Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
[QUOTE=Mercenary]If we try to understand what meant these terms by using secondary sources I can say that this is a completely useless exercise, a waste of time and repeating other people's mistakes.
From an etymological point of view, I already wrote before: in sanskrit "jamdhar" meant just "double edge" weapon. But for thousands of years, not only the form of words, but also their meaning and using often change.
So these are different tasks of trying to understand what Pant or Egerton meant, what did it mean in the 19th century, in the 16th or 10th.[/QUOTE
Thank you Mercenary, I had forgotten you had noted that etymology on jamadhar. As you say, words often take on almost entirely different meanings over time and through semantics and sometimes transliterations. In English, I know that many people would be stunned to see words meaning now, as opposed to the archaic meaning.
As you also well note, following secondary sources and beyond in trying to determine etymology and meanings is indeed often futile. But sometimes researchers can use developmental clues in sort of 'reverse engineering' a term which can offer a kind of 'trail'. This is the methodology used in what is known as historical detection, and actually can have productive results.
What is considered a waste of time to many, may be a productive route for some intrepid researchers, more tenacious than many of us.