restricted access The Beginnings of Greek Allegoresis

The present article examines the question of who was the first to have allegorically interpreted Homer. The fragmentary and indirect character of the extant testimonies on the beginnings of allegoresis makes it very difficult to adjudicate between the candidates Theagenes of Rhegium and Pherecydes of Syros. This paper argues that while the surviving testimonies suggest that Theagenes was the first allegorist of Homer, Pherecydes’ appropriation of mythology is likely to have created premises for allegorical interpretation of poetry. Thus, it is argued that both Theagenes and Pherecydes be considered as important figures in the emergence of allegoresis.