Indo-Aryan im/e-migration (scholarly debate)

Edwin Bryant ebryant at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Sat Mar 21 02:36:24 UTC 1998

On Tue, 17 Mar 1998, Jan E.M. Houben wrote:

> the Aryan-Invasion theory in the strong sense of the term is not any more
> seriously defended by Indologists for the last so many decades (Edwin Bryant,
> am I right?).
> They are combating an outdated theory which modern scholars do not take serious
> any more. They are positively wrong in suggesting that modern Indologists are
> still defending the very theories which Max Mueller and others suggested more

You are right that no serious scholar talks of invasions anymore (although
see Allchin as late as 1993 in Possehl's "Harappan Civilization").
However, we should be aware that many people (including scholars in many
universities in India) do not have access to state-of-the-art material
such as your "Ideology and Status of Sanskrit" volume, or Erdosy, etc
(except in a few universities, and even then, maybe). Many people in India
*are* still reading Muller--he *is* still being reprinted--you can buy
him in any Indological bookstore.

Also, even though people are talking about linguistic migrations,
nowadays, and not invasions, most of the infrastructure for the idea that
these Indo-Aryans came from outside the subcontinent was put in place
decaades ago when scholars *were* talking of invasions.  Hence it is easy
(and perhaps understandable) for people who have taken it upon themselves
to critique this infrastructure to utilize the same terms as are used in
such sources.  Best, Edwin Bryant.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list