CLST 4003 H; Spring, 2002. Colloquium:

Ancient Greek Religion

Professor D. B. Levine



1. What does Lamberton's introduction say about the cult of the Muses, and what is the relation between that cult and Hesiod's poetry? (pp. 5-6)

2. How does Lamberton say we should understand Hesiod's claim to have learned his information "from the Muses"? (p. 9)

3. In what way does Lombardo say that Hesiodic poetry differs from Homeric poetry? (p. 19)

4. Whom does Hesiod ask the Muses to praise, and why is this relevant to the basic message of the whole poem? (lines 1-20)

5. Why is one kind of Strife called 'good', and what is its relevance to the basic message of the poem? (21-42, and note)

6. According to Hesiod, why are mortals' lives hard? (lines 58-68)

7. How is the creation of the first woman in Works and Days (58-125) similar to or different from the creation of the first woman in Theogony (573-620)? 8. Who is "famous old Gimpy," and why is he so named? (89, & note, page 52)

9. How does Lombardo explain Athena's epithet "Owl-Eyed"? What does 'theriomorphic' mean? (note to line 91)

10. What is the Etymology of "Pandora," and how is its meaning ambiguous? (100-101, and note).

11. How do the meanings of the names Prometheus and Epimetheus embody their mythical roles? (line 106, & note, page 52)

12. What is the 'lapse of logic' relating to Hope in Pandora's jar? (115-125, and note to 117).

13. In what way was the Silver Age inferior to the Golden Age? (148-161)

14. What happened to the Golden and Silver Age humans after they died? What might they have to do with Hero Worship? (142-147; 161-163, and note to 148-164)

15. What is the difference in the post-mortem existence between the race of Heroes and the race of Bronze? (174-178; 188-197)

16. Hesiod says that in the Iron Age, Shame and Nemesis will go to Olympus. Why is this bad for humans? (230-234; see note to 198-234). 17. What do the thirty thousand spirits do in Zeus' service? (292 ff.)

18. Hesiod tells his brother Perses to listen to (personified) Justice, and not to cultivate Violence (lines 247 ff.). What is the Greek word Lombardo translates as 'Violence'? (note, p. 55) What does Justice do when someone besmirches her name, and what does this tell us about Zeus' relation to justice? (297ff)

19. What does Hesiod say that men must do in order to make sure that Demeter will smile on them? (343)

20. What does Hesiod mean by "Wealth's better not grabbed, but given by the gods"?(366 ff., 398)

21. What do we learn from Hesiod's "Give" and "Gimmee" about the Greeks'' ideas of myth writing? (402 and note)

22. Explain why Hesiod says both that it is better for a family to have a single son, AND that 'more hands mean more help, and a bigger yield.' (422-426, & note, page 56)

23. What is the relation between human work and the gods? (445-451)

24. Who brings the Autumn rains (line 468); who blesses the craftsman (483)?

25. Why is it better for someone over 40 to plow? (lines 494-500)

26. To which deities should a man pray for a good crop, and when should a man pray? (522-528).

27. What is the difference between the Zeus of line 522 (note), and the Zeus of line 543? What does this tell us about the way the Greeks looked at their gods?

28. What is the importance of the month-name "Lenaion" (565, & note p. 57)

29. What does the god Boreas do, and what artistic contrast with his power does Hesiod depict? (567-584) 30. Lombardo explains what a House-Toter is (633 and note). What is it? What is a 'kenning'? (see note to 633 and to 864)

31. What is Hesiod's opinion of his home town Askra (by Mt. Helikon), and what does Zeus have to do with Hesiod's father's move there? (699-710)

32. What did Hesiod do with his prize in the Funeral Games' songfest, and why do you think he did it? (725-733)

33. What makes Hesiod such a know-it-all expert? (732-33)

34. What is the cause of shipwrecks? (738-39)

35. What is Hesiod's advice about marriage? (lines 769-780)

36. Why should you never "throw a man's poverty up in his face"? (794-99)

37. What should you do before pouring a dawn libation? (802)

38. What are the basic rules for urinating, and what do they have to do with the gods? (line 806-811; 838-39)

39. Why do you think there is a prohibition of human semen in the vicinity of the hearth? (hint: look at Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, lines 21ff)

40. When is the time not to beget children, and when is it best, and why? (815)

41. What is the protocol for river crossing? (line 816-21)

42. Why do you think Hesiod advises not to 'trim the dry from the five-branched quick' with metal at a god's festival? (line 822-23; hint: this is a reference to manicure).

43. What does Hesiod mean by saying "Talk too is some kind of god"? (line 844)

44. Why are "Days" important? What does Zeus have to do with them? (845ff)

45. Why are the "Fifths" so ill-omened? (899-901)

46. How does Hesiod tie together work and religion at the end of Works and Days? (lines 926-28)

47. How does Hesiod portray Zeus in the Works and Days? (cite different three passages, with line numbers).

48. How would you summarize the world view of Works and Days? (You might get some confirmation in your opinion from Lombardo's note to 769-80).


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