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3 - Hesiod, Language, and the Names of Ishtar

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 May 2023

Jacobo Myerston
Affiliation:
University of California, San Diego
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Summary

This chapter explores coincidences and divergences between Hesiod’s conception of language and those found in Akkadian literature. First, it provides a synopsis of Hesiod’s ideas about language and the interrelation of these ideas with the poet’s broader poetics. Then it discusses how Hesiodic conceptions of language are deeply intertwined with the interpretation of divine names. The chapter also investigates how Hesiod’s particular ways of interpreting theonyms is used to endorse hermeneutic practices anchored in an oral tradition. It explores the differences between the Theogony and its cuneiform counterparts, especially by comparing how wordplay and etymology are deployed in the analysis of divine names.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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