Hesiod (c. 700 BC-c. 700 BC)
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One of the earliest Greek poets, Hesiod is credited with the invention of
didactic poetry around 700 B.C. His surviving works are the Theogony,
relating to the stories of the gods, and the Works and Days, relating
to peasant life. The latter is a personal address to Hesiod's brother, Perses,
whom he urges to practice a life of honest hard work through examples of mythic
stories that illustrate the need for virtue. "The Age of Iron" deplores
man's quest for power and wealth and argues that communities must worship Justice
(Zeus's favorite daughter) above all other virtues. Hesiod's poetry includes
passages critical of those aristoi who support themselves on the labors
of others rather than through their own exertions.
Works by the Author
Hesiod. The Homeric Hymns and Homerica. Translated by Hugh G. Evelyn-White.
Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1936.
Hesiod. The Works of Hesiod. Translated by Cooke. London: N. Blandford,
Hesiod. Theogony. Translated by Norman O. Brown. New York: The Liberal
Arts Press, 1953.
The biographical material about the author originally appeared on The
Goodrich Room: Interactive Tour website.