Indologie & Vergleichende Religionswissenschaft

Old Indian Heterodox Kingship (Dr. des. Elena Mucciarelli)

As part of the three-year Departmental research programme “Traces of an Heterodox Concept of Kingship in Ancient, Medieval and Modern India” (Dr. Tiziana Pontillo / Cagliari) Elena Mucciarelli is researching in 2013 on the Vedic and late Vedic sources.

This subproject intends to widen the available collection of Vedic and Late Vedic occurrences which testify the existence of a system, whose model has already been adopted by Heesterman from 1962 onward (in particular through the new details and insights added by Falk from 1986 onward), in order to depict the “pre-classic” bloody sacrifices which were supposedly connected with conflictual and reciprocal relations. Special attention should also be paid to the alternative hypothesis according to which the supposed reform was the outcome of a clash between two distinct branches of the immigrant Indo-Āryan population (supposed on the basis of the two-wave theory by Parpola 1983), reconsidered in the light of the late-Vedic fresco recently painted by Bronkhorst 2007 and of the relevant criticisms especially arising from his innovative relative and absolute chronologies (see, e.g., Witzel 2009). Furthermore we aim at inquiring into the origin of the late Vedic “contestation between brahmins with each other” highlighted, e.g., by Bailey 2011, verifying if it is connected with the opposition between the so-called śrotriyas, who, by the way, refuse any gift (see, e.g., Śatapatha-Brāhmaṇa XIII.4.3.14 and Śāṇkāyana-Śrauta-Sūtra XVI. 28-29) and the officiants who were used to accept and even solicit for donations.