Introduction to Ancient Indian Literature
An introductory course designed to acquaint students with the great works of the ancient Indian literary tradition, a major part of which was written in Sanskrit. The earliest form of that language, called Vedic Sanskrit, is the language of the Vedic hymns, especially those of the Rig Veda. Sanskrit has had an unbroken literary tradition for over 3,000 years. This rich and vast literary, religious, and philosophical heritage is introduced in this course. In addition, students work with excerpts from the Jain and Buddhist canons written in Prakrits and examples of Tamil poetry. Selections from the Vedic literature, classical drama, epics, story literature, and lyric poetry are studied in English translation.