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Hesiod: The Works and Days/Theogony/The Shield of Herakles

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  1,325 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Three epic poems by Hesiod, the 'other' great epic poet of ancient Greece (along with Homer, his near-contemporary).

Constituting some of the earliest known works of literature in European history, the poems of Hesiod describe the creation of the cosmos, the history of the gods, the life & concerns of a simple shepherd in rural Greece, and agricultural knowledge and tec
Hardcover, 241 pages
Published June 1st 1959 by University of Michigan Press (first published -750)
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Nathan Jerpe
If you are going to tackle Hesiod this is the way to do it. The author provides an excellent introduction to each poem and the first two are so thoroughly annotated that the notes exceed the length of the poems. Athanassakis also interpolates some observations from modern rural Greece which are always fitting and did much to enhance my appreciation of the ancient texts.

I came to Hesiod for Theogony and I was prepared for a slog. The divine genealogy is very dense but with the aid of the notes I
James Murphy
Well, I was unaware of Hesiod until recently. Maybe I was blinded by the radiance of Homer. Now I know Hesiod may have been a contemporary of his. I'd had his work recommended and given to me, and I found it much like Homer's and much to my liking. Hesiod reads like Homer. Works and Days, with its instructions intended as a guide for everyday agricultural and social activities, seems less about the gods than the other 2 works in the volume, though their influence is certainly important and the c ...more
1) Slightly cheating on this as we're not reading the last 30 pages or so, The Shield of Herakles.

2) Hesiod hates women. Poor guy obviously didn't appreciate sex. It's pretty funny, he gives advice like:

"Get yourself an oxen for plowing and also a woman."

"Do not let any sweet-talking woman beguile your good sense with the fascinations of her shape. It's your barn she's after."

3) The myths of Pandora and Prometheus are much better in their original form than I had come to expect from cultural osm
Susanna Rose
Hesiod portrays femininity as a very dangerous power. Aphrodite was born when Kronos castrated his father the sky and tossed the dick into the ocean - the primal connection between giggling seduction and castration. Then Zeus punishes men for their disobedience by giving them beautiful women.

On the other hand, his advice, particularly in West’s translation, strongly recalls a modern woman’s magazine - Good Housekeeping, or Martha Stewart.

Some of his offered precepts are equally moral today, to
Dani Schechtel
Esta obra (los tres libros) me pareció buena desde diferentes puntos de vista.
Desde el épico-mitológico informativo: la genealogía de los dioses me sirvió para ubicarme en la mitología, y la descripción del averno y de los mares me pareció maravillosa.
Desde el punto de vista moral y cultural, "los trabajos y los días" es una obra llamativa. Sucintamente recomienda a su hermano Perses varias formas de proceder en el trabajo, en la ética y en la vida social.
El escudo de Heracles narra una anécdota
Knut Sigurd
Attdikta til eit rikt og moderne bokmål.
I had to put this one down for months until I got a couple weeks off from work and could read it without falling asleep.

The Dover version I got doesn’t include the ‘Catalogue of Women’, which is a shame ‘cause I don’t like gaps in my reads and this one is tied up to ‘The shield of Heracles’. But hey, it was a very affordable edition and it served its purpose, which was introducing me to Hesiod.

Reading Hesiod is very similar to reading Homer or maybe Ovid. It’s not necessarily about the story tha
A self-help book before the genre was invented, Hesiod's "Works and Days" was first assigned to me in college by a philosophy professor who was very interested in the topic of work. At that time, I found Hesiod boring and didn't finish the reading. Revisiting "Works and Days" at the age of 32, I find it to be a trove of practical wisdom. Contained within is timeless advice for the male Boetian farmer and sailor that somehow still retains relevance for the contemporary female Seattleite. Some gem ...more
Cymru Roberts
In terms of a didactic poem Works and Days has a lot of character. It isn’t tedious, the explaining is eloquent and it gives one a firm background on ancient Greek beliefs. Homer, for example, is enriched in light of this explanation. The explaining of sacrifices (thigh bones wrapped in fat comes from Prometheus) is instructive. I also really liked the description of the different ages of Man. It puts events like the Trojan War in a greater perspective. It should be said that this perspective is ...more
Caroline Beatle
Siempre es difícil ponerle estrellas a un libro conformado por varios relatos, porque no todos te gustan igual. En fin, sobre Hesíodo sólo tengo que decir que gracias por ordenar la mitología <3
Los trabajos y los días: Básicamente Hesíodo dándole consejos a su hermano Perses sobre la vida de un campesino normal de la Grecia del siglo ¿VIII? ¿VII? a.C. Obvs si no sabes mucho del contexto histórico, resulta un poco aburrida. 3/5
Teogonía: Un compendio de los dioses, el inicio del mundo, los tita
I decided that I was going to try and write a review for every book I read this year, but I've been putting this one off. It turns out, it's a lot more fun to write a review about something that I loved than it is to write about something that I found disappointing.
I had really been looking forward to this book (for years actually) because I've always loved both the Iliad and the Odyssey and I knew that Hesiod was a famous contemporary of Homer that wrote about the same mythological stories an
Aaron Meyer
I enjoyed this translation of Hesiod's poems. The Theogony was very chaotic and at times you would have to slog through the long lists of names, but there was much imagery that the mind could latch on to. The descriptions of some of the battles for supremecy of Zeus were especially nice. The Work and Days was a great, down to earth poem. One which on many levels I could identify with. There were many moments that it reminded me greatly of the Havamal from the Poetic Edda. The notes for both of t ...more
Daniel Guerrero
Leer obras clásicas, especialmente de la Grecia antigua, es muy difícil; la edición de Biblioteca Gredos hace muy interesante su lectura porque acompaña el texto con un gran número de notas y aclaraciones.
Al ser un libro de sus obras no todas son interesantes; y para mi lo mejor fue leer sólo la Teogonía, Trabajos y Días y Escudo (la mitad del libro)
I was perusing a local bookstore for a book, (oddly referred to as historical fiction) for a book club a friend begged me to attend this month, and the owner asked me if I would be interested in some various older classical texts. I picked up four, the only one in English was this 1959 edition....but it is a gem.
Lattimore has his critics but I always enjoy his fluidity of style. He is an excellent scholar and a keen judge of meaning, despite what others interpret as a sometimes looseness of tran
As far as 8th century poets go, Hesiod isn't in the same league as Homer. He's bogged down with his own prejudices and animosities, and his language just isn't that interesting. Works and Days is sort of a farming manual/self-help guide for 8th c. Greece, with what I assume was common sense for the time and banal insights into human behavior (I imagined Polonius giving an extra long address to his son as I read it.) The Theogony attempts to set out the family relationships between the gods and T ...more
For all my reading and love of ancient texts I have never come across Hesiod before. Fun but certainly not requiered reading. This bad boy goes really fast. If you like epic poems like The Oddyssey then this is probably up your alley.
belle édition bilingue (hélas, je n'ai pas appris le grec ) mais ces trois ouvrages d'Hésiode sont magnifiquement traduits (il me semble) et l'intro est intéressante
Hesiod is the first greek theologian and his commitment to religion is what seperates him from Homer. Comparing the two, Homer is a moral relativist and Hesiod a moral absolutist. If you wish to understand the theology and cosmology of the ancient Greeks, Hesiod's poetry is a good place to start. Theogony basically serves the same role as the book of Genesis in the judeo-christian tradition. Works and Days sets standards for living the just life in your community and before the gods, sort of lik ...more
I thought I'd class things up with a little Ancient Greek poetry, ya'll. I read Works and Days, and am saving the other two poems for later. Works and Days is addressed to Hesiod's estranged brother (who apparently cheated him out of his inheritance after their father died). After setting things up with an overview of the Gods and Justice, Hesiod lays out how to be a good man, a successful farmer, and some specifics of lucky and unlucky days on the calendar. Works and Days doesn't have the narra ...more
Matthew Philips
A great read for anyone who enjoys Greek lit. If short on time, limit yourself to Works: an amusing guide from Hesiod to his brother to set his life in order.
The works of Hesiod stand apart from the more famous worksmanship of Homer. Theogony is a dense description of Greek mythology, jumping from story to story character to character Theogony gives brief overviews of the earliest Greek myths. Works & Days however is markedly different, and categorizes more under "Wisdom Literature" more akin to Ecclessisates in its advice to the reader and after 2500 hundred years or so still seems to apply. Both attributed to Hesiod, I can't help but wonder if ...more
Read it in Norwegians translation
Derek Folder
I read the Theogony.
This is the real thing. A man (or the narrator) talking about Greek life 2500 years ago, with absolute authority, because he lives it. The Works and Days is down-to-earth advice to a younger brother about how to get on in life, the Theogony contains tales of the gods, tales of their origins, their relationships to each other and to the Ancient Greeks. Again, the real thing, not as retold by Hollywood, but straight from the mind of someone who lives there.
Athanassakis's translations aren't mindblowing but the annotations are helpful. I now know when the best time to plow my fields are, the age at which a women is optimally ready for wifing, and how to pick slaves for both seeding and housework. Also to never to give money to Perses. All Pseudo-Hesiods welcome, because the proto-Beowulf that is the Shield of Heracles is awesome.
Isn't the first line to this book something about how the muses call us stupid mortals 'swag-bellied yahoos'?! You can't go wrong, folks. No seriously, as cliché as it sounds, if you love anything pertaining to antiquity & classical mythology, read this sweet primary source all about the lineage of the Greek gods.
The Works and Days and Theogony are two very different works. The first is a rustic observation on farmers' techniques, with Hesiod's angry complaints at mistreatment by his own brother, and with the oppressed man's hope for eventual divine justice. Theogony by contrast is entirely supernatural and mythological.
"Do not sit in front of your hearth bespattered with semen." I wish I could say I learned more from this text, but alas, alack, this particular bit of insight seemed to be the only thing I and most of my Hum. 110 classmates gleaned from reading The Works and Days.
some weird translation choices and weird missing lines; dividing the poems into sections on the margins to help the reader in the Hesiodic labyrinth was a good intention, but in the end felt too tedious and I at least get even more lost.
Nick Wallace
Theogony may be slow beginning, but well worth it when it displays battle on a mythological scale. Works and Days relates a practicality that still doesn't seem to have sunk into mankind even in the present day.
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  • Homeric Hymns
  • Leucippe and Clitophon
  • Greek Lyrics
  • Idylls
  • The Eclogues: Dual Language Edition
  • The Odes
  • Heroides
  • Euripides 2: The Cyclops/Heracles/Iphigenia in Tauris/Helen
  • On Sparta
  • The Fall of Troy
  • Greek Tragedies, Vol. 1: Aeschylus: Agamemnon, Prometheus Bound; Sophocles: Oedipus the King, Antigone; Euripides: Hippolytus
  • Epigrams
  • Odes and Epodes (Loeb Classical Library)
  • The Letters of the Younger Pliny
  • Prometheus Bound and Other Plays
  • Daphnis and Chloe
  • A History of My Times
  • Jason and the Golden Fleece (The Argonautica)
Hesiod, the father of Greek didactic poetry, probably flourished during the 8th century BC. Hesiod's earliest poem, the famous Works and Days, and according to Boeotian testimony the only genuine one, embodies the experiences of his daily life and work, and, interwoven with episodes of fable, allegory, and personal history, forms a sort of Boeotian shepherd's calendar. The other poem attributed to ...more
More about Hesiod...
Theogony/Works and Days (World's Classics) Theogony (Classical Library) Hesiod/Homeric Hymns/Epic Cycle-Homerica Works and Days (Academic Monograph Reprint) The Poems of Hesiod

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“Never wade through the pretty ripples
of perpetually flowing
rivers, until you have looked at their lovely waters,
and prayed to them,
and washed your hands in the pale enchanting water.”
“For here now is the age of iron. Never by daytime will there be an end to hard work and pain, nor in the night to weariness, when the gods will send anxieties to trouble us.” 0 likes
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