The Gods In Hesiod's Theogony

978 Words4 Pages
As long as human have inhabited the earth, the quest to explain its origins has been foremost on their minds. The Greeks were by no means any different. There are several variations of the Greek creation myth, but the most predominant version comes from the poet Hesiod and his Theogony, which details the history and genealogy of the gods. Here is a short snyopis of his account (his actual account is quite long so here is the story cut down to size).In Theogony the Void or Chaos existed before anything else. Then came Earth (Gaia) and Eros (god of love or desire). Out of the Void or Chaos came Darkness (Erebus) and Night (Nyx); from Night, Light and Day. Earth produced the Sky (Uranus) to cover herself. Then, by coupling they produced an enormous…show more content…
In many cultures, narratives about the origin of the creation/universe and about the gods that shaped it are a way for society to reaffirm its native cultural traditions. Specifically, theogonies tend to affirm kingship as the natural embodiment of society. What makes the account of Hesiod unique is that it affirms no timeline . Such a gesture would have sited the Theogony in one time and one place. Rather, Hesiod affirms the kingship of the god Zeus himself over all the other gods and over the whole universe. Further, in the "Kings and Singers" passage (80-103) Hesiod appoints himself the authority usually reserved to sacred kingship. The poet states that it is he, where readers might have expected some king instead, upon whom the Muses have giving two gifts a scepter and an authoritative voice (Hesiod, Theogony 30-3), which are the visible signs of kingship at that time. It is not that this is meant to make Hesiod a king. Rather, the point is that the authority of kingship now belongs to the poetic voice, the voice that is declaiming the Theogony. Although it is often used as a sourcebook for Greek mythology the Theogony is both more and less than that. In formal terms it is a hymn invoking Zeus and the Muses (who he farthered): parallel passages between it and the much shorter Homeric Hymn to the Muses make it clear that Hesiod's account the Theogony is developed out of a tradition of hymnic preludes with which an ancient Greek rhapsode would begin his performance at poetic competitions. It is necessary to see the Theogony not as the definitive source of Greek mythology, but rather as a photographic account of a dynamic tradition sort to say that happened to become
Open Document