1. bookVolume 61 (2019): Issue 2 (December 2019)
    Issue editors: Maria Piera Candotti & Tiziana Pontillo
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2083-6090
First Published
14 Jan 2010
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Áhir budhníyaḥ and bhūmidundubhiḥ: The serpent of the deep and the earth-drum. A hypothesis of etymological and/or cultural connections

Published Online: 28 Dec 2020
Volume & Issue: Volume 61 (2019) - Issue 2 (December 2019)<br/>Issue editors: Maria Piera Candotti & Tiziana Pontillo
Page range: 107 - 131
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2083-6090
First Published
14 Jan 2010
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

This article highlights how the process of semantic extension applied to the OIA onomatopoeic noun dundubhí, usually meant as “drum”, is the token of significant cultural changes: especially within ritual performances, such as the mahāvrata rite, gradually canonised in the Brahmanical ritualism, it turns out to be a device to promote a new model of sovereignty, related to the establishment of the so-called Kuru-Pañcāla realm.

Such a cultural transformation, carried out in the Middle and Late Vedic period in northern India, entailed that ancient Indo-European tribal cultural traits were intermingled with cultural substrate/adstrate elements: the term dundubhí is “etymologically” connected to the Proto-Muṇ ḍa *ḍub-/*dum- “to be swollen, roundish”, the PAA *duby-/*dub- “tail, buttock, animal limbs”, and Middle Iranian isoglosses meaning “tail, extremities, fat-tailed animals”. Moreover, as bhūmidundubhi “earth-drum” beaten on the border of the ritual area in the mahāvrata rite, representing earthly sonority and the “mighty bellowing” of cattle, it is associated with the IIr myth of valá/vará, the “enclosure”, in which the treasure/cattle “endowed with rock as foundation” (ádri-budhna, ṚV 10.108.7ab), is hidden. The related lexicon and imagery recall mythical archetypes, such as the Serpent of the Bottom (OIA áhir budhníyaḥ, Gr Pythô ophis) or primordial Monster of the Deep (Gr Typhôn/Typhôeus), and BMAC interferences are also embedded. However, although linguistic evidence confirms the etymological relationship between the OIA budh-ná and the Greek pythmên, the case of the Greek Typhôn/Typhôeus seems more uncertain: the IE reconstruction *dhubh-/*dhub­ “depths” is considered a secondary outcome, and cannot be convincingly applied to the term dundubhí, because of its onomatopoeic nature. Nonetheless, as an outcome of linguistic and cultural interferences, “Sanskritised” within the ritualism, which supported the paradigm of the Kuru-Pañcāla sovereignty, the term dundubhí conveys the double “redundant” value of deep/high sonority and swollen/roundish abundant prosperity, to which the figure of Bṛhaspati is correspondent: in ṚV 10.64.4 he is defined as the kaví tuvīrávān “poet endowed with powerful bellowing”, which announces prosperity, spreading it loftily, throughout the cosmos.

Keywords

Adams, Douglas Q. 2013. A Dictionary of Tocharian B.: Revised and greatly enlarged. 2 Vols. Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi.Search in Google Scholar

Bailey, Harold Walter. 1979. Dictionary of Khotan Saka. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Bartholomae, Christian. 1904. Altiranische Wörterbuch. Leipzig: Teubner.Search in Google Scholar

Beekes, Robert. 2010. Etymological dictionary of Greek, with the assistance of Lucien van Beek. 2 Vols. Leiden: Brill.Search in Google Scholar

Bhattacharya, Dipak. 1997. The Paippalāda-saṃhitā of the Atharvaveda: Critically edited from palmleaf manuscripts in the Oriya script discovered by Durgamohan Bhattacharyya and one śāradā manuscript = Atharvavediyā paippalādasaṃhitā. Vol. 1: Consisting of the first fifteen Kāṇḍas. Calcutta: The Asiatic Society.Search in Google Scholar

Blank, Andreas. 2003. Words and concepts in time: Towards diachronic cognitive onomasiology. In Eckardt, Regine & von Heusinger, Klaus & Schwarze, Christoph (eds.), Words in time: Diachronic semantics from different points of view, 37-64. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Search in Google Scholar

Blažek, Václav. 1999. Elam: a bridge between ancient Near East and Dravidian India? In Blench, Roger & Spriggs, Matthew (eds.). Archaeology and language IV, 48-78. London: Routledge.10.4324/9780203208793_chapter_2Search in Google Scholar

Blažek, Václav. 2002. Elamo-Arica. The Journal of Indo-European Studies 30-3/4. 215-41.Search in Google Scholar

Blažek, Václav. 2012. Indo-European laryngeals in the light of Afroasiatic. In Nielsen Whitehead, Benedicte (ed.), The Sound of Indo-European: Phonetics, phonemics, and morphophonemics, 1-26. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, University of Copenhagen.Search in Google Scholar

Blažek, Václav & Hegedűs, Irén. 2012. On the position of Nuristani within Indo-Iranian. In Roman, Sukač & Ondřej, Šefčík (eds.), The sound of Indo-European 2. Papers on Indo-European phonetics, phonemics and morpho-phonemics (LINCOM Studies in Indo-European Linguistics 41), 40-66. München: LINCOM.Search in Google Scholar

Bloomfield, Maurice. 1906 [2007]. A Vedic concordance. In Franceschini, Marco (ed.). An updated Vedic concordance: Maurice Bloomfield’s A Vedic concordance enhanced with new material taken from seven Vedic texts (Harvard Oriental Series 66, 2 parts). Cambridge (Mass.): Harvard University Press. http://gretil.sub.uni-goettingen.de.Search in Google Scholar

Bodewitz, Hendrik W. 1999. Pits, pitfalls and the underworld in the Veda. Indo-Iranian Journal 42. 211-226.Search in Google Scholar

Bonnet, Corinne 1987. Typhon et Baal Saphon. In Lipiński, Edward. (ed.) Studia Phoenicia V, Phoenicia and the East Mediterranean in the First Millennium B.C., 101-143. Leuven: Uitgeverij Peeters.Search in Google Scholar

Bredin, Hugh 1996. Onomatopoeia as a figure and a linguistic principle. New Literary History 27. 555-69.10.1353/nlh.1996.0031Search in Google Scholar

Jamison, Stephanie W. & Brereton, Joel P. (transl.). 2014. The Rigveda. The earliest religious poetry of India. 3 Vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Caland, Willem. 1919. Das Jaiminīya-Brāhmana in Auswahl: Text, übers., indices. Amsterdam: Müller.Search in Google Scholar

Caland, Willem. 1953. śaṅkhyayana-śrautasūtra being a major yajñika text of the Ṛgveda. Translated into English for the first time. Ed. with an Introduction by Dr. Chandra, Lokesh. Nagpur: International Academy of Indian Culture.Search in Google Scholar

Cantera, Alberto. 2012. Yima, son vara- et la daênā mazdéenne. In Azarnouche, Samra & Redard, Céline (eds.). Yama/Yima: Variations indo-iraniennes sur la geste mythique / Variations on the Indo-Iranian Myth of Yama/Yima, 45-66. Paris, Boccard.Search in Google Scholar

Chantraine, Pierre. 1968-1980. Dictionnaire etymologique de la langue grecque: histoire des mots (terminé par Masson, Olivier & Perpillou, Jean-Louis & Taillardat, Jean, avec le concours de Bader, Françoise & Irigoin, Jean & Lecco, Danica & Monteil, Pierre, sous la dir. de Lejeune, Michel). 4 voll. Paris: Klincksieck.Search in Google Scholar

De Miroschedji, Pierre 1981. Le dieu élamite au serpent et aux eaux jaillissantes. Iranica Antiqua XVI. 1-25.Search in Google Scholar

Derksen, Rick. 2015. Etymological Dictionary of the Baltic inherited lexicon. Leiden: Brill.Search in Google Scholar

Durante, Marcello. 1976. Sulla preistoria della tradizione poetica greca: Risultanze della comparazione indo‐europea. Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche. Istituto per gli studi micenei ed egeo-anatolici. Roma: Ed. dell’Ateneo.Search in Google Scholar

Emeneau, Murray Barnson. 1969. Onomatopoetics in the Indian linguistic area. Language 45-2. 274-299.10.2307/411660Search in Google Scholar

Falk, Harry. 1986. Bruderschaft und Würfelspiel. Untersuchungen zur Entwicklungsgeschichte des vedischen Opfers. Freiburg: Hedwig Frank.Search in Google Scholar

Falk, Harry. 1997. The Purpose of ṛgvedic Ritual. In Witzel, Michael (ed.), Inside the texts beyond the texts: New approaches to the study of the Vedas. Proceedings of the International Vedic Workshop Harvard University, June 1989, 69-88. Cambridge (Mass.): South Asia Book, Columbia, Mo.Search in Google Scholar

Francfort, Henri-Paul. 1994. The central Asian dimension of the symbolic system in Bactria and Margiana. Antiquity 68. 406-418.10.1017/S0003598X00046755Search in Google Scholar

Frontenrose, Joseph. 19802. Python. A study of Delphic myth and its origins. Berkeley: University of California PressSearch in Google Scholar

Fushimi, Makoto. 2012. Āpastamba-śrautasūtra: On the basis of the edition by Garbe, Richard, The śrauta Sūtra of Āpastamba, belonging to the Taittirīya Saṁhitā with the commentary of Rudradatta. Vols. 1-3. 1st edition Calcutta 1882-1902. 2nd edition, with new appendix, containing corrections and emendations to the text by Kashikar, C. G. New Delhi 1983. http://titus.uni-frankfurt.de/.Search in Google Scholar

Gardner, John Robert. 2012. śatapatha-Brāhmaṇa. Mādhyandina recension. http://gretil.sub.uni-goettingen.de.Search in Google Scholar

Gotō, Toshifumi. 1987. Die “I Präsensklasse” im Vedischen: Untersuchung der vollstufigen thematichen Wurzelpräsentia. Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.Search in Google Scholar

Hauer, Jakob Wilhelm. 1927. Der Vrātya: Untersuchungen über die nichtbrahmanische Religion Altindiens. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.Search in Google Scholar

Heesterman, Johannes Cornelis. 1962. Vrātya and sacrifice. Indo-Iranian Journal VI.1. 1-37.10.1163/000000062791616002Search in Google Scholar

Horsch, Paul. 1965. Aja Ekapād und die Sonne. Indo-Iranian Journal IX.1. 1-31.10.1163/000000065790086478Search in Google Scholar

Ivanov, Vyacheslav V. & Toporov, Vladimir. 1973. A Comparative Study of the Group of Baltic Mythological Terms from the Root *vel-. Baltistica IX.1. 15-27.Search in Google Scholar

Jamison, Stephanie. 1996. Sacrificed wife, sacrificer’s wife: Women, ritual, and hospitality in ancient India. New York: Oxford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Keith, Arthur Berriedale. 1920. Rigveda Brāhmaṇas: the Aitareya and Kauṣītaki Brāhmaṇas of the Rigveda. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Klein, Jared S. 2012. Figurae non etymologicae in the Rigveda: sóma / stóma- and similar word-plays. In Blanc, Alain & Dubois, Laurent & Lamberterie, Charles de (eds.), Πολύμητις, Mélanges offerts à Françoise Bader, 179-192. Louvain – Paris: Peeters.Search in Google Scholar

Kroonen, Guus. 2013. Etymological dictionary of Proto-Germanic. Leiden: Brill.Search in Google Scholar

Kuiper, Franciscus Bernardus. J. 1948. Proto-Munda words in Sanskrit. Amsterdam: Noord-Hollandsche Uitgevers Maatschappij.Search in Google Scholar

Kuiper, Franciscus Bernardus. J. 1955. Rigvedic loanwords. In Spies, Otto (ed.), Studia Indologica. Festschrift für Willibald Kirfel zur Vollendung seines 70. Lebensjahres, 137-185. Bonn: Orientalischen Seminar der Universität Bonn.Search in Google Scholar

Kuiper, Franciscus Bernardus. J. 1960. The ancient Aryan verbal contest. Indo-Iranian Journal IV.4. 217-281.10.1007/BF00180765Search in Google Scholar

Kuiper, Franciscus Bernardus. 1974. ví dayate and vidátha-. Indologica Taurinensia 2. 121-132.Search in Google Scholar

Kuiper, Franciscus Bernardus. 1983. Ancient Indian cosmogony: Essays selected and introduced by Irwin, John. New Delhi: Vikas.Search in Google Scholar

Kuiper, Franciscus Bernardus. 1991. Aryans in the Rigveda. Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi B.V.Search in Google Scholar

Kuiper, Franciscus Bernardus. 1995. Gothic bagms and old Icelandic ylgr*. North-Western European Language Evolution (NOWELE) 25. 63-88.10.1075/nowele.25.04kuiSearch in Google Scholar

Kümmel, Martin & Kobayashi, Masato & Griffiths, Arlo. 2005. Pañcaviṁśa-Brāhmaṇa.http://titus.uni-frankfurt.de/.Search in Google Scholar

Lubotsky, Alexander. 1988. The system of nominal accentuation in Sanskrit and Proto-Indo-European. Leiden: Brill.Search in Google Scholar

Lubotsky, Alexander. 1997. A Ṛgveda word concordance. New Haven, CT: American Oriental Society.Search in Google Scholar

Lubotsky, Alexander. 2000. The Vedic root vṛ- “to cover” and its present. In Forssman, Bernhard & Plath, Robert (ed.), Indoarisch, Iranisch und die Indogermanistik: Arbeitstagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft vom 2. Bis 5. Oktober 1997 in Erlangen, 315-325. Wiesbaden: Reichert.Search in Google Scholar

Lubotsky, Alexander. 2002. Atharvaveda-Paippalāda. Kāṇḍa five. Text, Translation, Commentary. Cambridge, Mass.: Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University.Search in Google Scholar

Lubotsky, Alexander. 2010. Indo-Aryan inherited lexicon. www.bulgari-istoria-2010.com/Rechnici/A_Lubocki_Indo_Iran_Lexicon.pdf.Search in Google Scholar

Martínez García, F. Javier. 2012. Aitareya-Brāhmaṇa, on the basis of the edition by Aufrecht, Theodor, Das Aitareya Brāhmaṇa, Mit Auszügen aus dem Commentäre von Sāyaṇācārya und anderen Beilagen. Bonn 1879. http://titus.uni-frankfurt.de/.Search in Google Scholar

Matasović, Ranko. 2009. Etymological dictionary of Proto-Celtic. Leiden: Brill.Search in Google Scholar

Mayrhofer, Manfred. 1992-2001. Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen (EWA). Bd. I-IV. Heidelberg: Carl Winter.Search in Google Scholar

Miller, Robert D. 2014. Tracking the dragon across the ancient Near East. Archív Orieltální 82-2. 225-254.Search in Google Scholar

Minkowski, Christopher. 1989. The udumbara and its ritual significance. Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens und Archiv für indische Philosophie 33. 5-23.Search in Google Scholar

Narten, Johanna. 1964. Die sigmatischen Aoriste im Veda. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.Search in Google Scholar

Olivelle, Patrick. 1998. The early Upanisads: Annotated text and translation. New York: Oxford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Parpola, Asko. 1983. The pre-Vedic Indian background of the śrauta Rituals. In Staal, Fritz (ed.), Agni: The Vedic ritual of the fire altar. Vol. 2, 41-75. Berkeley: Asian Humanities Press.Search in Google Scholar

Parpola, Asko. 1999. Vāc as a goddess of victory in the Veda and her relation to Durgā. Zinbun 34 (2). 101-143.Search in Google Scholar

Pinault, George-Jean. 2016. On Bṛ́haspati’s name. In Houben, Jan E. M. & Rotaru, Julieta & Witzel, Michael (eds.), Vedic śākhās. Past, present, future. Proceedings of the fifth International Vedic Workshop. Bucharest 2011, 993-1007. Cambridge: Harvard University.Search in Google Scholar

Pisani, Vittore. 1950-1952. Contributi all’etimologia del greco e del latino. Anales de Filología clásica 5. 92-98.Search in Google Scholar

Pokorny, Julius. 1959. Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. Bd. I. Bern: Francke Verlag.Search in Google Scholar

Proferes, Theodor. 2007. Vedic ideals of sovereignty and the poetics of power. New Haven CT: American Oriental Society.Search in Google Scholar

Ranade, Ganesh Hari. 1998. Lāṭyāyana-śrautasūtra. 3 Vols. New Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.Search in Google Scholar

Rix, Helmut & Kümmel, Martin. 2001. LIV: Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben: Die Wurzeln und ihre Primärstammbildungen. Wiesbaden: Reichert.Search in Google Scholar

Rolland, Pierre. 1972. Le Mahāvrata: Contribution à l’étude d’un rituel solennel védique. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.Search in Google Scholar

Rossi, Paola Maria. 2014 [2015]. The sounds of the warriors: the Vedic drums between war and poetry. In Pontillo, Tiziana (ed.), Proceedings of the International Conference “Patterns of Bravery”, 14th-16th May 2015. Indologica Taurinensia 40. 253-88.Search in Google Scholar

Roth, Rudolf von & Whitney, William Dwight. hrsg. 1856. Atharva Veda Sanhita. Berlin, Ferd. Dümmler’s Buchhandlung.Search in Google Scholar

Sani, Saverio. 1990. Valore semantico e identificazione di funzioni: Il verbo hanti nel Ṛgveda e nell’Atharvaveda. Studi e Saggi Linguistici 30. 61-77.Search in Google Scholar

Schlerath, Bernfried. 2002. Rigveda 1.28. Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik 23. 91-109.Search in Google Scholar

Schmidt, Hanns-Peter. 1968. Bṛhaspati und Indra. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.Search in Google Scholar

Sharp, Harnet & Warren, Beatrice. 1994. The semantics of onomatopoeic words. Folia Linguistica 28-3/4. 437-447.10.1515/flin.1994.28.3-4.437Search in Google Scholar

Thieme, Paul. 1949. Untersuchungen zur Wortkunde und Auslegung des Rigveda. Halle / Saale: Max Nyemer.Search in Google Scholar

Thieme, Paul 1974. Atharva-Veda 5.23.4. In Mayrhofer, Manfred & Meid, Wolfgang & Schlerath, Bernfried & Schmitt, Rüdiger (eds.), Antiquitates Indogermanicae, Studien zur indogermanischen Altertumskunde und zur Sprach- und Kulturgeshichte der indogermanischen Völker. Gedenkschrift für Hermann Güntert zur 25. Wiederkehr seines Todestages am 23. April 1973, 295-300. Innsbruck: Institut für Sprachwissenschaft.Search in Google Scholar

Tokunaga, Muneo. 1995. The Khila verses of the Rgveda, based on the edition by Scheftelowitz, Isidor: Die Apokryphen des Rgveda (Khilani). Breslau 1906. http://gretil.sub.uni-goettingen.de.Search in Google Scholar

Toporov, Vladimir N. 1974. Πύθων, Ahi budhnyà, Ƃȁдњāк i. dr. Ètimologija. 3-16.Search in Google Scholar

Van Nooten, Barend. A. & Holland, Gary B. 1994. Rig Veda: A metrically restored text with an introduction and notes. Cambridge (Mass.): Harvard University, Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies.Search in Google Scholar

Vendryes, Joseph. 1913. La famille du latin mundus “monde”. Mémoire de la Société de linguistique de Paris 18. 305-10.Search in Google Scholar

Wackernagel, Jakob. 1954. Altindische Grammatik II/2. Nominalsuffixe, hrsg. von Debrunner, Albert. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht.Search in Google Scholar

Wackernagel, Jakob. 1957. Altindische Grammatik II/1. Nominalsuffixe, hrsg. von Albert Debrunner. Göttingen, Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht.Search in Google Scholar

Watkins, Calvert. 1992. The dragon Hittite Illuyankas et le géant Typhôeus. Comptes rendus des séances de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres 136-2. 319-30.10.3406/crai.1992.15099Search in Google Scholar

Watkins, Calvert. 1995. How to kill a dragon. New York: Oxford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

West, Martin L. 1966 (ed.). Theogony. Ed. with prolegomena and commentary. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Search in Google Scholar

West, Martin L. 1988 (ed.). Theogony, and Works and days. Translated with an introduction and notes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

West, Martin L. 2007. Indo-European poetry and myth. Oxford: Oxford University Press.10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280759.001.0001Search in Google Scholar

Whitney, William Dwight. 1905. Atharva-Veda Saṁhitā: Translated with critical and exegetical commentary. Revised and brought nearer to completion and edited by Lanman, Charles R. Cambridge (Mass.): Harvard University.Search in Google Scholar

Witzel, Michael. 1983. Ṛgvedisch udumbalá. Indo-Iranian Journal 25-4. 239-240.10.1163/000000083790081446Search in Google Scholar

Witzel, Michael. 1990. Notes on Vedic dialects. Zinbun 25. 31-70.Search in Google Scholar

Witzel, Michael. 1995. Early Sanskritization: Origins and development of the Kuru State. Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies 1.4. 1-26.Search in Google Scholar

Witzel, Michael. 1997. The development of the Vedic Canon and its schools: The social and political milieu. In Witzel, Michael (ed.), Inside the texts, beyond the texts (Harvard Oriental Series, Opera Minora 2), 257-348. Cambridge: Harvard University.Search in Google Scholar

Witzel, Michael. 1999. Substrate languages in old Indo-Aryan (Rgvedic, middle and late Vedic). Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies 5-1. 1-67.Search in Google Scholar

Witzel, Michael. 2003. Linguistic evidence for cultural exchange in prehistoric western central Asia. Sino-Platonic Papers 129. 1-70.Search in Google Scholar

Witzel, Michael. 2005. Vala and Iwato. The myth of the hidden sun in India, Japan, and Beyond. Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies 12-1. 1-69.Search in Google Scholar

Witzel, Michael. 2008. Slaying the dragon across Eurasia. In Bengtson, John D. (ed.), Hot pursuit of language in prehistory: Essays in the four fields of anthropology in honor of Harold Crane Fleming, 263-286. Amsterdam: Benjamins.10.1075/z.145.21witSearch in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo