The "Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite" and Related Texts
The Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite (600s BCE?) tells the story of a brief encounter between the goddess of love and the cowherd Anchises, which led to the birth of the Trojan hero Aeneas. Less than 300 lines long, it is among the shortest of the so-called ‘major Homeric Hymns’. However, it is also richly and beautifully conceived and narrated, and of enormous importance for the Greek mythology and the history of Greek religion. Olson offers a complete new text of the poem and of ten related ‘minor Hymns’, based on a fresh examination of the manuscripts; a full critical apparatus; and a translation. The work is completed by a substantial introduction, which treats inter alia the stories of Aeneas, the problem of dating early Greek epic, and the nature of the connections between the Hymn to Aphrodite and the Homeric and Hesiodic poems. Olson furthermore offers a substantial, narratologically-oriented commentary.