Monday, April 07, 2008

Gods and Demons

The Avestan word ahura, which refers to a group of deities, is cognate with the Sanskrit word asura, which is used of demons. When I first discovered this, I was surprised, because I had learned that the Sanskrit word sura was used of gods. It seems that the ancient Indians, at some point, thought that the word-initial "a" was privative, which it was not.


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