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Atharvaveda Paippalāda Hymns – Vedic Sanskrit Reading Class


Admission requirements

A year of Sanskrit is recommended but not required.


This course provides an opportunity to read hymns from the Paippalāda Saṁhitā of the Atharvaveda (approx. 1000 BCE), perhaps the oldest text in Vedic Sanskrit after the R̥gveda and therefore one of the oldest attested texts in an Indo-European Language. Grammar will be treated mainly from a synchronic point of view but some historical explanations will also be relevant.

Course objectives

By the end of the course the students will be familiar with features of the syntax, verbal and nominal morphology, and common vocabulary items found in the Vedic Sanskrit hymns of the Atharvaveda Paippalāda. They will have improved their reading ability in Vedic Sanskrit (from basic to advanced phrases depending on their previous experience with Sanskrit). They will also have gained core notions of the ritual background of the hymns and of their general cultural context.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method


The course will be assessed through participation (taking turns translating during class) and a take-home translation and analysis assignment at the end of the semester.


50% for participation; 50% take-home assignment (graded 1-10).


If a student fails the take-home assignment, a new one will be given as a resit.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Grammar for consultation: Macdonell, Arthur Anthony. A Vedic Grammar for Students (Oxford: Clarendon, 1916; or any of the numerous reprints).

Basic dictionary: Monier-Williams, Sir Monier. A Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Searchable online (

Read introductions and use the indices verborum to the translations as glossaries:

Lubotsky, Alexander. 2002. Atharvaveda-Paippalāda, Kāṇḍa Five: Text, Translation, Commentary. Columbia (Miss.): South Asia Books [Harvard Oriental Series, Opera Minora 4]. (Pdf available on the author’s Researchgate page:

Griffiths, Arlo. 2009. The Paippalāda-Saṁhitā of the Atharvaveda. Kāṇḍas 6 and 7. A New Edition with Translation and Commentary. Groningen: Egbert Forsten [Groningen Oriental Studies 22]. (Pdf available on the author’s Academia page:

The syllabi, additional reading material, and the texts to be read together in class will be provided during the course.


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory


For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar

For questions related to the content of the course, please contact the lecturer, you can find their contact information by clicking on their name in the sidebar.

For questions regarding enrollment please contact the Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

For questions regarding your studyprogress contact the Coordinator of Studies