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Old June 2nd, 2014, 10:49 PM   #11

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Originally Posted by Rakshasa View Post
You mean the 'Republic of India'? NW India has always been the territory of the Caucasian scythian/Iranic ethnicities. It remains that till today. The only difference is that the Scythic Jats, gujjar-pratiharas, Hepthalite/rajputs and Brahmins eventually became 'Indian' after Brtish occupation.

Gandhara was considere foreign land during Buddha's time. In fact in brahmanic sriptures uses the term 'mlecchas' in reference to the Hunas and Scythians occupying these territories during that time the real 'indian' ethnicities were the australoid Dravidians, austro-asiayic tribes and castes who resided in the whole 'india' except north west. There was probably Not a single white skinned person residing in this realm except Brahmins or foreign travellers.
Gandhara was not considered foreign. It was included in the 16 Mahajanpadas of the Northern subcontinent, and it played an important role in the mythology of Hinduism. The lands beyond Gandhara were certainly foreign, but Taxila and the Mahajanpada itself were not
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 11:18 PM   #12

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This is a map of the ancient 16 Maha Janapada (Great Countries). As far as I understand it, Kamboja and Gandhara were Iranian speaking kingdoms or maybe confederation of kingdoms. But our friend Raksasha has also suggested that Kuru and Panchala were also 'Persian' kingdoms.

The legend of Kambujiya (purported to be the eponymous ancestor of the Kamboja nation, and from whom some scholars postulate the Achemenid kings descended) mentioned a great sword which King Kambujiya wrested from King Kuvala Shava of Panchala, which became known in Indian legend as Daivi Khadga, i.e. Divine Sword, which later was carried by Mahabhrata hero Arjuna.

Arjuna, BTW, was a descendant of Kuvala Shava, and was involved in a one to one duel with Prince Sudakh Shina, a descendant of King Kambujiya, in the Battle of Kuru Kshetra as recorded in the Mahabhrata.
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Old June 3rd, 2014, 01:59 AM   #13
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To be honest from what people are saying here it is very hard to distinguish and differentiate Persian/Iranian civilization from Indian/Aryan civilization. They seem to be a continuous culture or at least very closely related. Some points that suggest that:

Language: Sanskrit and Avestan are very linguistically close, that one could say Avestan is a dialect of Sanskrit or vis versa
Geography: Ancient India and ancient Persia seems to overlap into one another. Parts of the Eastern frontier of Persia overlap with the most Western frontier of the Maurayan empire. And Kamboja and Ghandara are considered great Indian kingdoms
Religion: Vedic religion and Zoroastrianism, same gods, same rituals
Ethnicity: Ethnicites that consider to be Indian overlap with Persian ethnicity such as the Raputs, Gujjuars and Punjabis/Sindhis. They both consider themselves Aryan.
Cultural values: The Persians were renowned for being secular, promoting freedom of thought and expression and they valued truth the highest virtue, similar values to Indian values, especially speaking truth(satya)
Army: Persian army had Indian soldiers and possibly Indian elephants in it.

There does seem to be a very ancient sibling like rivalry between "India" and "Persia" as evident from the split between Vedic religion and Zoroastrianism. In Zoroastrianism the devas become demons and the asuras become gods, in Vedic religion/Hinduism the total opposite.
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Old June 3rd, 2014, 02:05 AM   #14
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A related question, but does anybody know what the relationship between Persia and the Central Asian civilizations were like Sumerians, Mesopotamians, Assiaryans, Babylonians?

Is there any etymological connection between "Asuras" and "Sumeria"?
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Old June 3rd, 2014, 02:39 AM   #15

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A related question, but does anybody know what the relationship between Persia and the Central Asian civilizations were like Sumerians, Mesopotamians, Assiaryans, Babylonians?

Is there any etymological connection between "Asuras" and "Sumeria"?
I don't think there's any relation Asura and Sumeria. Sumeria comes from the city of Sumer - Firstly Sumerian isn't believed to be a PIE descendant though it does share some features (please don't ask me to elaborate on this, i cannot). Secondly, the original word i think is Sumeru or some variation of this, so i believe its very different from Asura, an IE word.
[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumerian_language]Sumerian language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akkadian_language]Akkadian language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

Insofar as I know, both Sumerian and Akkadian predate the IE languages, and Sumerian is an isolate language (ie, independent evolution) while Akkadian is a Semitic language. So I don't see a relation to asura/ahura. There might however be a relation between Assyria (i believe the term comes from Ashur) and Asura.

Firstly, AFAIK, the term Mesopotamian covers both Sumerians and Babylonians. I don't think Persia had any relation with the Sumerians (I'm assuming by Persians you primarily mean the Achaemenids) since it was well before their time. Persia defeated and captured the territories of Babylon and Assyria, defeating the Neo-Assyrian Empire and the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Babylon was defeated at the Battle of Opis, and it is said that Cyrus the Great issued the famous Cyrus cylinder following the conquest of Babylon.

You can read further in these sources

The Assyrians and the Persians

[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achaemenid_Assyria]Achaemenid Assyria - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

Babylon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Opis]Battle of Opis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian Empires by Sanderson Beck
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Old June 3rd, 2014, 02:42 AM   #16

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Originally Posted by Joshua A View Post
To be honest from what people are saying here it is very hard to distinguish and differentiate Persian/Iranian civilization from Indian/Aryan civilization. They seem to be a continuous culture or at least very closely related. Some points that suggest that:

Language: Sanskrit and Avestan are very linguistically close, that one could say Avestan is a dialect of Sanskrit or vis versa
Geography: Ancient India and ancient Persia seems to overlap into one another. Parts of the Eastern frontier of Persia overlap with the most Western frontier of the Maurayan empire. And Kamboja and Ghandara are considered great Indian kingdoms
Religion: Vedic religion and Zoroastrianism, same gods, same rituals
Ethnicity: Ethnicites that consider to be Indian overlap with Persian ethnicity such as the Raputs, Gujjuars and Punjabis/Sindhis. They both consider themselves Aryan.
Cultural values: The Persians were renowned for being secular, promoting freedom of thought and expression and they valued truth the highest virtue, similar values to Indian values, especially speaking truth(satya)
Army: Persian army had Indian soldiers and possibly Indian elephants in it.

There does seem to be a very ancient sibling like rivalry between "India" and "Persia" as evident from the split between Vedic religion and Zoroastrianism. In Zoroastrianism the devas become demons and the asuras become gods, in Vedic religion/Hinduism the total opposite.
The region described, is a place where there was a significant melting pot of cultures. Thus it isn't unlikely that the culture of the region assumed a mixed character. This in conjunction with the fact that Persian and Indo-Aryan cultures come from a close ancestry makes the transition much smoother as you move geographically from Persia to India. Throw in the paucity of sources and there does appear to be a seamless transition
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Old June 3rd, 2014, 05:56 PM   #17

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The legend of Kambujiya (purported to be the eponymous ancestor of the Kamboja nation, and from whom some scholars postulate the Achemenid kings descended) mentioned a great sword which King Kambujiya wrested from King Kuvala Shava of Panchala, which became known in Indian legend as Daivi Khadga, i.e. Divine Sword, which later was carried by Mahabhrata hero Arjuna.
Correction: King Kuvala Shava of Kosala
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Old June 3rd, 2014, 06:12 PM   #18

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Is there any etymological connection between "Asuras" and "Sumeria"?
IMHO, 'Asura' and 'Sumeria' would be rather distant etymologically. But there hv been suggestions that 'Asura', the name for a demon god in ancient Hindu mythology, could hv been an Indian rendition of Ashuria/Asuria, i.e. Assyria, perhaps a throwback to past ancient Assyrian invasions of the NW regions of India.
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Old June 3rd, 2014, 07:06 PM   #19

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Originally Posted by Dreamhunter View Post
IMHO, 'Asura' and 'Sumeria' would be rather distant etymologically. But there hv been suggestions that 'Asura', the name for a demon god in ancient Hindu mythology, could hv been an Indian rendition of Ashuria/Asuria, i.e. Assyria, perhaps a throwback to past ancient Assyrian invasions of the NW regions of India.
Also Asura term during Vedic era is more or less mythological in nature. Please note that Iranian texts to refer God as 'Ahura' and demons as 'Daevas'. This might show the cultural and mythological rivalry of India and Iran. Put shortly, Asura -- Sumeria is too far fetched. Assyria too is a very weak connection to make based on phonetic similarity. As I said, Asuras are more or less, Mythological.
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Old June 3rd, 2014, 07:29 PM   #20

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Originally Posted by Ajathashatru View Post
Also Asura term during Vedic era is more or less mythological in nature. Please note that Iranian texts to refer God as 'Ahura' and demons as 'Daevas'. This might show the cultural and mythological rivalry of India and Iran. Put shortly, Asura -- Sumeria is too far fetched. Assyria too is a very weak connection to make based on phonetic similarity. As I said, Asuras are more or less, Mythological.
To be more specific, one would suggest, the intra-Aryan rivalry between Indic Aryans and Iranic Aryans, sibling nations who had likely split from the same one ancient parent nation.
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