The Narcissus and the Pomegranate : An Archaeology of the `Homeric Hymn to Demeter`

Ann Suter

There is much more to the Homeric Hymn to Demeter than the story of a daughters abduction and a mothers search for and eventual reconciliation with her. Suter analyses the hymn itself and different versions of the hymns myths, alongside Greek religion, linguistics and archaeological evidence, to form a new understanding of the hymn, its creation and its meaning. Arguing that the hymn commemorates the early days of the worship of Demeter and Persephone when they were independent entities, Suter links the combining of myths in the hymn with the more general attempt at Olyympianizing myths and cults within society. The hymn therefore represents the attempt to bring coherence to disparate divinities and confirm their genealogical relationship with Zeus. A readable though specialised study that assumes knowledge of the hymn.