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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India and the IVest                159

" everything points to the conclusion that Indian
philosophy came from Greece." The resemblances,
superficially very striking, are often, on thorough
investigation, found to be far less complete than
they appear to be at first sight. As for the theory
of Metempsychosis, it has been found to exist
among many early races. The Celts, for instance,
believed in it, as Julius Caesar discovered^. The
legend said to be inscribed upon king Arthur's

Hie iacet Arthurus, Rex quondam Rexque futurus,

is one of the many traces, often overlaid by
Christianity, of the original Celtic belief in this
doctrine. Yet no one will be disposed to contend
that the Celts borrowed it from the Greeks. It is
far more probable that the belief was a common
one among early peoples, and held by Celts and
Thracians alike, long before the Greeks acquired it.
India was totally unaffected by Greece before
the days of Alexander. Between the two countries
lay the unsurmountable barriers of vast seas,
deserts, mountains and hostile nations; these
alone would have made intercourse impossible,
without the obstacles of an alien tongue and
mutual exclusiveness. On the other hand, as
we have already seen, there had been a long and
continuous intercourse between India and the great
nations of Asia Minor. Yet, as we have stated in
a previous chapter, the traces of this contact are

1 De Bello Gallico, vi. 14. 5.
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