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Title: The sons of Homer/the sons of Rāma : understanding the rhapsode in comparative context
Author: Stevens, Emerson M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 3772
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 2014
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What was a rhapsode? How can we, given the scant nature of the evidence that survives, hope to examine in any detail the rhapsode's role or position in Greek society? This PhD utilizes a Comparative philological approach to posit a solution to a longstanding problem of Classical philology. Using, as its grounds for comparison, the parallels provided via the performers of the Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa, my research aims to provide a better understanding of the role and status (both ‘self' and ‘societal') of the rhapsode in the Classical Greek world, by means of the backdrop offered by the performers of the Sanskrit epics. Through close examination of the similarities, which are many and striking, we shall be able to construct a far more detailed picture of the rhapsode than we could through scrutiny of the Greek material alone. But it is not only from similarities that insights can be gleaned – the culturally-specific differences too are important precisely because they illustrate the salience and specialness of what was taking place in Greece. Beginning with questions of societal function and identity, and what the rhapsode, like his Indian counterparts, believed and was believed to be doing, the thesis will then move on to issues of the rhapsode's place and perception in the larger society in which he existed. This will allow for certain features about the rhapsode to be seen more clearly than ever before, and ultimately a more complete picture of the rhapsode to be presented.
Supervisor: Hesk, Jon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Rhapsode