[INDOLOGY] Draupadii and polyandry

Andrew Ollett andrew.ollett at gmail.com
Fri Oct 26 22:19:13 UTC 2018

Oliver Hellwig has written some very interesting articles on applying
various statistical techniques to Sanskrit texts (including the
Mahābhārata) in order to determine "authorial structures" and hence
relative dating:


The last article presents a technique for distinguishing sections of a text
based on several features (lexical, syntactic, metrical, etc.) while
controlling for differences introduced by changing topics.

On Fri, Oct 26, 2018 at 5:25 PM Harry Spier via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> On Fri, Oct 26, 2018 at 12:18 PM Joydeep via INDOLOGY
>> How are you identifying the “earlier strata” of the epic?
> 1) I'd be interested if someone could  point out the scholarly articles
> on  relative dating of different parts of the Mahabharata.?
> 2) Could the techniques Michael Witzel pointed out years ago in this
> posting  to relatively date the books or the Ramayana  be used.  I.e
> relative occurance of  vai or similar words in vedic position 2 versus
> elsewhere. ?
> http://list.indology.info/pipermail/indology_list.indology.info/2000-March/020863.html
> 3) Could a similar technique be used with other linguistic
> characteristics.I.e. relative occurance of linguistic characteristics  that
> are uncommon in vedic but common in classical sanskrit.  Whitney noted use
> of passive constructions,  participles instead of verbs, substitution of
> compounds for sentences as characteristic of the change from vedic to the
> classical language.
> Harry Spier
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