* Steppe cultures
* Bug-Dniester * Sredny Stog * Dnieper-Donets * Samara * Khvalynsk
* Usatovo * Cernavodă * Cucuteni
* Corded ware
* Baden * Middle Dnieper
* BMAC * Yaz * Gandhara grave
* Thraco-Cimmerian * Hallstatt * Jastorf
* Painted Grey Ware * Northern Black Polished Ware
Peoples and societies
* Paleo-Balkans /Anatolia :
Religion and mythology _Reconstructed_
* Proto-Indo-European religion * Proto-Indo-Iranian religion
* Yazidism * Yarsanism
* Paleo-Balkans * Greek * Roman
* Irish * Scottish * Breton * Welsh * Cornish
* Anglo-Saxon * Continental * Norse
* Latvian * Lithuanian
* Slavic * Albanian
Indo-European studies _Scholars_
* _ Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture _ * _ The Horse, the Wheel and Language _ * _ Journal of Indo-European Studies _ * _ Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch _ * _ Indo-European Etymological Dictionary _
* v * t * e
PROTO-INDO-EUROPEAN RELIGION is the belief system adhered to by the Proto-Indo-Europeans . Although this belief system is not directly attested, it has been reconstructed by scholars of comparative mythology based on the similarities in the belief systems of various Indo-European peoples.
Various schools of thought exist regarding the precise nature of Proto-Indo-European religion, which do not always agree with each other. Vedic mythology , Roman mythology , and Norse mythology are the main mythologies normally used for comparative reconstruction, though they are often supplemented with supporting evidence from the Baltic , Celtic , Greek , Slavic , and Hittite traditions as well.
The Proto-Indo-European pantheon includes well-attested deities such
as *_Dyḗus Pḥatḗr_ , the god of the daylit skies, his daughter
*_Haéusōs_ , the goddess of the dawn, the Horse Twins , and the
storm god *_Perkwunos_ . Other probable deities include _*Péh2usōn_,
a pastoral god, and _*Seh2ul_ , a
Well-attested myths of the
Proto-Indo-Europeans include a myth
involving a storm god who slays a multi-headed serpent that dwells in
water, a myth about the
* 1 Methods of reconstruction
* 1.1 Schools of thought * 1.2 Source mythologies
* 2 Pantheon
* 2.1 Heavenly deities
* 2.2 Divine Twins
* 2.2.1 Horse Twins * 2.2.2 Twin Founders
* 2.3 Storm deities * 2.4 Water deities * 2.5 Nature deities * 2.6 Societal deities
* 3.1 Dragon or serpent
* 4 Cosmology
* 8 References
* 8.1 Bibliography
METHODS OF RECONSTRUCTION
SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT
The religion of the
Proto-Indo-Europeans is not directly attested and
it is difficult to match their language to archaeological findings
related to any specific culture from the
Chalcolithic . Nonetheless,
scholars of comparative mythology have attempted to reconstruct
One of the earliest and most important of all Indo-European
Vedic mythology , especially the mythology of the
Another of the most important source mythologies for comparative research is Roman mythology . Contrary to the frequent bald statement made by some authors that "Rome has no myth", the Romans possessed a very complex mythological system, parts of which have been preserved through the unique Roman tendency to rationalize their myths into historical accounts. Despite its relatively late attestation, Norse mythology is still considered one of the three most important of the Indo-European mythologies for comparative research, simply due to the vast bulk of surviving Icelandic material.
Baltic mythology has also received a great deal of scholarly attention, but has so far remained frustrating to would-be researchers on account of the fact that the sources are so comparatively late. Nonetheless, Latvian folk songs are seen as a major source of information in the process of reconstructing Proto-Indo-European myth. Despite the popularity of Greek mythology in western culture, Greek mythology is generally seen as having little importance in comparative mythology due to the heavy influence of Pre-Greek and Near Eastern cultures, which overwhelms what little Indo-European material can be extracted from it. Consequently, Greek mythology received minimal scholarly attention until the mid 2000s.
Linguists are able to reconstruct the names of some deities in the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) from many types of sources. Some of the proposed deity names are more readily accepted among scholars than others.
The term for "a god" was _*deiwos_, reflected in Hittite, _sius_;
Latin, _deus_, _divus_; Sanskrit, _deva _;
The supreme ruler of the Proto-Indo-European pantheon was the god
*_Dyḗus Pḥatḗr_ , whose name literally means "
_*Dyḗus Pḥatḗr_ may have had a consort who was an earth
goddess. This possibility is attested in the Vedic pairing of Dyáus
*_Haéusōs_ has been reconstructed as the Proto-Indo-European
goddess of the dawn. Derivatives of her found throughout various
Indo-European mythologies include the Greek goddess
Examples of such forms include the Anatolian Estan, Istanus, and
Istara, the Greek
Possible depiction of the Hittite
_*Seh2ul_ and _*Meh1not_ are reconstructed as the Proto-Indo-European
goddess of the
_*Meh1not-_ is reconstructed based on the Norse god Máni , the Slavic god Myesyats , and the Lithuanian god *Meno , or Mėnuo (Mėnulis). They are often seen as the twin children of various deities, but in fact the sun and moon were deified several times and are often found in competing forms within the same language.
The usual scheme is that one of these celestial deities is male and
the other female, though the exact gender of the
Although the sun was personified as an independent, female deity, the
Proto-Indo-Europeans also visualized the sun as the eye of *_Dyḗus
Pḥatḗr_ , as seen in various reflexes:
Pair of Roman statuettes from the third century AD depicting the
The Horse Twins are a set of twin brothers found throughout nearly
every Indo-European pantheon who usually have a name that means
'horse' _*ekwa-_, but the names are not always cognate and no
Proto-Indo-European name for them can be reconstructed. In most
Indo-European pantheons, the Horse Twins are brothers of the Sun
They are reconstructed based on the Vedic
Ashvins , the Lithuanian
Ašvieniai , the Latvian
Dieva deli , the Greek
The Proto-Indo-European Creation myth seems to have involved two key
figures: *_Manu-_ ("Man"; Indic Manu ; Germanic
Mannus ) and *_Yemo-_
*_Perkwunos_ has been reconstructed as the Proto-Indo-European god of
lightning and storms. His name literally means "The Striker." He is
reconstructed based on the Norse goddess Fjǫrgyn (the mother of Thor
), the Lithuanian god
Perkūnas , and the Slavic god Perúnú . The
Vedic god Parjánya may also be related, but his possible connection
to *_Perkwunos_ is still under dispute. The name of *_Perkwunos_ may
also be attested in Greek as _κεραυνός_ (_Keraunós_), an
epithet of the god
Some authors have proposed _*Neptonos_ or *_H2epom Nepōts_ as the Proto-Indo-European god of the waters. The name literally means "Grandson of the Waters." He has been reconstructed based on the Vedic god Apám Nápát , the Roman god Neptūnus , and the Old Irish god Nechtain . Although such a god has been solidly reconstructed in Proto-Indo-Iranian religion , Mallory and Adams nonetheless still reject him as a Proto-Indo-European deity on linguistic grounds.
A river goddess *_Dehanu-_ has been proposed based on the Vedic
goddess Dānu, the Irish goddess Danu, the Welsh goddess Don and the
names of the rivers
Some have also proposed the reconstruction of a sea god named *_Trihatōn_ based on the Greek god Triton and the Old Irish word _trïath_, meaning "sea." Mallory and Adams reject this reconstruction as having no basis, asserting that the "lexical correspondence is only just possible and with no evidence of a cognate sea god in Irish."
Two similar depictions of horned deities from the Celtic and Indic
traditions Detail from the
_*Péh2usōn_, a pastoral deity, is reconstructed based on the Greek
god Pan and the Vedic god Pūshān . Both deities are closely
affiliated with goats and were worshipped as pastoral deities. The
minor discrepancies between the two deities can be easily explained by
the possibility that many attributes originally associated with Pan
may have been transferred over to his father
Adalbert Kuhn suggested that the
have believed in a set of helper deities, whom he reconstructed based
on the Germanic elves and the
It is highly probable that the
Proto-Indo-Europeans believed in three
fate goddesses who spun the destinies of mankind. Although such fate
goddesses are not directly attested in the Indo-Aryan tradition, the
Atharvaveda does contain an allusion comparing fate to a warp .
Furthermore, the three Fates appear in nearly every other
Indo-European mythology. Examples include the Hittite
Gulses , the
Moirai , the Roman
Parcae , the Norse
Although the name of a particular Proto-Indo-European smith god
cannot be linguistically reconstructed, it is highly probable that
Proto-Indo-Europeans had a smith deity of some kind since smith
gods occur in nearly every Indo-European culture, with examples
including the Hittite god Hasammili, the Vedic god
Tvastr , the Greek
Proto-Indo-Europeans may have had a goddess who presided over the
trifunctional organization of society. Various epithets of the Iranian
Some scholars have proposed a war god *_Māwort-_ based on the Roman
god Mars and the Vedic Marutás , companions of the war-god
DRAGON OR SERPENT
One common myth among almost all Indo-European mythologies is a battle ending with a hero or god slaying a serpent or dragon of some sort. Although the details of story often vary widely, in all iterations, several features often remain remarkably the same. In all iterations of the story, the serpent is always associated with water in some way. The hero of the story is usually a thunder-god or a hero who is somehow associated with thunder. The serpent is usually multi-headed, or else "multiple" in some other way.
The earliest attested of these stories is the legend from Hittite
mythology in which the storm god
Tarhunt slays the giant serpent
Illuyanka . Next oldest is the account recorded in the
Several variations of the story are also found in
Greek mythology as
well. The story is attested in the legend of
The original Proto-Indo-European myth is also reflected in Germanic
mythology . In
Norse mythology ,
Reflexes of the Proto-Indo-European dragon-slaying myth are found
throughout other branches of the language family as well. In
Persian mythology ,
Fereydun , and later
The myth is believed to have symbolized a clash between forces of order and chaos. In every version of the story, the dragon or serpent always loses, although in some mythologies, such as the Norse Ragnarök myth, the hero or god dies as well. The Proto-Indo-European name for the serpent may have been _*kʷr̥mis_, or some name cognate with *_Varuna/Werunos _ or the root *_Wel_/_Vel_- (VS _Varuna_, who is associated with the serpentine _naga_, _Vala_ and _Vṛtra_, Slavic _Veles_, Baltic _velnias_), or "serpent" (Hittite _Illuyanka_, VS _Ahis _, Iranian _azhi _, Greek _ophis_ and _ Ophion _, and Latin _anguis_), or the root *_dheubh_- (Greek _Typhon_ and _Python_).
Related to the dragon-slaying myth is the "
The Greek Sun-god
The myth of the
The analysis of different Indo-European tales indicates that the
Proto-Indo-Europeans believed there were two progenitors of mankind:
*_Manu-_ ("Man") and *_Yemo-_ ("Twin"), his twin brother. A
reconstructed creation myth involving the two is given by David W.
Anthony , attributed in part to
Bruce Lincoln : Manu and Yemo
traverse the cosmos, accompanied by the primordial cow, and finally
decide to create the world. To do so, Manu sacrifices either Yemo or
the cow, and with help from the sky father, the storm god and the
divine twins, forges the earth from the remains. Manu thus becomes the
first priest and establishes the practice of sacrifice. The sky gods
then present cattle to the third man, *_Trito_, who loses it to the
three-headed serpent *_Ngwhi_, but eventually overcomes this monster
either alone or aided by the sky father. Trito is now the first
warrior and ensures that the cycle of mutual giving between gods and
humans may continue. Reflexes of *Manu include Indic Manu , Germanic
Mannus ; of Yemo, Indic
The early "history" of Rome is widely recognized as a historicized retelling of various old myths. Romulus and Remus are twin brothers from Roman mythology who both have stories in which they are killed. The Roman writer Livy reports that Remus was believed to have been killed by his brother Romulus at the founding of Rome when they entered into a disagreement about which hill to build the city on. Later, Romulus himself is said to have been torn limb-from-limb by a group of senators. Both of these myths are widely recognized as historicized remnants of the Proto-Indo-European creation story.
Germanic languages have information about both
Ymir and Mannus
(reflexes of _*Yemo-_ and _*Manu-_ respectively), but they never
appear together in the same myth. Instead, they only occur in myths
widely separated by both time and circumstances. In chapter two of
his book _Germania _, which was written in
FIRE IN WATER
Another important possible myth is the myth of the fire in the
waters, a myth which centers around the possible deity *_H2epom
Nepōts_, a fiery deity who dwells in water. In the Rigveda, the god
Apám Nápát is envisioned as a form of fire residing in the waters.
Celtic mythology , a well belonging to the god Nechtain is said to
blind all those who gaze into it. In an old Armenian poem, a small
reed in the middle of the sea spontaneously catches fire and the hero
Vahagn springs forth from it with fiery hair and a fiery beard and
eyes that blaze as suns. In a ninth-century Norwegian poem by the
poet Thiodolf, the name _sǣvar niþr_, meaning "grandson of the sea,"
is used as a kenning for fire. Even the Greek tradition contains
possible allusions to the myth of a fire-god dwelling deep beneath the
sea. The phrase "_νέποδες καλῆς Ἁλοσύδνης_,"
meaning "descendants of the beautiful seas," is used in _
The Odyssey _
4.404 as an epithet for the seals of
Attic red-figure lekythos attributed to the Tymbos painter showing Charon welcoming a soul into his boat, c. 500-450 BC Main article: Otherworld
Most Indo-European traditions contain some kind of
WORLD TREE AND SERPENT
Proto-Indo-Europeans may have believed in some kind of world
tree. It is also possible that they may have believed that this tree
was either guarded by or under constant attack from some kind of
dragon or serpent. In Norse mythology, the world ash tree Yggdrasil
is tended by the three
RITUAL AND SACREDNESS
Ancient Greek vase red-figure pot painting depicting two men sacrificing a pig to Demeter
Émile Benveniste states that "there is no common term to designate
religion itself, or cult, or the priest, not even one of the personal
gods". There are, however, terms denoting ritual practice
Indo-Iranian religion which have root cognates in
other branches, hinting at common PIE concepts. Thus, the stem
*_hrta_-, usually translated as " order" (Vedic ṛta and Iranian arta
). Benveniste states, "We have here one of the cardinal notions of
the legal world of the Indo-Europeans, to say nothing of their
religious and moral ideas" (pp. 379–381). He also adds that an
abstract suffix -tu formed the Vedic stem _ṛtu -_,
Benveniste also posits the existence of a dual conception of
sacredness, divided into a positive side, the intrinsic, otherworldly
power of deities; and a negative side, sacredness of objects in the
world that make them taboo for humans. This opposition is found in
word pairs such as the
Interpretatio graeca _, the comparison of Greek deities to
Germanic, Roman, and Celtic deities
* ^ In order to present a consistent notation, the reconstructed forms used here are cited from Mallory & Adams 2006 . For further explanation of the laryngeals – , , and – see the Laryngeal theory article. * ^ One of the original sources for the stories of Romulus and Remus is Livy's _History of Rome_, vol. 1, parts iv–vii and xvi. This has been published in an Everyman edition, translated by W. M. Roberts, E. P. Dutton -webkit-column-width: 25em; column-width: 25em; list-style-type: decimal;">
* ^ Mallory & Adams 2006 .
* ^ Mallory & Adams 2006 , pp. 428.
* ^ Puhvel 1987 , p. 14-15.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Mallory & Adams 2006 , pp. 428–429.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Mallory & Adams 2006 , pp. 429-430.
* ^ _Mythe et Épopée I, II, III_, by G. Dumézil, Gallimard,
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Mallory & Adams 2006 , p. 431.
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Mallory & Adams 2006 , p. 440.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Puhvel 1987 , p. 14.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Puhvel 1987 , p. 191.
* ^ Puhvel 1987 , pp. 146–147.
* ^ Puhvel 1987 , pp. 223–228.
* ^ Puhvel 1987 , pp. 228–229.
* ^ Puhvel 1987 , p. 126-127.
* ^ Puhvel 1987 , p. 138, 143.
* ^ Mallory & Adams 2006 , p. 408
* ^ _Indo-European_ *Deiwos _and Related Words_ by Grace Sturtevant
Hopkins (_Language_ Dissertations published by the Linguistic Society
of America, Number XII, December 1932)
* ^ Puhvel 1987 , pp. 198–200.
* ^ Mallory & Adams 2006 , pp. 409 and 431.
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ West 2007 , p. 181.
* ^ _A_ _B_ West 2007 , p. 183.
* ^ West 2007 , pp. 181–183.
* ^ Mallory & Adams 2006 , pp. 410 and 432.
* ^ Mallory & Adams 2006 , pp. 294, 301.
* ^ Mallory & Adams 2006 , pp. 702, 780.
* ^ Gamkrelidze & Ivanov 1995 .
* ^ Noyer , p. 4.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Gamkrelidze & Ivanov 1995 , p. 760
* ^ Mallory & Adams 1997 , p. 232.
* ^ Mallory Dumitrache, Cristiana (2012), "The
* Anthony, David W. (2007), _The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How
Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World_,
Princeton University Press
* Benveniste, Emile (1973), _Indo-European Language and Society_,
translated by Palmer, Elizabeth, Coral Gables, Florida: University of
Miami Press, ISBN 978-0-87024-250-2
* Sturluson, Snorri (2006), _The Prose Edda_, translated by Byock,
Penguin Classics , p. 164, ISBN 0-14-044755-5
* Dexter, Miriam Robbins (1984), "Proto-Indo-European
* Shulman, David Dean (1980), _Tamil Temple Myths:
* v * t * e
* Sound laws
* boukólos rule * kʷetwóres rule * Glossary of sound laws * Bartholomae\'s * Grassmann\'s * Osthoff\'s * Pinault\'s * Siebs\' * Sievers\' (Edgerton\'s converse ) * Stang\'s * Szemerényi\'s
PARTS OF SPEECH
* Nominals (nouns and adjectives) * Numerals * Particles * Pronouns
* _ Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (IEW)_ * _ Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben (LIV)_ * _Lexikon der indogermanischen Partikeln und Pronominalstämme (LIPP)_ * _ Nomina im Indogermanischen Lexikon (NIL)_ * _ Indo-European Etymological Dictionary (IEED)_
* Indo-European migrations border-left-width:2px;border-left-style:solid;width:100%;padding:0px">
* Schleicher\'s fable * The king and the god
* Proto-Indo-European religion
* v * t * e
Paganism (historical and modern )
* ALTAIC * Tungusic * Turkic-Mongolic * ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN : Mesopotamian * Canaanite * Egyptian * Semitic * FINNO-UGRIC (URALIC) : Finnish-Estonian * CAUCASIAN : Georgian * Vainakh * INDO-EUROPEAN: Armenian * Celtic
* Anglo-Saxon * Continental * Norse
* Sacred mysteries
* Imperial cult
* Scythian * Slavic * Vedic * MESOAMERICAN : Aztec * Maya * Olmec
MYTH AND RITUAL
* animal * human
MODERN PAGAN MOVEMENTS
* _Abkhaz _ * _Circassian _
* _Chuvash _ * _Altai _
* Germanic * Hellenism * Hungarian * Italo-Roman * Kemetic * Ossetian * Romanian * Semitic * Slavic
* _Estonian _ * _Finnish _ * _Mari _ * _Mordvin _ * _Udmurt _
* EUROPEAN CONGRESS OF ETHNIC RELIGIONS * GODDESS MOVEMENT * NEO-DRUIDISM
Links: ------ /wiki/Domestication_of_the_horse /wiki/Kurgan /wiki/Kurgan_culture /wiki/The_Horse,_the_Wheel_and_Language /wiki/Bug-Dniester_culture /wiki/Sredny_Stog_culture /wiki/Dnieper-Donets_culture /wiki/Samara_culture /wiki/Khvalynsk_culture /wiki/Yamna_culture