I. The Metre of the Brhaddevata

A. B. Keith
1906 Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland  
It is perhaps difficult to exaggerate the importance from the point of view of the literary history of India of the Bṛhaddevatā attributed to Śaunaka. That this has not hitherto received full recognition is due in part to the fact that it has been held, for example even by Dr. E. Sieg, that the Bṛhaddevatā is later in date than the Mahābhārata. This is, however, certainly not the case, as Professor A. A. Macdonell has shown conclusively in his edition of the former work. About 300 ślokas of the
more » ... t 300 ślokas of the work are devoted to legends, and this must, it seems, be regarded as a conclusive proof that at the date of its composition there existed in Sanskrit an ākhyāna or itihāsa literature. Now the date of the Bṛhaddevatā is fixed by Professor Macdonell, on grounds which appear to me unassailable, at about 400b.c., perhaps earlier. It follows, therefore, that a Sanskrit itihāsa literature can be proved to have existed in the fifth centuryb.c.
doi:10.1017/s0035869x00034006 fatcat:uviuhvjtovgb7fhez4fpysbefi