Dates of written Rgveda

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Thu Mar 16 01:51:33 UTC 2000

PK Manansala:

>Which goes back to the fact that we don't know the history of the oral
>transmission (before written records).
>We don't know if the brahmins used special mnemonic systems at all
>during this period.

Problem is, it is not "we" but  PKM who does not know: Read Aitareya and
Kausitaki Aranyaka -- RgVedic texts which speak about (Rg)Veda
transmission. net, tuuSniim bhavatu !

For him and all others who have their doubts, I suggest to study the
intricacies of, for example,
RV accentuation: use of udaatta in verb forms, vocatives, deliberative
questions, and especially the cases NOT covered by Panini such as certain
forms of verbal accent studied by J. Klein (HOS- Op.Min. 3: Inside the
texts); or even, as was mentioned, to consider Thieme's study of use of
accent by Panini in the meta language used by  his grammar,

then wonder a little how much of this could have been  transmitted by
writing, which had no accents (before the Alexandrian Greeks, horrible of
course to think of them in this context!!),

and THEN come back, instead of voicing speculations/opinions based on
NOTHING, no Indian evidence at all.


Michael Witzel                          Elect. Journ. of Vedic Studies
Harvard University        
my direct line (also for messages) :  617- 496 2990
home page:
Michael Witzel
Department of Sanskrit & Indian Studies, Harvard University
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