Homeric Hymns

Homeric Hymns

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by Homer
     
 

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From the abduction of Persephone by Hades to Hermes' theft of Apollo's cattle, the Homeric Hymns recount some of the most compelling and significant episodes in Greek mythology. They were recited at festivals to honor the Olympian gods and goddesses, to pray for divine favor, and for victory in singing contests. They stand now as works of great poetic force, full

Overview

From the abduction of Persephone by Hades to Hermes' theft of Apollo's cattle, the Homeric Hymns recount some of the most compelling and significant episodes in Greek mythology. They were recited at festivals to honor the Olympian gods and goddesses, to pray for divine favor, and for victory in singing contests. They stand now as works of great poetic force, full of grace and lyricism, ranging in tone from irony to solemnity, ebullience to grandeur. Enhanced with an informative introduction that explores the hymns' authorship, performance, literary qualities, and influence on later writers, this collection gives an intriguing view of the ancient Greek relationship between humans and the divine.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The purest expression of ancient Greek religion we possess. Jules Cashford is attuned to the poetry of the Hymns." (Nigel Spivey, Cambridge University)
Parnassus: Poetry in Review

More than any other translation, this one makes these ancient poems seem familiar without eroding our sense of them as profoundly archaic and foreign.

Classical Outlook

The translations present clear, smooth, and occasionally stately narrative. The translator displays a knack for selecting colorful and appropriate English words to match the Greek.

Parnassus: Poetry in Review
More than any other translation, this one makes these ancient poems seem familiar without eroding our sense of them as profoundly archaic and foreign.
Joseph Russo

There exists no modern, readable translation done with scholarly notes to help the reader see all the historical, religious, cultic, and cultural significance of the hymns for ancient Greece. The author succeeds admirably in reaching this goal.

Queen's Quarterly - Mark W. Edwards

Professor Athanassakis' new translation of the Hymns is very welcome. It is clearly intended for the use of students in courses in Greek mythology and religion, and includes a short but useful general introduction and separate notes to each Hymn... Athanassakis' translation is acceptable, and his commentary is very useful for its sound traditional scholarship and acquaintance with modern Greek folklore which he alone can contribute.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140437829
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/28/2003
Series:
Penguin Classics Series
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.51(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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From the Publisher
"The purest expression of ancient Greek religion we possess. Jules Cashford is attuned to the poetry of the Hymns." (Nigel Spivey, Cambridge University)

Meet the Author

Homer was probably born around 725BC on the Coast of Asia Minor, now the coast of Turkey, but then really a part of Greece. Homer was the first Greek writer whose work survives.

He was one of a long line of bards, or poets, who worked in the oral tradition. Homer and other bards of the time could recite, or chant, long epic poems. Both works attributed to Homer – the Iliad and the Odyssey – are over ten thousand lines long in the original. Homer must have had an amazing memory but was helped by the formulaic poetry style of the time.

In the Iliad Homer sang of death and glory, of a few days in the struggle between the Greeks and the Trojans. Mortal men played out their fate under the gaze of the gods. The Odyssey is the original collection of tall traveller’s tales. Odysseus, on his way home from the Trojan War, encounters all kinds of marvels from one-eyed giants to witches and beautiful temptresses. His adventures are many and memorable before he gets back to Ithaca and his faithful wife Penelope.

We can never be certain that both these stories belonged to Homer. In fact ‘Homer’ may not be a real name but a kind of nickname meaning perhaps ‘the hostage’ or ‘the blind one’. Whatever the truth of their origin, the two stories, developed around three thousand years ago, may well still be read in three thousand years’ time.

Jules Cashford writes and lectures on mythology and is the author of The Myth of the Goddess.

Nicholas Richardson is a fellow in English at Merton College, Oxford.

Nicholas Richardson is a fellow in English at Merton College, Oxford.

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The Homeric Hymns 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm working on learning the Greek, and at this time I can't really make a comment as far as the accuracy of the translation (hence only four stars). On the other hand, the translation seems to have been praised and the hymns are quite readable. If your interested, buy this book.