That's not being fair to either historians or to non indian sources. There are abundant indian sources, but due to the fact that they were only committed to written forms during the Gupta period, there is too much interpolation and editing of the source material by later authors, this is particularly true of the Puranans.Sources of Indian history and records probably out number anything anywhere else.
Because of the volume we lack proper analysis. The records themselves exist in abundance.
Historians have also been lazy and easily misled by left and right wing desire to distort.
It is my belief that interpreting or trying to guess at the motives of individuals in ancient history is often a futile task since any number of logical theories are possible. Trying to interpret the motives of an entire civilisation is probably more futile"India probably has more historical texts than X, Y, or Z"
This is called a fallacy from supposition, you feel it to be true therefore you hypothesise without evidence. Its a silly assertion. Nor is it likely true. You are indeed being unfair both to Indian sources and Historians. I agree with Tornada.
A phenomenal amount of work has been done, especially in the last 30 years or so. On the Brahmanas and indeed elsewhere. The problem isn't that Sanskrit literature is under studied, though that may be the case in India itself, the problem is that post Sanskrit literature is often understudied. Due to the nature of early British-Indian interactions, a disproportionate amount of weighting is given to the Sanskrit texts. Pali and Prakritic sources have only recently started to come into their own.
Also despite being somewhat central-right in my politics, I certainly don't see a left leaning in native Indian historiography. I see a lot of solid work being labelled as left or marxist willy willy and then thrust aside. It is worrying that you can't find basic introductions like Thapar's easily.
Also no way are Greek sources as unreliable as the Indian stuff, again this shows a lack of acquaintance, sorry.
@Tornada again. I don't know, I get the impression that the Indians did have various local historical traditions...but I don't think they were ever that bothered. Most of the stuff we have tends to focus on linguistics - not only grammar but also semantics, or mathematics. Dynastic narratives aren't the same as history don't forget.
The question isn't why didn't the Indians but more, why did the Greeks develop something so odd in attempting history. Why did the Chinese do something similar. Its not the normal course of events.
As for India, time will tell, there shan't be any Indian Herodotoses I don't think. What will happen is more and more inscriptional evidence shall come to light and scholars will move onto lower register Sanskrit stuff - like college dramas, satires etc and non Sanskritic sources and develop a comprehensive social history and mine that for details.
The problem is, there isn't the manpower. People don't want to get involved. I don't blame them.
because within the mythology there is historical data to be gathered. As any good history student knows : history becomes Legend and Legend becomes Mythology. Historians try to sift through the patently false and attempt to separate the history. But to do that one must have an open mind. Clearly you've been taught that the entire corpus of Vedas and Upanishads, etc are mythologies. If one has a pre-conceived notion about the value of certain things, then one can never do an objective analysis of them. You are free to dismiss everything as mythology, but that doesn't mean the historical and academic community has to believe your illogical assumptions.I still do not understand as to how mythological events be recorded as history.
I honestly didn't know that FYROM referred to macedonia. had to google it!Myth and History: This is a methodological problem: Earlier scholars (ca 19/20th c) assumed all mythemes to be based on a historical kernel, strip away the improbable and you're left with something real. This ignores the different typology of myths, e.g oral and saga traditions, folk memories, aetiological myths etc and modern research, especially Anthropology, has done much to shed light on this. So nots it not always the case, in fact more often than not mythology hides as history. Work on early Roman "history" by Dumezil and his school have shown many historical episodes to be derived from mythology, others have suggested similar issues with English foundation myths.
Now in India the situation is particularly impressive and problematic since due to the longevity of its culture you have to full gamut of mythic typologies. The Mahabharata may conceal a real kernal of a historical episode...it also borrows much from foundation, aetiological, familial myths etc.
Historians and the Vedas etc: Only some Indians tend to read these as blank historical documents, Historians themselves use these not for chronology etc, but because they contain an absolute wealth of cultural, social, religious etc data. What we extrapolate from them may differ from blind readings, so for example many of the earlier impressions we had about the Aryaa can be shown to be wrong.
Well there are no reputable Pakistani historians because, like FYROM, they're trying to build a past for a nation that's very recent. I'm sure 100 years from now they'll be producing sensible work too.
Agree, that's why I specialised on ancient rather than medieval in fact. Its just more interesting. Honestly though when it comes to India, I find the late antiquity/medieval stuff more interesting just because of the literature.I honestly didn't know that FYROM referred to macedonia. had to google it!
But your right about the use of the Puranas, though i should point out that it isn't some who read them as blank historical documents. The number of extremist idiots who regard them as the holy writ of historical texts are an unfortunately large number in our society. More the pity.
Much of Ancient history is extrapolation and inferences drawn. Which is why it is usually more controversial on dating and other similar aspects, in comparison to medieval history. That said it is also my opinion that this is what makes it more fascinating in comparison to medieval or modern history.
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