Paired Horse and PIE breakup

Yaroslav V. Vassilkov yavass at YV1041.SPB.EDU
Fri Nov 6 11:24:54 UTC 1998

Paul Kekai Manansala on Nov. 7, quoting my previous posting, wrote:

>>     Olzhas Sulejmenov whom you refer to is no linguist, no historian, no
>> anthropologist; he is a talanted and well-known Kazakh poet, who tries since
>> the late 1970-ies in a diletant's way to prove the identity of Proto-Turks
>> with Sumerians and exceptional role played by them in the world history.
>> I don't know who are Tuna and Miziev, but if I may judge from your references
>> to their works they belong to the same genre of nationalistic >"science"-fiction.

>But what of Eurocentric nationalist science-fiction?  What part did/does
>it play in untangling "Aryan" history?  I suppose you will tell us none?

        Why? I could tell a lot about "Eurocentric nationalist science-fiction".
But the thing described this way is long ago a matter of the past. Nationalists
in to-day's Europe do not think in terms of the whole continent, "Europe" is
too wide generalization for them. They claim that their particular ethnos is
the most ancient, autochtonous on the territory of their present-day national
state and surpassing all other nations in cultural and historical significance.
But the difference between East (including many post-Soviet states) and the
West is that in the West this "nationalist science-fiction" never raise up to
the level of University or Academic scholarship.
        Our post-Soviet experience here made us understand how dangerous the
"scholarly nationalism" is. All ethnic conflicts here which took thousands
of lives had been prepared by the propagandistic efforts of local
intellectuals who did everything they could to twist historical and linguistic
facts in favour of their nationalist theories.
        As for the "Eurocentric nationalist science-fiction", this phenomenon
existed in the last century and was connected, of course, with European colonial
expansion. And it participated really in forming the myth of the blonde and
blue-eyed "Aryan" warriors, invincible conquerors, who had spread the superior
"Aryan" culture to the barbarian periphery of the world. But the European
scholarship itself duscarded this naive myth long ago. The term ARYA is never
used today in the sense of "Indo-Europeans"; it is used as the definition of the
Indo-Iranian-speaking peoples, being the term they used to call themselves.
There is no more any concept of "Aryan conquest" of India or any other country -
but the very spread of the IE and II languages makes scholars consider the
migrations of IE and IIranians across Eurasia to be an established fact.
Nobody thinks any more that the culture of IE or IIranians was higher in any
aspects that the culture of their Non-IE neighbours; on the contrary, modern
scholars (so many of them Europeans by origin) demonstrated to the world the
greatness of the ancient Non-IE or pre-IE civilisations of Asia and Europe
contrasted to the barbarity of IE steppe tribes.
        Nowhere in the present-day European scholarly literature you can
find any traces of racial or ethnocentric prejudices (if you can - please
tell us, we shall discuss it). The last grotesque renaissance of
nationalistic scholarship in Europe was in Nazi Germany, and it came as a
signal for all the true scholars to banish all national prejudices and
emotions out of science.
         In fact, the Asian nationalists are "fighting" and "debating"
not with the present-day European scholars, but with "Europocentric
nationalists" of Chamberlain's kind, who have been dead,
together with their ideas, for many decades now. But this was said on
this list already so many times!
        Best wishes,
P.S. By the way, in regard to your other posting where you give a list of
common features which is to prove the almost complete identity between
cultures of Scyths and Hunnu. For nine or ten summer field seasons I had
the opportunity to take part in the excavations of a large cemetery in Tuwa
republic, South Siberia (close to Russia's Mongolian border). This cemetary
is unique in that respect that there the Hunnish burials in wooden coffins
(appr. III-I centuries BC) lay directly over the graves with the stone-cists
of the previous, Scythian period. There were even some burials showing the
very moment of cultural transition. It is a pity that you were not with us
there! It would take only a day or to for you to see clearly all the difference
between the two cultures.


Yaroslav V.Vassilkov, Ph.D.
Department of South and SE Studies
Institute of Oriental Studies
Dvortsovaya nab., 18,
St Petersburg, 191186,

Home address: Fontanka, 2,
kv. 617, St Petersburg,
191187, Russia
tel. +7 (812) 275 8179
e-mail: yavass at

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