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CALL. 18.12.2015: Hesiod and the Presocratics -Leiden (Netherlands)



LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Leiden University (Leiden, Netherlands)


INFO: web - -


Keynote speakers: Prof. Jenny Strauss Clay (University of Virginia), Prof. André Laks (Paris-Sorbonne and Mexico), Prof. Glenn W. Most (S.N.S Pisa and University of Chicago)


The relationship between the emergence of philosophy as an intellectual practice and the mythological material systematized by Hesiod is a puzzling one. If philosophy is arguably one of the most spectacular intellectual innovations of the “Greek breakthrough”, its most distinctive features are nevertheless anchored in a long-standing tradition. Hesiod’s central questions—What are the origin and structure of things? What are the general conditions of human existence?—were precisely those that concerned Greek philosophers; and his answers, although elaborated in the form of myths, have been a permanent frame of reference for philosophers since early antiquity. Our colloquium intends to explore in what ways the Presocratic philosophers’ cosmo-theological, ethical, and epistemological theories interact with Hesiod’s poems, both in their form and content.

Both the study of Hesiod’s poetry and that of Presocratic philosophy are flourishing. Recent scholarship, however, seldom connects the two domains. With few exceptions, the prevailing tendency is to study Hesiod within the context of epic or didactic poetry, and the Presocratics as part of the history of philosophy, thereby retrojecting an academic division onto a complex and fruitful relationship. A recent survey exploring Plato’s readings of Hesiod (Boys-Stones and Haubold, Plato and Hesiod, OUP, 2010) made us aware of the necessity of a multifaceted account of the Presocratics’ hitherto neglected engagement with Hesiod. The present colloquium aims to fill this long-standing lacuna.

All contributors will be invited to submit a version of their paper to the peer-reviewed conference follow-up volume to be published. Further details will be made available in due time.

The colloquium is part of the ‘Anchoring Innovation’ research agenda of OIKOS, the National Research School in Classical Studies, the Netherlands. It is being developed with the financial support of Leiden University, Radboud University, the University of Amsterdam and the University of Groningen. For further information see:

The organizers will probably not be able to recompense travel expenses. We hope, but cannot promise to be able to offer some assistance for accommodation.

Abstract submission:

Abstracts (500 words + selective bibliography) for 30 minutes papers can be submitted to both organizers via email or regular mail by December 18, 2015.

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