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Hesiod describes himself as a Boeotian shepherd who heard the Muses call upon him to sing about the gods. His exact dates are unknown, but he has often been considered a younger contemporary of Homer. This volume of the new Loeb Classical Library edition offers a general introduction, a fluid translation facing an improved Greek text of Hesiod’s two extant poems, and a generous selection of testimonia from a wide variety of ancient sources regarding Hesiod’s life, works, and reception.
In Theogony, Hesiod charts the history of the divine world, narrating the origin of the universe and the rise of the gods, from first beginnings to the triumph of Zeus, and reporting on the progeny of Zeus and of goddesses in union with mortal men. In Works and Days, Hesiod shifts his attention to the world of men, delivering moral precepts and practical advice regarding agriculture, navigation, and many other matters; along the way he gives us the myths of Pandora and of the Golden, Silver, and other Races of Men.