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Comparer en histoire des religions antiques

Claude Calame
Bruce Lincoln

Theses on Comparison

Bruce Lincoln


Bien que toute généralisation — à vrai dire toute pensée — dépende de la comparaison, cette dernière est généralement conduite de manière floue et les résultats de la démarche comparative sont en conséquence souvent décevants. Après un examen des raisons de tels échecs, on proposera une forme de comparaison « douce » qui porte, relativement en profondeur, sur un nombre restreint de comparanda ; qui est attentive aussi bien aux différences qu’aux similarités ; qui évite les hiérarchies implicites dans les cultures comparées ; qui affronte les questions de contexte et de subtexte. En tant qu’illustration, deux textes qui thématisent « l’envie de création » (Greater Bundahišn 1.14 – 15 and Beowulf 86 – 103) s’avéreront offrir une recodification éthique, semblable mais non identique, d’intérêts socio-économiques et politiques.

Texte intégral

Theses proper

1Let us begin with a few schematic observations concerning the goals, logic, and continuing appeal of comparatism, the very formidable obstacles it faces, its sorry historic record and the reasons for its many failures.

21) As both Heraclitus and Saussure observed, meaning is constructed through contrast. All knowledge, indeed all intelligibility thus derives from consideration of data whose differences become instructive and revealing when set against the similarities that render them comparable.

32) It is also the case that the same exercise supports errors and misconstructions of every sort, there being no guarantees. At best, comparison yields not knowledge, but that which provisionally passes for knowledge while inviting falsification or revision as further examples are considered and familiar examples receive fuller study. This process of testing, amplification and rectification is interminable.

43) All generalization depends on comparison, although the latter is usually pursued in ways inadequate to the task. Still, the only alternatives are a) a discourse whose generalizations remain intuitive, unreflective, and common-sensical, i.e. without basis, rigor, or merit and b) a parochialism that dares speak nothing beyond the petty and the particular.

54) Comparison is never innocent, but is always interested and the interests of the researcher (which are never arbitrary, exclusively intellectual, or fully conscious) inevitably condition a) definition of the issues and categories to be considered, b) selection of the examples judged relevant, c) evaluation of these data (including the relative dignity and importance accorded to each), and d) the ultimate conclusions.

65) Whether acknowledged or not, the researcher’s world (nation, culture, religion, politics, e.g.) and his/her attitudes toward it enter and inflect all comparative projects, most often providing the implicit point of reference against which other data are measured. The only check on this tendency is collegial criticism.

76) Wide-ranging comparison — comparatism of the strong sort — has consistently disappointed. The books of Lévi-Strauss, Dumézil, and Eliade now sit beside those of Max Müller and Frazer as cautionary examples. Although one can admire the energy, intelligence, and dedication of all these scholars, they consistently misrecognized products of their own imagination and desire (“the human mind,” “tripartite ideology,” “homo religiosus”) for objects having historic, prehistoric, and/or transhistoric actuality. Others made the same mistake regarding such fictive entities as “totemism,” “Urmonotheismus,” “la mentalité primitive,” and “the collective unconscious.”

87) The more examples compared, the more superficial and peremptory is the analysis of each. In such cases, researchers regularly turn their understanding of a few key data into a template for treating less familiar examples. The deception and self-deception involved in such ventures is of the same sort that typifies all ideology : misrepresenting a part for the whole.

98) Comparative endeavors of the strong sort fall into one of three types, based on the horizon of their ambitions : a) Those that claim to reveal universal patterns (Tylor, Jung, Lévi-Strauss, Lévy-Bruhl, Eliade, Girard, e.g.) ; b) Those that claim to demonstrate a genetic relation among specific peoples and phenomena (Jacob Grimm, Max Müller, Robertson Smith, Dumézil, Gimbutas, e.g.) ; c) Those that claim to trace diffusion of certain traits from one group to others over the course of history (Reitzenstein, Widengren, Burkert, Bernal, e.g.). All three types constitute similarity as the fact of primary interest and regard difference as a complicating development of considerably lesser importance.

109) With regard to the universalizing type : There are no true universals, save at a level of generalization so high as to yield only banalities. Thus, while it is true that all humans have bodies, the way they theorize their bodies, also the ways they use and experience them vary with history, class, and culture (as Mauss was first to observe). Real interest emerges only as one pays attention to these differences.

1110) With regard to the genetic type : Use of comparison to reconstruct (i.e. hypothesize) a remote past era for which no direct evidence survives is an invitation to project one’s favored fantasies onto a relatively blank screen. That screen, moreover, is distorting and prejudicial, as it invests such projections with the prestige of “origins” (e.g. “our most ancient traditions,” “the world of our ancestors,” “the archaic,” “the primordial”).

1211) With regard to the diffusionist type : The attempt to show transmission of culture traits always advances — if only subtextually — a tendentious ranking of the peoples involved, constituting temporal primacy (“originality,” “invention,” “authenticity”) as the sign of superior status, while conversely treating reception as a mark of relative backwardness, need and submission.

1312) These strong forms of comparatism having failed, it is time we entertained comparatism of weaker and more modest sorts that a) focus on a relatively small number of comparanda that the researcher can study closely ; b) are equally attentive to relations of similarity and those of difference ; c) grant equal dignity and intelligence to all parties considered ; and d) are attentive to the social, historical, and political contexts and subtexts of religious and literary texts. As precedents, one might invoke the examples of Fustel de Coulanges, Geoffrey Lloyd, and Eric Havelock or — should one stray beyond classical antiquity — those of Marc Bloch, Max Gluckman, Norbert Elias, and Marshall Sahlins.

Ahreman’s Envy at Creation

  • 1 On the general nature and importance of the Bundahišn, see Ceretti, 2001, p. 87 – 105. The standard (...)

14As an example of the weak kind of comparatism we take to be both defensible and productive, let us offer a case involving two data only : a classic scene from Middle Persian myth and one from Anglo-Saxon epic. The first is taken from the Greater Bundahišn, a priestly compendium committed to writing in the ninth century C.E.1

  • 2 This is spelled out in Greater Bundahišn 1, 1 – 11.
  • 3 Greater Bundahišn 1, 12 : In his omniscience, the Wise Lord knows that the Foul Spirit exists, beca (...)

15Chapter One of that text opens with two antithetical beings : the Wise Lord (Ohrmazd), possessed of omniscience and benevolence, and the Evil Spirit (Ahreman), characterized by a spiteful, destructive stupidity. Neither is omnipotent and each has to confront the other’s power. Still, their initial situation is a stability born of separation, with Ohrmazd dwelling in endless light above, Ahreman in infinite darkness below.2 Still, the Wise Lord anticipates conflict, understanding that Ahreman’s innate disposition to envy (Pahlavi arešk) will make him turn aggressive.3 In contrast, the Evil Spirit understands nothing. Wandering idly, he encounters light for the first time and his reaction — one of aggression, prompted by envy, just as the Wise Lord foresaw — sets all subsequent history in motion.

  • 4 Greater Bundahišn 1, 14 – 15 : Gannāg-Mēnōg pas-dānišnīh rāy az (h) astīh ī Ohrmazd an-āgāh būd. pa (...)

Because he possessed (only) knowledge-after-the-fact, the Foul Spirit was unaware of the Wise Lord’s existence. Then he rose from the depth and he came to the boundary of the visible lights. When he saw the Wise Lord and the light of ungraspable brightness, because of his aggressivity and his envious nature (arēšk-gōhrīh), he launched an attack in order to destroy it.4

  • 5 Much recent scholarship has been concerned to show the association of Ahreman with non-being. See e (...)

16Most broadly, the text identifies Ohrmazd as a plenum, characterized by the possession of goodness, wisdom, and light, while Ahreman is an absence of these same qualities. Zoroastrian theory associates him with non-being in general, as recent research has shown, and the primordial assault represents his attempt to replace Ohrmazd’s something with nothing.5 Another Zoroastrian text develops this point, once again stressing Ahreman’s envy of creation :

  • 6 Dādēstān ī Dēnīg 36.4 – 8 : ōh-iz dādār ī dahišn dād ān ī mēnōg dām abēzag anahōgēnēd ud ān-iz ī gē (...)

The Creator of the world made the spiritual creation pure and undefiled. He made the material creation immortal, unaging, without hunger, without bondage, without sorrow, and without pain […] In envy (pad arešk), full of vengeance, perfect in deceit, [the Evil Spirit] rushed to seize, destroy, smash, and ruin this well-made creation of the gods.6

  • 7 Dēnkart 5.24.4 makes complex emotions of this sort responsible for Ahreman’s assault, listing envy (...)
  • 8 Any of the standard secondary sources contain summary discussions of these issues. See, for example (...)

17Ahreman’s envy thus involves bitterness at his absolute deprivation, an anguished sense of emptiness, and wild indignation at his deficiencies vis-à-vis Ohrmazd. Jealousy, resentment, and wounded pride are all involved, as are frustration, self-pity, and a self-righteous sense of cosmic injustice. All these give rise to an infantile destructive rage, motivating his assault.7 Zoroastrian theology understands the world’s woes as having originated with that assault and looks forward to the day when Ahreman will be overcome, at which point history will end and the world’s perfection will be established.8

18In its treatment of Ahreman, the Bundahišn passage is not concerned to provide nuance, sympathy, or psychological depth in the mode of a modern novel. Rather, as a religious text it integrates ethics and cosmology, tracing all violence and destructivity to that which it identifies as the primordial vice of envy, which will manifest itself in humans throughout history and against which moral agents must constantly struggle, as the fate of the cosmos hangs in the balance.

Grendel Outside the Hall

  • 9 Dating of the text remains controversial. For a variety of positions, see Chase, 1997. Citations ar (...)

19Similar themes and images are found in a passage from Beowulf (a text whose dating remains controversial), where Grendel shows intriguing similarities to Ahreman, as well as important differences.9 To appreciate the significance of the monster, it is useful to start with his lineage and descent.

  • 10 Beowulf 104 – 114 :

An unhappy man

In the abode of the race of monsters long dwelt

Since the Creator

had banished him.

The eternal Lord

avenged that murder

On the race of Cain,

the one who slew Abel.

The Judge did not rejoice at that feud,

but for that crime,

He banished Cain far

from the race of man.

From him all

misbegotten creatures arose :

Giants and elves,

and infernal beasts,

Likewise giants

who have struggled against God

For a long time.10

  • 11 The story of Cain appears at Genesis 4, 1 – 16, and verses 3 – 5 establish his envy of Abel’s privi (...)

20This passage works with traditions well-attested in Anglo-Saxon literature, in which Cain — who committed the first homicide and did so out of envy — was theorized as primordial ancestor to a race of miscreants, spawned in the barrens, who became ever more bestial with each generation.11 Cursed by God, cast out from human society, they sunk ever further into a state of sin and savagery, becoming monsters (fifel-cyn), misbegotten things (untȳdras), infernal creatures (orcnēas), and giants (eotenas, gigantas), constantly battling against the deity (wið Gode wunnon).

  • 12 The classic discussion of envy, including envy at the creation, as prompting Grendel’s assault rema (...)

21This passage says nothing explicit about the emotions and motives that prompt such aggression, for all that it suggests a bitterness cultivated over many generations. The immediately preceding lines, which introduced Grendel as he lurks outside Hrothgar’s mead hall, are less coy on this question.12

  • 13 Beowulf 86 – 103 :

Then a powerful spirit


Miserably while

lingering in the shadows,

As every day

he heard rejoicing

Resound through the hall.

There was the sound of the harp

And the sweet song of the poet,

who told

The well-known ancient story

of mankind’s creation.

He said that the Almighty

made the earth

A magnificent plain

ringed by water.

Triumphant, he established

sun and moon,

Luminaries to provide light

for land-dwellers

And he adorned

the quarters of the earth

With limbs and leaves.

Also life he created

For each type

of living beings who move about.

So then Hrothgar’s retainers

lived in rejoicing,

Happily, until

that one began

To commit terrible sins,

a fiend from hell.

He was a grim spirit

named Grendel,

Famed waste-wanderer,

he who occupied the moors,

Fens and fastnesses.13

  • 14 On Heorot as mirroring the creation and the text’s polysemic blurring of microcosm and macrocosm, s (...)

22Grendel’s sins and crimes (fyrene) commits thus originate in his suffering, more precisely in the pain he experiences upon perceiving the pleasure (drēam) enjoyed by the hall’s inhabitants. Above all, he is anguished to hear the sweet song of the poet (swutol sang scopes) recounting how God Almighty — the ancestral enemy of Cain’s race — created heaven and earth, bringing light, life, and splendor into material existence.14 To this, Grendel reacts first with agony, then with rage, for the song conjures up everything he is not and has not : beauty, grace, harmony, sociability, and goodness, but above all the creative power enjoyed by God, the poet, and the king, but which he is utterly lacking.

23This scene thus resembles the episode from the Bundahišn in many ways, as both identify envy — and more precisely, envy at creation — as the motive behind a malevolent being’s violent attacks, which sets all subsequent action in motion. There are, however, significant differences between the two narratives. Whereas Ahreman is a demon (and the arch-demon at that), Grendel is a monster or, more precisely, the last, most degenerate descendant in the line of the most sinful human. And whereas Ahreman’s envy sets him against Ohrmazd and creation, Grendel’s assault is not directed against God, but against King Hrothgar and his mead hall.

24The two narratives thus differ in structure. That of the Bundahišn is dyadic and is set at the level of the supernatural (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1 : Dyadic Structure of Greater Bundahišn 1, 14 – 15.

Fig. 1 : Dyadic Structure of Greater Bundahišn 1, 14 – 15.

25In contrast, the episode in Beowulf has a triadic structure, connecting human and divine levels via the mediation of the monstrous (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2 : Triadic structure of Beowulf, lines 86 – 114.

Fig. 2 : Triadic structure of Beowulf, lines 86 – 114.

The Politics of King, Hall, and Poet

26There is, however, more to this story. Immediately before introducing Grendel, the epic describes how Hrothgar’s mead hall was built.

  • 15 Beowulf 64-81:

Then was success in war

granted to Hrothgar,

Glory in battle,

so that his friends and kinsmen

Eagerly obeyed him,

until the youths around him increased

To form a mighty band.

It came into his mind

That he wanted to order

the building of a hall,

A great mead-hall

for men to make

So that men and children

would ever hear of it.

And inside there

to young and old

He would distribute all things

such as God gave him,

Except for the land itself

and peoples’ lives.

Then I heard from all over :

many men

Were ordered to work

throughout this middle earth,

To adorn the place of the folk.

In due time

The work was done quickly

and it was all ready,

The greatest of halls […]

Not leaving his boast unfulfilled,

Hrothgar distributed rings

And treasure at banquets.15

  • 16 On the hall and its significance, see Magennis, 1996.

27In marked contrast to the argument of the Bundahišn, this passage makes clear that violence did not begin with the forces of evil, but rather with Hrothgar, and it is his violence of primitive accumulation that makes possible his construction of the hall, which is, in effect, the material manifestation of his military, political, and economic success, a structure whose magnificence announces his wealth and power. It also serves as a theatre for displays of royal generosity,16 in which the king defined his troop-won booty as the product (and proof) of God’s grace (eall… swylc him God sealde), a portion of which he redistributed to secure the loyalty of those troops, doing so in a way designed to win the admiration of all who witnessed — or heard about — these transactions.

28Beyond God’s creation and the poet’s song, Grendel’s envy is thus occasioned by the more immediate — and more human — fact of Hrothgar’s hall. Huddled outside its warmth and splendor, he resents the wealth, power, and prestige that find expression in the hall’s grandeur and adornments, also the ceremonies and festivities staged therein. Surely, if he understood how the hall functions as an apparatus for the legitimation, naturalization, reproduction and enhancement of royal privilege — something the text lets readers perceive — he would resent that also. One way or another, his envy is bitter and violent, but not demonic or anti-cosmic. It is a human — all too-human — envy : the kind those with far too little harbor toward those with far too much.

29The triadic structure of Beowulf sutures together different types, causes, and objects of envy, creating the impression that when outcastes envy kings, they also resent God and threaten the cosmos. As a priestly, rather than a courtly work, the Bundahišn is less concerned to protect the position of kings per se, but it does defend privilege in general by construing human envy as a local manifestation of Ahremanian evil.

30Although the two narratives differ in their details and structure, they treat the same themes, advance similar projects of persuasion, and protect the interests of similar social institutions and strata. Ultimately, both are concerned to stigmatize certain kinds of feelings and action, although they do this indirectly, speaking more of gods, demons, and monsters than of fully human subjects. If one restores the primacy of the human, what emerges is a quadratic structure (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3 : Implicit quadratic structure underlying both Bundahišn 1, 114 – 115 and Beowulf, lines 86 – 114.

Fig. 3 : Implicit quadratic structure underlying both Bundahišn 1, 114 – 115 and Beowulf, lines 86 – 114.

Ahreman, Grendel, and Envy : A Weak, but Significant Comparison

31The weak form of comparison refrains from imagining that universal themes, a shared prehistory, or a process of diffusion are responsible for the similarities between mythic narratives, nor does it constitute their similarities as evidence for same. Rather, we take these stories to have arisen independent of each other in very different times, places, and cultural milieux. Such common features as they share are not accidental, however. Rather, they reflect similar points of tension in the social structure of the peoples among whom these stories circulated. The stories address these problems and seek to resolve them, not by modifying social structure itself, but by reshaping the consciousness of the audiences they reach and influence.

32Most immediately, our two examples are concerned with something commonly called “envy” and they show the point of departure for this discourse to be a situation in which certain desirable goods (light, wisdom, goodness itself in the first case ; wealth, power, prestige in the second) are inequitably distributed. Seen from below, such inequality appears as injustice and maldistribution ; in pointed — and far from innocent — contrast, from above inequity seems the just and proper result of meritocratic distribution. Have-nots then charge those who have most with greed and the latter reciprocate by accusing their critics of envy (also : “jealousy,” “ressentiment,” “ingratitude,” and “Communism,” for the surplus enjoyed by the rich extends to the lexicography of invective).

33The texts we have considered intervene in this dispute in multiple ways, but always to the same purpose. Thus, they treat the possessions of Ohrmazd and Hrothgar as unproblematic expressions of their innate excellence and nobility : something they have created and something they richly deserve. Accordingly, they ignore the issue of greed, while amplifying the charge of envy by a) attributing it to demons and monsters, b) making it culminate in mindless destructive violence without exploring any other means of redress ; and c) representing it in its most extreme form : envy at creation, which casts it as a cardinal sin, an offense against God, and a threat to the order of the cosmos itself.

34Although apparently simple, recoding of this sort involves three correlated operations. First there is an ethical inversion, as moral condemnation shifts its object from the disproportionate assets of the dominant to the “envy” of subalterns. Second is a political reversal, as a call for change is transmuted into a defense of the status quo. Third is an ontological displacement, as a critique of social, political, and property relations is relocated from the human to the divine level, where the order of things is no longer contingent or negotiable.

35These three levels do not always co-vary precisely as they do in the texts we have studied. Deprivileged strata can frame their critique as an expression of God’s judgment on the arrogant, for instance, as often happens in millennarian movements, apocalyptic texts, and prophetic discourses. The alignment we have observed, however, is probably the most common, not because “God” favors kings and big battalions — however much it may seem that way — but because a religious coding offers the best protection for systems, structures, privileges, and inequities that are otherwise very difficult to defend.

  • 17 Cf. Grottanelli & Lincoln, 1998.

36In closing, I cannot take sole credit for the above discussion, least of all the initial theses. Most of my views on comparison took shape in prolonged epistolary exchanges with Cristiano Grottanelli17. On most points, it is difficult, ifnot impossible to separate my ideas from his, for they are the product not of a person, but of a friendship and a sustained conversation. I remain deeply indebted to Grottanelli and his recent death was a terrible loss. This paper is dedicated to his memory.


1 On the general nature and importance of the Bundahišn, see Ceretti, 2001, p. 87 – 105. The standard edition is now Pakzad, 2005. All translations that follow are original.

2 This is spelled out in Greater Bundahišn 1, 1 – 11.

3 Greater Bundahišn 1, 12 : In his omniscience, the Wise Lord knows that the Foul Spirit exists, because he [i.e. Ahreman] draws up plans in envious desire, as he mixes things up from beginning to end in countless ways. Spiritually, [the Wise Lord] created the creation that is necessary for his power.” Ohrmazd pad harwisp-āgāhīh dānist kū Gannāg-Mēnōg ast čē+handāzēd{ud kunēd} pad arešk-kāmagīh ciyōn /andar\ gūmēzēd <az> fragān /ta\ frazām abāg cand abzārān. u-š mēnōgīhā ān dām ī pad ān abzār andar abāyēd frāz brēhēnīd.

4 Greater Bundahišn 1, 14 – 15 : Gannāg-Mēnōg pas-dānišnīh rāy az (h) astīh ī Ohrmazd an-āgāh būd. pas az ān zōfāyīg+axēzīd ō wimand ī didār ī rōšnān mad. ka-š dīd Ohrmazd ud ān rōšnīh ī a-griftār frāz +payrūd zadār-kāmagīh ud arēšk-gōhrīh rāy pad murnjēnīdan tag abar kard. Greater Bundahišn 4, 10 describes Ahreman’s primordial assault, once again tracing the violent acts he committed to his preexisting sense of envy : “Then the Foul Spirit rose up against the lights, together with his demons and powers. He saw the sky. In envious desire, he launched an attack.” pas āxist Gannāg-Mēnōg abāg hāmist dēwān abzārān ō padīrag ī rōšnān. u-š ān asmān dīd {ī-šān mēnōgīhā nimūd ka nē astōmand dād estēd} arešk-kāmagīhā tag abar kard.

5 Much recent scholarship has been concerned to show the association of Ahreman with non-being. See especially Shaked, 1967, p. 227 – 234 ; Asumssen, 1974, p. 236 – 241 ; Schmidt, 1996, p. 79 – 95 ; Panaino, 2001, p. 99 – 107 ; and Lincoln, 2012.

6 Dādēstān ī Dēnīg 36.4 – 8 : ōh-iz dādār ī dahišn dād ān ī mēnōg dām abēzag anahōgēnēd ud ān-iz ī gētīgīg dām amarg a-zarmān ud suyišn ud abandišn abēš ud adard.… u-š pad arešk ī purr-kēnwarīh ī spurr-druxtārīh nīxwarēd ō griftan wišuftan ud wanēnidan abēsīhēnidan ī im hukard dām ī yazdan. Text from Jaafari-Dehaghi, 1998.

7 Dēnkart 5.24.4 makes complex emotions of this sort responsible for Ahreman’s assault, listing envy alongside others, but not granting it primacy. On this last point, it differs from the analysis of the Bundahišn.
The reason for his waging combat to mix up existence is his improper vindictiveness, greed, lust, enviousness (areškanīh), shame, thievishness, quarrelsomeness, arrogance, perversity, ignorance, his lie about being able to destroy the basis of the light-substance, his malevolence, injustice, foolhardy combativeness, and all his functions correlated with these.
ud kōxšišn ī pad andar gumēxtan wihān ān-ēwēn kēnwarīh ud āzwarīh ud waranīgīh ud areškanīh ud nangwarīh ud apparag-xēmīh ud stēzgārīh ud abar-menišnīh ud tar-menišnīh ud a-frazānagīh ud mituxtīh ī pad abesīhēnidan šāyistan ī buništ <ī> rōšn gōhr ud anākkāmīh ud a-dādig-cihragīh ud halak-kōšāgīh ud hāmist imīn ham rāyēnišn.
Text from Amouzgar and Tafazzoli, 2000.

8 Any of the standard secondary sources contain summary discussions of these issues. See, for example, Lommel, 1930, p. 93 – 129, 205 – 246 ; Duchesne-Guillemin ; 1962, p. 308 – 354 ; Molé, 1963, p. 389 – 422 ; Boyce, 1975, p. 192 – 246.

9 Dating of the text remains controversial. For a variety of positions, see Chase, 1997. Citations are taken from Klaeber, 1950. All translations are original.

10 Beowulf 104 – 114 : Image 1000000000000154000000CF0059BC15AF0046D3.jpg

11 The story of Cain appears at Genesis 4, 1 – 16, and verses 3 – 5 establish his envy of Abel’s privileged relation to God as motive for the murder. The theme of Cain’s monstrous descendants entered Old English traditions via the pseudepigraphical Book of Enoch. See further Williams, 1982 ; Mellinkoff, 1979, p. 143 – 197, and 1981, p. 183 – 197 ; Bandy, 1973, p. 235 – 429 ; Kaske, 1971, p. 421 – 431.

12 The classic discussion of envy, including envy at the creation, as prompting Grendel’s assault remains Emerson, 1921, p. 113 – 119.

13 Beowulf 86 – 103 :Image 1000000000000154000000E44672D5DA8E55A396.jpg

14 On Heorot as mirroring the creation and the text’s polysemic blurring of microcosm and macrocosm, see Lee, 1998, p. 152 – 176 ; Helder, 1987, p. 243 – 255 ; Taylor 1966, p. 119 – 130.

15 Beowulf 64-81: Image 1000000000000164000001410C4A67CAB6DCE9B5.jpg

16 On the hall and its significance, see Magennis, 1996.

17 Cf. Grottanelli & Lincoln, 1998.

Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1 : Dyadic Structure of Greater Bundahišn 1, 14 – 15.
Fichier image/jpeg, 5,8k
Titre Fig. 2 : Triadic structure of Beowulf, lines 86 – 114.
Fichier image/jpeg, 17k
Titre Fig. 3 : Implicit quadratic structure underlying both Bundahišn 1, 114 – 115 and Beowulf, lines 86 – 114.
Fichier image/jpeg, 20k

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