Hesiod

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Hesiod

(hē`sēəd, hĕs`–), fl. 8th cent.? B.C., Greek poet. He is thought to have lived later than Homer, but there is no absolute certainty about the dates of his life. Hesiod portrays himself as a Boeotian farmer. Little is known of his life, however, except for the few scant references he makes to his family's origin and to a quarrel over property with his brother. His most famous poem, the didactic Works and Days, is an epic of Greek rural life, filled with caustic advice for his brother and maxims for farmers to pursue. The "days" are days lucky or unlucky for particular tasks. Works and Days discourses on the mythic "five races" (i.e., the five ages) of humans; the Golden Age, ruled by Kronos, a period of serenity, peace, and eternal spring; the Silver Age, ruled by Zeus, less happy, but with luxury prevailing; the Bronze Age, a period of strife; the Heroic Age of the Trojan War; and the Iron Age, the present, when justice and piety had vanished. Hesiod's systemization, especially the idealized Golden Age, became deeply entrenched in the Western imagination and was expanded upon by Ovid. Also ascribed to him are the Theogony, a genealogy of the gods, and the first 56 lines of The Shield of Heracles. He gave his name to the Hesiodic school of poets, rivals of the Homeric school. Homer and Hesiod codified and preserved the myths of many of the Greek gods of the classical pantheon.

Bibliography

See translations by Lattimore (1959, 1991), and R. Lamberton, Hesiod (1988).

Hesiod

 

Dates of birth and death unknown. Ancient Greek poet of the eighth and seventh centuries B.C.

Hesiod’s didactic narrative poems Works and Days and Theogony (Genealogy of the Gods) have been preserved intact. They reflect the view of life held by the Greeks at the time when class society was taking form. In Works and Days, the social attitudes of working farmers, oppressed by the clan aristocracy, are voiced. This is the source of the poem’s denunciation of social inequality, its elevation of justice to the status of highest ethical principle, and the celebration of labor as the basis of life. Along with practical advice on agricultural matters, expressing the life experience and superstitions of rural people, the work contains vivid descriptions of nature, apt proverbs, and parables. The Theogony is a forerunner of ancient Greek philosophy, the first attempt by the Greeks at a systematization not only of the genealogy of the gods but of the origin of the world. The poem concludes with a genealogy of Greek heroines, setting the pattern for the genealogical trend in ancient Greek literature.

WORKS

Hesiodi carmina. Edited by A. Rzach. Leipzig, 1913.
Théogonia. Text verified and translated by P. Mason. Paris, 1951.
Theogony. Edited by M. L. West. Oxford, 1966.
Fragmenta Hesiodea. Edited by R. Merkelbach and M. L. West. Oxford, 1967.
In Russian translation:
In Ellinskie poety v perevodakh V. V. Veresaeva. Moscow, 1963.

REFERENCES

Trencsényi-Waldapfel, I. Gomer i Gesiod. Moscow, 1956. (Translated from Hungarian.)
Radtsig, S. I. Istoriia drevnegrecheskoi literatury, 2nd ed. [Moscow] 1959.
Burn, A. R. The World of Hesiod. London, 1936.
Solmsen, F. Hesiod and Aeschylus. [New York] 1949.
Hésiode et son influence. Geneva-Paris, 1960.

T. V. POPOVA

Hesiod

8th century bc, Greek poet and the earliest author of didactic verse. His two complete extant works are the Works and Days, dealing with the agricultural seasons, and the Theogony, concerning the origin of the world and the genealogies of the gods

Hesiod

(project)
The name server of the Athena project.

References in periodicals archive ?
Likewise, the prefatory text needs authorization; Chapman does that through glossing his own invention with the commonplace formula of 'ut dixit': 'as Hesiodus armes Perseus' and so on.
Caption: The easiest concentric crater to spot telescopically is 15-km-wide Hesiodus A.
Nearby is Hesiodus A, which has a doughnut-shaped ridge concentric to its rim.
The Lunar 100 L Feature name Significance 81 Hesiodus A Concentric crater 84 Pitatus Crater with concentric rilles 87 Humboldt Crater with central peaks and dark spots See Sky & Telescope April 2004, page 113, or point your Web browser to Sky Tonight.
I still enjoy staring at the cracked floor of Gassendi, the double walls of Hesiodus A, and hundreds of other lunar landmarks that I will never see firsthand.
Several readers report success in watching a dramatic dagger of sunlight cross the crater Hesiodus during lunar sunrise, as predicted in the July issue, page 74.
Sunrise will again peek over the rim of Hesiodus on October 21st at 3h Universal Time, November 19th at 17h, and December 19th at 8h.
As the morning terminator crosses the crater Hesiodus, the crater is bisected by a shaft of light coming through a cleft in the wall between it and the adjoining crater Pitatus.