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War in the Mahabharata

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2020

Extract

The Mahabharata, composed in sanskrit, is generally described as an epic. Other sanskrit texts refer to it occasionally as a kavya, or poem, and more often as an itihasa, which literally means “thus indeed it was,” suggesting an element of history. As with many early epics, it carries a consciousness of history but does not claim historicity. It evokes a past society of clans and narrates the events that bound them together or tore them asunder, focusing on the actions of those regarded as heroes.

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Correspondents at Large
Copyright
Copyright © Modern Language Association of America, 2009

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References

Works Cited

Kosambi, D. D.Social and Economic Aspects of the Bhagvad-Gita.” Myth and Reality. Bombay: Popular Prakashan, 1962. 1241. Print.Google Scholar
Mahabharata. V. S. Sukthankar et al., eds. Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Inst., 1933–66. Print.Google Scholar
Meiland, J. Maha·bhárata Book Nine: Shalya. Vol. 2. New York: New York UP, 2007. Print. Clay Sanskrit Lib.Google Scholar
Sukthankar, V. S. On the Meaning of the Mahabharata. Bombay: Asiatic Soc. of Bombay, 1957. Print.Google Scholar
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