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Jenny Strauss Clay demonstrates how four mythological narrativesdevoted to Apollo, Hermes, Aphrodite, and Demeternot only constitute Panhellenic compositions with a consistent theological viewpoint and unified generic identity, but also give one of the clearest accounts of Olympian politics. As critical chapters in the early history of the Olympian family, these hymns each begin from a point of crisis within the pantheon, such as the birth of the new divinity Apollo, and address the acquisition or redistribution of powers and privileges within the Olympian hierarchy. Clay shows that resolution of conflict in each case proceeds from a plan of Zeus that leads to a new and permanent ordering of relations among the gods as well as between gods and humans. Since the author views these narratives as vehicles of change both on Olympus and on earth, inaugurating new eras in the divine and human cosmos, she provides a linear analysis of each hymn. Her study places the major Homeric Hymns alongside epic and theogonic poetry as creations of high quality, subtlety, and charm and as documents of sustained and systematic theological speculation.