The homeric hymns interpretive essays

While most available versions of these early Greek writings are rendered in prose, Hine's illuminating translations represent these early classics as they originally appeared, in verse. Since prose was not invented as a literary medium until well after Hesiod's time, presenting these works as poems more closely approximates not only the mechanics but also the melody of the originals. This volume includes Hesiod's Works and Days and Theogony, two of the oldest non-Homeric poems to survive from antiquity.

The homeric hymns interpretive essays

Such a task is a legitimate critical enterprise, providing it does not delude either reader or critic into the fallacy of thinking that this is the study of poetry proper. What it is, is the study of the means whereby poets are molded and poetry is endowed with subject matter and style.

There is a sure difference between the study of a poem as an independent literary entity and the study of its sources of inspiration, whether they be stylistic or substantive. At the same time, the study of literary influence affecting a given body of poetry, when practiced with discretion and with perspective, is both critically functional and psychologically expedient: For convenience I will include within the epic rubric only the Iliad and the Odyssey, which may be designated conjointly as Homer, and the poems of the post-Homeric Epic Cycle, all of which deal in some way with the Trojan War or its aftermath.

The traces of Hesiodic influence on Alcaeus, however, are of a special sort and will be examined separately; and the Homeric Hymns may be disposed of with the observations that they share with Alcaeus's hymns only certain exterior features due to a common literary form and that whatever influence on Alcaeus's style or diction might conceivably be postulated must have emanated originally from the Homeric epics themselves.

The evidence argues that Alcaeus never drew the substance of any of his hymns directly from a Homeric Hymn. The epic meter, the dactylic hexameter, is excluded from immediate purview, for even when borrowing epic subject matter or imitating epic style Alcaeus continued to compose in the meters peculiar to his own dialect.

Also, I have so constructed my critical methodology at this point as to avoid becoming embroiled in problems occasioned by the oral composition of the Homeric poems. I realize, of course, that Alcaeus may have encountered the Iliad and the Odyssey in versions somewhat different from those known to us.

Either or both of these fragments, therefore, could derive from poems in which Alcaeus made extensive use of Homeric subject matter. On the other hand, speculation is idle: On the other hand, there are a series of poems that deal with epic themes and give evidence of Alcaeus's continuing use of epic subject matter.

It is noteworthy, however, that Alcaeus never tells the full epic story; he only summarizes or refers to it in such a way as to indicate he is presuming on his reader's part a knowledge of a much fuller, epic version.

The last stanza offers two verses briefly narrating the birth of Achilles and ends with a two-verse reference to the fall of Troy: We can, however, reconstruct the general content of the poem's nineteen surviving or partially surviving verses: This reconstruction is extracted from four more or less decipherable stanzas of four verses each.

And it is because of the universally common knowledge of the Iliad in the Greek world that it is both possible and reasonable for him to sacrifice narrative detail to mood and atmosphere.

A comparison of Alcaeus's with the Homeric account of this episode will be useful for appreciating the manner and extent of the lyric poet's condensation of epic source material.

The Iliad version is divided into two parts and runs as follows. In the first linesafter Patroclus has led Briseis away, Achilles withdraws to the seashore where in tears he calls upon his mother and complains of the insult he has received from Agamemnon.

Thetis hears his cry and rises like a mist from the sea to comfort him. After some hesitation, Achilles takes twenty-six verses to tell his mother why Agamemnon has dishonored him by depriving him of his concubine Briseis.

He then reminds her in full detail of a great favor she had in the past conferred on Zeus and asks her to go to Zeus on his behalf. The plea she is to convey to Zeus is that he will help the Trojans to drive the Achaeans with great losses back to their ships so that Agamemnon's folly will be exposed to his army and he himself will come to recognize the folly of provoking Achilles to retire from battle.

Thetis in reply attempts to comfort her son and promises to carry out his request. In the second part of the Iliad account linesafter intervening narrative covering other events, the epic poet returns to Thetis and describes her meeting with Zeus: Thetis puts the request; Zeus hesitates with the explanation that Hera will be angry if he grants it, but finally agrees.[Note: This Homeric Hymn, composed in approximately the seventh century BCE, served for centuries thereafter as the canonical hymn of the Eleusinian Mysteries.

The homeric hymns interpretive essays

The text below was translated from the Greek by Hugh G. Evelyn-White and first published by the Loeb Classical Library in This text. The Homeric Hymns: Interpretative Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press, xv + pp.

2 black-and-white figs. Cloth, $ This volume, according to its editor, is intended to fill the need for a companion to the Homeric Hymns, . The Homeric Hymn to Demeter H. P. Foley (ed.): The Homeric Hymn to Demeter.

Translation, Commentary, and Interpretive Essays. Pp. xvi + ; 7 figs. Princeton, NJ. The Reception of the Homeric Hymns is a collection of original essays exploring the reception of the Homeric Hymns and other early hexameter poems in the .

"This is the first collection of scholarly essays on the 'Homeric Hymns', a corpus of 33 hexameter poems celebrating gods that were probably recited at religious festivals, among other possible performance venues, and .

Homeric Hymn to Demeter Translation Commentary & Interpretive Essays by Homer, Helene P Foley available in Trade Paperback on, also read synopsis and reviews. The Homeric Hymn to Demeter, composed in the late seventh or early sixth century B.C.E., is a key to.

Traditional Themes and the Homeric Hymns Chapter 1