Homeric Hymns by Homer

Homeric Hymns

Composed for recitation at festivals, these 33 songs were written in honour of the gods and goddesses of the ancient Greek pantheon. They recount the key episodes in the lives of the gods, and dramatise the moments when they first appear before mortals. Together they offer the most vivid picture we have of the Greek view of the relationship between the divine and human worlds.

Details Homeric Hymns

TitleHomeric Hymns
Release DateApr 24th, 2003
PublisherPenguin Classics
GenrePoetry, Classics, Fantasy, Mythology, Fiction, Literature

Reviews Homeric Hymns

  • Jonathan
    Pallas Athena I begin to sing,The glorious goddess with gleaming eyes,Brilliantly inventive, her heart relentless,The formidable maiden, guardian of cities,The courageous Tritogeneia.Wise Zeus gave birth to her himselfOut of his majestic head.Golden armour clothed her,It was glistening, war-like.All the gods who saw herWere overcome with awe.Suddenly she was thereBefore Zeus who holds the Aegis.She sprang from his immortal headShaking her sharp s...
  • Kaila
    1) It's called Homeric Hymns not because they are by Homer but because they are in the same meter that Homer used.2) It is a very quick read. A couple hours at most.3) The Hymn of Demeter/Persephone is the best, Hermes second, and the rest, while interesting and sometimes beautiful, didn't add much for me.4) Aphrodite is kind of a jerk. They're all kind of jerks.
  • Summer
    3 Stars, Completed February 9, 2016I'm not sure how it happened but after taking six semesters of Latin (high school and a few upper level college courses of the foreign language), I never had to translate and read any Roman or Greek text fully in Latin. We read excerpts or parts in translated idiomatic English. So I sort of felt cheated by this being someone that was very interested in mythology growing up. (It's a shame most of my Latin/Greek m...
  • Daniel Chaikin
    translated by Jules Cashford, with an introduction and notes by Nicholas RichardsonI'm a little a loss to explain why I liked these so much or explain what I liked about them. Maybe I'm just fond of Greek mythology and any riff on them that made it through the vagaries of time will catch my interest. But there does seem to be something extra here. There is a reason Percy Bysshe Shelley translated so many of these, as did Chapman. Maybe it's just ...
  • Mary Catelli
    A series of hymns of ancient Greece.Ranging from recounting myths, sometimes at length, to bursts of short lyric. Some of it will be familiar, and some not at all -- the Hymn to Ares in particular.Translation matters. I read an idiomatic one this time, and it tried to bring it into modern English as much as possible. More unfortunately, it was a 1970s translation and bears quite definitely the mark of it, several phrases sheriek of the decades.Ev...
  • David
    This collection of hymns follows the style of Homer's writings and due to that and to tradition are said to have been written by him. The first two hymns were missing until the late 1700's, but even then only a small fragment of hymn one was recovered (although nearly all of hymn two was found). Aside from difficulties resulting from a few missing lines these hymns are easy to follow and it is a marvel this much remains now for readers to enjoy.A...
  • Lucie Jane Miller
    Reading this book again for the Ancient Greek and Roman mythology course I am doing for the second time, I found I enjoyed it much more. This Penguin Classics translation is elegant, full of charm and so inspiring. In the introduction by Nicholas Richardson, the author explores the composition, the history of the hymns and the beauty of the structure, themes and style. "The hymns... Tell us something about the Greek view of the relationship betwe...
  • Tiffany
    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.
  • Jim
    These Homeric Hymns might be better be described as prayers or invocations to the Gods, to be read before the start of stage plays. They can be a bit repetitive, but that's the nature of offering praise to the gods, especially when you asking them to bless your proceedings.If you're a fan of ancient Greek drama, I would recommend this book as a supplement to your reading.
  • Mark Desrosiers
    A taut, hypnotic translation: sorta the poetic equivalent of Velvet Underground's "The Murder Mystery". Choppy and insistent, no dactyls, no hexameters. So it's probably pretty close to the way these central hymns sounded in Mediterranean caves and hillsides. The hymns to Hermes guide my every move (wink), and I ended up disliking Demeter very much (ducking). Essential reading.
  • Norita
    Beautiful translation of what will become one of your favorite books of short-form Ancient verse. Cannot recommend this highly enough!
  • Shyam
    Beautiful translations. Unfortunate that the majority of the hymns are so short as the longer ones are great.
  • Melora
    These were surprisingly enjoyable. Well, I guess it is silly to be surprised – anything that is still in print well over a thousand years after its composition has probably got some fine qualities. But many of these poems/songs tell really compelling stories in beautiful, intense language. (I realize that part of the credit for the loveliness of the poetry goes to the translator, and, while admitting that I have no basis whatsoever for comparis...
  • Beluosus
    Τέλος δὲ τοὺς Ὁμηρικοὺς Ὕμνους ἀνέγνωκα, ὧν βιβλίου ἐν βιβλιοθήκῃ μοι κεκονιμένου μακρὸν χρόνον ἠμέλησα. οὐ μὲν ἔτι τὴν πᾶσαν γραμματικὴν τὴν ὁμηρικὴν διανέγνων, ἤθελον δ' ἐπῶν τινων πειρᾶσθαι. Ἐτερπόμην βιβλίου μύθους, ἀλλὰ καίπ...
  • Frankie
    Recensione sul blog: http://thereadingpal.blogspot.it/2017...Questa è una recensione davvero molto personale. È raccomandato (anzi, quasi obbligatorio) per noi politeisti ellenici, approcciarsi ai testi antichi. L'ho fatto e lo sto facendo. Volevo comprare una copia degli inni da tempo, e non trovandola in italiano ho preso questa.Gli "Inni Omerici" sono una serie di Inni agli dei ellenici, di cui potete leggere la storia sia online che in ques...
  • Dmk
    I can't tell why, but the hymn on Demeter has risen so many emotions and images in me... though of course I known the story itself before reading it. Generally I really enjoyed the four "longer" hymns, just four solid pieces of good poetry and stories were also interesting ones. On the other hand shorter on were often were just boring, empty...but not all of them, some of them have risen that wield religios vibe in me...Must-read for everyone wit...
  • Maan Kawas
    A masterpiece!!! I found this book an enchanting read from the first pages! I have read the 'Focus Classical Library' edition and I found Susan C Shelmerdine introduction and rich footnotes so helpful for understanding this great work. I think I am going to reread this interesting book again and again. I particularly loved the Hymns to Demeter, Apollo, Aphrodite, and Hermes, though all the hymns are so beautiful. I do highly recommend it.
  • Michael Arnold
    There is a great mystery around the Homeric Hymns that makes reading them not just an experience unlike any other, you cannot help but feel like a sort of Indiana Jones type (almost) discovering something new and interesting. I should write a more full review for this book, but I don't know anything about these poems. I'll be reading this book again!
  • Antonia
    I'm 100% pissed that we never read this in school. For anyone interested in the topic, it's a must read. Thoroughly enjoyable, especially if you're feeling a bit bleaky after reading Hesiod. The next thing I'll pick up is other translations from Diane Rayor - her contribution is also what made this work so fun to read.
  • sabisteb
    Homerische Hymnen, das klingt schrecklich langweilig. Man sollte sich aber nicht vom Titel abschrecken lassen, denn was die alten Griechen unter Hymnen verstanden ist zum Großteil deutlich spannender und unterhaltsamer als das, was das Christentum darunter versteht. Natürlich gibt es auch die langweilig, schwafeligen Lobhuddeleien an ein paar Götter, die den christlichen Hymnen in nichts nachstehen, die großen, langen Hymnen sind aber spannen...
  • Anna C
    Required reading for a class on Homer. The Homeric Hymns have had a fascinating and rather sad life history. This collection consists of 33 poetic invocations to various Greek gods, with Hermes, Apollo, and Aphrodite getting the most page time. Originally oral poetry, they were widely read by armchair classicists in later centuries. After someone decided they were written by Homer, the hymns got even more popular. Unfortunately, then some scholar...
  • Katherine Hurley
    I've never read other translations of the Homeric Hymns, but these flowed beautifully and certainly had the feel Homer's verses, even though they are written by various, unknown poets. My initial interest was in the long hymn to Demeter, which was my favorite even after reading them all. Some, like the Demeter hymn, have cohesive story lines, but others are less focused.I have been slogging my way through Apollodorus's Library of Greek Mythology ...
  • Erik Graff
    While most of these hymns are boring as presented (a scholarly Greek/English version with lots of critical apparatus would have been more interesting), there is one which works to the modern sense, at least in part. The Hymn to Dionyos has, as I recall, a theme of Apollo being pissed at the trickster godling. Once, when still very young, Dionysos had stolen some of the god's sacred cattle. Apollo pursues, finally catching him in, get this, his cr...
  • Mark
    I took a Greek mythology class in college and several of the stories that my professor highlighted were directly from this collection of texts. For those of you have read The Iliad the Homeric Hymn To Aphrodite gives the back story on "sweet smiling Aphrodite" hooking up with a Trojan prince and becoming the mother of the hero Aeneas. Readers interested in the Eleusinian Mystery cult will find the Hymn To Demeter fascinating. I found the Hymn To ...
  • Agathokles
    A very good, understandable translation of this set of ancient hymns. I greatly prefer Athanassakis' line-per-line kind of translation over less accurate poetic translations, as I seek to understand the original Hellenic texts better. The same applies to my preference over Athanassakis' trnaslations of the Orphic Hymns compared to Thomas Taylor's.
  • Caroline Beatle
    Las notas y las introducciones hacen de este libro una edición preciosa ♥Y los himnos largos son lo mejor (mi favorito por siempre el de Hermes). Ojalá se hubieran conservado más ):
  • Mike
    I first read these hymns in my 20s, but they didn’t make much of an impression. Now that I’m more engaged with ancient literature, I decided to give them a second reading. I still find them to be less than exciting. The narratives are rather straightforward and lack the verbal flourish of later Greek verse, except for a few of the shorter hymns toward the end. While it was interesting to read some of the longer hymns celebrating the origin of...
  • Rosa
    Homeeriset hymnit on kokoelma ylistyslauluja kreikkalaisen mytologian jumalille. Ne kertovat mm. jumalten synnystä, teoista ja ominaisuuksista.Pidemmät hymnit - kuten 2 (Demeterille), 4 (Hermeelle), 5 (Afroditelle) ja 19 (Panille) - olivat omia lemppareitani. Lyhyet tuntuivat lähinnä katkelmilta isommista kokonaisuuksista - ja kenties niitä olivatkin. Valitettavasti tämän suomennoksen ohessa ei ollut minkäänlaista johdantoa/jälkisanoja/...
  • Ray Zimmerman
    Perhaps the best known of the poems is The Homeric Hymn to Demeter, which is the story of a mother's search for a lost daughter. The translator did not preserve the hexameter rhythm of the original Greek, but that would add another dimension. These works are credited to Homer, as are The Iliad and The Odyssey. A few tell a story, specifically the Hymn to Demeter, The Hymn to Apollo, the Hymn to Hermes, and The Hymn to Aphrodite. The others are hy...
  • Nicholas Bobbitt
    Solid collection, but not necessarily one I feel I'd need on my shelves.