Olympianismos
Welcome to Olympianismos!

Who's The God of Writing?

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Who's The God of Writing?

Post  AgathonZante on Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:06 pm

I have known some people to claim Hermes to be the God of Writing and Writers because He's the God of Communications and Heralds. But is there a God Who is specifically noted to literary creation?
avatar
AgathonZante
God Member
God Member

Posts : 287
Join date : 2014-02-17
Age : 32

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Who's The God of Writing?

Post  Momos on Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:34 pm

This is something I've been wondering about as well. Kalliope is one of the Muses and one of her domains is epic poetry, she's often depicted holding some sort of scroll in earlier art. I'd like to know who's specifically the god/dess of writing though, perhaps Apollon?

Momos
Newbie
Newbie

Posts : 15
Join date : 2014-03-30
Location : Sweden

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Who's The God of Writing?

Post  Linda on Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:42 pm

Hermes is given the credit for having invented the alphabet and teaching man how to write. So I'd consider him foremost as the god of writing
avatar
Linda
Full Member
Full Member

Posts : 101
Join date : 2013-04-17
Location : Stockholm, Sweden

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Who's The God of Writing?

Post  Erodius on Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:56 pm

In short, it depends very much on what you mean by 'writing'.

To you and me in contemporary Western culture, when we think of 'writing' we usually think of it as synonymous with 'composition' — if I say 'I want to be a writer', to us, that means 'I want to be an author/poet etc.' This is actually quite different from how the Greeks and Romans thought of 'writing'.

To the Greeks and Romans, writing and composition were totally different things. 'Writing' meant, what we would call 'record keeping'. If you were an author or a poet, you were actually considered a 'singer'. Compositions were considered to be inspired by the soul and by the Muses, and to be directly revealed to the heart and mind of the author or poet. It was only written down in order to preserve it. The story was not considered to be tied to its written form — which is quite different from how we think of things today in our highly textual culture. The Greeks and Romans, actually, even read differently than we do. As most scholars believe, when a person in Classical Greece or Rome sat down to read a book, it was not a quite, contemplative thing the way it is for us. Instead, it was more like a 'story time', even if the person was only reading for him/herself. To our knowledge, in the Classical world, all reading was done aloud. It was seen like we see written music, as something that had to be 'played'. This is also why virtually all early Classical literature is composed as poetry, regardless of what the subject matter was – because it was all meant to be recited, not 'read'.

The deities of composition and inspiration, regardless of form (theatre, poetry, artwork, speech, etc.) are the nine Muses, Phoebus-Apollo, their leader and guide, and Memory, the Muses' mother, and a consort of Jove.

The idea of the actual mechanical act and form of writing/written words/grammar itself as being something sacred and powerful does become commonplace in mid and late Antiquity – however, the cultural origin of 'sacred writing/words' is most likely Egyptian. After the Hellenistic absorption of Egypt into the Graeco-Roman cultural sphere, the Graeco-Roman Ἕρμης/Mercurius was customarily identified with the Egyptian ibis-bird faced deity Thoth, who, like Ἕρμης/Mercurius, had dominion over documentation and communications between God and mortals, and was considered the inventor of writing. However, whereas this communication was, in Greece and Rome, associated traditionally with speaking and hearing, in Egypt, long the abode of the written word, writing was itself considered very sacred, and so, by extension, the dominion of writing and words comes to be ascribed customarily to Ἕρμης/Mercurius, as a result of a widespread Egyptian influence.

But is there a God Who is specifically noted to literary creation?

That's precisely the difference I'm discussing – i.e. the Graeco-Roman distinction between literal writing (the domain of Ἕρμης/Mercurius), and literary creation (the domain of Phoebus and the Muses).

There is, however, also an account, at least in Orphic religion, that Phoebus received the famous lyre with which he is associated, and which is the symbol of Apollinine inspiration, from Ἕρμης/Mercurius, at the behest of Jove.

I hope that clears up some of the ambiguity.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


ΗΣΦ

Blog: eusebeis.wordpress.com
The Orphic Way: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
avatar
Erodius
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 928
Join date : 2013-03-20
Age : 26

View user profile http://eusebeis.wordpress.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Who's The God of Writing?

Post  DavidMcCann on Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:06 pm

It's interesting to compare the Greek reactions to Thoth and to the Babylonian Nabu. When the names of the planets were translated into Greek, "star of Nabu" became "star of Hermes" — hence our Mercury. But later Greek settlers in Mesopotamia identified Nabu with Apollo. Greece was a very oral culture, compared with Egypt and Mesopotamia: based on the political orator rather than the professional administrator.

DavidMcCann
Sinior Member
Sinior Member

Posts : 130
Join date : 2014-04-20
Location : London

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Who's The God of Writing?

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum