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Dossier : Mères et maternités en Grèce ancienne

Varia

Sacrifice, Succession, and Paternity in Hesiod’s Theogony1

Charles Heiko Stocking

Résumé

L’épisode de Prométhée que l’on trouve dans la Théogonie d’Hésiode a été central pour les études sur le sacrifice grec. Néanmoins, très peu de savants ont considéré cette étiologie en liaison avec le grand projet narratif qui est celui de la succession de Zeus. Cet article démontre que le récit d’Hésiode sur l’origine du sacrifice constitue un épisode critique intermédiaire dans l’accès de Zeus au pouvoir. En mettant au jour les parallèles intertextuels entre la ruse de Rhéa vis à vis de Cronos et la tentative de Prométhée de se jouer der Zeus, cet article entend démontrer que l’épisode de Prométhée a pour fonction de distinguer Cronos de Zeus et de présenter le sacrifice comme un symbole de la loi patriarcale de Zeus. La signification narrative de l’étiologie hésiodique du sacrifice est également éclairée par l’analyse des Apatouries de l’époque classique, fêtes au cours desquelles le sacrifice fonctionne comme un mécanisme rituel permettant d’instituer des liens de parenté patrilinéaire. Ainsi, l’origine mythique du sacrifice joue un rôle fondamental dans la narration cosmogonique et, davantage, promeut une idéologie patriarcale qui est associée avec le règne de Zeus et des périodes plus tardives de l’histoire sociale grecque.

The Prometheus episode of Hesiod’s Theogony has been central to the study of Greek sacrifice. However, few scholars have directly considered the role of Hesiod’s etiology within the larger narrative framework of the succession of Zeus. This paper argues that Hesiod’s account of the origin of sacrifice plays a critical intermediary stage in Zeus’ rise to power. By tracing intratextual parallels between Rhea’s deception of Kronos and Prometheus’attempted deception of Zeus, this paper argues that the Prometheus episode serves to distinguish Kronos from Zeus and presents sacrifice as a symbol of Zeus’ patriarchal rule. The narrative significance of Hesiod’s etiology of sacrifice is also compared with the Classical Apatouria in which sacrifice is used as a ritual mechanism for establishing paternal kinship ties. Thus, the mythic origin of sacrifice is shown to play a fundamental role in cosmogonic narrative and further promotes a patriarchal ideology associated with the reign of Zeus that is characteristic of later stages in Greek social history.

Entrées d'index

Texte intégral

  • 1 I would like to thank the Classics in Contemporary Perspectives Initiative at the University of Sou (...)
  • 1 Cf. Bonnafé 1985; Rengakos 2009; Pucci 2009.
  • 2 Cf. Detienne et Vernant 1977; Arthur [Katz] 1982; Zeitlin 1996. Cf. Holmberg 1997 for a discussion (...)
  • 3 Cf. Arthur [Katz ] 1982 on this interweaving of the sexual and political spheres in the Theogony.

1It is generally accepted that the myth of divine succession detailing how Zeus came to be «father of gods and men» functions as the major narrative focus of Hesiod’s Theogony1. Hesiod’s particular version of succession, however, is not merely an intergenerational struggle between fathers and sons. Through a detailed account of the operations of mêtis in the Theogony, Jean-Pierre Vernant and Marcel Detienne have eloquently demonstrated that each stage of the succession is in fact facilitated by a conflict between male and female divinities centered around the act of birth2. The contest between Ouranos and Gaia over the fate of the Titans allows Kronos to become king and likewise, the conflict between Kronos and Rhea over the Olympians facilitates Zeus’ own rise to power. Zeus alone breaks this cycle of gendered conflict by successfully overcoming the goddess Mêtis and «giving birth» to Athena, who has strength and counsel «equal to her father» (Theog. 896: ἶσον... πατρὶ) but nevertheless poses no threat to his rule. In this sense, it has been argued, the Theogony constructs a narrative of gender conflict centered on the act of birth through a narrative trajectory, which begins with mother Earth and concludes with father Zeus3.

  • 4 Cf. Thalmann 1984, p. 38-39 for the structure of the Theogony and the positioning of the Prometheus (...)
  • 5 Formally, the Prometheus episode is properly subsumed under the genealogy of Iapetus (Thalmann 1984 (...)
  • 6 Walter Burkert used Hesiod’s account of sacrifice as evidence that the Greeks did not understand th (...)
  • 7 Indeed, Vernant notes in this myth the marked absence of splagchna, that portion of meat that is of (...)
  • 8 Vernant 1979, p. 44-45.

2Curiously, at the very center of this gendered narrative of divine succession, we are presented with an aition for sacrifice that results from the conflict between Prometheus and Zeus4. Traditionally, Zeus’ conflict with Prometheus has been seen to operate as a self-contained narrative episode in the Theogony – an etiological aside5. Prior to the seminal work of Jean-Pierre Vernant, this episode had been considered a rather poor explanation of a particular detail of Greek sacrificial ritual – why the Greeks burn bones rather than offer meat to the gods6. Vernant, however, has demonstrated that this episode is far more than a primitivist «just-so» story. It does not simply explain a ritual detail7. Rather, Prometheus’ division of the ox into two distinct portions, the bones and fat on the one hand and the meat hidden in the ox’s stomch on the other, marks a separation between gods and men8.

  • 9 Cf. Vernant 1974 for how the conflict between Prometheus and Zeus is one determined by mêtis. Cf. D (...)
  • 10 In so far as Zeus’ political power is defined in terms of his paternal authority, I take the term « (...)

3While Vernant has provided an elegant analysis of how the aition of sacrifice operates within the episode of Zeus’ conflict with Prometheus, we are faced with a central question regarding the larger significance of Hesiod’s etiology: How does the myth of sacrifice relate to the larger narrative trajectory of the Theogony? In part, Vernant answers this question through a focus on the practice of deception or mêtis9. However, I believe there is a more precise and direct relationship between the aition of sacrifice and the narrative of succession. For deception itself is fundamentally tied to acts of consumption throughout the Theogony. By focusing on the role of consumption in the aition of sacrifice, we shall see that the Prometheus episode emerges as the intermediary stage in Zeus’ succession framed by Kronos’ consumption of Rhea’s deceptive offering and Zeus’ own consumption of Mêtis. In this analysis, therefore, Hesiod’s Theogony presents the ritual of sacrifice as a foundational mechanism for the perpetuation of a patriarchal ideology that is intimately associated with Zeus’ rise to paternal power over mortals and immortals10.

4In order to best understand the close relationship between sacrifice and succession in the Theogony, we must first turn to the exact moment in the Theogony, which describes how the ritual of sacrifice comes into existence. For sacrifice is born at a very specific moment in the Prometheus episode: when Zeus recognizes Prometheus’ deception, physically picks up the portion of bones and fat, and becomes angry (Hesiod, Theogony 551-7):

γνῶ οὐδἠγνοίησε δόλον· κακὰ δὄσσετο θυμῷ
θνητοῖς ἀνθρώποισι, τὰ καὶ τελέεσθαι ἔμελλε.
χερσὶ δ γἀμφοτέρῃσιν ἀνείλετο λευκὸν ἄλειφαρ,
χώσατο δὲ φρένας ἀμφί, χόλος δέ μιν ἵκετο θυμόν,
ὡς ἴδεν ὀστέα λευκὰ βοὸς δολίῃ ἐπὶ τέχνῃ.
ἐκ τοῦ δ᾽ ἀθανάτοισιν ἐπὶ χθονὶ φῦλ᾽ ἀνθρώπων
καίουσ᾽ ὀστέα λευκὰ θυηέντων ἐπὶ βωμῶν.

But he recognized and did not fail to recognize the trick. And he considered evil in his heart for mortal men, and he was soon to carry those things out
And he picked up the white fat with both hands, and became angry in his mind, and anger came to him in his heart, when he saw the white bones of the ox (arranged) with cunning skill
From that point on, the tribes of men on the earth
burn white bones on smoking altars for the immortals.

  • 11 West 1961. The original manuscript tradition provides τῷ μὲν and τῷ δὲ in describing Prometheus’ di (...)
  • 12 West 1961, p. 138.
  • 13 As Vernant states, «La bonne part, dont les mortels se félicitent (comme ils se félicitent du «beau (...)
  • 14 Clay 2003, p. 111.
  • 15 Clay 2003, p. 113.
  • 16 Sissa et Detienne 1989, p. 92. Based on Homeric descriptions of sacrifice (Sissa et Detienne 1989, (...)

5The precise logic of this passage is difficult to disentangle. On the one hand we have clear emphasis at Theogony 551 that Zeus does recognize the trick. Yet despite recognizing the trick, he still physically chooses the meatless portion and proceeds to become angry. This difficulty has led to countless textual emendations and arguments as to which portion was intended for whom and whether or not Zeus was in fact deceived. Martin West believes that Prometheus successfully deceived Zeus in a proto-version of the story. West provides a textual emendation to the description of Prometheus’ apportionment in the Hesiodic text in order to demonstrate that Zeus chose the meatless portion of his own accord such that Zeus ultimately «cheated himself»11. As West states, «Separate fact from comment, and no doubt will remain that Zeus was in fact thoroughly taken in»12. Vernant’s own analysis of the Prometheus episode, discussed above, can in many ways be interpreted as an effort to save the omnipotence of Zeus13. In accordance with Vernant’s analysis, Jenny Strauss Clay suggests that Zeus has «X-ray vision» and is able to see through the deception14. According to Clay, Zeus still chooses the deceptive portion because Zeus has a grudge against Prometheus and mankind from the beginning. She states, «The Olympian is not fooled; it is in that choice that man’s doom is eternally sealed»15. However, to assume that Zeus is not deceived is to ignore Zeus’ own emotional reaction to his choice. As Giulia Sissa so pointedly asks, «Pourquoi Zeus se fâcherait-il s’il ne se sentait pas offensé d’avoir été privé de viande?»16. The difficulty in this description of the origins of sacrifice becomes a matter of reconciling Zeus’ anger with the fact that the text emphasizes that Zeus «recognized and did not fail to recognize the trick» (Hesiod, Theogony 551).

  • 17 Such a model of anger at the attempt at deception finds parallel in the Hymn to Apollo, where Apoll (...)
  • 18 Cf. Stoddard 2004, p. 145-153 for other uses of prolepsis in the Theogony.

6Based on this description of the moment when Zeus becomes angry, I wish to add another suggestion that may help move past the current stalemate on the question of Zeus’ deception, namely, that Prometheus’ attempt at deception is ineffective, and Zeus is angry not at having been deceived but at Prometheus’ attempt to deceive him. The moment of Zeus’ anger is in fact the moment that he physically recognizes the trick17. Lines 553-5 of the Theogony explicitly show that Zeus picks up the portion of bones and fat with both hands and becomes angry when he sees (Theog. 555: ὡς ἴδεν) the white bones arranged with cunning skill. In this sense, we may consider Hesiod’s emphasis on Zeus’ recognition of Prometheus’ trick (Theog. 551) as proleptic commentary on this specific, physical act of vision (Theog. 555)18. It is the physicality of the scene, the fact that Zeus receives his portion with both hands (Theog. 553), coupled with the description of his knowledge in terms of physical recognition (Theog. 555), that helps us to contextualize the origin of sacrifice within the larger context of Hesiod’s cosmogonic narrative.

7The gestures of Zeus in his conflict with Prometheus, I suggest, directly recall the first battle of wits between Rhea and Kronos. Just as the poet described Zeus picking up Prometheus’ deceptive offering «with both hands», so Kronos is described as receiving Rhea’s deceptive offering of the stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, Zeus’ surrogate, also «with his hands». Unlike Zeus, Kronos fails to recognize Rhea’s act of deception (Hesiod, Theogony 485-91):

τῷ δὲ σπαργανίσασα μέγαν λίθον ἐγγυάλιξεν
Οὐρανίδῃ μέγἄνακτι, θεῶν προτέρῳ βασιλῆι.
τὸν τόθἑλὼν χείρεσσιν ἑὴν ἐσκάτθετο νηδύν,
σχέτλιος, οὐδἐνόησε μετὰ φρεσίν, ὥς οἱ ὀπίσσω
ἀντὶ λίθου ἑὸς υἱὸς ἀνίκητος καὶ ἀκηδὴς
λείπεθ’, μιν τάχἔμελλε βίῃ καὶ χερσὶ δαμάσσας
τιμῆς ἐξελάαν, δἐν ἀθανάτοισιν ἀνάξειν.

Then having wrapped up a great stone, she gave it to the lord,
son of Ouranos, former king of the gods.
And then, having taken it up with his hands, he placed it in his stomach,
the fool, nor did he recognize with his mind
that in place of the stone, his son, unconquered and unharmed
remained behind, and that Zeus was soon about to deprive him of honor conquering
him by force and hand, and would rule over the immortals.

8Kronos was previously defined as cunning (Theog. 473: ἀγκυλομήτης) specifically because he kept a watchful eye on his progeny (Hesiod, Theogony 466-7):

τῷ γἄροὐκ ἀλαοσκοπιὴν ἔχεν, ἀλλὰ δοκεύων
παῖδας ἑοὺς κατέπινε.

Nor as a blind one did he keep a lookout, but watching his children,
he swallowed them.

  • 19 Stoddard cites this passage as an example of judgment commentary, which is used when the poet makes (...)

9Yet despite his watchfulness, Hesiod expressly states that Kronos’ vision failed him (Theog. 488: οὐδἐνόησε μετὰ φρεσίν), a fact Hesiod comments upon with the use of the epithet of «fool» or «stubborn one» (Theog. 488: σχέτλιος)19.

  • 20 Vernant 1974; Detienne et Vernant 1977.
  • 21 This detail regarding the hands is particularly significant from a ritual perspective in light of B (...)

10The two episodes, Zeus’ birth and Zeus’ conflict with Prometheus, therefore parallel each other in three critical ways. First, in both instances there is a battle of wits, on the one hand between Rhea and Kronos, on the other between Prometheus and Zeus, which Vernant has so clearly demonstrated20. Second, just as Kronos had picked up Rhea’s deceptive offering with his hands (Theog. 487: ἑλὼν χείρεσσιν), so Zeus also picks up Prometheus’ offering with his hands (Theog. 552: χερσὶ δ γἀμφοτέρῃσιν ἀνείλετο)21. Third, this critical gesture of physically picking up the deceptive offering is followed in both instances by an act of perception. Just as Hesiod comments on Kronos’ failure to recognize the trick (Theog. 488: οὐδἐνόησε μετὰ φρεσίν), Hesiod is sure to add that Zeus does in fact perceive Prometheus’ deception (Theog. 551: γνῶ οὐδἠγνοίησε δόλον and Theog. 555: ὡς ἴδεν). The emphasis created by the double negative in describing Zeus’ recognition of Prometheus’ deception therefore serves as an implicit contrast with Kronos’ own misrecognition. Because Kronos fails to perceive the deception, he consumes the trick immediately, whereas Zeus, upon picking up Prometheus’ deceptive offering, immediately recognizes the deception and becomes angry. By contextualizing Prometheus’ act of deception in terms of Rhea’s deception of Kronos, we see that the effectiveness of Rhea’s own deception depends on that very act of consumption that results from misrecognition. Because Zeus does in fact recognize Prometheus’ trick, Prometheus’ deception is not consummated because it is not consumed. From a narrative perspective, the episode of Prometheus’ conflict with Zeus, which details the origin of sacrifice, therefore has a specific purpose beyond etiological description. The episode is critical to the larger cosmogonic myth of succession in so far as it creates a genealogical division between Zeus and Kronos: like father, not like son.

11The intratextual relationship between these two episodes, Zeus’ recognition of Prometheus’ deception and Kronos’ failure to recognize Rhea’s deception, may be confirmed through an intertextual relationship with a moment of recognition in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes. After Hermes has stolen and slaughtered Apollo’s cattle, Apollo utilizes his Zeus-like perception to recognize the crafty child (Homeric Hymn to Hermes 243-5):

γνῶ δοὐδἠγνοίησε Διὸς καὶ Λητοῦς υἱὸς
νύμφην τοὐρείην περικαλλέα καὶ φίλον υἱόν,
παῖδὀλίγον δολίῃς εἰλυμένον ἐντροπίῃσι.

The son of Leto and Zeus recognized and did not fail to recognize the beautiful mountain nymph and her dear son, a small child, wrapped in crafty folds.

  • 22 The double negative phrase «οὐδἠγνοίησε» does occur at Odyssey 5.77-79 and Iliad 2.807, 13.28, bu (...)
  • 23 The exact phrase here need not be a specific allusion to our version of the Theogony, but the phras (...)
  • 24 Vergados 2012, p. 413.
  • 25 Greene 2005, p. 345-348.
  • 26 Cf. Clay 1989, p. 15 and Clay 2011, p. 244 for how the Homeric Hymns begins with a point of crisis (...)
  • 27 Hesiod, Theogony 938. Jaillard 2007, p. 29-31.
  • 28 Homeric Hymn to Hermes 256, 409-413. Harrell 1991, p. 310-315; Jaillard 2007, p. 73n44.
  • 29 Homeric Hymn to Hermes 455. Greene 2005, p. 347.
  • 30 Homeric Hymn to Hermes 386.
  • 31 For the interrelationship between the sacrifice episode of the Homeric Hymn to Hermes and that of t (...)

12The double negative phrase «γνῶ δοὐδἠγνοίησε», which refers to Apollo’s recognition of Hermes, is the very same phrase in the same metrical position as the phrase that refers to Zeus’ recognition of Prometheus’ trick (Theog. 551). This exact collocation occurs nowhere else in the Greek hexameter tradition22. Although the oral poetic nature of Greek hexameter poetry prevents one from arguing for «allusion» per se, this phrase applied to Apollo no doubt invokes the conflict between Prometheus and Zeus23. As Vergados explains, «Apollo sees through Hermes’ feigned childishness, just as Zeus sees through Prometheus’ trick»24. I would add to this parallel that the use of this phrase in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes also establishes the conflict between Hermes and Apollo in genealogical terms that match the conflict between Proemtheus and Zeus. Elizabeth Greene has demonstrated that a central issue of the hymn is whether Hermes is to be identified as the «son of Maia» or a «son of Zeus»25. As a «son of Maia», Hermes poses an implicit threat to Zeus’ rule26. For Maia is a child of Atlas and therefore part of the genealogy of Iapetus27. Apollo, as a son of Zeus, treats Hermes accordingly, threatening the child with banishment to Tartarus and binding – the very punishments that Zeus dealt to the Titans28. Hence, the fact that «Apollo recognized and did not fail to recognize» the baby Hermes indicates that Apollo, as a son of Zeus, recognizes the deceptive Hermes as an Iapetid. However, the fact remains that Hermes is also a son of Zeus, and Apollo does eventually recognize Hermes’ own patrilineal status29. This episode of recognition, I believe, also provides an indication of Hermes’ problematic genealogy, for Hermes is specifically described as a «child wrapped in crafty folds». This image of «deceptive swaddling» may recall Prometheus’ trick of the bones wrapped in fat, but it may also recall the conditions of Zeus’ own birth, where the stone that was wrapped in swaddling was used as a deception against Kronos. Like Zeus, Hermes too is the youngest of the Olympian children and later in the hymn, Hermes appeals to Zeus to aid those that are younger30. Hence, the image presented in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes of «recognizing and not failing to recognize» a child «wrapped in crafty folds» brings together the two separate, but interrelated episodes of the Theogony – Rhea’s deception of Kronos and Prometheus’ failed deception of Zeus31.

  • 32 Vernant 1974, Detienne et Vernant 1977.

13If we consider that the conflict between Prometheus and Zeus is prefigured by the conflict between Rhea and Kronos in the Theogony, as I have argued, the cause and conclusion of such conflict is ultimately determined by the act of consumption. Detienne and Vernant have pointed to the conflict between Prometheus and Zeus as a battle of wits and have also considered the role of mêtis in Rhea’s deception of Kronos32. Yet, it is only by appreciating the fact that such deceptive practices are executed through the act of consumption that we are able to see a direct connection between the two episodes. Kronos swallowing his children gives us an indication as to the symbolic value found in such acts (Hesiod, Theogony 459-62):

καὶ τοὺς μὲν κατέπινε μέγας Κρόνος, ὥς τις ἕκαστος
νηδύος ἐξ ἱερῆς μητρὸς πρὸς γούναθἵκοιτο,
τὰ φρονέων, ἵνα μή τις ἀγαυῶν Οὐρανιώνων
ἄλλος ἐν ἀθανάτοισιν ἔχοι βασιληίδα τιμήν.

And great Kronos swallowed them, as soon as each
arrived at the knees of the mother from her sacred womb,
contemplating matters in order that no one else of the children of Ouranos might
hold kingly honor among the immortals.

  • 33 Thus, in Euripides Cyclops, Cyclops asks about a meal, ἄριστον (214) and the chorus asks not to be (...)
  • 34 Muellner sees the νηδύς strictly in its female capacity: «Kronos is outdoing his father by reversin (...)
  • 35 Cf. the epiphanic birth of Apollo in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo 120, where he literally jumps from (...)

14First, Kronos is described as swallowing his children whole. Although the verb καταπίνω occurs in both gastronomic and metaphoric contexts33, the sense here is not one of «eating» as depicted in the paintings of «Saturn Devouring his Son» by Rubens and Goya. Second, the term Hesiod uses for Rhea’s womb, νηδύς, is the same term used to refer to Kronos’ stomach into which the deceptive offering of the stone, Zeus’ surrogate, is placed at Theog. 487: τὸν τόθἑλὼν χείρεσσιν ἑὴν ἐσκάτθετο νηδύν. The Olympians therefore move from the womb, νηδύς, of Rhea directly to the stomach, νηδύς, of Kronos34. The same term used in reference to Rhea and Kronos highlights a critical difference in function. For the female divinity Rhea, the νηδύς is a starting point for the process of birth and therefore revelation35. For the male divinity Kronos, it is a final destination used for consumption and therefore concealment. Hesiod’s use of the same term νηδύς constructs a critical difference between the genders on a cosmic level. It is the difference between the «female womb» and the «male stomach».

15It is this precise term that is used to describe Zeus’ act of swallowing Mêtis (Hesiod, Theogony 889-93):

τότἔπειτα δόλῳ φρένας ἐξαπατήσας
αἱμυλίοισι λόγοισιν ἑὴν ἐσκάτθετο νηδύν,
Γαίης φραδμοσύνῃσι καὶ Οὐρανοῦ ἀστερόεντος
τὼς γάρ οἱ φρασάτην, ἵνα μὴ βασιληίδα τιμὴν
ἄλλος ἔχοι Διὸς ἀντὶ θεῶν αἰειγενετάων.

And then, deceiving her mind by means of a trick
with soft words, he placed her in his stomach,
with the counsel of Gaia and starry Ouranos.
For the two advised him in order that no one else of the everlasting gods might have
kingly honor in place of Zeus.

  • 36 Detienne et Vernant 1977, p. 72.
  • 37 Faraone and Teeter 2004 see a parallel between Zeus’ swallowing of the goddess Mêtis and an Egyptia (...)
  • 38 Cf. Dietler 2001 for modern parallels regarding the act of consumption as a symbolic practice in th (...)
  • 39 For the role of the goddess Mêtis as an addition to the traditional theme of Athena’s birth solely (...)

16Detienne and Vernant clearly point out the structural similarity in narratives between Kronos swallowing his children and Zeus swallowing Mêtis36. What Detienne and Vernant do not emphasize enough, I believe, is that Zeus’ conquest of Mêtis is achieved specifically through the act of consumption37. For both Kronos and Zeus, this act of consumption is a means of retaining «kingly honor» against the threat of successors (Theog. 463, 893: βασιληίδα τιμήν). Hence this act of consumption is not nutritive, but symbolic – a means of preserving power and status38. In addition, both acts of consumption are in the context of birth. Where the Olympians move from the νηδύς of the mother to the νηδύς of the father, so Zeus swallows Mêtis just before she gives birth to Athena (Theog. 888-9). In the case of Kronos and Zeus, therefore, the strategy of consumption is a means of controlling reproduction through an inversion of the female process of birth. Where Kronos consumed the Olympian children, Zeus exercises a much greater control over reproduction by consuming the very source of the threat of succession, the mother herself39.

  • 40 Loraux 1978, p. 47; Arthur [Katz ], 1982, p. 74. For simple ease of discussion I will continue to r (...)

17In distinguishing Kronos from Zeus, the Prometheus episode therefore anticipates Zeus’ eventual success in ending cosmic succession and establishing permanent patriarchal rule. However, the Prometheus episode does not conclude with the etiology of sacrifice, but with Zeus’ creation of Pandora. It is the creation of Pandora, I suggest, that represents Zeus’ ultimate control of the modes of consumption, both mortal and immortal. Just as the Works and Days makes no mention of the origin of sacrifice, so it is critical for our appreciation of the Pandora episode in the Theogony that Pandora herself is not given the name «Pandora»40. From a narrative perspective, the creation of Pandora in the Theogony corresponds directly with the origin of sacrifice as a moment of anger and recongition. As discussed earlier, the ritual of sacrifice resulted directly from the moment Zeus became angry when he physically perceived Prometheus’ deception (Theog. 554-5). It is this same series of events, anger and perception, which facilitates Zeus’ creation of «an evil in place of fire» (Hesiod, Theogony 568-9):

ἐχόλωσε δέ μιν φίλον ἦτορ,
ὡς ἴδ᾽ ἐν ἀνθρώποισι πυρὸς τηλέσκοπον αὐγήν.
αὐτίκα δ᾽ ἀντὶ πυρὸς τεῦξεν κακὸν ἀνθρώποισιν.

  • 41 Cf. Judet de la Combe 1996, p. 291 for a synopsis of the multiple interpretations of ἀντὶ πυρός.

And he became angry in his dear heart,
When he saw the far-seeing glow of fire among men.
And right away he fashioned an evil for men in place of fire
41.

18The two episodes, Zeus’ recognition of the deceptive offering of Prometheus and his recognition of Prometheus’ theft of fire, show direct parallels in paradigmatic word choice with syntagmatic variation. Where anger entered Zeus’ θυμός upon perceiving Prometheus’ first deception of bones wrapped in fat, in the Pandora episode he is angered in his heart. Just as the ritual of sacrifice is born out of Zeus’ perception (Theog. 555: ὡς ἴδεν), so Pandora herself is also born as a result of Zeus’ anger and perception (Theog. 569: ὡς ἴδ᾽ ἐν ἀνθρώποισι). I suggest that we take these narrative parallels as an indication that the symbolic value of Pandora in the Theogony is one and the same as the value of sacrifice, that is, as a demonstration of Zeus’ control of consumption.

  • 42 Vernant 1974, p. 188. Vernant used both Hesiod’s Works and Days and the Theogony in his discussion (...)
  • 43 Vernant 1974, p. 188, cf. Homer, Odyssey 15.344; 17.286; 17.474; 18.55; Vernant 1979, p. 92-98.
  • 44 Theogony 593. Cf. Loraux 1978 for comparison of Hesiod’s treatment of «the race of women» with othe (...)
  • 45 Loraux 1978, p. 62.

19For Vernant, the fundamental relationship between Pandora and sacrifice is the critical role of the stomach or γαστήρ42. If the conflict with Prometheus begins with Prometheus hiding the portion of meat inside the stomach of the ox, it concludes with the fabrication of a woman, who comes to represent man’s mortal condition as a slave to the γαστήρ43. Indeed, within the Theogony the «race of women» is defined by the capacity to consume44. As Nicole Loraux has so eloquently stated in a way that cannot be translated from the French: «La femme, c’est la faim»45. And yet, within the Theogony, the mortal female’s capacity to consume is in no way natural, but intentionally crafted by Zeus. In describing woman’s capacity for consumption, Hesiod uses the gendered simile of bees and drones (Hesiod, Theogony 596-599):

αἱ μέν τε πρόπαν ἦμαρ ἐς ἠέλιον καταδύντα
ἠμάτιαι σπεύδουσι τιθεῖσί τε κηρία λευκά,
οἱ δἔντοσθε μένοντες ἐπηρεφέας κατὰ σίμβλους
ἀλλότριον κάματον σφετέρην ἐς γαστέρἀμῶνται

(The female bees) work all day long until sunset
and lay the white honey comb
While the drones stay in the vaulted beehives
And reap the labor of others into their own stomachs.

  • 46 According to Redfield, male bees, in Hesiod’s thinking, are an «unnecessary sex: they are needed on (...)
  • 47 Using both Theogony and Works and Days, Zeitlin (1996, p. 62-72) points to the fact that mortal wom (...)

20The inverted gender of the simile, that is, comparing male drones to the female race of women reflects the ways in which Zeus himself inverts a natural order for mortal man46. No longer will men be able to put nourishment into their stomachs as the drones were able to without paying the price of labor. With the creation of Pandora, it is women who will place the work of men into their stomachs. Furthermore, the inversion of gender within Hesiod’s simile is extremely significant for our understanding of the cosmogonic implications in the symbolic act of consumption. Just as consumption is a male strategy in response to female reproduction among the immortals, so consumption is also shown to be a male practice in response to production proper in the animal world. Among mortals, however, this relationship is inverted and women become consumers47. Thus, by defining Pandora’s own capacity for consumption through an inverted simile with the animal world, we see the extent to which she is an artificial creation of Zeus. As Vernant states (Vernant 1996, p. 381):

  • 48 Cf. Zeitlin 1996, p. 86; Loraux 1978, p. 83, as well as Judet de la Combe 1996 passim for further d (...)

Dans le processus généalogique dont la Théogonie fait le récit, Pandora constitue une exception; elle fait figure d’ajout; nul autre être n’a été, comme elle, produit par une opération technique, à l’initiative de Zeus48.

  • 49 Cf. Sissa et Detienne 1989, p. 92.

21When viewed in conjunction with the sacrifice episode and the symbolic value of consumption among male immortals, Zeus’ initiative becomes clear. Because Zeus is angry at having been denied his portion of meat49, he will now control mortal man’s own capacity for consumption through the creation of mortal women.

  • 50 Arthur [Katz] 1982, p. 72.
  • 51 Arthur [Katz] 1982, p. 72.

22If the gendered conflict between immortals occurs over that piece of anatomy which Hesiod calls the νηδύς, the male belly and female womb, then among the mortals in Hesiod’s Theogony, there exists a gendered conflict over the γαστήρ. It is this relationship between the immortal νηδύς and the mortal γαστήρ, which accounts for the difference in modes of consumption between immortal males, who utilize this strategy as a means of preserving power, in contrast with mortal females, whose consumptive habits perpetuate man’s mortal cycle. Marylin Arthur [Katz] has argued that the «homonymy between γαστήρ and νηδύς allows the direct representation of a coincidence between the sexual and alimentary codes and provides a clear link with the Metisgeschichte»50. Nevertheless, it is critical to note that the use of γαστήρ and νηδύς in Hesiod is divided along ontological lines, between mortals and immortals. To demonstrate the relationship between γαστήρ and νηδύς, Arthur [Katz] further points out that the stone left behind from Rhea’s successful deception of Kronos is the stone at Delphi described as a θαῦμα for mortals (Theog. 500). Pandora is also considered a θαῦμα (Theog. 588)51. In this way, it is not just the etiology of sacrifice which recalls Rhea’s deception of Kronos, as I have argued, but the artificial creation of the first woman also recalls that foundational episode of Zeus’ birth. The Prometheus episode therefore follows precisely the same sequence as the conflict between Rhea and Kronos, first with the deceptive offering, the stone wrapped in swaddling and the bones wrapped in fat, followed by a σῆμα of Zeus’ future rule, the stone at Delphi (Theog. 500) and the figure of Pandora.

  • 52 Zeus’ birthing of Athena is by no means an instance of parthenogenesis in Hesiod’s version, on whic (...)

23The Prometheus episode of the Theogony, which includes the etiology of sacrifice and the origin of the race of women, can therefore be understood as a critical intermediary stage in the story of succession between Kronos and Zeus, which may ultimately be defined, not just in terms of deception, but in terms of deception and consumption. Zeus’ very birth is marked by Kronos’ consumption of a deceptive offering, the stone wrapped in swaddling. In the conflict with Prometheus, Zeus abstains from consuming the deceptive offering of bones wrapped in fat. Zeus therefore proves himself superior, not only to Prometheus in his capacity for mêtis, but superior to Kronos in his control over the male strategy of consumption. Zeus also punishes mankind in this exchange by providing mortal man with Pandora, the deceptive gift that is defined by its capacity to consume. And finally, Zeus establishes himself as ultimate patriarch through the consumption of deception herself, the goddess Mêtis. In this final episode, Zeus successfully exercises the male strategy of consumption and appropriates the female capacity for birth, thus ending the cyclic conflict between divine mothers and fathers in order to assert his paternal authority52. Viewed from a cosmogonic perspective in relation to Zeus’ ascension to power and the establishment of his Olympian patriarchy, the etiology of sacrifice therefore not only represents a fundamental division between mortals and immortals, but it also comes to represent a fundamental division of power between the male and female sexes for both mortals and immortals.

  • 53 Cf. Stowers 1995 for an analysis of Jay’s work as it relates to conceptions of birth from the ancie (...)
  • 54 Jay 1992, p. 35. Jay’s observations are consistent with the most recent anthropological work on kin (...)

24If consumption is the male response to childbirth at the cosmogonic level in Hesiod’s Theogony, the work of Nancy Jay has demonstrated that sacrifice itself is the male response to childbirth at the level of cultural practice in Ancient Greece53. In her comparative work on sacrifice and patriarchal society, Nancy Jay has demonstrated that the ritual of sacrifice is intimately connected with gender division and patrilineal kinship ties. Through a comparison of Ancient Greek, Hebrew, Ashanti, Hawaiian, and Aztec cultures, Jay argues that «The control of the means of production is inseparably linked with the control of the means of reproduction, that is, the fertility of women»54. This control over women’s reproduction, Jay demonstrates, is achieved specifically through the ritual of sacrifice (Jay 1992, p. 42):

The «expression» of agnation [relation of descent through males only] is more than a symbolic reminder of a pre-existing descent relation because descent is defined not by birth, or even by begetting, but by sacrifice… Agnates are not people biologically related by descent in the male line who occasionally remind themselves of this sacrificially; agnates are instead people who sacrifice together.

  • 55 Jay 1992, p. 43. Cf. Davies 1977 and Lambert 1993 for the role of the Apatouria and its relationshi (...)

25Jay uses the three-day festival of the Apatouria in Athens to demonstrate how sacrifice is the mechanism for creating descent through fathers and sons55. Our clearest description of the Apatouria is provided by a scholium on Aristophanes’ Acharnians 146, where the son of the Thracian king says that he wants to «eat sausage at the Apatouria». The Apatouria is described as follows (Dübner 1883, p. 7):

... a notable festival at public expense, celebrated by the Athenians in the month of Pyanepsion over three days. The first day is called Dorpia, when the phrateres, coming together in the evening have a feast; the second, Anarrhysis, from anarrhuein, to sacrifice; they sacrificed to Zeus Phatrios and Athena; the third Koureôtis, from the registration of boys and girls (kouroi and korai) in the phratries.

  • 56 Cf. IG 22. 1237 (T3), the Demotionidai decrees, lines 5-6 for the two separate sacrifices. Based on (...)
  • 57 IG 22. 1237, 109-113.
  • 58 Andocides, 1.126.
  • 59 Isaeus, 6.22: The victim is removed from the altar during the koureion sacrifice. This same gesture (...)
  • 60 Demosthenes, 43.82.

26It is the third day of the festival, Koureôtis, which performs admissions into the phratry through the establishment and recognition of patrilineal descent. There are in fact two separate sacrifices during the Koureôtis, the meion and the koureion, which are the ritual mechanism for admission at two different stages of life, at birth and maturation respectively56. Based on the evidence that is available to us, it appears that the ritual procedures for the meion and the koureion were the same. The father must swear an oath that the child being introduced is his own and born of a legally married citizen mother57. We also have one instance in which the oath during the meion was used for the opposite effect, when Callias, the supposed father of a child being introduced, grabbed the altar and denied his paternity on oath58. Members of the phratry may also object to the admission of the candidate by leading the victim away from the altar59. Finally, if there were no objections, the sacrifice was performed, and the meat was divided into portions and distributed among the members of the phratry60. In this regard, the entire process of establishing paternal descent is organized and mediated through the ritual of sacrifice.

  • 61 Bonnard 2003, p. 80. The ritual festivals of the oikos also involved ritual procedures of social in (...)
  • 62 Cole 1984, p. 236. Pauline Schmitt Pantel also suggests «tout se joue en dehors de la femme qui n’e (...)
  • 63 Aristotle Athenian Constitution 26.4; Plutarch, Pericles 37.3. Cf. Blok 2005 p. 31-35 for the seman (...)
  • 64 Cf. IG II2, 1237.119-21, where, at the registration of a boy in a phratry, the name of his mother’s (...)
  • 65 Blok 2009, p. 159 n. 72.
  • 66 Sealey 1990, p. 14; Cf. Gherchanoc 2012, p. 149 for the gamêlia outside of Athens.

27The ritual festival of the Apatouria was integral to the phratries as a means of establishing what Jean-Baptiste Bonnard has termed «la parenté sociale» as an extension of the familial relations of the oikos to the political sphere61. Although phratries were primarily agnatic groups consisting of fathers and sons, women were involved in the Apatouria, at least nominally, through the gamêlia, a third sacrificial procedure in which husbands pledged their brides as daughters of legitimate Athenian families. The scholiast to Aristophanes’ Acharnians clearly indicates that on the day Koureotis, boys and girls were registered. This might refer to the gamêlia. Pollux 8.107 characterizes the gamêlia as the female equivalent of the koureion. However, Susan G. Cole argues that Pollux should not be taken at face value because the function of the gamêlia was not to acknowledge the adult status of a female but to ensure the legitimacy of the marriage of the member of the phratry, namely by demonstrating that the wife was the daughter of an Athenian citizen and that children from the marriage could be accepted into the phratry62. A woman’s social and political importance seems to have increased, at least in Athens, after Pericles’ citizenship law of 451/450, which required both mother and father to be Athenian63. Although this changed Athenian social structure from unilineal to bilateral, there remained a strong emphasis on patrilineal descent, for legitimacy of the mother was determined by the status of her father64. As Josine Blok has noted, the Periclean citizenship law «foregrounded the significance of women as member and transmitter of their patriliny»65. Hence, even in cases of bilateral social structure such as mid-fifth century Athens, the gamêlia seems to have continued the general rule of agnation through granting women what Sealey has called «latent citizenship» – the ability of a woman to give birth to «children who would be citizens»66.

  • 67 Isaeus, 8.18.

28Beyond issues of legitimizing social and political status, the gamêlia also played a key role in cases of inheritance. In Isaeus 8, a grandson seeks to obtain the inheritance of Kiron, his grandfather on his mother’s side, which has gone to the next legitimate patrilineal heir, Kiron’s brother’s son. Kiron’s grandson cites the gamêlia as a case for the legitimacy of his mother as Kiron’s daughter67. In addition, the grandson describes his participation in sacrifice with Kiron as evidence that he is as a more legitimate heir to Kiron’s estate than Kiron’s nephew (Isaeus, 8.15-16):

For, as was natural, us being the children of his very own daughter, He never performed a sacrifice (θυσίαν ἐποίησεν) without us, but if he made either a larger or small sacrifice, we were always present and sacrificed with him (συνεθύομεν)…

And when he sacrificed to Zeus Ktesios, a sacrifice which he took very seriously and to which he did not admit slaves nor freemen outside of the family, but he performed it by himself and we took part with him (ἐκοινωνοῦμεν) and we cut out the god’s portion together (τὰ ἱερὰ συνεχειρουργοῦμεν) and placed them on the altar together (συνεπετίθεμεν) and peformed the rest together (συνεποιοῦμεν). And he prayed to give us health and wealth, as is fitting since he was our grandfather.

  • 68 Seaford 1994, p. 44: «Collective participation in the ritual as well as in the distribution of meat (...)
  • 69 The express purpose of the sacrifice to Zeus Ktesios for «health and wealth» obviously makes it rel (...)
  • 70 This is presented as a possible option for women at Isaeus, 3.76.

29On the one hand, this act of sacrifice demonstrates a basic principle of community that is thought to be an inherent feature of all sacrifice68. Yet this is a special type of community. The act of sacrifice in this instance is meant to operate as a mechanism for establishing kinship in the same way as the meion and the koureion of the Apatouria, even though the express purpose is really for «health and wealth»69. The case of Kiron’s grandson presents an instance of the exception that proves the rule regarding sacrifice and descent. Kiron’s grandson is not related through the male line, he has not been admitted to the phratry of Kiron, nor was his mother admitted to the phratry as an heiress70. Technically, Kiron’s grandson does not have a lawful claim to Kiron’s estate, despite the gamêlia for Kiron’s daughter. Still, the grandson’s ability to make this claim on the simple fact that he and Kiron performed sacrifices together demonstrates the sheer force of sacrifice in constructing agnatic kinship.

  • 71 Unlike the Prometheus Bound, in which Prometheus is older than Zeus, in the Theogony, Prometheus is (...)
  • 72 After all, the Prometheus episode does not fit chronologically into the narrative of Zeus’ successi (...)
  • 73 Cf. Lambert 1993, p. 208-209; Parker 1996, p. 106; Bonnard 2003, p. 81; Parker 2005, p. 460 for Zeu (...)

30Given the role the Apatouria served to establish and reinforce the structures of patriarchal society in Classical Athens through sacrifice, I would like to point out a basic parallel between this festival and the symbolic act of consumption in Hesiod’s Theogony. For the tripartite structure of the deception-consumption cycle in Zeus’ rise to power – birth, contest, marriage – can be mapped onto the three sacrificial rituals of the Apatouria, the meion, koureion, and gamêlia (see fig. 1). Between Zeus’ birth and marriage, both gendered conflicts between husband and wife, stands Prometheus’ conflict with Zeus, a conflict between genealogical co-equals71. At the same time, there is a distinct and important difference between the sacrifices of the Apatouria and Zeus’ rise to power. Although the Prometheus episode occupies the same middle position in a tri-partite structure, framed by birth and marriage, the Prometheus episode operates by an inverse logic to the koureion ritual. Rather than establishing a patrilineal connection between father and son, it creates a division between Kronos and Zeus. As such, the Prometheus episode provides a characterization of Zeus and his practices that explains how he eventually establishes cosmic patriarchal rule72. In detailing the origins of sacrifice and the «race of women», the Prometheus episode demonstrates how Zeus is able to take control of deception and consumption, which ultimately leads to his control over the act of birth itself through swallowing Mêtis and the subsequent birth to Athena (Theog. 924-939). The phratry employs sacrifice for the same objective: to appropriate birth through the construction of patrilineal descent. It is for this reason that the second day of the Apatouria, the day of sacrifice, anarrhusis, sacrifices are performed for Zeus and Athena – the father-daughter pair, which the Theogony presents as the absolute symbol of patriarchal rule for mortal fathers and sons73.

Meion (Birth)

Koureion (Coming of Age)

Gamêlia (Marriage)

Birth of Zeus (Theog. 469-491)

Zeus vs. Prometheus (Theog. 535-615)

First Marriage of Zeus (Theog. 886-900)

Kronos consumes Rhea’s deceptive offering of stone, wrapped in swaddling.

Zeus does not consume Prometheus’ deceptive offering. He distinguishes himself from Kronos.

Zeus consumes Metis (deception) and secures his status as cosmic Patriarch. He appropriates the female capacity for birth.

Fig. 1. The Apatouria and the Deception-Consumption Cycle of the Theogony

  • 74 Eliade 1963, p. 21.

31Thus, Hesiod’s myth for the origins of sacrifice is intimately connected to the ideology and social construction of patrilineal kinship relations. By analyzing the Prometheus episode in terms of the larger poetic context, we see that the etiology of sacrifice in Hesiod’s Theogony plays a critical role in the story of Zeus’ ascension to power, which entails not only the separation of gods and men, but the privileging of the paternal role over and above the maternal, both in the mortal and immortal realms. Mircea Eliade has stated that «Origin myths continue and complete the cosmogony»74, and the myth of the origin of sacrifice, which is embedded within Hesiod’s cosmogonic narrative, proves to be no exception. In the larger context of succession between Kronos and Zeus, the etiology of sacrifice does not simply commemorate Prometheus’ deception of Zeus. The etiology demonstrates Zeus’ superiority in his powers of recognition and his control over consumption. Prometheus attempts to deceive Zeus in the same way that Rhea attempted to deceive Kronos. The bones wrapped in fat parallel the stone wrapped in swaddling. Unlike Kronos, Zeus perceives the deception and abstains. Zeus’ abstention thus removes him from the deception-consumption cycle to which his father was subjected. It is Zeus’ abstention from the deceptive offering, which in turn allows him to consume deception herself, the goddess Mêtis. In this respect, the sacrifice episode, as a demonstration of Zeus’ control over consumption, anticipates his eventual control over reproduction for both mortals and immortals.

  • 75 Georgoudi 2010, p. 94.
  • 76 Vidal-Naquet 1981, p. 148.
  • 77 Cf. Xenophon, Hellenica 1.7.8 where the connection between Apatouria and pateres is also made.
  • 78 Chantraine 1968-1980, p. 96; Beekes 2010, p. 114.
  • 79 Vernant 2006, p. 15.
  • 80 Pucci 2009, p. 38.
  • 81 Cf. Loraux 1996, p. 17: «Dès que ce beau mal a reçu un nom, les «hommes» cessent d’être désignés co (...)

32Stella Georgoudi has noted the problems and complications involved with the use of Hesiod’s etiology of sacrifice as a general model for all forms of sacrificial ritual75. By focusing on the larger narrative context of Hesiod’s etiology, which deals explicitly with issues of succession and the paternal authority of Zeus, we are justified in considering the structural and ideological parallels between Hesiod’s myth for the origin of sacrifice and the practice of sacrifice in the Apatouria. Although the folk etymology of the Apatouria is acknowledged in some ancient sources to be the deception, apatê, by Melanthos against the Boiotian king Xanthos76, an alternative is given by the scholiast to Acharnians 146 as homopatoria, the «coming together of fathers»77, Historical linguists agree with the latter etymology but suggest a different understanding of its semantics, as a festival of «those of the same father» namely phrateres78. In light of the special attention given to Zeus at the Apatouria, we can further infer that the «same father» of all members is in fact Zeus. The role of sacrifice in the Apatouria, as means of creating patrilineal kinship ties, reflects the temporal logic of the Theogony, where the «tribes of men» (Theog. 556: φῦλἀνθρώπων) who offer sacrifice to the gods are necessarily male, because the tribes of women (Theog. 591: φῦλα γυναικῶν), born from Pandora, were not yet created and come second in cosmogonic time. As Vernant states, «Tous les humains, anthrôpoi, sont alors des andres, des mâles»79. According to Hesiod’s Theogony, therefore, the ritual of sacrifice not only creates an ontological division between mortals and immortals, but it also reinforces the gendered politics of paternity in Ancient Greece by commemorating Zeus’ patriarchal rule. Pietro Pucci has described Zeus’ paternity as «the most dynamic trait in the unfolding of the religious and poetic tenet that structures the whole poem»80. The myth of the origin of sacrifice, in so far as it details precisely how Zeus is able to differentiate himself from his own father, therefore demonstrates how Zeus is successfully able to become «father of gods and men» (Theog. 542: πατὴρ ἀνδρῶν τε θεῶν τε), that is, of men and not women81.

  • 82 On the relationship between the Muses’ praise of Zeus and the Theogony proper, cf. Mondi 1984, p. 3 (...)

33Indeed, this distinctly patriarchal epithet of Zeus, «father of gods and men», functions as a narrative marker highlighting key episodes in the story of succession throughout the Theogony. The first occurrence of this epithet appears in Hesiod’s hymn to the Muses where the poet describes the Muses’ own song, which begins first with the birth of the gods, and then moves to praise of Zeus as «father of gods and men» (Theog. 47)82. Zeus’ patriarchal epithet also appears in the description of Rhea’s birth of the Olympians prior to Kronos’ swallowing of them, where Zeus is defined by his mêtis: Ζῆνά τε μητιόεντα, θεῶν πατέρἠδὲ καὶ ἀνδρῶν (Theog. 457). Again, the epithet is used of Zeus when he addresses the hundred-handers, who are the deciding factor in his battle with the Titans (Theog. 643). The epithet is also used in Zeus’ battle with Typhoios, who would have ruled mortals and immortals, if «Zeus father of gods and men had not sharply perceived him» (Theog. 838). Within the narrative of the Theogony, the one occurrence of the epithet that does not seem to fit with the others is in the Prometheus episode (Hesiod, Theogony 542-4):

δὴ τότε μιν προσέειπε πατὴρ ἀνδρῶν τε θεῶν τε
Ἰαπετιονίδη, πάντων ἀριδείκετἀνάκτων,
πέπον, ὡς ἑτεροζήλως διεδάσσαο μοίρας.

Then the father of gods and men spoke to him,
«Son of Iapetus, distinguished of all lords
good sir, how unevenly you have divided the portions».

  • 83 Clay 2003, p. 108. Pierre Judet de la Combe sees knowing irony in the epithet that Zeus gives to Pr (...)
  • 84 As Pierre Judet de la Combe states, «Zeus est donc, d’une manière ou d’une autre, finalement “intér (...)

34On the surface, the use of the patriarchal epithet here seems to be the only occurrence of the term that is not explicitly related to the myth of succession. However, Jenny Strauss Clay has pointed out that Prometheus contends with Zeus symbolically through his act of dividing the ox, which may be considered a symbolic usurpation of Zeus’ division of honors among the Olympians83. In addition, Zeus’ perception of the unequal division may parallel his perception of Typhoios (Theog. 838), which prevented the last child of Earth from ruling both mortals and immortals. And Zeus’ perception of Prometheus’ trick is precisely what distinguishes him from his father Kronos, who did not perceive Rhea’s deceptive offering. Zeus’ conflict with Prometheus, therefore, is the first episode where Zeus exerts his own agency in distinguishing himself from his predecessor Kronos and overcoming his combatants to achieve his patriarchal status. Indeed, the Prometheus episode begins with Zeus’ very own son, Herakles, releasing Prometheus from his punishment, for the sake of his son’s glory (Theog. 526-34). In this sense, the Prometheus episode was never simply representative of mankind’s punishment, but details the first episode in which Zeus becomes «father of gods and men»84. Dissent between Kronos and Zeus, as it is manifested in the Prometheus episode, creates descent between mortal fathers and sons, and mortal maternity itself is constructed through Zeus’ construction of Pandora. The origins of sacrifice thus detail the origins of Zeus’ cosmic patriarchy.

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Kahn 1978: Laurence Kahn, Hermès passe ou les ambiguïtés de la communication, Paris, 1978.

Knust and Várhelyi 2011: Jennifer Wright Knust and Zsuzsanna Várhelyi (ed.), Ancient Mediterranean Sacrifice, Oxford, 2011.

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Leitao 2003: David Leitao, «Adolescent Hair-Growing and Hair-Cutting Rituals in Ancient Greece», in David B. Dodd and Christopher A. Faraone (ed.), Initiation in Ancient Greek Rituals and Narratives, New York, 2003, p. 109-129.

Loraux 1978: Nicole Loraux, «Sur la race des femmes et quelques-unes de ses tribus», Arethusa 11, 1978, p. 43-87.

Loraux 1996: Nicole Loraux, Né de la terre: mythe et politique à Athènes, Paris, 1996.

Mondi 1984: Robert Mondi, «The Ascension of Zeus and the Composition of Hesiod’s Theogony», Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 25, 1984, p. 324-344.

Mondi 1986: Robert Mondi, «Tradition and Innovation in the Hesiodic Titanomachy», Transactions of the American Philological Association 116, 1986, p. 25-48.

Muellner 1996: Leonard Muellner, The Anger of Achilles: Mênis in Greek Epic, Ithaca, 1996.

Parker 1996: Robert Parker, Athenian Religion: A History, Oxford, 1996.

Parker 2005: Robert Parker, Polytheism and Society at Athens, Oxford, 2005.

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Pötscher 1994: Walter Pötscher, «Die Zuteilung der Portionen in Mekone», Philologus 138, 1994, p. 159-174.

Pucci 2009: Pietro Pucci, «The Poetry of the Theogony», in Franco Montanari, Antonios Rengakos and Christos Tsagilis (ed.), Brill’s Companion to Hesiod, Leiden, 2009, p. 37-70.

Redfield 1993: James Redfield, «The Sexes in Hesiod», Annals of Scholarship 10, 1993, p. 31-61.

Reese 1989: D. S. Reese, «Faunal remains from the altar of Aphrodite Ourania», Hesperia 58, 1989, p. 63-70.

Rengakos 2009: Antonios Rengakos, «Hesiod’s Narrative», in Franco Montanari, Antonios Rengakos and Christos Tsagilis (ed.), Brill’s Companion to Hesiod, Leiden, 2009, p. 203-218.

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Sissa 2009: Giulia Sissa, «Gendered Politics, or the Self-Praise of Andres Agathoi», in Ryan K. Balot (ed.), A Companion to Greek and Roman Political Thought, Chichester, 2009.

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Stoddard 2004: Kathryn Stoddard, The Narrative Voice in the Theogony of Hesiod, Leiden, 2004.

Stowers 1995: Stanley K. Stowers, «Greeks Who Sacrifice and Those Who Do Not: Toward an Anthropology of Greek Religion», in L. M. White and O. L. Yarbrough (ed.), The Social World of the First Christians: Essays in Honor of Wayne A. Meeks, Philadelphia, 1995, p. 293-333.

Thalmann 1984: William G. Thalmann, Conventions of Form and Thought in Early Greek Epic Poetry, Baltimore, 1984.

Thomassen 2004: Einar Thomassen, «Sacrifice: Ritual murder or dinner party?», in M. Wedde (ed.), Celebrations. Sanctuaries and the Vestiges of Cult Activity, Bergen, 2004, p. 275-285.

van Straten 1995: Folkert T. van Straten, Hierà Kalá: Images of Animal Sacrifice in Archaic and Classical Greece, Leiden, 1995.

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Vernant 1979: Jean-Pierre Vernant, «À la table des hommes», in Marcel Detienne et Jean-Pierre Vernant (éd.), La cuisine du sacrifice en pays grec, Paris, 1979, p. 37-132.

Vernant 1996: Jean-Pierre Vernant, «Les semblances de Pandora», in Fabienne Blaise, Pierre Judet de la Combe et Phillipe Rousseau (éd.), Le métier du mythe: lectures d’Hésiode, Lille, 1996, p. 381-392.

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West 1961: Martin West, «Hesiodea», Classical Quarterly 11, 1961, p. 130-145.

Zeitlin 1996: Froma Zeitlin, Playing the Other: Gender and Society in Classical Greek Literature, Chicago, 1996.

Notes

1 Cf. Bonnafé 1985; Rengakos 2009; Pucci 2009.

2 Cf. Detienne et Vernant 1977; Arthur [Katz] 1982; Zeitlin 1996. Cf. Holmberg 1997 for a discussion of gender and its close associations with mêtis.

3 Cf. Arthur [Katz ] 1982 on this interweaving of the sexual and political spheres in the Theogony.

4 Cf. Thalmann 1984, p. 38-39 for the structure of the Theogony and the positioning of the Prometheus episode.

5 Formally, the Prometheus episode is properly subsumed under the genealogy of Iapetus (Thalmann 1984, p. 41). Still, Mondi (1986, p. 26) suggests the Prometheus episode weakens the narrative logic of the Theogony. Similarly, Rengakos describes the story of conflict between Prometheus and Zeus in the Theogony as one of the «para-narratives» that has «nothing or very little to do with the main narrative» (Rengakos 2009, p. 204).

6 Walter Burkert used Hesiod’s account of sacrifice as evidence that the Greeks did not understand the significance of their own rituals. Burkert states, «It seemed puzzling as early as Hesiod…. Hesiod can only explain this [the division of the sacrifice] as the result of a trick by Prometheus. This amounts to an admission that these sacrifices could not be understood as a gift to the divinity, at any rate not as a gift of a meal» (Burkert 1966, p. 105). For accounts of the Prometheus myth consistent with Burkert’s evolutionary model of sacrifice, cf. Pötscher 1994 and Sprecht 1995. Vernant’s classic work «À la table des hommes» (Vernant 1979) rescued Hesiod’s text from being so easily dismissed. For a summary of the debates between Burkert and Vernant, cf. Reverdin et Rudhardt 1981, Thomassen 2004, Graf 2012.

7 Indeed, Vernant notes in this myth the marked absence of splagchna, that portion of meat that is offered to the gods (Vernant 1979, p. 45 n. 1). Similarly, Bruit Zaidman 2005 and Berthiaume 2005 have both demonstrated that meat itself was indeed offered to the gods in sacrificial ritual. Hesiod’s account is also inconsistent with description of sacrifice in Homer, which includes the act of placing raw meat on the bones offered to the gods (Berthiaume 2005, p. 243). Likewise, the material record also demonstrates that meat is offered to the gods, cf. Reese 1989; van Straten 1995; Forstenpointner 2003; Ekroth 2008; Ekroth 2011.

8 Vernant 1979, p. 44-45.

9 Cf. Vernant 1974 for how the conflict between Prometheus and Zeus is one determined by mêtis. Cf. Detienne et Vernant 1977 for further demonstration of the functional role of mêtis throughout the narrative of succession. Hence, Zeus’superiority over Prometheus with respect to mêtis allows him to ultimately overcome Mêtis.

10 In so far as Zeus’ political power is defined in terms of his paternal authority, I take the term «patriarchy» literally as «rule of the father», which is the narrow sense of the term prescribed by Rubin 1975, p. 168.

11 West 1961. The original manuscript tradition provides τῷ μὲν and τῷ δὲ in describing Prometheus’ division between the meat and meatless portions (Theog. 538-41). Gerhard (1853) had suggested that the τῷ μὲν be changed to τοῖς μέν, referring to the portion intended for mortals. West suggests that the second portion have the designation of τοῖς δὲ suggesting that the lesser portion was deceptively «intended» for the mortals, and yet Prometheus induced Zeus to choose that lesser portion of his own accord. I agree with Pierre Judet de la Combe who retains the original manuscript reading: «À un premier niveau, τῷ μὲν… et τῷ δὲ.. sont donc simplement un developpement analytique de δασσάμενος (v. 537)» (Judet de la Combe 1996, p. 286). Also, cf. Pötscher 1994, who retains the original manuscript reading, but suggests that Hesiod seeks to correct the traditional picture of Zeus as being deceived.

12 West 1961, p. 138.

13 As Vernant states, «La bonne part, dont les mortels se félicitent (comme ils se félicitent du «beau mal» que Zeus leur octroie en la personne de la Femme), se révèle en réalité la mauvaise; le traquenard préparé par le Titan pour Zeus, en se retournant contre lui, s’est refermé finalement sur les humains» (Vernant 1979, p. 41).

14 Clay 2003, p. 111.

15 Clay 2003, p. 113.

16 Sissa et Detienne 1989, p. 92. Based on Homeric descriptions of sacrifice (Sissa et Detienne 1989, p. 91-94; Berthiaume 2005, p. 243), we might assume that Zeus does desire the portion of meat. Cf. note 6 above.

17 Such a model of anger at the attempt at deception finds parallel in the Hymn to Apollo, where Apollo is initially deceived by the Telphousa, but then he recognizes (Hymn Ap. 375: ἔγνω) that Telphousa deceived him (Hymn Ap. 376: ἐξαπάφησε) and responds with anger (Hymn Ap. 377: κεχολωμένος). As a result of Apollo’s recognition he successfully reverses the effect of her deception.

18 Cf. Stoddard 2004, p. 145-153 for other uses of prolepsis in the Theogony.

19 Stoddard cites this passage as an example of judgment commentary, which is used when the poet makes a comment that he wishes the audience to internalize. As Stoddard states, «Kronos is σχέτλιος not because he tries to swallow his youngest son – after all, the narrator has not overtly criticized him for swallowing his other five children – but for being ignorant of (and trying to subvert) the destiny by which Zeus will eventually come to rule the universe» (Stoddard 2004, p. 167-8). In this sense, the adjective creates an implicit contrast between Kronos and Zeus.

20 Vernant 1974; Detienne et Vernant 1977.

21 This detail regarding the hands is particularly significant from a ritual perspective in light of Berthiaume 2005, who points to three separate occurrences in Greek literature and inscriptions in which meat is placed in the hands of the statue of a deity: Aristophanes, Birds 518-19, as well as in LSCG 119, 120 and LSCG Suppl. 76 and 78.

22 The double negative phrase «οὐδἠγνοίησε» does occur at Odyssey 5.77-79 and Iliad 2.807, 13.28, but never with the positive form γνῶ in conjunction with it, and none of these occurrences show metrical consistency aside from the examples from the Hymn to Hermes and the Theogony.

23 The exact phrase here need not be a specific allusion to our version of the Theogony, but the phrase «γνῶ δοὐδἠγνοίησε» may be a part of an oral-poetic repertoire that is specifically associated with Zeus’ conflict with Prometheus. Cf. Burgess 2012 for the principle of «textless intertextuality», where particular phrases in Greek hexameter poetry may not refer to other texts but to mythic narratives more generally.

24 Vergados 2012, p. 413.

25 Greene 2005, p. 345-348.

26 Cf. Clay 1989, p. 15 and Clay 2011, p. 244 for how the Homeric Hymns begins with a point of crisis in the Olympian order as described in the Theogony.

27 Hesiod, Theogony 938. Jaillard 2007, p. 29-31.

28 Homeric Hymn to Hermes 256, 409-413. Harrell 1991, p. 310-315; Jaillard 2007, p. 73n44.

29 Homeric Hymn to Hermes 455. Greene 2005, p. 347.

30 Homeric Hymn to Hermes 386.

31 For the interrelationship between the sacrifice episode of the Homeric Hymn to Hermes and that of the Theogony, cf. Kahn 1978 and Jaillard 2007. Both Kahn and Jaillard view Hermes’ sacrifice as «non-Promethean». However, the intertextuality established here between the two may allow us to reconsider their relationship.

32 Vernant 1974, Detienne et Vernant 1977.

33 Thus, in Euripides Cyclops, Cyclops asks about a meal, ἄριστον (214) and the chorus asks not to be swallowed, μὴ ᾽μὲ καταπίῃς μόνον (219) and the Cyclops explains that he would not want them dancing in his γαστήρ (220).

34 Muellner sees the νηδύς strictly in its female capacity: «Kronos is outdoing his father by reversing procreation and actually adopting for himself a female procreative function (concealment of the children before birth) because he now possesses within him a body part with procreation as its possible function» (Muellner 1996, p. 70). Here, Muellner recognized the equivalence between Rhea’s νηδύς and that of Kronos. Yet, the νηδύς does not have a strictly procreative capacity regardless of gender, since it also describes the stomach of the Cyclops, as he fills his νηδύς, «eating human flesh» ἀνδρόμεα κρέἔδων (Homer Odyssey 9.296-297).

35 Cf. the epiphanic birth of Apollo in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo 120, where he literally jumps from the womb into the light.

36 Detienne et Vernant 1977, p. 72.

37 Faraone and Teeter 2004 see a parallel between Zeus’ swallowing of the goddess Mêtis and an Egyptian king’s swallowing of Maat, the personification of justice.

38 Cf. Dietler 2001 for modern parallels regarding the act of consumption as a symbolic practice in the negotiation of power relations.

39 For the role of the goddess Mêtis as an addition to the traditional theme of Athena’s birth solely from Zeus, see Bonnard 2004, p. 32-35. This theme of succession and control over reproduction continues in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, where Hera gives birth to Typhaon apart from Zeus in reaction to Zeus’ birth of Athena. Hera prays that Typhaon be mightier than Zeus «by as much as Zeus is mightier than Kronos» (Hymn Ap. 339). For the relationship between the Theogony and the Homeric Hymn to Apollo regarding Zeus’ paternal authority, see Clay 1989, p. 63-74.

40 Loraux 1978, p. 47; Arthur [Katz ], 1982, p. 74. For simple ease of discussion I will continue to refer to Zeus’ creation as Pandora, although my discussion will be limited to the Theogony.

41 Cf. Judet de la Combe 1996, p. 291 for a synopsis of the multiple interpretations of ἀντὶ πυρός.

42 Vernant 1974, p. 188. Vernant used both Hesiod’s Works and Days and the Theogony in his discussion of Pandora. However, just as Jenny Strauss Clay (2003) has demonstrated that there are «two Prometheuses» and that each narrative has its own purpose, so the shorter description of Pandora in the Theogony may also serve a different purpose from the longer description of Pandora in the Works and Days. cf. Loraux 1978, p. 45-6 for a treatment of Pandora with a focus on the Theogony rather than the Works and Days.

43 Vernant 1974, p. 188, cf. Homer, Odyssey 15.344; 17.286; 17.474; 18.55; Vernant 1979, p. 92-98.

44 Theogony 593. Cf. Loraux 1978 for comparison of Hesiod’s treatment of «the race of women» with other misogynistic Greek literature such as Semonides 7.

45 Loraux 1978, p. 62.

46 According to Redfield, male bees, in Hesiod’s thinking, are an «unnecessary sex: they are needed only to distribute genetic information…» (Redfield 1993, p. 49). Based on this logic, men only «require women to produce an heir. As a consequence of our cultural condition women have become the second sex» (Redfield 1993, p. 49). Cf. Loraux 1978, p. 47.

47 Using both Theogony and Works and Days, Zeitlin (1996, p. 62-72) points to the fact that mortal woman is defined by her capacity to consume in contrast to man’s capacity for production. It should be pointed out however, that reference to mortal man’s production, that is the erga of men, is markedly absent in the Theogony, although it is the central motivation for the Prometheus episode in the Works and Days.

48 Cf. Zeitlin 1996, p. 86; Loraux 1978, p. 83, as well as Judet de la Combe 1996 passim for further discussion of the artificiality of Pandora.

49 Cf. Sissa et Detienne 1989, p. 92.

50 Arthur [Katz] 1982, p. 72.

51 Arthur [Katz] 1982, p. 72.

52 Zeus’ birthing of Athena is by no means an instance of parthenogenesis in Hesiod’s version, on which see Pérez-jean 2006, p. 91. But this action does serve as one of the key episodes in Bonnard’s notion of the «complexe de Zeus» in Greek mythological and scientific literature, which promotes the role of the father as primary and denigrates the role of the mother in procreation (Bonnard 2004, p. 196).

53 Cf. Stowers 1995 for an analysis of Jay’s work as it relates to conceptions of birth from the ancient medical writers. Only recently has the work of Jay (1992) gained attention in the field of Classics. Cf. Knust and Várhelyi 2011.

54 Jay 1992, p. 35. Jay’s observations are consistent with the most recent anthropological work on kinship. Thus, Godelier makes a similar statement regarding agnatic kinship: «The authority wielded over those involved in the work process or in the redistribution of subsistence wealth and goods or wealth is identical to that found in kinship relations, which thus take on directly the social functions organizing production» (Godelier 2011, p. 82).

55 Jay 1992, p. 43. Cf. Davies 1977 and Lambert 1993 for the role of the Apatouria and its relationship to kinship and inheritance in Athens.

56 Cf. IG 22. 1237 (T3), the Demotionidai decrees, lines 5-6 for the two separate sacrifices. Based on Vidal-Naquet’s seminal work, Le chasseur noir, it is generally assumed that the koureion sacrifice consists of a lock of hair (Vidal-Naquet 1981, p. 148). There are, however, difficulties with assessing the reliability of the evidence concerning the hair-sacrifice. Cf. Leitao 2003, p. 116. Regardless of whether a lock of hair was offered, the inscriptional evidence indicates that an animal sacrifice was performed.

57 IG 22. 1237, 109-113.

58 Andocides, 1.126.

59 Isaeus, 6.22: The victim is removed from the altar during the koureion sacrifice. This same gesture is also referenced at Demosthenes, 43.82 for the case of a meion.

60 Demosthenes, 43.82.

61 Bonnard 2003, p. 80. The ritual festivals of the oikos also involved ritual procedures of social integration and paternal acknowledgement, namely through the ἀμφιδρόμια and δεκάτη. As Gherchanoc explains regarding the ἑστίασις that followed the ἀμφιδρόμια, «le repas consacre la seconde naissance de l’enfant, non plus sa naissance biologique, mais sa naissance sociale dans l’oikos» (Gherchanoc 2012, p. 42).

62 Cole 1984, p. 236. Pauline Schmitt Pantel also suggests «tout se joue en dehors de la femme qui n’est bien sûr pas présente à ce repas entre phratères, offert par le citoyen-époux» (Schmitt Pantel 1992, p. 88). Aside from the gamelion, we have only one possible account of where it seems that a girl might be introduced into the phratry officially – in order for a father to establish his daughter as an heiress, an epiklêros. Cf. Isaeus, 3.73 and Lambert 1993, p. 181.

63 Aristotle Athenian Constitution 26.4; Plutarch, Pericles 37.3. Cf. Blok 2005 p. 31-35 for the semantic differences in terms for citizenship and the dangers of taking Aristotle’s account of the Periclean citizenship law at face value.

64 Cf. IG II2, 1237.119-21, where, at the registration of a boy in a phratry, the name of his mother’s father is recorded, but not his mother’s name.

65 Blok 2009, p. 159 n. 72.

66 Sealey 1990, p. 14; Cf. Gherchanoc 2012, p. 149 for the gamêlia outside of Athens.

67 Isaeus, 8.18.

68 Seaford 1994, p. 44: «Collective participation in the ritual as well as in the distribution of meat in a fixed order creates community (koinônia)».

69 The express purpose of the sacrifice to Zeus Ktesios for «health and wealth» obviously makes it relevant to the fact that this is an inheritance case. However, such a fact does not detract from the rhetorical emphasis on exclusion of outsiders and the creation of community, especially through the repetition of verbs with the prefix συν-: συνεθύομεν, τὰ ἱερὰ συνεχειρουργοῦμεν, συνεπετίθεμεν, συνεποιοῦμεν. Cf. Brulé 2006, p. 110 for Zeus Ktesios as a paternal epithet related to the oikos.

70 This is presented as a possible option for women at Isaeus, 3.76.

71 Unlike the Prometheus Bound, in which Prometheus is older than Zeus, in the Theogony, Prometheus is born of the Titan Iapetus, just as Kronos is born of the Titan Kronos.

72 After all, the Prometheus episode does not fit chronologically into the narrative of Zeus’ succession, since Athena, born after Zeus consumes Mêtis, is the goddess who provides Pandora with all her accoutrements. This lack of temporal fit, however, does not make it insignificant to the narrative arc of the Theogony. Cf. Stoddard 2004, p. 126-163 for the general role of anachrony in the Theogony.

73 Cf. Lambert 1993, p. 208-209; Parker 1996, p. 106; Bonnard 2003, p. 81; Parker 2005, p. 460 for Zeus Phratrios and Athena Phratria. The Apatouria also reconfirms the construction of patriarchal ideology found in Aeschylus’ Eumenides, where Apollo’s final proof in defense of Orestes is Athena herself, born from Zeus (Aeschylus, Eumenides 657-673). cf. Zeitlin 1996 p. 107-112; Bonnard 2004, p. 107-109.

74 Eliade 1963, p. 21.

75 Georgoudi 2010, p. 94.

76 Vidal-Naquet 1981, p. 148.

77 Cf. Xenophon, Hellenica 1.7.8 where the connection between Apatouria and pateres is also made.

78 Chantraine 1968-1980, p. 96; Beekes 2010, p. 114.

79 Vernant 2006, p. 15.

80 Pucci 2009, p. 38.

81 Cf. Loraux 1996, p. 17: «Dès que ce beau mal a reçu un nom, les «hommes» cessent d’être désignés comme anthrôpoi pour recevoir à leur tour un nouveau nom, celui d’andres». Cf. Sissa 2009 for the significance of the term ἄνδρες in the gendered politics of later stages in Greek culture.

82 On the relationship between the Muses’ praise of Zeus and the Theogony proper, cf. Mondi 1984, p. 337, who sees the story of Zeus’birth and Kronos’ overthrow as just such a song of praise. Cf. Thalmann 1984, p. 134-56 and Rengakos 2009, p. 205-208 on the relationship of the proem to the narrative organization of the Theogony.

83 Clay 2003, p. 108. Pierre Judet de la Combe sees knowing irony in the epithet that Zeus gives to Prometheus as πάντων ἀριδείκετ᾽ ἀνάκτων: «En répartissant les parts à sa guise, Prométhée veut se montrer comme un “roi que tout distingue parmi tous les rois”» (Judet de la Combe 1996, p. 277 n. 36).

84 As Pierre Judet de la Combe states, «Zeus est donc, d’une manière ou d’une autre, finalement “intéressé” à la survie et aux succès d’une race qu’il a pourtant d’abord vouée à la disparition en la privant de feu, puis au mal continu, quand il l’a mise en mesure de se reproduire avec Pandore» (Judet de la Combe 1996, p. 270).

Notes de fin

1 I would like to thank the Classics in Contemporary Perspectives Initiative at the University of South Carolina and the Department of Classics at UCLA for their support. I am especially indebted to Sarah Morris, Giulia Sissa, Kathryn Morgan, Jill Frank, and Paul Allen Miller for their input on earlier versions of this paper. I would also like to thank Stella Georgoudi and the editorial board of Mètis for their judicious criticism and many useful comments.

Auteur

Department of Classical Studies University of Western Ontario

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