View Full Version : The Homeric Hymns- Hymn 1, To Dionysus

October 30th, 2007, 02:29 AM
The Homeric Hymns- Hymn 1, To Dionysus
As translated by HG Evelyn-White

I. TO DIONYSUS (21 lines) (1)


(ll. 1-9) For some say, at Dracanum; and some, on windy Icarus;
and some, in Naxos, O Heaven-born, Insewn (2); and others by the
deep-eddying river Alpheus that pregnant Semele bare you to Zeus
the thunder-lover. And others yet, lord, say you were born in
Thebes; but all these lie. The Father of men and gods gave you
birth remote from men and secretly from white-armed Hera. There
is a certain Nysa, a mountain most high and richly grown with
woods, far off in Phoenice, near the streams of Aegyptus.


(ll. 10-12) `...and men will lay up for her (3) many offerings in
her shrines. And as these things are three (4), so shall mortals
ever sacrifice perfect hecatombs to you at your feasts each three

(ll. 13-16) The Son of Cronos spoke and nodded with his dark
brows. And the divine locks of the king flowed forward from his
immortal head, and he made great Olympus reel. So spake wise
Zeus and ordained it with a nod.

(ll. 17-21) Be favourable, O Insewn, Inspirer of frenzied women!
we singers sing of you as we begin and as we end a strain, and
none forgetting you may call holy song to mind. And so,
farewell, Dionysus, Insewn, with your mother Semele whom men call


(1) ll. 1-9 are preserved by Diodorus Siculus iii. 66. 3; ll.
10-21 are extant only in M.
(2) Dionysus, after his untimely birth from Semele, was sewn
into the thigh of Zeus.
(3) sc. Semele. Zeus is here speaking.
(4) The reference is apparently to something in the body of the
hymn, now lost.