(We should be wary of appeals to such passages as 1.35ff.
in connection with Hesiod and Homer, since Pindar seems to have been influenced in them by post-Hesiodic and post-Homeric philosophical critiques, such as that found in Xenophanes frr.
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) I say with a measure of confidence; in (II), by contrast, my primary aim is to undermine unwarranted confidence — although I do, even here, reach some positive conclusions.
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) I offer some observations on the vexed question of the organisation of ; given the form and content of these two poems, what can we plausibly conjecture about the end or ends to which they were composed?
If it was Hesiod, it is unlikely to have been (as some suppose) because he felt obliged to reconcile the myth with the epic tradition; the syncretising urge was surely not so powerful in a poet content to juxtapose these two incompatible ‘The meaning is obvious: the weak are at the mercy of the strong. Contrast was wrong: only that the kings would be wrong in acting like it, the principles of judgement applicable to hawks being inapplicable to men (or at any rate, to men who are not at war); this disarms the objections of I take the progression ‘thirty thousand guardians — Dike — Zeus’ to be a designed escalation; contrast West: after 264 Hesiod ‘is unable to make a coherent continuation.
The common people already understand this, but Hesiod makes his fable simple and clear for the kings so that they too will understand’ (Gagarin, op. There follows a mere dribble of additional thoughts…’ (p. Hesiod adds that it is easier when one has arrived (290–2); I take this to be a remark made in passing and designed to soften the deterrent impact of the difficulty of the right path.
I should stress, however, that articulateness is not necessary; genres need not be explicitly distinguished in a culture: implicit recognition of the distinction, manifesting itself in different dispositions to respond, suffices.
prove); so it would be no surprise if he took the opportunity which a reduplication of the theomachy-motif would provide for reworking some impressive material.