ილუიანქას ტექსტის ინტერპრეტაციისათვის

Abstract
The dragon-slaying story is found in the myths and fairy tales of many peoples. Among them is the Hittite myth relating the clash of the Storm god with the dragon Illuyanka, which has been attracting the attention of scholars for a hundred years. Many essential issues of the text remain debatable. The difference of opinion is based, on the one hand, on various methodological approaches to the study of mythological texts, and on the other hand, on different readings or interpretations of particular passages of the text itself. Among a wide variety of Hittite texts with mythological content local, Anatolian and foreign, non-Anatolian (Hurrian, Babylonian, Canaanite) traditions are distinguished. The inseparability of myth and ritual is considered the predominant characteristic of the local tradition. The text in question is likewise perceived by a large number of scholars as a myth embedded in the description of a ritual, particularly – the Purulli-festival, which must have been a Spring/ New Year festival of Hattian origin. The dragon-slaying story included in the description of the feast could be viewed as a typical New Year/ Spring myth, which gives the aetiology of the seasonal feast: the defeat of the Storm god symbolizes the beginning of winter, and his victory – the rebirth of nature. Perhaps it was aiming to “renew” not only nature but also the king, and, consequently, may also represent the aetiology of the sacral kingdom. The part of the text containing references to Purulli could be also interpreted as the aetiological myth of the founding of this celebration. The part of the text traditionally considered as a description of the ritual, according to Gilan (2013) could be viewed as an aetiological myth of the establishment of the cult of Nerik. The story of the battle between God and the dragon itself could be a cosmogonic myth. In our view, the bipartite clash between the two, where victory is claimed by one after the other, must be the original version of the creation myth, based on cyclic time perception. The alternation of seasons or days and nights must have been conceived by the ancient man as a constant struggle between chaos / monster and the forces of order / deity: when God fails, the world falls into chaos, when he wins, cosmic order is (re)established. Regardless of the dating of various preserved texts of cosmogonic myths, such cyclic notions, compared to the stories where time is kept linear through generations of gods, must resemble an earlier stage of human thought. The text, according to its compiler, is united through the narrations of Kella, the priest of the Storm god of Nerik. Three divine candidates emerge for the role of its main character: the Celestial Storm god, Storm god of Nerik, and Mount Zaliyanu. It is true that the text shows a difference between the Celestial Storm god and the Storm god of Nerik even at the level of the ideogram; however, the latter should be an innovation made during the New Kingdom. In the local tradition must have been only one Storm god. The link between the mountains and the Storm gods, common for many ancient religions and attested in Anatolia as well could be the reason to identify the deity with his residential divine mount. Consequently, the text could be united not only by the narrator – the priest Kella but also by its main character – the Storm god of Nerik.
Description
Keywords
გველეშაპის ძლევა, ხეთური მითები, ნერიქის კულტები, Dragon-slaying, Hittite Myths, Cults of Nerik
Citation
აკადემიკოს კონსტანტინე წერეთლის დაბადებიდან მე-100 წლისთავისადმი მიძღვნილი საერთაშორისო კონფერენცია, თეზისები, 2021, გვ.: 239-244/ INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE DEDICATED TO THE CENTENARY OF THE BIRTH OF ACADEMICIAN KONSTANTINE TSERETELI, ABSTRACTS, p.: 239-244