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Religion in the Homeric Hymns  

Jenny Strauss Clay and Andrew Faulkner

The so-called Homeric Hymns are a collection of thirty-three poems from antiquity written in hexameter verse and addressed to a variety of divinities. They are called ‘Homeric’ because they are written in the same dialect and meter as the epic Homeric poems the Iliad and Odyssey. The origins and nature of the hymns are in fact diverse, as are their performance contexts in antiquity. The collection consists of five long hymns (to Dionysus, Demeter, Apollo, Hermes, and Aphrodite), two mid-length hymns, and short hymns of just a few lines. The Homeric Hymns are often classified as literary hymns, as opposed to cultic hymns, and are Panhellenic in nature. They nevertheless address gods and goddesses directly and to varying degrees engage with the establishment and realities of cultic worship.



Kim Shelton

Nemea is a fertile upland valley in southern Corinthia where the Sanctuary of Zeus and its panhellenic festival with athletic games was founded in the 6th century bce. After a period of disruption in the Classical period, when the games were removed and celebrated in Argos, the later 4th century bce saw a renewal of the games at the site which underwent a substantial building program with a new temple, stadium, and facilities for athletes and festival participants. A hero shrine in the form of a tumulus was constructed in the southwestern part of the sanctuary in the Iron Age and was rebuilt with a stone perimeter wall in the late 4th century. The Nemea valley was occupied and farmed from prehistory through the medieval period when the pagan sanctuary was converted for Christian worship with the construction of a basilica from the spolia of the Temple of Zeus.Nemea (.