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Re: Achaemenid period creativity

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  • 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 1 of 16 , Jun 2 7:03 AM
      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]
      > >>>>
      > >>>>
      > >>>>
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
    • 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 2 of 16 , Jun 17 12:46 PM
        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 3 of 16 , Jun 17 3:10 PM
          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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