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The Orphic Hymns, by A. Athanassakis and B. Wolkow (eds./trans.)

Reviewed by P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

Many modern polytheists are familiar with the Athanassakis translations of The Homeric Hymns and Hesiod’s Theogony, Works and Days, and Shield, also published by Johns Hopkins. A further number are familiar with his translation of The Orphic Hymns that was published in the late 1970s by Scholars’ Press, and which rarely sells secondhand for exorbitant prices online. The release of this further volume of important Greek hymnody by Johns Hopkins, newly revised and edited by Athanassakis and Wolkow, will be a welcome addition to anyone’s library.

It is rare that I can give such an overwhelmingly positive review of a book, and to suggest from the start that it will be essential reading and owning, as it were, for absolutely everyone whose eyes might fall on this review. I find this to be the case for the present book. I cannot imagine any modern polytheist from any tradition, any pagan of whatever stripe, or any scholar interested in the ancient world, poetry, or religion not being able to get some benefit from owning and reading, and repeatedly studying and referring to, this book.

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