Fenced villages

thompson at jlc.net thompson at jlc.net
Mon Oct 7 20:50:46 UTC 1996

>Dear list members,
>        In a recent book (Ariel Glucklich, _The Sense of Adharma_, New York,
>OUP: 1994) we are told that the communities (grAma) known from Vedic
>literature were usually surrounded by a fence. We don't know how these
>fences looked like except for what can be guessed from later stone rails
>(around stupa complexes for instance). What do we know about such fenced
>villages from post-Vedic and medieval evidence? Is there a good historical
>description of the topography of Indian villages?
>Best regards to all,
>Mikael Aktor, Research Fellow, cand.phil.
Dear Mikael,

Besides the series of books by Wilhelm Rau on Vedic material culture, which
perhaps you are already familiar with, there is an old article by Renou
["La maison védique"in JA 231, 1939].  There is also a recent publication
by Elizarenkova called "'Words and Things' in the Rgveda" which you may not
have run into yet [publ. by Bhandarkar Oriental Research Inst. as part of
the Prof. Gune Memorial Lectures, sixth series, 1995].  She briefly touches
on the Vedic grAma, describing it as more a less a heap of sheds and
awnings, mats and reeds,all very temporary, and sometimes even arranged
around a carriage.  She refers to such primitive material conditions as
reflective of the "material asceticism" of the Vedic Aryans....

Best wishes,

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