Some people on quora etc, put claims to redefine the events within in the Hinduism theology as verifiable & scientifically true historical events and in such an attempt, the Mythological narrative is juxtaposed with the local cultural ones and people who might have been real person in the verifiable course of history are appropriated by the religious revisionist into their own theological narratives.

I have heard from several people across, on some of these kinds of research based works which have given some accounts of as to how Krishna and Rāma, and many others, might indeed have been real people of local tribes (we are talking about the Pre Indus civilization times), which over time as a result of Hero "Glorification and mytholization" narratives were thus appropriated into the itihasas of Hinduism and over the course of time in the Puranic literature became outright gods.

I'm looking for any such relevant works or research papers, books, et al., which might describe, decipher and explain the above described phenomenon of: "history's appropriation by religions".

And what has been the research community reactions to these works?

  • 3
    (about roman/greek pagan gods such as Jupiter, etc.) Saint Augustine in the City of God treats "The pagan god X was a real human person" as a possibility, and he cites earlier pagan authors who also treated this as a possibility. They have interesting clues, but neither he or the cited earlier roman / greek authors have definitive proof for any specific case, as they are too far removed in time. So, this line of thought comes from ancient times, even from pagan authors themselves.
    – Luiz
    Commented Apr 8, 2021 at 13:03
  • I think this may be an example of the Secret cabal of historians anti-pattern.
    – MCW
    Commented Apr 8, 2021 at 18:36
  • 2
    This is called Euhemerism: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euhemerism
    – Mary
    Commented Apr 9, 2021 at 1:18
  • @Mary thanks for recounting this word. It was almost deleted from my cache.
    – novice
    Commented Apr 9, 2021 at 7:02

1 Answer 1


Indian historians

It appears to be very much dependant upon who exactly the historians are. Scholars of Hinduism and Indian history would appear to be in favour of a historical Krishna, according to Guy I. Beck in his book "Alternative Krishnas"

Alternative Krishnas

most scholars of Hinduism and Indian history accept the historicity of Krishna - that he was a real male person, whether human or divine, who lived on Indian soil by at least 1000 BCE

Secular authors

According to Guy I. Beck, most secular or lay authors would however place Krishna in to the realms of myth, legend and perhaps even fairytale.

Alternative Krishnas

Many secular or lay authors who have attempted to portray a life of Krishna have also drawn exclusively from the epic and Puranic sources (Menon, Sheth, Frith), yet have usually consigned Krishna purely within the realm of myth, legend, and even fairytale.

Is the Krishna (a god within Hinduism), an appropriated historical figure?

There appears to be no overall conclusive answer and really depends upon which historian is doing the reporting.

Perhaps a little bit of both would explain it. Some say Krishna is historical. Others consign Krishna to the stuff of mythology.

  • 2
    "A little bit of both" is also a possible answer.
    – Spencer
    Commented Apr 8, 2021 at 13:49

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