SV: method of dating RV, III

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Oct 25 23:45:28 UTC 1998

>      This is really a problem! And the only solution I can suggest
>(highly hypotetical of course) is that the branching (which had to
>take place earlier than 2000 BC, probably in the end of the IV or in
> the IIIrd mill.) really, ...

> From R. Drews, The coming of the Greeks: The Indo-European conquests
in the Aegean and the Near East, Princeton UP, 1988:
p. 36
"The view that Proto-Indo-European (PIE) community broke up no later
than ca. 2500 B.C. depends in part some venerable assumptions about the
rate and mechanics of linguistic change. Observing that ca. 1000 B.C.
Sanskrit and Greek (as attested in the Vedas and in the Homeric epics)
had diverged quite far from each othe, nineteenth-century scholars
assumed that the dispersal of the IE race must have occured a very long
time before 1000 B.C. It was supposed that each Greek dialect
one temporal stage in the evolution of the Greek language; since several
centuries must have been required for each stage, the earliest Greek
dialect (Arcadian, Aeolic, 'Achaean', and Ionic were all possibilities)
could hardly have come into existence any later than ca. 2000 B.C.
The divergence of this original Greek from an original Sanskrit
was accordingly placed well back in the third millennium.

 Today many linguists are quite aware that linguistic change has not
always proceeded at a glacial place. In preliterate societies, language
may change rather rapidly: literature has a conservative influence
upon both vocabulary and grammar, and a people without literature
might be relatively uninhibited  in its linguistic innovation [22].
Arabic, for example, has changed less in thirteen hundred years
than some nonliterary languages have changed in the last two centuries.
It is quite certain that the rate of linguistic change for Greek
was far more rapid before Homer's time than after. The same
may have been true for Sanskrit before and after the Vedas
were composed.

A specific linguistic argument takes us much further. [...]
it also suggests that the splintering of the PIE community
may have been an event of the second millennium rather than the
third (to say nothing of the fourth and fifth millennium dates posited
in Gimbutas's thesis) ..."


As a conclusion, Prof. Drews writes: (p. 225)

"The "'coming of the Greeks', like the other IE movements for
which we have some documentation, occured no earlier than
ca. 1600 B.C. And it was essentially a takeover of a relatively
large alien population  by a relatively small group of PIE speakers,
whose advantage lay in their chariotry".

This book plus the other book by Drews (The end of the bronze age:
changes in warfare and the catastrophe ca. 1200 B.C.)
are highly relevant for anyone interested in Aryan migrations.
They talk about horses, bits, chariots, Aryans, IE, PIE & so on.
For example, given the absence of horse in myth and ritual
in IVC, it will be a problem to reconcile the assertion that
horse-centered Aryans'  were dominantly present in IVC.

N. Ganesan

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