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University of Michigan Press, 1991 - History - 241 pages
2 Reviews
Epic poems by one who has been called the first Greek philosopher and theologian

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User Review  - wrk1 - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

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User Review  - jarvenpa - LibraryThing

I like Lattimore's translations a great deal (but I am no one to judge accuracy). Read full review

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About the author (1991)

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).

Richmond Lattimore (1906-1984) was a poet, translator, and longtime professor of Greek at Bryn Mawr College.

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