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Divine pairs in ancient Indian scriptures: gender and stylistic expressions of dual deities in the Rgveda (Divine pairs in RV)
Start date: 01 Oct 2008, End date: 30 Sep 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project aims to investigate gender issues and stylistic patterns of divine pairs in the oldest recorded Indian text, the Rgveda. A considerable number of Vedic deities are joined together to form pairs which are expressed in a variety of linguistic constructions. These pairs will be investigated by applying an innovative methodology, combining classical Vedic philology with semiotics, and by examining the causal interconnectedness between the Vedic language and the style of the Rgveda. This research will address the divine pairs, usually of the same gender, in the Rgveda—an unexpected phenomenon from the perspective of other religions—and investigate the links between gender and the variety of stylistic paradigms for dual deities. The project will research different nominal constructions for dual deities as stylistic expressions of the poetic language of the Rgveda. The most significant outcomes of this project will be: new contributions to Vedic studies (i.e., innovative methodology, investigation of gender issues in the Vedic pantheon); publications (a monograph on Vedic dual deities; a series of journal articles and conference presentations); a strengthening of European capacity for research on ancient Indo-European texts; participation in relevant research and teaching programs in the EU and internationally. In terms of relevance for the Work Programme, this project promotes very strongly the transfer of knowledge and skills gained abroad. In addition, it offers a strategic opportunity to capitalize in Europe on research experience acquired overseas by an internationally recognized female scholar. The project will enhance lasting cooperation with Australian academic institutions and contribute to European academic excellence and competitiveness. Reintegration of this researcher into the academic communities of Europe will provide a first-class opportunity to re-import her expertise and facilitate long-term professional stability for her career in the
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