FORMATTED, EDITED, IMAGES ADDED &
ANNOTATIONS (IN RED) BY KENNETH S. DOIG
Proto-Indo-European religion is the hypothesized religion of the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) peoples based on the existence of similarities among the deities, religious practices and mythologies of the Indo-European peoples.
Reconstruction of the hypotheses below is based on linguistic evidence using the comparative method. Archaeological evidence is difficult to match to any specific culture in the period of early Indo-European culture in the Chalcolithic. Other approaches to Indo-European mythology are possible, most notably the trifunctional hypothesis of Georges Dumézil.
Linguists are able to reconstruct the names of some deities in the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) from many types of sources. Some of the proposed deity names are more readily accepted among scholars than others.
*Dyēus Ph2tēr is the god of the day-lit sky and the chief-god of the Indo-European pantheon. The name survives in Greek Zeus with a vocative form Zeu patēr; Latin Jūpiter (J=Y, more traditionally speller Iupiter) (from the archaic Latin Iovis pater; Diēspiter), Sanskrit Dyáus Pitā, and Illyrian Dei-pátrous.
*Deiwos-, Deva or Deos, but from *dhy-, according to Jaan Puhvel), Hittite, sius 'god'; Greek, dios 'god' (but usually theos from a different root); Oscan, Diovis; Latin, Iove or Jove, a particular god, also with forms deus, divus, 'god, rich man'; Sanskrit Deva; in Avestan, the daevas, (later Persian divs) were demonized by Zarathustra; Lith. Dievas; Latv. Dievs, a god who causes the rye fields to ripen; ON Týr, OHG Ziu, Old English, Tiw (from which comes Tuesday, the name of the week), a particular god; Welsh duw; Irish dia, 'god', and possibly Irish Dagda, and Slavic Dažbog.
*Plth2wih2 is reconstructed as 'Plenty', a goddess of wide flat lands and the rivers that meander across them. Forms include Hittite Lelwanni, a goddess of the underworld "the pourer" and Sanskrit Prthivi.
*Perkwunos, known as the "striker," is reconstructed from Sanskrit Parjanya, Prussian Perkuns, Lithuanian Perkūnas, Latvian Pērkons, Slavic Perun and Norse Fjörgyn. Fjörgyn was replaced by
*H2eus(os), is believed to have been the goddess of dawn, continued in Greek mythology as Eos, in Rome as Aurora, in Vedic as Ushas, in Lithuanian mythology as Aušra 'dawn' or Auštaras (Auštra) 'the god (goddess) of the northeast wind', Latvian Auseklis, the morningstar (Lithuanian Aušrinė, 'morningstar'); Ausera, and Ausrina, goddesses of dawn or of the planet Venus; Hittite, assu 'lord, god'; Gallic Esus, a god of hearths; Slavic, Iaro, a god of summer.
The form Arap Ushas appears in Albanian folklore, but is a name of the Moon. See also the names for the Sun which follow. An extension of the name may have been *H2eust(e)ro, but see also the form *as-t-r, with intrusive -t- [between s and r] in northern dialects". Anatolian dialects: Estan, Istanus, Istara; Greek, Hestia, goddess of the hearth; Latin Vesta, goddess of the hearth; in Armenian as Astghik, a star goddess; possibly also in Germanic mythology as Eostre or Ostara; and Baltic, Austija.
*PriHeh2, is reconstructed (Mallory & Adams 2006, pp. 208) as “beloved, friend” (Sanskrit priya), the love goddess.
- *Deh2nu- 'River-goddess' is reconstructed (Mallory & Adams 2006, p. 434) from Sanskrit Danu, Irish Danu; Welsh Dôn, and a masc. form Ossetic Donbettys. The name has been connected with the Dan rivers which run into the Black Sea (Dnieper, Dniester, Don, and Danube) and other river names in Celtic areas.
|ARYSWAS, FORM OF THE SACRED SWASTIKA|
Divine-Twins: There are several sets (the Indo-Europeans seem to be quite fond of twins), which may or may not be related.
Analysis of different Indo-European tales indicate the Proto-Indo-Europeans believed there were two progenitors of mankind: *Manu- ("Man"; Indic Manu; Germanic Mannus) and *Yemo- ("Twin"; Indic Yama; Germanic Ymir), his twin-brother. Cognates of this set of twins appear as the first mortals, or the first gods to die, sometimes becoming the ancestors of everyone and/or king(s) of the dead.
AREA FOR THE INDO-EUROPEANS
c. 4000 TO 2000 BC
- The Sun and Moon as discussed in the next section.
- Horse-twins, usually have a name that means 'horse' *ekwa-, but the names are not always cognate, because there is no lexical set (Mallory & Adams 2006, p. 432). They are always male and usually have a horse form, or sometimes, one is a horse and the other is a boy. They are brothers of the Sun-Maiden or Dawn-goddess, sons of the Sky-god, continued in Sanskrit Ashvins and Lithuanian Ašvieniai, identical to Latvian Dieva deli.
- Other horse-twins are: Greek, Dioskuri (Polydeukes and Kastor); borrowed into Latin as Castor and Pollux; Irish, the twins of Macha; Old English, Hengist and Horsa (both words mean 'stallion'), and possibly Old Norse Sleipnir, the eight-legged horse born of Loki; Slavic Lel and Polel; possibly Christianized in Albanian as Sts. Flori and Lori.
- The horse-twins may be based on the morning and evening star (the planet Venus) and they often have stories about them in which they "accompany" the Sun-goddess, because of the close orbit of the planet Venus to the sun, (JIES 10, 1&2, p. 137-166, Michael Shapiro, who references D. Ward, The Divine Twins, Folklore Studies, No. 19, Univ. Calif. Press, Berkeley, 1968,).
|IE NORTH-GERMANIC RELIGIOUS|
The Sun and Moon are often seen as the twin-children of various deities, but in fact the sun and moon were deified several times and are often found in competing forms within the same language. The usual scheme is that one of these celestial deities is male and the other female, though the exact gender of the Sun or Moon tend to vary among subsequent Indo-European mythologies. Here are two of the most common PIE forms:
*Seh2ul with a genitive form *Sh2-en-s, Sun, appears as Sanskrit Surya, Avestan Hvara; Greek Helios, Latin Sol, Germanic *Sowilo (Old Norse Sól; Old English Sigel and
*Meh1not, "Moon", gives Avestan, Mah; Greek Selene (unrelated), although they also use a form Mene; Latin, Luna, later Diana (unrelated), ON Máni, Old-English (WestSaxon c. 950AD) Móna; Slavic Myesyats; Lithuanian, *Meno, or Mėnuo (Mėnulis); Latvian Meness. In Albanian, Hane is the name of Monday, but this is not related. (Encyclopedia of IE Culture, p. 385, gives the forms but does not have an entry for a moonögoddess.)
*Peh2uson is reconstructed (Mallory & Adams 2006, p. 434) as a pastoral god, based on the Greek god Pan, the Roman god Faunus and the Fauns, and Vedic Pashupati, and Pushan.
There may have been a set of nature-spirits or gods akin to the Greek Satyrs, the Celtic god Cernunnos [kern-noonos] ("cern" is cognate with Lat. cornu and English horn) and the Dusii, Slavic Veles and the Leszi, the Germanic Woodwose, elves and dwarves. There may also have been a female cognate akin to the Greco-Roman nymphs, Slavic vilas, the Huldra (correct Old-Icelandic, Oldwest-Norse, plural is huldrur) of Germanic folklore, and the Hindu Apsaras.
A fuller treatment of the subject of the Indo-European Pantheon would not merely list the cognate names but describe additional correspondences in the "family-relationships", festival-dates, associated myths and special powers.
"Pandemonium" is Jaan Puhvel's word for the mutual demonization that occurred when the Younger-Avesta demonized the daevas, and the post-Rigvedic texts demonized the asuras. Neither demonization occurs in the oldest texts: in the Rigveda, there is not yet any hard-and-fast distinction between asuras and dēvas, and even in the later Vedas, the two groups (though thematically in opposition) cooperate at certain times. In the Old Avestan texts the daevas are to be rejected for being misguided by the "lie", but they are still gods, and not demons.
However, in the 19th century this distinction between the older and younger texts had not yet been made, and in 1884 Martin Haug "postulated his thesis that the transition of both the words [asuras and devas] into the designations of the demons ... is based on a prehistoric schism in religion ..."
|WÓÐENAZ/WÓDEN/ÓÐINN VISUAL DEFINITION|
Before this (in the 1850s), Westergaard had attributed the Younger-Avesta's demonization of the daevas to a "moral reaction against Vedic polytheism", but that (unlike the general notion of a mutual demonization) was very quickly rejected, and by 1895 James Darmesteter noted that it has "no longer [had] any supporter."
Nonetheless, some modern authors like Mallory and Adams still refer to Zoroastrianism as a "religious reformation" of Vedic religion (Mallory & Adams 2006, pp. 408–09). Most scholars however stress that there were two independent developments in ancient Iran and post-Rigvedic India, but nonetheless to be considered against the common background of prehistoric Indo-Iranian religion where both groups coexisted, with the asuras, perhaps even as a subset (having a particular common characteristic, like the Adityas) of the daevas, the national gods.
There seems to have been a belief in a world-tree, which in Germanic mythology was an ash-tree (Norse Yggdrasil; Irminsul), in Hinduism a banyan tree, an oak-tree in Slavic mythology, and a hazel-tree in Celtic mythology. In classical Greek mythology, the closest analogue of this concept is Mount Olympus; however, there is also a later folk tradition about the World-Tree, which is being sawed by the Kallikantzaroi (Greek goblins), perhaps a reborrowing from other peoples.
WÓÐENAZ ANA EHWÁI SÍNAMMA.
EHWÁI ÁIH AHTA BÁINU. WÓÐDINAZ
WAZJAÞ HELM, BIRIÞ SKELDUN,
SPERAN ANDI OFAN WÓÐDENÁI
FLEUGANÐ TWÁI HRABNAZ IZ
Dragon or Serpent
One common myth which can be found among almost all Indo-European mythologies is a battle ending with the slaying of a serpent, usually a dragon of some sort (Watkins 1995).
Thunor (or the later less-original Gmc)Thor vs. Jörmungandr, Sigurd vs.Fafnir in Scandinavian (Scandinavian is an utterly horrible misleading term,"Scandinavia" really mean just the peninsula upon which ONLY Norway and Sweden lie. It is a geographical term.The proper linguistic term is North-Germanic [NGmc]) mythology;
Zeus vs. Typhon, Kronos vs. Ophion, Apollo vs. Python, Heracles vs. the Hydra and Ladon, Perseus vs. Ceto, and Bellerophon vs. the Chimera in Greek mythology;
Indra vs. Vrtra in the Rigveda;
Krishna vs. Kāliyā in Bhagavata mythology;
Θraētaona, and later Kərəsāspa, vs. Aži Dahāka in Zoroastrianism and Persian mythology;
Perun vs. Veles, Dobrynya Nikitich vs. Zmey in Slavic mythology;
Tarhunt vs. Illuyanka of Hittite mythology; Beowulf vs. the dragon in Anglo-Saxon literature.
There are also analogous stories in other neighbouring mythologies: Anu or Marduk vs. Tiamat in Mesopotamian mythology; Ra vs. Apep in Egyptian mythology; Baal or El vs. Lotan or Yam-Nahar in Levantine mythology; Yahweh or Gabriel vs. Leviathan or Rahab or Tannin in Jewish ("Jewish" is a Neologism, Hebrew, Israelite are better terms) mythology; Michael the Archangel and, Christ vs. Satan (in the form of a seven-headed dragon), Virgin Mary crushing a serpent in Roman Catholic iconography (see Book of Revelation 12), Saint George and the Dragon in Christian mythology.