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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents various accounts about Hesiod life. Hesiod's family was of an important origin, and their genealogies include Poseidon and Apollo, Atlas, Calliope, a Cymean oikistes Chariphemus, and poets-musicians Orpheus, Linus, Melanopus and Homer. Hesiod was initiated into poetry by the Heliconian Muses. The picture of Hesiod's life-style which emerges from tradition, is firmly based on his own poetry. In the Works and Days and Theogony he describes himself as a righteous and industrious man of humble origin, who does not approve the unjust ways of princes. Several traditional topics were mentioned in the chapter about the story of Hesiod's death: the misinterpreted oracle, the poet as a healer, the animal-helpers, exceptionally long life, and the tendency to associate famous poets with each other in biographical traditions. In addition to those, however, there are still more formulaic themes found in the tradition of Hesiod.

Keywords: biographical traditions; formulaic themes; Heliconian Muses; Hesiod life



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