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The Rigveda and The Avesta: The Final Evidence

Shrikant G. Talageri (Author)
Synopsis The location of the Original Homeland of the Indo-European family of languages is the single most significant unresolved problem in the study of World History today. This is because it is the most important family of languages in terms of the number of primary as well as secondary speakers. As also in terms of geographical spread, ethnic diversity, and political and economic clout. This family of languages has twelve branches stretching between Celtic and Germanic in the west to Tocharian (extinct0 and Indo-Aryan in the east. The question of the homeland of this diverse family has been hotly debated among linguistics, historians, archeologists and, especially in India, also among political writers of every brand. In his two earlier books, The Aryan Invasion Theory: A Reappraisal (1993) and The Rigveda: A Historical Analysis (2000), the author of this book put forward the hypothesis, backed by detailed arguments and evidence, that this Original Homeland lay in the northern parts of India, and that the other branches of Indo-European languages spread out from India to their   respective historical habitats. In this book, he presents the final case with conclusive new evidence based on a cogent interpretation of old but hitherto universally misinterpreted data. By analyzing the ancient texts in full detail, this book establishes the relative chronology of the Rigveda vis-à-vis the Avesta and the Mitanni inscriptions; the geography of the Rigveda; the internal chronology of the (different parts of) the Rigveda; and, finally, the first steps in the establishment of the absolute chronology of the Rigveda, i.e. the actual point of time BCE when the hymns of the text were composed. Moreover, it presents linguistic evidence for the Indian Homeland hypothesis as the only one that explains all the linguistic problems arising in the course of the quest for the Original Homeland. While the beginnings of the history of the Egyptian and the Mesopotamian Civilizations are known to lie at least as far back as the fourth millennium BCE on the basis of detailed decipher-able and deciphered records, the beginnings of Indian Civilization as we know it could not really be traced far earlier than the Ashokan inscriptions of the third century BCE. The earlier records, the seals of the Harappan Civilization, are not yet convincingly deciphered; neither their language nor even whether they represent a language at all. However, ironically, decipherable records have been found in West Asia, dating to the mid-second millennium BCE, which record the presence of Indo-Aryan-speakers, especially in the Mitanni kingdom. The analysis of the textual data in this book shows that the culture common to the Rigveda, the Avesta and the Mitanni records developed in northern India in the Late Rigvedic Period, and that the earlier periods, Middle Rigvedic and early Rigvedic, saw not only the Indo-Aryans but also the proto-Iranians as inhabitants of areas deeper within northern India, whence they only expanded westwards towards the end of the early Rigvedic Period. Among its far-teaching implications, this solutions of the academic question of the location of the Indo-European Homeland at once also resolves the puzzle of the Harappan Civilization's linguistic identity and takes the beginnings of India's history (as distinct from its mute prehistory, which in present discourse includes the Harrapan age) back by several thousands of years. This lends legitimacy to an interpretation of Indian history with indigenous origins going back deep into the fourth millennium BCE, and brings Indian historical traditions (excluding the interpolated mythical elements and exaggeration) as well as the Harappan civilization within the ambits of Indian Civilization as we know it.
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Bibliographic information

Title The Rigveda and The Avesta: The Final Evidence
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2008
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Aditya Prakashan
Language: English
isbn 9788177420852
length xxxviii+379p., Tables; Maps; Bibliography; Index; 23cm.