The Reception of Hesiod by the Early Presocratics

In Alexander Loney & Stephen Scully (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Hesiod. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 207-225 (2018)
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The early Presocratics’ major speculative and critical initiatives—in particular, Anaximander’s conceptions of the justice of the cosmos and of the apeiron as its archē and Xenophanes’s polemics against immorality and anthropomorphism in the depiction of the gods and against any claim to divine inspiration—appear to break with Hesiod’s form of thought. But the conceptual, critical, and ethical depth of Hesiod’s own rethinking of the lore that he inherits complicates this picture. Close examination of each of their major initiatives together with the relevant passages in Hesiod show that even in the course of departing from his thought, Anaximander and Xenophanes also reappropriate and renew it. In a postscript I pose some questions for future inquiry into Heraclitus’s and Parmenides’s receptions of Hesiod.
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