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Sacrifice, Succession, and Paternity in Hesiod’s Theogony

Abstract : The Prometheus episode of Hesiod’s Theogony has been central to the study of Greek sacrifice. However, few scholars have directly considered the role of Hesiod’s etiology within the larger narrative framework of the succession of Zeus. This paper argues that Hesiod’s account of the origin of sacrifice plays a critical intermediary stage in Zeus’ rise to power. By tracing intratextual parallels between Rhea’s deception of Kronos and Prometheus’attempted deception of Zeus, this paper argues that the Prometheus episode serves to distinguish Kronos from Zeus and presents sacrifice as a symbol of Zeus’ patriarchal rule. The narrative significance of Hesiod’s etiology of sacrifice is also compared with the Classical Apatouria in which sacrifice is used as a ritual mechanism for establishing paternal kinship ties. Thus, the mythic origin of sacrifice is shown to play a fundamental role in cosmogonic narrative and further promotes a patriarchal ideology associated with the reign of Zeus that is characteristic of later stages in Greek social history.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02097791
Contributor : Agnès Tapin <>
Submitted on : Friday, April 12, 2019 - 11:35:53 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, April 13, 2019 - 1:09:50 AM

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Charles Heiko Stocking. Sacrifice, Succession, and Paternity in Hesiod’s Theogony. Mètis - Anthropologie des mondes grecs anciens, Daedalus/EHESS, 2013, N.S.11, pp.183-210. ⟨10.4000/books.editionsehess.3037⟩. ⟨halshs-02097791⟩

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