DUMÉZIL, Georges Edmond Raoul. Paris 4.3.1898 — Paris 11.10.1986. French Linguist. Professor in Paris. Son of Jean Anatole D. (1857–1929), general of artillery, and Marguérite Dutier (1860–1945), grew up in garrison towns. Thus attended collège in Neufchateau, lycée in Troyes, Paris (Louis-le-Grand) and Tarbes. He read Bréal and started with Sanskrit as a schoolboy. From 1916 studies at École normale superieure, in 1917-19 in army, 1919 agrégé des lettres (under Meillet). In 1920 short time schoolteacher in Beauvais, then 1921-22 taught French at Warsaw University. Docteur-ès-lettres 1924. In 1925-31 Professor of the history of religions at Istanbul Univer­sity, 1931-33 Lecturer of French at Uppsala University. Back in Paris, chargé de conférences and from 1935 directeur d’études at É.P.H.É. (étude comparative des religions des peuples indoeuropéens), retired in 1968. In 1937-48 also chargé du cours d’armenien at É.L.O.V. In 1939-40 in army service in Turkey, back in Paris deprived of his position for awhile (1940-41) as a mason. From 1949 Professeur de civilisation Indo-Européenne at Collège de France. From 1970 member of A.I.B.L., 1978 of Académie Française. In 1925 married Madeleine Legrand, one son and one daughter. Visited Caucasia in 1928, Anatolia 1930, 1954, 1955, 1957 and 1958, Peru 1952. He had few direct students and never guided a dr. dissertation.

GD was a famous scholar of IE religion, also noted specialist of Caucasian linguistics and folklore. During his stay in Turkey he conducted field-work on the now extinct Ubykh (1929), on other Caucasian languages and on Ossetic. A comparatist, but opposed to structuralism. But his main concern was comparative mythology. He is best known of his IE tripartite hierarchical ideology, originally conceived in a study of the Ossetic Nart epic in 1930 and extended from Indo-Iranian to Indo-European level in 1938, seeing it extending to almost every field of human life. In this, his interpretation of the Mahābhārata was of central importance. With this he also abandoned his own earlier ideas. In Indology he was mainly interested in Vedic and Epic mythology. Beside India and Iran, Rome and Germans had important position in his ideas, Greek much less. Of languages, he also knew Armenian, Arabic, Turkish, Chinese and Qichua.

In the 1980s he was accused for Nazi sympathies, sometimes perhaps exaggeratedly. He was pro-fascist, but possibly anti-nazi (Lincoln). True is that already in the 1920s he was close to monarchist-autoritarian Action Française. After the war he tried to keep distance, although definitely remained a conservatist, but was much admired among extreme right.

Publications: diss. Le festin d’immortalité. Esquisse d’une étude de mythologie comparée indo-européenne. 19+322 p. A.M.G., B. d’ét. 34. P. 1924; diss. II. Le crime des Lemniennes. Rites et légendes du Monde Égéen. 71 p. P. 1924.

Le problème des centaures. Étude de mythologie comparée indo-européenne. 8+278 p. A.M.G., Bibl. d’ét. 41. P. 1929; Ouranos-Varuṇa. Étude de mythologie comparée indo-européenne. 103 p. P. 1934; Flamen-brahman. 112 p. A.M.G. Bibl. de vulg. 51. P. 1935.

Mythes et dieux des Germains. 157 p. P. 1939 (English 1973); Loki. 293 p. P. 1948, 2nd ed. 1986 (English 1990).

Mitra-Varuṇa. 12+150 p. B.É.H.É., Sc. rel. 56. P. 1940, 2nd ed. 1948 (English by D. Coltman, Mitra-Varuṇa: an essay on two Indo-European represen­tations of sovereignity. 189 p. N.Y. 1988).

Jupiter Mars Quirinus. Essai sur la conception indo-européenne de la société et sur les origines de Rome. [1.] 264 p. P. 1941; J.M.Q. 2. Naissance de Rome. 223 p. P. 1944; 3. Naissance d’Archanges. 190 p. P. 1945; 4. Explication des textes indiens et latins. 190 p. P. 1948.

Horace et les Curiaces. 142 p. P. 1942; Servius et la Fortune. Essai sur la fonction sociale de Louange et de Blâme et sur les éléments indo-européens du cens romain. 246 p. P. 1943; Tarpeia. Essais de philologie comparative indo-européenne. 294 p. P. 1947.

L’héritage indo-européen à Rome. 254 p. P. 1949.

Rituels indo-européens à Rome. 96 p. P. 1954.

Le troisième souverain, essai sur le dieu indo-iranien Aryaman et sur la formation de l’histoire mythique de l’Irlande. 186 p. P. 1949.

Les dieux indo-européens. P. 1952; Du mythe au roman. Le saga de Hadingus. Saxo Gr. I, 5–8. 175 p. P. 1953 (English 1973).

Aspects de la fonction guerrière chez les Indo-Européens. 113 p. P. 1956.

Déesses latines et mythes védiques. 123 p. Coll. Latomus 25. Bruxelles 1956.

L’idéologie tripartite des Indo-Européens. 122 p. Coll. Latomus 31. Bruxelles 1958.

La religion romaine archaique. 680 p. P. 1966 (English 1970).

Mythe et épopée. 1. L’idéologie des trois fonctions dans les épopées des peuples indo-européens. 653 p. P. 1968; 2. Types épiques indo-européennes: un héros, un sorcier, un roi. 406 p. P. 1971; 3. Histoires romaines. 366 p. P. 1973.

Idées romaines. 306 p. P. 1969; Heur et malheur du guerrier, aspects mythiques de la fonction guerrière. 149 p. P. 1969 (English by A. Hiltebeitel 1971).

Fêtes romaines d’été et d’automne. 298 p. P. 1975.

Les dieux souverains des Indo-Européens. 268 p. P. 1977.

Romans de Scythie et d’alentour. 380 p. P. 1978.

Apollon sonore et autres essais. Esquisses de mythologie. 256 p. P. 1982.

Le courtisane et les seigneurs colores. Esquisses de mythologie. 243 p. P. 1983.

– “Le Moyne noir en gris dedans Varennes”. Sotie nostradamique suivie d’un Divertissement sur les dernières paroles de Socrate. 173 p. P. 1984.

La Mahabharata et le Bagavata du colonel de Polier. P. 1986.

L’oubli de l’homme et l’honneur des dieux. Esquisses de mythologie. 338 p. P. 1986

Le Roman des jumeaux. Le Roman des jumeaux. 342 p. P. 1995.

Several monographs on Caucasology in the 1930s and 1950s; many articles.

Sources: *F. Desbordes, Lex. Gramm. 1996, 260-262; *D. Dubuisson, JA 275, 1987, 1-5; Br. Lincoln, “Rewriting the German War God: G.D., politics and scholarship in the late 1930s”, Hist. of Rel. 37, 1997-98, 187-208 and *other articles; Br. Lincoln, Encyclop. Iranica 2000 (online); G.-J. Pinault, D.O.L.F. 328-331; Munzinger-Archiv 47/1986; Wikipedia with photo. Also numerous further studies that cannot be listed here.

*W.W. Belier, Decayed Gods. Origin and Development of Georges Dumézil’s “idéologie tripartite”. Leiden 1991; *J. Bonnet (ed.), G.D. P. 1981; *Hervé Coutau-Bégarie, L’œuvre de G.D. Catalogue raisonnée. P. 1998 (full bibliography); *Didier Éribon, Faut-il brûler Dumézil. Mythologie, science et politique. P. 1992; *C.S. Littleton, The New Comparative Mythology. An Anthropological Assessment of the Theories of G.D. Berkeley 1966 (an eulogy); *Marco Garcia Quintola, Dumézil (1898–1986). Madrid 1999; *B. Sergent, G.D. P. 2002.