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Hesiod, one of the earliest Greek poets, is generally thought by scholars to have been active in the eighth century BCE, at about the same time as Homer. Hesiod’s two complete extant works are Works and Days, which instructs on farming techniques and early economic theory, and Theogony, on the origin of the world and the genealogies of the gods. As author of some of the first autobiographical poems, Hesiod wrote in Works and Days that he lived in the village of Ascra in Boeotia in central Greece and that he won a tripod in a bardic competition at the funeral games of King Amphidamas.
QUOTES OF NOTETheogony / Works and Days
“C.S. Morrissey places a very modern sensibility under the light of these precious verses, and his translations remind us at every point that Hesiod’s gods are still with us, not as subjects to be worshipped and appeased through sacrifice, but as enduring motives that govern and disrupt our lives.”
– Roger Scruton, from the foreword
“Morrissey has brought fire and light to Hesiod’s work, and offered it to us with clarity and good humour, in the darkening air of our time.”
“We may look back to Hesiod’s poetry as representative of a cultural Golden Age when it was possible for a single work of literature to encompass the whole of traditional ‘wisdom’: high and low, ancient and modern, philosophical and poetic, practical and metaphysical.”
– New Republic
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