HELLENIC STUDIES SERIES
Cover: Divine Yet Human Epics: Reflections of Poetic Rulers from Ancient Greece and India, from Harvard University PressCover: Divine Yet Human Epics in PAPERBACK

Hellenic Studies Series 62

Divine Yet Human Epics

Reflections of Poetic Rulers from Ancient Greece and India

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$22.95 • £18.95 • €20.50

ISBN 9780674726758

Publication Date: 11/17/2014

Text

222 pages

6 x 9 inches

2 tables

Center for Hellenic Studies > Hellenic Studies Series

World

The central character of Divine Yet Human Epics is the developing conception of epic itself. Its story unfolds as the ancient Greek idea of epic originates with Pindar and Herodotus on the basis of the Iliad and Odyssey. While this notion eventually leads their Sanskrit counterparts, the Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata, to be understood selectively in modern times, medieval readers Ānandavardhana and Rājaśekhara reveal distinctive features of these ancient Indian poems earlier in this exegetical tale.

Shubha Pathak’s interpretative account concludes with a new way to connect these primary epics to their Greek analogues. Both epic pairs feature poetic kings who together affirm and interrogate their societies’ central religious ideals: Greek kléos (or heroic glory, which assuages uncertainty about the afterlife) and Indian dharma (or righteousness, which counters encroaching immorality). The Greek and Sanskrit epics, by showing both the divine ease and the human difficulty with which kléos and dharma are achieved, employ similar teaching strategies to address the shared psychological needs of human beings learning to live within the disparate cultures of ancient Greece and India. This cross-cultural comparative study thus provides a more comprehensive perspective on the poems’ religiosity than the vantage points of Hellenists or of Indologists alone.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, by Lindsay Chervinsky, from Harvard University Press

Why You Should Participate in an (Online) Book Club

Online book clubs can be a rewarding way to connect with readers, Lindsay Chervinsky discovered, when she was invited to join one to discuss her book, The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution. Since my book was published in April 2020, I’ve discovered that my work appeals to three main audiences. First, the general readers who are enthusiastic about history, attend virtual events, and tend to support local historic sites. Second, readers who are curious about our government institutions and the current political climate and are looking for answers about its origins. And third, history, social studies, and government teachers