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Homeric Hymns

Homeric Hymns (hōmĕrˈĭk) [key], name applied to a body of 34 hexameter poems falsely attributed to Homer by the ancients. Composed probably between 800 and 300 B.C., they are complimentary verses addressed to the various gods, such as Aphrodite, Apollo, Demeter, and Hermes. Although sometimes of great beauty, they are important mainly as prime sources for information about Greek religion and cults. The Margites (7th or 6th cent. B.C.), a comic poem, and The Battle of the Frogs and Mice (5th–2d cent. B.C.), a mock epic, were also incorrectly attributed to Homer.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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