Date of Rg Veda book 9

John Robert Gardner jrgardn at EMORY.EDU
Mon Nov 8 16:22:27 UTC 1999

On Thu, 4 Nov 1999, Harry Spier wrote:

> Dr. Gardner in his thesis "The Developing Terminology for the Vedic Self" in
> chapter 3 "Relative chronology of early and middle vedic" says about book 9:
> chapter 3-d " the case of the 9th, however, as it is a collection of
> the hymns for the Soma ritual drawn from the other books , much of the
> material is quite old."
> In chapter3-i (conclusions) has RV 9 as younger than all the books except
> book 10.

The primary issue I was attempting to address concerned the problem
wherein _composition/collection/arrangement_ of the RV 9 was surely late,
but the hymns, as you quote me from Chapt. 3, are indeed quite old.  As
there is still much work to be done unpacking the range of compositional
periods which likely figure on this book, it is likely best _not_ to put
it into a strata at all until it's contents are better unpacked.  I choose
to address it as later simply becuase there was not an adequate, detailed
case i could make to do otherwise.

In particular, as you read Chapter 5 of teh dissertation, one thing which
adds to my relative deference on RV 9 chronology is the corresponding
comparative paucity of the terms I was studying in RV 9, thus--unlike the
case with RV 3 where I was able to definitively suggest a different place
in RV relative chronology in my chapter 4--it was simply not possible to
do more.  This does not, in any way, mean however that I am rhetorically
in support of the later date, only that that is about all I could do with
it for now.

I hope this helps clarify, at least, the context in in which I _seem_ to
suggest a chronological placement for RV 9 and why, perhaps, it is also
better to defer on the matter unless, as with my study, the amount of
querying being done on RV 9 is not statistically significant enough to
to obviate the overall cnclusions of the research undertaken.


John Robert
Emory University

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