Analysis Of Hesiod's 'Theogony'

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Hesiod, in his Theogony, has written a poetic account of the origins of the universe and the source of political order in our world. Hesiod locates these things in the mythological stories that form Greek Mythology and though Hesiod may not be the first person to tell these stories, he passed on a way of thinking about the world that was formative to others. Thales is the first ‘philosopher’ in that he tries to discover a rational explanation for the universe. This is not to say that Hesiod’s grounding is irrational, but Thales is pursuing a self­-evident cosmology separate from theology. Overall Hesiod and Thales have methods of inquiry that are very similar both to each other and to the philosophers that follow.
Hesiod begins the Theogony with an invocation of the muses. This links Hesiod to the divine, in order to link his words with their authority he declares that they are the source of his stories.
“Muses of Helicon, let us begin our song with them, who hold the great and holy mountain of Helicon(1-2)”
“From the beginning, also tell the one of them who came first. First of all Chawos [Gap] came into being. But then Gaia broad-chested, always the unshakable
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By locating the origins of reality in the irrational, I think that Hesiod is telling us us that humans cannot figure out the world on our own, and that the gods’ laws create a lens that allows us to make intelligible sense of the world. This fits together with the mythos beautifully, the actions of Cronos against his children is made to seem unjust because the order that now pervades disavows it, parralels can be drawn between this and the old saying “history is written by the victors”. But in the case of Hesiod, there is a sense in which we could not understand anything without the gods like Eros, as before them nothing was intelligible. The kind of grasping for the arche in nothingness that Hesiod undertakes sends him to the

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