The Reception of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter in Romantic Heidelberg: J. H. Voss and ‘the Eleusinian Document’

TitleThe Reception of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter in Romantic Heidelberg: J. H. Voss and ‘the Eleusinian Document’
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsSchwab, A
EditorVergados, A, Schwab, A, Faulkner, A
Ancient AuthorsHymni Homerici Hymn. (TLG 0013)
Book TitleThe Reception of the Homeric Hymns
PublisherOxford University Press
CityOxford
ISBN9780198728788 (print)
Abstract

This article explores the impact and reception of the rediscovered Homeric Hymn to Demeter around the end of the eighteenth century in Romantic Heidelberg with particular attention to the German poet, translator, and commentator Johann Heinrich Voss. At first, I illustrate why this Hymn was of great interest for many philologists and scholars of ancient Greek religion after its rediscovery, and how it came to inform the broader debate on the origin of ‘mystical religion’ in ancient Greece between Creuzer and Hermann, Voss, and others. Then I analyse the preface of Voss’s commentary in order to elucidate his interest in the Hymn and which issues he focused on beyond his philological agenda: the mystical language, the eschatological aspects, and the theology of the text. Finally, I illustrate how Voss’s treatment of these topics reveals his highly ‘hellenocentric’ approach with a strong perspective of the (late) enlightenment. [http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198728788.001.0001/acprof-9780198728788-chapter-18]

DOI10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198728788.003.0018

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