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Atharva-Veda-Samhita (In 2 Volumes)

William Dwight Whitney (Author)

Atharva-veda means `the Veda of the Atharvan' or `the Knowledge of Magic Formulas'. The great importance of the Atharva-veda Samhita lies in the fact that it is an invaluable source of knowledge of popular belief as yet uninfluenced by ancient Indian priestly religion, of the faith in numberless spirits, imps, ghosts, and demons of every kind, and of the witchcraft, so eminently important to ethnology and for the history of religion. This work includes in the first place, critical notes upon the text, giving the various readings of the manuscripts; second, the readings of Paippalada of Kashmere version, furnished by the late Professor Roth; furhter, notice of the corresponding passages in all the other Vedic texts, with report of the various readings; the data of the Hindu scholiast respecting authorship, divinity, and metre of each verse; also references to the anciallary literature, especially to the well-edited Kausika and Vaitana Sutras, with account of the ritualistic use therein made of the hymns or parts of hymns, so far as this appears to cast any light upon their meaning; also, extracts from the printed commentary;p and finally, a simple literal translation with introduction and indices.

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About the author

William Dwight Whitney

William Dwight Whitney (1827–1894) was an American linguist, philologist, and lexicographer who edited The Century Dictionary. Born in Northampton, Massachusetts, February 9, 1827. He entered Williams College at fifteen, graduating in 1845. He continued studying and worked at a bank in Northampton for several years, then assisted his brother Josiah Whitney on a geological survey of the Lake Superior region in 1849. For three years, he studied Sanskrit in Germany, and gained wide reputation for his scholarship in the field. At Yale, he became professor of Sanskrit in 1854, adding comparative philology in 1869. He also taught modern languages at the Sheffield Scientific School. He served as secretary to the American Oriental Society from 1857 until he became its president in 1884.

Whitney revised definitions for the 1864 edition of Webster's American Dictionary, and in 1869 became a founder and first president of the American Philological Association. He wrote metrical translations of the Vedas, and numerous papers on the Vedas and linguistics, many of which were collected in the Oriental and Linguistic Studies series (1872–74). He wrote several books on language, and grammar textbooks of English, French, German, and Sanskrit. In his Course in General Linguistics in the chapter on the 'Immutability and Mutability of the Sign', Ferdinand de Saussure credits Whitney with insisting on the arbitrary nature of the linguistic signs.

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Bibliographic information

Title Atharva-Veda-Samhita (In 2 Volumes)
Format Hardcover
Date published: 15.11.2011
Edition Reprint.
Language: English
isbn 8120810856, 9788120810839
length clxi+1046p., 23cm.