in short : is the equation ὄφις Πύθων == अहि बुध्न्य
ahi budʰnya widely accepted by scholars ?
Python and Ahi Budhnya/Ahirbudhnya are both a famous serpent, the first one in the Greek mythology, the second one in the Veda(b).
full details :
I have two questions about Watkins' How to kill a dragon, chapter 47 where I read the following statement, first equated by Vladimir Toporov in 1974(a) : the words Πύθων
pȳ́tʰon and बुध्न्य
budʰn-ya share the same IE origin, namely *bʰudʰ- with a "perfectly regular"(c) application of well-known phonological rules, including the "Grassmann's aspiration dissimilation"(c) law.
* bʰudʰ- → (Greek) pʰutʰ- → putʰ- * bʰudʰ- → (Vedic) bʰudʰ- → budʰ-
The vedic word बुध्न
budʰna means "the bottom" (see e.g. the text (b)). Watkins considers that both words represent "a relic"(c) of an IE mythological monster, the "*ogʰi- bʰudʰ-"(d) one. Moreover, it's obviously true as Watking recalls it, that *ogʰi- (and similar forms) is the well-known root explaining at once ὄφις and अहि.
Up to this point there's nothing to say against these hypothesis. But I would like to discuss two details :
what about the IE root *bʰudʰn- ? Watkins describes it as a doublet, connected with another root *dʰubʰ- (Slavic dЪno, Russian dno, "bottom"). It's exactly what I read here, s.v. dheub. But except the Vedic word, is there any other relic of *bʰudʰn- ?
the upsilon being long in Πύθων but short in budʰnya, Watkins gives the following explanation : "The long ū in Πύ̄θων, not mentioned by Toporov, is doubtless due to expressive lenghtening, like the ū in Greek κλῦθι 'hear!' (Ved. śrudhi), West Germanic *hlūd ('loud') Greek (κλυτός)"(e).
Why not ? But one page further I read the following statement about another Greek word with whom a parallel is established, Typhōn : "The quantity of the u varies: the etymological short in Typhaōn, Typhōeus, the expressively lengthened ū in Typhōn, Typhōs"(f). Is there any other example of such a variation of vowel length within the relics of an IE root ?
(a) Toporov, 1974, ΠYΘΩΝ, Ahi Budhnya, Badjak i dr. Etimologija
(b) RigVedia, 7.34.16 and 17 :
अब्जामुक्थैरहिं गृणीषे बुध्ने नदीनां रजस्सु षीदन् ॥१६॥ मा नोऽहिर्बुध्न्यो रिषे धान्मा यज्ञो अस्य स्रिधदृतायोः ॥१७॥ abjāmukthairahiṃ gṛṇīṣe budhne nadīnāṃ rajassu ṣīdan ॥16॥ mā no'hirbudhnyo riṣe dhānmā yajño asya sridhadṛtāyoḥ ॥17॥ Watkin's translations (How to kill a dragon, page 460) : With songs I praise the water-born serpent sitting in darkness in the depths of the rivers. May the Serpent of the Deep not bring us to harm; may the worship of this (singer) who seeks truth not go wrong.
(c) Waktins, How to kill a dragon, p.460
(d) Waktins, How to kill a dragon, p.460
(e) Waktins, How to kill a dragon, p.461
(f) Waktins, How to kill a dragon, p.462