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Homer and Hesiod

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Chapter Summary

One of the most frustrating aspects of Homeric studies is that so little literary material outside the Homeric corpus itself survives to enhance our understanding of the cultural landscape of the period. There are many reasons, beyond chronological proximity, to draw connections between Homer and Hesiod. Since antiquity, scholars have debated the absolute and relative dating of Homer and Hesiod and the chronology of their works. The format of the contest of Homer and Hesiod in the Certamen certainly reveals a complex and puzzling agenda. This chapter considers more recent strategies for understanding the specifically literary relationship between Homer and Hesiod in their own time. Recently, in fact, a number of scholars have been arguing that, well beyond matters of diction, meter, and formula, the Works and Days was perhaps even more profoundly engaged in the Homeric tradition than the Theogony.

Keywords: Certamen ; Hesiod; Homer; Theogony; Works and Days



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