The Rigveda

ISBN : 9780190633363

Stephanie Jamison; Brereton Joel
288 ページ
140 x 210 mm

The Rigveda is a monumental text in both world religion and world literature, yet outside a small band of specialists it is little known. Composed in the latter half of the second millennium BCE, it stands as the foundational text of what would later be called Hinduism. The text consists of over a thousand hymns dedicated to various divinities, composed in sophisticated and often enigmatic verse. This concise guide from two of the Rigveda's leading English-language scholars introduces the text and breaks down its large range of topics-from meditations on cosmic enigmas to penetrating reflections on the ability of mortals to make contact with and affect the divine and cosmic realms through sacrifice and praise-for a wider audience.


I. Introduction

A. What is the Rgveda: A Brief Overview

B. A significant moment

C. World literature and religion

II. Historical Context

A. Migration

B. Indo-Iranian background

II. Dating and Authorship

A. Dating

B. Oral tradition and composition

C. Poets and poetic lineages

IV. Structure of the Text

A. Collection and ordering of the hymns

B. The transmission of the text and the state of the transmitted text

C. Structure of the text

V. Social and Political Context

A. Way of life

B. Social organization

C. Kingship

D. Mundane daily life and the depiction of women

VI. Ritual

A. Overview

B. The Soma Sacrifice in later Vedic texts

C. Changes between Rgvedic ritual and middle Vedic ritual

D. Pre-Rgvedic ritual

E. The Rgvedic ritual model

F. Other types of ritual in the Rgveda

VII. The Gods

A. Overview

B. The major gods

VIII. Eschatology

IX. Rgvedic Poetry and Poetics

A. The purpose of Rgvedic poetry: the power of the word

B. The poet

C. The status of the poet

D. Homologies, semantic webs, secret names, and riddles

E. Praise and request in the R?gvedic praise hymn

F. Structures and types of R?gvedic hymns: Some organizing


G. Imagery, metaphors, similes

H. Language

I. Meter

X. Canonical Status and the Reception of the R?gveda

A. The Rgveda in the srauta tradition

B. Rgvedic Schools

C. Transmission

D. Interpretation

E. Reception

F. Publication

G. Text and Translation

Selection of Rgvedic Hymns



Stephanie Jamison is Distinguished Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures and of Indo-European Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the author of many books and articles, including The Ravenous Hyenas and the Wounded Sun: Myth and Ritual in Ancient India and her monumental 2014 translation, with Joel Brereton, of The Rigveda for Oxford University Press. Joel Brereton is Professor of Asian Studies and Religious Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of The Rgvedic Adityas and the translator, with Stephanie Jamison, of The Rigveda for Oxford University Press.