Georges Dumézil

French philologist (1898-1986)

Georges Dumézil (French: [ʒɔʁʒ dymezil]; 4 March 1898 – 11 October 1986, Paris) was a French comparative philologist best known for his analysis of sovereignty and power in Proto-Indo-European religion and society. He is considered one of the major contributors to mythography, in particular for his formulation of the trifunctional hypothesis of social class in ancient societies.

Georges Dumézil

Quotes about DumézilEdit

  • In other cases, this suspicion is quite misplaced, e.g. in the case of Georges Dumézil, actually a critic of Nazism, cautious in public but quite outspoken in his minor writings and private communications. It is true that Dumézil sympathized with Italian Fascism, but Fascism stricto sensu contrasted with Nazism in very important respects, esp. in not being racist (the Communist-imposed usage of “fascism” as a generic term or as a synonym of National-Socialism, resulting from Stalin’s desire to avoid staining the term “socialism” with Hitlerian associations, obscures the contrast between the two systems). It has been shown that Dumézil’s sympathy for Fascism and contempt for Nazism may have influenced his views of ancient Germanic religion, which he contrasted unfavourably with ancient Roman religion. In Dumézil’s studies ca. 1940, Germanic religion is criticized as a defective evolute of IE religion, having lost the spiritual and overemphasized the martial function: this was at least partly a projection onto the past of the militarization of Germany in Dumézil’s own day.

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