New Message (aryan invasion)

thompson at thompson at
Thu Dec 12 14:26:28 UTC 1996

Dear Edwin,

I'm sure that we both want to avoid repeating ourselves, and that we both
hope that those who are more informed than we are might not be too tired of
entering into this issue yet again.

Yes, let's put "crude nationalistic fantasies" aside, not only because
overcoming them is impossible, but also because the real issue is not about
Aryans, indigenous or otherwise, nor about the invasion or migrations of
this or that people.  The issue is about *a language* [let's call it
"Vedic" instead of "Sanskrit": the term saMskRta isn't applied to this
language, I believe, until after the Vedic period was over [in fact by
PANini -- cf., e.g., P. Thieme, Kleine Schriften, pp.612f.].  The reason
that archaeology is, in my view, irrelevant here is that we are not, or
rather *should* not be, concerned with traces of a people or migration, but
rather with the migration of a language.

If this distinction is kept in mind, further discussion might be useful.

Best wishes,

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