Some Individuals

How many individual members of that pantheon can we identify? Certainly not as many as some savants have claimed.76 The clearest cases are the cosmic and elemental deities: the Sky-god, his partner Earth, and his twin sons; the Sun, the Sun Maiden, and the Dawn; gods of storm, wind, water, fire; and terrestrial presences such as the Rivers, spring and forest nymphs, and a god of the wild who guards roads and herds. All these will be investigated in the next four chapters. Here we will try to round up a few other suspects.

73 Umbrian inscr. 83 Buck; Campanile (1977), 72.

74 F. Heichelheim, RExiv. 2213-50, xvi. 946-78; Vendryes (1948), 275-8; Duval (1957), 52-5; de Vries (1956), ii. 288-302; id. (1961), 120-3; Campanile (1981), 75-82; M. Green (1986), 74-91, 165 f.; colloquium volume Matronen und verwandte Gottheiten (Bonner Jahrbücher Beiheft 44, Köln 1987); Davidson (1988), 108-11; W. Meid, JIES 17 (1989), 305 f.; id. (1991), 41; Olmsted (1994), 287-96, 414-25; E. Campanile in E. C. Polome (ed.) (as n. 65), 74-6; Polome, ibid. 132-4; F. Battaglia in Dexter-Polome (1997), 48-82.

75 Paul Einhorn, Wiederlegunge der Abgötterey (1627) in Mannhardt (1936), 464 f.; id., Reformatio gentis Lettiae (1636) in Mannhardt, 472; Usener (1896), 106-8, 115; Jonval (1929), 15-18 and nos. 464-741; Biezais-Balys (1973), 384 f., 423. The land of the dead is ruled by Veju mate, the Mother of Ghosts (ibid. 448 f.).

76 K. T. Witczak and I. Kaczor, 'Linguistic evidence for the Indo-European pantheon', in J. Rybowska-K. T. Witczak (edd.), In honorem Annae Mariae Komornicka (Collectanea Philologica ii, Lodz 1995), 267-77, list fifty-one items, but few of them stand up to scrutiny.

There are two ways of hunting them. If possible, we find names in different branches of the tradition that appear to correspond and that denote figures who have features in common. Otherwise we can look for common features distinctive enough to suggest historical identity even in the absence of a shared name.

A whole series of divine names in the Rigveda can also be found in the Avesta, even if only as reviled daevas: Mitra, Aryaman, Apam napat, Tvastr, Indra, Nasatya, Sarva, Narasamsa, correspond to Avestan Mi9ra, Airyaman, Apam napa, ©porastar, Indra, NaqhaiGya, Saurva, Nairyo.saqha. The inference is that these go back to the Indo-Iranian period, sometime in the first half of the second millennium bce. But we know from the similarity of the languages that early Indic and early Iranian were closely related, so this does not get us very far towards Indo-European.

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