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date: 08 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter introduces some key moments from Hesiod’s reception during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and offers a starting point for future scholarship in this new field of research. It explores examples of Hesiod’s reception by French, English, and German figures, including Voltaire, John Flaxman, and Friedrich Nietzsche, to demonstrate the European scope of the ancient author’s appeal while also drawing attention to some of the recurring concerns that animated turns to Hesiod during this period. Hesiod offers an alternative vision of Greece to the one that had gained currency during the Enlightenment; his focus on ancient Greek religious belief and rural life provided an important counterpoint to narratives of Greece as the birthplace of modern European civilization, while his poetry offered readers a personal connection with a distant cultural and historical context.

Keywords: Hesiod, classical reception, Enlightenment, Romanticism, Friedrich Nietzsche, philosophy, literature

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