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Lassen, well aware that weighty testimonies place Vikramaditya, the conqueror of the £akas or Scythians, af ter not bef ore, our era, and that the same testimonies make him the founder of the £aka era, not of the Samvat, examines more than once their worth. In a foot-note to p. 50, of Vol. II (1852) of his «Indische Alterthumskunde», he says:

«The astronomer Varaha-mihira calls this era the time of the kings of the £akas; see Colebrooke's Misc. Ess. II. p. 475. The commentator explains: «The time when the £aka kings wereconquered by Vikramaditya.» A later astronomer, Brahmagupta, makes, in reference to this epoch, use of the expression «the end of the £aka kings», which passage is explained by a commentator of Bhaskara, a still more modern astronomer, in this way: «The end of the life or of the reign of Vikramaditya, the destroyer of the Mleccha tribe, called £aka.» The commentator of Varaha-mihira, consequently, as Colebrooke remarks, considers the era used by him to be that of Vikramaditya, which everywhere else (sic) is called Samvat. Brahmagupta reckons from £alivahana's era, so that the commentator here also wrongly brings forward Vikramaditya. I cite this because it shows that in after times they confounded the two kings and their history. Of the two astronomers the former lived in the beginning of the 6th century, the latter in the beginning of the 7th. The name of the £aka era clearly explains its origin, and in this sense the expression of Varaha-mihira will have to be taken.»

So far Lassen. The objections to the foregoing are many and obvious; leaving out less important points, my first remark refers to Colebrooke's startling conclusion, that Utpala (for he is the commentator in view) uses the Samvat era because he, Utpala, considers Vikramaditya Qakari to be contemporaneous with the beginning of the £aka era. What kind of weight has to be attached to such a conclusion, will be clear from an example nearer home. Let us suppose that some European considers, howevererroneously, that the beginning of the Emperor Augustus' reign and the beginning of the Christian era are contemporaneous facts; would then the only possible conclusion be this, that the man thinks that he lives in the year of grace 1896, instead of 1865? It is imaginable, certainly, that one might make such a mistake, imaginable, although it would be an abuse of language to call it possible. But let it be possible, it is not the only possibility; the man may have forgotten the precise date of Augustus' reign, a much more probable contingency. Thirdly, it is again imaginable that the man places the two not contemporaneous facts, wrongly supposed contemporaneous by him, in a time which is wrong for both, say at the time of Pericles. The first and third conclusions are, to use a mild term, so extremely