This volume, the second in the Proceedings of the 13th World Sanskrit Conference (Edinburgh, July 2006), reflects the continued increase in interest in the Sanskrit epics seen in recent years, containing no less than 19 articles (a larger number than in the corresponding volume from the 12th WSC at Helsinki) by a number of distinguished scholars in the section devoted to the Sanskrit epics. The great majority of the articles focus on the Mahabharata but several focus on the Ramayana, as well as one on the Harivamua. The variety of approaches adopted by their authors underlines the vitality of this area of research and collectively these articles make a major contribution to our understanding of the history of these massive works, their relationship to each other and their place in the total field of Sanskrit literature and indeed of Indian literature and culture as a whole. The articles are grouped according to the text that they are mainly focussing on (in the order Mahabharata, Harivamsa, Ramayana) and within that in an order which seeks to bring related topics together, beginning with the genealogical issues that underpin all of the narrative in each of the texts and ending with the study of a retelling of one of them, the Anandaramayana. The editor has ensured a degree of uniformity of appearance and of bibliographic reference but had no wish to rein in the diversity of expression and approach to be found in the feast of articles here assembled.
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