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Oldest Books in the World

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Oldest Books in the World - Lesson Summary

One of the oldest books in the world, Rig Veda is a part of the four sacred texts of Hinduism called Veda. There are four Vedas in all namely Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and the Atharva Veda.
The Rig Veda was composed around 3,500 years ago and comprises 1,028 hymns, called ‘Suktas’ which means well-said in English.

Rig Veda was initially learned orally as the printed of the same came only 200 years ago. The hymns are to praise God and Goddesses, chiefly Agni, god of fire, Indra, warrior God and Soma, god representing sacred potion.

Rig Veda is written in Vedic Sanskrit, which belongs to the Indo-European family of languages. The hymns are written like dialogues between humans or humans and elements of nature. Apart from gods, Rig Veda also comprises prayers for horses, cattle and children, especially sons.

Horses are mentioned in the hymns as they were used in the battlefields by being attached to the chariots.  The battles were fought to capture cattle, land, water and people to serve as slaves. The army concept was not prevalent then, so all men fought in the battles.


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