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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter attempts to address the so-called Hesiodic Question: who was Hesiod, when and where did he live, what poems did he compose, and in what order? After a brief overview of ancient thoughts on these matters, modern views are briefly discussed, with particular attention to the several scholarly approaches to the dating of the Hesiodic poems. Most of these converge on the beginning of the seventh century bce. Another focus is on Hesiod’s supposed autobiographical remarks in the Theogony and Works and Days. Whether or not Hesiod was a historical person, his poems are characterized by a distinct voice and an intriguing awareness of the poetic tradition.

Keywords: Hesiodic question, Hesiod, Homer, Boeotian School, epic tradition, hexameter poetry

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