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A Song Worth Fifty Cows: Graeco-Indo-Iranian Variations on the Etiology of Sacrifice
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies.
2014 (English)In: Münchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft, ISSN 0077-1910, Vol. 68, no 1, 101-118 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper explores how the social reality of an ancient sacrificial economy backlights through the medium of mythical etiology, even in contexts where this reality seems to have lost its direct impact. By comparing crucial moments in the Greek myth of Hermes’ theft of Apollo’s cattle (first rendered at length in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes) with Indo-Iranian reflexes of the so-called Vala-myth, an attempt is made to resolve a few perplexities evoked by the Greek myth as well as elucidating general aspects of Greek and Indo-European poetics. In addition to these considerations, the original meaning ‘(paid) ally, client’ is proposed for Greek Ὀρφεύς/Vedic R̥bhúḥ. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
München, 2014. Vol. 68, no 1, 101-118 p.
Keyword [en]
Homeric Hymn to Hermes, Vedic ritual, Avestan liturgy, cattle-raids, Indo-European mythology and poetics
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
History of Religion; Greek; Indology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-112684OAI: diva2:779907
Available from: 2015-01-13 Created: 2015-01-13 Last updated: 2015-03-03Bibliographically approved

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Jackson, Peter
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