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

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

R o m a n " h i s t o r y . Georges Dumezil's three-volume opus Mythe 1 9 7 1 . 2 6 1 ) : " . . 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 . " This leaves in the main only the m o n u m e n t a l first v o l u m e . 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. " as a future a g e n d u m . . . " W i t h the presentation below of "L'enjeu du jeu des dieux. 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 . un h e r o s . D u m e zil's s u m m a on the Mahabharata. A start was made with The Destiny of a King (University of C h i c a g o Press. . 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 . " the Ossetic epic. . .Editors Preface et epopee (1968. U d o Strutynski. covering the last third of ME II. T h e editor of the latter. for better or worse. 1973) has b e c o m e . a kind of q u a r r y . anticipated the present undertaking by formulating a desideratum as follows (p. by the University of 1 9 7 3 ) . all but the central third of ME II (concerning the Indie sorcerer K a v y a Usanas.s a x o n . subject to piecemeal extractions into the English language. and "epica m i n o r a . " introduced b y a critical essay. Subsequently the bulk of ME III has been m a d e available as Camillus California Press ( 1 9 8 0 ) .

A . h o w e v e r . 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. v a n Buitenen's C h i c a g o translation ( 1 9 7 3 .4 0 2 .) . appendix II ( p p . with n o or insignificant variations. 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 . where the t w o editions run parallel. with . 1 9 3 5 ) . given the available renderings b y both Elton the translation of C . O f the appendices to ME II.3 8 8 ) have been included.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. 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. W h e n e v e r the latter occurs in extensive q u o t a t i o n s . 3 9 2 . 3 8 1 . the Calcutta passages are translated directly f r o m the Sanskrit. 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. H . as well as all quoted passages f r o m O l d Icelandic. For the Mahabharata Dumezil uses interchangeably the C a l cutta and P o o n a editions. B . but in cases of significant divergence or i n a c c u r a c y . except that the Latin f o r m s of proper names h a v e been retained. O l d f a t h e r (Loeb Classical Library. are of the translator's and editor's m a k i n g and based directly on the original. the English version given is normally that of J . torrent of invective against Ingellus) is unnecessary in English. T h e renderings of certain of S a x o ' s quoted Latin p o e m s . and the same is true in glossing all short snatches of S a n skrit in the running text.

a l o n e .' and his noun svadha. T r i t a A p t y a v s . unique. T h u s Indra. c o w a r d l y / u n w a r r i o r l i k e .' his a v y a y l b h a v a adverb vasam. 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 ) . 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 . Curiatii. m o r e specifically the c o m b i n e d "third v s .' 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. 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. triple" and killing-of-kin themes (Horatii v s . 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. sodalis. 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. ' T h e latter's cognate relationship with Latin Indra's yathalaw.Editor's W i t h Aspects malheur du guerrier de la fonction = Introduction guerriere chez les Indo-europeens et ( 1 9 5 6 . Trisiras) a n d the episode of the treacherous ally ( N a m u c i . 'one's own a u t o n o m y . Quirinus-Ops) and w h o m he slays in the end b y cruel and unusual. spared censure in Vedic h y m n s f o r f IX . thus " s i n f u l " m e a n s . 'as one wills. b o t h a society's external defender and its potential internal m e n a c e . Mettius) o v e r w h o m the hero prevails w i t h the aid of succorous deities (SarasvatT-Asvins. as exemplified b y epithet eka-. and venal/adulterous acts respectively. ' m e m b e r of a secret society.

" 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. and Puranic texts. Y i m a and Indra h a v e been excluded from the dossier. Sisupala. 1 0 3 . uncharacteristic c o w a r d i c e in battle. 9 4 . 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 . received further substantiation in Mythe epopee et II (1971) and III (1973). B h l m a + j u n a . and sexual possession of A h a l y a in the disguise of her husband G a u t a m a . the former without explanation in loco.1 3 2 = the present b o o k . and K r s a s p a .9 5 = Destiny of the Warrior p p . attractively presented. 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. and Nakula + S a h a d e v a ) . T h i s w o r k . In Heur et malheur p p . 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 .1 0 4 Yima's n o n . pp. a w o r k which m a k e s the earlier study seem a superficial sketch. rupam) V a y u ) .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. might. and the N a s a t y a ( = {tejas. which are transferred to D h a r m a . T h r a e t a o n a . whereas n o w ( M E //. p p . 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 . 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 ) . 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. and looks balam. has his antisocial proclivities fully aired in B r a h m a n i c . a n d full of intriguing parallelisms.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. Epic. engendering the M a h a b h a r a t a heroes Yudhi?thira. 1 3 . closely reasoned. and Herakles in ME II. 3 5 6 - . ruseful defenestration of Iphitus.

giving their due also to O l d Icelandic sources for S t a r k a 5 r (especially the Gautrekssaga). 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 . despite its late attestation. 1 1 0 . outweigh the single theme of the three sins.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 . remains as before s o m e w h a t sketchy and inconclusive. " 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 . 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. the whole is triptych.Editor's Introduction 358 = The Destiny of a King p p . 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 .E u r o p e a n inheritance.I n d i c one an almost nonexistent third. 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. and the G r e e k . artificial mythological extension of the epic theme of the three sins (see b e l o w .5 . 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 . 4 . 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.G r e e k isotheme bundle constitutes the strongest axis. Indie. 140) which latter Dumezil finds rather tucked a w a y in the figures of Sisupala + Jarasandha in the Mahabharata. Herakles is " n o r m a l " f o r the simple reason XI . pp. H e r a . Dumezil nevertheless triangulates the S c a n d i n a v i a n . charged rather with a single (albeit triply c o m partmentalized). Philoktetes). T h u s the Starcatherus s t o r y . 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 .A t h e n a ) to their quasiself-immolational death using the services of a y o u n g assistant (Hatherus.l n d i c one a clear s e c o n d . T h e Herakles part. however. R a t h e r than a triangle. with S c a n dinavia as centerpiece and India and G r e e c e as side panels. 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 . 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 .T h o r .

c a n b e explained as a G r e e k i n n o v a t i o n . Dumezil is naturally p r o n e to applying the trifunctional . with O l y m p i a n household tensions replacing inherited Indo-European antagonisms. A t h e n a with O d y s seus).S i v a . 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). 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 .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. R a t h e r than undergo decapitation in the m a n n e r of Starcatherus o r Sisupala. face to face with Kr?ria. T h i s feature. apart f r o m his strained service to Eurystheus. Herakles is the victim/ beneficiary of the attentions o f t w o female deities. and here.w o r s h i p in Viking S c a n d i n a v i a . Hera and A t h e n a . 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). t o o . an a v a t a r o f Vi§nu. t o o . Since Indo-European structures are involved in this epic plot. 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). in c o n f o r m i t y with the classical heroic pattern. 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 . Herakles has a mysterious apotheosis b y fire on a m o u n t a i n . Zeus is in such cases a b o v e the f r a y . 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 . Herakles is n o t a b l y discrepant. Unlike Starcatherus buffeted in the tension-field between O d i n and T h o r . K y k l o p e s ) . n o r the V a i ? n a v a / S a i v a split of Hinduism.b o r n daughter. Herakles has n o similar extreme proclivities. g. h u m a n replica o f R u d r a .. neither sectarian oppositions between Odin-cult 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 . 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.

of that non-basic differentation. V i j n u ) deities is set up. p. Rudra) and "light" ( T h o r . 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 . we should clear the b o a r d s also xiU . 132). since it cuts across such stalwarts of trifunctionality as O d i n and T h o r . p.Editor's Introduction analysis and to extrapolating from such typecasting. A r j u n a v s . extrafunctional opposition of " d a r k " ( O d i n . 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 . 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. " b r u t e " w a r r i o r (Indra vs. 8 6 ) . Herakles. e . Achilles vs. T h u s a different. 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 . cf. V a y u . " as are Hera and A t h e n a respectively. Dumezil realizes that this " d a r k " : "light" opposition lies at the heart of the antagonisms that victimize the hero. and Rudrfiylas = M a r u t s are clearly warrior deities). T h u s O d i n is essentially of the "first f u n c t i o n . He is also quite willing to admit further complexity in O d i n . In short. 9 ] . e. g. Rudras. "culture g o d " opposition between deities of the w a r r i o r class. 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 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. V a s u s . with the " d a r k " : "light" opposition basic to the inner tensions of that class. while Rudra and V i j n u are not " f u n c t i o n a l l y integrated" (still. 1 2 8 . It (Desp. BhTma. S u c h distinctions as the " c h i v a l r o u s " v s . 5 9 ) . leaving this dn:op(a for others to solve (see b e low.. and yet he is unable to find any trace of it in Hera : A t h e n a . 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. a " s o l i t a r y " c h a m p i o n . chiefly on the basis of the anecdotal Judgment of Paris. 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 . . For " d a r k " and "light" I would rather substitute a " d e m o n i c " v s . " T h o r " s e c o n d f u n c t i o n .

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. Rudra with his three eyes and four a r m s . w h o after all married the Furrow. but Vi§nu is a g o o d candidate for the "culture g o d " type. 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. and whose story is h o m o l o g o u s to the Indra-myths of the V e d a . not only in his Krsrta-avatar but also in that of R a m a . T h o r cutting b a c k on giants." 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.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. T r i t a A p t y a being " w a t e r y " in his very c l a n . T h e warrior hero is thus s o m e h o w genetically and inherently demonic. is typically a strong-arm/ foot god second only to T h o r himself.H 6 3 r (name of both the hero's y o u n g deliverer from life and the fate-god himself. Hera born of T i t a n s . 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 . A t h e n a nurturing both plants [olive] and the young [Erikhthonios]). one-eyed O d i n born of the giantess Bestla and riding an eight-legged horse. Vi3ar. 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. close to O d i n ) . S i t a . Kf^na relies on m o r e miraculous instant normalization of xiv . T h e hero has definite onomastic associations with this kind of deity: Sisupala echoing (Rudra) Pasupati. V a y u m a y well originally belong on the " w i l d " side. a kind of nature : culture tension in which the warrior is caught up. 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 . 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. T h o r performs on S t a r k a 3 r a rough form of plastic surgery. as he forces apart and shatters the j a w s of the wolf Fenrir w h o has devoured O d i n . and Herakles meaning "possessing Hera's KX^O?. V i j n u ' s Norse parallel.n a m e .

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

on the other h a n d .M o l i n g . R o n a n . Herakles). Daimin three Irish kings w h o D a m a r g a i t w h o never hassled the church. 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 . M o l i n g on an accusation—albeit f a l s e — o f adultery. D a v i d J . 141) Perhaps most that "of the 1 2 . S t a r k a S r . 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.Editor's Introduction has tabulated w h a t he considers the "three sins of R a m a " (unethical slaying of Valin. which details S t . n o n e is the subject of a tale which even remotely recalls those that have been studied" (viz. 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 . 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. the mercenary murder of King O l o in return f o r gold. clearly occupies the "culture g o d " slot. 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. namely. p. C o h e n also finds an inverted variant of the theme of the "three sins" in the Borama Laigen. 1 1 3 . b r a h m a n i c i d a j killing of R a v a n a . XVl . repudiation of Slta). a c c o m p a n i e d b y last rites administered b y S t .1 2 4 [1977]) has numerous great warriors of Irish sagas. Ailill w h o in the nick of time had thought better of fleeing f r o m battle. and his violent death in the house of S t . in line with S c a n d i n a v i a and Greece rather than India. 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. C o h e n {Celtica challenged Dumezil's claim (see b e l o w . interesting of all. the church-builder and " c o n s t r u c t i v e " figure in association with kings. 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. 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 . C o l u m b ' s description of had g o n e to heaven. Here R o n a n . Sisupala.

and Joseph C a m p b e l l . O t t o Rai\k. 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 .t y p o l o g y . 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.Editor's Introduction T h a n k s to Dumezil we are on the tracks of a truly IndoEuropean h e r o . xvii .

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

but which o n e would like t o b a c k up here with an epic version. 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. 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 . A n d yet. and that each of the three societies has made use of it independently and in an original m a n n e r . as matters stand. in their beginnings. the c o m p a r a t i v e dossier was s o m e w h a t unbalanced. the theme of the three sins. the t w o antagonistic divinities w h o set or enjoin their fates. the valuable Markandeya-Purana to be sure.k n o w n n o t i o n ever since Vedic prose literature. T h u s one could glimpse the main features of a c o m m o n plot. between S t a r k a S r . as righters of wrongs wandering throughout the w o r l d . those of S t a r k a S r and of Herakles are epic. where the three sins were merely one correspondence a m o n g others. or at least some of the sins of I n d r a — a w e l l . Hera and A t h e n a . which has preserved other certainly archaic material. But h o w was one to interpret this b r o a d agreement in which India did not share? Actually. it lacks precisely w h a t would be i m p o r t a n t . 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 . This of course does not preclude c o m p a r i s o n . 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. and a b o v e all. 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. although a text of the Mahabharata does expound a theory of the downfall of Indra in the same sense.S t a r c a t h e r u s and Herakles. but there was a more troublesome p r o b l e m . In short. 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. but their type of c h a m p i o n . 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 . 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 .Introduction the sword of a killer chosen b y himself. b e sides this general outline.

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. I categorized S t a r k a 3 r as a " h e r o of T h o r . 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 . But in fact. and in particular for a most important point. in addition to the theme of the three sins. m o r a l . is not so unique that it could not have been reinvented independently in several places. " 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 . perhaps s e c o n d a r y . the begetting of the P a n d a v a s by the gods of these functions. seems in S a x o ' s account to be completely benevolent towards S t a r c a therus. since it is o n e of those where. It is all a matter of c o n t e x t . the idea that a warrior. man or g o d . 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. even cosmic) defined by the three functions. Hera and A t h e n a . C o n s e q u e n t l y . Diodorus—with witnesses. in several societies where the ideology of the three functions remained alive and d o m i n a n t . it had seemed natural and e a s y . to interpret his career as a w h o l e . in f a c t . going b e y o n d the theme of the three sins. 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 . 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. whereas O t h i n u s . but decisive. M o r e generally. A n o t h e r section of the 1 9 5 3 study also required additional investigation. 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 . O d i n and T h o r . W i t h regard to S t a r k a S r . " T h o r . since his o n l y . successively c o m m i t s a spectacular sin in each of the three areas (social. in all its three parts and with great clarity.

Since 1 9 4 7 .Introduction unarguable benefits. is wholly responsible f o r the imposed f a t e which sullies this career by three crimes. in a context where these two goddesses are in fact. T h i s interpretation has encountered m o r e opposition than assent. 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 . 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. persecuted b y H e r a . have objected that the oldest d a t u m . w h o c a n only b e . and there w a s no r o o m to pursue debates where n o argument on either side could be definitive. as the saga calls him. often pre-Vedic. 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 . G . in agreement with the Gautrekssaga and against S a x o . 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. thus it is that the D y a u h w h o acts indirectly through B h i j m a . which w a s . 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 . can be understood only if o n e admits. 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. the Sovereign and the W a r r i o r e s s . the solution was found on the trail of another inquiry altogether. Edward O . " the hero's grandfather. A s often happens. h o w e v e r . such as m y late friend Jan de Vries and M r . and Stig W i k a n d e r ' s discovery a b o u t the mythical basis of the Mahabharata. 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. T h u s it was necessary to revise so debatable a solution. with . and constructive critics. reinforced by the case of Herakles. I h a d continued to explore its numerous and i m p o r t a n t consequences. a "first S t a r k a S r . differentially. Turville Petre. N o new decisive element appeared. 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 . protected b y A t h e n a .

that w h o s e place Indra had filled u n c o m f o r t a b l y . and through him V i j n u . His particularly close relationship with A r j u n a . the sons of Dhrtara^fra. especially in his role as savior in extremis. m o r e exactly the Krgna of the Mahabharata. 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. V e r y soon one character caught m y attention. and because at the s a m e time he lent himself. in the last chapter of Part O n e ("Annihilation and R e b i r t h " ) . 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. 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 . 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 . 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 . 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. Kf§i:ia. the odd pair which he m a k e s with his brother B a l a r a m a . m a t c h e s the Heimdallr-Rigr of the Edda. even lies. but in all his individual interventions. 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 . the freedom which he. a rival king. It was at one point in this investigation. 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 . K r j o a actually directs the preparations a n d the accomplishment of the rites. 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 . T h e essence of what I think I can offer on this subject is found in et Epopee I. and he alone. but recognized sovereign o v e r all the kings of India. in the space of a few years. at the beginning of the c e r e m o n y itself. his participation in a battle in which he nevertheless does not fight. 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. but so vast a problem cannot b e exhausted. or even e n c o m passed. He persuades the eldest b r o t h e r Yudhi§thira. already long and yet hardly begun.Introduction his extraordinary birth and his role in the dynasty. without tarnishment. has to authorize and suggest questionable a c t i o n s .

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

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

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

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

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

w a s assured a fortiori of a bountiful and violent afterlife. inflicted on a dying m a n . 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 . Here then is h o w he goes a b o u t it. the vast b o d y of Einherjar. stated though it b e . or on the n e a r b y fields where between banquets they wage fierce c o m b a t . 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 .Starkadr to O d i n . Sacrifice to O d i n w a s as g o o d as death on the battlefield. 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 . in the o t h e r w o r l d . 2 8 . either in this world o r the next. pp. Lots are drawn. is not lamentable. not only will it have no grievous consequences for the h e r o . T h e m o m e n t arrives in chapter V I I . 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 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. 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. 3-6. V i k a r ' s sailing fleet is long becalmed near a small island. during a Viking expedition. or rather has long since gone a b o u t i t . a n d ' Chaps. ' w h e n . Patiently. willingly or otherwise. " a scratch that. A w a r r i o r or king sacrificed to the g o d . 13-27. ' 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 . 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. 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 . it will h o n o r a b l y increase. 13 . which every well-born G e r m a n wished for. henceforth without risk. especially b y hanging and spear-thrust. 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 . ' Pp.3 1 .

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

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

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. 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 . of his life. But a c o m m o n tale has been invented a b o u t his origin which is fictitious.StarkaSr Island. a n d w a s exiled f r o m H o r d a l a n d . 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. S a x o ' s account is brief. Certainly it is recorded that he c a m e f r o m the region which borders eastern Sweden.^^ and w e hear nothing m o r e sagamadr. Here it is in its entirety (Fisher. 31-34. 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. 16 . at the s a m e time exercising watch o v e r the seas. p . w a s the o n l y one to escape through strength o r l u c k . 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. he w a s at length given a splendid ship and told to pursue the life of an adventurer. w h e n he a n d his comrades were involved in a disastrous shipwreck. 1 7 0 ) : In those days there w a s a man Starcatherus. son of S t o r w e r c u s . 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 . 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.' From this deed S t a r k a S r b e c a m e much despised b y the people. 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 . 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 . unreasonable and downright incredible. s o that men believed that in b r a v e r y he w a s second to n o n e . where he is supposed to h a v e c o m p o s e d the end of the Vikarsbalkr. S t a r k a S r then goes to S w e d e n . plucking a w a y the unatural bunches of fingers f r o m the b o d y Pp. w h o .

1 7 0 . T h i s is w h y their names appear in the days of the week. 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 . in their a p pointed series. are thought of under the n a m e s of these " g o d s . " S a x o explains. 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. 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. 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.StarkaSr proper. concerning in particular the gods O t h i n u s and T h o r (pp. following the c h a n g e of the d a y s ' designations. 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 . " 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. 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. O d i n and M e r c u r y are different personages.7 1 ) . S o m e narrate this 17 . we must realize that T h o r and Jupiter. T h e y were of course not " 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 . it follows that if their claim is undisputed. was afterwards corrected according t o a better model and contained within the m o r e limited dimensions of men. w h o m I introduced earlier. 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 . 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. then it is clear proof that Jupiter w a s the son of M e r c u r y . and this deception h a d infected N o r w a y . or those w h o m Greece and Italy accorded all the h o m a g e of superstition. A n o u t c o m e of this is that the days of the w e e k . 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. 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 . Sweden and D e n m a r k . devoted his initial career to pleasing the gods through the murder of W i c a r u s .

P o l a n d . Russia again. in order that he might perpetrate a proportionate number of d a m n a b l e deeds. 18 . already r e m a r k a b l e f o r his unusual size. p. But the tightness of the knot fulfilled its function and cut short W i c a r u s ' breathing as he hung there. 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. 7. and eventually arrives at the court of the D a n i s h king F r o t h o (pp. Slavia. 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 . and later a l o n e . Biarmia. S a x o n y . 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. 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. 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. see The Destiny of the Warrior. and nn. devising a trap during his attendance on the king. and crime a c c o m p a n y his prolonged existence. 91. but did not wish t o effect this openly. 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 . trans. Lots cast in an urn showed a demand for a royal victim. 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 . A t first with h i m . he travels o v e r a huge area: Russia. B y z a n t i u m . and w h e n he should have lent relief disclosed his treachery. f a m o u s f o r his courage and his artistry in c o m posing spells. Ruthenia. " O n c e this first c r i m e has been c o m m i t t e d . Alf Hiltebeitel (Chicago and London. T o this end he also gave him three times the span of mortal life. so that he could use the m a n ' s energies m o r e readily to accomplish the king's death. Starcatherus associates himself with a Danish Viking. S w e den. Ireland. He therefore m a d e Starcatherus.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. till they decided that the gods must be appeased b y h u m a n b l o o d . pretending to offer the appearance of an expiation merely f o r a m o m e n t . 8. Saxo did not understand the two-staged scenario of the sacrifice. 1970).

31. the grandson bears hereditary traces of his grandfather's monstrosity. even " Stanzas 31-32 ( = 36-37 of tfie saga). vestigial stumps of supernumerary a r m s . the intervention of the gods. ' " their reasons a r e very w e a k . 3. 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. a model of martial virtue. 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 . 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. is nonetheless reduced b y the fact that. 19 . In this case. h o w ever. 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 . the Icelandic and Latin versions are not so different. T h i s discrepancy. a n d the beginning of his heroic career. THOR AND STARKADR AND IN SAXO IN THE GAUTREKSSAGA T h e t w o tales. ODIN. since even in the f o r m e r S t a r k a S r is not. while at first seeming considerable. S a x o k n o w s only a single Starcatherus. according to the Vikarsbalkr. If one avoids mutilating the bdlkr.1 7 4 ) . the Icelandic and the Latin.Starka3r 1 7 2 . 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. Everywhere he performs outstanding exploits. I k n o w that those critics w h o are quick to prune the texts. 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 . 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 . II er HlorriSi I fyr hamar nordan I Hergrims bana I hondum rainti. grandfather a n d grandson: his native monstrosity. 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. internal criticism does lead to some conclusions. have edited out the stanza of the p o e m which says this in clear t e r m s . Sea pykkjask peir I d sjalfum mer I jotunkumi /atta handa. 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.

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

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

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. there is a p r o b l e m : O t h i n u s has need of only the first facinus. " in the first b o o k of the Gesta Danorum. well illustrated and clarified particularly b y the "saga of H a d i n g u s . 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 . 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 opposition to e a c h other. w h i c h . including that other "pacifist" Baldr. In this presentation of "gifts.^'' Hadingus is the god N j o r S r transposed into a Viking h e r o . W i c a r u s . his life a n d lineage. Ase gods and Vane gods") and 7 ("The second mythological digression: the war between the Ases and the Vanes"). namely the parallelism of the t w o gods. 1 . " 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 . constitutes a parenthesis within the story a n d interrupts it t o no a d v a n t a g e . one point in S a x o ' s c o m p o s i t i o n arouses suspicion. of their natures and their Latin interpretations. placed as it is between the birth and the career of the h e r o .StarkaSr h u m a n lives. vitude: Starcatherus will c o m m i t three facinora." though. being modern c o m p a r a t i v i s t s .8 . chap. the murder of o n e in each life. " to provide a prehistory for his Danish h i s t o r y ) . 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. the " m y t h o l o g i c a l b o o k s . satisfactory original. 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 . one in terms of the other. " But this would be t o give little credit to the skill of the sagamenn. M o r e o v e r . 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 . From Myth to Fiction (1973). but he burdens the gift of three lives with threefold serW h y ? W e might answer. pp. S u c h transfer requires s o m e fancy f o o t w o r k . without mentioning the distinction and ^' See above. 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 believe rather that on this point S a x o has slightly altered a m o r e 12 .

and even their primeval w a r . 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. M o r e particularly. ma t ch i n g with evident awkwardness these t w o fundamental strands of the p r o t o narrative. S a x o inserted t w o disquisitions. with n o noxious pendant. nonincestuous marriage). 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. 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. that the great V a n i r g o d s — N j o r S r . m e m b e r s with them in a joint c o m m u n i t y . T h o r ' s a c t i o n is w h o l l y g o o d . 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 . could n o t transpose as such these divisions of supernatural beings. 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 . and later. b y virtue of the peace t r e a t y . For it is at the conclusion of this 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 . 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. it is undoubtedly b e c a u s e . 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 . Freyr. S a x o . T h o r 23 . A s all his characters were h u m a n . the other m y t h o l o g i c a l . one theological. 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). In t w o places.StarkaSr opposition of the / E s i r and the V a n i r . T o be sure. 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 . 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 . long a n d ungainly parentheses unrelated to the n a r r a t i v e . 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 . 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 . Nonetheless. F r e y j a — b e c o m e the partners of the y ^ s i r . thereafter V a n retouched according to the " m o r a l i t y " of the /Esir (with a new. Nevertheless h e has not let them slip a w a y .

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

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

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. But much earlier and m o r e briefly. consistently characterizes S t a r c a t h e r u s : an extremely lofty ideal. 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 . whose b r a v e r y intimidated m o s t men. T h i s localization of the facinora is explainable. inasmuch as they contradict w h a t . facinus. 183). " From these long journeys he returned b y c h a n c e in the nick of time. defender. 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 . W h e n they k n e w that Starcatherus. 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. 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. ' ' 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 . to ensure the passage of power to the legitimate heir. apart f r o m these three cases.StarkaSr m a t t e r — i s a failure in a very serious posthumous duty to the king. so f a r undefeated. But while the king was of the Danes. daughter a n d son. under King F r o t h o himself. in a w a y which would a v o i d a general conflict. they r e c k o n e d then w a s the time to accost F r o t h o . a kind of religion of regal w o r t h . "killed b y his rivals" (History p. indeed tutor of royal personages and r o y a l t y per se. replete with p o e m s and itself as long as the rest of the saga. son of King Haldanus. 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. of the fourth F r o t h o . Starcatherus had already theorized a b o u t his c o n d u c t . It m a k e s them especially heinous. w a s occupied elsewhere. a D a n i s h king w h o m he served. 31 . 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. 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 . a true v o c a tion as theoretician.

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

this lout has Helga c o m b his hair. This unfortunate accedes to the attentions. To he leaves D e n m a r k and changes masters. A d m i t t e d l y weird goings-on take place there.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 . stet gloria cami. the nubile sister of Ingellus. and expresses his feelings toward the t w o culprits in n i n e t y . But f r o m Uppsala. 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. but also in the dining r o o m to gluttony w h i c h is described graphically and at length. let r e n o w n be in thy lineage. Respect thy forebears. cuts his b u t t o c k s to pieces with his sword. be mindful of those w h o b o r e thee. Starcatherus c a n n o t endure this spectacle of intemperantia. S t a r c a t h e r u s sets out. the familiarities. the sons of Suertingus. entering the service of the Swedish king. and soon the demands of a certain goldsmith.t w o hexameters which must be the paraphrase of a S c a n dinavian p o e m . 1 7 6 f f . 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. one of those low-class people w h o m Starcatherus particularly despises. he watches w h a t is happening at the court of D e n m a r k . N o doubt p r o u d of his wealth. and a m o n g the fabri o n l y those w h o forge w e a p o n s . 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. T o begin with there is Helga (pp. H a l d a n u s . grumbling with indignation. a v o i d seeming to c o n d o n e this dissoluteness. venerare patres. Leaping at o n c e at the goldsmith he keeps him f r o m fleeing. respecting only those w h o w o r k the land. take the measure of t h y forefathers. memor esto et proavos metire tuos. opening his pants. venerate thy ancestors. luxuriae assensor. and appears in the hall where these disgusting ministrations are taking place. 33 . invites the y o u n g lady to delouse him. 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. then. ami faber. ) .

. fulcris. 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. w h o drove y o u to base love-making? . that the h o r r o r s at the Danish court are n o longer tolerable. maiden most w o r t h y of an illustrious b e d . 1 7 9 1 8 3 ) . and Helga rehabilitated.StarkaSr He showers the mutilated goldsmith with his c o n t e m p t : Quis furor incessit? Quod te. A n d y o u .^'' 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. faber impulit ingenuam tentare cupidine improbe.). . He arrives in the hall where Ingellus. there c o m e s the third scene. indulges in the m o s t incredible excesses a n d refinements of g a s t r o n o m y . 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. 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. Ingelli dinem ad acuminis habitum carbonibus se regis hebetuperducturum. 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. but is soon recognized b y Ingellus and f r o m then on surrounded with an excess of deference. the weakling Ingellus (pp. when he learns. . Starcatherus returns to S w e d e n . the main event: Starcatherus takes o n the king himself. T o all w h o ask. 1 8 3 ff. at first with his wife. . 34 . fama rei crebrescente. when he deems it necessary. But this is merely a prelude. O n c e the execution is d o n e . in an entirely different plot. with his supernatural speed. lines 2009-2069. 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. But he refuses to eat. virgo claris dignissima egit in obscuram Venerem? . then with her and her b r o t h e r s . wicked smith. he replies that with these coals he is going to sharpen the blunted spirit of King Ingellus. stirpem? fatum W h a t madness got into y o u ? W h a t fate. H e is u n k n o w n to a n d treated w i t h disrespect b y the regina.

or avenging h i m . maxime w h e n a treacherous guest butchered the king. 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. the n e w king Ingellus (st. w h o s e keenness has been perverted to license b y foul lust. hurls a b o n e at the musician in charge of mollifying h i m . abandoning himself to l u s t — a n d this in very coarse Latin. 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 . " W h y did I not die with the king. overshadowing a n d outweighing the other ills. f o r being virtute vacuus. 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 . . f o r not behaving like a king. f o r that w a s y o u r death w a r r a n t . 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. contio T h u s . he refers to the y o u t h as king o n l y o n c e . T h e second p o e m develops boundlessly this theme of the degenerate king.o n e in the first p o e m . . 7" In c o n t r a s t . 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. In these Sapphic stanzas. here again. but a b o v e all. f o r example. o n e given o v e r to belly and vice. regum. in the first p o e m . . regis iugulum pari gaudens sequerer beatum funere regem batl" (st.StarkaSr ineptly offers h i m . the depiction there of gluttony (st. in the third person a n d with humiliating epithets. t w e n t y . 1 3 ) . " 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 . I f o u n d a glutton. 1 2 ) . forty-nine in the second. In this flood of eloquence. 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 . 1 9 ) : Sed probum quaerens adii gulosum deditum ventri vitioque regem cuius in luxum studium refudit foeda voluptas But seeking a virtuous king. he blames himself f o r the death of regum" (st. T h e source of these lyric pieces is certainly. 1 2 ) : 35 .

Cum tuis nil eniteat trophaeis quod stilo digne queat adnotari nemo Frothonis recitatur heres inter honestos.3 1 ) : Unde. . 36 . 3 7 ) : Te pudor late comes insequetur et gravi vultum feriet rubore quando magnorum sociata ludit contio regum . a s h a m e d . 3 0 . y o u r constant c o m p a n i o n . cum regum tituli canuntur et ducum vates memorant triumphos pallio vultum pudibundus abdo pectore tristi. Increasingly violent. T h e r e f o r e . 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. a n d m a k e y o u r f a c e heavy with s h a m e . that he might rediscover the meaning and understand the requirements o f his royal function (st. 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. Disgrace will dog y o u . he h a m m e r s a w a y at Ingellus. I c o v e r m y f a c e with m y m a n t l e . . n o heir of Frotho is counted a m o n g the respectable.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 . saddened in heart. Since nothing shines with y o u r trophies that could b e worthily consigned to writing.

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

who draws out the y o u n g son of the great king f o r a kingly deed. he in fact serves kingship as such. 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 . 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 . in his B o o k Eight. the m o n k . in the f a m o u s battle of Bravalla. In a 38 . THE END OF STARCATHERUS. nuptam. which c u l m i n a t e . n o allusion in a skaldic p o e m informs us. T h u s . saevam. e n a m o r e d of national traditions but p o o r l y equipped to understand them in depth. T h i s paucity of inf o r m a t i o n is regrettable because. imperiously a n d didactically. rex. 5. o u r only authority for the a c c o u n t of the death of Starcatherus. in a violent outburst. a n d a beast arise f r o m y o u to h a r m its own father. as with the childhood. aggressive defense of kingly w o r t h is truly fundamental in his c h a r a c t e r . is expressed the basic " i d e o l o g y " of Starcatherus. Starcatherus can set out again with unencumbered mind f o r other battles. in verse. effuge ne lupa consimilem sibi fetum gignat et ex te belua consurgat propria nocitura parenti. if y o u h a v e a n y sense. N o excursus saga. W i t h Ingellus set straight. . has clearly been confused at certain points. . A n d y o u . 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 . T h i s impassioned. 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. lest the she-wolf produce offspring like to herself. at the b e ginning of the eighth b o o k . AND HATHERUS STARCATHERUS Here again S a x o remains.StarkaSr Tu quoque. si quid sapis. O n e sees that. on the accomplishment of which he a w a r d s h i m . . a true educator. . . . the a c c o u n t of which he is said to have c o m p o s e d himself. king. rid yourself of y o u r savage w i f e .

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

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

. there c o m e s a dramatic surprise. recreating in verse the scene which has just been recounted to us in prose (p. But at this point other p o e m s inserted in the prose take us b a c k again. at the same stroke. w e learn an astonishing f a c t : this Hatherus w h o m Starcatherus has longed f o r . N o r does his strength f o r the fight fall b e l o w his sense of duty. inharmonious to a g o o d man's e a r . labio villain. . counting o n 41 . y o u r lips are glib in sowing rash talk. 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. slow to w a v e r . true f r o m the start he attends him with the same unflagging w a r m t h . a n d recapitulates in detail the events of his glorious life. ready to start the f r a y . Frequently he bestows fitting rewards on w a r heroes. 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 . Finally. 2 4 9 ) . He scatters riches. . . verba seris facili temeraria auribus inconcinna pits. S t a r c a t h e r u s expresses his indignation to the stranger: improbe. In sixty-five hexameters. apparently at least. 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. has put b e f o r e the old hero. yet ignorant h o w to turn his b a c k on a pressing f o e . venerates their spirit. . 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. 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. dreading to snap their initial b o n d s . 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. 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 .StarkaSr a n y o n e with his dutiful affection. . But. 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 .

. T o goad Hatherus into a fiercer m o o d toward him [et ut eiusdem in se vehementius animum efferaret). what y o u c a n n o t flee. . A m a n m a y righteously c h o o s e to anticipate Destiny's law. an ancient o n e hewn d o w n . 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 . the one he has been searching for. seek my gullet with avenging steel. Death c o m e s best when c r a v e d . is n o n e o t h e r than the son of Lennus (or Lenno). 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. strike d o w n an old m a n w h o longs to die. in talking w i t h h i m (mutuo sermone). life b e c o m e s tedious w h e n the end is desired. A t last. 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). he is said to h a v e egged him on like this: " A g a i n . p a y m e b a c k . urging him not to shrink f r o m taking satisfaction f o r his father's murder. H a t h e r u s .2 5 2 ) : T h u s S t a r c a t h e r u s .). 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. A young tree must b e nourished.StarkaSr the faithfulness of his affection. o n e of the conspirators w h o had bribed him into killing O l o . For my spirit wishes this service f r o m a noble h e a d s m a n . do not let disagreeable age prolong an insupportable e x i s t e n c e . he offered him his throat to cut. 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 . y o u m a y even take in a d v a n c e . quisquis fato confinia fundit. He promised that if Hatherus c o m plied. " 42 . 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. 2 5 1 . y o u r father. 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. Right a w a y he sees in Hatherus the ideal executioner. I beg.

w a s used to make helmet plates. 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. It depicts a y o u n g Odinic w a r r i o r in the presence of a berserk. h e urged Hatherus not to fulfil his task of executioner squeamishly or handle the blade like a girl.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. Hatherus. when he had killed him b u t b e f o r e the b o d y dropped. It is uncertain whether he said this to instruct his murderer or to punish him (quod instruendi percussoris gratia an puniendi dixerit. he could leap between the t o r s o and its fallen head. he w o u l d be rendered p r o o f against a n y w e a p o n . W i t h these w o r d s he drew out his purse and proffered the m o n e y . 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. one of four found at Torslunda (island of O l a n d ) in Sweden. 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 . utrum incertum est). and told him that if.

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. HODR T h i s ending leaves the reader unsatisfied. this b e l o v e d and admired y o u t h . m a g n a n i m o u s and fearsome. if he then recognizes in him the ideal executioner he seeks. and f o r which he does n o t forgive himself. 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. 6. for if he had thoughtlessly done s o .StarkaSr h a v e o v e r w h e l m e d him as he sprang. then. T o begin with there is the diversity. 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 . the contradictions in characters successively attributed to Hatherus. A f r a i d that there could be treachery underlying the p r o m i s e . 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. Hatherus. and this excludes a n y baseness or venality in the y o u n g m a n . drove his sword vigorously a n d lopped off the old man's h e a d . „. A n d the worst of it is that the y o u n g m a n appears amenable to this proposition. All of this. 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. A n d yet he corrupts. and to avenge his father's b l o o d — h e adds an appeal to greed. is of a mediocrity which it is hard to attribute to the original used b y S a x o . severed f r o m the trunk. T h e story tells h o w . 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. If Starcatherus. Hatherus burned the b o d y on the field of Roling and had the ashes buried. with all his last strength. through fate. the offer of the gold pieces that he carries a b o u t his n e c k . 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 . the fury of the dying j a w s indicating his savage temper. 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. as much as he depends u p o n . it snapped at the soil with its teeth as it hit the ground.

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

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. the giant or monster is faithful to his nature. 46 >4 . but he wishes also to b e queath to him a m o r e valuable treasure. 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. 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. T h i s he c a n only do b y a sort of crossing of their bodies. In this case. and S o s r y k o is able to scalp it. 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.StarkaSr lessness. a i m i o n . 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 . see Olivier Masson. He gives him at the outset (with a disagreeable touch of venality) all that he possesses materially." Revue de I'histoire des religions. and in all the analogous cases. n a m e l y invulnerability. 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. loves. n o r require a n y v e n geance. S o s r y k o begins to run but the head does not let g o . S o s r y k o tries out the belt on a tree. 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 . but the c o m p o u n d e d sum of this strength which he himself has not drawn o n . "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. trapped and unable to escape death. though. Justifiably suspicious. acquiring of privileges). thus he will inherit some of his strength. the last mysterious current of his life f o r c e : a gift a n d also a fusing. f r o m head to trunk or f r o m trunk to head. But w h o exactly is Hatherus. finally. the giant feigns a sudden b e n e v o l e n c e : after having beheaded h i m . at the very m o m e n t when there w o u l d pass. once the giant is decapitated. burned to ashes. not the strength that he carries within him. CXXXVII (1950). falls. he says. an insertion of the youth's entire b o d y between the still-twitching fragments of his o w n . which b r e a k s o r crumbles. 1-25. respects. T h e circumstances of Starcatherus' death are entirely otherwise. it slackens its hold. In other versions.^^ Starcatherus has b e f o r e him a m a n w h o m he admires.

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

m a g i c a l . w^here goddesses a s different as M a t e r M a t u t a . 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. in the appearance of the 48 .StarkaSr O d i n . Hatherus. it is O d i n himself. pronam cervicem applicuit. 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). in the m y t h of Baldr. in no w a y heroic figure. strikes up a friendly relationship with the old Starcatherus in the guise of a y o u n g m a n . Following the text more closely. 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 . the procedure h a s done much h a r m in the study. A c c o r d i n g t o Schneider. 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 . but he remains distinct. Feronia. 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 . close to O d i n . W i t h this reservation. openly. 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. " F o r m y part I a m not inclined t o accept this reduction o f multiple gods to o n e . Fate. 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 . t o b e sure. 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 . 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 . .w a r r i o r g o d O d i n . as a sacrificial victim. the divine H o S r . " 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 . 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 . of R o m a n religion. w h o m S t a r k a S r has killed. H a t herus is a late. I think nonetheless that J a n de Vries is correct when he writes. H e is the son of the D a n e L e n n o . . yet it is he w h o gives h i m den heissersehnten Todesstreich. maintaining the duality of H o S r and O d i n . T h i s is b y n o m e a n s s o . that is to say the g o d H o S r . C a r n a . under his o w n n a m e . . f o r e x a m p l e . 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 . a n d o n e of those closest to h i m . and Hatherus has only t o strike. a n d I a m not resigned t o admitting that O d i n .

to transfuse into h i m the best part of himself. A n d of course in the novelistic a c c o u n t . providentially rather than b y c h a n c e . suddenly deteriorated a n d wishing t o die. In the reality of theology. 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. H a t h e r u s is only a h u m a n individual w h o hesitates. 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. this w o u l d b e literally a transfusion of the hero into the god. a s w e see. the first facinus. it is impossible to b e more affirmative o r m o r e precise regarding this conclusion. t o o . is n o less strange than the beginning. T h e finale of the story. calls in his prayers f o r the presence of this H 6 3 r . w h o m w e shall f o l l o w . after years o f care. a n d with it the last extension of his life is exhausted. w h o m he finds. 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 . H o S r . 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. he wishes at least to transfer t o his killer the privilege of invulnerability which he himself has p o s sessed only latently. a n d has himself killed b y h i m once h e has recognized h i m . a n d finally does not receive it. 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 . very close t o O d i n . O n c e the third facinus is accomplished. 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 . o r this grandson of an eight-armed giant.StarkaSr mature m a n Hrossharsgrani. Starcatherus. 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 doubt sincerely. N o w the Indie epic k n o w s a hero of the same type. T o this young m a n he declares his affection a n d wishes. 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 . 49 . at the m o m e n t when he is 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. 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. Finally. is suspicious of the gift.

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

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

tutor. In the presence of Kr§na. 53 . seemingly well disposed. J a r a s a n d h a the king o f M a g a d h a .o n his advice a n d almost on his orders.1 3 3 4 ) . o r rather eliminated. IV. He refuses to accept that.S i v a . with g o o d reasons: Kr?na ( 1 3 3 2 . a m o n g them V a s u d e v a . b a c k e d b y the support of the god R u d r a ." Yudhi§thira has then dispatched his f o u r younger brothers to the four corners of the world to secure. but with a supplementary arghya. a n d counsellor of the w h o l e family of the B h a ratas. 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. in a n assembly of kings. Yudhi?thira agrees and asks Bhl§ma himself to designate the o n e to be so h o n o r e d . 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. a c c o m p a n i e d b y his son Kysna.Sisupala A first obstacle h a s already been averted. a n d if need b e to c o m p e l . Vi?nu incarnate. the king of Cedi. the consent of the kings. " See below. 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 . But very quickly there arises a serious p r o b l e m . a special h o n o r should g o to an individual w h o is n o t a king. chap. with the usual ceremonies of hospitality. particularly the arghya. it is Sisupala. 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 ) . which B h i ? m a (the great-uncle. T h i n g s get off to a g o o d start. 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 . 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 . 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. h a d launched the s a m e claim to sovereignty as Yudhi?thira. a n unexpected quarrel which remotely recalls the Irish legends. that is to s a y again. A n o t h e r prince.

a n d his assembled ministers. the m o n s t r o u s child will lose his excesses.1 5 2 2 ) .1 4 9 8 ) : " K i n g . vakyam antarhitam. is led to explain to B h l m a s e n a . placed in someone's l a p . the m o t h e r speaks. but u n a m b i g u o u s : o n e d a y . N o w let h i m also speak further. a n d uttered inarticulate cries like a n animal (1494). 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 . illustrious a n d powerful. " T h u s the prophecy is t w o f o l d . :>•> Sisupala w a s well-born in the r o y a l family of the Cedis. 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 . what fate weighs upon h i m . vag asanrini. in spite o f everything. " Hearing this speech which c a m e f r o m the invisible. w h o has lived through three generations and harbors much knowledge. he is b o r n y o u r s o n . when a disembodied voice. therefore be not afraid of h i m . 54 • .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 . made itself heard to the king. his wife. h o w he c a m e into the w o r l d . lord o f m e n . 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. her son (putrasnehabhisantapta) ( 1 5 0 0 . T h e voice said ( 1 4 9 7 . 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).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 guard y o u r child anxiously.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 . w h o this spoilsport is. His distraught parents were all set to a b a n d o n him. T h e tale of his beginnings follows. h a s been b o r n . tormented b y the affection she feels. the son o f the reigning king. Y o u a r e not to b e his death. tyagaya kurutam matim (1495). f o r this small monster. his slayer b y the sword. His death.

. W h a t b o o n must I give y o u . 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. t w o princes. 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 .1 5 1 3 ) : " G i v e a b o o n to m e . putram ddmoda-rotsange devTsarnvyadadhdt svayam ( 1 5 1 0 ) . ekaikasya nzpasyanke putram aropayat tadd. 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. drawn b y curiosity.1 5 1 5 ) : " D o n o t fear. the expected miracle never o c c u r s . a n d o n the knees of every single o n e . o r what should I d o . but the spectacle. a n d will b e c o m e n o r m a l . pxthak. attracted b y the reports. o f these thousands of kings. 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 . S h e asks a favor of h e r nephew ( 1 5 1 2 . the miracle o c c u r s ( 1 5 1 1 ) : " . Kf^^ia. strongarmed o n e . I shall obey your word]" 55 . and understandably: according to the disembodied V o i c e . S o it goes until there arrive f r o m the town o f D v a r a v a t l . the (cause of) death of the small being restored to h u m a n f o r m . 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 . m y aunt? W h e t h e r it c a n b e done o r n o t . R u m o r o f such a r e m a r k a b l e occurrence travels fast. rdjasahasrdndm. 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 the queen personally has just placed her son o n Kr§na's knees. trastd). " Seeing this.Sisupala two a r m s a n d the central e y e . . T h e n finally. sisur anke samdru^ho na tat prdpa nidarsanam. 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 . 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. the m o t h e r is troubled a n d begins to tremble [vyathitd. w h o a m sick with fear. a n d all the kings of the earth. didrkfavah. . since the small monster's m o t h e r is their paternal a u n t . . T h e y t o o a r e received with h o n o r .

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

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

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

w e d o not h a v e the complete list either. the fiendish offender o f his uncle abducted B h a d r a of Visala. the misguided fool abducted the unwilling wife-to-be o f the glorious B a b h r u . b u r n e d down D v a r a k a ( = D v a r a v a t l . he slew and captured them. the Y a d a v a s . in five slokas. " 2. then returned to his city. o u r capital]. and only allusions are made to them here. "Hiding beneath his wizardry. w h o is o u r cousin. THE OFFENSES ^ Let US return to the b i o g r a p h y o f the h e r o . 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). but fortunately n o w this is taking place in the 59 .Sisupala 3. 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): • . has b e c o m e his marshal [sendpatih). which K f j i j a has undertaken to forgive. A t the m o m e n t of the final settling of accounts. Regarding the hundred personal affronts deserving o f death. this fiend. • . " W h e n she w a s journeying t o the country of the Sauviras to b e given in marriage. vadharha (1517). well-known tales. 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 . 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. 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. recalling o n l y five. W h a t are these examples (1566-1572)7 1. Krsija gives merely a sampling o f them." 3 . " M a l e v o l e n t l y . 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. " 5. " 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. " K n o w i n g that w e h a d g o n e to the city o f Pragjyoti?a. " 4. 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 .•. The mighty king Sisupala. ' . having indeed g o n e over c o m p e t e l y to this Jarasandha's side. .

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. Sisupala abducts a noble married w o m a n — i n 5 . all these sins are directed against the king.Sisupala presence of all the kings. his religion. 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. for the s a m e reason. Rhetorically speaking. 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 . I (third offense). 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 . waits until he k n o w s a king is absent to burn d o w n his capital. theref o r e . in the order II (first and second offenses). across the f r a m e w o r k of the three f u n c tions. " It is easy to verify that these sample offenses are distributed. directly or indirectly. instead of confronting h i m in equal c o m b a t . are direct. those of the second and first function. In 4 and 5 . attacking the king in his capital. In 3 . In any case. f o r the simple n u m b e r " t h r e e . T a k i n g this t a c k . 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 . T h e first three. Sisupala attacks the king in the area of religion b y preventing him f r o m celebrating the most solemri of royal sacrifices. and III (fourth and fifth offenses). in this final quarrel where Sisupala claims to defend r o y a l f 60 . 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. For y o u are n o w witnesses of the allsurpassing offense against m e . a n d as serious as the third sin of Herakles. " 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 . his servants. instead of fairly and openly giving battle. Sisupala. 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 .

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

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

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

after coming close to a n ill-timed insurrection. a n d finally. if as a l w a y s y o u r heart is set on praising. the kings h a v e done what w a s expected o f them. when the b o d y has been r e m o v e d . a reversal. In the e n d . the rights o f kings have been the subject of Sisupala's protest. " he will say to BhT?ma. while y o u frighten all these kings with your many threats?" In the last speech which he will give. he will take up again the theme o f offended royal dignity. there occurs in the kings a change. as if n o incident h a d marred the festivities. in the face of the fate that awaits h i m . upon hearing this and m o r e f r o m V a s u d e v a . 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. T h e o u t c o m e is this (1575): All the assembled kings. 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 . including Kr?na. Kr$na has presented his grievances. " W h y d o y o u fail to praise such kings as S a l y a a n d others. decrepit defiler of y o u r family. their loyalty and their choice h a v e been at stake in the rhetorical debate. he dismisses his guests. Immediately after. with h o n o r . afterwards the kings themselves. 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. he will conclude b y repeating the theme in the interrogative (1540-1541): " W h y . Y u dhijthira celebrates his rajasuya before the assembly of kings. B h l j m a ? " In the m o m e n t s preceding the death of this overreacher. that f o r which they had been invited: their consenting presence h a s fully validated the rite.Sisupala " H o w is it y o u are not ashamed o f yourself." T h u s . 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. a n d after a n o t h e r catalogue o f kings w h o deserve to be honored. in short. 64 . n o w began to revile the Cedi king.

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

Unconsciously. it seems that Sisupala h a s understood the meaning o f the a c t : his tejas salutes the g o d . Just before entering into the b o d y of his killer. h a d made a correct diagnosis w h e n . h e h a s been seized b y a kind of intoxication. 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 is indeed a miraculous spectacle. his tejaPi agryam. o f w h o m all beings. the wise a n d experienced old m a n . Some of the icings to be sure. a n irresistible need to reenter the w o m b o f the incarnate A l l . . 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. h e h a s rushed to his destruction. Bhl§ma. T h e total being h a s simply wished to recover the part. 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 . T h e r e were kings there w h o did not s a y a w o r d . some pages earlier. merging with h i m .Sisupala slew the C a i d y a . the will of Kr§naVi?nu. approval prevails and everything soon quiets down. a r e parts. wringing their hands and biting their lips. 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.'^ T h u s . but they do not act. the text goes on (1590-1591). h a s p r o v o k e d it. in spite of himself. . 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. a surprising variation o n the maternal w o m b o f the psychoanalysts. throughout his life. 66 . the best part o f himself. . During the final quarrel. do indeed show their anger. discarding all recourse. His e n e m y Sisupala w a s therefore. stronga r m e d prince. a n d widely f a m o u s Hari w a n t s to recover it.1 5 2 2 ) : " H e o f a certainty is a particle of the glory of Hari. vavande tat tada tejo vivesa ca. 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. B u t until then he had n o t been in o n the secret. adbhutam. 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 . despite appearances. as the kings w h o a r e present all agree. a part of this total Being. Consciously. it w a s something else: he w a s obeying the call.

withdraws. the Puranas have repeated. and Kfjna. in his generous wisdom. more willing to meditate on the sublime absurdities of theology. until the credit is exhausted. for example. Sisupala hoped in the depth of his being only to be reunited with Kf$pa-Vi§nu. Sisupala is not a normal man. but it is on a par with the loftiest situations which they encountered: Prometheus standing up to Zeus. And. to tolerate one hundred of them. But. which he could easily have avoided or held back. In the Vi^nu Purdna. as we saw. endures. In fact.»u incarnate. More mystical than the epic. has he been freed from the bodily monstrosity that revealed him as a little Siva. the divine Krgpa. and clarified its matter. even abandons his capital before this madman. like a Saint Paul who would have awaited death and the hereafter to find his road to Damascus. exploited. only to be one with him. by an irresistible bent of nature—one might readily say.Sisupala That is why this evil-minded king of Cedis roars fiercely like a tiger. of t h e o l o g y nothing but a series of insults. 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. Oedipus obstinately delving into his destiny. to lose himself in the being whom he insults. to Vif^iu. and Kf^na has determined. only thanks to Kf§i:ia. At the very time when he cries out his indifference to what Kfspa will or will not do—these. the belief in metempsychosis allows the conflict to be prolonged: 67 . and crimes. from the instant of this boon. are his last words—he is possessed by an unconscious need to make an end of it. aggressions. without worrying about any of us. we see that underneath this evil-minded and perverse conduct. retreats. the child's mother and Kf?na himself have foreseen the future: from this humanized Siva to Vi5i. tiger of the Kurus." This is in fact why he plunges into the hundred and first misdeed. in the end. there will be. The Greek tragedians did not have to deal with this type of drama.

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

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. an earlier incarnation of Sisupala (relief f r o m EUora. 69 . India).

.

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

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

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

o r b y the preservation of a c o m m o n inheritance. c a n b e explained in four w a y s : either b y c h a n c e . 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. and to h a v e himself b e headed chooses Hatherus. he heaps his g o o d will upon this y o u t h . a n d just before having himself killed b y him. 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 . but sprung f r o m a single prehistoric g r o u p . 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 . 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 : . f o r such a structure plausibly to h a v e been created t w i c e .iu. 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 h u m a n f o r m . Furthermore. the g o d H o S r . mistrusting. accordances observed between the traditions of t w o human groups historically separate. and articulate in the same order t o o m a n y peculiar a n d specific ideas. 2 . Sisupala. w h a t innate 74 . very close to" Odin. his spiritual energy. shows him the means (which the other. Starcatherus wishes to die.Starkaar cind Sisupala 1. in a sort o f m a d ness. o r b y direct or indirect b o r r o w i n g . 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. T h e first t w o explanations are here out of the question. attracted b y his killer. COMMON INHERITANCE? In principle. or b y innate a n d constant characteristics of the h u m a n spirit. a n d whose n a m e and characteristics indicate that he is. 1. H o w are w e to interpret this parallelism? 2.

S i v a and Kr§na-Vi$nu. 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 . " and geographically. T h o r and O d i n . T h e pairs of gods. in a direct or indirect b o r r o w i n g : save f o r the monstrous birth. but is congenitally m a r k e d with such scars). 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. n o r the Slavs. T h e connection established. R u d r a . 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. 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. no story has been found which could pass for a variant. in b o t h cases. taken t w o b y t w o . neither the S c y t h i a n s . nor the T u r k s had this lofty ideal of the "kingly f u n c t i o n . Further. in the vast area which separates India and S c a n d i n a v i a . with too m a n y arms. but with an original narrative at o n c e heroic and m y t h o l o g i c a l . no episode appears exactly the same in the two cases. 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. and o n e does not see w h a t intermediaries. peoples o r individuals. 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. between length of life and a certain n u m b e r of crimes does not have the same f o r m . we are dealing here not with a folktale pattern easily introduced into a n y civilization. Finally and a b o v e all. with the same picturesque details. openly o r implicitly antagonistic. corrected or reduced to its hereditary m a r k s . 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. cannot be translations one of the o t h e r . of one o r the other of these t w o so similar biographies. even a very deformed o n e .StarkaSr a n d Sisupala connection is there between the fact that a monstrous giant. and so with the agents of this miracle: T h o r is the constant e n e m y of giants. in fact it is exactly what is most easily lost. Kr§na is the cousin of the small m o n ster. in the other a spontaneous process. 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. could h a v e effected it. T h e circumstances in which Starcatherus and Sisupala 75 .

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

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

at first glance. 288 and n. 3. and do not f o r m a n y structure. That still other components may have come from the civilization of 78 . others b y the very parallels themselves. neither associate with nor c o n f r o n t each other. and b y request or b y c o m m i t ting an additional offense. 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 . 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. is Indo-Iranian. some proposed b y the divergences. and (2) nevertheless offends a king b y each of his crimes. he transfers (or desires to transfer) to his killer an essential part of his inner being. ME I. m o r e precisely the pairs of divinities w h o intervene in the hero's life. 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. 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. 1. Sarva (important hymns in the Atharva-Veda). well attested in the R g V e d a . p. in contrast. 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). Rudra-Siva and K r s n a Vi§nu. ^ Another component of Siva.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. in contrast to the opulent a n d sensual V a n i r . 1. 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 . 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. O d i n and T h o r . the interpretation meets with a certain n u m b e r of p r o b l e m s . (1) the w a r r i o r brings on his o w n death. chap. T h e s e dyads are. (2) A t the m o m e n t of decapitation.

O r i g i n a l l y . n. and Odin's magic hardly has occasion to appear. see most recently Asko Parpola. 9-22. Sure enough. the m o t i v e f o r this opposition mattering little a n d being liable to change.StarkaSr and Sisupala tion as destroyer and savior in the periodical v^forld crises. 84. A m o n g O d i n ' s Mohenjo-Daro is possible. 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. " A c c o r d i n g to the saga. p. Simo Parpola. with no h a r m d o n e . 7. pp. while nothing seems to orient h i m t o w a r d the sovereign level. 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.5 0 .6 and nn. in the course of time. as herbalist. in a n y case. 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 . 9-11. although in this case more sanguine assertions than proofs are presented. while in post-Vedic India. Krfpal) and nn. 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 . Cf. that of Siva and Vi^pu. 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 . 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. 2 3 . Seppo Koskenniemi. alone o r in his plural f o r m Rudrdh. below. Decipherment of the Proto-Dravidian Inscriptions of the Indus Civilization (1969). Progress in the Decipherment of the Proto-Dravidian Indus Script (1969). f o r example. and Pentti Aalto. also on the second. as healer. those of the t w o highest functional levels (magical sovereign and warrior). 15-18 (and 18-20. 10-21. 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. 79 . 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. pp. where the living theology no longer thought in terms of the trifunctional f r a m e w o r k . 5 . he operates on the third level. each of the t w o gods grants gifts and determines fates. and as archer.

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 e child is b o r n m o n s t r o u s . 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 .StarkaSr a n d Sisupala gifts. victory in every battle. slays kings. R u d r a . a r e located elsewhere. we have said. 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. at an earlier stage. B y this affinity. A s f o r the Indian legend. First. o r at least the ancestry o f a d e m o n . 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 . but he never seeks to replace t h e m . a n d though h e holds to the creed o f royal majesty. H e reforms. avenges. e t c . a distinctive epithet o f the g o d . personal wealth. 80 . to observation o f the modus operandi w h i c h they attribute to the t w o g o d s . 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 . in this particular case. should he h a v e given w a y to Vi$nu7 Having discarded this simpHstic solution. all the rest. as the V o i c e heard at his birth. the Vedic and the pre-Vedic V a r u n a a n d Indra. prolonged life. interpreted consistently. Besides these Rudraic traits. a n d exceptionally. a n d the miracle w o r k e d upon K r j n a ' s knees. almost possession. . only poetry could b e strictly connnected with his magical function. nothing allows o n e to think that. and he bears a n a m e that is like the diminutive of pasupati. f r o m within Sisupala. he is b o u n d to oppose Kr?na-Vi5nu a n d to die at his hand. the f a v o r o f the great. 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 . Sisupala carries m o r e o v e r the heredity. Finally. If Varuna's development has greatly reduced his importance a n d deprived him of his functional r a n k .S i v a . in his three facinora. he does not himself pretend to it. in the god's image. T h i s is k n o w n well b y K f § n a . w o r k s implicity. declare f o r h i m . w e must return to the texts themselves.

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

and the recompense accorded b y the D e i o t a s had also been so often renewed. 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. nevertheless their extraordinary strength. gives them already so much pride. in his devotions addressed to M h a daio. 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. "this is not at all o n e of the m a r k s of their superiority. 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 . the attribute of their gigantic race." replied the Pundit. and nearly all with invulnerability. " " A t least. " " N o . and although these prerogatives are most of the time the gifts of M h a d a i o . "that M h a daio is the protector and a v o w e d friend of the D a i n t s . " answered the T e a c h e r . " said M o n s i e u r de Polier. b y which he h a d acquired such an excess of strength and pride that after having subjugated the earth and the heavens.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 . it w o u l d reappear instantly. T o u c h e d by his misery. A n d although his votaries 82 . " said M . Indeed the battle t o o k place. losing one after another of his heads and arms. a n d the Daints. had so often repeated the offering of his head. "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. 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 . de Polier. 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 . " "I had thought until n o w . " " F r o m these tales it s e e m s . also lost his pride and b e c a m e a sincere devotee of V i § n u . " 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 . T h e R a j a h Bhanasser. 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 . he complained that there n o longer existed any being against w h o m he could try his strength. a m b i t i o n .

restricted t o his devotees. that the opposition o f R u d r a a n d Vi?nu w a s not already present as a structure. 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. pp. or theologically in diptych with = ME I. as I h a v e told y o u . W e must g o b a c k further. o n e sees that they a r e only transitory. entaihng f o r example a n e s c h a t o l o g y : the destruction. " T h i s presentation. 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. 83 . that is clearly R u d r a . consistent with the epic a n d Puraijic m y t h o l o g y .StarkaSr and Sisupala claim that h e has appeared to his devotees in a thousand and eight different f o r m s . albeit hypothetically. 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. In an earlier w o r k . But that c a n n o t be enough f o r u s . 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. 208-245. 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 . 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. 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. Let us note first that it is n o t so certain.S i v a and Vi^pu i n c a r n a t e . beneath the heroic transposition presented b y the Mahabharata. In judging in this regard the appearances of M h a d a i o . ' In the Vedic h y m n s themselves. 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 . w e h a v e seen in outline. 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. 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. 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.

" and w h o is easily split up into an infinity of Rudras each attached to such a r o a d . their n a r r o w roads a n d vulnerable crossroads. 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. T h e main service which Vi?nu renders to Indra. o b j e c t . as if this acreage (root ma-) would add t o their domain. to the domain of O r d e r . m o r e generally. 1 . he is quite the opposite of the Vedic Rudra. a n d the k n o w e r of remedies. ' Rudra. of herbs which destroy illness. the powers of poison a n d cure it holds in store. the meal that is only barely prepared. with its aberrant population o f ascetics as well as brigands. 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. 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. 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 . 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. with its monsters. and in a w a y which prefigures the epic version. 84 ." Journal asiatique • CCXLII (1953). Untersuchungen zum altindischen Glauben und Kultus (1922). 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 . pp.2 5 . 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.* In this role. the functions of the t w o gods a r e nevertheless contradict o r y . b u t m o r a l l y neutral.StarkaSr a n d Sisupala V i j o u . cf. N o t evil. the enterprise that is only planned. the master o f the b u s h . to give them their w o r k i n g o r living space. 418-419. the master. Archaic Roman Religion (1970). 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. 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. * "Vifpu et les Mar(it a travers la reforme zoroastrienne. is. its m y r i a d plants. portions of space which at first eluded them. C o n cealed in the forest o r on the m o u n t a i n . whose assistant he is. unpolished. an extension of the c h a o s at the fringe and sometimes even at the heart of civilized lands. at o n c e powerful and undetermined. e t c .

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

with the often offensive stichom a c h y which expresses it. "The Rigsjjula and Indo-European Social Structure" in Gods of the Ancient Northmen. 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. as well as d e f o r m a t i o n s . 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 .' Within the trifunctional structure itself. 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. the magical a n d terrible sovereign on o n e side. the prestigious c h a m p i o n on the other. 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. S o he is. moreover—storm. of the trifunctional structure. 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 . But the rich nature of O d i n is n o t exhausted b y this formula. O d i n concerns himself with battle a n d c o m b a t a n t s . T h o r is rather the solitary. I myself have m a n y times pointed out the e v o l u t i o n . chap. irresistible c h a m p i o n . 118-125. 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 . with the fighting aristocracy at the very least. pp.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. a sort o f V a y u o r B h i m a whose chief exploit. so to speak. 86 . 2. t o b e sure. 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). a n d in the Harbardsljdd f o r example. peculiar t o the G e r m a n i c world. his opposition to T h o r . b y which w a r h a s . ' Cf.

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

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

is rigor itself. "I place m y trust in y o u . T h o r . he performs it without subtlety or c o m p r o m i s e . all of a piece. surrounded b y snakes. S h e agrees and the lesson begins. " A t these words B a s m a g u t . he intoned a h y m n in praise of him. and instantly reduces himself to ashes. 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. though it does not m a t c h the relationship of R u d r a . 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 . while O d i n . notwithstanding his imprudences with the giants. His relationships with the giants are summed up in one w o r d : he exterminates them b y his extreme strength. does the s a m e . so that he completely forgets the deadly gift he received f r o m M h a d a i o . even c o n stituting his ultimate recourse.S i v a and V i j n u . aided only occasionally b y the ruse of a c o m p a n i o n . B u t . " A f t e r doing this h o m a g e to Vi?iju. "I a g r e e . 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." adds the false P a r b u t t y . A s opposed to O d i n . " answered M h a d a i o . 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 . and apt to inspire disgust rather than l o v e . His constant mission is to save the gods and the world b y destroying this b r o o d . in the guise of the D e i o t a n y [goddess]. that of O d i n and T h o r covers to an extent the same ground. H e sees her carelessly put a h a n d on her h e a d . A Vi?nu minus the c h a r m . y o u r indulgence supports m y w e a k n e s s . 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 . hierarchically speak- 89 . " 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 .S i v a . 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. 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 . Loki or T h j a l f i . W e see h o w . " he added. is superior to T h o r . "I c a n n o t resist the devotions of m y w o r shippers. But V i j i j u . "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 . he reproached him f o r his imprudence.StarkaSr and Sisupala drunk.

especially the m o r e mysterious ones. pp. Besides StarkaSr. 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 . His c o m p l e x i t y . 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 . II (1957). is not consenting. but he does not have at his disposal the large assortment of f a v o r s . to remain until R a g n a r o k the highest g o d . M o r e o v e r . Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte'. 302. If for convenience we call O d i n and Rudra-Siva the " d a r k g o d s . 300. B y the mere fact that S t a r k a S r is a giant or the grandson of a giant. all m a k e him theologically m o r e interesting. h o n o r e d on high-seat pillars as the watchful guardian of dwellings. 63-64. see Jan de Vries. Sleipnir is the only example in the Scandinavian myths of a being endowed with an abnormal number of limbs. b y nature. etc. F. 45-47).). the posth u m o u s happiness he assures his followers in V a l h o l l . 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 . T h o r is invoked in present dangers. Japan. | | f • ' ^. a n d consequently that of the h e r o . 3 (on the horse Sleipnir). a h u m a n sacrifice w h o s e victim. and Mircea Eliade. and where they diverge. pp. with all his s h o r t c o m ings.X | 90 . he has T h o r against h i m . he relies on him f o r a questionable deed. and he rewards this crime with the gift of three lives. and to this end t a k e s him to a certain extent under his protection. " each of the two heroes. Jonsson. | * | . ed. 304 n. given thanks for the rain that fertilizes the fields. his magical k n o w l e d g e . regarding the role of the gods. the stories of S t a r k a S r and Sisupala agree. 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. 364-365 (on eight-legged horses in Siberia. being m o r e important in this " Cylfaginning. which enable O d i n .StarkaSr and Sisupala ing and apparently also in the degree of esteem accorded him b y h u m a n society. the true sovereign. 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 . a king. 26 ( = Edda Snorra. Le Chamanisme^ (1969). " and T h o r a n d Vi§nu the "light g o d s . " in the s a m e w a y he can m a k e use of this disturbing superman.

through the " R u d r a i c " nature of the h e r o . 5. while the d a r k god acts o n l y implicitly. and withholds it f r o m Sisupala. on the other in rejoining the w o r l d of O d i n . the reader gives his s y m p a t h y to S t a r k a S r . 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. 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. without showing himself. if not the dark god himself (Odin). T h e result is that S t a r k a S r is. at the instant of his decapitation. on one side. T h i s orientation continues in the conclusion of the t w o tales. Sisupala an evil o n e . Odin: I.StarkaSr and Sisupala life and especially in that to c o m e . 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. 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 . Obedient to the theology. 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 . on the whole. the highest happiness consists. in S c a n d i n a v i a . a g o o d h e r o . the light god having only an immediate and limited range. and one of the closest (HoSr). *H6Sr: Thor: T h o r restores the hero t o h u m a n 91 . T h e god into w h o m . 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 .

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

V. I V . or: the first of them (the only one recounted in the saga) is ordered. *H65r: Thor: T h o r is responsible for the three crimes.StarkaSr a n d Sisupala Odin: functions) and particularly the first. which he orders. A s god of kings. violated only in the three crimes (in S a x o and partly the saga). directed and c o m pleted b y O d i n (saga). the hero urges Hatherus to behead h i m . 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 . T h e third crime d o n e . 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.

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

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

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

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. his failing is o n e o f venality. of serving as his master's b o d y g u a r d o r as tutor o f his children. n o n e is the chief crime of regicide. a n d that he generalizes his grievance. His lofty ideal of the kingly function is that of a high-level servant. is a king.• •• v - JARASANDHA '. a king a m o n g those gathered around the son of Pan<^u f o r the rajasuya. equally c a p a b l e . 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 . From the scene he m a k e s when Krsna/ w h o is n o king. 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 . o n e h a s the impression that he feels in the first place personally offended. ^ '• 1. not o f a m b i t i o n . 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 . Sisupala. merely as a device rather generally used in such situations. ODIN. on the c o n t r a r y . he serves kings. Likewise. finds himself singled out f o r special h o n o r s . a n d if he kills O l o Vegetus. Starcatherus is not a king himself. speaking in the n a m e of all the assembled kings. if the five exemplary crimes which Kr?na singles out are aimed against kings.

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. a s an imperial act conferring on the sacrificer primacy over all kings. When Yudhisthira deems that the m o m e n t has c o m e to celebrate this sacrifice. has in fact modified the plot. Sisupala finds here. 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 . ^ Reminding one of the words of Marshal Joffre. 57-66 (si. King V i k a r . w e recall. But w e h a v e p r o o f that India. S t a r c a t h e r u s . b e c o m e his marshal. w h o h a s already realized in practice. a n d the first of the crimes consists in " s e n d i n g " O d i n . he consults K r j n a . kills a king w h o is his master. in the service of a n o t h e r king. h a s gone over c o m pletely to his side a n d h a s indeed. the object of the rdjasuya. pp. it f o r m s the second panel of a diptych of which the first is n o less interesting. 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!" . but w a r n s h i m of a p r o b l e m . that is. is certainly something archaic. 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. when it is found in a s t o r y . understood here. o n these same t w o points. is in fact o n l y the second a n d last obstacle confronting the c e r e m o n y . at his insistence. namely Jarasandha of M a g a d h a ." T h u s . 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. just before the beginning of the preparations. Sisupala's verbal a t t a c k . T h e r e has been a n o t h e r one. w h o approves it. a n d h a s subjugated most of the kings. though a king. the mighty Sisupala.Jarasandha victim. 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 . in t w o of his crimes. there is little chance of its having been added after the f a c t . in contrast. 559-767). wise prince. without sacrifice. and hence. 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. but this victim is only a horse. o n these t w o points. ^Mahabharata.' 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. 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.

. the time o f their sacrifice. supreme kingship.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 . ensured b y his general. the other. to the g o d . the deliverance of the kings w h o a w a i t . . T h e r e f o r e . A s is frequent in the Mahabharata. t o w h o m he o w e s his victories ( 6 2 9 ) : " . " Sacrifice t o what god? T o R u d r a ." T h u s .S i v a .Jarasandha Kr§na then resumes the history of these c a m p a i g n s . the kings. as a lion imprisons great elephants in a c a v e of the H i m a l a y a . concludes K r j n a . . king. the most sumptuous gifts have not averted a n y of his a t t a c k s . King J a r a s a n d h a w a n t s t o sacrifice the lords of the earth. 99 . as victims. 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 . 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. a n important piece o f information ( 6 5 8 . 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. in which BhTma gets involved. while he lives. penned up like cattle. o n e of general m o r a l i t y . bull of the Bharatas? . A n d he supplies. to this point w e have only the description of a c o n q u e r o r . 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 . like so m a n y others. . 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 . . 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 . 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. w h o m Yudhi$thira must eliminate if he wishes to b e able to celebrate his imperial sacrifice. 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. G i r i v r a j a .6 2 9 ) : " A f t e r he h a d defeated them all. . he imprisoned the kings in his mountain c o r r a l . H i s victories. Eighty-six kings. m a k e s impossible. . to M a h a d e v a . But J a r a s a n d h a is unique.

Jarasandha have been led to their jail b y J a r a s a n d h a . that he would never offend them b y preferring one to the other. 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 . T h e g o d assures him conquests a n d empire. 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 . king. Kr?na insists. n a m e d B f h a d r a t h a .S i v a . 100 . 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. T h i s is h o w K r j n a satisfies Yudhigfhira's curiosity. fourteen are left. A r j u n a encourages h i m . 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. He married twin sisters. A s does the Scandinavian hero with O d i n . H e went into the forest to find a hermit w h o . Yet in vain did the king take his abundant pleasure with his two wives: he did not succeed in getting himself an heir. much as we h a v e heard Kr§na promise to forgive his nephew a hundred o f fenses. JARASANDHA AND S1§UPALA T h e r e w a s a n erstwhile king of M a g a d h a . the rich and beautiful daughters of the king of Kasi. 2.P a s u p a t i . a great c h a m p i o n and w a r l o r d . 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 will sacrifice to h i m n o t o n e king but a hundred of them." Y u d h i j t h i r a hesitates. like the dervishes in oriental tales. A n d he w h o defeats Jarasandha will certainly b e c o m e Sovereign. Jarasandha lives at least implicitly under contract to R u d r a . 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 . 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 .

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

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. w h a t is needed is n o t pruning but welding. b y liquidating J a r a s a n d h a . the king's l u c k . In order to draw f r o m h i m a h u m a n like the rest of us. U n doubtedly this is the beginning of the relationships w h i c h will unite 102 . hetumatra. a s S a x o says. 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 . o n e eye t o o m a n 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. 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 . the king a n d his general. T h e miracle o c c u r s . 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. 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 . a single a r m . rescue the royal victims a n d m a k e possible the rajasuya. a n d it is here. his wrath is directed preferentially against that f a m i l y . a half-mouth. the r a n d o m agent. 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 . o n e single b u t t o c k . reduced to h u m a n measure. his son-in-law having been killed b y the elder b r o t h e r of Krgna. against the sons of V a s u d e v a . Jarasandha c o m e s into the w o r l d in t w o halves.Jarasandha T h e child g r o w s a n d b e c o m e s a m a n . T h e magical surgery is therefore the inverse of. T o draw a n o r m a l h u m a n f r o m h i m . of w h i c h the ^flfcsasf has been only the m e a n s . f o r w h o m he m a k e s life u n b e a r a b l e .s t o m a c h . 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 . in o n e o f Rudra's favorite domains. 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. 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 . w h o is responsible f o r it? T h e text names Fate. a n d with some reluctance. Yudhigthira lets himself b e c o n v i n c e d : he must. bhagya. daiva. if not t w o men in o n e . that the marvel occurs. his father dies a n d goes to h e a v e n . W h a t is its origin. he is at least m o r e than o n e m a n . A f t e r this a c c o u n t .

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

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

Jarasandha a n s w e r . and these c h a m p i o n s are t w o Paijc^avas. Either set free all the kings. 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 . . 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 . let go o f them.8 7 9 ) . princes f r o m the entire w o r l d . . W e a r e challenging y o u . with g o o d r e a s o n : when o n e keeps captive. . is it not the l a w . 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. a little later. 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. might well affect us. the dharma of the k§atriya to fight. when he asks 105 . T h e r e f o r e he will refrain. 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. K r j i j a . 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 is ready for b a t t l e . 861). 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 . has he sent to his dungeon a king w h o m he has not first vanquished. utpddya. I a m Sauri Hj-jlkesa. . (882): . alone against o n e o r t w o o r three. Should / n o w . y o u give fellow b a r o n s the n a m e of beasts! . 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 . kdmatahl Finally. king.A p p e a s e s [Rudra-Siva]? A b a r o n yourself. he says." " 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 . Never. Besides. " . M a g a d h a n . S t a n d firm a n d fight us. T h e head of a r o y a l line has sent them. . a n d here is the m a i n point. B a r h a d r a t h i .8 6 5 . . O n his side. 8 7 8 .W h o . o r m a n against m a n . as he does. 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. 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.

dazed adversary under his knees. Jarasandha s h o w s signs of tiring. 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." a n d the latter in his turn h a d presented it to Jarasandha's father. the rescued kings request his orders. A s Jarasandha w a s being pounded a n d the Pan<?ava roared. there w a s a tumultuous din that terrified all creatures. the king designates 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. Seeing Kr?na leaving. a n d there begins a spectacular duel. where BhTma n o t o n l y crushes his exhausted. 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 . he threw him down. the kings shower their rescuer with gifts. bull o f the B h a r a t a s . a n d himself goes to rescue the kings.t a m e r .Jarasandha Jarasandha which adversary he chooses f o r himself. 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 . when he h a d hurled h i m a hundred times. lifted high the mighty Jarasandha and hurled h i m a r o u n d . 60-62. powerful BhTma. b r o k e his b a c k with his knees. pounded h i m a n d bellowed forth. pp. T h e court chaplain blesses his king. Freed f r o m a terrible danger. . the o b ject o f Jarasandha's hatred. (mok^itah mahato bhaydt). Indra h a d given it to V a s u Uparicara. 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. 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 . since after using it in a f a m o u s battle against the d e m o n s . I 106 . K r ? n a blesses his c h a m p i o n . . All the M a g a d h a n s reeled a n d their w o m e n aborted. But K f j n a loses n o time. which lasts fourteen d a y s .9 3 1 ) : T h u s spoken t o . rending h i m in t w o f r o m head " The Destiny of a King (1973). but also. e n e m y . o r f r o m allied dynasties. O n the fourteenth d a y .

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

Jarasandha 1 . the puru$amedha is a theoretical construct intended merely as a n extension of the upper end of the sacrificial roster. 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 . 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 . In the S c a n d i n a v i a n s t o r y . Supported b y the parallel Scandinavian tradition. he demands of h i m . T h e description o f Jarasandha's crime should be taken literally. 2 . through the years. But n o m a t t e r . and if not the wretched tale of the y o u n g Sunahsepa. a s p a y m e n t . in cruelty. But it is generally agreed that. 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. pp. under this n a m e . 56-57. 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. but m e n as well. a n d from T a c i t u s ' Germania to the Ynglingasaga. offered particularly to " M e r c u r i u s " (that is. 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. even if J a r a s a n d h a unilaterally resolved t o ' Idees romaines (1969). 108 . T h e n . there a r e numerous attestations of h u m a n victims. this crime attests that h u m a n sacrifices were still practiced in earliest India. b y eyewitness testimony. a n d this in the presence of the beneficiary. a n d to O d i n in the Swedish U p p l a n d . that in Uppsala at festivals every ninth year there were hanged n o t only dogs a n d horses. several traditions a b o u t M a n u . O d i n .'' 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. Surely the legend of Sunahsepa. He has waited patiently. after he has been an undeniable help to S t a r k a S r in the scene of the setting of fates. and the theory of the purusamedha speak in f a v o r of its existence. in the f o r m in which it is described. *Wddanaz) o n the continent. that he " d i s p a t c h " his king t o h i m . 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.

based o n the reliable taste of the god for the b l o o d of m e n . A s the sovereign g o d .S i v a . 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 . 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. a n d Jarasandha . divides his complaint into t w o sections. Nonetheless. 3 . 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. given the close similarity of the stories of Jarasandha a n d Sisupala. 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. R u d r a has n o special connection with r o y a l t y . 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 . This very congruence uncovers a difficulty. like V i k a r . In S c a n d i n a v i a . a n d in terms of h u m a n victims has n o reason to prefer kings.Jarasandha promise a hundred kings to R u d r a . It is not the same in India. it w a s because he k n e w that R u d r a generally pays well. a natural intimacy with earthly kings. Sisupala acting as passionate defender of the majesty o f kings on the o n e h a n d . 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 . but his theological definition entails n o such lofty restriction. 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. he h a s a n affinity. he says. in the last analysis. a r e criminal under a n y circumstances. sacrificing m e n to R u d r a . and that. calling to himself o n e of his o w n . m o r e precisely the king o f the gods. only reclaims what is his. a person o f the same caste. kings. 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. T h e r e w a s at least a tacit understanding of the do ut des k i n d . 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. he offers the actual masters of these realms to the g o d w h o can help h i m . t w o f o r m u l a e . (2) a savanna must n o t h a r m his savarna. b u t .

the rescuer is simply T h o r . neither f o r J a r a s a n d h a n o r for Sisupala. 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. b y the service rendered to Indra b y his steps and his assistance. the c a n o n i c a l god of the seco n d function. because the second has been fused with the first. to sacrifice them cruelly to a g o d . V i S a r . is the defender of royal m a j e s t y . no doubt m o r e precisely. 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 . eludes still m o r e completely a n y attempt to fix him in the trifunctional structure. in the h y m n s and later. is not so for the t w o Indie figures. 230-237. while Rudra and Vi?i. CCXVIII 110 . 1-13. But it is easily seen that the necessity f o r this situation. ME I.t y p e . 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 . o b v i o u s f o r S t a r k a S r .Jarasandha (whose general Sisupala is) capturing kings as o n e traps animals." Revue de I'histoire des religions. but O d i n is n o m o r e reducible to this type than to the V a r u ^ a . because. beginning with the sacrificial murder of V i k a r . If the Vedic Vi?^iu. let us reiterate. belongs preferentially to the second function. t o o . in every case. and the gods in general. T h e typological affinity of Rudra and O d i n has been explored in the previous chapter. Vi?i:iu's strict counterpart. a n d the sacrificer. he spills outside it to the extent that he also serves M a n u . R u d r a . In S c a n dinavia. 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 India the same is not the case. 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 . a n d the t w o types which he combines in himself cannot be sundered. B o t h at o n c e . 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 . 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 . (1965).iu are outside it.

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

.

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 . publishable justifications f o r ' See the discussion of Stig Wikander's discovery in ME I. 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 . they have preserved between these heroes the relationships. 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 . 46 and n. particularly those o f hierarchy. . 1. p. t w o w a r r i o r s . alliance. 53-65. 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 . o f inventing h u m a n . w h i c h existed a m o n g those g o d s . pp. whose principle they stated but w h o s e details they did n o t reveal. several examples h a v e been given o f w h a t o n e might call almost a l a w . left them the task of supplying. ' T h i s blueprint w h i c h guided t h e m . 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 . the heroine transposed f r o m the single.THE W O M A N AND THE ANCESTORS t 1. 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. 103-109. novelistic. a n d enm i t y . MASCULINE RIVALRIES In a previous study.

O n all these points the transposition has respected the m a i n lines of the theology of the t w o divinities. the nasty consequence of an imprudent w o r d uttered b y the m o t h e r of the Pariijlavas. w h o is also a devotee. third-function sin). 110-117.^ ^ Ibid. W h i l e a p p r o a c h i n g . " A mother's w o r d must b e d o n e . 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 .ia is not homogeneous with the first five. a scandal a m o n g the A r y a n s . T h e two figures oppose each o t h e r because o n e is Vi^iju incarnate. if DraupadT h a s five husbands. "in c o m m o n . the initiative in the hostilities is not taken b y Kf?i:ia.The Woman and the Ancestors such predetermined relationships. 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. 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 .^ 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. of R u d r a S i v a ." she said. pp. A single one of the brothers had w o n the girl in a svayamvara and had returned with her to the forest. at his 114 . and believing that he a n n o u n c e d some actually divisible a l m s . 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.S i v a or a " R u d r a i c " figure. at least in the preceding o n e . For e x a m p l 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 .S i v a . Furthermore. it is. since he is the last of the incarnations of a d e m o n w h o . 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. and a cruel o n e . To be sure. y o u r brothers a n d y o u .. 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. to the spot where his m o t h e r a n d brothers awaited h i m . was the follower and protege of R u d r a . but b y Sisupala. n o longer f r o m the point of view of the transposition but f r o m that of the epic plot. while the other is a triply " R u d r a i c " being. 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. The fate that falls upon Sisupala is more complex: one after another he commits the hundred sins which.

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

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

" "Above. a n d I declare this f o r S t a r k aSr. the m o t h e r of S t a r k a S r ' s father. that he shall have neither son n o r daughter. a n d so shall his line e n d . although here the cause h a s the same weight as the effect. 5 ' ''f V« '• Above. Let us reread these important lines:" . T o this S t o r v i r k r a n d his legitimate wife. contradictorily determine the fate o f the second S t a r k a S r . 14. . bigger and stronger than other m e n . a n d the texts which repeat o r gloss this passage. w h o h a s been mentioned. A t the m o m e n t when T h o r a n d O d i n . W e recall h o w the beginning of the Gautrekssaga. 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 . 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 . a l though of b l a c k hair. . 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 . the daughter of King A l f r . T h e n T h o r slew S t a r k a S r . 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 . T h o r declares himself f r o m the beginning against the b o y . King A l f r then called u p o n T h o r . 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. p. . in the assembly of the solemnly gathered gods. 12. the hero of the saga. a n d perhaps different. . . 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 . he w a s a m a n of h a n d s o m e l o o k s . i S t a r k a S r [Aludrengr. 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.T h e W o m a n a n d the A n c e s t o r s RukminI. w a s b o r n the second S t a r k a S r . S h e b o r e a s o n . W e recall also that in a later episode. 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 saga h a s something m o r e . a n d carried Alfhildr h o m e t o her father. p. a n d she w a s then with child. F r o m Alfheim h e t o o k Alfhildr. w h o w a s called S t o r v i r k r .

a n d the girl is pregnant. m o r e important o n e : it is the giant. w h o m he c o n d e m n s to h a v e n o p r o geny. in the Mahabharata. a n d the killing follows on the heels of the offense. o n e w h e r e T h o r intervened. third. to b e the last of his race. In both cases. b u t fourth. w h o m Alfhildr h a s chosen. the giant takes her. a n d marries h e r . In b o t h cases. T h e god's attitude toward the hero is justified b y a novelistic incident. second. 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). the g o d " r e c o v e r s " the girl. the g o d ends b y slaying his rival. spurning the g o d T h o r . T h i s last disparity is m o r e o v e r only the natural consequence of another. that Kr§ija gets hold of her. only in the Scandinavian tale it is f o r her father a n d not f o r himself. still virgin. only at the request o f Alfhildr's father. and describes a situation similar t o . 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 . in the Mahabharata it is during the wedding c e r e m o n y .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. 118 . the god remains offended that the other h a d been preferred to him to the point of begetting in his place. 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. the other where he avenged himself on a successful rival? In a n y case this second text exists. with her consent. the o n e which opposes Sisupala a n d Kv?na o v e r RukmiijI: first. 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. retakes the girl and returns h e r to her father. in S c a n d i n a v i a a n d in India. the g o d kills the giant. 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. disinterestedly. only in the saga the rival is not the hero of the story but his grandfather. unexceptioned hostility of T h o r against all that c o m e s f r o m giants. and partially the converse of. the giant a n d the g o d b o t h desire the girl. the first S t a r k a S r . before R u k m i n i has really fallen into Sisupala's p o w e r .

apart f r o m three incidents. 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. desire. neither is it without precedent. 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 . the reasons the reader h a s f o r admiring h i m .S i v a . 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 . 119 . Hiranyakasipu a n d R a v a p a — f i g u r e s w h o . n o r with a grandfather. A n d here again it is the saga's version which reinforces. his entirely h u m a n grandson. against S a x o . but w h o in the e n d . long enjoyed the protection of R u d r a . a n d occasionally f o r having m a d e themselves intolerable to Rudra-Siva himself. of the little m o n s t e 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. 9 3 . as w e have seen. a grandfather and a g r a n d s o n . like J a r a s a n d h a . in the last "crises" in which Visnu had to intervene.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 . like J a r a s a n d h a . in this piece of literature. it could be easily imagined that a sagamadr. the c o m p a r i s o n with the Indie a c c o u n t . has split up the c h a r a c ter. things m a y h a v e gone the other w a y . 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 . T o be sure. S a x o m a y h a v e simplified a n initially more c o m p l e x situation. It m a y be on the c o n t r a r y that. found themselves a b a n d o n e d b y their p r o t e c t o r . is a n d should b e edifying. 2. H o w e v e r . Let us q u o t e o n c e again 6 The Destiny of the Warrior (1970). p. B u t . 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 . 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.

he aspired to the conquest o f Paradise. in the pages which open his resume of the Rdmdyana. p. " " B u t he h a d only ten of t h e m . 292-294. he coerced B i r m a h . de Polier. to b e s t o w on h i m a net a n d a javelin. 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 ] . 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 . H e h a d already subdued the earth a n d Paradise. 4. b y sacrificing his head to h i m . 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. n. b y threatening to kill h i m . 81.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. 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. R a m t c h o u n d . 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. the a b o d e of the father of P a r b u t t y [ParvatT. above. the wife of Rudra-Siva). he h a d e n c r o a c h e d upon hell. " replied the teacher. 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 . o r C e y l o n . 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 . in addition to which this giant h a d also such p r o digious strength that. 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 . is supposed to give h i m . " said M . alarmed at the abuse he had m a d e of the supernatural ' Cf. R u d r a . This passage in I. " H e h a d only ten at a t i m e . N o t content with the extraordinary gifts he had received f r o m M h a d a i o . D r u n k with his p o w e r . 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. 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.S i v a ] a n d h a d obtained f r o m this D e i o t a s . 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 . 120 . his strength a n d the privileges M h a d a i o h a d granted h i 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 . " b u t they would regrow to the extent that they were cut off.

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 . Irdische Unsterblichkeit. even rationalized to the extreme. w h o has b e c o m e K f ^ n a . father of S t o r v i r k r . .. such a practice at least charts for the n e w b o r n a lifeplan. an imitation which. whether one should trace b a c k to Indo-European times the belief in metempsychosis.••>. and at the s a m e time. Eckhardt. although less cosmic than. It is this R a v a n a w h o . 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 spite of Celtic evidence. In any case it is alien to the G e r m a n i c w o r l d .• • V . 61-62. plays the same role. that conferred on Sisupala by his demonic past and his prior encounters in other lives with the same g o d . . 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 . and S t a r k a S r . If they restore between them the b a l a n c e of c h a n c e . 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. this prenatal stage at least gives the hero's life story a scope c o m p a r a b l e with. and everything heralds the great event which must bring to an end the reign of vice.. But continuity in family lines. if adopted and carried out b y the n a m e s a k e . 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. - 'jj!.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.. •. " :-. restore virtue on earth and m a k e manifest the exclusive p o w e r of V i $ n u . the t w o interventions of T h o r . as well as b y numerous other peoples. killing the o n e and persecuting the other? T h i s diachronic timing of happenings. 121 . K. functionally speaking. Is it not this belief that has been able to justify the coexistence of S t a r k a S r . son of S t o r v i r k r . in successive reincarnations. slain b y Vi?nu in the guise of R a m a . germanischer Glaube an die Wiederverkorperung in der Sippe (1937). * Mythes et dieux des Germains. pp. in the last analysis reanimates the deceased himself. It is doubtful. A. 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 .

Z e u s . 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. the wife of A m p h i t r y o n . " 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. the genders of the deities are reversed in relation to their roles: it is a goddess. B u t . H e r a . r e c o m m e n d a decision against S a x o . 122 . w h o persecutes the son w h o m her less than faithful spouse. has chosen to obtain through the services of h e r involuntary rival A l k m e n e . in f a v o r of the sagamadr. from earliest times. in the G r e e k legend. Is it necessary to prefer one o r the other.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. h o w e v e r . they do not allow us to decide.

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

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

thus allowing for this single insemination a n a m o u n t of sperm which seems. I V . a n d his m o t h e r A l k m e n e descends f r o m Perseus. even for a g o d . 4 . in general. a n d yet he could n o t hope to persuade her because of her chastity (oco(ppooi5vr|). T h e prowess which w a s found in him w a s not only to be seen in his deeds. he did n o t choose to offer violence to A l k m e n e . as he did in the case of other w o m e n . 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 .Herakles greatest o f the g o d s " : Zeus is his father. 9 . h e has in him a certain excess. . 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 . like Starcatherus. using a s her 125 . but w a s also recognized even before his birth. 3 . . W h e n the natural time of pregnancy h a d passed. 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 . Z e u s .r|. T h e position of Herakles in relation to the first a n d second functions. a surplus of strength in relation to other m e n . . w h o s e mind w a s fixed on the birth o f Herakles. 6jrepPoA. a n d s o .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). 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. desiring to give legality to his e m b r a c e s . a n d particularly in relation to the t w o goddesses w h o preside over them (Diodorus. C o n sequently. whereupon Hera. A n d . 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).8 ) : 4. 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. deciding to use deception. the son of Zeus a n d D a n a e : 2. w h o w a s filled with jealousy (^riXoTUTCoOaav).

After Alkmene had brought forth the babe. especially during Herakles' youth.^a Texayn^vov i)n6 T6V EiipucnS^a xeX^crai 6c&6eKafiiSXouqoui. but that Herakles should serve Eurystheus and perform twelve labors. though he had been outgeneralled.Herakles helper Eileithyia her daughter. consequently.r|v i^TiOCTxeTv). 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. approaching the spot in the company of Hera (Kai9' 6v 8r\ xp6vov 'AiSriva jiexd Tf{q "Hpai. 5 . But when the boy tugged upon her breast with greater violence than would be expected at his age. 6. 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). If we stick with 126 . in ignorance saved the life of one who was her natural enemy { 8i' fiyvoiav Saco^e x6 xfj (pi3cjei TioX^iaiov).OD<Ta) her own offspring was trying to destroy it while she who cherished towards it a stepmother's hatred. Various forms are taken. fiv 6 EdpucnSet)? TipoCTxd^Ti. 7. persuaded Hera to offer it the breast (duv^Ttexcre XT)V "Hpav xfjv r3r|A. however. Hera was unable to endure the pain and cast the babe from her (f) n^v °Hpa SiaXyfiaacja x6 Pp^cpo? £ppiv|/ev). these to be whatever Eurystheus should prescribe. And anyone may well be surprised at the unexpected turn of the affair (x6 xi]q TiepiTtexela? napdSo^ov). he persuaded Hera to agree that Eurystheus should be king as he had promised. Now at this very time Athena. Kol xoCxo jipd^ovxa xu%eiv rf\q di&avacslaq). by the enmity of Hera and the solicitude of Athena. T6V 8' 'HpaK>. 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. they say. wished both to fulfill his promise and to take thought for the future fame (^7ti9ave{a) of Herakles. checked the birth-pains of Alkmene and brought Eurystheus forth to the light before his full time. for the mother whose duty it was to love (ax^pyEiv 6(pe{A. TtpoaioOaa) and being amazed at the natural vigor of the child (iSaundaaaa xoC naiSiou xf^v (ptSoiv). Zeus.

5. a n d f o l l o w s h i m discreetly in his l a b o r s . recalls. rescues h i m when he is only a n a b a n d o n e d b a b y . 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. 3). it is A t h e n a w h o presents the first gift. winning his heroic n a m e : " H e w h o owes his glory (KX^OI.. the initially a m biguous relationship of Sisupala a n d Kyj^ia: placed on the god's knees. fights. 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. that Herakles hands over t h e apples of the Hesperides. thus. y. 5 8 0 . a peplos (14. T h e t w o goddesses. sees to his outfitting. i'^.) to H e r a " (10. 1). b u t their h a r m o n y is only o u t w a r d .. to w h i c h he h a s been c o n * ME I.. . 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 . . T h i s is no longer the aUiance into w h i c h they w e r e driven. functionally speaking. essentially. 127 . a n d the virgin A t h e n a does n o t hesitate to trick H e r a . 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 . pp. W h e r e v a r i o u s gods a r m a n d equip Herakles.Herakles the text of D i o d o r u s . they even w a l k together. T h i s scene of the goddess saving a n d nursing the child w h o m she will thereafter persecute.. 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 . a n d w h o begins b y biting her. 11). obedient t o the king. it is to h e r .5 8 6 . he is saved. it is Hera w h o sends the t w o serpents w h i c h the infant strangles in his cradle. which the goddess immediately returns t o their place (II. to b e sure. 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. it w a s c l a i m e d . the little m o n s t e r receives h u m a n f o r m . b u t at the s a m e time the plan of a long hostility is laid. Later.li. 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 . a n d the " l a b o r s . " that is. they play antagonistic roles. n o doubt as his m o s t trusted friend. 1).. 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 . in the legend of the shepherd prince Paris.

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

. a n d A p o l l o responded. 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. 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 . H e r a . the sacrificial cloak that Herakles h a d asked for. "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. and drawing Herakles close to her b o d y then let him fall through her garments to the ground. 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 a few r e m a r k s on the establishment of the first cults of Herakles ( 3 9 . t o o k place in the following m a n n e r . 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 . 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 . they assumed that. Hera lay upon a bed. 5 . regarding w h o m the poet speaks in the " N e k y i a " : 129 . imitating in this w a y the actual birth. they say. D i o d o r u s makes us p a r t a k e of the secrets of Olympus: 2 . and he.Herakles love p o t i o n . Zeus will p r o v i d e . the m y t h s relate. lighted the p y r e . 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 . j o i n e d him in marriage to H e b e . W e should add to w h a t has been said a b o u t Herakles. 3 . 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. In the grip of the growing. " 4 . A f t e r this. and let a pyre be erected next to h i m . in a c c o r d a n c e with the words of the oracle. He put it on. . f o r the rest. 1). H e r a kles. after she had adopted Herakles in this fashion. and activated b y his b o d y ' s heat. intolerable pain. having a b a n d o n e d hope f o r himself. the poison began to devour him. 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. 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. .

in spite of his three lives).Herakles Herakles meets up with G e r a s ( O l d A g e ) . 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. 130 .

pp. b y a m e a n s which the latter finds suspect a n d does n o t use. '^Hr--'. 131 . in spite of him in G r e e c e . w h o acts. see my Manages indo-europeens (Paris: Payot. ' 4. HERAKLES. a n d others with the e n d of Sisupala. ? : / • Like the S c a n d i n a v i a n h e r o . n a m e l y marriage. with a scenario simulating n o t a fusion but a birth. his death completely reconciles the hero with the divinity w h o h a s been. and which is f u t h e r m o r e completed immediately b y the wedding to H e b e .6 3 . 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 . a l o n e . 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. daughter of the inimical goddess. But this affirmation ' [1982] On Deianeira and the marriages of Herakles in general. 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. in the sort o f union which is at o n c e most intimate a n d least miraculous. AND SISUPALA T h e r e are immediately perceptible analogies with the end of Starcatherus. seeks a killer. out of devotion. 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.Herakles I s a w the shade of Herakles. 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 . A s with the Indian Sisupala. t o b e sure. the G r e e k o n e determines to die. a n d finds h i m in the person of a n innocent w a r r i o r . 1979). 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. 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 . on an island. 5 9 . his e n e m y . 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. b y his own fault in India. India goes s o f a r as to h a v e the very being of Sisupala absorbed into the divinity. a n d S o p h o c l e s . STARKADR.

Herakles m a r k s the limit of our grasp. 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. 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 . "light divinity" T h e comparativist can only entrust to Hellenists. N o feature sets them in opposition in the guise of w h a t we have termed. 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 . well b e f o r e being torn in his will. intervene." T h u s we find ourselves faced with a paradoxical situation. the " d a r k divinity" and the "light divinity. a n d the W a r r i o r e s s w h o in his person foresees. archeological. 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. his protectress and his persecutor. and not a geographically intermediate o n e . 2nd function 2nd function INDIA ! "light divinity" Kf^na-Vi^riu. and philosophical mass of data on Herakles. W e leave the reader before this a p o r i a . between the attractions of vice and virtue. courtesy of P r o d i k o s . 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 . "dark divinity" A t h e n a . It seems that Herakles. as in the legend of the shepherd Paris. had f o u n d himself the 132 . with S c a n d i n a v i a able to provide only a typologically middle term. in c o n n e c t i o n with the other t w o heroes. 1st function SCANDINAVIA ^Ist function Odin^ V'dark divinity" 'li Rudra. those w h o control the vast literary. loves a n d favors the courageous victor of labors and fights.

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

but since she feels obliged to pronounce sentence. and she was unaware of Mythe et epopie //—including the present work—with the confirmations and mediations. by attempting to prove too much. as well as new problems.Herakles J. Harrison. 134 . or to the Dumezilian warrior with his three sins. which." Where did I make this distressing "reduction"? Although several passages in her article suggest that she would be of some help. added to the dossier by the legend of Sisupala. are not very convincing"). 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. no one requires Loraux to associate herself with comparative studies for which she clearly has no taste.

v e r y close to O d i n . until the conversion that takes place at the m o m e n t of his death. at o n c e demonic a n d Sivaistic. at the instant of his death. remains the being. 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. the wife of the sovereign Zeus. 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 . or boundaries a m o n g congruences and divergences.V i j i j u a n d R u d r a . 3 . the cause of which 135 . a r e not all drawn in the same w a y . 2 . IQ-5i:ia-Vi§iju. 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 . T h e divinity with w h o m Herakles is reconciled after his death is Hera. 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 . 4 . on the other h a n d . against India on the other. O n the other hand Sisupala. while K f j o a . the first having n o " d e m o n i c " c o m p o n e n t . Sisupala. the god at once sovereign and " d a r k " (in the sense w e h a v e given this term). what might be called the isothemes. 1 . a n d merges with h i m . is reconciled with the " l i g h t " divinity. Herakles a n d S t a r k a S r are sympathetic heroes.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. 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.Summary In the three w o r k s w e have c o m p a r e d . w h i c h he h a s been f r o m birth.

a n d we will never k n o w if he had reason to be. ad Aen. though they are felt to be present and watchful. 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 . 26 (1971). Sisupala's death is on the c o n t r a r y the climax of a frenzied delirium. 6. 136 . n6voq. 5 . 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 .Summary antedates their birth. w h o in fact does n o t persecute h i m . to b e sure. and o n c e past the beginnings the deities fade into the b a c k g r o u n d . but finally punishes h i m . 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.' 1 0 . 9 . 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. wandering h e r o .S. still it is the hero himself w h o is interesting. In particular. in the only thing that is really important. T h e general type o f Herakles and S t a r k a S r is the same: redresser of wrongs. he is certainly not f o r Hera.402). 1 1 .C. given to toil. and the insufferable burning which results f r o m his third crime f o r Herakles. "Philoct^te et I'^phebie. 8 . a sort of incorrigible Indian Loki. 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 . 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. but of StarkaSr. 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 . 7. In these t w o cases alone. Consequently the reader comes out on the side of neither O d i n n o r T h o r . Vidal-Naquet. 625 (Sophocles) and 630 (Servius.V i j n u . 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 . a n d f o r A t h e n a o n ly to the extent that she helps him. the poisoned arrows given b y Herakles will w o u n d Philoktetes incurably. but o n e which is nonetheless remunerated. Sisupala being only an episodic figure. rather for A t h e n a . Consequently each is an educator: in S a x o ." Annates E. see P. the offer o r final gift is a m b i g u o u s : Hatherus is suspicious. the career of the incarnate god. but a b o v e all f o r Herakles himself. In contrast. 3.

o f young G r e e k s . T h u s : 1. o n the other b y the " l o t s " annunciated. 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. implying criminality. 1 2 . 6. undoubtedly older than the iconographic attestations and the Pythagorean speculations. S t a r k a S r . according t o the v a r i a n t s . in the saga as in S a x o . a n d Herakles is k n o w n t o h a v e a role in the upbringing. N o t h i n g like this occurs in the long career o f Herakles. a n d . (ivf|p. before their careers begin. 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 ) . Hercules Musarum. )a)9ap(p66<. the "gift of p o e t r y " has been conferred on him b y O d i n . 3 . S t a r k a S r has a reputation as a great skald. the other in a giddiness of aggression. b y either O d i n o r T h o r .Summary meanir\g. 5 . 4 . Herakles the pupil o f Linos) is ancient.. like Sisupala. 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. o n e with c o m p o s u r e and on his o w n r e quest. a n d sometimes spectacularly s o . b y one of the t w o divinities concerned. T a k i n g into account that the legend o f Jarasandha c o m pletes that o f Sisupala. . 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 . 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 . stressing the attitudes o f the t w o heroes toward kingship a n d providing emphatic statements o n the subject. T h e association o f the Muses and Herakles (noucriKdi. Sisupala and S t a r k a S r a r e b o r n with monstrosities which are corrected. Herakles has n o birth defects. Herakles mounts a pyre. Herakles c o m m i t s his three crimes freely. 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 . as well as protection. India a n d S c a n d i n a v i a charge their heroes. 2 . 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. the f o r e m o s t of the skalds. 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. with o n e o r m o r e human sacrifices.

c o m p l e m e n t a r y to that of Sisupala. w h o s e entire destiny is fixed b y O d i n and T h o r . T h e third is one of sexual libido f o r each of them. a n d a sacrificer in the case of Sisupala. Finally. in India o n e might have expected. there is Zeus. strikes a b l o w at a n act of worship. 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. but there is n o n e . whereas f o r Stark a S r it consists of a shameful flight on the battlefield. while S t a r k a S r . w h o surprises a n d throws d o w n Iphitos instead of fighting h i m . In consequence of this first difference. w h o twice profits f r o m a king's absence to harass his t o w n o r his officers. 138 . a b o v e Hera a n d A t h e n a w h o vie f o r Herakles. overarching the opposition of Rudra-Siva and Vi§nu. " the Freyr of Uppsala. 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. a n d his " e f f e m i n a t e " festivals. some intervention. juxtaposes c o n versely S c a n d i n a v i a a n d India). quite the c o n t r a r y . O n the c o n t r a r y . while f o r S t a r k a S r it is auri sacra fames. c o n d e m n s this kind of weakness. Formally. sovereign g o d . 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 . though frustrated. 1. 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 . 2 . the three functional failings of Sisupala a n d T h e second Herakles a r e close in kind. and separate them from S c a n d i n a v i a . other correspondences d r a w together India a n d G r e e c e . T h i s complication of the pattern. some "plan" of B r a h m a . a n d in that of Sisupala. where O d i n is the highest. w h o b y stealing the horse planned as a n offering b y a king.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. adds to the interest a n d p a t h o s of the life of Herakles. w h o s e paternal c o n c e r n . 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. against the third function in its sensuous aspect. 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).

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

were only a glaring exception. but is forced to compel him into the service o f a grotesque king. Zeus. after quite a few soundings. a n d Greeks preserved. " detached f r o m the structure of which it f o r m e d a part since Indo-European times. B u t . the a n s w e r remains negative. 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 y transforming it in other w a y s . the three sins. 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. 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. S c a n dinavians. the eternal conjugal strife of inconstant Z e u s a n d his illresigned spouse. a n d whence the tale of Sisupala is derived directly. o n e might 140 . the epic structure w e h a v e been considering? U p to the present. against his protege. king of the gods. o f the epic theme of the "three sins of the w a r r i o r . H a v e other Indo-European peoples besides the Indians. A n d since every sequence of tragedies must end with some less weighty d r a m a . a n artificial extension to m y t h o l o g y . in a long series of physical a n d m o r a l trials. 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 . at least in the f o r m in w h i c h w e k n o w his legend. 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. thanks to the c o n s o l a t o r y philosophy of Vigou. the risk that lies in setting his decrees into f o r m u l a e : the formula turns against his intention. 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 . in the ocean of the divine life. an individual d e m o n i c life losing itself. Zeus. with no expiatory stage. at least his Ttdvog. if n o t his unhappiness. a n d yet causes at first. T h e Indian Sisupala. A s f o r the three functional sins of Indra in the MarkandeyaPurdna. destines him to a splendid kingship a m o n g m e n . it n o w seems likely that they have to do with a secondary realization.Summary w h o s e begetting he has taken especial pains. is m o r e difficult to place. master of the fates.

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

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

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

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

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

A s for y o u . attended b y the most celebrated B r a h m i n s . 'that y o u have already prepared the things necessary f o r the sacrifice. let Chrisnen. requested it with faith and humility.Appendix A few days after Chrisnen's arrival. T h u s . Bhim and A r j o o n call upon him in the guise 148 . and it is for y o u r four brothers. divinities]. awaiting their return. dismayed and seeing in this the ruination of his w h o l e plan. But Jerashind had w i t h s t o o d them. feeling the need which they had for divine assistance. 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 . the head of the P a n d o s c o n v e n e d an assembly of the four castes.' he added.y u c . Judister. he alone could not be subdued. followed b y all the rulers w h o m they h a d defeated. that. 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. Schecdaio [ S a h a d e v a ] to the south. Addressing himself to Chrisnen. to bring them to Aindraprest. 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. 'I h a v e a l w a y s been of the opinion. made k n o w n to Chrisnen all the anguish which the thought produced in h i m . yet he believed that those w h o . w h o was present at the c o n v e r sation of the t w o cousins. A r j o o n [Arjuna] to the n o r t h . T h e r e f o r e let Bhim go to the west.' said he. and N a k u l [Nakula] to the east. 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 . 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. 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 . 'I see. T o draw him into a single c o m b a t o n e must use strategy. O u d h o . he felt himself already raised to the heavens and c a p a b l e of a n y undertaking. that in daring to c o n c e i v e the grand design of celebrating the R a i s o o .' Judister's words seemed to please the A v a t a r . 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 . they s o o n returned. began to speak. w h o w a s presiding. he told him 'that b y his arrival in Aindraprest. Judister. '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 . 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.

" interrupted M r . '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. w h o is stronger. if he h a s the courage. t o o h a p p y to save his life. and the three cousins. ' " " H e could afford to b e . A r j o o n is t o o y o u n g and delicate. B h i m . learn t o o that here is B h i m .Appendix of Z e n n a d a r s [astrologers]. " O u d h o assured them that this renown l a y so close t o his heart that. 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 . 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]. they would be sure not only o f being a d mitted. adding 'Since y o u k n o w that w e a r e not 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 . a n d saving yourself in the sea. is the o n l y o n e o f y o u w o r t h y of attempting it. 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]. ' he added. 149 . de Polier. in the dress of Z e n n a d a r s . o r single c o m b a t . a n d I their cousin. V e r y well. b y their speech and b y the distinguishing m a r k s of Kattris [k^atriyas]. b e t o o k themselves to M o g a h [ M a g a d h a ] . " the teacher went o n . 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 . 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. 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 ] . he says. that these three strangers were n o B r a h m i n s . but o f obtaining everything they might a s k of h i m . the second o f the P a n d o s . 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 . T h e y were introduced to the R a j a h . and w h o . f r o m the smallest gift t o that of a k i n g d o m . "since he had expropriated the wealth of 2 0 . all perishes in this w o r l d . I grant a s a m g r a m . " " A l s o . Despite this he w e l c o m e d them as such. y o u shall not leave here w i t h o u t o b taining it. Chrisnen approved of O u d h o ' s advice. but the n a m e of a free-spending m a n will live f o r e v e r .' 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 . and said to them. is the p r i m a r y duty of a ruler. exclaiming. but where will y o u hide now? A n d y e t . b y introducir\g themselves to him as p o o r B r a h m i n s . I accept. 'I admire the insolence of this churl. Let h i m b e given other clothing. 8 0 0 R a j a s . w h o m I have often put to flight. ' O B r a h m i n s . H e fias n o equal in generosity: o p e n handedness.

and the event began. T w e n t y . replying t o B h i m b y signs even m o r e expressive than his o w n . 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. that is due G o d . a s Chrisnen h a d torn the b l a d e of g r a s s . 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. getting up a n d plucking a blade o f grass. ' Bhim chose a c l u b . he w o u l d gladly give up this battle. Arjoon. while he. on beginning the battle the next d a y . Bhim. 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 . a mere s p e c t a t o r . he threw Jerashind t o the ground. went t o the battleground. He added that a s f o r himself. 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 . o r reverence. b e c a m e pale with fright. understanding his divine p r o t e c t o r . then he kissed his o w n h a n d . T h e r e u p o n he a d v a n c e d against B h i m . T h e n . suddenly felt his strength renewed. a n d b e f o r e he could r e c o v e r . Filled with a n e w vigor. understanding the silent words o f his b r o t h e r . Before beginning. the t w o c o m b a t a n t s resorted to fisticuffs.s e v e n days h a d already passed in this m a n ner. 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 they h a d t o t a k e recourse t o spears. 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. a n d the t w o c h a m p i o n s . 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 a d not taken the least hurt. " 150 . in the evening the three cousins and Jerashind ate together a n d slept under the s a m e r o o f . W i t h all these a r m s reduced to pieces. 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 . 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 . 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. to swords. Jerashind addressed to himself the N e m e s k a r [namaskdra]. T h e clubs were soon b r o k e n to splinters. Chrisnen. 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 .Appendix and c h o o s e arms which he c a n u s e . Jerashind had o n e brought t o h i m . followed b y Chrisnen a n d A r j o o n . a n d to axes. but Chrisnen.

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

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

u n w o r t h y of themselves. in view of the c i r c u m stances. 'that the Y a d u s are accursed. he interrupted the celebration of the p u j a : ' H o w . 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 . and the outrageous claims he showered u p o n Chrisnen. and addressing Souspal. with rage in his heart and fury in his eyes.Appendix the son of Basdaio. unable to suffer it any longer and finding it indecent. More incensed than the rest. 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. 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. the m o s t learned Z e n n a d a r s . 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. Rising f r o m his place. 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 . the station. with the warning that when this n u m b e r was exhausted he would punish h i m himself. to establish there a den of bandits scattered a n d fled f r o m all corners of the earth. the nobility of Chrisnen that he merits this preeminence in such an august assembly. left the enclosure where he w a s speaking.y u c itself. began to agitate the spectators. Yet his insolence grew to the point where several members of the assembly. he w o u l d tolerate f r o m h i m o n e hundred m o r e insults. w h o f o r his part w a s getting ready to fight. and his only wish w a s to avenge himself. far f r o m . n o w intervening m o r e directly. 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 . But Basdaio's son stilled them b y his signals and prevented them f r o m interrupting his e n e m y . But Chrisnen. told h i m that. f o r b a d e the P a n d o s all physical recourse. and even criminal to listen to his b l a s p h e m y . ' he cried out a r r o g a n t l y . that they shall never w e a r the diadem. ' he continued. 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 . ordering them to prevent all that might precipitate it. s t o o d out because of his anger. T h i s m a g n a n i m i t y of Basdaio's son. 'how c a n the B r a h m i n s tolerate such abuse? W h a t then are the titles. filled with t h e noblest individuals. R a j a h of Chanderi. Souspal [Sisupala].

" 154 . and he quickly exceeded the prescribed limit. that necessitated the incarnation of R a m t c h u n d [ R a m a ] . incited him all the m o r e .l i o n . A n d finally. w h o occasioned t w o a v a t a r s o r incarnations of V i j i j u . D y i n g directly at the h a n d of the A v a t a r . giving free reign to his righteousness. de Polier. T h e n Chrisnen." " T e l l m e then. teacher. while the servants and troups of Souspal fled in the greatest disorder. 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. " replied M r . Vi?nu's paradise] and take the place it h a d held as the doorkeeper of Vi?iju."said the teacher. 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]. in w h i c h they finished the term of their transmigrations. demons] w h o were b r o t h e r s . " answered the teacher. threw at him his ring Sudarsun [Sudarsana. w h i c h at one s t r o k e cut off his head.Appendix stopping the prideful R a j a h . in the third. 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 . "It w a s ." " T h e n S o u s p a l . 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 ] . 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. the discus of Vignu]. t w o Daints [daityas. o n e as a wild b o a r and the other as a m a n . after which it entered at last into the m o u t h of the A v a t a r . de Polier. " t h e soul of the R a j a h .

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