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Re: Achaemenid period creativity

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  • Brian Colless
    ... Dear Francesco, My thanks to you for alerting me to recent scholarship on Zarathushtra ( Z ). One new point (for me) is the Assyrian recording of Iranian
    Message 1 of 16 , Jun 1, 2010
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      On 30/05/2010, at 4:23 AM, Francesco Brighenti wrote:

      > Forget about the 6th c. BCE date. This is excluded, _in primis_, on
      > linguistic grounds
      >


      Dear Francesco,

      My thanks to you for alerting me to recent scholarship on Zarathushtra
      ('Z').
      One new point (for me) is the Assyrian recording of Iranian religious
      words.

      Let me say that I support both the Bronze-Age and Iron-Age date for Z.

      As one who mentally inhabits the Bronze Age (West Semitic
      inscriptions) I would be very glad to meet him there. But here I will
      try to defend the hypothesis of a later date for Z.

      Note that I have no time for the nonsensical fantasy that precludes
      historicity for Z, or Gautama, or Yeshua`, or Muhammad (not too many
      academics take the risk of denying him a place in history). The
      prophets Moses and David are not figments, either, I like to think.

      In the scientific (!) field of history-and-phenomenology of religion
      (which is where I have grazed for 50 years) Z provides an excellent
      example of the lonely prophet who gradually acquires a group of
      followers, and his system becomes a national and/or imperial religion.

      Muhammad is another instance of the solitary prophet who created a
      community, and in his own lifetime all the tribes of Arabia were
      'Believers', followers of his Way, the Straight Path; and before long
      his doctrines and practices were the basis of an empire.

      Z could have had similar success in the Iranian realm with his Rule of
      Good Thought (provided he did not set himself up as rival ruler to the
      Akhaemenids).

      The linguistic argument is that the language of the Gathas resembles
      the Sanskrit of the Rig Veda (but I would like to know a
      scientifically accurate date for that collection of hymns); it is not
      the same as the language of the Akhaemenid inscriptions.

      Here is my defensive line of argument (and this is an opportunity
      for it to be demolished):

      (1) Language differences
      The Arabic of the Qur'an looks more archaic than the related Hebrew of
      the Torah (Arabic uses three cases, like Akkadian, versus no case-
      endings on nouns and adjectives in Hebrew). Contemporary German
      compared with English (they were once the same language) looks
      different and could be suspected of being much older, if we did not
      know better.

      Archaizing language can be used in sacred contexts, as happened in
      ancient Egypt, for example (and in the Book of Mormon).

      The language of Z was eastern Iranian not western Persian.

      Asha ('order') looks later than Arta and Rta (Sanskrit)

      (2) Vishtaspa
      The name Vishtaspa is found as the protector of Z and the father of
      Darius the Great (but it might have been given to him as an ancient
      name of great prestige , like Alexander, which goes back to the Bronze
      Age, and into the current era).

      (3) Ahura Mazda, Ohrmizd
      Z did not necessarily 'invent' this title for the supreme God.
      Analogy: the word 'ilah (as in Arabic ilah and Al-ilah) is found
      inscribed on one of the Sinai turquoise mines (Sinai 384, Mine L), in
      the Bronze Age.
      Ohrmizd is a later form, but Ahuramazda is used by Darius. Z also has
      Ahura Mazdatha (very wise Lord).

      (4) Varuna, Mitra, Indra
      In the Hittite treaty with Mitanni (Hurrians) we meet among the
      witnesses these Indo-Aryan deities, in the 14th C BCE:
      "the twin gods Mitra and Uruwana, Indar"

      http://sites.google.com/site/collesseum/hatti
      (I have put my account of Anatolian documents and myths on the web
      today)

      Mithra is a god of covenants, and there is a long hymn to him in the
      Avesta (Yasht 10).

      http://sites.google.com/site/collesseum/iranian-documents/zoroastrian-texts

      It has a credo, a profession of faith: "I confess myself a worshipper
      of Mazda, a follower of Zarathushtra, a hater of daevas, and obedient
      to the laws of Mazda ...."

      This would explain why INDRA (Indar) is missing from the Z'n pantheon:
      he was a d(a)eva, and indeed the king of the Devas. In (later) Vedic
      religion the devas were good, the asuras were on the outer; in Z'ism
      the daevas were demonized, and Ahura (= Asura, Lord) was supreme.

      But what has happened to Varuna the Asura/Ahura, alias Uruwana (Greek
      Ouranos 'sky')?

      To my mind, he has maintained his supremacy in Z'ism, and perhaps, as
      in Judaism and Islam, he is only addressed by titles, not a personal
      name; he is Ahura Mazda. (Wise Lord).

      I am puzzled by Mary Boyce's denial of this. He would not be relegated
      to the lower ranks, as a water god in Z'ism. (Such things happen: the
      supreme Polynesian god is Tangaloa/ Tangaroa [which I suspect might
      have a connection with inner Asian Tengeri] is the god of the sea in
      Maaori religion, and Io is at the top.

      I think we have had this discussion in the past, but the case is not
      closed yet, is it?

      Brian Colless
      Massey University, New Zealand



      On 30/05/2010, at 4:23 AM, Francesco Brighenti wrote:

      >
      >
      > Dear Brian,
      >
      > You write:
      >
      > > [T]his discussion has inspired me to put my teaching materials on
      > > Zoroastrianism onto the web, adding an ANCIENT PERSIA section to:
      > >
      > > [ http://sites.google.com/site/collesseum/iranian-documents ]
      > >
      > > [...]
      > >
      > > Here are two relevant extracts from my notes:
      > >
      > > "The lifetime of Zarathushtra -- This is not known. Was it the
      > > sixth century B.C.E., or was it much earlier? [...] [S]ome scholars
      > > (notably Mary Boyce) suggest [...] that the prophet belongs in the
      > > second millennium B.C.E."
      >
      > Forget about the 6th c. BCE date. This is excluded, _in primis_, on
      > linguistic grounds:
      >
      > http://iranica.com/articles/zoroaster-iii-zoroaster-in-the-avesta
      > "As a result of such linguistic arguments, we can rule out with
      > certainty that Zara��u��tra was a contemporary of the early
      > Achaemenids, because the language of the Avesta does not allow such
      > a late date."
      >
      > Zara��u��tra is mentioned several times in all five G��th��s (the
      > oldest Avestan texts) and, therefore, *if* he was a historical
      > character, he must be coeval with them. The Old Avestan period was
      > roughly "contemporary with the reign of the Hittite king Hattusilis
      > (ca. 1300) and the Mycenean Greek culture (1600-1100)" -- see O.P.
      > Skj��rv�� at
      >
      > http://blagoverie.org/files/385/oldavestanprimer.pdf
      > (pp. IX-X in the paper)
      >
      > See also Skj��rv��'s discussions of the historicity vs. non-
      > historicity of Zara��u��tra at
      >
      > http://tinyurl.com/328x9j
      > (pp. 52-56 in the paper)
      >
      > and at
      >
      > http://www.safarmer.com/Indo-Eurasian/Skjaervo.pdf
      > (pp. 9-11 and 20-25 in the paper)
      >
      > > I saw a good argument for putting Gautama at the same time, 580-500
      > > (he lived 80 years).
      >
      > Most scholars now date the death of the "historical" Buddha (once
      > again, *if* he was a historical character, which is not granted at
      > all!) to around 400 BCE or a little later. The "new dating" of the
      > Buddha, on which a consensus was arrived at on the occasion of a
      > colloquium held in 1988 under the auspices of H. Bechert (see H.
      > Bechert, ed., _The Dating of the Historical Buddha / Die Datierung
      > des Historischen Buddha_, G��ttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht,
      > 1991-2), implies that the Buddha's period of teaching activity was
      > in the second half of the 5th c. BCE, perhaps extending into the
      > first quarter of the 4th c. BCE -- see at
      >
      > http://indology.info/papers/cousins/node4.shtml
      >
      > and at
      >
      > http://www.buddhistethics.org/15/prebish-article.pdf
      >
      > Kindest regards,
      > Francesco Brighenti
      > Venezia
      >
      >
      >



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Graham Hagens
      Z could certainly be late so long as one recognises that by the time his religion reached Persia it was already old Graham Hagens Hamilton, Ontario
      Message 2 of 16 , Jun 2, 2010
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        Z could certainly be 'late' so long as one recognises that by the time his religion reached Persia it was already 'old'

        Graham Hagens
        Hamilton, Ontario

        ed, 6/2/10, Brian Colless <briancolless@...> wrote:

        > From: Brian Colless <briancolless@...>
        > Subject: Re: Achaemenid period creativity
        > To: "Graham Hagens" <rgrahamh@...>
        > Date: Wednesday, June 2, 2010, 9:31 AM
        > Graham,
        >
        > I would be pleased if you put all you have said to me into
        > the forum.

        >
        > Brian
        >
        > On 3/06/2010, at 12:36 AM, Graham Hagens wrote:
        >
        > >
        > > Brian - I have just realized that I did not copy the
        > ANE list on my 
        > > response.
        > >
        > > so our exchange is off-list. Do you mind if I submit
        > this exchange?
        > >
        > > Also: regarding the Iron Age/Bronze Age question - are
        > you familiar 
        > > with Mary Boyce's comments about the dating of Z? -
        > she suggests 
        > > that the teachings arose during a period of societal
        > disturbance and 
        > > conflict between warriors and tribesmen sometime in the
        > late 2nd 
        > > millennium.  The terms Iron/Bronze don't really
        > mean  anything in 
        > > the south Asian steppes in that timeframe.

        > So, Z could just as well be late!
        > I don't want to be quoted as denying the BAge dating for Z;
        > I just 
        > want to consider both possibilities carefully.
        >
        > > The social tensions were most probably related to
        > climate change, 
        > > and dessication of grazing land (she doesn't say that,
        > other 
        > > researchers do).
        > >
        > > Graham
        > >
        > > --- On Wed, 6/2/10, Brian Colless <briancolless@...>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > >> From: Brian Colless <briancolless@...>
        > >> Subject: Re: Achaemenid period creativity
        > >> To: "Graham Hagens" <rgrahamh@...>
        > >> Date: Wednesday, June 2, 2010, 12:29 AM
        > >>
        > >> Graham,
        > >>
        > >> This is interesting and possibly enlightening!
        > >>
        > >> Today I have set out an argument for Zarathushtra
        > in the
        > >> Iron Age, rather than the Bronze Age (though I am
        > not
        > >> denying this possibility).
        > >>
        > >> Brian
        > >> On 30/05/2010, at 6:43 AM, Graham Hagens wrote:
        > >>
        > >>> Thanks Brian.
        > >>> I am astonished that it takes so long to get
        > into NS's
        > >> Last Word. That would explain why I never see
        > answers to
        > >> questions which so often interest
        > me.   How
        > >> does Jon Richfield manage to do one a week?
        > >>>
        > >>> Anyway to get to your main point about
        > Zarathustra.
        > >>>
        > >>> In my slightly humble opinion, the dating of
        > his life
        > >> is almost completely irrelevant when considering
        > the impact
        > >> of Zoroastrian ideas on the ANE.
        > >>>
        > >>> Two primary points emphasized by Mary Boyce
        > are:
        > >>>
        > >>> (i) Based on the Avestan preserved in the
        > earliest
        > >> Gathas she concluded (and the vast majority of
        > Zoroastrian
        > >> scholars now agree), by the time Zoroastrianism
        > reached
        > >> Media/Persia in the 7th century Zarathusthra had
        > been dead
        > >> for centuries: 5 or 10? it doesn't matter. 
        > By then the
        > >> religion he started had become a highly
        > structured,
        > >> inflexible priest controlled organisation with a
        > long list
        > >> of impossible rules & regulations.
        > >>> (ii) Cyrus I (or II, the guy who conquered
        > Media)
        > >> appears to have been a recent, perhaps reluctant,
        > convert to
        > >> Zoroastrianism. It is not even clear that he
        > actually
        > >> followed its precepts. (The suggestion being that
        > he may
        > >> have pretended to convert in order to marry into
        > the Median
        > >> royal family).
        > >>> The consequences of his ambivalence (like
        > Henry VIII's
        > >> catholicism) may have been profound, for his
        > various courts
        > >> entertained philosophers and religious teachers
        > from all
        > >> over the empire, and the Jews were not the only
        > group to get
        > >> a letter of commendation and praise for their
        > Deity. His
        > >> scattered subjects felt free to pick and choose
        > whichever
        > >> elements of the religion appealed to them. 
        > And they
        > >> did.
        > >>>
        > >>> Graham Hagens
        > >>> Hamilton, Ontario
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>> --- On Fri, 5/28/10, Brian Colless <briancolless@...>
        > >> wrote:
        > >>>
        > >>>> From: Brian Colless <briancolless@...>
        > >>>> Subject: Achaemenid period creativity
        > >>>> To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
        > >>>> Cc: rgrahamh@...
        > >>>> Date: Friday, May 28, 2010, 9:14 AM
        > >>>>
        > >>>> On 22/05/2010, at 3:12 AM, Graham Hagens
        > >>>> wrote:
        > >>>> Brian
        > >>>> - now that I know, thanks to New Scientist
        > that
        > >>>> you can wiggle your own ears I have more
        > respect
        > >> than ever
        > >>>> for your contributions to this list.
        > >>>> That
        > >>>> NS contribution was heavily edited, and
        > only
        > >> published after
        > >>>> a long delay (nine months of gestation
        > and
        > >> digestation),
        > >>>> much longer  than happens in this
        > forum,
        > >> while the
        > >>>> committee considers whether my submissions
        > are
        > >> libelous or
        > >>>> libidinous or too libertarian to let
        > through.
        > >>>> If you want to see the original
        > Australasian
        > >>>> sardonic version, it is preserved here
        > (until the
        > >> wonderful
        > >>>> wizard's web collapses):
        > >>>> http://bonzoz.blogspot.com/2009/07/earwiggling.html
        > >>>> But this discussion has inspired me to put
        > my
        > >>>> teaching materials on Zoroastrianism onto
        > the web,
        > >> adding an
        > >>>> ANCIENT PERSIA section to:
        > >>>> http://sites.google.com/site/collesseum/
        > >>>> At a religion conference in Auckland,
        > Lloyd
        > >>>> Geering gave a lecture on the axial
        > period; he
        > >> made a big
        > >>>> thing of it in his books; Peter Craigie
        > gave a
        > >> critique, the
        > >>>> main point being the uncertain date of
        > >>>> Zarathushtra.
        > >>>> Iif the Iranians are not in the axial
        > period it
        > >>>> certainly deserves to be trashed.I have
        > brooded
        > >>>> over the date of Zarathushtra for many
        > years (you
        > >> know me,
        > >>>> if there is a puzzle to be solved I will
        > chew on
        > >> it till it
        > >>>> releases its marrow).
        > >>>> Here are two relevant extracts from my
        > >>>> notes: (1) The lifetime of
        > >>>> ZarathushtraThis is not known. Was it the
        > >>>> sixth century
        > >>>> B.C.E., or was it much earlier?We could
        > argue for
        > >> the sixth
        > >>>> century in
        > >>>> this way: Cyrus (559-530 B.C.E.),
        > >>>> the founder of the
        > >>>> Persian Empire,  mentions the god
        > >>>> Ahura Mazda, the god proclaimed by the
        > prophet
        > >>>> Zarathushtra, though
        > >>>> he also names other gods as his
        > >>>> patrons.Darius (a successor of Cyrus
        > >>>> but not a
        > >>>> descendant ) likewise acknowledges
        > Auramazda but
        > >> also
        > >>>> "the gods that
        > >>>> there
        > >>>> are";
        > >>>>
        > >>>> the name of the king who
        > >>>> protected
        > >>>> Zarathushtra was Vishtaspa, and that was
        > also the
        > >> name of
        > >>>> the father of
        > >>>> Darius,
        > >>>> who  ruled Parthia
        > >>>> while Darius was  emperor;
        > >>>> so Zarathushtra lived in
        > >>>> eastern Iran (in
        > >>>> or near Parthia) during the reign of
        > >>>> Darius (522-486). But Vishtaspa may have
        > >>>> been an ancient name revived by Darius's
        > >>>> family.
        > >>>> And, some scholars
        > >>>> (notably Mary Boyce) suggest,
        > >>>> on the basis of Iranian and Greek
        > traditions, that
        > >> the
        > >>>> prophet belongs
        > >>>> in the
        > >>>> second millennium B.C.E., perhaps
        > contemporary
        > >> with Moses,
        > >>>> rather than
        > >>>> with
        > >>>> Ezekiel and Jeremiah, and the Buddha, in
        > the sixth
        > >> century
        > >>>> B.C.E. However, the Islamic
        > >>>> author al-Biruni gives
        > >>>> the date
        > >>>> of Zarathushtra as 258 years before
        > Alexander the
        > >> Great.
        > >>>> The date of
        > >>>> Alexander's
        > >>>> defeat of Darius III of Persia was 330
        > >>>> B.C.E.;subtracting 258 from this (or
        > >>>> adding 258 to 330!) produces 588
        > >>>> B.C.E., as the birth-year of the
        > prophet;tradition
        > >> says that he died
        > >>>> at the age of
        > >>>> seventy-seven;  this gives his
        > >>>> dates as 588-511 (6th century, anyway).
        > >>>> (2) Notes
        > >>>> to my translation of selected Gathas
        > >>>> Yasna 53 is the
        > >>>> last in the
        > >>>> collection of Gathas. It seems to be a
        > sermon
        > >> delivered by
        > >>>> the prophet at the
        > >>>> wedding of his daughter Pouruchista, who
        > is named
        > >> in the
        > >>>> third verse. It also
        > >>>> mentions his protector Kavi Vishtaspa.
        > >> Zarathushtra exhorts
        > >>>> his followers, both
        > >>>> men and women, to good works and good
        > thought. The
        > >> homely
        > >>>> setting of this
        > >>>> homily is enough to dispel any idea that
        > this
        > >> prophet is a
        > >>>> religious fiction of
        > >>>> the Zoroastrians. There was certainly a
        > >> historical
        > >>>> Zoroaster, as there was a
        > >>>> historical Jesus and Muhammad and Gautama.
        > Which
        > >> century of
        > >>>> history he belongs
        > >>>> to remains uncertain. Scholarly opinion
        > has tended
        > >> to place
        > >>>> him in the sixth
        > >>>> century B.C.E., along with the Sage
        > Confucius, and
        > >> Gautama
        > >>>> the Buddha, and
        > >>>> Ezekiel (who like Zoroaster was both
        > priest and
        > >> prophet).
        > >>>> The fact that
        > >>>> Vishtaspa was the name of the father of
        > Darius the
        > >> Great
        > >>>> (522-486) is an
        > >>>> important fact for this case. But there is
        > a
        > >> growing
        > >>>> feeling that Zarathushtra
        > >>>> belongs with Moses in the second
        > millennium B.C.E.
        > >> Mary
        > >>>> Boyce would date him to
        > >>>> the Bronze Age, more specifically between
        > 1400
        > >> and
        > >>>> 1200.
        > >>>>
        > >>>>
        > >>>>
        > >>>>
        > >>>> One thing that came up in the
        > >>>> discussion is the archaic look about the
        > language
        > >> of the
        > >>>> Gathas (translating some of them was one
        > of the
        > >> hardest
        > >>>> tasks I have ever undertaken), I invoked
        > the
        > >> analogies of
        > >>>> Classical Hebrew and Arabic, where Arabic
        > retained
        > >> all the
        > >>>> noun-cases; and similarly modern English
        > and
        > >>>> German.
        > >>>> I had thought that the divine title Ahura
        > Mazda,
        > >>>> Mazda Ahura, Mazda might have helped in
        > dating
        > >> (>
        > >>>> Ahuramazda, and Ohrmizd).
        > >>>> Anyway, the Iranians certainly transmitted
        > old
        > >>>> and new ideas into Judaism (and
        > Christianity):
        > >> resurrection,
        > >>>> judgement.And the winged sun-disc from
        > Egypt,
        > >>>> passed through Mesopotamia to Persia and
        > Parsee
        > >> religion
        > >>>> (with Ahura Mazda in the disc; this is
        > denied, and
        > >> I do not
        > >>>> know what the truth is), but George
        > Mendenhall
        > >> (Tenth
        > >>>> Generation) reported one from Anatolia
        > with the
        > >> head of
        > >>>> Jesus Christ in the disc.
        > >>>>
        > >>>> The estimated birthdate of
        > >>>> the Buddha I
        > >>>> saw a good argument for putting Gautama at
        > the
        > >> same time,
        > >>>> 580 -500 (he lived 80 years)
        > >>>> Brian CollessMassey University,
        > >>>> NZ
        > >>>> maintained
        > >>>> by various Buddhist communities range over
        > 177
        > >> years from
        > >>>> 624 to 447BCE.  Although the 563 is
        > most
        > >> commonly,
        > >>>> there are good arguments that he lived
        > between
        > >>>> 463-383BCE by which time the Achaemenid
        > satrapies
        > >> in
        > >>>> Gandhara (eponymous  Kandahar) had
        > been in
        > >> existence
        > >>>> for several decades. There is also a body
        > of
        > >> (admittedly
        > >>>> anecdotal) evidence to suggest that
        > Siddartha
        > >> Gautama spent
        > >>>> some years practising meditation prior to
        > his
        > >>>> Enlightenment in what is today southern
        > >>>> Afghanistan.
        > >>>>
        > >>>> According to Diringer the
        > >>>> Karoshthi script had arrived in north
        > western
        > >> India by
        > >>>> the 5th century - and the oldest extant
        > Buddhist
        > >> Gandhari
        > >>>> canon  is written that script, 
        > However
        > >> most
        > >>>> Buddhist traditions were oral - and not
        > put to
        > >>>> writing, in Brahmi, until the time of
        > Ashoka, 3rd
        > >>>> century.
        > >>>>
        > >>>> Graham Hagens
        > >>>> Hamilton
        > >>>>
        > >>>> --- On Thu, 5/20/10, Brian
        > >>>> Colless <briancolless@...>
        > >>>> wrote:
        > >>>>
        > >>>> From: Brian Colless <briancolless@...>
        > >>>> Subject: [ANE-2] Achaemenid
        > >>>> period creativity
        > >>>> To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
        > >>>> Date: Thursday, May 20, 2010,
        > >>>> 8:39 AM
        > >>>>
        > >>>>
        > >>>>
        > >>>> On 17/05/2010, at 1:54 AM,
        > >>>> Graham Hagens wrote:
        > >>>>
        > >>>>> That two century Achaemenid
        > >>>> period was arguably one of the most
        > >>>>> creative in the long
        > >>>> history of what we like to call
        > civilization.
        > >>>>>
        > >>>> Yes, it has been called 'the
        > >>>> axial period'.
        > >>>>
        > >>>> I had never thought of the
        > >>>> Akhaemenid connection for the Indian
        > >>>> movements, only the question
        > >>>> whether Zarathushtra's protector Kavi
        > >>>> Vishtaspa was the same ruler as
        > >>>> the father of Darius the Great (Greek
        > >>>> Hystaspes).
        > >>>>
        > >>>> I always thought the Buddha
        > >>>> belonged around 500, but I did not think
        > >>>> of an Iranian connection.
        > >>>>
        > >>>> I am wondering now whether this
        > >>>> is when the Indian scripts begin,
        > >>>> based on the Aramaic alphabet.
        > >>>> Is this something you considered?
        > >>>>
        > >>>> Brian Colless
        > >>>>
        > >>>> Massey Univrsity, NZ
        > >>>>
        > >>>>> In a forthcoming article in
        > >>>> the classics journal Mouseion I argue
        > >>>>> that the Achaemenid
        > >>>> satrapies in Gandhara played a pivotal
        > role in
        > >>>>> the emergence of western
        > >>>> and eastern (Greek, Buddhist, Upanishad,
        > >>>>> Jain) philosophies.
        > >>>> Syncretic evidence supports the seldom
        > cited 5th
        > >>>>> century BCE chronology of
        > >>>> Siddartha Gautama and major Upanishad
        > >>>>> teachers suggesting that
        > >>>> they like Herodotus, Democritus, Isaiah
        > II/
        > >>>>> III, Nehemiah etc. were all
        > >>>> at one time subjects of the same empire,
        > >>>>> and enjoyed similar degress
        > >>>> of freedom to explore new ideas.
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>> Graham Hagens
        > >>>>> Hamilton
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>
        > >>>> [Non-text portions of this
        > >>>> message have been removed]
        > >>>>
        > >>>> [Non-text portions of this
        > >>>> message have been removed]
        > >>>>
        > >>>>
        > >>>>
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>
        > >>
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
      • Graham Hagens
        ... . Most scholars now date the death of the historical Buddha (once again, *if* he was a historical character, which is not granted at all!) to around 400
        Message 3 of 16 , Jun 2, 2010
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          --- On Sat, 5/29/10, Francesco Brighenti <frabrig@...> wrote:


          .>Most scholars now date the death of the "historical" Buddha (once again, *if* he was a >historical character, which is not granted at all!) to around 400 BCE or a little later.
          >The "new dating" of the Buddha, on which a consensus was arrived at on the occasion of >a colloquium held in 1988 under the auspices of H. Bechert (see H. Bechert, ed., _The >Dating of the Historical Buddha / Die Datierung des Historischen Buddha_, Göttingen, >Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1991-2), implies that the Buddha's period of teaching activity >was in the second half of the 5th c. BCE, perhaps extending into the first quarter of the >4th c. BCE -- see at

           
          Francesco, thank you very much for this reference - it supports the theme of my forthcoming article, but I had missed it.  Hopefully not too late to make an insertion. 
          One more example of why this forum is so valuable.
           
          I'm not sure about  'most scholars' now supporting the 5th century dating, however. The traditional 6th century dating still appears to be very popular.
           
          Graham Hagens
          Hamilton, ON


          From: Francesco Brighenti <frabrig@...>
          Subject: [ANE-2] Re: Achaemenid period creativity
          To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Saturday, May 29, 2010, 12:23 PM


           





          Dear Brian,

          You write:

          > [T]his discussion has inspired me to put my teaching materials on
          > Zoroastrianism onto the web, adding an ANCIENT PERSIA section to:
          >
          > [ http://sites.google.com/site/collesseum/iranian-documents ]
          >
          > [...]
          >
          > Here are two relevant extracts from my notes:
          >
          > "The lifetime of Zarathushtra -- This is not known. Was it the
          > sixth century B.C.E., or was it much earlier? [...] [S]ome scholars
          > (notably Mary Boyce) suggest [...] that the prophet belongs in the
          > second millennium B.C.E."

          Forget about the 6th c. BCE date. This is excluded, _in primis_, on linguistic grounds:

          http://iranica.com/articles/zoroaster-iii-zoroaster-in-the-avesta
          "As a result of such linguistic arguments, we can rule out with certainty that Zaraθuštra was a contemporary of the early Achaemenids, because the language of the Avesta does not allow such a late date."

          Zaraθuštra is mentioned several times in all five Gâthâs (the oldest Avestan texts) and, therefore, *if* he was a historical character, he must be coeval with them. The Old Avestan period was roughly "contemporary with the reign of the Hittite king Hattusilis (ca. 1300) and the Mycenean Greek culture (1600-1100)" -- see O.P. Skjærvø at

          http://blagoverie.org/files/385/oldavestanprimer.pdf
          (pp. IX-X in the paper)

          See also Skjærvø's discussions of the historicity vs. non-historicity of Zaraθuštra at

          http://tinyurl.com/328x9j
          (pp. 52-56 in the paper)

          and at

          http://www.safarmer.com/Indo-Eurasian/Skjaervo.pdf
          (pp. 9-11 and 20-25 in the paper)

          > I saw a good argument for putting Gautama at the same time, 580-500
          > (he lived 80 years).http://indology.info/papers/cousins/node4.shtml

          and at

          http://www.buddhistethics.org/15/prebish-article.pdf

          Kindest regards,
          Francesco Brighenti
          Venezia











          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Don Mills
          ... Archaizing language can be used in sacred contexts, as happened in  ancient Egypt, for example (and in the Book of Mormon). ... At risk of being
          Message 4 of 16 , Jun 17, 2010
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            Brian Colless (whose postings I always enjoy, especially as a fellow Kiwi.  Hey, we thrashed Slovakia, 1-all!) wrote:

            -----<snip>-----
            Archaizing language can be used in sacred contexts, as happened in 
            ancient Egypt, for example (and in the Book of Mormon).
            -----<snip to end>-----

            At risk of being off-topic: the language of the good ol' St James Version ( :-) ) of the Bible, published 1611, was also archaising.

            (The language of the Revised Version was unintelligible.)

            -- Don Mills,
            London

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • jgibson000@comcast.net
            ... *St *James version??? New one on me, and I thought I knew most of the English translations! Jeffrey -- Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon) 1500 W. Pratt
            Message 5 of 16 , Jun 17, 2010
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              On 6/17/2010 2:46 PM, Don Mills wrote:
              > Brian Colless (whose postings I always enjoy, especially as a fellow Kiwi. Hey, we thrashed Slovakia, 1-all!) wrote:
              >
              > -----<snip>-----
              > Archaizing language can be used in sacred contexts, as happened in
              > ancient Egypt, for example (and in the Book of Mormon).
              > -----<snip to end>-----
              >
              > At risk of being off-topic: the language of the good ol' St James Version ( :-) ) of the Bible, published 1611, was also archaising.
              >
              *St *James version???

              New one on me, and I thought I knew most of the English translations!

              Jeffrey

              --
              Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
              1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
              Chicago, Illinois
              e-mail jgibson000@...
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