Aryans and British India by Thomas R. Trautmann

By Thomas R. Trautmann

This compelling and punctiliously researched reassessment of colonial ethnology, British Orientalism and the Aryan suggestion, demanding situations many ideologies about the identification and ancient origins of Indians that are fashionable this present day.

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Thus the study of Hinduism is deflected from the present to the ancient past. The Religion and Laws of Hinduism Made India Prosperous The moral worth of Hindu religion and the benevolence of its system of government and laws are inferred from the size and prosperity of the Indian population prior to its subjugation by foreigners. The eastern countries were the first to be inhabited, and the civilization of Indiaits cultivation of the arts and sciencesis taken for granted and reckoned to be the work of ages.

After a diligent search, Jones says, "I cannot find a single word used in common by the Arabian, Indian, and Tartar families before the intermixture of dialects occasioned by Mohammedan conquests" (1807, 3:199). So far from being impelled by a desire to drive a wedge between Christians and Jews, as Martin Bernal (1987) has argued, page_51 Page 52 the creation of the Indo-European concept was the outcome of a program (in which Jones was only one of the more brilliant of many participants) of recovering the lost language of Noah and of Adam through the comparison of vocabularies.

Semitic) language except what is known to have been borroweda crucial point, since the segmentary logic of the linguistic family tree can only function accurately upon true cognates, which must therefore be discriminated from loanwords. In the fourth discourse, on the Arabs, Jones says of Arabic that it is unquestionably one of the most ancient languages and that it yields to no language in the number of its words and the precision of its phrases (that is, it is copious and regular, hence civilized); but, it bears no resemblance in words or the structure of them to Sanskrit.

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