Showing posts with label ionion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ionion. Show all posts

Origin of Yavanas - Greek Myth

Yavanas are thought to have been Greeks by Western scholars tracing to Ionians . Is that so, Let us see the facts.

References to Yavanas in India
In Indian sources, the usage of the words "Yona", "Yauna", "Yonaka", "Yavana" or "Javana" etc. appears repeatedly, Let us see them in Detail

Edicts of Ashoka

Experts say in the Edicts of Ashoka (c. 250 BCE) especially In the Gandhari Rock XIII : Antiochus is referred as "Amtiyoko nama Yona-raja" (lit. "The Greek king by the name of Antiochus"), beyond whom live the four other kings: "param ca tena Atiyokena cature 4 rajani Turamaye nama Amtikini nama Maka nama Alikasudaro nama" (lit. "And beyond Antiochus, four kings by the name of Ptolemy, the name of Antigonos, the name of Magas, the name Alexander").

Dipavamsa , Mahavamsa and Sasanvamsa
Buddhist texts such as the Dipavamsa, Mahavamsa and the Sasanavamsa reveal that after the Third Buddhist Council, the elder (thera) Mahárakkhita was sent to the Yona country and he preached Dharma among the Yonas and the Kambojas.


Another example is that of the Milinda Panha , where "Yonaka" is used to refer to king Menanders (160–135 BCE ) guards.


The Vanaparava of Mahabharata contains verses in the form of prophecy complaining that "......Mlechha (barbaric) kings of the Shakas, Yavanas, Kambojas, Bahlikas etc. shall rule the earth (i.e India) un-righteously in Kaliyuga..." . This reference apparently alludes to chaotic political scenario following the collapse of dharmic dynasties in northern India and its subsequent occupation by non-dharmic hordes of the Yavanas, Kambojas, Sakas and Pahlavas etc.

other Indian records describe the Yavana attacks on Saketa, Panchala, Mathura and Pataliputra, probably against the Sunga empire, and possibly in defense of Buddhism. The main mentions of the invasion are those by Patanjali around 150 BCE, and of the Yuga Purana, which, like the Mahabharata, also describes Indian historical events in the form of a prophecy:

Yavana in other cultures.
  • Egyptians used the word j-w-n(-n)-’
  • Assyrians used the word Iawanu
  • Persians used the word Yauna or Yavanu
  • Sri Lankans - used the word Yona in Mahawamsa and other historic texts.
  • In Biblical writings, the word was Yāvān (and still is, in modern Israeli Hebrew - יוון)
  • In Arabic and Turkish it is Yunan See Also Sanskrit Yoni
So what is the problem in telling Yavana are Greek, Let us analyze.

Not Greeks
Greeks coming to Yavana Janapada (republic) in NorthWest(Not Bactria perhaps Khandahar) became Yavanas. There is never a Greek Ionia in the east , which is neither stated in Persian inscriptions, nor by Herodotus.

Yavanas of King Bhagadatta in the Mahabharata are placed in south/south west(present Karnataka / Maharastra) India before the Yadu migration scene to Dvaraka. It would not make sense for Yadus to migrate to the west if Yavanas at attacked Mathura from the same west.

During Panini dated 600BC , there is no Greeks in India Neibhourhood , so the question of Panini referring to Greeks as Yavanas does not arise.

The date for Krishna are 3100BC. So, it is less likely to be that Yavanas are the Greeks. Because Greeks or Ionians were not there before 300BC.

There are three words distinct used Yuana before 400BC , Yavana between 400BC to 200BC and After 200BC as Yona in Pali texts. Sometimes both Yavana and Yona are mentioned.

Antigonos, Magas, Alexander are more Greek than Antiochus(Syria), but only Antiochous is mentioned as yona raja ,which shows yona does not mean Greek.

Kala-yavana, the "Dark Yavana" of the Mahabharata, who fought with Duryodhana. While in India dark always refer to evil mentality, it is possible this Dark-Yavana is of dark complexion, and perhaps pertaining to south India.

And when Greek were in India, they were based out of Egypt rather than Greece.

Yavanas are Indians
Literature shows them Indians.

The first (attested) Greek to be connected with the word Yon a is Antioch us in ca. 250 BCE. He is called Yona-raja = king over Yona people and their Janapada. His 4 Greek collegues are simply called Raja.

Indo-Greek Menander in the Milindapanha. In that work he is simply called Raja, king of Yona country (Yonanam). But his 500 elite soldiers, mercenaries from Yonanam, are called Yonakas.

Indo-Greek Antialcidas. He is called simply Maharaja, but it is Heliodora, son of Diya, who is the Vaishnavite Yona and ambassador to king Bhagabhadra.

Also contrast the clear Greek names of Greeks and Indo-Greek kings and those of the Yonas: Yavanaraja Tushaspha. Heliodorus’ may have adopted a Greek name under influence of the powerful status of the Indo-Greeks ruling over Yona country up to Taxila. The Mili ndapanha has these names for Yonas: Anantakâya (Yonako), Devamantiya (Yonako), Mankura (Yonako) and Sabbadinna or Dinna (Yonako).

It knows the Yonakâ as tribe., and Saka-yavana as the countries (Seistan-Arachosia/Quetta. Compare with Shaka-yavana of Patanjali. Shakas are attested before the Scythian invasion of the 1st century BCE in the NW).

“A vast body of Kharoshthl inscriptions found at several sites in the north-western region of the sub-continent are not much help either The term Yavana seldom occurs in these records, dated to the first few centuries of the Christian era, but the names of the donors are undoubtedly of Greek origin.” Ray adds: “The Swat relic vase inscription of the first century B.C. records the establishment of the relics of the Sakyamunl by Theodoros, … An engraved stone from Bajaur, south-east of Jalalabad, reads "of king Theodamas". .. The Kaldarra inscription records the laying of a tank by Thaidora or Theodoros, the Datiaputra”. But when Yavana is applied, see what Ray says: “ …Karle 314 and date from the first century A.D , the donors have Indian names such as Dhamadhaya, Chulayakha, Sihadhaya and Yasavadhana.

At Nasik cave XVII (dated after 110 A.D ), Indragnidatta, son of Dhammadeva the Yavana..” Indo-Greeks seem to retain their Greek names, but it is the Yonas who adopt names from other
cultures, the vaste majority being Indic (or some persian, and a few Greek, like the name Heliodorus).
The Puranas make them decendants of the Turvashas, peoples of South- Western India (karnataka / maharastra).

Literature shows Yavanas are becoming degraded Kshatriyas speaking in a dialect form (Mleccha), once having a better position and not at all being treated as foreigners.

Yavanas of King Bhagadatta in the Mahabharata are placed in south/southwest India before the Yadu migration scene to Dvaraka.

Panini refers to the Yavanas around 600BC, or perhaps earlier. They appear to be related to the Kambojas, since he mentions they both were condemned to shave their heads. This shows that the Yavanas were people that shaved their heads.

Famed Yavanacharya, the great Yavana-astrologer who studied Vedic astrology. In Takshashila, in North Western India, which had existed from 700BC , also attracted students from all over the world, so the scholar tells us. But again 700BC, No greeks in India.

Here however, we see that Yavana is a term that began in India itself, for the Vedic Aryans themselves - not foreigners! But, they do appear as peoples related to ancient Indians, or Vedic Indians - which predates the Greeks.

Gautama Dharmasutra , which refers to Yavanas as a mixture of Kshatriya father and Shudra mother

The Yavana kings in the Mahabharata are called: Yavana (ancient great kings), Chanura Devarata (mentioned with a Bhoja and Kirata king, showing that these were ruling in the east, south and of course Chanura in the west), Sumitra (rules in Sauvira country in the west. Battle with Pandu), Bhagadatta (rules in the west. Old friend of Pandu), Kasherumat (Battle with

Krshna. Probable direct predecessor of Kalayavana), Kalayavana Garg ya (mentioned as king of western India. Battle with Krshna). These names are Indian, not Foreign.

Dharma of Yavanas
yavanâH kirâtâ gândhârâśh cînâH śhabarabarbarâH | śhakâs tuSHârâH kahvâśh ca pahlavâśh cândhramadrakâH oDrâH pulindā ramaTHâH kâcā mlecchâśh ca sarvaśhaH | brahmakSHatraprasûtâśh ca vaiśhyâH śhûdrâśh ca mânavâH

ie.'What duties should be performed collectively by the Yavana, Kirata, Gandhara, Cina (ishwa: Shina), Shabara, Barbara, Shaka, Tushara (ishwa: high mountaineer), Kahvas (var. Kanka), Pahlava, Andhra, Madraka, Odra (var. Paundra), Pulinda, Ramatha and Mleccha (var. Kamboja) Vaishyas and Shudras and offshoots of Brahma-Kshatras, (all these) Manavas?

The Duties to be performed by Kshatriayas are
  1. serve their mothers and fathers, their preceptors and other seniors, and recluses living in the woods.
  2. serve their kings.
  3. follow duties and rites inculcated in the Vedas.
  4. perform sacrifices in honour of the Pitris, dig wells, give water to thirsty travellers, give away beds and make other seasonable presents unto Brahmanas.
  5. Abstention from injury, truth, suppression of wrath, supporting Brahmanas and kinsmen by giving them their dues, maintenance of wives and children, purity, peacefulness,
  6. making presents to Brahmanas at sacrifices of every kind, are duties that should be practised by every person of this class who desire his own prosperity. Such a person should also perform all kinds of Paka-yajnas with costly presents of food and wealth.

And it means t hat those who fail to follow the above dharma is Yuana So Yavanas are the Kshatriyas(Warrior Clans) who dont follow the law or dharma.

Yavana Indian Etymology
The word Yavana, if it is assumed to be Indian, can be derived in three ways. Firstly, from yu = 'keeping away', 'averting' (dveSHo yavana), signifying one who is disliked. Secon dly, from yu
'mixing, mingling',(i.e. Yauti mishrayati vaa mishriibhavati sarvattra jaatibhedaabhaavaat iti yavanah), implying a mixed people. Thirdly, from the meaning, 'quick', 'swift'; a swift horse, (i.e. Yavena gacchatiiti yavanah), denoting those who have a quick mode of conveyance. These derivations taken together may indicate that the Yavanas were thought of as a mixed
people, who had a quick mode of conveyance and who were disliked. However these derivations are recent. But Experts disagree on this meanings already.

“Firstly, from the yu = 'keeping away', 'averting' (dveSHo yavana), signifying one who is disliked.” The word doesn’t signify one who is disliked, but rather Yavana is the one who keeps away, he keeps a way the Dvesha or the enemy. Yavana here rather denotes a protector, a Kshatriya, thus someone who is liked and needed! This word Dvesho yavana is from the Vedic (!) Krshnayajurveda. Thus not a recent word, as it conjectures. More ancient, Vedic words from this root: dveSHo-yávana (MaitrS.) and mfn. removing hostility. dveSHo-yút (RV.), mfn. removing hostility. pra-yotR' m. a remover, expeller . Or Yaavan.

“Secondly, from yu 'mixing, mingling', (i.e. Yauti mishrayati vaa mishriibhavati sarvattra jaatibhedaabhaavaat iti yavanah), implying a mixed people.” , but these are the true meanings given to the root he has in mind: yu does not mean mixing, but “to unite, attach, harness, yoke, bind, fasten RV.(=yuj); to draw towards one's self, take hold or gain possession of, hold fast AV. TS. ShBr.; to push on towards (acc.) AV.; to confer or bestow upon (dat.), procure RV.; (yauti), to worship, honour Naigh. Iii,” (It is from this root that the Vedic Yaavan and A-yaavan are derived from for the halves of the moon..).

Thirdlyfrom an ancient root yu = to move quickly. There are more Vedic words from this root denoting to move (quickly): yaávan m. a rider horseman, invader, aggressor, foe R. (ifc.) going, driving, riding (cf. akSNa-, agra-, eka-y &c.) akSNa-yaávan mfn. going across agra-yaávan mfn. going before eka-yaávan m. of a king TBr. ii TâNDyaBr; RNa-yaávan mfn. relieving fro m debt or obligations praatar-yaaan “who moves at early morning” puro-yaavan “who moves foremost” sa-yaavan -"going along with, associated with,accompanying Thus, the words yáva speed, velocity (prob. w.r. for java); a double convex lens ib. [yava; {Gk.}; Lith. javaí.], yavana mfn. quick, swift; m. a swift horse L. (prob.w.r. for javana) and yavaana mfn. quick, swift L. (prob. w.r. for javaana), have all ancient Vedic roots.

Yavanas are Indigenous Tribe
The Yavanas are enumerated together with Pârashavas, Yavanas, Caranas, and Shûdras. None of the Varnas mentioned in IV.16-21 do refer to any foreigner, but rather of a mixture of indigenous Varnas and Jatis. Parashavas or connected with parashu or the axe of a woodcutter. As frontier people (paccantima) they became degenerated in the eyes of the immediately adjoining main land (majjhima). The pre-Alexandrian Ganapatha remembers Yavanas as Munda, unlike the hairdress of (Indo-)Greeks. The Majjhima Nikaya mentions that the Yonas call their varna Arya! Did the Greeks consider themselves as such? No refere nce to this with the Greaco-Roman historians

Compared to the doubtful etymologies for Ionian, the etymology of yavana is much better and logical. In Yavana we have a normal indigenous development of fusion of ideas and meanings which we can observe in many other words or ideas (aspects of Indra absorbed in Vishnu- Krshna, etc.etc.) Besides, all the different Indian works point to the indigenous character of Yavanas.

In short, Ionian as Yauna doesn't seem to have been known to Indians at all before Alexander. After Alexander, it does seem that the Indo-Greeks were rather known through the central country they were ruling over, which was Yona Janapada. And Yona Janapada can not be equated with Bactria, it is always within the subcontinent, close to the Indus area.

Yona-Kamboja- Gandhara is the frontier line of India from south to the north of the (western bank of the) Indus Valley: Yona -Baluchistan, Kamboja - Gomal/Bannu Valley, Ghandra - Kabul/Swat Valley.

Rodney Lingham


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Date of Homer

Date of Homer is very controversial topic , There is very little detail on time he lived, placed he was born and details of his life. Seven cities claim to be his place of birth. The date of Homer represents the beginning of Western literature, So the date is given more prominence. Let us see some of the events on which date is fixed and discuss about them.

Herodotus placed Homer 400 years before him. according to which he would have lived 850BC. This date places him before first Olympiad that is 776BC. But scholars wonder if his poems can come down from such age. That time poetry and literature were written without punctions marks and other syntaxes that we see today. That time homer Ilyad and Odyssey were sung my masses. Later period they were written in proper form by the ancient greek scholars (around 530BC). This date claim is also based on claims that Hesiod and lyric poets as alluding to homer rather than common tradition.
But Jenko who gives the date on the basis of modernity of poems admits date is a assumption. And references to old expressions do not mean they are of Early date , as poets who deal with heroes tend to give iconic status by referring to ancient terms.

German Scholar P. A. Wolf Says that that odyssey and Iliad were not composed as distinct whole. They existed as separate epical Ballards consisting of single poem. They were written and composed by pisistratus and friends. This claim is not new , the Neapolitan writer vico. His arguement is based on the following.
  • No traces of writing exist prior to 620BC(40th Olympiad).
  • In Homer poems there is no single mention of any writing(No inscription, Coins)
  • complete absense of letter called Digamma
  • There are similarities in subjects and analysing them shows that they cannot be product of single mind.
So analysing the type of compositions and period of these cultures put the period not before 6th century BC.

Mycenaean civilization
Homer accurately depicts the Mycenaean civilization (1600BC to 1100BC )civilization along with his own timing accurately. So the date is put just after dark period (1100BC to 750BC). The question again comes to the fore, how can homer talk about events that took place several hundred years before.

3rd-1st century
Gregory Nagy tells that poems as scripture cannot have existed before Hellenistic period.

Burkert and West say that , Illiad refers to 6th and 7th century Egyptian tales of Thebes(663BC) and destruction of babylon (688BC). This again comes to how we refer to poems events. But some scholars have argued around this events saying that Homer is the main poet and subsequent poets have added them.

Trojan War and Ionian Migration
Aristarchus says homer lived at the time of Ionian migration which is 150 years after Trojan war(12 to 11century BC). Dating these are also controversial expressing everything in relation to one date by Aristarchus is a not acceptable proposition.

The competition between Egyptian(gods) , Chrisitian(moses) and Greek civilizations means that each is trying to date the other down and put their candidates upfront claiming themselves to be more ancient. So the dating controversies will never end.
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Dating Ancient Greek Civilization

Greek civilization is said to have started around 2800BC by many western scholars , eventhough we have no information about the Greek before 770BC. Let us analyse the facts.

Let us see the The Aegean Civilizations and how is Greek they are.
Before 2000BC we do not have any information

The first people on aegean were the Minoans from Crete. Their civilization lasted from about 2000-1400 BC. Their capital, Knossos, was the cultural center of the Aegean. What caused the Minoan civilization to decline? An older historical opinion said that the volcano on Thira (Santorini) erupted in 1450 BC and caused massive tidal waves, etc., that washed the Minoan civilization away. The new historical data dates the volcano eruption to the 17th century BC -- much too early to have been the cause of the Minoan decline. Now, scholars are debating what really happened. No one really knows.

The next civilization to rise in the Aegean was the Mycenaean Civilization which lasted from 1400-1200 BC. (In Homer, the Mycenaeans are called "Acheans.") These people were still not the "Greeks" who later ruled the region.

One theory states that the Mycenaeans really were the Greeks who came down from the north. What is known, however, is that the Greek speaking people came to the mainland around 1450 BC. Around 1400 BC, the Minoan civilization was destroyed. The culture of the Aegean shifted from the islands to the mainlands.

During the time of the Mycenaeans, the Hittites controlled much of Asia Minor. Their dates, 1450-1200 BC, coincide with the dates of the Mycenaeans. It is logical to say that the two cultures had to have communicated with one another although there is little scholarly evidence. This, too, is a point in Greek history that is often debated.

According to Greek tradition, the Trojan War happened around 1200 BC, near the end of the Mycenaean civilization. The old scholarly view was that the Mycenaeans were invaded by a Dorian tribe from the north who destroyed them. Currently, scholars believe the Mycenaeans declined because of fighting amongst themselves. This view is the most archeologically correct.

Greek Dark Ages
After the Mycenaean decline, the Greek Dark Ages occur (1100-750 BC). (Depending on when Homer is dated, he could have lived during this time period.) This period also has an old view/new view perspective. Older theories state that all Greek civilization came to a complete halt during the Dark Ages. Greeks later had to begin their civilization anew. The current historical opinion is that the Greeks still had some level of civilization -- they didn't revert to barbarianism -- but they lived simpler lives.

Despite being called the "dark ages," this period of Greek history led to many fantastic developments.
  • Greek speaking people migrated to the islands of the Aegean and the coast of Asia Minor in an exodus known as the Ionian Movement
  • The notion of the Polis or City-State was developed
  • The Greek alphabet was developed from Phoenician
Greek New Age
These three major developments led to the Greek New Age (750-500 BC). Other names for this period are: the Age of Colonization, the Lyric Age, the Archaic Age, and the Greek Renaissance. This period saw extensive colonization by the Greeks and their rivals, the Phoenicians. Art and literature increased, as well.

Classical Age
From 500-323 BC, Greece experienced the Classical Age. This is the period that most people think of when they hear "Greek civilization." There were two major wars during the Classical Age: the Persian Wars (499-449 BC) and the Great Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC).

The Classical Age continued for about another 100 years, but the Greek city-states were not able to withstand the invasion of Phillip of Macedonia and the expansions made by his son, Alexander the Great. In fact, the Classical Age's end is marked by the death of Alexander the Great.

As we can see the date markers like Homer, Trojan war, date of Ionian and Mycenaean decline is not known and there are about 400 years where there is no information about the greek. Western scholars have putting a very classical picture ,but as evidence we have nothing. The greek civilization developed due to proximity to Egypt, Syria, Palestine, the lands of Asia Minor, and the Mesopotamia valley. And western scholars have developed theories to somehow prove that Greek is independent and developed on its own not from adjoining civilizations.

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Myth of Pythogores theorem

Pythagoras is Ionian philosopher and Mathematician of 6th century BC , who is also called father of numbers by greek, He established a religion called Pythagoreanism. He is best known for pythagoras theorem. Let us analyze the facts behind Pythagoras theorem.

Pythagoras Legend
Pythagoras was born on Samos, a Greek island in the eastern Aegean, off the coast of Asia Minor. He was born to Pythais (his mother, a native of Samos) and Mnesarchus (his father, a Phoenician merchant from Tyre). As a young man, he left his native city for Croton, Calabria, in Southern Italy, to escape the tyrannical government of Polycrates. According to Iamblichus, Thales, impressed with his abilities, advised Pythagoras to head to Memphis in Egypt and study with the priests there who were renowned for their wisdom. He also was discipled in the temples of Tyre and Byblos in Phoenicia. It may have been in Egypt where he learned some geometric principles which eventually inspired his formulation of the theorem that is now called by his name.

Pythagoras theorem
Pythagoras is commonly given credit for discovering the Pythagorean theorem, a theorem in trigonometry that states that in a right-angled triangle the square of the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle), c, is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides, b and a—that is, a² + b² = c².

As this is the contentious topic. Let us find out the truth.
  1. Pythagores school- It is not clear whether he, or his students, have constructed the first proof. Because of the secretive nature of his school and the custom of its students to attribute everything to their teacher, there is no evidence that Pythagoras himself worked on or proved this theorem. For that matter, there is no evidence that he worked on any mathematical or meta-mathematical problems.
  2. Five centuries after death - Some attribute it as a carefully constructed myth by followers of Plato over two centuries after the death of Pythagoras, mainly to bolster the case for Platonic meta-physics, which resonate well with the ideas they attributed to Pythagoras. This attribution has stuck, down the centuries up to modern times. The earliest known mention of Pythagoras's name in connection with the theorem occurred five centuries after his death, in the writings of Cicero and Plutarch.
  3. Biography after seven centuries- Biography of Pythagoras (written seven centuries after Pythagoras's time).
  4. Pythagoras mathematicians who had an influence on the beginning of axiomatic geometry devlopment two hundred years later was written down by Euclid in The Elements not during pythagoras time.
  5. None of his works exists- Many times it is reference from secondary sources. Thales and Pythagoras brought knowledge of Egyptian and Babylonian mathematics to Greece.
  6. Classical era of Greek did not produce any mathematical lore , only after alexander 323BC and Hellenistic period and contact with Babylon and Egypt did mathematicians emerge from greek.
  7. Pioneers Thales and pythogores studied in Egypt before any contribution, raising doubts about their contribution.
  8. Rig veda(1900BC) has all the details of pythores theorem and applications, so no longer can pythagores claim authorship of the theorem.
  9. Sulbh sutras(800BC) all the details of geometric , numerals , square roots, pythagores theorem.
  10. From the Hellenistic period, Greek replaced Egyptian as the written language of Egyptian scholars, and from this point Egyptian mathematics merged with Greek and Babylonian mathematics to give rise to Hellenistic mathematics. Egyptian mathematics also built pyramids , which is proof where these theorems originated. It is not greece, it is Egypt.
From the above points we can see that pythagoras is just a legend, who was made a mathematician to suit greek superiority , which is proved by the gap between the existence and commentry on them much later. The mathematical theories like geometry , numbers , pythagoras theorem was borrowed from Indian, Babylonian and Egypt sources and has been claimed as greek own, eventhough we can say much work was done later by greeks.

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