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The paper deals with the features and functions of Hera in the Homeric Hymns. The corpus preserves a very short and trivial hymn to her (h.Hom. 12), two nearly identical references to her sleep during the birth of Hermes in the two Hymns devoted to him (h.Merc. 8 and h.Hom. 18. 8) and other minimal allusions (h.Ap. 95 and 99, h.Ven. 40). Especially interesting is the leading role played by Hera in two mythical episodes narrated in the Hymns: the binding and subsequent liberation of the goddess by Hephaistos in the the fragmentary Hymn to Dionysos (number 1 of the corpus) and the birth of Typhoeus, which was conceived as an act of revenge against Zeus for giving birth Athena (h.Ap. 305ss.). On the other hand, the myth of the Hymn to Apollo (305–338) is revisited attending to some striking Hittite parallels concerning the relationship between the oath by Heaven and Earth and the birth of a monstrous rival of the king of gods.

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Plescia, I.: “From me was Posthumus ript”: Cymbeline and the Extraordinary Birth. In: Garbero, M., Isenberg, N., Pennacchia, M. (eds.). Questioning Bodies in Shakespeare’s Rome. V&R, Goettingen, 2010, 135

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