A Commentary on the Homeric Hymn to Hermes: Introduction, by Athanassios Vergados

By Athanassios Vergados

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Aims and Scope

The Hymn to Hermes, whereas absolutely the main fun of the so-called Homeric Hymns, additionally provides an array of hard difficulties. in precisely 580 traces, the child god invents the lyre and sings a hymn to himself, travels from Cyllene to Pieria to scouse borrow Apollo’s farm animals, organizes a dinner party on the river Alpheios the place he serves the beef of 2 of the stolen animals, cunningly defends his innocence, and is eventually reconciled to Apollo, to whom he offers the lyre in alternate for the farm animals. This publication offers the 1st special remark dedicated particularly to this strange poem on account that Radermacher’s 1931 version. The observation can pay specific recognition to linguistic, philological, and interpretive issues. it really is preceded through an in depth creation that addresses the Hymn’s principles on poetry and tune, 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 line 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 booklet: Commentary
Keywords: Homeric Hymns; Hermes; Poetry; Greek; faith

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Extra resources for A Commentary on the Homeric Hymn to Hermes: Introduction, Text and Commentary (Texte und Kommentare, Band 41)

Example text

136–37. Graefe (1963) argued that Hermes and Apollo’s reconciliation was an allusion to the alliance between Themistocles and Cimon; he saw a reflection of Themistocles’ cunning in Hermes’ clever acts, while he considered Apollo’s gifts to symbolize Cimon’s lavishness. He consequently dated the poem to 475 BC. Cf. Hes. Op. 79–80. Gera (2003, 115–18) discusses the evidence for Hermes as the inventor of language and speech. Plato Cra. 407e associates Hermes and «, but modern linguistics contests the etymological link between the two words; cf.

His goal is to obtain a status equal to Apollo’s, and his defense speeches are nothing but an act. Likewise, Hermes’ address to Apollo at 464–95 exhibits for the most part connected and complex sentences, its structure being far more elaborate than that of his other speeches. There is parallelism and balance, necessary enjambement, and hypotaxis. Hermes uses figurative language: the lyre is personified as a hetaira who is to be brought to a banquet and to be questioned in the same manner one questions an oracle.

Herm. g. 5 In evaluating the uniqueness of the poem’s vocabulary, it is essential that we not disregard the importance of the poem’s tone as a factor that influences linguistic choice. g. , , λ ) should not cause any surprise, given that Hermes and Apollo refer their dispute to Zeus who acts as a judge. Similarly, the poet’s humorous attitude to the subject matter, which shapes the poem both on the thematic as well as the verbal level, is equally important. Herm. Herm. shows affinities with the presentation of Hermes in iambus and comedy,7 we cannot exclude the possibility that the poet’s vocabulary has been influenced by genres or poetic currents other than epic.

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