Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Hesiodic view of the supernatural varies within individual compositions, in tune with oral-traditional poetic practice. The flexibility and dramatization inherent in the medium led ancient philosophers to treat Hesiod and Homer as deficient “theology.” Taken as religious fictions, with attention to their diction and devices, the Hesiodic poems are distinct from the Homeric in orientation toward and expressions about the divine world. The Theogony frames itself as a praise poem to Zeus but must downplay the self-interested character of such compositions. Zeus’s sovereignty is depicted in diachronic terms as wisely integrating earlier powers. The Works and Days deals synchronically with the upshot of the world-shaping Prometheus and Pandora complex, projecting onto the mythic level its tale of contemporary fraternal strife and advice for living under a regime of divine justice.

Keywords: Zeus, oral-poetic traditions, formula, Certamen, Prometheus, Pandora, heroes, Myth of the Races, Muses

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.