Hymns Additional Summary



(Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

Cameron, Alan. Callimachus and His Critics. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1995. Cameron presents a revisionist view of Callimachus’s work and the world in which he lived. He refutes earlier accounts depicting Callimachus as an erudite, “ivory-tower” poet, providing evidence to show his participation in civic festivals and other public activities; Cameron also furnishes new information about the lives, dates, works, and interrelationships of many other poets who lived in Callimachus’s time. Chapter 15 is devoted to a discussion of “The Hymn to Apollo.”

Ferguson, John. Callimachus. Boston: Twayne, 1980. An extremely useful and accessible overview of Callimachus’s life and works. Chapter 7 offers a superior examination of important themes in the Hymns and a detailed discussion of the literary style, political ramifications, historical context, and composition of each hymn. Includes a concise bibliography on all aspects of Callimachus’s work, notes, a chronology, and an index. An excellent source to begin a study of Callimachus.

Hunter, Richard. The Shadow of Callimachus: Studies in the Reception of Hellenistic Poetry at Rome. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Describes how Roman poets of the Late Republic and Augustan eras sought to establish their own poetic identity amid the works of Callimachus and other Greek poets. Includes analysis of some of Callimachus’s hymns and other works.

McKay, K. J. Erysichthon: A Callimachean Comedy (Mnemosyne Supplementum 7). Leiden, the Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1962. Examines the style and meaning of the sixth hymn and its reflection of Callimachus’s wit.

Pfeiffer, Rudolfus, ed. Callimachus. 2 vols. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1949-1953. The standard commentary on the structure and meaning of Callimachus’s texts. Technical and advanced.

Tress, Heather van. Poetic Memory: Allusion in the Poetry of Callimachus and the “Metamorphoses” of Ovid. Boston: Brill, 2004. Examines the use of allusion in the “Hymn to Delos” and two other hymns and the prelude to Aitin by Callimachus and in Metamorphoses of Ovid.

Webster, T. B. L. Hellenistic Poetry and Art. London: Methuen, 1964. The chapter on Callimachus provides a solid and rewarding discussion of the poet in relation to the literary and historical context of his time.