Hesiod [ca 750-700 BC], Theogony

From Chaos to Order--
Origins, Creation, Succession

Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?

[1-115] Hymn to Muses & Invocation

1-34 WHO are the Muses? WHERE do they live?

WHAT do they do?

WHOM do they teach?

WHAT do they teach him?

35-103 WHOM do they delight?

WHOM do they celebrate first?

WHO are their parents?
HOW were they born?
WHAT qualities are they associated with?

Besides Zeus, they attend WHOM?
HOW do they help?

WHO makes men singers and musicians?

104-115 WHO tells things "from the beginning"? Hesiod or the Muses?

[116-1020] Birth of the gods

116-153 [Generation I]

116-122 HOW do Void/Chasm, Earth, Tartarus, and Eros come into existence?
WHY are they the first things in existence?

123-125 WHO are the children of Void/Chasm?
of Night?

126-153 WHO creates "without the passion of love"?
WHAT is created?

WHO are the Children. of Earth and Sky/Heaven/Uranus?

WHAT characteristics do they receive from each parent?

154-210 [Succession Myth: Part 1]
Uranus would not let WHOM reach WHAT?

WHO thinks of a stratagem?
WHAT is it?
WHO carries it out?

WHO is produced?

211-239 [Generation II]

Children of Night: their characteristics

Children of Sea/Pontus: their characteristics

240-338 Generation III (Titans and other Early Gods and Goddesses)

240-336 [grandchildren of Sea]

240-64 Children of Nereus:

265-9 Children of Thaumas
270-336 Children of Phorkys & Ceto

Medusa's story



Nemean Lion

WHY are these 4 stories linked together?

337-616 [grandchildren of Earth/Ge and Heaven/Uranus]

337-70 Children of Tethys & Oceanus

371-4 Children of Theia & Hyperion

375-403 Children of Eurybia & Kreios

Styx and her children
WHY are they associated with & honored by Zeus?

404-52 Children of Phoebe and Koios

Praise of Hecate
WHAT are her characteristics?
WHOM does she help?
WHY does Zeus honor her?

453-886 Generation IV (Olympians and their generation)

453-8 Children of Kronos and Rhea

459-506 [Succession Myth: Part 2]

507-616 Children of Iapetos
WHAT is the fate of each one?

Prometheus & Zeus
WHERE did the gods and men come together?
WHAT is Prometheus' first trick?

WHAT is the result?

WHAT is Prometheus' second trick?

origin of women
WHY is she created?

WHO created her?
WHAT is woman's nature, accding to Hesiod?

617-731 [Succession Myth: Part 3]

732-819 [Tartarus]

820-68 [Succession Myth: Part 4]

869-80 Children of Typhoeus

886-962 [Generation V: Second Generation Olympians]

886-929 Zeus' marriage to goddesses
WHAT goddesses?

WHY does he marry so many?

The Birth of Athena
HOW is Athena born?

WHY does Zeus trick Metis?

WHO advises him?

930-3 Children of Poseidon

934-7 Children of Ares & Aphrodite

938-62 other marriages of gods

963-1020 Union of goddesses and mortals

963-8 New invocation

969-1020 Goddesses and mortals

INSIGHT: Be specific and thoughtful (Use back)
1. What is the logic behind why children are born from their parents in this poem. In other words, categorize the kinds of explanation used by Hesiod to link parent to child. Choose at least 3 examples.

2. Why must Zeus defeat Typhoeus? Why does he "marry" so many goddesses? How are these two events connected? Why are they both important for understanding Zeus?

3. What do the births of Aphrodite and Athena say about them and their power? their power in relation to Uranus and Zeus?

4. At first glance, Zeus appears to be quite unjust to mortals when he witholds fire and creates woman. What would Hesiod say?

5. In some ways, the first two phases of the succession myth seem to retell the same story. Phase 3 and 4 also appear to be a doublet. First, are they simply repeats with only the names changed or do we learn something new in each story? Explain.

Birth of Athena
Birth of Athena (Boston 00.330)


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