Playing Hesiod: The 'Myth of the Races' in Classical Antiquity

Playing Hesiod: The 'Myth of the Races' in Classical Antiquity

by Helen Van Noorden


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This book offers a new description of the significance of Hesiod's 'myth of the races' for ancient Greek and Roman authors, showing how the most detailed responses to this story go far beyond nostalgia for a lost 'Golden' age or hope of its return. Through a series of close readings, it argues that key authors from Plato to Juvenal rewrite the story to reconstruct 'Hesiod' more broadly as predecessor in forming their own intellectual and rhetorical projects; disciplines such as philosophy, didactic poetry and satire all engage in implicit questions about 'Hesiodic' teaching. The first chapter introduces key issues; the second re-evaluates the account in Hesiod's Works and Days. A major chapter outlines Plato's use of Hesiod through close study of the Protagoras, Republic and Statesman. Subsequent chapters focus on Aratus' Phaenomena and Ovid's Metamorphoses; the final chapter, on the Octavia attributed to Seneca and Juvenal's sixth Satire, broadens ideas of Hesiod's reception in Rome.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781108730020
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 01/24/2019
Series: Cambridge Classical Studies
Pages: 360
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Helen Van Noorden is Wrigley Fellow and Lecturer in Classics at Girton College, Cambridge.

Table of Contents

1. Approaching Hesiod; 2. Embedding the races in Hesiod; 3. 'Hesiod's races and your own': Plato's 'Hesiodic' projects; 4. 'They called her Justice…': reading Hesiod in Aratus' Phaenomena; 5. Hesiod ad mea tempora in Ovid's Metamorphoses; 6. Saeculo premimur graui: re-performing 'Hesiod' in Rome; Conclusion: playing Hesiod.

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