||This thesis aims to present a new critical edition of the first section (anuvāka) of book (kāṇḍa) 17 of the Atharvaveda Paippalāda, a corpus of religious hymns and magical incantations dated to the late second millenium BCE, which furnish the second-oldest body of Vedic Indian literature to survive to the present day. This thesis focuses on the first section of book 17, consisting of a great praise hymn addressed to the earth. It strives to improve the previous Indian edition (Bhattacharya 2011), by collating additional manuscript sources, providing a rigorous critical apparatus that includes all the variants found in the manuscritps, as well as an edited text based on established text-critical criteria. In addition, an analysis of the poetic meter of each verse is also provided next to each stanza, as well as a translation and detailed commentary in which I discuss the interpretation of each stanza with notes on its ritual, literary and linguistic context.
Given the limited extension of the extant corpus of Vedic texts, the edition of a new text is of extreme importance, as it not only adds new information to our knowledge of the Vedic language, but also furnishes new precious linguistic material for the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European and the study of the history of its Indo-Iranian branch. Moreover, the acquisition of a philologically reliable version of such a text is a fundamental step towards any future anthropological or religious study on ancient Vedic India.