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Re: [ReligioRomana] Indo-European Sacred Space. Vedic and Roman Cult.

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  • A. Sempronius Regulus
    Salvete, I recommended this book about a year ago. Woodward also has available sort of an IE Studies study packet through Amazon. ...
    Message 1 of 3 , May 16, 2007
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      Salvete,

      I recommended this book about a year ago. Woodward
      also has available sort of an IE Studies study packet
      through Amazon.

      --- Caroline Tully <heliade@...> wrote:

      >
      > Roger D. Woodard, Indo-European Sacred Space. Vedic
      > and Roman Cult.
      > Urbana-Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2006.
      > Pp. 296. ISBN
      > 0-252-02988-7. $50.00.
      >
      > Reviewed by Marco V. Garci/a-Quintela, University of
      > Santiago de
      > Compostela (phmarco@...)
      > Word count: 2345 words
      > -------------------------------
      > To read a print-formatted version of this review,
      > see
      > http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/2007/2007-02-36.html
      > -------------------------------
      >
      > Table of Contents
      >
      (http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/ecip0514/2005017055.html)
      >
      > This book proposes an ambitious comparative study
      > between the religious
      > topography of Rome and the ritual construction of
      > space destined for
      > the celebration of Vedic sacrifices. R. D. Woodward
      > (hereinafter W.),
      > following in the footsteps of G. Dume/zil (and E.
      > Benveniste),
      > highlights the Indo-European inheritance in Roman
      > rites. The first
      > chapter presents the question of the Indo-European
      > inheritance in Rome
      > as it was left by Dume/zil on his death in 1986;
      > chapter two examines
      > Terminus in his dual aspect as a divine figure and
      > marker stone; the
      > third chapter explores the rites that define the
      > ager romanus, and the
      > fourth examines these same rites in comparison with
      > Vedic rituals for
      > the organization of sacrificial space. In the final
      > chapter W. offers a
      > summary of his conclusions.
      >
      > W's complex arguments are well signposted with
      > detailed introductions
      > and concluding sections to each chapter. The
      > detailed structure of the
      > Table of Contents, available on-line, is not
      > included in the printed
      > version, in which we only find the titles of the
      > chapters, somewhat
      > cryptic in nature. In general terms, although his
      > concentation on the
      > historical and cultural contexts of each religion
      > may prevent his work
      > having a broad readership amongst Indo-European
      > scholars working with
      > linguistics or religions, W. puts forward arguments
      > to overcome this
      > resistance to contribute towards generalizing a type
      > of research that
      > is still seldom found from international scholars.
      >
      > The first chapter (The Minor Capitoline Triad, pp.
      > 1-58) offers a
      > summary of Dume/zil's arguments supporting the
      > continuity of
      > Indo-European ideology in Roman religion, and
      > reviews the criticisms
      > levelled against Dume/zil's position, facing up to
      > the sociological
      > problem -- I would so far as to refer to it as
      > 'Anglo-Saxon' -- of the
      > underlying evolutionism of the "P[roto]
      > I[ndo]-E[uropean] divine social
      > structure and of the human structure it mirrors" (p.
      > 17). W. then goes
      > on to explore the archaic triad formed by Jupiter,
      > Mars and Qurinus, as
      > "the Anglo-European tradition dismisses the
      > recognition of an archaic
      > triad" (p. 21), leading him to discuss the positions
      > of authors working
      > under the long shadow of Momigliano's criticisms of
      > Dume/zil in the
      > 1980's.[[1]] This presentation supports a study of
      > the reorganization
      > of the cults of the Capitol begun by Tarquin the
      > Proud, in contrast to
      > the Etruscans. W. presents the gods who remained in
      > the Capitol
      > (Juventas, Terminus and Mars), and proposes that
      > Terminus, as "the god
      > of Titus Tatius" represents the third function,
      > Juventas, protector of
      > the warriors, the second, and above them, Jupiter as
      > the first. And so
      > the Indo-European ideology remains in the "minor
      > capitoline triad" (p.
      > 52) of the new theological context. Finally, W.
      > highlights the presence
      > of Mars amongst the gods of the Capitol, through a
      > careful criticism of
      > sources.
      >
      > The second chapter is concerned with Terminus (p.
      > 59-95). Ever faithful
      > to the comparative method, W. contemplates the Irish
      > stone of Fal and
      > the Lingam of Shiva as parallels of the religious
      > meaning and ritual
      > function of the god. They are ritual stones that
      > define in an abstract
      > manner the space they reign over, indicate
      > frontiers, and serve as
      > focal points around which rituals take place. The
      > lingam of Shiva also
      > has its antecedent in the yupa, a post to which
      > sacrificial victims
      > were tied in India, and which defined the
      > sacrificial space that served
      > as a columna mundi. After offering an examination of
      > the yupa, W.
      > establishes the similarity between Terminus, the
      > lingam of Vishnu, the
      > yupa and other posts as the result of an
      > Indo-European inheritance.
      > This context includes the rituals held in the
      > termini sacrificales
      > witnessed by the gromatici that allow W. to identify
      > five similarities
      > with the rituals held around the yupa: it is set in
      > a particular
      > position before being lifted in a particular hole,
      > it is daubed and
      > decorated or dressed, offerings are made in the
      > hole, and the
      > participants dress in a particular way. Furthermore,
      > neither yupa nor
      > termini are the places where the victim is
      > sacrificed.
      >
      > To understand the title of Chapter 3, "Into the
      > Teacup" (pp. 96-141) we
      > have to wait until p. 130, describing the scholarly
      > discussion of the
      > relationship between the rites of the Ambarvalia and
      > those celebrated
      > by the Arval Brothers in the Dea Dia Sanctuary as a
      > 'storm in a
      > teacup'. Following in the steps of A. Alfo+ldi (in a
      > proposal highly
      > criticised by historians, although supported
      > implicitly by W.), W.
      > reviews the seven rites known to greater or lesser
      > degrees, held at
      > points in different directions, some 5 or 6 miles
      > from the Capitol: the
      > Terminalia held on the Via Laurentina, the
      > Ambarvalia held at an
      > unknown Festi , the rites of Dea Dia held on the Via
      > Portuensis, the
      > rites of Fortuna muliebris held on the Via Latina,
      > the Robigalia on the
      > Via Claudia, the rites held around the statue of
      > Mars on the Via Apia,
      > and the division between the ager romanus and the
      > ager Gabinus on the
      > Via Prenestina.
      >
      > Here I would highlight a series of arguments. For
      > example, the
      > difficulties Strabo (5.3.2) had with the Ambarvalia:
      > the rite would be
      > held in different locations and, as a right of
      > circumambulation, is
      > explained with the help of a rite which, according
      > to Cato, was carried
      > out by peasants to ensure a prosperous harvest
      > (walking around the
      > fields). The author also includes an examination of
      > the suovetaurilia
      > and mysterious Manius, which determines where the
      > sacrifice would have
      > been made, and argues that he would have been an
      > earth god, fitting for
      > a rite of purification. Finally, W. invents the
      > expression 'ambarvalic
      > festival' (p. 124) to define the rights including
      > circumambulation and
      > sacrifices held around the ager romanus. In this
      > context, W. presents
      > the debate about the performance of the cults of Dea
      > Dia and the
      > ambarvalia, concluding that the cult to the goddess
      > would be
      > "ambarvalic".
      >
      > Vedic comparisons form the focal point of chapter 4
      > (The Fourth Fire,
      > pp. 142-240). W. reminds the reader of the
      > comparison established by
      > Dume/zil between the Roman fires and the three fires
      > of the Vedic
      > sacrifice which, situated in a restricted space --
      > Devayajana -- are
      > sufficient for most public rituals, but which
      > require an extension for
      > the solemn rites of the Soma. Then the Devayajana is
      > extended to the
      > east, in an area known as Mahadevi, through the
      > ritual transfer of the
      > fire Ahabaniya, where an offering is made to the
      > gods to the
      > easternmost extreme of the new area, where the most
      > important
      > ceremonies will be carried out. This is the fourth
      > fire that protects
      > the Soma.
      >
      > The thrust of W.'s argument is that the way that the
      > space of the urbs
      > is defined by the pomerium and its fires is
      > equivalent to the
      > Devayajana, just as the ager Romanus corresponds to
      > the Mahadevi. W.
      > considers both the specific conditions at Rome --
      > such as the
      > impossibility of carrying out a circumambulation of
      > the ager Romanus --
      > and the more general differences between
      > livestock-based Vedic society
      > and sedentary Roman society. Furthermore, the places
      > that delimit the
      > ager Romanus, a further 'four fires', are not known
      > in equal measure.
      > The weight of the demonstration thus falls on the
      > comparison of the
      > rituals of the Soma with the cults of Dea Dia held
      > by the Arval
      > Brothers, with W. stopping to explore the carmen
      > avale and the gods it
      > mentions. Here emphasis is given to the relationship
      > between Mars and
      > the Semons, studied together with figures such as
      > Semo Sancus, Fisus
      > Sancius or Hercules. W.'s account of Hercules' clash
      > with Cacus
      > considers its considerable atmosphere of
      > Greek-Italian folklore, and
      > its level of Indo-European inheritance. These
      > stories highlight the
      > role of the limits and the affinity between the hero
      > and his companion,
      > which at the sanctuary of Dea Dia, is how Mars and
      > the Semons appear.
      > These analyses serve to indicate the equivalence of
      > the Roman gods with
      > Indra and the Maruts.
      >
      > The final chapter (From the Inside Out. Postscript,
      > p. 241-267) details
      > the ideas discussed throughout the book. Emphasis is
      > given to the
      > relation between the yupa and terminus and to the
      > reformulation of the
      > relationship between Mars and the agrarian domain,
      > prolonging an old
      > debate. W. has no doubts about Mars the warrior and
      > his function as a
      > protector of the fields. Yet the agrarian facet of
      > Mars and his
      > relationship with fecundity is also present,
      > according to W., in a
      > secondary manner, through his close association with
      > Terminus. This is
      > an ancient relationship, as both gods were in the
      > Capitol from the
      > outset, and refused to leave with the other gods.
      >
      > W.'s book offers much, particularly its
      > methodological deliberations,
      > the analysis of the plea of the peasant according to
      > Cato, and of the
      > carmen arualis, whose value transcends the place
      > they occupy in the
      > book's thesis. What is surprising of a linguist like
      > W. is the moderate
      > use of etymologies suited to advancing the argument
      > (theos related to
      > the Latin festus on p. 150; the linguistic
      > interpretation of 'amb'-, on
      > p. 157-158; of Semons on p. 183; of Mars, on p 222).
      > New formulas also
      > stand out, such as the "minor capitoline triad" (p.
      > 52), or the
      > expression columna mundi instead of axis mundi. Less
      > transcendental are
      > expressions such as the adjective 'Ambarvalic' in
      > reference to defining
      > rituals (p. 124) or "allorituals" to designate the
      > variations of the
      > same ritual theme (p. 140).
      >
      > In what is a well edited book, I have found only a
      > few misprints: on
      > page 35, the date of Cornell's book is 1995, not
      > 1955; on page 131,
      > Chiriassi, not 'Chiriasi'; on page 166, epulum
      > instead of 'eplum'; and
      > in the bibliography, on p. 280, the title of Gonda
      > 1956 is 'Kingship',
      > not 'Kinship', and on p. 278 the edition year of
      > Boyle and Woodard is
      > 2000, not 2004. Finally, there are several issues
      > open to debate.
      >
      > Firstly, a book that focuses on rituals differs from
      > studies inspired
      > by Dume/zil on the Indo-European inheritance found
      > in the Roman
      > literary tradition. The direct dialogue of W. with
      > the work of Dume/zil
      > (p. ix) may be understood in this way. However, in
      > some cases it would
      > pertinent to quote, rien que pour memoire, the works
      > of D. Briquel (on
      > p. 36-37 on Ancus Marcius, or on p. 47 on Attus
      > Navius) or J. Poucet
      > (as an analyst of literary traditions). Beyond the
      > scope of the
      > Dumezilian tradition, the absence of the monography
      > by G. Piccaluga on
      > Terminus (1974) is surprising. More specific are the
      > lack of references
      > to the studies of J. Scheid to explain the ritus
      > greaecus (p. 189); of
      > J. Kellens, questioning the historical authenticity
      > of Zarathustra (p.
      > 194); or of B. Lincoln, for the comment on the
      > three-headed monster (p.
      > 199). Furthermore, and in more general terms, to
      > re-valorize the work
      > of Dume/zil, W. bases his work on that of N. Allen.
      > This is perfectly
      > acceptable, although it would not have been
      > excessive to also mention
      > the work of D. Dubuisson, P. Sauzeau or B. Sergent.
      > It is somewhat
      > surprising to observe the tenacious persistence of
      > the linguistic and
      > cultural blocks in a sphere of studies that is so
      > necessarily
      > cosmopolitan.
      >
      > My second objection is that W. explains his work on
      > the comparison of
      > religions on the basis of references to the work of
      > linguists which,
      > based on historically constituted languages,
      > reconstructs Indo-European
      > roots. This analogy is not sufficient. To maintain
      > that an
      > Indo-European root *ner- is the origin of the Greek
      > ane/r or Sanskrit
      > nar- is not the same as saying that two (or more)
      > similar rituals or
      > myths, seen in different historical cultures, are
      > 'reflecting' a common
      > past (p. 33-35; also p. 88-90). The use of terms
      > such as "to reflect"
      > or "to mirror" implies a 'reification' of a myth or
      > ritual, and
      > reifying a myth is not the same as reconstructing a
      > word, as this would
      > be an act more befitting of a prehistoric sacerdos,
      > something which few
      > scholars, W. included, aspire to be.
      >
      > The fact is that we know very little about
      > prehistoric types of
      > religion; neither Dume/zil or his followers have
      > stopped to consider
      > the generally accepted situation that the parallels
      > seen in historical
      > contexts have a prehistoric origin (see recently E.
      > Lyle in JI-ES 34,
      > 2006, p. 99-110). However, I do not believe that the
      > alternative is the
      > notion of 'reflex' that inevitably suggests
      > 'identity'. The prehistoric
      > reference of the myth or ritual considered would
      > rather be another
      > 'version' of the myth in the Le/vi-Straussian sense,
      > and therefore
      > simultaneously different and analogous to the
      > historical 'versions' we
      > know. Is it possible to identify prehistoric
      > versions of historical
      > religious phenomena? This is a difficult question to
      > answer; the
      > partial approximations that do exist, (for example,
      > K. Kristiansen and
      > T. Larsson, The Rise of Bronze Age Society,
      > Cambridge U.P., 2006,
      > chapter 6, on twin gods) are debateable in one way
      > or another. I
      > believe it is more appropriate to accept
      > uncertainty, than to accept a
      > 'ready-made' yet erroneous solution.
      >
      > W. also includes the experiments of Dume/zil with
      > elements of
      > Indo-European roots in contemporary politics (p.
      > 39). These are not the
      > happiest writings of the wise comparatist. The
      > Indo-European
      > inheritance is evident in modern-day India, as W.
      > recalls, and in
      > traditions from further afield. However, it is wiser
      > to avoid current
      > debates, as we could conclude that the attacks of
      > September 11th could
      > be understood as a trifunctional crime: the Twin
      > Towers, at the
      > 'economic capital' of the USA clearly represent the
      > dual nature of F3;
      > the attack against the Pentagon is self-evident as
      > F2, and the plane
      > that crashed in Pennsylvania probably intended to
      > attack the Capitol or
      > the White house, as a clear F1 target.
      >
      > None of these debatable issues detracts from the
      > validity of a book
      > that combines interpretive audacity and sound
      > scholarship as an
      > excellent guide to the field in question. This does
      > not mean that the
      > comparison between the Roman rituals connected with
      > the territory of
      > the urbs and the spatial dimension of the Vedic
      > sacrifice, should
      > obtain an immediate consensus. However, the
      > proposition can only serve
      > to increase study, following W., by exploring the
      > spatial implications
      > of religious reflection, appears to be a promising
      > approach.
      >
      > ------------------
      > Notes:
      >
      >
      > 1. The authors discussed include M. Beard, J.
      > North, S. Price,
      > Religions of Rome, 2 vols., Cambridge; T. Cornell,
      > The Beginnings of
      > Rome, London; the influential paper by A. Momigliano
      > is, "Georges
      > Dume/zil and the trifunctional approach to Roman
      > Civilization", History
      > and Theory 23/3, 1984, pp. 312-330. My position in
      > this debate has been
      > published: M. Garci/a Quintela, "Dume/zil,
      > Momigliano, Bloch, between
      > politics and historiography", Studia Indoeuropaea.
      > Revue de mythologie
      > et de linguistique compare/e, 2, 2005, pp. 187-205.
      >
      >
      > -------------------------------
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      A. Sempronius Regulus

      America Austrorientalis


      Vincit qui se vincit. - Seneca
      Vivere disce, cogita mori. - Cicero
      Ubi spiritus est cantus est. - Sempronius Atratinus

      ANNI MMDCCLX AVC (anno urbis conditae - a.u.c.)






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    • Maior
      -Salve Regule; thanks for reposting! I wanted to read this & lost the reference. I ve been to Indian homa rituals & Japanese Buddhist Goma rituals, so it s a
      Message 2 of 3 , May 16, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        -Salve Regule;
        thanks for reposting! I wanted to read this & lost the reference.
        I've been to Indian homa rituals & Japanese Buddhist Goma rituals,
        so it's a fascinating topic to me.
        Marca Hortensia Maior

        >
        > Salvete,
        >
        > I recommended this book about a year ago. Woodward
        > also has available sort of an IE Studies study packet
        > through Amazon.
        >
        > --- Caroline Tully <heliade@...> wrote:
        >
        > >
        > > Roger D. Woodard, Indo-European Sacred Space. Vedic
        > > and Roman Cult.
        > > Urbana-Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2006.
        > > Pp. 296. ISBN
        > > 0-252-02988-7. $50.00.
        > >
        > > Reviewed by Marco V. Garci/a-Quintela, University of
        > > Santiago de
        > > Compostela (phmarco@...)
        > > Word count: 2345 words
        > > -------------------------------
        > > To read a print-formatted version of this review,
        > > see
        > > http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/2007/2007-02-36.html
        > > -------------------------------
        > >
        > > Table of Contents
        > >
        > (http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/ecip0514/2005017055.html)
        > >
        > > This book proposes an ambitious comparative study
        > > between the religious
        > > topography of Rome and the ritual construction of
        > > space destined for
        > > the celebration of Vedic sacrifices. R. D. Woodward
        > > (hereinafter W.),
        > > following in the footsteps of G. Dume/zil (and E.
        > > Benveniste),
        > > highlights the Indo-European inheritance in Roman
        > > rites. The first
        > > chapter presents the question of the Indo-European
        > > inheritance in Rome
        > > as it was left by Dume/zil on his death in 1986;
        > > chapter two examines
        > > Terminus in his dual aspect as a divine figure and
        > > marker stone; the
        > > third chapter explores the rites that define the
        > > ager romanus, and the
        > > fourth examines these same rites in comparison with
        > > Vedic rituals for
        > > the organization of sacrificial space. In the final
        > > chapter W. offers a
        > > summary of his conclusions.
        > >
        > > W's complex arguments are well signposted with
        > > detailed introductions
        > > and concluding sections to each chapter. The
        > > detailed structure of the
        > > Table of Contents, available on-line, is not
        > > included in the printed
        > > version, in which we only find the titles of the
        > > chapters, somewhat
        > > cryptic in nature. In general terms, although his
        > > concentation on the
        > > historical and cultural contexts of each religion
        > > may prevent his work
        > > having a broad readership amongst Indo-European
        > > scholars working with
        > > linguistics or religions, W. puts forward arguments
        > > to overcome this
        > > resistance to contribute towards generalizing a type
        > > of research that
        > > is still seldom found from international scholars.
        > >
        > > The first chapter (The Minor Capitoline Triad, pp.
        > > 1-58) offers a
        > > summary of Dume/zil's arguments supporting the
        > > continuity of
        > > Indo-European ideology in Roman religion, and
        > > reviews the criticisms
        > > levelled against Dume/zil's position, facing up to
        > > the sociological
        > > problem -- I would so far as to refer to it as
        > > 'Anglo-Saxon' -- of the
        > > underlying evolutionism of the "P[roto]
        > > I[ndo]-E[uropean] divine social
        > > structure and of the human structure it mirrors" (p.
        > > 17). W. then goes
        > > on to explore the archaic triad formed by Jupiter,
        > > Mars and Qurinus, as
        > > "the Anglo-European tradition dismisses the
        > > recognition of an archaic
        > > triad" (p. 21), leading him to discuss the positions
        > > of authors working
        > > under the long shadow of Momigliano's criticisms of
        > > Dume/zil in the
        > > 1980's.[[1]] This presentation supports a study of
        > > the reorganization
        > > of the cults of the Capitol begun by Tarquin the
        > > Proud, in contrast to
        > > the Etruscans. W. presents the gods who remained in
        > > the Capitol
        > > (Juventas, Terminus and Mars), and proposes that
        > > Terminus, as "the god
        > > of Titus Tatius" represents the third function,
        > > Juventas, protector of
        > > the warriors, the second, and above them, Jupiter as
        > > the first. And so
        > > the Indo-European ideology remains in the "minor
        > > capitoline triad" (p.
        > > 52) of the new theological context. Finally, W.
        > > highlights the presence
        > > of Mars amongst the gods of the Capitol, through a
        > > careful criticism of
        > > sources.
        > >
        > > The second chapter is concerned with Terminus (p.
        > > 59-95). Ever faithful
        > > to the comparative method, W. contemplates the Irish
        > > stone of Fal and
        > > the Lingam of Shiva as parallels of the religious
        > > meaning and ritual
        > > function of the god. They are ritual stones that
        > > define in an abstract
        > > manner the space they reign over, indicate
        > > frontiers, and serve as
        > > focal points around which rituals take place. The
        > > lingam of Shiva also
        > > has its antecedent in the yupa, a post to which
        > > sacrificial victims
        > > were tied in India, and which defined the
        > > sacrificial space that served
        > > as a columna mundi. After offering an examination of
        > > the yupa, W.
        > > establishes the similarity between Terminus, the
        > > lingam of Vishnu, the
        > > yupa and other posts as the result of an
        > > Indo-European inheritance.
        > > This context includes the rituals held in the
        > > termini sacrificales
        > > witnessed by the gromatici that allow W. to identify
        > > five similarities
        > > with the rituals held around the yupa: it is set in
        > > a particular
        > > position before being lifted in a particular hole,
        > > it is daubed and
        > > decorated or dressed, offerings are made in the
        > > hole, and the
        > > participants dress in a particular way. Furthermore,
        > > neither yupa nor
        > > termini are the places where the victim is
        > > sacrificed.
        > >
        > > To understand the title of Chapter 3, "Into the
        > > Teacup" (pp. 96-141) we
        > > have to wait until p. 130, describing the scholarly
        > > discussion of the
        > > relationship between the rites of the Ambarvalia and
        > > those celebrated
        > > by the Arval Brothers in the Dea Dia Sanctuary as a
        > > 'storm in a
        > > teacup'. Following in the steps of A. Alfo+ldi (in a
        > > proposal highly
        > > criticised by historians, although supported
        > > implicitly by W.), W.
        > > reviews the seven rites known to greater or lesser
        > > degrees, held at
        > > points in different directions, some 5 or 6 miles
        > > from the Capitol: the
        > > Terminalia held on the Via Laurentina, the
        > > Ambarvalia held at an
        > > unknown Festi , the rites of Dea Dia held on the Via
        > > Portuensis, the
        > > rites of Fortuna muliebris held on the Via Latina,
        > > the Robigalia on the
        > > Via Claudia, the rites held around the statue of
        > > Mars on the Via Apia,
        > > and the division between the ager romanus and the
        > > ager Gabinus on the
        > > Via Prenestina.
        > >
        > > Here I would highlight a series of arguments. For
        > > example, the
        > > difficulties Strabo (5.3.2) had with the Ambarvalia:
        > > the rite would be
        > > held in different locations and, as a right of
        > > circumambulation, is
        > > explained with the help of a rite which, according
        > > to Cato, was carried
        > > out by peasants to ensure a prosperous harvest
        > > (walking around the
        > > fields). The author also includes an examination of
        > > the suovetaurilia
        > > and mysterious Manius, which determines where the
        > > sacrifice would have
        > > been made, and argues that he would have been an
        > > earth god, fitting for
        > > a rite of purification. Finally, W. invents the
        > > expression 'ambarvalic
        > > festival' (p. 124) to define the rights including
        > > circumambulation and
        > > sacrifices held around the ager romanus. In this
        > > context, W. presents
        > > the debate about the performance of the cults of Dea
        > > Dia and the
        > > ambarvalia, concluding that the cult to the goddess
        > > would be
        > > "ambarvalic".
        > >
        > > Vedic comparisons form the focal point of chapter 4
        > > (The Fourth Fire,
        > > pp. 142-240). W. reminds the reader of the
        > > comparison established by
        > > Dume/zil between the Roman fires and the three fires
        > > of the Vedic
        > > sacrifice which, situated in a restricted space --
        > > Devayajana -- are
        > > sufficient for most public rituals, but which
        > > require an extension for
        > > the solemn rites of the Soma. Then the Devayajana is
        > > extended to the
        > > east, in an area known as Mahadevi, through the
        > > ritual transfer of the
        > > fire Ahabaniya, where an offering is made to the
        > > gods to the
        > > easternmost extreme of the new area, where the most
        > > important
        > > ceremonies will be carried out. This is the fourth
        > > fire that protects
        > > the Soma.
        > >
        > > The thrust of W.'s argument is that the way that the
        > > space of the urbs
        > > is defined by the pomerium and its fires is
        > > equivalent to the
        > > Devayajana, just as the ager Romanus corresponds to
        > > the Mahadevi. W.
        > > considers both the specific conditions at Rome --
        > > such as the
        > > impossibility of carrying out a circumambulation of
        > > the ager Romanus --
        > > and the more general differences between
        > > livestock-based Vedic society
        > > and sedentary Roman society. Furthermore, the places
        > > that delimit the
        > > ager Romanus, a further 'four fires', are not known
        > > in equal measure.
        > > The weight of the demonstration thus falls on the
        > > comparison of the
        > > rituals of the Soma with the cults of Dea Dia held
        > > by the Arval
        > > Brothers, with W. stopping to explore the carmen
        > > avale and the gods it
        > > mentions. Here emphasis is given to the relationship
        > > between Mars and
        > > the Semons, studied together with figures such as
        > > Semo Sancus, Fisus
        > > Sancius or Hercules. W.'s account of Hercules' clash
        > > with Cacus
        > > considers its considerable atmosphere of
        > > Greek-Italian folklore, and
        > > its level of Indo-European inheritance. These
        > > stories highlight the
        > > role of the limits and the affinity between the hero
        > > and his companion,
        > > which at the sanctuary of Dea Dia, is how Mars and
        > > the Semons appear.
        > > These analyses serve to indicate the equivalence of
        > > the Roman gods with
        > > Indra and the Maruts.
        > >
        > > The final chapter (From the Inside Out. Postscript,
        > > p. 241-267) details
        > > the ideas discussed throughout the book. Emphasis is
        > > given to the
        > > relation between the yupa and terminus and to the
        > > reformulation of the
        > > relationship between Mars and the agrarian domain,
        > > prolonging an old
        > > debate. W. has no doubts about Mars the warrior and
        > > his function as a
        > > protector of the fields. Yet the agrarian facet of
        > > Mars and his
        > > relationship with fecundity is also present,
        > > according to W., in a
        > > secondary manner, through his close association with
        > > Terminus. This is
        > > an ancient relationship, as both gods were in the
        > > Capitol from the
        > > outset, and refused to leave with the other gods.
        > >
        > > W.'s book offers much, particularly its
        > > methodological deliberations,
        > > the analysis of the plea of the peasant according to
        > > Cato, and of the
        > > carmen arualis, whose value transcends the place
        > > they occupy in the
        > > book's thesis. What is surprising of a linguist like
        > > W. is the moderate
        > > use of etymologies suited to advancing the argument
        > > (theos related to
        > > the Latin festus on p. 150; the linguistic
        > > interpretation of 'amb'-, on
        > > p. 157-158; of Semons on p. 183; of Mars, on p 222).
        > > New formulas also
        > > stand out, such as the "minor capitoline triad" (p.
        > > 52), or the
        > > expression columna mundi instead of axis mundi. Less
        > > transcendental are
        > > expressions such as the adjective 'Ambarvalic' in
        > > reference to defining
        > > rituals (p. 124) or "allorituals" to designate the
        > > variations of the
        > > same ritual theme (p. 140).
        > >
        > > In what is a well edited book, I have found only a
        > > few misprints: on
        > > page 35, the date of Cornell's book is 1995, not
        > > 1955; on page 131,
        > > Chiriassi, not 'Chiriasi'; on page 166, epulum
        > > instead of 'eplum'; and
        > > in the bibliography, on p. 280, the title of Gonda
        > > 1956 is 'Kingship',
        > > not 'Kinship', and on p. 278 the edition year of
        > > Boyle and Woodard is
        > > 2000, not 2004. Finally, there are several issues
        > > open to debate.
        > >
        > > Firstly, a book that focuses on rituals differs from
        > > studies inspired
        > > by Dume/zil on the Indo-European inheritance found
        > > in the Roman
        > > literary tradition. The direct dialogue of W. with
        > > the work of Dume/zil
        > > (p. ix) may be understood in this way. However, in
        > > some cases it would
        > > pertinent to quote, rien que pour memoire, the works
        > > of D. Briquel (on
        > > p. 36-37 on Ancus Marcius, or on p. 47 on Attus
        > > Navius) or J. Poucet
        > > (as an analyst of literary traditions). Beyond the
        > > scope of the
        > > Dumezilian tradition, the absence of the monography
        > > by G. Piccaluga on
        > > Terminus (1974) is surprising. More specific are the
        > > lack of references
        > > to the studies of J. Scheid to explain the ritus
        > > greaecus (p. 189); of
        > > J. Kellens, questioning the historical authenticity
        > > of Zarathustra (p.
        > > 194); or of B. Lincoln, for the comment on the
        > > three-headed monster (p.
        > > 199). Furthermore, and in more general terms, to
        > > re-valorize the work
        > > of Dume/zil, W. bases his work on that of N. Allen.
        > > This is perfectly
        > > acceptable, although it would not have been
        > > excessive to also mention
        > > the work of D. Dubuisson, P. Sauzeau or B. Sergent.
        > > It is somewhat
        > > surprising to observe the tenacious persistence of
        > > the linguistic and
        > > cultural blocks in a sphere of studies that is so
        > > necessarily
        > > cosmopolitan.
        > >
        > > My second objection is that W. explains his work on
        > > the comparison of
        > > religions on the basis of references to the work of
        > > linguists which,
        > > based on historically constituted languages,
        > > reconstructs Indo-European
        > > roots. This analogy is not sufficient. To maintain
        > > that an
        > > Indo-European root *ner- is the origin of the Greek
        > > ane/r or Sanskrit
        > > nar- is not the same as saying that two (or more)
        > > similar rituals or
        > > myths, seen in different historical cultures, are
        > > 'reflecting' a common
        > > past (p. 33-35; also p. 88-90). The use of terms
        > > such as "to reflect"
        > > or "to mirror" implies a 'reification' of a myth or
        > > ritual, and
        > > reifying a myth is not the same as reconstructing a
        > > word, as this would
        > > be an act more befitting of a prehistoric sacerdos,
        > > something which few
        > > scholars, W. included, aspire to be.
        > >
        > > The fact is that we know very little about
        > > prehistoric types of
        > > religion; neither Dume/zil or his followers have
        > > stopped to consider
        > > the generally accepted situation that the parallels
        > > seen in historical
        > > contexts have a prehistoric origin (see recently E.
        > > Lyle in JI-ES 34,
        > > 2006, p. 99-110). However, I do not believe that the
        > > alternative is the
        > > notion of 'reflex' that inevitably suggests
        > > 'identity'. The prehistoric
        > > reference of the myth or ritual considered would
        > > rather be another
        > > 'version' of the myth in the Le/vi-Straussian sense,
        > > and therefore
        > > simultaneously different and analogous to the
        > > historical 'versions' we
        > > know. Is it possible to identify prehistoric
        > > versions of historical
        > > religious phenomena? This is a difficult question to
        > > answer; the
        > > partial approximations that do exist, (for example,
        > > K. Kristiansen and
        > > T. Larsson, The Rise of Bronze Age Society,
        > > Cambridge U.P., 2006,
        > > chapter 6, on twin gods) are debateable in one way
        > > or another. I
        > > believe it is more appropriate to accept
        > > uncertainty, than to accept a
        > > 'ready-made' yet erroneous solution.
        > >
        > > W. also includes the experiments of Dume/zil with
        > > elements of
        > > Indo-European roots in contemporary politics (p.
        > > 39). These are not the
        > > happiest writings of the wise comparatist. The
        > > Indo-European
        > > inheritance is evident in modern-day India, as W.
        > > recalls, and in
        > > traditions from further afield. However, it is wiser
        > > to avoid current
        > > debates, as we could conclude that the attacks of
        > > September 11th could
        > > be understood as a trifunctional crime: the Twin
        > > Towers, at the
        > > 'economic capital' of the USA clearly represent the
        > > dual nature of F3;
        > > the attack against the Pentagon is self-evident as
        > > F2, and the plane
        > > that crashed in Pennsylvania probably intended to
        > > attack the Capitol or
        > > the White house, as a clear F1 target.
        > >
        > > None of these debatable issues detracts from the
        > > validity of a book
        > > that combines interpretive audacity and sound
        > > scholarship as an
        > > excellent guide to the field in question. This does
        > > not mean that the
        > > comparison between the Roman rituals connected with
        > > the territory of
        > > the urbs and the spatial dimension of the Vedic
        > > sacrifice, should
        > > obtain an immediate consensus. However, the
        > > proposition can only serve
        > > to increase study, following W., by exploring the
        > > spatial implications
        > > of religious reflection, appears to be a promising
        > > approach.
        > >
        > > ------------------
        > > Notes:
        > >
        > >
        > > 1. The authors discussed include M. Beard, J.
        > > North, S. Price,
        > > Religions of Rome, 2 vols., Cambridge; T. Cornell,
        > > The Beginnings of
        > > Rome, London; the influential paper by A. Momigliano
        > > is, "Georges
        > > Dume/zil and the trifunctional approach to Roman
        > > Civilization", History
        > > and Theory 23/3, 1984, pp. 312-330. My position in
        > > this debate has been
        > > published: M. Garci/a Quintela, "Dume/zil,
        > > Momigliano, Bloch, between
        > > politics and historiography", Studia Indoeuropaea.
        > > Revue de mythologie
        > > et de linguistique compare/e, 2, 2005, pp. 187-205.
        > >
        > >
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