Showing posts with label Roman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Roman. Show all posts

Did Megasthenes Meet Chandragupta Maurya

I got a comment on the post Dating Indian History by one GD Prasad , who claimed that to see the correct Indian History refer to Purana date, which I dismissed it as there was nothing to backup the comment. But curiously he said that the Chandragupta at the time of Alexander was of Gupta Dynasty not Maurya Dynasty. Now that worm has entered my head, After Googling much I am writing this article. Since this is the date that determines the entire Indian history is based on, we have to identify correctly who was the Chandragupta at the time of Alexander who met Megasthenes. Chandragupta Maurya is Indian King who renounced his empire and became jain monk , he went to Shravanbelagola in karnataka and died as simple man.
Megasthenes story
Megasthenes was the Greek ambassador sent by Seleucus Nicator in c. 302 B.C. to the court of the Indian king whom he and the Greek called "Sandrocottus". He was stationed in "Palimbothra", the capital city of the kingdom. It is not clear how many years Megasthenes stayed in India, but he did write an account of his stay, titled Indika. The manuscript Indika is lost, and there is no copy of it available. However, during the time it was available, many other Greek writers quoted passages from it in their own works. These quotations were meticulously collected by Dr. Schwanbeck in the nineteenth century, and this compilation is also available to us in English (J.M. McCrindle: Ancient India as Described by Megasthenes and Arrian). When European Indologists were groping to date Indian history during the nineteenth century (after having arbitrarily rejected the various Puranas), the Megasthenes account came in very useful.
How Chandragupta Maurya was Equated with Sandrocottus – Sheet Anchor Chronology.
Sir William Jones could not believe in the antiquity of the Bharata War according to Indian accounts because of his Christian faith which told him that Creation took place at 9-00 a. m, on 23rd October 4004 BC. He tried to search the Greek and Roman accounts. These accounts supplied some information about India of the time of the Macedonian king Alexander. It mentioned seven names of three successive Indian kings. Attributing one name each for the three kings the names are Xandrammes, Sandrocottus and Sandrocyptus. Xandrammes of the previous dynasty was murdered by Sandrokottas whose son was Sandrocyptus.

Jones picked up one of these three names, namely, Sandrokottas and found that it had a sort of phonetic similarity with the name Chandragupta of the Puranic accounts. According to the Greek accounts, Palibothra was the capital of Sandrokottas. Jones took Palibothra as a Greek pronunciation of Pataliputra, the Indian city and capital of Chandragupta. He, then, declared that Sandrokottas of the Greek accounts is Chandragupta Maurya of the Puranas. Jones died just a year after this declaration and possibly before his death, could not know that Puranas have another Chandragupta of the Gupta dynasty.

Later scholars took this identity of Sandrokottas with Chandragupta Maurya as proved and carried on further research. James Princep, an employee of the East India Company, deciphered the Brahmi script and was able to read the inscriptions of Piyadassana. Turnour, another employee of the Company in Ceylon, found in the Ceylonese chronicles that Piyadassana was used as a surname of Asoka, the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya. The inscription bearing the name of Asoka was not found till the time of Turnour. In 1838, Princep found five names of the Yona kings in Asoka's inscriptions and identified them as the five Greek kings near Greece belonging to third century BC who were contemporary to Asoka.

In the Greek accounts, Sandrokottas of Palimbothra is described as a contemporary of Alexander of Macedonia who invaded India during 327 BC to 323 BC This decides the approximate date of Chandragupta Maurya. Princep's research decides the approximate date of Asoka, the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya as in 3rd century BC Both these dates were adjusted with the reign periods of the three successive Magadha kings, Chandragupta, Bindusara and Asoka of the Maurya dynasty given in the Puranas. Thus, the date c. 320 BC was fixed as the date of coronation of Chandragupta Maurya. It is on this date that every other date of Indian history has been constructed.

Max Mueller, in 1859 AD, finalized this identity of Sandrokottas with Chandragupta Maurya and declared c. 320 BC, the date of coronation of Chandragupta Maurya as the Sheet Anchor of Indian history. M. Troyer did not agree with this conclusion and noted this fact in the introduction to his translation of Rajatarangani of Kalhana. He even communicated his views to Prof. Max Mueller in a letter but did not receive a reply from him.
Smith's Chronology:
Historian V. A. Smith took the chronological identity asserted by the predecessors in this historical hierarchy as the basis for further calculation of the exact dates of the different dynasties that ruled over Magadha after and before the Mauryas. He took the aid of numismatics in addition to epigraphy. He could not however get over, as if by compunction, to follow the Puranas in the enumeration of the kings and their dynasties. But he reduced their reign periods. The total reduction done by these British scholars, from Jones to Smith, comes to 1300 years according to some Indian chronologists.

Indian View Chandragupta Maurya did not meet Megasthenes
  1. Megasthenes has nowhere mentioned the word Maurya
  2. He makes absolutely no mention of a person called either Chanakya or Kautilya.
  3. Indian historians have recorded two Chandr aguptas, one of the Maurya dynasty and another of the Gupta dynasty. Both of them had a grandson called Ashoka. While the Mauryan Chandragupta' s son was called Bimbasara (sometimes Bindusara), The Gupta Chandragupta had a son called Samudragupta. Interestingly Megasthenese has written that Sandrakuttos had a son called Samdrakyptos, which is phonetically nearer to Samudragupta and not Bindusara.
  4. The king lists given by the Puranas say that 1500 years elapsed from the time of the Kurukshetra war to the beginning of the Nanda dynasty's rule. If one assumes the Nandas' period to be 5th century BCE, this would put the Bharatha war around 1900 BCE whereas the traditional view has always been 3100 BCE. This gives a difference of 1200 years which go unaccounted.
  5. Megasthanese himself says 137 generations of kings have come and gone between Krishna and Sandrakuttos, whereas the puranas give around 83 generations only between Jarasandha's son (Krishna's contemporary) to the Nandas of the Magadha kingdom.. Assuming an average of 20 to 25 years per generation, the difference of 54 generations would account for the gap of the 1200 years till the time of Alexander.
  1. The Chinese have always maintained that Buddhism came to China from India around 1100 -1200 BCE, whereas the western historians tend to put Buddha at 500 BCE
  2. According to the Greek accounts, Xandrammes was deposed by Sandrokottas and Sandrocyptus was the son of Sandrokottas. In the case of Chandragupta Maurya, he had opposed Dhanananda of the Nanda dynasty and the name of his son was Bindusara. Both these names, Dhanananda and Bindusara, have no phonetic similarity with the names Xandrammes and Sandrocyptus of the Greek accounts.
  1. Asoka's empire was bigger than that of Chandragupta Maurya and he had sent missionaries to the so-called Yavana countries. But both of them are not mentioned. Colebrook has pointed out that the Greek writers did not say anything about the Buddhist Bhikkus though that was the flourishing religion of that time with the royal patronage of Asoka. Roychaudhari also wonders why the Greek accounts are silent on Buddhism.
  1. The empire of Chandragupta was known as Magadha empire. It had a long history even at the time of Chandragupta Maurya. In Indian literature, this powerful empire is amply described by this name but it is absent in the Greek accounts. It is difficult to understand as to why Megasthanese did not use this name and instead used the word Prassi which has no equivalent or counterpart in Indian accounts.
  1. To decide as to whether Pataliputra was the capital of the Mauryas, Puranas is the only source. Puranas inform us that all the eight dynasties that ruled Magadha after the Mahabharata War had Girivraja as their capital. Mauryas are listed as one of the eight dynasties. The name Pataliputra is not even hinted at, anywhere in the Puranas.
No Concrete Proofs:
The Western scholars and their followers in India have been all along insisting on concrete evidence for ancient Indian chronology but they themselves have not been able as yet, to furnish any such evidence for the sheet anchor.
All the evidence supplied so far is conjectural. No numismatic or inscriptional proof is available for the date. Same was the condition at the time of V. A. Smith. He had written, "Unfortunately, no monuments have been discovered which can be referred with certainty to tile period of Chandragupta Maurya and the archaeologist is unable to bring any tangible evidence afforded by excavations."
Pandit Bhagavaddatta seems to have studied the fragments of Megasthenes in more detail than those who decided the identity. On the basis of Megasthenes's statements, he has arrived at the following conclusions. "Yamuna was flowing through Palibotha i.e., Paribhadra, the capital of the Prassi kingdom. Palibothra was 200 miles from Prayaga on way to Mathura. The kshatriyas there were known as Prabhadrakas or Paribhadrakas. Their king was Chandraketu. The capital Paribhadra was near to Sindhu-Pulinda which is in Madhya Desha and is today termed as Kali-Sindha. The Karusha Sarovara was between Sindhu-Pulinda and Prayaga." He further states, "Pataliputra cannot be written as Palibothra in Greek because 'P', in Patali is written in Greek as English 'P', only ; then why 'P', in Putra is changed to 'B', in Greek? There is no instance where Sanskrit 'P', is changed to Greek 'B'." Putra cannot be Bothra.

Based on all these, I would say the Sandrakuttos of Megasthanese was not Chandragupta Maurya. As far as Chandragupta of Gupta Dynasty meeting Megasthenes , we will see in another Article.

  • Defalsification of Indian history By Dr. Subramanian Swamy
  • Bharateeya Historiography by Sriram Sathe
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Valentine's day Origin

There are more tales of the "origins" of Valentine's Day than arrows in Cupid's quiver.

Story I
what did Saint Valentine have to do with love notes and affection? Absolutely nothing! In fact, there’s a good chance he may never have existed. There are at least three St. Valentines in history

Story I.1
Most popular stories suggest that valentine day owes its origin to the Roman Empire during the reign of emperor Claudius II. As early as AD 260s, Emperor of Rome was in need for competent soldiers and thought soldiers must not get married. He believed that married soldiers were not fit for service in army and they kept worrying about their families, when they were fighting in the battlefield. He issued an edict then ordering soldiers not to marry; however, a priest in Rome named Valentine disobeyed this order and used to validate marriage contracts for soldiers secretly. When the emperor learnt of Valentine's story, he ordered his death on Feb. 14, 269 AD.

Story I.2
But there are different versions of the same story, which contradict above story. Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries.

Story I.3
Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D., Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine". Other aspects of the story say that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honour St. Valentine.

Story II
In ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honour Juno. Juno was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as the Goddess of women and marriage. The following day, February 15th, began the Feast of Lupercalia. The lives of young boys and girls were strictly separate. However, one of the customs of the young people was name drawing. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl's name from the jar and would then be partners for the duration of the festival with the girl whom he chose. Sometimes the pairing of the children lasted an entire year, and often, they would fall in love and would later marry. The pastors of the early Christian Church in Rome endeavoured to do away with the pagan element in these feasts by substituting the names of saints for those of maidens. And as the Lupercalia began about the middle of February, the pastors appear to have chosen Saint Valentine's Day for the celebration of this new feaSt. So it seems that the custom of young men choosing maidens for valentines, or saints as patrons for the coming year, arose in the same way as the case of origin of Christmas to Mothers day.

Story III
The day was begun by the residents of ancient Rome who wanted to honor the she-wolf that had raised Romulus and Remus. It was Romulus who founded Rome, after killing his brother Remus in a fit of rage. At least that’s the story they’ve been telling over the centuries. The Christian church seems to have replaced this story with their own.

Story IV British
So when did the practice of sending love notes and gifts to that special someone begin? Some believe it started in 16th century England and Scotland. In those days it was generally thought the birds mated on Feb. 14, and the atmosphere was so filled with love people naturally spent the day expressing their affection for others.

But this was not the age of smiley face missives and cartoon cards. By George, this was serious business. Just being someone’s valentine more often than not ended in marriage.

The Brits would hold lotteries. During the evening of Feb. 14 they would hold large parties. At these parties everyone there would place his, or her, name in the pot, the men’s on one side, and the women’s on the other.

The woman’s name drawn by each man was the one that counted. After drawing a woman’s name the man was supposed to entertain her with dances, feasts, and gifts — not for just that one day, but for as long as a week. Yeah, it was serious business — sometimes the lavish gifts received by a woman would have a value of several thousand dollars.

The Brits had another rather unique belief. Single British women believed they would marry the first man they saw on St. Valentine’s Day. One English lady spent the day in bed just to make sure she didn’t see any men, until her boyfriend came calling in the evening.

The Feast of Lubercus
The first interpretation has this celebration originating as a pagan tradition in the third century. During this time hordes of hungry wolves roamed outside of Rome where shepherds kept their flocks. The God Lupercus, was said to watch over the shepherds and their flocks and keep them from the wolves. Every February the Romans celebrated a feast called Lupercalia to honor Lupercus so that no harm would come to the shepherds and their flocks.

As you can see there is no certainty , it seems it started as pagan festival and later converted to Christian one. The Pagan element of Love lotteries have been given a noble meaning of exchanging love notes.
It is funny what is happening today. For pink chaddi's :-The love lottery angle seems to contradict all the parameters of Love like knowing your partner before you fall in love, All the gifts are today purchased by woman defying tradition that man purchase gifts to please woman. For muthaliks, sainiks and dal activist:- they are continuing the tradition of marrying of lovers set by valentine.

Trojan War Myth or Reality?

Did the city of Troy really exist? Is the Trojan War myth or military reality? And what about that giant horse?

In the Greek poem The Iliad, the basis for Troy, Prince Paris of Troy steals the gorgeous Helen, of Greece, from her husband, King Menelaus. The act brings the two nations to war, and eventually Greeks led by the warrior Achilles lay siege to Troy. The poet Homer probably wrote the epic several hundred years after the war is supposed to have taken place. Much of it is no doubt fantasy. No evidence that Achilles or Helen exist.

Not single Event
Archaeologists who have been digging into the myth of Homer's poem believe the legendary war may have been a process rather than a single event. Eric Cline cline said Trojan war or wars took place, and that Homer chose to write about one or more of them by making it into a great ten-year-long saga.

Nine Cities of Troy
Archeologists who dig the placed said to be troy say , the site contains nine cities built on top of each other. There is a citadel in the middle and a town around it. A high wall fortified the town.
Eager to find the legendary treasures of Troy, Schliemann blasted his way down to the second city, where he found what he believed were the jewels that once belonged to Helen. As it turns out, the jewels were a thousand years older than the time described in Homer's epic.

Today archaeologists believe that the sixth and seventh oldest cities found in layers at Hisarlik are the best candidates for the Troy of The Iliad. Resplendent and strong, city number six looks like Homer's Troy. The problem is that this city's destruction in 1250 B.C. does not appear to have been caused by war but an earthquake.

Homer Clue
In The Iliad, the Greeks breach the city walls by hiding inside a giant horse, which they present as a gift to the Trojans. The Trojan horse could have been a metaphor for Poseidon, a god associated with horses who was both the god of the seas and earthquakes. "The suggestion is that Homer knew that the city he was describing had been destroyed by an earthquake," Cline said. "But that's not how you want to end your monumental saga—with a whimper. So he concocted this idea of a Trojan horse."

The seventh oldest city at the site, on the other hand, fits the description of a city under siege and destroyed by war in 1175 B.C. Archaeologists have found arrowheads in the streets. But the city itself was not as grand as the one described by Homer. cline said Homer may have taken the description of Troy 6 and the destruction of Troy 7, and, using poetic license, blurred the two into one ten-year-long war. But these are the words of people who have already agreed to trojan war and are searching for evidence.

Sea People
In the late Bronze Age, Troy, if located at the Hisarlik site, would have been a great prize for power-hungry kings. Perched at the entrance to the Black Sea, the city would have been at an international crossroads. The Greek Mycenaean empire would have lain to the west. The Hittite empire, which stretched from Mesopotamia to Syria, would have been to the east. As for its great wealth, Troy may have acquired that by taxing seafarers traveling into the Black Sea.
One theory suggests that the lesser known Sea Peoples wrecked Troy. Originally from what is now Italy, the Sea Peoples swept across the Mediterranean Sea from west to east. According to inscriptions found in Egypt, this group came through Troy at the time of the Trojan War, around 1200 B.C.

Hittites and Greece
Yet another theory, supported by ancient Hittite texts, suggests an intermittent, 200-year conflict that raged between the Hittite empire and a rebel coalition that included Troy. In this text, the Mycenaeans of Greece actually allied themselves with the Trojans against the Hittites. Archaeologists have found Mycenaean pottery in Troy 6, supporting the suggestion that the two nations were allies.

The least plausible explanation, most archaeologists agree, is that the Trojan War was fought over Helen, described by Homer as the most beautiful woman in the world. However, there is a historical precedent for a war being fought over an injustice done to a king. In the 14th century B.C., the Hittite king received a letter from the Egyptian queen. She said her husband had died and asked the Hittite king if he could send a son for her to marry. The Hittite eventually agreed and sent one of his sons. On his way to Egypt, however, the prince was killed. Believing the Egyptians killed him, the Hittites declared war on Egypt.

If the Hittites and the Egyptians could go to war in the 14th century over the son of the king, why wouldn't the Mycenaeans and Trojans go to war less than a hundred years later because the king's wife has been kidnapped? Cline asked. "One can't really rule out that it was fought over Helen, but at the moment we don't have any supporting data for that."

Romantic History
One thing is clear: The wars seem to have ended an age. "Homer is writing a memory of the end of the world," said Diane Thompson, author of The Trojan War: Literature and Legend from the Bronze Age to the Present. "Nostalgia fuels his writing, and it has fueled it ever since."

When the Roman poet Virgil in the first century B.C. rewrote Homer's story in his own classic The Aeneid, he turned the Greeks into scruffy villains and described the Trojans as beautiful losers who went on to found the Roman Empire. Through the ages, European people clung to this version—many of them tracing their ancestry back to Troy.

 Is Troy True? The Evidence Behind Movie Myth by Stefan Lovgren
National Geographic News May 14, 2004

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Myths of Konkani Language

Konkani Language carry many myths- Let us see one by one.

1. Konkani is a daughter of Sanskrit.
Konkani like its sibling marathi evolved from Shouraseni Prakrit.

2. Konkani is the mother tongue of over 50 lakhs of people.
Government 1991 Figures put 17,60,607 (17Lakhs)

3. Konkani is an Aryan language. Therefore Devanagari script is the natural script for Konkani.
Konkani evolved from Prakrit, but devanagari script is used for both Marathi and
konkani from Mid 20th century onwards only. Previously Kannada script was used.

4. Konkani sounds cannot be correctly written in Roman script.
Again it depends on konkani of which area. In Goa english is used even in village
meetings and in this case appropriate script will be Roman, but it cannot be said
about konkani in Karnataka, kerala or Madhyapradesh.

5. Those who know Devanagari script can easily read and write Konkani.
Yes , but not understand. Konkani remains mutually intelligible to konkani's form
different states.

6. In Goa Roman Konkani and Devanagari Konkani are found.
Goa became active in konkani only after konkani language was made scheduled

7. Compared to Catholics, Hindus speak pure and good Konkani.
Konkani is corrupted or influenced by the surroundings, whereever they are and not
with respect to religion. Kerala- Malayalam, karnataka- Tulu, kannada, Goa-
English ,Portuguese, Madhya pradesh- Hindi.

8. Konkani spoken and written by the Saraswats is the standard Konkani.
Agari of Kolaba ,Parabhi (Kayasthi, Damani) ,Koli ,Kiristav ,Dhanagari ,Bhandari , Thakuri (Thakari, Thakri, Thakua, Thakura) ,Karhadi , Sangamesvari (Bakoti, Bankoti) ,Ghati (Maoli) , Mahari (Dhed, Holia, Parvari ,Standard Konkani (Goan) ,Bardeskari (Gomantaki) ,Sarasvat Brahmin, Kudali (Malvani) , Daldi (Nawaits) , Chitpavani (Konkanasths) , Mangalore are the dilects of Konkani. So saraswats of konkani spoken in Goa is not the only konkani spoken. There is no evidence to show Saraswats speak pure konkani. Since it is the state language of Goa, it gets much legitemacy.

9. Spoken Konkani is inferior compared to written Konkani.
There is again no standard konkani. Konkani is mainly a spoken language. So the idea itself is absurd.

10. Portuguese missionaries corrupted Konkani language of Goan Catholics.
Konkani got revived because of Portuguese. Portuguese introduced first printed works. When Mangalore can retain konkani , why cant Goa.

11. Missionaries learnt Konkani to spread their faith and not out of love for Konkani.
That is true , which may be controversial.

12. Konkani written in Devanagari script is Marathicized Konkani.
Devanagari is just a script , so many languages are written in Devanagari.

13. One, who knows to speak, read and write only Konkani is a semi-literate.
Not necessarily.

14. The original inhabitants of Goa were Austro-Asiatic people and Konkani vocabulary is influenced by Mundari language.
Konkani derives its name from konka tribe who lived in present day konkan, They migrated to other regions due to unknown reasons. There is no evidence to suggest konka's spoke konkani. Konkani is related to Bengali and Assamese.

15. In the 16th century there was only one standard Konkani, namely that of Salcete. Gradually other dialects emerged from it.
Konkani existed as dilects before portuguese introduced the printing. They resurrected a dying language. All the dilects emerged from single language, but not salcete.

16. Konkani words of Portuguese origin are to be replaced by native words.
Each language is enriched by its vacabulary , so it goes with konkani.