Georges Dumézil, Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus – the sources of the texts in the 1955 Italian collection

In 1955, Einaudi published an Italian edition of a book by Georges Dumézil under the title of Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus. He often used translation as an opportunity to update and enhance the original source text, and those changes were sometimes incorporated into subsequent French editions. La religion romaine archaïque, for example, was published in 1966, translated into English in 1970 as Archaic Roman Religion, and appeared in a new French edition in 1974. (The 1996 reprint of the English is, I think, exactly the same as the 1970 text.) There are also examples I know in German and Spanish where the translations are updated. 

With Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus they did something different. Dumézil had published four volumes under this title in French between 1941 and 1948. The series was written in parallel to one called Les Mythes Romains, of which three volumes appeared between 1942 and 1947 – Horace et les curiacesServius et la fortune and TarpeiaL’Héritage indo-européen à Rome in 1949 was conceived as an introduction to both series. The Italian text Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus is not a translation of a single French book.

The Italian Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus is not easy to find. Worldcat suggests only about 30 libraries have it, with only one copy in the UK and one in France. In his L’Œuvre de Georges Dumézil, Hervé Coutau-Bégarie provides a brief outline of what the Italian text contains (p. 43), but I wanted to see in more detail which bits of the Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus series were included, as would give an indication of Dumézil’s own sense of the most important parts of this work about a decade after most of the source texts were first published.

The three contents pages are below – clicking on each will bring up a bigger image:

The source of the texts included is as follows:

Prefazione dell’autore all’edizione italiana – a new text signed GD

Part 1 = Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus I, pp. 9-198 [Introduction, Chapters I-V, not Chapters VI and VII]; with an appendix from Tarpeia [Les Mythes Romains, III], pp. 249-91 [Unnumbered Chapter V: “Tarpeia”].

Part 2 = Naissance de la Rome (Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus II), 9- 127, 194-221 [Introduction, Chapters I, II, and IV, not Chapter III] 

Part 3 = Tarpeia, pp. 33-113 [Unnumbered Chapter I: “De Janus a Vesta”]

Part 4 = Tarpeia, pp. 115-58 [Unnumbered Chapter II: “Suovetaurilia”]

Part 5 = Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus IV: Explication de textes indiens et latins, pp. 155-70 [second part, Chapter III: “Ramnes Luceres Titienses”, but not the third section]

There are some cuts to the material, but also some revisions. I’ve not yet looked at these in detail. Dumézil indicates that the material not translated can be treated as rejected.

In other words, an Italian reader would have here most of two of Dumézil’s books [JMQ I and JMQ II], a substantial part of a third [Tarpeia, Chapters I, II and V], and part of a fourth [JMQ IV]. Tarpeia is not part of the Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus series in French.

In both 1958 and 1968 Dumézil said he planned to bring out a revised and updated Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus, but these were never published. In this regard, the revisions to the Italian mean that it is the definitive version of these texts.

To my knowledge, none of the texts in this volume, or indeed anything from the French Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus series, have been translated into English. I’d be happy to receive information on that, or if any other parts of these books are in Italian somewhere else.

This page is part of the research for a new project on Indo-European Thought in Twentieth-Century France. For a discussion of how the Mythe et épopée series has been partially translated into English, see here; and for some preliminary textual comparison of Dumézil’s major work on the warrior function, Heur et malheur du Guerrier, part-translated as The Destiny of the Warrior, see here.