Recent years have witnessed continued and growing interest in the massive and fascinating poems now as the Sanskrit This interest has manifested itself in the continuing translations of texts, a steady stream of publications and numerous scholarly meetings of Sanskrit epic scholars. A number of these scholars assembled in Helsinki to constitute the Epic Section of the 12th World Sanskrit Conference in the summer of 2003. The present volume places before the Indological community the sixteen learned papers presented at the conference by the distinguished group of scholars who were in attendance. The topics and methodologies of the authors are as varied and diverse as the contents of the monumental poems themselves but each contribution sheds new light on some aspect of the genetic and/or receptive history of these works, their relationship to each other and to other Indic texts, or the representation and analysis of specific characters and episodes in the poems.
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