Di chi sono questi buoi? Problemi di attribuzione della proprietà dell' Inno a Ermes


  • Silvia Romani




Many scholars assumed that the Hymn to Hermes is constitued by building blocks, so to speak (a kind of erratic narrative!), and that the famous cattle-raiding must be considered one of them. Within the context of the Hymn, Hermes is described as the "last born", the last son in a cosmos where everything (timai in particular) has been divided and already distribued; the new-born god has almost nothing left for him and can only obtain his place in the Olympian universe by theft or exchange. As a general statement, the cows stolen under Olympus are Apollo's ones. This evidence is confirmed by intertextual and (some) extratextual allusions, but we can by no means take it for granted; what I am suggesting is that the property of these cows are not so certain and that, by a deeper insight into the text, we could even find it doubtful; I shall argue that the very property of the cattle is one of the weapons used by Hermes to gain his prerogatives and, ultimately, his place within the divine order.