BN.com Gift Guide

Homeric Hymns

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 ...

See more details below
Paperback
$10.62
BN.com price
(Save 18%)$13.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $3.89   
  • New (11) from $7.67   
  • Used (6) from $3.89   

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

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.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140437829
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 985,524
  • Product dimensions: 5.15 (w) x 7.82 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Homer

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.

Biography

We know very little about the author of The Odyssey and its companion tale, The Iliad. Most scholars agree that Homer was Greek; those who try to identify his origin on the basis of dialect forms in the poems tend to choose as his homeland either Smyrna, now the Turkish city known as Izmir, or Chios, an island in the eastern Aegean Sea.

According to legend, Homer was blind, though scholarly evidence can neither confirm nor contradict the point.

The ongoing debate about who Homer was, when he lived, and even if he wrote The Odyssey and The Iliad is known as the "Homeric question." Classicists do agree that these tales of the fall of the city of Troy (Ilium) in the Trojan War (The Iliad) and the aftermath of that ten-year battle (The Odyssey) coincide with the ending of the Mycenaean period around 1200 BCE (a date that corresponds with the end of the Bronze Age throughout the Eastern Mediterranean). The Mycenaeans were a society of warriors and traders; beginning around 1600 BCE, they became a major power in the Mediterranean. Brilliant potters and architects, they also developed a system of writing known as Linear B, based on a syllabary, writing in which each symbol stands for a syllable.

Scholars disagree on when Homer lived or when he might have written The Odyssey. Some have placed Homer in the late-Mycenaean period, which means he would have written about the Trojan War as recent history. Close study of the texts, however, reveals aspects of political, material, religious, and military life of the Bronze Age and of the so-called Dark Age, as the period of domination by the less-advanced Dorian invaders who usurped the Mycenaeans is known. But how, other scholars argue, could Homer have created works of such magnitude in the Dark Age, when there was no system of writing? Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian, placed Homer sometime around the ninth century BCE, at the beginning of the Archaic period, in which the Greeks adopted a system of writing from the Phoenicians and widely colonized the Mediterranean. And modern scholarship shows that the most recent details in the poems are datable to the period between 750 and 700 BCE.

No one, however, disputes the fact that The Odyssey (and The Iliad as well) arose from oral tradition. Stock phrases, types of episodes, and repeated phrases -- such as "early, rose-fingered dawn" -- bear the mark of epic storytelling. Scholars agree, too, that this tale of the Greek hero Odysseus's journey and adventures as he returned home from Troy to Ithaca is a work of the greatest historical significance and, indeed, one of the foundations of Western literature.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Odyssey.

Good To Know

The meter (rhythmic pattern of syllables) of Homer's epic poems is dactylic hexameter.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

The Homeric Hymns Introduction
Further Reading
Translator's Note

The Homeric Hymns

I. Hymn To Dionysos

II. Hymn To Demeter

III. Hymn To Apollo
Delian Apollo
Pythian Apollo

IV. Hymn To Hermes

V. Hymn To Aphrodite

VI. Hymn To Aphrodite

VII. Hymn To Dionysos

VIII. Hymn To Ares

IX. Hymn To Artemis

X. Hymn To Aphrodite

XI. Hymn To Athena

XII. Hymn To Hera

XIII. Hymn To Demeter

XIV. Hymn To The Mother Of The Gods

XV. Hymn To Herakles, The Lion-Hearted

XVI. Hymn To Asklepios

XVII. Hymn To Dioskouroi

XVIII. Hymn To Hermes

XIX. Hymn To Pan

XX. Hymn To Hephaistos

XXI. Hymn To Apollo

XXII. Hymn To Poseidon

XXIII. Hymn To The Son Of Kronos, Most High

XXIV. Hymn To Hestia

XXV. Hymn To The Muses And Apollo

XXVI. Hymn To Dionysos

XXVII. Hymn To Artemis

XXVIII. Hymn To Athena

XXIX. Hymn To Hestia

XXX. Hymn To Gaia, Mother Of All

XXXI. Hymn To Helios

XXXII. Hymn To Selene

XXXIII. Hymn To The Dioskouroi

Notes

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2005

    Good Reading

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)