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Ider et le tricéphale : d'une « aventure » arthurienne à un mythe indien

Annales Histoire Sciences Sociales
PERSEE Program
Publication Date
DOI: 10.3406/ahess.1978.293926
  • Religious Science


The medieval legend of Ider-is rooted in the most ancient warrior mythology of the Indo- Europeans. First, the two basic traits of the hero's personality (a fight with a bear and victory over giants), such as these have come down to us in the Folie Tristan of Berne the Vengeance Raguidel, and the Roman d'Yder, reflect very clearly two aspects of this mythology. Second, the famous anecdote from De antiquitate Glastoniensis ecclesiae of William of Malmesbury concerning the child of King Nuth recounts in detail an initiation rite of the type that G. Dumézil has studied for the specifically Indo-European domain. Above all, however, the novel which bears the hero's name has preserved for us a myth-inherited, most probably, from a common distant pre-history and presented here in fanciful disguise- for which parallels can be found in India in the murder of the Tricephalus and the episode of Indra and Namuci, and in Rome, in the victory of the young Horace over the three Curiatii and in the story of Tullus Hostilius and Mettius Fuffetius.

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