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The Rigveda$
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Stephanie Jamison and Joel Brereton

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190633363

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190633363.001.0001

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R̥gvedic Poetry and Poetics

R̥gvedic Poetry and Poetics

(p.112) 9 R̥gvedic Poetry and Poetics
The Rigveda

Joel P. Brereton

Stephanie W. Jamison

Oxford University Press

This chapter treats in detail the impetus for Ṛgvedic hymn composition—not only as the verbal portion of ritual, but as an exercise in harnessing the power of the word to model and penetrate the structure and functioning of the cosmos. It also discusses the poet, including the various terms used to identify him, and his high status in the social organization, where he stood in a reciprocal relationship with a patron, generally a king. It then describes particular techniques employed by the poet, the structural principles underlying certain hymns, and types of hymns. It then turns to language, meter, and other formal characteristics of Ṛgvedic poetry.

Keywords:   speech act, ṛṣi, kavi, dānastuti, homology, riddle, secret name, omphalos structure, ring composition, simile

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