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Encyclopedia > Linguistic history of India
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Originating over 5,000 years ago, the linguistic history of India describes the evolution and transformation of early human communications techniques - from pictures, pictorial scripts and engravings - to the modern Indian languages that belong to the Indo-Aryan languages and the Dravidian languages. Image File history File links Wiki_letter_w. ... The article describes the languages spoken in the Republic of India. ... The Indo-Aryan languages form a subgroup of the Indo-Iranian languages, thus belonging to the Indo-European family of languages. ... The Dravidian family of languages includes approximately 26 languages that are mainly spoken in southern India and Sri Lanka, as well as certain areas in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and eastern and central India, as well as in parts of Afghanistan and Iran. ...

Spread of scripts in Asia.

Contents

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (919x765, 246 KB) Summary Showing routes of following ancient scripts of India traveling to other parts of Asia: Siddham Kharosthi Nepali (different from current Nepali language) Devanagari Gupta Kucheo Telugu Kannada Tamil Creation based on [1] Licensing File links The following... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (919x765, 246 KB) Summary Showing routes of following ancient scripts of India traveling to other parts of Asia: Siddham Kharosthi Nepali (different from current Nepali language) Devanagari Gupta Kucheo Telugu Kannada Tamil Creation based on [1] Licensing File links The following... World map showing the location of Asia. ...


Language of the Indus Valley Civilization

Indo-Aryan languages

Origins of Sanskrit

Devimahatmya manuscript on palm-leaf, in an early Bhujimol script, Bihar or Nepal, 11th century.
Devimahatmya manuscript on palm-leaf, in an early Bhujimol script, Bihar or Nepal, 11th century.

The adjective saṃskṛta- means "refined, consecrated, sanctified". The language referred to as saṃskṛtā vāk "the refined language" has by definition always been a 'high' language, used for religious and scientific discourse and contrasted with the languages spoken by the people. The oldest surviving Sanskrit grammar is Pāṇini's Aṣtādhyāyī ("Eight-Chapter Grammar") dating to ca. the 5th century BC. It is essentially a prescriptive grammar, i.e., an authority that defines (rather than describes) correct Sanskrit, although it contains descriptive parts, mostly to account for Vedic forms that had already passed out of use in Panini's time. Download high resolution version (920x312, 125 KB)Devimahatmya MS in Sanskrit on palm-leaf, Bihar or Nepal, 11th c. ... Download high resolution version (920x312, 125 KB)Devimahatmya MS in Sanskrit on palm-leaf, Bihar or Nepal, 11th c. ... The oldest surviving manuscript of the text, on palm-leaf, in an early Bhujimol script, Bihar or Nepal, 11th century. ... Bhujimol script, palm_leaf MS of the Devimahatmya, Bihar or Nepal, 11th century. ... For other uses, see Bihar (disambiguation). ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 11th century was that century which lasted from 1001 to 1100. ... (IPA ) was an ancient Gandharan grammarian (approximately 5th century BC, but estimates range from the 7th to the 3rd centuries) who is most famous for formulating the 3,959 rules of Sanskrit morphology known as the . ... The Ashtadhyayi (Ạṣtādhyāyī, meaning eight chapters) is the earliest known grammar of Sanskrit, and one of the first works on descriptive linguistics, generative linguistics, or linguistics altogether. ... (6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC - other centuries) (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium AD) The 5th and 6th centuries BC are a period of philosophical brilliance among advanced civilizations. ...


When the term arose in India, "Sanskrit" was not thought of as a specific language set apart from other languages (the people of the time regarded languages more as dialects), but rather as a particularly refined or perfected manner of speaking. Knowledge of Sanskrit was a marker of social class and educational attainment and was taught mainly to Brahmins through close analysis of Sanskrit grammarians such as Pāṇini. A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language used by people from a particular geographic area. ... Social class refers to the hierarchical distinctions between individuals or groups in societies or cultures. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ...


Sanskrit is almost a direct descendent of the Proto-Indo-European language. It belongs to the Indo-Aryan sub-family of the Indo-European family of languages. It belongs to the Satem group of Indo-European languages, which also includes the Iranian branch and the Balto-Slavic branch. The categorization may be shown as: The Satem division of the Indo-European family includes the following branches: Indo-Iranian, Baltic and Slavic, Armenian, Albanian, perhaps also a number of barely documented extinct languages, such as Phrygian, Thracian, and Dacian (see: Indo-European languages). ...


Indo-European → Indo-Iranian → Indo-Aryan (i.e., Sanskrit and its descendents).


Technically, Sanskrit is the oldest of the Old Indo-Aryan languages. Its "daughter languages" include the Prakrits of ancient India, Hindi, Bengali, Kashmiri, Urdu, Marathi, Gujarati, Assamese, Nepali, Punjabi and Romany (spoken by the European gypsies). It is no wonder that Sanskrit shows stark similarities—to varying degrees—with Latin, Ancient Greek, Avestan and even Persian and German. Prakrit (Sanskrit prāká¹›ta प्राकृत (from pra-ká¹›ti प्रकृति), original, natural, artless, normal, ordinary, usual, i. ... Hindi (हिन्दी hind), an Indo-European language spoken mainly in North, Central, and West India, is the official language of the Indian Union. ... Bengali or Bangla (বাংলা ) is an Indo-Aryan language of South Asia that evolved as a successor to Sanskrit, Pali, and Prakrit. ... For other uses, see Kashmiri (disambiguation) Kashmiri is a Dardic language spoken primarily in Kashmir, an Asian region now split between India, Pakistan and China. ... The phrase Zaban-e Urdu-e Mualla written in Urdu Urdu () is an Indo-European language of the Indo-Aryan family that developed under Persian, Turkish, and Arabic influence in South Asia during the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire (1200-1800). ... Marathi is one of the widely spoken languages of India, and has a long literary history. ... Gujarati (ગુજરાતી GujarātÄ«; also sometimes Gujrati) is an Indo-European, Indo-Aryan language. ... Assamese (অসমীয়া) or Asamiya is the language spoken by some of the natives of the state of Assam in northeast India. ... Nepali could mean: Nepali — A citizen of the country of Nepal. ... Punjabi (also Panjabi; in GurmukhÄ«, PanjābÄ« in ShāhmukhÄ«) is the language of the Punjab regions of India and Pakistan. ... Romany (or Romani) is the language of the Roma and Sinti, peoples often referred to in English as Gypsies. The Indo-Aryan Romany language should not be confused with either Romanian (spoken by Romanians), or Romansh (spoken in parts of southeastern Switzerland), both of which are Romance languages. ... The Roma people (singular Rom; sometimes Rroma, Rrom), often referred to as Gypsies, are a heterogeneous ethnic group who live primarily in Southern and Eastern Europe, Western Asia, Latin America, southern states of North America and the Middle East. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... Yasna 28. ... Persian (known variously as: فارسی Fārsi or پارسی Pārsi, local name in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Tajik, a Central Asian dialect, or Dari, another local name in Tajikistan and Afghanistan) is a language spoken in Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Southern Russia, neighboring countries, and elsewhere. ...


Vedic Sanskrit

Main article: Vedic Sanskrit

Sanskrit, as defined by Pāini, had evolved out of the earlier "Vedic" form, and scholars often distinguish Vedic Sanskrit and Classical or "Paninian" Sanskrit as separate dialects. However, they are extremely similar in many ways and differ mostly in a few points of phonology, vocabulary, and grammar. Classical Sanskrit can therefore be considered a seamless evolution of the earlier Vedic language. Vedic Sanskrit is the language of the Vedas, a large collection of hymns, incantations, and religio-philosophical discussions which form the earliest religious texts in India and the basis for much of the Hindu religion. Modern linguists consider the metrical hymns of the Rigveda Samhita to be the earliest, composed by many authors over centuries of oral tradition. The end of the Vedic period is marked by the composition of the Upanishads, which form the concluding part of the Vedic corpus in the traditional compilations. The current hypothesis is that the Vedic form of Sanskrit survived until the middle of the first millennium BC. It is around this time that Sanskrit began the transition from a first language to a second language of religion and learning, marking the beginning of the Classical period. Vedic Sanskrit is the language of the Vedas, the earliest sacred texts of India. ... Vedic Sanskrit is the language of the Vedas, the earliest sacred texts of India. ... Phonology (Greek phonÄ“ = voice/sound and logos = word/speech), is a subfield of linguistics which studies the sound system of a specific language (or languages). ... A vocabulary is a set of words known to a person or other entity, or that are part of a specific language. ... This article is about grammar from a linguistic perspective. ... The Vedas (Sanskrit: वेद), collectively refers to a corpus of ancient Indo-Aryan religious literature that are associated with the Vedic civilization and are considered by adherents of Hinduism to be revealed knowledge. ... A Hindu, as pre modern definition is an adherent of philosophies and scriptures of Hinduism, the predominant religious, philosophical and cultural system of the Indian subcontinent and the island of Bali. ... The Rigveda (Sanskrit: , a tatpurusha compound of praise, verse and knowledge) is a collection of hymns (sÅ«kta, the individual verses are called , plural ) counted among the four Hindu religious texts known as the s, and contains the oldest texts preserved in any Indo-Iranian language. ... The Upanishads (उपनिषद्, Upanişad) are part of the Hindu Shruti scriptures which primarily discuss meditation and philosophy and are seen as religious instructions by most schools of Hinduism. ...


It is interesting to note that orthodox Hinduism believes that the language of the Vedas is eternal and revealed in its wording and word order. Evidence for this belief is found in the Vedas itself, where in the Upanishads they are described as the very "breath of God" (nihsvasitam brahma). The Vedas are therefore considered "the language of reality", so to speak, and are unauthored, even by God, the rishis or seers ascribed to them being merely individuals gifted with a special insight into reality with the power of perceiving these eternal sounds. At the beginning of every cycle of creation, God himself "remembers" the order of the Vedic words and propagates them through the rishis. Orthodox Hindus, while accepting the linguistic development of Sanskrit as such, do not admit any historical stratification within the Vedic corpus itself. A Hindu, as pre modern definition is an adherent of philosophies and scriptures of Hinduism, the predominant religious, philosophical and cultural system of the Indian subcontinent and the island of Bali. ... The Vedas (Sanskrit: वेद), collectively refers to a corpus of ancient Indo-Aryan religious literature that are associated with the Vedic civilization and are considered by adherents of Hinduism to be revealed knowledge. ... The Vedas (Sanskrit: वेद), collectively refers to a corpus of ancient Indo-Aryan religious literature that are associated with the Vedic civilization and are considered by adherents of Hinduism to be revealed knowledge. ... The Upanishads (उपनिषद्, Upanişad) are part of the Hindu Shruti scriptures which primarily discuss meditation and philosophy and are seen as religious instructions by most schools of Hinduism. ... The Vedas (Sanskrit: वेद), collectively refers to a corpus of ancient Indo-Aryan religious literature that are associated with the Vedic civilization and are considered by adherents of Hinduism to be revealed knowledge. ... In Hinduism, a Rishi () is a sage and/or seer who heard (cf. ... In Hinduism, a Rishi () is a sage and/or seer who heard (cf. ... A Hindu, as pre modern definition is an adherent of philosophies and scriptures of Hinduism, the predominant religious, philosophical and cultural system of the Indian subcontinent and the island of Bali. ...


This belief is of significant consequence in Indian religious history, as the very sacredness and eternality of the language encouraged exact memorization and transmission and discouraged textual learning via written propagation. Each word is believed to have innate and eternal meaning and, when properly pronounced, mystic expressive power.


Erroneous learning of repetition of the Veda was considered a grave sin with potentially immediate negative consequences. Consequently, Vedic learning by rote was encouraged and prized, particularly among Brahmins, where learning of one's own Vedic texts was a mandated duty. On the social side, the need to preserve the error-free nature of the Veda served as a justification to prevent teaching and propagation of the text to those considered "unworthy" of receiving it, by virtue of caste and gender. The Vedas are part of the Hindu Shruti; these religious scriptures form part of the core of the Brahminical and Vedic traditions within Hinduism and are the inspirational, metaphysical and mythological foundation for later Vedanta, Yoga, Tantra and even Bhakti forms of Hinduism. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Vedic Sanskrit differs from Classical Sanskrit in as much as Homeric Greek differs from Classical Greek. The important differences are:Ė

  • Vedic Sanskrit had a voiceless bilabial fricative (/ɸ/, called upamādhamīya) and a voiceless velar fricative (/x/, called jihvāmūlīya)—which used to occure when the breath visarga appeared before labial and velar consonants respectively. Both of them were lost in Classical Sanskrit.
  • Vedic Sanskrit had a retroflex lateral approximant (/ɭ/), which was lost in Classical Sanskrit.
  • Vedic Sanskrit had a pitch accent which was completely lost sometime around the 6th century ACE (about the same time when Classical Greek also lost its pitch accent)—preserved only in the Vedic chantings.
  • The subjunctive tense of Vedic Sanskrit was also lost in Classical Sanskrit.
  • More than 12 ways of forming infinitives in Vedic Sanskrit became redundant and clubbed under a single infinitive in Classical Sanskrit.
  • A large number of Indo-European words were lost in Classical Sanskrit, and a large number of loanwords were incorporated from neighboring language families (Dravidian, Munda), and also from now lost substrate languages.
  • There was wide-ranging simplification of inflected noun forms for athematic nouns (those not ending in the theme vowel 'a'). Many of the athematic consonant-final nouns were reanalyzed in thematic form (ending with 'a').
  • Word order became more standardized on the SOV (Subject-Object-Verb) pattern, whereas in Vedic Sanskrit word order was more variable.
  • Verbal affixes in Classical Sansrkit like 'vi', 'upa', etc. became cemented to the verbs they corresponded to, whereas in Vedic Sanskrit these could occur anywhere in the sentence structure.

Other than these, many significant linguistic changes have occurred in Classic Sanskrit to distinguish it from Vedic Sanskrit during the millenia that it evolved due to both internal change, and also due to influences from neighboring language families with whom its speakers had intense contact. The voiceless bilabial fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The voiceless velar fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. ... Visarga () is a Sanskrit word meaning sending forth, discharge. In Sanskrit phonology, (also called, equivalently by earlier grammarians) is the name of a sound, approximately IPA , written as IAST , Harvard-Kyoto H, Devanagari . ... The retroflex lateral approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... In grammar, the infinitive is the form of a verb that has no inflection to indicate person, number, mood or tense. ...


Classical Sanskrit

Pali

Pali is sometimes believed to be the same language as Magadhi, but other scholars believe the language to be a slightly different but closely related descendant language.


Emergence of Prakrits

Prakrit (Sanskrit prākṛta प्राकृत (from pra-kṛti प्रकृति), "original, natural, artless, normal, ordinary, usual", i.e. "vernacular", in contrast to samskrta "excellently made", both adjectives elliptically referring to vak "speech") refers to the broad family of the Indic languages and dialects spoken in ancient India. The Prakrits became literary languages, generally patronized by kings identified with the ksatriya caste, but were regarded as illegitimate by the Brahmin orthodoxy. The earliest extant use of Prakrit are the inscriptions of Asoka, emperor of Northern India, and while the various Prakrit languages are associated with different patron dynasties, with different religions and different literary traditions, none of them were at any time an informal "mother tongue" in any area of India. The vernacular is the native language of a country or locality. ... Sanskrit ( संस्कृतम् ; pronunciation : ) is an Indo-European classical language of India and a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. ... The Indo-Aryan languages form a subgroup of the Indo-Iranian languages, thus belonging to the Indo-European family of languages. ... A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language used by people from a particular geographic area. ... A Kshatriya is a member of the military or reigning order, according to the law-code of Manu the second ranking caste of the Indian varna system of four castes, the first being the Brahmin or priestly caste, the third the Vaishya or mercantile caste and the lowest the Shudra. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article is about Ashoka, the emperor. ...


In Sanskrit drama, kings speak in Prakrit when addressing women or servants, in contrast to the Sanskrit used in reciting more formal poetic monologues. Kalidasa and Asvaghosa were the main pioneers of Sanskrit drama. ... Prakrit (Sanskrit prāká¹›ta प्राकृत (from pra-ká¹›ti प्रकृति), original, natural, artless, normal, ordinary, usual, i. ... Sanskrit ( संस्कृतम् ; pronunciation : ) is an Indo-European classical language of India and a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. ...


The three Dramatic Prakrits - Sauraseni, Magadhi, Maharashtri, as well as Jain Prakrit each represent a distinct tradition of literature within the history of India. Other Prakrits are reported in historical sources, but have no extant corpus (e.g., Paisaci). Any of the three main dialects of Prakrit, used extensively in Sanskrit literature. ... A Dramatic Prakrit, Sauraseni was the chief language of northern medieval India, evolving into the Hindi language complex and Punjabi. ... The Magadhi language (also known as Magahi) is a language of India. ... Maharashtri is a language of medieval India, descended from Sanskrit, and spoken in what is now Maharashtra and other parts of India. ... Jain Prakrit is a term loosely used for the language of the Jain canon. ... An extinct language of classical India, its existence as a medium of debate and literary expression is recorded in various Theravada Buddhist sources, and mentioned in Prakrit and Sanskrit grammars of antiquity. ...


Prakrit is foremost a native term, designating "vernaculars" as opposed to the artificial Sanskrit. Some modern scholars follow this classification by including all Middle Indo-Aryan languages under the rubric of "Prakrits", while others emphasise the independent development of these languages, often separated from the history of Sanskrit by wide divisions of caste, religion, and geography. Ardhamagadhi, which was used extensively to write Jain scriptures, is the definitive form of Prakrit, while others are considered variants. Caste systems are traditional, hereditary systems of social stratification. ... Prakrit (Sanskrit prakrta: natural, usual, vulgar) refers to the broad family of the Indic languages and dialects spoken in ancient India. ...


The Apabhramshas

The Prakrits (which includes Pali) were gradually transformed into Apabhramshas which were used until about 13th century. The term Apabhramsha refers to the dialects of North India before the rise of modern North Indian languages. The term apabhramsha implies a corrupt or non-standard language. A significant amount of Apabhramsha literature has been found in Jain libraries. While Amir Khusro and Kabir were writing in a language quite similar to modern Hindi, many poets, specially in regions that were still ruled by Hindu kings, continued to write in Apabhramsha. The Apabhramsha authors include Sarahapad of Kamarupa, Devasena of Dhar (9th c. CE), Pushpadanta of Manyakhet (9th c. CE), Dhanapal, Muni Ramsimha, Hemachandra of Patan, Raighu of Gwalior (15th CE). An early example of the use of Apabhramsha is in Vikramuurvashiiya of Kalidasa, when Pururava asks the animals in the forest about his beloved who had disappeared. Prakrit (Sanskrit prāká¹›ta प्राकृत (from pra-ká¹›ti प्रकृति), original, natural, artless, normal, ordinary, usual, i. ... For the town and district in Rajasthan, see Pali, Rajasthan For the Ganapati temple of pali and place in Maharastra, see Ballaleshwar Pali Pāli (Devanagari पालि) is a Middle Indo-Aryan dialect or prakrit. ... A map showing North India North India is a geographic and linguistic-cultural region of India. ... JAIN is an activity within the Java Community Process, developing APIs for the creation of telephony (voice and data) services. ... Abul Hasan Yaminuddin Khusro (1253-1325 CE), better known as Amir Khusro Dehlavi, was a muslim poet and is one of the iconic figures in the cultural history of the Indian subcontinent. ... Kabir (also Kabira, Hindi: , Punjabi: , Urdu: , 1440 - 1518) was an Indian mystic who preached an ideal of seeing all of humanity as one. ... Dhar is a town in the Malwa region of western Madhya Pradesh state in central India. ... Hemachandra Suri (हेमचन्द्र सूरी) (correct Sanskrit spelling Hemacandra Sürí) (1089 -1172) was one of the greatest scholars of his time. ... Patan is : a city in Nepal (Patan, Nepal) a city and district in Gujarat (Patan, Gujarat) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Teli-ka-Mandir Fortress of Gwalior tiles with symbolic images colossal figures Gwalior is a city in Madhya Pradesh, India. ... The play is about the love story between Pururava and Urvashi. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Emergence of modern Indo-Aryan languages

Indo-Dravidian languages

The origins of the Dravidian languages, as well as their subsequent development and the period of their differentiation, are unclear, and the situation is not helped by the lack of comparative linguistic research into the Dravidian languages. There are striking similarities between the Dravidian and Uralic and Altaic language groups, which suggest prolonged contact between the language families at some stage although a common origin appears unlikely. Inconclusive attempts have also been made to link the family with the Japonic languages, Basque, Korean, Sumerian, the Australian Aboriginal languages and the unknown language of the Indus valley civilisation. Historical linguistics (also diachronic linguistics or comparative linguistics) is primarily the study of the ways in which languages change over time, by means of examining languages which are recognizably related through similarities such as vocabulary, word formation, and syntax, as well as the surviving records of ancient languages. ... Geographical distribution of Samoyedic, Finnic, Ugric and Yukaghir languages The Uralic languages form a language family of about 30 languages spoken by approximately 20 million people. ... Altaic is a proposed language family which includes 60 languages spoken by about 250 million people, mostly in and around Central Asia and Far East. ... The Japonic languages are a language family believed to descend from a common language known as Proto-Japonic. ... Basque (in Basque: Euskara) is the language spoken by the Basque people who inhabit the Pyrenees in North-Central Spain and the adjoining region of South-Western France. ... The Sumerian language of ancient Sumer was spoken in Southern Mesopotamia from at least the 4th millennium BC. Sumerian was replaced by Akkadian as a spoken language around 2000 BC, but continued to be used as a sacred, ceremonial and scientific language in Mesopotamia until about 1 AD. Then, it... The Australian Aboriginal languages comprise several language families and isolates native to Australia and a few nearby islands, but by convention excluding Tasmania. ... The Indus Valley Civilization existed along the Indus River and the Vedic Sarasvati River in present-day Pakistan. ...


Legends common to many Dravidian-speaking groups speak of their origin in a vast, now-sunken continent far to the south. Many linguists, however, tend to favour the theory that speakers of Dravidian languages spread southwards and eastwards through the Indian subcontinent, based on the fact that the southern Dravidian languages show some signs of contact with linguistic groups which the northern Dravidian languages do not. Proto-Dravidian is thought to have differentiated into Proto-North Dravidian, Proto-Central Dravidian and Proto-South Dravidian around 1500 BC, although some linguists have argued that the degree of differentiation between the sub-families points to an earlier split. Composite satellite image of the Indian subcontinent Map of South Asia. ... Proto-Dravidian is the proto-language of the Dravidian languages. ...


The existence of the Dravidian language family was first suggested in 1816 by Alexander D. Campbell in his Grammar of the Teloogoo Language, in which he and Francis W. Ellis argued that Tamil and Telugu were descended from a common, non-Indo-European ancestor. However, it was not until 1856 that Robert Caldwell published his Comparative grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian family of languages, which considerably expanded the Dravidian umbrella and established it as one of the major language groups of the world. Caldwell coined the term "Dravidian" from the Sanskrit drāvida, which was used in a 7th century text to refer to the languages of the south of India. The publication of the Dravidian etymological dictionary by T. Burrow and M. B. Emeneau was a landmark event in Dravidian linguistics. 1816 was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Tamil (தமிழ் ) is a classical language and one of the major languages of the Dravidian language family. ... Telugu (తెలుగు) belongs to the Dravidian language family but with ample influences by the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European family and is the official language of the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. ... 1856 was a leap year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Bishop Robert Caldwell (1814 -1891) was an orientalist who pioneered the study of the Dravidian languages with his influential work Comparative Grammar of Dravidian Languages (1856; revised edition 1875). ... Sanskrit ( संस्कृतम् ; pronunciation : ) is an Indo-European classical language of India and a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. ...


Origins of Tamil

A set of palm leaf manuscripts from the 15th century or the 16th century, containing Christian prayers in Tamil
A set of palm leaf manuscripts from the 15th century or the 16th century, containing Christian prayers in Tamil

The origins of Tamil, like the other Dravidian languages, but unlike most of the other established literary languages of India, are independent of Sanskrit. Tamil has the oldest literature amongst the Dravidian languages (Hart, 1975), but dating the language and the literature precisely is difficult. Literary works in India or Sri Lanka were preserved either in palm leaf manuscripts (implying repeated copying and recopying) or through oral transmission, making direct dating impossible. External chronological records and internal linguistic evidence, however, indicates that the oldest extant works were probably composed sometime between the 5th century BCE and the 2nd century CE. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... The neutrality and factual accuracy of this section are disputed. ... Maria Magdalene in prayer. ... The Dravidian family of languages includes approximately 26 languages that are mainly spoken in southern India and Sri Lanka, as well as certain areas in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and eastern and central India, as well as in parts of Afghanistan and Iran. ... The article describes the languages spoken in the Republic of India. ... Sanskrit ( संस्कृतम् ; pronunciation : ) is an Indo-European classical language of India and a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. ... Palmleaf Manuscripts - used extensively in Ancient India writes P S Iyer Palmleaf was used as paper to record and preserve thoughts, knowledge and mythical narratives. ... Chronology is the science of locating events in time. ... (6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC - other centuries) (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium AD) Events Demotic becomes the dominant script of ancient Egypt Persians invade Greece twice (Persian Wars) Battle of Marathon (490) Battle of Salamis (480) Athenian empire formed and falls Peloponnesian War... // Events Roman Empire governed by the Five Good Emperors (96–180) – Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius. ...


The earliest extant text in Tamil is the Tolkāppiyam, a work on poetics and grammar which describes the language of the classical period, the oldest portions of this book may date back to around 200 BCE (Hart, 1975). Preliminary results from archaelogical excavations in 2005 suggest that the oldest inscriptions in Tamil may date atleast to around 500 BCE[2]. Apart from these, the earliest examples of Tamil writing we have today are rock inscriptions from the 3rd century BCE, which are written in an adapted form of the Brahmi script (Mahadevan, 2003). Many Tamils argue in favour of a much earlier date for the literature by referring to Tamil legends of a lost continent, or by positing links to the Indus valley civilisation, the Sumerian Tammuz, and the Australian Kamilaroi, but none of these theories have been recognised by the mainstream scholarly community. The Tolkāppiyam (தொல்காப்பியம் in Tamil) is a work on the grammar of the Tamil language. ... (Redirected from 200 BCE) Centuries: 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC - 1st century BC Decades: 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC - 200s BC - 190s BC 180s BC 170s BC 160s BC 150s BC Years: 205 BC 204 BC 203 BC 202 BC 201 BC - 200 BC... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Centuries: 7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC Decades: 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC - 520s BC - 510s BC - 500s BC - 490s BC - 480s BC - 470s BC - 460s BC - 450s BC Events and Trends 509 BC - Foundation of the Roman Republic 508 BC - Office of pontifex maximus created... (4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC - other centuries) (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium AD) Events The first two Punic Wars between Carthage and Rome over dominance in western Mediterranean Rome conquers Spain Great Wall of China begun Indian traders regularly visited Arabia Scythians occupy... The Brahmic family is a family of abugidas used in South Asia and Southeast Asia. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Tamil people are an ethnic group from South Asia with a recorded history going back more than two millennia. ... Kumari Kandam is a legendary sunken landmass to the south of Kanyakumari, at the tip of South India. ... The Indus Valley Civilization existed along the Indus River and the Vedic Sarasvati River in present-day Pakistan. ... Tammuz or Tamuz Arabic تمّوز TammÅ«z; Hebrew תַּמּוּז, Standard Hebrew Tammuz, Tiberian Hebrew Tammûz; Akkadian Duʾzu, DÅ«zu; Sumerian Dumuzi was the name of a Babylonian deity. ... Kamilaroi is an Australian Aboriginal people who are from the area between Tamworth and Goondiwindi, west to Narrabri and Lightning Ridge, in northern New South Wales. ...


Linguists categorise Tamil literature and language into three periods: ancient (500 BCE to 700 CE), medieval (700 CE to 1500 CE) and modern (1500 CE to the present). During the medieval period, a number of Sanskrit loan words were absorbed by Tamil, which many 20th century purists, notably Parithimaar Kalaignar and Maraimalai Adigal, later sought to remove. This movement was called thanith thamizh iyakkam (meaning pure Tamil movement). As a result of this, Tamil in formal documents, public speeches and scientific discourses is largely free of Sanskrit loan words. Between 800 and 1300 CE, Malayalam is believed to have evolved into a distinct language. Linguistics is the scientific study of human language, and someone who engages in this study is called a linguist. ... Tamil literature is literature in the Tamil language which most prominently includes the contributions of the Tamil country (or Tamizhagam) history, a large part of which constitutes the modern state of Tamil Nadu and Kerala as well as some parts of Karnataka and Andra pradesh. ... // Events Saint Adamnan convinces 51 kings to adopt Cáin Adomnáin defining the relationship between women and priests. ... 1500 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... A loanword (or a borrowing) is a word taken in by one language from another. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the... A purist is one who desires that a particular item remain true to its essence and free from adulterating or diluting influences. ... Parithimaar Kalaignyar was a Vedic scholar and priest who lived in the 19th century. ... Maraimalai Adigal was a Vedic scholar, Vaedhaachchala Swamigal who studied deep into the realm of the sacred classical Tamil language turned a purist and changed his name to a Tamil version with unchanged essence-MaraiMalai Adigal- a devotee by name, the mountain of the Sacred Text. He lived in the... Events December 25, Rome, coronation of Charles the Great (Charlemagne) as emperor by Pope Leo III. Celtic monks begin work on the Book of Kells on the Island of Iona. ... Events February 22 - Jubilee of Pope Boniface VIII. March 10 - Wardrobe accounts of King Edward I of Englanddo (aka Edward Longshanks) include a reference to a game called creag being played at the town of Newenden in Kent. ... Malayalam (മലയാളം) is the major language of the state of Kerala, in southern India. ...


Emergence of modern Dravidian languages

Languages of other families in India

Tibeto-Burman languages

Meithei language

Austro-Asiatic languages

Santali language

It is the oldest language of India. It belongs to the austro - asiatic language family which is a part of austric family group of languages comprising also the malayan - polinesian languages family.

 To the austro - asiatic family of languages belong the santal and munda languages of eastern India (Chota Nagpur plateau, West Bengal, etc.), Nepal and Bangladesh and the mhon - Khmer languages (vietnamese, khmer, mhon)which are spoken in Indochina: Vietnam, Cambodgia, Laos, Thailand, Birmania, Malaesia,Yunan. The austro-asiatic languages where spoken in possibly all the indian subcontinent by the dark skined hunther - gatherers peoples which have been replaced or assimilated by the agriculturalists dravidians coming from Iran or possible Mesopotamia and after that by the indo - european aryans coming from central asian and russian stepes. 

Evolution of scripts

Indus script

Enlarge
These fragments of early Indus writing are about 5,500 years old. [1]

The term Indus script refers to short strings of symbols associated with the Harappan civilization of ancient India (most of the Indus sites are distributed in present day North West India and Pakistan) used between 26001900 BC, which evolved from an early Indus script attested from around 35003300 BC. They are most commonly associated with flat, rectangular stone tablets called seals, but they are also found on at least a dozen other materials. The first publication of a Harappan seal dates to 1875, in the form of a drawing by Alexander Cunningham. Since then, well over 4000 symbol-bearing objects have been discovered, some as far afield as Mesopotamia. After 1900 BC, use of the symbols ends, together with the final stage of Harappan civilization. Some early scholars, starting with Cunningham in 1877, thought that the script was the archetype of the Brahmi script used by Ashoka. Today Cunningham's claims are rejected by nearly all researchers, but a minority of mostly Indian scholars continues to argue for the Indus script as the predecessor of the Brahmic family. There are over 400 different signs, but many are thought to be slight modifications or combinations of perhaps 200 'basic' signs. Image File history File links Pakistan-pottery. ... Image File history File links Pakistan-pottery. ... The Indus Valley Civilization existed along the Indus River and the Vedic Sarasvati River in present-day Pakistan. ... Prehistory The prehistory of India goes back to the old Stone age (Palaeolithic). ... (Redirected from 2600 BC) (27th century BC - 26th century BC - 25th century BC - other centuries) (4th millennium BC - 3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC) Events 2900 - 2334 BC – Mesopotamian wars of the Early Dynastic period. ... (Redirected from 1900 BC) (20th century BC - 19th century BC - 18th century BC - other centuries) (3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC) Events Hittite empire in Anatolia 1829 - 1818 BC -- Egyptian-Nubian war 1818 BC -- Egyptian Campaign in Palestine 1813 BC -- Amorite Conquest of Northern Mesopotamia 1806 BC... (36th century BC - 35th century BC - 34th century BC - other centuries) (5th millennium BC - 4th millennium BC - 3rd millennium BC) Events ? - Formation of the Sahara Desert 3450 (?) - Stage IId of the Naqada culture in Egypt Significant persons Inventions, discoveries, introductions ? _ Irrigation in Egypt ? - First use of Cuneiform (script) Categories... (34th century BC - 33rd century BC - 32nd century BC - other centuries) (5th millennium BC - 4th millennium BC - 3rd millennium BC) Events Major climate shift possibly due to shift in solar activity. ... 1875 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Sir Alexander Cunningham (23 January 1814–28 November 1893) was an English archaeologist and army engineer, known as the father of the Archaeological Survey of India. ... (Redirected from 1900 BC) (20th century BC - 19th century BC - 18th century BC - other centuries) (3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC) Events Hittite empire in Anatolia 1829 - 1818 BC -- Egyptian-Nubian war 1818 BC -- Egyptian Campaign in Palestine 1813 BC -- Amorite Conquest of Northern Mesopotamia 1806 BC... 1877 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... BrāhmÄ« refers to the pre-modern members of the Brahmic family of scripts, attested from the 3rd century BC. The best known and earliest dated inscriptions in Brahmi are the rock-cut edicts of Ashoka. ... Emperor Ashoka (a possible picturisation) Ashoka the Great (Devanagari: अशोक; IAST transliteration: ) was the emperor of the Mauryan Empire from 273 BCE to 232 BCE. After a number of military conquests, Ashoka reigned over most of South Asia and beyond, from present-day Afghanistan to Bengal and as far south as... The Brahmic family is a family of abugidas used in South Asia, Tibet and Southeast Asia. ...

Attempts at decipherment

Over the years, numerous decipherments have been proposed, but none has been accepted by the scientific community at large. The following factors are usually regarded as the biggest obstacles for a successful decipherment: Decipherment is the analysis of documents written in ancient languages, where the language is unknown, or knowledge of the language has been lost. ...

  • The substrate language has not been identified, nor the language family to which it belongs.
  • The average length of the inscriptions is less than five signs, the longest being one of only 26 signs.
  • No bilingual texts have been found.

The Finnish Indologist Asko Parpola, who has edited a multivolumed corpus of the inscriptions, surmises that the symbols represent a logo-syllabic script, with an underlying Dravidian language as the most likely linguistic substrate. Asko Parpola, professor of Indology and South Asian Studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland has specialized on the Indus script. ... The Dravidian family of languages includes approximately 26 languages that are mainly spoken in southern India and Sri Lanka, as well as certain areas in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and eastern and central India, as well as in parts of Afghanistan and Iran. ...


If the signs are purely ideographical, they may contain no information about the language spoken by their creators, and cannot be called a script in the true sense of the word. A recent paper by Steve Farmer, Richard Sproat, and Michael Witzel - a comparative historian, computational linguist, and Indologist respectively - offers evidence that the symbols were not coupled to oral language, which in part explains the extreme brevity of the inscriptions. For their paper, see the external links. A Chinese character. ...


A number of writers associated with Hindutva have attempted to prove that the script encodes Vedic Sanskrit. R.S. Rajaram and N. Jha made one such claim. D. B. Kasar has compared the Indus script to Germanic runes and claims that IVC inscriptions contain Rigvedic hymns. These theories are not accepted by most scholars. Hindutva (Hinduness, a word coined by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in his 1923 pamphlet entitled Hindutva: Who is a Hindu? ) is used to describe movements advocating Hindu nationalism. ... Sanskrit ( संस्कृतम् ; pronunciation : ) is an Indo-European classical language of India and a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. ...


Brahmi script

An example of Brāhmī script - Ashoka's first rock inscription at Girnar.
An example of Brāhmī script - Ashoka's first rock inscription at Girnar.
Main article: Brahmi

The best known inscriptions in Brāhmī are the rock-cut edicts of Ashoka, dating to the 3rd century BC. These were long considered the earliest examples of Brahmi writing, but recent archeological evidence in Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu may push back the date for the earliest use of Brahmi to the 5th or 6th century BC, however the dating methods used have a significant margin of error. http://www. ... http://www. ... Girnar, a scenic mountain range in Gujarat, India, rises to above 6000 meters, the highest peaks in Gujarat. ... BrāhmÄ« refers to the pre-modern members of the Brahmic family of scripts, attested from the 3rd century BC. The best known and earliest dated inscriptions in Brahmi are the rock-cut edicts of Ashoka. ... The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls, made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty during his reign from 272 to 231 BCE. These inscriptions are dispersed throughout the areas of modern-day Pakistan... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) // Events Teotihuacán, Mexico begun The first two Punic Wars between Carthage and Rome over dominance in western Mediterranean Rome conquers Spain Gaulish migration to Macedon, Thrace and Galatia 282-226: Colossus of Rhodes 281 BC Antiochus I Soter, on the assassination... Tamil Nadu (தமிழ் நாடு, Land of the Tamils) is a state at the southern tip of India. ... (6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC - other centuries) (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium AD) The 5th and 6th centuries BC are a period of philosophical brilliance among advanced civilizations. ... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) // Overview The 5th and 6th centuries BC were a time of empires, but more importantly, a time of learning and philosophy. ...


This script is ancestral to most of the scripts of South Asia, Southeast Asia, Tibet, Mongolia, and perhaps even Korean Hangul. The Brāhmī numeral system is the ancestor of the Hindu-Arabic numerals, which are now used world-wide. South Asia or Southern Asia is a southern geopolitical region of the Asian continent comprising territories on and in proximity to the Indian subcontinent. ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ... Tibet (older spelling Thibet; Tibetan: བོད་, Bod, pronounced pö in Lhasa dialect; Chinese: 西藏, Pinyin: XÄ«zàng or Chinese: 藏区, Pinyin: ZàngqÅ« [the two names are used with different connotations; see Name section below]) is a region in Central Asia and the home of the Tibetan people. ... Hangul also refers to a word processing application widely used in Korea. ... The Brahmi numerals are an indigenous Indian numeral system attested from the 3rd century BCE (somewhat later in the case of most of the tens). ... Hindu-Arabic numerals also known as Arabic Numerals, Hindu numerals, European numerals, and Western numerals are the most common set of symbols used to represent numbers around the world. ...


Brāhmī is generally believed to be derived from a Semitic script such as the Imperial Aramaic alphabet, as was clearly the case for the contempory Kharosthi alphabet that arose in a part of northwest Indian under the control of the Achaemenid Empire. Rhys Davids suggests that writing may have been introduced to India from the Middle East by traders. Another possibility is with the Achaemenid conquest in the late 6th century BC. It was often assumed that it was a planned invention under Ashoka as a prerequiste for the his edicts. Compare the much better documented parallel of the Hangul script. Semitic is a linguistic term referring to a subdivision of largely Middle Eastern Afro-Asiatic languages, the Semitic languages, as well as their speakers corresponding cultures, and ethnicities. ... The Aramaic alphabet is an abjad alphabet designed for writing the Aramaic language. ... The Kharoṣṭhī script, also known as the Gāndhārī script, is an ancient alphabetic script used by the Gandhara culture of historic northwest India to write the Gandhari and Sanskrit languages (the Gandhara kingdom was located along the present-day border between Afghanistan and Pakistan between the Indus River and the... Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Dynasty was a dynasty in the ancient Persian Empire, including Cyrus II the Great, Darius I and Xerxes I. At the height of their power, the Achaemenid rulers of Persia ruled over territories roughly emcompassing some parts of todays Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon... Thomas William Rhys Davids (May 12, 1843 - December 27, 1922) was an English scholar of the Pāli language and founder of the Pali Text Society. ... A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ... Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Dynasty was a dynasty in the ancient Persian Empire, including Cyrus II the Great, Darius I and Xerxes I. At the height of their power, the Achaemenid rulers of Persia ruled over territories roughly emcompassing some parts of todays Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) // Overview The 5th and 6th centuries BC were a time of empires, but more importantly, a time of learning and philosophy. ... Emperor Ashoka (a possible picturisation) Ashoka the Great (Devanagari: अशोक; IAST transliteration: ) was the emperor of the Mauryan Empire from 273 BCE to 232 BCE. After a number of military conquests, Ashoka reigned over most of South Asia and beyond, from present-day Afghanistan to Bengal and as far south as... Hangul also refers to a word processing application widely used in Korea. ...


Older examples of the Brahmi script appear to be on fragments of pottery from the trading town of Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka, which have been dated to the early 5th century BC. Even earlier evidence of the Brahmi script has been discovered on pieces of pottery in Adichanallur, Tamil Nadu. Radio-carbon dating has established that they belonged to the 6th century BC. [3] // Name Anuradhapura, (அனுராதபுரம் in Tamil) is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, world famous for its well preserved ruins of the Great Sri Lankan Civilization. ... (6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC - other centuries) (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium AD) The 5th and 6th centuries BC are a period of philosophical brilliance among advanced civilizations. ... Tamil Nadu (தமிழ் நாடு, Land of the Tamils) is a state at the southern tip of India. ... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) // Overview The 5th and 6th centuries BC were a time of empires, but more importantly, a time of learning and philosophy. ...


A minority position holds that Brāhmī was a purely indigenous development, perhaps with the Indus script as its predecessor; these include the English scholars G.R. Hunter and Raymond Allchin. The term Indus script refers to short strings of symbols associated with the Harappan civilization of ancient India (most of the Indus sites are distributed in present day North West India and Pakistan) dating to circa 2600–1900 BC. They are most commonly associated with flat, rectangular stone tablets called...


Kharosthi script

Paper strip with writing in Kharoshthi. 2-5th century CE, Yingpan, Eastern Tarim Basin, Xinjiang Museum.
Paper strip with writing in Kharoshthi. 2-5th century CE, Yingpan, Eastern Tarim Basin, Xinjiang Museum.

The Kharoṣṭhī script, also known as the Gāndhārī script, is an ancient abugida (a kind of alphabetic script) used by the Gandhara culture of historic northwest India to write the Gāndhārī and Sanskrit languages. It was in use from the 4th century BC until it died out in its homeland around the 3rd century AD. It was also in use along the Silk Road where there is some evidence it may have survived until the 7th century in the remote way stations of Khotan and Niya. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (899x716, 583 KB)Paper strip with writing in Kharoshthi. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (899x716, 583 KB)Paper strip with writing in Kharoshthi. ... The Kharoṣṭhī script, also known as the Gāndhārī script, is an ancient alphabetic script used by the Gandhara culture of historic northwest India to write the Gandhari and Sanskrit languages (the Gandhara kingdom was located along the present-day border between Afghanistan and Pakistan between the Indus River and the... Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin. ... Xinjiang (Uyghur: (Shinjang); Chinese: æ–°ç–†; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Hsin1-chiang1; Postal Pinyin: Sinkiang), full name Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Uyghur: شىنجاڭ ئۇيغۇر ئاپتونوم رايونى (Shinjang Uyghur Aptonom Rayoni); Simplified Chinese: 新疆维吾尔自治区; Traditional Chinese: 新疆維吾爾自治區; Pinyin: XÄ«njiāng Wéiwúěr ZìzhìqÅ«), is an autonomous region of the Peoples Republic of China. ... An abugida or alphasyllabary is a writing system composed of signs (graphemes) denoting consonants with an inherent following vowel, which are consistently modified to indicate other vowels (or, in some cases, the lack of a vowel). ... A Specimen of typeset fonts and languages, by William Caslon, letter founder; from the 1728 Cyclopaedia. ... Buddhas First Sermon at Sarnath, Kushan Period, ca. ... GāndhārÄ« was a north-western prakrit spoken in Gāndhāra. ... Sanskrit ( संस्कृतम् ; pronunciation : ) is an Indo-European classical language of India and a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. ... (5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - other centuries) (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium AD) // Events Invasion of the Celts into Ireland Battle of the Allia and subsequent Gaulish sack of Rome 383 BCE Second Buddhist Councel at Vesali. ... // Overview Events 212: Constitutio Antoniniana grants citizenship to all free Roman men 212-216: Baths of Caracalla 230-232: Sassanid dynasty of Persia launches a war to reconquer lost lands in the Roman east 235-284: Crisis of the Third Century shakes Roman Empire 250-538: Kofun era, the first... For other uses, see Silk Road (disambiguation). ... // Overview Events The Roman-Persian Wars end. ... Mosque in Khotan. ... Niya is a site on the southern edge of the Tarim Basin, in modern-day Xinjiang, China at which numerous Buddhist scriptures were recovered. ...


Scholars are not in agreement as to whether the Kharoṣṭhī script evolved gradually, or was the work of a mindful inventor. An analysis of the script forms shows a clear dependency on the Aramaic alphabet but with extensive modifications to support the sounds found in Indic languages. One model is that the Aramaic script arrived with the Achaemenid conquest of the region in 500 BC and evolved over the next 200+ years to reach its final form by the 3rd century BC. However, no intermediate forms have yet been found to confirm this evolutionary model, and rock and coins inscriptions from the 3rd century BC onward show a unified and mature form. The Aramaic alphabet is an abjad alphabet designed for writing the Aramaic language. ... Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Dynasty was a dynasty in the ancient Persian Empire, including Cyrus II the Great, Darius I and Xerxes I. At the height of their power, the Achaemenid rulers of Persia ruled over territories roughly emcompassing some parts of todays Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon... Centuries: 7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC Decades: 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC - 520s BC - 510s BC - 500s BC - 490s BC - 480s BC - 470s BC - 460s BC - 450s BC Events and Trends 509 BC - Foundation of the Roman Republic 508 BC - Office of pontifex maximus created... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) // Events Teotihuacán, Mexico begun The first two Punic Wars between Carthage and Rome over dominance in western Mediterranean Rome conquers Spain Gaulish migration to Macedon, Thrace and Galatia 282-226: Colossus of Rhodes 281 BC Antiochus I Soter, on the assassination...


The study of the Kharoṣṭhī script was recently invigorated by the discovery of the Gandharan Buddhist Texts, a set of birch-bark manuscripts written in Kharoṣṭhī, discovered near the Afghanistan city of Hadda just west of the Khyber Pass. The manuscripts were donated to the British Library in 1994. The entire set of manuscripts are dated to the 1st century AD making them the oldest Buddhist manuscripts in existence. The Gandhāran Buddhist Texts are the earliest Buddhist manuscripts yet discovered, and indeed the earliest Indian manuscripts yet discovered. ... Head of the Buddha, Hadda, 1st-2nd century CE Hadda is a Greco-Buddhist archeological site located in the ancient area of Gandhara, inside the Khyber Pass, six miles south of the city of Jalalabad in todays eastern Afghanistan. ... British Library Ossulston St entrance, with distinctive red logo. ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International year of the Family. ... The 1st century was that century which lasted from 1 to 100. ... A replica of an ancient statue found among the ruins of a temple at Sarnath Buddhism is a philosophy based on the teachings of the Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, a prince of the Shakyas, whose lifetime is traditionally given as 566 to 486 BCE. It had subsequently been accepted by...


Gupta script

Main article: Gupta script

The Gupta script was used for writing Sanskrit and is associated with the Gupta Empire of India which was a period of material prosperity and great religious and scientific developments. The Gupta script was descended from Brahmi and gave rise to the Siddham script. The Gupta script was used for writing Sanskrit and is associated with the Gupta Empire of India which was a period of material prosperity and great religious and scientific developments. ... Sanskrit ( संस्कृतम् ; pronunciation : ) is an Indo-European classical language of India and a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. ... The Gupta Empire in 400 CE (not including vassal states) The Gupta Empire was one of the largest political and military empires in ancient India. ... Fishers of Men, oil on panel by Adriaen van de Venne (1614) Various religious symbols Religion is commonly defined as a group of beliefs concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine, and the moral codes, practices, values, institutions, and rituals associated with such belief. ... The scope of this article is limited to the empirical sciences. ... BrāhmÄ« refers to the pre-modern members of the Brahmic family of scripts, attested from the 3rd century BC. The best known and earliest dated inscriptions in Brahmi are the rock-cut edicts of Ashoka. ... Siddham (Sanskrit, accomplished or perfected) — referred to in Japanese as bonji (梵字) — is the name of a North Indian script used for writing Sanskrit. ...


Siddham script

Main article: Siddham

Siddham (Sanskrit, accomplished or perfected), descended from the Brahmi script via the Gupta script, which also gave rise to the Devanāgarī script as well as a number of other Asian scripts such as Tibetan script. Siddham (Sanskrit, accomplished or perfected) — referred to in Japanese as bonji (梵字) — is the name of a North Indian script used for writing Sanskrit. ... Sanskrit ( संस्कृतम् ; pronunciation : ) is an Indo-European classical language of India and a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. ... BrāhmÄ« refers to the pre-modern members of the Brahmic family of scripts, attested from the 3rd century BC. The best known and earliest dated inscriptions in Brahmi are the rock-cut edicts of Ashoka. ... The Gupta script was used for writing Sanskrit and is associated with the Gupta Empire of India which was a period of material prosperity and great religious and scientific developments. ... DevanāgarÄ« (Sanskrit: —, pronounced , in English pronounced ) is an abugida writing system used to write, either along with other scripts, or exclusively, several North Indian languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Sindhi, Bihari, Bhili, Konkani, Bhojpuri, Nepali from Nepal and sometimes Kashmiri and Romani. ... Om Mani Padme Hum, the primary mantra of Tibetan Buddhism written in the Tibetan script, on a rock outside the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. ...


Siddham is an abugida or alphasyllabary rather than an alphabet because each character indicates a syllable. If no other mark occurs then the short 'a' is assumed. Diacritic marks indicate the other vowels, the pure nasal, and the aspirated vowel. A special mark can be used to indicate that the letter stands alone with no vowel which sometimes happens at the end of Sanskrit words. See links below for examples. An abugida or alphasyllabary is a writing system composed of signs (graphemes) denoting consonants with an inherent following vowel, which are consistently modified to indicate other vowels (or, in some cases, the lack of a vowel). ... A Specimen of typeset fonts and languages, by William Caslon, letter founder; from the 1728 Cyclopaedia. ...


The writing of mantras and copying of Sutras using the Siddham script is still practiced in Shingon Buddhism in Japan but has died out in other places. It was Kūkai who introduced the Siddham script to Japan when he returned from China in 806, where he studied Sanskrit with Nalanda trained monks including one known as Prajñā. Sutras that were taken to China from India were written in a variety of scripts, but Siddham was one of the most important. By the time Kūkai learned this script the trading and pilgrimage routes over land to India, part of the Silk Road, were closed by the expanding Islamic empire of the Abbasids. Then in the middle of the 9th century there were a series of purges of "foreign religions" in China. This meant that Japan was cut off from the sources of Siddham texts. In time other scripts, particularly Devanagari replaced it in India, and so Japan was left as the only place where Siddham was preserved, although it was, and is only used for writing mantras and copying sutras. A mantra is a religious syllable or poem, typically from the Sanskrit language. ... Sutra (सूत्र) in Sanskrit is derived from the verb siv-, meaning to sew (these words, including English to sew and Latinate suture, all derive from PIE *syÅ«-). It literally means a rope or thread, and more metaphorically refers to an aphorism (or line, rule, formula), or a collection of such aphorisms... Located in Kyoto, Japan, Daigoji is the head temple of the Ono branch of Shingon. ... Painting of Kukai (774-835). ... Events April 12 - Nicephorus elected patriarch of Constantinople, succeeding Tarasius. ... Remains at Nalanda Nalanda is a historical place in central Bihar, India, 90 km south-east of the state capital of Patna. ... For other uses, see Silk Road (disambiguation). ... Islam (Arabic: ; ( ) is a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the Quran. ... Abbasid provinces during the caliphate of Harun al-Rashid Abbasid (Arabic: العبّاسيّون AbbāsÄ«yÅ«n) was the dynastic name generally given to the caliphs of Baghdad, the second of the two great Sunni dynasties of the Islamic empire, that overthrew the Umayyad caliphs. ...


Siddham was influential in the development of the Kana writing system, which is also associated with Kūkai — while the Kana shapes derive from Chinese characters, the princlple of a syllable-based script and their systematic ordering was taken over from Siddham. Japanese writing Kanji 漢字 Kana 仮名 Hiragana 平仮名 Katakana 片仮名 Uses Furigana 振り仮名 Okurigana 送り仮名 Rōmaji ローマ字 For other meanings of Kana, see Kana (disambiguation). ...


Nagari script

Modern scripts

References

  • Steve Farmer, Richard Sproat, and Michael Witzel, The Collapse of the Indus-Script Thesis: The Myth of a Literate Harappan Civilization, EVJS, vol. 11 (2004), issue 2 (Dec) [4] (PDF)

 
 

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