The Homeric Hymn to Demeter, composed in the late
seventh or early sixth century B.C.E., is a key to understanding
the psychological and religious world of ancient Greek women. The
poem tells how Hades, lord of the underworld, abducted the goddess
Persephone and how her grieving mother, Demeter, the goddess of
grain, forced the gods to allow Persephone to return to her for
part of each year. Helene Foley presents the Greek text and an
annotated translation of this poem, together with selected essays
that give the reader a rich understanding of the Hymn's
structure and artistry, its role in the religious life of the
ancient world, and its meaning for the modern world.
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