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Beth a n y Deibler LIN 4300, Midter m Dr.

Ziem a n n May 13, 2010


1. When discussing Aryan languages in the Indian Subcontinent In the fifth chapter of our text, Prof. Nicholas Ostler chose to call the section covering the character and use of Sans rit! "#har$ing li e a #reeper%. Please, explain. &' brief, una$biguous, pithy, universal, non( superfluous and faultless the sutra no)n to the sutra( sages.

Paribha s a The phra s e char mi n g like a cre e p e r refers to a cree pin g plant in that it slowly invad e s other plac e s . Sanskrit is the langu a g e that was comp a r e d to this cre e pin g plant as it slowly mov e d in amo n g the other langu a g e s . It start e d out in a rath e r insignifican t part of north e r n India and ste a dily spre a d throu g h trad e mos tly to the eas t. It is differe n t tha n oth er major langu a g e s in that ther e was no violent enforc e m e n t of the langu a g e . This is also an attribu t e of a plant, as we nev er think of plants being violent things. lants, as well as Sanskrit simply survive d throu g h o u t history. !lso, it is "uite differe n t from oth er ancie n t langu a g e s in that it has retain e d the original struct ur e , with the only chan g e being in the vocab ul a r y as new words are add e d . #ost langu a g e s will chan g e or die out of $,%%% years , but Sanskrit survive d with minim al chan g e s . Sanskrit is also comp a r e d to a cree pin g plant in that it is consid e r e d som e w h a t lu&urious. The high nobles and people with pres tig e knew and used Sanskrit. It was a sign of stat u s and often ass ocia t e d with cert ain religions. It was originally use d by the 'edas, and later ata nj ali, who were see n as sup er( nat ur al hum a n s who had control over ma n y things. Thes e people were proud of their langu a g e and insure d that it was us ed correc tly. roper beh a vior was enco ur a g e d to be use d along with the langu a g e . #uch of the idea s and thoug h t s behin d Sanskrit and the use of the langu a g e originat e d in the myt h s and stories of their gods) thes e were also closely relat e d to the religion of the peopl e. The langu a g e is like a cre e p e r, in the non( violent way it spre a d throu g h o u t India and into !sia. It is also char min g in that it was use d by the high officials.
*. Prof. Ostler clai$s that Sans rit linguistic culture )as strongly a$bivalent about the value of )riting. +eliance on language in its )ritten for$ )as seen as crippling, and not giving true control over linguistic content. ,ence this saying! -he seller of the .edas, the $isreader s of the .edas, -he )riter of the .edas, all go on the path to hell.

Maha b h ar ata
,o) did this e$phasis on rote learning of all principal texts, the "/udicious use of $ne$onic techni0ues% 1Ostler, 1234, further the spread of Sans rit beyond the boundaries of the Indian subcontinent5

Beth a n y Deibler LIN 4300, Midter m Dr. Ziem a n n May 13, 2010 The langu a g e was see n as crippling the langu a g e when writte n down. The Indian people were proud of their ability to me m o ri* e things and view e d it as la*y when people wrot e things down so they didn+t hav e to rem e m b e r the m anym o r e . The people of ancie n t India did not see the value in writing. They ass u m e d that their tales, myth s , prover b s , etc. could be rem e m b e r e d and pas s e d on orally) how ev e r, this is how the majority of the s e stories hav e be e n lost and chan g e d . ,ote learnin g has a special "uality in that peopl e don+t nee d to learn a special skill to utili*e it. !s soon as a child can spe a k, he begins me m o ri*ing things. -ontr a s tin gly, for writing, it is import a n t for the child to be tau g h t by som e o n e else. Thus, langu a g e spre a d s much "uicker and easier when it is all in rote as not ma n y people were literat e in that time. #nemo nic tech ni" u e s such as a song or danc e can be learn e d by any healt h y hum a n . Trad er s who were busy all year long could easily learn thes e things thus spre a din g the langu a g e wher e v e r their trav els took the m. In som e ways, this way of langu a g e e&p a n sio n would work bett e r tha n pas sing it along in writte n te&t bec a u s e the societie s of the time gen e r ally were not literat e and didn+t hav e time to learn to rea d and write.
3. 6ntil their independence in A7 12*1, the 8ree s had only ever been united politically in the after$ath of /oint con0uest by so$e outsider. 1Ostler, *314 9et )hen responding to Sparta urging an alliance to resist the Persians, in :2; <#, the Athenians said! "-here is no)here so $uch gold or a country so outstanding in beauty and $erit that )e should be )illing to ta e it as a re)ard for going over to the =edes and so enslaving 8reece. In fact there are $any i$portant things stopping us fro$ doing that even if )e )anted to' and again there is 8ree ness, being of the sa$e blood and language, and having shared shrines and rituals of the 8ods, and si$ilar custo$s, )hich it )ould not be right for the Athenians to betray. %

Herod ot u s, viii, 142-4


,o) did this attitude further the spread of 8ree 8reece5 language and culture beyond

The .reek s were very proud of their herita g e and traditions and were too prou d to associat e or ally with the Spart a n s . They want e d to keep their shrine s , rituals, and similar custo m s of the gods to be .reek and stay .reek. They want e d their bloodline s and anc e s t r y to be pure .reek. Sharing their cultur e with som e o n e else was not an option. /evert h el e s s , the .reeks were involve d in ma n y wars. !fter winning, they would enslav e the peopl e who would then learn the .reek langu a g e . 0therwis e, they would claim the land that was won and rule over it by using the .reek langu a g e , forcing the people to learn the langu a g e if they want e d any say in the rules that gover n e d the m. The .reek real m start e d in .reec e and att e m p t e d to spre a d to the 1est. They were not as succe s sf ul as they hop e d to be and only rem ain e d in the sout h e r n tip of Italy and a small bit of

Beth a n y Deibler LIN 4300, Midter m Dr. Ziem a n n May 13, 2010 sout h e r n 2ranc e. #ost of their con"u e rin g, tradin g, and trav eling end e a v o r s were mor e succe s sf ul to the 3ast. The .reek s con"u e r e d the Seleucid 4ingdo m, 5actria and into the South e r n parts as well, such as 3gypt. 1ith the m went the .reek langu a g e that they were very proud of. They called any foreign e r a 5arbaric bec a u s e all they could mak e from their langu a g e was an incom p r e h e n s i bl e bar- bar soun d coming out of their mout h s . They downpla ye d all the langu a g e s of the people they con" u e r e d to be simply imitation s of anim als and nothing intellige n t. 1ith this engr ain e d in their pers o n alities, ther e is no way they could ever stoop to learn one of thes e inferior langu a g e s . 6enc e, they pres s u r e d the peopl e into learning .reek. !nd so the .reek langu a g e spre a d acros s the world.
:. -he 0uote belo) has often been called "-he =ission State$ent of the +o$an but it is $ore since .irgil defines the roles +o$ans and con0uered people )ill play in " ?uture +o$e% by tying their talents to their language1s4. Please, co$$ent. "Others )ill ha$$er out $ore finely bron@e that breathes 1I do not doubt4, )ill dra) fro$ $arble faces live, Will plead court cases better, and use rods to $easure out -he )anderings of the s y and constellationsA riseB 9ou +o$an, $ind to rule peoples at your co$$and 1these arts )ill be yours4, to i$pose the )ay of peace, to spare the con0uered, and to battle do)n the proud.%

>$pire%,

Virgil, The Aenei d , vi. 8 4 0nce the .reek societ y had decline d, and the ,oma n s had take n control over the .reek empir e, the ,oma n s were so involve d in the affairs of the .reek that a tot al pen e t r a ti o n of .reek cultur e bec a m e ,ome+s cultur e as well. Inste a d of cre a tin g their own cultur e, the ,oma n s borrow e d and continu e d adding to the .reek+s. Thus, ma n y ,oma n s were bilingu al in .reek and 7atin. 6owev er, the ,oma n s were into pow er. They enjoye d con" u e rin g oth er people s and being in control. 1hen you think of ancien t ,ome, how ev e r, you also think of big stat u e s and te m pl e s . Thes e cam e from the .reek part of the ,oma n s . .reek was used for the arts. The educ a t e d people in ,ome were the bilingu al ones who were well vers e d in poetr y and the arts. Scienc e was also a purs uit of the .reek s. Thes e two societies collided and bec a m e the .raec o( ,oma n mi&. The .raeco refers to the pleas u r e s in life such as eatin g, drinking, dancin g, and arts in gen e r al. The ,oma n refers to the order and gover n m e n t of the people. Sen a t e and the army were ,oma n . Thus, the first half of the "uot e by 'irgil refers to the .reek n e s s of the ,oma n people. The peopl e who m they hav e con"u e r e d will beco m e the artists, musicia n s , and scientis ts . The secon d half

Beth a n y Deibler LIN 4300, Midter m Dr. Ziem a n n May 13, 2010 refers to 8ou ,oma n which is talking abou t the battle scarr e d warriors and rulers of the people. 1hile .reek was still used at the beginnin g of the ,oma n rule, it bec a m e less and less as the ,oma n s ass er t e d their pow er over the mor e and more peopl e. 2or this rea s o n , muc h of the ancie n t scientific and artistic works we hav e toda y are in 7atin.
C. In a satire on the )ay the 1+o$an4 )orld had gone $ad 1in the second century A74, Duvenal )rote% "-oday the )hole )orld has its 8ree and +o$an AthensB

-he elo0uent 8auls have taught the <ritish to be advocates, and -hule is tal ing of hiring an oratory teacher.%

!uven al, "atires, #v. 11$-112


Please, co$$ent )hat this 0uote fro$ Duvenal 1and others Ostler provides4 say about the spread of 8ree and +o$an culture and language to 8aul and to <ritain.

.reek s and ,oma n s influenc e d the whole world. 1ith their invasions of every part of the world they could reach, they spre a d the 7atin langu a g e . 9nlike Sanskrit that just survive d and ma d e its way to differe n t parts of the world, the ,oma n s consciously and forcibly att e m p t e d to spre a d their langu a g e to other parts of the world. They set up schools to teac h the foreign e r s the arts and the langu a g e . 0stler "uot e s from Tacitus who did not approv e of this new people or the langu a g e they brou g h t with the m. 6e not e s in disgus t that the 5ritish were beginnin g to dres s like the ,oma n s in tog a s too: The ,oma n s thou g h t they were making the world a mor e civili*ed plac e by educ a tin g all the s e barb a ric and foreign people. It could easily be argu e d that they simply want e d mor e pow er over mor e people. The .auls also adop t e d the 7atin langu a g e after being invad e d and con" u e r e d by the ,oma n s . In the "uot e from ;uven al, it see m s that he is fed up with the ideal of the ,oma n s and e&a g g e r a t e s that Thule, which may me a n the /orth ole, may as well be learning 7atin too. The .auls had adop t e d 7atin a bit earlier, and after fighting back for a while, att e m p ti n g to pres e r v e their langu a g e and cultur e, gav e up. They simply att a c h e d on to the ,oma n cultur e and left behind their old langu a g e and cultur e which has bee n lost tod a y entirely. 1hile the 5ritish also fought back initially, they continu e d their fight for their langu a g e and cultur e throu g h the teac hin g of 7atin.