Embarassed by Teaching Hesiod

J.E. Sandys, A History of Classical Scholarship Vol. 1:

“Apart from Homer, the epic poets studied in the Athenian age included those of the ‘Epic Cycle’ (c. 776-566 B.C.) which (as we have already seen) supplied the tragic poets with many of their themes. The Theogony of Hesiod. {floruit c. 720 ? B.C.) was also studied as a text-book of mythology, and the questions which it raised may well have been embarrassing to instructors who had to deal with exceptionally precocious pupils. We are told that Epicurus, before the age of fourteen (c. 328 B.C.), asked certain schoolmasters and sophists some puzzling questions about Hesiod’s account of Chaos; and that, dissatisfied with their replies, he resolved on devoting himself to the study of philosophy’.”

 

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