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Old December 6th, 2012, 06:44 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by unmai53 View Post
Sorry friend, you are wrong. The oldest stone inscription so far found in India is THE KIRNAR STONE INSCRIPTION and the period of inscription is A.D 150. There were no other inscription that have been found and this is according to the information furnished by Archaeological survey of India. Check it once again.
The Kirnar (Girnar) stone inscription is the oldest SANSKRIT inscription. There are inscriptions that are accepted to be older, just not in Sanskrit. On the same stone there is an inscription of Asoka, which is not in Sanskrit, and an inscription from a Gupta king.

From what I can tell, the oldest inscriptions in India seem to be those of Asoka, which are currently dated to around the 3rd century B.C.E.

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According to most scholars, the earliest deciphered epigraphic inscriptions are the Ashoka inscriptions of the 3rd century BCE, written in a form of Prakrit, with Dravidian language Jain inscriptions appearing soon afterwards in Sri Lanka and South India (Tamil Brahmi, Bhattiprolu script). Some scholars have made claims for earlier appearances (6th to 4th century BCE) of small written fragments on South Indian potsherds, but these are as of yet not generally accepted. Writing in Sanskrit (Epigraphical Hybrid Sanskrit, EHS) appears only later, in the early centuries AD.[1] Early Indian epigraphy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
So the oldest Indian inscriptions are far more recent than the oldest Egyptian, Assyrian, Jewish, or even Latin inscriptions. A number of scholars believe that literacy was not re-established in India until after the Persia invasion of India, assuming that the untranslated IVC script is in fact a true written language. (There are some scholars who do not believe the IVC script is a written language, which would explain why no one has been able to decipher it yet.) Compared to western societies such as Egypt, Assyria, or even Rome, literacy came late to India.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 07:50 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Bart Dale View Post
The Kirnar (Girnar) stone inscription is the oldest SANSKRIT inscription. There are inscriptions that are accepted to be older, just not in Sanskrit. On the same stone there is an inscription of Asoka, which is not in Sanskrit, and an inscription from a Gupta king.

From what I can tell, the oldest inscriptions in India seem to be those of Asoka, which are currently dated to around the 3rd century B.C.E.



So the oldest Indian inscriptions are far more recent than the oldest Egyptian, Assyrian, Jewish, or even Latin inscriptions. A number of scholars believe that literacy was not re-established in India until after the Persia invasion of India, assuming that the untranslated IVC script is in fact a true written language. (There are some scholars who do not believe the IVC script is a written language, which would explain why no one has been able to decipher it yet.) Compared to western societies such as Egypt, Assyria, or even Rome, literacy came late to India.
while your second part was okay as number of scholars really believe such things but you are so so wrong as regards girnar being oldest sanskrit inscription.


i give you benefit of doubt as only people who say that girnar inscription is oldest sanskrit inscription are christians ( bigots of them not majority ) and all responsible western historians have agreed that it is ghosundi inscription of rajasthan that is oldest sanskrit inscription and dated to 100 BC .


so if you have any acaedemic backing to prove that ghosundi inscription is not oldest sanskrit inscription , tell me and i will look at such scholars .

and please tell me scholars who are professors of epigraphy and such and not Wendy Doniger type.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 07:54 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Bart Dale View Post
The Kirnar (Girnar) stone inscription is the oldest SANSKRIT inscription. There are inscriptions that are accepted to be older, just not in Sanskrit. On the same stone there is an inscription of Asoka, which is not in Sanskrit, and an inscription from a Gupta king.

From what I can tell, the oldest inscriptions in India seem to be those of Asoka, which are currently dated to around the 3rd century B.C.E.
Oldest accepted ones, upto now, anyway.

There are some inscriptions that may be older, if all the evidence comes in the way it's expected, like a few Tamil Brahmi ones dated to 4th or 5th BCE.

My problem with the Ashokan hypothesis is that after 1500 years of nothing, we suddenly see a full script emerging out of nowhere. Nothing like the long evolution that Sumerian, Egyptian or Phoenician script went through. Some people propose an Aramaic origin, but when Ashokan script appears, the letter order is already different from Aramaic (as far as I can make out).

I feel that the script must have evolved a little earlier - maybe as early as 6th or 7th centuries, but committed to stone only later. Birch bark or palmyra wouldn't last long enough to be detectable.

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So the oldest Indian inscriptions are far more recent than the oldest Egyptian, Assyrian, Jewish, or even Latin inscriptions. A number of scholars believe that literacy was not re-established in India until after the Persia invasion of India, assuming that the untranslated IVC script is in fact a true written language. (There are some scholars who do not believe the IVC script is a written language, which would explain why no one has been able to decipher it yet.) Compared to western societies such as Egypt, Assyria, or even Rome, literacy came late to India.
IVC is untranslated, but that doesn't mean that it's not language. There are currently four hypotheses: 1) Not a script representing a language. 2) Some unknown language. 3) Dravidian origin and 4) Sanskrit origin. As far as I can see, the "not a script" idea has been generally rejected based on statistical analysis and the like, though there are a few scholars who do propose it even today. Needless to say, this is controversial even in research circles, leave alone popular culture...
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Old December 6th, 2012, 08:07 PM   #74
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Oldest accepted ones, upto now, anyway.

There are some inscriptions that may be older, if all the evidence comes in the way it's expected, like a few Tamil Brahmi ones dated to 4th or 5th BCE.

My problem with the Ashokan hypothesis is that after 1500 years of nothing, we suddenly see a full script emerging out of nowhere. Nothing like the long evolution that Sumerian, Egyptian or Phoenician script went through. Some people propose an Aramaic origin, but when Ashokan script appears, the letter order is already different from Aramaic (as far as I can make out).

I feel that the script must have evolved a little earlier - maybe as early as 6th or 7th centuries, but committed to stone only later. Birch bark or palmyra wouldn't last long enough to be detectable.



IVC is untranslated, but that doesn't mean that it's not language. There are currently four hypotheses: 1) Not a script representing a language. 2) Some unknown language. 3) Dravidian origin and 4) Sanskrit origin. As far as I can see, the "not a script" idea has been generally rejected based on statistical analysis and the like, though there are a few scholars who do propose it even today. Needless to say, this is controversial even in research circles, leave alone popular culture...
i must say that your views are same as mine .

though i am sad to say that you left my most precious contribution to your knowledge ( if i have made any , hihi ) and that is about Nearchus, the naval commander of alexander who saw indians writing on cotton as early as 325 bc at a time when ashoka was not born.

that effectively kills all such ashokan hypothesis of SR Goyal and R Nagaswamy .
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Old December 6th, 2012, 09:14 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by avantivarman View Post
i must say that your views are same as mine .

though i am sad to say that you left my most precious contribution to your knowledge ( if i have made any , hihi ) and that is about Nearchus, the naval commander of alexander who saw indians writing on cotton as early as 325 bc at a time when ashoka was not born.

that effectively kills all such ashokan hypothesis of SR Goyal and R Nagaswamy .
I was summarising, of course. But yes, thanks for that contribution. That's the one that pushed me over the edge - I don't think Ashoka as the starting point is viable anymore, after that. Between this and Arthashastra, it's definite that some writing existed during Chanakya's time.

Megasthenes is problematic, because what we have of him are quoted fragments - often not even direct quotes. We don't know what exactly he wrote.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 09:55 PM   #76

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Originally Posted by avantivarman View Post
that is about Nearchus, the naval commander of alexander who saw indians writing on cotton as early as 325 bc at a time when ashoka was not born.

that effectively kills all such ashokan hypothesis of SR Goyal and R Nagaswamy .
very Interesting ..
where did you get this ?
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Old December 6th, 2012, 10:10 PM   #77
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very Interesting ..
where did you get this ?
in a hindi book maurya samrajya ka itihas .
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Old December 6th, 2012, 11:20 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by manas teja View Post
very Interesting ..
where did you get this ?
I've found it elsewhere too... I can look up the refs if you like.

EDIT: Even Mueller quotes this.

Quote:
But writing for commercial purposes was known in India before that time. Megasthenes was no doubt quite right when he said that the Indians did not know letters,[268] that their laws were not written, and that they administered justice from memory. But Nearchus, the admiral of Alexander the Great, who sailed down the Indus (325 b.c.), and was therefore brought in contact [226]with the merchants frequenting the maritime stations of India, was probably equally right in declaring that "the Indians wrote letters on cotton that had been well beaten together." These were no doubt commercial documents, contracts, it may be, with Phenician or Egyptian captains, and they would prove nothing as to the existence in India at that time of what we mean by a written literature. In fact, Nearchus himself affirms what Megasthenes said after him, namely that "the laws of the sophists in India were not written." If, at the same time, the Greek travellers in India speak of mile-stones, and of cattle marked by the Indians with various signs and also with numbers, all this would perfectly agree with what we know from other sources, that though the art of writing may have reached India before the time of Alexander's conquest, its employment for literary purposes cannot date from a much earlier time.
(From "India: What can it teach us?"; I can't link to the exact spot, but you can just do a search for "Nearchus" and find this paragraph)

Last edited by shash; December 6th, 2012 at 11:31 PM. Reason: Added the actual quote
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Old December 6th, 2012, 11:42 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Bart Dale View Post
The Kirnar (Girnar) stone inscription is the oldest SANSKRIT inscription. There are inscriptions that are accepted to be older, just not in Sanskrit. On the same stone there is an inscription of Asoka, which is not in Sanskrit, and an inscription from a Gupta king.

From what I can tell, the oldest inscriptions in India seem to be those of Asoka, which are currently dated to around the 3rd century B.C.E.



So the oldest Indian inscriptions are far more recent than the oldest Egyptian, Assyrian, Jewish, or even Latin inscriptions. A number of scholars believe that literacy was not re-established in India until after the Persia invasion of India, assuming that the untranslated IVC script is in fact a true written language. (There are some scholars who do not believe the IVC script is a written language, which would explain why no one has been able to decipher it yet.) Compared to western societies such as Egypt, Assyria, or even Rome, literacy came late to India.
Had it not been for the Rosetta Stone, Egypt's script would have never been deciphered and
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Old December 6th, 2012, 11:43 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart Dale View Post
The Kirnar (Girnar) stone inscription is the oldest SANSKRIT inscription. There are inscriptions that are accepted to be older, just not in Sanskrit. On the same stone there is an inscription of Asoka, which is not in Sanskrit, and an inscription from a Gupta king.

From what I can tell, the oldest inscriptions in India seem to be those of Asoka, which are currently dated to around the 3rd century B.C.E.



So the oldest Indian inscriptions are far more recent than the oldest Egyptian, Assyrian, Jewish, or even Latin inscriptions. A number of scholars believe that literacy was not re-established in India until after the Persia invasion of India, assuming that the untranslated IVC script is in fact a true written language. (There are some scholars who do not believe the IVC script is a written language, which would explain why no one has been able to decipher it yet.) Compared to western societies such as Egypt, Assyria, or even Rome, literacy came late to India.
Had it not been for the Rosetta Stone, Egypt's script would have never been deciphered and ppl would be telling you today they didn't think it was a written language. The fact that the sequence is predictable at times suggests that it is a language.
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