In This Article Homeric Hymns

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Bibliographies
  • Editions
  • English Translations
  • Language and Style
  • Structure
  • Genre and Motifs
  • The Collection

Classics Homeric Hymns
by
Andrew Faulkner
  • LAST MODIFIED: 29 August 2012
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0098

Introduction

The Homeric Hymns are a collection of thirty-three hexameter hymns to Greek deities, so named because they were often in Antiquity attributed to Homer, the supposed composer of the Iliad and Odyssey. The poems are, in fact, of varied date and provenance, although the majority are most probably products of the archaic period (7th to 6th centuries BCE). Four of the Homeric Hymns (two to Demeter, three to Apollo, four to Hermes, and five to Aphrodite) contain developed narratives of episodes in the lives of the deities celebrated and stretch from 293 to 580 lines. The first Hymn to Dionysus also contained an extended narrative of over 400 lines, but now survives only in fragments. There are two mid-length Hymns with narratives, seven to Dionysus (fifty-nine lines), and nineteen to Pan (forty-nine lines), but the rest of the poems in the corpus are short celebrations of divine powers consisting of between three and twenty-two lines. Critical attention has understandably focused most on the longer Homeric Hymns with extended narratives.

General Overviews

Concise general overviews of the Homeric Hymns are provided by Faulkner 2011 and Clay 1997. Excellent general comments may also be found in Parker 1991. Others can be found in the introductions to editions and translations, with notable contributions by Richardson 2010, West 2003, Cashford 2003, and Càssola 1975. The introduction to Allen, et al. 1936 is still extremely useful, but somewhat dated. Nünlist 2004 gives a brief overview of the Hymns and narratology.

  • Allen, Thomas W., William R. Halliday, and Edward E. Sikes, eds. 1936. The Homeric hymns. 2d ed. Oxford: Clarendon.

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    Introduction to the nature, language, and transmission of the Homeric Hymns, as well as early scholarship on the poems, pp. xi–cxv. The section on the relationship of manuscripts is superseded by Càssola 1975.

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    • Cashford, Jules, trans. 2003. The Homeric hymns. Introduction and notes by Nicholas Richardson. London: Penguin.

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      Introduction to the nature, performance context, authorship and date, structure, style, and reception of the Homeric Hymns, pp. vii–xxxv.

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      • Càssola, Filippo, ed. 1975. Inni omerici. Milan: Mondadori.

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        Overview of the Homeric Hymns’ transmission and their place within the tradition of epic poetry, pp. ix–lxx.

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        • Clay, Jenny Strauss. 1997. The Homeric Hymns. In A new companion to Homer. Edited by Ian Morris and Barry Powell, 489–507. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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          Overview of the language, structure, and performance context of the Homeric Hymns, with individual sections dedicated to the long narrative poems to Demeter, Apollo, Hermes, and Aphrodite.

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          • Faulkner, Andrew. 2011. Modern Scholarship on the Homeric Hymns: Foundational Issues. In The Homeric Hymns: Interpretative Essays. Edited by Andrew Faulkner. 1–25. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

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            An overview of central questions pertaining to the Homeric Hymns in modern scholarship.

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            • Nünlist, René. 2004. The Homeric hymns. In Narrators, narratees and narratives in ancient Greek literature. Edited by Irene de Jong, René Nünlist, and Angus Bowie, 35–42. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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              Brief overview of narratology and the Homeric Hymns.

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              • Parker, Robert. 1991. The Hymn to Demeter and the Homeric hymns. Greece and Rome 38:1–17.

                DOI: 10.1017/S0017383500022932E-mail Citation »

                A study of the Hymn to Demeter’s relationship to cult, but with excellent general comments about the nature of the Homeric Hymns, pp. 1–4.

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                • Richardson, Nicholas, ed. 2010. Three Homeric hymns: To Apollo, Hermes, and Aphrodite. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                  Introduction treats the nature, structure, themes, origins, and reception of the collection, with detailed attention given to the long Homeric Hymns to Apollo, Hermes, and Aphrodite, pp. 1–33.

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                  • West, Martin L., trans. and ed. 2003. The Homeric hymns, Homeric apocrypha, Lives of Homer. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                    Concise overview of the nature of the Homeric Hymns and the origins of the collection, with separate discussion of the date and character of individual hymns.

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                    Bibliographies

                    There is one online bibliography dedicated to the Homeric Hymns, compiled by Oliver Thomas in Oxford: Categorised Bibliography for the Homeric Hymns. It is arranged in categories according to topic and hymn, and within each category works are ordered chronologically, beginning with the most recent. Books and articles on the Homeric Hymns can also be found by using L’Année Philologique, the standard bibliographical database for classics.

                    • Thomas, Oliver R. H., ed. Categorised Bibliography for the Homeric Hymns. Oxford: Univ. of Oxford.

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                      An online bibliography in progress, which provides broad coverage of scholarship on the Homeric Hymns from the 16th century to the present day. Reviews of books are listed and some entries are accompanied by brief annotations.

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                      • L’Année philologique. Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

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                        The international bibliography of record for the field of classical studies since 1927. Available in print and L’Année Philologique. A new printed volume appears annually; the database is updated more frequently. All articles are abstracted.

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                        Editions

                        The first printed edition of the Homeric Hymns was published in 1488 in Florence, together with the Iliad and Odyssey, by Demetrius Chalcondyles. This did not include what are now known as the first and second Hymns, to Dionysus and Demeter; these were not known until C. F. Matthaei discovered a manuscript in Moscow in 1777 containing the closing lines of the former and the entirety (with some lacunae) of the latter. Since the beginning of the 20th century, there have been several editions of the whole collection, of which the most important and widely consulted are Allen and Sikes 1904; Allen 1912; Allen, et al. 1936; Humbert 1936; Càssola 1975; and West 2003. Richardson 2010 is a valuable recent edition, together with an introduction and commentary, of the three long Homeric Hymns to Apollo, Hermes, and Aphrodite. Also useful is Zanetto 2000.

                        • Homer. 1904. The Homeric hymns. Edited by Thomas W. Allen, and Edward E. Sikes. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                          Edition together with an introduction and commentary that follows upon Allen’s series of articles on the text of the Hymns, which appeared in the Journal for Hellenic Studies 15–18 between 1895 and 1898.

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                          • Homer. 1912. Homeri opera 5. Edited by T. W. Allen. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                            Text of the Hymns, together with the Lives of Homer, in the Oxford Classical Text series.

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                            • Homer. 1936. The Homeric hymns. Edited by Thomas W. Allen, William R. Halliday, and Edward E. Sikes. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                              A substantially revised version of Homer 1904, with the editorial involvement of W. R. Halliday. E. E. Sikes was not involved in the revisions for this volume.

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                              • Homer. 1936. Homère, hymnes. 2d ed. Edited and translated into French by Jean Humbert. Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

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                                Edition with an introduction, notes, and French translation in the Budé series. The Hymns are organized according to deity, rather than the order transmitted in most manuscripts.

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                                • Homer. 1975. Inni Omerici. Edited by Filippo Càssola. Milan: Mondadori.

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                                  Edition with an introduction, Italian translation, and commentary. This edition provides the most complete apparatus and study of the relation of the manuscripts; it remains the standard.

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                                  • Homer. 2000. Inni Omerici. 2d ed. Edited and translated into Italian by Giuseppe Zanetto. Milan: Biblioteca Universale Rizzoli.

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                                    Edition with an Italian translation and brief notes. The text has no apparatus criticus.

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                                    • Homer. 2003. The Homeric hymns, Homeric apocrypha, Lives of Homer. Edited and translated into English by Martin L. West. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                                      Edition with an English translation that replaces the 1936 edition of the Hymns by H. G. Evelyn-White in the Loeb series (see Evelyn-White 1936). It contains a number of useful conjectures and more possible fragments of the first Hymn to Dionysus than previous editions.

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                                      • Homer. 2010. Three Homeric hymns: To Apollo, Hermes, and Aphrodite: Hymns 3, 4, and 5. Edited by Nicholas Richardson. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                        Edition of three of the long narrative Homeric Hymns in the Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics series. Includes useful apparatus and full commentary.

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                                        English Translations

                                        One has the choice of several excellent translations of the Hymns into English verse and prose completed since 1995. For verse translations, see Shelmerdine 1995, Crudden 2001, an Cashford 2003. The new Loeb prose translation of West 2003) provides an accurate and pleasing rendering of the original Greek. The earlier Loeb edition of Evelyn-White 1936) is somewhat dated, but still offers a readable translation that is available on the Perseus website. The classic translation of the Hymns by Chapman (originally published in 1624) has recently been reprinted by Princeton University Press (Chapman 2008).

                                        • Homer. 1936. The Homeric hymns, Homeric apocrypha, Lives of Homer. 2d ed. Edited and translated by Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                                          Available online at Perseus. Somewhat dated but still useful prose translation with facing Greek text.

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                                          • Homer. 1995. The Homeric hymns. 2d ed. Translated by Susan C. Shelmerdine. Newburyport, MA: Focus.

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                                            Extremely faithful free-verse translation with an introduction and helpful notes printed at the bottom of each page.

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                                            • Homer. 2001. The Homeric hymns. Translated by Michael Crudden. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                              Good verse translation with an introduction and extensive notes.

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                                              • Homer. 2003. The Homeric hymns. Translated by Jules Cashford; introduction and notes by N. J. Richardson. London: Penguin.

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                                                Free-verse translation by J. Cashford with an excellent introduction and notes by N. J. Richardson.

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                                                • Homer. 2003. The Homeric hymns, Homeric apocrypha, Lives of Homer. Edited and translated by Martin L. West. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                                                  Accurate prose translation with facing Greek text and brief explanatory notes.

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                                                  • Homer. 2008. Chapman’s Homeric hymns and other Homerica. Translated by George Chapman; new introduction by Stephen Scully. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                                    Classic verse translation, with a modern introduction by Stephen Scully. Reprint of 1624 original.

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                                                    Commentaries

                                                    There exist good commentaries on the whole collection, but these are naturally limited in the amount of detailed attention they give to individual poems. Those that exist tend to focus on the language of the poems and their relationship to other early hexameter poetry. The long narrative Hymns have also received individual commentaries, with recent work considering more fully issues of literary criticism.

                                                    Whole Collection

                                                    There have been several commentaries on the whole collection of Homeric Hymns published since the beginning of the 19th century. Most comprehensive are Allen, et al. 1936 and Càssola 1975, but earlier editions still offer helpful guidance, particularly on issues of textual criticism. Notable 19th-century commentaries are Gemoll 1886 and Baumeister 1860. Richardson 2010 is a valuable and up-to-date commentary on the Hymns to Apollo, Hermes, and Aphrodite.

                                                    • Homer. 1860. Hymni Homerici. Edited by Augustus Baumeister. Leipzig: Teubner.

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                                                      Notes in Latin, particularly helpful for matters of textual criticism.

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                                                      • Homer. 1886. Die homerischen Hymnen. Edited by Albert Gemoll. Lepizig: Teubner.

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                                                        Notes in German, particularly helpful for matters of textual criticism.

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                                                        • Homer. 1936. The Homeric hymns. Edited by Thomas W. Allen, William R. Halliday, and Edward E. Sikes. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                          Commentary with accompanying text. This is a substantially revised version of the edition and commentary of T. W. Allen and E. E. Sikes published by Oxford University Press in 1904. However, it does not entirely supersede the earlier edition, which contains useful material not included in the revised version. Both should be consulted.

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                                                          • Homer. 1975. Inni Omerici. Edited by Filippo Càssola. Milan: Mondadori.

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                                                            Commentary in Italian with accompanying text; provides a wealth of information on matters of textual criticism, mythology, and historical context.

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                                                            • Homer. 2010. Three Homeric hymns: To Apollo, Hermes, and Aphrodite. Edited by Nicholas Richardson. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                              Detailed and up-to-date commentary on the three long Homeric Hymns to Apollo, Hermes, and Aphrodite. Attention given to both language and literary criticism.

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                                                              Individual Homeric Hymns

                                                              Detailed commentaries on the long Hymns to Demeter, Apollo, Hermes, and Aphrodite are now either in print or in preparation for publication. The first comprehensive modern commentary on an individual long Hymn was Richardson 1978, on the Hymn to Demeter; on this poem, see also Foley 1994, with more focus on literary criticism. Detailed commentary on the Hymn to Aphrodite are now available in Faulkner 2008 and Olson 2012; helpful comments on lines 36–291 are also found in van der Ben 1986, which responds to the selective commentary on the poem in van Eck 1978. A partial commentary on the Hymn to Apollo was completed by Mike Chappell (Chappell 1995) as a doctoral dissertation in London. On the Homeric Hymm to Hermes we now have a full-length commentary in Vergados 2012 as well as the partial commentary by Thomas 2009 (a doctoral thesis, currently being expanded and revised for publication).

                                                              • Chappell, Mike. 1995. A commentary on the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo, with prolegomena. PhD diss., London Univ.

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                                                                Detailed study of the first 178 lines of the poem. A revised and expanded version on the whole poem is now in preparation for publication.

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                                                                • Faulkner, Andrew. 2008. The Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite: Introduction, text, and commentary. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                  Detailed commentary, together with an introduction and text, on the entire Hymn to Aphrodite. Deals with matters of textual criticism and literary interpretation.

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                                                                  • Foley, Helene P. 1994. The Homeric Hymn to Demeter: Translation, commentary, and interpretive essays. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                                                    Selective commentary on the Hymn to Demeter, together with text and translation (no apparatus), followed by interpretative essays by various authors. The commentary is less detailed than that of Richardson 1978, but is particularly helpful on matters of literary criticism.

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                                                                    • Olson, Douglas 2012. The “Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite” and Related Texts: Text, Translation and Commentary. Berlin: De Gruyter.

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                                                                      A narratologically-orientated commentary on the Hymn to Aphrodite and other shorter Homeric Hymns.

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                                                                      • Richardson, Nicholas J. 1978. The Homeric Hymn to Demeter. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                        Originally published in 1974. Comprehensive commentary on the Hymn to Demeter that provides authoritative guidance on the poem’s language, its place within the tradition of Greek poetry, and its relationship to the cult worship of Demeter and Kore.

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                                                                        • Thomas, Oliver R. H. 2009. A commentary on the Homeric Hymn to Hermes 184–396. PhD diss., Univ. of Oxford.

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                                                                          Thorough commentary on lines 184–396 of the Hymn to Hermes, together with an introduction and interpretative essays. Attention given to language, textual criticism, and literary criticism.

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                                                                          • van der Ben, Nicolaas. 1986. Hymn to Aphrodite 36–291: Notes on the pars epica of the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite. Mnemosyne 39:1–41.

                                                                            DOI: 10.1163/156852586X00013E-mail Citation »

                                                                            Selective commentary on the narrative section of the Hymn to Aphrodite, in response to the commentary of van Eck 1978.

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                                                                            • van Eck, Johannes. 1978. “The Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite: Introduction, Commentary, and Appendices.” PhD diss., Univ. of Utrecht.

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                                                                              A useful but short and idiosyncratic line-by-line commentary on the Hymn to Aphrodite, criticized by van der Ben 1986.

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                                                                              • Vergados, Athanassios. 2012. “A Commentary on the Homeric Hymn to Hermes.” Berlin: De Gruyter.

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                                                                                Line-by-line commentary on the entire poem, together with a useful introduction. Concerned with both textual criticism and literary interpretation.

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                                                                                Language and Style

                                                                                The language of the Homeric Hymns is similar to that of other early hexameter poetry and has been compared to the language of the Homeric epics and Hesiod in several extensive studies. The language of the Hymns varies from one poem to another, but is generally considered to represent a more developed stage in the tradition of hexameter poetry than the Iliad and Odyssey. The most nuanced and statistically comprehensive study of the Hymns’ language is Janko 1982, which remains a standard reference work. Janko developed the methodology of Hoekstra 1969, which examined advanced linguistic features alongside formular (or formulaic) modification in the long narrative Hymns (with the exception of the Hymn to Hermes). Postlethewaite 1972 also examines formulaic composition in the Hymns. Many scholars have used comparative linguistic studies as a means of determining relative date, but Pavese 1972 and Pavese 1974 emphasize distinct mainland and Ionian traditions of epic poetry. West 1995 rejects Janko’s statistical comparison as a reliable indication of relative chronology on the grounds that factors apart from date, such as content and individual style, determine linguistic innovation. The earlier study of Zumbach 1955 does not consider statistical variation of linguistic criteria, but it still offers useful comments on individual words. Detailed studies of language and style can also be found in commentaries on Individual Homeric Hymns.

                                                                                • Hoekstra, Arie. 1969. The sub-epic stage of the formulaic tradition: Studies in the Homeric hymns to Apollo, to Aphrodite and to Demeter. Amsterdam: Hakkert.

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                                                                                  Careful comparison of the Homeric Hymns with other epic poetry through examination of linguistic features and formulaic modification. The Hymn to Hermes is not included because it is considered to be of a later date.

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                                                                                  • Janko, Richard. 1982. Homer, Hesiod, and the hymns: Diachronic development in epic diction. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                    Benchmark analysis of linguistic criteria and “formular modification.” Individual instances of modification and advanced diction in the long Hymns are discussed in separate sections and a relative chronology for early epic poetry is proposed after careful consideration of internal and external evidence.

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                                                                                    • Pavese, Carlo Odo. 1972. Tradizioni e generi poetici della Grecia arcaica. Rome: Ateneo.

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                                                                                      Study of the language of early epic poetry, including the Homeric epics, Hesiod, and the Homeric Hymns. Argues for distinct Ionian and mainland traditions of poetry. See Janko 1982, pp. 12–16, for a contrary position.

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                                                                                      • Pavese, Carlo Odo. 1974. Studi sulla tradizione epica rapsodica. Rome: Ateneo.

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                                                                                        An expansion and elaboration upon Pavese 1972.

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                                                                                        • Postlethewaite, Norman. 1972. “Formulaic Composition in the Homeric Hymns.” PhD diss., Univ. of Sheffield.

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                                                                                          Study of the mobility of common formulae in the Homeric Hymns and Homeric epic. Hesiod is excluded.

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                                                                                          • West, Martin L. 1995. The date of the “Iliad.” Museum Helveticum 52:203–219.

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                                                                                            The reliability of statistical comparison of linguistic criteria as a means of relative dating is called into question, contra Janko 1982 and others, pp. 204–205.

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                                                                                            • Zumbach, Othmar. 1955. Neuerungen in der Sprache der homerischen Hymnen. Winterthur, Switzerland: Keller.

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                                                                                              Examination of individual forms and words in the Homeric Hymns. Many assumptions about the relationship of the Hymns to Hesiod and Homer are outdated, but there are nonetheless many useful observations.

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                                                                                              Studies of Individual Hymns

                                                                                              The long narrative Homeric Hymns—to Demeter, Apollo, Hermes, and Aphrodite—have attracted numerous book-length and article-length studies. The mid-length Hymns—7 to Dionysus and Hymn 19 to Pan—have also garnered some individual attention, as have several of the shorter Hymns. The works listed here under the subsections for the long Hymns are only a representative selection of studies, which themselves provide a further bibliography. Indispensable literary interpretations of the four long Hymns may be found in Clay 2006, first published in 1989.

                                                                                              • Clay, Jenny Strauss. 2006. The politics of Olympus: Form and meaning in the major Homeric hymns. London: Duckworth.

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                                                                                                Originally published in 1989. Linear literary interpretations of the four long Homeric Hymns, which emphasize the poems’ Panhellenic outlook and the intermediary role their narratives play in the establishment of the divine cosmos as a distinct genre between Hesiodic and Homeric poetry.

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                                                                                                First Hymn to Dionysus

                                                                                                This poem survives in only four fragments, but once extended beyond 400 lines. What appear to be the final twelve lines of the poem are contained in manuscript M, discovered by C. F. Matthiae in Moscow in 1777. Lines from the beginning of the poem are quoted by Diodorus Siculus, which overlap with the text of a Geneva papyrus identified by Hurst 1994. The most complete reconstruction of the poem is in West 2001 and West 2011, which also attributes P. Oxy. 670 and a one-line quote from Crates of Mallos to the Hymn, which West considers archaic; in the attribution of the former, West follows Merkelbach 1973. P. Oxy. 670 tells of Hephaestus’s imprisonment of Hera on her throne and Dionysus’s rescue of the goddess, which was probably the narrative told in the Hymn to Dionysus. This attribution is now generally accepted, although Dihle 2002 has argued that all of the surviving fragments of the Hymn are Hellenistic. Faulkner 2010 observes that two points of language in P. Oxy. 670 are not otherwise attested before the 4th century BCE.

                                                                                                • Dihle, Albrecht. 2002. Zu den Fragmenten eines Dionysos-Hymnus. Rheinisches Museum 145:427–430.

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                                                                                                  Argues, contra West 2001, that the fragments attributed to an archaic Homeric Hymn to Dionysus are Hellenistic.

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                                                                                                  • Faulkner, Andrew. 2010. The Homeric Hymn to Dionysus: P. Oxy. 670. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie 172:1–2.

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                                                                                                    Points out that two pieces of vocabulary just a few lines apart in P. Oxy. 670 are not otherwise attested before the 4th century BCE.

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                                                                                                    • Hurst, André. 1994. Un nouveau papyrus du premier Hymne homérique: le papyrus de Genève 432. In Proceedings of the 20th International Congress of Papyrologists, Copenhagen, 23–29 August 1992. Edited by A. Bülow-Jacobsen, 317–321, with plates 27–28. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press.

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                                                                                                      Identifies the text of a papyrus fragment in Geneva as belonging to the Homeric Hymn to Dionysus.

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                                                                                                      • Merkelbach, Reinhold. 1973. Ein Fragment des homerischen Dionysos-Hymnus. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie 12:212–215.

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                                                                                                        Attributes P. Oxy. 670 to an archaic Homeric Hymn to Dionysus.

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                                                                                                        • West, Martin L. 2001. The fragmentary Homeric Hymn to Dionysus. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie 134:1–11.

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                                                                                                          The first detailed reconstruction of the poem, with an edition and commentary.

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                                                                                                          • West, Martin 2011.The First Homeric Hymn to Dionysus. In The Homeric Hymns: Interpretative Essays. Edited by Andrew Faulkner, 29-43. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

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                                                                                                            Expands on the author’s arguments for the reconstruction of the fragmentary poem and suggests that it may have influenced the narrative of the Iliad.

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                                                                                                            Second Hymn to Demeter

                                                                                                            The Hymn to Demeter, along with the end of the first Hymn to Dionysus, was first discovered in manuscript M by C. F. Matthiae in Moscow in 1777. Fragments of the poem have since been found on papyrus. The foundation for recent work on the poem is Richardson 1978, which provides a full commentary and consideration of the poem’s relationship to Eleusinian cult. Clinton 1986 argues that the poet was not from Attica and had no special connection to Eleusis; this is refuted by Parker 1991. Clinton 1992 then argues that the poem is more strongly linked to the Thesmophoria than the Mysteries at Eleusis. The most recent evaluation of the Hymn’s connection to cult is Kledt 2004. A valuable collection of literary interpretations of the poem may be found in Foley 1994, which also provides a helpful introduction and commentary. Segal 1981 is a classic study of the artistry of repetition in the poem and oral poetics. Beck 2001 offers a stimulating evaluation of direct speech and the mother-daughter relationship in Hymn to Demeter. A recent discussion of the chief interpretative problems surrounding the hymn is available in Richardson 2011.

                                                                                                            • Beck, Deborah. 2001. Direct and indirect speech in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. Transactions of the American Philological Association 131:53–74.

                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1353/apa.2001.0003E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              Study of direct speech and the interaction of divine characters in the Hymn.

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                                                                                                              • Clinton, Kevin. 1986. The author of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. Opuscula Atheniensia 16:43–49.

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                                                                                                                Argues against Attic authorship and a significant connection to Eleusinian cult.

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                                                                                                                • Clinton, Kevin. 1992. Myth and cult: The iconography of the Eleusinian Mysteries. Stockholm: Svenska Instituet i Athen.

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                                                                                                                  Subsequent to Clinton 1986 and the criticism of Parker 1991, this study interprets the Hymn as an aetiology of the Thesmophoria.

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                                                                                                                  • Foley, Helene P. 1994. The Homeric Hymn to Demeter: Translation, commentary, and interpretive essays. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                    Second and third parts contain interpretative essays by Foley and other authors, which include interpretations of the narrative using various tools of literary criticism. The first part contains a text, translation, and commentary.

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                                                                                                                    • Kledt, Annette. 2004. Die Entführung Kores. Studien zur athenisch-Eleusinischen Demeterreligion. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner.

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                                                                                                                      Detailed study of Eleusinian cult and the Hymn to Demeter.

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                                                                                                                      • Parker, Robert. 1991. The Hymn to Demeter and the Homeric hymns. Greece and Rome 38:1–17.

                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1017/S0017383500022932E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        Treats the poem’s relationship to Eleusinian cult, refuting the arguments of Clinton 1986.

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                                                                                                                        • Richardson, Nicholas J. 1978. The Homeric Hymn to Demeter. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                          Originally published in 1974. Comprehensive study of the poem serves as a basis for all subsequent scholarship. Particular attention given to the Hymn’s relationship to cult.

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                                                                                                                          • Richardson, Nicholas 2011. The Homeric Hymn to Demeter: Some Central Questions Revisited. In The Homeric Hymns: Interpretative Essays. Edited by Andrew Faulkner, 44-58. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

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                                                                                                                            A recent and balanced overview of the principal interpretative issues surrounding the Hymn to Demeter in modern scholarship.

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                                                                                                                            • Segal, Charles. 1981. Orality, repetition and formulaic artistry in the Homeric “Hymn to Demeter”. In I Poemi epici rapsodici non Omerici e la tradizione orale: Atti del convegno di Venezia 28–30 settembre 1977. Edited by C. Brillante, M. Cantilena, and C. O. Pavese, 107–162. Padua, Italy: Editrice Antenore.

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                                                                                                                              Clarifies how repetition emphasizes particular motifs within the poem and articulates the narrative.

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                                                                                                                              Third Hymn to Apollo

                                                                                                                              The scholarship on this poem is vast. The Hymn to Apollo has often been considered to be composed of two originally separate hymns to Delian and Pythian Apollo. This position is argued for in detail by Förstel 1979, which provides a useful overview of earlier literature on the topic (pp. 20–62); compare West 1975 and Chappell 2006. Others, however, have argued that the Hymn as we have it is a unified composition: see Miller 1986. Good recent overviews of the topic may be found in Martin 2000 and Chappell 2011. Bakker 2002 considers the composition of the unified hymn from the cognitive perspectives of memory and perception. On the structure of the poem, see Niles 1979. Peponi 2009 is a recent interpretation of the much-discussed portrayal of the choral performance of the Delian maidens in the Hymn. On the Hymn’s performance and relationship with choral activity, see also Aloni 1989.

                                                                                                                              • Aloni, Antonio. 1989. L’aedo e i tiranni: ricerche sull’inno Omerico a Apollo. Rome: Ateneo.

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                                                                                                                                A detailed consideration of the performance and function of the poem.

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                                                                                                                                • Bakker, Egbert J. 2002. Remembering the god’s arrival. Arethusa 35:63–81.

                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1353/are.2002.0002E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  Demonstrates how perception and memory function within a unified conception of the poem. Offers detailed interpretation of the opening lines of the Hymn and its alternation of tenses.

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                                                                                                                                  • Chappell, Mike. 2006. Delphi and the Homeric Hymn to Apollo. Classical Quarterly 2.56: 331–348.

                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1017/S000983880600036XE-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    Focuses on the foundation myth of the Pythian section of the Hymn, arguing that the poet composed without knowledge of the myth of Delphi’s previous owners and before the development of the Pythia.

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                                                                                                                                    • Chappell, Mike 2011. The Homeric Hymn to Apollo: The Question of Unity. In The Homeric Hymns: Interpretative Essays Edited by Andrew Faulkner, 59-81. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

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                                                                                                                                      Re-considers the controversial question of the poem’s composition, arguing for two originally separate Pythian and Delian sections.

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                                                                                                                                      • Förstel, Karl. 1979. Untersuchungen zum homerischen Apollonhymnos. Bochum, Germany: Studienverlag Borckmeyer.

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                                                                                                                                        Wide-ranging study of the Hymn from a separatist position.

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                                                                                                                                        • Martin, Richard. 2000. Synchronic aspects of Homeric performance: The evidence of the Hymn to Apollo. In Una nueva visión de la cultura griega antigua hacia el fin del milenio. Edited by Ana M. González de Tobia, 403–432. La Plata, Argentina: Universidad Nacional de la Plata.

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                                                                                                                                          A reevaluation of the disputed question of the unity of the Hymn from the perspective of performance.

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                                                                                                                                          • Miller, Andrew M. 1986. From Delos to Delphi: A literary study of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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                                                                                                                                            Extensive analysis of the poem’s narrative elements, which argues for unity of the two sections.

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                                                                                                                                            • Niles, John D. 1979. On the design of the Hymn to Delian Apollo. Classical Journal 75:36–39.

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                                                                                                                                              A brief but useful presentation of the structure and ring composition in the poem.

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                                                                                                                                              • Peponi, Anastasia-Erasmia. 2009. Choreia and aesthetics in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo: The performance of the Delian maidens (lines 156–164). Classical Antiquity 28:39–70.

                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1525/CA.2009.28.1.39E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                Discusses the choral performance of the Delian Maidens as an ideal. Considers the meaning of controversial terms in the passage.

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                                                                                                                                                • West, Martin L. 1975. Cynaethus’ hymn to Apollo. Classical Quarterly 2.25: 161–170.

                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1017/S0009838800030020E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  Argues for the priority of the Pythian section of the poem and a combination of the two parts for performance at Polycrates’s festival on Delos.

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                                                                                                                                                  Fourth Hymn to Hermes

                                                                                                                                                  This poem is universally thought to be the latest of the long Homeric Hymns, and its narrative has often been considered an incohesive hodgepodge. Its language is certainly the least traditional, and it most probably dates to the second half of the 6th or the first half of the 5th century BCE. Many important studies of the Hymn have been undertaken in recent years as doctoral work. Vergados 2012 (cited under Individual Homeric Hymns) and Thomas 2009 offer detailed commentaries, with recent reviews of scholarship on a variety of topics, including narrative structure, musical performance, humor, and the dating of the poem. Vergados 2011 engagingly treats the question of humour and epiphany in the hymn. Nobili 2008 gives extended treatment to the Hymn, arguing for its connection to Athens and the Panathenaea. Others, however, have connected the poem to Olympia—see recently Johnston 2002. The Hymn is particularly humorous, in contrast to the more solemn narratives of the Hymns to Apollo and Demeter, and Hermes’s tricky nature is celebrated. See Brown 1947 and, more recently, Fletcher 2008 on Hermes the trickster and the oaths he swears. A detailed study of the Hymn’s poetics may also now be found in Jaillard 2007. On Apollo’s interaction with Hermes, see Harrell 1991.

                                                                                                                                                  • Brown, Norman O. 1947. Hermes the thief. Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press.

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                                                                                                                                                    Thorough investigation of the myths related to Hermes the thief and trickster. Also links Hermes’s sacrifice to the cult of the Twelve Gods in Athens; compare with Nobili 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Fletcher, Judith. 2008. A trickster’s oaths in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes. Hymn to Hermes. American Journal of Philology 129:19–46.

                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1353/ajp.2008.0018E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      Analysis of Hermes’s oaths in the poem and the establishment of his new relationship with his brother Apollo.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Harrell, Sarah E. 1991. Apollo’s fraternal threats: Language of succession and domination in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes. Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 32:307–329.

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                                                                                                                                                        Treats Apollo’s role in myth of the Hymn.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Jaillard, Dominique. 2007. Configurations d’Hermès: Une “théogonie hermaïque.” Kernos Supplément 17. Liège, Belgium: Kernos.

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                                                                                                                                                          Exploration of the poetic and cultic configurations of Hermes in the Greek polytheistic belief system.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Johnston, Sarah I. 2002. Myth festival and poet: The “Homeric Hymn to Hermes” and its performative context. Classical Philology 97:109–132.

                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1086/449575E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                            Follows others in linking the Hymn to Olympia and argues for performance there in a cult context.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Nobili, Cecilia. 2008. L’inno Omerico a Hermes e le tradizioni poetiche locali. PhD diss., Univ. Milan.

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                                                                                                                                                              Argues for the poem’s connection to Athens and a performance context at the Panathenaea or the symposion.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Thomas, Oliver R. H. 2009. A commentary on the Homeric Hymn to Hermes 184–396. PhD diss., Univ. of Oxford.

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                                                                                                                                                                Partial commentary on the poem (lines 184–396), with an introduction and interpretative essays.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Vergados, Athanassios. 2011. The Homeric Hymn to Hermes: Humour and Epiphany. In The Homeric Hymns: Interpretative Essays. Edited by Andrew Faulkner, 82-104. Oxford, UK. Oxford University Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Discusses the lack of a proper divine epiphany in the poem’s narrative in the context of other epiphanies in the Homeric Hymns. The humour of the hymn is linked to a sort of performative epiphany.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Fifth Hymn to Aphrodite

                                                                                                                                                                  This poem, probably one of the oldest Hymns, is closely connected to the Iliad by the similarity of Aphrodite’s prophecy to Anchises and Poseidon’s prophecy about Aeneas’s lineage in Book 20. Much scholarship has focused on this link, with some arguing that both the Hymn and the prophecy in Iliad Book 20 were composed to honor a family of Aeneadae living in the Troad. For a survey of recent views on this topic and the literary interpretation of the Hymn, see Faulkner 2008, pp. 3–18, which also offers detailed commentary on the poem. In favor of the patronage hypothesis, see the dense but indispensable Lenz 1975. Smith 1981a, however, shows that reports of Aeneadae by later historians are unreliable, as does van der Ben 1986. Smith 1981b otherwise demonstrates the unity that the theme of mortality and immortality brings to the narrative; along the same lines, see the structuralist study of Segal 1974. Porter 1949 remains a useful study of the function of repetition in the Hymn. De Jong 1989 is an insightful interpretation of the narrative using the tools of narratology.

                                                                                                                                                                  • Faulkner, Andrew. 2008. The Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite: Introduction, text, and commentary. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                    Comprehensive commentary with an introduction and text. Introduction considers the literary interpretation of the Hymn, the relationship of the narrative to Near Eastern mythology, and language, among other topics.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • de Jong, Irene J. F. 1989. The biter bit: A narratological analysis of H. Aphr. 45–291. Wiener Studien 102:13–26.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Examines how focalization affects understanding on different narratological planes.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Lenz, Lutz H. 1975. Der homerische Aphroditehymnus und die Aristie des Aineias in der Ilias. Bonn, Germany: Habelt.

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                                                                                                                                                                        In-depth study of the treatments of the theme of Aeneas in the Iliad and the Hymn, which are differentiated by the hymnic and epic forms. Argues against composition by one author or the same circle of poets, but retains the Aeneadae hypothesis. Contains many valuable general observations on the form of the Hymns.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Porter, Howard N. 1949. Repetition in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite. American Journal of Philology 70:249–272.

                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.2307/291476E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                          Examines how repetition affects meaning in individual passages and within the overall structure of the poem.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Segal, Charles. 1974. The Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite: A structuralist approach. Classical World 67:205–212.

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                                                                                                                                                                            Reflects on the confrontation of mortal and immortal in the Hymn using structuralist theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Smith, Peter M. 1981a. Aineiadai as Patrson of Iliad XX and the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 85:17–58.

                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.2307/311164E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                              Argues forcefully against the theory that a family claiming descent from Aeneas served as patrons for which the Hymn was composed.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Smith, Peter M. 1981b. Nursling of mortality: A study of the Homeric Hymn to Ahprodite. Frankfurt: Peter D. Lang.

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                                                                                                                                                                                An extremely insightful extended literary analysis of the poem, which underlines the theme of mortality and immortality.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • van der Ben, Nicolaas. 1986. Hymn to Aphrodite 36–291: Notes on the pars epica of the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite. Mnemosyne 39:1–41.

                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1163/156852586X00013E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  Commentary on the narrative section of the poem treats matters of textual and literary criticism; argues against the Aeneadae hypothesis.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Seventh Hymn to Dionysus

                                                                                                                                                                                  The myth of Dionysus’s abduction by pirates recounted in the seventh Homeric Hymn and known in other literary and artistic sources is treated by James 1975 and more recently De’Spagnolis 2004. The latter, which focuses on the attestation of the myth in a tomb in Nuceria, also surveys the identification of the Tyrsenian pirates with Etruscans or Pelasgians. Nobili 2009 links the pirates to the Etruscans and argues for performance of the Hymn in Corinth. Most recently, Jaillard 2011 focuses upon the epiphanic nature of the narrative in the Homeric Hymn. For artistic representations of the myth, see also Isler-Kerényi 2007.

                                                                                                                                                                                  • De’Spagnolis, Marisa. 2004. Il mito Omerico di Dionysos ed i pirati terreni in un documento da Nuceria Alfaterna. Rome: L’Erma di Bretschneider.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    Short book-length study of the myth of Dionysus and the pirates and its attestation in Nuceria.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Isler-Kerényi, Cornelia. 2007. Dionysos in archaic Greece: An understanding through images. Translated by Wilfred G. E. Watson. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1163/ej.9789004144453.i-363E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                      Study of the portrayal of Dionysus in archaic art.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Jaillard, Dominique. 2011. The Seventh Homeric Hymn to Dionysus: An Epiphanic Sketch. In The Homeric Hymns: Interpretative Essays. Edited by Andrew Faulkner, 133-150. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        Compares the Hymn’s treatment of the myth of Dionysus’s abduction by pirates with other literary and artistic sources and posits an epiphanic structuring of the poem’s narrative.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • James, Alan W. 1975. Dionysus and the Tyrrhenian pirates. Antichthon 9:17–34.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          Survey of the myth of Dionysus and the pirates.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Nobili, Cecilia. 2009. L’inno Omerico a Dioniso (Hymn. Hom. VII) e Corinto. Acme: annali della Facoltà di lettere e filosofia dell’Università degli studi di Milano 62.3:3–35.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Argues for a connection between the Hymn and Corinth, with consideration of its links to the myth of Arion.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Eighth Hymn to Ares

                                                                                                                                                                                            This Hymn is a late edition to the collection and is Neoplatonic in its style and use of planetary allegory. West 1970 suggests that it is the work of Proclus and was included in the collection through a mishap of transmission. Others refute this and see the poem as the work of an unknown philosopher working in the tradition of Plotinus: see Gelzer 1987, which also argues that the poem was intentionally included by the compiler of the collection, and van den Berg 2001, pp. 6–7.

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Gelzer, Thomas. 1987. Bemerkungen zum Homerischen Ares-Hymnus (Hom. Hy. 8). Museum Helveticum 44:150–167.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Argues, contra West 1970 that Proclus is the author of the poem.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • van den Berg, Robert M. 2001. Proclus’ hymns: Essays, translation, commentary. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                Edition of Proclus’s hymns together with introductory essays, translation, and detailed commentary. Refutes (on pp. 6–7) the attribution of Hymn 8 to Proclus, pointing out that the concept of epistrophe is absent in the poem.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • West, Martin L. 1970. The eighth Homeric Hymn and Proclus. Classical Quarterly 2.20: 300–304.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1017/S0009838800036260E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Attributes the Hymn to Proclus and explains the poem’s inclusion in the collection as an accident of transmission.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nineteenth Hymn to Pan

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The narrative of this Hymn is stylistically different than others in the collection. Pan roams throughout the countryside, but there is no direct speech. A sensitive and informative reading of the poem’s narrative progression is found in Thomas 2011. On Pan’s relationship to Echo in the poem see Germany 2005. Also useful is Villarrubia 1997, which gives attention to the Hymn’s stylistic qualities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Germany, Robert. 2005. The figure of Echo in the Homeric Hymn to Pan. American Journal of Philology 126:187–208.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1353/ajp.2005.0030E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Considers how phonetic, verbal, and thematic repetitions punctuate the narrative. Offers a psychoanalytic reading of expectation on different narratological planes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Thomas, Oliver. 2011. The Homeric Hymn to Pan. In The Homeric Hymns: Interpretative Essays. Edited by Andrew Faulkner, 151-172. Oxford, UK. Oxford University Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      Offers a detailed reading of the poem’s narrative progression and argues for an intertextual relationship between this Hymn to Pan and the longer Hymn to Hermes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Villarrubia, Antonio. 1997. Una lectura del Himno Homérico a Pan. Habis 28:7–13.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        Detailed analysis of the narrative and style of the poem.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Shorter Homeric Hymns

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Studies dedicated to individual shorter Hymns are rare. Readers should always consult the commentaries on the whole collection. An exception is the very helpful study of Fröhder 1994, which examines in detail Hymns 20, 27, 28, 6, and 19, and treats other shorter Hymns as part of its larger study of the structure and nature of the poems in the collection. Olson 2012 (cited under Individual Homeric Hymns) now also provides a useful recent commentary on ten of the shorter Hymns. Comments on the smaller Hymns may also be found passim in the general overviews listed previously.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Fröhder, Dorothea. 1994. Die dichterische Form der homerischen Hymnen: Untersucht am Typus der mittelgrossen Preislieder. Hildesheim, Germany: Georg Olms.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Detailed study of the structure, nature, and function of the short and middle-length Hymns. In the second part, individual attention is given to Hymns 20, 27, 28, 6, and 19.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Structure

                                                                                                                                                                                                          A number of sources examine the structure of the Homeric Hymns. Janko 1981 and Fröhder 1994 are frequently cited. See also Calame 2011 and the many useful observations in Devlin 1994. On the structure and genre of Greek hymns more generally, see Depew 2001, and Furley and Bremer 2001, Volume 1, pp. 1–64, with further bibliography.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Calame, Claude. 2011. The Homeric Hymns as Poetic Offerings: Musical and Ritual Relationships with the Gods. In The Homeric Hymns: Interpretative Essays. Edited by Andrew Faulkner, 334-357. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Examines the structure of the Homeric Hymns and the musical/ritual relationships established between the aoidos-rhapsode and the god hymned.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Depew, Mary. 2001. Enacted and represented dedications: Genre and Greek hymn. In Matrices of genre: Authors, canons, and society. Edited by Mary Depew and Dirk Obbink, 59–79. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              An insightful analysis of archaic Greek hymns as dedications to gods, which explores the significance of deictic language for performance context and genre.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Devlin, Nicola G. 1994. The hymn in Greek literature. PhD diss., Univ. of Oxford.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                A study of the structure and nature of Greek hymns, with many useful observations on the Homeric Hymns.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Fröhder, Dorothea. 1994. Die dichterische Form der homerischen Hymnen: Untersucht am Typus der mittelgrossen Preislieder. Hildesheim, Germany: Georg Olms.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A study of middle-length and short Hymns, with detailed comments on structure and function.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Furley, William, and Jan M. Bremer. 2001. Greek hymns. 2 vols. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Edition of numerous “cult” hymns, with an introduction, translation, and extensive commentary. The Homeric Hymns are not the object of the study, but are briefly discussed in the introduction. This is an essential and accessible source for other forms of Greek hymns.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Janko, Richard. 1981. The structure of the Homeric Hymns: A study in genre. Hermes 109:9–24.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Examines the formal characteristics of the Hymns. Widely consulted.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Genre and Motifs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sowa 1984 provides a useful analysis of the themes and motifs in the Hymns and their relationship to Near Eastern mythology; on this, see also Penglase 1994. On the genre of the Hymns, readers should also consult Clay 2006 and Clay 2011, who traces generic themes of the “politics of Olympus” in the Homeric Hymns. Furley 2011 alternatively compares the Hymns to other early hexameter hymns and suggests a development from more basic theogonic hymns.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Clay, Jenny Strauss. 2006. The politics of Olympus: Form and meaning in the major Homeric hymns. London: Duckworth.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Originally published in 1989. An essential and widely influential work. Extensive literary analysis of the four long narrative Hymns, which argues that the Homeric Hymns constitute a distinct genre within archaic epic.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Clay, Jenny. 2011. The Homeric Hymns as Genre. In The Homeric Hymns: Interpretative Essays. Edited by Andrew Faulkner, 232-253. Oxford, UK. Oxford University Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Argues that the longer Homeric Hymns constitute a genre, suggesting that the Hymns developed from independent compositions not attached to particular cult locations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Furley, William. 2011. Homeric and Un-Homeric Hexameter Hymns. In The Homeric Hymns: Interpretative Essays. Edited by Andrew Faulkner, 206-231. Oxford, UK. Oxford University Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Compares the Homeric Hymns to the remains of other early hexameter hymns and suggests that they may have been developed from traditional hymnic stock.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Penglase, Charles. 1994. Greek myths and Mesopotamia: Parallels and influence in the Homeric Hymns and Hesiod. London: Routledge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.4324/9780203443910E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Comparative study of Greek and Near Eastern mythology, with particular reference to the Hymns.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Sowa, Cora A. 1984. Traditional themes and the Homeric Hymns. Chicago: Blochazy-Carducci.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A well-organized discussion of traditional motifs in the Hymns.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Collection

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Several studies have identified patterns in the organization of the collection, whose circumstances of formation are uncertain. For an overview of these issues, Richardson 2010, pp. 3–4, and Torres-Guerra 2003, with a previous bibliography; both note that length seems to be an organizational principle. Gelzer 1987 argues that the collection we have was compiled in the 5th or 6th century CE. However, a collection of some sort may well have existed by the early 3rd century BCE, on which see Faulkner 2011. Van der Valk 1976 proposes that the collection existed prior to the Hellenistic period.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Gelzer, Thomas. 1987. Bemerkungen zu Homerische Ares-Hymnus (Hom. Hy. 8). Museum Helveticum 44:150–167.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Argues that the compiler of the collection inserted the eighth Hymn in the 5th or 6th century CE.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Faulkner, Andrew. 2011. The Collection of Homeric Hymns: From the Seventh to the Third Centuries BC. In The Homeric Hymns: Interpretative Essays. Edited by Andrew Faulkner, 175-205. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Traces the reception of the Hymns from the archaic to the early Hellenistic period and considers the evidence for the formation of the collection.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Richardson, Nicholas, ed. 2010. Three Homeric hymns: To Apollo, Hermes, and Aphrodite. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Surveys the organization and formation of the collection in the introduction, pp. 3–4.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Torres-Guerra, José B. 2003. Die Anordnung der homerischen Hymnen. Philologus 147:3–12.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Study of the organization of the collection and the classification of the Hymns. Considers length an important factor.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • van der Valk, Marchinus. 1976. On the arrangement of the Homeric hymns. L’Antiquité Classique 45:419–445.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Posits a collection prior to the Hellenistic period.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Reception

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The study of the reception of the Homeric Hymns has advanced significantly in recent years, with much attention given to their reception in Greek literature of the Hellenistic period. There is, however, still much work to be done on reception, particularly the reception of the Hymns in later Greek and Latin literature. Apart from the studies cited in this section, commentaries should also be consulted on the reception of individual Hymns.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Greek Reception

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Essential studies of Fantuzzi and Hunter 2004, chapter 8 (pp. 350–371); Vamvouri-Ruffy 2004; Hunter and Fuhrer 2002; Hunter 1996, chapter 2 (pp. 46–76); Bing 1993; Bing 1995; and Bulloch 1977. On the early reception of the Hymns down to the early Hellenistic period, see also Faulkner 2011 (cited under The Collection) and Nagy 2011.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Bing, Peter. 1993. Impersonation of voice in Callimachus’ Hymn to Apollo. Transactions of the American Philological Association 123:181–198.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Exploration of the intertextual relationship established between Callimachus’s third hymn and the Homeric Hymn to Apollo through the use of voice by Callimachus.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Bing, Peter. 1995. Callimachus and the Hymn to Demeter. Syllecta Classica 6:29–42.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Examines Callimachus’s engagement with the Hymn to Demeter in his hymn to the same goddess.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Bulloch, Anthony W. 1977. Callimachus’ Erysichthon, Homer and Apollonius Rhodius. American Journal of Philology 98:97–123.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Compares the myth of transgression in the seventh Hymn to Dionysus to the narrative of Erysichthon’s trangression in Callimachus’s sixth hymn.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Fantuzzi, Marco, and Richard Hunter. 2004. Tradition and innovation in Hellenistic poetry. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Amid a wide-ranging study of engagement with earlier poetry, the beginning of chapter 8 considers Callimachus’s poetic models.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hunter, Richard. 1996. Theocritus and the archaeology of Greek poetry. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511627378E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The second chapter analyzes the influence of Hymn 33 to the Dioscuri on Theocritus’s Idyll 22.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Hunter, Richard, and Therese Fuhrer. 2002. Imaginary gods? Poetic theology in the hymns of Callimachus. In Entretiens de la Fondation Hardt: Callimaque. Edited by Franco Montanari and Luigi Lehnus, 143–187. Geneva, Switzerland: Fondation Hardt.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      An indispensable overview of the influence of the Homeric Hymns on Callimachus.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Nagy, Gregory. 2011. The Earliest Phases in the Reception of the Homeric Hymns. In The Homeric Hymns: Interpretative Essays. Edited by Andrew Faulkner, 280-333. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Explores the early reception of the Hymns in the fifth century BCE, with particular focus on the long Hymn to Apollo and the witness of Thucydides.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Vamvouri-Ruffy, Maria. 2004. La fabrique du divin: Les Hymnes de Callimaque à la lumière des Hymnes homériques et des Hymnes épigraphiques. Kernos supplement 14. Liège, Belgium: Kernos.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Detailed study of Callimachus’s engagement with the Homeric Hymns and epigraphic hymns, on the levels of structure and theme.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Latin Reception

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          On reception in Roman literature, Barchiesi 1999, Hinds 1987, and Syed 2004 consider the influence of the Hymns on Ovid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Barchiesi, Alessandro. 1999. Venus’ masterplot: Ovid and the Homeric hymns. In Ovidian transformations: Essays on the Metamorphoses and its reception. Edited by Philip Hardie, Alessandro Barchiesi, and Stephen Hinds, 112–126. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Introductory foray into the study of the Homeric Hymns as intertexts for Ovid’s Metamorphoses, with consideration given also to the role of Callimachus’s hymns.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Hinds, Stephen. 1987. The metamorphosis of Persephone: Ovid and the self-conscious muse. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Extensive comparison of Ovid’s account of the myth of Persephone with the narrative of the Hymn to Demeter.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Syed, Yasmin. 2004. Ovid’s Use of the Hymnic Genre in the Metmorphoses. In Rituals in Ink: A Conference on Religion and Literary Production in Ancient Rome Held at Stanford University in February 2002. Edited by Alessandro Barchiesi, Jörg Rüpke, Susan Stephens, 99-113. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Usefully explores Ovid’s engagement with the narratives and structures of Homeric Hymns in the Metamorphoses.

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