Wales Professor of Sanskrit, Harvard University (1987-)

Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2003)

Honorary member, German Oriental Society (Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft) (2009)

Cabot Fellow, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard U. (2013)


Michael Witzel                                                              
Department of South Asian Studies (until July 2011: Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies)
1 Bow Street, 3rd fl., Cambridge, MA 02138, USA                        
phones (general) : x-1-617-495 3295, 617-496 8570 -- fax 496 8571-- direct line 496 2990. 

President, ASLIP (1999-), & IACM (2006-): Association for the Study of Language in Prehistory ASLIP; International Association for Comparative Mythology IACM
Indo-Eurasian_research group     http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Indo-Eurasian_research
Comparative Mythology group    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/compmyth
ASLIP's MTLR discussion list: - MTLR@yahoogroups.com

(home page since 6/24/1996)

Curriculum Vitae   

List of Publications  (update Nov. 2015)

See also Academia.edu: https://harvard.academia.edu /MichaelWitzel; -- Harvard's DASH: https://dash.harvard.edu/browse?authority=443876ea2a35c783d7f5969233dd99f5&type=harvardAuthor --- and Satya Bathula's site: www.michaelwitzel.org.


Homa Variations. The study of ritual change across the Longue Durée.
Edited by Richard K. Payne and Michael Witzel.
New York: Oxford University Press 2016.(distrib. Nov. 2015)

Agnihotra Rituals in Nepal. In: Richard K. Payne and Michael Witzel (eds.). Homa Variations. The study of ritual change across the Longue Durée. New York: Oxford University Press 2016: 371-406.

Textual criticism in Indology and in European philology during the 19th and 20th centuries. Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies (EJVS), Vol. 21, 2014 Issue 3, p. 9-90.
©) ISSN1084–75613 http://www.ejvs.laurasianacademy.com & http://crossasia-journals.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/index.php/ejvs/index

Ershi shiji de xifang wenxianxue – yi yinduxue wei zhongxin de heigu. [Philology in the 19th and 20th centuries, with special reference to Indology; in Chinese]. In: Gujing lunheng. Disquisitions on the Past and Present 26, 116-150. (Teipeh) June 2014.

Mitanni Indo-Aryan Mazda and the Date of the Rgveda. In The Complex Heritage of Early India. Essays in Memory of R.S. Sharma. Edited by D.N. Jha, 73-96. New Delhi: Manohar 2014.

Marching East, with a detour: The cases of Jimmu, Videgha Mâthava and Moses. In:  Klaus Antoni, David Weiß (Eds.) Sources of Mythology. Ancient and Contemporary Myths. Proceedings of the Seventh Annual International Conference on Comparative Mythology (15-17 May 2013, Tübingen. (Religionswissenschaft: Forschung und Wissenschaft Bd. 12) 2014, pp. 280, ISBN 978-3-643-90475-1

The Origins of the World's Mythologies. Oxford University Press -- March 2012. (Publisher's announcement) (cover) (blurb) See announcement in: Laurasian Academy.

Some reviews:

F.M. Smith. The Paleolithic Turn: Michael Witzel's Theory of Laurasian Mythology. Frederick M. SmithReligious Studies Review › Vol 39 Issue 3‎. -- Article first published online: 16 SEP 2013. DOI: 10.1111/rsr.12047.http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/rsr.12047/abstract

Carole M. Cusack. In:Journal of Religious History. Sept. 2013. Volume 37, Issue 3,416-417. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9809.12061

Nick Allen. Comparing mythologies on a global scale: review article of E.J. Michael Witzel, The origins of the world's mythologies. JASO 6/1: 99-103. http://www.isca.ox.ac.uk/fileadmin/ISCA/JASO/2014/Allen.pdf

Stéphane Foucart in: Le Monde http://www.lemonde.fr/culture/article/2014/03/13/il-etait-une-fois-les-mythes_4382701_3246.html?xtmc=dans_les_reves_de_cro_magnon&xtcr=1

Steve Connor. How did our legends really begin? in: The Independent. 29.7.2014 http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/how-did-our-legends-really-begin-9634148.html

Vaclav Blazek. Book Review In: Mother Tongue XIX, 2014, 223-228.

Some Amazon comments:

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/gp/dp/member-reviews/A1GBCARB6KU5DU/ref=pdp_new_read_full_review_link?ie=UTF8&page=1&sort_by=MostRecentReview#R111KUJFMZXJH


Rig-Veda. Das heilige Wissen. Erster und zweiter Liederkreis. Aus dem vedischen Sanskrit übersetzt und herausgegeben von Michael Witzel und Toshifumi Gotô unter Mitarbeit von Eijiro Doyama und Mislav Jezic.  Frankfurt: Verlag der Weltreligionen. 2007, pp. 1-889.
(First complete translation of the Rgveda into a western language since Geldner's of 1929/1951). cover contents1 contents2    amazon.de

Rig-Veda Vol. II (Rigveda III-V), Dec. 2013 (M.Witzel, Toshifumi Goto, Salvatore Scarlata)

Das Alte Indien.2nd edition 2010 [History of Old India]. München: C.H. Beck Wissen in der Beck'schen Reihe]. (Euro 8.95) [Contents]. Slightly updated edition of ditto, 2003.]

Gandhâra and the formation of the Vedic and Zoroastrian canons. Traveaux de symposium international. Le Livre. La Roumanie. L’Europe. Troisième edition, 20-24 Septembre 2010. Tome III. Etudes euro- et afro-asiatiques. Bucharest: Bibliothèque de Bucarest 2011: 490- 532. Text of complete book:http://www.bibliotecametropolitana.ro/Uploads/Simpozionul%20International_Cartea_Romania_Europa_III_V3_mic.pdf

Origin and development of Language in South Asia: Phylogeny VS Epigenetics? JBiosci. 34 (Indian Academy of Sciences), 2011http://www.ias.ac.in/jbiosci/@

Pan-Gaean Flood Myths: Gondwana myths –and beyond. In: New Perspectives on Myth. Proceedings of the Second Annual Conference of the International Association for Comparative Mythology, Ravenstein (The Netherlands) 19-21 August 2008, ed. W. J.M. van Binsbergen and Eric Venbrux. PIP-TraCS No. 5, Haarlem 2010: 225-242 See: http://www.iacm.bravehost.com/Witzel%20PanGaeanFloodmyths.pdf

Siberian and South Eurasian shamanism: Their distinct methods of change of consciousness. Social Sciences Information (Paris). 2010 . Cf.:http://www.classics.jp/GSH/GSH_Eng/5th_sympo_information.html

Selection of some PREVIOUS PUBLICATIONS, for a full list see: List of Publications.pdf

Moving Targets? Texts, language, archaeology, and history in the Late Vedic and early Buddhist periods.Indo-Iranian Journal 52, 2009, 287-310

The linguistic history of some Indian domestic plants. Journal of BioSciences 34 (6) December 2009. Indian Academy of Sciences.
http://www.ias.ac.in/jbiosci/dec2009/contents.htm -- Full text: http://www.ias.ac.in/jbiosci/dec2009/Witzel_fulltext.pdf

Chuo Ajia Shinwa to Nihon Shinwa [Central Asian Mythology and Japanese Mythology; in Japanese], Annual Report of the Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics, Kokugakuin University. Heisei 21, (Sept. 2009), 85-96

Myths and Consequences. Review of Stefan Arvidsson, Indo-European Mythology as Ideology and Science. (Chicago University Press 2006). Science, vol. 317, 28 September 2007, 1868-1869 (Manuscript Number: 1141619).  http://www. sciencemag.org Summary; Full Text

Out of Africa: the Journey of the Oldest Tales of Humankind. In: Generalized Science of Humanity Series, Vol. I: . Tokyo: Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa 2006: 21-65

Rama's Realm: Indocentric Rewritings of Early South Asian Archaeology and History.  In: Archaeological Fantasies. How Pseudoarchaeology Misrepresents the Past and Misleads the Public,  ed. by G. G. Fagan.London/New York: Routledge 2006: 203-232 --  Discussion by  Colin Renfrew

Memories of a Hindu Nepal: Accounts of a Personal Journey. Swadharma.  Harvard’s Hinduism Journal, I, May 2006:18-24 

The Collapse of the Indus-Script Thesis: The Myth of a Literate Harappan Civilization
by  Steve Farmer, Richard Sproat, and Michael Witzel  EJVS 11-2  Dec. 13, 2005)
Discussion in SCIENCE MAGAZINE  306, Dec. 17., 2004, 2026-2029

Linguistic Evidence for Cultural Exchange in Prehistoric Western Central Asia.
Philadelphia: pdf.. Sino-Platonic Papers 129,  2003

Autochthonous Aryans? The Evidence from Old Indian and Iranian Texts. EJVS May 2001 pdf

Early Sources for South Asian Substrate Languages.Boston: Mother Tongue, extra number 1999 pdf

Early Sanskritization. Origins and development of the Kuru State. B. Kölver (ed.). Recht, Staat und Verwaltung im klassischen Indien. The state, the Law, and Administration in Classical India. München : R. Oldenbourg 1997 : 27-52 pdf (EJVS version); early summary, Kyoto 1989

Early Indian History: Linguistic and Textual Parameters. in: Language, Material Culture and ethnicity. The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia, ed. G. Erdosy, Berlin/New York: de Gruyter 1995, 85-125; --  Rgvedic history: poets, chieftains and politics,  loc.cit. 307-352 combined pdf (uncorrected)


* Four October Conferences at Harvard (Oct. 2-9, 2010): Homa ritual (from India to Japan); 14th ESCA Round Table; Radcliffe Exploratory Seminar on Comparative mythology; 4th IACM Conference on Comparative Mythology

* Project on Substrate Languages of South Asia (SARVA) in collaboration with F. Southworth and the Institute for the Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA), Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS), 2004-
-  Starting point: CDIAL's starred items (reconstructed OIA words not attested in texts)
SARVA utilities:  Turner's CDIAL and Burrow-Emeneau's  DEDR (searchable simultaneously); SARVA dictionary; discussion lists.

* Harvard Round Tables on the Ethnogenesis of South And Central Asia, 1-14 (1999-2010)

*  Project on Comparative Mythology (sponsored by: Asia Center, Harvard, 2003-6); description, result


* Vedic Hinduism by S. Jamison & M. Witzel (1992) pdf  (General introduction to the Veda:  texts, myths, ritual,  religion; see same in ). For a short version see ditto, Univ. of S. Carolina Press 2003 (mwbib.pdf no. 95)

*  Harappan Civilization & The Veda: Debate in the THE HINDU, OPEN PAGE  (Jan. 2002 Jan. 2004)

OPINION PAGES: OUTLOOK (2000-1) and FRONTLINE (2000): Horseplay in Harappa; in HINDI; THE HINDU (2002/3)

*  Rückspiegel  -- PRATIBIMBA -- Rear View Mirror

* Coming soon: Looking back at the California History Schoolbook Affair, 2005-2009


          This page is under periodical revisision. Please check back for updates from time to time.