MS 2097
Description MS in Sanskrit on paper, India, early 19th c., 4 vols., 795 ff. (complete), 10x20 cm, single column, (7x17 cm), 10 lines in Devanagari script with deletions in yellow, Vedic accents, corrections etc in red.
Binding India, 19th c., blind-stamped brown leather, gilt spine, sewn on 5 cords, marbled endleaves
Context See also MS 2162, 2163 and 2164, grammar, commentary and performance manual on the RigVeda
Provenance 1. Eames Collection, Chicago, no. 1956; 2. Newberry Library, Chicago, ORMS 960 (acq.no. 152851-152854) (ca. 1920-1994); 3. Sam Fogg cat. 17(1996):42.
Commentary The Rigveda-Samhita is the only surviving recension of the oldest ritual hymns of India. It consists of 1028 hymns, largely organised by subject/matter. It is an anthology collected from the larger number of hymns in use in the many priestly families of ancient India. The language in which hymns were composed is the form of Aryan which was spoken around 1000 BC. Modern scholars think that the corpus of texts was organised in its present textual and linguistic form around 600 BC, but was further orally transmitted from master to pupil until ca. 300-200 BC, when it was finally committed to writing. The Vedas (knowledge) is regarded as the source of Hinduism, directly heard at the beginning of the world-cycle by rishis or inspired sages, and is still a living part of Hinduism. The archaic linguistic forms are the most valuable source for the investigation of the oldest stages of the Indo-European languages, as Homeric Greek and Hittite. 

The text preserves a stage of Indian religion quite different from modern Hinduism, the rituals being centred on animal sacrifice and the consumption of Soma, an intoxicating drink, and the pantheon being that of Indo-European steppe-dwellers.
Place of origin India
Dates Early 19th Century