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, 192 pages

1 map

June 2004



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Theogony, Works and Days, Shield

second edition

Hesiod belongs to the transitional period in Greek civilization between the oral tradition and the introduction of a written alphabet. His two major surviving works, the Theogony and the Works and Days, address the divine and the mundane, respectively. The Theogony traces the origins of the Greek gods and recounts the events surrounding the crowning of Zeus as their king. A manual of moral instruction in verse, the Works and Days was addressed to farmers and peasants.

Introducing his celebrated translations of these two poems and of the Shield, a very ancient poem of disputed authorship, Apostolos Athanassakis positions Hesiod simultaneously as a philosopher-poet, a bard with deep roots in the culture of his native Boeotia, and the heir to a long tradition of Hellenic poetry. For this eagerly anticipated revised edition, Athanassakis has provided an expanded introduction on Hesiod and his work, subtly amended his faithful translations, significantly augmented the notes and index, and updated the bibliography. Already a classic, Hesiod: Theogony, Works and Days, Shield is now more valuable than ever for students of Greek mythology and literature.

Apostolos N. Athanassakis holds the James and Sarah Argyropoulos Chair in Hellenic Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Among his many translations is The Homeric Hymns, also available from Johns Hopkins.

"The translations in themselves have the pleasing flow, sound, rhythm, and idiom of good English poetry even though... they follow the original Greek text line by line and adhere closely to its literal meaning."

"Athanassakis provides a readable and stimulating English version... [and] displays a good command of Hesiodic scholarship."

"Athanassakis's notes are informative and interesting, full of cross references to the ancient sources and comparisons to Biblical, Norse, and other sources. His anthropological interest includes and indeed highlights modern Greece... I found his translation of epithets refreshing and intriguing."