Stephanie Budin wrote:
> Greetings, all!
> I have been doing some independent research on epic heroism,
> I was wondering if anyone could offer some insight or bibliography on
> following question.
> In the tales of the Ulster Cycle concerning the childhood
> of CuChulainn, it is said that CuChulainn demanded his arms after
> Cathbad claim that whoever would receive his arms on that day would
> a short but glorious life. In Greek mythology Achilles was offered
> choice of killing Hektor at Troy and thus dying with glory himself, or
> NOT killing Hektor and returning home to live a long, but bland, life.
> Thus both heroes are offered long life vs. short, glorious life, and
> course) both choose the latter.
> My question is this: Is this option endemic to Indo-European
> mythology, or did the Irish version arise from scribes (trained in the
> Classical tradition) attempting to make CuChulainn appear more like
> Achilles? In other words, did both versions arise independently from
> common I-E source, or is one modeled after the other?
> Many Thanks!
> Stephanie L. Budin
> [log in to unmask]
I have been studying human behavior as a primatologist for two decades.
I find this kind of behavior is found throughout all human societies
among the males. It seems to be a genetic result of the aggressiveness
"switched on" at puberty by testosterone. A kind of lust for glory. I
could speak more to it, but I don't know if this is what you had in mind
and my fingers grow weary.
Bruce L. Jones
The Mojave Desert - The Geographic Center of Nowhere