The Abdominal Sides as Containers: Some Indo-Aryan and Iranian Denominations

In: Iran and the Caucasus
Author: Ela Filippone1
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  • 1 Tuscia University

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On the meaning of Ved. (dual) kukṣí, a denomination for pair body parts frequently equated to bodies of water in Vedic texts, different assumptions have been made by scholars. In particular, Stephanie Jamison suggested interpreting it as “the two cheeks”, Henk Bodewitz as “the two sides of the body”. The present paper supports Bodewitz’ claim that Ved. kukṣí- was used to refer to any of the sides of the abdomen. In fact, abdominal sides may be categorised as containers of liquids. This is also proved by the denominations for the abdominal side (as distinct from the thoracic side) recorded in some Iranian languages, which may be considered as part of the legacy of the ancient theory of humours and the microcosm-macrocosm theory.

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