Were the socalled Homeric Hymns an autonomous genre in the Greek epic tradition? Both the terms of the common definition, “homeric” and “hymns”, are improper for these exametric poems, too late the first, too generic the second: they don’t reveal nothing about the question of the genre. More relevant is the original term prooimia used in the ancient tradition to define these rhapsodic compositions: applied without distinction to the short poems of the collection as to the largest ones, it seems to support the idea that the only function of all these poems was to introduce the recitation of the great epic poetry (heroic, theological or of different arguments) during the rhapsodic performances. But this lack of autonomy probably was not the original dimension of all the archaic exametric hymns: one of them at least, the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite (the fifth of the collection), demonstrates a former autonomy of the composition, only later adapted to function as prooimion for recitations of the Iliad. This is indeed what emerges from a careful analysis of the rhapsodic variants transmitted for the text of the hymn by the manuscript tradition.

Gli Inni omerici: un genere letterario autonomo? Il caso dell'Inno ad Afrodite e delle sue varianti rapsodiche

SBARDELLA, LIVIO
2012-01-01

Abstract

Were the socalled Homeric Hymns an autonomous genre in the Greek epic tradition? Both the terms of the common definition, “homeric” and “hymns”, are improper for these exametric poems, too late the first, too generic the second: they don’t reveal nothing about the question of the genre. More relevant is the original term prooimia used in the ancient tradition to define these rhapsodic compositions: applied without distinction to the short poems of the collection as to the largest ones, it seems to support the idea that the only function of all these poems was to introduce the recitation of the great epic poetry (heroic, theological or of different arguments) during the rhapsodic performances. But this lack of autonomy probably was not the original dimension of all the archaic exametric hymns: one of them at least, the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite (the fifth of the collection), demonstrates a former autonomy of the composition, only later adapted to function as prooimion for recitations of the Iliad. This is indeed what emerges from a careful analysis of the rhapsodic variants transmitted for the text of the hymn by the manuscript tradition.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/31862
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