Appendix 2: Motifs and Patterns of the Royal Battle Story

  1. Characters
    1. “Our” Side
      1. king as human hero and leader
      2. deity as divine hero and leader
      3. king’s army
      4. divine army or meteorological elements
    2. Enemy Side
      1. enemy king
      2. enemy king’s army
      3. other characters found in the classic pattern
  2. The Beginning
    1. Description of the king
    2. Enemy’s threat: aggression from the outside whether past or present
    3. Reaction of helplessness by those other than the king
  3. The Middle
    1. Call and commission of the king by the helpless
    2. King’s reaction of righteous indignation
    3. Divine call and commission of the king by the deity
      1. call by the king
        1. direct personal prayer
        2. sacrificial consultoria
        3. sacrifices entreating divine favor
        4. king’s vow
      2. deity’s oracle with the call and commission
        1. to the king by direct address or by a dream
        2. spontaneously to a third person
        3. through cultic means
      3. preparation for battle by the king
        1. arming of the king
        2. call and commission of the army
  4. The Resolution
    1. Verbal exchange between the king and the enemy by messengers with the enemy’s false confidence
    2. Battle and victory
      1. the divine warrior precedes and fights with the king and his army
      2. The king’s great power alone brings about the victory
        1. The enemy’s recognition of defeat and reaction of helplessness
          1. fear
          2. flight
        2. Recognition of victory by “our” side
          1. pursuit
          2. great/total destruction of the enemy army
          3. fate of the enemy king: death, escape, capture
        3. Plunder
        4. Recognition of the deity as hero: sacrifices
        5. Recognition of the king as hero
          1. speeches by the enemy king, other kings, the army, the people
          2. gifts: tribute
          3. erection of a stele or temple.


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Mighty in Battle by Harry Hagan, OSB, © Saint Meinrad Archabbey, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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