Sunday, June 7, 2009

Introducing the Theogony

This post is one in a series on the Epistemology and Worldview Throughout History.  Previously in this series: The Inspiration of Hesiod.

The Theogony is likely the work of poetry which made Hesiod's name.  In his later poem Works and Days, Hesiod tells of how he won a prominent prize for poetry, and it is likely that he won by singing his Theogony.  This performance must have been quite stunning.  In the Theogony, Hesiod discloses the history of the cosmos, telling of the birth of each cosmic entity in its turn.  He traces the passing of cosmic ages, characterizing them as a successive usurpations of divine royalty.  The tale culminates in the ultimate holy order under the reign of Zeus, the final usurper, in which mankind finds itself.  It will be necessary to summarize and briefly analyze the Theogony in order to glean from it any insights into Hesiod's epistemology.

Next in this series: The Cosmology of Hesiod.

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