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Conundrums in Indology. I. The Snake-Eating Camel (karabha)

Pages 365 - 395


Ever since Ettinghausen's thorough investigation published in 1955, the snake-eating stag has been accepted in literature and the visual arts as a motif with an Eastern migration background. It became widespread in the West, featuring in many genres from classical antiquity to Christian allegorical representations. Newly discovered textual evidence from India, where the camel takes on the snake-eating role, in tandem with observations reported from other parts of the world, provide the cumulative evidence required to demonstrate that ruminant even-toed ungulates in fact also behave as carnivores, should the occasion present itself, despite their reputation of being herbivores. Snakes, in particular, feature as a culinary delight on their menu.

Halle (Saale)

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42 Kuṭṭ = (Kuṭṭanīmatam).

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57 IV. Das Vierte Buch. Sthitiprakaraṇa. Kritische Edition von S. Krause-Stinner und P. Stephan. Wiesbaden 2012.

58 V. Das Fünfte Buch. Upaśāntiprakaraṇa. Kritische Edition von S. Krause-Stinner und P. Stephan. Wiesbaden 2013.

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61 IV. Der Weg zur Befreiung. Das Vierte Buch. Das Buch über das Dasein. Übersetzung von R. Steiner. Wiesbaden 2013.

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