method of dating RV, III

Dominique.Thillaud thillaud at UNICE.FR
Wed Jun 24 07:44:45 UTC 1998

>If my understanding of Jan Houben's position is correct, there does not seem
>to be a consenus on the etymology of iSTaka. I would appreciate if the experts
>discuss what relationship, if any, the word for brick has to do with the word
>iSTi and its etymology.
>S. Palaniappan

There is a phonetic confusion between the roots iS- "to desire" and yaj-
"to sacrify" in the formation of the words iSTa (part.) and iSTi
"vow"/"offering". It seems natural here to suppose a yaj- origin with a
suffix -ka forming concret words as in varSaka "[refuge] intended to the
rain", hence the two variants iSTakA and iSTikA "intended to the sacrifice
or to the offering". Interesting is to ask why the brick, not the altar
itself? An hypothetic answer could be that early (or in domestic use) we
have just one-brick altars. Could archeology sustain such hypothesis? Could
this explain the gender? Or this last problem could be resolved by the
semantic analogy "iSTikA like a tree bearing offerings as fruits"?
        More questions than answers, I'm afraid ;-)

Dominique THILLAUD
Universite' de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France

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