Vedic & Mesopotamian Cross-Influences

Dir. Dr. Nicholas Kazanas

In this paper are examined systematically affinities between the Vedic and Mesopotamian cultures and possible cross-influences. There are common elements in some rituals of both. e.g. the horse sacrifice §4, divination, protection and purification §§26-29; also 11 clear cases in their religious texts, or mythology (7 wise men, Flood, Sungod's boat, etc) §§5-25. There are also parallels in their views ob kingship §30 and in other special matters like language, writing, mathematics, astronomy, cotton-cultivation and peacocks §§31-38; cotton and peacocks were certainly borrowed by Mesopotamia from Saptasindhu. The external, commercial interrelations are also discussed, §§39-40. Two criteria are used to judge the origin and antiquity of each of the items or themes discussed. The first and most important is the character of the elements compared: if a Vedic motif or theme is Indoeuropean, then, obviously, it is simpler to accept it as native to Ancient India than to conjecture borrowing from Mesopotamia. All Vedic items examined, except writing, astronomy and mathematics, which require different considerations, are of Indoeuropean provenance. The second criterion is that of native development with native elements and consequently, again, not requiring borrowing. Contrary to hitherto prevalent beliefs, the Vedic culture is shown to be self-sufficient in this respect imbued with Proto-Indoeuropean elements. As a corollary, Mesopotamia must have borrowed. The possibilities for such cross-influences are examined at length as also the possibility that both cultures are heirs of an older common culture §3,41.