Homeric Hymn 29, to Hestia.¹
Hestia,² who in the lofty dwellings of all
The immortal gods and humans who walk on the ground
Have been allotted an eternal seat as your reverend honor,³
And possess a noble privilege and honor; for without you, there are no
Banquets for mortals, where to you first and last
Someone does not begin by pouring honey-sweet wine!⁴
You too, Argus-slaying son of Zeus and Maia,⁵ for me,
Messenger of the blessed ones with the golden staff,⁶ giver of goods,
Dwell (pl.) in these noble houses, beloved to each other’s minds,⁷
You (sg.) being gracious and help me, together with the reverend and beloved
Hestia! For since you both know earth-bound humanity’s
Noble works,⁸ aid them in mind and strength!
Greetings, Kronos’ daughter, you and Hermes with the golden staff!
But now, I shall recall another song as well as you.⁹
1: Really to Hestia and Hermes. The two deities have a peculiar connection, despite (or rather because of) their divergent character.
2: Greek Hestíē, the Ionic form.
3: I.e., as your domain. According to Hesiod’s Theogony, the honors or timaí were assigned to the gods by Zeus.
4: More clearly put, banquets begin (and end) with libations of wine to Hestia, so that without her, there are no banquets.
6: Referring to Hermes’ herald’s staff (Latin caduceus).
7: I take it this means that the houses (or, by poetic plural, the house) in question is beloved to both gods, not different houses to each other; but perhaps I am mistaken.
8: More literally, ‘since you know the noble deeds of people upon the Earth’; I have chosen to preserve the syntax.
9: Like Homeric Hymn 24, this hymn is a prelude for another song; when used in worship, it would be more suitable to leave out this line.
Ἑστίη ἣ πάντων ἐν δώμασιν ὑψηλοῖσιν
ἀθανάτων τε θεῶν χαμαὶ ἐρχομένων τ’ ἀνθρώπων
ἕδρην ἀΐδιον ἔλαχες πρεσβηΐδα τιμὴν
καλὸν ἔχουσα γέρας καὶ τιμήν· οὐ γὰρ ἄτερ σοῦ
εἰλαπίναι θνητοῖσιν ἵν’ οὐ πρώτῃ πυμάτῃ τε
Ἑστίῃ ἀρχόμενος σπένδει μελιηδέα οἶνον·
καὶ σύ μοι Ἀργειφόντα Διὸς καὶ Μαιάδος υἱὲ
ἄγγελε τῶν μακάρων χρυσόρραπι δῶτορ ἐάων,
ναίετε δώματα καλά, φίλα φρεσὶν ἀλλήλοισιν
ἵλαος ὢν ἐπάρηγε σὺν αἰδοίῃ τε φίλῃ τε
Ἑστίῃ· ἀμφότεροι γὰρ ἐπιχθονίων ἀνθρώπων
εἰδότες ἔργματα καλὰ νόῳ θ’ ἕσπεσθε καὶ ἥβῃ.
Χαῖρε Κρόνου θύγατερ, σύ τε καὶ χρυσόρραπις Ἑρμῆς.
αὐτὰρ ἐγὼν ὑμέων τε καὶ ἄλλης μνήσομ’ ἀοιδῆς.