new issue: Vedic Studies 15-1: Vedic pur

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Thu May 29 04:03:33 UTC 2008

We are happy to announce the next issue of the Electronic Journal of  
Vedic Studies
(EJVS 15-1, May 2008, 1-):

Rigvedisch Pur


  Rainer Stuhrmann

It is preceded by an English Summary (see below).

The paper is important as it discusses, philologically, the two kinds  
of fortifications that the Rgvedic  Puru and Bharata besieged: first,  
stone fortresses in the mountains of the Northwest and then brick  
fortifications in the Indus plains. Incidentally, this agrees with  
recent discoveries in northwestern Pakistan (Bannu, NWFP, etc.).

Please note the new location (2007 sqq.) of the journal, at the  
Laurasian site
(that is dedicated to comparative mythology):


Extract from the Summary:

Mortimer Wheeler, point[ed] at the Aryans immigrating into India and  
conquering "walled cities (púr)." At best, he modified his well-known  
dictum "Indra stands accused" to that  a "coup de grâce...  
"Subsequently, Wilhelm Rau endeavored to show... that  the Vedic  
texts ... exclude the identification of the Vedic purs with the  
cities of  the Indus civilization.... [Discussion of layout and  
nature of purs]...
In the present article, ...   I reach the conclusion that the Indo- 
Aryans encountered a extensive front of determinedly resisting purs....

Two originally allied tribes excelled in the conquest of the purs:  
the Puru and the Bharata. Divodasa conquered the ...[many] purs of  
Sambara in the mountains west of the Indus. His son Sudas became the  
famous King of the Bharata ... the victor in the "Ten Kings' Battle"  
on the Ravi. He probably was contemporaneous with Purukutsa, who  
destroyed the seven "old" purs east of the Indus.

... the conquest of most purs mentioned in the RV took place within  
two generations. Kutsa and DivodAsa fought with the purs in the  
mountain regions, his son Purukutsa, however, against those in the  
plains east of the Indus, while Sudas had to challenge other Vedic  
tribes that already were established in the Panjab...

... To my mind, this scenario is not excluded even for the end of the  
mature Harappan phase and the beginning of the late Harappan phase  
around 1900 BCE.

Michael Witzel
> Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University,
> 1 Bow Street , 3rd floor, Cambridge MA 02138
> 1-617-495 3295           Fax: 496 8571
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