The Mahabharata and the Ramayana are composed in a form of Sanskrit that differs from the Paninian norm. Though closely akin to Paninian Sanskrit with which it shares a huge amount of forms and syntactical constructions this is a language of a different type. It does contain frequent violations of the usual Sanskrit rules, affecting phonology, morphology and syntax. These epic peculiarities, however, are not simply a large set of individual cases. By far the greater part of them can be categorized as belonging to one or another of a small number of types, making them amenable to systematic study. The book at hand tries to give such a comprehensive and systematically organized description of the peculiarities of the Epic language and the features that distinguish it from Vedic and standard Paninian Sanskrit. Every form and construction cited in the grammar was located in the Critical Editions of the Epics and is discussed in detail, giving also references to secondary literature. The book consists of a detailed introduction and thirteen chapters, the last two of which contain an extensive bibliography, indices, and concordances. Thomas Oberlies has been Professor of Indology and Tibetan Studies at the University of Gottingen, Germany, since 2002, and a full member of the Gottingen Academy of Sciences since 2009. After studying Indology, Comparative Religion and Classical Philology at the universities of Tuebingen and Hamburg he received his PhD from the University of Tuebingen for his dissertation “A Study of the Candravyakarana” (Stuttgart 1989). He was Professor of Indology at the University of Wuerzburg from 1991 through 1998, and at the University of Freiburg from 1998 to 2002. For his work about the structure of the Soma hymns of the Rgveda, which was published as the second volume of his “Die Religion des Rgveda” (Vienna 1999), he was awarded the prestigious Heisenberg professorship. He has worked and published in all fields of classical Indology.
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