Fundraiser for a New Theogony Translation

A little while ago, I began one of my more ambitious projects, a new translation of Hesiod’s Theogony, together with the rich (but hitherto untranslated) ancient scholia, or explanatory comments, which show us how the poem was understood and taught in antiquity.

I am currently fundraising to be able to complete this translation, which will be used by the Hermetic House of Life discord server for their weekly reading group. The text will be placed in the public domain, freely available to be read and reproduced.

The goal is to raise 900$ between ko-fi and Patreon, which would cover the translation of both the Theogony and all the scholia. Should that goal be surpassed, I’ll also start to tackle the ancient Glosses on the Theogony.

Edit: more than 400$ have already been raised! Thank you to everyone who has been contributing!

Edit 2: we’re now at over two thirds! 642.25$, to be exact! Thank you, everyone!

Two Titanids, Themis and Theia

I wrote my article on Theia a while ago; it is still one that I am particularly proud of, since it contains quite literally all there is to know about Theia, and does away with a good number of misconceptions and misrepresentations, specifically those found in the (simply awful) theoi.com article on her.

I have now written a kind of companion piece on her sister, Themis. Since, unlike Theia, she was quite a popular deity, I cannot claim anything like comprehensiveness, as there are simply too many sources to consider them all at once.

Still, I quote from no fewer than seven lexical or grammatical texts, fourteen works in prose, ten in verse, and eleven collections of scholia, with all quotations from these forty two works given in original translation. I flatter myself that, humble as the project is, this is something of an achievement.

More importantly than the simple number of citations – and there may well be scholarly articles or monographs that can boast many more than my page –, I pride myself on my method, which is to use the words of primary sources to the largest extent possible, instead of relying on my own impressions or the characterizations that are current in the literature or pop culture.

Beyond that, I also refrain so far as possible from introducing my own (or any modern) theoretical framework, instead selecting and elucidating ancient theories, primarily those proximate to the issue, but also the more general theory of three theologies, which differentiates between mythical, physical (philosophical) and civic (~ practical) discourses about the gods.

Although this does not capture all nuances, it is much better than imposing a single understanding of the goddess on all the material, or advocating a progression or independent traditions. What emerges from the sources can be more plausibly described as a single, coherent, but internally highly pluralized tradition.

My hope is that, for practitioners, the page both supplies everything needed to worship Themis in a manner that is true to the tradition (not that I am opposed to novel practices, but those do not need any comment from me), and a framework for dealing with the pluralism and apparent incoherence of ancient traditions about her – but a framework that does not impose a specific philosophical perspective, but opens up the whole breadth of ancient reflections about her.

Theology

I have a newly finished article, on Theology, which is one of my as-yet-underdeveloped umbrella pages. It only covers two snapshots – what Hesiod and Homer have to say about the reliability of inspiration, and what later theorists said about the „three kinds of theology“ (mythical, physical, political) – but I think it is a good starting place for more work in this area.