Re: [cybalist] avestan and vedic

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 2090
Date: 2000-04-11

----- Original Message -----

I have just joined the group. Would appreciate guidance on
the relative chronology of the avestan and vedic languages.

I second the motion, but so far as I know, we don't have an Indo-Iranianist on the list.

The Avesta was probably written down in the 5th c. BC, under the Sassanid dynasty. Zarathustra lived ca. 630-550, so the oral composition of the Avesta can be dated at the first half of the 6th c. BC.
The oldest (and linguistically most archaic) hymns of the Rigveda are dated at ca 1200 BC, give or take a century or two (based on educated guessing rather than any real evidence). The remaining Samhitas were added one by one over the centuries, and the collection achieved its present form about the 3rd c. BC. To answer Dr. Kalyanaraman's question, the OLDEST Vedic is older than Avestan, but parts of the Vedic matter must have been composed contemporarily with the Avesta, and the latest compositions of the Vedic period (the Aranyakas, the Sutras) are even younger.