Dates of written Rgveda

Paul Kekai Manansala kekai at JPS.NET
Thu Mar 16 18:05:28 UTC 2000

Birgit Kellner wrote:
>> >
> Forgive me for barging in on a thread that I haven't been able to follow from> its beginning, with a very general question that has always intrigued me (and> is, I think, also discussed by Ong): How is a "mistake" determined in a> transmission that is wholly oral? Evidently, the transmitted "text" could only> be checked against the memory of other "transmitters", so one would presume the> stability of an orally transmitted text to increase with the number of people> who memorize it, but this still leaves open the question of how such stability
> (or instability) is ascertained - aren't all such ascertainments, in a manner of> speaking, post mortem declarations about oral cultures, pronounced already on> the basis of available written records? Just wondering ...

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.

Paul Kekai Manansala

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