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121-145 [Manu=First sacrificer; Yama=First king] Bruce Lincoln THE INDO-EUROPEAN MYTH OF CREATION Myths of origins have always held a certain fascination for the historian of religions, and for many scholars the creation myth has become the chief mode of entry into a foreign culture. The method is a tried and proven one, and any number of rich studies have come as a result of careful investigation of creation accounts.' Certainly there is ample reason why this should be so, for the cosmogonic myth is the myth which establishes the order of the world and thus has important social, material, and economic ramifications as well as deep religious significance. It is not only the favorite myth of myth studiers, but of myth tellers as well, and is accorded special prestige and respect by those who live the myth.2 Given this, and given the recent rise of interest in the study of 1 The most important theoretical works on the cosmogonic myth are Mircea Eliade, Cosmos and History: The Myth of the Eternal Return (New York: Harper & Row, 1959); and, "Cosmogonic Myth and Sacred History," in The Quest (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969), pp. 72-87; Raffaele Pettazzoni, "Myths of Beginnings and Creation Myths," in Essays on the History of Religions, trans. H. J. Rose (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1967), pp. 24-36; and Charles H. Long, Alpha: The Myths of Creation (New York: George Brazillier Inc., 1963). For excellent ex-amples of the use of the cosmogonic myth, see Alfonso Ortiz, The Tewa World (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969), and Hans Scharer, Ngaju Religion (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1963). 2 See Eliade, "The Myth of the Noble Savage or, the Prestige of the Beginning," in Myths, Dreams and Mysteries (New York: Harper & Row, 1960), pp. 39-58; and Pettazzoni, "The Truth of Myth," in Essays ..., pp. 11-23. 121 Indo-European Creation Myth Indo-European (I-E) religion, it is surprising to note that the problem of the Indo-European myth of origin has not received more attention in recent years. Two articles have appeared of late, but neither contains any new insights, and for the most part run along well-worn lines of argument.3 In truth, study has not advanced much since 1923, when two contrasting positions were first articulated. The first is
that of Albrecht Gotze, who investi-gated Indian, Iranian, and Greek texts containing the idea of the correspondences between the world and the human body.4 As a result of the similarities he observed and the transformations which seemed to have occurred in the Greek versions, Gotze argued that the idea was of Indo-Iranian origin and had been transmitted to Greece by Greek physicians present at the Persian court.5 Essen-tially, he interpreted the myth as a sophisticated piece of specula-tion on the topic of Microcosm and Macrocosm, whereby man was understood as the microcosmic image of the world and the world as the macrocosmic projection of man.6 Hermann Giintert, however, stressing Germanic and Indo- Iranian texts rather than the Greek texts studied by Gotze, came to quite different conclusions.7 Based on philological correspon-dences, he argued that these texts contained a common Indo- European mythologem which told of the creation of the world from the sacrifice and dismemberment of a primordial androgyne.8 Both schools of thought have had their adherents. Gotze has been followed by Reitzenstein and Schaeder, Conger, Sander, Olerud, and Bonfante,9 while Giintert's position has been accepted by Christensen, Frenkian, Botzler, Schr6der, Locchi, and de 3 Hoangson Hoang-sy-Quy, "Le mythe indien de l'homme cosmique dans son contexte culturel et dans son evolution," Revue de l'histoire des religions 175 (1969): 133-54; Giorgio Locchi, "Le mythe cosmogonique indo-europeen: reconstruction et realite," Nouvelle ecole 19 (July-August 1972): 87-95. 4 Albrecht Gotze, "Persische Weisheit in griechischem Gewande: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Mikrokosmos-Idee," Zeitschrift fur Indologie und Iranistik 2 (1963): 60-98, 167-74. 5 Ibid., esp. pp. 79-85. 6 Ibid., p. 79. 7 Hermann Guntert, Der Arische Weltkonig und Heiland (Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1923), pp. 315-70. 8 Ibid., see esp. p. 335. 9 Richard Reitzenstein and H. H. Schaeder, Studien zum Antiken Synkretismus aus Iran und Griechenland (Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1926), esp. pp. 3-37, 205-40; G. P. Conger, "Cosmic Persons and Human Universes in Indian Philosophy," Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, n.s. 29 (1933): 255-70; Ludwig Sander, Der erste Mensch als g6ttliches Wesen (Bonn: Triepel-Schulze, 1933); Anders Olerud, L'idee de macrocosmos et de microcosmos dans le Timie de Platon (Uppsala: Almquist & Wiksells, 1951); G. Bonfante, "Microcosmo e macrocosmo nel mito indo-europeo," Die Sprache 5 (1959): 1-8. 122
"Archivfir Religionswissenschaft 33 (1936): 230-45. Franz Rolf Schroder. and other versions are found in  Iran. Locchi. Jan de Vries. Hesiod's story of Prometheus . is the Purusa-hymn of the Rg Veda (RV 10.11 and another that it is of Old Asiatic. Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte (Berlin: de Gruyter. 168). and the meaning of the myth. THE HISTORY OF THE MYTH The basic mythologem of the creation of the world from the body of a primordial being can be found in a good many texts within the Indo-European grouping. "Ymir: Ein Beitrag zu den Eddischen Weltschopfungsvorstellungen. of course. 2 vols (Uppsala: Archives d'Etudes Orientales. the GaySmart account of the Greater Bundahisn. and point a way toward a better understanding of the myth itself. "A propos de Prajapati. 3 above.  Greece. Fr. 13 In Iran.14 while similar but unrelated accounts are legion.  GermaniaScandinavia. 1:35)." Revue des etudes indo-Euro-peenes 3 (1943): 118-31. the content. and the story of the flight of Yima's xvaranah from Yast 19. Stanislaus Schayer. "Pferdeopfer und Pferdekult der Indogermanen. Ritual and Religion (London: Longmans. "Purusa-GaySmard-Anthropos.10 Two other lines of interpretation have occasionally been attempted-one that the myth is merely a common "primitive" type. Green. and Plato's Timaeus.12 As can be seen from this brief summary. 1:238-54. 11 Thus Andrew Lang. 1918) (see esp. 81-99. Myth. followed by Hoang-sy-Quy.History of Religions Vries. fr. In a different vein. the Orphic Hymn to Zeus (Kern.  Russia.13 Related versions also occur in  Chinese and perhaps in  Jewish texts. and  Rome. 3 above. The most famous. the best known being from  Babylon and  Ceram. A. n." Journal asiatique 240 (1953): 323-38. Botzler. W." Germanisch-Romanisch Monats-schrift 19 (1931): 1-26. "A Note on the Old Russian Variant of the Purushasfikta. 2:359-69. 12 Thus Wilhelm Koppers. 1887). pre-Indo-European origin. In Greece the texts usually cited are the 7rTple' 3oaFiwv of the Corpus Hippocrateum. Frenkian. Macdonald. there are three general areas in which disagreement has arisen: the history. "Germanische Schopfungsmythen. n. Aram M.15 Given the number of non-I-E myths that are so striking in 10 Arthur Christensen.90)." Archiv Orientalni 7 (1935): 319-23." Wiener Beitrdge zur Kulturkunde und Linguistik 4 (1936): 320-25. It is our hope that in this paper we can make some attempt at resolving these conflicts. Le premier homme et le premier roi dans l'histoire legendaire des iraniens. 1957).
vol. but I have been unable to integrate it satisfactorily into my analysis of the mythic framework. bk. Jewish Symbols in the Greco-Roman Period. has been used here.21 they have never been able to deal successfully with the Germanic versions.: Princeton University Press. "The Poem on the Dove King" (see Schayer). 136-39.seems to contain many of the same elements as our myth. the Adam figure of 2 Enoch may be an inversion of this myth. garden-variety creation myth to which no special I-E significance need be attached. 1965]. In Germania-Scandinavia Ymir texts are found in the Prose Edda. Our sources contain traces of one I-E myth which happens to resemble myths from other parts of the world.J. The main . Bollingen Series. so 2 Enoch may be a Purusa/Ymir!] See also the occurrence of a GaySmart figure on the walls of the Dura-Europus synagogue (Erwin Good-enough. Perhaps it is unrelated. one could see a universal structure of the human mind behind it. pp. Grimnismdl. on P'an-ku see Hoang-sy-Quy. while G6tze and his followers were successful in demonstrating that the Greek and perhaps the Russian variants of the myth were dependent on Iranian sources20 (as was the Jewish version. The linguistic correspondences between Germanic and Indo-Iranian versions of the myth can also be used to demonstrate that the myth is ProtoIndo-European (P-I-E) in origin and not merely an Indo-Iranian myth that reached Europe by secondary diffusion. 173). the Vafthrud-nismal. 1. Voluspa. 12 [Princeton.16 Alternately. In Rome there are numer-ous texts telling the R6mulus-Remus story. p. For. there is a great temptation to argue that this is a common. [Wow.17 or one could maintain that it is a myth found throughout the world whenever societies reach a certain stage of cultural develop-ment (specifically the tuber-cultivating stage of the so-called palaeoplanters). The fact is that certain linguistic correspondence make it certain that our myth has an Indo-European origin. Livy. none of these possibilities need detain us here. and Voluspa en skamma. 14 For Chinese. 15 From Babylon the most recent discoveries relating to the fifth tablet of the Enuma Elis now establish Tiamat as a cow whose sacrifice establishes the heavens 123 Indo-European Creation Myth their resemblances to the I-E pattern.l8 Yet.19 The fact that there are parallels from the Ancient Near East or Polynesia or South America is most interesting. For Jewish. but irrelevant to our present study. In Russia. the Chinese derives from Indian influence). but it is very definitely an I-E myth nonetheless. N.
Ragnarok: Die Sagen vom Weltuntergang. Ramisch (Leipzig: W. and as we shall see. "The Iranian Component in the Bible. pp. Several attempts have been made to do so: Reitzenstein suggested that the Manichaeans carried mythic material to the Northmen. and Jewish versions depend on the Iranian. Jensen. 19 These are found in the names *Yemo. 322-23 for the latter. 1903). heretofore unrecognized. The existence of the Roman version. and Hoang-sy-Quy. pp. Mythologie der Germanen (Strassburg: Karl Trubner. 2). the Old Norse account preserves certain details from the P-I-E Ur-myth that have been almost completely lost in even the earliest Indian and Iranian texts. 22 Respectively.23 If this is the case. Klostermaml. "The Fifth Tablet of Enuma Elis. 1922). 1939). 79-85 and Olerud. For. the Chinese depends on the Indian.D." Kyrkohistorisk Arsskrift 24 (1924): 190-204. trans. The Origins and History of Consciousness (New York: Harper & Row. if they (see Landsberger and Wilson. Axel Olrik. The former merely traces the .24 Our conclusions can be summarized genealogically (fig. if we are correct. 21 David Winston. 239. this is an impossibility. 13639. of course. 18 Adolf E. pp. pp 46477. Myth and Cult among Primitive Peoples (Chicago: University of Chicago Press.and *Manu. 16 See Lang. (1) One class of creation myths can be called myths of creation by sacrifice.). pp. the influence would have come at a relatively late date (no earlier than the third to fourth century A. the Norse version must date back to a P-I-E original. makes this even more certain. R. 124 History of Religions are to be believed. W. Apocrypha and Qumran. respectively. pp. and E.(see below). 1954)." Journal of Near Eastern Studies 20 : 161. pp. (4) The Greek. 1) or in Venn diagram fashion (fig. H. Reitzenstein. and others have suggested the Ostrogoths and the Christians as likely intermediaries. From Ceram. 20 See Gotze. Meyer. (3) The chief surviving independent variants are the  Germanic.22 but none of their arguments is particularly convincing. Old Russian. Schayer. and  Indo-Iranian versions. p.  Roman. Volkserzdhlungen von der Molukkeninsel Ceram (Frankfurt: V. 1:9-11. is that of establishing contact between Iran and Scandinavia. "Weltuntergangsvorstellungen. 219-21 for the former. 175). 441 ff. Hainuwele. both Gotze and Giintert may be freely accepted. de Gruyter. 1963).problem." History of Religions 5 (Winter 1966): 183-216. Jensen. 83-115. 17 Erich Neumann. (2) The P-I-E myth is such a myth. Moreover. Adolph E. With regard to history.
90 SB Yima Proto. 10. from it the goats and sheep were born. 6-16 6. Norse accounts retain the fact that Ymir (< *Yemo) was the victim in the first sacrifice. the Yajus had its birth from it. who was kind enough to read and comment on an earlier draft of my manuscript. When they divided Purusa. how many portions did they make? What do they call his mouth. 1 23 As we shall see. Its oil was spring.C. however. The Brahman was his mouth. From it were horses born. 125 Indo-European Creation Myth CosmogonicMy ths Creationby S acrifice I-EC reation Myth f4 ~Roman r I-I versions Irversio n Germanic Iranian versions Greek r Jewish Indian Chinese O t . Therefrom were spells and charms produced. With regard to content and meaning." also to be found in this issue of History of Religions./ Gayomart China Bund.myth forward into historical times. Enoch Greece Old Russian FIG. Forth . from it all cattle with two rows of teeth: From it were generated kine. the holy gift was autumn. and Indo. His views on the Roman version of this myth are found in his article. and animals both wild and tame. RG VEDA [RV] 10. "Remus et Frater. rejecting the traditional date). Indra and Agni from his mouth were born. and Vayu from his breath. Lddas Prose Edda Indo-Iranian India Iran India Iran RV1 0. 7. From that great general sacrifice the dripping fat was gathered up He formed the creatures of the air.?) and Yasna 32 (1000 B. 126 History of Religions 8. summer was the wood. [?].90. The Moon was gendered from his mind. Three classic texts furnish a starting point for our investigation. 9. 2 THE CONTENT OF THE MYTH Given our conclusion that the Germanic.Iranian accounts are independent versions of a P-I-E myth. When Gods prepared the sacrifice with Purusa as their offering. K 2 FIG. reconstruction of that myth should be possible. a fact already lost at the time of composition of RV 10. From that great general sacrifice Rchas and Sama-hymns were born. 14. With him the Deities and all Sadhyas and Rsis sacrificed.90 (1200 B. and from his eye the sun had birth. from his feet the Sudra was produced. They balmed as victim on the grass Purusa born in earliest time. while the latter takes it back into prehistory. we will have serious disagreements with both these scholars. 11. Proto-lndo-EuropeanMyth / I \ Germanic Roman /\ T i Poetic Tacitus Livy Etc. 13. 24 The credit for recognition of this parallel should go to Jaan Puhvel. his arms? What do they call his thighs and feet? 12. His thighs became the Vaisya.C. Roman. of both his arms was the Rajanya made.
1 As regards the whereabouts of the five kinds of animals.4 Having carried the semen of the Ox up to the Moon station. The Mighty Ones attained the height of heaven.from his navel came mid-air. he went to all the creations. Thus they formed the worlds. sacrificing. Lazarus. and then a pair of every species appeared in the heart of Iran within the Earth. too. Griffith. 1897) 2:517 ff. they purified it there and created out of it the beneficient animals of many species. Earth from his feet. which owing to its value. offering sacrifice. Purusa. bound. once as the Ox. then to the Ox and Gaysmart..25 GREATER BUNDAHISN (SELECTIONS) 4. 127 Indo-European Creation Myth [The text continues. sacrificed the victim." 13. 16. arranged underneath this Earth. thrice seven layers of fuel were prepared. Gods. and Spendarmat [the earth] accepted one part. 4A. the Evil Spirit] entered in the month of Fravartin and the day of Ohrmazd. 13. and from his ear the regions. first two cattle. he then came to the Water.10 . tin out of his blood. 15. and it remained within the earth for forty years. steel out of his arms. Hymns of the Rigveda (Benares: E. telling how the ten species of man were ultimately produced from the semen of Gayomart]26 THE BEGUILING OF GYLFI Then Gangleri said: "Where was Ymir's home. When the Gods. glass out of his fat. 25 Ralph T. they filtered the seed by means of the light of the Sun. 13.5 When GaySmart emitted his semen while passing away. he fell to the left hand. trans." 14. there where the Sadhyas. men now give along with life. it says in the Scripture: "When the sole-created Ox passed away. he fell on his left hand side.. he then pierced and entered the middle of this Earth. [The Fire] Neryosang guarded two parts of it. and gold out of life's departure. Gods of old. Seven fencing-sticks had he. are dwelling. and again as the beneficient animals of many species. is said [in the Avesta]: When the sole-created Ox passed away. as their victim. 14. male and female. the sky was fashioned from his head.. iron out of his feet. these were the earliest holy ordinances..5 As it says: "On account of the value of the Ox. then he came to the Fire. He [Ahriman. so that. it fell to the right hand. silver out of his marrow. and when Gayomart passed away thereafter. I produced it twice. H... at noon. like a fly. fifty-five species of corn and twelve species of medicinal herbs grew up from there where its pith [semen?] dropped. the Sky was as afraid of him as a sheep of a wolf. copper out of his bones. 3. and what did he live on? [High One .1 This.2 When illness came to GaySmart. There came into manifestation lead out of his head. then he came to the Tree. J.
so much blood poured from his wounds that they drowned the whole tribe of frost ogres with itexcept for one who escaped with his household. but is true there nonetheless. the third. . He was handsome and tall and strong. and you can take it that that is his title.." Then Gangleri asked: "How did they get on together? Was one group more powerful than the other?" Then High One answered: "Bor's sons killed the giant Ymir. Anklesaria. 28 This is not quite so clear in the Gayomart text as in the other two. and four rivers of milk ran from her teats. Zand-Akszih: Iranian or Greater Bundahisn (Bombay: Rahnumae Mazdayasnan Sabha. trans. rocks and pebbles they made from his teeth and jaws and those bones that were broken."27 The general resemblance among these texts is certainly quite clear. there are differ. 53. Snorri Sturluson: The Prose Edda (Berkeley: Univer-sity of California Press.. daughter of the giant Bolthorn. pp. The basic dismemberment has here been transformed under the . To cross it would strike most men as impossible. and she fed Ymir. 1954). O6inn. Vili. and on the third day the whole man was there. it is the name given to the man we know to be the greatest and most famous. We think that that is his title. 127. from his bones the mountains. He had a son called Bor.. on the second day a man's head. They took Ymir and carried him into the middle of Ginnungagap. from his flesh the earth. 119. laying the ocean round about it. and made the world from him: from his blood the sea and lakes. Young. it became a cow called Auahumla. 27 Jean I..replied:] "As soon as the frost thawed. He was called Buri. this one is known as Bergelmir. 34-35. In all of them a primordial being is killed and dismembered. who married a woman called Bestla.. 1956). the second." Just-as-High said: "From the blood which welled freely from his wounds they fashioned the ocean.. 117. trans. and when he fell. and under each corner they put a dwarf. 49.26 B. and from his body the cosmos is fashioned." Then Gangleri asked: "What did the cow live on?" High One answered: "She licked the ice-blocks which were salty. slightly modified. Then Gangleri said: "What did the sons of Bor do next. since you believe they are gods?" High One said: "There is a great deal to be told about this. They had three sons: the first. . pp." Third added: "They also took his skull and made the sky from it and set it over the earth with its four sides. when they put together the earth and girdled it. Ve. and it is my belief that O6inn. T. and by the evening of the first day of the block-licking appeared a man's hair. is the the ruler of heaven and earth.28 Yet. in association with his brothers.
is derived from Proto-Germanic *yumlyaz. Most perplexingly. also. First. however.. and has no companion in the third. "The Death of Gay6mart. There is one verse. was rejected by Zarathustra. Iranian evidence supports this hypothesis. 128 History of Religions ences in each account (beyond the petty difference that the body-world homologies do not always match up). The question must arise: Are these figures who are structurally so similar really related in any historical way ? The answer is certainly yes.. and. ed. 226 n."twin. Geo Widengren. 1969]. the seven metals are homologized to the seven celestial spheres. The primordial victim is Ymir in Scandinavia. Long [Chicago: University of Chicago Press. H. Avestan yama. which literally signify "twin" as well. first mortal. to the proper names Avestan Yima = Sanskrit Yama. which in turn is…related to P-I-E *yemo. Old Norse Ymir. in which Zarathustra does make an oblique reference to the myth of creation by sacrifice: YASNA 30.4 . and it is evident that certain transformations have taken place within each culture and within each text.8).32 This tradition. The dismemberment is performed by gods in two of the accounts and by a demon in the third. The act is treated as a sacrifice once. Yima 129 / was not merely king of the golden age. J. but…was regarded as first king. Gayomart in Iran. the names of the victims bear no resemblance to one another.influence of Babylonian or $abian astronomical speculation. 190). and Purusa in India. Based on this phonological and semantic correspondence. Middle Irish emuin. however. Latin geminus. but as murder twice. it must be recognized that in preZoroastrian Iran. "twin". who soundly condemns Yima the only time that he mentions him (Yasna 32. "twin". a cow in another." in Myths and Symbols: Studies in Honor of Mircea Eliade. p. "double fruit". and the disintegration of Gayomart goes to produce the cosmos (see Reitzenstein and Schaeder." This word corresponds to Lettishjumis. 229. "twin". Kitagawa and C. for behind the figure of Gay6mart we may discern the older figure of Yima. 228 n. we hypothesize that there was originally a mythic correspondence and that all are derived from a figure in the P-I-E myth. and first to die. M. Thus. The victim is accompanied by an ox in one text. most significantly.3' The way in which this transformation took place is somewhat complex. as Guin-tert first demonstrated. pp. and it is here that the Old Norse version best preserves the P-I-E heritage.
These texts. .4-5. are all theological in nature. p.. and how life should be at the end.145. 3: paouruy6 ya y5ma xvafna asrvatam /. Mohr. 1930).6. In the verse cited above. 211. but retaining the essential mythologem that the first living man died at the creation of the world.. Ironically. they instituted Life (gaem) and non-life. to argue that Gayomart was already present prior to Zarathustra. C. 34 Yasna 30. he philosophized the myth. [It means “living/dying” or “living/mortal”!] This name comes into the Pahlavi (Middle Persian) of our Bundahisn text as Gayomart. the develapment is Middle Persian Gayomart < Younger Avestan Gaya maratan < Gathic Avestan gaya < PreZoroaster Yima. 130 YAST [Yt] 19. pp. 37 See Yast 13. e. 2. which has led some. but see esp. pp. Reitzenstein and Schaeder. 213. Another Iranian text which preserves heroic traditions serves to strengthen our con-clusions: 32 See Christensen.4: atca hyat ta ham mainyi jasaetam paourvim dazd e/gaemca ajyaitim6c ya0aca anhat apamam aihus /.2.87 13. Gaya maratan appears together with Gaus urvan. 136-37.22. 136. however. 33 Yasna 30." in Vispered 21. 26. NyayiS 1. who was created and died at the beginning of the world— Gaya marәtan. changing its characters into abstract entities. Reitzenstein and Schaeder.7.g. the "Soul of the Ox.33 Moreover. 2 is devoted entirely to Yima. a re-mythologization of Zarathustra's version took place in later centuries. pp.30-39 30.2. Vol. "mortal" to form the name given the first mortal man. and 68. the Avestan term translated "life" is gaya. 36 This term also appears in Yasna 30. which in the Younger Avesta is often combined with the term maratan-.5.5. 45-46. these two spirits are said to have "appeared in the beginning as two twins (yәmā) in a dream. Yasna 67. Thus. 35 See Hartman. p. 1822. Thus. however. Herman Lommel."34 In these verses several eminent Iranists have recognized that Zarathustra attempted to deal with an earlier myth of creation which he found objectionable but which he could not completely ignore. Die Religion Zarathustras nach dem Awesta dargestellt (Tubingen: J. and contain theological transformations of the tradition. p. Yasna 13. Zaehner. just two verses after the occurrence of gaya-.And when these two spirits first met [the good and evil spirits].
both weal and Glory. The third time when the Glory departed from the bright Yima. the blind and the deaf. In whose reign there was neither cold wind nor hot wind. Residue of doxaphysical wisdom?] 38. flocks and men were undying. and THUS he is the strongest enemy against the material world. 31. Then Thraetaona seized that Glory. made by Mazda. the strongest Druj that Angra Mainyu created against the material world. The second time when the Glory departed from the bright Yima. who had a thousand senses. the oppressors. Then Mithra seized that Glory. then the great Yima Xsaeta. the lord of all countries. When his Glory had disappeared. Azi Dahaka is the most powerful Druj. 34. waters and plants were undrying. neither old age nor death. 32. who was the most victorious of all victorious men next to Zarathustra . The first time when the Glory departed from the bright Yima. [Interesting. Who smote Azi Dahaka. that most powerful. the sixeyed. both fatness and flocks. the good shepherd. the lord of wide pastures. trembled and was in sorrow before his foes. the three-mouthed. over the Daevas and men. He who took from the Daevas both riches and welfare. the Glory went from Yima. who has a thousand senses. while he ruled over the seven Karsvares of the earth. and laid him down on the' ground. before he began to have delight in words of falsehood and untruth. to destroy the world of the good principle. whose ear is quick to hear. the son of Vivanghant in the shape of a Varaghna bird.We sacrifice to the awful kingly Glory. that demon baleful to the world. We sacrifice unto Mithra. That clave unto the bright Yima. the Yatus and the Pairikas. Mithra. fiendish Druj. in the times before his life. in tahe shape of a Varaghna bird. 36. nor envy made by the Daevas. the three-headed. he was confounded. he the heir of the valiant Athwya clan. 35. 33. But when he began to find delight in words of falsehood and untruth. the Glory went from Yima. the son of Vivanghant. the Glory was seen to flee away from him in the shape of a bird. 37. the good shepherd. [!] for a long time. . whom Ahura Mazda has created the most glorious of all gods in the heavens. In whose reign both aliments were never failing for feeding creatures.
unsleeping. these essences are seen as combined in the 38 / xvaranah.43 The original mythologem has been transformed along royal lines. next to Zarathustra. The crux of the matter. the king is the complete man who contains within his body the essence of all three social classes: Priests. as Darmesteter first perceived and as Dumezil has since confirmed. For the IndoEuropeans. in truth. [Cain slew Abel?]44 In India. the glorious nimbus which surrounds the king . which then separated into three func-tional portions-Mithra receiving that of the priests or sovereigns. Then the manly-hearted Korosaspa seized that Glory. The myth recounted in this text. put it. that clave unto Korsasspa. verses 11-12) is a myth of the dismemberment of Purusa and the creation of the social order from his body. For Manly Courage clave unto him.4 with the sacrifice in Purusa in RV 10. and Karosaspa receiving that of the commoners. Warriors. though. We worship Manly Courage. lies in Iranian and Indo-European notions of kingship.38 The story here is ostensibly about the flight of Yima's Kingly Glory (xvaranah).46 As Dandekar.45 Several scholars. just as RV 10. Most scholars have agreed that Yama is another First Man/First King figure and have also noted that he is the first to die. and Com-moners.46) with the actual physical dismemberment of Yima by-a point to which we shall returnhis own brother. In Iran.90. [Note that this shows the purusal nature of Yima] It is. thus establishing the realm of the dead . and fully awake. quick to rise. Spityura. it seems that the figure of Yama lies behind the Purusa of the Vedic hymn. for his Manly Courage.that Glory went from Yima. however. and an ethical element-the sin of Yima-has been added . who most effectively argued the case. pra-Vric-) of his body as in RV 10. in the shape of a Varaghna bird. It is also no accident that the saga of Yima ends (Yt. too. Thraetaona receiving that of the warriors. the Purusasuikta is merely a more detailed setting of the Yama myth of RV . have been willing to go somewhat 40 / further and equate his freely chosen death and his abandonment or transcendence (< Skt. but the essential concept is still the same. 39. 13. he who was the sturdiest of the men of strength. the son of Vivanghant. firm of foot.41 tells how Yima fell from the king-ship and lost his xvaranah.13.90 (esp. a myth of the dismemberment of Yima and the creation of the social order from him.
Manu. It entered into Manavi. the sacrifice] 14. [Thesis] In order to recover the original figure. Thereupon the Asuras said to one another: "Hereby even greater evil is inflicted on us.48 The morphological and structural features convince us that this is the same figure encountered in Iran and Scandinavia -*Yenlo.' but the under-lying story is still the same. Such speculation changed this figure's name again in the Brahmanas. the voice went from him. The question now arises: Who played the role of the first sacri-ficer in this myth? In the texts already considered. "Twin"-first king49 and first sacrificial victim.1. and by this snorting and roaring the Asuras and Raksas were continually being crushed. alas! this bull inflicts upon us! How can we possibly destroy him?" Now Kilata and Akuli were the two priests of the Asuras.4. "Man. as Purusa. the first sacrificer has been  Obinn and his brothers— Ahriman.47 In light of the comparison to Ymir and Yima. Yet. 3. 133 / for the human voice speaks more! " Kilata and Akuli then said: "God fearing they say is Manu: let us then ascertain!" They went to him and said: "Manu! We will sacrifice for thee!" He said: "Wherewith?" They said: "With .10.13. 2. there is reason to believe that all of these are late developments whereby an originally human figure was either deified or demonized depending upon the prevalent attitudes toward sacrificial ritual.14-17: [1.4. they say. "Godfearing. I am inclined to agree. Manavi (Yama). is Manu: let us two then ascertain!" They then went to him and said: "Manu! We will sacrifice for thee!" He said: "Wherewith?" They said: "With this bull!" He said: "So be it!" On his [the bull's] being killed. we must consider yet another version of the myth in which the Indian Manu figures prominentlySATAPATHA BRAHMANA [SB] 1." became Prajapati. Manu was in possession of a bull. from whose body the world was made. and  the entire assemblage of Vedic gods. Into him had entered an Asura-killing. the Asuras and Raksas were continually being crushed. 15. Thereupon the Asuras said to one another: "Evil. the wife of Manu. and when they heard her speak. foe-killing voice. The name Purusa literally means "Man" and seems to be a title born of philosophical and theological speculation. 16. "Lord of Creatures. These two said.
Manu appears as the first sacrificer [Is this a separation of the original unit Purusa. First. a proper name.1. This same Asura-killing. Behind [Manavi] lies the figure of Yama. 17. a term which carries the sense of "inhuman" as well as "unlike Manu.). 8.5.21. This assures us of two important facts: (1) in the P-I-E version a bovine appeared. Further. into the sacrificial vessels.13. a consistent relation of Manu to Yama as First Sacrificer-First King [Thesis].3." who has been taken here as a female twin of Manu . 10. however.63. his name is derived from P-I-E *manu-. 1. his association with sacrifice is so great that those who do not sacrifice are called amanusdh. from the appearance of her name.70.1). For the moment. and thence those two [Asura priests] were unable to expel it. the human victim is joined by a second victim. [Thesis] Second.11. and this relation is more than a mere typological pairing. "man. English man. 8. 8. 10.this thy wife!" He said: "So be it!" And on her being killed that voice went from her. "non-Manu's" (RV 8.70. Already the RV knows them as brothers.1. Later speculation at a time when the myth was much transformed 134 / and no longer fully understood made them half-brothers." and corresponds to Proto-Germanic *manwaz. and when men sacrifice they are said to be acting as Manu did (RV 6.22. they produce this discordant noise on the present occasion. Old Church Slavonic mQzb. Yet preserved within the aetiology is a very ancient myth. And for whomsoever that knows this. He is said to establish Agni as the sacrificial fire (R V 5. Etymologically.1. Manu's wife. a bovine. Certainly this is a late.7)." and Avestan *Manus.58. Within the Indian accounts." There is.8.54 and as a result of this . foe-killing voice sounds forth [from the mill-stones when they are beaten with the wedge].5. his enemies are rendered very miserable.69. his sister as well. 4. who in his holy tapas was both sacrificer and sacrificed?] (see RV 10. 10.1.). "man. we are concerned with the figure of Manu. Several points must be noted.).4. It entered into the sacrifice itself.34.2. etc.52.23. aetiological text.10. 10. etc.76. and (2) this is an independent variant of the P-I-E myth.8. the sacrificial victim is here Manavi. "man" (as in German Mann. SB 1. both appearing as sons of Vivasvat (RV 9. etc. sharing only a father. moreover. "the twin.8).7. just as the victims in Iranian and Norse versions were joined by a bovine.11. and.3.
Rather than being completely lost. the figure of *Manu is well hidden. "Twin. As perhaps the single most important part of his reform.55 But the fact is that both Manu and Yama have correspondences in Germanic versions of the myth. which assures us that they both go back to the P-I-E version. we would expect an Iranian figure corresponding to Sanskrit Manu to take this role. and there the first sacrifice —the slaying 135 / of Gayomart and his ox—is attributed to Ahriman (< Av. a myth that told of the creation of the world out of the primordial sacrifice of a man and an ox was clearly unacceptable. and that the heroic story is a transformed version of our myth. the creation is understood in almost ironic terms. in all the Iranian texts we . In Iran. the "Evil Spirit").many have attempted to see them as doublets brought together with an artificial aetiology. but discernible nonetheless. If our evidence from India is to be trusted. We have already noted that in the heroic tradition. though.56 and it is only the general Vedic avoidance of matronyms that permitted later speculation to make half-brothers of them. Arjra Mainyu. while the beneficial results of that killing are accepted . Phonologically. as an indication that Ahriman's destructiveness will always be turned to good ends by the superior power of Ohrmazd (< Av. such a figure would be named *Manus. Yima is dismembered by his brother. Ahura Mazda. Their relation is that of brothers as Puhvel has suggested. Spityura (see above). this myth managed to re-emerge in texts composed after Zarathustra's death. The Bundahisn text which we have cited is such a text. somewhat transformed in accord with the dualistic theology of the times." is found in his relation with Manu . the act of killing is condemned. however. In a very sophisticated way. Zarathustra condemned the cultus centering around cattle sacrifice that had flourished in Iran prior to his time . Thus. Insofar as Ahriman is an original conception of Zarathustra. Yet. but fully recognizable nonetheless. But there is other evidence as well. As a result of this. We thus have here a frequently encountered mythic theme-the twins at the beginning of time-which is endowed with a typical I-E contentone brother is the first priest. We would suggest that this Spityura is but a reflex of Manu [Thesis]. We would further argue that the significance of Yama's name. the other the first king . some other figure must have played his part in the pre-Zoroastrian version of the myth. the "Knowing Lord").
Manuscihr is made an ancestor of Zarathustra (GBd. but that. To Mannus they assign three sons. they say. no *Manus appears. and his son Mannus. it would appear that *Manus was originally regarded as the First Priest. and (3) Zarathus-tra. supported by other Germanic evidence. however. who took his role as first sacrificer. This is Manuiscihr (< Av. and there is no reason to doubt Tacitus when he tells us that the name was recorded in the Germans' ancient songs. 35. from whose names. they celebrate an earth-born god.possess. and who is described as the first man. he is responsible for the division of the . 136 / Does such a correspondence exist? In order to see this. It is also explicitly stated: GREATER BUNDAHI?N [GBd] 35. Further. [Thesis]These figures all belong to later Iranian development. Tuisco. the coast tribes are called Ingaevones.and still further.čiӨra-). who took his role as ancestor of the priestly line. a figure who assures us that such a *Manus did once exist. Thus. we must consider yet another text. all the rest. Istaevones Again we encounter a character whose name derives from P-I-E *manu-. whose name literally means "seed. as he was too closely identified with a myth rejected by the reforming Zarathustra. and if we can establish a Germanic correspondence we will be satisfied that he is an Indo-European figure as well.55 All the Mopats of Pars [the high priests of Persia] are traceable to this race of Manuscihr. this time from Tacitus: [Tacitus’ Germania 2] GERMANIA. For our purposes. we have established that a *Manu(s) played these roles in the Indo-Iranian version of the myth." or "son of Manus. as the origin of their race. What is more. The name is a purely Germanic form. Christensen has demonstrated that the antecedents of Manuisihr in these genealogies are nothing more than reflexes of *Manus himself . this Mannus is closely related to a figure whose name means "twin"-for that is the proper etymology of Tuisco .52-53). Manuš. who took his role as priest par excellence. their only way of remembering or recording the past. in the genealogies. There is. as their founders. (2) Manuscihr. CHAPTER 2 In their ancient songs. those of the interior. he was written out of the tradition and replaced by three figures: (1) Ahriman. Herminones." Morevoer. in both Avestan and Middle Persian.
upon an occasion innocent enough. it was agreed that the gods who had those places in their protection should choose by augury who should give the new city its name. LIVY. but their original nature is still readily apparent beneath the "historical" overlay.69 The differences between the two versions of Remus's death really have little to do with our case as they seem to be related to the .6. the one party laying claim to the honour from priority. In Rome. yet our mythic scenario of the sacrifice of one primal twin by the other is discernible nonetheless in the story of Romulus and Remus. Since the brothers were twins. They have been historicized. compared with the city which they should build. besides there were the shepherds. (7) Remus is said to have been the first to receive an augury. their numbers might easily lead men to hope that Alba would be small.3 The Alban state being thus made over to Numitor. The commoner story is that Remus leaped over the new walls in mockery of his brother.3-7. thus two sixes?] The omen had been already reported when twice that number appeared to Romulus. And in fact the population of Albans and Latins was too large. and a usurpation of another man. and the city. [Significance of “6”? The original purusal meaure? Is the “12” is Romulus two purusas. Remus was struck down in the affray. and by a shameful quarrel which grew out of it. no doubt. and respect for their age could not determine / 137 between them. They then engaged in a battle of words and angry taunts leading to bloodshed. was called by its founder's name. R6mulus and Remus were seized with the desire to found a city in the region where they had been exposed and brought up. 1. similar historicizing of the myth took place. and in menacing wise added these words withal. thus founded. whereupon Romulus in great anger slew him. These considerations were interrupted by the greed of kingly power. All together.world into three parts which are susceptible to interpretation along the lines of class and function . Romulus took the Palatine for his augural quarter. thus a twin. the other from the number of birds. Thereupon each was saluted king by his own followers. from the flight of six vultures. who should govern it when built. "So perish whoever else shall leap over my walls!" Thus R6mulus acquired sole power. and Lavinium small. Remus the Aventine.
but the Indo-Iranian parallels assure us that the bovine figure is the original one." and *Yemo. Roman national pride has replaced the passive cow with the / 138 ferocious figure of the she-wolf as a means of emphasizing the military strength of Rome. R6ma. Romulus is a very complex figure in Roman myth. but the name Remus is directly derived from P-I-E *Yemo. the world begins with a pair of twins. while *Manu is the first priest. in a very real sense. who gave milk to the giant at the beginning of time. In both of them.under the influence of Ruma.4. For. and *Manu fashions the earth and heavens. a female bovine. a cow. appears. but the word is otherwise exactly as we would expect. so the death of Remus may be seen as the sacrifice which establishes that creation. but here he seems to have assumed the role of *Manu. *Manu. is a direct correspondence to the cow AuOhumla of the Norse Ymir myth. and the meaning of *Yemo as "twin. of course. "Twin. is offered along with *Yemo. an act of creation (the institution of laws. both of which are quite similar and are closely related. As a result of this sacrifice. and the class structure follows quickly). In the I-I version. rituals. and from the body of this animal all the other animal and vegetable species are created. the first sacrificer. Actually. one other factor supports the inclusion of this variant under the rubric of myths of the first sacrifice: the role of the she-wolf.has changed to an r. His name is a back-formation from the city of R6ma (earlier Ruma). as well as the three social classes from his brother's body. The initial *y. Given the fact that Remus is explicitly said to be a twin (geminus). a male bovine. *Manu offers *Yemo as the first sacrificial victim . And just as the founding of the city is. But in both accounts the essential mythologem is the same: one of the twins is killed that the city may be founded. "Man. In the European version. Given this . an ox or bull." *Yemo being characterized as the first king. we are led to reconstruct two myths: one European and one Indo-Iranian. and thus bears no resemblance to *Manu. and Romulus . This she-wolf." the conclusion is inescapable. and merely functions to feed and care for the twins prior to the act of creation. the world is created. If this were not enough. and in the course of the myth. however. the twins were nurtured as infants by a she-wolf who suckled and cared for them.polemics of later Roman politics. according to the Romulus-Remus legend (see Livy 1.6).
in his insistence on the androgynous character of the first victim. THE MEANING OF THE MYTH The problem remains. given the evidence of vocabulary. The reason for this is to be found in this myth. The myth tells us of the origin of the world and also of the origin of the most important human institution—sacrifice. He was able to deal with the myth as myth and also its connection to sacrifice. Sacrifice is the / 139 central religious act for all the Indo-European peoples. cattle were of crucial importance. furnishing a tremendous amount of the food supply and serving as the basic unit of wealth in the . Giintert did recognize much of this. it is both a cosmogonic myth and a myth of beginnings. Of the two. though. But. For all the Indo-Europeans. we must recall the cultural differences between the Indo-Iranian and the European branches of the Indo-European family. To use Pettazzoni's terminology. a myth that was reenacted with each sacrifice. and a myth of a peculiarly double nature. or as Eliade has more recently put it. In order to appreciate this. he lost track of some of the more important elements of the myth. as G6tze would have it. the various elements leading to this reconstruction have been listed in table 1. the Europeans seem to have been much more agricultural. these are not two separate origins but one. we may now properly consider the meaning of the myth. given the Roman evidence. For convenience. But. while the Indo-Iranians were more pastoral in their orientation. but rather is a myth. neither Giintert's Androgyne theory nor G6tze's Microcosm-Macrocosm theory is a very satisfying treatment for the totality of the myth. while an analysis of the various transformations is given in table 2. a myth that deals with events of the first and second primordia. This is not a piece of philosophical speculation. In truth. and each repeated sacrifice serves to re-create it. and in my opinion is one of the most important elements for interpretation of the myth in its two differing versions.reconstruction. Thus. The first sacrifice is the origin of the world. the authenticity of Aubhumla's role is assured. and it must have been so for their Proto-Indo-European ancestors as well. he was inclined to take the presence of the cow Aubhumla as a late addition to the Norse mythic scenario and refused to deal with it as part of the P-I-E myth. How are we to understand this reconstructed myth ? Clearly. of course.
the ox is present as man's equal. There is a difference. As the primordial beings were dismembered. the total social world originated in the first sacrifice. what is perhaps of prime importance is that cattle were seen as an essential element of the social order—society itself being thought of not just as the collectivity of men but of men and cattle .economy. while for a pastoralist they are much more than mere sources of food. forms a complete unit of society. and is a vital source of all creation. while the agriculture of the Europeans is a more recent innovation. [Thesis] 142 / But. This couple. [Thesis][…] /143 It is not the purpose of this paper to adjudicate between these two views. dung for fuel. incomparable in their productivity. a pastoralist's myth. but also leather for clothing. The myth is. the cow is present as a nutritive figure on whom the first man is dependent for sustenance. however. It is this factor which produces the differing versions of the myth: in the European. agricultural version. from the ox. between the way in which an agriculturalist views his cattle and the way in which a pastoralist does so. Thus. or better yet. In the first sacrifice. and even urine for use as a disinfectant. bone for tools. a man and an ox (or bull) were sacrificed. Primordial-Man-and-Primordial-Animal." "men and animals. society came into being: from the man. animals. In light of this. The pastoralist derives not just milk and meat from his cattle. as is reflected in the common P-I-E locutions "men and cattle. Cattle seem to him to be the source of all good things. then. the latter being composed of men in their three characteristic classes and all the species of domesticated animals. but it should be noted that in either case the IndoIranian culture and economy are taken to be closer to the earliest level of P-I-E than are the European . In each successive sacrifice. man-andanimal being offered up to produce furtherance of men- . pastoral version. the pattern stated in the myth is re-peated. An agriculturalist tends to treasure his animals for their milk. while in the Indo-Iranian. Both P-I-E and I-I are pastoral. I am inclined to take the IndoIranian version of the creation myth as closer to the original IndoEuropean version." and "bipeds and quadrupeds" that have been so brilliantly analyzed by Wackernagel and Benveniste. men. bags and tents. from which the physical world and the societal world were created. man-and-animal.
. This is in keeping with the exchange-nature that characterized much of the I-E economy (see Benveniste. however. 170. traces of this early form can still be discerned in the Germanic areas. however. Recently. as in the sacrifice at Uppsala described by Adam of Bremen. but his argument is not convincing. it cannot be overlooked entirely. 208. pp. has revived Hirt's theories on the nature of mixed agriculture and herding as preceding true pastoralism. It would appear that this form of sacrifice did actually take place. It is not simply a gift-exchange. [Thesis] Archaeological evidence shows frequent human and animal offerings among the Indo-Europeans of the fifth and fourth millennia." American Anthropologist 65 (1963): 815-36. and cannot be accepted. "The Indo-Europeans: Archaeological Problems.89 Yet. Hirt. 191. this seems to be the best supported and most widely accepted hypothesis. 315-26. in the article cited above. Ward H. which in turn yielded again to vegetable or liquid offerings [Thesis] in some proposed by Marija Gimbutas. contended that the Indo-Iranians lost their agricultural terminology when migrating from a European homeland. Goodenough. this evidence does not hold if her theory that the Kurgan culture of South Russia was the I-E homeland proves to be incorrect. and human-animal sacrifice gave way to animal sacrifice. though that element is present. pp.and-animals. but on a grander scale it is the offering of the minimal societal unit for the benefit of society at large. this practice came to be altered. but this does not account for the prominence of pastoral vocabulary in the European languages. 88 Gimbutas." in Problemes de linguistique generale (Paris: Gallimard 1966). "Don et 6change dans le vocabulaire indo-europeen. Of course. While such an argument does not constitute scientific "proof" in any sense. The symmetry of the version from the Greater Bundahisn is also so elegant and authentic in feeling as to support this conclusion. 144 History of Religions locales. For the moment. p. With time. and in the repeated formulae of the Rg Veda and the Younger Avesta calling for "cattle and sons" as a return for sacrifice91-a sacrifice that repeats in ritual the events described in the creation myth. in Indo-European and Indo-Europeans.