A commentary on the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo, with prolegomena.
The thesis consists of a detailed commentary on the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo,
and prolegomena. The subjects treated in the prolegomena are:
(i) the structure of hymns, and of the Homeric Hymns in particular, with a
discussion of the context in which the Hymns were performed, concluding that they
were probably performed at festivals as preludes to recitations of epic poetry;
(ii) the narrative techniques of the Hymns, comparing them to Homer;
(iii) the treatment of the gods in the Hymns, discussing the ways the gods are
presented in the narratives, and the similarities to and differences from the depiction
of the gods in Homer;
(iv) the portrayal of Apollo and Delos in DAp, discussing the problems of
depicting a god in literature, and the relationship between the myth told in the hymn
and Delian cult;
(v) the language of the hymn, discussing the history of studies of the Hymns'
language, examples of un homeric usage and the relationship of the Hymns to Homer
(vi) the question of whether the hymn was orally composed, discussing the various
criteria that have been used to attempt to determine this, and concluding that oral
composition cannot be proved but is very likely;
(vii) the problem of the hymn's unity, or lack of it, discussing the history of the
various theories and concluding that the hymn is not an original unity, and that the
Delian hymn was composed as an addition to the pre-existing Pythian hymn;
(viii) the date of DAp, concluding that it may have been composed in the second
half of the sixth century, possibly for a festival held by Polycrates in 523/2 B.C.
The commentary deals with linguistic and literary points, and any religious,
historical or geographical issues that are raised by particular passages.