Human Nature in the Theogony

This post is one in a series on the History of Epistemological Thought.  Previously in this series: History in the Theogony.

The anthropomorphic aspects of Hesiod's gods also give the Theogony some interesting insights into human nature.  We have male striving: an eternal quest for women and power, and a perennial resentment of the son toward the father.  The nature of women according to Hesiod is outlined in my post History in the Theogony.  A further aspect of womankind is represented by Gaia and Rhea caring ultimately more for their children than for their husbands.  We also have an analysis of the virtues of the basileus (king or magistrate).  The basileus is said to be blessed by the Muses, and to engender justice (dike).

And an over-riding message is that the actions of man are impelled by qualities that are embodied in gods: Love, Strife, Jealousy, Hatred, etc.  The fates of mankind are decided by Zeus's agents such as the Fates and the Furies.

Next in this series: Ethics in the Theogony.

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