Gone to the dogs in ancient India

Bollée, Willem

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Abstract

Dogs are no cynosure in Indian life, as are cows, but according to the Jātaka belong to the world of men and play a more differentiated role than other animals, as is shown below by the many words for 'dog' in literature (see under 2.1 and 3), the quantity of references and stories collected here, and last but not least: the great epic begins and ends with a dog story. To quote Satya Prakash Sarasvati, "dog is neither regarded <as> a domestic animal nor <as> a wild creature" (1988: 304); he gives no source for this, but dogs are not one of the seven kinds of domestic animals mentioned by Baudhāyana in Caland's note on PancavBr 2,7,5,8 and wild dogs or dholes are a species of their own, whereas a dhobi's dog belongs neither to the house nor to the riverside. At any rate, for the ancient Indians, as against, e.g., for the Spanish in the early 20th century, it was not necessary to describe what a dog was. The following lines intend to sketch their relation to humans and their fellow quadrupeds and birds from the ancient sources, as was done exhaustively for Greek and Latin literature long ago.

Document type: Book
Publisher: CrossAsia-Repository
Place of Publication: Heidelberg ; Berlin
Date: 2020
Version: Primary publication
Edition: 2. rev. ed.
Date Deposited: 24 March 2020
Number of Pages: 127
Faculties / Institutes: Miscellaneous > Individual person
DDC-classification: Religions of Indic origin
Controlled Subjects: Indien, Hund, Kultur
Uncontrolled Keywords: Indien, Hund, Kultur / India, Dog, Cultural History
Subject (classification): Indology
Countries/Regions: India