Abstract and Keywords
The representations of poetry are no less important than sanctuaries or sacrifice or festivals to make sense of Greek religion. Without the vast web of poetic worlds painted in our texts, and the challenges to scholarly interpretation they entail, our knowledge of the possibilities of Greek religious experience would be thoroughly diminished. The many poetic texts that have come down to us contain a rich but circumscribed pool of meaning, which must be analysed for itself, not merely used to find reflections of something else, if we want to make sense of the Greek religious imagination. The hermeneutic analysis of poetry is an essential part of any real understanding of early Greek religion. A broad survey of relevant sources, and a more detailed reading of some aspects of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, are used to illustrate this point.
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