India And The Germans, 500 Years of Indo-German Contacts -by Walter Leifer

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Between India and the Germanic West of Europe exist ancient ties, especially in the sphere of language. Indo-Germanic research,attempting to clarify these relations from the German intellectual
area, have drawn attention to the primeval age of the Indo-Germanic peoples. Thanks to the philological research methods developed especially by Frânz Bopp (C 114), we now know the
laws of sound, structure and basic words of the original Indo-Germanic language which even in its early phase shows a division- recognizable by the word ‘hundred into the Centum- and Satem-dialect groups. While the Eastern group of the Satem languages comprises Iranian, Phrygian, Armenian, Thracian,
Albanian and the Baltic, Slavonic and Indo-Aryan langdages,the Centum group embraces in the West, in addition to Greek Illyrian, Tocharian and Hethite, the Celtic, Italic and Germanic languages. Besides the difference in dialect, a further social division of the early Indo-Germanic peoples into Western plough-men and Eastern nomad shepherds can be traced. However,this social division does not always correspond to the language
division into the Centum- and Satem-language groups, though nowadays this is no longer very marked. From the original Indo-Germanic area, which is to be found somewhere between
the Caspian Sea and the Lake of Aral, came peoples who imposed their sense of form, their idiom and their politico-social organization on many strata of populations of different race and language,and thereby developed into a special kind of actors on the world stage whose significance and stature went on increasing.Generally accepted views have long prevailed as to the cradle
of the Indo-Germanic peoples, which is mostly assumed to be in the southern Siberian area, but even extending this, in the areas between the southern Urals and the Central European Uplands. These views have been briefly summarized by, among others, Henne am Rhyn of Switzerland in his Kulturgeschichte
des deutschen Volkes (Cultural History of the German People,C 81, 3-4):
Yet according to the common legends and vocabulary of the Aryan peoples and languages, we are able to assume with approximate reliability at any rate the following about the unknown cradle of these languages: it was a rather cold and bleak land in which ice, snow, clouds, fog and rain were familiar and winds frequent. The country was mountainous;
there were summits called ‘teeth’, rocky clefts and gorges (Sanskrit and Norse gap), swamps, rivers, lakes and ponds. It is doubtful whether the land bordered on the sea.

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