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THE fact that Hephaestus and Athena were joined in a common cult at Athens, and (as far as is known) in no other Greek city, gives colour to Baumeister's suggestion that this hymn is Athenian. The two deities were worshipped together as patrons of all arts and crafts; the shops of braziers and ironmongers were near the temple of Hephaestus, in which stood a statue of Athena ( Paus.i. 14. 6), and the festival called Chalceia was sacred to both (see Frazer l.c., Harrison M. M. A. A. 119 f.; Preller-Robert i.^{1} p. 180 and 209). According to Plato (Critias 109 C), Athena and Hephaestus, “φιλοσοφίᾳ φιλοτεχνίᾳ τε ἐπὶ τὰ αὐτὰ ἐλθόντες”, became joint patrons of Attica; cf. Solon fr. 13 (quoted on 5) and other references in Farnell Cults i. p. 409 f. Athena was “Ἐργάνη”, the Worker; but in a wider sense she was the giver of all civilization; Hephaestus, the Fire-god and the divine smith, gave men the skill (“κλυτόμητιν 1, κλυτοτέχνην” 5) which differentiated them from wild beasts. Aeschylus, indeed, attributes these gifts of civilization to Prometheus; but the importance of the Titan was mainly mythological; in practical cult Hephaestus appropriated most of the credit (see Sikes and Willson on P. V. p. xix f.).

But this aspect of Athena and Hephaestus was by no means exclusively Athena Attic. was the patron of arts in Homer (Il. 5.61, υ” 78), and under titles such as “Ἐργάνη, Καλλίεργος”, and “Μαχανῖτις”, she was worshipped in many parts of Greece (Farnell Cults i. p. 314 f.). In Hesiod she instructs Pandora, the creation of Hephaestus, in weaving ( Op.60 f.); see further h. Aphr. 12 f. We may therefore fairly look for Epic rather than Athenian influence in the mythology of this hymn.

[2] ἀΓλαὰ ἔργα here = “τέχνας” generally; cf. h. Aphr. 11 and 15.

[3] For ancient poetic accounts of the savage life of primitive man cf. P. V. 446 f., Suppl. 201 f., fr. 582, fr. ap. Nauck 393, Moschion fr. 7, Lucr. v. 933 f., Juv. xv. 151 f., etc.

ἐΠὶ χθονός: the genitive is unusual in this phrase, where either “χθονί” or “χθόνα” would be regular, for “on (the whole) earth”; see Ebeling, s.v. “ἐπί” p. 450, and note on xxv. 3.

[5] ἔργα δαέντες: cf. Solon fr. 13. 49ἄλλος Ἀθηναίης τε καὶ Ἡφαίστου πολυτέχνεω

ἔργα δαείς”, Theocr. xvii. 81βροτῶν ἔργα δαέντων”, of civilized men.

[6] τελεσφόρον εἰς ἐΝιαυτόν, “for the full year”; the adjective no doubt means properly “bringing (the seasons) to completion.” The phrase occurs in Il. 19.32, h. Apoll. 343, and several times in the Odyssey, M. and R. on Od. 4.86.

[8] For the ending cf. xv. 9.

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hide References (10 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (10):
    • Hesiod, Works and Days, 60
    • Homer, Iliad, 19.32
    • Homer, Iliad, 5.61
    • Homer, Odyssey, 4.86
    • Homeric Hymns, Hymn 3 to Apollo, 343
    • Homeric Hymns, Hymn 5 to Aphrodite, 11
    • Homeric Hymns, Hymn 5 to Aphrodite, 12
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.14.6
    • Theocritus, Idylls, 17
    • Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, 5.933
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