How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics

How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics

by Calvert Watkins

ISBN-10: 0195144139

ISBN-13: 9780195144130

Pub. Date: 05/17/2001

Publisher: Oxford University Press

In How to Kill a Dragon Calvert Watkins follows the continuum of poetic formulae in Indo-European languages, from Old Hittite to medieval Irish.  See more details below


In How to Kill a Dragon Calvert Watkins follows the continuum of poetic formulae in Indo-European languages, from Old Hittite to medieval Irish.

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Oxford University Press
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Edition description:
New Edition
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Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.80(d)

Table of Contents

I. The Field of Comparative Poetics: Introduction and Background
1. The comparative method in linguistic and poetics
2. Sketch for a history of Indo-European politics
3. Poetics as grammar: Typology of poetic devices, and some rules of poetic grammar
4. Poetics as repertory: The poetic traditions of the Indo-European world — sources and texts
5. The Indo-European poet: His social function and his art
6. The poet's truth: The power, particularly, and preservation of the word
II. Case Studies
7. Greece and the art of the world
8. Vedic India and the art of the world
9. Ireland and the art of the syllable
10. Saxa loquuntur: The first age of poetry in Italy — Faliscan and South Picene
11. Most ancient Indo-Europeans
12. The comparison of formulaic sequences
13. An Indo-European stylistic figure
14. A late Indo-European traditional epithet
15. An Indo-European theme and formula: Imperishable fame
16. The hidden track of the cow: Obscure styles in Indo-European
III. The Strophic Style: An Indo-European Poetic Form
17. Some Indo-European prayers: Cato's lustration of the fields
18. Umbria: The Tales of Iguvium
19. Italy and India: The elliptic offering
20. Strophic structures as "rhythmic prose"? Italic
21. Strophic structures in Iranian
22. 'Truth of Truth', 'most kavi of kavis', 'throng-lord of throngs': An Indo-Iranian stylistic figure
23. More strophic structures
24. Early Irish rosc
25. The Asvamedha or Horse Sacrifice: An Indo-European Liturgical form
26. Orphic gold leaves and the great way of the soul: Strophic style, funerary ritual formula, and eschatology
IV. The Basic Forumla and Its Variants in the Narration of the Myth
27. Preliminaries
28. The root *guhen-: Vedic han-
29. The root *guhen-: Avestan jan-
30. The root *guhen-: Hittite kuen- and the Indo-European theme and formula
31. The slayer slain: A reciprocal forumla
32. First variant: The root *uedh-
33. 'Like a reed': The Indo-European background of a Luvian ritual
34. Second variant: the root *terh2-
35. Latin tarentum, the ludi saeculares, and Indo-European eschatology
36. The myth of Greece: Variations on the formula and theme
37. Expansion of the forumla: A recursive formulaic figure
38. Herakles, the formulaic hero
39. Hermes, Enualios, and Lukoworgos: The Serpent-slayer and the Man-slayer
40. Nektar and the adversary Death
41. The saga of Iphitos and the hero as monster
42. The name of Meleager
43. The Germanic world
44. Thor's hammer and the mace of Contract
V. Some Indo-European Dragons and Dragon-Slayers
45. Fergus mae Leti and the muirdris
46. Typhoeus and the Illuyankas
47. Python and Ahi Budhnya, the Serpent of the Deep
48. Azi dahaka, Visvarupa, and Greyon
VI. From Myth to Epic
49. From God to hero: The formulaic network in Greek
50. The best of the Achaeans
51. To be the death of: Transformation of the formula
52. The forumla without the word: A note on Euripides and Lysias
53. The basic forumla and the announcement of death
54. Further Indo-European comparisons and themes
55. The song of victory in Greek
VII. From Myth to Charm
56. From dragon to worm
57. The charms of Indo-European
58. Indo-European medical doctrine
59. The poet as healer

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