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Indian language and literature 印度的语言与文学

来源:知了英语 编辑:知了 时间:2017-04-02

One of the earliest known writing systems came from India, probably around 2500 BC. Unfortunately, we can't read the Harappan(哈拉帕的) writing yet. But we know people were using this writing to mark their property, so other people couldn’t steal it, and to keep track of(记录,保持联系) things. The writing was in pictographs(象形字) , like Egyptian hieroglyphs(象形文字,图画文字) .

After the Aryan(雅利安人) invasion, about 1500 BC, the Harappan writing was forgotten, and nobody in India could write at all for the next thousand years.

When people did start to write again, around 500 BC, it may have been an idea they got from seeing Persians(波斯人) write. But the Indians did not use Persian script(手迹,脚本) . Instead, they used an alphabetic writing(字母文字,拼音文字) called Sanskrit. One of the first things they wrote down was a poem called the Rig Veda(梨俱吠陀经) . There were three other Vedas as well but they are less famous. They also wrote down the Upanishads, which are commentaries(注释,评注) and explanations of the Vedas.

Around 300 BC, people wrote down the Ramayana, a long story about Prince Rama and his wife Sita. And they also wrote down the Mahabharata. Part of the Mahabharata is the Bhagavad Gita, a lot of advice about the law and how people should behave.

About the same time, people began to collect traditional stories called Jataka tales and write them down too. Most of these stories have a lesson or a moral: they are the origins of the English stories of Chicken Little and the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg and many others. Many of the GREek stories we know as Aesop's fables also come from older Jataka tales.


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