Andrea Doda

My research explores three poetic traditions that are presumed to have been influenced by the principles of composition-in-performance to a significant degree: the Greek, the Germanic, and the Vedic/Sanskrit. The Homeric poems will represent the first tradition, while the Germanic part will consist of the Beowulf and - to a lesser extent - the Poetic Edda; finally, I will analyse some of the Vedic hymns collected in the Rigveda and a few portions of the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata. The aim of this research is to compare these different Indo-European traditions in order to shed light on the technique of versification that the ancient bards employed to compose their poems in performance. In other words, the questions I attempt to answer are: what happened in the mind of an oral bard whilst composing in performance? What technique(s) did he use to fashion his verses under strict metrical constraints?