Chariots and Ships

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Sat Apr 7 14:27:19 UTC 2001


>Subramanyah S  ... wrote that the Indo-European war chariot is a figment
>of the imagination.

>Steven Farmer seems to be saying that the war chariot apparently
>appears first in RV VI, which, according to him and accepted theory,
>is a late Mandala.

I do not think he says that. He can speak for himself. -- However,  A.
Gupta's sentence misunderstands the matter at hand:

* Talageri thinks that all of Mandala 6 is the 'hoariest": of the Rgveda.
Which has just been debunked in EJVS 7-2: and ...0703.txt

* hymn 6.75, however, has been recognized, for the last 110 years, as a
late  addition to the core of RV.  Nevertheless, it describes the chariot
well enough.

There is, of course, much chariot evidence in the older sections of RV.
Easily available in Grassmann, when counterchecked against Oldenberg 1888
(limited summary in my 1995 paper).

>So, Farmer and Subramanyah appear to be in agreement.

Not at all, as above will indicate, and as S. Farmer certainly will point
out once the sun rises in California.

>That is, if "the Indo-European war chariot" means that chariots were
>part of the PIE culture.

That is the real question, See EJVS 7-3 (forthc.)

>Are chariots a late acquisition of the Indo-Aryans ?

No, see the Avestan evidence., with archaic terms, echoed by equally
archaic ones in Vedic..
Again, more in EJVS 7-3, section 14.

May cooler heads, such as in this thread, prevail...

Michael Witzel
Department of Sanskrit & Indian Studies, Harvard University
2 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138, USA

ph. 1- 617-496 2990 (also messages)
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