Rawlinson, H. G. Intercourse between India and the western world from the earliest times to the fall of Rome

(Cambridge :  University Press,  1916.)



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20                  The Persian Period.

Kaspapyrus, we may conclude that Hekataeus
came to know of India through the narrative of
Skylax. It is interesting to notice that the Greeks
talked of the " Indus " and " Indians," whereas
the inhabitants of the country itself spoke of
" Sindhu," " Sindhava." Later travellers noticed
this with surprise. " Indus incolis Sindus appel-
latus est," says Pliny, and the author of the Peri¬
plus says that the river is locally called Sinthus.
The Persians softened the initial s, more suo, to h
(the Avesta word is Hindu) ; the lonians, having
no aspirate, made the word into ""IvSos^-" The
word reached Greece through Persia. In the
same way, the Oriental nations heard chiefly of
the Greeks through the Ionian traders who had
colonized the coasts of Asia Minor. The word
for Greek in Hebrew^ and Sanskrit is Yavana, and
Yaund in old Persian. This must date from a
time when the digamma was still in use. It is a
literal transcript of 'JdFcov. Yona, the Prakrit
word, is not, of course, derived from Yavana, but
it is a separate rendering of "Icdv^.

1  Thus " India " is Greek, " Hindu " is Persian.

2  e.g. Ezekiel xxvii, i8, Isaiah lxxi, 19, etc. The Jews
identified the Javan of Genesis x, 2 with the lonians. So
Milton {P.L. 508):

" Ionian gods of Javan's issue held,"
^ The digamma, however, was lost as early as 800 B.C.
Hence it is possible that both Yavana and Yona are derived
from the old Persian Yaund.   Probably the Indians heard
first of the lonians through the Persians,
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