The distinction between chaos and order has been central to western philosophy, both in metaphysics and politics. At the beginning, it was intrinsic to presocratic natural philosophy, and shortly after that to the cosmology and social philosophy of Plato. Even in the pre-presocratic period there were important intimations of it. Thus Hesiod tells us that ‘first of all did Chaos come into being’ —although exactly what is meant by ‘chaos’ in this context is not clear. between earth and sky . Nor does Hesiod concern himself with what Chaos came from .) The myth of origin in the Theogony , though, can be seen in contrast to the underlying theme of Works and Days , namely, Zeus's eternal rule over the world in accordance with Justice or Order . This point will become centrally important in what follows
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DOI 10.1017/S1358246100006524
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