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Hesiod and Theognis
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Hesiod and Theognis

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  1,650 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Hesiod was an early Greek poet and rhapsode, who presumably lived around 700 BCE. His writings serve as a major source on Greek mythology, farming techniques, archaic Greek astronomy and ancient timekeeping. Of the many works attributed to Hesiod, three survive complete and many more in fragmentary state. They include Alexandrian papyri, some dating from as early as the 1s ...more
Paperback, 1873, 176 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Kessinger Publishing (first published -750)
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One cannot compare Hesiod’s ‘Theogony’ with Homer’s ‘Illiad’ or Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’ for that matter. Hesiod’s poem does not have the wit and irony of Ovid’s work nor the intriguing plot of an ‘Illiad’ or an ‘Odysseus’. It describes how the Greek universe with its gods came into existence and how Zeus gained sovereignty over the world as “father of gods and men”. I would not choose this as a bedside reading, unless you have difficulties with falling asleep: This is sometimes more a list than a ...more
Arma deumque cano
Es ist schon peinlich - da kommen im Fernsehen diese amerikanischen Blockbuster "Kampf der Titanen" und "Zorn der Götter" und so weiter, und man wird für einen klugen, gebildeten Menschen gehalten und daher gefragt, was nun dieser oder jener Gott so für Eigenschaften hat und ob nun Athene mit Zeus verwandt ist und wer der langhaarige, dauerflüsternde Bursche ist, der so viel Unheil plant. Und dann steht man da und ist stellenweise ratlos, weil man selbst kaum durch die von sich
Hesiod was considered the equal of Homer by the ancients. Although this view is impossible for a modern to hold without being deceitful, there is still much to begrudgingly admire in Hesiod. For one, his creation myth is pretty standard for the time period, and so we get a glimpse into typical Greek piety and/or a typical Greek state ceremony as, we must remember, all myths are corporate PR campaigns, and the Theogony represents a classic of the genre. Homer, we recall, was private, after-hours ...more
Theogony traces the creation of the cosmos and the genealogy of the Greek gods. There’s a cornucopia of nasty stuff here: patricide, incest, blatant misogyny, swallowing up one's own progeny and whatnot. Typical Greek mythology stuff! I was expecting a fascinating encounter but it turned out be dry and monotonous, and failed to grab my attention. Being an oratory work, I guess we do miss its purported impact when read in print. I would have been delighted if there was an Ian Mckellen rendering; ...more
Hesiod, I think, has been shoved too often as being a misogynist because of the lines below.

"And Zeus who thunders on high was stung in spirit, and his dear heart was angered when he saw amongst men the far-seen ray of fire. Forthwith he made an evil thing for men as the price of fire; for the very famous Limping God formed of earth the likeness of a shy maiden as the son of Cronos willed. And the goddess bright-eyed Athene girded and clothed her with silvery raiment, and down from her head she
Jackson Cyril
It's really cool to read a poem written over 2000 years ago and realize that the poet and you share many similarities. Hesiod's description of beautiful women correspond to women I'd consider beautiful today, shapely bodies and big breasts, and his ideal men are strong and heroic ( similar to today) I guess society really hasn't changed many of its ideals much. Some slight background on the guy: Hesiod was one of the earliest Greek poets and Theogony is his tale of how the gods came to be. We've ...more
This is certainly the most chauvinistic of the variations of the Grecian creation myths that I have read. It displays a psychology where women are highlighted only through marriage, physical consumption/cannibalism or by the children they produce. Females outside of this dynamic, such as Artemis are barely ever mentioned. Given, this might be because Hesiod wrote another volume entitled the "Catalogue of Women", and therefor decided not to highlight them here. But the specific use of language at ...more
Hesiods Thogenie ist… speziell. Obwohl Hesiod ein Zeitgenosse Homers ist, ist die Theogenie wahrlich nicht so unterhaltsam, was wohl an ihrem Sinn und Zweck in Kombination mit ihren Stil liegt.
Erzählt wird die Schöpfungsgeschichte der alten Griechen.

Am Anfang waren Chaos, Gaia, Tartaros, Eros, Erebos und Nyx. Gaia und Eros bekommen Uranos, den Himmel und noch ein paar mehr nachkommen. Danach verpaart sich Gaia mit ihrem Kind Uranos und bekommt noch ein paar Nachkommen, bis es Uranos reicht und e
This is supposed to be one of the oldest stories (700 BC?) about the genealogy of Greek gods. Quite a difficult read though one can't really complain since it must've been passed on in oral form. It contains lots and lots of lists about who was born to whom and I kept skipping them. Contains some very gruesome tales about Gods killing their children and vice versa. Hesiod loves Zeus and it shows from the way he takes him to the supreme seat in the universe.

Though it's understandable that this i
This review pertains to the Kindle version.

As someone very familiar with Greek mythology, this was my first reading of Hesiod and "Theogony". While I have read Fagles' translations of Homer and Virgil, I've never ventured into the classics of Greek or Roman mythology. I have read other translated histories or philosophical writings from the Classical era and have to say I found the translation difficult for a few reasons. First, the source material is laced with implied information that would n
David Withun
These short poems by two of the greatest of ancient Greek authors open up a world that is in fact the ancestor of our own modern world but, simultaneously, quite different and at times altogether foreign from it. The poems, which are a mixture of mythology and practical advice, frequently move back and forth between what to the modern reader is familiar and what is quite unfamiliar and perhaps even repulsive. The "Elegies" of Theognis, for instance, contain practical advice on friendship and vir ...more
Christopher Rush
It's good to finally have read Hesiod, even if only in translation. He definitely is far more supportive of Zeus than Homer is. Strangely enough, I was reading this while also reading Samuel Butler's Homer (that's not too strange, I suppose) and also while playing through the God of War series again: three quite different perspectives on the gods all at the same time made for an interesting week. Theognis was all right, but aside from some interesting couplets here and there, it mostly boils dow ...more
David Sarkies
Oct 26, 2012 David Sarkies rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who love mythology
Recommended to David by: David Hester
Shelves: myth
There seems to be a debate as to the usefulness of this little text and I would pretty much fall into the category of not much. The reason that I say that is because if this book was lost then we would lose very little of our understanding of Greek Mythology. Everything that is contained in this little book is also contained in more expanded works such as the library of Greek Mythology and Ovid. While it is a primary source, it is still something that we could probably do without. Fortunately i ...more
Hesiod's Theogony lays out Greek religion and mythology in what is probably the most straightforward account available to us. Hesiod throws around so many names and genealogies that my eyes sometimes glazed over while going through them (think of the genealogies of Jesus at the beginning of the gospels), but the Theogony also contains some of the most familiar stories of Greek myth. Among these are Zeus' rebellion against Kronos, the tyrannical Titan who ate his children in a vain and self-defea ...more
Hesiods Theogonie ist ein sehr wichtiges Werk für die Arbeit der Klassischen Archäologie und auch Geschichte, denn der antike Dichter schrieb über die Entstehung und Verbindung der Götter vom Ursprung an und daher sind dort viele der griechischen Mythen enthalten. Der zweisprachige Band des Reclam-Verlages ist sehr gut ausgestattet. Nachdem die Theogonie parallel in Altgriechisch und Deutsch zu lesen ist, gibt es einen umfangreichen Anhang. Dieser umfasst in den Anmerkungen eine genaue Erklärung ...more
I don't know how to review an old poem such as this one?

But I still think it offers you something very valuable. You realize how much Greeks believed in the Gods of Olympus, and how important they were to them.

I am currently taking an Ancient Mythology course on my faculty and I can say its probably the best subject I've ever had! We study all the possible views on myth that are currently popular and once you start reading some people such as Freud, and especially Jung, you really begin to decip
Saif Ali
I'm divided as to how to rate this. The Theogony is a boring read. Even as someone who enjoys mythology, it is not particularly exciting. It reads likes the genealogical record of the divine family tree that it is. However, its importance to our understanding of Greek myth and religion is immeasurable.
This book has a really good introduction, which I thought was pitched at the right level for the general reader.

Hesiod contains some interesting material about gods, creation and supernatural battles.

Theognis contains a lot of snippets dealing with subjects such as dishonesty, the state of affairs, drinking and false friends. Some of it is spot on but it is quite reminiscent of the Egyptian texts from an earlier period. Sage advice doesn't age and politicians will always be corrupt I guess. The
Yes. One of the oldest books ever written, maybe 700 B.C. I can't say much about how it's written because I think it was translated countless times and probably it's not even near to the original, but still it was a little difficult to read at the beginning but only few pages later you get used to it and you can fully concentrate on the "story".

Of course it's helpful if you have some basic knowledge in mythology, otherwise it can be a little confusing o.O
In my opinion it was too short. I've rea
It's very interesting to read the etiological text that Hesoid wrote to explain how the Greek gods came to be. The importance of classical mythology and how it applies to literature and contemporary writing is seen in the emphasis of familial ties and the patriarchy.
Adín Lemueł-Gabrieł
Uno de los mejores libros para iniciar los caminos de la mitología griega. Hesíodo en esta obra presenta no solo una Teogonía del mundo mitológico, sino que también una Cosmogonía. Aunque quizás no se abordan las definiciones de cada dios helénico, si son mencionados una gran cantidad de ellos. También son narrados los acontecimientos de las generaciones previas a los Olímpicos.

No se debe perder te perspectiva que la mitología griega no es un sistema uniforme, su evolución y la de sus personaje
Rita	 Marie
I can't compare this to any other translation of version of Hesiod's Theogony since I've only read the one, but it seemed okay -- flowed well, readable, and, of course, interesting.

One minor quibble -- it was a little over-annotated for me. Not just explanatory notes about the gods, stories, etc., but comparisons to how Hesiod handled them as compared with Homer, Ovid, and a host of other authors. Anyone who desires all that info would love this book.

On the plus side, the appendices were quite
Kathy B
I liked it, as it was a different take on the stories of the gods than Homer, but didn't find his prose flowed as well as Homer. Trying the Homeric poems next to see if those are more readable.
Bruno Santrovitsch
Sort of a metaphysical treatise on the origins of everything: from material stuff to human emotions.
Very amusing, witty and believe it or not funny sometimes.
This translation by Dorothea Wender is much more readable than the Loeb, and is a good version to familiarize oneself with Hesiod. The Theogony is fascinating for what you can learn about the origins and later struggles of the Greek gods and minor deities, although the moral behavior it models is quite violent; I wonder if contemporaries or near contemporaries considered it somewhat subversive? Works and Days was much more interesting from the point of view of learning about the agricultural lif ...more
Litania, choć nie da się zaprzeczyć, że dobrze, że istnieje, ale ja jednak wybieram rozkminki Kubiaka nad tym tekstem.
Jim Leckband
The story of the origin of the Greek Gods told in a pithy, declamatory way - as like a bard would do. Hesiod is not as poetic as Homer, but their are gems of description - usually in the odd adjectives he prefaces the gods with - "Bright Eyed Athena" for example.

Occasionally the verse bogs down into lists of minor gods and begats (gee, like another creation story familiar to many?). But I really enjoyed reading how the classical mind, just out of barbarism and creating civilization has created
Greek gods and such...awesome stuff
As always, every phrase in this review should be preceded by "In my opinion...":
It is clear that this book is of immense value for the Human Race, as it contains a very precise account of the greek Gods, their origins and their relationships (marriages, rivalries, etc.). However, it is not fun at all. It reads as a boring catalog of Gods, or as a census. There are many charts through the internet that convey almost the same information as this book, whose main literary virtue is being too short.
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  • Ajax (Translations from Greek Drama)
  • Homeric Hymns
  • The Comedies
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  • Epigrams
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  • The Bacchae and Other Plays
  • Greek Art
  • The Odes of Horace: Bilingual Edition
  • Fasti
  • The Georgics
  • The Greek Myths: Vol. 1
  • The Nature of the Gods
  • Clouds
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