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Download The Theogony of Hesiod (Dodo Press) epub

by Hugh G. Evelyn-White,Hesiod

Hesiod was an early Greek poet and rhapsode, who presumably lived around 700 BC. His writings serve as a major source on Greek mythology, farming techniques, archaic Greek astronomy and ancient timekeeping. Of the many works attributed to Hesiod, three survive complete and many more in fragmentary state. They include Alexandrian papyri, some dating from as early as the 1st century BC, and manuscripts written from the eleventh century forward. He wrote a poem of some 800 verses, the Works and Days, which revolves around two general truths: labour is the universal lot of Man, but he who is willing to work will get by. Tradition also attributes the Theogony, a poem which uses the same epic verse-form as the Works and Days, to Hesiod. A short poem traditionally attributed to Hesiod is The Shield of Heracles. Several additional poems were sometimes ascribed to Hesiod: Aegimius, Astrice, Chironis Hypothecae, Idaei Dactyli, Wedding of Ceyx, Great Works (presumably an expanded Works and Days), Great Eoiae (presumably an expanded Catalogue of Women), Melampodia and Ornithomantia.
Download The Theogony of Hesiod (Dodo Press) epub
ISBN: 1409910164
ISBN13: 978-1409910169
Category: History
Subcategory: Historical Study & Educational Resources
Author: Hugh G. Evelyn-White,Hesiod
Language: English
Publisher: Dodo Press (October 24, 2008)
Pages: 48 pages
ePUB size: 1105 kb
FB2 size: 1740 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 907
Other Formats: lrf docx rtf lrf

This is a review of the extensively annotated translation of "Hesiod's Theogony" by Richard S. Caldwell -- just in case, as sometimes happens, it appears with a different translation. For those who are not familiar with it already, this is an account, in Homeric verse, of how the organized universe arose, expressed through generations of gods, their struggles for supremacy, and the culminating triumph of Zeus, with the great Olympians and a multitude of nature-deities listed along the way. Told in noble hexameters, it is an extremely violent story, full of abusive parents, mutilations inflicted by rebellious offspring, divine cannibalism, and a whole succession of other behaviors the Greeks themselves considered repellent. The philosophers had real problems with this work -- one can understand why Plato wanted to ban poets from the ideal state.

As it happens, I own most (but not quite all) of the currently or recently available English translations: those by Apostolos N. Athanassakis, Norman O. Brown, Hugh G. Evelyn-White (bilingual edition, Loeb Classical Library), R.M. Frazer, Richmond Lattimore, Dorothea Wender (Penguin Classics), and M. L. West (Oxford World's Classics). Except for Brown, who also covers only the "Theogony," they all contain at least the other main Hesiodic poem, "Works and Days" as a companion piece. West is also the editor of a Greek text, with extensive commentary. In this crowded field, in which the renderings of Athanassakis and Lattimore are notable for the quality of their poetry, Caldwell stakes a claim to utility.

The introduction contains numerous tables, displaying the relationships of various sets of gods, nymphs, monsters, and others, His translation is set out in verse lines, with running numbers at intervals of five, which makes locating references extremely easy. (No headnotes identifying thirty or fifty-line blocks of material!) An essay on the "Psychology of the Succession Myth" (rather simplistically Freudian, but interesting) is followed by a translation of some the most important related material from "Works and Days," and (hurray) parallel passages from a late prose compendium of Greek mythology, the Bibliotheke of Apollodoros (better known as the "Library of Apollodorus"). He has a useful (if now slightly dated) discussion of the main Near Eastern parallels. (Brown also discusses the comparative and psychological aspects of the poem, from different perspectives; his psychological treatment seems to me subtler, and more closely related to the political reading he offers.) [To be fair, I should have mentioned when this review was originally posted that Caldwell is here offering a simplified form of the argument in his 1985 book "The Origin of the Gods: A Psychoanalytic Study of Greek Theogonic Myth."]

There is a very good index-glossary. Most useful of all, however, are the running annotations. They range from the most elementary (assuming no prior knowledge of Greek myth or literature) to impressively advanced (issues of structure, technique, and deeper meanings). Caldwell explains that he has drawn heavily on West's commentary, which is nice, because West himself incorporated many of his conclusions implicitly in his prose translation, without the arguments that accompanied his text editions.

Given Caldwell's attention to detail, if you are a novice in the field who doesn't plan to build up even a small collection, but is willing to read a single volume with close attention, this might be your best choice. Those who already know the subject are likely to find it attractive, although sorting through such basic reminders as "Zephyros is the west wind, Boreas the north wind" in search of interpretive insights can be a test of patience.
Despite the numerous 5-star reviews here I'm going to have to give this a 3--the translation was just plain hard to read, even though I do like the verse format as opposed to the "paragraph" format. Even the introduction was written in very formal language. I actually bought this edition based on all the perfect ratings here, even though I also wanted to read Works and Days (this edition only has Theogony) and bought another edition that had WD in addition to Theogony. The translation of Theogony in the other edition (West) was so much easier to read. Also, the overabundant footnotes in Caldwell break up the normal reading flow. Too much! I got through it, but it wasn't really fun. And I've recently read the Odyssey, the Iliad, Herodotus, and several other overview books on ancient Greece, so I'm not a total novice here. This edition may be good for the profession but not the enthusiast.
One of history's first books, this tome with Homer's tales was used as reference material for the beginnings of Greek mythology. The numerous annotations help explain that which wasn't obvious, but this edition was rife with spelling errors and needed better proof-reading.
After reading Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, something I've wanted to do for many years, I was intrigued by the backstory of the Greek gods mythology. After doing some research on the available titles, this particular one answered all my questions and more. It was very detailed and offered a lot of good explanatory information on the side.
I purchased this book for a mythology class I am taking. It really worth every penny. Notes are recorded throughout the poem, so if you aren't 100% clear about what a line means or what it is referencing to - you can easily find out. This book is full of great information if you are interested in greek gods and how the world came to be (in the eyes of greeks in the archaic age).
I am hcv men
Prompt, as advertised
The Kindle edition available on this page is different from the one described in the reviews. It's prose (not verse) and contains no supplemental material beyond a simple list of locations mentioned in the text. That said, it's inexpensive and it's readable.