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Hesiod and Theognis (Penguin Classics): Theogony, Works and Days, and Elegies Paperback – August 26, 1976
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"Good and readable. We can use it in our Myth and Greek courses."--David H.J. Larmour, Texas Tech Univ
"This is a good, serviceable translation by the foremost authority of Hesiod....very clear and accessible version....concise introduction and useful notes...deserves to become a text of preference in courses in translation."--Robert L. Fowler, Classical World
"The introduction blends charm, substance, and clarity for new readers of Hesiod. West makes him unintimidating, understandable, and above all human."--Carole Weaver, Iona College
`West is the finest Hesiod scholar of our time, if not of all time, and accordingly his English prose version is an altogether worthy by-product of his long, fruitful studies His introduction is masterly; and the endnotes, though brief, tell enough for most readers' information or curiosity."--Religious Studies Review
"Very reasonably priced, yet with pleasing type-setting, a helpful introduction, and endnotes. Turning the endnotes into footnotes would have been even better."--Christopher Magri, Northwestern State University
"Good, clear translation, useful notes."--Dr. Karl M. Petruso, University of Texas at Arlington
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
West's version of the two main Hesiodic poems is, however, in prose, and offers the latest in textual and historical scholarship -- although this is not very obviously on display. West, who has edited much (perhaps by now all) of the "Hesiodic" corpus, with substantial technical commentaries (along with a good deal of Homer and the "Homeric Hymns"), offers here his best reading of the two long poems which seem most firmly attributed Hesiod. (Although some, including Wender, would prefer two poets, in addition to the problem of interpolations).
West's commentary, although useful, is surprisingly sparse, given what he could have offered; a lot of detailed argument has been converted into the translation itself.
"Theogony," for those not familiar with the work even by reputation, is the story of the origins and struggles of the gods of Classical Greece. Although the meter and basic style are those of the Homeric epics, and the gods are mainly the same, many details are different (Zeus is a younger son, not the eldest, for example), and the struggles between various generations are the foreground story, not a long-concluded background to the reign of Zeus.Read more ›
"Works and Days" is a very different story. After Hesiod's father died, his apparently indolent brother Perses tried to rob him of part of the inheritance. We all know how bitter fights among siblings can be, especially about inheritances. So Hesiod decided to write a book to teach his brother some lessons, beginning with a little history and theology, and then some practical advice on how to make a decent living by hard work and honesty. The result is a simply wonderful account of some important myths, like the ages through which man has passed (Golden, Silver, Heroic, Bronze and our own), as well as Pandora's myth. He also tells us about Prometheus, the Christ-like figure of the Greeks.Read more ›
Next to it are the wonderful, engaging introductory essays, in which Professor Wender shows the most enchanting insight into the mentality and attitude of her poets, making them live on the page for us. It is unmistakeably the work of a specialist, yet it is pitched - successfully - at the ordinary reader. A person who knows nothing about the Classics will leave them not only having a clear and precise idea of the characters of Hesiod and Theognis, but having learned a considerable amount about what makes good poetry. If the translation shows the poetic gifts of a Fagles or Lewis, the introduction shows the critical eye of a truly great critic - a C.S.Lewis, a Matthew Arnold. Do not be misled by the reviewer who says that she "carps" at the Theogony; he is only showing his shock at the notion that someone might have different views from his own. Professor Wender's criticisms are justified, especially in view of her very insightful comparison of the literary quality of the THEOGONY and that of the WORKS AND DAYS. This is the model of what a paperback translation of a classic work should be.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book, I particularly enjoy Greek mythology so I might be a bit biased, but it is a great translation, and the jargon is meant for those new to the subject.Published 4 months ago by john
A good paperback reading copy, nothing truly stunning or revolutionary. What else does anyone expect from Penguin Classics?Published 7 months ago by Molly Millions
I pick this book up and put it down a few times a year - its part of my personal reference library. Its a well put together book which is why it has a spot in my library.Published on April 20, 2014 by b00kll0vr
Earliest account of the origins of the universe, the genealogies of the Greek gods and, how they conquered the cosmos.
Important but not good. Read more
I used this book for class and it was easy to read and understand. I just wish that the line numbers were easier to understand.Published on August 24, 2013 by C. Jones
As far as the translation goes, I think M.L. West did a great job. I was particularly impressed with the fact that rather than Chaos, he used the name Chasm. Read morePublished on December 5, 2012 by Ashley F
I found Wender's translation to be both readable and pleasing. Although Hesiod and Theognis are not necessarily related by their views, they do have a similarity. Read morePublished on November 14, 2012 by Galdor
The translation is readable and its endnotes extensive. Personally, I prefer footnotes, but I have no complaints about the notes themselves. Read morePublished on February 25, 2009 by Ryan Mease
Growing up the only outlet I knew to get history stories of this time period would be in the Bible. I ofter thought what about all the other nations, what were their beliefs. Read morePublished on December 31, 2008 by Michael Evans