Re: [tied] Why are Horses Vedic Again?

From: Juha Savolainen
Message: 18492
Date: 2003-02-07

Yes, that was my understanding also...river gods are
widespread among the IE cultures...

About "Saraswati" as an epithet: I tend to believe
that (a) many Indo-European groups (certainly the
Indo-Iranians) were not happy to borrow river-names
from indigenous/native populations because of the
religious associations of these and also (b) that many
of the names which look at first sight proper names
are really epithets...

So, it is still very easy to find the "Saraswati" of
NE Gujarat on the map...Still, we must be cautious
here: there is even a "Saraswati Glacier", but this
name was given to the glacier in 1996...;)

And the good old Oldham would undoubtedly be surpised
to know that he has become a central figure in the
indigenist rebellion against the colonial yoke of Max

Cheers, Juha

--- "Piotr Gasiorowski <piotr.gasiorowski@...>"
<piotr.gasiorowski@...> wrote:
> --- In, Juha Savolainen
> <juhavs@...> wrote:
> > One of the most interesting aspects of the whole
> Saraswati issue is
> the importance given to certain rivers by the Vedic
> (and indeed by the
> Old Iranian) people.
> >
> > "Saraswati" is not just a river (or perhaps a type
> of river?) but
> also a River Goddess and also a place where their
> culture is
> flourishing. Do you (or any other IEF participant)
> have ideas about
> the role of rivers in (Proto)/Indo-European
> thinking? Was this common
> also among the other branches of the IE family?
> Of course river deities were quite common in IE
> mythologies, e.g. in
> Greece, where actual rivers (e.g. the Achelous) as
> well as
> mythological or half-mythological ones (the Styx)
> were personified and
> appeared as characters in myths. Among the important
> Iranian deities,
> the goddess Anahita was connected with a great river
> (possibly the
> Oxus, or indeed _any_ river of local importance).
> The identification
> of an area with its main river, and the deification
> of that river as
> the protector or (perhaps more often) protectress of
> the country was
> common among the Celts, whose tutelary river
> goddesses (Matrona,
> Sequana, Sabrina, Brigantia, etc.) are many and well
> known.
> I tend to agree with George that at least some
> aspects of the Rigvedic
> Sarasvati (as an actual river) should be identified
> with the Indus,
> which certainly flows all the way from the Himalayas
> to the ocean, is
> a really huge river and can with reason be regarded
> as the "mother" of
> the Saptasindhu, its upper basin being also the
> cradle of the Aryan
> culture as we know it. Such was certainly the
> opinion of early
> Sanskritologists (including Hermann G. Grassmann,
> for example).
> Various other rivers may have been referred to as
> <sarasvati:> at one
> time or another, especially if we regard the word as
> an epither rather
> than a proper name. Ironically, the idea of the
> Sarasvati as a mighty
> river lost in the Indian desert was conceived in the
> late 19th century
> by European scholars (such as C.F. Oldham) and
> popularised in the
> 1940's by Sir Aurel Stein.
> Piotr

Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail Plus - Powerful. Affordable. Sign up now.