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Etymology, genealogy and history in Early South Asia

Hegarty, James Marcel 2011. Etymology, genealogy and history in Early South Asia. Religions of South Asia 5 (1/2) , pp. 103-127.

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This paper explores the relationship between etymology, genealogy and the literary exploration of the past in early South Asia. By means of a close reading of a range of materials drawn from the Atharvaveda, Brahmanas and Upanishads, as well as the Nirukta, the Brihaddevata and the Mahabharata, it demonstrates that there is a progression from etymology, to expanded etymology (narratives spun from the details of etymologies), to full accounts of birth and descent, that is to say, genealogy, and, from there, to larger-scale historical accounts. The paper thus shows that etymology played an important part in the formation of consensus understandings of the past in early South Asia.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CS Genealogy
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Publisher: Equinox Publishing
ISSN: 1751-2689
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2017 05:59

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