Front Page Titles (by Subject) THEOGONY - The Poems and Fragments
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THEOGONY - Hesiod, The Poems and Fragments 
The Poems and Fragments done into English Prose with Introduction and Appendices by A.W. Mair M.A. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1908).
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Which also of old taught Hesiod sweet song what time he tended his sheep under holy Helikon. These words first spake to me the goddess Muses of Olympos, the daughters of Zeus the Lord of the Aegis: ‘Shepherds of the fields, evil things of shame, bellies only! T27-52We know to speak full many things that wear the guise of truth, and know also when we will to utter truth.’
So spake the eloquent daughters of mighty Zeus. And they gave me a staff, even a branch of lusty olive, wondrous to pluck, and breathed in me a voice divine that I might celebrate the things that shall be and the things that were aforetime. They bade me sing the race of the Blessed Ones which are for ever, but always to sing their own selves first and last. But wherefore this tale of stock or stone?
Come thou, with the Muses let us begin, who with their hymns delight the mighty mind of Father Zeus within Olympos, telling of things present and things to come and the things that were aforetime, with one voice together. Unwearying floweth their sweet voice from their lips, and the halls of Father Zeus the Lord of Thunder laugh as the lily voice of the goddesses is spread abroad, and the peak of snowy Olympos and the halls of the immortals echo in answer. And they, uttering their immortal voice, celebrate with their song, first the awful race of the gods even from the beginning—the children of Earth and wide Heaven (Uranus), and the gods that sprang from them, givers of good things.
Next in turn of Zeus, Father of gods and men, do the goddesses sing, both in the beginning of their song and in the end thereof; how he is most excellent of all gods and greatest in majesty. And again hymning the race of men and mighty giants, they delight the mind of Zeus within Olympos—the Muses of Olympos, T52-78daughters of Zeus, the Lord of the Aegis, whom in Pieria did Mnemosyne, Queen of the hills of Eleuther, bear in union with the Father the Son of Kronos to be forgetfulness of woes and a respite from cares. For nine nights did Zeus the Counsellor lie with her, entering her holy bed without the knowledge of the deathless gods. But when the year was accomplished and the seasons came round with the waning months, and many days were fulfilled, she bare nine daughters of one mind together, whose hearts are set on song, having a soul unknowing sorrow: a little space from the topmost peak of snowy Olympos, where are their bright dancing-places and mansions fair. And by them the Graces and Desire dwell in mirth; and, uttering through their lips their lovely voices, they sing and celebrate the sweet societies and goodly ways of all the deathless gods, in strain delectable.
They on that day went toward Olympos, glorying in their sweet speech, their song ambrosial: and the black earth rang around them as they sang, and a lovely noise arose from under their feet as they came unto their Sire. And He was king in heaven, himself holding the thunder and the smoking thunderbolt, having by his might overcome his father Kronos. And He duly appointed their portions unto all the deathless gods alike, and declared to them their honours.
Such was the song of the Muses who dwell in the halls of Olympos, the nine daughters born of mighty Zeus, even Kleo and Euterpe and Thalia and Melpomene and Terpsichore and Erato and Polymnia and T78-106Urania and Kalliope, who is of them all most excellent. For she attendeth on reverend kings: whomsoever among kings divine the daughters of mighty Zeus honour and look upon at his birth, on his tongue they shed sweet dew, and from his mouth flow honeyed words: and all the people look toward him as he decideth dooms with just judgements; and he, with speech unerring, swiftly and skilfully putteth an end even to a great quarrel. For this cause are kings wise, because when the people are being perverted in assembly they speedily work redress, persuading them with soft words. And as a king goeth through the city they greet him with sweet reverence, and when they are assembled together he is conspicuous among them: in such wise is the holy gift of the Muses unto men.
Yea, for by grace of the Muses and archer Apollo are men minstrels upon the earth and players of the lyre, and by grace of Zeus do kings reign, and blessed is he whom the Muses love, and sweet floweth the speech of his lips. Yea, even if one hath sorrow in his soul new wounded, and pineth in anguish of heart, yet if the minstrel, the squire of the Muses, sing the glories of men of old and the blessed gods who keep Olympos, straightway he forgetteth his heavy thoughts and remembereth his cares no more, and the gifts of the Muses speedily divert his pain.
Hail! children of Zeus, and grant delectable song. Sing ye the holy race of the deathless gods which are for ever: even them that were born of Earth, and T106-131starry Heaven, and dusky Night, and those whom the briny Sea brought forth. And declare ye how in the beginning Gods and Earth came into being, and Rivers and the infinite Sea with raging flood, and the shining Stars, and the wide Heaven above, and the gods which sprang from them, givers of good things: and how they divided their wealth, and how they apportioned their honours; yea, and how at the first they possessed them of many-folded Olympos. These things even from the beginning declare ye unto me, O Muses who dwell in the halls of Olympos, and tell me which of them was first created.
First verily was created Chaos, and then broad-bosomed Earth, the habitation unshaken for ever of all the deathless gods who keep the top of snowy Olympos, and misty Tartaros within the wide-wayed Earth, and Love (Eros) which is the fairest among the deathless gods: which looseth the limbs and overcometh within the breasts of all gods and all men their mind and counsel wise.
From Chaos sprang Erebos and black Night: and from Night in turn sprang Bright Sky (Ether) and Day whom Night conceived and bare after loving union with Erebos. And Earth first bare the starry Heaven, of equal stature to herself, that he might cover her utterly about, to the end that there might be for the blessed gods an habitation steadfast for ever. And she bare the lofty Hills, the pleasant haunts of the goddess Nymphs which dwell among the gladed Hills. Also she bare the unharvested deep with raging flood, T132-157even the Sea (Pontos), without the sweet rites of love. And then in the bed of Heaven (Uranus) she bare the deep-eddying Okeanos, and Koios, and Krios, and Hyperion, and Iapetos, and Theia, and Rhea, and Themis, and Mnemosyne, and Thebe of the golden crown, and lovely Tethys. And after these was born her youngest son, even Kronos of crooked counsels, of all her children most terrible, and he hated his lusty Sire.
And again she bare the Kyklopes of overweening heart—Brontes and Steropes, and stout-hearted Arges; which gave to Zeus thunder and fashioned for him the thunderbolt. Now they in all else were like unto the gods, but one only eye was set in the midst of their forehead. These were mortal sons of immortals, of human speech, and Kyklopes was the name whereby they were called, because one round eye was set in their forehead: strength and violence and craft were in their works.
And again there were born of Earth and Heaven three sons mighty and strong beyond naming, Kottos and Briareos and Gyes, children proud. These had a hundred arms shooting from their shoulders, unapproachable, and each fifty heads growing from their shoulders on stout limbs: and unapproachable was the mighty strength which clothed their giant stature. For of all the sons of Earth and Heaven these were the most terrible, and they were hated of their Sire from the beginning; and so soon as any of his sons were born, he would hide them every one in T157-184a covert of Earth and allow them not to rise up into light, and he rejoiced in his evil work. But giant Earth was straitened, and groaned within her, and she devised a crafty device. Straightway she created the breed of grey adamant, and fashioned a mighty sickle, and showed the matter unto her dear children, and spake enheartening them, though her own heart was smitten with anguish.
‘Sons mine, and of a sinful father, if ye will hearken to me, we would avenge the evil entreatment of your father: for he first devised unseemly deeds.’ So she spake: and fear seized them all, and none spake a word. But mighty Kronos of the crooked counsels took heart and answered his good mother, saying: ‘Mother, I would undertake and fulfil this deed, since I reck not of our father of evil name: for he first devised unseemly deeds.’
So he spake, and giant Earth rejoiced greatly in her heart, and she set and hid him in an ambush, and put in his hands a sickle of jagged teeth, and put in his heart all manner of guile. Now mighty Heaven came bringing on Night, and yearning for love he laid him about Earth and stretched him all about her. Then from his ambush his son reached forth his left hand, and in his right he took the jagged sickle, long, of jagged teeth, and speedily he shore away his own father’s privy parts, and cast them to the winds behind him. And not vainly did they fall from his hands. For all the bloody drops that were sped from his hand did Earth receive, and with the circling seasons she T185-210bare the strong Erinyes and the mighty Giants, shining in their armour and holding long spears in their hands, and the Nymphs whom men call the Meliai over the limitless earth. And even as at first he cut off the privy parts with the adamant and hurled them from the mainland into the foaming sea, even so were they borne over the sea for a long time, and from the flesh immortal a white foam arose around it, and therein a maiden grew. And first she came nigh unto holy Kythera, whence next she came to sea-girt Kypros. And she came forth as a reverend goddess beautiful, and around her the grass waxed under her tender feet. Her do gods and men call Aphrodite, the foam-born goddess and fair-crowned Kythereia; for that she was nurtured in foam: and Kythereia because she had chanced upon Kythera: and Kypros-born because she was born in sea-washed Kypros; also ϕιλομμηδής for that she was born of μήδεα. And with her followed Love (Eros), and fair Desire, both at her birth in the beginning, and when she entered into the company of the gods. And this honour she hath from the beginning, and this fate hath she allotted her among men, and among the deathless gods, even dalliance of maidens, and smiles, and deceits, and sweet delight, and love, and kindliness.
But those children, whom he had himself begotten, mighty Heaven called Titans, naming them reproachfully: for he said that by straining (τιταίνοντας) in their folly they had wrought an awful deed, wherefor there should be vengeance afterward.
And hateful Strife bare painful Toil, and Oblivion, and Famine, and tearful Griefs, and Wars, and Battles, and Murders, and Manslayings, and Quarrels, and False Speeches, and Disputes, and Lawlessness, and Ruin (Ate), of one character with one another, and Horkos, which most afflicteth men on Earth, when any of his will sweareth falsely.
And the Sea (Pontos) begat as the eldest of his children Nereus, who cannot lie and whose words are truth: and him men call the Old Man, for as much as he is soothspeaking, and is kind, and forgetteth not the judgements of righteousness, but knoweth counsels just and kind. Again mighty Thaumas did the Sea beget in union with Earth, and lordly Phorkys, and T238-269fair-cheeked Keto, and Eurybia, whose heart within her breast is of adamant.
And of Nereus and fair-tressed Doris, daughter of Okeanos, that perfect stream, were born in the unharvested sea Protho, and Eukrante, and Sao, and Amphitrite, and Eudora, and Thetis, and Galene, and Glauke, and Kymothea, and swift Speio, and lovely Thalia, and gracious Melite, and Eulimine, and Agave, and Pasithea, and Erato, and Eunike rosy-armed, and Doto, and Proto, and Pherusa, and Dynamene, and Nesaia, and Aktaia, and Protomedeia: Doris, and Panope, and fair Galatea, and lovely Hippothea, and rosyarmed Hipponoe, and Kymodoke, which, with Kymatolege and fair-ankled Amphitrite, lightly assuageth the waves upon the misty sea and the blasts of the raging winds; and Kymo, and Eione, and fair-crowned Halimede, and laughter-loving Glaukonome, and Pontoporea, and Leagore, and Evagore, and Laomedea, and Poulynoe, and Antonoe, and Lysianassa, and Evarne, lovely of form and fair of mien: and Psamathe, of gracious form, and divine Menippe, and Neso, and Eupompe, and Themisto, and Pronoe, and Nemertes, which hath the wisdom of her immortal sire. These were the fifty daughters of blameless Nereus, maidens skilled in noble handiwork.
And Thaumas wedded Elektra, daughter of deep-flowing Okeanos: and she bare swift Iris and the fair-tressed Harpies, Aello and Okypete, which follow on swift wings the winds and the birds: for swift as time they speed.
And Chrysaor begat three-headed Geryoneus in union with Kallirrhoe, daughter of glorious Okeanos. And him did mighty Herakles slay beside his kine of trailing gait, in sea-girt Erytheia, on that day when he drave his broad-browed kine unto holy Tiryns, crossing the stream of Okeanos, and slew Orthos and the herdsman Eurytion in their misty steading beyond glorious Okeanos.
And she (Kallirrhoe) bare yet another birth, huge, monstrous, no wise like to mortal men or to the deathless T296-319gods, within a hollow cave, even the divine Echidna, stubborn-hearted: half a fair-cheeked nymph of glancing eyes, and half a monstrous serpent terrible and great, spotted, ravenous, beneath the coverts of the holy earth. And there is her cave beneath, under a hollow rock, afar from deathless gods and mortal men, where the gods appointed her a glorious habitation wherein to dwell: and under earth she hath Einarima in her keeping—dread Echidna, a nymph deathless and ageless for evermore.
With her they say Typhaon met in loving union, a dread and blustering Wind with a bright-eyed maid. And she conceived, and bare stout-hearted children. First Orthos she bare to be the dog of Geryoneus: and next again she bare a monster unspeakable, even the ravenous Kerberos, the brazen-tongued hound of Hades, with fifty heads, shameless and strong. And third she bare the baleful Lernaean Hydra, which the goddess Hera of the white arms nurtured, in wrath insatiable against mighty Herakles. And her did the Son of Zeus, even Herakles of the house of Amphitryon, slay with the pitiless bronze, aided by Iolaos dear to Ares, by the devising of Athene, driver of the spoil.
But Echidna bare Chimaira, whose breath was raging fire, terrible and mighty, swift of foot and strong. And she had three heads: one the head of a fierce-eyed lion, the other of a goat, the other of a snake, even a mighty dragon. In front she was a lion, behind a dragon, in the midst a goat, breathing T319-351the terrible might of blazing fire. Her did Pegasos with goodly Bellerophon slay; and she bare the deadly Sphinx to be the bane of the Kadmeans, in union with Orthos; also the Nemean lion which Hera, the glorious spouse of Zeus, nurtured and established on the hills of Nemea to be the bane of men. There he preyed on the tribes of her own people, lording it over Tretos in the land of Nemea and over Apesas. But the might of strong Herakles overcame him.
And Keto, in loving union with Phorkys, bare as her youngest child the dread serpent who in the secret places of the dark earth guards in his mighty coils the all golden apples. Such is the race sprung from Keto and Phorkys.
And Tethys bare to Okeanos the eddying Rivers, Neilos and Alpheios and deep-eddying Eridanos and Strymon and Maiander, and fair-flowing Ister, and Phasis, and Rhesos, and silver-eddying Acheloos, and Nessos and Rhodios, and Haliakmon, and Heptaporos, and Granikos, and Aisepos, and Simois divine, and Peneus, and Hermos, and fair-flowing Kaikos, and mighty Sangarios, and Ladon, and Parthenios, and Evenos, and Ardeskos, and divine Skamander.
Also she bare the holy race of her daughters who over the earth, together with Prince Apollo and the Rivers, have young men in their keeping: this is their privilege appointed them of Zeus: even Peitho and Admete, and Ianthe, and Elektra, and Doris, and Prymno, and godlike Urania, and Hippo, and Klymene, T351-379and Rhodeia, and Kallirrhoe, and Zeuxo, and Klytia, and Eiduia, and Pasithoe, and Plexaura, and Galaxaura, and lovely Dione and Melobosis, and Thoe, and fair Polydora, and Kerkeis of lovely form, and large-eyed Plouto, and Perseis, and Ianeira, and Akaste, and Xanthe, and lovely Petraia, and Menesto, and Europa, and Metis, and Eurynome, and saffron-robed Telesto, and Kreneis, and Asia, and charming Kalypso, and Eudora, and Tyche, and Amphiro, and Okyrrhoe, and Styx, which is the most excellent of them all.
These were the eldest-born daughters of Okeanos and Tethys: yet there be many others. For thrice a thousand fine-ankled Ocean nymphs there be, who scattered abroad, everywhere alike, tend the earth and the depths of the mere, glorious children of goddesses. And as many rivers again there be that flow with gurgling din, sons of Okeanos, born of queenly Tethys: whose names it were hard for mortal man to tell: but those who dwell by each know them every one.
And Theia, in loving union with Hyperion, bare Helios, and bright Selene, and Eos, which giveth light to all men upon the earth and to the deathless gods who keep the wide heaven.
And Eurybia, that bright goddess, in loving union with Krios, bare to him mighty Astraios, and Pallas, and Perses, who was eminent among all men for understanding.
And to Astraios Dawn bare the strong-souled Winds, Argestes, Zephyros, and Boreas of the swift path, T380-405and Notos—a goddess joined in loving union with a god. And after them Dawn, the early born, bare the Morning Star, and the shining constellations wherewith the heaven is crowned.
And Styx, daughter of Okeanos, in union with Pallas, bare Zelos and fair-ankled Nike in his halls, and Kratos and Bia, glorious children: which have no house apart from Zeus, nor any habitation, neither any path save that wherein God guideth them: but evermore they are established in the house of Zeus the Thunderer. For so did immortal Styx, the daughter of Okeanos, devise on that day when the Olympian, the Lord of Lightning, summoned all the deathless gods to high Olympos, and declared that whosoever of the gods should fight with him against the Titans, him would he not eject from his rights, but each should have the honour he had aforetime amid the deathless gods: and whoso had been deprived of honour and of rights by Kronos, him would he establish in honour and rights even as is meet. And first came immortal Styx, the daughter of Okeanos, unto Olympos with her children, through the counsels of her dear father. And Zeus honoured her and gave her gifts exceeding great. For he made herself to be the mighty oath of the gods, and her children he made to dwell with himself for evermore. And even so, as he promised, so unto all he fulfilled utterly: and himself he greatly beareth sway and ruleth them.
And Phoibe in turn came into the lovely bed of Koios. And the goddess, in loving union with a god, T405-434conceived and bare dark-robed Leto, gentle evermore, kind to men and to the deathless gods, gentle even from the beginning, gentlest of all gods within Olympos.
And she bare fair-named Asteria, whom on a day Perses led to his great home to be called his dear bride. And she conceived and bare Hekate, whom Zeus the Son of Kronos honoured above all others, and he gave her splendid gifts, to have her share of earth and of the unharvested sea. Yea, she got honour beneath the starry heaven, and among the deathless gods she is honoured in the highest: yea, for even now when any among men on earth doeth fair sacrifice and prayeth duly, he calleth upon Hekate: and much honour lightly followeth him whose prayer the goddess will heartily receive. Yea, and she vouchsafeth him prosperity since she hath the power. For of all them that were born of Earth and Heaven, and gat honour, of all those hath she the lot, and the Son of Kronos did her no violence nor took away aught that she had obtained among the elder Titan gods, but even as things were divided at first from the beginning, she keepeth her right on earth and in heaven and in the sea. Neither had the goddess less honour because she was an only child, but far more, since Zeus doth honour her. Whom she will, she greatly helpeth and greatly profiteth: and whom she will, eminent is he among the people in assembly. And when men are arming them for destroying war, then the goddess cometh graciously to grant victory unto whom she will, and to give them glory. Also in judgement she T434-460sitteth by reverend kings. Good, too, is she when men contend in games: there also is the goddess very present unto men and blesseth them. And he who by his might and his strength winneth the fair prize, lightly carrieth it away, and with his own joy bringeth honour to his parents. And good, too, is she to stand by horsemen, by whom she will, and to them who labour the stormy grey sea and pray to Hekate and the loudrumbling Shaker of the Earth, the glorious goddess lightly vouchsafeth much prey and lightly taketh it from before their eyes, if so she will. Good, too, is she in a steading to bless the flocks along with Hermes. The herds of cattle and the droves of sheep, and the wide-ranging flocks of goats, and the flocks of fleecy sheep, if so she will, she maketh strong from being small or small from being great. So, albeit she is her mother’s only child, she is honoured with privileges amid all the immortals. And the Son of Kronos made her a nurse of children, even of all who after her beheld with their eyes the light of Eos, who seeth many things. So from the beginning she is a nurse of children, and these are her honours.
And Rhea, in union with Kronos, bare glorious children, Hestia, and Demeter, and golden-sandalled Hera, and strong Hades, who dwelleth under earth, whose heart is pitiless; and the loud-rumbling Shaker of the Earth, and Zeus the Counsellor, Father of gods and men, by whose thunder the broad earth is shaken. And these did mighty Kronos swallow, even as each came forth from the holy womb to his mother’s knees, T461-487with this design, that none other of the glorious sons of Heaven should hold the kingly honour among the immortals. For he learned from Earth and starry Heaven that it was fated him to be overcome by his own son, for all his strength, through the decrees of mighty Zeus. Wherefore he kept no blind ward, but watched and swallowed his own children. And unforgettable sorrow gat hold of Rhea. But when she was about to bring forth Zeus, the Father of gods and men, then she besought her dear parents, even Earth and starry Heaven, to devise counsel with her, how she might privily bring forth her dear son, and avenge herself on the Erinyes of his father, for the children whom mighty Kronos of the crooked counsels had devoured. And they hearkened eagerly to their dear daughter and obeyed her, and they told her all that was fated to happen in regard to Kronos the king and his stout-hearted son. And they conveyed her unto Lyktos, unto the rich land of Krete, when she was about to bring forth the youngest of her children, even mighty Zeus. And him did mighty Earth take from her hands to rear him and foster him in broad Krete. Thither came she bearing him through the swift black night, unto Lyktos first. And she took him in her arms and hid him in a lofty cave, under the secret places of the earth divine, even on the hill Aigaion, sheltered and wooded. And when she had swaddled a great stone, she gave it unto him, even to the mighty king, the son of Heaven, the former king of the gods. And he took it in his hands and put it in his belly, T488-514wretch who knew not in his breast that in place of the stone his son was left behind, unmoved and unvexed, who should anon overcome him by might and violent hands, and drive him from his office, and himself bear sway amid the deathless gods.
And the spirit and glorious limbs of that prince waxed speedily. And as the seasons revolved, mighty Kronos of crooked counsels was beguiled by the cunning suggestions of Earth to render up again his own offspring, overcome by the might and craft of his own son. And first he vomited forth the stone which he had swallowed last. And that stone Zeus set in the wide-wayed earth in goodly Pytho, in the glens of Parnassos, to be a sign in the aftertime, a marvel to mortal men.
And he loosed his father’s brethren from their deadly bonds, even the sons of Heaven, whom his father had bound in his foolishness. And they remembered to be grateful for his good services, and gave him thunder and the smoking thunderbolt and lightning: but hitherto mighty Earth had hidden them: trusting in these he ruleth mortals and immortals.
And Iapetos wedded the maiden Klymene, the fairankled daughter of Okeanos, and entered one bed with her. And she bare him a stout-hearted son, even Atlas, and she bare Menoitios of exceeding glory, and crafty Prometheus of shifty counsels, and Epimetheus of erring wits, who was the origin of evil for men who live by bread. For he it was who first received from Zeus the woman he had fashioned. But Menoitios T514-540was a man of insolence, and Zeus of the far-seeing eyes smote him with a smoking thunderbolt, and sent him down to Erebos by reason of his foolishness and overweening pride. And Atlas by dire constraint keepeth the broad heaven, at the ends of the earth, before the clear-voiced Hesperides, standing upright, with head and hands unwearied. For this doom did Zeus the Counsellor appoint unto him. And he bound Prometheus of cunning counsel in fetters unescapeable, even in grievous bonds driven through the middle of a pillar, and sent against him a long-winged eagle. And the eagle devoured his liver evermore, and by night his liver grew in all wise as much as the long-winged bird devoured all day. It did the valiant son of fair-ankled Alkmene slay, even Herakles, and warded off the dread plague from the son of Iapetos, and loosed him from his agony, not without the will of Olympian Zeus who ruleth on high, to the end that the honour of the Theban-born Herakles might be yet greater than aforetime over the bounteous earth. Having regard unto these things did Zeus honour his glorious son. Wroth though he was, he ceased from the anger which before possessed him because he had matched his counsel against the mighty Son of Kronos. For what time the gods and mortal men were contending at Mekone, he with willing heart cut up a mighty ox and set it before them, deceiving the mind of Zeus. For he set for them the flesh and the inmeats with rich fat upon a hide, and covered them with an ox paunch; but for Zeus he set the white T540-565bones, craftily arraying them, and covering them with glistening fat.
Then the Father of gods and men spake unto him: ‘Son of Iapetos, most notable of all princes, how unfairly, O fond! hast thou divided the portions!’
So spake Zeus, who knoweth counsels imperishable, and mocked him. Then spake to him in turn Prometheus of crooked counsels, smiling quietly, but forgetting not his crafty guile: ‘Zeus, most glorious, mightiest of the everlasting gods, of these portions choose whichever thy soul within thy breast biddeth thee.’
So spake he with crafty intent. But Zeus, who knoweth counsels imperishable, knew and failed not to remark the guile; and in his heart he boded evil things for mortal men, which were destined to be fulfilled. With both his hands he lifted up the white fat. And he was angered in his heart and wrath came about his soul when he beheld the white bones of the ox given him in crafty guile. And thenceforth do the tribes of men on earth burn white bones to the immortals upon fragrant altars. Then heavily moved, Zeus the Cloud Gatherer spake unto him: ‘Son of Iapetos, who knowest counsels beyond all others, O fond! thou hast not yet forgotten thy crafty guile.’
So in anger spake Zeus, who knoweth counsels imperishable. And thenceforward, remembering ever more that guile, he gave not the might of blazing fire to wretched mortals who dwell upon the earth. But T565-590the good son of Iapetos deceived him and stole the far-seen gleam of unwearied fire in a hollow fennel stalk, and stung to the depths the heart of Zeus who thundereth on high, and angered his dear heart when he beheld among men the far-shining gleam of fire. And straightway for fire he devised evil for men. The glorious Lame One fashioned of earth the likeness of a modest maiden as the Son of Kronos devised. And the goddess grey-eyed Athene girdled her and arrayed her in shining raiment: and over her head she cast with her hands a cunningly-fashioned veil, a marvel to behold; and about her head Pallas Athene set lovely garlands, even wreaths of fresh grass and green. And about her head she set a diadem of gold, which the glorious Lame God wrought himself and fashioned with his hands, doing pleasure unto Father Zeus. And therein were wrought many cunningly-fashioned beasts, a marvel to behold, even all the beasts that the land nurtures, full many as they be, and all the creatures of the sea. Thereof he set therein a great multitude—and grace abounding gleamed from it—marvellous, like unto voiced living things.
Now when he had fashioned the beautiful bane in the place of a blessing, he led her forth where were the other gods and men, glorying in the bravery of the grey-eyed daughter of a mighty sire. And amazement held immortal gods and mortal men, when they beheld the sheer delusion unescapeable for men.
For from her cometh the race of woman-kind. T591-618Yea, of her is the deadly race and the tribes of women. A great bane are they to dwell among mortal men, no help-meet for ruinous poverty, but for abundance. And as in roofed hives bees feed the drones which are conversant with the deeds of evil: all day long unto the going down of the sun the bees busy them in the daytime, and store the white honeycomb, while the drones abide within the roofed hives and gather the labour of others into their own bellies; even so Zeus, who thundereth on high, made women to be the bane of men, to be conversant with the deeds of evil: and in place of a good thing he gave them a second evil. Whose fleeth marriage and the woeful works of women, and willeth not to marry, and cometh unto deadly old with lack of one to tend his old age, he hath no lack of livelihood while he liveth: but when he dieth, his kinsmen divide his possessions. But whose partaketh of the lot of marriage, and getteth a good wife congenial to his mind, for him evermore evil contendeth with good. For whosoever hath gotten an evil family, he hath unabating grief within his breast in heart and soul while he liveth; and it is an evil thing beyond remede.
So surely is it not possible to deceive or outwit the mind of Zeus. For not even the son of Iapetos, kindly Prometheus, escaped his heavy anger, but perforce strong bondage stayed him for all his great cunning.
And when first the Father was angered in his heart against Briareos and Kottos and Gyes, he bound T618-647them in strong bondage, being jealous of their overweening manhood and beauty and stature, and made them to dwell under the wide-wayed earth. There they were set in the uttermost parts, at the bounds of the great earth, dwelling underground, in great tribulation, for a long space, in dire grief, having great sorrow in their hearts. But the Son of Kronos and the other deathless gods whom fair-tressed Rhea bare in wedlock with Kronos brought them by the devising of Earth back again into light. For Earth herself declared all things unto them, even that with those to help they should win victory and glorious success. For long time were they fighting with grievous toil, the Titan gods and the gods that were sprung from Kronos, against each other in grievous war, the proud Titans from lofty Othrys and the gods from Olympos, givers of good things, whom fair-tressed Rhea bare in the bed of Kronos. These then in grievous battle fought against each other for ten full years continually, and there was no resolving of their bitter strife, nor any end for either, but the issue of war hung in the balance. But when the son of Kronos had given them all things meet, even nectar and ambrosia which the gods themselves eat, the lordly spirit of them all waxed in their breasts. And when they had tasted ambrosia and lovely nectar, then the father of men and gods spake amongst them: ‘Hear me, glorious children of Earth and Heaven, that I may tell the things which my heart in my breast biddeth me. Already for a very long time we have fought against each other every day for T647-676victory and mastery, we the sons of Kronos and the Titan gods. Shew ye your mighty strength and hands invincible to the Titans face to face in grievous battle, remembering our lovingkindness—even after what sufferings ye came back again into light from grievous bondage, out of the misty darkness, through our devising.’
So he spake, and noble Kottos answered him again: ‘Lord, things not unknown to us dost thou declare. Nay, we ourselves know that thy mind and thy thoughts are beyond all others, and thou didst ward off from the deathless gods chilly doom; and it was by thy devising that we came back again from unkindly bondage beneath the misty darkness, O King, son of Kronos, when we had suffered things beyond hope. Wherefore also now, with steadfast mind and wise counsel, we shall succour your Majesty in dread battle, fighting with the Titans in stout strife.’
So he spake; and the gods, givers of good things, applauded, when they heard his words. And their souls yearned for war yet more than afore. And battle unenviable did they all arouse, male and female alike, on that day: both the Titan gods and the children of Kronos, and those whom Zeus brought into light from Erebos beneath the earth, terrible and strong, of exceeding might, who all alike had a hundred hands shooting from their shoulders and each fifty heads growing from their shoulders on stout frames. And when they stood against the Titans in baleful strife, with sheer rocks in their stout hands, and the T676-703Titans on the other side eagerly strengthened their ranks, and these and those together showed forth the work of their hands and their might, the boundless sea roared terribly around them, and the earth crashed aloud, and the wide heaven groaned as it was shaken, and high Olympos was shaken from its foundations at the onset of the immortals, and a grievous convulsion came on misty Tartaros, and the sheer din of their feet in onset unspeakable and noise of mighty blows: so they hurled against one another their grievous shafts. And the voices of either side came unto the starry heaven as they shouted. And they came together with a mighty din. Nor did Zeus any longer restrain his soul, but straightway his mind was filled with fury and he showed forth all his might. And from heaven and from Olympos he came to join them, lightening as he came. And his bolts flew near at hand with thunder and with lightning, thick bolts from his strong hand rolling a holy flame; and around the life-giving earth crashed as it burned, and the infinite wood cried aloud with fire. And the whole earth boiled, and the streams of Okeanos, and the unharvested sea: and the hot breath beset the Titans from under earth, and infinite flame came unto the holy ether, and the flashing glare of thunderbolt and lightning robbed their eyes of sight, albeit they were strong. And a wondrous heat beset Chaos. And it seemed, to see with the eyes and to hear the din with the ears, as if Earth and the wide Heaven above drew nigh to one another. For such a mighty din would have arisen if T704-731earth were ruining and heaven above hurling it to ruin. Such was the din when the gods met in strife.
And the winds stirred up convulsion and dust, and thunder and lightning and smoking thunderbolt, the shafts of mighty Zeus, and they carried the war-cry and the shouting into the midst of the two hosts, and din insatiable of terrible strife arose, and mighty deeds were displayed, and the battle inclined. Hitherto they had held at one another and fought unceasingly in stout battle.
And amid the foremost Kottos and Briareos and Gyes, insatiate of war, awoke bitter battle: who hurled in quick succession three hundred rocks from their stout hands, and overshadowed the Titans with their shafts, and sent them beneath the wide-wayed earth, and bound them in grievous bonds, overcoming them with their hands for all that their spirit was exceeding proud: as far beneath the earth as the heaven is high above the earth: for even so far is it from earth to misty Tartaros. If an anvil of bronze were to fall from heaven for nine nights and nine days, on the tenth day it would come to earth: and again if an anvil of bronze were to descend from earth for nine days and nine nights, on the tenth it would come to Tartaros, round which is drawn a fence of bronze. And about it round the neck thereof Night is spread in three lines, while above grow the roots of earth and the unharvested sea. There the Titan gods are hidden under the misty darkness by the decrees of Zeus the Cloud Gatherer, in a dank place, at the verge of the giant T731-759earth. And they may not come forth: for Poseidon hath set thereto gates of bronze, and a wall runs round on either side. There Gyes, and Kottos, and greathearted Briareos dwell, the faithful watchers of Aegisbearing Zeus. And there are the springs and the ends of dusky earth, and of misty Tartaros, and of the unharvested sea, and of starry heaven, all in order, dank and terrible, which even the gods abhor: a mighty chasm: if a man once came within the gates thereof, not till the end of a whole year would he reach the ground, but this way and that grievous whirlwind on grievous whirlwind would carry him. A dread portent is this even to the deathless gods. And there stand the terrible habitations of murky Night, shrouded in dark clouds.
In front of these the son of Iapetos stands, holding steadfastly the wide heaven with head and hands unwearied, where Night and Day meet and greet one another as they pass the great threshold of bronze. One goeth down within, the other cometh forth, and at no time doth their habitation have them both within, but evermore one of them is forth of the house and wheeleth over earth, while the other abideth within the house and awaiteth the coming of her time for going forth: the one holding in her hands all-seeing light for men on earth; the other, even baleful Night, shrouded in misty cloud, holding in her hands Sleep, the brother of Death.
And there the children of dusky Night have their habitations: even the dread gods, Sleep and Death; T759-787on them the bright Sun never looketh with his rays, either when he goeth up into the heavens or when he cometh down. Of them the one fareth over earth and the broad back of the sea, peaceful and kindly unto men. But the other hath a heart of iron, and brazen and pitiless is the soul within his breast. Whomsoever among men he once hath seized, he keepeth: and he is hated even of the deathless gods.
There in front stand the echoing halls of the god of the underworld, of strong Hades and dread Persephone. And a dread dog keepeth watch before them; pitiless is he and he hath an evil guile. On them who enter he fawneth with his tail and with both his ears: but to come forth again he alloweth none, but keepeth watch and devoureth whomsoever he catcheth coming forth from the gates of strong Hades and dread Persephone.
And there dwelleth a goddess hated of the deathless gods, even dread Styx, eldest daughter of backward-flowing Okeanos. Apart from the gods she hath her glorious habitation, roofed with great rocks, and reared to heaven with silver pillars all around. Seldom doth swift-footed Iris, the daughter of Thaumas, fare thither with a message over the broad back of the sea, even what time strife and quarrel arise among the immortals. And if any of the dwellers in the halls of Olympos speaketh falsely, then Zeus sendeth Iris to bring from afar in a golden ewer the great Oath of the Gods, that famous water chill, which floweth from a sheer high rock. Far under the wide-wayed earth it T788-815floweth through black night, a horn of the holy river of Okeanos, whereof a tenth part is allotted to Styx. In nine silver eddying streams he coileth about earth and the broad back of the sea, and falleth into the deep; but this one floweth forth from a rock to be a great bane to the gods. Whosoever of the immortals who hold the top of snowy Olympos maketh libation and sweareth falsely, lieth breathless till a year be fulfilled. And he never draweth nigh to eat of ambrosia and nectar, but breathless and speechless he lieth on a strewnbed, and an evil stupor covereth him. But when he hath fulfilled his disease for a great year, another and another more grievous ideal awaiteth him, and for nine years he is separated from the everlasting gods, and never cometh to their councils or their feasts for nine whole years: but in the tenth year he entereth again the assemblies of the immortals who hold the halls of Olympos. Such an oath did the gods appoint the water of the Styx to be, the water imperishable, primeval, which poureth through a rugged place.
And there are the springs and ends of dusky earth, and of misty Tartaros and of the unharvested sea, and of starry heaven, all in order, dank and terrible, which even the gods abhor. And there are the shining gates and threshold of bronze unshakeable, of natural growth, fitted with roots which pierce right through the earth. And in front, apart from all the gods, dwell the Titans, on the further side of darksome Chaos.
But the glorious allies of Zeus the Thunderer have T816-843their homes beside the foundations of Okeanos, even Kottos and Gyes: but Briareos, a goodly wight, did the deep-voiced Shaker of the Earth make his son-by-marriage, and gave him Kymopoleia to wife, even his own daughter.
Now when Zeus had driven the Titans from heaven, great Earth bare her youngest son, Typhoeus, in loving union with Tartaros, by grace of golden Aphrodite: his hands are busy with the works of strength, and unwearied are the mighty god’s feet: and from his shoulders grew a hundred serpent heads, heads of a dread dragon that licked with dusky tongues, and from the eyes of his wondrous heads fire flashed beneath his brows, and from all his heads fire burned as he glared. And in all his terrible heads were voices that uttered all manner of cries unspeakable. Sometimes they uttered such sounds as the gods might understand: anon the roar of a bellowing bull, proud and untameable of spirit: sometimes, again, the roaring of a lion of dauntless heart: sometimes noises as of whelps, wondrous to hear: and anon he would hiss, and the high hills echoed to the sound. And now would a work beyond remede have been wrought on that day, and he would have been king of mortals and immortals, had not the Father of men and gods been swift to mark. Hard and strongly he thundered, and the earth around rang terribly, and the wide heaven above, and the sea and the streams of Okeanos and Tartaros under earth. And under the immortal feet of the King in his onset great Olympos was shaken, and the earth groaned. T844-870And by reason of them both heat possessed the violet sea, even the heat of the thunder and the lightning and the fire from that monster, of lightnings and winds and flaming thunderbolt. And the whole earth seethed, and the heavens, and the sea: and round and about the shores the long waves raged at the onset of the immortals, and unquenchable convulsion arose. Hades trembled, the lord of the dead below, and the Titans under Tartaros, who dwell beside Kronos, at the unquenchable din and dread strife. But when Zeus had arrayed his might, and seized his arms, the thunder and the lightning and the smoking thunderbolt, he leapt upon him from Olympos and smote him, and all around he scorched the wondrous heads of the dread monster. But when he had scourged him with stripes and overcome him, Typhoeus fell lamed, and the mighty earth groaned. And as that prince was stricken with the thunderbolt, the flame spread abroad in the dim rocky mountain glens as he was smitten; and great space of the giant earth was burnt by the awful breath, and melted even as tin melteth when heated by the craft of men and the well-bored crucible, or as iron, which is the strongest of metals, is overcome by blazing fire in the mountain glens, and melted in the holy earth by the hands of Hephaistos: even so the earth was melted by the blaze of burning fire. And in the vexation of his heart he hurled him into broad Tartaros.
And from Typhoeus springeth the fury of the moistblowing Winds, save Notos and Boreas and Argestes T870-899and Zephyros. These are of the race of the gods, a great boon to mortal men. But the others are random winds blowing fitfully upon the sea: they fall upon the misty deep, a great bane to mortal men, and rage with evil tempest. Different at different times they blow, and scatter ships and destroy sailors. And there is no defence against woe for men who meet those winds upon the deep. And those again over the infinite flowery earth destroy the pleasant works of earth-born men, filling them with dust and grievous turmoil.
Now when the gods had made an end of their toil, and had decided the issue of honours with the Titans, then, by suggestion of Earth, they urged Zeus of the wide-seeing eyes, the Lord of Olympos, to be King and Ruler of the immortals. And he apportioned unto them their honours.
And Zeus the king of the gods first took to wife Metis, who of all gods and mortal men knoweth most. But when she was about to bear the goddess grey-eyed Athene, then he craftily deceived her mind with cunning words, and by the advising of Earth and starry Heaven he put her in his own belly. For so they told him to do, that none other should have the kingship of the everlasting gods instead of Zeus. For of her it was destined that children of exceeding wisdom should be born: first the maiden grey-eyed Tritogeneia, peer of her father in spirit and wise counsel; and next she was destined to bear a son to be king of gods and men, one with overweening heart. But ere T899-925that Zeus put her in his belly that the goddess might devise good and evil.
Next he wedded bright Themis, who bare the Hours (Horai), even Good Government (Eunomia), and Justice (Dike), and blooming Peace (Eirene), who care for the works of mortal men, and the Fates (Moirai), unto whom Zeus the Counsellor hath given honour in the highest, Klotho, and Lachesis, and Atropos, which give mortal men to have good or evil.
And Eurynome, the lovely daughter of Okeanos, bare to him the three fair-cheeked Graces, Aglaia and Euphrosyne and lovely Thalia, from whose eyes as they looked flowed love, which looseth the limbs, and beautifully they glance beneath their brows.
And he came into the bed of bountiful Demeter, who bare white-armed Persephone, whom Aidoneus snatched from her mother: for Zeus the Counsellor gave her unto him.
And again he loved fair-tressed Mnemosyne, of whom were born unto him the nine Muses golden crowned, with whom mirth and the delight of song have found favour.
And Leto bare Apollo and archer Artemis, a birth lovely beyond all the Sons of Heaven, in loving union with Zeus, the Lord of the Aegis.
Lastly, Hera did he make his blooming bride. And she bare Hebe, and Ares, and Eileithuia, in loving union with the king of gods and men.
And himself from his own head brought forth greyeyed Tritogeneia, a dread goddess, wakener of battle T925-949din and driver of the host, the unwearied one, sovereign lady, whose pleasure is in din, and war, and battle.
And Hera, without the union of love, bare glorious Hephaistos—(and was wroth and quarrelled with her own lord)—excellent in craft beyond all the Sons of Heaven.
And of Amphitrite and the loud-rumbling Shaker of the Earth was born mighty Triton, who keepeth the bottom of the sea, beside his dear mother and his kingly father, and dwelleth in halls of gold, a dread god. And to Ares, who pierceth shields, Kythereia bare Rout and Fear, awful gods who drive in confusion the thronging ranks of men in chilly war, along with Ares, the sacker of cities; also Harmonia, whom proud Kadmos made his bride.
And unto Zeus did Maia, daughter of Atlas, bear glorious Hermes, the herald of the deathless gods, when she had entered into his holy bed.
And Semele, daughter of Kadmos, in loving union bare to him a glorious son, even joyful Dionysos, mortal mother bearing an immortal son: howbeit now both are divine.
And Alkmene bare mighty Herakles in loving union with Zeus, the Gatherer of the Clouds.
And the glorious Lame One made Aglaia, youngest of the Graces, his blooming bride.
And Dionysos of the golden hair made fair-tressed Ariadne, daughter of Minos, his blooming bride: and her the Son of Kronos made for him deathless and ageless.
And to unwearied Helios did Perseis, glorious daughter of Okeanos, bear Kirke and King Aietes. And Aietes, son of Helios, who giveth light to men, wedded, by devising of the gods, fair-cheeked Iduia, daughter of Okeanos, that perfect stream; and she, in loving union by grace of golden Aphrodite, bare to him fair-ankled Medeia.
Farewell now, ye Dwellers in Olympian halls, and ye Islands and Continents and the briny Sea within.
And now the race of goddesses sing ye, sweet-voiced Muses of Olympos, daughters of Zeus the Lord of the Aegis: even all them that being immortal entered the bed of mortal men and bare children like unto the gods.
Demeter, that bright goddess, lay in loving union with the hero Iasios in a thrice-plowed fallow field, in the fertile land of Krete, and bare goodly Ploutos, who fareth everywhere over the earth and the broad back of the sea; and whom it chanceth, and into whosoever’s hands he cometh, that man he maketh rich, and giveth him much prosperity.
And Harmonia, daughter of golden Aphrodite, bare to Kadmos Ino, and Semele, and fair-cheeked Agave, and Autonoe, whom long-haired Aristaios wedded, and Polydoros, in fair crowned Thebes.
And Eos bare to Tithonos the brazen-mailed warrior, Memnon, King of the Aithiopians, and the prince Emathion. And to Kephalos she bare a glorious son, strong Phaithon, a man like unto the gods: whom while yet a child with childish thoughts, newly come to the fresh, tender flower of glorious youth, laughter-loving Aphrodite caught up and flew away with, and made him keeper by night in her holy shrines, a spirit divine.
And the daughter of Aietes, fosterling of Zeus, did the Son of Aison, by devising of the everlasting gods, lead from the house of Aietes, when he had fulfilled the grievous labours which full many the mighty King laid upon him—even overweening Pelias, insolent, sinful, and of violent deeds. When the Son of Aison had fulfilled these labours, after much tribulation, he came to Iolkos, carrying on a swift ship the bright-eyed maiden, and made her his blooming bride. And she, in wedlock with Iason, the shepherd of the hosts, bare a son Medeios, whom Chiron the son of Philyra reared in the hills: and the purpose of mighty Zeus was fulfilled.
And of the daughters of Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea, Psamathe, that bright goddess, bare Phokos in loving wedlock with Aiakos, by grace of golden T1005-1022Aphrodite; and the goddess Thetis of the silver feet, in wedlock with Peleus, bare Achilles, the breaker of the ranks of men, the lion-hearted.
And fair-crowned Kythereia bare Aineias in sweet wedlock with the hero Anchises, among the peaks of many-folded wooded Ida.
And Kirke, daughter of Helios Hyperion, in loving union with Odysseus of enduring soul, bare Agrios, and Latinos, blameless and strong: also she bare Telegonos, by grace of golden Aphrodite. These, very far away within the holy isles, ruled over all the glorious Tyrrhenians.
And Kalypso, that bright goddess, in loving union, bare to Odysseus Nausithoos and Nausinoos.
These are the immortals who entered the beds of mortal men, and bare children like unto the gods.
And now, sweet-voiced Muses of Olympos, daughters of Zeus the Lord of the Aegis, sing ye the race of women.