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Hesiod

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Chapter Summary

While the narratives of both Hesiodic poems display an order that is predominantly chronological, the Theogony, in particular, shows that chronological rigor is not the narrator’s main goal. This pertains especially, but not exclusively, to stories involving characters who appear only once in the poem. The narrator’s limited concern for exact chronology can also be inferred from the relative scarcity and vagueness of explicit temporal markers. Both poems contain several remarkable instances of acceleration and deceleration, the story of Prometheus being particularly instructive, because the two versions can be compared with each other. The unusually high proportion of ‘omnitemporal’ narration is most likely due to the predominance of immortal characters and the description of their characteristics. Conversely, the unexpected use of prior narration in the passage on the fifth race has not yet received a fully satisfactory explanation.

Keywords: Hesiod; Prometheus; Theogony

10.1163/ej.9789004165069.i-542.24
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