method of dating RV, III

Bijoy Misra bmisra at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Mon Oct 19 11:40:29 UTC 1998

On Sun, 18 Oct 1998, George Thompson wrote:

> In response to the recent remarks of Yaroslav Vassilkov:
> I think that a couple of assumptions are being made here which need to be
> examined.
> Vedic is older than the language of the ZAkas. To say that the Scyths
> "emerged" in the 8th cent BCE means only that somebody started to notice
> them at that point. I see no reason to assume that the Scythian language,
> like proto-Latin and proto-German, did not exist during the Vedic period.
> Of course it did, even if we have no direct record of it.

While I don't claim to be a scholar on the topic, intuitive statement
like above bother me.  Many of the nationalistic research gets guided
through such unfounded empiricism and they get further.  I would urge
that we avoid speculations that we cannot prove.

Somehow the rest of the reasoning sounds shallow to me from the same
point of view.  We must by all means differentiate between opinions
and research.  Methods of research are as important as findings that
may be arrived at, sometimes more..

- BM

> When I close my eyes and imagine what this ancestor of pRthuzravas actually
> might have looked like, given the scanty description in RV 8.46, I see a
> cultural figure that is closer in form [dress, customs, cultural outlook,
> etc.] to Scythian than to, say, Gangetic. Perhaps my imagination is wrong.
> But what I know of Scythian culture is frequently reminiscent of what I
> know of Vedic. This would be worth talking about some more.

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