Hymnic Narrative and the Narratology of Greek Hymns


Ancient Greek hymns traditionally include a narrative section describing episodes from the hymned deity’s life. These narratives developed in parallel with epic and other narrative genres, and their study provides a different perspective on ancient Greek narrative. Within the hymn genre, the place and function of the narrative section changed over time and with different kinds of hymn (literary or cultic; religious, philosophical or magical). Hymnic Narrative and the Narratology of Greek Hymns traces developments in narrative in the hymn genre from the Homeric Hymns via Hellenistic and Imperial hymns to those in the Orphic tradition and in magical papyri, analysing them in narratological terms in order to place them in the wider context of ancient Greek narrative literature.

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Biographical Note

Andrew Faulkner, D.Phil. (2005), Oxford University, is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Waterloo. He has published on Greek poetry and hymnography from the archaic period to Late Antiquity.

Owen Hodkinson, D.Phil. (2009), Oxford University, is Lecturer in Greek and Roman Cultures at the University of Leeds. He has published several articles on Greek narrative and epistolary literature, and co-edited Epistolary Narratives in Ancient Greek Literature (Brill 2013).

Contributors are: Ewen Bowie, Michael Brumbaugh, Nicola Devlin, William D. Furley, Miguel Herrero de Jáuregi, Anne-France Morand, Ivana Petrovic, Nicholas Richardson, Susan A. Stephens, and Athanassios Vergados.

Table of contents

A. Faulkner and O. Hodkinson

Part 1 - The Homeric Hymns
1 Constructing a Hymnic Narrative: Tradition and Innovation in the Longer Homeric Hymns
N. Richardson
2 The Silence of Zeus: Speech in the Homeric Hymns
A. Faulkner

Part 2 - Hellenistic Hymns
3 Callimachus and His Narrators
S.A. Stephens
4 Narrative Strategies and Hesiodic Reception in Callimachus’ Λουτρὰ Παλλάδος
A. Vergados
5 Time and Place, Narrative and Speech in Philicus, Philodamus, and Limenius
E.L. Bowie

Part 3 - Imperial Greek Hymns
6 Narrative in a Late Hymn to Dionysos (P. Ross. Georg. i.11)
W.D. Furley
7 Narrative Technique and Generic Hybridity in Aelius Aristides’ Prose Hymns
O. Hodkinson
8 Making the Hymn: Mesomedean Narrative and the Interpretation of a Genre
M. Brumbaugh
9 A Philosopher and His Muse: The Narrative of Proclus’ Hymns
N. Devlin

Part 4 - Orphic Hymns and “Magical Hymns”
10 The Narrative Techniques of the Orphic Hymns
A-F. Morand
11 The Poet and His Addressees in Orphic Hymns
M. Herrero de Jáuregui
12 Hymns in the Papyri Graecae Magicae
I. Petrovic
Index of Ancient Passages
General Index


Scholars and students of Greek hymns of all periods and forms, as well as those interested in the history of Greek narrative literature and its study.