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The Orphic Hymns

translation, introduction, and notes by Apostolos N. Athanassakis and Benjamin M. Wolkow

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The best-selling English translation of the mysterious and cosmic Greek poetry known as the Orphic Hymns.

At the very beginnings of the Archaic Age, the great singer Orpheus taught a new religion that centered around the immortality of the human soul and its journey after death. He felt that achieving purity by avoiding meat and refraining from committing harm further promoted the pursuit of a peaceful life. Elements of the worship of Dionysus, such as shape-shifting and ritualistic ecstasy, were fused with Orphic beliefs to produce a powerful and illuminating new religion that found expression…

The best-selling English translation of the mysterious and cosmic Greek poetry known as the Orphic Hymns.

At the very beginnings of the Archaic Age, the great singer Orpheus taught a new religion that centered around the immortality of the human soul and its journey after death. He felt that achieving purity by avoiding meat and refraining from committing harm further promoted the pursuit of a peaceful life. Elements of the worship of Dionysus, such as shape-shifting and ritualistic ecstasy, were fused with Orphic beliefs to produce a powerful and illuminating new religion that found expression in the mystery cults. Practitioners of this new religion composed a great body of poetry, much of which is translated in The Orphic Hymns.

The hymns presented in this book were anonymously composed somewhere in Asia Minor, most likely in the middle of the third century AD. At this turbulent time, the Hellenic past was fighting for its survival, while the new Christian faith was spreading everywhere. The Orphic Hymns thus reflect a pious spirituality in the form of traditional literary conventions. The hymns themselves are devoted to specific divinities as well as to cosmic elements. Prefaced with offerings, strings of epithets invoke the various attributes of the divinity and prayers ask for peace and health to the initiate. Apostolos N. Athanassakis and Benjamin M. Wolkow have produced an accurate and elegant translation accompanied by rich commentary.

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The Orphic Hymns

translation, introduction, and notes by Apostolos N. Athanassakis and Benjamin M. Wolkow

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Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6.125
x
9.25
Pages
280
ISBN
9781421408828
Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
The Orphic Hymns
Orpheus to Mousaios
1. To Hekate
2. To Prothyraia
3. To Night
4. To Sky
5. To Ether
6. To Protogonos
7. To the Stars
8. To the Sun
9. To Selene
10. To Physis
11. To Pan
12. To

Preface
Introduction
The Orphic Hymns
Orpheus to Mousaios
1. To Hekate
2. To Prothyraia
3. To Night
4. To Sky
5. To Ether
6. To Protogonos
7. To the Stars
8. To the Sun
9. To Selene
10. To Physis
11. To Pan
12. To Herakles
13. To Kronos
14. To Rhea
15. To Zeus
16. To Hera
17. To Poseidon
18. To Plouton
19. To Zeus the Thunderbolt
20. To Astrapaios Zeus
21. To the Clouds
22. To the Sea
23. To Nereus
24. To the Nereids
25. To Proteus
26. To Earth
27. To the Mother of the Gods
28. To Hermes
29. Hymn to Persephone
30. To Dionysos
31. Hymn to the Kouretes
32. To Athene
33. To Nike
34. To Apollon
35. To Leto
36. To Artemis
37. To the Titans
38. To the Kouretes
39. To Korbas
40. To Eleusinian Demeter
41. To Mother Antaia
42. To Mise
43. To the Seasons
44. To Semele
45. Hymn to Dionysos Bassareus and Triennial
46. To Liknites
47. To Perikionios
48. To Sabazios
49. To Hipta
50. To Lysios Lenaios
51. To the Nymphs
52. To the God of Triennal Feasts
53. To the God of Annual Feasts
54. To Silenos Satyros and Bacchae
55. To Aphrodite
56. To Adonis
57. To Chthonic Hermes
58. To Eros
59. To the Fates
60. To the Graces
61. Hymn to Nemesis
62. To Dike
63. To Justice
64. Hymn to Nomos
65. To Ares
66. To Hephaistos
67. To Asklepios
68. To Hygeia
69. To the Erinyes
70. To the Eumenides
71. To Melinoe
72. To Tyche
73. To Daimon
74. To Leukothea
75. To Palaimon
76. To the Muses
77. To Mnemosyne
78. To Dawn
79. To Themis
80. To Boreas
81. To Zephyros
82. To Notos
83. To Okeanos
84. To Hestia
85. To Sleep
86. To Dream
87. To Death
Notes
Select Bibliography
Index Nominum
Index Locorum

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

Apostolos N. Athanassakis

Apostolos N. Athanassakis (ATHENS, GR) is professor emeritus in the Department of Classical Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he held the Argyropoulos Chair in Hellenic Studies from 2001 to 2011. Among his many translations is The Homeric Hymns.