The Homeric Hymn to Demeter: Translation, Commentary and Interpretive Essays

The Homeric Hymn to Demeter: Translation, Commentary and Interpretive Essays

Paperback Mythos (Paperback) Language: English / Greek, Ancient (to 1453)

Edited by Helene P. Foley

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  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Language: English / Greek, Ancient (to 1453)
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 229mm x 23mm | 454g
  • Publication date: 19 December 1993
  • Publication City/Country: New Jersey
  • ISBN 10: 0691014795
  • ISBN 13: 9780691014791
  • Edition: Annotated
  • Illustrations note: 7 halftones 1 map
  • Sales rank: 345,462

Product description

The Homeric Hymn to Demeter, composed in the late seventh or early sixth century B.C.E., is a key to understanding the psychological and religious world of ancient Greek women. The poem tells how Hades, lord of the underworld, abducted the goddess Persephone and how her grieving mother, Demeter, the goddess of grain, forced the gods to allow Persephone to return to her for part of each year. Helene Foley presents the Greek text and an annotated translation of this poem, together with selected essays that give the reader a rich understanding of the Hymn's structure and artistry, its role in the religious life of the ancient world, and its meaning for the modern world.

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Review quote

"Foley synthesizes important insights of the articles she reprints and of much other scholarship besides, and builds on them to construct a comprehensive and persuasive reading of her own."--William G. Thalmann, Bryn Mawr Classical Review "Foley's book is the first full-length study in English of the Hymn... It is a welcome and much-needed work... Foley's analysis of the Hymn is an excellent demonstration of how it can be interpreted in the light of the [Eleusinian] Mysteries."--Ann C. Suter, New England Classical Newsletter and Journal "Foley's attempt to connect the psychological, cosmological, and theological themes in the Hymn is her greatest success."--Victoria Pedrick, The Classical Journal

Back cover copy

Over the decade of the 1980s, the traditional Western canon has been subject to ardent defense and criticism. The privileging of the works of upper-class, Western, white males in standard introductory humanities courses across the United States has been at the center of controversity.

Table of contents

List of IllustrationsPreface and AcknowledgmentsPt. 1The Text and Translation, Commentary, and Background1Text and Translation of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter2Commentary on the Homeric Hymn to Demeter28Background: The Eleusinian Mysteries and Women's Rites for Demeter65Pt. 2Interpretive Essay on the Homeric Hymn to Demeter77Interpreting the Hymn to Demeter83The "Theology" Of the Mysteries84Variants of the Myth and the Importance of the Version in the Hymn to Demeter97Female Experience in the Hymn to Demeter103Marriage104Gender Conflict and the Cosmological Tradition112The Mother/Daughter Romance118The Psychology of the Mysteries137The Hymn to Demeter and the Polis142Christianity and the Hymn to Demeter150The Influence of the Hymn to Demeter and Its Myth151App. Eleusis and Athens169App. The Hymn to Demeter as a Panhellenic Poem175Pt. 3Further Interpretation: Contributed Articles179Withdrawal and Return: An Epic Story Pattern in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter and in the Homeric Poems181Some Functions of the Demophoon Episode in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter190Concerning the Homeric Hymn to Demeter198Politics and Pomegranates: An Interpretation of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter212Family Structure and Feminine Personality243Bibliography267Index Locorum283General Index289