epics comparison

Carlos Lopez clopez at husc.harvard.edu
Thu Jun 5 01:03:34 UTC 1997

> At 23:06 +0200 4/06/97, J. Randall Groves wrote:
> >Dear Indologists: I have been reading a translation of the Ramayana
> >lately, and I am quite familiar with the Greek epics, THe Illiad and
> >Odyssey. Has anyone done much in the way of a serious comparison of the
> >two sets of epics? (Ramayana and Mahabarata vs. Illiad and Odyssey). I
> >know Toynbee sees epics as the result of a certain stage in the
> >distintegration of a civilization, but I am thinking more about a more
> >specific comparison of the two sets of epics. I came across a reference
> >to a bow that was difficult to bend in the Ramayana (Shiva's bow), and
> >got to thinking of Odysseus' bow, and then to the comparison in
> >general.Any thoughts or r eferences? Thanks in advance.  Randy Groves,
> >Associate Prof. Of Humanities, Ferris State University
You might want to take a look at Ruth Katz' Arjuna in the Mahabharata.
Although primary concerned with the study of the hero, with Arjuna as a
focus, she does make comparison throughout the work to other epics (Home,
Babylonian Creation Epic, etc)  It might be useful for you.

ye paakazaMsaM viharanta evair ye vaa bhadraM duuSayanti svadhabhiH
ahaye vaa taan pradadaatu soma aa vaa dadhaatu nirRter upasthe (RV 7.104.9)
Carlos Lopez
Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies       Harvard University

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