A Commentary on the Homeric Hymn to Hermes: Introduction, Text and Commentary (Texte und Kommentare, Band 41)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
excellent edition. thanks to original uploader. ebook retails at $182. hardcover retails at $182. something has to give in academic publishing!
Aims and Scope
The Hymn to Hermes, while surely the most amusing of the so-called Homeric Hymns, also presents an array of challenging problems. In just 580 lines, the newborn god invents the lyre and sings a hymn to himself, travels from Cyllene to Pieria to steal Apollo’s cattle, organizes a feast at the river Alpheios where he serves the meat of two of the stolen animals, cunningly defends his innocence, and is finally reconciled to Apollo, to whom he gives the lyre in exchange for the cattle. This book provides the first detailed commentary devoted specifically to this unusual poem since Radermacher’s 1931 edition. The commentary pays special attention to linguistic, philological, and interpretive matters. It is preceded by a detailed introduction that addresses the Hymn’s ideas on poetry and music, the poem’s humour, the Hymn’s relation to other archaic hexameter literature both in thematic and technical aspects, the poem’s reception in later literature, its structure, the issue of its date and place of composition, and the question of its transmission. The critical text, based on F. Càssola’s edition, is equipped with an apparatus of formulaic parallels in archaic hexameter poetry as well as possible verbal echoes in later literature.
Athanassios Vergados, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany, andNational and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece.
xiv, 718 pages
Language: English, Ancient Greek
Type of Publication: Commentary
Keywords: Homeric Hymns; Hermes; Poetry; Greek; Religion
Diggle, Douglas Olson, and David Sider also commented on large sections of the book, for which I am grateful. Parts of the introduction were presented at professional meetings: at the 2006 Convention of the American Philological Association in Montréal, where Nancy Felson and Ann Suter contributed constructive comments, and at the 2006 CAMWS convention in Gainesville, Florida. A draft of the commentary on lines 212–77 was discussed at the Commentary Writing Workshop organized by Douglas Olson and
far have been part of a scheme. 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
the Old Man’s reply, and the break is caused by φξ« # ρ , one of the many parentheses in the poem, and we may detect a conscious effect here (see 208n.). 3. Hermann’s Law regarding the avoidance of word-end at the fourth trochee is observed without exceptions. 4. Meyer’s First Law, that words beginning in the first foot do not end between the short syllables of the second foot, is violated in the fol), 258 ( ), 267 ( ), 297 lowing cases:28 208 ( ( « ), 379 (³« #), 380 ( # ξ ), 386 ( ) ), 396 ( «
backwards. φ (119) refers to those cows that were marching backwards. ( ) (120) however points to a different set of tracks that were caused by animals, some of which were moving forward and some backward. Thus their tracks appeared interlaced with each other (121–22 # σ| #$ ), which perplexed the Satyrs even more. This reflects a more complicated stratagem than that described in the Hymn.9 At any rate, 121 « 9 Steffen (1960, 72) proposes that Hermes drove the cows forward, but when he drew near
theme of prophecy, hinted at in the proem (cf. 10n.); it also confirms Hermes’ acquisition of certain attributes that were mentioned in the proem. C, the central part of the Hymn (Apollo’s search for the animals and Hermes’ display of rhetoric to Maia, Apollo, and Zeus), acquires special prominence by virtue of its position at the center of the ring. This part too is integrated in the narrative fabric since it foreshadows Apollo’s attempt to bind Hermes at 409–14 (cf. Maia’s words at 157–58),