Acta Orientalia Belgica - Volume XXXI


LES COMBATS DANS LES MYTHES ET LES LITTÉRATURES DE L'ORIENT & MISCELLANEA ORIENTALIA ET IRANICA BELGO-POLONICA
Wojciech SKALMOWSKI in memoriam

Edited by
Christian CANNUYER, Daniel DE SMET et Marie-Anne PERSOONS

With the support of
Groupe de Recherche sur les Traditions Religieuses du Proche-Orient – Faculté de Théologie de Lille

Cover illustration
Horus cavalier terrassant Seth-crocodile. Égypte, 4e s. ap. J.-C. Louvre.

You can order this volume sending a mail to Christian CANNUYER.
You can also order by regular mail.

Tabula Gratulatoria vii
His excellency Artur ORZECHOWSKI, ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the Kingdom of Belgium, Foreword xi
Marie-Anne PERSOONS et Jan DIERICK, “But essentially it was a matter of taste”. A bio-bibliographical tribute to Prof. Wojciech Skalmowski (1933-2008) xiii

Abstract : The article provides a bio-bibliographical overview of life and work of the Polish-Belgian Iranologist Wojciech Skalmowski ((Pozna? 24.06.1933- Brussels, 18.07.2008), who apart from studies and research at the Universities of Kraków, Berlin, Teheran and Harvard, pursued an academic career at KU Leuven from 1968 until his retirement in 1998. The biography relies mainly on Prof. Skalmowski’s own accounts, for which several unedited sources in Polish and Russian language have been translated for the occasion. The presentation of the scientific work in Iranian Studies is arranged according to three categories: grammar, text interpretation (mainly of Persian poetry) and etymology. Attention is also given to his literary reviews with political character (“texts as pretexts”), published mainly in the Polish emigration review Kultura (1968-2000) and De Standaard der Letteren (1972-1994). In contrast with earlier accounts that consider the academic and literary careers separately, the authors take an approach of continuity and coherence between the two, stating that, above all, Prof. Skalmowski would remain an Orientalist throughout all his activities, while heavily concerned with safeguarding a society where freedom of thought could flourish.


Miscellanea Orientalia et Iranica Belgo-Polonica
Leszek BEDNARCZUK, Wojciech Skalmowski and Iranian Linguistics in Poland 3

Abstract : The article contains an comprehensive introduction to Prof. Wojciech Skalmowski’s main academic contributions in Iranian linguistics from 1962 till 2004 with i.a. particular attention to specialized articles written in Polish language.

Marie-Cécile BRUWIER, Nouvelles recherches sur une traversée du Sinaï en 1486. Le pèlerinage en Orient de Georges Lengherand, mayeur de Mons 9

Abstract : This paper concerns the travel of georges Lengherand, mayor of mons in Hainault, across sinai Peninsula during his pilgrimage to Holy Land in 1486. The traveller left a vivid account in which he relates his misadventures. most interesting for us, we learn that Lengherand and his companions follow a lesser frequented caravan route from north to south along el-Tih Plateau. some place names he mentions can be easily identified. Thanks to the scholarly comments of damien Laisney, french cartographer and dr ahmed shams and his sinai Peninsula research (sPr) fieldwork, some missing place names mentioned in Lengherand’s account have been suggested.

Jan DIERICK, ‘‘Originele dingen tracht ik te schrijven als oriëntalist.” Wojciech Skalmowski over oosterse zaken in westerse Poolstalige bladen 21

Abstract : on the eve of his sixtieth birthday W. Skalmowski said, back in Poland, in an interview with an historian of Polish emigré literature, Z. kudelski: “original things I try to write as an orientalist”. on the eve of his seventieth birthday he himself mentioned in his chronological bibliography among his “other publications”: “c. 170 literary essays and book-reviews (in Polish) under the pen-name ‘m(aciej) Broński’ published in the Paris-based monthly Kultura in the period 1969-2000”. Writing on Kultura with particular attention to Broński I. goddeeris wrote that he also “[…] made his Polish readers acquainted with the area he worked on professionally.” goddeeris mentioned 6 reviews, interviews, comments or studies. In our contribution on Skalmowski writing about eastern affairs in Western Polish language journals we discuss these essays, add translations by him in Kultura and recall 2 short comments on political evolutions in the london-based quarterly PULS, which he signed only with his initials and therefore run the risk of being overlooked. We save them from oblivion by translating them into dutch, the language of his c. 120 book-reviews in Standaard der Letteren.

Jean-Charles DUCÈNE, Le numismate Joachim Lelewel et la géographie arabe 47

Abstract : the Géographie du Moyen Âge by Jocahim Lelewel appears as a seminal work in the comparative study of the history of the geography and the cartography in the Latin and arab World. in the arab production, the author focuses his attention on the mathematical and descriptive geography, in particular over europe. the geography would be an ideal way to understand the representation of the world in a given era.

Szymon GRZELAK, Formal and Empirical Methods in the Works of Wojcieh Skalmowski 55

Abstract : This note looks into the work of Wojciech Skalmowski in the early stage of his academic career. Selected studies presented in the text show a clear influence of mathematical linguistics on Skalmowski’s study of New Persian, arabic and other languages. In his papers and presentations, he was eager to make use of statistical methods, with interdisciplinary references to such fields as cybernetics. The studies of young doctor Skalmowski show a profound acquaintance with the leading theoretical frameworks developed since the 1950s.

Mateusz KŁAGISZ, Ḫalilullāh Ḫaliliʼs Ayyār-i az Ḫorāsān (A Vagabond from Khorasan). Romantic or Real Vision of Habibullāh Kalakāni (Bačče-ye Saqqā’)? 61

Abstract : This paper aims to re-comment Ḫalilullāh Ḫalili’s Ayyār-i az Ḫorāsān (A Vagabond from Khorasan) using the analytic category of ‘(re-)constructed’. The term constructed suggests that a writer forms his literary characters, names them and endows with personalities, while re-constructed indicates that he uses previously existing figures rather than creating new ones. The following question arises here: does Ḫalilullāh Ḫalili create his own version/vision of habibullāh Kalakāni or does he merely set habibullāh Kalakāni into the framework of his own book? in other words, does he present a romantic or real vision of habibullāh Kalakāni? As we shall see, it is impossible to answer such questions unambiguously, omitting the issue of the literary genre represented by his novel.

Marie-Anne PERSOONS, In Search of Substantiating Elements for W. Skalmowski’s Theory of Asian Influences on Communist Rule in Eastern Europe 81

Abstract : The article contains a tentative exploration of the plausibility of Wojciech Skalmowski’s theory of Asian influences on communism in Eastern Europe, and notably on parallelism between Iranian and Soviet societies. The hypothesis requires thorough historical research but a first round-up provides an indicative list of possible substantiating elements, closely related to the history of Iran and of the Mongol Empire.

Oskar PODLASIŃSKI, Avestan karšuuar and Middle Iranian kišvar: a Diachronic Study 95

Abstract : The paper presents an examination of an Avestan word karsu11ar, which appear frequently in the remaining corpus. The aim of the study is to provide an explanation of the formal and semantic changes of karfo11ar, denoting firstly 'one of the mythical seven continents, clime' . Later in the Middle Iranian period kisva.r acquired a meaning of ' land, country', which prevail in the New Persian form of kesva.r ' country, state'. In the article, various Avestan fragments and Middle Iranian texts are analyzed to establish a general course and period of these changes.

Marcel STORME, Skalmowski – Politiek vluchteling 107

Abstract : Personal testimony of the first years of a lifelong friendship of Prof. Skalmowski with Prof. Storme and his family, who have hosted him at home for several months upon his arrival in Belgium as political refugee.

Jan TAVERNIER, La perception de Bagistana (Bisitun) chez les auteurs gréco-romains et les géographes perses et arabes 111

Abstract : This article reviews the testimonies on the achaemenid site of Bisitun provided by the greco- Roman authors then by the arab or Persian authors from the 10th to the 14th century.


Les combats dans les mythes et les littératures de l’Orient
Apolline-Marie HUIN, Divinités combattantes féminines de la mythologie mésopotamienne : Tiamat et Inanna/Ištar 127

Abstract : If the male fighting divinities are legion in the Mesopotamian mythology, the feminine war entities are rare. We can retain two: Tiamat, essential dragon, goddess-mother and concept deified of salt water, and INANNA/Ištar, goddess of the desire and of the war with virile power. It will be a question, here, of drawing up a portrait of these two divinities by insisting on their warlike aspect, kind of synthesis, according to the myths which speak to us about them and about their exploits, about this particular and exceptional character to feminine entities.

Lauriane LOCATELLI, Le dieu de l’Orage et le serpent Illuyanka : un combat mythique anatolien 137

Abstract : among all the mythical fights, that bringing into conflict the god of the storm and a snake, which is mythical fight anatolian, particularly caught our attention. First of all, we shall present the context in which was evoked this mythical fight: the Purulli festival, which celebrates the new year. this ritual feast compound of a procession, accompanied by music, celebrated the spring. in a second part, we shall present the different sources : textual (ctH 321) and iconographic. Finally, we shall examine the ambivalent symbolism of the snake in this context which is both associated with drought and water. some possible connections with other civilizations will also be evoked. For the context, we shall establish a link with the festival akitu which took place in Mesopotamia. as for the mythical fights, we shall wonder what can be the formal relations between different mythical fights known in other civilizations (egypt, Greece, world Ugaritic) and the fight which occupy us here.

Charly DE MARÉ, Le combat mythique entre Seth et Apophis. Les raisons de la valorisation d’un mythe 145

Abstract : This article aims at giving an overall view of iconographic and textual sources about the fight between the god Seth and the snake apophis. after a presentation of a typology of the iconographic sources and a discussion of each of them in relation to drawings, i will quote selected excerpts on this mythical battle. Then, a mythological commentary is dealing with differences between Seth and apophis. i will stress in particular the political and religious reasons why the ramessides, and especially ramses ii, promoted the positive role of Seth as defender of the solar bark. On the basis of the collected documentation, i will also advance evidence for the clear differentiation between the Jubilee Seth (the Seth of Ramses), cosmic god that protects re against apophis, and the Seth of avaris with hyksos origins. Finally the comparison with the anatolian myth of illuyanka will enlighten the particularities of the egyptian myth.

Claude OBSOMER, Le combat de Sinouhé contre le « champion du Réténou » (Sinouhé, B 109-147) 165

Abstract : In the autobiographical story of Sinuhe, the central episode is the hero’s fight against the champion of Retenu. The challenge launched by his rival place him in conditions similar to those that had caused his flight to asia. The fact that he agrees to fight causes him to a process of catharsis that leads him to aspire back. The king of egypt, whose omniscience is highlighted, allows Sinuhe to return home, because he knows the reasons that had driven him to flee to asia.

Benoit CLAUS, Scientia vincere tenebras. Combats mythiques et rituels apotropaïques de la Bibliothèque d’Edfou 181
Jacques VANSCHOONWINKEL, Guerre et paix dans le monde égéen 205

Abstract : Greek legends have preserved an impressive number of stories of fighting between the gods or between heroes. this is not the case for Bronze age Greece: the aegean world did not bequeath us any text about mythical fights. we are reduced to scrutinise the archaeological and iconographic testimonies. the mycenaean civilisation betrays an undeniable warlike spirit from its beginnings. this paper examines the archaeological evidence, the iconographic themes and the information provided by the linear B tablets. minoan crete presents a completely different situation: there are few weapons, the palaces are not fortified and the iconography ignores the warlike scenes. to tell the truth, crete does not ignore weapons or even representations of weapons. and some discoveries show that minoans sometimes felt the need for being protected.

Catherine VIALLE, La victoire sur Madiân (Jg 6-8) 223

Abstract : Gideon’s victory over Madian is repeatedly quoted in the Bible as the model of total victory over an enemy army. Having presented the passages which mention this victory, this article analyzes the narrative of the Book of Judges in which Gideon’s victory over Midianites is related. it emerges that it is essentially the miraculous aspect of the battle that is put forward. it explains that posterity will see above all in this narrative a great exploit of YHWH.

Stéphanie ANTHONIOZ, Le Chaoskampf ou la réponse de Job au récit sacerdotal de la création (Gn 1) 233

Abstract : the theory of the Chaoskampf is built upon the dependence of biblical texts upon en?ma eliš. elaborated by H. Gunkel, in Schöpfung und Chaos in Urzeit und Endzeit (1895), the author argues for a causal relationship between divine battle and the emergence of creation. this motif is applied to many biblical allusions referring to the creation or divine battle narratives beginning with Gen 1 which is considered of Babylonian origin. today the theory is highly debated. the aim of this contribution is to reconsider the arguments of dependence between the Priestly narrative of creation and en?ma eliš and proceed to a comparative analysis. it is argued that if the theory cannot be defended in a definitive manner, the book of Job brings however a certain number of elements in its use of the traditions of creation and of the Priestly narrative that shed light upon the Chaoskampf and its value in the field of literary and religious comparative studies.

Charles HENNEGHIEN, Saint Georges et le dragon. Enquête sur le succès d’un mythe 251

Abstract : First venerated as a martyred saint, the late arrival of the fight against a dragon turned him into a warrior saint, hero of the eternal fight of the good against the evil. As he became very popular his cult was widespread. From the Middle east it spread throughout the Hellenic world and the Slavic countries before invading europe with the return from the crusades. He became a fearsome protective saint far from the deeply pacifist evangelical message of the original Christianity. The spear kills the enemy to fight. Symbol of the evil, through the centuries the dragon will become, according to the circumstances, the pagan, the barbarian , the wild indian, the heretic, the Jew, the Moor… or the frontdoor neighbor if he doesn’t think like you.

Ludovic NYS, Sur les traces de saint Georges, de Smyrne à Susa, en passant par Asti, Bruges et Tournai. Nouvelles considérations sur le triptyque du Rocciamelone 263

Abstract : in its collections, the Diocesan museum of Susa (Piedmont) retains a work which is exceptional for both its stylistic quality and the history with which it was closely linked. This work, a Flemish brass triptych (produced in Dornick-Tournai in French), shows, on the central panel, the Virgin and Child sitting on a bench, on the right hand-side shutter, the donor in armor introduced by his saint patron, and on the left hand-side shutter, saint george and the Dragon. below those three images, a carved epitaph reveals the date of 1358 and the donor’s identity, a citizen of Asti called bonifacio Rotario. Although originally set on the altar of a little chapel located below the top of the Rocciamelone, some 10 km from Susa, it was removed from it at the end of the 17th century before being first taken to Rivoli, and then to the current cathedral San giusto of Susa. Recent historiography has sought to authenticate this votive work as a reward for the victory of John ii Palaeologus, marquess of montferrat, over the Visconti of milan, a victory with which the donor was associated. Actually, a closer analysis of the context suggests a totally different hypothesis. As a very old oral tradition tells us, this triptych may have been intended to commemorate the involvement of bonifacio Rotario in the Crusade of Smyrna and his release from captivity.

Jan M. F. VAN REETH, Le dualisme de Bardésane et de Mani : une lutte mythique ou symbolique ? 283

Abstract : Traditionally, Mani and his predecessor Bardaysan are presented as champions of dualism, with a go d and a maliciou principle. The cosmic truggle between them i often described in mythological terms. We suggest that both heresiarchs already interpreted such myths allegorically and that their dualism was perhap le s fundamental than often thought, the god of badness being ubordinate and created.

Daniel DE SMET, Le combat mythique entre le Roi de la Lumière et le Prince des Ténèbres selon le Mani arabe : une lecture islamisée du dualisme ? 293

Abstract : Although showing a profound hostility to the figure of Mani and his dualistic doctrine, Muslim reports about Manichaeism are quite objective and far less polemical than contemporary Christian authors writing in the Middle east. Muslim sources often attribute to Mani a moderate form of dualism, in which the realm of Darkness and its master Satan are subordinated to the King of Light, identified with Allāh, the god of the qur’ān. Moreover, the complex myths telling the successive battles between Light and Darkness are considerably simplified and even rationalized, taking the form of a physical theory about the mixture of the elements and their opposite qualities. We argue in the present paper that such reports relay on Arabic translations of Manichaean texts issued by the Manichaean communities themselves, thus proving the existence of an Islamized form of Manichaeism in the Middle east during the first centuries of Islam. this adaptation of Manichaeism to Islam explains how many Manichaean concepts could easily be integrated into Shi‘ism.

Marc MALEVEZ, Les anges comme forces positives dans le combat des moines coptes au désert. L’exemple de la Mission de Paphnuce / Vie d’Onuphre. Deuxième partie : taxonomies angéliques 305

Abstract : Thi article constitutes the second part of a study on the angels in the Mission of Paphn11tius I life of On11phri11s. The angelic taxonomie are approached and the function of the angel such as they appear in the text.

Christian CANNUYER, D’Orient en Occident, du Val d’Elah à Ath : lectures du combat de David contre Goliath 321

Abstract : The biblical account of david’s fight against Goliath was interpreted by Christian authors as a prefiguration of Christ’s victory over death. The same “typological” reading was made of samson’s exploits. The images of david beheading Goliath and of samson killing a lion are reflected as figures of the descent of Christ to hell in the Biblia pauperum at the end of the Middle ages. and Goliath and samson are the two main giants who figure in the medieval processions of the netherlands, as well as even today, in ath.


You can order this volume sending a mail to Christian CANNUYER.
You can also order by regular mail.



  Home page