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As far as I can think, Hinduism is a very old religion with many manuscripts reconstructed or timelines vague.

Discussing these timelines may become a matter of opinion rather than fact. Some sources may differ by a little amount whereas for some cases, there might not be any sources at all.

Keeping this in mind, let us take a look at an example:

How and when did astrology become a defining aspect of Hinduism?

There is no definitive answer to that question and I believe most answers will pick up from literary sources which may differ due to the sheer nature of this question.

So, are questions regarding timelines on-topic or not?

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  • I feel those awkward types, not sure about the scope though
    – Mr. Alien
    Jun 26 '14 at 8:16
  • I think it mostly depends. For example, "When did ramayana occur?", the answer we can give as "Treta yuga" i.e indefinite time. For some questions we can give approximate time by comparing with other events.
    – Mr_Green
    Jun 26 '14 at 8:17
  • Of course, I mean definite time senses. Not in the sense of Treta Yuga and Kalyug style. Jun 26 '14 at 8:18
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These questions seem fine to me. Of course, we won't be able to definitively say "astrology became a defining aspect of Hinduism in 407 CE" or whatever, but that's how things always go with history - the historical record is never perfect, and so we merely need to do the best we can with the sources available, while being careful to acknowledge the degree to which the sources leave room for uncertainty in our interpretations.

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