Theogony. Works and Days. Testimonia

ISBN-10: 0674996224
ISBN-13: 9780674996229
Edition: 2006
Authors: Hesiod, Glenn W. Most
List price: $26.00
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Description: 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. Here is a new Loeb Classical Library edition of  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.00
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 1/15/2007
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 400
Size: 4.25" wide x 6.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.638

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. Here is a new Loeb Classical Library edition of all of his epic poetry, a fluid translation facing an improved Greek text. 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. This volume also contains The Shield of Heracles and extant fragments of the other poems, mostly catalogs of mortal heroines, that were attributed to Hesiod in antiquity; none of these is now thought to be by Hesiod himself, but all have considerable literary and historical interest.

The poet Hesiod tells us that his father gave up sea-trading and moved from Ascra to Boeotia, that as he himself tended sheep on Mount Helicon the Muses commanded him to sing of the gods, and that he won a tripod for a funeral song at Chalcis. The poems credited to him with certainty are: the Theogony, an attempt to bring order into the otherwise chaotic material of Greek mythology through genealogies and anecdotes about the gods; and The Works and Days, a wise sermon addressed to his brother Perses as a result of a dispute over their dead father's estate. This latter work presents the injustice of the world with mythological examples and memorable images, and concludes with a collection of folk wisdom. Uncertain attributions are the Shield of Heracles and the Catalogue of Women. Hesiod is a didactic and individualistic poet who is often compared and contrasted with Homer, as both are representative of early epic style. "Hesiod is earth-bound and dun colored; indeed part of his purpose is to discredit the brilliance and the ideals of heroism glorified in the homeric tradition. But Hesiod, too, is poetry, though of a different order. . . " (Moses Hadas, N.Y. Times).

Glenn W. Most has taught at the Universities of Yale, Princeton, Michigan, Siena, Innsbruck, and Heidelberg. Since 2001 he has been Professor of Greek Philology at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, since 1996 he has been a visiting Professor on the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago; recently he has also become an external scientific member of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.

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