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The Boundless Authority Of Hesiod And Homer

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Chapter Summary

This chapter investigates the combined appearance of the poets, Homer and Hesiod, in contexts dealing with morality, education and the closely-related subject of religion. It is a truism to state that throughout antiquity both Homer and Hesiod were regarded as great authorities and revered specialists in these fields; it is especially the status of Homer as educator of the Greeks that is investigated in the first section of the chapter. The second section provides a case study taken from Herodotus' Histories, demonstrating, that the focus on Hesiod and Homer together can at times lead to interesting interpretations and insights that would be missed by a too one-sided or Homerocentric approach. The third section investigates the question of how the Greeks in general pictured the moral authority of Hesiod and Homer. Finally, the chapter explains how the Greeks dealt with the tension arising from panhellenic educators telling immoral tales.

Keywords: Greek theology; Herodotus; Hesiod; Homer; Homerocentric approach



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