[Milton-L] Hecate (WAS: Milton & Lilith)

Zámbóné Kocic Larisa larisa at lit.u-szeged.hu
Sun Apr 24 04:48:39 EDT 2011

Dear Qadir!


In almost  all editions of Paradise Lost that I have collected so far
(Hughes, Lewalski, Kerrigan-Rumrich-Fallon, Fletcher, Raffael) there is a
note to 2.662 identifying the Night-Hag with Hecate in more or less detail
(except for Elledge). 

It is, however, interesting to note how earlier editions like Newton's
(1750) and Hawkins' (1824) make no mention of it. Wonder when and why Hecate
crept in? I guess, Prof. Leonard will know all about this "intrusion" for he
is surveying and summarizing the most influential criticism written between
1667 and 1970 for a Milton Variorum edition.


Larisa Kocic-Zambo (Hungary)


From: Qadir [mailto:ghadir2005 at gmail.com] 
Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2011 8:17 PM
To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
Subject: [Milton-L] Re: Milton & Lilith


I was reading the passage where Satan meets Sin and Death. Something
occurred to me which you also might find interesting. 
Somewhere (book II, l. 662 ) in Milton's description of Sin and her "cry of
Hell-hounds," the night-hag comes up, which we know to be Hecate. Here
follows a quotation from Dictionary of Gods, Goddesses, Devils, Demons
published by Routledge: "From Palestine, the cult of Lilith spread to Greece
where she merged with Hekate." Which is part of the entry on Lilith.
Now, given that Hekate is accompanied by dogs (though they are not as
malicious as Sin's hell-hounds,) the whole thing seems interesting. I mean
both Sin and her hell-hounds are likened to Hecate and her dogs.
I don't know whether this is something new or common knowledge. In any case,
no harm in sharing.

Qadir - Tehran

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