The Languages of the Seat of War in the East; With a Survey of the Three Families of Language, Semitic, Arian, and Turanian

The Languages of the Seat of War in the East; With a Survey of the Three Families of Language, Semitic, Arian, and Turanian : With an Appendix on the Missionary Alphabet; [With an Ethnogr. Map]

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1855 edition. Excerpt: ...exhibit the the' first traces of a secondary formation in the spoken language of India, if compared with the more primitive Sanskrit. Yet Sanskrit continued for a long time after, the literary and sacred language of India; and in the present day the Brahmans are able to write and to speak it with the same facility as monks in the middle ages wrote and spoke Latin. We have the most elaborate Sanskrit grammars of the fourth century B. 0., and the two great epic poems, the Mahabharata and Ramayana, and the so-called Laws of Manu, date probably though not in their present form, from the same time. Another period of Sanskrit literature is generally considered as contemporaneous with the Augustan age of Rome, but the language in which the poems of Kalidasa, the chief poet of that time, are written, is of so artificial a structure, that it is impossible to believe this to have been at any time the spoken language of India. We find, in fact, that the same Kalidiis, when he represents scenes from real life, as in his plays, is obliged to let his heroines and inferior characters speak in the soft and melodious Prakrit idioms, while he reserves the more dignified and learned Sanskrit for Kings and Brahmans. A similar mixture of Latin and modern dialects is found in some of the plays of the middle ages. After Kalidasa there have been several revivals of Sanskrit literature at the courts of different princes, and up to our own times Sanskrit is read and written by the learned. But, since the days of Panini, in the fourth century, B. 0., the classical Sanskrit shows no longer signs of either growth or decay. It has ceased to live, and though it exists still like a mummy dressed in its own ceremonial robes, its vital powers are gone. Sanskrit more

Product details

  • Paperback | 78 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 4mm | 154g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236747844
  • 9781236747846