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A Vedic Reader

Arthur Anthony Macdonell

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Editore: Forgotten Books
Formato: PDF
Testo in en
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Dimensioni: 26,12 MB
  • EAN: 9780243709250

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This Reader is meant to be a companion volume to my Vedic Grammar for Students. It contains thirty hymns comprising just under 300 stanzas. These hymns have been taken exclusively from the Rigveda, not only because that Veda represents the earliest and most important phase of the sacred language and literature of India, but because the addition of specimens from the later Vedic literature with their divergences in speech and thought would tend to confuse the learner beginning the study of the oldest period. All the books of the Rigveda have been drawn upon except the ninth. The reason of this exception is that, though the whole of the ninth book practically consists of hymns addressed to Soma only, the hymn which in my opinion represents that deity best occurs in another (the eighth) book. All the most important metres are represented, though no specimens of the rare and complex strophic measures could be given because none of the hymns composed in them seemed to be suitable for the Reader. I have also considered literary merit as far as possible in making the selection. As regards subject-matter, each of the more important deities is represented by one hymn, Agni alone by two. There are besides a few hymns of a different type. One is concerned with social life (x. 34), one with magical ideas (vii. 103), two with cosmogony (x. 90. 129), and three with eschatology (x. 14. 15. 135). The selection thus forms a brief epitome of the Rigveda, the earliest monument of Indian thought.
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