Page:Hesiod, The Homeric Hymns, and Homerica.djvu/45

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INTRODUCTION

Lundwich believes it to be a work of the fourth or third centiny, Allen and Sikes consider a sixth or seventh century date to be possible. The story is figured in a different form on the reliefs from the choragic monument of Lysicrates, now in the British Museum.

Very different in character is the Hymn to Ares, which is Orphic in character. The writer, after lauding the god by detailing his attributes, prays to be delivered from feebleness and weakness of soul, as also from impulses to wanton and brutal violence. The only other considerable hymn is that to Pan, which describes how he roams hunting among the mountains and thickets and streams, how he makes music at dusk while returning from the chase, and how he joins in dancing with the nymphs who sing the story of his birth. This, beyond most works of Greek literature, is remarkable for its fresh and spontaneous love of wild natural scenes.

The remaining hymns are mostly of the briefest compass, merely hailing the god to be celebrated and mentioning his chief attributes. The Hymns to Hermes (xvii) to the Dioscuri (xvii) and to Demeter (xiii) are mere abstracts of the longer hymns iv, xxxiii, and ii.

The Epigrams of Homer

The Epigrams of Homer are derived from the pseudo-Herodotean Life of Homer, but many of them occur in other documents such as the Contest of Homer and Hesiod, or are quoted by various ancient authors. These poetic fragments clearly antedate the "Life" itself, which seems to have been so written