The Greeks Used Hesiod 's Theogony And Various Heroes Myths

2040 Words Sep 15th, 2016 9 Pages
The Greeks used Hesiod’s Theogony and various hero myths to explain and conceptualise the world around them, both internally, and externally. If we explore the ways in which the Greeks understood themselves, and how they play a part in the world socially, the internal importance of these texts become quite obvious. It instructs the Greeks how to live their lives, in doing so, the texts construct a guideline for them to follow; establishing rules and highlighting characteristics which are to be assumed by the Greeks to fit in with their presupposed role. However, a dichotomy occurs in the way these texts are used, in that, while it explained the world internally, it coincides with the external explanations of the fundamental nature, and metaphysical reality of the world in which they live. By analysing fragments from the pre-Socratics, we can see how important the Theogony was in fuelling this new mode of thinking, which would later result in an aspect completely distinctive of the Greek mind.

I will be now arguing the importance of the Theogony, in prompting rational thought in the later sixth century B.C.E. Historians will argue that the Greeks change in thought was a sudden shift from a mythical explanation, to a rational one, or the ‘Greek miracle’, as it often labelled. I however, will contest that there was no sudden, complete shift away from their mythical explanation. No, it was far too entrenched in their mind to have suddenly disappeared when a small number of…
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