The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Aryan golden-age?

So I've read this article - a duet of articles, really (h/t). It's interesting; better than I thought it'd be. But still slightly tendentious.

The Indian author(s) don't think much of the late Romans and Byzantines up to 842ish - but at least one of the authors also thinks poorly of the modern Hindu fundamentalists. They give credit to Muslims who did achieve great works (Biruni, Khwarizmi) but also point out these Muslims did it in spite of contemporary Islam-as-structure.

My complaint is that the two seem to have a soft-spot for the Sasanians. Claims that the Sasanians presided over their own forgotten 'golden age' seem overblown at best. The Persian-born dynasty did, yes, manage to handle their religious minorities with tolerance... some of the time. I recall that both Christians and Jews maintain stories of Sasanian persecutions in Iraq. I also recall that when the Sasanian empire fell, most of its subjects didn't work too hard to restore it.

As for the Sasanian reputation for scholarship: I'm aware of medical science in Iraq after the Sasanians had been booted out. That was when M√Ęsargawayh translated Ahrun's Pandects from Syriac. Ahrun was, himself, an Alexandrine - of the 600s AD. So it seems to me that the later Iraqis thought that Sasanian medical-science was inferior to that being produced in the Byzantine-run Egyptian Delta.

It reads like these Indians are aiming to replace an Arabic golden-age myth with an Indo-Iranian myth.

posted by Zimri on 19:18 | link | 0 comments

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