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HOMERIC HYMN TO DIONYSOS, LINES 32-59

Size: 70 x 50 cm (NOT AVAILABLE)

Manuscript written with dip pen (with metallic nib) and acrylic ink in Greek minuscule script, as it has been styled in the late Byzantine era. Decoration inspired by an attic black figured kylix, attributed to the vase-painter and potter Exekias. Dionysos reclines in a boat from which sprouts a fruiting grape vine. The vessel is surrounded by dolphins - the metamorphosed forms of the Tyrrhenian pirates who had tried to capture him (as the hoimeric hymn to Dionysos describes).540-535 B.C. , Munich, Staatliche Antikensammlungen. From “Greek Art, Ancient Greek Pots”, Michalis Tiverios, Ekdotike Athenon, 1996.

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HOMERIC HYMN TO DIONYSOS, LINES 32-59

When he had said this, he had mast and sail hoisted on the ship, and the wind filled the sail and the crew hauled taut the sheets on either side. But soon strange things were seen among them. [35] First of all sweet, fragrant wine ran streaming throughout all the black ship and a heavenly smell arose, so that all the seamen were seized with amazement when they saw it. And all at once a vine spread out both ways along the top of the sail with many clusters hanging down from it, [40] and a dark ivy-plant twined about the mast, blossoming with flowers, and with rich berries growing on it; and all the thole-pins were covered with garlands. When the pirates saw all this, then at last they bade the helmsman to put the ship to land. But the god changed into a dreadful lion there on the ship, [45] in the bows, and roared loudly: amidships also he showed his wonders and created a shaggy bear which stood up ravening, while on the forepeak was the lion glaring fiercely with scowling brows. And so the sailors fled into the stern and crowded bemused about the right-minded helmsman, until suddenly the lion sprang upon the master [50] and seized him; and when the sailors saw it they leapt out overboard one and all into the bright sea, escaping from a miserable fate, and were changed into dolphins. But on the helmsman Dionysus had mercy and held him back and made him altogether happy, saying to him:
[55] “Take courage, good...; you have found favour with my heart. I am loud-crying Dionysus whom Cadmus' daughter Semele bare of union with Zeus.”
Hail, child of fair-faced Semele! He who forgets you can in no wise order sweet song.

Anonymous. The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Homeric Hymns. Cambridge, MA.,Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1914.
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0138%3Ahymn%3D7

 

The Homeric Hymns are a collection of thirty-three anonymous Ancient Greek hymns celebrating individual gods. The hymns are "Homeric" in the sense that they employ the same epic meter—dactylic hexameter—as the Iliad and Odyssey, use many similar formulas and are couched in the same dialect. They were uncritically attributed to Homer himself in Antiquity—from the earliest written reference to them, Thucydides (iii.104)—and the label has stuck. "The whole collection, as a collection, is Homeric in the only useful sense that can be put upon the word;" A. W. Verrall noted in 1894, "that is to say, it has come down labeled as 'Homer' from the earliest times of Greek book-literature." The oldest of the hymns were probably written in the seventh century BC, somewhat later than Hesiod and the usually accepted date for the writing down of the Homeric epics. This still places the older Homeric Hymns among the oldest monuments of Greek literature; but although most of them were composed in the seventh and sixth centuries, a few may be Hellenistic, and the Hymn to Ares might be a late pagan work, inserted when it was observed that a hymn to Ares was lacking. Walter Burkert has suggested that the Hymn to Apollo, attributed by an ancient source to Cynaethus of Chios (a member of the Homeridae), was composed in 522 BC for performance at the unusual double festival held by Polycrates of Samos to honor Apollo of Delos and of Delphi.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeric_Hymns



ΟΜΗΡΙΚΟΣ ΥΜΝΟΣ ΕΙΣ ΔΙΟΝΥΣΟΝ, ΣΤΙΧΟΙ 32-59

ὣς εἰπὼν ἱστόν τε καὶ ἱστίον ἕλκετο νηός.
ἔμπνευσεν δ᾽ ἄνεμος μέσον ἱστίον: ἀμφὶ δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ὅπλα
καττάνυσαν: τάχα δέ σφιν ἐφαίνετο θαυματὰ ἔργα.
35 οἶνος μὲν πρώτιστα θοὴν ἀνὰ νῆα μέλαιναν
ἡδύποτος κελάρυζ᾽ εὐώδης, ὤρνυτο δ᾽ ὀδμὴ
ἀμβροσίη: ναύτας δὲ τάφος λάβε πάντας ἰδόντας.
αὐτίκα δ᾽ ἀκρότατον παρὰ ἱστίον ἐξετανύσθη
ἄμπελος ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα, κατεκρημνῶντο δὲ πολλοὶ
40 βότρυες: ἀμφ᾽ ἱστὸν δὲ μέλας εἱλίσσετο κισσός,
ἄνθεσι τηλεθάων, χαρίεις δ᾽ ἐπὶ καρπὸς ὀρώρει:
πάντες δὲ σκαλμοὶ στεφάνους ἔχον: οἳ δὲ ἰδόντες,
νῆ᾽ ἤδη τότ᾽ ἔπειτα κυβερνήτην ἐκέλευον
γῇ πελάαν: ὃ δ᾽ ἄρα σφι λέων γένετ᾽ ἔνδοθι νηὸς
45 δεινὸς ἐπ᾽ ἀκροτάτης, μέγα δ᾽ ἔβραχεν, ἐν δ᾽ ἄρα μέσσῃ
ἄρκτον ἐποίησεν λασιαύχενα, σήματα φαίνων:
ἂν δ᾽ ἔστη μεμαυῖα: λέων δ᾽ ἐπὶ σέλματος ἄκρου
δεινὸν ὑπόδρα ἰδών: οἳ δ᾽ ἐς πρύμνην ἐφόβηθεν,
ἀμφὶ κυβερνήτην δὲ σαόφρονα θυμὸν ἔχοντα
50 ἔσταν ἄρ᾽ ἐκπληγέντες: ὃ δ᾽ ἐξαπίνης ἐπορούσας
ἀρχὸν ἕλ᾽, οἳ δὲ θύραζε κακὸν μόρον ἐξαλύοντες
πάντες ὁμῶς πήδησαν, ἐπεὶ ἴδον, εἰς ἅλα δῖαν,
δελφῖνες δ᾽ ἐγένοντο: κυβερνήτην δ᾽ ἐλεήσας
ἔσχεθε καί μιν ἔθηκε πανόλβιον εἶπέ τε μῦθον:
55 θάρσει, †δῖε κάτωρ†, τῷ ἐμῷ κεχαρισμένε θυμῷ:
εἰμὶ δ᾽ ἐγὼ Διόνυσος ἐρίβρομος, ὃν τέκε μήτηρ
Καδμηὶς Σεμέλη Διὸς ἐν φιλότητι μιγεῖσα.
χαῖρε, τέκος Σεμέλης εὐώπιδος: οὐδέ πη ἔστι
σεῖό γε ληθόμενον γλυκερὴν κοσμῆσαι ἀοιδήν.

Ομηρικοί Ύμνοι, Κείμενο, μετάφραση, σχόλια Δ.Π. Παπαδίτσας, Ελένη Λαδιά, Βιβλιοπωλείον της Εστίας, Αθηνα 2005.