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Re: maize and ancient numeration in ancient India

In article <Pine.HPP.3.91.961228085545.26287B-100000@gaia.ecs.csus.edu>,
Milo Gardner <gardnerm@gaia.ecs.csus.edu> wrote:

>A broader re-titling of this thread seems appropriate, right?

Um, well, also maybe a revision of the cross-post line?  (For now omitting
humanities.language.sanskrit, though I'm not sure about that, and any
hypothetical history-of-math group.)  I'm honestly unsure where to set
followups, for which I apologise.

>On Sat, 28 Dec 1996, Milo Gardner wrote:
>> Yuri speaks of maize as the best leading indictor that he can
>> imagine. Well, I can offer zero being given to India ,as the
>> Vedic texts list Maya. 

Please be more specific.  The term "maya" is pretty familiar as having
religious meanings in Buddhist and, I presume, Vedic literature.  Do you
mean that term?  Or do you mean that Maya words for themselves, or other
Maya words, are to be found in the Vedic corpus?

I don't claim the expertise to evaluate such claims, which is why I'm
hoping someone in sci.lang can help.  But clarity is definitely necessary

>> If the Maya reference in India is well known in other situations,

Um, no, not so far as I've seen.

>> I'd like to particularly cite a Historia Mathematica journal
>> 'reviews of papers' submitted by Dr. Gupta, on or about Feb. 1994.
>> In that article a Ph.D. candidate was researching the history of
>> the symbol zero - not the concept that clearly goes back
>> to 1800 BC (Egypt, the RMP and Babylon, Plimpton Tablet).
>> Without having the article at hand, all that I recall is that
>> the Vedic section that cited Maya was read as Ptolemy - a
>> gross mis-reading if I ever saw one.

Again you're unclear.  Who was engaged in this misreading?  Dr. Gupta?  
The Ph.D. candidate?  Somebody they cited and debunked?  Does your
reference, in other words, argue for or against the view you're stating? 
and if the latter, who does argue for it?

I must admit that from what I *have* read of the Vedic works (in
translation), I'd be flabbergasted to see a reference to Ptolemy in any of

Or the Maya.

Awaiting more informed views than mine...

Joe Bernstein
Joe Bernstein, writer, banker, bookseller joe@sfbooks.com
speaking for myself alone http://www.tezcat.com/~josephb/
But...co-proponent for soc.history.ancient, now back under
discussion in news.groups!

Follow-Ups: References: