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12498Axial Age (was: The World of Achaemenid Persia)

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  • Trudy Kawami
    May 25, 2010
      The term Axial Age is a bit out-dated and reflects a rather late 19th
      century mindset. The dating of Zoroaster/Zarathustra/Zardusht is in no
      way fixed in the Achaemenid period, and recent scholarship has argued
      for an even earlier date. Likewise the dating of Siddartha Gautama is
      not secure either. The problem with dating the scriptures related to
      these thinkers is that the extant copies are far later than the presumed
      authors/teachers. The Axial Age is an intellectual construct, not a
      verifiable reality. The development of literacy in South Asia, however,
      is a very different question, but one that is for the most part outside
      the scope of this list.

      Trudy Kawami


      From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      Graham Hagens
      Sent: Friday, May 21, 2010 1:54 PM
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Re: The World of Achaemenid Persia: History, Art
      and Society in Iran and the Ancient Near East

      It is not very good, and much evidence is literary, second or third
      However most historians of the Achaemenid period concede that there was
      a Persian 'presence' in the northern Indian sub-continent west of the
      Indus from the time of Darius. Including Briant (2002: 756): 'The
      reality of Achaemenid power in the countries on the west bank of the
      Indus can hardly be doubted. Archaeology also appears to support those
      sources which identified Taxila as one of the capitals of Gandhara.

      Most importantly however, the existence of a Persian presence in
      Gandhara, an important centre of Vedic, Upanishadic and Hindu culture,
      would help clarify how ideas were exchanged between East and West during
      the so called Axial Age. The mechanism of this process has long been
      something of a mystery.

      Graham Hagens
      Hamilton, Ontario

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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