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Ancient Signs

Ancient Signs

The Alphabet & the Origins of Writing

My new print & ebook
shows that modern alphabets are based on ancient alphabets rooted in syllabic scripts of the ancient world (Sumer, Egypt, Iran, Anatolia, Crete, Cyprus)

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Hydra - See the figure inside?

Vedic Sanskrit LexiLine? Logo Speakers & Stars
LexiLine - A Renaissance in Learning

by F. Graham Millar
Halifax Centre, RASC (Royal Astronomical Society of Canada)
Website use with permission of the late copyright-holding author and based on the author's significant pioneer article which appeared in the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 89, No. 4, Aug. 1995, pp.141-154.

The Speakers of Sanskrit Named the Constellations

Sanskrit Meanings of the Irish Names of Heroes
and comparable Biblical Protagonists.

Millar Chart

The chart above summarizes some of the etymological information pertaining to the names of the gods in the David and Goliath myths, and provides evidence that their roots are to be found in Sanskrit, now a dead language but once the original language of the Indo-European languages. The gods and the stories about them must therefore be of deep antiquity, not inconsistent with the date of 3500 BC established here for the origin of the myth (see the analysis of Ancient Star Positions subsequently).

Renfrew (1989) reviewed the origin and spread of the Indo-Europeans and their languages. As he showed, the Indo-Europeans migrated out of a homeland north and northeast of the Black Sea as mounted warriors in the hypothetical Kurgan Invasion of about 4000 BC, and reached Greece about 3500 BC.

These dates are again not inconsistent with the present dating of the myth. As these people spread from India to Iceland, their speech evolved into distinct languages. The Celtic language area extended from around the Black Sea, through southwestern Europe, and north into Ireland and Scotland.

It should therefore not be surprising to find that the names of the David and Goliath figures have Sanskrit roots.

The Greek poet Aratus, in composing his poem The Phaenomena, is believed to have based his astronomical references on an already antique celestial sphere known as the sphere of Eudoxus.

Ovenden (1966) agreed with Maunder (1908) in his analysis of the sphere. There was a "zone of avoidance" in the far southern hemisphere so located that, around 2700 BC, an observer at about latitude 35° N to 37° N would not be able to see the stars in that part of the sky. The boundaries of the zone establish the latitude of the "constellation-makers" and date the making of the sphere.

A subsequent study by Roy (1984) agreed on the implied latitude for the constellation-makers. Both Maunder and Ovenden noted that, on the sphere, snake constellations denoted important circles, e.g. Hydra marked the celestial equator of 3000 BC. Both authors concluded that the constellations were already named by 2700 BC. If so, they could have been named much earlier. Except for the most southerly, they could have been formulated by a people dwelling upwards of latitude 45 ° N.

As far north as that and farther, all the stars and constellations named here would have been visible. Gurshtein (1993), in fact, has argued for an earlier origin for many of the zodiacal constellations, which is consistent with a possible origin with the ancient Indo-Europeans. While still in their original homeland they could have named most of the constellations.

That they named the associated gods in Sanskrit makes a key point likely - it was the Indo-Europeans who delineated the constellations. This is not to say that they formed them or named them entirely as we know them today.

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