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Dialect of the Homeric Hymns

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Dialect of the Homeric Hymns

Postby elrond32 » Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:12 pm

I have a couple of questions about the so-called "Homeric Hymns." First of all, since they are attributed to Homer, I assume that they are written in the epic dialect; is this accurate?
Secondly, I was wondering about how difficult these hymns would be to read for a relatively new student of Greek. Would they be comparable in difficulty to the epic poems, or would it be more like a first year Greek student trying to read Aeschylus and Pindar? Thanks in advance for any guidance.
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Re: Dialect of the Homeric Hymns

Postby Paul » Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:56 pm

Hi,

elrond32 wrote:First of all, since they are attributed to Homer, I assume that they are written in the epic dialect; is this accurate?


I'm not sure if Homer wrote them, but they are in that dialectical stew we call 'Epic'. Although they do show a few very archaic forms, they are later than the Iliad and Odyssey. When translating the Hymns, I routinely have to look up in the LSJ words that I can't find in Cunliffe's Homeric lexicon.

elrond32 wrote:Secondly, I was wondering about how difficult these hymns would be to read for a relatively new student of Greek. Would they be comparable in difficulty to the epic poems, or would it be more like a first year Greek student trying to read Aeschylus and Pindar?


I find Homer much easier than Aeschylus. If you can translate Homer, then the Hymns should give you no trouble. If you are adept at Aeschylus, then the Hymns should be a walk in the park. :)

Cordially,

Paul
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Postby elrond32 » Fri Mar 25, 2005 11:07 pm

Hi Paul, thank you for your helpful reply! :D I guess I should clarify my initial question: What I meant to suggest was that the complexity of Aeschylus and Pindar for a novice Greek student like myself would be far too difficult. I agree with you that Homer is (relatively) straightforward, at least from the little I've read. From what you've said it seems that the Homeric Hymns are also relatively simple in terms of grammar and syntax as compared to, say, Aeschylus. Is that more or less correct? Again, thanks for your help.
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Postby Paul » Sat Mar 26, 2005 1:51 am

Yes, the Greek of the Hymns is very much like that of the Iliad and Odyssey.

Cordially,

Paul
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Postby Astraea » Sun Mar 27, 2005 4:29 pm

What is the LSJ?
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Postby Bombichka » Sun Mar 27, 2005 5:35 pm

Astraea wrote:What is the LSJ?


the Greek-Engish Lexicon of Liddell, Scott and Jones.

you should try and find it.

it's the Greek dictionary par excellence of the English-speaking world.
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Postby Astraea » Sun Mar 27, 2005 10:17 pm

Bombichka wrote:the Greek-Engish Lexicon of Liddell, Scott and Jones. you should try and find it.


Thanks! I certainly will.
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