Homeric Hymn #5 (to Aphrodite)
Study and Discussion Questions
1. List those who feel the power of Aphrodite in lines 1-6.
2. Which three goddesses do not feel Aphrodite’s power (lines 7-35)? Why?
3. What effect does Aphrodite have on Zeus (lines 36-44)?
4. How does Zeus get even with Aphrodite (lines 45-57)? Comment upon this interaction between two gods.
5. Describe how Aphrodite prepares to meet Anchises (lines 58-63). What impression of the goddess does this create?
6. Describe Aphrodite’s journey to Troy (lines 64-74). What does this say about the goddess?
7. Describe the encounter between Aphrodite and Anchises (lines 75-167). Why does Aphrodite come in disguise? How does Anchises react when he first sees her? In what way does Aphrodite lie to him? Why?
8. How does Anchises react when he wakes up (lines 168-190)? Why does he feel this way?
9. What stories does Aphrodite tell Anchises to console him (lines 191-239)? How do these stories relate to Anchises’ situation? To Aphrodite’s?
10. What does Aphrodite say will happen to Anchises (lines 240-248)?
11. Why does Aphrodite feel that she has been punished (lines 249-255)?
12. What will happen to the child of Anchises and Aphrodite (lines 256-291)? In what way does Aphrodite want Anchises to lie? Why?
Overview: What does this hymn say about the goddess Aphrodite in particular? About goddesses in general? About sexual relationships between goddesses and mortal males? About the interaction of humans and gods?
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