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Discourse Cohesion In The Proem Of Hesiod's Theogony

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Chapter Summary

Few pieces of Greek literature have sparked so much controversy as the proem of Hesiod's Theogony. The author reviews the relevant tense forms and adverbs in the form of a running commentary, following Verdenius in this respect, too. The author also discusses some other points that perhaps deserve further or new comments. The opening line of the Theogony makes us expect that the poet is about to start singing, making the Muses the starting-point of his song. This expectation, however, is only partially fulfilled, for after seven lines on some of the characteristic activities of the Muses, the poet first explains how he is able to undertake such an enterprise at all, and why the Muses are his starting-point. Verdenius view, that the '(. . .) unity of the proem lies in the continuity of its progress' could be shown to be correct.

Keywords: Hesiod; Muses; proem; Theogony; Verdenius



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