Contents: Preface. Contributors. Abbreviations. 1. Manu Vaivasvata as sraddhadeva: On the insertion of the Pitrkalpa into the Harivamsa/Horst Brinkhaus. 2. Valmiki's portrayal of Hanuman/John Brockington. 3. Husband or slave? Interpreting the hero of the Mahabharata/Mary Brockington. 4. Husbands of earth: Ksatriyas, females and female Ksatriyas in the Striparvan of the Mahabharata/Simon Brodbeck. 5. Trihsaptakrtvah: the significance of the number "Thrice Seven" in the Rama Jamadagnya Myth of the Mahabharata/Nicolas Dejenne. 6. The story of Asita Devala and Jaigisavya in Mahabharata 9.49/Danielle Feller. 7. A preliminary study of the 681 Tristubh passages of the Mahabharata/James L. Fitzgerald. 8. To wake a sleeping giant: Valmiki's Account(s) of the life and death of Kumbhakarna/Robert P. Goldman. 9. Sita's War: gender and narrative in the Yuddhakanda of Valmiki's Ramayana/Sally J. Sutherland Goldman. 10. Authorial paths through the two Sanskrit epics via the Ramopakhyana/Alf Hiltebeitel. 11. The relationship between the Bhagavadgita and the Vedic Upanisads: Parallels and relative chronology/Mislav Jezic. 12. Patterns of tejas (and ksama) in the epics/Paolo Magnone. 13. Some aspects of the character of Bhisma in the Mahabharata/Ram Karan Sharma. 14. The Mahabharata as a source of inspiration for Visakhadatta's Drama Mudraraksasa: a case study of intertextuality/Georg Von Simson. 15. Indra in the Harivamsa/Renate Sohnen-Thieme 16. Bhisma's Discourse as a sokapanodana/Muneo Tokunaga. Index.
"Recent years have witnessed continued and growing interest in the massive and fascinating poems we know as the Sanskrit epics. This interest has manifested itself in the continuing translations of both 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 12 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." (jacket)