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

Jameela Lares Jameela.Lares at usm.edu
Mon Apr 25 10:44:34 EDT 2011

Agree, but the person who might know even better is John Mulryan, who is the Variorum editor for books 1-2 of Paradise Lost and therefore charged with identifying and summarizing the line-by-line comments.

Jameela Lares
Professor of English
The University of Southern Mississippi
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From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Zámbóné Kocic Larisa [larisa at lit.u-szeged.hu]
Sent: Sunday, April 24, 2011 3:48 AM
To: 'John Milton Discussion List'
Subject: [Milton-L] Hecate (WAS: Milton & Lilith)

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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