The Atharvaveda and its South Asian Contexts

University of Zurich

Deadline: 10 February 2019

Since Durgamohan Bhattacharyya’s discovery of palm-leaf manuscripts of the Paippalādasaṃhitā of the Atharvaveda in the 1950s, great advances have been made in the study of this text. Notwithstanding this progress, and the light shone by recent scholarship on the important role played by Atharvavedic traditions in the religious and cultural history of South Asia, it remains the case that the Śaunakasaṃhitā and Paippalādasaṃhitā of the Atharvaveda receive considerably less scholarly attention than the Ṛgvedasaṃhitā. While scholars and students of the latter text can now consult a number of recent sophisticated translations, for instance, scholars on the Śaunakasaṃhitā remain in large part reliant on work undertaken in the 19th century. As part of the current project at the University of Zurich (funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation) which is producing a critical edition and annotated translation of Books 1, 4 and 12 of the Paippalādasaṃhitā, this conference invites scholars to present new research on the Atharvavedic traditions of South Asia. The project hosting this conference is conducted jointly by the Department of Comparative Linguistics and the Department of Indian Studies at the Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies, and in keeping with the project’s aim of bridging the disciplinary approaches of linguistics and philology, we invite papers which deal with linguistic and literary aspects of either recension of the text as well as with their cultural and historical contexts. We especially encourage contributions that examine the interactions between the Atharvaveda and other traditions, thereby illuminating the role the Atharvaveda played in shaping the intellectual, religious and socio- political landscapes of South Asia.

See the flyer.

Please send a title and abstract of c. 300 words by 10th February 2019 to


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