Hermes the Thief
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Hermes the Thief

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  25 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Hermes -- trickster and culture hero, divine child and patron of steady action, master of magic words, seducer and whisper -- is a vital and complex figure in Greek mythology. Who is this tricky shapechanger? A classic, prescient work dealing with myth and cult which traces the evolution of Hermes from sacred stoneheap and phallus to Homeric Hymn to Hermes and the Hesiodic...more
Paperback, 164 pages
Published March 1st 1990 by Lindisfarne Books (first published November 1969)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 69)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Brown reconstructs the archaic history of the myth of the Greek god Hermes and analyzes how the myth changed in its Homeric, Hesiodic, and later representations. As he traces it from its purported beginning in tribal thought through the art and literature of Classical Greece, Brown challenges the view of much traditional scholarship that The Homeric Hymn to Hermes represents one of the oldest versions of the myth. The book is well researched, and in addition to philological and literary critica...more
Great information on the evolution of Hermes as a mythological character in the beginning of the book, but the latter part dealing with the dating of the Homeric hymn to Hermes-albeit important and well-researched- tends to drag. This book has some great footnotes too, but with a good deal of them in untranslated Greek and German. I found this the most frustrating aspect of the book. Overall, a great read, but a bit of a scramble in the latter half for a casual reader.
This was a really interesting read. The guy traces the evolution of Hermes as a god from village mage to Zeus's Herald, and makes a convincing argument for the Homeric Hymn to Hermes being from an Athenian poet who was parodying Hesiod and Homer. Also introduces me to a few protomyths for Hermes and Pandora I was unaware of, making me really grateful I picked this one up.
E Smith
Sep 30, 2010 E Smith added it
Shelves: greek-latin, nf
read one summer while leaning against a tree in the parking lot of a grocery store where i made bread. seems appropriate. the story of the hymn to hermes is just so out that it deserved a brilliant if complex analysis. honestly, who else but hermes would have demanded credit for inventing a way to walk with brush tied to your feet?
Samuel marked it as to-read
Jul 08, 2014
Cindy Thompson
Cindy Thompson marked it as to-read
Mar 31, 2014
drublood Duro
drublood Duro marked it as to-read
Mar 19, 2014
Peter marked it as to-read
Mar 07, 2014
Victoria Sterling
Victoria Sterling marked it as to-read
Nov 22, 2013
Little Miss Esoteric
Little Miss Esoteric marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2013
Me the Awesome
Me the Awesome marked it as to-read
Aug 11, 2013
Ellen marked it as to-read
May 30, 2013
Christine marked it as to-read
May 30, 2013
Daniel marked it as to-read
May 26, 2013
şahan marked it as to-read
May 21, 2013
Daniela marked it as to-read
May 01, 2013
sweet peas
sweet peas marked it as to-read
Apr 07, 2013
Synchedmond Sumer
Synchedmond Sumer marked it as to-read
Jan 30, 2013
Tema marked it as to-read
Jan 20, 2013
Bookewyrm marked it as to-read
Jan 04, 2013
Leonardo marked it as to-read
Dec 22, 2012
Ekaterina marked it as to-read
Dec 17, 2012
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Norman Oliver Brown was an American classicist who is known for his translation and commentaries on the works of Hesiod. A student of Carl Schorske and Isaiah Berlin, he taught classics at Wesleyan University, University of Rochester, and UC-Santa Cruz.
More about Norman O. Brown...
Life Against Death: The Psychoanalytical Meaning of History Love's Body Apocalypse and/or Metamorphosis The Challenge of Islam: The Prophetic Tradition Closing Time

Share This Book