The unity of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo has been the subject of vigorous controversy since 1782, when David Ruhnken announced that what the manuscripts are unanimous in presenting as a single work was in reality two different hymns juxtaposed:

Certius est, Hymnum in Apollinem, qui in scriptis editisque libris unus est, in binos Hymnos dividendum esse. Versus enim 165. ἀλλ ’ ἄγϵθ’ ίλήκoι &c. habet solitum Hymni epilogum et finem. Tum sequitur alterius Hymni initium vs. 179. ὢ ἄνα καὶ Λνκίην καὶ Mῃoνίην &c. Prior Hymnus Apollinis Delii, posterior Apollinis Delphici laudem complectitur. Priorem autem eo loco, quem indicavimus, finiri, non solum ratio docet, sed etiam veterum scriptorum auctoritas confirmat. Thucydides III. 104 τòv γὰρ Δηλιακòν χoρòν τ[ENTITY]ν γὐναιk[ENTITY]ν ὑμνήσας ἐτϵλϵύτα τo[ENTITY] ἐπαίνoν ἐς τἀδϵ τἀ ἔπη, ubi verba ἐτϵλϵὑτα 142Although Ruhnken was but the first of many scholars to deny the hymn’s coherence and to propound a theory accounting for the present state of the text, 2 his bipartition into “Delian” and “Pythian” hymns has remained, under various guises, the reigning orthodoxy to this day, 3 despite the protestations and counter-arguments of a sizeable “unitarian” opposition. 4 A recent article by M. L. West, for example, begins:

It is generally accepted that the Homeric Hymn to Apollo was not conceived as a single poem but is a combination of two: a Delian hymn, D, performed at Delos and concerned with the god’s birth there, and a Pythian hymn, P, concerned with 143his arrival and establishment at Delphi. What above all compels us to make a dichotomy is not the change of scene in itself, but the way D ends. The poet returns from the past to the present, and takes leave of his audience; farewell, he says, and remember me ever after. He is quite clearly finishing. Whereupon there is an abrupt and unsatisfactory transition to P. 5