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Homeric Hymns (Hackett Classics)

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0872207257
ISBN-10: 0872207250
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Sarah Ruden's translation is clear, lean, intelligent, and delightfully readable. The notes provide guidance without encumbering the text. This will be marvelous for classroom use, for reading aloud, or simply for reading for pleasure. --Pamela Gordon, Department of Classics, University of Kansas



The translation moves along at a smart and elegant pace. . . . Ruden is clearly a writer with considerable skill in poetic expression. . . . [Sheila Murnaghan's] introduction does a good job of introducing the Homeric Hymns to a general audience and assisting the inexperienced reader in reading the longer hymns, in particular. [This] new translation will clearly fill a niche for a convenient and inexpensive translation of the Homeric Hymns into English verse. . . . --Roger S. Fisher, Bryn Mawr Classical Review



Clear, inclusive, luminously helpful, the Ruden/Murnaghan Homeric Hymns is a text I'll use next time I teach my ever-expanding Mythology in Literature class. Introduction, translation, and notes are all of superior quality. --Rachel Hadas, Department of English, Rutgers University

About the Author

Sarah Ruden is a classically trained poet and translator. Her translations of Petronius' Satyricon and Aristophanes' Lysistrata are also published by Hackett Publishing Company.

Sheila Murnaghan is Professor of Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania.

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Product Details

  • Series: Hackett Classics
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company (September 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872207250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872207257
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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The so-called "Homeric Hymns" were songs of praise to ancient Greek deities. They were intended to be used as part of specific rituals of worship. They were not written by Homer, but by people who obviously admired Homer and wanted to honor him by emulating his style. Most of them are brief and follow a definite formula, but some of the longer ones have strong narrative lines that are quite engrossing. The Hymn to Hermes is our prime source for the story of the infant Hermes stealing the cattle of Apollo. (I found this hymn in particular to be delightful.) The Hymn to Demeter is probably the most valuable to people interested in the ancient Greek culture and religion. It tells a detailed story that gives tantalizing hints about the Eleusian rituals. I had never heard of the Homeric Hymns despite a lifelong interest in myth and ancient history. They really should be better known. This particular translation is extremely clear and unambiguous in addition to being, in some cases, extraordinarily beautiful poetry. I was very impressed with the way translator Sarah Ruden was able to switch voices for the different hymns. She takes a saucily flirtatious tone with the Hymn to Aphrodite that I found especially pleasing.

My only quibble, however minor it may seem to some people, is that the glossary and notes are not very helpful at all. For example, there will be a footnote for Hera, who is probably familiar to anyone studying mythology. But then when some really obscure name occurs, there is no footnote. A glossary lists most of the names of characters, but ignores place names. The word you need to know the meaning of may turn out to be a place instead of a person. One of the frequently used devices is a listing of all the famous shrines to the deity being addressed.
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Required reading for Greek and Roman Mythology, but I'm happy about it. It seems to be an excellent and enjoyable translation, with good notes to clarify meanings and identities. If you're into Greek Mythology, the hymns here definitely add a bit of depth to the experience. The stories aren't new, but they're told with a different flow to them, and so are just as fun to read again as they were the first time.
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By gv on October 6, 2015
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This was purchased for a class. I would not have read it otherwise
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To the importance of writers and readers knowing their pastime's heritage, and feeling less ravaged both by time's erosion and man's destructive habits, it is a pleasure to the aesthetic intellect that some important narratives from the ancient world are extant (survived) fairly complete, or atleast so that we can fill in the gaps. One rougher, but patience-eliciting book you may want to have in your collection came out surprisingly enough not too long ago of previously undiscovered works of the playwright who held the most esteem and civil positions as well at Athen's height of glory, though he impressed the divinity-inclined public with works that included man's issues as equally important to that of the gods: namely, Sophocles; the book contains some eighty fragments of plays mentioned in related records, but thought not to have been extant, and is entitled The Lost Sophocles. I'm sure Amazon can get you a copy. It feels good to get more of the overall picture of the classical eras, doesn't it? Homeric Hymns fills my need I first garnered after reading his Iliad Odyssey. Also, ironically enough, a couple years back, as the result of an artifact thief originally, Poetry Magazine from Chicago's Poetry Foundation was able to print the missing parts of Anaeus's run from the enflamed streets of Troy, his offspring in his arms, and the elaboration of the death of his wife and her appearance to him to give a more complete prelude to the prophetic theme Virgil intended about the coming of Rome, and that empire's original wish to have no higherarchies and simply be the common man's eternal keeper of world peace.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
The book was in excellent condition.
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