Earliest Texts

How to interpret them?

Dealing with ancient texts often means a long trip, trying to outline the actual meaning of the words we found in those texts. A fight that resembles that of Don Quixote: sometimes because there are terms we will not find in the more recent literature, sometimes because their meaning has developed in a the way that has nothing to do with this archaic level of the language. Sometimes other kind of difficulties step into to the path: it is then necessary to find different ways to approach the text. These roads are sometimes quite twisting and even hazardous, nonetheless they seem to be the only practicable route.

The purpose of this panel is, thus, to give rise to a debate about the act of interpretation: when we are dealing with texts that are almost the only attestation of the beginning of a culture, sometimes even abiding between two worlds, how much freedom are we entitled to have in the e ffort of understanding their words? Which boundaries we have to respect? And what should not be respected? Which methodological sources we can look for and deploy? Which kind of space, finally, which region, could we discover if we try to deal with the Indo-European religious-poetical language? How to interpret the way the Koran speaks about itself?

Chairperson: Elena Mucciarelli

Frank Koehler
Ṛgveda 1.160: The Enigma of Revealing and Concealing Identities

[long abstract]

Paola Rossi
Interpreting the Term Śakti– in the Vedic Context

[long abstract]

Luca Picardi
Triḥ Sapta and Ekaviṃśa/ti in the Vedic Literature: an Insight into Numbers, Ritual and Symbolism

[long abstract]

Rosaria Compagnone
The Pādmasaṃhitā in the Pāñcarātra Tradition: How Texts and Tradition are Linked One to Another?

[long abstract]

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