Download Hesiod's Cosmos by Jenny Strauss Clay PDF

By Jenny Strauss Clay

This learn finds the harmony of Hesiod's imaginative and prescient of the Cosmos via interpreting either his poems as complementary halves of a complete embracing the human and divine cosmos. within the Theogony and Works and Days, Hesiod, approximately modern with Homer, doesn't describe the deeds of the heroes. He offers in its place the earliest finished account of the genesis of the Greek gods and the character of human existence that turned the basis for later Greek literature and philosophy.

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2 Perhaps the word “design” would better serve our purpose, since “architecture” suggests a static edifice, while “design” implies a dynamic progression along with patterns as well as shifting perspectives and chromatic tonalities that emerge in the course of the composition. If, in the Theogony, Hesiod proposed to sing of the “holy race of the immortals,” here he declares his intention “to declare to Perses things as they are” (–gÜ d” ke P”rs h… –tžtuma muqhsa©mhn, 10). With these words Hesiod indicates something about the contents of the poem that will follow.

Hesiod’s omission, however, may also be motivated by the fact that such accounts are accommodated in a different genre of poetry, the hexameter hymn, of which the collection known as the Homeric Hymns is the best representative. 49 Thus 46 47 48 49 The monstrous aspect of Zeus’s pregnancy should not be ignored. Zeus’s pseudo-parthenogenesis is also reminiscent of Pontos’ anomalous bringing forth of Nereus and thus constitutes a throwback to one of the earliest phases of cosmic evolution. For the workings of metis, see Detienne and Vernant (1974).

From the beginning, we the poem’s audience, are silent observers of, and participants in, Perses’ education. At times, Hesiod’s exhortations even seem to address us directly when he addresses a nameless “you,” while at others we distance ourselves to observe and judge his discourse and its impact on Perses. 7 To understand Hesiod’s protreptic, we must first define its starting-point, that is, the situation of Perses and the relations between the two brothers. The question of Perses’ fictionality or reality,8 although long debated, is less important than the common claim that the presentation of Perses in the poem is inconsistent.

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