Blind Ambition : the end of the story by John Wesley Dean, Taylor Branch
By John Wesley Dean, Taylor Branch
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Additional resources for Blind Ambition : the end of the story
113 In mythology, the usual way to become young again is through death and resurrection. 114 The other way to gain a new life was to descend into Hades and to find a way back to this world. 115 Hesiod was believed to be an author of a poem about Theseus’ descent into Hades, and it is not inconceivable that the tradition of Hesiod’s descent into the Underworld, influenced by his own poem, existed at some period of time. Ancient authors’ hesitation concerning the date of Hesiod and his chronological relationship to other poets points, too, to the possibility of the early existence of the account of the double youth of Hesiod.
Theagenes of Rhegium, while writing on Homer (and perhaps also on Hesiod) may well have exchanged information with the Orphic poets and the Pythagoreans in South Italy. hesiod . 75 The story is in general clear and consistent: after the contest Hesiod travelled to Delphi where the Pythia uttered an oracle forewarning him of danger of death in the grove of Nemean Zeus: λβιος ο τος ν ρ ς μ ν δ μον μφιπολε ει, Ησ οδος Μο σησι τετιμ νος αν τησιν ς. 76 Fortunate is a man who serves my house, Hesiod, who is honoured by the immortal Muses; surely his fame shall reach as far as the light of dawn spreads.
Cert. . Plut. Mor. . Alcid. in Cert. . Plut. Mor. e. Paus. . Eratosth. in Cert. . Vita Hesiodi . 95 The existence of several slightly different versions of the story indicates that it was well and widely known in oral tradition. However, the differences between the accounts are minor, which, in turn, points to the existence of one early coherent tradition as a source for all these versions. The only serious discrepancy between the versions is the setting of the story. One setting (East Locris) is connected with Amphidamas and his son Ganyctor, and by them with the poetry of Hesiod.