The Homeric Hymns

The Homeric Hymns : A Translation, with Introduction and Notes

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"The Homeric Hymns" have survived for two and a half millennia because of their captivating stories, beautiful language, and religious significance. Well before the advent of writing in Greece, they were performed by traveling bards at religious events, competitions, banquets, and festivals. Thirty-four poems that invoke and celebrate the gods of ancient Greece, the "Homeric Hymns" raise questions that humanity still struggles with - questions about our place among others and in the world. 'Homeric' because they were composed in the same meter, dialect, and style as Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey", these 'hymns' were created to be sung aloud. In this superb translation by Diane Rayor, which deftly combines accuracy and poetry, the ancient music of the hymns comes alive for the modern reader. Here is the birth of Apollo, god of prophecy, healing, and music and founder of Delphi, the most famous oracular shrine in ancient Greece. Here is Zeus, inflicting upon Aphrodite her own mighty power to cause gods to mate with humans, and here is Demeter rescuing her daughter Persephone from the underworld and initiating the rites of the Eleusinian Mysteries. With her introduction and notes, Rayor places the hymns in their historical and aesthetic context, providing all the information needed to read, interpret, and fully appreciate these literary windows on an ancient world. As introductions to the Greek gods, entrancing stories, exquisite poetry, and early literary records of key religious rituals and sites, "The Homeric Hymns" should be read by any student of mythology, classical literature, ancient religion, women in antiquity, or the Greek more

Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 137.16 x 203.2 x 15.24mm | 272.15g
  • University of California Press
  • Berkerley, United States
  • English
  • 1 map
  • 0520239938
  • 9780520239937
  • 1,264,715

About Diane J. Rayor

Diane Rayor is Professor and Chair of the Classics Department at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. She is the author and translator of Sappho's Lyre: Archaic Lyric and Women Poets of Ancient Greece (California, 1991); coeditor, with William Batstone, of Latin Lyric and Elegiac Poetry: An Anthology of New Translations (1995); and the translator, with Stanley Lombardo, of Callimachus: Hymns, Epigrams, Select Fragments (1988).show more

Table of contents

Acknowledgments Map Introduction 1. Dionysos 2. Demeter 3. Apollo 4. Hermes 5. Aphrodite 6. Aphrodite 7. Dionysos 8. Ares 9. Artemis 10. Aphrodite 11. Athena 12. Hera 13. Demeter 14. Mother of the Gods 15. Herakles 16. Asklepios 17. Dioskouroi 18. Hermes 19. Pan 20. Hephaistos 21. Apollo 22. Poseidon 23. Zeus 24. Hestia 25. The Muses, Apollo, and Zeus 26. Dionysos 27. Artemis 28. Athena 29. Hestia and Hermes 30. Gaia 31. Helios 32. Selene 33. Dioskouroi 34. Xenoi Notes Select Bibliography Glossaryshow more