Theogony (Academic Monograph Reprints)

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Theogony (Academic Monograph Reprints) [KINDLE] ❅ Theogony (Academic Monograph Reprints) By Hesiod – Polishdarling.co.uk This commentary contains a detailed discussion of the problems of the text, its interpretation, construction, and religious and mythological background The Prolegomena deal with the nature of theogoni This commentary contains a detailed discussion of the problems of the text, its interpretation, construction, and religious and mythological background The Prolegomena deal with the nature of theogonic literature and the forms it has taken among many peoples, the relationship between Hesiod s poem and Near Eastern myths, the principles on which his genealogies are constructed, his date, the transmission of the poem, and the language and metre both of the Theogony and of the Works and Days The text is based on a complete view of the manuscript tradition accompanied by critical apparatus.


10 thoughts on “Theogony (Academic Monograph Reprints)

  1. Jasmine Jasmine says:

    One cannot compare Hesiod s Theogony with Homer s Illiad or Ovid s Metamorphoses for that matter Hesiod s poem does not have the wit and irony of Ovid s work nor the intriguing plot of an Illiad or an Odysseus It describes how the Greek universe with its gods came into existence and how Zeus gained sovereignty over the world as father of gods and men I would not choose this as a bedside reading, unless you have difficulties with falling asleep This is sometimesa list than a One cannot compare Hesiod s Theogony with Homer s Illiad or Ovid s Metamorphoses for that matter Hesiod s poem does not have the wit and irony of Ovid s work nor the intriguing plot of an Illiad or an Odysseus It describes how the Greek universe with its gods came into existence and how Zeus gained sovereignty over the world as father of gods and men I would not choose this as a bedside reading, unless you have difficulties with falling asleep This is sometimesa list than a poem, telling who copulates with whom and who is the offspring from these encounters It has the same effect like counting sheep you doze off Once Zeus has secured his reign and the Titans are locked up in Tartaros, that is exactly what he does most of the time he procreates happily with goddesses and humans This leads to the legitimate question, why read it in the first place There are a lot of good reasons Theogony is most probably according to Richard S Caldwell the oldest work of Greek literature we have known so far It was composed during the 8th century B.C It is to some extent the Greek history of creation In my opinion Theogony is therefore the right book to start with if you like to build up your knowledge of Classical Mythology I read 100 lines daily the poem has 1020 lines together with my morning coffee and this was the perfect time I highly appreciated the edition of Focus Classical Library, translated and commented by Richard S Caldwell This edition offers accessible tables, illustrating the different family trees, a very helpful introduction and commentaries It has also a psychological interpretation of myth which one might find helpful I would have preferred the incorporation of Hesiod s second work Works and Days instead, of which this edition offers only a short appendix


  2. Manybooks Manybooks says:

    When we were introduced to classical Greek mythology in grade seven English, our teacher used Hesiod s Theogony as part of the required, assigned reading materials maybe a bit convoluted and even advanced for young teenagers, but I personally much enjoyed this, as it gave an interesting, poetical and above all historically and culturally authentic introduction to the genealogies of the Greek gods, and it was also I admit rather fascinating reading about the many and various sexual exploits of e When we were introduced to classical Greek mythology in grade seven English, our teacher used Hesiod s Theogony as part of the required, assigned reading materials maybe a bit convoluted and even advanced for young teenagers, but I personally much enjoyed this, as it gave an interesting, poetical and above all historically and culturally authentic introduction to the genealogies of the Greek gods, and it was also I admit rather fascinating reading about the many and various sexual exploits of especially Zeus Now while I do not remember precisely which translation our teacher used in 1980, I do seem to recall that in that translation, ALL of the names of the featured god like entities, both the specific anduniversally known Greek deities and those whichor less represented the earth, the sky, human emotions, human character traits had kept their original Greek names, with the English translation in parentheses, such as Gaia earth , Ouranos sky , Eris strife and so on Therefore, I am both frustrated with and really and truly rather massively annoyed that in this here translation of Theogony by Norman O Brown, this has mostly NOT been the case, that while deities like Zeus, Hera and Poseidon etc are indeed presented with and by their Greek names, Gaia, Ouranos, Eris and actually most of the deities thator less depict and are representative of physical geography or human emotions and behaviours are generally or at leastoften than not rendered into English translations, which I personally think leaves very much to be desired and is frankly and in my opinion also somewhat of an insult both to Hesiod and ancient Greece, as Gaia, Ouranos, Eris and such were considered as much specific and flesh and blood deities as Zeus, Hera, Poseidon and the like, and should therefore in ANY translation of Theogony also be named, be featured with their original Greek appellations, with the English counterparts presented either within the text proper or as a footnote Now aside from the above and to and for me really massive shortcoming, Norman O Brown s translation does read fluidly and engagingly, retaining my interest throughout and even when the text is just listing names although due to the fact that I do not know how to read classical Greek, I obviously will not and cannot make any further comments on how close the latter s translation of Hesiod s masterpiece is or might be to the original And I do much appreciate the detailed and informative introduction, although to avoid possible spoilers, I would strongly recommend that potential readers consider perusing it only AFTER having read Brown s translated text, AFTER having read his rendition of Theogony Two stars and simply because the fact that too many of the Greek deities have had their names rendered into English, have basically thus been anglicized is too personally annoying and frustrating for me to in any way consider a three star rating , and I do wish I could locate either the version of Theogony our grade seven English teacher used with us or another translation that retains ALL of the deities in their original, in their Greek spelling and suggestions, recommendations would, and indeed, be very much appreciated and welcomed And I am also wondering whether I should perhaps consider reading Theogony in German translation for perhaps in the German translations of Hesiod, the names of the deities will have been retained in Greek or rather in Greek spelled with Latin letters.And I have now indeed perused a Kindle freebie of Hesiod s Theogony in German translation, and yes, fortunately, in this edition although it is annoyingly anonymous and does not contain the interesting introduction that Norman O Brown s rendition has included , the names of the Greek deities are generally ALL left in Greek, spelled in Latin letters, of course, but not changed into German names nouns, much preferable for me and to me than Norman O Brown s translation, where basically, and as already mentioned, the majority of the deities that represent human characteristics or geographic, geologic phenomena, have been anglicised, and thus, do not appear in Greek


  3. David Sarkies David Sarkies says:

    The Greek Genesis26 October 2012 There seems to be a debate as to the usefulness of this little text and I would pretty much fall into the category of not much The reason that I say that is because if this book was lost then we would lose very little of our understanding of Greek Mythology Everything that is contained in this little book is also contained inexpanded works such as the Library of Greek Mythology and Ovid While it is a primary source, it is still something that we could pr The Greek Genesis26 October 2012 There seems to be a debate as to the usefulness of this little text and I would pretty much fall into the category of not much The reason that I say that is because if this book was lost then we would lose very little of our understanding of Greek Mythology Everything that is contained in this little book is also contained inexpanded works such as the Library of Greek Mythology and Ovid While it is a primary source, it is still something that we could probably do without Fortunately its small size means that it does not take up much space on my bookshelf, however I would probably not find myself ever actually needing to reference it Okay, we could probably use it to talk about the accuracy of later works, but then again, this is Greek mythology, there is no consistency in it In fact, there isn t even any consistency with the twelve tasks of Heracles Now, you would probably say that since this book is one of the earliest Greek texts then it gives us an idea of the development of Greek mythology, and yes, that is probably true to an extent, and from an anthropological view that is probably important, but I am not interested in that On the other hand a lot of authors seem to look back at Hesiod with some sought of awe, and granted, it helps us understand the background from which they were writing, but remember most of Greek mythology back at this time was passed down by word of mouth and Hesiod is only one view of it I have written before, and will continue to write, about how my position with regards to the Greek gods is that they were humans that were deified, and Hesiod once again goes on to prove that point This is a genealogical text much in the same way that sections of the Bible are genealogical texts, however by the time that Hesiod came around the Greek Gods had already been deified There are some major differences between the two forms of genealogy though As mentioned, the non biblical genealogies tend to deal only with the gods, unless you are looking at a familial genealogy, where as the Biblical genealogies all deal with humans, and the Bible is very specific that the people mention in the genealogies are human Secondly the biblical genealogies actually serve a purpose where as the non biblical genealogies are simply a list of names The purpose of the biblical genealogy is to trace the line of people who in the end become the ancestors of Christ These genealogies tend to reach their fulfillment in the Gospels, with both Matthew and Luke and also, as some have argued, with John as well containing genealogies We do note that there are differences in the genealogies, and some have criticised the Bible for that, but I will simply say that the differences simply come out of methodology as opposed to inherent errors My understanding is that in both maths and science one can reach the same proof even though two different methodologies were used Basically, whenever we see a genealogy in the Old Testament we are always looking at how it is directing us towards the saviour that was promised in Genesis 3 For those who are familiar with these genealogies you will note that they tend to only go down in one line, meaning that while a list of children may be given, the genealogy will end up focusing only one a handful of these children to narrow it down to a specific point The exception is the table of nations in Genesis 10, the purpose of which is to outline the beginning of the nations as the readers would have known them to be at the time namely during the Exodus We do see a similarity between the table of nations and some Greek genealogies as it appears that a nation back then was defined by the father of the nation as opposed to a specific culture, language group, or location and Apollodorus does give us that idea in the library of Greek Mythology There is a mention of the war of the Gods in Hesiod, and once again I have speculated on the origins of these wars They can be twofold The first is the idea that these wars developed out of different tribal groups moving into an already inhabited area bring their own culture and gods with them, winning a victory over the inhabitants, and installing their own culture as defined by their gods For instance, in early times we have a people group who worshipped Chronos as their chief God, but then they are invaded by a people who worshipped Zeus as their chief God and as the new group overran and conquered the old group, then Chronos was sidelined in favour of Zeus The second idea is the idea that I have proposed that these gods are littlethan deified humans whose existence has been lost in the midst of times, so what we are actually seeing is some form of succession crisis This would be particularly relevant if we are looking at an Antediluvian civilisation In the era of short life spans and high morality, such succession crises would not be evident since when the old king died then the new king would still be old enough to assume the throne, but young enough not to have a number of children that would have to wait a long time for them to ascend the throne amongst a multitude of competeing claims It differs today in that the Queen of England, the matriarch of the royal family, is still alive and well, and her grandchildren are now ready to marry and have kids Pope John Paul II was the oldest living Pope in the history of the papacy, and it is likely that Pope Benedict will be around for a long time yet unless he meets either with an unfortunate accident, or is removed for some reason or another noting that this review was written prior to him stepping down When you have the antediluvian civilisation, where biblically and elsewhere you have people living for hundreds of years, even if you did not begin having children until the age of a hundred, by the time you die even if it is five to six hundred years old you still have at least four living generations below you, all of them struggling to get your position, and knowing that for them to get to that position they would have to wait a very long time This is something that we see in this text, namely a fear in Chronos that his children would rise up and overthrow him, so he acts proactively and removes them before they have a chance of removing him Much of it is allegorical though and for the sake of space I will not go into detail here, for instance the gods all seem to have been born as adults, and also Chronos eats his children, but upon his defeat, all of them are released so it can be difficult to understand what actually went on, though to take it literally can in itself be dangerous and also somewhat ridiculous The final point I wish to make is the interesting note that Hesiod was a shephard tending sheep on Mount Helicon when he received this vision and wrote it down This is something that seems to happen throughout the history of humanity in that many religious icons seem to have come from humble pasts and have made a tremendous impact upon human history Many have suggested and it is true to an extent that history, up until the mid 18th century, was written by the upper class However the reason for that is because it was only the upper class that had the time to write histories, as well as being the only ones who could read and write However, this is not always the case, particularly with these early civilisations, because much of the history was passed down by word of mouth This is why we can have shepherds actually becoming literary heroes because they did not need to read and write, they simply needed to be able to tell a story people could remember, and also convince them that they had a vision or actually have had a vision to make people sit up and listen


  4. Oblomov Oblomov says:

    For a while, I d mistakenly thought Ovid s Metamorphoses was simply a Roman rip off of this book and it turned out I wasn t quite correct They both contain significant stories of the Greco Roman Gods, but The Theogony is less detailed, has a very different tone and, in my personal opinion, is rather shite in comparison Perhaps reading this after I already started Ovid was a mistake, since I suspect I may have been a little kinder to it otherwise, but alas I am a fool for not keeping to chrono For a while, I d mistakenly thought Ovid s Metamorphoses was simply a Roman rip off of this book and it turned out I wasn t quite correct They both contain significant stories of the Greco Roman Gods, but The Theogony is less detailed, has a very different tone and, in my personal opinion, is rather shite in comparison Perhaps reading this after I already started Ovid was a mistake, since I suspect I may have been a little kinder to it otherwise, but alas I am a fool for not keeping to chronology I listened to Evelyn Butler s prose version, because dealing with poetry for too long tends to bring me out in hives.Content Far shorter than Ovid, sticking mostly to the origins of the Gods and barely covers the meaty, toying with mortals stories that would later enthrall the playwrites As a discussion of the creation myth its alright, if a little bloodless.Tone Not only is Hesiod a sycophant, with endless flattery for the capricious and psychopathic Gods, but I even hated the wording of his praise Neat ankled and lovely were used so often as simple descriptions for certain female characters that a drinking game would probably lead you to hospital Hesiod s gushing reminded me of the Middle Season Christian authors, usually prologuing and ending their works with fervent prayers to the majesty of the Virgin Mary, while the only accomplishment they ever cite for her is that she never got to fourth base Hesiod s similar blind piety simply bored me.Ovid is just better Hesiod lists a lot of names, but isn t especially exciting in his descriptions Ovid gives us almost too much information, but every bit is powerfully worded or exceptionally gruesome.While Hesiod probably wrote this staring at some small devotional statue, his eyes softly wet and a hand pressed lightly over his heart in enraptured love for the Pantheon, Ovid wrote the Metamophosis with a sneer and his free hand held to the sky in a middle finger He didn t piss about with praising the Gods He didn t call Hera lovely, he didn t care about Medea s ankles, he knew all the Gods and their luckless children were fickle bastards and he bloody well said so, and as such his writing is a thousand timescompelling.Considering the Roman s were the great plagiarisers of religion, it feels unfair to sneer at someone who believed the Hellenic Greek originals, or how they tried to write about them Yes, yes, I know they re not that original, but I can t be arsed to get into the pre Hellenics or Gilgamesh right now Complaining that Hesiod doesn t have Ovid s panache when the two authors were of different time periods and had very different intentions, feels like I m condemning the original 1930s The Mummy for not having the 1999 film s special effects or the wonderful gorgeousness that is Rachel Weisz But, sadly, I can t help but compare them now.The Theogony mentions quite a few things Ovid doesn t or yet, anyway, I m on book 7 of the Metamorphoses at time of writing , which still makes this book necessary if you want knowledge of the myths, but in terms of style, detail and pure punching force, Ovid wins hands down


  5. Claudia Claudia says:

    When you really want to start at the beginning You read Theogony Wonderful poetry by Hesiod And it reminded me so much of some biblical texts as well as The Iliad and The Odyssey It sthan a poem It s a powerful connection with our forefathers who wrote this outstanding piece of cultural rich deity genealogy as well as cosmology all those thousands of years ago Key reading to anyone interested in Western Philosophy and Culture 5 Stars Absolutely


  6. Serena Serena says:

    Hesiod, I think, has been shoved too often as being a misogynist because of the lines below And Zeus who thunders on high was stung in spirit, and his dear heart was angered when he saw amongst men the far seen ray of fire Forthwith he made an evil thing for men as the price of fire for the very famous Limping God formed of earth the likeness of a shy maiden as the son of Cronos willed And the goddess bright eyed Athene girded and clothed her with silvery raiment, and down from her head she Hesiod, I think, has been shoved too often as being a misogynist because of the lines below And Zeus who thunders on high was stung in spirit, and his dear heart was angered when he saw amongst men the far seen ray of fire Forthwith he made an evil thing for men as the price of fire for the very famous Limping God formed of earth the likeness of a shy maiden as the son of Cronos willed And the goddess bright eyed Athene girded and clothed her with silvery raiment, and down from her head she spread with her hands a broidered veil, a wonder to see and she, Pallas Athene, put about her head lovely garlands, flowers of new grown herbs Also she put upon her head a crown of gold which the very famous Limping God made himself and worked with his own hands as a favour to Zeus his father On it was much curious work, wonderful to see for of the many creatures which the land and sea rear up, he put most upon it, wonderful things, like living beings with voices and great beauty shone out from it.But when he had made the beautiful evil to be the price for the blessing, he brought her out, delighting in the finery which the bright eyed daughter of a mighty father had given her, to the place where the other gods and men were And wonder took hold of the deathless gods and mortal men when they saw that which was sheer guile, not to be withstood by men.For from her is the race of women and female kind of her is the deadly race and tribe of women who live amongst mortal men to their great trouble, no helpmeets in hateful poverty, but only in wealth And as in thatched hives bees feed the drones whose nature is to do mischief by day and throughout the day until the sun goes down the bees are busy and lay the white combs, while the drones stay at home in the covered skeps and reap the toil of others into their own bellies even so Zeus who thunders on high made women to be an evil to mortal men, with a nature to do evil And he gave them a second evil to be the price for the good they had whoever avoids marriage and the sorrows that women cause, and will not wed, reaches deadly old age without anyone to tend his years, and though he at least has no lack of livelihood while he lives, yet, when he is dead, his kinsfolk divide his possessions amongst them And as for the man who chooses the lot of marriage and takes a good wife suited to his mind, evil continually contends with good for whoever happens to have mischievous children, lives always with unceasing grief in his spirit and heart within him and this evil cannot be healed.So it is not possible to deceive or go beyond the will of Zeus for not even the son of Iapetus, kindly Prometheus, escaped his heavy anger, but of necessity strong bands confined him, although he knew many a wile It would seem to me that Prometheus of the Theogony was on the side of mortals men against Zeus It is significant that a mortal son of Zeus releases Prometheus, a mortal son whom we can only assume to be born of the line of the unnamed mortal clay woman made by Hephaestus and clothed by Athena I think it is the crown of gold, not the woman who was evil, as no name is given to her I am reminded of Ares and Aphrodite where Hephaestus caught them in his bed together and trapped them and the daughter born of that union Harmonia he gave a cursed cloak and necklace on her wedding to Kadmos of Thebes Herackles is identified as being Theban born.Harmonia s mother is also given to be Electra, daughter of Atlas brother of Prometheus and Pleione, her sisters being the Pleiades, Hyades and a brother Hyas.Dionysus, a son of Kadmos and Harmonia s daughter Semele and Zeus had a wife in Ariadne who was given a crown to upon her wedding day and it was later placed among the stars.In women, mortal men of Greek myth face a situation like fire, which can be both evil and a blessing, basically a you can t live with them and you can t live without them mindset, so it s interesting to wonder if Zeus was seen as a god of women mortal and Prometheus a god of men mortal


  7. Ioan Suhov Ioan Suhov says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here One cannot and would not be justified to compare it with Homer and his works.Beinglikely a synthesis of mythological thinking, the value of Hesiod s poem perhaps the oldest Greek written work preserved is of uttermost importance It also has some marvelous poetical sequences, that would definitely bring some joy over the rusty list type mythological presentation that tends to aim at en exhaustive format Circe, the daughter of Hyperion s son Helius, in love with patient minded Odyss One cannot and would not be justified to compare it with Homer and his works.Beinglikely a synthesis of mythological thinking, the value of Hesiod s poem perhaps the oldest Greek written work preserved is of uttermost importance It also has some marvelous poetical sequences, that would definitely bring some joy over the rusty list type mythological presentation that tends to aim at en exhaustive format Circe, the daughter of Hyperion s son Helius, in love with patient minded Odysseus, gave birth to Agrius and Latinus, excellent and strong and she bore Telegonus because of golden Aphrodite These ruled over all the much renowned Tyrrhenians, far away, in the innermost part of holy islands An essential reading for anyone passionate about the Classical Literature 93 Such is the holy gift of the Muses to human beings For it is from the Muses and far shooting Apollo that men are poets upon the earth and lyre players, but it is from Zeus that they are kings and that man is blessed, whom ever the Muses love, for the speech flows sweet from his mouth Even if someone who has unhappiness in his newly anguished spirit is parched in his heart with grieving, yet when a poet, servant of the Muses, sings of the glorious deeds of people of old and the blessed gods who possess Olympus, he forgets his sorrows at once and does not re member his anguish at all for quickly the gifts of the god desses have turned it aside 954 956 happy he, for after having accomplished his great work among the immortals he dwells unharmed and age less for all his days


  8. Marta Marta says:

    Yes One of the oldest books ever written, maybe 700 B.C I can t say much about how it s written because I think it was translated countless times and probably it s not even near to the original, but still it was a little difficult to read at the beginning but only few pages later you get used to it and you can fully concentrate on the story Of course it s helpful if you have some basic knowledge in mythology, otherwise it can be a little confusing o.OIn my opinion it was too short I ve rea Yes One of the oldest books ever written, maybe 700 B.C I can t say much about how it s written because I think it was translated countless times and probably it s not even near to the original, but still it was a little difficult to read at the beginning but only few pages later you get used to it and you can fully concentrate on the story Of course it s helpful if you have some basic knowledge in mythology, otherwise it can be a little confusing o.OIn my opinion it was too short I ve read the book in 3 hours and I m a slow reader I missed the little stories about Hercules or Perseus or Theseus, the book is only about the creation of Gods and their children Everything else is only shortly mentioned And you need some imagination to read it


  9. Ananthu Ananthu says:

    Theogony traces the creation of the cosmos and the genealogy of the Greek gods There s a cornucopia of nasty stuff here patricide, incest, blatant misogyny, swallowing up one s own progeny and whatnot Typical Greek mythology stuff I was expecting a fascinating encounter but it turned out be dry and monotonous, and failed to grab my attention Being an oratory work, I guess we do miss its purported impact when read in print I would have been delighted if there was an Ian Mckellen rendering Theogony traces the creation of the cosmos and the genealogy of the Greek gods There s a cornucopia of nasty stuff here patricide, incest, blatant misogyny, swallowing up one s own progeny and whatnot Typical Greek mythology stuff I was expecting a fascinating encounter but it turned out be dry and monotonous, and failed to grab my attention Being an oratory work, I guess we do miss its purported impact when read in print I would have been delighted if there was an Ian Mckellen rendering his Odyssey was delightful


  10. Melpomene Melpomene says:

    Hesiod is important because he s the only one who told the story of creation, the beginning of everything I admire him for that, no one else wondered how these gods came into existence but his style of writing is insipid, it was boring and it was full of names that none of them were important in the story, it s not even a story, it s like he s giving a chronological report of everything that happened.


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10 thoughts on “Theogony (Academic Monograph Reprints)

  1. Jasmine Jasmine says:

    One cannot compare Hesiod s Theogony with Homer s Illiad or Ovid s Metamorphoses for that matter Hesiod s poem does not have the wit and irony of Ovid s work nor the intriguing plot of an Illiad or an Odysseus It describes how the Greek universe with its gods came into existence and how Zeus gained sovereignty over the world as father of gods and men I would not choose this as a bedside reading, unless you have difficulties with falling asleep This is sometimesa list than a One cannot compare Hesiod s Theogony with Homer s Illiad or Ovid s Metamorphoses for that matter Hesiod s poem does not have the wit and irony of Ovid s work nor the intriguing plot of an Illiad or an Odysseus It describes how the Greek universe with its gods came into existence and how Zeus gained sovereignty over the world as father of gods and men I would not choose this as a bedside reading, unless you have difficulties with falling asleep This is sometimesa list than a poem, telling who copulates with whom and who is the offspring from these encounters It has the same effect like counting sheep you doze off Once Zeus has secured his reign and the Titans are locked up in Tartaros, that is exactly what he does most of the time he procreates happily with goddesses and humans This leads to the legitimate question, why read it in the first place There are a lot of good reasons Theogony is most probably according to Richard S Caldwell the oldest work of Greek literature we have known so far It was composed during the 8th century B.C It is to some extent the Greek history of creation In my opinion Theogony is therefore the right book to start with if you like to build up your knowledge of Classical Mythology I read 100 lines daily the poem has 1020 lines together with my morning coffee and this was the perfect time I highly appreciated the edition of Focus Classical Library, translated and commented by Richard S Caldwell This edition offers accessible tables, illustrating the different family trees, a very helpful introduction and commentaries It has also a psychological interpretation of myth which one might find helpful I would have preferred the incorporation of Hesiod s second work Works and Days instead, of which this edition offers only a short appendix


  2. Manybooks Manybooks says:

    When we were introduced to classical Greek mythology in grade seven English, our teacher used Hesiod s Theogony as part of the required, assigned reading materials maybe a bit convoluted and even advanced for young teenagers, but I personally much enjoyed this, as it gave an interesting, poetical and above all historically and culturally authentic introduction to the genealogies of the Greek gods, and it was also I admit rather fascinating reading about the many and various sexual exploits of e When we were introduced to classical Greek mythology in grade seven English, our teacher used Hesiod s Theogony as part of the required, assigned reading materials maybe a bit convoluted and even advanced for young teenagers, but I personally much enjoyed this, as it gave an interesting, poetical and above all historically and culturally authentic introduction to the genealogies of the Greek gods, and it was also I admit rather fascinating reading about the many and various sexual exploits of especially Zeus Now while I do not remember precisely which translation our teacher used in 1980, I do seem to recall that in that translation, ALL of the names of the featured god like entities, both the specific anduniversally known Greek deities and those whichor less represented the earth, the sky, human emotions, human character traits had kept their original Greek names, with the English translation in parentheses, such as Gaia earth , Ouranos sky , Eris strife and so on Therefore, I am both frustrated with and really and truly rather massively annoyed that in this here translation of Theogony by Norman O Brown, this has mostly NOT been the case, that while deities like Zeus, Hera and Poseidon etc are indeed presented with and by their Greek names, Gaia, Ouranos, Eris and actually most of the deities thator less depict and are representative of physical geography or human emotions and behaviours are generally or at leastoften than not rendered into English translations, which I personally think leaves very much to be desired and is frankly and in my opinion also somewhat of an insult both to Hesiod and ancient Greece, as Gaia, Ouranos, Eris and such were considered as much specific and flesh and blood deities as Zeus, Hera, Poseidon and the like, and should therefore in ANY translation of Theogony also be named, be featured with their original Greek appellations, with the English counterparts presented either within the text proper or as a footnote Now aside from the above and to and for me really massive shortcoming, Norman O Brown s translation does read fluidly and engagingly, retaining my interest throughout and even when the text is just listing names although due to the fact that I do not know how to read classical Greek, I obviously will not and cannot make any further comments on how close the latter s translation of Hesiod s masterpiece is or might be to the original And I do much appreciate the detailed and informative introduction, although to avoid possible spoilers, I would strongly recommend that potential readers consider perusing it only AFTER having read Brown s translated text, AFTER having read his rendition of Theogony Two stars and simply because the fact that too many of the Greek deities have had their names rendered into English, have basically thus been anglicized is too personally annoying and frustrating for me to in any way consider a three star rating , and I do wish I could locate either the version of Theogony our grade seven English teacher used with us or another translation that retains ALL of the deities in their original, in their Greek spelling and suggestions, recommendations would, and indeed, be very much appreciated and welcomed And I am also wondering whether I should perhaps consider reading Theogony in German translation for perhaps in the German translations of Hesiod, the names of the deities will have been retained in Greek or rather in Greek spelled with Latin letters.And I have now indeed perused a Kindle freebie of Hesiod s Theogony in German translation, and yes, fortunately, in this edition although it is annoyingly anonymous and does not contain the interesting introduction that Norman O Brown s rendition has included , the names of the Greek deities are generally ALL left in Greek, spelled in Latin letters, of course, but not changed into German names nouns, much preferable for me and to me than Norman O Brown s translation, where basically, and as already mentioned, the majority of the deities that represent human characteristics or geographic, geologic phenomena, have been anglicised, and thus, do not appear in Greek


  3. David Sarkies David Sarkies says:

    The Greek Genesis26 October 2012 There seems to be a debate as to the usefulness of this little text and I would pretty much fall into the category of not much The reason that I say that is because if this book was lost then we would lose very little of our understanding of Greek Mythology Everything that is contained in this little book is also contained inexpanded works such as the Library of Greek Mythology and Ovid While it is a primary source, it is still something that we could pr The Greek Genesis26 October 2012 There seems to be a debate as to the usefulness of this little text and I would pretty much fall into the category of not much The reason that I say that is because if this book was lost then we would lose very little of our understanding of Greek Mythology Everything that is contained in this little book is also contained inexpanded works such as the Library of Greek Mythology and Ovid While it is a primary source, it is still something that we could probably do without Fortunately its small size means that it does not take up much space on my bookshelf, however I would probably not find myself ever actually needing to reference it Okay, we could probably use it to talk about the accuracy of later works, but then again, this is Greek mythology, there is no consistency in it In fact, there isn t even any consistency with the twelve tasks of Heracles Now, you would probably say that since this book is one of the earliest Greek texts then it gives us an idea of the development of Greek mythology, and yes, that is probably true to an extent, and from an anthropological view that is probably important, but I am not interested in that On the other hand a lot of authors seem to look back at Hesiod with some sought of awe, and granted, it helps us understand the background from which they were writing, but remember most of Greek mythology back at this time was passed down by word of mouth and Hesiod is only one view of it I have written before, and will continue to write, about how my position with regards to the Greek gods is that they were humans that were deified, and Hesiod once again goes on to prove that point This is a genealogical text much in the same way that sections of the Bible are genealogical texts, however by the time that Hesiod came around the Greek Gods had already been deified There are some major differences between the two forms of genealogy though As mentioned, the non biblical genealogies tend to deal only with the gods, unless you are looking at a familial genealogy, where as the Biblical genealogies all deal with humans, and the Bible is very specific that the people mention in the genealogies are human Secondly the biblical genealogies actually serve a purpose where as the non biblical genealogies are simply a list of names The purpose of the biblical genealogy is to trace the line of people who in the end become the ancestors of Christ These genealogies tend to reach their fulfillment in the Gospels, with both Matthew and Luke and also, as some have argued, with John as well containing genealogies We do note that there are differences in the genealogies, and some have criticised the Bible for that, but I will simply say that the differences simply come out of methodology as opposed to inherent errors My understanding is that in both maths and science one can reach the same proof even though two different methodologies were used Basically, whenever we see a genealogy in the Old Testament we are always looking at how it is directing us towards the saviour that was promised in Genesis 3 For those who are familiar with these genealogies you will note that they tend to only go down in one line, meaning that while a list of children may be given, the genealogy will end up focusing only one a handful of these children to narrow it down to a specific point The exception is the table of nations in Genesis 10, the purpose of which is to outline the beginning of the nations as the readers would have known them to be at the time namely during the Exodus We do see a similarity between the table of nations and some Greek genealogies as it appears that a nation back then was defined by the father of the nation as opposed to a specific culture, language group, or location and Apollodorus does give us that idea in the library of Greek Mythology There is a mention of the war of the Gods in Hesiod, and once again I have speculated on the origins of these wars They can be twofold The first is the idea that these wars developed out of different tribal groups moving into an already inhabited area bring their own culture and gods with them, winning a victory over the inhabitants, and installing their own culture as defined by their gods For instance, in early times we have a people group who worshipped Chronos as their chief God, but then they are invaded by a people who worshipped Zeus as their chief God and as the new group overran and conquered the old group, then Chronos was sidelined in favour of Zeus The second idea is the idea that I have proposed that these gods are littlethan deified humans whose existence has been lost in the midst of times, so what we are actually seeing is some form of succession crisis This would be particularly relevant if we are looking at an Antediluvian civilisation In the era of short life spans and high morality, such succession crises would not be evident since when the old king died then the new king would still be old enough to assume the throne, but young enough not to have a number of children that would have to wait a long time for them to ascend the throne amongst a multitude of competeing claims It differs today in that the Queen of England, the matriarch of the royal family, is still alive and well, and her grandchildren are now ready to marry and have kids Pope John Paul II was the oldest living Pope in the history of the papacy, and it is likely that Pope Benedict will be around for a long time yet unless he meets either with an unfortunate accident, or is removed for some reason or another noting that this review was written prior to him stepping down When you have the antediluvian civilisation, where biblically and elsewhere you have people living for hundreds of years, even if you did not begin having children until the age of a hundred, by the time you die even if it is five to six hundred years old you still have at least four living generations below you, all of them struggling to get your position, and knowing that for them to get to that position they would have to wait a very long time This is something that we see in this text, namely a fear in Chronos that his children would rise up and overthrow him, so he acts proactively and removes them before they have a chance of removing him Much of it is allegorical though and for the sake of space I will not go into detail here, for instance the gods all seem to have been born as adults, and also Chronos eats his children, but upon his defeat, all of them are released so it can be difficult to understand what actually went on, though to take it literally can in itself be dangerous and also somewhat ridiculous The final point I wish to make is the interesting note that Hesiod was a shephard tending sheep on Mount Helicon when he received this vision and wrote it down This is something that seems to happen throughout the history of humanity in that many religious icons seem to have come from humble pasts and have made a tremendous impact upon human history Many have suggested and it is true to an extent that history, up until the mid 18th century, was written by the upper class However the reason for that is because it was only the upper class that had the time to write histories, as well as being the only ones who could read and write However, this is not always the case, particularly with these early civilisations, because much of the history was passed down by word of mouth This is why we can have shepherds actually becoming literary heroes because they did not need to read and write, they simply needed to be able to tell a story people could remember, and also convince them that they had a vision or actually have had a vision to make people sit up and listen


  4. Oblomov Oblomov says:

    For a while, I d mistakenly thought Ovid s Metamorphoses was simply a Roman rip off of this book and it turned out I wasn t quite correct They both contain significant stories of the Greco Roman Gods, but The Theogony is less detailed, has a very different tone and, in my personal opinion, is rather shite in comparison Perhaps reading this after I already started Ovid was a mistake, since I suspect I may have been a little kinder to it otherwise, but alas I am a fool for not keeping to chrono For a while, I d mistakenly thought Ovid s Metamorphoses was simply a Roman rip off of this book and it turned out I wasn t quite correct They both contain significant stories of the Greco Roman Gods, but The Theogony is less detailed, has a very different tone and, in my personal opinion, is rather shite in comparison Perhaps reading this after I already started Ovid was a mistake, since I suspect I may have been a little kinder to it otherwise, but alas I am a fool for not keeping to chronology I listened to Evelyn Butler s prose version, because dealing with poetry for too long tends to bring me out in hives.Content Far shorter than Ovid, sticking mostly to the origins of the Gods and barely covers the meaty, toying with mortals stories that would later enthrall the playwrites As a discussion of the creation myth its alright, if a little bloodless.Tone Not only is Hesiod a sycophant, with endless flattery for the capricious and psychopathic Gods, but I even hated the wording of his praise Neat ankled and lovely were used so often as simple descriptions for certain female characters that a drinking game would probably lead you to hospital Hesiod s gushing reminded me of the Middle Season Christian authors, usually prologuing and ending their works with fervent prayers to the majesty of the Virgin Mary, while the only accomplishment they ever cite for her is that she never got to fourth base Hesiod s similar blind piety simply bored me.Ovid is just better Hesiod lists a lot of names, but isn t especially exciting in his descriptions Ovid gives us almost too much information, but every bit is powerfully worded or exceptionally gruesome.While Hesiod probably wrote this staring at some small devotional statue, his eyes softly wet and a hand pressed lightly over his heart in enraptured love for the Pantheon, Ovid wrote the Metamophosis with a sneer and his free hand held to the sky in a middle finger He didn t piss about with praising the Gods He didn t call Hera lovely, he didn t care about Medea s ankles, he knew all the Gods and their luckless children were fickle bastards and he bloody well said so, and as such his writing is a thousand timescompelling.Considering the Roman s were the great plagiarisers of religion, it feels unfair to sneer at someone who believed the Hellenic Greek originals, or how they tried to write about them Yes, yes, I know they re not that original, but I can t be arsed to get into the pre Hellenics or Gilgamesh right now Complaining that Hesiod doesn t have Ovid s panache when the two authors were of different time periods and had very different intentions, feels like I m condemning the original 1930s The Mummy for not having the 1999 film s special effects or the wonderful gorgeousness that is Rachel Weisz But, sadly, I can t help but compare them now.The Theogony mentions quite a few things Ovid doesn t or yet, anyway, I m on book 7 of the Metamorphoses at time of writing , which still makes this book necessary if you want knowledge of the myths, but in terms of style, detail and pure punching force, Ovid wins hands down


  5. Claudia Claudia says:

    When you really want to start at the beginning You read Theogony Wonderful poetry by Hesiod And it reminded me so much of some biblical texts as well as The Iliad and The Odyssey It sthan a poem It s a powerful connection with our forefathers who wrote this outstanding piece of cultural rich deity genealogy as well as cosmology all those thousands of years ago Key reading to anyone interested in Western Philosophy and Culture 5 Stars Absolutely


  6. Serena Serena says:

    Hesiod, I think, has been shoved too often as being a misogynist because of the lines below And Zeus who thunders on high was stung in spirit, and his dear heart was angered when he saw amongst men the far seen ray of fire Forthwith he made an evil thing for men as the price of fire for the very famous Limping God formed of earth the likeness of a shy maiden as the son of Cronos willed And the goddess bright eyed Athene girded and clothed her with silvery raiment, and down from her head she Hesiod, I think, has been shoved too often as being a misogynist because of the lines below And Zeus who thunders on high was stung in spirit, and his dear heart was angered when he saw amongst men the far seen ray of fire Forthwith he made an evil thing for men as the price of fire for the very famous Limping God formed of earth the likeness of a shy maiden as the son of Cronos willed And the goddess bright eyed Athene girded and clothed her with silvery raiment, and down from her head she spread with her hands a broidered veil, a wonder to see and she, Pallas Athene, put about her head lovely garlands, flowers of new grown herbs Also she put upon her head a crown of gold which the very famous Limping God made himself and worked with his own hands as a favour to Zeus his father On it was much curious work, wonderful to see for of the many creatures which the land and sea rear up, he put most upon it, wonderful things, like living beings with voices and great beauty shone out from it.But when he had made the beautiful evil to be the price for the blessing, he brought her out, delighting in the finery which the bright eyed daughter of a mighty father had given her, to the place where the other gods and men were And wonder took hold of the deathless gods and mortal men when they saw that which was sheer guile, not to be withstood by men.For from her is the race of women and female kind of her is the deadly race and tribe of women who live amongst mortal men to their great trouble, no helpmeets in hateful poverty, but only in wealth And as in thatched hives bees feed the drones whose nature is to do mischief by day and throughout the day until the sun goes down the bees are busy and lay the white combs, while the drones stay at home in the covered skeps and reap the toil of others into their own bellies even so Zeus who thunders on high made women to be an evil to mortal men, with a nature to do evil And he gave them a second evil to be the price for the good they had whoever avoids marriage and the sorrows that women cause, and will not wed, reaches deadly old age without anyone to tend his years, and though he at least has no lack of livelihood while he lives, yet, when he is dead, his kinsfolk divide his possessions amongst them And as for the man who chooses the lot of marriage and takes a good wife suited to his mind, evil continually contends with good for whoever happens to have mischievous children, lives always with unceasing grief in his spirit and heart within him and this evil cannot be healed.So it is not possible to deceive or go beyond the will of Zeus for not even the son of Iapetus, kindly Prometheus, escaped his heavy anger, but of necessity strong bands confined him, although he knew many a wile It would seem to me that Prometheus of the Theogony was on the side of mortals men against Zeus It is significant that a mortal son of Zeus releases Prometheus, a mortal son whom we can only assume to be born of the line of the unnamed mortal clay woman made by Hephaestus and clothed by Athena I think it is the crown of gold, not the woman who was evil, as no name is given to her I am reminded of Ares and Aphrodite where Hephaestus caught them in his bed together and trapped them and the daughter born of that union Harmonia he gave a cursed cloak and necklace on her wedding to Kadmos of Thebes Herackles is identified as being Theban born.Harmonia s mother is also given to be Electra, daughter of Atlas brother of Prometheus and Pleione, her sisters being the Pleiades, Hyades and a brother Hyas.Dionysus, a son of Kadmos and Harmonia s daughter Semele and Zeus had a wife in Ariadne who was given a crown to upon her wedding day and it was later placed among the stars.In women, mortal men of Greek myth face a situation like fire, which can be both evil and a blessing, basically a you can t live with them and you can t live without them mindset, so it s interesting to wonder if Zeus was seen as a god of women mortal and Prometheus a god of men mortal


  7. Ioan Suhov Ioan Suhov says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here One cannot and would not be justified to compare it with Homer and his works.Beinglikely a synthesis of mythological thinking, the value of Hesiod s poem perhaps the oldest Greek written work preserved is of uttermost importance It also has some marvelous poetical sequences, that would definitely bring some joy over the rusty list type mythological presentation that tends to aim at en exhaustive format Circe, the daughter of Hyperion s son Helius, in love with patient minded Odyss One cannot and would not be justified to compare it with Homer and his works.Beinglikely a synthesis of mythological thinking, the value of Hesiod s poem perhaps the oldest Greek written work preserved is of uttermost importance It also has some marvelous poetical sequences, that would definitely bring some joy over the rusty list type mythological presentation that tends to aim at en exhaustive format Circe, the daughter of Hyperion s son Helius, in love with patient minded Odysseus, gave birth to Agrius and Latinus, excellent and strong and she bore Telegonus because of golden Aphrodite These ruled over all the much renowned Tyrrhenians, far away, in the innermost part of holy islands An essential reading for anyone passionate about the Classical Literature 93 Such is the holy gift of the Muses to human beings For it is from the Muses and far shooting Apollo that men are poets upon the earth and lyre players, but it is from Zeus that they are kings and that man is blessed, whom ever the Muses love, for the speech flows sweet from his mouth Even if someone who has unhappiness in his newly anguished spirit is parched in his heart with grieving, yet when a poet, servant of the Muses, sings of the glorious deeds of people of old and the blessed gods who possess Olympus, he forgets his sorrows at once and does not re member his anguish at all for quickly the gifts of the god desses have turned it aside 954 956 happy he, for after having accomplished his great work among the immortals he dwells unharmed and age less for all his days


  8. Marta Marta says:

    Yes One of the oldest books ever written, maybe 700 B.C I can t say much about how it s written because I think it was translated countless times and probably it s not even near to the original, but still it was a little difficult to read at the beginning but only few pages later you get used to it and you can fully concentrate on the story Of course it s helpful if you have some basic knowledge in mythology, otherwise it can be a little confusing o.OIn my opinion it was too short I ve rea Yes One of the oldest books ever written, maybe 700 B.C I can t say much about how it s written because I think it was translated countless times and probably it s not even near to the original, but still it was a little difficult to read at the beginning but only few pages later you get used to it and you can fully concentrate on the story Of course it s helpful if you have some basic knowledge in mythology, otherwise it can be a little confusing o.OIn my opinion it was too short I ve read the book in 3 hours and I m a slow reader I missed the little stories about Hercules or Perseus or Theseus, the book is only about the creation of Gods and their children Everything else is only shortly mentioned And you need some imagination to read it


  9. Ananthu Ananthu says:

    Theogony traces the creation of the cosmos and the genealogy of the Greek gods There s a cornucopia of nasty stuff here patricide, incest, blatant misogyny, swallowing up one s own progeny and whatnot Typical Greek mythology stuff I was expecting a fascinating encounter but it turned out be dry and monotonous, and failed to grab my attention Being an oratory work, I guess we do miss its purported impact when read in print I would have been delighted if there was an Ian Mckellen rendering Theogony traces the creation of the cosmos and the genealogy of the Greek gods There s a cornucopia of nasty stuff here patricide, incest, blatant misogyny, swallowing up one s own progeny and whatnot Typical Greek mythology stuff I was expecting a fascinating encounter but it turned out be dry and monotonous, and failed to grab my attention Being an oratory work, I guess we do miss its purported impact when read in print I would have been delighted if there was an Ian Mckellen rendering his Odyssey was delightful


  10. Melpomene Melpomene says:

    Hesiod is important because he s the only one who told the story of creation, the beginning of everything I admire him for that, no one else wondered how these gods came into existence but his style of writing is insipid, it was boring and it was full of names that none of them were important in the story, it s not even a story, it s like he s giving a chronological report of everything that happened.


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