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Introduction: Searching For Hesiod

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Chapter Summary

'Homeric' influence is only one of the factors determining the ancient construction of Hesiod. This chapter investigates six of the 'mechanisms of memory', which the author deduced from the many references to Hesiod in antiquity, in an attempt to address Confino's important question of why certain parts of the past are received and others rejected: the practice of assimilation, the catchword-factor, the principle of snowballing, the principle of clustering , the Homeric factor, and the persona's paradox. The chapter begins the search, however, with a body of texts most directly tied to the construction of Hesiod: the biographical tradition. Understanding Hesiod's vita (as a construct) is essential for understanding the reception of his poems, since a writer's life and his work were in antiquity regarded as mutually informative, which entails that 'the figure of the author is a means of circumscribing interpretive possibilities'..

Keywords: catchword-factor; Hesiod; Homeric factor; persona's paradox; practice of assimilation; principle of clustering; principle of snowballing



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