Antiquity of the Jat race

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by Ujagar Singh Mahil

Delhi (1954)


Section 1 : Sources of Jat history and their country

Unparalleled bravery mixed with frankness, rough good nature, pride and amusing naivety which have been distinguishing characteristics of Jat race through ages, were quite sufficient for attracting the deep attenntion of the Historians of all ages. This brave race was fortunate to be the neighbor of cultured Greeks who were the first in the world to write authentic and detailed histories of antiquity. The ancient Jat History would have been drowned in oblivion if there had been no Herodotus who was rightly called the Father of History. This Greek luminary requires more than passing attention. All modern men of letters read his voluminous works. His whole intellectual life was spent in writing about the events of not only his own times, but also of the centuries preceding his time. The correctness of his works has been confirmed by the recent discoveries of the monuments of Babylon and Nineveh excepting one philological mistake which was not intentional and which will be described in detail later on.

Section 2 : Herodotus

This wonderful man was born about 484 BC in a Greek city of Asia Minor, Halicarnassus, which was under the overlordship of the Jat empire of Manda. Here he was able to obtain and read and study manuscripts of nearly everything that had been written in the Greek language before his time. He traveled widely with freedom and comfort about the Greek archipelagos. He went to Babylon and to Susa the new capital the Persians had set up in Babylonia to the east, of the Tigris, the monuments of which are now being unearthed by Dr. Girshmann, Chief of the French Archaeological Mission in Susa. He also toured along the coast of the Black Sea and accumulated a considerable amount of knowledge about Jats called Scythian Getae, who were then distributed over south Russia. He went to the south of Italy, explored the antiquities of Tyre, coastal Palestine, landed at Gaza, and made a long stay in Egypt.

As his knowledge accumulated he conceived the idea of writing a great history of the attempts of Persia to subdue Greece. But in order to introduce that history he composed an account of the past of Greece, Persia, Assyria, Babylonia, Egypt, Scythia—the original Jat country—and of the geography and peoples of these countries. It is from this wonderful historian that we learn about the most interesting Jat Empire of Manda with its capital at Ecbatana, the modern Hamadan in Persia. The succeeding Persian Empire, the most powerful in antiquity, was only an offshoot of this Jat Empire. This will be described in detail in a subsequent chapter.

Section 3 : Monuments of Babylon and Assyria

The most important evidence about Jat history is contained in the ruins of ancient Babylon, Nineveh and other places of Assyria. It must be remembered that the said cities of Mesopotamia are considered by historians to be the cradle of human civilization. It was here that the first civilization began at the time when in Europe "wild in woods the naked savage ran". How at such an early prehistoric time the record of human activity could be preserved is a wonder of wonders and requires to be described in detail. The records of that time were kept in cuneiform characters which was a script considered to have been invented by that mysterious race of Sumerians about the origin of which we so far know nothing and who ruled Mesopotamia in pre-historic times. This script was adopted by their Semitic successors of the Empire of Babylon and Assyria. There was no paper at that time. The records were etched on clay tablets, which were then baked in fire. These tablets are now being unearthed from the ruins of the above mentioned cities. The non-existence of paper at that time has proved to be most fortunate for the antiquarian; because if there had been paper, all literature of that time would have been lost. The Cuneiform script having been extinct in the world, no body knew now to read it, because there was no key to decipher it. All the tablets and monuments, therefore, remained a sealed book for a long time. How they were ultimately deciphered is another wonder of human ingenuity requiring a detailed description.

The hero of that romance was an English General, Sir Henry Rawlinson, a diplomatic officer appointed in Persia. He was an antiquary deeply interested in the antiquity of Mesopotamia. He found in Western Iran an immense inscription, which was a personal testament of Darius the Great carved on a limestone cliff high above the village of Behistun. To make sure that his words would be known throughout the Near Eastern world, Darius had his story inscribed in three different languages in the year 515 BCE. One of those languages was Old Persian, which supplied the key to decode the other dead languages, one of which was written in Cuneiform characters. The inscription was carved in the most- inaccessible place where Sir Henry Rawlinson reached in the face of great danger to his life and made a copy of half of those carvings in 1835. His diplomatic duties obliged him to leave the place with his work only half done. For 13 years he remained absent from that interesting monument and returned in 1848 to finish the remaining half of the work of copying the inscription. The key to the language of the clay tablets of the ruins of Mesopotamia was thus found and the whole record of antiquity deciphered. Some un copied surface of the cliff including sculptured figures of 10 captive princes facing Darius still remained: This has recently been, photographed with a telescopic lens by Dr George Cameron of the University of Michigan and the American School of Oriental Research. As I am writing this, the buried prehistoric town of Susa in south-west Persia is being unearthed by Dr. Girshmann chief of the French Archaeological Mission at Susa. He has been able to identity four such towns superimposed one above the other, and to establish with precision the time at which each one flourished. The value of these discoveries cannot be over-estimated, from the point of view of Jat antiquity; because at that time Jat race played a prominent part in that part of the world. The facts so far proved by all these monuments and discoveries of ancient ruins clearly confirm the history of Herodotus about Manda Empire of Jats excepting one philological mistake mentioned above to which I must now revert for the purpose of clarification of the succeeding narrative.

Section 4 : Philological Mistake

This mistake is so important in connection with contents of this book that I must write in detail about it. In a succeeding chapter will be described the important Jat Empire of Manda. When in the course of a few generations the wheel of fortune turned, a Persian prince with Jat blood flowing in his veins succeeded to that Jat Empire. The laws, the administration and the army, however, remained Jat. Even the Commander-in-Chief of the army, Harpagus, was the same Jat- who had previously conquered so many countries under the Manda Empire. Only the Emperor, the head of the Empire, was Persian. The name of the Empire was, however, changed into Manda and Persian Empire.

In course of time the word Manda happened by a mere philological mistake, to be changed into Mede. There is no possible means of knowing when and how this serious mistake occurred and who was responsible for this mistake. Media was the northwestern neighbor of Manda. It was eventually annexed to the Empire of Manda. This might be the reason of the mistake. The Medes never had any Empire. They were Greek traders and moneylenders living in small principalities. Such people would never dream to have any Empire or history. What history can a trader or a moneylender have except that of being raided by the greedy neighbors for his riches? They were at first raided by the Assyrians and eventually Shalmaneser, the king of Assyria, took tribute from them. Afterwards their Jat neighbors raided them and their country was annexed to Manda Empire as mentioned above. Confounding the brave Manda with the effete Medes was most unfortunate event in history. The mistake became so prevalent that even a proverb was invented in English language to the effect that a certain thing is as unchangeable as the laws of media and Persians.

This mistake was detected when the monuments of Nabonidus and Cyrus were unearthed. It was then discovered that upto that time the whole history remained based upon a most unfortunate philological mistake. It was under the influence of that mistake that Cyaxares, one of the bravest Jat Emperors who was responsible for the tragic end of Nineveh, was described as a median prince.

I must quote here Professor Sayce, a brilliant English professor of 19th century who was the author of the well-known book "Ancient Empires of the East". He says as follows: —

"When in generation which succeeded Darius Hystaspes, Cyrus became the founder of the Persian Empire, the Medes and the Manda were confounded one with the other. Astyages, the suzerain of Cyrus, was transformed into a Mede and the city of Ecbatana into the capital of a Median Empire. The illusion has lasted down to our own age. There was no reason for doubting the traditional story; neither in the pages of the writers of Greece and Rome, nor in those of the Old Testament, nor even in the great inscription of Darius in Behistun did there seem to be anything to cast suspicion upon it. It was not until the discovery of the monuments of Nabonidus and Cyrus that the truth at last came to light and it was found that the history we had so long believed was founded upon a philological mistake."

In this connection I must also give here a quotation from page 573 volume II of the Historians' History of the World: —

" So startling and revolutionizing is the knowledge obtained from the deciphering of Assyria And a Persian monument, so wholly different is the historical aspect thus revealed that the term median Empire is probably destined to disappear from the historians' phraseology. Indeed, Professor Sayce in his latest writings has discarded it."

This discarding of a wrong word has not, however, dispelled the illusion from the writings of the 20th century historians. Even Mr. H. G. Wells, in his well known book "The Outline of History", uses the wrong term Mede in so many places. I, therefore, agree with the opinion of the authors of Historians' History of the World on page 582, Volume II, that the phrase having been universally used throughout centuries cannot so easily be discarded. I, therefore, propose the only desperately effective measure. Wherever the word Mede occurs in literature, ancient or modern, it must be taken to mean Manda Jat.

This arrangement does not do any harm to anybody; because, the real Medes had neither any history, nor any other kind of literature excepting what was imputed to them by the Great mistake. It will no doubt amount to undeserved perpetuation of their name, but it cannot be helped under the circumstances, because the only other alternative is the perpetual confusion in so important a part of ancient history. I, therefore, propose in the succeeding pages to consider the word Medes as meaning Manda Jats.

Section 5 : Other Sources of Jat History

I have dealt at some length with the two most important sources of Jat history. Herodotus is of course the father of that history and its main source. Assyrian and Persian monuments have served to confirm that history and to correct the mistake. I give below a list of some other important literature bearing on the same subject:

  • (a) Historians' History of the World, Volume II.
  • (b) The Outline of History by H. G. Wells. His account is, however, perfunctory and continues the above-mentioned mistake.
  • (c) Ancient Empires of the East by Professor Sayce.
  • (d) The Ruling Races of Prehistoric Times by J. F. Hewitt.
  • (e) Indian Antiquity by Mr. Fleet.
  • (f} Hesiod.
  • (g) Greek Historian Thucydides.
  • (h) The well known Antiquarian Ctesias who wrote about the ancient kings of Ecbatana.
  • (i) History of Mankind by Ratzel.

Section 6: Original Country of Jats

Much is not known about the prehistoric habitation of Jats, although some historians, with considerable force of argument, trace their origin to Scandinavia. The history, however, found them living in a compact ancient country named Scythia, situated partly in Asia and partly in Europe. From Danube river it extended right across south Russia, right across the country about the Caspian Sea, right across the country to the east of Caspian, as far as the mountain masses of the Pamir Plateau and eastward into the Tarim basin of Eastern Turkestan. This ancient country of Scythia gave Jats their well known name of Scythians and those who conquered India were called Indo-Scythians. The well-known Getae, which was the Thracian name of Jats, were the inhabitants of Thrace, the modern Bulgaria which was a province of Scythia. From Scythia the conquests of Jats radiated worldwide to all directions of the Compass as will be shown in this book.

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