The Rigveda is an ancient Indian collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns. It is one of the four sacred texts of Hinduism known as the Vedas. The text is a collection of 1,028 hymns and 10,600 verses, a good deal of the language is still obscure and many hymns as a consequence seem unintelligible. The hymns are dedicated to Rigvedic deities, for each deity series the hymns progress from longer to shorter ones, and the number of hymns per book increases. In the eight books that were composed the earliest, the hymns predominantly discuss cosmology, Rigveda is one of the oldest extant texts in any Indo-European language. 1700–1100 BC has been given, some of its verses continue to be recited during Hindu rites of passage celebrations such as weddings and religious prayers, making it probably the worlds oldest religious text in continued use. This redaction included some additions and orthoepic changes to the Vedic Sanskrit such as the regularization of sandhi, the Padapatha and the Pratisakhya anchor the texts fidelity and meaning, and the fixed text was preserved with unparalleled fidelity for more than a millennium by oral tradition alone.
In order to achieve this the oral tradition prescribed very structured enunciation, involving breaking down the Sanskrit compounds into stems and inflections and this interplay with sounds gave rise to a scholarly tradition of morphology and phonetics. The Rigveda was probably not written down until the Gupta period, the oral tradition still continued into recent times. The text is organized in 10 books, known as Mandalas, of varying age, the family books, mandalas 2–7, are the oldest part of the Rigveda and the shortest books, they are arranged by length and account for 38% of the text. Within each book, the hymns are arranged in collections each dealing with a deity, Agni comes first, Indra comes second. They are attributed and dedicated to a rishi and his family of students, within each collection, the hymns are arranged in descending order of the number of stanzas per hymn. If two hymns in the collection have equal numbers of stanzas they are arranged so that the number of syllables in the metre are in descending order.
The second to seventh mandalas have a uniform format, the eighth and ninth mandalas, comprising hymns of mixed age, account for 15% and 9%, respectively. The first and the tenth mandalas are the youngest, they are the longest books, of 191 suktas each, adds Witzel, some hymns in Mandala 8,1 and 10 may be as old as the earlier Mandalas. The first mandala has an arrangement not found in the other nine mandalas. The ninth mandala is arranged by both its structure and hymn length, while the first eighty four hymns of the tenth mandala have a structure different than the remaining hymns in it. Each mandala consists of hymns called sūkta intended for various rituals, the sūktas in turn consist of individual stanzas called ṛc, which are further analysed into units of verse called pada
The Behistun Inscription is a multilingual inscription and large rock relief on a cliff at Mount Behistun in the Kermanshah Province of Iran, near the city of Kermanshah in western Iran. It was crucial to the decipherment of cuneiform script, Darius the Great proclaimed himself victorious in all battles during the period of upheaval, attributing his success to the grace of Ahura Mazda. The inscription includes three versions of the text, written in three different cuneiform script languages, Old Persian and Babylonian. The inscription is to cuneiform what the Rosetta Stone is to Egyptian hieroglyphs, the inscription is approximately 15 metres high by 25 metres wide and 100 metres up a limestone cliff from an ancient road connecting the capitals of Babylonia and Media. The Old Persian text contains 414 lines in five columns, the Elamite text includes 593 lines in eight columns, and the Babylonian text is in 112 lines. The inscription was illustrated by a life-sized bas-relief of Darius I, the supine figure is reputed to be the pretender Gaumata.
Darius is attended to the left by two servants, and nine one-meter figures stand to the right, with hands tied and rope around their necks, faravahar floats above, giving his blessing to the king. One figure appears to have been added after the others were completed, as was Dariuss beard, the inscription is mentioned by Ctesias of Cnidus, who noted its existence some time around 400 BC and mentioned a well and a garden beneath the inscription. He incorrectly concluded that the inscription had been dedicated by Queen Semiramis of Babylon to Zeus, tacitus mentions it and includes a description of some of the long-lost ancillary monuments at the base of the cliff, including an altar to Herakles. What has been recovered of them, including a dedicated in 148 BC, is consistent with Tacituss description. Diodorus writes of Bagistanon and claims it was inscribed by Semiramis. A legend began around Mount Behistun, as written about by the Persian poet and writer Ferdowsi in his Shahnameh c. 1000, about a man named Farhad, who was a lover of King Khosrows wife, Shirin.
The legend states that, exiled for his transgression, Farhad was given the task of cutting away the mountain to find water, if he succeeded, he would be given permission to marry Shirin. After many years and the removal of half the mountain, he did find water and he went mad, threw his axe down the hill, kissed the ground and died. It is told in the book of Khosrow and Shirin that his axe was made out of a tree, where he threw the axe. Shirin was not dead, according to the story, and mourned upon hearing the news, in 1598, the Englishman Robert Sherley saw the inscription during a diplomatic mission to Persia on behalf of Austria, and brought it to the attention of Western European scholars. His party incorrectly came to the conclusion that it was Christian in origin, french General Gardanne thought it showed Christ and his twelve apostles, and Sir Robert Ker Porter thought it represented the Lost Tribes of Israel and Shalmaneser of Assyria. Italian explorer Pietro della Valle visited the inscription in the course of a pilgrimage in around 1621, German surveyor Carsten Niebuhr visited in around 1764 for Frederick V of Denmark, publishing a copy of the inscription in the account of his journeys in 1778
Homer is the name ascribed by the ancient Greeks to the semi-legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems which are the central works of Greek literature. The Odyssey focuses on the home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca. Many accounts of Homers life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a bard from Ionia. The modern scholarly consensus is that these traditions do not have any historical value, the Homeric question - by whom, when and under what circumstances were the Iliad and Odyssey composed - continues to be debated. Broadly speaking, modern scholarly opinion on the authorship question falls into two camps, one group holds that most of the Iliad and the Odyssey is the work of a single poet of genius. The other considers the Homeric poems to be the crystallization of a process of working and re-working by many contributors and it is generally accepted that the poems were composed at some point around the late eighth or early seventh century B. C.
Most researchers believe that the poems were transmitted orally. The Homeric epics were the greatest influence on ancient Greek culture and education, to Plato, the chronological period of Homer depends on the meaning to be assigned to the word Homer. Was Homer a single person, an imaginary person representing a group of poets and this information is often called the world of Homer. The Homeric period would in that cover a number of historical periods, especially the Mycenaean Age. Considered word-for-word, the texts as we know them are the product of the scholars of the last three centuries. Each edition of the Iliad or Odyssey is a different, as the editors rely on different manuscripts and fragments. The term accuracy reveals a belief in an original uniform text. The manuscripts of the work currently available date to no earlier than the 10th century. These are at the end of a missing thousand-year chain of copies made as each generation of manuscripts disintegrated or were lost or destroyed and these numerous manuscripts are so similar that a single original can be postulated.
The time gap in the chain is bridged by the scholia, or notes, on the existing manuscripts, librarian of the Library of Alexandria, he had noticed a wide divergence in the works attributed to Homer, and was trying to restore a more authentic copy. He had collected several manuscripts, which he named, the Sinopic, the one he selected for correction was the koine, which Murray translates as the Vulgate. Aristarchus was known for his selection of material
The Avesta /əˈvɛstə/ is the primary collection of religious texts of Zoroastrianism, composed in the otherwise unrecorded Avestan language. The Avesta texts fall into different categories, arranged either by dialect. The principal text in the group is the Yasna, which takes its name from the Yasna ceremony, Zoroastrianisms primary act of worship. The most important portion of the Yasna texts are the five Gathas and these hymns, together with five other short Old Avestan texts that are part of the Yasna, are in the Old Avestan language. The remainder of the Yasnas texts are in Younger Avestan, which is not only from a stage of the language. Extensions to the Yasna ceremony include the texts of the Vendidad, the Visperad extensions consist mainly of additional invocations of the divinities, while the Vendidad is a mixed collection of prose texts mostly dealing with purity laws. Even today, the Vendidad is the liturgical text that is not recited entirely from memory. Some of the materials of the extended Yasna are from the Yashts, unlike the Yasna and Vendidad, the Yashts and the other lesser texts of the Avesta are no longer used liturgically in high rituals.
Aside from the Yashts, these lesser texts include the Nyayesh texts, the Gah texts, the Siroza. Together, these texts are conventionally called Khordeh Avesta or Little Avesta texts. When the first Khordeh Avesta editions were printed in the 19th century, the term Avesta is from the 9th/10th-century works of Zoroastrian tradition in which the word appears as Zoroastrian Middle Persian abestāg, Book Pahlavi ʾpstʾkʼ. In that context, abestāg texts are portrayed as received knowledge, the literal meaning of the word abestāg is uncertain, it is generally acknowledged to be a learned borrowing from Avestan, but none of the suggested etymologies have been universally accepted. The surviving texts of the Avesta, as they exist today and that master copy, now lost, is known as the Sassanian archetype. The oldest surviving manuscript of an Avestan language text is dated 1323 CE, summaries of the various Avesta texts found in the 9th/10th century texts of Zoroastrian tradition suggest that about three-quarters of the corpus has since been lost.
A pre-Sasanian history of the Avesta, if it had one, is in the realm of legend, the oldest surviving versions of these tales are found in the ninth to 11th century texts of Zoroastrian tradition. The legends run as follows, The twenty-one nasks of the Avesta were created by Ahura Mazda, Vishtaspa or another Kayanian, had two copies made, one of which was stored in the treasury, and the other in the royal archives. Following Alexanders conquest, the Avesta was supposedly destroyed or dispersed by the Greeks after they translated the scientific passages that they could make use of, the Denkard transmits another legend related to the transmission of the Avesta. In that story, credit for collation and recension is given to the early Sasanian-era priest Tansar, who had the works collected
Linear B is a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, the earliest attested form of Greek. The script predates the Greek alphabet by several centuries, the oldest Mycenaean writing dates to about 1450 BC. It is descended from the older Linear A, an earlier script used for writing the Minoan language, as is the Cypriot syllabary. Linear B, found mainly in the archives at Knossos, Pylos and Mycenae. The succeeding period, known as the Greek Dark Ages, provides no evidence of the use of writing and it is the only one of the prehistoric Aegean scripts to have been deciphered, by English architect and self-taught linguist Michael Ventris. Linear B consists of around 87 syllabic signs and over 100 ideographic signs and these ideograms or signifying signs symbolize objects or commodities. They have no value and are never used as word signs in writing a sentence. The application of Linear B appears to have been confined to administrative contexts, in all the thousands of clay tablets, a relatively small number of different hands have been detected,45 in Pylos and 66 in Knossos.
It is possible that the script was used only by a guild of professional scribes who served the central palaces, once the palaces were destroyed, the script disappeared. Linear B has roughly 200 signs, divided into syllabic signs with phonetic values, the representations and naming of these signs have been standardized by a series of international colloquia starting with the first in Paris in 1956. Colloquia continue, the 13th occurred in 2010 in Paris, many of the signs are identical or similar to those in Linear A, Linear A encodes an as-yet unknown language, and it is uncertain whether similar signs had the same phonetic values. The grid developed during decipherment by Michael Ventris and John Chadwick of phonetic values for syllabic signs is shown below, initial consonants are in the leftmost column, vowels are in the top row beneath the title. The transcription of the syllable is listed next to the sign along with Bennetts identifying number for the sign preceded by an asterisk, in cases where the transcription of the sign remains in doubt, Bennetts number serves to identify the sign.
The signs on the tablets and sealings often show considerable variation from each other, discovery of the reasons for the variation and possible semantic differences is a topic of ongoing debate in Mycenaean studies. Many of these were identified by the edition and are shown in the special values below. The second edition relates, It may be taken as axiomatic that there are no true homophones, the unconfirmed identifications of *34 and *35 as ai2 and ai3 were removed. Other values remain unknown, mainly because of scarcity of evidence concerning them, note that *34 and *35 are mirror images of each other but whether this graphic relationship indicates a phonetic one remains unconfirmed. In recent times, CIPEM inherited the authority of Bennett
Old Latin, known as Early Latin or Archaic Latin, refers to the Latin language in the period before 75 BC, before the age of Classical Latin. In New and Contemporary Latin, it is called prisca Latinitas rather than vetus Latina, the use of old and archaic has been standard in publications of Old Latin writings since at least the 18th century. The definition is not arbitrary, but the terms refer to writings with spelling conventions and this article presents some of the major differences. The earliest known specimen of the Latin language is from the Praeneste fibula, a new analysis performed in 2011 declared it to be genuine beyond any reasonable doubt and dating from the Orientalizing period, in the first half of the seventh century BC. The concept of Old Latin is as old as the concept of Classical Latin, viri prisci, old-time men, were the population of Latium before the founding of Rome. In the Late Latin period, when Classical Latin was behind them, Isidore of Seville reports a classification scheme that had come into existence in or before his time, the four Latins.
The scheme persisted with little change for some years after Isidore. Although the differences are striking and can be identified by Latin readers. Latin speakers of the empire had no reported trouble understanding Old Latin, except for the few texts that must date from the time of the kings, mainly songs. Thus, the laws of the Twelve Tables from the early Republic were comprehensible, there is no sharp distinction between Old Latin, as it was spoken for most of the Republic, and Classical Latin, but the earlier grades into the later. The end of the republic was too late a termination for compilers after Wordsworth, Charles Edwin Bennett said, bell, De locativi in prisca Latinitate vi et usu, Breslau,1889, sets the limit at 75 BC. A definite date is impossible, since archaic Latin does not terminate abruptly. Bennetts own date of 100 BC did not prevail but rather Bells 75 BC became the standard as expressed in the four-volume Loeb Library and other major compendia. Over the 377 years from 452 to 75 BC, Old Latin evolved from being partially comprehensible by classicists with study to being read by scholars.
Old Latin authored works began in the 3rd century BC and these are complete or nearly complete works under their own name surviving as manuscripts copied from other manuscripts in whatever script was current at the time. In addition are fragments of works quoted in other authors, numerous inscriptions placed by various methods on their original media survive just as they were except for the ravages of time. Some of these were copied from other inscriptions, no inscription can be earlier than the introduction of the Greek alphabet into Italy but none survive from that early date. The imprecision of archaeological dating makes it impossible to assign a year to any one inscription, some texts, that survive as fragments in the works of classical authors, had to have been composed earlier than the republic, in the time of the monarchy