Theogony: And, Works and Days

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University of Michigan Press, 2006 - Poetry - 116 pages
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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. There are a number of modern translations of Hesiod available, rendered in serviceable English, but until now no one has created a work of literature equal to the original. This translation is the result of a unique collaboration between a classicist and a poet, capturing in English fourteeners the works’ true poetic flavor while remaining faithful to the Greek text and the archaic world in which it was composed.
This translation contains a general introduction, a translator’s introduction, notes, and a glossary.  It will be of interest to general readers, students of and specialists in classical literature, and lovers of poetry.
"This Schlegel-Weinfield translation of Hesiod is superbly crafted: compelling, unforgettable poetry to be read aloud with delight and gratitude."
—Allen Mandelbaum, Endowed Kenan Professor of Humanities, Wake Forest University
"This exciting and unique collaboration between a classical philologist and a poet will not just provide insight into archaic Greek society, but also offer something new: the opportunity to experience the richness of Hesiod's style, language, and modes of thought with remarkable fidelity to the ancient Greek.  Weinfield and Schlegel make Hesiod sing."
—Carole Newlands, Classics Department, University of Wisconsin
"Schlegel and Weinfield have produced one of the most remarkable of a current resurgence of translations from the classics, allowing the modern world to hear a poet who may have known Homer. Hesiod’s song makes us understand why the Greeks thought a poet could draw dolphins through the seas or raise the walls of Thebes. Weinfield translates by ear and transfers what he hears to the page, resonant fourteeners, a worthy echo of the past." —Charles Stanley Ross, Professor, Department of English, and Director, Comparative Literature, PurdueUniversity
Catherine Schlegel is Associate Professor of Classics, University of Notre Dame.  Henry Weinfield is Professor and Chair of Liberal Studies, University of Notre Dame, and translator of The Collected Poems of Stephane Mallarme.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS i Introduction to Hesiod
Translators Introduction
A Note on Pronunciation and Spelling

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About the author (2006)

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).

Henry Weinfield's most recent books are WITHOUT MYTHOLOGIES: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS AND TRANSLATIONS (2008) and The Music of Thought in the Poetry of George Oppen and William Bronk (2009), and A WANDERING ARAMAEAN: PASSOVER POEMS AND TRANSLATIONS (2012). His verse- translations include the Collected Poems of Stephane Mallarme (1995) and a version of Hesiod's Theogony and Works and Days, done in collaboration with Catherine Schlegel (2006). He is also the author of The Poet Without a Name: Gray's Elegy and the Problem of History (1991) and of a new critical study, The Blank-Verse Tradition from Milton to Stevens: Freethinking and the Crisis of Modernity, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press in 2012. Weinfield teaches at the University of Notre Dame.

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