Re: Indo-European Studies

Gerold Firl (
7 Jul 1995 15:55:16 -0700

In article <3tk47a$> (Raghu Seshadri) writes:

>I agree you make a plausible case, but the Veda is
>quite descriptive of Aryan travels within India; not
>the mark of the history and geography illiterates
>you theorize about. Why did they record details of
>inter-Indian travel, but not the ones outside it ?

My knowledge of the vedas is very sketchy; where are these travels
mentioned? Are you sure it isn't in the upanishads or bramanas? These
verses were composed long after the rig veda.

In any case, the migration down from the passes of the hindu kush was
*long* before anything was written down. Within a few generations, such
memories get very vague. I have always pictured the myths of the battles
between the aryans gods and the dark-skinned demons as allegories of the IE
conquest, but now that you mention it, I'm not sure whether there is a
sense that the demons had been here first, and the gods arriving later.

If you think about the kind of maps which existed in ancient times, you can
get a feel for the lack of geographical perspective which existed back
then. People had only the vaguest notion of distance. The valley of the
ganges was large enough to seem like a world unto itself. Beyond that was
terra incognita, and memory of having travelled through it quickly
submerged into the dreamscape of myth. By the time literacy was adopted, it
felt like india had been the vedic homeland forever. Some people still feel
that way. %^)

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf