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RLG205 - Lecture 2

Course Code
Ajay Rao

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January 16
Lecture 2 - Ancient Sources: Indus Valley Civilization and the Rg Veda
For quiz – from supplementary readings
Ancient traces – don’t want to talk about origins
oHistory – like a story – beginning, middle and end
oHinduism has no historical founder or an origin – made up myth, a belief
which has carried on through generations
Indus Valley Civilization
o3rd and 4th millennium BC (m. BC)
o2 major archaeological sites - Harappar and Mohanjo-Daro
oa whole world which was unknown to Vedic texts – this valley had died out
othe spread of this civilization was massive like western euro
oboth cities are separated by 360 miles – but are similar
atropiculus - west of city
had large assembly halls – for major ceremonies- so some sort
of religions must have been practices
‘great bath’ – indicates elaborate water supply system
lower valley
othe archeological strata of the remains indicate different eras
2300 – 2000 BC
was at its peak during this time
oThe script – on some of the seals – but not enough evidence for text to be
One major hypothesis ‘Dravidian Hypothesis’ – the language, although
cannot decipher it, must have been Dravidian language.
Dravidian – south Indian languages – ex. Tamil, Malayan
Indo- European languages – are Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit
oSanskrit – has a lot of south qualities
Retro-flexes ( and Dravidian lang has a lot of this)
So Dravidian has a mixture of European and Indian
Another hypothesis – No language
The signs on the seals don’t rep sounds – not language
Influence of Dravidian culture on later cultures – source of innovation
– things change all the time – what causes historical change?
In Vedic religions – no moksha (rebirth) – either live/die
Is another hypothesis for potential Indus valley civ.
o1800-1700 BC – the Indus valley civ. Died out
Many hypothesis as to how it died out.
oVedic Arians – semi-nomadic tribes
Arians are refered to as a cultural marker
Now it can also have ethical connotations
Another theory – the arians came from south Asia
Vedic gradually move from northwest (Punjab) towards the east
(tribal alliances, kingship)
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