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The Homeric Hymns, 2nd Edition Paperback – June 28, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0801879838 ISBN-10: 0801879833 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 106 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; 2nd edition (June 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801879833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801879838
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.3 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #492,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

More than any other translation, this one makes these ancient poems seem familiar without eroding our sense of them as profoundly archaic and foreign.

(Parnassus: Poetry in Review)

Review

"There exists no modern, readable translation done with scholarly notes to help the reader see all the historical, religious, cultic, and cultural significance of the hymns for ancient Greece. The author succeeds admirably in reaching this goal." -- Joseph Russo, Haverford College

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Homer was probably born around 725BC on the Coast of Asia Minor, now the coast of Turkey, but then really a part of Greece. Homer was the first Greek writer whose work survives.

He was one of a long line of bards, or poets, who worked in the oral tradition. Homer and other bards of the time could recite, or chant, long epic poems.

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Customer Reviews

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It's really hard to find a good translation of classical works.
Chrysoula A. Holtzhauer
To a casual reader, they are of interest only if they help to make sense of a passage at hand.
Ian M. Slater
I bought this just out of casual interest in the subject, and I am very happy with it =).
Danielle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Ian M. Slater TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
The Athanassakis translation of the "Homeric Hymns" -- a somewhat disparate collection of narratives, possible opening invocations for performances of longer poems, and a mix of what seem to be actual religious documents and literary exercises -- displays both literary grace (in the verse-line translations), and scholarly explication (in the introduction, and in the accompanying notes to the individual hymns).

[In his 2004 revised edition -- my review is of the original 1976 publication -- the translator continues to insist he was not aiming at producing poetry. It is indeed not formal English verse, but after decades of use I still find his translation not only readable but exceptionally attractive, and at least poetic, and not just by comparison to the old Evelyn-White translation.]

The poems are described as Homer's in the manuscript tradition, in which they are offered together with hymns by historical poets, but also some attributed to the mythical Orpheus. They are in the dactylic hexameter line of the Homeric epics, which in some of them is employed as a lyric meter -- a somewhat astonishing idea to those who know the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey." Athanassakis does a wonderful job of producing consistently attractive English versions, while attempting to adhere closely to the original. (I have no claims to real scholarship in this, but I once took the trouble to work through passages against the corresponding lines in a Greek text, with the help of the Liddel-&-Scott "Lexicon" and several grammars.)

After a long period of neglect on the part of translators into English, this group of poems has been translated in both verse and prose a number of times in recent decades.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Chrysoula A. Holtzhauer on August 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's really hard to find a good translation of classical works. We mustn't forget that most of these literary works had been translated in the mid to late 1800's and the use of language is not always the best.

I enjoy reading and referring to this book for two reasons:

-it was translated by Mr. Athanassakis, a Greek-American professor, who understands the text in its original format and can produce a sound translation into English without losing the meaning and without employing personal "stylisic contortions" of the text;

-the book contains notes relating to each passage, which helps students of classical works identify the Greek religion, mythology and cultural history; it makes references to specific titles like the Theogony, Odyssey, Iliad, Orphic Hymns, Herodotos, Euripides; also translates Roman-Latin words found in corresponding texts of the same passage.

If you are looking for an "unadulterated" text of the Homeric Hymns, this is book you need for your library! I'm surprised it's not being used in schools...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Danielle on November 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this just out of casual interest in the subject, and I am very happy with it =). It was very interesting for me, even though I have a limited knowledge on the subject (I'm not claiming to be an expert at all). I can't say anything for those wishing to study it seriously because, like I said, I'm no expert. However, I do recommend it at least to all other casual or slightly interested readers as it's not boring at all (or at least it wasn't for me =)P ). Overall a very good purchase!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Chapman on October 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
This "review" is actually a criticism of Amazon's handling of the authorship of these hymns.
Amazon has incorrectly specified that the Homeric Hymns were actually authored by Homer. The Homeric Hymns actually span a time frame of more than eight centuries and were authored by many anonymous poets. They were written in the style of "Homer," who was said to have authored the Illiad and the Odyssey, although these works have also undergone many "layers of composition" (Boer, 1970, in the Introduction to the Homeric Hymns).
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By AvidShopper on October 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Less expensive than most sites. The translation is the one that I needed for my class. Arrived on time! Early even!
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