Hermetically unsealed: lyric genres in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes

Thomas, O. (2018) Hermetically unsealed: lyric genres in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes. In: Textual events: performance and the lyric in early Greece. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 173-188. ISBN 9780198805823

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The Hymn to Hermes offers a late archaic or early classical viewpoint on genre in lyric poetry. It compares hymns and theogonies to bantering songs at symposia, apparently in a paradox grounded in Hermes’ ability to control transfers across firm boundaries. However, the comparisons have a latent logic: the Hymn to Hermes is itself bantering intertextually with the Homeric Hymn to Apollo; it alludes to the fact that a komos can involve both praise-poetry and (post-)sympotic erotic songs. Moreover, Apollo’s first interaction with the lyre leads him to engage Hermes in a game of verbal banter, which suggests that this ability of the lyre to unite contrasting performance-types will continue under his patronage. In this sense, the Hymn implicitly reflects on its own power to reshape the audience’s attitudes towards music.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Homeric Hymns, Hermes, Apollo, music, genre, lyric poetry
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities > Department of Classics
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Thomas, Oliver
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2018 10:41
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2020 04:30
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/51233

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