CLA160H1 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Iobates, Trifunctional Hypothesis, Indo-European Languages
•Norse god who otherwise invulnerable, is slain by mistletoe and then burned on his
•Misteltoe acts as an “external soul”
•Frazer uses him as an example to connect the Grove of Nemi branch to mistletoe
•King Proetus wife Anteia spurned by Bellerophon accuses him of attempted rape and
incites her husband to murder him (Potiphar’s wife motif)
•But Proetus shrinks from direct violence because Bellerophon is his suppliant and guest,
and protected by xenia
•So he dispatches Bellerophon to his (Proetus’) father-in-law Iobates, with a sealed tablet
containing written instructions to kill the bearer
•But Bellerophon is first entertained as a guest for nine days before the message is looked at,
at which point he is once again protected by xenia
•Iobates sends him on a series of fantastic, suicidal missions (e.g., Chimera) with the hopes
that he gets murdered indirectly
•Bellerophon succeeds in them all, and Iobates recognizes his worth and gives his daughter
in marriage as an alliance
•In B8 of Odyssey there are a series of myths told by the bard Demodocus (aiodos) when
Odysseus is being feasted by Alkinoos
•He is aided by the muses, and god to lend accuracy to stories
•Diomedes threatens to harm anyone, so long as they are not a god. He has internalized the
story of the hubristic Lycurgus in a way that makes him respect the gods.
•He falls upon Glaukos, who tells him the story of the hero Bellerophon
•This story validates Glaukos’ own worth, being descendant from the hero (many Greek
myth were created and told to justify descendants)
•Glaukos story leads Diomedes to recognize a relationship of hereditary guest-friendship
between himself and his antagonist, through Glaukos’ grandfather Bellerophon and
Diomedes grandfather Oeneus. So he can’t kill him on account of xenia
•The story also reinforces the importance of honoring the ties of hospitality, imposing an
end to violence through negotiation
•Diomedes responds by offering a pact of friendship, and they exchange their armor
•Politically conservative, and the Indo-European Ideology he identifies can seem
•Exhaustively studied both religion and mythology of the Indo-European peoples and was
interested primarily in Roman and Indian
•His comparative studies led him to posit a fundamental tripartite division within the
original Indo-European society (or social ideology). This is the Trifunctional Hypothesis.
It is a division reflected in the religion and mythology of many diverse Indo-European
cultures. A division between three basic social functions:
•Sovereignty: religion, magic and law, justice
•King or priest/magician, lawyer
•Warfare: physical strength/power and physical violence
•Production: production of food/wealth and beauty, sex, reproduction
•Farmers, craftsmen, traders, women
•This division is related to India’s Caste System, of which there were four varnas. The
highest three being:
•Brahmins: priests (sovereignty)
•Kshatriyas: warriors (warfare)
•Vaishyas: agriculturists/traders (production)
•A number of Indo-European cultures have a core set of gods who reflect the three functions
•Dumezil identifies a pattern of war between functions, specifically the 1st and 2nd functions
at war with the 3rd
•An enduring stable order is created when these two opposing factions are permanently
reconciled and integrated
•According to Muller, Endymion means the setting sun, and he was loved by Selene (moon)
•Indo-Europeans used to say that the moon loves the setting sun (setting sun, rising moon)
•People forgot what that meant, but the words persisted, become names of these characters
•Queen of the gods, consort of Zeus
•Devout of Artemis
•Killed and then resurrected
•In his new life he came to the Aricians and became their king, and set up the temple of
•This particular aspect of Diana entailed human sacrifice, but this was changed so that
instead there was a certain tree from which it was not permitted to break a branch.
•The opportunity was granted to any fugitive slave who removed a branch to fight in single
combat with the fugitive priest of the temple.
•This was installed in commemoration of the original flight and fighting as given as an
allegory of ancient sacrifice.
•Inanna/Ishtar/Astarte are goddesses of sexuality AND warfare
•Ishtar propositions gilgamesh to be her lover, he rejects her
•Kumarbi is the chief god of the Hurrians
•Son of Anu (the sky), and father of the storm-god Teshub.
•Song of Kumarbi or Kingship in Heaven relates that Alalu was overthrown by Anu who
was in turn overthrown by Kumarbi.
•When Anu tried to escape, Kumarbi bit off his genitals and spat out three new gods.
•In the text Anu tells his son that he is now pregnant with the Teshub, Tigris, and Tašmišu.
•Upon hearing this Kumarbi spit the semen upon the ground and it became impregnated
with two children.
•Kumarbi is cut open to deliver Tešub.
•Together, Anu and Teshub depose Kumarbi.
•Means “writers of logoi”
•Out of the Ionian revolution, but Herodotus attributes them to Persians
•Composed histories of specific cities, especially founding cities
•Also compiled chronological tables
•But nothing with the scope of Herodotus
•The approach to myth attributed by Herodotus to the Persian logioi contains two key
features associated with the Ionian logographers:
•Persian logioi reduces the varied myths
•Pre-Socratics describes a philosophical movement that arose in Ionia in the early 6th
century B.C., continued down into the late 5th cent. B.C.
•They sought natural explanations for phenomena, rejecting traditional mythology in
seeking a more rational theology
•King of the Grove/Wood
•Fugitive slave, killed previous priest who was also a runaway slave after taking off branch
from sacred tree
•Perhaps originally burned alive at midsummer bonfire in sacrifice
•Rome is founded by Romulus, who assumes sovereignty (1st function) under divine
auspices (omen of twelve vultures)
•Their women are stolen
•They are 3rd function
•Hesiod’s account of divine genealogy, beginning at the creation of the universe
•he attributes his stories emphatically to divine inspiration and instruction
•He invokes a personal relationship with the Muses, who have called him to the poet’s life
•But how reliable are the muses teachings?
•Hesiod admits that lies sound like truths and that the muses mingle truth (fact) and
plausible lies (fiction)