This book probes the narratives of poets who are exiled, tried or executed for their satire. Aesop, fabulist and riddle warrior, is assimilated to the pharmakos--the wretched human scapegoat who is expelled from the city or killed in response to a crisis--after satirizing the Delphians.
In much the same way, Dumezil’s Indo-European heroes, Starkathr and Suibhne, are both warrior-poets persecuted by patron deities. This book views the scapegoat as a group’s dominant warrior, sent out to confront predators or besieging forces. Both poets and warriors specialize in madness and aggression, are necessary to society, yet dangerous to society.