Masculinity in Ancient India

jkirk jkirk at SPRO.NET
Sun Nov 26 23:46:35 EST 2006

> Quoting Dr. John Powers:
> Could anyone recommend Indic sources on masculinity, from around 5 BCE
> to 10 CE? I'm particularly interested in notions of the ideal male body
> and what makes one a real man.

I would recommend you to take a look at "Conjugal Love in India: Ratisastra 
Ratiramana: Text, Translation and Notes" by Kenneth G. Zysk, Brill 2002. 
book contains many explanations on physical signs considered auspicious in
either the male or female bodies, especially in terms of marriage and
fertility. Although the Sanskrit texts studied here are later than the 
you specified, the general tradition of physiognomy can be traced back to 
period you are interested in.

With best wishes,
Dr. Ulrich Timme Kragh
Post-Doctoral Associate
Dept. of Sanskrit and Indian Studies
Harvard University
1 Bow St., Cambridge
02138 MA, USA
Tel. +1-617 625 7078
As I recall, Vatsyayana's Kamasutra has descriptions of ideal male and 
female beauty and it does fit with the period prescribed by Dr. Powers.

Hopefully, Joanna Kirkpatrick

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