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Homeric Hymns [Paperback]

Homer , Sarah Ruden , Sheila Murnaghan
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 30, 2005 0872207250 978-0872207257
Poet and translator, Sarah Ruden offers a sparkling new translation of one of our prime sources for archaic Greek mythology, ritual, cosmology, and psychology. The Hymns read as: 'Some say that you were born, O Stitched-In god, At windy Icarus or Draconum, Or Naxos or the deep-whirled Alpheus river, To Semele and Zeus who loves the thunder. Others, my lord, claim Thebes was your beginning - Liars. Far off from men, creation's father, Engendered you unknown to white-armed Hera...

Frequently Bought Together

Homeric Hymns + Theogony and Works and Days (Oxford World's Classics) + Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics)
Price for all three: $31.73

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Editorial Reviews


Sarah RudenÂ’s translation is clear, lean, intelligent, and delightfully readable. . . . This will be marvelous for classroom use. --Pamela Gordon, Department of Classics, University of Kansas

About the Author

Translated by Sarah Ruden; Introduction and Notes by Sheila Murnaghan

Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company (September 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872207250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872207257
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 5.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rather joyous November 10, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 10, 2014
By Diane
The book was in excellent condition.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 5, 2014
Received within a week.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Different Spin on Familiar Stories January 26, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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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