عنوان مقاله [English]
Georges Dumézil is one of the most influential mythologists who established a new school in this field by exploring the social constructions and common foundations of the Indo-European peoples. He proposed the theory of the tripartite deities in Indo-European mythology and founded a social system in which three deities, i.e., Mitra-Varuna, Indra and Ashvinha (Nasatyaha), according to their three basic actions, namely, spiritual rule, war and production, were responsible for the material and spiritual affairs of the people. Vis-o-Ramin, as the oldest lyric verse-tale in Persian literature, has retained its connection to these myths; therefore, it has the potential to be studied according to Dumézil’s theory. In this paper, through a descriptive-analytical method, three main characters of the poem, namely, Shah-Mobad, Ramin and Vis have been analyzed based on this theory. The results show that, considering their characteristics and actions, these three characters are completely matched with the three gods of the Indo-European peoples, and proportional to the content of a lyric verse-tale, they can be regarded as the replaced samples of the tripartite deities.
Myths reflect ancient human beings’ ideas about God, nature and themselves. Over time, myths have kept their importance and repeated themselves by adapting to needs, beliefs and narratives dominating each era. This feature can be studied based on the concept of displacement, first used by Northrop Frye in studying mythological texts. Their different functions, diversity of subject and displacement have enabled myths to be studied from different points of view by mythologists. Georges Dumézil opened up new horizons for the study of the complex world of myths by presenting the theory of tripartite ideology. The origin of Iranian myths can be traced back to the Indo-Iranian myths, which attracted the attention of mythologists in the early 19th century. The Rigveda, the oldest Indo-European written work, which can be traced back to a period between 1500 BC and 1200 BC, is the best source for studying the old Indo-Iranian myths. In Iran, the Avesta, as the sacred book of the Zoroastrians, contains many old mythological stories and beliefs.
2. Theoretical Framework
Using Dumézil’s three functional categories, the present article examines Vis-o-Ramin’sthemes and the similarities it bears to mythological narratives. Moreover, the characters of this story are studied based on Dumézil’s theory.
In the present study, the descriptive-analytical methodology is employed to show that the ideology dominating Iranian beliefs and stories have continued to exist in Persian love poetry. For this purpose, the unique characteristics of three Aryan deities, based on the Rigveda, are identified and compared with those of the main characters of Vis-o-Ramin using Dumézil’s model.
The deity of the first function, according to the Rigveda, is wise, rules over the world, punishes or forgives sinners and accompanies Mitra. In Vis-o-Ramin, these characteristics can be found in the character of Shah-Mobad. Among the characteristics of the deity of the second function are power, giving away wealth and blessing, ruling creators and gods and annihilating enemies and demons. Similar characteristics can be found in Ramin. The deity of the third function, based on the Rigveda, provides blessing and is shiny and beautiful. Vis, in addition to possessing the most important characteristics of the deity of the third function, establishes deep relations with the deities once worshipped in Iran.
The three characters of the love story Vis-o-Ramin – Shah-Mobad, Vis and Ramin – were studied here based on Dumézil’s theory about the Aryan deities so that a comparison could be made between them. It should be noted that some of the prominent characteristics of the Aryan triple deities do not closely correspond to their displaced counterparts in Vis-o-Ramin, which can be due to the fact that this love poem is detached from the era of mythologies, has the characteristics of lyrical poetry and revolves around love. It can also be because the poet, Gorgani, has made some changes in the older, oral version of this love story. Yet, the three characters of the story, in some ways, such as their characteristics and acts, correspond to the three ancient Indo-European deities and can be considered as their displaced counterparts.