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Works and Days and Theogony (Hackett Classics)

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0872201798
ISBN-10: 0872201791
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Editorial Reviews

Review

This is by far the best rendering of Hesiod's poems in print. The translation is fully accurate but so readable one doesn't want to stop; it exactly captures Hesiod's rustic wisdom, his humour and his cautious pessimism. . . . Clear brief notes and a glossary make this a must for introductory courses: students will love it. --Richard Janko, University College, London



Spare, muscular, pithy, no otiose rhetoric. --Peter Green, University of Texas at Austin



These are both fine translations, each one suited to the character of the respective work. --Charles Segal, Harvard University

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Greek
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Product Details

  • Series: Hackett Classics
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (October 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872201791
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872201798
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
At first I found the voice Lombardo uses for "Works and Days" a little off-putting. I mean, you don't expect an ancient Greek poet to come off like one of Huck Finn's more literate relatives. But as I continued reading, and, indeed, I had a hard time stopping, I was convinced this really was Hesiod's voice, at least for this group of poems and proverbs. He's a rustic, cranky know-it-all who's also quite entertaining. "Theogony" is more formal and stately, but as with Lomboardo's recent "Iliad" and "Odyssey", compulsively readable. In this volume, Hesiod is more pleasurable to read than I had imagined possible. Bravo!
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Format: Paperback
Hesiod's Theogony was the best known poem in antiquity and the single greatest summary of the Greek gods and the theological tradition of Archaic Greece (800-480 B.C.) Its origins are based in oral tradition and the poem itself is structured in run-composition with framed episodes that use repetitious formulas. Due to its structure, the narrative can shift suddenly from one topic to another, thus leading to inconsistencies in the gods' parentage. The Theogony is a succession myth that explains how generations of patriarchal gods overthrow each other until one god consolidates power. Therefore, the story has a linear progression, but it also has a cyclical element since each generation represents a reincarnation of previous generations that all try to keep their children secluded from power. Four main themes in the Theogony include: the concern for the displacement of elders, the frustration of gender politics, the folktale element of moral messages, and the concern of sexual excess demonstrated by the gods.

Hesiod also wrote Works and Days which was a poem to his brother who had squandered his share of their father's inheritance. Throughout the poem, Hesiod outlines practical guidelines for basic living. He also gives examples of Greek cosmogony such as the Ages of Man that is not found elsewhere in Greek literary sources. Scholars have described Hesiod's worldview as apocalyptic and pessimistic, but Hesiod's stern dealings with his brother occasionally give way to a more lighthearted tone which Lombardo emphasizes in modern prose.

Both translations are enlightening reads and Lombardo gives extensive, useful notes, and Robert Lamberton provides an excellent introduction that outlines Hesiod's life and his poems.
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Format: Paperback
I must have compared a number of different Hesiod translation before finding Stanley Lombardo's!

At once I felt at peace with my searching struggle and was extremely happy with his version!

He has presented the "Theogony" and "Works & Days" in a way that makes for easy and pleasurable reading, with a realistic power and a believability in Hesiod himself.

Not only that but he has taken the time to seperated each text into paragraphs and sections, and has given each section a title for quick reference and artistic aesthetic!

I love this beautiful edition!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Everything you've ever heard about Greek mythology starts with this guy. He might have even been before Homer, or they might have been contemporaries. More importantly, the root of all Western thought, philosophy is here too. When Hesiod wrote the Old Testament was still written. The introduction and commentary are great as well. You have no idea how many of our wise sayings came from these books. Why read hand - me - down ideas on Philosophy when the originals are still with us and so interesting and easy to read. Way more sex and violence than anything in the movies. Also goes a long way in explaining how the younger generation always has to move the last generation away if they ever hope to run things. Also makes me really glad to be a Christian. People today talk about how the God of the Bible was so cruel...the Titans and Olympians have all that and the worst qualities
of people as well.
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There is something about Stanley Lombardo's translation of "Works and Days" that makes me - no expert in this field - think of Bob Dylan or even Gordon Lightfoot - singers from the 60s and 70s who "sang story" in words that had to be heard over and over again, and never mind the CD liner notes. "Works And Days" comes across as run-together songs of wisdom rooted in very specific, localized moments of place, time and actions. I began reading it silently - a very modern habit, after all - and after a page or two found myself reading aloud because Lombardo has given, or caught, a definite, distinctive and specific voice here. Yes, rustic and vulgar, but there are notes of pithy sharpness, and little riffs of humor, and always just enough "what IS he talking about??" to leave you with a sense of mysteries and insights beyond the surface practical knowledge of seasonal planting, tending, harvesting and harrowing

"Theogony" comes in a differently distinctive voice, a really energetic narrative-poetic voice that can be both intimate and resonant at the same time. For those of us who have half or completely forgotten our Greek gods, goddesses, heroes and muses, here it all is, this is where they were all organized into generations and Ages of This and That... There is something close to soft affection in places (the Storm King's daughters, e.g. at line 50ff), while the recitative concerning the battle of the Titans - especially the fiery, thunderous descent of Zeus - needs Beethoven's Fifth crashing behind the scenes.

A wonderful piece of work; I want the audio format for grandchild and god-children. Great stuff. Buy it.
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