Volume I, Theogony. Works and Days. Testimonia (Loeb Classical Library) available in Hardcover
- Pub. Date:
- Harvard University Press
Hesiod describes himself as a Boeotian shepherd who heard the Muses call upon him to sing about the gods. His exact dates are unknown, but he has often been considered a younger contemporary of Homer. This volume of the new Loeb Classical Library edition offers a general introduction, a fluid translation facing an improved Greek text of Hesiod's two extant poems, and a generous selection of testimonia from a wide variety of ancient sources regarding Hesiod's life, works, and reception.
In Theogony Hesiod charts the history of the divine world, narrating the origin of the universe and the rise of the gods, from first beginnings to the triumph of Zeus, and reporting on the progeny of Zeus and of goddesses in union with mortal men. In Works and Days Hesiod shifts his attention to the world of men, delivering moral precepts and practical advice regarding agriculture, navigation, and many other matters; along the way he gives us the myths of Pandora and of the Golden, Silver, and other Races of Men.
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All hale Hesiod, and his timeless advice. Thanks be to the Muses in their wise choice of such a singer of their whims. How else would I have learned about Athena and Hephaestus and how to poor out libations in the proper manner. Who else could give us such sage warnings: For those who who live near the sea and those far from the swelling sea in the valleys and glens, fertile land: sow naked, and plow naked, and harvest naked, if you want to bring in all of Demeter's works in due season, so that each crop may grow for you in its season.Or this gem:In the winter, turn your hired man out of your house and look for a serving-girl without her own child; for a serving girl with a baby under flank is a difficult thing. And get a jagged-tooth dog-do not be sparing with its food, lest some day sleeping-man steal your things from you.Yes, the world would be a miss without Hesiod. I see him as the first rap challenger really. Throwing down against Homer not to mention slamming his lazy good for nothing brother Perses at the poetry slam of Amphidamas' Funeral Games. If only our funerals had poetry slams and chariot races. Due thanks goes to Loeb for making these available in a time where classical Greek literature is hard to come by, at least the obscure authors. And for finally putting Hesiod in his own two volumes instead of including him in the usual Homeric Apocrypha. For those of you who are looking for the first layout of the Greek Pantheon, the Theogony is it. Plus, if you want some hilarious advice on how to live the good life and be upstanding you could do no better than the works and days. Hesiod is boss.
i love this book because it says that somebody castrated his father, and aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty was the result. i am enchanted with that notion, relative to aesthetics. it makes freud look, well, PALE.