In 1786, Sir William Jones, a British judge in Calcutta noticed that there were striking similarities in the vocabulary and grammar of Sanskrit, Persian, Greek, Latin, Celtic, and Gothic. This discovery resulted in the creation of a new field called comparative linguistics which led scholars to believe that all these languages were derived from a pre-Indo-European language that had its origins somewhere in Northern Europe, Central Asia, Southern Russia, or basically anywhere but India.
According to Romila Thapar, Indo-European speakers had central Asia as their habitat, and gradually over many centuries, they branched out in search of fresh pastures. According to her, it is these central Asian migrants who wrote the Avesta
in Iran and Rig-Veda
in India. According to Thapar, there is an argument that people who migrated to India were dissidents of the Old Iranian, hence you find a significant reversal of meaning in concepts common to both Avesta
The Acorn recently had a post on the divergence of Persian and Indian cultures over values suggesting that Persians went for morals while Indians went for might. He quotes Rajesh Kochhar’s observations on the similarities between Avesta, the sacred texts of Zoroastrianism and Rig Veda. In this...