Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
.
Share
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address info@exoticindia.com.

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
|6
Your Cart (0)
Books > History > Ancient Gods and Heroes of East and West
Displaying 3526 of 4705         Previous  |  NextSubscribe to our newsletter and discounts
Ancient Gods and Heroes of East and West
Ancient Gods and Heroes of East and West
Description
Preface

The serendipitous discovery of familiar Indian traits and names on ancient Greek vases from Attika, was the starting point of a research delving into the question of the transfer of cultures between geographically distant civilizations. The first results of the studies were published (Vannucci, 1999b) in the annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. The study focused on the geographic spread of cultivated hexaploid wheat, or bread wheat, the commonest species of which is Triticum aestivum, over a vast area extending from Greece to India. From the "Fertile Crescent" where it originated as a natural hybrid not later than 6000 BC, it reached Greece towards the middle of the second millennium BC sand perhaps earlier.

The overall conclusion of the first study was that "it should have taken a very long time for hexaploid wheat, a natural hybrid, to spread spontaneously to far away geographic places; hence the important role of cultural exchanges."

The present study is a continuation of the search for common cultural traits, material or behavioural, between people with a common Indo-European ancestry but widely separated geographically- India in the East and Greece and the Hellenic world in the west. The study has been a fascinating journey into the past and the finding of survival of ancestral characteristics and habits into the present. I will try to relate my findings into as succinct a form as possible though the abundance of material could be the matter of several volumes.

This book started as a short note to be published as a paper. It is not meant to establish a link or correspondence between Vedic and Hellenic gods and heroes. It is essentially meant to show substantive similarities between ideas, concepts, rituals and celebrations of different people, inherited from early prehistoric times. The study also intends to analyse how different environments and contacts will people from different stocks caused divergence of the philosophies of East and West. Perhaps the reader will find some bias in the approach followed, inevitable as it comes from a professional researcher in scientific ecology.

No clear-cut limits can be drawn between basic attitudes and thoughts of East and West Indo-Europeans. The cultural traits of each group were modified to a certain extent by mixing and exchanges with people of different extraction who were the earlier inhabitants of the lands into which they migrated. However I believe that the study provides sufficient elements to identity ancestral ideas and customs that engendered the gods and myths of East and West. Inputs by pre-existing cultures into the newly arrived immigrants can be identified since they are present in one group and not in the other. The mixing of people of various origins produced a cultural synchretism at variance between East and though many of the difference can also be traced back to environmental and historic factors.

An attempt is also made to identify the causes of the divergent evolutions in East and West. Since evolution also means diversification and differential development, no attempt is made here to "recognize" the counterparts of gods and heroes of East and West. Indeed it is not possible to establish pairs of gods, one Indian or eastern, and one Greek or Western. There never is an exact correspondence, though Western authors have attempted, always unsuccessfully, to match pairs of gods and goddesses between East and West. What I do find is a meaningful parallelism of habits, gestures and techniques, as well as concepts and ideal representations of gods, though not their behaviour. The urge to participate in the cosmic drama when philosophy becomes religion, what Dandekar so aptly called "participatory magic," can be clearly perceived in cultic practices, ceremonies and rituals in East and West. Participatory magic is that which takes man from a being subservient to his god to a being who participates in the life and dynamics of the cosmos, as in the Vedic sacrifices, in the celebration of the Greek Mysteries or in the Eucharistic in the "sacrifice" of the Christian Mass.

The passage from philosophy to religion was discussed in the West by the principal schools philosophy of ancient Greece, the Stoics, the Epicureans, the Academicians, the Cynics and others, as summarized by Cicero in several studies, the most important being the "De Natura deorum" (= On the nature of the gods). At this time I will not enter into the discussion of other faiths and works, as for instance the imprint of ancient Semitic cultures on Christianity and tendencies of Catholicism. Christianity is not of Indo-European (IE) extraction or nature and it inherited fatalism from Judaism which became even stronger under Islam, where the word itself means "total submission to God." It took a long time for the West to accept partially and reluctantly the concept of the Liber arbitrium of the individual person. On the other hand, this was a subject rarely discussed in the East since it is an intrinsic idea of the concepts of dharma and karma.

This book refers exclusively to Indo-Europeans of East and West. Parallelism of myths and legends, specially of the early stage called the "heroic age" are obvious, but no identity or superposition of divinities or heroes is total and complete. The only general similarity refers to major nature gods, Dionysos and Demeter in the West and the abstract concepts of the Hindu Trinity in the East: Brahma and Sarasvati as life and Knowledge, Visnu and Laksmi as Beauty and Wealth and Siva and Parvati as Action and Grace. As Dionysos and Demeter cover the entire existence of material life-sustaining reality, so does the Hindu Trinity cover the understanding of the material and immaterial reality of all aspects of the life of men, women and children, in their intrinsic quality of creation, maintenance of nature's cycles and recycling or matter and energy. All of these are life-dependent virtual realities linked to the essence of Life without which nothing could exist (Vannucci 1999 c).

On the other hand, the eternal human quest for immortality has no parallel between East and West. In the East, immortality is achieved through great deeds of knowledge and wisdom, the ancient seven sages are deified and in the Indian tradition they live forever in the mind of man as the stars of the constellation of the Ursa Major. In the West man was influenced by Egyptian and Semitic beliefs, immortality of the body was sought but could not be achieved, and man felt frustrated ever since.

More space in allotted to the discussion of western Indo-European gods and heroes for the simple reason that the myths and legends related to Vedic gods and heroes are well known in India. To understand the full meaning of legends and myths it is essential to trace back their origin to find out how and why they were first created, what the background and environment that generated them was, what the symbolism and meaning under the beliefs and habits were of that time. It is for instance meaningful that archaic Rudra is "howling" and that primordial Dionysos is "noisy". Both were originally identified with the strong destructive winds of the steppes and of the mountains. Winds are overpowering forces to be respected, especially when nomadism was the rule and early settlements were precarious shelters. Also the primordial God of Mesopotamia was the God of Tempests. The Sun is everywhere recognised as the Life-giver and is described as "beautiful" generous and joyous" (St. Francis of Assisi) while fire, Lord Agni, gives light, warmth, and cooks food for better nutrition and is everywhere revered as the "most ancient."

As planned at first the book would include studies about Dionysos, Demeter, Visnu, Varuna and the common man and woman. The book should also include studies of the traditional heroes: Perseus, Herakles, the Pandavas and perhaps Hanuman, but it soon became evident that such an extensive enterprise should best be broken up into parts. We will deal here only with the Greek nature gods and some of the heroes of the Greek epics. Briefly we shall also deal with some of the Vedic gods and heroes for the sake of comparison.

I offer apologies for what could appear to be un-necessary repetitions, but such a complex subject as dealt with here needs to be considered from as many viewpoints as possible, hence the repetitions of acts and facts as seen from different angles.

I am deeply grateful to my many Indian friends of different sorts who helped me understand the meaning and thinking of the Indian way of life, its tolerance and faith, first among them the late Dr. Meenakshi Iyer. I am grateful to Dr. Rajesh Kochhar for the time he spent in fruitful conversations and for his constructive criticism. To Dr. H.K. Kaul, Director of the Library of the India International Centre in Delhi, I am indebted for the constant and free use of the library and its facilities and for the personal assistance given by Smt Sushma Zutshi in particular and all the staff. I am grateful to Dr. M. Cristina Guidotti, Director of the Egyptian Museum at Florence, Italy; to Dr. Marco Piccardi, Curator and Dr. Monica Zavattaro, Deputy Curator of the Anthropological Sector of the Natural History Museum of the University of Florence, Italy; and to Prof. F. Pecchioli Daddi, Professor of Egyptology at the University of Florence, for their generous and learned interaction. I am grateful to the National Library at Florence and to the Biblioteca Marucelliana, Florence, for their always prompt assistance and collaboration. To Mr. Ali Hooshmand, many thanks are due for the use of his personal library as also to my friend Jennifer Haslett for her patience and always interesting remarks. Last but not least I am extremely grateful to Prof. V. Giannellini of the University of Florence, for his unfailing help, constructive criticism and expert technical support.

Last and most important I wish to aknowledge the unfailing help and support received from Mr. Susheel Mittal on which I could always rely to report on the results of the studies of many years in different Universities and Museums in India and abroad.

From the Jacket

This book is a study of the people of the people of nomadic groups or clans of Central Asia from about 6000 BCE to the last millennium BCE to explore why cultures and history developed the way they did in Central Asia by taking up the Indo-European and other settlements – notably, the Greeks, the ancient Iranians and Indo-Aryans of the Indian subcontinent – for in-depth study. It deals with the quest for knowledge which led to evolution of cultures from simple primitive life to a society complex in structure, from philosophy to religion. The study of gods and heroes examines stories relating to migration and settlements and the geography of ancient civilizations. It is in this setting that their unique philosophies and religious beliefs flourished, giving rise to belief in numerous god and heroes. It discusses the myths and legends of the ancient cultures, highlighting names, deeds and events relating to honoured gods and much-praised heroes.

Dr. Marta Vannucci significantly concludes that both Indo-Aryan and Indo-Iranian people had been able to maintain their traditional customs and habits backed by technical developments up to the last centuries BCE. Throughout, she bases her observations on reliable information provided by archaeology substantiated by oral and written traditions of Central Asia, Greece and Rome.

The volume will be invaluable to scholars of history, anthropology and archaeology who are keen to systematically unravel the obscure origins of the great human civilizational march.

Dr. Marta Vannucci is a globally distinguished biological oceanographer who has been UNESCO's Senior Expert (Marine Sciences) and was a member of oceanographic research cruises in the Sough Atlantic and Indian Oceans. She has been engrossed in studies in the libraries, archives, museums and universities of Florence, Italy and Indian aided by a grasp over almost all Latin and Greek derived languages, English and German. She has been honoured with the prestigious Grand Cross of the "Order of Merit in Science" of Brazil. She is Italian born and has been resident in India since 1970.

CONTENTS
Preface vii
List of Figures xix
Transliteration Chart xxi
Introduction1
Part I – The Indo – Europeans of the Euro – Asian Steppes
(A) The Scenario 5
The Place 5
The People 7
Expansion of the Inhabited World11
Urban Development13
Cities and Language 14
Nomadism and Settlements15
Indo-European Settlements in East and West 18
Conclusion 21
(B) The Problem and the very Ancient Past 22
Mythology 22
Indo-European cultures 26
Evolution from the heroic times28
Sources 30
Conclusion 31
(C) Proto-history and Pre-history 36
Oral and written tradition37
Sources38
Fossil, archaeological and cultural remains39
The quest for knowledge 42
From philosophy to religion43
Expansion of the Indo-Europeans45
Conclusion48
(D) Evolution of Cultures and Ancient Historical Times 51
Sources and the passage form proto-history and pre-history to history57
Ancient historical cultures62
East and West 63
City States and villages 66
Increase of cultural diversification68
Geography and cultural syncretism71
In the East73
Gods and beliefs75
Oral tradition and factual findings 77
Conclusion79
Part II – Gods
(A) The Indelible Link Between Man and God 81
Gods and Truth83
Gods85
Nature Gods86
Homer and Hesiod87
Hesiod89
Traditional Gods90
From Pre-history to History91
The Indian and Greek Sources97
Mythology in the East99
Mythology in the West 101
Conclusion107
(B) Dionysos – The Forces and Vitality of all Nature 108
Nature Gods108
Dionysos, untamed Nature 111
The young God Dionysos113
The archaic God116
Urbanization of Dionysos118
Myths120
The mythical personalities of Dionysos122
Ancient poems about Dionysos and Dionysan rites 125
Dionysism, Orphism and Vedism 127
Evolution with time129
Nonnos and the Dionysos 130
Homeric hymns to Dionysos and Nonnos' other writings133
Legends about Dionysos136
Dionysos, Summary and Conclusions138
(C) Demeter – The Domestication of Nature 146
Mythology and pre-historic evidence147
The personality of Demeter148
Kore, daughter of Demeter150
Demeter and her cult152
Demeter's acts and mission154
The rites, the kykeon156
The Mysteries158
Demeter - Summary160
Dionysos and Demeter – Summary and Conclusions164
(D) Gods of the Indo – Europeans of he East 168
Agni and Atar170
The Greco – Roman tradition173
Rudra, the Maruts and the Vasus174
Maruts and Vasus177
Varuna, God179
Myths181
Asura183
Indra186
Gods of the Indo – Iranians 187
Avesta and Rgveda 188
Aryan Gods191
Gods of the Indo - Iranians192
Vendidad II196
Rgvedic and Avestan traditions198
Summary and Conclusions202
Part III – Heroes
(A) Heroes and Epic Poetry 208
Heroes, warriors and weapons213
Graeco – Roman culture and civilization217
Epic poetry220
(B) Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneis 223
The Iliad 227
The Odyssey232
The Aeneis 237
Graeco – Roman epics - Summary244
(C) The Thrust, Bagao and Balletys 246
(D) Herakles and Other Ancient Greek Heroes 254
(E) Heroes and Epics of the Indo – Aryans 258
(F) Ancient Indo – European Heroic Traits 268
1) Influence of non Indo – European cultures and the late Graeco – Roman civilization 269
2) Ancient Indo – European characteristics common to the Indo – Europeans of East and West275
Late Indo – European epics, ad age Dionysiacs and the Shah Namah287
Summary and Conclusions288
Part IV – Summary and Conclusions
(A) People and Environments 297
Migrations: Indo – Arya and Indo – Iranians 299
Migrations – The Indo – Iranians 302
Structured societies and architectural structures 304
Ecology 308
Indo – Europeans of the West 310
Autochthonous people312
Relict Indo – European populations in East and West 312
Summary 314
(B) Myths, Legends, History and Geography 315
The birth and use of myths315
The life and world of myths 317
Mythologies of fire319
Archaic myths 321
Archaic myths among relict societies 323
Archaic myths of East and West 324
The evolution of myths 325
The dawn of history 328
Evolution of knowledge and wisdom, pride and arrogance 332
(C) Destiny and Fate 334
Meaning of Fate and Destiny334
Free-will and will-power337
Fate and destiny among the Indo – Europeans of the West 338
Fate and destiny among the Indo – Europeans of the East341
Summary and conclusions342
(D) Philosophies and Religions 345
Philosophy and Religions 347
Indo-Europeans of the West348
The Graeco – Roman religion350
Sunset over the Olympian Theocracy352
Religion and civil lie in the West 353
Religious vacuum and natural philosophy354
Survival of traditional knowledge and wisdom 356
Nature Gods and Goddesses 359
Philosophy and religion among Indo – Europeans of the East362
Indo-Arya and Indo-Iranians 363
In conclusion364
(E) Gods and Heroes 365
Epilogue367
Notes375
Figures 423
Bibliography 435
Index445

Ancient Gods and Heroes of East and West

Deal 15% Off
Item Code:
IDJ813
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2007
Publisher:
D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
ISBN:
8124604134
Size:
9.0" X 6.0"
Pages:
490 (3 B/W Illustrations & 7 Maps)
Price:
$55.00
Discounted:
$46.75   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
You Save:
$8.25 (15%)
Add to Wishlist
Send as e-card
Send as free online greeting card
Ancient Gods and Heroes of East and West

Verify the characters on the left

From:
Edit     
You will be informed as and when your card is viewed. Please note that your card will be active in the system for 30 days.

Viewed 8267 times since 16th Oct, 2012
Preface

The serendipitous discovery of familiar Indian traits and names on ancient Greek vases from Attika, was the starting point of a research delving into the question of the transfer of cultures between geographically distant civilizations. The first results of the studies were published (Vannucci, 1999b) in the annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. The study focused on the geographic spread of cultivated hexaploid wheat, or bread wheat, the commonest species of which is Triticum aestivum, over a vast area extending from Greece to India. From the "Fertile Crescent" where it originated as a natural hybrid not later than 6000 BC, it reached Greece towards the middle of the second millennium BC sand perhaps earlier.

The overall conclusion of the first study was that "it should have taken a very long time for hexaploid wheat, a natural hybrid, to spread spontaneously to far away geographic places; hence the important role of cultural exchanges."

The present study is a continuation of the search for common cultural traits, material or behavioural, between people with a common Indo-European ancestry but widely separated geographically- India in the East and Greece and the Hellenic world in the west. The study has been a fascinating journey into the past and the finding of survival of ancestral characteristics and habits into the present. I will try to relate my findings into as succinct a form as possible though the abundance of material could be the matter of several volumes.

This book started as a short note to be published as a paper. It is not meant to establish a link or correspondence between Vedic and Hellenic gods and heroes. It is essentially meant to show substantive similarities between ideas, concepts, rituals and celebrations of different people, inherited from early prehistoric times. The study also intends to analyse how different environments and contacts will people from different stocks caused divergence of the philosophies of East and West. Perhaps the reader will find some bias in the approach followed, inevitable as it comes from a professional researcher in scientific ecology.

No clear-cut limits can be drawn between basic attitudes and thoughts of East and West Indo-Europeans. The cultural traits of each group were modified to a certain extent by mixing and exchanges with people of different extraction who were the earlier inhabitants of the lands into which they migrated. However I believe that the study provides sufficient elements to identity ancestral ideas and customs that engendered the gods and myths of East and West. Inputs by pre-existing cultures into the newly arrived immigrants can be identified since they are present in one group and not in the other. The mixing of people of various origins produced a cultural synchretism at variance between East and though many of the difference can also be traced back to environmental and historic factors.

An attempt is also made to identify the causes of the divergent evolutions in East and West. Since evolution also means diversification and differential development, no attempt is made here to "recognize" the counterparts of gods and heroes of East and West. Indeed it is not possible to establish pairs of gods, one Indian or eastern, and one Greek or Western. There never is an exact correspondence, though Western authors have attempted, always unsuccessfully, to match pairs of gods and goddesses between East and West. What I do find is a meaningful parallelism of habits, gestures and techniques, as well as concepts and ideal representations of gods, though not their behaviour. The urge to participate in the cosmic drama when philosophy becomes religion, what Dandekar so aptly called "participatory magic," can be clearly perceived in cultic practices, ceremonies and rituals in East and West. Participatory magic is that which takes man from a being subservient to his god to a being who participates in the life and dynamics of the cosmos, as in the Vedic sacrifices, in the celebration of the Greek Mysteries or in the Eucharistic in the "sacrifice" of the Christian Mass.

The passage from philosophy to religion was discussed in the West by the principal schools philosophy of ancient Greece, the Stoics, the Epicureans, the Academicians, the Cynics and others, as summarized by Cicero in several studies, the most important being the "De Natura deorum" (= On the nature of the gods). At this time I will not enter into the discussion of other faiths and works, as for instance the imprint of ancient Semitic cultures on Christianity and tendencies of Catholicism. Christianity is not of Indo-European (IE) extraction or nature and it inherited fatalism from Judaism which became even stronger under Islam, where the word itself means "total submission to God." It took a long time for the West to accept partially and reluctantly the concept of the Liber arbitrium of the individual person. On the other hand, this was a subject rarely discussed in the East since it is an intrinsic idea of the concepts of dharma and karma.

This book refers exclusively to Indo-Europeans of East and West. Parallelism of myths and legends, specially of the early stage called the "heroic age" are obvious, but no identity or superposition of divinities or heroes is total and complete. The only general similarity refers to major nature gods, Dionysos and Demeter in the West and the abstract concepts of the Hindu Trinity in the East: Brahma and Sarasvati as life and Knowledge, Visnu and Laksmi as Beauty and Wealth and Siva and Parvati as Action and Grace. As Dionysos and Demeter cover the entire existence of material life-sustaining reality, so does the Hindu Trinity cover the understanding of the material and immaterial reality of all aspects of the life of men, women and children, in their intrinsic quality of creation, maintenance of nature's cycles and recycling or matter and energy. All of these are life-dependent virtual realities linked to the essence of Life without which nothing could exist (Vannucci 1999 c).

On the other hand, the eternal human quest for immortality has no parallel between East and West. In the East, immortality is achieved through great deeds of knowledge and wisdom, the ancient seven sages are deified and in the Indian tradition they live forever in the mind of man as the stars of the constellation of the Ursa Major. In the West man was influenced by Egyptian and Semitic beliefs, immortality of the body was sought but could not be achieved, and man felt frustrated ever since.

More space in allotted to the discussion of western Indo-European gods and heroes for the simple reason that the myths and legends related to Vedic gods and heroes are well known in India. To understand the full meaning of legends and myths it is essential to trace back their origin to find out how and why they were first created, what the background and environment that generated them was, what the symbolism and meaning under the beliefs and habits were of that time. It is for instance meaningful that archaic Rudra is "howling" and that primordial Dionysos is "noisy". Both were originally identified with the strong destructive winds of the steppes and of the mountains. Winds are overpowering forces to be respected, especially when nomadism was the rule and early settlements were precarious shelters. Also the primordial God of Mesopotamia was the God of Tempests. The Sun is everywhere recognised as the Life-giver and is described as "beautiful" generous and joyous" (St. Francis of Assisi) while fire, Lord Agni, gives light, warmth, and cooks food for better nutrition and is everywhere revered as the "most ancient."

As planned at first the book would include studies about Dionysos, Demeter, Visnu, Varuna and the common man and woman. The book should also include studies of the traditional heroes: Perseus, Herakles, the Pandavas and perhaps Hanuman, but it soon became evident that such an extensive enterprise should best be broken up into parts. We will deal here only with the Greek nature gods and some of the heroes of the Greek epics. Briefly we shall also deal with some of the Vedic gods and heroes for the sake of comparison.

I offer apologies for what could appear to be un-necessary repetitions, but such a complex subject as dealt with here needs to be considered from as many viewpoints as possible, hence the repetitions of acts and facts as seen from different angles.

I am deeply grateful to my many Indian friends of different sorts who helped me understand the meaning and thinking of the Indian way of life, its tolerance and faith, first among them the late Dr. Meenakshi Iyer. I am grateful to Dr. Rajesh Kochhar for the time he spent in fruitful conversations and for his constructive criticism. To Dr. H.K. Kaul, Director of the Library of the India International Centre in Delhi, I am indebted for the constant and free use of the library and its facilities and for the personal assistance given by Smt Sushma Zutshi in particular and all the staff. I am grateful to Dr. M. Cristina Guidotti, Director of the Egyptian Museum at Florence, Italy; to Dr. Marco Piccardi, Curator and Dr. Monica Zavattaro, Deputy Curator of the Anthropological Sector of the Natural History Museum of the University of Florence, Italy; and to Prof. F. Pecchioli Daddi, Professor of Egyptology at the University of Florence, for their generous and learned interaction. I am grateful to the National Library at Florence and to the Biblioteca Marucelliana, Florence, for their always prompt assistance and collaboration. To Mr. Ali Hooshmand, many thanks are due for the use of his personal library as also to my friend Jennifer Haslett for her patience and always interesting remarks. Last but not least I am extremely grateful to Prof. V. Giannellini of the University of Florence, for his unfailing help, constructive criticism and expert technical support.

Last and most important I wish to aknowledge the unfailing help and support received from Mr. Susheel Mittal on which I could always rely to report on the results of the studies of many years in different Universities and Museums in India and abroad.

From the Jacket

This book is a study of the people of the people of nomadic groups or clans of Central Asia from about 6000 BCE to the last millennium BCE to explore why cultures and history developed the way they did in Central Asia by taking up the Indo-European and other settlements – notably, the Greeks, the ancient Iranians and Indo-Aryans of the Indian subcontinent – for in-depth study. It deals with the quest for knowledge which led to evolution of cultures from simple primitive life to a society complex in structure, from philosophy to religion. The study of gods and heroes examines stories relating to migration and settlements and the geography of ancient civilizations. It is in this setting that their unique philosophies and religious beliefs flourished, giving rise to belief in numerous god and heroes. It discusses the myths and legends of the ancient cultures, highlighting names, deeds and events relating to honoured gods and much-praised heroes.

Dr. Marta Vannucci significantly concludes that both Indo-Aryan and Indo-Iranian people had been able to maintain their traditional customs and habits backed by technical developments up to the last centuries BCE. Throughout, she bases her observations on reliable information provided by archaeology substantiated by oral and written traditions of Central Asia, Greece and Rome.

The volume will be invaluable to scholars of history, anthropology and archaeology who are keen to systematically unravel the obscure origins of the great human civilizational march.

Dr. Marta Vannucci is a globally distinguished biological oceanographer who has been UNESCO's Senior Expert (Marine Sciences) and was a member of oceanographic research cruises in the Sough Atlantic and Indian Oceans. She has been engrossed in studies in the libraries, archives, museums and universities of Florence, Italy and Indian aided by a grasp over almost all Latin and Greek derived languages, English and German. She has been honoured with the prestigious Grand Cross of the "Order of Merit in Science" of Brazil. She is Italian born and has been resident in India since 1970.

CONTENTS
Preface vii
List of Figures xix
Transliteration Chart xxi
Introduction1
Part I – The Indo – Europeans of the Euro – Asian Steppes
(A) The Scenario 5
The Place 5
The People 7
Expansion of the Inhabited World11
Urban Development13
Cities and Language 14
Nomadism and Settlements15
Indo-European Settlements in East and West 18
Conclusion 21
(B) The Problem and the very Ancient Past 22
Mythology 22
Indo-European cultures 26
Evolution from the heroic times28
Sources 30
Conclusion 31
(C) Proto-history and Pre-history 36
Oral and written tradition37
Sources38
Fossil, archaeological and cultural remains39
The quest for knowledge 42
From philosophy to religion43
Expansion of the Indo-Europeans45
Conclusion48
(D) Evolution of Cultures and Ancient Historical Times 51
Sources and the passage form proto-history and pre-history to history57
Ancient historical cultures62
East and West 63
City States and villages 66
Increase of cultural diversification68
Geography and cultural syncretism71
In the East73
Gods and beliefs75
Oral tradition and factual findings 77
Conclusion79
Part II – Gods
(A) The Indelible Link Between Man and God 81
Gods and Truth83
Gods85
Nature Gods86
Homer and Hesiod87
Hesiod89
Traditional Gods90
From Pre-history to History91
The Indian and Greek Sources97
Mythology in the East99
Mythology in the West 101
Conclusion107
(B) Dionysos – The Forces and Vitality of all Nature 108
Nature Gods108
Dionysos, untamed Nature 111
The young God Dionysos113
The archaic God116
Urbanization of Dionysos118
Myths120
The mythical personalities of Dionysos122
Ancient poems about Dionysos and Dionysan rites 125
Dionysism, Orphism and Vedism 127
Evolution with time129
Nonnos and the Dionysos 130
Homeric hymns to Dionysos and Nonnos' other writings133
Legends about Dionysos136
Dionysos, Summary and Conclusions138
(C) Demeter – The Domestication of Nature 146
Mythology and pre-historic evidence147
The personality of Demeter148
Kore, daughter of Demeter150
Demeter and her cult152
Demeter's acts and mission154
The rites, the kykeon156
The Mysteries158
Demeter - Summary160
Dionysos and Demeter – Summary and Conclusions164
(D) Gods of the Indo – Europeans of he East 168
Agni and Atar170
The Greco – Roman tradition173
Rudra, the Maruts and the Vasus174
Maruts and Vasus177
Varuna, God179
Myths181
Asura183
Indra186
Gods of the Indo – Iranians 187
Avesta and Rgveda 188
Aryan Gods191
Gods of the Indo - Iranians192
Vendidad II196
Rgvedic and Avestan traditions198
Summary and Conclusions202
Part III – Heroes
(A) Heroes and Epic Poetry 208
Heroes, warriors and weapons213
Graeco – Roman culture and civilization217
Epic poetry220
(B) Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneis 223
The Iliad 227
The Odyssey232
The Aeneis 237
Graeco – Roman epics - Summary244
(C) The Thrust, Bagao and Balletys 246
(D) Herakles and Other Ancient Greek Heroes 254
(E) Heroes and Epics of the Indo – Aryans 258
(F) Ancient Indo – European Heroic Traits 268
1) Influence of non Indo – European cultures and the late Graeco – Roman civilization 269
2) Ancient Indo – European characteristics common to the Indo – Europeans of East and West275
Late Indo – European epics, ad age Dionysiacs and the Shah Namah287
Summary and Conclusions288
Part IV – Summary and Conclusions
(A) People and Environments 297
Migrations: Indo – Arya and Indo – Iranians 299
Migrations – The Indo – Iranians 302
Structured societies and architectural structures 304
Ecology 308
Indo – Europeans of the West 310
Autochthonous people312
Relict Indo – European populations in East and West 312
Summary 314
(B) Myths, Legends, History and Geography 315
The birth and use of myths315
The life and world of myths 317
Mythologies of fire319
Archaic myths 321
Archaic myths among relict societies 323
Archaic myths of East and West 324
The evolution of myths 325
The dawn of history 328
Evolution of knowledge and wisdom, pride and arrogance 332
(C) Destiny and Fate 334
Meaning of Fate and Destiny334
Free-will and will-power337
Fate and destiny among the Indo – Europeans of the West 338
Fate and destiny among the Indo – Europeans of the East341
Summary and conclusions342
(D) Philosophies and Religions 345
Philosophy and Religions 347
Indo-Europeans of the West348
The Graeco – Roman religion350
Sunset over the Olympian Theocracy352
Religion and civil lie in the West 353
Religious vacuum and natural philosophy354
Survival of traditional knowledge and wisdom 356
Nature Gods and Goddesses 359
Philosophy and religion among Indo – Europeans of the East362
Indo-Arya and Indo-Iranians 363
In conclusion364
(E) Gods and Heroes 365
Epilogue367
Notes375
Figures 423
Bibliography 435
Index445
Post a Comment
 
Post Review
  • Author has spent a lot of time collecting information but has not really tried to make a logical case for the conclusions arrived in the book based on that information. Instead, again and again, the book gives the impression, that the author is trying to use the information presented to paint an already existing blue print/world view. If the author had tried to make a scholarly attempt to go with the information alone, many of the conclusions either can not be reached or worse, can be used to disprove the very conclusions reached by the author. The book was an interesting read but very disappointing to see the author present information leading to A != B but concluding A = B. An opportunity lost to stay in line with western view of origins of vedic and avestian cultures!!
    by Yash on 17th Dec 2011
Post a Query
For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Related Items

Epic Women (East and West)
by Maeve Hughes
Hardcover (Edition: 2015)
The Asiatic Society
Item Code: NAL521
$25.00
Rishis, Mystics and Heroes of India (Volume 1)
Deal 10% Off
by Sadhu Mukundcharandas
Hardcover (Edition: 2006)
Swaminarayan Aksharpith
Item Code: IDC104
$30.00$27.00
You save: $3.00 (10%)
Glimpses Of Indian Culture: Ancient And Modern
by Dr. Pratap Chandra Chunder
Hardcover (Edition: 2007)
Indian Museum (Kolkata)
Item Code: NAD911
$30.00
Gods and the World
by Kireet Joshi
Paperback (Edition: 2006)
Indian Council of Philosophical Research & Popular Media, Delhi
Item Code: NAC217
$25.00
Surya the Sun God
by Shakti M. Gupta
Hardcover (Edition: 2008)
Somaiya Publications Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: IDL163
$25.00
Warfare in Ancient India (In Historical Outline)
by Soma Basu
Hardcover (Edition: 2014)
D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: NAF943
$40.00
A Cultural History of India
by Edited By: A. L. BASHAM
Paperback (Edition: 2015)
Oxford University Press
Item Code: IDF960
$30.00
India as Known to Kautilya and Megasthenes
by S. R. Goyal
Hardcover (Edition: 2001)
Kusumanjali Book World
Item Code: IDJ539
$41.50
The History and Culture of the Indian People (Set of XI Volumes)
by R.C. Majumdar
Hardcover (Edition: 2010)
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
Item Code: NAJ001
$355.00
Lila (Set of 6 Volumes)
by Vanamali
Hardcover
Aryan Books International
Item Code: NAK404
$175.00
The Complete Works of Sister Nivedita (Set of 5 Volumes)
Hardcover (Edition: 2012)
Advaita Ashrama
Item Code: NAE965
$90.00
The Illustrated Cultural History of India
by A.L. Basham
Paperback (Edition: 2014)
Oxford University Press
Item Code: NAI143
$30.00
Annals and Antiquites of Rajasthan (Set of 3 Volumes)
by James Tod and William Crooke
Hardcover (Edition: 2010)
Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: NAF167
$40.00

Testimonials

I’ve received my blue scarf and I am delighted. I am impressed by your professionalism. Thank you so much! I will place another order soon.
Celine, France
Received the consignment in time. Excellent service. I place on record your prompt service and excellent way the product was packed and sent. Kindly accept my appreciation and thanks for all those involved in this work. My prayers t the Almighty to continue the excellent service for the many more years to come. Long live EXOTIC INDIA and its employees
N.KALAICHELVAN, Tamil Nadu
A very thorough and beautiful website and webstore. I have tried for several years to get this Bhagavad Gita Home Study Course from Arshavidya and have been unable. Was so pleased to find it in your store!
George Marshall
A big fan of Exotic India. Have been for years and years. I am always certain to find exactly what I am looking for in your merchandise.
John Dash, western New York, USA
I just got my order and it’s exactly as I hoped it would be!
Nancy, USA.
It is amazing. I am really very very happy with your excellent service. I received the book today in an awesome condition. Thanks again.
Shambhu, New York.
Thank you for making available some many amazing literary works!
Parmanand Jagnandan, USA
I have been very happy with your service in selling Puranas. I have bought several in the past and am happy with the packaging and care you exhibit. Thank you for this Divine Service.
Raj, USA
Thank you very much! My grandpa received the book today and the smile you put on his face was priceless. He has been trying to order this book from other companies for months now. He only recently asked me for help and you have made this transaction so easy. My grandpa is so happy he wants to order two more copies. I am currently in the process of ordering 2 more.
Rinay, Australia
I would just let you know that today I received my order. It was packed so beautifully and what lovely service.
Caroline, Australia
TRUSTe online privacy certification
Language:
Currency:
All rights reserved. Copyright 2016 © Exotic India