Idiom, and, Grammar, (and, chariots, again!)

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Tue Apr 10 13:03:59 UTC 2001

Subrahmanya has not done his homework yet:

He has not even checked the text of RV 6.75.
Small hint: perhaps he can explain to us what kind of recreational generic
vehicle (ratha) is used in 6.75.7 to trample down (ava-kram) with the
forelegs (prapad) of horses the enemies  (amitra), and kill (ksi) the
enemies (zatru).

Not a sportive practise then, or now -- nor in old Greece, Rome, etc.

Apart from this late additional hymn (but most "hoary" according to
Talageri 2000, for which see EJVS 7-2), there is a host of materials that I
have listed recently. SuB. will have to check it,in Rgveda, Avestan,
Hittite, Greek, Roman, and Celtic texts, then come back. He has not done
this litle homework but always shifts the objective and asks new questions

This time about the vehicles of the Indus Valley Civ. --
Well, he should not *ask* us, but *show* himself where there is a horse
drawn, 2-wheeled, spoke-wheeled, CHARIOT in any "indigenous" Indus
depiction, or as an object?   I do not mean, of course, Rajaram's horse
drawing Kalayanaraman's chariot (as depicted on the seal shown on the cover
of Frontline, Oct. 13, according to them!).
Nor a simple, heavy, full wheel ox waggon/bullock cart.

Once he has done his homework, he will have the answer to his questions:

>My question remains - any wheeled vehicle could have been used
>how does one draw any more conclusions ?
>If so, my question to you is - how do you know what kind of vehicle is being
>used in 6.75 ?

>in the RV where one can identify a
>kind of chariot that has been brought in by the Aryans as opposed to a
>indigenous wheeled vehicle of the IVC people.

In the meantime he should not bother us with shifting questions, constantly
diverting the discussion etc.,

He is welcome back after some self-study. The indexes and dictionaries to
find out are easily available. Then, it will only take a little Sanskrit,
Avestan, Greek, etc., reading....

PS: Lars Fosse is of course entirely right about the rathavaahana vehicle
transporting the light (c. 30 kg) and vulnerable ratha. A ratha is used in
sport and battle on even ground, not for long distance travel (and
certainly that not across the Khyber, as some always facetiously maintain
to 'disprove' any sort of movement into the subcontinent of Indo-Aryan
speaking tribes).
For heavy ground there was the vipatha (AV).

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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