The Aryans of India are probably the most settled and civilized of all Asiatic races.
With the exception of Babylonia and Assyria, we can hardly even conjecture what was the condition of this continent much before i 50o B.C. At that period the Chinese were advancing along the Hwang-ho, and the Aryans were entering India from the northwest.
In prehistoric times they were spread over the whole of India, but were driven to the centre and south of the peninsula by the third stratum of Aryans, and perhaps also by invasions of so-called Mongolian races from the north-west.
Even without the fact of the existence now of such restrictions among the modern successors of the ancient Aryans in India, it would have been probable that they also were addicted to similar customs. It is certain that the notion of such usages was familiar enough to some at least of the tribes that preceded the Aryans in India.
*) History From the evidence of philology it appears that the horse was already known to the Aryans before the period of their dispersion.'
He shows that in the 3rd century B.C. the language used throughout northern India was practically one, and that it was derived directly from the speech of the Vedic Aryans, retaining many Vedic forms lost in the later classical Sanskrit.
But this originality cannot be absolute, for, whatever may have been the relations of Babylonia and the Aryans, the latter brought civilization to India from the west, and it is not always clear whether similarity of government and institutions is the result of borrowing or of parallel development.
The Aryans appear to have been settled to the north of the Hindu Kush, and to have migrated south-eastwards about 150o B.C. Their original home has been a subject of much discussion, but the view now prevalent is that they arose in southern Russia or Asia Minor, whence a section spread eastwards and divided into two closely related branches - the Hindus and Iranians.
The life of the ancient Aryans, as portrayed in their sacred songs, the Rig Veda, was quasi-nomadic and in many ways democratic, but by the 6th century B.C. settled states had been formed in the Ganges valley.
- The Persians, with whom are often coupled the Medes, appear to be pure Aryans in origin, and the earliest form of their language and religion offers remarkable analogies to the Vedas.
On the other hand, the wars between Persia and Greece were recognized both at the time and afterwards as a struggle between Europe and Asia; the fact that both combatants were Aryans was not felt, and has no importance compared to the difference of continent.
If the Hittites were Aryans, one can hardly suppose a primeval Aryan element in Anatolia.
On entering *The fact that the Mitannians venerated Varuna, Indra, and the Asvins is important as showing that Iranian and Indian Aryans had not yet separated as late as 1400 B.C.
The Aryan folkreligion was polytheistic. Worship was paid to popular divinities, such as the war-god and dragon-slayer Indra, to natural forces and elements such as fire, but the Aryans also believed in the ruling of moral powers and of an eternal law in nature (v.
The most striking difference between Zoroaster's doctrine of God and the old religion of India lies in this, that while in the Avesta the evil spirits are called daeva (Modern Persian div), the Aryans of India, in common with the Italians, Celts and Letts, gave the name of deva to their good spirits, the spirits of light.
It corresponds to the soma plant (Asclepias acida) of the ancient Aryans of India.
Among the Zoroastrian Iranians, as among the Indian Aryans, the aid of a priest to recite the sacrificial liturgy was necessary at every offering (Herod.
On this side the ancestor-worship of the Aryans has been productive of the most important institutions of adoption and will or testament.
"The western Aryans (Pelasgians, Hellenes) perhaps introduced the plant into southern Europe, where, however, there is some probability that it was also indigenous.
The western Aryans carried it to India."
The most natural explanation is that Aryans had made their way into the highlands east of Assyria, and thence bands had penetrated into Mesopotamia, peacefully or otherwise, and then, like the Turks in the days of the Caliphate, founded dynasties.
5 Winckler has identified the Kharri with the Aryans, to whom he assigns a state in Armenia (Or.
It is now acknowledged by all linguists that this supposition is quite wrong, and that the Aryans probably came from Europe.
The eastern part of Iran seems to have been the region where the Aryans lived as long as they formed one people, and whence they separated into Indians and Iranians.
There are also traces of the persistence of descent in the female line, especially in the case of the Pictish royal family, but such survivals of savage institutions, or such a modification of male descent for the purpose of ensuring the purity of the royal blood, yield no firm ground for a decision as to whether the Picts were " Aryans " or " non-Aryans."
Our earliest glimpses of India disclose two races struggling for the soil, the Dravidians, a dark-skinned race of aborigines, and the Aryans, a fair-skinned people, descending from Legends.
Ultimately the Dravidians were driven back into the southern tableland, and the great plains of Hindustan were occupied by the Aryans, who dominated the history of India for many centuries thereafter.
The earlier hymns exhibit the Aryans on the north-western frontiers of India just starting on their long journey.
They show us the Aryans on the banks of the Indus, divided into various tribes, sometimes at war with each other, sometimes united against the " black-skinned " aborigines.
Unlike the modern Hindus, the Aryans of the Veda ate beef, used a fermented liquor or beer made from the soma plant, and offered the same strong meat and drink to their gods.
Thus the stout Aryans spread eastwards through northern India, pushed on from behind by later arrivals of their own stock, and driving before them, or reducing to bondage, the earlier " black-skinned " races.
In the South Sea Islands, generally, the fable of the union and separation of Heaven and Earth is current; other forms will be found in Gill's Myths and Songs from the South Pacific. The cosmogonic myths of the Aryans of India are peculiarly interesting, as we find in the Vedas and Brahmanas and Puranas almost every fiction familiar to savages side by side with the most abstract metaphysical speculations.
Not satisfied with this myth, the Aryans of India accounted for the origin of species in the following barbaric style.
The idea that a boar, or a god in the shape of a boar, fished up a bit of earth, which subsequently became the world, out of the waters, is very well known to the Aryans of India, and recalls the feats of American musk-rats and coyotes already described.'
The myths of civilized peoples, as of Greeks and the Aryans of India, contain two elements, the rational and what to modern minds seems the irrational.
It is admitted that Greeks, Romans, Aryans of India in the age of the Sanskrit commentators, Egyptians of the Ptolemaic and earlier ages, were as much puzzled as we are by the mythical adventures of their gods.
As the ancestors of the Greeks, with the Aryans of India, the Egyptians, and others advanced in civilization, their religious thought was shocked and surprised by myths (originally dating from the period of savagery, and natural in that period) which were preserved down to the time of Pausanias by local priesthoods, or which were stereotyped in the ancient poems of Hesiod and Homer, or in the Brahmanas and Vedas of India, or were retained in the popular religion of Egypt.
They make good or bad seasons, and control the vast animals who, among ancient Persians and Aryans of India, as among Zulus and Iroquois, are supposed to grant or withhold the rain, and to thunder with their enormous wings in the region of the clouds.
Among both Karok and Navaho the coyote is the Prometheus Purphoros, or, as the Aryans of India call him, Matarisvan the fire-stealer.
Xxi.) also show the stars into which they were metamorphosed, as the Eskimo and Australians and Aryans of India and Greeks have recognized in the constellations their ancient heroes.
Divine Myths of the Aryans of India.
Both Aryans and Mongols have their representatives there, the former settled for the most part, the latter chiefly nomad.