October 25th, 2007


A Hittite Myth

When the Storm God and the Serpent came to blows in the city of Kishkillushsha, the Serpent defeated the Storm God, and the Storm God called out to all the gods: "Come to my aid."

The goddess Inara prepared a festival. She arranged all grandly: a vat of wine and vats of two other intoxicants. She filled the three vats to overflowing.

Now Inara went to the city of Zigaratta and she encountered a man, Hupashiya. Inara said: "Look, Hupashiya, I say such and such and such—you must hold yourself apart for me." Then Hupashiya said to Inara, "Hail! I will sleep with you. I will come to you. I will do as you desire." And he slept with her.

Inara led Hupashiya away and hid him. Inara adorned herself, and she beckoned the Serpent out of its cave. "Look, I am celebrating a festival. Come for the food and drink."

The Serpent came up with its children, and they ate and drank. They drank all the vats and became drunk. Then they could no longer go down into the cave.

Hupashiya came and bound the Serpent with a rope. The Storm God came and killed the Serpent there, and the gods were beside him.

     -(KBo III 7 and KUB XVII 5)
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Walking the Path Again: Virtues (courage)

There is a page about lost, stolen, or destroyed Victoria Cross medals (the UK's equivalent to the Congressional Medal of Honor). One in particular caught my eye:

"The loss of Samuel Harvey's Victoria Cross in the 1920s are variously believed to be: swapped for beer in a pub; lost in a wood near Ipswich whilst returning home from a pub; or possibly Harvey sold his Victoria Cross privately. There have been no sightings of the VC since."

I guess I'd rather swap mine for a beer than have my kids loose it in a field while playing "soldiers," like Duncan Home's VC was. . .

I was re-reading Medal of Honor and VC citations last night as I was working on my Nine Virtues essays, hoping to get a better feel for the virtue of "courage." Courage, of course, is different now than it was. The inscription on the monument to Periclean citizen-warriors at Yale University sums up our modern idea of courage best, I think: "Courage disdains fame, and wins it."

And yet, the ancient world (particularly the IE world) was very strongly centered on the immortality of fame. I might almost be willing to argue that the IE example is best described as, "Courage wins fame, and revels in it."

It is an interesting issue for me to consider. I love re-doing my Dedicant Path documentation, particularly since I did my work before the change in requirements in 2003/2004.

Every time I sit down to re-work my DP, I find that I am learning more from the process. It's an excellent Path for those who take it seriously: easy enough that if you want a hoop to jump through, you can use it as that; but if you're serious about the work, and you want to gain deeply from it, the DP can be as challenging and rewarding as you want it to be.