epics and oral traditions

jacob.baltuch at euronet.be jacob.baltuch at euronet.be
Mon Jun 9 17:51:35 UTC 1997

George Thompson:
>Vedic presents an important challenge to the orality thesis because it
>appears to be a tradition marked by features [linguistic sophistication,
>textual fidelity, logic, and even some kind of generalized rationality!]
>that the oralists would like to think are the benefits of literacy alone.
>Vedic presents a model of how an oral culture *might* gain access to these
>benefits in a more or less oral way.

Panini presents the same challenges, except in even more acute ways,
doesn't he? (Since I believe it is generally accepted he was not acquainted
with writing, even though this is not a necessary implication of the form
of the work: Cardano, after all, put his method for solving cubics into
Latin hexameters, so designing a work for oral learning does not imply
necessarily that one has not used writing while composing it)

This is just an invitation to Panini scholars to join in this most
interesting thread :)

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