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Two cases of the golden age: the Hesiodic utopia and the Platonic ideal state

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2019
Vezir, Güneş
This study was prepared to give information about the Golden Age myth, and in this regard, to illustrate for what purposes and in which ways the myth is used by Hesiod and Plato and the interaction and similarities between these thinkers. In the Golden Age, Cronus was the ruler and the order of the universe and human life are under the direct control of daemons. It is told that people of this time lived a blessed life in abundance and happiness; they were contented with what the land offers them and free from work, evils, war and unhappiness. The period ended with dethronement of Cronus by his son Zeus; after, as the order of the universe gradually deteriorated, humanity also became increasingly degenerate. The myth of the Golden Age, which Hesiod put forward as a utopic example for the solution of contemporary moral, social and political problems, also influenced Plato's political philosophy in the 4th century BC; guiding him through his search for the ideal state and the ideal ruler, and gained an important place in his dialogues. Firstly, in this thesis, the origins of the Golden Age myth, its appearances in the Ancient Greek and Roman cultures, the supporting and opposing views on the myth were explained. In the following chapter, the place of the Golden Age within the Five Ages myth of Works and Days, how it was utilized by Hesiod with ethical and political concerns and whether the narrative belong originally to Hesiod were examined. Finally, the function of the exemplification of the myth in the Statesman and the Laws and its modelity in Plato's construction of the ideal state were investigated, and Hesiod’s influence on Plato was discussed.