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HOMERIC HYMNS

During the 7th century BC the first of the ‘Homeric Hymns’ were written. This is a collection of 33 hymns of praise to the gods of Greek mythology written by various anonymous authors. Each poem employs a type of meter called ‘dactylic hexameter’ which is used in the ‘epic’ poetry of Ancient Greece. Iliad and Odyssey are two famous poems which were also written in this meter. They vary from being a few lines to over five hundred in length. Here are a few lines of Hymn XXV, ‘To the Muses and Apollo’:

I will begin with the Muses and Apollo and Zeus. For it is through the Muses and Apollo that there are singers upon the earth and players upon the lyre; but kings are from Zeus. Happy is he whom the Muses love: sweet flows the speech from his lips. Hail, children of Zeus! Give honour to my song! And now I will remember you and another song also.


Hesiod, Homeric Hymns, Epic Cycle, Homerica. Loeb Classical Library Volume 57, Translated by H.G. Evelyn-White (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1914).

  2014  /  timeline  /  Last Updated October 3, 2014 by timeline2014  /