Challenging reference problems with Dumézil’s Mitra-Varuna – any help gratefully received [updated]

[Update: some progress on all of these is reported at the end of this post.]

I am looking for help with some of the more challenging references in my editorial work with Georges Dumézil’s Mitra-Varuna. I have checked hundreds of references, correcting some and completing many, but these are the ones I am still stuck with. Any help would be much appreciated.

Texts I cannot locate except in Sanskrit 

Are there English, French, German (or any Western European) translations of 

Maitrayani Samhita (IV, 8, 1 and V, 2, 5)

Taiitriya Brahmana (I, 7, 10, 1 and I, 1, 4, 7)

Kathaka Brahmana (II, 30, 1)

Gopatha Brahmana (II, 1, 2)

There are six references in total between these four texts. I am fairly sure there are no complete translations, though there are critical editions of the Sanskrit (often with German titles and apparatus). For example, Dumézil used Leopold von Schroeder (ed.), Maitrāyaṇī saṃhitā, Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus, four volumes 1881-86. Are there good (and clearly organised) places like readers which might include these specific passages?

Texts where the reference is wrong

There are some references which are clearly wrong, and in most cases I’ve been able to find the correct reference. There are others where his reference may be correct to the edition he used, but there is different arrangement in ones with wider circulation, so I’ve cited both his location and a more accessible one. But I’m stuck with one.

Dumézil references Rg Veda IV, 53, 6, concerning Savitr as a god who sends to sleep. I can’t see how this is correct, though he also references VII, 45, 1, which does seems right. My best guess is the first reference should be to IV, 53, 7, which mentions Savitr being favourable by night and day. Any ideas?

Secondary Sources

Dumézil mentions that someone called M.P. Arnold (this possibly means Monsieur P. Arnold), wrote a book called Mavors. In 1948 Dumézil says this was ‘just published’, but I am unable to find a reference anywhere. Mavors is Mars, the god of war, but searching for Arnold and Mars just leads to Schwarzenegger’s movie Total Recall… This may be Paul Arnold, who Dumézil knew, but he didn’t publish a book around this time which looks an obvious connection. Perhaps his 1947 book Le Dieu de Baudelaire? A Mlle Arnold attended a course Dumézil taught, so it’s possible the book was published under a married name, but I’m still drawing a blank.

Update 27 May: 

Since I posted this last week, I’ve made some progress.

Both passages from Taiitriya Brahmana can be found in J. Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts – Vol V, 58 and Vol I, 186, with the latter having the reference I, 1, 4, 4. Dumézil references Muir in Mitra-Varuna and it may well be his source, rather than an edition of the text itself. Muir provides transliteration and English translations of selected passages. 

There is also a German translation of Maitrayani Samhita, by Kyoko Amano published in 2009. Unfortunately this is only of the first two books, I did find a transliterated text, and since Dumézil quotes the passage from IV, 8, 1 I have checked the reference which is correct. However V, 2, 5 seems to be a mistake, since there are only four books in the ediitons I’ve found. But there is a discussion of the topic mentioned in II, 5, 7. The German translation indicates this is probably the passage he had in mind. It’s an odd reference error to have made,(V, 2, 5 to II [2], 5, 7) but this is the best I have so far.

I’ve been unable to check the Gopatha Brahmana directly, but this is the reference given by others, including Nicholas J. Allen, “Śiva and Indo-European Ideology: One Line of Thought”, International Journal of Hindu Studies 11 (2), 2007, 191-207. So I am reasonably sure it is correct, but would still like to verify it if possible, along with the Kathaka Brahmana reference.

Having checked a better edition of the Rg Veda, I now think Dumézil’s reference is correct

It appears the piece by Arnold might be an article, though Dumézil clearly says book [livre]. I have a reference but I’m still trying to find this – the British Library has the journal, but not the right issue.

Update 29 May:

There is an English translation of the Gopatha Brahmana, but it is in an unpublished 1969 Indian dissertation, which I hadn’t found before, but have now seen. So I’ve been able to check that reference. And the passage from the Kathaka Brahmana is transliterated and translated in Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, so that helps resolve that issue. If I can find the Arnold article then I think I’m done…

Update 7 June:

I now have the Arnold article, which is a close thematic fit to the topic Dumézil indicates. Although it isn’t a book, otherwise it makes sense of the reference.

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4 Responses to Challenging reference problems with Dumézil’s Mitra-Varuna – any help gratefully received [updated]

  1. John Russell says:

    Re the Arnold book, have you seen this article by Dumezil responding to an earlier article that mentions Paul Arnold as a key member of Dumezil’s « school »
    I don’t have access so can’t read it or the article he’s referencing. But I wonder if Arnold’s book might be a thesis? A long shot, especially since I don’t know any of the context, but maybe the initial article cites something useful.

  2. stuartelden says:

    Thank you John. I don’t have immediate access to that article, but can check at the British Library. It does seem to make it more likely it is a reference to Paul Arnold, which I’d already suspected. A thesis is an interesting possibility and I will look into that. I’ve just found that Paul Arnold published an article on Mars in 1950, so will also try to track that down. Thanks again.

  3. stuartelden says:

    Reblogged this on Progressive Geographies and commented:

    Since I posted this last week I have made some progress – an update is at the end of the original post. Many thanks to those who contacted me about this – a few useful leads.

  4. Pingback: Indo-European Thought project update 4: Editing and Introducing Dumézil’s Mitra-Varuna, and working with Foucault’s Lecture Courses  | Progressive Geographies

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