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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hymns from 'Homer'
This Loeb collection of the Homeric Hymns and other writings connected, more or less loosely, with Homer is very welcome. The translation by Martin L. West reads well and makes the poems accessible. As always with the Loeb library, the translation faces the original Greek text. There are some gems here - the Hymn to Hermes, for one, is delightful, a comic and irreverent...
Published on 27 Feb 2011 by Jeremy L

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Translators only, please.
In this review I focus on the Homeric Hymns only. Athanassakis (1970) says' `poetry is untranslatable', and here West provides in that manner an accurate word-for-word translation of the left-page Greek verse to right-page English prose. This edition, with its slight introduction and negligible footnotes or endnotes, is made purely for the student learning Greek and...
Published on 15 Nov 2006 by Edward Beach


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Translators only, please., 15 Nov 2006
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This review is from: Homeric Hymns: WITH Homeric Apocrypha AND Lives of Homer (Loeb Classical Library) (Hardcover)
In this review I focus on the Homeric Hymns only. Athanassakis (1970) says' `poetry is untranslatable', and here West provides in that manner an accurate word-for-word translation of the left-page Greek verse to right-page English prose. This edition, with its slight introduction and negligible footnotes or endnotes, is made purely for the student learning Greek and looking for support along the way. Those with a lay interest will turn to Rayor (2004) or Crudden (2001).

West's introduction pauses briefly to consider the hymn-genre and its purpose, consigning them to prelude-status only. On authorship he maintains the `Homeridai' purposefully remained anonymous, considering themselves inheritors only, but then (surprisingly) names individual authors for Apollo (3) and Ares (8) as well as relatively precise dates for each hymn, given with their summary. His summary for the Hymn to Apollo (3) is a good example of the present babel-nature of work in this field; he dates the Pythian half older than the Delian and provides an interesting account of Polycrates' possible influence in usurping the older and having it lengthened to include references to Hera, the patron-goddess of Samos, and his own Delian festival to Apollo. This account is found nowhere in the other three recent popular translations, or in Clay's intelligent Politics of Olympus.

For those already acquainted with the hymns, the extra material afforded by West's close study makes tantalising reading. The Hymn to Dionysus (1), informed by a previously unpublished papyrus, is lengthened to include an account, heavily reconstructed, of Zeus' plans to send Ares and Dionysus to reconcile Hephaistus to Hera, which is completely absent in other editions. The pieces are frustratingly good, and suggest a revelation of the ambiguous Dionysus figure.

Throughout the translation West keeps up with the colloquialisms of Rayor and Cashford; he's happy to describe pirates as `freebooters from Tuscany', and Hermes' gassy omen is referred to comically in a terse footnote as simply, `a fart'. This never really compensates for the lack of verse though, and the result was a translation I felt dislocated from by the requirements of an academic focus. If you're in it for fun, chaps, then Crudden, Rayor and Cashford are what you want.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hymns from 'Homer', 27 Feb 2011
This review is from: Homeric Hymns: WITH Homeric Apocrypha AND Lives of Homer (Loeb Classical Library) (Hardcover)
This Loeb collection of the Homeric Hymns and other writings connected, more or less loosely, with Homer is very welcome. The translation by Martin L. West reads well and makes the poems accessible. As always with the Loeb library, the translation faces the original Greek text. There are some gems here - the Hymn to Hermes, for one, is delightful, a comic and irreverent take on Greek mythology and the Olympian Gods, really refreshing. The hymns to Apollo and Demeter are also impressive. Well worth the Loeb's always reasonable price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Edition, 19 May 2011
This review is from: Homeric Hymns: WITH Homeric Apocrypha AND Lives of Homer (Loeb Classical Library) (Hardcover)
The hymns and fragments here collected are just amazing. And much value is added to this volume with the testimonies on Homer by other historians from old times which are very interesting to read.
This needs to be in your collection, I strongly recommend it.
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