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Unformatted text preview: CLAS 131 Notes 7 Day 8 9/13/10 The Nature of the Gods Homeric Hymns to Hermes: The Complex Character of Major Deities Major Olympian deities not only have unique personal names and distinctive characters, but also much more complex associations that simple personifications.- Helios: the Sun- Apollo: the sun, archery, music (lyre), poetry, prophecy, disease, healing, youth, order Be able to- identify chief features of Homeric hymns- list and describe various aspects of the Greek conception of Hermes, as an example of a complex deity- formulate and argument for identifying a single idea that underlies these various aspects Homeric Hymns Greek hymnos , ‘song’, especially ‘song in honor of a god’ ‘Homeric’- use Homeric meter and style- sometimes attributed to Homer in antiquity Now thought to be composed by different poets at different times in Archaic period; gathered into a collection at a (much?) later date Structure- invocation of deity- praise of deity o enumeration of titles and epithets o description of powers and attributes o [narration of birth and other famous deeds]- farewell and/or request for blessings; transition to another poem Titles and Epithets Link the deity to a particular place, power, or quality In some ways, epithets are to texts what attributes are to images Zeus: Aegisholder, father of gods and med, son of Kronos, cloud-gatherer, lord of thunder Context of Homeric Hymns- Sung by solo performer (as indicated by meter)- ‘Preludes’ to performances of other poems? See the last lines of hymns to Hermes ‘Preludes’ to performances of other poems?...
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