Bombay; London: Government Central Book Depot; Trubner and Co., 1863.
First Edition. Hardcover. This 1863 text is the first English translation of the Aitareya Brahmana, the Brahmana of the Shakala Shakha of the ancient Indian collection of sacred hymns known as the Rigveda. The Aitareya Brahmana is ascribed to Mahidasa Aitareya and dates back to between the 6th and 9th centuries BCE. This English language edition, which includes the original text in Sanskrit, is here translated, edited, and explained by the German orientalist Martin Haug (1827–1876), at the time Superintendent of Sanskrit Studies in Poona. Haug contributed several important and substantial works to the study ancient Indian and Persian literature, including Essays on the sacred language, writings and religion of the Parsees. This edition of the Aitareya Brahmana includes a fantastic fold-out plate entitled "Plan of the Sacrificial Compound at the Time of the Agnishtoma Soma Sacrifice," soma being an unidentified plant, possibly hallucinogenic, whose juice formed a fundamental offering in Vedic sacrifices.
7 1/4" X 4 1/2". Volume I: ix, 80pp in English, 295pp in Sanskrit, vi, plus fold-out plate: Plan of the Sacrificial Compound at the Time of the Agnishtoma Soma Sacrifice. Volume II: vii, 535pp plus corrigenda, all in English. Ex libris University College of North Wales, with their bookplate to front pastedowns and stamp to title pages, as well as esoteric bookplate of Xaveri Tremblay to front free endpapers and bookseller ticket to front pastedown of Volume I. Both volumes bound uniformly in green honeycomb-grain book-cloth, with boards decorated and ruled in blind and spines lettered in gilt. Moderate wear to bindings, with corners turned in and split, bumping to edges and extremities, and small tears to heads and tails of spines. Foxing to edges of text blocks. Hinges are tender and spine is visible at several junctures throughout text blocks. Bindings remain quite sound. Occasional age-toning, light foxing, or smudge to pages throughout, else unmarked. Pencilled note to rear free endpaper of Volume II. Fold-out plate to Volume I is edgeworn, foxed, and age-toned, with neat tears at folds. An admittedly worn but overall well-preserved and still quite handsome first edition, complete in two volumes. Good. Item #10942