Hesiod's Didactic Poetry

Classical Quarterly 35 (02):245- (1985)
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In this paper I shall approach Hesiod's poetry from two, rather different, directions; consequently, the paper itself falls into two parts, the argument and conclusions of which are largely independent. In I offer some observations on the vexed question of the organisation of Works and Days; that is, my concern is with the coherence of the poem's form and content. In my attention shifts to the function of this poem and of its companion, Theogony; given the form and content of these two poems, what can we plausibly conjecture about the end or ends to which they were composed? In particular, I shall consider whether, and in what sense, these poems may be regarded as didactic in intent. Much of what I have to say in I say with a measure of confidence; in , by contrast, my primary aim is to undermine unwarranted confidence — although I do, even here, reach some positive conclusions



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