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Theogony / Works and Days by Hesiod

Theogony / Works and Days (edition 1966)

by Hesiod, M. L. West (Translator), M. L. West (Introduction)

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1,07167,805 (3.67)20
Title:Theogony / Works and Days
Authors:Hesiod (Author)
Other authors:M. L. West (Translator), M. L. West (Introduction)
Info:Oxford University Press
Collections:Read, Read but unowned
Tags:700s BCE, ancient Greece, Greek mythology, history, library, mythology, non-fiction, poetry, read, read 2012, religion, translation

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Theogony, Works and Days by Hesíodo



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M. L. West translation - I had to read Theogony for my Coursera class, but I figured I might as well read Works and Days too, while I had it from the library.

Theogony: A narrative detailing the birth of the universe and the gods. Very interesting and relevant to my course. I knew most of the stories already, but I had never read the original.

Works and Days: This is kind of boring, but HILARIOUS if you read it as Hesiod trying to tell his little brother what to do, which it is. He tells his brother everything from what time during the year to plant his crops, to what kind of hat to wear when going outside in February, to where to pee. It has little blurbs about the gods sometimes, but mostly it is just a glimpse into everyday life for the Greeks in Hesiod's time. I can see why it was not assigned for my particular class, which was about Greek mythology specifically and not everyday Greek life. ( )
  norabelle414 | Jan 14, 2013 |
It's not my favorite, by far, when it comes to works related to Greek or Roman Mythology. In truth, it's a bit of a tricky read, and downright tedious at times. Still, the two works do serve important purposes within that area of literature, so I can definitely appreciate them even if I don't truly enjoy them. The good notes helped with that as well. ( )
  TiffanyAK | Dec 26, 2012 |
While this book gives an account of the Greek gods, it all seemed rather quickly done. I'd prefer if the end-notes were footnotes, as it would make it easier to understand certain parts (especially since the notes are not numbered). Interesting for the fact that it is one of the earliest writings on the gods, but perhaps not the best edition to read. The author actually lists other versions/translations as recommended reading. ( )
  crmass | Oct 3, 2011 |
this book is just about as boring as life in forks must've been before the TWILIGHT books came out...
  Ameliaiif | Apr 8, 2010 |
Hesiod's Theogony was the best known poem in antiquity and the single greatest summary of the Greek gods and the theological tradition of Archaic Greece (800-480 B.C.) Its origins are based in oral tradition and the poem itself is structured in run-composition with framed episodes that use repetitious formulas. Due to its structure, the narrative can shift suddenly from one topic to another, thus leading to inconsistencies in the gods' parentage. The Theogony is a succession myth that explains how generations of patriarchal gods overthrow each other until one god consolidates power. Therefore, the story has a linear progression, but it also has a cyclical element since each generation represents a reincarnation of previous generations that all try to keep their children secluded from power. Four main themes in the Theogony include: the concern for the displacement of elders, the frustration of gender politics, the folktale element of moral messages, and the concern of sexual excess demonstrated by the gods.

Hesiod also wrote Works and Days which was a poem to his brother who had squandered his share of their father's inheritance. Throughout the poem, Hesiod outlines practical guidelines for basic living. He also gives examples of Greek cosmogony such as the Ages of Man that is not found elsewhere in Greek literary sources. Scholars have described Hesiod's worldview as apocalyptic and pessimistic, but Hesiod's stern dealings with his brother occasionally give way to a more lighthearted tone which Lombardo emphasizes in modern prose.

Both translations are enlightening reads and Lombardo gives extensive, useful notes, and Robert Lamberton provides an excellent introduction that outlines Hesiod's life and his poems. ( )
2 vote ljesse | Jul 27, 2007 |
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» Add other authors (32 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hesíodoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haarlem, Cornelis C.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Janssen, JacquesCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kassies, WoltherTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lombardo, StanleyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
West, M. L.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
West, M. L.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Muses of the sacred spring Pieria who give glory in song, come sing Zeus' praises, hymn your great Father through whom mortals are either renowned or unknown, famous or unfamed as goes the will of great Zeus.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0192839411, Paperback)

This new, fully-annotated translation by a leading expert on Hesiodic poems combines accuracy with readability and includes an introduction and explanatory notes on these two works by one of the oldest known Greek poets. The Theogony contains a systematic genealogy and account of the struggles of the gods, and the Works and Days offers a compendium of moral and practical advice for a life of honest husbandry.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:57 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

"Written in the late eighth century BC by Hesiod, one of the oldest known of Greek poets, Theogony and Works and Days represent the earliest account of the origin of the Greek gods, and an invaluable compendium of advice for leading a moral life, both offering unique insights into archaic Greek society ... This translation contains a general introduction, a translator's introduction, notes, and a glossary."--Publisher description.… (more)

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An edition of this book was published by Talonbooks.

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