Indo-European Mythology as Ideology and Science
Stefan Arvidsson traces the evolution of the Aryan idea through the nineteenth century—from its roots in Bible-based classifications and William Jones’s discovery of commonalities among Sanskrit, Latin, and Greek to its use by scholars in fields such as archaeology, anthropology, folklore, comparative religion, and history. Along the way, Arvidsson maps out the changing ways in which Aryans were imagined and relates such shifts to social, historical, and political processes. Considering the developments of the twentieth century, Arvidsson focuses on the adoption of Indo-European scholarship (or pseudoscholarship) by the Nazis and by Fascist Catholics.
A wide-ranging discussion of the intellectual history of the past two centuries, Aryan Idols links the pervasive idea of the Indo-European people to major scientific, philosophical, and political developments of the times, while raising important questions about the nature of scholarship as well.
1. From Noah’s Sons to the Aryan Race: The Foundation Is Laid
2. A Place in the Sun: The Paradigm of Nature Mythology
3. Primitive Aryans: Research near the Beginning of the Twentieth Century
4. Order and Barbarianism: Aryan Religion in the Third Reich
5. Horsemen from the East: Alternatives to Nazi Research