By Athanassios Vergados
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Aims and Scope
The Hymn to Hermes, whereas without doubt the main fun of the so-called Homeric Hymns, additionally provides an array of difficult difficulties. in exactly 580 traces, the baby god invents the lyre and sings a hymn to himself, travels from Cyllene to Pieria to thieve Apollo’s livestock, organizes a banquet on the river Alpheios the place he serves the beef of 2 of the stolen animals, cunningly defends his innocence, and is ultimately reconciled to Apollo, to whom he supplies the lyre in alternate for the farm animals. This publication offers the 1st distinctive statement dedicated particularly to this strange poem considering the fact that Radermacher’s 1931 variation. The observation can pay certain cognizance to linguistic, philological, and interpretive issues. it really is preceded via an in depth advent that addresses the Hymn’s principles on poetry and track, the poem’s humour, the Hymn’s relation to different archaic hexameter literature either in thematic and technical points, the poem’s reception in later literature, its constitution, the difficulty of its date and position of composition, and the query of its transmission. The serious textual content, in keeping with F. Càssola’s variation, is supplied with an equipment of formulaic parallels in archaic hexameter poetry in addition to attainable verbal echoes in later literature.
Athanassios Vergados, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany, andNational and Kapodistrian college of Athens, Greece.
xiv, 718 pages
Language: English, old Greek
Type of e-book: Commentary
Keywords: Homeric Hymns; Hermes; Poetry; Greek; faith
Read or Download A Commentary on the Homeric Hymn to Hermes: Introduction, Text and Commentary (Texte und Kommentare, Band 41) PDF
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Extra resources for A Commentary on the Homeric Hymn to Hermes: Introduction, Text and Commentary (Texte und Kommentare, Band 41)
14 with his inept catalogue of women may draw at least a smile from the reader; and we cannot forget Ares and Aphrodite in Od. 8. Herm. we do not merely encounter some humorous moments; rather, the comic tone is sustained throughout the bulk of the poem. The Hymn’s tone becomes serious only in the last part of the poem, after the two gods’ conciliation (on this, see below, p. 37–39). Much of the poem’s comedy derives from the Kindheitsmotif, the motif of precocious childhood, which the poet combines with the story 7 8 9 See West (2001).
The poet thus calls again into question a poetic convention: if objects belonging to gods and the very presence of the gods are fragrant, should also a god’s diapers be thought of as such? A similar olfactory joke occurs at 231–32 when Apollo visits Cyllene, in a scene that owes much to the description of Calypso’s island in Od. 5 (cf. p. 403). Just as on Calypso’s island there is a pleasant fragrance ( κ ¹ ) wafting over the mountain; but our poet hastens to add ξ , thus deflating the pleasant (olfactory) image.
38 Introduction eral characteristics of the trickster as set out by D. 21 These are (i) the trickster’s fundamentally ambiguous or anomalous personality (cf. Hermes’ ‘identity crisis’ referred to above, p. 4–5); (ii) he is a deceiver or trick player (cf. the stratagem he uses to confuse Apollo); (iii) he is a shape-shifter (cf. the strange tracks which for Apollo take the form of something more terrible than a centaur);22 (iv) he is an extemporizer, dealing with the problems as they arise and solving them with the material he finds in his immediate environment; (v) he is the messenger of the gods; and (vi) he is a sacred bricoleur (cf.