . * ME I." Annales E.^ In the story of S t a r k a S r . in other Indo-European societies. But n o : Tullus t o be sure is in trouble with Jupiter. T h i s similarity between the G e r manics a n d the Indians is n o t e w o r t h y . A s f o r the numerous great warriors of the Irish legends. w h o belongs to a n earlier generation ^ [1982] This statement has been brilliantly contradicted by David J. In the Buile Suibhne. w h o is b o r n b e f o r e a n d dies after all the gods. as w e have stressed. but M a r s does n o t intervene in his life. but to theoretical discourses on the m a j e s t y o f kings. nearly o r r e m o t e l y .Summary expect to find a m o n g them a variant attached to the third king. n o n e is the subject of a tale w h i c h . pp. It is all the gods. a n d he carries m a n y a v i c t o r y . 34 (1979). rei militaris institutor. o n e founding his w h o l e career o n the divine signa. Ronan. collectively. 466-474. w h o ends b y blasting h i m . like BhT?ma. accused of adultery. "from three failings to three functions. are presently being analyzed. and M a r s does n o t contend with Jupiter f o r h i m . Tullus Hostihus. he dies a violent death in the house of St. Daniel Dubuisson has found an inportant one in the structure of the second Indian epic: see "Trois theses sur le Ramayana. Cohen. n o r f a v o r h i m against Jupiter. but not before receiving the last rites from the saint's hands. the other establishing sacra a n d leges. 474-477).S t a r c a t h e r u s and in that of Sisupala. The gathering of attestations of this theme goes on. in "historical" time in that of Bhl§ma.

a n d f r o m the children of the latter—ancestors of the jarlar—he selects a b o y to w h o m he gives individual tutoring. is not the king of the gods. but not in Irish). Janus before Jupiter. b y his right of seniority. peasants. " the Scandinavians a n d the Indians bring in royalty in order to describe its relation to what. ought to b e king: he renounces this right a n d m a k e s himself the guardian o f the dynasty. but in Irish). — o r with what actually follows it in the social o r d e r — o r . but w h o thanks to a special privilege lives through as m a n y generations a s he wishes a n d dies after them in the great transposed eschatological b a t t l e — a t least after those of them (all the " g o o d " ones save the five P a n d a v a s . maintain the same kind of relationship with r o y a l t y . e t c . a n d w h o b e c o m e s indeed the prototype of kings. t o o . in h u m a n f o r m and under the n a m e of Rigr ("king. a n d confers the n a m e of Kon-ungr ("king" in O l d Icelandic. a s T a c i t u s says. but its c o n n e c tions either with what precedes it m y t h i c a l l y — H e a v e n before the sovereign gods. save f o r the sins imposed o n them b y fate o r their nature. he ensures successively through three generations the birth of the ancestors o f the three social Estates (slaves. Both o f them. the dux next to the rex. a n d if need b e against kings. B u t . BhT^ma. Starcatherus a n d Sisupala theorize about a n d extol royal p o w e r . passes o n particularly a m a g ical knowledge. in the tales of the "first" hero a n d the "second-function h e r o . n o b l e warriors). being closest to it. could but does n o t enter into conflict with it: Heimdallr a n d BhT§ma avail themselves of their priority only to "prepare" kings.Summary than the protagonists of the Mahabharata. 142 ." not in G e r m a n i c . marrying off the princes and assuring the c o m i n g of each generation into the w o r l d . which title belongs to O d i n . a n d all the " e v i l " ones) w h o must die there. respect a n d defend it a m o n g . then the education of the king a n d his b r o t h e r s . n o t withstanding his temporal priority. in b o t h cases it is lateral aspects of kingship which are considered: not its w o r k i n g s . before. In other w o r d s . Heimdallr. W e see that in these t w o cases. a n d .

Summary Let us a v o i d premature conclusions: the c o m p a r a t i v e exploitation of legends h a s only begun. B u t let us note that the I n d o - G e r m a n i c isothemes seem t o m a r k off a n o t h e r domain than that a c c o m p a n y i n g the Indo-Celto-Italic isolexeme of the n a m e of the king (Skt. rdj-, Celt, rig-, L a t . reg-): Vi^hether in institutions o r in other kinds of epic tales ( o n e o f which is the subject o f a separate treatm e n t ) ' it is the w o r k i n g s , the c h a n c e s , a n d the internal o r external risks of kingship which m a k e f o r c o m p a r i s o n a m o n g the "*regIn a n y case it is certainly n o t b y c h a n c e that, on the o n e h a n d , the didactic section of the tale of S t a r k a S r (assuredly o l d , a n d c o n firmed b y Beowulf), that is, the scene where S t a r c a t h e r u s b y h i s e x h o r t a t i o n s transforms the m o c k king Ingellus into a real king, h a s acquired a length which seems at first inordinate; n o r that, o n the other h a n d , the story of Sisupala, with its c o m p l e m e n t , the story of J a r a s a n d h a , h a s been used b y the a u t h o r s of the Mahabharata on the o c c a s i o n of the rajasuya, o r royal c o n s e c r a t i o n , of Y u d h i j f h i r a , these t w o heroes constituting the t w o obstacles to this c o n s e c r a tion, o n e a s rival, the other a s o b j e c t o r . P e r h a p s it is even thanks to its c o n n e c t i o n with royal rituals that this material in b o t h instances has been preserved since prehistory. O u r final c o m m e n t will b e to emphasize that a n e w e x a m p l e of " I n d o - E u r o p e a n literature," specifically Indo-European epic literature, h a s c o m e t o be added to a n already well-stocked file: it is i m possible to believe that t h e three tales w e h a v e considered were c o m p o s e d independently, starting simply f r o m the s a m e preserved Indo-European " i d e o l o g y , " a n d that their continued similarity is the result of s e c o n d a r y c o n v e r g e n c e . It is a b o v e all the S c a n d i n a v i a n tradition which h a s m a d e this result possible, reminding us that this same tradition, c o m p a r e d with those of several other Indo-European peoples, a n d especially
= The Destiny of a King (1973).

societies."

143

Summary the Indie b r a n e h , has enabled us to glimpse a n u m b e r of aneient epie-mythieal tales. W e n o w k n o w of a " w o r l d d r a m a " (the death of Baldr a n d R a g n a r o k and the central plot o f the Mahabharata),^ as well as the " h i s t o r y " o f the f o r m a t i o n of a w h o l e soeiety b y the w a r a n d subsequent reeonciliation o f the representatives of the first two functions with those of the third ( y ^ s i r and V a n i r ; P r o t o R o m a n s and Sabines; devas and A s v i n s ) / with the latter extending to the creation and dismemberment of the monster Drunkenness (Kvasir, M a d a ) . ' A n d a m o n g other m o r e properly epic stories, there is the o n e whose existence Stig W i k a n d e r established b y j u x taposing the antecedents, circumstances, a n d episodes of the S c a n dinavian battle of Bravellir (Bravalla) with a series of precise a n d important features in the Indie battle of K u r u k j e t r a , features o f which the central plot o f the M a h a b h a r a t a gives n o a c c o u n t . '
* ME I, pp. 208-240. ''Archaic Romarj Religion (1970), pp. 6 6 - 7 3 ; ME I, pp. 288-290. "Loki (Paris, 1948), pp. 97-106 (German edition [1959], pp. 67-74). ' See "Frin Brivalla till Kurukshetra," Arkiv for Nordisk Filologi 74 (1960), 183-193; cf. ME I, pp. 255-257.

144

Appendix Excerpts from the "Mythology of the Hindus" by the Canoness de Polier
In the interest o f rescuing f r o m oblivion the " M y t h o l o g y o f the H i n d u s , " ' I reproduce the pages containing the description of the deaths of Jarasandha^ a n d of Sisupala.' N o doubt the reader will prefer to see f o r himself the changes the legends have undergone in this first presentation of the Mahabharata in a Western language.

1.

JARASANDHA

[Yudhijthira has just informed Kr?na that h e intends t o celeb r a t e a rajasuya a n d that he needs his help to fulfil the difficult conditions o f this undertaking.] " W h a t then," asked M r . de Polier, "is this R a i s o o - y u c [ = raja-

suya]!"
" T h i s c e r e m o n y , " answered the teacher [ R a m t c h u n d , Poller's instructor], "also called the festival of the R a j a h s , could b e celebrated o n l y b y a ruler w h o h a d vanquished and subdued all the
' A b o v e , p. 81, n. 4. 'ViU ^ I, 603-614; cf. above, pp. 97-107. ' I, 614-619; cf. above, chap. 11.

145

animated b y a prophetic spirit. and w h a t e v e r trust he has hitherto placed in his strength. it will be necessary to f o r c e him into it. Nevertheless he is preparing his c e r e m o n y in the firm belief that with y o u r powerful aid his undertaking will have a happy o u t c o m e . t o o proud to accept the invitation of the head of the P a n d o s . do y o u think. although he had been reestablished in p o w e r .But although the son of Basdaio [ V a s u d e v a ] . w h o have claimed m y protection. 'have begun the preparations f o r the R a i s o o .y u c o n l y in the belief that I would help them. T h u s he answered. could never h a v e brought it to pass without the aid of Chrisnen [Kr§nal. he still wished to appear to take counsel.Appendix o t h e r sovereigns of the w o r l d . that by yielding to the wish of m y cousins these two objects might be achieved?' O u d h o . and thus the t w o objectives which concern y o u will be a c h i e v e d .y u c . T h e r e f o r e . ' T h e difficulties to be encountered in the celebration of the R a i s o o .y u c cannot have escaped the insight of s o wise a prince as Judister. to be gathered together at the residence of the one w h o held the R a i s o o . the second of the P a n d o s . O u d h o . knew the intentions of the head of the Yadus [ Y a d a v a s ] . ' he told h i m . ' " 146 . and since it is time f o r the R a j a h s held in chains. It was necessary for all the R a j a h s of the universe. the yuc [yajna 'sacrifice'] a n n o u n c e d by Judister will be the occasion of his punishment because. and in his invulnerability. will inevitably defeat him. b y reading these letters of his proteges. he has certainly realized that b y his forces alone he could not subdue the R a j a h s of the four quarters of the universe. 'Since the P a n d o s [ P a n d a v a s ] . willingly or by f o r c e . he asked him f o r his advice. which surpasses that of ten thousand elephants. to be delivered. his equal in every respect. as the time has c o m e to rescue the captives w h o groan under the chains of Jerashind [Jarasandha]. supported b y y o u . O Chrisnen. A n d this c e r e m o n y had so m a n y requirements that Judister [Yudhi?thira]. I advise you to accede to his invitation. T h u s . I foresee nevertheless that Bhim [ B h I m a ] . the more so because. already k n e w what he had to d o . calling u p o n O u d h o [ U d d h a v a ] .

. o r B a l a r a m a . " answered the teacher. all the Y a d u s applauded the advice that he gave to Basdaio's son. being y o u n g e r than Judister. k n e w the decrees of fate. he sprinkled his hands with the tears of j o y that he w a s m a d e to shed b y the f a v o r that the A v a t a r [Kf?^ia. w h o preceded a large a n d brilliant procession. the incarnation of Vi§nu] had granted h i m . where he f o u n d the R a j a h Judister advancing to meet h i m . and that he could be killed only by B h i m and at a time w h e n h e . . a l w a y s insisted on tendering him the respect due his age. crowns and all sorts of a r m s . as a divine being. this R a j a h hastened to anticipate h i m . Chrisnen. a n d on the following day m a d e his departure with great p o m p and magnificence. finishing with the amenities w h i c h he customarily s h o w e d to the Rishis. " b u t Chrisnen. and choirs of instrumental a n d vocal music. inspired as he w a s . a n d then. A n d O u d h o . M u n i s and B r a h m i n s . 147 . charged with a n n o u n c i n g to the R a j a h s held captive b y Jerashind that he w a s c o m i n g to their aid.Appendix " B u t w h y . Crossing in this w a y the m o d e r n kingdom of Soorethe [ S u r a ? t r a ] . w a s present. a c c o m p a n i e d b y M u n i s . he k n e w the date set f o r Jerashind's death. the capital of Judister's c o u n t r y . A n d so the latter ordered preparations to be m a d e immediately. Messengers preceded Chrisnen. w h o also k n e w these facts. Kfsija's b r o t h e r ] f r o m killing h i m . a c c o m p a n i e d b y the noblest chiefs of his tribe a n d a large corps of troops. he c a m e u p o n the borders of M e e v a t [ M e e r a t h ? ] . B e that as it m a y . could predict the o u t c o m e with c e r t a i n t y . de Polier. . and followed b y a multitude of elephants a n d c a m e l s carrying the baggage. but he even prevented Bulhader [ B a l a d e v a . and a n u m b e r of chariots laden with thrones. he went on with them to Aindraprest [Indraprastha] or Delhi. B r a h m i n s . a n d falling d o w n at his feet. A l t h o u g h the son of Basdaio. Chrisnen raised h i m ^nd e m b r a c e d h i m . a n d gave a most kindly w e l c o m e to his four other cousins. " asked M r . " h a d Chrisnen spared Jerashind until then? C o u l d he not have taken his life as he had so m a n y others?" " O f course he c o u l d . this is w h y n o t o n l y did he not kill him himself.

Bhim and A r j o o n call upon him in the guise 148 . he felt himself already raised to the heavens and c a p a b l e of a n y undertaking. he alone could not be subdued. T h u s . 'I h a v e a l w a y s been of the opinion. But Jerashind had w i t h s t o o d them. 'that Jerashind c a n n o t b e c o n q u e r e d as o t h e r R a j a h s . Schecdaio [ S a h a d e v a ] to the south.' said he. and N a k u l [Nakula] to the east. but at present it is necessary to see about assembling here the m o n a r c h s and warriors of the four corners of the w o r l d . made k n o w n to Chrisnen all the anguish which the thought produced in h i m . requested it with faith and humility. divinities]. Judister. let Chrisnen.' Judister's words seemed to please the A v a t a r . feeling the need which they had for divine assistance. T h e r e f o r e let Bhim go to the west. the head of the P a n d o s c o n v e n e d an assembly of the four castes. followed b y all the rulers w h o m they h a d defeated. yet he believed that those w h o .Appendix A few days after Chrisnen's arrival. they s o o n returned. He assured him that his trust w o u l d not be disappointed and that the c r e a t o r of the universe w o u l d accord him his protection.y u c . 'that y o u have already prepared the things necessary f o r the sacrifice. although he k n e w that in the eyes of the c r e a t o r of the universe all men were equal in w o r t h . to bring them to Aindraprest. began to speak. he told him 'that b y his arrival in Aindraprest. 'I see.' he added. awaiting their return. O u d h o . that. that in daring to c o n c e i v e the grand design of celebrating the R a i s o o . w o u l d h a v e the g o o d fortune of o b t a i n i n g it. Addressing himself to Chrisnen. attended b y the most celebrated B r a h m i n s . and bringing with them an e n o r m o u s b o o t y and w e a l t h . A s for y o u . dismayed and seeing in this the ruination of his w h o l e plan. w h o s e v a l o r sets them a b o v e all the D e i o t a s [devatds. w h o was present at the c o n v e r sation of the t w o cousins. and it is for y o u r four brothers. T o draw him into a single c o m b a t o n e must use strategy. he h a d relied on the constant affection which the son of Basdaio had always deigned to b e s t o w u p o n the P a n d o s . put all in readiness t o begin your y u c ' T h e victories of the four P a n d o s being as rapid as w a s their travel. A r j o o n [Arjuna] to the n o r t h . w h o w a s presiding. Judister.

but o f obtaining everything they might a s k of h i m . that these three strangers were n o B r a h m i n s . b y their speech and b y the distinguishing m a r k s of Kattris [k^atriyas]. all perishes in this w o r l d .Appendix of Z e n n a d a r s [astrologers]. but the n a m e of a free-spending m a n will live f o r e v e r . a n d saving yourself in the sea. w h o is stronger. o r single c o m b a t . w h a t d o y o u wish o f m e ? W h a t e v e r y o u ask of m e . learn t o o that here is B h i m . w h o m I have often put to flight. 'I admire the insolence of this churl. I grant a s a m g r a m . de Polier. this thought will have n o more influence upon m e than the arguments o f S o u c k e r [Sukra] upon B a l y [ B a l i ] . " O u d h o assured them that this renown l a y so close t o his heart that. and w h o . 149 . ' he added. B h i m . " " A l s o . adding 'Since y o u k n o w that w e a r e not B r a h m i n s .' A t these w o r d s Jerashind turned t o his courtiers and smiled c o n t e m p t u o u s l y . exclaiming. A r j o o n is t o o y o u n g and delicate. "since he had expropriated the wealth of 2 0 . but where will y o u hide now? A n d y e t . t o o h a p p y to save his life. is the o n l y o n e o f y o u w o r t h y of attempting it. is the p r i m a r y duty of a ruler. y o u shall not leave here w i t h o u t o b taining it. T h e y were introduced to the R a j a h . Let h i m b e given other clothing. A r j o o n his b r o t h e r . n o doubt he does not pretend t o the h o n o r o f fighting with me. Despite this he w e l c o m e d them as such. the second o f the P a n d o s . if he h a s the courage. still dares t o p r o v o k e m e into a n o t h e r b a t t l e . ' O B r a h m i n s . a n d I their cousin. 8 0 0 R a j a s . S o speak fearlessly!' Chrisnen then stepped f o r w a r d a n d requested a s a m g r a m [sarfigrdma]. " interrupted M r . he says. f r o m the smallest gift t o that of a k i n g d o m . I accept. " the teacher went o n . b y introducir\g themselves to him as p o o r B r a h m i n s . w h o knew as s o o n as he s a w t h e m . they would be sure not only o f being a d mitted. Chrisnen approved of O u d h o ' s advice. and the three cousins. V e r y well. ' " " H e could afford to b e . in the dress of Z e n n a d a r s . 'it is t o o l o a t h s o m e f o r m e t o d o battle with a mortal w h o m I h a v e already defeated. a n d though I a m c o n v i n c e d that y o u are n o Z e n n a d a r s . b e t o o k themselves to M o g a h [ M a g a d h a ] . Y o u have escaped m y hand only b y abandoning M a t h r a [the town o f M a thura]. and said to them. H e fias n o equal in generosity: o p e n handedness.

Chrisnen. h a d not taken the least hurt. replying t o B h i m b y signs even m o r e expressive than his o w n . Filled with a n e w vigor. Before beginning. a s Chrisnen h a d torn the b l a d e of g r a s s . their clubs striking each other with such violence that the vault of heaven reverberated with the s o u n d they m a d e . Jerashind had o n e brought t o h i m . T h e n . ' Bhim chose a c l u b . T h e clubs were soon b r o k e n to splinters. surrounded b y the R a j a h ' s troops and a multitude o f o n l o o k e r s . o r reverence. getting up a n d plucking a blade o f grass. he w o u l d gladly give up this battle. b e c a m e pale with fright. in the evening the three cousins and Jerashind ate together a n d slept under the s a m e r o o f . showing B h i m h o w on the next d a y he should split the b o d y o f his a d v e r s a r y . t o o k o n e of his legs in each hand a n d split his b o d y to the top of his head. understanding his divine p r o t e c t o r . a n d they h a d t o t a k e recourse t o spears. he threw Jerashind t o the ground. a n d the t w o c h a m p i o n s . a mere s p e c t a t o r . and the event began.Appendix and c h o o s e arms which he c a n u s e . again with such an even skill that o n e might have thought they h a d h a d the same master in the art o f fighting. that is due G o d . f o r this fight w a s beginning to exceed his strength a n d his ribs were b r o k e n a n d bruised f r o m the blows he was receiving. a n d b e f o r e he could r e c o v e r . followed b y Chrisnen a n d A r j o o n . Arjoon. W i t h all these a r m s reduced to pieces. while he. He added that a s f o r himself. T h e r e u p o n he a d v a n c e d against B h i m . A f t e r battling in this w a y f o r the entire d a y without the least advantage o n either side. the t w o c o m b a t a n t s resorted to fisticuffs. Bhim. " 150 . T w e n t y . then he kissed his o w n h a n d . on beginning the battle the next d a y . Jerashind addressed to himself the N e m e s k a r [namaskdra]. reproached h i m f o r his discouragement a n d lack of faith just when success w a s in his grasp. h e t o o k it b y the stem a n d tore it f r o m b o t t o m t o t o p . went t o the battleground. a n d to axes. to swords. were it n o t f o r the s h a m e of admitting he w a s b e a t e n . when B h i m gave a signal t o Chrisnen that h e believed he w a s exposed t o t o o m u c h danger.s e v e n days h a d already passed in this m a n ner. but Chrisnen. understanding the silent words o f his b r o t h e r . suddenly felt his strength renewed.

T h e lords of the C o r o s Durdjohn M h a d a i o [ B r a h m a . the D e i o t a s threw flowers at h i m . in the eyes of m o r t a l s it w a s he w h o received the h o n o r of the v i c t o r y . k n e w the o n l y w a y in which he c o u l d b e slain. Ainder [ I n d r a ] . He understood that Chrisnen's sign had ndicated it to B h i m . M a h a d e v a or S i v a ] . "Jerashind. until then s o equal in strength. But as it w a s Bhim w h o w a s the instrument which he used. Birmah. while the people and the a r m y .y u c celebrated b y King he lord of the seas. but a few sages. the vessels and the raiments f o r the sacrifice. T h i s knowledge m a d e his b l o o d freeze in his veins. ll of a sudden b e c a m e so inferior?" asked M r . udister w a s a b o u t to celebrate. a n d b y King Baren [ V a r u n a ] . " replied the eacher. the rite began with a sacrifice. weakening him to the point of a m a n in his last m o m e n t s . he a n d the R a j a h s of the world were gathered. de P o l i e r . /i^. 151 . T h e n . All m a n k i n d w a s in astonishment and a d m i r a t i o n at the profusion of gold a n d riches used in the or- n a m e n t s . T h u s all the credit for his defeat rests solely with the divine A v a t a r .Appendix " B u t h o w w a s it that Jerashind.-. understood the reason w h y it surpassed those which had been seen b e f o r e . the lord of h e a v e n . during the ceremonies assigned. n o one had ever seen the like of that w h i c h . Chrisnen and A r j o o n applauded. k n o w i n g his h o r o s c o p e . SISUPXLA J ' " W i t h everything ready. and ordered him to release his father's captives. " A c c o r d i n g to the explanations of the B r a h m i n s . For save f o r the t w o R a i s o o . stood motionless. a n d [Duryodhana] himself had come there. K a u r a v a s ] .. a c c o m o o k o n c e again the r o a d to Aindraprest where all the B r a h m i n s Kurus. seeing Chrisnen presiding over this festival. all the celestial hierarchies with their heads. the birds and animals of every species were gathered there. overeign w h o m they had believed invincible. panied b y the new R a j a h of M o g a h and this brilliant e n t o u r a g e . Dirtratch [ D h r t a r a s f r a ] . and the various offices to b e fulfilled : ii. astounded at the death of their T h e son of B a s d a i o lost n o time in crowning Jerashind's son king. " V 2. Biskum [BhT?ma].

Appendix Judister. a n d while p r o n o u n c i n g the n a m e of N a r r e y e [ N a r a y a n a ] . A s f o r m e . with this preliminary act accomplished. precious chains and all the paraphernalia of the p u j a .' Chrisnen. dressed in a splendid tunic. and the pious men said their prayers. then S c h e c d a i o . just as in watering the root of a tree o n e gives life to the smallest of its leaves. the m a j o r i t y of the assembly applauded w h a t he had just said. 'there can be n o doubt in this respect. the speaker continued. but Chrisnen restrained h i m . 'I shall a l w a y s worship only him. offers the o b l a t i o n . in his oneness he is all. the earth and all the creatures are the b o d y of which he alone is the soul and the spirit. as the V e d s [Vedas] say expressly that an o b l a t i o n presented to him has the s a m e virtue as a sacrifice offered to all the D e i o t a s . before c o m m e n c i n g the individual pujas [non-sanguinary offerings]. 'is the c r e a t o r . the first puja should be addressed to h i m . several prideful R a j a h s grumbling at the preeminence accorded to 152 . Nevertheless. But while the lord of the P a n d o s w a s b u s y with these holy offices. placiAg a golden c o r d in the hands of the Z e n n a d a r s .' Full of his subject. after w h i c h . with the smile expressing the gratitude w h i c h . asking them to decide the important question of w h o . and Judister. Judister addresses the heads of his family. the fourth of the P a n dos. ' S c h e c d a i o added. also regards him as the p r i m a r y object of his love and his offering. f o r . the destroyer of the universe. the preserver. advances t o w a r d the altar. should h a v e the h o n o r of the first of these sacrifices? N o one answers. h e goes o n . his glances turn t o w a r d Chrisnen. gems. washed the feet of Chrisnen a n d poured this s a m e water o v e r his h e a d and his eyes. setting b e f o r e him the splendid raiments. and since Chrisnen is in this assembly. in this august c e r e m o n y . attributing all the success of his undertaking to the presence of his divine p r o t e c t o r . he was a b o u t t o continue his discourse. which m e a n s spirit o r divine breath. satisfied of the decision which he had wished f o r . he set a b o u t the beginning of it b y prostrating himself at the feet of his divine p r o t e c t o r . a loud m u r m u r arose in the a s e m b l y . arises a n d observes in a modest and respectful t o n e that in a s k ing this question his elder b r o t h e r already k n o w s its answer. holding in his o w n the Cusa [kusa] o r sacred grass. the Deiotas intoned the h y m n s to B h a g a v a t .

that they shall never w e a r the diadem. he w o u l d tolerate f r o m h i m o n e hundred m o r e insults. More incensed than the rest. with rage in his heart and fury in his eyes. and even criminal to listen to his b l a s p h e m y . u n w o r t h y of themselves. in view of the c i r c u m stances. and the outrageous claims he showered u p o n Chrisnen. s t o o d out because of his anger. T h e resentment which he h a r b o r e d m a d e this new triumph of his rival insufferable to h i m . that n o n o b l e r a n k can be accorded to that c o n t e m p t ible creature w h o deserted M a t h r a to seek a refuge in the middle of the sea. filled with t h e noblest individuals. the m o s t learned Z e n n a d a r s . Souspal [Sisupala]. f o r b a d e the P a n d o s all physical recourse. and his only wish w a s to avenge himself. Rising f r o m his place. the nobility of Chrisnen that he merits this preeminence in such an august assembly. he interrupted the celebration of the p u j a : ' H o w . the lowest of w h o m is m o r e qualified than he? D o y o u not k n o w . to establish there a den of bandits scattered a n d fled f r o m all corners of the earth. told h i m that. Yet his insolence grew to the point where several members of the assembly. at w h o s e head he claims to launch a new religion?' T h e audacity with which Souspal disturbed the majestic cerem o n y . far f r o m .Appendix the son of Basdaio. But Basdaio's son stilled them b y his signals and prevented them f r o m interrupting his e n e m y . ' he cried out a r r o g a n t l y . began to agitate the spectators. T h u s everything f o r e b o d e d a scene of confusion a n d h o r r o r w h i c h b y interrupting the sacrifice w o u l d h a v e prevented the celebration of the R a i s o o . 'how c a n the B r a h m i n s tolerate such abuse? W h a t then are the titles. R a j a h of Chanderi. with the warning that when this n u m b e r was exhausted he would punish h i m himself.y u c itself. n o w intervening m o r e directly. ' he continued. ordering them to prevent all that might precipitate it. w h o f o r his part w a s getting ready to fight. while B h i m and his brothers l o o k e d for their w e a p o n s in order to punish Souspal. left the enclosure where he w a s speaking. But Chrisnen. 'that the Y a d u s are accursed. the station. unable to suffer it any longer and finding it indecent. and addressing Souspal. T h i s m a g n a n i m i t y of Basdaio's son. He had never forgotten the a b d u c t i o n of R o u k m a n i [RukmiijI] and his shameful defeat.

de Polier. and he quickly exceeded the prescribed limit. incited him all the m o r e . T h e i r second incarnation w a s in the bodies of R a v e n [ R a v a n a ] and K u n t c h b e c k a r e n [ K u m b h a k a r n a ] . demons] w h o were b r o t h e r s . T h e n Chrisnen. while the servants and troups of Souspal fled in the greatest disorder. that necessitated the incarnation of R a m t c h u n d [ R a m a ] . D y i n g directly at the h a n d of the A v a t a r . A n d finally. after which it entered at last into the m o u t h of the A v a t a r . in the third.Appendix stopping the prideful R a j a h . " t h e soul of the R a j a h . w h o occasioned t w o a v a t a r s o r incarnations of V i j i j u . giving free reign to his righteousness. in w h i c h they finished the term of their transmigrations. they fought against the incarnation of Vi?riu [as Kf§i:ia] and were freed b y him f r o m the bodies of Souspal and his brother D e n t h e b e k . " w a s one of the m a n i festations of those doorkeepers condemned b y the curse of the Rishis to be reincarnated three times on e a r t h ? " "Precisely. threw at him his ring Sudarsun [Sudarsana. w h a t w a s this f l a m e ? " asked M r . " W e h a v e seen them reincarnated in the bodies of Herncashup [Hiranyakasipu] a n d H e m a c h u s [Hiraiiiyak^a]. de Polier."said the teacher. " replied M r . the discus of Vignu]. f r o m which issued a f l a m e w h i c h seemed f o r a few m o m e n t s to hover in the air." 154 . "It w a s . it received his grace and w a s freed f r o m reincarnations to return to B a i k u n t [ V a i k u p f h a ." " T h e n S o u s p a l . teacher.l i o n . Vi?nu's paradise] and take the place it h a d held as the doorkeeper of Vi?iju. t w o Daints [daityas." " T e l l m e then. w h i c h at one s t r o k e cut off his head. o n e as a wild b o a r and the other as a m a n . " answered the teacher.

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