Barlaam and Josaphat.

Another interesting post at the British Library’s Asian and African studies blog:

Europeans became increasingly interested in the cultures and religions of the Middle East and Asia, or what they later called ‘the Orient’, as a result of trade relations throughout the first millennium CE. Images of Buddha with the Greek lettering ΒΟΔΔΟ (‘Boddo’ for Buddha) were found on gold coins from the Kushan empire dating back to the second century CE. Buddha was mentioned in a Greek source, ‘Stromateis’, by Clement of Alexandria as early as around 200 CE, and another reference to Buddha is found in St Jerome’s ‘Adversus Jovinianum’ written in 393 CE. A religious legend inspired by the narrative of the ‘Life of Buddha’ was well known in the Judaeo-Persian tradition and early versions in Persian, Arabic, Hebrew, Armenian and Georgian have been discovered. The story became commonly known as ‘Barlaam and Josaphat’ in medieval Europe. The name Josaphat, in Persian and Arabic spelled variously Budasf, Budasaf, Yudasaf or Iosaph, is a corruption of the title Bodhisattva which stands for ‘Buddha-to-be’, referring to Prince Siddhartha who became Gotama Buddha with his enlightenment.

Fragments of early versions of the legend seem to have been preserved in Manichean texts in Uighur and Persian from Turfan, and it is thought that Manicheans may have transmitted the Buddha narrative to the West. From there the story was translated into Arabic, and into Judeo-Persian and Syriac. An early Greek version is attributed to St John of Damascus (c. 675-749 CE) in most medieval sources, although recent researches reject this attribution as it is more probable that the Georgian monastic Euthymios carried out the translation from Georgian into Greek in the 10th century CE. It became particularly popular throughout the Christian world after it was translated into many different languages in the Middle Ages, including Latin, French, Provençal, Italian, Spanish, English, Irish, German, Czech, Serbian, Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish.

The spread of the legend of Barlaam and Josaphat in medieval Europe was a cultural phenomenon second to none at the time. Poetic and dramatized versions of the legend became what today would be called ‘bestsellers’. In Christian Europe these two names were commonly known and the Buddha as St Josaphat became a Saint with his own feast day in the Christian calendar: 27 November. […] The legend became particularly popular in Germany through the Austrian poet Rudolf von Ems’ poetic German version that was composed on the basis of a Latin version around 1230 CE. In Scandinavia a translation into Old Norse was ordered by King Haakon Haakonsøn in the 13th century, which was the basis of later translations into Norwegian and Swedish. From a Syriac version translations into Old Slavonic and then Russian and Serbian were produced. […]

Europe was not the final destination of the Buddha narrative in form of the legend of Barlaam and Josaphat. The existence of the story was also known in Ethiopia, perhaps well before the 16th century. It was documented by Abha Bahrey, a 16th-century Ethiopian historian who mentioned the book, possibly a translation into Ge’ez (Ethiopic) from Greek, in his ‘Psalter of Christ’ dated 1528 CE. After the official adoption of Christianity in 330 CE, Ethiopian Christians began to translate the sacred texts: the Bible, the New Testament and the Pentateuch into the Ge’ez language. Many writings that were first compiled in Aramaic or Greek have been fully preserved only in Ge’ez as the sacred books of the Ethiopian Church. There is a vast corpus of scriptures that have survived exclusively only in Ge’ez.

That story got around! There are more details, and splendid illustrations, at the link; I myself have David Marshall Lang’s Englishing of the Georgian version, The Balavariani, and I now discover it’s available at archive.org, as are the Ems German version, a 13th-century French one, and perhaps still others. Thanks, Trevor!

Comments

  1. >>The name Josaphat, in Persian and Arabic spelled variously Budasf, Budasaf, Yudasaf or Iosaph, is a corruption of the title Bodhisattva which stands for ‘Buddha-to-be’, referring to Prince Siddhartha who became Gotama Buddha with his enlightenment.

    Until I read this, I was convinced that Josaphat was a Slavic version of Jehoshaphat from the Bible, and Barlaam is also Slavicized version of Greek/Church Slavonic Βαρλαάμ (maybe from Chaldean Bar Lechem according to Wikipedia)

  2. Yes, Josaphat and Jehoshaphat are tempting faux amis.

  3. David Eddyshaw says:

    Sadly, this is only available if you have a JSTOR account (though I imagine most of us do.)

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/25094193

    It’s about a Buddhist Jātaka story which is now found pretty much everywhere in the Old World, including multiple African versions and Chaucer’s Pardoner’s Tale.

    The Bodhisattva himself had sadly gone missing from the story by the time the story got to the Kusaasi, but the radix malorum est cupiditas moral is alive and well, and seems to be a favourite everywhere.

  4. Not even faux amis. I think the early translators purposefully ‘translated’ the unfamiliar name into a similar-sounding but familiar one. Something like Zuckerman’s “camouflaged borrowing”, a.k.a. “phono-semantic matching”.

  5. ə de vivre says:

    As an aside, “the title Bodhisattva which stands for ‘Buddha-to-be’, referring to Prince Siddhartha who became Gotama Buddha with his enlightenment” seems like a weird way to define the word “Bodhisattva.” The important part of Bodhisattvahood is the delaying of becoming a Buddha, not the eventually becoming one. And identifying the historical Buddha as a Bodhisattva is a similar level of “technically true but pragmatically odd.” He’s essentially never referred to that way. Etymologically, Bodhisattva is a being of perfect knowledge, but as we all know etymology doesn’t tell you what a word means in use…

  6. Stu Clayton says:

    Dragging your feet as a virtue. This implies that there are a lot of Bodhisattva.

  7. Pro crasti nare om

  8. David Marjanović says:

    Haakon Haakonsøn

    Oopsie.

    Dragging your feet as a virtue.

    The point is to refuse nirvana until everyone else gets it, too.

  9. Haakon Haakonsøn

    Should be Old Norse Hákon Hákonarson or Norwegian Håkon Håkonsson. Somebody should alert the British Library.

  10. nobody ever asks about poor old Barlaam…

  11. There are Yiddish versions going back to the fifteenth century (translations of Ibn Hasdai’s Hebrew version). One Yiddish version, published in Żółkiew/Zhovkva in 1771, is particularly important because it is one of the earliest texts with clear elements of modern (Eastern) Yiddish, as detailed in Kerler’s Origins of Modern Literary Yiddish. Until now I had no idea of the origin of this text; I just thought it was a piece of medieval Hebrew literature.

  12. J.W. Brewer says:

    There was a Russian archbishop Barlaam (or Varlaam, if you prefer) in the early 19th century who got defrocked for allegedly publicly praying for Napoleon instead of the Czar during the period in 1812 when his diocese was under French occupation, as well as some early-medieval Russian saints of the same name. You’d think the name might have gotten rather skunked in Russian religious circles after the 14th century (when Barlaam of Calabria was the heretical-arch-villain opponent of St. Gregory Palamas in the so-called Hesychast controversy), but apparently not enough to completely eliminate the name from the available part of the lexicon.

  13. Seems to be pretty popular as an ecclesiastical name. (There are a couple of Greek and Bulgarian ringers in there, but the vast majority are Russian, and some quite recent.)

  14. Speaking of faux amis, does Barlaam ride an ass?

  15. Lars (the original one) says:

    Does Barlaam correspond to any specific one of the teachers that Gautama Buddha is said to have studied with? The most obvious, after a quick read of Wikipedia, would be Ārāḍa Kālāma or Udraka Rāmaputra, but it’s hard to see an obvious connection. What I can find online only traces the Boddhisattva > Josaphat development starting with 6th century Persian forms, and I don’t know if the Barlaam figure was present already then.

    Update: Well, it was. Belawhar o Būdāsaf according to Encyclopædia Iranica. And something about Manichean versions which I don’t know how to root out. So Barlaam is basically corrupted except for the starting consonant, but the Persian form is no closer to those Indian names.

  16. There are also Polish given names, male and female, Józefat / Józefata, <= Josaphat

  17. John Cowan says:

    Sadly, this is only available if you have a JSTOR account (though I imagine most of us do.)

    Far from it. We all, however, have an “account” on sci-hub.tw, should we choose to use it.

  18. Trond Engen says:

    Haakon Haakonsøn

    When did Danish historians stop using this convention for Norwegian kings? Or did they?

  19. Lars (the original one) says:

    The local prinsessenkrant had this in 2016, about the Danish kromprins participating in Birkebeineren:

    Ud over de fysiske strabadser er der det særlige ved løbet, at alle deltagere skal bære en rygsæk på 3,5 kilo, der symboliserer den nyfødte kongesøn Haakon Haakonsøn, der efter sin fødsel i 1204 måtte bringes i sikkerhed under den daværende borgerkrig.

    (So many commas… I’m agin that system, also the consecutive der relativizers, one of which could be som for better flow).

    But they seem to have it directly from the Norwegian(!) home page of the race. I also found a single reference with that spelling in the Danish Biographical Encyclopædia (entry from 1934), but the main entry in Den Store Danske Encyklopædi spells him Håkon 4. Håkonsson.

  20. Trond Engen says:

    Weird. Well, not that weird. Birkebeinerrennet was founded in the 1930’ies, when the Riksmål tradition still clinged to danified forms. Some still do.

    I was actually a little surprised discovering that Danish conventions render the names of Norwegian kings in Norwegian form. Norwegian conventions name the Danish kings as e.g. Svein Tjugeskjegg, Harald Sveinsson and Svein Estridsson. For some reason, though, we use Erik for Danish and Swedish kings, even though we use Svein.

  21. David Marjanović says:

    Wait – -søn is real?

  22. Trond Engen says:

    Yes. And further reduced it became the -sen of modern Danish and Norwegian surnames.

    It’s also analogical from the umlauted plural.
    Nynorsk ein son – sonen – søner – sønene
    Bokmål en sønn – sønnen – sønner – sønnene
    Swedish en son – sonen – söner – sönene
    Danish en søn – sønnen – sønner – sønnerne

    Note that the inherited u-stem plural also yields the suffix vowel e in Nynorsk and Swedish. The plurals in Bokmål and (I think) Danish are regularized, though I have very little grasp of what rules the plurals -ene and -erne in Danish.

  23. PlasticPaddy says:

    @lars 11 July
    Almuth degener “barlaam the priest”, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft vol. 164 November. 2 (2014) seems relevant. You could ask her to upload it to Academia…

  24. John Cowan says:

    Prescriptive German (at least the version taught to foreigners in the 1970s) says that if there would otherwise be three forms of der in a row, you must change the middle one to welcher. The example I remember is Die, die die Stimme hören, … ‘Those who heard the voice …’, which has to be written Die, welche die Stimme hören …, though otherwise welcher as a relative pronoun is considered to be Old High Pretension and is removed by copy editors. I don’t know if any of this is still true. (As an interrogative determiner/pronoun it is still current, of course.)

    Lojban has no word for interrogative which. One of the ways of expressing it is xomoi, combining the wh-word specific to numbers, roughly ‘How many?’, with the ordinal suffix. Thus ‘Which horse do you want?’ can be expressed as do djica le xomoi xirma lit. ‘you desire the how-many?-th horse’. (Lojban does not have wh-fronting.)

    An answer might be le semoi ‘The seventh’, but of course the answer need not meet the terms of the question directly: le blabi ‘The white one’ is equally cromulent.

  25. Trond Engen says:

    Me: Note that the inherited u-stem plural also yields the suffix vowel e in Nynorsk and Swedish.

    At least I hope that’s it.

    John C. Old High Pretension

    I’ll remember that, use it, and imagine I came up with it myself.

  26. PlasticPaddy says:

    @jc
    On the web you can find, “die die das Sagen haben, werden nicht gewählt”. But it seems to be a misquote from the illustrious H. Seehofer.

  27. Stu Clayton says:

    though otherwise welcher as a relative pronoun is considered to be Old High Pretension and is removed by copy editors. I don’t know if any of this is still true.

    The use of welcher as a non-interrogative relative pronoun was not primarily OHP in the first place, as far as I know from my reading (18-19C). It was simply a practice which has fallen into desuetude today among people who know and care deeply, passionately, and peevishly about these things. The three-in-a-row rule I’d not heard of, but that’s OK because non-interrogative welcher is now Papierdeutsch anyhoo, as Duden remarks.

    There’s only NLH (New Low Highbrow) now, which ordinary people sometimes use in writing because they were taught in school that it’s the proper register for writing – Papierdeutsch eben. Maybe it should be called Schreibflächendeutsch these days.

    Of course this all may be different in Austria …

  28. The use of welcher as a non-interrogative relative pronoun was not primarily OHP in the first place, as far as I know from my reading (18-19C).

    Well, of course it wasn’t OHP in the 18-19C; the whole point of OHP is that it tries to keep old forms artificially alive when all the non-pretentious people have given them up as a bad job.

  29. Stu Clayton says:

    We have a three-phase model ! P1: unremarkable, P2: pretentious, P3: gradeschool retro.

    Your remarks seem to imply that old-timey folks can’t be pretentious, because they started it all. The way I see it, though, pretentiousness is not necessarily backward-looking. It’s always upward-looking.

  30. Your remarks seem to imply that old-timey folks can’t be pretentious, because they started it all.

    No, of course there were just as many pretentious bastards back then as now. I’m just saying that you can’t prove anything one way or the other about OHP by referring to usage a couple of centuries back.

  31. Stu Clayton says:

    Correction: pretentiousness is always upward- and downward-looking.

  32. Lars (the original one) says:

    Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft vol. 164 — volume 163 is up on their website, they are only 5 years behind. I didn’t find any DOI so no luck on sci-hub.

    Wait – -søn is real?

    Very much so, you can actually have a p/matronymic surname of that form since a few years back. (A lot of -sen names are protected, but Larssøn is not the same as Larsen).

    But for historical names, Danish tradition uses -sen forms even though it’s a bit anachronistic. I sometimes see Svend Estridsøn, maybe because it’s a matronymic. (Should that really be metronymic? And is matriarchy unclassical as well, then?)

    -ene vs -erne: This one is easy, if the PL.INDEF. ends in -er, the PL.DEF. ends in -erne, otherwise -ene. In principle this extends to foreign plurals, though most people are a bit uncomfortable with the resulting form (but have no alternative):

    et virus
    virusset
    nogle vira
    alle viraene

    English plurals in s feel even weirder, but what can you do. Alle dirtbikesene

  33. Should that really be metronymic?

    There exists such a word, but it’s rare; OED (December 2001):

    Etymology: Alteration of matronymic n., either after rare Hellenistic Greek μητρωνυμικόν, use as noun of neuter singular of (otherwise unattested) adjective μητρωνυμικός, or after its etymons ancient Greek μητρ-, μήτηρ mother n.1 and -ωνυμικός -onymic comb. form. Compare French métronymique (1898). […]

    1868 J. B. Lightfoot Epist. Philippians (1873) 55 In not a few instances a metronymic takes the place of the usual patronymic.
    1904 J. A. Nairn Herodas 9 It is noticeable that Gryllos has a metronymic, not a patronymic.
    1978 Norfolk Archaeol. 27 67 A metronymic derived from the Greco-Latin Ismena.

    Matronymic is “A borrowing from Latin, combined with an English element.”

  34. John Cowan says:

    I may have overgeneralized. Perhaps it is only three identical forms of the demonstrative/relative in a row that demand welcher, in which case die, die das is fine.

  35. David Marjanović says:

    It’s also analogical from the umlauted plural.

    Oh. That’s weird. I guess it makes some sense for an u-stem, though.

    welcher

    I don’t think I was taught an explicit rule, but the result of the usual aversion to repeating any words at all was probably the same on average.

    the how-many?-th

    das wievielte

    No joke. Perfectly cromulent. 234,000 ghits, the first page nothing but dictionary entries. One of them gives an example: der wievielte ist heute – “which day of the month is today”. It never occurred to me how bizarre this is typologically; Bathrobe, can you say dì jǐ or dì duōshao in Mandarin?

    On the web you can find, “die die das Sagen haben, werden nicht gewählt”. But it seems to be a misquote from the illustrious H. Seehofer.

    Definitely needs an extra comma!

    (Also, “those who have actual power aren’t elected” is a strange thing to say for Seehofer.)

    Of course this all may be different in Austria …

    No. Reportedly, though, welch- remains common in writing in Switzerland, where Standard German is already OHP to begin with.

    Should that really be metronymic? And is matriarchy unclassical as well, then?

    Let’s just pretend they’re Doric. 🙂

  36. Lars: the article is available on library genesis: gen.lib.rus.ec

    The interface is better there also. You can search by title or author, in the scientific articles subsection. It gives you the DOI, if you still need it after grabbing the article.

  37. earthtopus says:

    das wievielte

    To join the pile, Czech has the adjective “kolikátý”; “der wievielte ist heute?” has a Czech equivalent in “Kolikátého je dnes?” = what’s today’s date?

    In my head the “English” equivalent is always “whichth.”

  38. John Cowan says:

    According to my investigation, matriarchy is a calque of Mutterrecht using Latinate morphemes appearing around the same time in both English and French.

  39. David Eddyshaw says:

    I would imagine that both matronymic and matriarch as English words are likely to owe their unetymological vowels to the analogy of patronymic and patriarch.

    Again, in these Latter Days of the Law even the supposedly literate see nothing amiss with barbarisms like television and bicycle; it is (alas) all too probable that such degenerate offspring of illustrious forebears might imagine that the initial components of these compounds were in fact (shudder) Latin.

  40. *makes apotropaic gesture*

  41. “Ceterum censeo televisionem esse delendam” – Cato the Elder, in De mediorum cultura.

  42. Lars (the original one) says:

    shudder — yes, that’s basically what Hat’s OED quote said. I’m buying it.

    Also as usually quoted in Denmark, it’s praeterea censeo … and supposedly a backtranslation from Plutarch’s original Greek. Δοκεῖ δέ μοι καὶ Τελεόρᾱσῐν μὴ εἶναι — you be the judge.

    (Well, Καρχηδόνα. And should it be Τελόρᾱσῐν classically or is it only a linking -o- that gets elided before vowels?)

  43. David Marjanović says:

    might imagine that the initial components of these compounds were in fact (shudder) Latin.

    Each component of a new scientific name nowadays has a 50-50 chance of being declared Latin or Greek as a matter of uncommented fact when such a name is coined.

    “In Ancient Grome, where Classical was spoken…”

  44. Lars (the original one) says:

    @Gary, I can’t find the article on that site — lots of other articles by Almuth Degener, but none from ZDMG. Do you have a direct link?

  45. Rodger C says:

    According to my investigation, matriarchy is a calque of Mutterrecht using Latinate morphemes appearing around the same time in both English and French.

    Now you’re reminding me of all those already-“classic” books I read in the 60s about the culture-cycle of the mother-right by the nature-folks. (Okay, the last bit is a stretcher. But not the rest.)

  46. Even the Danish Wikipedia lists the variant with ceterum first; the German Wikipedia doesn’t know the version with praeterea at all. But as you say, it’s moot, as the original account about Cato’s phrase is in Greek.

  47. Lars (the original one) says:

    It’s an even bet that editors of the Danish WP start by uncritically copying English WP; the traditional Danish form was not added until 2014. Neither of the articles notes that it was transmitted through Greek. (Also English WP in the article “Punics” has the præterea form, so it’s not unknown outside Denmark).

    Den Store Danske Encyklopædi has “ceterum censeo, (lat.), for øvrigt mener jeg; for øvrigt stemmer jeg for; [see] præterea censeo” and then a much fuller explanation there (including the bits about Cato and Carthage and backtranslation). Also that’s what I learnt in school. Even my father who never went to high school could quote it.

    I am going to make a note of this, a rare case where Danish scholarly tradition does not slavishly follow the German! I haven’t found the ultimate source for the form with præterea, but there must have been more than one Latin translation of Plutarch; or maybe somebody made a Danish translation directly from the Greek and though they should put a Latin quote in Cato’s mouth.

    I just found The Authenticity and Form of Cato’s Saying “Carthago Delenda Est”, Charles E. Little, The Classical Journal Vol. 29, No. 6 (Mar., 1934), pp. 429-435. He quotes Livy: Catone suadente bellum et ut tolleretur delereturque Carthaginem, Pliny: Cato […] cum clamaret omni senatu Carthaginem delendam, and in a later source Cato inexpiabili odio delendam esse Carthago, et cum de alio consuleretur, pronuntiabat. His conclusion: Cato probably spoke the words Carthago delenda est, but there is no reported speech in the sources and Plutarch was dramatizing. (And there is no use of censeo in any source, that only appears when backtranslating Plutarch).

  48. Stu Clayton says:

    das wievielte

    Another German expression with puzzlement potential, depending on how it’s used: die wenigsten = “the fewest”.

    Die wenigsten wissen das = “Hardly anyone knows that”.

    The seasoned peever thinks: but that’s the superlative of few. “The fewest” should mean “none”.

    But that’s not how it works. Die wenigsten in the sample sentence above means “very few”. It’s not an absolute superlative, but rather an alternative to sehr wenige.

    Warning: die wenigsten is used in this way primarily by the masses, and by elites only in unguarded moments.

  49. Lars (the original one) says:

    Well, the same logic would apply to die meisten or most people, that should mean everybody. But it doesn’t. Language is nice that way, how else would we fill a whole blog?

  50. @Lars: Thanks for digging up some more sources!

  51. Stu Clayton says:

    “The hostess with the mostest.”

  52. Trond Engen says:

    Stu: Die wenigsten wissen das = “Hardly anyone knows that”

    No. De færreste veit at….

    Lars may have found a rare exception, but here we are right back in the German calquery.

  53. Etienne says:

    On “das wievielte”: French has an exact equivalent, “le/la combientième”, which matches the German form in meaning and in morphological make-up. A minor mystery (well, to me at least) involves the use of /t/ separating the suffix -“ième” from “combien”: one would expect simple denasalization instead, yielding “combiennième” : I have never heard the latter, but according to this source (which gives example sentences in French, plus equivalents of the word in other languages: regarding your question to Bathrobe, David, it does give a form “dì jǐ ” for Mandarin)-

    https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/combienti%C3%A8me

    -it exists, albeit marginally. If I had to guess, I would propose that the /t/ is due to analogy with “vingt”: if “vingt” yields “vingtième”, then it is unsurprising that “combien”, ending as it does with the same phoneme, should in French speakers’ minds also require a linking /t/ before the suffix -“ième”.

  54. PlasticPaddy says:

    Or a calque from an Alsacien (ne)

  55. David Marjanović says:

    the nature-folks

    Ah yes, Naturvölker “peoples composed entirely of noble savages”.

    But as you say, it’s moot, as the original account about Cato’s phrase is in Greek.

    So the whole alliteration in [k]eterum [k]enseo Karthaginem is just an inference? Bummer.

    Warning: die wenigsten is used in this way primarily by the masses, and by elites only in unguarded moments.

    Maybe without a following noun; but with one it’s quite unremarkable. I’ve never encountered any peevery about it.

    (The peevers strike immediately, of course, when das einzige “the only” is doubled up to das einzigste.)

  56. John Cowan says:

    Or a calque from an Alsacien(ne)

    Long ago the calques actually ran the other way. The Latin large-ordinal ending -ēsimus as in vīcēsimus, trēsimus, fell together with the superlative -issimus in Pre-French as -iesme, and the Germans apparently got the idea that the highfalutin thing to say was twentiest, thirtiest. Note the perfect parallelism of fleißig:fleißigste::dreißig:dreißigste.

    (The Latin ending is really a pseudo-ending < older Latin *vīcēnssos + -imus < decimus.)

  57. PlasticPaddy says:

    What I meant was wieviel+t+e => combien+t+ième

  58. David Marjanović says:

    Vingtième strikes me as a much more likely source. Centième may have helped.

    the highfalutin thing to say

    Depending on how far west the Pre-French pattern reached, it may well be a substrate phenomenon.

    Anyway, there’s another ordinal-number phenomenon that French and German have in common: the completely regular ways to say “2nd” – zweit-, deuxième. But if that is due to contact, the contact must have happened much later: second still exists in French ( < Latin secundus, originally “following”), and “other”, the usual Germanic way to say “2nd”, was still in that use in German in the 16th century, even though zweit- is now universal (and productive as a noun prefix, too).

  59. Stu Clayton says:

    Since combien is an interrogative, maybe the “t” in combientième arrived by analogy with the “t” in the inverted subject-verb form of a question: combien y a-t-il de personnes là ? “how many people are there ?”

  60. Etienne says:

    David: your statement that “second still exists in French ( < Latin secundus, originally “following”)" is misleading: "second", in French, is most certainly NOT an inherited Latin word: it is a (rather old: first attested in the twelfth century) loanword, either from Latin itself or from Provençal (the fact that in French the word is pronounced /səgɔ̃/, and not */səkɔ̃/, despite the spelling, has been claimed to be due to its being borrowed from, or at least influenced by, (Old) Provençal "segond"). The Provençal word itself indeed is an inherited form deriving from Latin "secundum", with the regular voicing of Latin intervocalic /k/ to /g/ and the loss of the final vowel, which before its elimination was probably /o/ (final /m/ was already gone in Latin itself): this raising of the short /u/ to /o/ is an older, Italo-Western Romance innovation.

    Note that in French itself, intervocalic Latin /k/, when followed by a back vowel, is simply dropped: take for example an inherited French word such as "sûr', from Latin 'securum".

    Your suggestion of a substratum is to my mind intriguing. Consider the following map:

    https://wals.info/feature/53A#2/28.0/144.7

    which seems to indicate that Europe as a whole, in sharp contrast to the world outside Europe, is a hotbed for ordinal systems where "first" and "second" are suppletive, and where ordinals are regularly formed from 'three' up: I do know of one Romance variety which uses reflexes of ALTER, ALTERA as its ordinal for 'second", through the influence of a neighboring non-Romance variety.

    On the other hand, this same map indicates that, outside Europe, ordinal systems with "first" as the only suppletive member are the most common ones, and thus it is certainly possible that French and German each created "deuxième/zweite' independently of one another.

  61. What does the dialectal and documentary evidence say about the history of the spread of secundus throughout France?

  62. Etienne says:

    Y: As I wrote above, “second” is attested in the twelfth century in French: I consulted a few dictionaries, and both Gascon (South-Eastern France) and Franco-Provençal (Alpine area) have ‘second’-like and ‘deuxième’-like words: there thus does not appear, at first glance, to be any relic area(s) in France where neither word is attested. This says nothing about how old either word is, of course.

    Hmm. I once did some research on ordinals in Romance, and I think there is one area in the Southern Auvergne which lacks both “second”- AND “deuxième”-like forms. Will look it up and make sure my memory is not playing tricks on me…

  63. David Marjanović says:

    Note that in French itself, intervocalic Latin /k/, when followed by a back vowel, is simply dropped: take for example an inherited French word such as “sûr’, from Latin ‘securum”.

    …Oh. Oops!

    I had actually read just recently that sûr is regular.

    Your suggestion of a substratum is to my mind intriguing.

    I just meant a Romance substratum in southern German. Do you know when deuxième-type forms are first attested in French?

  64. Etienne says:

    David: In answer to your question: I do not know when “deuxième”-type forms are first attested, but the suffix -“ième” (whose exact origin and spread remain very obscure, by the way) only became general in French in the thirteenth century at the earliest. I have also found out two interesting things: 1-Old French typically used “autre” with the meaning “second”, and 2-A phonologically regular form ‘seont’, from Latin “secundum”, did exist in Old French, but seems not to have left any surviving reflex today.

    And I stand by the claim I made upthread: since ordinal systems with “first” as their only suppletive member are, outside Europe, the most common subtype, it is definitely possible that German and French each created their regular word for “second” (“deuxième”/”zweiter”) with neither influencing the other. Something similar happened in the history of the Gaelic languages: Old Irish had a suppletive form, “aile”, for “other, second”, but modern Gaelic languages use a form derived from “da” (two) as their ordinal today, with reflexes of ‘aile’ being confined to the meaning “other”. Do note that Brythonic languages preserve a suppletive ordinal for ‘second” which derives from a Proto-Brythonic cognate of Old Irish “aile” (cf. Modern Welsh “eil”), so this loss of an inherited suppletive form for ‘”second” is not a pan-Western European tendency.

  65. Savalonôs says:

    How do the jātakas refer to the future Gautama Buddha if not as the bodhisattva? I’ve never gotten the impression that temporizing is one of the main saliencies of the term bodhisattva, although it’s entirely possible that my impression is idiosyncratic.

  66. ə de vivre says:

    I mean, depending on the flavour of Buddhism the temporal location of bodhisattvas may vary. Theologically, being a bodhisattva means accumulating merit without the final extinction of nirvana. Culturally, Mahayana traditions use the bodhisattva model to make a distinction between themselves and Abhidharmika traditions that have the final extinction of nirvana as the “goal” of the practice.

    Tathagata is how the historical Buddha usually seems to be referred to in Mahayana scriptures (which came to dominate Central Asia during the relevant time frame), and Shakyamuni is pretty common ecumenically. The significance of “bodhisattva” in Buddhist thought and practice is that it’s not just a synonym of Buddha, even if the two happen to share a referent in the historical Buddha.

  67. Stu Clayton says:

    @ə: Interesting to learn that, ill-equipped as I am to appreciate it fully.

  68. David Eddyshaw says:

    Modern Welsh “second” should be ail.

    The WALS database may not be quite comparing like for like in this area.
    Kusaal and its kindred have a suppletive ordinal form for “first”, but only in the sense that deeng ” first” is the only ordinal as such: from “two” onwards you use periphrases like ayi’ daan “owner of two” or lini paas ayi’ “which adds up to two” etc. And the cardinal “one” itself is kinda internally suppletive, with two more or less synonymous unrelated stems yeong and arakon’. The Mooré cardinal ayimbre “one” is instead parallel in structure to the Kusaal adjective yimmir “single.”

    That wouldn’t detract from the basic point that Europe is peculiar, though.

  69. David Marjanović says:

    The WALS map does have 12 orange languages with “first, two, three” in a remarkably equatorial distribution, except Nivkh.

  70. John Cowan says:

    The nice thing about first is that (like its antonym last and the analytic superlative-maker most) it’s a superlative in form. The same is true of primus, which predates the just-pre-Classical standardization on -issimus as the only superlative ending. Other survivals are ultimus, intimus, infimus, imus, summus, supremus. The already-suppletive optimus, pessimus, maximus, minimus, plurimus also fit in here.

    Extrēmus ‘outermost’ is yet another example, but owes its r to the comparative exterior, as if ‘out-er-est’. Cf. English innermost, outermost, uttermost (the last two being a doublet).

    It’s also characteristic of suppletives that when they are replaced, the replacement is often itself a suppletive. Thus inherited other was replaced (as an ordinal) by the borrowed suppletive second, which itself replaced suppletive alter in Latin. Another unrelated example is OE eode being replaced by ME-ModE went.

    It so happens that I am writing Python code for $EMPLOYER to convert German numbers-in-words appearing in legal documents into numerical values, so ordinals are much on my mind right now. Some of these documents are quite old, so I have to deal with spaces and hyphens and other traditional baggage. Hopefully I’ll be able to open source this code.

    I have decided, however, to limit my recognition of common fractions to those with denominators of 100 or less, as I can’t get agreement on whether 1/103 is eins hundertdrittel or eins hundertdreitel — and who gives a damn anyway? I am handling anderthalb ‘1.5’ correctly as a special case, though.

  71. Stu Clayton says:

    I can’t get agreement on whether 1/103 is eins hundertdrittel or eins hundertdreitel

    Weder noch. The systematics are like so:

    1/100 ein Einhundertstel
    1/101 ein Einhunderteinstel (oder Einhundertundeinstel)
    1/102 ein Einhundertzweitel (oder Einhundertundzweitel)
    1/103 ein Einhundertdrittel (oder Eimhundertunddrittel)

    Where did you get that eins with “s” in connection with counting (fractions or not) ? You don’t say eins Drittel, but ein Drittel.

    Anderthalb is so cute, no ?

  72. Interesting. Russian (+ Ukrainian, Polish) also have a word for one and a half, полтора from пол (half) втора (Old Russian form for second). Wiktionary lists numbers in halves based to this model up to half-sixth. I would not be surprised if John Cowan found a wiki list of languages with special cases for 1.5. There is also a word for 150 – полторастра, but no word for 15 – полторадесят, though полтора itself works as a multiplier just fine, полтора десятка (1.5 x 10) works.

  73. English has a special term for one and a half, but it has different semantics than a numeral. If the first zucchini is 8 cm long and the other zucchini is 12 cm long, the second is “half again” the length of the first. Or—translating Archimedes—given a sphere and the smallest cylinder containing it, the cylinder is half again the sphere in both surface area and volume.

    I use “half again” pretty frequently in everyday speech (certainly more often than “one and a half”).

  74. John Cowan says:

    eins: just a thinko. Thanks for the alternative forms, though. Right now I only handle und between the ones and tens word.

  75. Trond Engen says:

    Scandinavian halvannen “1½” and obsolete halvtredje “2½”, halvfjerde “3½” etc. I’m sure I’ve told before of tremenning “second cousin”, halvtredjemenning “second cousin once removed”. The form is also underlying the Danish counting system halvtredjesindstyve > halvtreds “50”.

  76. David Marjanović says:

    1/103

    I just spontaneously read that as ein Hundertdrittel. (I don’t do einhundert.)

    Anderthalb is so cute, no ?

    Likewise absent from my active vocabulary in favor of the systematic eineinhalb.

    All this, and -und-, is regional, but I don’t know any details.

    halvtredje

    sestertius < semi-tertius “coin worth 2½ asses“. Allegedly abbreviated IIS, whence $.

  77. January First-of-May says:

    Allegedly abbreviated IIS, whence $.

    There’s about a dozen alleged origins for $, many of them utterly fanciful. (In particular, IIRC, historians still aren’t quite sure whether it originally had one vertical line or two, and apparently some believe that those two variants are of independent origin.)

    For what it’s worth, I learned the “Pillars of Hercules” explanation – not sure if it’s still accepted.

  78. PlasticPaddy says:

    If anything, in Irish, dara (second) can be used in place of eile (other) in ways I do not think are common in other languages. To say there was no one else there you could say “Ní raibh an dara duine ann” as well as “Ní raibh duine eile ann”. In fact I think to say he had no other choice you have to say “Ní raibh an dara rogha aige” (the version with eile sounds incorrect to my ears). The only similar English usage I can think of is “no two ways about it”.

  79. PlasticPaddy says:

    There is also aon “one, any”, which can be used with eile, so “Ní raibh aon rogha eile aige” would be OK.

  80. ensi, toinen — but on the other hand also the predictable regular yhdes- and kahdes- occur in yhdestoista ‘eleventh’, kahdestoista ‘twelfth’, kahdeskymmenes ’20th’, kahdessadas ‘200th’…

    [in] Europe … ordinals are regularly formed from ‘three’ up

    They might not be outright suppletive, but the likes of third, fifth, twelfth are not quite regular either. This also again goes on outside of Indo-European too: Finnish kolme but kolmas, ditto e.g. Northern Sami golbma : goalmmát; Komi куим /kujim/ : коймӧд /kojmɤd/…

  81. I was surprised to learn that the -s in kolmas, etc goes back to -nci, eerily reminiscent of (completely regular) (bir)inchi, etc in Turkic.

  82. And going back before that to *-mte, giving rise to Hungarian -d! A happy hunting ground of phonological developments…

  83. You can predict about this much already knowing just Finnish, given that the oblique stem is -nte- / -nne- (kolmantena, kolmannen). And yes, the Turkic parallel is one of the long-known morphological points alluded to as “Ural-Altaic”, though it probably would be neater still if the PU form had a *-č- rather than *-t-.

    PIE however seems to have had a remarkably messy ordinal system with not just suppletive ‘first’, but also a large gaggle of different suffixes for numerals above that (*-to-, *-o-, *-mo-, *-wo-)…

  84. The systems in the IE languages can be partially traced back to a state where *-o was added to the cardinal number. Later, the last consonants of the cardinal numbers were re-interpreted as part of an ordinal suffix, in different ways in different IE languages.

  85. This theory lacks evidence. What book do I read about Buddha to compare with Barlaam and Josaphat, which is hardly convincing as a corruption of Buddha, why would a name beginning with J or Y be corrupted from the name Buddha, the names could not be more different. Buddha, Josefet, not even CLOSE.

    Yall are gullible fools just taking theories on faith. Where are the citations to Buddhist literature which is pretty much the same as Hinduism, and lacks a history of the Buddha so that the alleged borrowing could be in the opposite direction.

    Nobody ever asks about manuscripts that are the supposed source of legends about the BUDDHAS or Buddha, but I bet they are Medieval like the Zand&Avesta

  86. “… The tale derives from a second to the fourth century Sanskrit Mahayana Buddhist text, via a Manichaean version, then the Arabic Kitab Bilawhar wa-Yudasaf (Book of Bilawhar and Yudasaf), current in Baghdad in the eighth century, from where it entered into Middle Eastern Christian circles before appearing in European versions.”

    Does the” Sanskrit… Buddhist… Manichaean” text alleged to be the source EXIST? Because it seems to be totally theoretical, I know nothing of the sort comes from extant Manichaean scraps, and there is no mention of an actual Sanskrit manuscript that could be compared with J&B, the theory seems to rest on the Arabic version which does not support the theory that Yosafet is a corrupt form of Buddha AT ALL, and for that matter neither does the English rendering resemble Buddha. One begins with Y or J and ends in T while the other begins with B and ends with a vowel sound.

    Giuseppe is linguistically similar to Yosafet, in Aramaic and Italian F is P, which is nothing special, but that anyone takes this word as a corruption of Buddha is mind boggling.

    Regarding the Arabic on which the theory, apparently, is actually based, by the title it seems likely to be just the Arabic version of B&J, having nothing to do with the hated Mani or Buddhism.

    Tell me about this alleged Sanskrit Buddhist Manichaean text, what library is the manuscript(s) in? What are the dates of the manuscripts? What literature from the religion of Buddhism has the “original” B&J?

    Unanswerable questions, because the theory rests on the hypothetical existence of a theoretical version of a theoretical text, in, theoretically, Sanskrit.

  87. More importantly, what is the evidence that makes it impossible that the Buddhists did not borrow from the Christians?

    There is practically no mention of the Buddhists before Christianity, as far as I know they have no manuscripts that could be dated to before the oldest existing Christian B&J manuscripts which have the advantage of ACTUALLY existing where, it seems obvious, the “Sanskrit, Buddhist via Mani…” texts are Academic fictions whose existence is simply taken as a given without question, despite the fact that there is no evidence of their existence, and even if a legend similar to B&J was read by Buddhists today, who is to say that the Buddhists did not get the legend from the Christians, what could prove it one way or the other?

    Manuscripts, older than the 760AD John of Damascus, it’s said to be author, would convince me, if they existed. Meanwhile the Christians preserved the legend in countless languages. The core of the apologetic portion is said to be taken from the Apology of Aristides, and perhaps this is true, but a Christian borrowing from a Christian author is hardly evidence of Buddhist origins.

    This is similar to the claims of antiquity for the Medieval manuscripts of the Zend&Avesta that fail to prove the existence of sacred texts of the Parsees or Zoroastrians being quoted or even mentioned by name or content ever by a single historian in ancient times before failing to prove that this literature is older than Islam, Christianity or Judaism, AND YET, it is believed by many an uncritical mind that the later Zoroastrian literature influenced Judaism, Christianity and Islam “profoundly” which is just hilarious. The Qur’an is older than the oldest Zend Avesta manuscript and there is very little in common between the religion of the Parsees and the religions of the people of Abraham, in reality.

    All claims of similarities are far from being established as similarities and in any event if borrowing took place, it would appear more likely and probable that the somewhat pagan religion of ancient Persia was influenced by Judaism, Christianity and Islam in that order and not until the Muslims do we hear of Parsee books, and later on how the Parsees are monotheistic, the ancient Greeks thought they worshipped Zeus whose name IS Orhmazd in Armenian.

    It is a fact that all religions understand the rule of the Khalifa were required to possess a Kitab, a book, that was the laws and traditions of their respective religions, so that in this period we begin to read about their literature from Muslim writers, the first to mention, by name, the Zend Avesta.

    It is not improbable that the Zend was written to satisfy this law, as ancient Persian Zoroastrianism was not a religion known for its literature, the only thing mentioned by ancient authors are forgeries of Christian heretics in the name of Zoroaster like the Chaldean Oracles. Nobody ever supplied enough evidence to determine whether or not they had a sacred literature in ancient times, and nobody obviously ever quoted from it.

    It simply can not be proven that it, like the Sanskrit Buddhist turned Manichean legend of Buddha, ever existed, outside the minds of modern academics, and whoever they can dupe by claiming “Buddhist origin.”

    It seems obvious that Orientalist Bible critics had an agenda to establish the implausible and unlikely, an ancient text like the Tanakh was “influenced” by a 16th century manuscript from a religion they cared little for, from a language they did not speak, which was found in India, a country without a large Jewish population.

    Why did they not ask the Zoroastrians who still live in Iran to this day? Why have they not?

  88. David Marjanović says:

    It’s not from Buddha, but from Bodhisattva which reminded Jews and Christians of Jehosaphat so much that the two got blended to produce Josaphat.

  89. David Marjanović says:

    before failing to prove that this literature is older than Islam, Christianity or Judaism

    The Avestan language this literature is written in is not something people could possibly have made up in the Middle Ages, or even in Achaemenid times. Yes, of course the oldest surviving manuscripts are much younger. The oldest surviving manuscripts of Caesar and Cato and many, many others are from the 9th century or something, and they, too, are in a language people in the 9th century couldn’t have made up.

  90. I suspect our new friend Joe has an axe to grind, but I can’t figure out yet which.

  91. “The Avestan language this literature is written in is not something people could possibly have made up in the Middle Ages, or even in Achaemenid times.”

    Impossible is a stretch, but nobody said it was made up, I just said it can’t be proven to be much older than the manuscripts it is written on. A fact.

    ” Yes, of course the oldest surviving manuscripts are much younger. The oldest surviving manuscripts of Caesar and Cato and many, many others are from the 9th century or something, and they, too, are in a language people in the 9th century couldn’t have made up.”

    One manuscripts tradition is not evidence of another. You have ancient Torah from the DSS, Codex Sinaiticus for the Ellenic Bible (so called LXX) and so 400 years after Jesus you have the New Testament.

    Nobody actually even knows when Zoroaster really lived including the Parsees. Could this be if his religious teachings are preserved in their literature? You would think that information would have been preserved if it was ancient, but the truth is that there is no evidence that they had a written tradition before the Zend Avesta.

  92. Trond Engen says:

    Unsurprisingly, the more desperate someone is for grinding, the duller is usually their axe.

    (Could be very unfair about Joe, though. I haven’t seen his axe.)

  93. I assume whoever used the idiom “axe to grind” has nothing intelligent with which to respond to regarding my observations that are obviously logical, if caring about academic honesty and critical ability is having an axe to grind, I suppose I do.

    My issue is that academics make claims that ameteurs like me can criticize, even refute, like I do when I point out that this J&B claimed origin from the legends of Buddha is done on the strength of the hypothetical existence of a hypothetical Manichean version of a Sanskrit Buddhist text, neither of which exists in reality.

    Without this hypothetical text the claim that Barlaam and Josaphat is a Buddhist legend, Christianized, is pure fantasy.

    So the theory truly rests on the Arabic version of the Christian legend of B&J, not a “Sanskrit Buddhist” Manichean redaction then altered to give us Barlaam and Josaphat, just Barlaam and Josaphat and some bored academics.

    But if you want to have a serious debate like gentlemen I am game.

    Am I supposed to be sorry that I see through the nonsense that is this theory? Or for sharing? You could learn something if you wanted to, it seems like you just like the theory and WANT it to be true, like you WANT the Avesta to be ancient enough to have influenced Judaism, it is just not possible to prove and the evidence is weak and speculative at best.

  94. Trond Engen says:

    September 7, 2019 at 11:20 am

    Unsurprisingly, the more desperate someone is for grinding, the duller is usually their axe.

    (Could be very unfair about Joe, though. I haven’t seen his axe.)

    Could you be more specific and less figurative, because insults don’t win debates and you have no counter so far that is beyond whining because someone doesn’t blindly accept what you want them to.

  95. Oh, that’s your axe: “us amateurs are smarter than those so-called experts who don’t actually know anything.” An oldie but goodie. But if you don’t even understand why the age of the manuscripts Avestan is written on has nothing to do with the age of the language, I don’t think we’re going to get very far.

  96. you have no counter so far that is beyond whining because someone doesn’t blindly accept what you want them to.

    Man, this really is a classic of the genre. “I see the TRUTH, and all you sheeple just blindly accept what the so-called experts feed you!!” Flat-earthers, conspiracy theorists, aliens-built-the-pyramids, it’s all the same thing as far as attitude goes. But I confess this is the first Avestan-is-a-fake conspiracy theorist I’ve run into.

  97. What, specifically, about my “axe” is “dull” in non figurative terms. Basically what words did I say that aren’t true and make me look “dull.”

    I think you’re out of your league, kid.

    Why don’t you tell me what library this alleged “Sanskrit Buddhist” tale is in, in manuscript form. What is the date of it.

    How about the Manichean redaction? Where is this manuscript stored and what is the date of the manuscript?

    And if this manuscript does not exist what reason is there to believe the theory, you know, sans evidence? Faith? Bah!

    Here is another thing, it doesn’t make you dull to be critical of academic theories. You are dull if you DON’T. FACT.

  98. I am still waiting for something to resemble a debate to begin. You can try to insult me but my feelings aren’t hurt, you are obviously insulting me because you don’t have the ability to intelligently debate me.

  99. So why are you wasting your time with us sheeple? We clearly can’t match your intelligence and ability to penetrate the appearances to grasp the TRUTH.

  100. Let me make this simple. The theory that B&J is based on a Buddhist legend about Buddha, is asserted on the strength of hypothetical texts of Buddhist and then Manichean origin.

    The problem is that there is no evidence of any such text. It does not exist.

    It is a theory based on hypothetical, non existent literature. Why is this so hard to accept, that there is no evidence for this theory? Because it is so widely accepted? I get that, but widely accepted and factually correct aren’t the same thing.

    If I am wrong tell me where is the manuscript so I can compare the translation of it into English with Barlaam and Josaphat? I will gladly concede then. Certainly it would be published.

  101. languagehat says:

    September 7, 2019 at 11:36 am

    So why are you wasting your time with us sheeple? We clearly can’t match your intelligence and ability to penetrate the appearances to grasp the TRUTH

    Who said I was wasting my time?

    Or called you sheeple?

    Not me. I just wanted to debate this ridiculous theory. And if you can’t defend, I win. I had fun. Good time.

  102. Good times indeed — we all had fun and no harm was done!

  103. Oh, and of course you win. You always win!

  104. What you should ask, Lhat, yourself, is, “Why did I not realize that this theory had literally no evidence, why am I a little mad that someone else did.”

    And:

    “If this theory was so obviously true, why can’t I defend it, why did I buy it in the first place.?”

    My guess is that you don’t like Christianity and so any that accuses any Christian author of borrowing and adapting a Buddhist legend as Christian, you are going to believe, evidence or no evidence.

    Otherwise why the insults? Why not just with confidence, overcome my objections without typically defeated rhetoric?

  105. languagehat says:

    September 7, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Oh, and of course you win. You always win!

    What an odd thing to say. I definitely won THIS debate but I have had my share of losses in life. The trick is researching the topic before you run your mouth so nobody can blindside you with facts and logic.

    But factually speaking I did win, so I appreciate your acknowledgement.

  106. You’re welcome. Go in peace!

  107. languagehat says:

    September 7, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Good times indeed — we all had fun and no harm was done

    You can’t honestly think it is fun to have something you took the time to post online as “interesting”, destroyed as a theory and shown to be incapable of withstanding scrutiny, or maybe you can, you don’t seem to be having fun, though.

    You seem like someone who thought something was interesting, an academic theory based on hypothetical evidence, and who found out, perhaps unwillingly, that however interesting it is in your opinion, the theory itself is so transparently fictitious that “some guy” can refute you, the, I assume, “non ameteur” (by your assuming that I think I am smarter BECAUSE I am an ameteur), with ease and to the point where you can not debate even a single objection that I have, too the theory.

    If you are a professional you should be the one telling me that the theory is based on hypothetical texts no eyes have ever seen, so in a way it is better to learn without the opinions of academia taking the place of facts in spite of obvious flaws in almost every aspect of a particular theory.

    I would love to debate the hypothetical “Indo-Aryan” language or as known today “Indo-European” because, you know, Nazis. That would be a blast, telling you that the ancient Ellenes or erroneously so called Greeks, had enough interaction with India to exchange a few loan words.

    Even better would be quoting all of the ancient authors who knew enough about India to write about the religion and have it be accurate today, even.

    Alexander converted the Indian Praesii to the Hellenic cult himself, according to Plutarch. You would be shocked by what a little common sense can reveal.

    Loan words explain the few possible loan words between Sanskrit and Ellenic, Latin, and history testifies that this was more than possible, even the early Christians knew about the Brahmans. Bardesanes, Hippolytas, the Homilies of Clement of Rome, others.

    There is no need for the PIE theory and truth be told look at any list of similar sounding and meaning words, Sanskrit and Greek, there are like 12 POSSIBLE, the rest are a joke.

    It’s the Nazi Aryan with a different name. The Aryan theory of the Nazis was based on these observations of alleged similarities, between Greek, Latin and Sanskrit.

    They didn’t invent the Aryan theory, academics did. The Nazis just used it.

  108. Wow, the crazy goes deeper than I imagined!

  109. David Marjanović says:

    September 7, 2019 at 10:50 am

    It’s not from Buddha, but from Bodhisattva which reminded Jews and Christians of Jehosaphat so much that the two got blended to produce Josaphat.

    “reminded Jews and Christians of Jehosaphat so much that the two got blended to produce Josaphat.”

    I am willing to bet you have no way of proving this because, how could you? Someone guessed, a theory was born and you believe it. Am I supposed to be impressed? Was it a Jew or a Christian who wrote the book? And how do you know what they were thinking some 1000 years ago? You don’t.

    You aren’t using common sense.

    Still doesn’t resemble a corruption of Buddha and do you honestly not think Buddha is related to Bodhisattva, which renders your, well complain really, moot.

    Bodhisattva does NOT resemble Yosefet, not remotely, so what’s your point here, that I used the wrong word to point out the right the, gee, sorry.

    Still not a corrupt form of it, Yosefet does not resemble either word, so…

  110. Wow, the crazy goes deeper than I imagined!

    How am I crazy? Do tell me please!

    I am here to destroy a theory in a debate, one you posted, just because I DID destroy the theory, DOESN’T make me crazy.

    That you feel the need to insult me exposes what type of person you are. You can’t debate facts, logic, so attack the person’s mind, say they are crazy.

    You don’t think that I am NOT familiar with this tactic or what it means, do you? It is not a good strategy to just call everyone who disputes a theory you believe in “crazy.”

    One might say that as a strategy, that it is crazy
    It never works because anyone can figure out that if you are insulting a person in an academic debate it is because you are losing.

    Of course my objections, being good objections that you can’t overcome, doesn’t help you any. I am going to assume that you are not any kind of professional academic, true or false?

  111. languagehat says:

    September 7, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Wow, the crazy goes deeper than I imagined!

    If you honestly feel this way because of something I said, maybe you want evidence, if you tell me what I said SPECIFICALLY that makes you think I am crazy, I will show you why I am not.

    Your move.

  112. David Marjanović says:

    “The Avestan language this literature is written in is not something … ”

    That exists, Zend is the name of the book, Avesta means” commentary. ”

    It is not the name of a language at all. Seriously, did you not know that?

  113. David Eddyshaw says:

    You are, interestingly, not merely wrong, but exactly wrong.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zend

    Are you doing it on purpose?

  114. Stu Clayton says:

    For 6 days now, Trump has been doubling and tripling down on his Alabama hurricane claim. Can’t let it go, gotta be right, gotta set people straight. No matter that nobody gives a flying fuck.

  115. I think our friend Joe is wasting his time here; there’s a place waiting for him in Washington.

  116. David Eddyshaw says:

    I think Stu is implying that here’s there already …
    (and I claim my £5)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobby_Lud

  117. Trond Engen says:

    Dull axe indeed. Blessed are the blind. Too long to read. Too dull to grind.

  118. David Eddyshaw says:

    Kusaas ye: Fu ya’a bood tampiing siind, fu po lem zot lieng daug nyoogo.

    The Kusaasi say: If you want to get honey out of a rock, don’t go easy on the axe-shaft.

  119. Plastic Paddy: If anything, in Irish, dara (second) can be used in place of eile (other) in ways I do not think are common in other languages.

    Would say Dara Ó Briain’s name typically be a reference to his being the second child or born in the second month, similar to Roman & contemporary Septimus, Decimus etc? How about Eileen?

    Axe Handles.
    Fork Handles.

  120. How about Eileen?

    Come on!

  121. I don’t know why that song affects me the way it does, but it chokes me up every time. Hadn’t heard it for at least a decade. God knows how many times I played the single back in the day. Ah, the eighties…

  122. John Cowan says:

    You have ancient Torah from the DSS

    Fragments, that is. On Joe’s views, the actual Old Testament is a 10C creation, and may well be a translation of the LXX into Hebrew.

    And of course when an astronomer or geographer won’t debate a flat-earther, the flat-earther can certainly claim to have won. Except that we aren’t here to see who can pick the most potatoes, but to get the potatoes in before the winter comes. (Spider Robinson on authorial rivalries.)

  123. David Marjanović says:

    Hey, Joe! When you disagree with an idea, how about you first read the publications where it is presented in full, instead of just a blog post about another blog post, before you explode in anger?

    If you follow the first link on this page, at the very bottom you’ll find a list of “References and further reading”. The first link there goes to this article in Encyclopaedia Iranica, which has “Iosaph” instead of “Iosaphat”, explains that the Persian version is Belawhar o Būdāsaf, and further explains: “The name Iosaph is a corrupt arabicized form of bodhisattva, in which the initial b was misread as y.” You see, in Arabic script, in which Persian is written, is بو and is يو, so I think you’ll agree one can be misread as the other.

    Impossible is a stretch, but nobody said it was made up, I just said it can’t be proven to be much older than the manuscripts it is written on. A fact.

    We know what languages were spoken in Persia at the time from which the oldest surviving manuscripts date. It is immediately obvious that Avestan is a whole lot older – not just a hundred years or two, but easily a thousand.

    Yes, of course the oldest surviving manuscripts are much younger. The oldest surviving manuscripts of Caesar and Cato and many, many others are from the 9th century or something, and they, too, are in a language people in the 9th century couldn’t have made up.

    One manuscripts tradition is not evidence of another.

    So, first, the European case shows that a piece of written literature can be much older than the oldest surviving manuscript, because the even older manuscripts from which the oldest surviving one was copied happen not to survive.

    Second, it is clear that the Avesta and the Veda for instance were first written down long after they were composed. For a long time, they were purely oral literature that people learned by heart. In India, this is still done with the Veda.

    Nobody actually even knows when Zoroaster really lived including the Parsees. Could this be if his religious teachings are preserved in their literature? You would think that information would have been preserved if it was ancient

    Why? What for? Not everybody cares about absolute numbers. Not every culture cares about absolute numbers. Zoroaster lived long ago, and that’s good enough for the Parsees.

    (I’d go with “mid-to-late second millennium BC”.)

    the hypothetical existence of a hypothetical Manichean version of a Sanskrit Buddhist text, neither of which exists in reality

    That article in the Encyclopaedia Iranica I mentioned? Behold what it has to say on these topics:

    The novel is a syncretic compilation of Buddha stories ultimately derived from such works as Aśvaghoṣa’s Buddhacarita (Career of the Buddha; 1st-­2nd cents.), the Lalitavistara (an early Mahāyāna text), the Mahāvastu (from the canon of the Mahāsaṅgikas), and the Pali Jātaka tales […].

    These are all Buddhist texts that still exist today, and except for the one in Pali, I think they’re all in Sanskrit.

    The fact that fragments of the tale have been preserved in Manichean texts in Uigur, Parthian, and Persian in Manichean script from Turfan proves that it was the Manicheans who trans­mitted this Indian tale to the West (Henning, p. 92; Lang, “The Life,” pp. 389-90; Asmussen, pp. 16-17). From Manichean Middle Persian the story was then translated into Arabic. In this connection we may note that Ebn al-Nadīm (Fehrest, p. 305.20-21), describing ʿAbbasid Baghdad as a cosmopolitan center and the main town of the western Manichean church, connects the translator Ebn al-Moqaffaʿ and his circle with the Ketāb Belawhar wa Būḏāsaf. (Ebn al-Moqaffaʿ’s inter­est in Manicheism is referred to by Bīrūnī, Masʿūdī, and the Tārīḵ-e gozīda; see […]

    Only fragments survive, but they are fragments of this very tale in three languages, written by Manicheans because nobody else used the Manichean script.

    Just above this quote, it is casually mentioned that the name is not spelled bwd’sf in these fragments as you might expect from the non-Manichean Persian version, but bwdysdf. That’s two steps closer to the original bodhisattva.

    do you honestly not think Buddha is related to Bodhisattva

    Of course they’re related. But one doesn’t come from the other. Literally, Buddha is “woken up”, while bodhisattva is the state of someone who will wake up as far as I understand.

    It’s like victory and invincible: related, but not derived from each other.

    My guess is that you don’t like Christianity and so any that accuses any Christian author of borrowing and adapting a Buddhist legend as Christian, you are going to believe, evidence or no evidence.

    Das also ist des Pudels Kern!

    So this is the ax you want to grind! You’re desperately anxious about Christianity, so you perceive any idea that Christianity has been influenced – even in its most peripheral aspects, like the legend of B & J – by anything but God Himself as a personal attack and lash out in defense, without even bothering to learn what it is you’re attacking!

    Yeah, sorry, that’s no way to have a discussion.

    We’re not fighting the War on Christmas here. Stop guessing. Calm down, sleep, read, then come back.

    I would love to debate the hypothetical “Indo-Aryan” language or as known today “Indo-European” because, you know, Nazis.

    Yeah, we can do that next. But first, please spend a few hours on Wikipedia. You’ve reached the point where you’re writing more errors than sentences.

  124. Hadn’t heard it for at least a decade.
    God, wow, me neither. I’d forgotten. Now I’ll have to play it for the wife and kid.

    And I love David for starting the next comment with Hey, Joe!

  125. Hey Joe, where you goin’ with that Bible in your hand?

  126. David Eddyshaw says:

    I was trying to discern an ideological kernel there, and wondered if it were indeed Trumpoid paranoiac parachristianity, what with that being so goshdarned popular and all; but there’s no implication there that Nazis include some very fine people, so the imputation is evidently unjust.

    Why can’t we all just get along?

  127. Lloyd Alexander thought about using the name Eileen for the princess in The Book of Three, but he decided it was, unlike the other Welsh names he had picked, too commonplace in 1960s America. (My mother tells me that she was one of three Eileen’s in her high school class of ’67.) So Alexander created the fictional version Eilonwy for his heroine.

  128. Lars (the original one) says:

    IIIn the red corner: Joe! AAAnd in the blue: The hypothetical Indo-Aryan language!

    Debate!

    (I’m imagining THIAL aka THIEL in a vaguely Greek charioteer outfit).

    Remember, boys and girls, just because you’re hypothetical doesn’t mean you don’t exist.

  129. David Marjanović says:

    And I love David for starting the next comment with Hey, Joe!

    Is that some cultural reference? I merely meant to keep things in kind after Joe randomly called people “kid”…

    (I just watched the video of the Eileen song. *blink* Like… the tune is in the Western tradition, but everything else is utterly alien to me – it might as well be the Tale of the Genji. It doesn’t help that I don’t understand most of the lyrics, but in any case I had a complete absence of emotional reactions other than the giant question mark forming above my head.)

    Trumpoid

    Less Trump, more Cruz?

  130. Lars (the original one) says:

    Repeat ffnord after David: We are getting ffnord along just fine.

  131. David Eddyshaw says:

    @Brett:

    Eileen is not a Welsh name. It’s Irish.
    Eilonwy does seem to be made up, but not by Alexander.

  132. Is that some cultural reference?

    Hey Joe.

  133. Lars (the original one) says:

    Also I still want to know who that guy Belawhar is supposed to be.

  134. David Eddyshaw says:

    @UrLars:

    I don’t like to see someone being picked on just because they’re from Alpha Draconis. Lizards are people too.

  135. PlasticPaddy says:

    @ajp crown
    The name Dara is from the word for the oak tree.
    The word for second is also dara but derived from the word for two.
    Eileen and eile are like I’ll and ell (most speakers would not connect them) ☺

  136. John Cowan says:

    an ideological kernel

    Well, as we now know, it is a poodle kernel instead.

    On the origin of Eilonwy, from a baby-name site that actually seems linguistically and historically informed.

    everything else is utterly alien to me

    Come On Eileen lyrics. But given that (I haven’t heard the song), the only things that look obscure to me, from a position of comparative ignorance, are Johnnie Ray and the line too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, ay, which is basically scat.

    However, similar phrases appear in other songs in connection with Ireland, and it does sound like an anglophone imitation of Irish, though whether it refers to a specific Irish phrase, as Lillibulero, bullen a la does, I don’t know. In addition, tooraloo/too-a-loo/toraloo/toodle-oo was early 20C slang for ‘goodbye’ in several anglophone countries: both Joyce and D.H. Lawrence use it.

  137. Alexander claimed to have made up Eilonwy, but I guess he either misremembered twenty-ish years later, or he was unconsciously influenced.

  138. toora-loora is an old Irish lullaby — here’s one version

    It had never occurred to me that toodle-oo for goodbye, which I associate with northern England, was the same phrase, but it makes sense.

  139. I don’t get this “oldest manuscript” idea.

    There are rock inscriptions dated 3rd century BCE, written in Sanskrit, mentioning Buddha’s name and stating that emperor Ashoka is a follower of Buddhism.

    Ashoka also thought it necessary to make rock inscriptions with the same content in Classical Greek and Aramaic too.

    Thus, there is zero doubt that Buddhism existed in recognizable form three centuries before Jesus Christ.

  140. Thanks, Plastic! Had to ask.

  141. David Marjanović says:

    written in Sanskrit

    Actually an early Prakrit.

  142. January First-of-May says:

    Also I still want to know who that guy Belawhar is supposed to be.

    Seconded. I’ve seen a whole lot of stuff about Josaphat/Yudasaf, but none of it had any explanation of where did Barlaam/Belawhar come from (not even anything to the effect of “origin unknown”).

  143. For the record I am Sunni Muslim, not Christian. I have no personal interest in this, it is just about common sense. If you claim something is derived from something else but that something else is hypothetical, doesn’t exist, your claim has no evidence.

    You don’t have any proof of the existence of the alleged “Buddhist Sanskrit, Manichean” text that the theory rests on. Which makes it a bs theory.

    Being immature and trying to insult me isn’t going to change that.

    Alleging that I made mistakes that I didn’t isn’t going to change that.

    Telling me to read Wikipedia before you debate me about PIE is just dumb, I don’t have to prove that a hypothetical language doesn’t exist, because it doesn’t exist, it is academic fiction based on exaggerated claims of similarities between Sanskrit and Ellenic that, even if there were so many similarities, it can be explained by loan words between cultures who interacted.

    You obviously can’t counter my refutation of the theory of Buddhist origins for B&J, so why not just admit it instead of acting like a child?

  144. David Eddyshaw says:
    September 7, 2019 at 1:36 pm
    You are, interestingly, not merely wrong, but exactly wrong.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zend

    Are you doing it on purpose?

    Stu Clayton says:

    I actually OWN the 3 volume Zend Avesta, this is the source of my assertion that Zend is no language and that Avesta means commentary.

    Wikimedia, really? I shall quote from the Zend and Avesta. 1 moment please…

  145. You might actually be right, I may have has it backwards, but Zend means commentary and the Avesta is the name of a book.

    The Avesta /əˈvɛstə/ is the primary collection of religious texts of Zoroastrianism, composed in the otherwise unrecorded Avestan language.[1] Wikipedia

    “Otherwise unrecorded.” The only book to use the language of the Avesta is the Avesta, but is the Zend and Avesta a commentary on a language or a book?

    So if the book gave the name the language it was the name of a book first, question: What was the language ORIGINALLY called? What is the meaning of Avesta that is being commented upon IN the Zend Avesta?

    It’s not a language book which makes it pretty obvious that the language is named after the book, it is like if the Hebrew language was called “Tanakh.”

    So you have a point, I will concede, it is not that important to me. But I also have a point as the book is a commentary upon the Parsee religion, the text called the Avesta, which must have had a different name prior to the writing of the Avesta, because the book came first and was apparently used to name the language, probably for the sake of convenience but does anyone know what it was called BEFORE the writing of the Avesta?

    No. It’s only appearance in history is in the Zend and Avesta which does not mean “Commentary and our language.”

    So I maintain that Avestan is a book written in a queer language that has come to be named after the only book which uses it. But the original use of Avesta must be for the title of the book.

    So forgive me if I have a hard time believing that a language was named after a book but before the book was written. So I really am not wrong. Avestan might be what the language is called, but only because of the book, so it is a book first, it would seem that the language really has no name and it should be called “The language of the Avesta” because the Avesta is a book. Avestan is derived from the book.

    So what is the meaning of Avesta, in translation?

  146. David Eddyshaw says:

    For the record I am Sunni Muslim

    Not the POTUS, then. Profound apologies. Moreover, I detect no antihuman malice in your postings. The implication was unworthy.

    (But I was looking forward to that £5.)

  147. But another point of mine is that the Zend&Avesta being the only book written in that language, makes it very improbable that it was an influence on Judaism and Christianity, religions older than the Zend Avesta itself and religions that did not use the language of the Avesta or know that it existed.

    There are manuscripts of the Bible and Qur’an older than the oldest Zend&Avesta manuscript, which makes it impossible to prove that it influenced any religion.

    It has more in common with the Vedas than the Bible. The language is similar to Sanskrit.

  148. David Eddyshaw says:
    September 8, 2019 at 7:51 am
    For the record I am Sunni Muslim

    Not the POTUS, then. Profound apologies. Moreover, I detect no antihuman malice in your postings. The implication was unworthy.

    (But I was looking forward to that £5.)

    I humbly accept your apology but truly I wasn’t mad. I really don’t have any anti+human malice so thanks for saying so. Likewise.

  149. I don’t get this “oldest manuscript” idea.

    There are rock inscriptions dated 3rd century BCE, written in Sanskrit, mentioning Buddha’s name and stating that emperor Ashoka is a follower of Buddhism.

    Rock inscriptions can’t be dated with any precision and have nothing to do with manuscripts.

    Without ANY manuscripts to compare with Barlaam and Josaphat TO the hypothetical “Sanskrit Buddhist Manichean” text there is no evidence that B&J was based on it.

    In this instance it is not about “oldest” MSS, but the fact that the text the theory of B&J’s Buddhist origins is LITERALLY without a scrap of evidence.

    Barlaam and Josaphat used the apology of Aristides for apologetic content. Scholars extracted the quotes and placed them side by side with Apology of Aristides. This established the likelihood that Aristides was used in B&J and anyone can compare the two in his book on their own.

    Why hasn’t the same thing been done with B&J and the “Sanskrit Buddhist Manichean” text?

    Because it doesn’t exist, is hypothetical, nobody has ever seen it, so the theory has no evidence.

  150. Joe, would you mind either indenting or italicising the quotations? It’s difficult to decipher which bits are your comment so it gets frightfully confusing. See ‘HTML’ in Wikipedia, if you don’t know how to do it.

  151. “SFReader says:
    September 8, 2019 at 2:27 am
    I don’t get this “oldest manuscript” idea.”

    Well, SFReader, old manuscripts prove that literature is old.

    And that the Buddhists have NO manuscripts that can be said to be the source of the legend of B&J proves that the assertion has no merit. Is a bad theory.

    Where can I read this alleged Buddhist source of Barlaam and Josaphat? Without it the theory is dead. That it is so widely accepted proves that we live in an uncritical time.

    Anyone with common sense can refute the theory on the grounds that the alleged source is merely hypothetical.

    Old manuscripts are important. Just for fun the Olde DATED MS extant is the Syriac Homilies of Clement of Rome, 410/411 AD. I own the English translation.

    Codex Sinaiticus is important because it provides the readings of the oldest extant Greek manuscript which can be compared with variations of newer manuscripts to determine the correct reading and fix the errors of later scribes.

    It proves that not all Bibles were made of the same books as it contains books not in the Bible today.

    What’s not to get? They are evidence. Evidence is important and may become proof.

    My real issue is that the manuscript said to be the source of Barlaam and Josaphat doesn’t exist, in Sanskrit or any language, it is academic fiction.

  152. “Joe, would you mind either indenting or italicising the quotations? It’s difficult to decipher which bits are your comment so it gets frightfully confusing. See ‘HTML’ in Wikipedia, if you don’t know how to do it.”

    Better? Good point, I was being lazy.

  153. I must say that while some of you have manners and are decent, I find it disgusting that, because I pointed out that the alleged source of the theory that Barlaam and Josaphat can not be proven to be derived from a “Sanskrit Buddhist Manichean text” if said text is an academic fiction, I am insulted by people posing as mature academics.

    If the behavior of Lhat is the behavior of many academics, Academia should be ashamed. Unfortunately his arrogant tactics are not rare, he must be of the school of thought of those who believe that if you can’t win a debate by debating the facts, the next best thing is to try to discredit the person debating.

    A true scholar debates only information and not the informer.

    Doesn’t resort to insults that aren’t even true because he can’t overcome an objection to a theory they espouse as rooted in fact.

    And a real scholar would demand evidence before believing a theory. Since Barlaam and Josaphat can’t be proven to be the story of the Buddha, Christianized, due to lack of evidence, no scholar should avoid criticism of the theory.

    It’s so obscure nobody really cares, but a lie is a lie, whoever invented the theory can be nothing but a liar. Whoever believes without evidence, takes it on faith, the only way to take many of the theories of Hackademics. I prefer to critique the critics.

  154. @Joe: The similarities between Sanscrit and Greek aren’t just a couple of words that can be easily explained by loans, they include major parts of the grammar, including the formation of tenses, grammatical endings, personal pronouns, numbers, and these are elements that are only rarely loaned between languages, and never entire ending systems.
    Moreover we know how Greek and Indic languages looked like at the period when Alexander reached India. The words in both languages that are similar were sufficiently different already by then, showing that they must have undergone some changes in both languages, which takes time, and which means that they cannot have been loaned at that time.
    Additionally, it’s not just Greek and Sanscrit that show these similarities, but many languages in Europe and Asia. We know that languages that have a common ancestor share a lot of words and grammatical endings, like the Romance languages do, which descend from Latin, while there are no known cases of languages loaning entire systems of grammatical endings, so the assumption that the Indo-European languages have a common ancestor, even if we don’t have surviving texts in that language, is more in line with what we know about language development and language contact, than assuming large-scale loaning.

  155. Fun website though. You know I am from Central Mass, Lhat? Of course not I did not say so. We are neighbors practically!

  156. “Joe: The similarities between Sanscrit and Greek aren’t just a couple of words that can be easily explained by loans,…”

    Supply a list, please.

    Regarding the probability of loan words, Alexander converted the Indian Praesii to the Ellenic cult which they were practicing in the time of Plutarch.

    Bardesanes, Hippolytus, wrote accurately enough about the people of India that it is impossible to believe that the Indians did not interact with the speakers of Ellenic. They menton Brahmans and polytheistic Hindus in the first few centuries AD.

    There is enough historical testimony to prove without a doubt that enough communication took place between the two cultures for a few loan words to be exchanged.

    This is hardly the first time that I have debated this, I have debated it on Quora with professional linguists who weren’t able to sustain the claim that “Thee Ellenes had no interaction with the Indians besides Alexanders failed invasion.”

    I am pretty sure that is the standard response to the objection that PIE is a necessary hypothesis, but it simply is not true.

  157. David Eddyshaw says:

    @Joe:

    The question of oldest manuscripts cannot settle the direction of travel of influence: what manuscripts have survived is subject to a huge amount of pure chance. Much less in the way of ancient manuscripts has survived than people commonly think. Unless the text is a religious scripture or has had the misfortune to become a school text, it has a low chance of survival even if not written on highly perishable materials (as was usual in ancient India.) Many of the Greek and Latin classics survive in a handful of ancient manuscripts, sometimes just one. We have irretrievably lost the vast majority of ancient literature, and what we do have reflects not what we would now think worth preserving, but what centuries of schoolmasters and monks liked. We should probably count ourselves lucky that so much of it is actually quite good.

    The oldest complete texts of the Hebrew Bible are centuries later than the oldest complete texts of the Christian New Testament. The oldest Sanskrit manuscripts are much later than Ashoka’s monuments inscribed with languages derived from Sanskrit. For centuries, the bearers of Sanskritic culture were actively opposed to writing, believing that texts should be memorised instead in their entirety. Panini’s extraordinary Sanskrit grammar uses every possible device to make it as short as possible, because it was intended to be completely memorised.

    This business of influence: I came across a folktale in West Africa which has the same plot, including many details, as The Pardoner’s Tale, an English work from the fourteenth century. There is no chance at all that either one is the source of the other. But they are connected: the story is found all over Africa, Europe and Asia, and ultimately derives from a story about a previous incarnation of the Buddha. It got to England via an Arabic version, and probably to West Africa too. The Arabic versions were translated from Syriac, the Syriac from the very same Middle Persian that most of the Avesta commentaries are written in.

    The world has been for millennia a much more deeply interconnected place than most people realise.

  158. If the behavior of Lhat is the behavior of many academics, Academia should be ashamed. Unfortunately his arrogant tactics are not rare, he must be of the school of thought of those who believe that if you can’t win a debate by debating the facts, the next best thing is to try to discredit the person debating.

    Oh, I’m no academic, I just read a lot of academic books. And I am not arrogant (as you will see if you read around the site; I’m always happy to admit I’m wrong, and one of the great pleasures of running this blog is the chance to learn from people who know more than I do), I just have no patience for… how to put this?… people who are convinced that they know more than academics and experts.

    Fun website though

    Thanks, neighbor!

  159. “Joe: The similarities between Sanscrit and Greek aren’t just a couple of words that can be easily explained by loans, ”

    I will provide a list of Greek/Ellenic words which are claimed to be similar and prove that it is an exaggeration to claim that they are so similar as to warrant the PIE hypothesis, if you won’t, but first the historical evidence that there was enough interaction between the Ellenes that the early Christians Bardesanes (in Syriac) and Hippolytus (Greek), as well as Plutarch, give enough evidence to satisfy the probability that they are loan words between cultures who interacted. Wasn’t Calanus Indian btw?

    Bardesan:
    “Laws of the Brahmans who are in India.—Again, among the Hindoos, the Brahmans, of whom there are many thousands and tens of thousands, have a law forbidding to kill at all, or to pay reverence to idols, or to commit impurity, or to eat flesh, or to drink wine; and among these people not one of these things ever takes place.  Thousands of years, too, have elapsed, during which these men, lo! have been governed by this law which they made for themselves.

    “Another Law which is in India.—There is also another law in India, and in the same zone,3431 prevailing among those who are not of the caste3432 of the Brahmans, and do not embrace their teaching, bidding them serve idols, and commit impurity, and kill, and do other bad things, which by the Brahmans are disapproved.  In the same zone of India, too, there are men who are in the habit of eating the flesh of men, just as all other nations eat the flesh of animals.  Thus the evil stars have not compelled the Brahmans to do evil and impure things; nor have the good stars prevailed on the rest of the Hindoos to abstain from doing evil things; nor have those stars which are well ‘located’ in the regions which properly belong to them,3433 and in the signs of the zodiac favourable to a humane disposition,3434 prevailed on those who eat the flesh of men to abstain from using this foul and abominable food.

    Hippolytus Refutation of All Heresies
    Chapter XXI.—The Brachmans; Their Mode of Life; Ideas of Deity; Different Sorts Of; Their Ethical Notions.

    But there is also with the Indians a sect composed of those philosophizing among the Brachmans. They spend a contented existence, abstain both from living creatures and all cooked food, being satisfied with fruits; and not gathering these from the trees, but carrying off those that have fallen to the earth. They subsist upon them, drinking the water of the river Tazabena.136 But they pass their life naked, affirming that the body has been constituted a covering to the soul by the Deity. These affirm that God is light, not such as one sees, nor such as the sun and fire; but to them the Deity is discourse, not that which finds expression in articulate sounds, but that of the knowledge through which the secret mysteries of nature137 are perceived by the wise. And this light which they say is discourse, their god, they assert that the Brachmans only know on account of their alone rejecting all vanity of opinion which is the soul’s ultimate covering.138 These despise death, and always in their own peculiar language139 call God 22by the name which we have mentioned previously, and they send up hymns (to him). But neither are there women among them, nor do they beget children. But they who aim at a life similar to these, after they have crossed over to the country on the opposite side of the river, continue to reside there, returning no more; and these also are called Brachmans. But they do not pass their life similarly, for there are also in the place women, of whom those that dwell there are born, and in turn beget children. And this discourse which140 they name God they assert to be corporeal, and enveloped in a body outside himself, just as if one were wearing a sheep’s skin, but that on divesting himself of body that he would appear clear to the eye. But the Brachmans say that there is a conflict in the body that surrounds them, (and they consider that the body is for them full of conflicts);141 in opposition to which, as if marshalled for battle against enemies, they contend, as we have already explained. And they say that all men are captive to their own congenital struggles, viz., sensuality and inchastity, gluttony, anger, joy, sorrow, concupiscence, and such like. And he who has reared a trophy over these, alone goes to God; wherefore the Brachmans deify Dandamis, to whom Alexander the Macedonian paid a visit, as one who had proved victorious in the bodily conflict. But they bear down on Calanus as having profanely withdrawn from their philosophy. But the Brachmans, putting off the body, like fishes jumping out of water into the pure air, behold the sun… ”

    That alone is enough evidence to allow for the more likely idea that they are loan words, for how could this information be ascertained without communication? And if communication… loan words.

    PIE is an Academic fiction and absurd. No evidence exists to support the hypothetical Indo-Aryan turned Indo-European language hypothesis, it’s an embarrassment to Academia.

  160. Also, I count on the less flippant Hatters to remedy my deficiencies in patience and willingness to go over the basics (a dislike of teaching is one of the many reasons I didn’t become an academic) — my deep thanks to all those who have responded more helpfully than I! I run a good website but I’m unpardonably flippant and given to shooting from the hip.

    Joe: A belated Muharram mubarak!

  161. “Moreover we know how Greek and Indic languages looked like at the period when Alexander reached India…”

    No, you don’t. The extant manuscripts of classical Greek literature are 10th century AD and later.

    No manuscripts survived that era, so you don’t know if they were modified to be readable in a language that the Romans who preserved them in the east could understand, you don’t know what Greek looked like prior to the oldest manuscripts of their literature which is probably Christian literature, Sinaiticus I bet.

    Every translation requires “Emmendations” because there is not a single person in the world with a perfect knowledge of classical Ellenic.

    Further, I could quote former Hellenic cult member Tatian of Assyria, Christian convert, who said that Greek was a “meddly” of loan words and different dialects, I probably should. Next message. I am going to discuss the literature that was actually translated from Arabic into Latin, or from Syriac, like Plotinus.

    Which is interesting because “the Greek of Plotinus” is mentioned in his book by the publisher, the problem is that the Greek of Plotinus is not of Plotinus but of a modern translation INTO Greek, thus it is not the Greek of Plotinus.

  162. “Joe: A belated Muharram mubarak!”

    Thanks. Are you Muslim? محرم مبارك!

    It is still Muharram. The 9th, so you are on time.

    All is well.

  163. No, I’m not any religion, but I used to hang out with Muslims when I lived in New York (the greatest city in the world) and I have a whole shelf of books on Islam and its history.

  164. David Eddyshaw says:

    Supply a list, please

    There are numerous entire dictionaries. Incidentally, there are indeed Latin and Greek loanwords in Sanskrit, and there are reliable (though not infallible) ways of telling them apart from words inherited in common. Nobody thinks that the Greeks had no interaction with Indians in ancient times apart from Alexander’s invasion. That is a straw man. The undoubted evidence for contact in no way suffices to show that the undeniable similarities between Latin, Greek and Sanskrit can be completely accounted for by borrowing.

    Do you in fact deny the validity of historical comparative linguistics altogether in principle (as opposed to this particular example)?

  165. I could also quote Eusebius who mentioned a very old book called, “On Indian Affairs”, maybe by Polyhistor, I will have to check, but the fact is that I can easily provide enough evidence to support the idea that the similarities between Ellenic and Sanskrit are more likely to be loan words, and I believe that I already have.

    I think the problem is that people depend on secondary sources by modern authors rather than reading the ancient historians who allow anyone to dispute much of what is taught in European and American schools.

    For instance that the Ellenes were not a nation of people from Ellas is proven by the fact that no such country existed until the 1800’s. Greece is not really ancient. In ancient times it was about 5 or 6 INDEPENDENT Kingdoms which Philip and Alexander annexed into the Kingdom of Macedonia.

    Clement of Alexandria proves that the Ellenes were not an ethnicity but a pagan cult and a degenerate one at that in his “Exhortation to the (Ellinas) Heathens” which translates “Ellenes” as “Heathens.”

    If Aristides the Athenian can quit being a Hellene, as Tatian of Assyria, to become a Christian and expose the activities of the cult, then Hellenes were no ethnicity.

    You can’t be a nationality without a nation.

    Alexander was ethnically Macedonian, his religion, for lack of a better term, was the Ellenic cult.

    Homer and Aristotle locate the “Hellenic lands” of the Selli/Hellenes in Dodona, a town in Epirus, by the Achelous river.

    Which is to say that the only place that was called Hellenic in the time of Alexander was Dodona in Epirus, and only parts of Dodona, which is like a neighborhood.

    According to Thucydides, per Encyclopedia Britannica, Epirus was on the periphery of the Ellenic world. Since Dodona is in Epirus, Epirus is peripheral to it and the Epirotes were considered to be Barbarians.

    Not what I was taught in school.

  166. “David Eddyshaw says:
    September 8, 2019 at 9:22 am
    Supply a list, please

    There are numerous entire dictionaries.”

    I am playing you to be fair, I have seen the lists and they are not convincing, which is why, I suppose, you won’t supply a list of ten words even.

    Unfair. I have provided quotes to support my assertions because assertions need evidence. You COULD do the same. If you don’t I will, how’s that?

  167. “languagehat says:
    September 8, 2019 at 9:18 am
    No, I’m not any religion, but I used to hang out with Muslims when I lived in New York (the greatest city in the world) and I have a whole shelf of books on Islam and its history.”

    I recommend al-Tabari. Good for you, I have quite the collection myself. I respect anyone who reads. I am a reader. Books make me happy.

  168. Yes, I have some al-Tabari, he’s excellent.

    Books make me happy.

    Me too!

  169. The male name Dara is short for Mac Dara, lit “son of oak”, name of a sixth-century hermit saint. Dair = oak.

    There is also Dáire, a mythical Celtic name, usually male.

    There is also Daire, usually male, a modern variant of either of the above. And anglicised spelling Darragh.

  170. David, when I go to “Come On Eileen” I get a CC button. I thankfully have nothing else to add to this.

  171. I will agree that oldest manuscripts don’t always determine the correct reading or whatever evidence is sought, but I will not be persuaded that the Zand&Avesta can be proven to be older than Qur’an or that it had any influence whatsoever on Judaism or Christianity, because it simply cannot be.

    It is first mentioned by Arabic speaking historians, I believe that the first mention is in the Fihrist but I could be mistaken.

    As such the wide acceptance of the theory that the religion of the Persians, the followers of Zarathustra, had “profound influence” on Judaism, Christianity and Islam, sickens me, as it is merely a theory, lacking any real evidence and to me seems to have been driven by the desires of the Orientalists to discredit the religions who trace their roots to Abraham عليه السلام in favor of the “Aryan” religion of the Parsees.

    The Aryana Vaego is mentioned in the Zend Avesta, the Persians are called Aryans in the Armenian Chronicon of Eusebius and the Europeans of the Orientalist movement were supremely convinced that they were Aryan.

    I have personally read pre WW1 European scholars, non German, use the term “Aryan mind” as opposed to the “Oriental mind” without hiding their racism at all. It is a fact that it was popular among European scholars, before the Nazis and not only Germans, to call the European, “Aryan.” Google Aryan in the CCEL internal search engine. Christian Classics Ethereal Library. You will see…

    My mention of the Zend Avesta manuscripts being Medieval is a perfectly logical one. The fact is that it can never be proven to be older than the oldest manuscript or the first mention in writing by an outsider. The Qur’an has manuscripts older than the Zend Avesta as do the Tanakh and LXX as well as the Syriac and Armenian, even Arabic Bible.

    The theory that these religions were influenced by the Zend Avesta and/or the religion of Persia is nonsensical and agenda driven.

    On the other hand it is documented by Plutarch that Persian customs were introduced by Alexander, not Median, though. Point being that Persian influence as well as Egyptian and Assyrian, Chaldean, on the Ellenic religion and philosophy, the Phoenicians, all were influential to the culture of the Ellenes, a syncretic culture, a PAGAN culture.

    The monotheistic Jews were usually despised and in writing and war. The odds that Persia was monotheistic at the time are not good and the evidence is not either.

    Could it be any more obvious that there was a typically racist agenda at work? The Europeans were tired of reading about how the beloved ancient Ellines had nothing original and so they desired to paint a different picture. So it must be, to them, that the Aryan religion of Persia influenced Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which they hate.

    Sophistry is the philosophy which creates such academic theories. Lack of criticism and a kind of hero worship of a certain generation of scholars sustains it. Atheism makes it believable. Academia teaches theories as facts and the world bows down.

    Enough is enough and it is time for a change.

  172. The fact that the original name of the PIE hypothesis was, “Indo-Aryan” is most revealing.

    It’s obvious why they changed it but meaningful that it was used in the first place.

    Replacing “Aryan” with “European” is saying “Aryan = European.”

    The hypothesis didn’t change. Just the name. Why do the Euros want to be Indo?

  173. And a real scholar would demand evidence before believing a theory.

    So they do.

    Since Barlaam and Josaphat can’t be proven to be the story of the Buddha, Christianized, due to lack of evidence,

    Your position seems to be a comprehensive denial of historical inference, a version of “Pix or it didn’t happen” (soon to be an obsolete saying with the ever-increasing ability to forge visual evidence). Indeed, the claim that what cannot be proved must be a lie misunderstands the concepts “proof” and “lie”.

    The concept of proof has no place in science, where the strengths of one’s beliefs must be proportional to the strength of the evidence; it is a mathematical notion. Google for [site:languagehat.com Marjanović proof] to hear much more about this. No evidence is infallible, but in science we use fact to mean ‘a hypothesis so strongly evidenced that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent’. Linguistic evolution, like biological evolution, is a fact in this sense. (Linguists sometimes use proved to mean ‘established as factual’, but that is a mere local convention.)

    SImilarly, lies are seemingly factual claims the liar believes to be untrue, and as such distinct from mistakes, bullshit, and hypotheses.

  174. I don’t know what you were taught in school, but that ancient Greece consisted of numerous city states is well known.
    Nobody denies that India was known to the Greeks of the Hellenistic period. That’s not the issue, the issue is whether the similarities between Greek and Sanscrit can be explained by loaning. All you seem to have seen are a couple of words in lists that are being used to illustrate the similarities. Please read an introduction into Indo-European linguistics, which discusses the case endings, verb paradigms, and other elements of grammar, and you will see how far the similarities go.
    If you doubt the manuscripts, there are also inscriptions, which can be dated, from which we know what Greek and Indian Prakrit looked like in Alexander’s times. You can of course deny all that, but then there’s really nothing based on which we can discuss.

  175. David: Is that some cultural reference?

    Hey, Joe is a Hendrix song that’s as well known to Language’s & my generation as anything else from the period. And we had just being discussing the name Eileen in terms of Come On Eileen, so addressing Joe as ‘Hey, Joe!’ was good, even if it was unintended. I thought you’d be aware of the song. I’d probably overestimated J. Hendrix’s lasting attraction, but that’s not your fault.

  176. David Eddyshaw says:

    @Joe:

    The story of St Josaphat has nothing whatsoever to do with any supposed influence of Zoroastrianism on ancient Judaism. His spurious ascent to Christian sainthood happened a thousand years after the beginning of Christianity.

    As it happens, I agree wholeheartedly with you (probably for quite similar reasons) that any formative Zoroastrian influence on either Judaism of Christianity seems spectacularly improbable, and when such influences were once upon a time claimed, it was for unscientific reasons which had everything to do with antisemitism and that tedious nineteenth century complex of ideas about Jesus being a solar myth or something (I don’t think these people had actually progressed as far in their knowledge of world religion to be anti-Islamic yet.)

    But this is all completely irrelevant to the question of whether a tale ultimately of Buddhist origin could migrate to the west in the Middle Ages, and its real origins forgotten, get adapted into a tale of a Christian holy man. Nor would such a development trouble my faith in the least. There have always been gullible Christians, just as there have always been gullible Jews and gullible Muslims, and there are now plenty of gullible atheists and agnostics to go with them. That does not affect the grounds for believing (or not) in a tradition at all (though it might undermine one’s faith in democracy …)

    What is it with you and the Greeks? As a matter of fact, the ancient Greeks themselves didn’t believe that they were a homogeneous “race”, and they were pretty keen on attributing aspects of their own culture to clever foreigners. Being Greek was a cultural thing. I think you’re mistaking a (German) nineteenth century construct of “the Greeks” for the real thing.

    Enough is enough and it is time for a change.

    The change has long since happened in mainstream academia. If you find anything from the past fifty years peddling such nonsense it’s crackpot stuff, not mainstream (although, as we were discussing in another thread, individual academics can be crackpots too.)

    BTW the Persians are Aryan (unlike Germans). It’s where the very name “Iran” comes from. In modern linguistics the term is used only in its proper sense, describing the languages of various Iranian and Indic groups who used the word themselves (it meant something like “noble.”) This use has nothing to do with Nazi racial pseudoscience.

  177. There are approximately three billion versions of “Hey, Joe,” starting with The Leaves in 1965 and 1966 (even Johnny Hallyday and Charlotte Gainsbourg recorded it!), but Hendrix is definitely the one people remember.

  178. Stu Clayton says:

    Let’s see now:

    1. Lies are seemingly factual claims the liar believes to be untrue.
    2. Mistakes are seemingly factual claims the mistaken person believes to be true when they are false, and vice versa.
    3. Bullshit is a congeries of seemingly well-informed claims on topics the bullshitter seemingly knows nothing about.
    4. Hypotheses are attempts to account for seemingly factual claims.

    Is that a fair explication ? Sure is a lot of seeming going down there. I have the sense that “seeming(ly)” doesn’t add much substance, just as “perceived” does not in “perceived criticism”. And – to take a current journalistic fad that peeves me – just as “suggests” does not add substance when relating what someone actually said.

  179. Yes, except that I think the distinguishing mark of bullshit is that the bullshitter does not care if the statements are true or false, as long as they serve his purpose. “Speak a great deal, say nothing”, or “Parvum in multo”. Harry Frankfurter adds that the liar has considerable respect for the truth, as he wishes to conceal it (one may tell the truth while lying, but only by accident), whereas the bullshitter has none.

  180. David Marjanović says:

    I thought you’d be aware of the song. I’d probably overestimated J. Hendrix’s lasting attraction

    Maybe not even; I’m just not representative of anything in my taste in music or the amount of music I listen to. I have heard of Jimi Hendrix, and seen posters of him; I just couldn’t name one of his songs before now, nor did I care. 🙂

    ====================

    Joe, you’re talking about several different, unrelated issues at the same time. Let’s talk about them one by one, OK? I know you aren’t trying to commit a Gish gallop, bu the effect is the same.

    Just one thing for now: did you really overlook the whole second half of this comment? You can read several editions of the Sanskrit original, and several translations, of the Buddhacarita if you follow the “external links” at the bottom of this Wikipedia article; same for the Lalitavistara here (original again in Sanskrit); same for the Mahāvastu here (original “written in mixed Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit”; under “Sources”, not “External links”); same for the Jātaka tales here (in Pāli as mentioned).

    Stop claiming these texts don’t exist! Not only do they exist, they’re at your fingertips.

  181. The extant manuscripts of classical Greek literature are 10th century AD and later (…) you don’t know what Greek looked like prior to the oldest manuscripts of their literature

    Yes we do: there’s evidence also from archeological sources (epigraphy, pottery, coinage etc.) to trace Greek all the way to Mycenaean times. Then we can throw in some further triangulation e.g. from loanwords into Latin or from Phoenician. Working out the specific chronology, both relative and absolute, requires work on top of all this data, but then there’s been Classicists working on this for the last quite a few centuries. If there was rampant re-nativization of manuscripts, it would’ve been noticed long since.

    Rock inscriptions can’t be dated with any precision

    Rock itself no, but inscriptions quite possibly yes. A “CCCLXXX” or “MDCCCXXIII” prominently carved on a statue (a church, a bridge, a wall…) already allows a very good timeframe as to when it was made. With marginally more thinking required, we can also figure out e.g. that if an inscription says it was erected by Emperor Aśoka, it should be then dated to the time of Aśoka’s reign, the absolute dating of which we can use other sources about him for. Or, if an epitaph plus human remains have been found, we can C¹⁴ the bones and again with a little application of thinking date the inscription also as about as old, ±20 years. That’ll get you started.

  182. From my newsfeed: it just has been proven that European antiquity was all one grandiose fake. Before XVth c., Europe lacked civiilization. Luckily the Chinese brough light to India, and the spread of Indo-European cultures out of India eventually enlightened Europe, too. The evidence is in the linguistics; you can still see the vestiges of a Chinese dialect the English once was
    https://www.vice.com/en_in/article/mbmben/chinese-scholars-are-claiming-that-english-is-a-chinese-dialect

  183. Joe here. I see despite the fact that nobody wants to agree with me regarding the hypothesis that Barlaam and Josaphat has origins in a non existent “Sanskrit Buddhist Manuscript” and copies a legend of Buddha.

    But despite not wanting to agree with me, NOBODY is going to tell me that this “Sanskrit Buddhist Manichean” DOES exist, nobody will be able to tell me what library it is stored in, for a good reason, the text has never existed, is hypothetical itself.

    It does not take a scholar to realize the flaws inherent in establishing any theory based on evidence that does not exist, you can argue all day, without the existence of the alleged source material the hypothesis has no evidence and should not exist.

    Typing 7 million words isn’t going to make the manuscript exist. If no manuscript, is a garbage theory.

    Not even the “extent in the 8th century” Arabic translation is extant today. I mean how gullible do you have to be to believe in a theory based on hypothetical evidence that is in turn asserted to be the origin of likewise non extant literature?

    Damn gullible.

  184. “Your position seems to be a comprehensive denial of historical inference, a version of “Pix or it didn’t happen” (soon to be an obsolete saying with the ever-increasing ability to forge visual evidence). Indeed, the claim that what cannot be proved must be a lie misunderstands the concepts “proof” and “lie”.”

    No, my position is that no such” Sanskrit Buddhist Manichean” text or MSS EXIST. It’s not really a position, it’s just a fact.

    So, John Cowan, despite your rhetoric you are arguing for the truth of a theory based on hypothetical evidence, this is not a debate you can win by nit picking at what you see as a kind of flawed method of criticism.

    It’s not flawed, it is a simple matter of lack of evidence. It can not be proven that this hypothetical Manichean Buddhist text, the alleged source and foundation of the theory itself, EVER EXISTED.

    If there was such a text, a manuscript, there would be no debate from me. I don’t debate the idea that Barlaam and Josaphat used the Apology of Aristides because I can read Aristides myself, as it actually exists.

    This hypothetical Sanskrit Buddhist Manichean text has never existed. Prove otherwise or do not bother criticizing my refusal to just blindly accept that it did exist, there is literally no reason why I should believe that it did. Likewise for you.

    If you want to believe that B&J is a story based on the Buddha, and believe so without any evidence, you are entitled to your opinion. Just don’t pretend that you have anything to counter my objections with, because you don’t.

    No manuscript, no case. It is 100 percent a matter of your agreement with another’s opinion and my rejection of said opinion based on the literal absence of physical evidence.

    I don’t consider speculation to be evidence. Neither should you as it is just speculation. You are trying to debate a theory without proper evidence to do so, as such you are never going to win any debate about this unless you can tell me that there is proof of a “Sanskrit Buddhist Manichean text” in an actual library and that said manuscript is translated and published, so I can see for myself.

    Which is not going to happen because nobody is claiming that it exists, obviously because it doesn’t exist.

    Without the physical evidence of a manuscript you have nothing with which to counter my objection to the theory regarding Barlaam and Josaphat being copied from or based on this NON EXISTENT text.

    So you can not win. I have made it obvious to anyone reading that my objection is logical and due to the fact that the evidence for the theory is hypothetical and nobody has ever seen it.

    That you lack the critical acumen to realize that a theory based on hypothetical evidence is a joke, well, is something that you should work on. You can only criticize me personally, this is the only tactic at your disposal, you can not criticize rejection of a theory because of the evidence to support it being entirely hypothetical, that is not going to work.

    It is going to reinforce the fact that you can’t prove the existence of any such text, because I am going to keep saying that it doesn’t exist, because it is the perfect objection.

  185. Joe Cowan, let me put it this way.

    You can SAY Barlaam and Josaphat is based on some hypothetical “Sanskrit Buddhist Manichean text” in agreement with the first who theorized so.

    All I have to say to expose the theory as having no evidence is state the plain fact that the theory is actually based on a hypothetical (read: make believe) manuscript that nobody has ever read or mentioned, in all of history.

    There is no counter to that objection. Trying is a waste of time. Theories should not be based on hypothetical evidence, and what thinking person would argue with that?

    I am not theorizing anything with regard to Barlaam and Josaphat, so I don’t have a burden to prove a theory. It is the people who accept, uncritically, the theory, who the burden of proof falls upon.

    I just have to keep repeating the facts. That this is a theory, based on evidence that does not exist. There is no counter to such an objection. All you can do is repeat that you BELIEVE that the theory is true, despite TOTAL lack of physical evidence, which makes you look uncritical to the point of naiveté.

  186. Since I am a nice guy and because I happened to stumble upon this an hour ago I will share with you what I believe is the oldest mention of the Buddha in Christian literature if not history itself.

    There is a mention of a name that appears to be Buddha, a mention that he was deified, let me just quote it:

    “Some, too, of the Indians obey the precepts of Buddha ; whom, on account of his extraordinary sanctity, they have raised to divine honours.” Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, Book 1 chapter XV.

    This does not have anything to do with the debate as it does not prove the existence of any “Buddhist Manichean” text, or anything other than what it says itself.

    But I can make the argument that Mani was known to the Christians more so than the Buddha based on the evidence that Christianity provides, dedicating volumes to refutation of Mani, while this is the only mention of the Buddha that I am aware of in at least Ante Nicene literature, although I could just not have seen it, I have read a lot of that series, and it is moot, I just thought it was worth sharing.

    It does however add to my list of historical mentions of India by Ellenic language authors, and 1 Syriac. Evidence which proves that it is possible for loan words to have exchanged between Indian and Ellenic speaking cultures.

    I also need to correct my own guess about the earliest Ellenic author to write on the Indians, it was not Polyhistor but Megasthenes who wrote “On Indian Affairs” and is quoted by Eusebius and I believe his works are extant. I know some are.

    There is no shortage of evidence of interaction between the Indian and Ellene. This renders the PIE theory very unnecessary as loan words are a common occurrence, hypothetical mother languages with no script or extant literature or mention of by any historian, ever, are not common.

    There is only 1 PIE theory and it is a joke. Again total lack of evidence in addition to any need for the hypothetical language, is my reasoning. The lack of evidence speaks for itself. The lack of need I already established by quoting 3 authors whose knowledge of India was accurate enough that the only way such information could have been obtained was by interacting.

    If they interacted, then the likelihood of loan words being exchanged is good and more logical than impossible to prove notion of a lost common mother language, which there is obviously no evidence of, or it would not be called lost.

    Indo-Aryan aka Indo-European is NOT an actual language. It is a hypothetical one that whether existed or not, will never be proven either way. There is a lot of old writing going back to cuneiform and hieroglyphics, but no sign of any “PIE” language that could serve as a mother tongue for Greek and Sanskrit circa. nobody actually knows. Because such a thing is impossible to prove or to disprove, which is a good sign of a bad theory. Salam.

  187. “Fragments, that is. On Joe’s views, the actual Old Testament is a 10C creation, and may well be a translation of the LXX into Hebrew.”

    Ok I never said anything of the sort. I mentioned the DSS because they prove that the Tanakh existed, because it is the oldest, fragmentary or not, and because the Parsees have nothing even close in age.

    I didn’t even have to because the Masoretic text is older than the Zend and Avesta, MS for MS, you are trying to twist my words to make them mean whatever you want. All you quoted from me is that I mentioned that they existed, I never asserted anything using the DSS as evidence other than that they prove that the Tanakh is as old as it.

    The purpose was in comparison with the manuscript traditions of the Zend and Avesta, so as to demonstrate that it is impossible to prove that the Parsee literature is old enough to have been known to the authors of the Tanakh, due to the fact that the Bible, in several languages, has manuscripts older than the oldest Zend and Avesta manuscript, which is Medieval.

    So that was a bad idea, trying to come at me with my own words as if you had any point to make, which you didn’t. You just need to express your perceived correctness versus your theory on why I mentioned the DSS and all you really did was claim that I think something that I don’t actually think.

    The Tanakh wasn’t written in a single generation by a single author, it was written by many people over centuries, and nothing I said indicated that I think otherwise.

    You are going all High School on me and trying to make fun. Accept you got the kid who will embarrass you for trying and make you regret the decision, to draw an analogy.

    You failed to refute anything I said or overcome a single of my objections. You sort of just tried to make fun of me as if it would help get around the fact that you are arguing for a theory with only hypothetical evidence, which is more of a popular opinion than anything resembling a well researched hypothesis based on sound (or existing) evidence.

    How is that supposed to help you?

    What do you hope to accomplish by pretending that my mention of the DSS was detrimental to my argument against the antiquity of the Zend and Avesta?

    What did you hope to accomplish by telling me what I already knew ( because I have it in a hardback copy and read it) about the DSS, which is that they were fragmented, which I believe I actually said myself, already?

    Was it supposed to disprove the antiquity of the Torah/Tanak? You failed, because they are by definition ancient and over 2,000 years old.

    And Isaiah was actually found complete. It is the famous Isaiah scroll. But this just doesn’t matter because as I said the Zend MSS are late, they are Medieval, and even the Masoretic text is older than the Zend and Avesta, which can’t be proven to be older than even the Qur’an, because the Qur’an also has manuscripts close to when it was written, even 4 pages found from the generation of the Prophet ﷺ recently in a library in England, but there are complete manuscripts from within about a century.

    The Zend Avesta is a book of nonsense that can never be proven to be older than either the oldest manuscript or independent historical mention, as such, can not be proven to be old enough to have influenced the Bible.

    Just facts.

  188. “Fragments, that is. On Joe’s views, the actual Old Testament is a 10C creation, and may well be a translation of the LXX into Hebrew.”

    I am curious to know which of my words leads you to assume that I think the DSS are 10AD or translated from Greek (actually possible though I don’t think it), which is odd, because the DSS are OLDER than the so called LXX and tend to agree with it against the Masoretic Hebrew, when there are variants, Dt 32:8 comes to mind.

    Some of the scroll fragments are written in the original Hebrew alphabet preserved by the Samaritan Torah, there is no question that the original language is Hebrew, and no question than it is BC in date of authorship, not by me or any intelligent people I know or know of. Although there are always a few nuts, I don’t think too many people believe that the Bible is not as old as the DSS except for and because of the fragmented state.

    The age of the fragments is what proves the age of the rest of the Tanakh which is preserved in a few 4th century Greek manuscripts, a dated 490 AD Syriac Peschitta, there are Latin manuscripts about as old, and the historical testimony of Josephus from 1AD.

    You obviously weren’t thinking when you thought it was a good idea to misuse my words, as if I would not notice and call you out for putting words in my mouth.

    Nothing I said should have lead you to believe that my knowledge is lacking regarding the various manuscript traditions of the Bible, you were just being plain old foolish.

    My mentioning the 1BC/1AD DSS proved that I was aware that the Masoretic Hebrew of the 10th century AD was NOT the earliest witness.

    And obviously I have no reason to imagine that the older Hebrew is a translation from the younger Greek, that was your thought, not mine. Unless you are under the impression that the DSS are 10AD in date or otherwise do not testify to the early existence of the Tanakh, which they obviously do, whole or not it is conclusive proof that the Bible is BC, whatever alterations may have been made after are irrelevant to the fact that it did exist.

    And for the record the DSS are remarkable in their agreement with the so called LXX and for the most part the Masoretic Hebrew, so I don’t think it is a stretch to safely assume that what we have is close to what they had in the 1st century.

    Not perfectly copied, translated or preserved, but very close and enough to satisfy the harshest critic that the book is BC.

    Except for you apparently, although on my behalf. Oddly. I prefer to do my own thinking though so if I don’t say something don’t assume I am thinking it, without a good reason at least which you didn’t have here.

    Womp womp.

  189. “some guy” can refute you

    You haven’t refuted me, any more than a flat-earther, creationist, or circle-squarer. We knew the earth was round long before we actually saw its circular shape in 1968.

    hypothetical evidence

    No such thing. Evidence is evidence, inference is inference.

    Loan words explain the few possible loan words

    Try to slow down and write sensibly.

    In fact, we know what loan words look like and what words inherited from a common descent look like. We know, for example, that shirt is a native English word and skirt is borrowed from Old Norse, because of the totality of the evidence: in English, all words beginning with “sk” changed to “sh” during the Old English, so when we find a “sk” word, it is a borrowing. This is not esoteric knowledge: you too can learn it.

    similar sounding and meaning words

    Words which sound similar, like canine and Latin canus, are likely to be borrowings. The English word with the same origin as canus is hound, which sounds very different.

    So what is the meaning of Avesta, in translation?

    We don’t know the etymology of Avesta. But then we don’t know the etymology of big, either.

    “On your view”

    That doesn’t mean you believe it (unlike “in your view”), it means it’s a consequence of what you do believe. But please observe what I said. It would be consistent with your general rejection of historical inference that the Old Testament existed in only a fragmentary condition in the -3C, that these fragments were used in creating the LXX slightly later, and that the fragments (more realistically, copies of them now lost) were used to produce the Masoretic Text in the 3C (all dates CE).

    Of course this is absurd. But no more absurd (and this is why I say “on your view”) than supposing the Avesta is a 14C work because the oldest manuscript is 14C.

    As far as comparative evidence goes, sometimes the DSS agree with the LXX, sometimes with the MT, and about 5% of the time with neither. Indeed, a single fragment may have different agreement status in different sentences.

    But why should I talk further? You have a far more limitless capacity to spin out patent nonsense than I have for pointing out your errors. So go away and crow about your “victory” somewhere else, please.

    The Bone-Hammer.

  190. The problem started here, Joe:

    Yall are gullible fools just taking theories on faith.

    That is the start of a “debate”? You must be kidding.

    Had you presented your objections in a reasonable manner and raved a little less you might have got a better hearing.

    Still, when you deny the results of historical linguistics so breezily (There is no need for the PIE theory and truth be told look at any list of similar sounding and meaning words, Sanskrit and Greek, there are like 12 POSSIBLE, the rest are a joke), without a single attempt at “debate” or even a scrap of evidence, what do you expect except to be laughed off the blog?

  191. David Marjanović says:

    But despite not wanting to agree with me, NOBODY is going to tell me that this “Sanskrit Buddhist Manichean” DOES exist, nobody will be able to tell me what library it is stored in, for a good reason, the text has never existed, is hypothetical itself.

    This is as if Trump kept denying drawing on that weather map with a Sharpie if video of him doing that existed and had been published.

    I got as close to pushing your nose into the texts as I can over the Internet. I quoted a source that claims the story is a composite of parts of these texts. Your job now is to either read those texts and then show us why some other explanation for the origin of the story is more likely, or to give up and walk away.

    NOBODY is going to tell me that this “Sanskrit Buddhist Manichean” DOES exist

    Uh, of course not. That’s because you mixed things up here. Buddhism and Manicheism are two different religions, so the same text can’t be both, and Manichean texts were never written in Sanskrit, but in Middle Persian, Pahlavi, Sogdian, Old Uyghur and Classical Chinese.

    You’re so angry you can’t even remember what you just read.

    Calm down, or it makes no sense to even try to talk to you.

    =================

    Words which sound similar, like canine and Latin canus, are likely to be borrowings. The English word with the same origin as canus is hound, which sounds very different.

    Have I infected you with my old confusion? The cognate of hound is canis; there was a Latin word cānus, but it was a color term covering dirty yellows through grays (“like the color of a field in Italy after the harvest”), and the English cognate of the cā- part is… hare.

  192. PlasticPaddy says:

    I took that for a double typo by jc. I suspect canis is much more common in Latin than canus ☺

  193. Cave canum!

  194. Joe, you seem like an intelligent person and a nice guy; as long as you’re not on your hobbyhorse you converse in a friendly and reasonable manner. But then you jump back onto it and start raving in long long comments with lots of repetitive insults. Just stop a moment and think: we all seem like nice, intelligent, well-read people, right? Do we really seem like the sort of people who would just make stuff up and ignore evidence? I went to grad school in Indo-European and wrote most of a dissertation before deciding academics wasn’t for me; don’t you think I would have noticed if it were all bullshit and just a few random coincidental similarities (or whatever you’re claiming)? Isn’t it possible that you have something to learn?

    How would you feel if somebody who clearly knew nothing about Islam and its history started pontificating and insulted you when you tried to provide him with some basic facts? Think about it.

  195. There are approximately three billion versions of “Hey, Joe

    One of the best being a version David might appreciate:

    https://youtu.be/4KPzkDuVCrU

  196. canus

    Something between a typo and a thinko. I know perfectly well it’s canis.

  197. Stu Clayton says:

    Here we have another demonstration that Trump is not a unique “master of shtick”. There must be tens of thousands of people who, like him, can go on and on for hours on their favorite topics, stringing words and associations together in gay garlands as they go. My brother is another such, and also the guy I worked for 5 years ago.

    There is good reason not to be surprised by this phenomenon. But it comes from Luhmann, so I won’t trouble folks with it. He himself wrote many thousands of pages, almost as if to demonstrate how easy it is.

  198. David Eddyshaw says:

    Socrates dicere solebat, omnis in eo, quod scirent, satis esse eloquentis.

    Which, being interpreted is: Socrates used to say: “We are all Shtickmeister.”
    (Latin is prolix; not all languages convey information at the same rate.)

  199. David Marjanović says:

    One of the best being a version David might appreciate:

    Classical Viennese! Turns out it’s about a guy who’s got a gun in one hand and a list of all assholes in the other, and that includes the narrator.

  200. And here is a Hochdeutsch version, but with a strong Steiermark (?) accent:

    https://youtu.be/wlHWxe95ynU

    There is actually a website dedicated to cataloging the several thousand cover versions of this song.

  201. David Marjanović says:

    No Styrian diphthongs in there; I think the accent is Viennese with a few features from the northern half of Germany superimposed (actual [ɪ] for /ɪ/, ei beginning with [a] instead of [ɛ]…)

    The plot is completely different. Instead of a complete list of assholes who aren’t specified any further, here Joe is after one woman that he thinks he owns; and by the time the song is over, he still hasn’t shot the narrator.

    And the presenter actually sings this time. 🙂

  202. “Joe, you seem like an intelligent person and a nice guy; as long as you’re not on your hobbyhorse you converse in a friendly and reasonable manner.”

    I respond as is appropriate to the comment, and I am far more polite than people are to me. It seems that nobody wants to admit that I made this theory look like a joke but I did.

    As such every response directed at me contains snide remarks, but no counter to my objections. It tells me that you all realize the implications of a theory based on hypothetical evidence, that you cannot sustain it credibly. I came to debate this theory and not to talk about me.

    “But then you jump back onto it and start raving in long long comments with lots of repetitive insults.”

    I disagree. Long comments, yes, insults, no. But you insulted me in your first few attempts to debate a theory that doesn’t have any evidence. Would you like a reminder?

    Just stop a moment and think: we all seem like nice, intelligent, well-read people, right? Do we really seem like the sort of people who would just make stuff up and ignore evidence? I went to grad school in Indo-European and wrote most of a dissertation before deciding academics wasn’t for me; don’t you think I would have noticed if it were all bullshit and just a few random coincidental similarities (or whatever you’re claiming)? Isn’t it possible that you have something to learn?

    How would you feel if somebody who clearly knew nothing about Islam and its history started pontificating and insulted you when you tried to provide him with some basic facts? Think about it.”

    What does any of this have to do with Barlaam and Josaphat. Your analogy is void because I don’t “know/knew nothing ” about PIE.

    I know enough to know that nobody has yet taken my challenge to produce a list of similar words in Sanskrit and Greek that are so numerous and so similar that they could not be loan words.

    I can assume, safely, that this is because they are not so numerous and that the idea of them being loan words is very possibly even likely.

    I know enough to know that I can’t lose a debate by challenging a theory with no evidence that is not actually mere speculation.

    Instead of attacking me for whatever, defend your position. Don’t complain to me about me because you really can’t.

    You will possibly provide a list of at max 20 words in Sanskrit and Greek which I will say could easily be loan words. I have already provided evidence via quotes and citations that proves beyond doubt that Greek speaking people interacted with the people of India, mentioning the Brahmans, Buddha etc.

    I can provide more.

    I have done everything to provide evidence to support my argument against these theories. You’ve done nothing to provide evidence to support the assertion that Barlaam and Josaphat was borrowed from a “Sanskrit Buddhist Manichean” text. Because such a text doesn’t exist in any form.

    You have done nothing to support the PIE hypothesis.

    I am not surprised as I have had this debate with professional academics, people who make a living studying languages.

    I have never lost a debate with any of them. Because the fact is that Sanskrit is not so similar to Greek in vocabulary according to the lists provided by Academia itself which will use many other languages to distract from this fact.

    But once you eliminate the languages that are not the foundation of the hypothesis nobody can deny that they are not so similar. The usual response is to tell me to look at other languages like Armenian or whatever, it doesn’t even matter.

    Because if a theory is built on weak evidence that is exaggerated to be so similar as to warrant such a hypothesis and this weakness is exposed, which is the exaggerated claim of similarity, there really is nothing anyone can do in a debate.

  203. I have never lost a debate with any of them.

    That’s because they realize, as I have realized, that you have no desire to learn and therefore there is no point trying to educate you. You will probably cite this as yet another “insult,” but it is a simple statement of fact. There are people just like you who are convinced the earth is flat; they too have never lost a debate with an “expert,” because it is impossible to lose if you refuse to listen.

    Again, I am not sure why you are wasting your time here unless you simply like hearing yourself talk.

  204. I will plainly assert that with no “Sanskrit Buddhist Manichean text” the theory has no evidence, besides the hypothetical text which just doesn’t exist. There is no counter to this objection.

    Also there is no counter to the objection that any similarities between Greek and Sanskrit can be better explained by loan words once the historical evidence is shown. The people who believe this hypothesis tend to also believe that there was “no interaction beyond Alexander’s failed invasion.”

    I gather that these people aren’t encouraged to study the historical evidence such as I already produced that proves that this assertion is no better than a plain old lie.

    Proven by the literature of the ancient world which had a pretty good knowledge of the religions and laws of India, long after Alexander who himself converted the “Praesii” of India to his Hellenic religion.

    I should also plainly state that trying to pick on me, or whatever you want to call the various nonsensical comments which mentioned me is not going to change the fact that I have enough knowledge to debate two theories without a single refutation of anything I said. Except that the language of the book the Zend and Avesta is called Avestan, although I have seen it called “Zendic” which is irrelevant but I need to be honest.

    I am always dealing with people online who know nothing about Islam. By the time I am finished they know quite a bit as I refute their nonsensical lies about my religion with our most sacred literature.

    It does not bother me. But also the analogy does not apply to a person who is capable of refuting the need for the PIE hypothesis and who knows that the claim of similarities between Greek and Sanskrit is highly exaggerated, so womp womp to thay.

    If I knew nothing you would not be avoiding discussing the words claimed to be similar, how many there actually are or the historical evidence which shows the probability that they are just loan words, all 15 or 20, due to the fact that history has proof of interaction.

    Instead you keen changing the subject to me, which flattering but it is not going to help you win a debate.

    What you need to do is prove that my historical evidence is all forged, which is never going to happen.

    If you can’t do that provide such a large amount of Greek and Sanskrit words as to convince that loan words are not a possibility, again, not going to happen.

    So I am probably finished here. I will check in later today.

    It’s not rude to win a debate or defend your integrity against someone who is claiming that you think something that you don’t think. It’s not rude to teach them a lesson about putting words in your mouth or making them look foolish, because really it was them who made themselves look foolish.

  205. “Again, I am not sure why you are wasting your time here unless you simply like hearing yourself talk.”

    Type, actually, and I will decide if I am wasting my time. I definitely don’t think refuting a theory that is based on hypothetical evidence yet widely accepted, is a waste of time.

    Barlaam and Josaphat particularly but also PIE.

    Read your comments and then mine and see who wasted their time trying to defend a theory based on hypothetical evidence a fools errand if ever…

    Wild goose chase. You don’t have evidence. What are you going to produce as evidence when the evidence is hypothetical?

    You should probably just accept it, that you can’t sustain the theory, widely accepted and factually correct are two entirely different things. Even the PIE theorists admit that there is no physical evidence for a PIE or IE language, because at the end of each day it is a hypothetical “mother language” that even an ameteur can refute the need for as well as the exaggerated claims of similarity.

    That should tell you more than a few things about European academics during the height of orientalism, which is when these theories became prominent. A time when European elites, before the Nazis, believed that they were Aryan.

    That the hypothetical language was actually called Indo-Aryan, that Aryan was replaced with European, this is pretty much proof that they believe “European=Aryan” otherwise they would never have used the word, and replaced it with European

    It’s like saying “European=Aryan.”

    You would have to be blind not to comprehend the implications. It’s racism cloaked in an academic outfit.

  206. I’m not bothering to read those comments, they’re too long and apparently just repetitions of what you’ve already said, and I suspect nobody else will bother either. Like I said, you’re wasting your time. But by all means keep typing if it makes you happy.

  207. “That’s because they realize,…”

    It’s because they realized they can’t win, actually. You can’t either. You don’t have the evidence. Nobody does.

    They are academics, if they can sustain their position they don’t give up. Only when they are incapable do they stop trying.

    Which at least they had the common sense to do.

    I refuted the exaggerated claim of similarities by pointing out that there are not many, by using a list provided by someone on Quora.

    I refuted the denial of interaction between Greek and Sanskrit speaking people with historical evidence that can’t be refuted as so many authors over so many centuries testified accurately about the Indians, Brahmans, polytheists, Indian Hellenes converted by Alexander, according to Plutarch.

    These are the TRUE reasons why I can’t lose this debate. I am not someone who doesn’t know what he is talking about or who is wasting his time.

    It’s time for you to show your evidence that proves Barlaam and Josaphat is based on a manuscript that exists, or admit that it is hypothetical, which is just a fact
    A fact that voids the validity of the theory.

    You can’t disprove my historical experience so if you want to win the PIE debate you have your work cut out for you proving that a hypothetical language being the source of both languages is why a handful of like words exist in the two languages.

    Obviously interactions, which I have proven occurred by showing the knowledge of India possessed by Greek language authors, means loan words are more probable.

  208. January First-of-May says:

    I know enough to know that nobody has yet taken my challenge to produce a list of similar words in Sanskrit and Greek that are so numerous and so similar that they could not be loan words.

    I think there’s a fundamental misunderstanding here. Words cannot be so similar that they could not be loanwords; in fact the exact opposite is true – the more similar words from two different languages (with similar meanings) are, there more likely it is that a loan of some kind was involved (not necessarily from one to another – sometimes it’s a loan to both from a third language), especially if the languages are not otherwise known to be closely related.

    On the other hand, it is commonly the case for actual cognates that the words are different – but different in consistent ways, the exact same things changing from one language to another. This is what linguists call “regular correspondences”.

    EDIT:

    That the hypothetical language was actually called Indo-Aryan, that Aryan was replaced with European, this is pretty much proof that they believe “European=Aryan” otherwise they would never have used the word, and replaced it with European

    I do not believe Indo-European was ever called Indo-Aryan; Indo-Germanic yes, Indo-Hittite yes, and I think I’ve seen Indo-Greek at some point, but Indo-Aryan had always been another term for the Indo-Iranian branch (or even just the Indic sub-branch).

    It is true that, due to some misunderstandings, some late 19th and early 20th century scientists appeared to believe that “Aryan” was what the Indo-Europeans called themselves. As far as I’m aware, even this is no longer a scientifically accepted opinion (even if it used to be one).

  209. David Eddyshaw says:
  210. AFAICT Indo-Aryan has always fundamentally meant simply Indic; that is, the branch of the Aryan (= Indo-Iranian) languages spoken in India. It used to be thought that Érin ‘Ireland’ and Ehre ‘honor’ were from this same root, leading to the notion that (core) IE-speakers called themselves ‘the Noble Ones’, but these etymologies are not credited today.

  211. David Eddyshaw says:

    I think it was not Ériu “Ireland” which was thought to be cognate, but Old Irish aire “nobleman”; it’s my understanding too that this is not now believed to be related (though I’m not sure why not; it does reflect *ary-)

    Ériu is of the same origin as the Latin “Hibernia”; cf Welsh Iwerddon “Ireland” <- *Iweryon- (an old n-stem, like the Irish.)

  212. Iweryon

    related to Iberia?

  213. David Eddyshaw says:

    Apparently not:

    https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/Iberia

    Mind you, I’ve no idea where the Celtic name of Ireland comes from. The big island next to it, Albion, has been said to owe its name to the White Cliffs of Dover, but if you believe that, I’ve got a solution to the Irish backstop that you might be interested in buying.

  214. David Eddyshaw says:

    Actually, Wikipedia says it’s “Land of the Fat.”

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89riu

    So there you have it.

  215. The “Name and etymology” section from that Wikipedia article:

    The University of Wales’ reconstructed Proto-Celtic lexicon gives *Φīwerjon– (nominative singular Φīwerjō) as the Proto-Celtic etymology of this name. This Celtic form implies Proto-Indo-European *piHwerjon-, likely related to the adjectival stem *piHwer– “fat” (cf. Sanskrit pīvan, f. pīvarī and by-form pīvara, “fat, full, abounding”) hence meaning “fat land” or “land of abundance”, applied at an early date to the island of Ireland. The Proto-Celtic form became *īweriū in Q-Celtic (Proto-Goidelic). From a similar or somewhat later form were also borrowed Greek Ἰέρνη I[w]ernē and Ἰουερνία Iouernia; the latter form was converted into Latin Hibernia.

  216. Wikt s.v. Old Irish aire and Wikt s.v. Proto-Indo-Iranian áryas. Note that although nobody doubts that the word is the same in Indic and Iranian, we have no explanation for the long vowel in the first and the short vowel in the second, much less any of the other issues.

  217. David Eddyshaw says:

    I like the idea that the Celtic etymon may go back to *pary- and be fundamentally something more like “first, leading”; unfortunately this hypothesis seems to suffer from numerous difficulties of its own.

    The whole thing confirms me in my instinctive belief that PIE should be left to people like David M who actually understand about laryngeals. I’ll stick to Proto-Oti-Volta, where there are no pesky experts about to rudely point out that one is spouting nonsense.

  218. Better yet, you’re the pesky expert!

  219. David Eddyshaw says:

    Unfortunately, there may be some truth in that; it’s a sad commentary on the state of comparative Oti-Volta studies, when you think about it.

    I would much like to do the thing properly, and I seem to have few potential competitors/collaborators (comparative linguistics is under a sad weather at present, poor child.)

    It’s much more of an undertaking (if it’s to be done properly) than describing a single language though, and it will probably have to wait until I retire from my day job.

    The potential if it is done well is considerable, I think; Oti-Volta is internally diverse enough, and well enough documented nowadays, for it to be possible in principle to reconstruct significantly far back in time, and the group seems to be quite conservative in general; it could lead to real advances in the understanding of Niger-Congo as a whole (if it is a whole …)

  220. I look forward to that happy day!

  221. Other
    etymologies
    of Ériu are available

    [edit:] wow, three hyperlinks, a personal best!

  222. David Marjanović says:

    I have never lost a debate with any of them.

    Debate is whatcha put on de hook to catch de fish.

    Have you noticed that scientists never hold debates with each other? That’s because debates don’t establish which ideas are wrong. They establish which person is worse at rhetorics – I hope you can see how irrelevant that is to which ideas are wrong.

    I will plainly assert that with no “Sanskrit Buddhist Manichean text” the theory has no evidence, besides the hypothetical text which just doesn’t exist. There is no counter to this objection.

    Keep pretending my objections don’t exist, keep pretending that anyone ever claimed “Buddhist Manichean” or “Sanskrit Manichean” was a thing at all, and you might yet get tired of winning.

    It’s time for you to show your evidence that proves Barlaam and Josaphat is based on a manuscript that exists

    I’ve linked to the texts themselves! Hello?

    I think there’s a fundamental misunderstanding here.

    Of course. What we’ve seen of Joe consists of nothing but fundamental misunderstandings, plus his complete inability to consider the very possibility that he might have misunderstood anything.

    Latin Hibernia

    The reason it’s Hibernia and not the expected *Ivernia is generally thought to be confusion with hiberna, “wintry”. But I wonder if the h is actually a trace of the *φ. (If it was real, that made confusion with hiberna easier; that is after all most likely still needed to account for the b.) Other such traces might be the h in the Hercynian Forest and the fact that, in Old Irish still, athair (“father”) was spelled with h- so often that the h- needs a non-random explanation.

    (On that last one, there’s a paper I need to find again.)

  223. David Eddyshaw says:

    On the other hand, if Ireland is merely the Land of the Yews (thanks, mollymooly), there never was a *φ.

    And I can well imagine that to any passing Romans, “Land of Winter” would seem an entirely appropriate name for any part of the British Isles (even Ireland, if they had not yet seen Caledonia.)

    [Which reminds me, for no reason, of the celebrated lines:

    O Scotland! how thee a double darkness mocks!
    Thy name is Σκοτία, and thy teacher, Nox!

    This is a Calvinist joke. We have them.]

  224. Forget Baarlam and Josaphat, I’m still waiting for Joe to prove that PIE (and the Indo-European language family) don’t exist.

    I am not an expert or academic in the field, but even I can tell when someone is producing not proof but blather.

  225. The onus is on Joe to first read some basic reference works about the topic, since such lists of data already exists copiously. But then I suppose it is surely in turn on us to give a reference of some sort for any of this. I propose Mallory & Adams’ The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World (Oxford University Press, 2006) as a good starting point that includes extensive amounts of vocabulary comparisons. I count seventeen Sanskrit–Greek comparisons already within the first ten pages of main content, two more in passing at p. 41, thirteen more at p. 61. At p. 118 we learn of six poetic phrases shared by the two that are not only related in meaning but also shape. So that’ll be about forty word pairs already. And then it is only at this point that the chapters that actually focus on lexicon begin. Some of the examples were already seen, but p. 121 details four comparisons dealing with earth, p. 123 eight comparisons dealing with fire, p. 128 six comparisons dealing with air; pp. 134–135 details seventeen comparisons dealing with mammals, p. 143 seven comparisons dealing with birds, p. 149 four comparisons dealing with arthropods and molluscs; and so on forth for 300 more pages. (All of these, of course, are specifically counts of words shared between Greek and Sanskrit. The counts would be higher if PIE words based also on other Indo-European branches were included.)

    I can indeed also graciously offer a sample; let’s make it the mammals plus the invertebrates for a nice 20+1. I give here Mallory & Adams’ examples in the format “Greek < PIE > Sanskrit”, plus as a bonus also bolding for the English translations whenever they are also related themselves:
    tetrápous < *kʷetwor-pod- > cátuṣpad- ‘animal’
    dámnēsi < √demx- > dāmáyati ‘s/he tames
    ételon < *wételo- > sa-vātára- ‘yearling, calf’
    pórtis < √per- > pr̥thuka- ‘offspring’
    kemás < √ḱem- > śáma- ‘hornless’
    mûs < *mūs > mū́ṣ-mouse
    galéē < *gl̥hís > girí- ‘dormouse’
    lúkos < *wl̥kʷos > vr̥ká-wolf
    árktos < *xŕ̥tḱos > ŕ̥kṣa- ‘bear’
    kúōn < *ḱwōn > śvā ‘dog’
    énudris < *udrós > udrá-otter
    híppos < *héḱwos > áśva- ‘horse’
    hûs < *sūs > sūkará- ‘pig’
    boûs < *gʷṓus > gáu-cow
    óis < *xówis > ávi- ‘sheep’
    arḗn < *wr̥hḗn > urán- ‘lamb’
    ériphos < √heri- > āreya- ‘goat (kid)’
    múrmos < √mormi- > valmī́ka- ‘ant’
    psúlla < √plus- > plúṣi-flea
    karkínos < √kark- > karkaṭa- ‘crab’
    kóŋkhos < *ḱonkxos > śaŋká- ‘mussel’
    (I cannot ask Joe to believe in the exact shape of the PIE reconstructions off the cuff; but then that wasn’t what he asked for, either. At this point they can only be for rough illustration of what kind of development is assumed to connect the shapes of the Greek and Sanskrit words.)

  226. Well done; if he rejects that, he’s just not interested in evidence.

  227. “NOBODY is going to tell me that this “Sanskrit Buddhist Manichean” DOES exist

    Uh, of course not. That’s because you mixed things up here. Buddhism and Manicheism are two different religions, so the same text can’t be both, and Manichean texts were never written in Sanskrit, but in Middle Persian, Pahlavi, Sogdian, Old Uyghur and Classical Chinese.”

    It appears you are mixed up according to Wikipedia:

    (Uh, of course not. That’s because you mixed things up here.)

    The tale derives from a second to fourth century SANSKRIT Mahayana BUDDHIST text, via a MANICHEAN version, then the Arabic Kitab Bilawhar wa-Yudasaf (Book of Bilawhar and Yudasaf), current in Baghdad in the eighth century,…”

    You can see for yourself, right here and right now, that I mixed up nothing and that every word of your weak attempt at a refutation failed. Womp.

  228. “Bathrobe says:

    September 14, 2019 at 1:43 am

    Forget Baarlam and Josaphat, I’m still waiting for Joe to prove that PIE (and the Indo-European language family) don’t exist.”

    You have to provide evidence that it exists, first. And you can’t
    You can’t any more than the other guy can produce a” Sanskrit Buddhist Manichean text. ”

    As far as I know there is no Indo-Aryan aka Indo-European language or literature ever known about in all of history.

    Why should I have to prove that something that doesn’t exist, doesn’t exist. Its not existing proves that. Another womp womp.

    You guys are making this TOO easy.

  229. “David Marjanović says:

    September 13, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    I have never lost a debate with any of them.

    Debate is whatcha put on de hook to catch de fish.

    Have you noticed that scientists never hold debates with each other? That’s because debates don’t establish which ideas are wrong. They establish which person is worse at rhetorics – I hope you can see how irrelevant that is to which ideas are wrong.

    I will plainly assert that with no “Sanskrit Buddhist Manichean text” the theory has no evidence, besides the hypothetical text which just doesn’t exist. There is no counter to this objection.

    Keep pretending my objections don’t exist, keep pretending that anyone ever claimed “Buddhist Manichean” or “Sanskrit Manichean” was a thing at all, and you might yet get tired of winning.”

    Wikipedia:The tale derives from a second to fourth century Sanskrit Mahayana Buddhist text, via a Manichaean version, then the Arabic Kitab Bilawhar wa-Yudasaf (Book of Bilawhar and Yudasaf), current in Baghdad in the eighth century,… ‘

    See for yourself know-it-all. I cut and pasted this from Wikipedia and could have used Britannica.

    So you are literally just plain wrong and obviously have done little research on the theory as you thought I just made up the claim.

    I proved that I didn’t. To you and another.

    Your move.

  230. David Marjanović says:That he has “objections” and accused me of fabricating the idea, quoted from Wikipedia:

    The tale derives from a second to fourth century Sanskrit Mahayana Buddhist text, via a Manichaean version, then the Arabic Kitab Bilawhar wa-Yudasaf (Book of Bilawhar and Yudasaf), current in Baghdad in the eighth century,…

    “Sanskrit Mahayana Buddhist text, via a Manichaean version”

    How you doing buddy?

  231. The tale derives from a second to fourth century Sanskrit Mahayana Buddhist text, via a Manichaean version, then the Arabic Kitab Bilawhar wa-Yudasaf (Book of Bilawhar and Yudasaf), current in Baghdad in the eighth century, – Wikipedia

    Anybody else want to call me a liar?

    It won’t work. I read several articles about the theory before I came here which the people trying to deny this claim is part of theory obviously aren’t educated enough to be doing so.

    Manichaean religion was syncretic and while I doubt that there was ever a Buddhist Manichaean version of B&J, there is nothing odd about Manichaean syncretism.

    Plus I am not the inventor of the theory so if you believed previously that the theory DIDN’T claim that B&J was derived from a Sanskrit Mahayana Buddhist text, via a Manichaean version,…

    You never knew what you were talking about and I have been several steps ahead all along.

    You are arguing for a theory without knowing the theory.

    Not a good move. Kind of robs you of any credibility.

  232. January First-of-May says:

    September 13, 2019 at 11:22 am

    I know enough to know that nobody has yet taken my challenge to produce a list of similar words in Sanskrit and Greek that are so numerous and so similar that they could not be loan words.

    I think there’s a fundamental misunderstanding here. Words cannot be so similar that they could not be loanwords; in fact the exact opposite is true – the more similar words from two different languages (with similar meanings) are, there more likely it is that a loan of some kind was involved (not necessarily from one to another – sometimes it’s a loan to both from a third language), especially if the languages are not otherwise known to be closely related.

    On the other hand, it is commonly the case for actual cognates that the words are different – but different in consistent ways, the exact same things changing from one language to another. This is what linguists call “regular correspondences”.

    EDIT:

    “That the hypothetical language was actually called Indo-Aryan, that Aryan was replaced with European, this is pretty much proof that they believe “European=Aryan” otherwise they would never have used the word, and replaced it with European

    I do not believe Indo-European was ever called Indo-Aryan;… ”

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ancient.eu/amp/1-11520/

    Aryan – A misused term

    The original meaning of the term is unknown and different meanings have been proposed, the most common being nobleman. During the 19th century CE, it was proposed that this was not only the Indo-Iranian tribal self-designation but also the self-designation used by the ancestors of all Indo-Europeans, which is a theory no longer accepted. Aryan then came to be used as a synonym of Indo-European

    You believed wrong.

  233. I am happy for all the attention but it is kind of annoying having to correct all of you because you are unaware of the histories the theories that you are arguing for.

    It should be obvious why I don’t lose debates. It is because I only debate issues when I know the facts and I don’t say anything I don’t know is true or can’t defend.

    So far people trying to refute me have lost credibility by not knowing that the Barlaam and Josaphat hypothesis is based on a hypothetical “second to fourth century Sanskrit Mahayana Buddhist text, via a Manichaean version, then the Arabic Kitab Bilawhar wa-Yudasaf (Book of Bilawhar and Yudasaf), current in Baghdad in the eighth century,…”

    And whoever didn’t believe that PIE was called Indo-Aryan lost credibility when I proved that IT WAS DEFINITELY!

    Keep trying and I will keep robbing you of your credibility. You are all arguing for theories based on hypothetical evidence that you know less about than me or are pretending to.

    I would say good effort if you ever made a good effort to refute me by doing anything other than calling me a liar so I can prove that I am not, making you, whoever, look like a fool.

  234. Do you know what via means?

  235. Stu Clayton says:

    Joe, I think you and my brother Tom Clayton would get on like a house on fire. He argues just the way you do, including CAPS for extra emphasis.: “disregarded multiple written notices … informing him that his … argument was without merit”. Of course you have no chance of getting similarly womped, because you play in a minor league. He’s now out of the pokey, but still into hokey.

  236. January First-of-May says:

    And whoever didn’t believe that PIE was called Indo-Aryan lost credibility when I proved that IT WAS DEFINITELY!

    You proved that it was definitely called Aryan, which does appear to be true, and the reason for which had already been explained in the thread (TL/DR: the people who called it that had legitimate, though ultimately mistaken, evidence that this was what the Indo-Europeans called themselves).

    I do not see any proof that it was ever called Indo-Aryan, which I suspect it never was. (If nothing else, that would have been redundant.)

  237. “You proved that it was definitely called Aryan,…”

    Yes, exactly or more correctly that it was synonymous. If I cared enough to spend an hour or two on the internet I could bombard you with more proof and proof that Indo-Aryan was in use prior to WW2.

    If Indo-European was synonymous with Aryan it is still saying “Aryan=European” while also saying “Aryan =Indian” because of the theories of the time, European elites believed that they were Aryans from India, you know Aryanism.

    Which was hardly just a German thing, the German theories are/were based on PIE, which was known as the Indo-Aryan theory before Hitler.

    It is where they got the idea, hun.

    Do you want me to search for proof that it was CALLED Indo-Aryan? Does it really matter? Or is proving that Indo-European was synonymous with Aryan just as good?

    Split hairs much?

    It was also called Indo Aryan, you think I am probably not going to spend time hunting throughout all of the Orientalist literature because you want to split hairs?

    Did you “believe” that it was synonymous before I proved it to you?

    And if Indo-European is synonymous with Aryan it is saying that “Indo-European = Aryan” which is just as incriminating if you are not delusional and were not just caught off guard not knowing the relationship early on between Aryanism and the PIE theory.

    My point was that the theories are related, I have nothing left to prove. Never really did, it is never my fault that you don’t know something.

    And who is the idiot who thinks that I misused the word via?

    It means, roughly, by way of. Or from. And I didn’t use it wrong.

    Lhat what kind of people are using your web site that they think even if I really did misuse a word it somehow gives them something to use against me, I mean it is not like I denied that the hypothetical manuscript that the theory of Barlaam and Josaphat is based on is said to be Sanskrit Buddhist VIA the Manichaeans, text, and when the theory itself is literally founded upon the hypothetical existence of this non existent text.

    Which would have made me look foolish like the perso who lied by calling me a liar saying that I made it up.

    Yeah, making fun of the hypothetical source of the theory whilst defending the theory without knowing what it is based on!

    Smart people.

  238. David Marjanović says:

    The onus is on Joe to first read some basic reference works about the topic, since such lists of data already exists copiously. But then I suppose it is surely in turn on us to give a reference of some sort for any of this.

    I did: Wikipedia.

    Yes, the quality of Wikipedia remains very heterogeneous in general. But the articles on this topic are good enough for a start, and they cite enough sources for a start. Joe had no reason not to take a look.

    The tale derives from a second to fourth century SANSKRIT Mahayana BUDDHIST text, via a MANICHEAN version, then the Arabic Kitab Bilawhar wa-Yudasaf (Book of Bilawhar and Yudasaf), current in Baghdad in the eighth century,…”

    You can see for yourself, right here and right now, that I mixed up nothing and that every word of your weak attempt at a refutation failed. Womp.

    Are you really obtuse enough not to notice that a Manichean version of a text is ipso facto not Buddhist anymore? First we had Buddhist texts (several, mostly in Sanskrit), then somebody wrote a Manichean version of that – neither Buddhist nor in Sanskrit.

    Funnily enough, you overlooked the actual error in what I wrote: the list of languages of Manichean literature is not exhaustive. The very oldest writings are in the Syriac dialect of Aramaic; texts in Greek and Coptic have also survived, as well as quotations in Latin and Arabic.

    As far as I know there is no Indo-Aryan aka Indo-European language or literature ever known about in all of history.

    Did you seriously believe that every language that ever existed has been written? That languages spontaneously pop into being when they’re written down and don’t exist before that?

    See for yourself know-it-all. I cut and pasted this from Wikipedia and could have used Britannica.

    So you are literally just plain wrong and obviously have done little research on the theory as you thought I just made up the claim.

    Right at the top of this blog post, there’s a link to an article (from which the post quotes a few paragraphs). Read that; then follow the link to Encyclopedia Iranica (from which I quoted a bit). Then come back and talk.

    This is just another case where the Wikipedia article is just introductory and even contains a few oversimplifications.

    The know-it-all in this thread is you: you are the one who keeps asserting there is no knowledge beyond the knowledge you already happen to have.

    Anybody else want to call me a liar?

    Oh, I don’t think you’re specifically a liar. A liar is someone who understands the truth perfectly well and then knowingly says something different. You haven’t even understood that what you said is a misunderstanding of what you read.

    Manichaean religion was syncretic and while I doubt that there was ever a Buddhist Manichaean version of B&J, there is nothing odd about Manichaean syncretism.

    If there can be a “Buddhist Manichaean” version of a text, then there can also be a “Christian Islamic” version of a text.

    Yes, Buddha has a position in Manichaeism. That doesn’t mean anything can be “Buddhist Manichaean”. Jesus has a position in Islam (…and in Manichaeism); that doesn’t mean anything can be “Christian Islamic” (…or “Christian Manichaean”).

    Manichaeism isn’t simply a mixture of stuff. It is a structured, unified reinterpretation from first principles of everything Mānī happened to know.

    And whoever didn’t believe that PIE was called Indo-Aryan lost credibility when I proved that IT WAS DEFINITELY!

    Has it ever occurred to you that Aryan and Indo-Aryan might not be synonyms!?!

    Because, guess what, they aren’t.

    The term Indo-Aryan has only ever been used for the branch of “Aryan” spoken all over northern India, sometimes called Indic today, sometimes still called Indo-Aryan.

    Indo-European as a whole was sometimes called Aryan in the early 20th century, but never Indo-Aryan.

    (And that’s not the oldest name for it either. The oldest is Indo-Germanic after the southeastern and the northwestern geographic extremes of the family, followed by Indo-European and only then Aryan.)

    It should be obvious why I don’t lose debates.

    It should be obvious that you don’t notice when you misunderstand the facts to begin with and enter a battle of wits unarmed.

    That’s why we’re so unimpressed by your repeated declarations of victory.

  239. David Marjanović says:

    Which was hardly just a German thing, the German theories are/were based on PIE, which was known as the Indo-Aryan theory before Hitler.

    That is just gobbledygook.

    It was also called Indo Aryan

    No, it was not. It was called Aryan, but it was never called Indo-Aryan.

    you think I am probably not going to spend time hunting throughout all of the Orientalist literature

    Why actually not? It’s probably all on Google Books, archive.org and the like.

    because you want to split hairs?

    What makes you think this is hair-splitting?

    Confusing Aryan with Indo-Aryan is like confusing mammal with rodent. Or like confusing Turkic with Turkish.

    And who is the idiot who thinks that I misused the word via?

    It means, roughly, by way of. Or from.

    It means, quite literally, “by means of the way”*, so “by way of”. That means “through”, not “from”.

    * Trickily enough, viā is the ablative (“by means of”, “by”…) of the Latin word via, which means “way” (or “street”).

    And I didn’t use it wrong.

    You didn’t use it at all, you just quoted it and apparently misunderstood it.

    what kind of people are using your web site that they think even if I really did misuse a word it somehow gives them something to use against me

    Not against you personally – against your chain of reasoning that make you believe “Sanskrit Buddhist Manichean” is a distortion-free shortening of “from a Sanskrit Buddhist text via a Manichean version”. That reasoning is wrong.

    I mean it is not like I denied that the hypothetical manuscript that the theory of Barlaam and Josaphat is based on is said to be Sanskrit Buddhist VIA the Manichaeans, text,

    Yes, you did, apparently without even understanding that that’s what you were doing. You kept claiming that the idea was that there was a single “Sanskrit Buddhist Manichean” text, then proceeded to attack that. Instead, the idea is that there first were Sanskrit Buddhist texts, of which later a second, Manichean, version was made.

    I’ve already linked to the Buddhist texts, you can read them whenever you want and draw your own conclusion. Fragments of the Manichean versions have been found, but I can’t find them online.

    and when the theory itself is literally founded upon the hypothetical existence of this non existent text.

  240. He argues just the way you do

    The symptoms are way worse here.

    Google hypomanic episode.

  241. Evidence? Joe is obsessed with evidence. It’s historical inference he rejects (except when convenient), as I keep saying. “MSS or it didn’t happen.”

  242. The use of “Aryan” as a synonym for Indo -European may occasionally appear in material that is based on historic scholarship. Thus, a 1989 article in Scientific American, Colin Renfrew uses the term “Aryan” as a synonym for “Indo-European”.[14]-Wikipedia

    [14] Renfrew, Colin. (1989). The Origins of Indo-European Languages. /Scientific American/, 261(4), 82-90.

    Perhaps it is that Aryan and Indo-European were synonyms and not “Indo-Aryan” but it being based on “historic” scholarship was more my point, and the equation “European =Aryan” in the minds of non German scholars is easy to demonstrate, as I said before go to the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, CCEL, type “Aryan” in the internal search engine and read what you see. Eventually you will see that “Aryan mind” was a term applied by a European to Europeans in the 18th and 19th century.

    That Indo European was synonymous with Aryan is as incriminating as Indo-Aryan and perhaps more racist as it excludes modern “Indo” people from under the umbrella of Aryan, Indian and Persians being the first to use it, in different ways, Iran actually means “land of Aryans” in Farsi and is used for Persians in the Armenian translation of the Chronicon of Eusebius.

    So it being synonymous with blonde haired blue eyed or just European people doesn’t hurt my argument that the PIE theory is racist and the source of Nazi ideology, which is a fact.

    A racist ideology using racist theories is hardly far fetched.

    Come on people, get with reality. You got another guy trying to refute me on account of I mentioned what was the hypothetical source material for Barlaam and Josaphat, not realizing that what I said was the official position of Academia.

    That’s just embarrassing for you.

  243. “John Cowan says:

    September 15, 2019 at 8:50 am

    Evidence? Joe is obsessed with evidence. It’s historical inference he rejects (except when convenient), as I keep saying. “MSS or it didn’t happen.””

    I do like evidence. What do you imagine is the problem with this?

    I think YOU are obsessed with ME because I am always responding to your comments about me. Not so much what I said, ME.

    Odd.

    Obviously if you don’t have a manuscript you don’t have proof of a book. Why don’t you understand? It’s simple. Anyone can make up any hypothetical text and say it was the source of anything.

    But without a manuscript you don’t have proof. There is not even evidence. There is just the real book you are trying to say is based on the one you made up.

    Seriously… Ai Ai Ai

  244. David Eddyshaw says:

    @SFReader: You may be right.

  245. Joe Cowan apparently can be convinced of a theory about a book being based on another book without “another book” actually having proof or evidence that it even existed.

    That makes you gullible Joe. Demanding evidence makes me critical, Joe Cowan. I would much rather be critical than be gullible or naive enough to believe in a theory that does not have evidence that actually exists, a theory based not on actual evidence, hypothetical evidence.

    Again, this makes you gullible. Thinking you can criticize me for being critical while you are so gullible makes you a fool.

    By all means keep trying to make me look as foolish and gullible as you are. It is not a good strategy, will never work. You are a fool for believing that you are capable of sustaining the validity of a theory based on evidence that does not exist. Heh, heh. Huh. Heh.

  246. “Historical inference” is not evidence. I don’t know what you think is historically being inferred, but there is nothing historical that infers that Barlaam and Josaphat is based on a “Sanskrit Buddhist Manichaean text.”

    There is nothing that infers the existence of such a text, that an Arabic version was possibly extant in the 8th century only proves that an Arabic version existed in the 8th century.

    It does not even infer the existence of Buddha, Mani, or Sanskrit. It does not further the theory.

    If there is any history that infers the existence of a Sanskrit Buddhist Manichaean text, please show me.

    Or stop talking about me.

  247. You have to provide evidence that it exists, first. And you can’t
    You can’t any more than the other guy can produce a” Sanskrit Buddhist Manichean text. ”

    More blather.

    You’re making this absurdly easy. Type on

  248. Entertaining as this has sometimes been, I think its entertainment value has run its course and it’s just becoming sad and annoying. Can I request that people stop replying so that Joe can depart feeling he’s won, and everybody will be happy?

  249. Stu Clayton says:

    The symptoms are way worse here.

    You may imagine that, because you don’t know much more than what I’ve said. My brother destroyed his life and that of his family. That’s why, when skimming Joe’s screeds, I keep thinking “I hope no one is dependent on him”.

    The following is from the website of one of the authors of the “Theft By Deception” video, “funded by Tom Clayton”. My brother sent me an unsolicited package of twelve copies he wanted me to pass on to German journalists. He wrote this a year after being arrested, it goes on for 5-6 pages:

    # One year ago CID special agents Jack Bell, Jacob Avery, Paul Howard, and
    approximately ten other agents came (with firearms) to my private
    residence in Texas (about 30 minutes after they showed up at Larken’s
    house) after I had gone to work. My 11-year-old daughter was home alone
    sick, while my wife was taking my youngest daughter to school. They
    yelled, “THIS IS THE POLICE; WE HAVE A SEARCH WARRANT, OPEN THE DOOR!” My
    daughter became hysterical, saying “You aren’t going to arrest my mommy
    and daddy!”

    This single event galvanized me into coming out from behind the scenes, where
    I had been working with Larken for over five years for the sole purpose of
    educating the public about the correct application of the federal income
    tax law (i.e. those parts of the law that show that the only incomes that
    are taxable are related to international commerce, which of course does
    NOT include the incomes of most Americans).

    I am sure my becoming more public was the exact OPPOSITE of what the DOJ
    was hoping for. I’m sure they thought that they would be able to
    INTIMIDATE me into shutting up. What were they threatening? To indict me
    and to throw me in jail? Just like they threaten everyone else? What
    for? Because I read the law and could PROVE that I did not owe federal
    income taxes? Or because I dared to show others WHAT THE LAW SAID?

    What was wrong with this picture? I had broken no laws. I had provided
    financing so that the public would have FREE access to the evidence in the
    law (via the taxableincome.net web site), and this type of activity is
    protected by the First Amendment. I had worked with Larken for years for
    the sole purpose of UNDOING what the government had done, which was to
    write and arrange the law in such a manner that it was virtually
    IMPOSSIBLE for the public to read the law and understand it. The truth is
    in the law, but it is buried so deep and in
    such convoluted regulations, that most of the public was being DECEIVED.
    #

  250. Perhaps it is that Aryan and Indo-European were synonyms and not “Indo-Aryan”

    So you were wrong then…. Ho hum.

  251. And whoever didn’t believe that PIE was called Indo-Aryan lost credibility when I proved that IT WAS DEFINITELY!

    Keep trying and I will keep robbing you of your credibility. You are all arguing for theories based on hypothetical evidence that you know less about than me or are pretending to.

    Oh dear. This is the blather that you had to beat an ignominious retreat on.

  252. David Eddyshaw says:

    @Hat: good call.

  253. Yes, please stop taunting Joe, it does no good and will just encourage him to post more tedious screeds.

  254. Lots of new blather, but interestingly no response whatsoever to the previously many-times requested list of related words between Greek and Sanskrit, now that one has actually been provided.

    “Indo-Aryan” and “Indo-European”, by the way, are interestingly enough different types of compounds: the first is an endocentric compound meaning “those Aryans who are Indian”, the second is a conjunctive compound meaning “India thru Europe”. Sanskrit has long-established terms for distinctions such as this: the former is a tatpuruṣa; the latter is a dvandva.

    Anyway though we seem to be heading towards Last Thursdayism quite rapidly, if now the stance is that only an actual manuscript can “prove” that a book once existed. So why not, let’s up the ante: going by what we’ve seen so far, India doesn’t exist. There is no proof of this hypothetical land in hypothetical “South Asia” (itself a quite dubious concept too). Anyone can make up a hypothetical land and claim that there are hypothetical people living in there. But it’s quite an embarrassment to claim that “Indians” even could be discriminated against, when even the existence of India has not been yet proven.

  255. “Bathrobe says:

    September 15, 2019 at 9:33 am

    And whoever didn’t believe that PIE was called Indo-Aryan lost credibility when I proved that IT WAS DEFINITELY!

    Keep trying and I will keep robbing you of your credibility. You are all arguing for theories based on hypothetical evidence that you know less about than me or are pretending to.

    Oh dear. This is the blather that you had to beat an ignominious retreat on”

    Except I didn’t lose any credibility.

    Indo-European was synonymous with Aryan is what I proved. The true Aryans are Iranian and Indian and the fact that I said “Indo-Aryan” rather than just Aryan is an honest mistake, not a loss of credibility and one which I already addressed.

    Come at me bro…

  256. Stu Clayton says:

    @Hat: I hadn’t seen your comment when posting mine about my brother immediately following. You should delete mine if you want. That’s probably best.

    I felt that people here should consider that more may be at stake than custard PIE. Right now I’m having to deal with such a case of Verstandskernschmelze in a code review. Everyone is twisting and turning, trying to gloss it as something that needs only a nice telephone conference on technical matters to clear up – everyone but me.

  257. “languagehat says:

    September 15, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Yes, please stop taunting Joe, it does no good and will just encourage him to post more tedious screeds.”

    And refutations of the validity of the Barlaam and Josaphat theory you made a little blog about, as well as the need, even, for the Indo-European hypothetical mother language of Sanskrit and Greek, by providing enough historical evidence to prove that the Greeks knew enough about the Indians to conclude interactions between cultures lead to loan words.

    A far more plausible idea than non existent languages without the slightest bit of evidence to prove that they ever existed.

    Don’t forget the important stuff while concentrating on the bitterness of defeat. Which is why you are mad. You subscribed to one theory that has no evidence beyond a ridiculous hypothetical text and a language that doesn’t exist and you talk like a champion or someone who even didn’t lose a debate with me.

    Am I supposed to forget that you failed to sustain the validity of the Barlaam and Josaphat theory and failed to provide a reason why the handful of similar words in Sanskrit and Greek can’t be loan words?

    Don’t take it personal, you can’t sustain theories based hypothetical evidence under the light of scrutiny against someone with critical eyes.

  258. “Bathrobe says:

    September 15, 2019 at 9:14 am

    You have to provide evidence that it exists, first. And you can’t
    You can’t any more than the other guy can produce a” Sanskrit Buddhist Manichean text. ”

    More blather.

    You’re making this absurdly easy. Type on”

    This is perhaps the most illogical comment ever.

    I mentioned someone’s failure to produce evidence and you seem to think I suffered a loss of sone kind.

    Only that was a win. If the evidence was produced, THEN, I would have lost. ALSO

    “More blather.

    You’re making this absurdly easy. Type on” ”

    Is blather. My comments contain factual information, like the fact that this fellow can’t provide evidence.

    Wow. You should be embarrassed.

  259. Joe, I’ve seen the light. You’re right. They’re wrong. Everything you’ve said is right (except the honest mistake about Indo-Aryan). It’s blindingly obvious when you see it. Hypotheticals don’t prove anything. Concrete proof is the only real proof. Thank you for persevering. It was worth it.

  260. “Bathrobe says:

    September 15, 2019 at 9:26 am

    Perhaps it is that Aryan and Indo-European were synonyms and not “Indo-Aryan”

    So you were wrong then…. Ho hum.”

    I believe that is what I said, but I also explained to you why and how it doesn’t matter. Did you read it or do you want to explain again how Indo-European being synonymous with the racist ” Aryan ” is just as bad and pretty much the same thing I said?

    My point was that the racist term Aryan was related to the Indo European hypothesis, so I proved they were synonyms and corrected myself.

    Oh the shame (sarcasm in case you don’t get it)!

  261. I’m sorry it wasn’t that they called the Indo-European hypothesis the “Indo-Aryan” it was just the more racist “Aryan.” Such a phenomenally great difference that it doesn’t effect my point one bit.

    Also I still maintain that I have seen the Indo European hypothesis being said, in writing, to have formerly been the “Indo-Aryan” and that this was changed, that Indo-Aryan now only refers to a subset of languages, and that the name of the overall hypothesis is Indo European.

    Just because I have not found the source doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, just that I am having trouble finding it.

    For the moment the fact that it was once synonymous with Aryan will do just fine to support my contention that the hypothesis is racist, that the Nazis used it for their ideology certainly doesn’t hurt and that some non Nazi historical literature uses the term “Aryan” instead of “Indo-European” doesn’t hurt either.

    That you ever thought it did hurts your credibility, not mine. I proved the connection to the word “Aryan” which is sufficient.

  262. Verstandskernschmelze – mind meltdown.

  263. You are perfectly right. The whole Indo-European/Aryan thing was always racist. Please don’t feel you have to defend yourself on that. It was a minor error, or perhaps not even an error (as you point out). And it doesn’t detract from your actual point. Forget that I quibbled.

  264. Yes, Joe, you’re right, you win. Congratulations!

  265. “It was believed in the 19th century that Aryan was also a self-designation used by all Proto-Indo-Europeans,…” – Wikipedia  Fortson, IV 2011, p. 209

    In other words “European = Aryan” as, ” it was believed that the” Proto-Indo-Europeans” called themselves “Aryan.” And of course the “Proto-Indo-European” includes the “European”…

    So changing a theory called “Aryan” to “Indo European” is, like I said, as good as saying “Aryan =European”, even if it is denied.

    If there were some people who called it “Indo-Aryan” instead of just “Aryan” it would be less racist, not more, so just calling it Aryan is better for my argument, though I still maintain that there were people who called it the “Indo-Aryan” theory, hell I believe some even called it Scythian, it had a lot of names, and there is tons of literature from hundreds of years of academic hypotheses, I am pretty sure I will eventually find where I read that the Indo-European hypothesis was also called Indo-Aryan, although I really don’t need to I kind of want to, just to prove a point.

  266. “languagehat says:

    September 15, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Yes, Joe, you’re right, you win. Congratulations!”

    Your corny attempt at humorous sarcasm does not change the fact that what you say is true.

  267. Did you, Language Hat, provide any evidence to sustain the Barlaam and Josaphat theory?

    How could you when the theory is based on evidence that does not and most likely never did, exist?

    Are you embarrassed because you didn’t notice this inconvenient fact before you decided to champion the theory?

    Or did you already know and champion the bunk theory anyway, knowing that the evidence was for the theory was in fact hypothetical?

    Either way it’s got you sour. That’s what you get for supporting bogus theories with no evidence to sustain their validity as a theory.

    I do not know what your problem is in reality but the sarcasm is not necessary, you lost fair and square.

    You can’t provide evidence that just doesn’t exist.

    But I did provide evidence that the PIE theory is unnecessary when I provided quotes from early authors who were knowledgeable about life in India, so that I could suggest loan words as a more plausible theory.

    You have and can’t do anything to refute this. You can’t provide so many words that I will be convinced that loan words are not more plausible and I don’t know how many words that would be. Don’t have to.

    Because you can’t provide that many anyway and if you did, why couldn’t they still be loan words? At a certain point they could become part of the same language family, but you will never get to that point.

  268. Hat is just trying to make light of the fact that he’s actually been defeated by your superior knowledge and analysis. Please don’t hold it against him. When you’ve believed PIE all your life, it’s hard to stop, shake your head, and realise it was all based on a house of sand.

  269. “Hat is just trying to make light of the fact that he’s actually been defeated by your superior knowledge and analysis. Please don’t hold it against him. When you’ve believed PIE all your life, it’s hard to stop, shake your head, and realise it was all based on a house of sand.”

    OK I can’t tell if this is sarcasm, I would say it’s genuine if not for our previous interactions where you tried to mock me.

    Nevertheless, I still feel like you are being genuine. Either way you are correct.

  270. Bathrobe says:

    September 15, 2019 at 10:01 am

    Joe, I’ve seen the light. You’re right. They’re wrong. Everything you’ve said is right (except the honest mistake about Indo-Aryan). It’s blindingly obvious when you see it. Hypotheticals don’t prove anything. Concrete proof is the only real proof. Thank you for persevering. It was worth —

    Ok. I get it. Proper respect is due to you, so, respect. Propers. People don’t usually “see the light” in my experience, whether I am involved or not.

  271. Well, I was never so dedicated to PIE and historical linguistics that I wasn’t able to bring myself to look at it in a different light. Needless to say, I was influenced by some of the others here, who always seemed to be quite knowledgeable about the issue (especially David Marjanović). But all it takes is a fresh view from a different angle to realise that it could actually be a mirage. When you pointed out that there was no firm documentary evidence for their elaborately-constructed hypotheses, that’s when it all fell into place. You just have to tilt your head and look from a slightly different angle for the whole house of cards to fall down.

    I think you’ve planted the seeds of doubt in their minds, too, but it will take a while for it to sink in.

  272. Demanding evidence makes me critical, Joe Cowan.

    I’ll pass that along to my cousin Joe, if I ever happen to hear from him.

    Bathrobe: Joe, I’ve seen the light. You’re right. They’re wrong. Everything you’ve said is right (except the honest mistake about Indo-Aryan). It’s blindingly obvious when you see it. Hypotheticals don’t prove anything. Concrete proof is the only real proof. Thank you for persevering. It was worth —

    Joe: Ok. I get it. Proper respect is due to you, so, respect. Propers. People don’t usually “see the light” in my experience, whether I am involved or not.

    Just a hint, Joe: Bathrobe comes from the Land of Oz. He only works in Kansas. Or perhaps Mongolia.

    And (in compliance with the Strange Powers) that’s my last word on this subject.

  273. Stu Clayton says:

    You just have to tilt your head and look from a slightly different angle for the whole house of cards to fall down.

    If it were only a house of cards, so what if it falls down? If you tilt your head and look from a slightly different angle at what you’re saying (instead of at imaginary card houses), you should be able to see that the notion of “card house” is itself a card house.

    A greater familiarity with Luhmann would help here, but I doubt that will ever happen. He never talks about card houses. “Social constructivism” is not a thing he urges, but only mentions in passing. Its effect has been to make me a little more humble, a little more cautious. When I can remember to be…

  274. Re: Apology of Aristides in Barlaam and Josaphat:

    “The recovery of the Syriac version by Professor Harris placed the genuineness of the Armenian fragment beyond question.  It also led to the strange reappearance of the greater part of the original Greek.  Professor J. A. Robinson, the general editor of the Cambridge Texts and Studies, having read the translation of the Syriac version, discovered that the Apology of Aristides is incorporated in the early Christian Romance entitled, The Life of Barlaam and Josaphat.”

    Notice: Apology of Aristides is incorporated in the early Christian Romance entitled, The Life of Barlaam and Josaphat.

    The claim is that the author of Barlaam and Josaphat incorporated Apology of Aristides in his book. The book is said to be attributed to a John of Damascus, although this is disputed.

    Nevertheless anyone can follow this link and examine the extracted quotations from Barlaam and Josaphat and compare them with the Apology of Aristides, so they can see the evidence that sustains the assertion, which seems to be correct. https://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/ecf/009/0090185.htm

    Greek excerpts precede translation of Aristides, so you can read the excerpts from the Greek version of B&J and then the original Apology of Aristides, compare for yourself.

    Ask yourself why can’t you do this with the alleged “Sanskrit Buddhist Manichaean text” that the author of Barlaam and Josaphat is alleged to have used?

    The answer is because it does not exist. Has never been mentioned by any author from any time in the past, the theory is modern and uncritical, in favor of an “Aryan” religion and against a “Semitic” religion from a time (the theory I mean) when that meant a lot.

    There is evidence, almost proof that Aristides was used, no such evidence exists to support the existence of the so called Buddhist Manichaean text, if there was you would see what you see with Aristides.

    But you don’t. Won’t.

  275. “Just a hint, Joe: Bathrobe comes from the Land of Oz. He only works in Kansas. Or perhaps Mongolia.”

    I don’t care. It changes nothing for me. Whether someone agrees with me or not isn’t my concern. I just like to tell it how it is.

    Like this: What a waste of time this comment was, it accomplished nothing. You are still gullible. I am still critical.

    End of story.

  276. Trond Engen says:

    End of story.

    Hooray!

  277. John Cowan, I have some advice, worry less about Bathrobe and concentrate on the fact that you don’t need evidence to believe something, which by definition makes you naive and/or gullible.

    Aren’t you the “historical inference” guy? How’s that line of argument working? Oh yeah, I demolished it and made it look like the foolish nonsense it was because history doesn’t infer the existence of the hypothetical evidence that is the foundation of the Barlaam and Josaphat theory.

    So how was historical inference supposed to be of help to you?

  278. Trond Engen says:

    September 15, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    End of story.

    Hooray!

    I was talking to him, tool, what, you want someone to debate with?

    Or you want me to go away?

    If you want me to go away you are going about it the wrong way.

    Plus I was talking specifically to one person about a specific thing.

    I wasn’t saying that I was finished.

    Wow.

  279. Anyone else want to try and mock me only to be embarrassed?

    I don’t see the point but go right ahead, I am not busy.

  280. No, I think we’re done here.