Introduction to ancient and classical Indian literature in its cultural context. Texts in English translation.
This course introduces the classical literature of India and the South Asian subcontinent in its cultural and historical context. Readings will be based on classic texts representing the Hindu and Buddhist tradition translated from Sanskrit and Prakrit, the classical and vernacular languages of ancient India. They will include specimens of the epic, dramatic, and poetic traditions, such as the Mahābhārata epic and the poetry of Kālidāsa. Close readings and discussions of the texts will reveal the aesthetic and ethical principles of the rich culture of classical India.