Worksanddays - Hesiod: Theogony, Works and Days Book Notes:...

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Hesiod: Theogony, Works and Days Book Notes: Hesiod’s story of the creation of the human beings is an afterthought to his accounts of the birth of gods In bible, humans play a central role Native Americans see the present world as an achievement and result of their journey Creation myths evolve over time and may be altered by recent scientific discoveries as well as religious and psychological influences Early Greek creation stories assumed fundamentals substances or beings that always existed like Hesiod’s Earth (Gaia) and did not ask where these came from; the emphasis was on deriving descent of the gods, and not on proving their power by assuming they made all things In bible, heaven and earth were equal to god since they came into existence when god did; priestly writer was more interested in discussing what god had done to make earth especially suitable for human beings Hesiod, Greek poet, composed the Theogony and the Works and Days Theogony, the story of generations of gods (humans play a passive role), describes how the world was made and it includes a scientific and a mythological explanation o The scientific explanation includes elements (chaos, earth tartarus, love) which formed from asexual reproduction, same way as atoms make compounds o Chaos is not disorder, rather a gap or space between the heavens and earth o Tartarus is the underworld o The elements (except love) are locations and at the same time gods Thales, philosopher, predicted an eclipse and said that water represents the underlying nature of all things, but also said that all things are full of gods The poetic form used by Hesiod is called dactylic hexameter , same as Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad After describing origin of chaos, Hesiod talks about rivalries between generations of Greek gods o Fathers see themselves in rivalry with their children o Mothers ally themselves with sons against fathers
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o Gaia (earth) and Ouranos (heavens) had children by sexual reproduction. The children were titans, Cyclops, and hundred armed, fifty headed kids. Ouranos turns against his children by Gaia and hides them away, Gaia conspires with her son Kronos to punish Ouranos, Kronos swallows his children with Rhea, but Rhea tricks Kronos and saves Zeus, who as his father feared, takes over power o Zeus is told that his first wife Metis wil bear a son who will be the king of gods and men. To prevent this, Zeus swallows Metis and goes on to have many wives and lovers, finally settling with Hera, whose children pose no threat to Zeus (except Ares, but he channels his aggression towards humans as god of war) o A might sickle: the instrument of punishment made by Gaia from ores found within her o Aphrodite: goddess of love, born from the genitals of Ouranos (also called Cytherea, Cyprogenes, and Philommedes) o Kronos and Rhea: parents of Zeus o Zeus freed his uncles, Gaia’s monster children, to please his grandmother o Persephone: daughter of Demeter and Zeus (abducted by Hades)
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This note was uploaded on 02/27/2010 for the course CLASSICS 2200 taught by Professor Sharp during the Spring '10 term at UWO.

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Worksanddays - Hesiod: Theogony, Works and Days Book Notes:...

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