Hesiod Works and Days 140


[140] But when earth had covered this generation also -- they are called blessed spirits of the underworld by men, and, though they are of second order, yet honour attends them also -- Zeus the Father made a third generation of mortal men, a brazen race, sprung from ash-trees [meliai]; and it was in no way equal to the silver age, but was terrible and strong. They loved the lamentable works of Ares and deeds of violence; they ate no bread, but were hard of heart like adamant, fearful men. Great was their strength and unconquerable the arms which grew from their shoulders on their strong limbs. Their armour was of bronze, and their houses of bronze, and of bronze were their implements: there was no black iron. These were destroyed by their own hands and passed to the dank house of chill Hades, and left no name: terrible though they were, black Death seized them, and they left the bright light of the sun.

Daniel 2:33

Hebrew Bible

31 “You, O king, were watching as a great statue—one of impressive size and extraordinary brightness—was standing before you. Its appearance caused alarm. 32 As for that statue, its head was of fine gold, its chest and arms were of silver, its belly and thighs were of bronze. 33 Its legs were of iron; its feet were partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 You were watching as a stone was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its iron and clay feet, breaking them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold were broken in pieces without distinction and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors that the wind carries away. Not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a large mountain that filled the entire earth.

 Notes and References

"... The Book of Daniel is said to show that Hellenistic sources mediated themes that were originally Near Eastern. For example, the idea of four world kingdoms is Greek, common in Orphic as well as in Hermetic writings. Striking also is the analogy between Hesiod’s three times ten thousand immortal watchers of men, “who observe decisions of law and unwholesome deeds and go about the whole earth clothed in air” (Works and Days 252–53) and watcher-angels in Daniel (4:10, 14, 20) and in 1 Enoch (1:5; 12:2, 3; 20:1). The idea that four metals of increasingly inferior quality correspond to the ages of man finds its nearest parallel in Hesiod (Works and Days 109–201), according to Hengel, who likewise adopts from Schlatter the view that Daniel took over from the Greeks a reverence for the power created by knowledge ..."

Feldman, Louis H. Jew and Gentile in the Ancient World: Attitudes and Interactions from Alexander to Justinian (p. 16) Princeton University Press, 1993

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