CHS Resources–Hesiod and Theognis: Bridge to the Polis

Kevin McGrath, Gregory Nagy, and the Heroes Teaching Fellows discuss Hesiod as a bridge between the world of Homer and the polis of ancient Greek drama.

Slatkin shows that in early Greek thought and poetics, both values and norms—whether proposed as “cultural” or “natural” or “divine”—are derived through and embedded in a rich discourse and figurative complex of what Hesiod invokes as “due measure.”

In this article Nagy shows that the primary “order of reality” to be found in Hesiodic poetry is not Hesiod the person but the poetry itself. It was this poetry that brought to life the person that is Hesiod.

Nagy argues that the figure of Theognis represents a cumulative synthesis of Megarian poetic traditions that have evolved into a form suitable for pan-Hellenic audiences.