Avestan & Vedic religion [was (no subject)]

JoatSimeon at aol.com JoatSimeon at aol.com
Fri Feb 5 07:55:40 UTC 1999


>Isn't it the case that through language we can also tell for example that
>their common ancestors did not believe in killing cows (which are called
>literally 'not-to-be-killed ones' in both lgs)? And so forth?

-- well, no, on that  particular subject.  It's clear from both linguistics
and archaeology that the earliest IA-speakers were beef-eaters. (I once heard
a Hindu fundamentalist explain that those verses were put in by demons...8-).

They certainly did _value_ cattle very highly; but that's an old IE trait,
with "herd" and "wealth" generally being related terms.  (Eg., Latin

They were very similar, though.  Avestan and Vedic Sanskrit are close enough
to be mutually comprehensible fairly often, and there's a broad lapover of
deities (Mitra, etc.).  In the 'reformed' Zarathustran religion many of the
ancient Indo-Iranian gods become demons, of course.

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