Skip to main content

Publication Details

Why Did Theognis Not Leave Respect and Retribution in His “Hope Elegy”?

(Original title: Why Did Theognis Not Leave Respect and Retribution in His “Hope Elegy”?)
Filozofia, 78 (2023), 4, 245 - 258.
Type of work: Original Articles
Publication language: English
The aim of the essay is to give a detailed analysis of Theogins’ so-called Hope Elegy (ll. 1135 – 1150) which was considered an earlier fusion of Hesiod’s story of Pandora and the Myth of the races. The author first focuses on both Hesiod’s story to reveal the context and then turns to the elegy itself to answer why Theognis choose Elpis as the only good god remaining among mankind and why he substitutes Aidōs and Nemesis with Pistis, Sōphrosunē and Charites. The author concludes that Theognis could not let Aidōs and Nemesis go, for if he had, it would have been an indication of the ultimate end of morality for his audience. Using the metaphor of decline Theognis first chose the image of leaving goddesses which is the hallmark of Hesiod’s Iron race last days story and mixed it with some other components present in the story like grace, justice, oaths and hubris, then he took key notions of his own moral thinking – pistis, sōphrosunē and charity and made goddesses from them. Finally, he crowned his elegy by choosing Hesiod’s Elpis with her intrinsic ambiguousness of both expectation and false hope. Such combination enabled him to create a stunning warning for his audience.

Theognis, Hesiod, Respect, Hope, Trust, Moderation, Grace

File to download: PDF