Part 2 out of 6
and rouse up your slaves. Avoid shady seats and sleeping until
dawn in the harvest season, when the sun scorches the body. Then
be busy, and bring home your fruits, getting up early to make
your livelihood sure. For dawn takes away a third part of your
work, dawn advances a man on his journey and advances him in his
work, -- dawn which appears and sets many men on their road, and
puts yokes on many oxen.
(ll. 582-596) But when the artichoke flowers (27), and the
chirping grass-hopper sits in a tree and pours down his shrill
song continually from under his wings in the season of wearisome
heat, then goats are plumpest and wine sweetest; women are most
wanton, but men are feeblest, because Sirius parches head and
knees and the skin is dry through heat. But at that time let me
have a shady rock and wine of Biblis, a clot of curds and milk of
drained goats with the flesh of an heifer fed in the woods, that
has never calved, and of firstling kids; then also let me drink
bright wine, sitting in the shade, when my heart is satisfied
with food, and so, turning my head to face the fresh Zephyr, from
the everflowing spring which pours down unfouled thrice pour an
offering of water, but make a fourth libation of wine.
(ll. 597-608) Set your slaves to winnow Demeter's holy grain,
when strong Orion (28) first appears, on a smooth threshing-floor
in an airy place. Then measure it and store it in jars. And so
soon as you have safely stored all your stuff indoors, I bid you
put your bondman out of doors and look out for a servant-girl
with no children; -- for a servant with a child to nurse is
troublesome. And look after the dog with jagged teeth; do not
grudge him his food, or some time the Day-sleeper (29) may take
your stuff. Bring in fodder and litter so as to have enough for
your oxen and mules. After that, let your men rest their poor
knees and unyoke your pair of oxen.
(ll. 609-617) But when Orion and Sirius are come into mid-heaven,
and rosy-fingered Dawn sees Arcturus (30), then cut off all the
grape-clusters, Perses, and bring them home. Show them to the
sun ten days and ten nights: then cover them over for five, and
on the sixth day draw off into vessels the gifts of joyful
Dionysus. But when the Pleiades and Hyades and strong Orion
begin to set (31), then remember to plough in season: and so the
completed year (32) will fitly pass beneath the earth.
(ll. 618-640) But if desire for uncomfortable sea-faring seize
you; when the Pleiades plunge into the misty sea (33) to escape
Orion's rude strength, then truly gales of all kinds rage. Then
keep ships no longer on the sparkling sea, but bethink you to
till the land as I bid you. Haul up your ship upon the land and
pack it closely with stones all round to keep off the power of
the winds which blow damply, and draw out the bilge-plug so that
the rain of heaven may not rot it. Put away all the tackle and
fittings in your house, and stow the wings of the sea-going ship
neatly, and hang up the well-shaped rudder over the smoke. You
yourself wait until the season for sailing is come, and then haul
your swift ship down to the sea and stow a convenient cargo in
it, so that you may bring home profit, even as your father and
mine, foolish Perses, used to sail on shipboard because he lacked
sufficient livelihood. And one day he came to this very place
crossing over a great stretch of sea; he left Aeolian Cyme and
fled, not from riches and substance, but from wretched poverty
which Zeus lays upon men, and he settled near Helicon in a
miserable hamlet, Ascra, which is bad in winter, sultry in
summer, and good at no time.
(ll. 641-645) But you, Perses, remember all works in their season
but sailing especially. Admire a small ship, but put your
freight in a large one; for the greater the lading, the greater
will be your piled gain, if only the winds will keep back their
(ll. 646-662) If ever you turn your misguided heart to trading
and with to escape from debt and joyless hunger, I will show you
the measures of the loud-roaring sea, though I have no skill in
sea-faring nor in ships; for never yet have I sailed by ship over
the wide sea, but only to Euboea from Aulis where the Achaeans
once stayed through much storm when they had gathered a great
host from divine Hellas for Troy, the land of fair women. Then I
crossed over to Chalcis, to the games of wise Amphidamas where
the sons of the great-hearted hero proclaimed and appointed
prizes. And there I boast that I gained the victory with a song
and carried off an handled tripod which I dedicated to the Muses
of Helicon, in the place where they first set me in the way of
clear song. Such is all my experience of many-pegged ships;
nevertheless I will tell you the will of Zeus who holds the
aegis; for the Muses have taught me to sing in marvellous song.
(ll. 663-677) Fifty days after the solstice (34), when the season
of wearisome heat is come to an end, is the right time for me to
go sailing. Then you will not wreck your ship, nor will the sea
destroy the sailors, unless Poseidon the Earth-Shaker be set upon
it, or Zeus, the king of the deathless gods, wish to slay them;
for the issues of good and evil alike are with them. At that
time the winds are steady, and the sea is harmless. Then trust
in the winds without care, and haul your swift ship down to the
sea and put all the freight no board; but make all haste you can
to return home again and do not wait till the time of the new
wine and autumn rain and oncoming storms with the fierce gales of
Notus who accompanies the heavy autumn rain of Zeus and stirs up
the sea and makes the deep dangerous.
(ll. 678-694) Another time for men to go sailing is in spring
when a man first sees leaves on the topmost shoot of a fig-tree
as large as the foot-print that a cow makes; then the sea is
passable, and this is the spring sailing time. For my part I do
not praise it, for my heart does not like it. Such a sailing is
snatched, and you will hardly avoid mischief. Yet in their
ignorance men do even this, for wealth means life to poor
mortals; but it is fearful to die among the waves. But I bid you
consider all these things in your heart as I say. Do not put all
your goods in hallow ships; leave the greater part behind, and
put the lesser part on board; for it is a bad business to meet
with disaster among the waves of the sea, as it is bad if you put
too great a load on your waggon and break the axle, and your
goods are spoiled. Observe due measure: and proportion is best
in all things.
(ll. 695-705) Bring home a wife to your house when you are of the
right age, while you are not far short of thirty years nor much
above; this is the right age for marriage. Let your wife have
been grown up four years, and marry her in the fifth. Marry a
maiden, so that you can teach her careful ways, and especially
marry one who lives near you, but look well about you and see
that your marriage will not be a joke to your neighbours. For a
man wins nothing better than a good wife, and, again, nothing
worse than a bad one, a greedy soul who roasts her man without
fire, strong though he may be, and brings him to a raw (35) old
(ll. 706-714) Be careful to avoid the anger of the deathless
gods. Do not make a friend equal to a brother; but if you do, do
not wrong him first, and do not lie to please the tongue. But if
he wrongs you first, offending either in word or in deed,
remember to repay him double; but if he ask you to be his friend
again and be ready to give you satisfaction, welcome him. He is
a worthless man who makes now one and now another his friend; but
as for you, do not let your face put your heart to shame (36).
(ll. 715-716) Do not get a name either as lavish or as churlish;
as a friend of rogues or as a slanderer of good men.
(ll. 717-721) Never dare to taunt a man with deadly poverty which
eats out the heart; it is sent by the deathless gods. The best
treasure a man can have is a sparing tongue, and the greatest
pleasure, one that moves orderly; for if you speak evil, you
yourself will soon be worse spoken of.
(ll. 722-723) Do not be boorish at a common feast where there are
many guests; the pleasure is greatest and the expense is least
(ll. 724-726) Never pour a libation of sparkling wine to Zeus
after dawn with unwashen hands, nor to others of the deathless
gods; else they do not hear your prayers but spit them back.
(ll. 727-732) Do not stand upright facing the sun when you make
water, but remember to do this when he has set towards his
rising. And do not make water as you go, whether on the road or
off the road, and do not uncover yourself: the nights belong to
the blessed gods. A scrupulous man who has a wise heart sits
down or goes to the wall of an enclosed court.
(ll. 733-736) Do not expose yourself befouled by the fireside in
your house, but avoid this. Do not beget children when you are
come back from ill-omened burial, but after a festival of the
(ll. 737-741) Never cross the sweet-flowing water of ever-rolling
rivers afoot until you have prayed, gazing into the soft flood,
and washed your hands in the clear, lovely water. Whoever
crosses a river with hands unwashed of wickedness, the gods are
angry with him and bring trouble upon him afterwards.
(ll. 742-743) At a cheerful festival of the gods do not cut the
withered from the quick upon that which has five branches (38)
with bright steel.
(ll. 744-745) Never put the ladle upon the mixing-bowl at a wine
party, for malignant ill-luck is attached to that.
(ll. 746-747) When you are building a house, do not leave it
rough-hewn, or a cawing crow may settle on it and croak.
(ll. 748-749) Take nothing to eat or to wash with from uncharmed
pots, for in them there is mischief.
(ll. 750-759) Do not let a boy of twelve years sit on things
which may not be moved (39), for that is bad, and makes a man
unmanly; nor yet a child of twelve months, for that has the same
effect. A man should not clean his body with water in which a
woman has washed, for there is bitter mischief in that also for a
time. When you come upon a burning sacrifice, do not make a mock
of mysteries, for Heaven is angry at this also. Never make water
in the mouths of rivers which flow to the sea, nor yet in
springs; but be careful to avoid this. And do not ease yourself
in them: it is not well to do this.
(ll. 760-763) So do: and avoid the talk of men. For Talk is
mischievous, light, and easily raised, but hard to bear and
difficult to be rid of. Talk never wholly dies away when many
people voice her: even Talk is in some ways divine.
(ll. 765-767) Mark the days which come from Zeus, duly telling
your slaves of them, and that the thirtieth day of the month is
best for one to look over the work and to deal out supplies.
(ll. 769-768) (40) For these are days which come from Zeus the
all-wise, when men discern aright.
(ll. 770-779) To begin with, the first, the fourth, and the
seventh -- on which Leto bare Apollo with the blade of gold --
each is a holy day. The eighth and the ninth, two days at least
of the waxing month (41), are specially good for the works of
man. Also the eleventh and twelfth are both excellent, alike for
shearing sheep and for reaping the kindly fruits; but the twelfth
is much better than the eleventh, for on it the airy-swinging
spider spins its web in full day, and then the Wise One (42),
gathers her pile. On that day woman should set up her loom and
get forward with her work.
(ll. 780-781) Avoid the thirteenth of the waxing month for
beginning to sow: yet it is the best day for setting plants.
(ll. 782-789) The sixth of the mid-month is very unfavourable for
plants, but is good for the birth of males, though unfavourable
for a girl either to be born at all or to be married. Nor is the
first sixth a fit day for a girl to be born, but a kindly for
gelding kids and sheep and for fencing in a sheep-cote. It is
favourable for the birth of a boy, but such will be fond of sharp
speech, lies, and cunning words, and stealthy converse.
(ll. 790-791) On the eighth of the month geld the boar and loud-
bellowing bull, but hard-working mules on the twelfth.
(ll. 792-799) On the great twentieth, in full day, a wise man
should be born. Such an one is very sound-witted. The tenth is
favourable for a male to be born; but, for a girl, the fourth day
of the mid-month. On that day tame sheep and shambling, horned
oxen, and the sharp-fanged dog and hardy mules to the touch of
the hand. But take care to avoid troubles which eat out the
heart on the fourth of the beginning and ending of the month; it
is a day very fraught with fate.
(ll. 800-801) On the fourth of the month bring home your bride,
but choose the omens which are best for this business.
(ll. 802-804) Avoid fifth days: they are unkindly and terrible.
On a fifth day, they say, the Erinyes assisted at the birth of
Horcus (Oath) whom Eris (Strife) bare to trouble the forsworn.
(ll. 805-809) Look about you very carefully and throw out
Demeter's holy grain upon the well-rolled (43) threshing floor on
the seventh of the mid-month. Let the woodman cut beams for
house building and plenty of ships' timbers, such as are suitable
for ships. On the fourth day begin to build narrow ships.
(ll. 810-813) The ninth of the mid-month improves towards
evening; but the first ninth of all is quite harmless for men.
It is a good day on which to beget or to be born both for a male
and a female: it is never an wholly evil day.
(ll. 814-818) Again, few know that the twenty-seventh of the
month is best for opening a wine-jar, and putting yokes on the
necks of oxen and mules and swift-footed horses, and for hauling
a swift ship of many thwarts down to the sparkling sea; few call
it by its right name.
(ll. 819-821) On the fourth day open a jar. The fourth of the
mid-month is a day holy above all. And again, few men know that
the fourth day after the twentieth is best while it is morning:
towards evening it is less good.
(ll. 822-828) These days are a great blessing to men on earth;
but the rest are changeable, luckless, and bring nothing.
Everyone praises a different day but few know their nature.
Sometimes a day is a stepmother, sometimes a mother. That man is
happy and lucky in them who knows all these things and does his
work without offending the deathless gods, who discerns the omens
of birds and avoids transgressions.
(1) That is, the poor man's fare, like `bread and cheese'.
(2) The All-endowed.
(3) The jar or casket contained the gifts of the gods mentioned
(4) Eustathius refers to Hesiod as stating that men sprung `from
oaks and stones and ashtrees'. Proclus believed that the
Nymphs called Meliae ("Theogony", 187) are intended.
Goettling would render: `A race terrible because of their
(5) Preserved only by Proclus, from whom some inferior MSS. have
copied the verse. The four following lines occur only in
Geneva Papyri No. 94. For the restoration of ll. 169b-c see
"Class. Quart." vii. 219-220. (NOTE: Mr. Evelyn-White means
that the version quoted by Proclus stops at this point, then
picks up at l. 170. -- DBK).
(6) i.e. the race will so degenerate that at the last even a
new-born child will show the marks of old age.
(7) Aidos, as a quality, is that feeling of reverence or shame
which restrains men from wrong: Nemesis is the feeling of
righteous indignation aroused especially by the sight of the
wicked in undeserved prosperity (cf. "Psalms", lxxii. 1-19).
(8) The alternative version is: `and, working, you will be much
better loved both by gods and men; for they greatly dislike
(9) i.e. neighbours come at once and without making
preparations, but kinsmen by marriage (who live at a
distance) have to prepare, and so are long in coming.
(10) Early in May.
(11) In November.
(12) In October.
(13) For pounding corn.
(14) A mallet for breaking clods after ploughing.
(15) The loaf is a flattish cake with two intersecting lines
scored on its upper surface which divide it into four equal
(16) The meaning is obscure. A scholiast renders `giving eight
mouthfulls'; but the elder Philostratus uses the word in
contrast to `leavened'.
(17) About the middle of November.
(18) Spring is so described because the buds have not yet cast
their iron-grey husks.
(19) In December.
(20) In March.
(21) The latter part of January and earlier part of February.
(22) i.e. the octopus or cuttle.
(23) i.e. the darker-skinned people of Africa, the Egyptians or
(24) i.e. an old man walking with a staff (the `third leg' -- as
in the riddle of the Sphinx).
(25) February to March.
(26) i.e. the snail. The season is the middle of May.
(27) In June.
(29) i.e. a robber.
(31) The end of October.
(32) That is, the succession of stars which make up the full
(33) The end of October or beginning of November.
(35) i.e. untimely, premature. Juvenal similarly speaks of
`cruda senectus' (caused by gluttony).
(36) The thought is parallel to that of `O, what a goodly outside
(37) The `common feast' is one to which all present subscribe.
Theognis (line 495) says that one of the chief pleasures of
a banquet is the general conversation. Hence the present
passage means that such a feast naturally costs little,
while the many present will make pleasurable conversation.
(38) i.e. `do not cut your finger-nails'.
(39) i.e. things which it would be sacrilege to disturb, such as
(40) H.G. Evelyn-White prefers to switch ll. 768 and 769, reading
l. 769 first then l. 768. -- DBK
(41) The month is divided into three periods, the waxing, the
mid-month, and the waning, which answer to the phases of the
(42) i.e. the ant.
(43) Such seems to be the meaning here, though the epithet is
otherwise rendered `well-rounded'. Corn was threshed by
means of a sleigh with two runners having three or four
rollers between them, like the modern Egyptian "nurag".
THE DIVINATION BY BIRDS (fragments)
Proclus on Works and Days, 828:
Some make the "Divination by Birds", which Apollonius of Rhodes
rejects as spurious, follow this verse ("Works and Days", 828).
THE ASTRONOMY (fragments)
Fragment #1 --
Athenaeus xi, p. 491 d:
And the author of "The Astronomy", which is attributed forsooth
to Hesiod, always calls them (the Pleiades) Peleiades: `but
mortals call them Peleiades'; and again, `the stormy Peleiades go
down'; and again, `then the Peleiades hide away....'
Scholiast on Pindar, Nem. ii. 16:
The Pleiades.... whose stars are these: -- `Lovely Teygata, and
dark-faced Electra, and Alcyone, and bright Asterope, and
Celaeno, and Maia, and Merope, whom glorious Atlas begot....'
`In the mountains of Cyllene she (Maia) bare Hermes, the herald
of the gods.'
Fragment #2 --
Scholiast on Aratus 254:
But Zeus made them (the sisters of Hyas) into the stars which are
called Hyades. Hesiod in his Book about Stars tells us their
names as follows: `Nymphs like the Graces (1), Phaesyle and
Coronis and rich-crowned Cleeia and lovely Phaco and long-robed
Eudora, whom the tribes of men upon the earth call Hyades.'
Fragment #3 --
Pseudo-Eratosthenes Catast. frag. 1: (2)
The Great Bear.] -- Hesiod says she (Callisto) was the daughter
of Lycaon and lived in Arcadia. She chose to occupy herself with
wild-beasts in the mountains together with Artemis, and, when she
was seduced by Zeus, continued some time undetected by the
goddess, but afterwards, when she was already with child, was
seen by her bathing and so discovered. Upon this, the goddess
was enraged and changed her into a beast. Thus she became a bear
and gave birth to a son called Arcas. But while she was in the
mountains, she was hunted by some goat-herds and given up with
her babe to Lycaon. Some while after, she thought fit to go into
the forbidden precinct of Zeus, not knowing the law, and being
pursued by her own son and the Arcadians, was about to be killed
because of the said law; but Zeus delivered her because of her
connection with him and put her among the stars, giving her the
name Bear because of the misfortune which had befallen her.
Comm. Supplem. on Aratus, p. 547 M. 8:
Of Bootes, also called the Bear-warden. The story goes that he
is Arcas the son of Callisto and Zeus, and he lived in the
country about Lycaeum. After Zeus had seduced Callisto, Lycaon,
pretending not to know of the matter, entertained Zeus, as Hesiod
says, and set before him on the table the babe which he had cut
Fragment #4 --
Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Catast. fr. xxxii:
Orion.] -- Hesiod says that he was the son of Euryale, the
daughter of Minos, and of Poseidon, and that there was given him
as a gift the power of walking upon the waves as though upon
land. When he was come to Chios, be outraged Merope, the
daughter of Oenopion, being drunken; but Oenopion when he learned
of it was greatly vexed at the outrage and blinded him and cast
him out of the country. Then he came to Lemnos as a beggar and
there met Hephaestus who took pity on him and gave him Cedalion
his own servant to guide him. So Orion took Cedalion upon his
shoulders and used to carry him about while he pointed out the
roads. Then he came to the east and appears to have met Helius
(the Sun) and to have been healed, and so returned back again to
Oenopion to punish him; but Oenopion was hidden away by his
people underground. Being disappointed, then, in his search for
the king, Orion went away to Crete and spent his time hunting in
company with Artemis and Leto. It seems that he threatened to
kill every beast there was on earth; whereupon, in her anger,
Earth sent up against him a scorpion of very great size by which
he was stung and so perished. After this Zeus, at one prayer of
Artemis and Leto, put him among the stars, because of his
manliness, and the scorpion also as a memorial of him and of what
Fragment #5 --
Diodorus iv. 85:
Some say that great earthquakes occurred, which broke through the
neck of land and formed the straits (3), the sea parting the
mainland from the island. But Hesiod, the poet, says just the
opposite: that the sea was open, but Orion piled up the
promontory by Peloris, and founded the close of Poseidon which is
especially esteemed by the people thereabouts. When he had
finished this, he went away to Euboea and settled there, and
because of his renown was taken into the number of the stars in
heaven, and won undying remembrance.
(1) This halt verse is added by the Scholiast on Aratus, 172.
(2) The "Catasterismi" ("Placings among the Stars") is a
collection of legends relating to the various
(3) The Straits of Messina.
THE PRECEPTS OF CHIRON (fragments)
Fragment #1 --
Scholiast on Pindar, Pyth. vi. 19:
`And now, pray, mark all these things well in a wise heart.
First, whenever you come to your house, offer good sacrifices to
the eternal gods.'
Fragment #2 --
Plutarch Mor. 1034 E:
`Decide no suit until you have heard both sides speak.'
Fragment #3 --
Plutarch de Orac. defectu ii. 415 C:
`A chattering crow lives out nine generations of aged men, but a
stag's life is four times a crow's, and a raven's life makes
three stags old, while the phoenix outlives nine ravens, but we,
the rich-haired Nymphs, daughters of Zeus the aegis-holder,
outlive ten phoenixes.'
Fragment #4 --
Quintilian, i. 15:
Some consider that children under the age of seven should not
receive a literary education... That Hesiod was of this opinion
very many writers affirm who were earlier than the critic
Aristophanes; for he was the first to reject the "Precepts", in
which book this maxim occurs, as a work of that poet.
THE GREAT WORKS (fragments)
Fragment #1 --
Comm. on Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics. v. 8:
The verse, however (the slaying of Rhadamanthys), is in Hesiod in
the "Great Works" and is as follows: `If a man sow evil, he shall
reap evil increase; if men do to him as he has done, it will be
Fragment #2 --
Proclus on Hesiod, Works and Days, 126:
Some believe that the Silver Race (is to be attributed to) the
earth, declaring that in the "Great Works" Hesiod makes silver to
be of the family of Earth.
THE IDAEAN DACTYLS (fragments)
Fragment #1 --
Pliny, Natural History vii. 56, 197:
Hesiod says that those who are called the Idaean Dactyls taught
the smelting and tempering of iron in Crete.
Fragment #2 --
Clement, Stromateis i. 16. 75:
Celmis, again, and Damnameneus, the first of the Idaean Dactyls,
discovered iron in Cyprus; but bronze smelting was discovered by
Delas, another Idaean, though Hesiod calls him Scythes (1).
(1) Or perhaps `a Scythian'.
THE THEOGONY (1,041 lines)
(ll. 1-25) From the Heliconian Muses let us begin to sing, who
hold the great and holy mount of Helicon, and dance on soft feet
about the deep-blue spring and the altar of the almighty son of
Cronos, and, when they have washed their tender bodies in
Permessus or in the Horse's Spring or Olmeius, make their fair,
lovely dances upon highest Helicon and move with vigorous feet.
Thence they arise and go abroad by night, veiled in thick mist,
and utter their song with lovely voice, praising Zeus the aegis-
holder and queenly Hera of Argos who walks on golden sandals and
the daughter of Zeus the aegis-holder bright-eyed Athene, and
Phoebus Apollo, and Artemis who delights in arrows, and Poseidon
the earth-holder who shakes the earth, and reverend Themis and
quick-glancing (1) Aphrodite, and Hebe with the crown of gold,
and fair Dione, Leto, Iapetus, and Cronos the crafty counsellor,
Eos and great Helius and bright Selene, Earth too, and great
Oceanus, and dark Night, and the holy race of all the other
deathless ones that are for ever. And one day they taught Hesiod
glorious song while he was shepherding his lambs under holy
Helicon, and this word first the goddesses said to me -- the
Muses of Olympus, daughters of Zeus who holds the aegis:
(ll. 26-28) `Shepherds of the wilderness, wretched things of
shame, mere bellies, we know how to speak many false things as
though they were true; but we know, when we will, to utter true
(ll. 29-35) So said the ready-voiced daughters of great Zeus, and
they plucked and gave me a rod, a shoot of sturdy laurel, a
marvellous thing, and breathed into me a divine voice to
celebrate things that shall be and things there were aforetime;
and they bade me sing of the race of the blessed gods that are
eternally, but ever to sing of themselves both first and last.
But why all this about oak or stone? (2)
(ll. 36-52) Come thou, let us begin with the Muses who gladden
the great spirit of their father Zeus in Olympus with their
songs, telling of things that are and that shall be and that were
aforetime with consenting voice. Unwearying flows the sweet
sound from their lips, and the house of their father Zeus the
loud-thunderer is glad at the lily-like voice of the goddesses as
it spread abroad, and the peaks of snowy Olympus resound, and the
homes of the immortals. And they uttering their immortal voice,
celebrate in song first of all the reverend race of the gods from
the beginning, those whom Earth and wide Heaven begot, and the
gods sprung of these, givers of good things. Then, next, the
goddesses sing of Zeus, the father of gods and men, as they begin
and end their strain, how much he is the most excellent among the
gods and supreme in power. And again, they chant the race of men
and strong giants, and gladden the heart of Zeus within Olympus,
-- the Olympian Muses, daughters of Zeus the aegis-holder.
(ll. 53-74) Them in Pieria did Mnemosyne (Memory), who reigns
over the hills of Eleuther, bear of union with the father, the
son of Cronos, a forgetting of ills and a rest from sorrow. For
nine nights did wise Zeus lie with her, entering her holy bed
remote from the immortals. And when a year was passed and the
seasons came round as the months waned, and many days were
accomplished, she bare nine daughters, all of one mind, whose
hearts are set upon song and their spirit free from care, a
little way from the topmost peak of snowy Olympus. There are
their bright dancing-places and beautiful homes, and beside them
the Graces and Himerus (Desire) live in delight. And they,
uttering through their lips a lovely voice, sing the laws of all
and the goodly ways of the immortals, uttering their lovely
voice. Then went they to Olympus, delighting in their sweet
voice, with heavenly song, and the dark earth resounded about
them as they chanted, and a lovely sound rose up beneath their
feet as they went to their father. And he was reigning in
heaven, himself holding the lightning and glowing thunderbolt,
when he had overcome by might his father Cronos; and he
distributed fairly to the immortals their portions and declared
(ll. 75-103) These things, then, the Muses sang who dwell on
Olympus, nine daughters begotten by great Zeus, Cleio and
Euterpe, Thaleia, Melpomene and Terpsichore, and Erato and
Polyhymnia and Urania and Calliope (3), who is the chiefest of
them all, for she attends on worshipful princes: whomsoever of
heaven-nourished princes the daughters of great Zeus honour, and
behold him at his birth, they pour sweet dew upon his tongue, and
from his lips flow gracious words. All the people look towards
him while he settles causes with true judgements: and he,
speaking surely, would soon make wise end even of a great
quarrel; for therefore are there princes wise in heart, because
when the people are being misguided in their assembly, they set
right the matter again with ease, persuading them with gentle
words. And when he passes through a gathering, they greet him as
a god with gentle reverence, and he is conspicuous amongst the
assembled: such is the holy gift of the Muses to men. For it is
through the Muses and far-shooting Apollo that there are singers
and harpers upon the earth; but princes are of Zeus, and happy is
he whom the Muses love: sweet flows speech from his mouth. For
though a man have sorrow and grief in his newly-troubled soul and
live in dread because his heart is distressed, yet, when a
singer, the servant of the Muses, chants the glorious deeds of
men of old and the blessed gods who inhabit Olympus, at once he
forgets his heaviness and remembers not his sorrows at all; but
the gifts of the goddesses soon turn him away from these.
(ll. 104-115) Hail, children of Zeus! Grant lovely song and
celebrate the holy race of the deathless gods who are for ever,
those that were born of Earth and starry Heaven and gloomy Night
and them that briny Sea did rear. Tell how at the first gods and
earth came to be, and rivers, and the boundless sea with its
raging swell, and the gleaming stars, and the wide heaven above,
and the gods who were born of them, givers of good things, and
how they divided their wealth, and how they shared their honours
amongst them, and also how at the first they took many-folded
Olympus. These things declare to me from the beginning, ye Muses
who dwell in the house of Olympus, and tell me which of them
first came to be.
(ll. 116-138) Verily at the first Chaos came to be, but next
wide-bosomed Earth, the ever-sure foundations of all (4) the
deathless ones who hold the peaks of snowy Olympus, and dim
Tartarus in the depth of the wide-pathed Earth, and Eros (Love),
fairest among the deathless gods, who unnerves the limbs and
overcomes the mind and wise counsels of all gods and all men
within them. From Chaos came forth Erebus and black Night; but
of Night were born Aether (5) and Day, whom she conceived and
bare from union in love with Erebus. And Earth first bare starry
Heaven, equal to herself, to cover her on every side, and to be
an ever-sure abiding-place for the blessed gods. And she brought
forth long Hills, graceful haunts of the goddess-Nymphs who dwell
amongst the glens of the hills. She bare also the fruitless deep
with his raging swell, Pontus, without sweet union of love. But
afterwards she lay with Heaven and bare deep-swirling Oceanus,
Coeus and Crius and Hyperion and Iapetus, Theia and Rhea, Themis
and Mnemosyne and gold-crowned Phoebe and lovely Tethys. After
them was born Cronos the wily, youngest and most terrible of her
children, and he hated his lusty sire.
(ll. 139-146) And again, she bare the Cyclopes, overbearing in
spirit, Brontes, and Steropes and stubborn-hearted Arges (6), who
gave Zeus the thunder and made the thunderbolt: in all else they
were like the gods, but one eye only was set in the midst of
their fore-heads. And they were surnamed Cyclopes (Orb-eyed)
because one orbed eye was set in their foreheads. Strength and
might and craft were in their works.
(ll. 147-163) And again, three other sons were born of Earth and
Heaven, great and doughty beyond telling, Cottus and Briareos and
Gyes, presumptuous children. From their shoulders sprang an
hundred arms, not to be approached, and each had fifty heads upon
his shoulders on their strong limbs, and irresistible was the
stubborn strength that was in their great forms. For of all the
children that were born of Earth and Heaven, these were the most
terrible, and they were hated by their own father from the first.
And he used to hide them all away in a secret place of Earth so
soon as each was born, and would not suffer them to come up into
the light: and Heaven rejoiced in his evil doing. But vast Earth
groaned within, being straitened, and she made the element of
grey flint and shaped a great sickle, and told her plan to her
dear sons. And she spoke, cheering them, while she was vexed in
her dear heart:
(ll. 164-166) `My children, gotten of a sinful father, if you
will obey me, we should punish the vile outrage of your father;
for he first thought of doing shameful things.'
(ll. 167-169) So she said; but fear seized them all, and none of
them uttered a word. But great Cronos the wily took courage and
answered his dear mother:
(ll. 170-172) `Mother, I will undertake to do this deed, for I
reverence not our father of evil name, for he first thought of
doing shameful things.'
(ll. 173-175) So he said: and vast Earth rejoiced greatly in
spirit, and set and hid him in an ambush, and put in his hands a
jagged sickle, and revealed to him the whole plot.
(ll. 176-206) And Heaven came, bringing on night and longing for
love, and he lay about Earth spreading himself full upon her (7).
Then the son from his ambush stretched forth his left hand and in
his right took the great long sickle with jagged teeth, and
swiftly lopped off his own father's members and cast them away to
fall behind him. And not vainly did they fall from his hand; for
all the bloody drops that gushed forth Earth received, and as the
seasons moved round she bare the strong Erinyes and the great
Giants with gleaming armour, holding long spears in their hands
and the Nymphs whom they call Meliae (8) all over the boundless
earth. And so soon as he had cut off the members with flint and
cast them from the land into the surging sea, they were swept
away over the main a long time: and a white foam spread around
them from the immortal flesh, and in it there grew a maiden.
First she drew near holy Cythera, and from there, afterwards, she
came to sea-girt Cyprus, and came forth an awful and lovely
goddess, and grass grew up about her beneath her shapely feet.
Her gods and men call Aphrodite, and the foam-born goddess and
rich-crowned Cytherea, because she grew amid the foam, and
Cytherea because she reached Cythera, and Cyprogenes because she
was born in billowy Cyprus, and Philommedes (9) because sprang
from the members. And with her went Eros, and comely Desire
followed her at her birth at the first and as she went into the
assembly of the gods. This honour she has from the beginning,
and this is the portion allotted to her amongst men and undying
gods, -- the whisperings of maidens and smiles and deceits with
sweet delight and love and graciousness.
(ll. 207-210) But these sons whom be begot himself great Heaven
used to call Titans (Strainers) in reproach, for he said that
they strained and did presumptuously a fearful deed, and that
vengeance for it would come afterwards.
(ll. 211-225) And Night bare hateful Doom and black Fate and
Death, and she bare Sleep and the tribe of Dreams. And again the
goddess murky Night, though she lay with none, bare Blame and
painful Woe, and the Hesperides who guard the rich, golden apples
and the trees bearing fruit beyond glorious Ocean. Also she bare
the Destinies and ruthless avenging Fates, Clotho and Lachesis
and Atropos (10), who give men at their birth both evil and good
to have, and they pursue the transgressions of men and of gods:
and these goddesses never cease from their dread anger until they
punish the sinner with a sore penalty. Also deadly Night bare
Nemesis (Indignation) to afflict mortal men, and after her,
Deceit and Friendship and hateful Age and hard-hearted Strife.
(ll. 226-232) But abhorred Strife bare painful Toil and
Forgetfulness and Famine and tearful Sorrows, Fightings also,
Battles, Murders, Manslaughters, Quarrels, Lying Words, Disputes,
Lawlessness and Ruin, all of one nature, and Oath who most
troubles men upon earth when anyone wilfully swears a false oath.
(ll. 233-239) And Sea begat Nereus, the eldest of his children,
who is true and lies not: and men call him the Old Man because he
is trusty and gentle and does not forget the laws of
righteousness, but thinks just and kindly thoughts. And yet
again he got great Thaumas and proud Phoreys, being mated with
Earth, and fair-cheeked Ceto and Eurybia who has a heart of flint
(ll. 240-264) And of Nereus and rich-haired Doris, daughter of
Ocean the perfect river, were born children (11), passing lovely
amongst goddesses, Ploto, Eucrante, Sao, and Amphitrite, and
Eudora, and Thetis, Galene and Glauce, Cymothoe, Speo, Thoe and
lovely Halie, and Pasithea, and Erato, and rosy-armed Eunice, and
gracious Melite, and Eulimene, and Agaue, Doto, Proto, Pherusa,
and Dynamene, and Nisaea, and Actaea, and Protomedea, Doris,
Panopea, and comely Galatea, and lovely Hippothoe, and rosy-armed
Hipponoe, and Cymodoce who with Cymatolege (12) and Amphitrite
easily calms the waves upon the misty sea and the blasts of
raging winds, and Cymo, and Eione, and rich-crowned Alimede, and
Glauconome, fond of laughter, and Pontoporea, Leagore, Euagore,
and Laomedea, and Polynoe, and Autonoe, and Lysianassa, and
Euarne, lovely of shape and without blemish of form, and Psamathe
of charming figure and divine Menippe, Neso, Eupompe, Themisto,
Pronoe, and Nemertes (13) who has the nature of her deathless
father. These fifty daughters sprang from blameless Nereus,
skilled in excellent crafts.
(ll. 265-269) And Thaumas wedded Electra the daughter of deep-
flowing Ocean, and she bare him swift Iris and the long-haired
Harpies, Aello (Storm-swift) and Ocypetes (Swift-flier) who on
their swift wings keep pace with the blasts of the winds and the
birds; for quick as time they dart along.
(ll 270-294) And again, Ceto bare to Phoreys the fair-cheeked
Graiae, sisters grey from their birth: and both deathless gods
and men who walk on earth call them Graiae, Pemphredo well-clad,
and saffron-robed Enyo, and the Gorgons who dwell beyond glorious
Ocean in the frontier land towards Night where are the clear-
voiced Hesperides, Sthenno, and Euryale, and Medusa who suffered
a woeful fate: she was mortal, but the two were undying and grew
not old. With her lay the Dark-haired One (14) in a soft meadow
amid spring flowers. And when Perseus cut off her head, there
sprang forth great Chrysaor and the horse Pegasus who is so
called because he was born near the springs (pegae) of Ocean; and
that other, because he held a golden blade (aor) in his hands.
Now Pegasus flew away and left the earth, the mother of flocks,
and came to the deathless gods: and he dwells in the house of
Zeus and brings to wise Zeus the thunder and lightning. But
Chrysaor was joined in love to Callirrhoe, the daughter of
glorious Ocean, and begot three-headed Geryones. Him mighty
Heracles slew in sea-girt Erythea by his shambling oxen on that
day when he drove the wide-browed oxen to holy Tiryns, and had
crossed the ford of Ocean and killed Orthus and Eurytion the
herdsman in the dim stead out beyond glorious Ocean.
(ll. 295-305) And in a hollow cave she bare another monster,
irresistible, in no wise like either to mortal men or to the
undying gods, even the goddess fierce Echidna who is half a nymph
with glancing eyes and fair cheeks, and half again a huge snake,
great and awful, with speckled skin, eating raw flesh beneath the
secret parts of the holy earth. And there she has a cave deep
down under a hollow rock far from the deathless gods and mortal
men. There, then, did the gods appoint her a glorious house to
dwell in: and she keeps guard in Arima beneath the earth, grim
Echidna, a nymph who dies not nor grows old all her days.
(ll. 306-332) Men say that Typhaon the terrible, outrageous and
lawless, was joined in love to her, the maid with glancing eyes.
So she conceived and brought forth fierce offspring; first she
bare Orthus the hound of Geryones, and then again she bare a
second, a monster not to be overcome and that may not be
described, Cerberus who eats raw flesh, the brazen-voiced hound
of Hades, fifty-headed, relentless and strong. And again she
bore a third, the evil-minded Hydra of Lerna, whom the goddess,
white-armed Hera nourished, being angry beyond measure with the
mighty Heracles. And her Heracles, the son of Zeus, of the house
of Amphitryon, together with warlike Iolaus, destroyed with the
unpitying sword through the plans of Athene the spoil-driver.
She was the mother of Chimaera who breathed raging fire, a
creature fearful, great, swift-footed and strong, who had three
heads, one of a grim-eyed lion; in her hinderpart, a dragon; and
in her middle, a goat, breathing forth a fearful blast of blazing
fire. Her did Pegasus and noble Bellerophon slay; but Echidna
was subject in love to Orthus and brought forth the deadly Sphinx
which destroyed the Cadmeans, and the Nemean lion, which Hera,
the good wife of Zeus, brought up and made to haunt the hills of
Nemea, a plague to men. There he preyed upon the tribes of her
own people and had power over Tretus of Nemea and Apesas: yet the
strength of stout Heracles overcame him.
(ll. 333-336) And Ceto was joined in love to Phorcys and bare her
youngest, the awful snake who guards the apples all of gold in
the secret places of the dark earth at its great bounds. This is
the offspring of Ceto and Phoreys.
(ll. 334-345) And Tethys bare to Ocean eddying rivers, Nilus, and
Alpheus, and deep-swirling Eridanus, Strymon, and Meander, and
the fair stream of Ister, and Phasis, and Rhesus, and the silver
eddies of Achelous, Nessus, and Rhodius, Haliacmon, and
Heptaporus, Granicus, and Aesepus, and holy Simois, and Peneus,
and Hermus, and Caicus fair stream, and great Sangarius, Ladon,
Parthenius, Euenus, Ardescus, and divine Scamander.
(ll. 346-370) Also she brought forth a holy company of daughters
(15) who with the lord Apollo and the Rivers have youths in their
keeping -- to this charge Zeus appointed them -- Peitho, and
Admete, and Ianthe, and Electra, and Doris, and Prymno, and
Urania divine in form, Hippo, Clymene, Rhodea, and Callirrhoe,
Zeuxo and Clytie, and Idyia, and Pasithoe, Plexaura, and
Galaxaura, and lovely Dione, Melobosis and Thoe and handsome
Polydora, Cerceis lovely of form, and soft eyed Pluto, Perseis,
Ianeira, Acaste, Xanthe, Petraea the fair, Menestho, and Europa,
Metis, and Eurynome, and Telesto saffron-clad, Chryseis and Asia
and charming Calypso, Eudora, and Tyche, Amphirho, and Ocyrrhoe,
and Styx who is the chiefest of them all. These are the eldest
daughters that sprang from Ocean and Tethys; but there are many
besides. For there are three thousand neat-ankled daughters of
Ocean who are dispersed far and wide, and in every place alike
serve the earth and the deep waters, children who are glorious
among goddesses. And as many other rivers are there, babbling as
they flow, sons of Ocean, whom queenly Tethys bare, but their
names it is hard for a mortal man to tell, but people know those
by which they severally dwell.
(ll. 371-374) And Theia was subject in love to Hyperion and bare
great Helius (Sun) and clear Selene (Moon) and Eos (Dawn) who
shines upon all that are on earth and upon the deathless Gods who
live in the wide heaven.
(ll. 375-377) And Eurybia, bright goddess, was joined in love to
Crius and bare great Astraeus, and Pallas, and Perses who also
was eminent among all men in wisdom.
(ll. 378-382) And Eos bare to Astraeus the strong-hearted winds,
brightening Zephyrus, and Boreas, headlong in his course, and
Notus, -- a goddess mating in love with a god. And after these
Erigenia (16) bare the star Eosphorus (Dawn-bringer), and the
gleaming stars with which heaven is crowned.
(ll. 383-403) And Styx the daughter of Ocean was joined to Pallas
and bare Zelus (Emulation) and trim-ankled Nike (Victory) in the
house. Also she brought forth Cratos (Strength) and Bia (Force),
wonderful children. These have no house apart from Zeus, nor any
dwelling nor path except that wherein God leads them, but they
dwell always with Zeus the loud-thunderer. For so did Styx the
deathless daughter of Ocean plan on that day when the Olympian
Lightener called all the deathless gods to great Olympus, and
said that whosoever of the gods would fight with him against the
Titans, he would not cast him out from his rights, but each
should have the office which he had before amongst the deathless
gods. And he declared that he who was without office and rights
as is just. So deathless Styx came first to Olympus with her
children through the wit of her dear father. And Zeus honoured
her, and gave her very great gifts, for her he appointed to be
the great oath of the gods, and her children to live with him
always. And as he promised, so he performed fully unto them all.
But he himself mightily reigns and rules.
(ll. 404-452) Again, Phoebe came to the desired embrace of Coeus.
Then the goddess through the love of the god conceived and
brought forth dark-gowned Leto, always mild, kind to men and to
the deathless gods, mild from the beginning, gentlest in all
Olympus. Also she bare Asteria of happy name, whom Perses once
led to his great house to be called his dear wife. And she
conceived and bare Hecate whom Zeus the son of Cronos honoured
above all. He gave her splendid gifts, to have a share of the
earth and the unfruitful sea. She received honour also in starry
heaven, and is honoured exceedingly by the deathless gods. For
to this day, whenever any one of men on earth offers rich
sacrifices and prays for favour according to custom, he calls
upon Hecate. Great honour comes full easily to him whose prayers
the goddess receives favourably, and she bestows wealth upon him;
for the power surely is with her. For as many as were born of
Earth and Ocean amongst all these she has her due portion. The
son of Cronos did her no wrong nor took anything away of all that
was her portion among the former Titan gods: but she holds, as
the division was at the first from the beginning, privilege both
in earth, and in heaven, and in sea. Also, because she is an
only child, the goddess receives not less honour, but much more
still, for Zeus honours her. Whom she will she greatly aids and
advances: she sits by worshipful kings in judgement, and in the
assembly whom she will is distinguished among the people. And
when men arm themselves for the battle that destroys men, then
the goddess is at hand to give victory and grant glory readily to
whom she will. Good is she also when men contend at the games,
for there too the goddess is with them and profits them: and he
who by might and strength gets the victory wins the rich prize
easily with joy, and brings glory to his parents. And she is
good to stand by horsemen, whom she will: and to those whose
business is in the grey discomfortable sea, and who pray to
Hecate and the loud-crashing Earth-Shaker, easily the glorious
goddess gives great catch, and easily she takes it away as soon
as seen, if so she will. She is good in the byre with Hermes to
increase the stock. The droves of kine and wide herds of goats
and flocks of fleecy sheep, if she will, she increases from a
few, or makes many to be less. So, then. albeit her mother's
only child (17), she is honoured amongst all the deathless gods.
And the son of Cronos made her a nurse of the young who after
that day saw with their eyes the light of all-seeing Dawn. So
from the beginning she is a nurse of the young, and these are her
(ll. 453-491) But Rhea was subject in love to Cronos and bare
splendid children, Hestia (18), Demeter, and gold-shod Hera and
strong Hades, pitiless in heart, who dwells under the earth, and
the loud-crashing Earth-Shaker, and wise Zeus, father of gods and
men, by whose thunder the wide earth is shaken. These great
Cronos swallowed as each came forth from the womb to his mother's
knees with this intent, that no other of the proud sons of Heaven
should hold the kingly office amongst the deathless gods. For he
learned from Earth and starry Heaven that he was destined to be
overcome by his own son, strong though he was, through the
contriving of great Zeus (19). Therefore he kept no blind
outlook, but watched and swallowed down his children: and
unceasing grief seized Rhea. But when she was about to bear
Zeus, the father of gods and men, then she besought her own dear
parents, Earth and starry Heaven, to devise some plan with her
that the birth of her dear child might be concealed, and that
retribution might overtake great, crafty Cronos for his own
father and also for the children whom he had swallowed down. And
they readily heard and obeyed their dear daughter, and told her
all that was destined to happen touching Cronos the king and his
stout-hearted son. So they sent her to Lyetus, to the rich land
of Crete, when she was ready to bear great Zeus, the youngest of
her children. Him did vast Earth receive from Rhea in wide Crete
to nourish and to bring up. Thither came Earth carrying him
swiftly through the black night to Lyctus first, and took him in
her arms and hid him in a remote cave beneath the secret places
of the holy earth on thick-wooded Mount Aegeum; but to the
mightily ruling son of Heaven, the earlier king of the gods, she
gave a great stone wrapped in swaddling clothes. Then he took it
in his hands and thrust it down into his belly: wretch! he knew
not in his heart that in place of the stone his son was left
behind, unconquered and untroubled, and that he was soon to
overcome him by force and might and drive him from his honours,
himself to reign over the deathless gods.
(ll. 492-506) After that, the strength and glorious limbs of the
prince increased quickly, and as the years rolled on, great
Cronos the wily was beguiled by the deep suggestions of Earth,
and brought up again his offspring, vanquished by the arts and
might of his own son, and he vomited up first the stone which he
had swallowed last. And Zeus set it fast in the wide-pathed
earth at goodly Pytho under the glens of Parnassus, to be a sign
thenceforth and a marvel to mortal men (20). And he set free
from their deadly bonds the brothers of his father, sons of
Heaven whom his father in his foolishness had bound. And they
remembered to be grateful to him for his kindness, and gave him
thunder and the glowing thunderbolt and lightening: for before
that, huge Earth had hidden these. In them he trusts and rules
over mortals and immortals.
(ll. 507-543) Now Iapetus took to wife the neat-ankled mad
Clymene, daughter of Ocean, and went up with her into one bed.
And she bare him a stout-hearted son, Atlas: also she bare very
glorious Menoetius and clever Prometheus, full of various wiles,
and scatter-brained Epimetheus who from the first was a mischief
to men who eat bread; for it was he who first took of Zeus the
woman, the maiden whom he had formed. But Menoetius was
outrageous, and far-seeing Zeus struck him with a lurid
thunderbolt and sent him down to Erebus because of his mad
presumption and exceeding pride. And Atlas through hard
constraint upholds the wide heaven with unwearying head and arms,
standing at the borders of the earth before the clear-voiced
Hesperides; for this lot wise Zeus assigned to him. And ready-
witted Prometheus he bound with inextricable bonds, cruel chains,
and drove a shaft through his middle, and set on him a long-
winged eagle, which used to eat his immortal liver; but by night
the liver grew as much again everyway as the long-winged bird
devoured in the whole day. That bird Heracles, the valiant son
of shapely-ankled Alcmene, slew; and delivered the son of Iapetus
from the cruel plague, and released him from his affliction --
not without the will of Olympian Zeus who reigns on high, that
the glory of Heracles the Theban-born might be yet greater than
it was before over the plenteous earth. This, then, he regarded,
and honoured his famous son; though he was angry, he ceased from
the wrath which he had before because Prometheus matched himself
in wit with the almighty son of Cronos. For when the gods and
mortal men had a dispute at Mecone, even then Prometheus was
forward to cut up a great ox and set portions before them, trying
to befool the mind of Zeus. Before the rest he set flesh and
inner parts thick with fat upon the hide, covering them with an
ox paunch; but for Zeus he put the white bones dressed up with
cunning art and covered with shining fat. Then the father of men
and of gods said to him:
(ll. 543-544) `Son of Iapetus, most glorious of all lords, good
sir, how unfairly you have divided the portions!'
(ll. 545-547) So said Zeus whose wisdom is everlasting, rebuking
him. But wily Prometheus answered him, smiling softly and not
forgetting his cunning trick:
(ll. 548-558) `Zeus, most glorious and greatest of the eternal
gods, take which ever of these portions your heart within you
bids.' So he said, thinking trickery. But Zeus, whose wisdom is
everlasting, saw and failed not to perceive the trick, and in his
heart he thought mischief against mortal men which also was to be
fulfilled. With both hands he took up the white fat and was
angry at heart, and wrath came to his spirit when he saw the
white ox-bones craftily tricked out: and because of this the
tribes of men upon earth burn white bones to the deathless gods
upon fragrant altars. But Zeus who drives the clouds was greatly
vexed and said to him:
(ll. 559-560) `Son of Iapetus, clever above all! So, sir, you
have not yet forgotten your cunning arts!'
(ll. 561-584) So spake Zeus in anger, whose wisdom is
everlasting; and from that time he was always mindful of the
trick, and would not give the power of unwearying fire to the
Melian (21) race of mortal men who live on the earth. But the
noble son of Iapetus outwitted him and stole the far-seen gleam
of unwearying fire in a hollow fennel stalk. 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.
(ll. 585-589) 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.
(ll. 590-612) 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
(ll. 613-616) 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.
(ll. 617-643) But when first their father was vexed in his heart
with Obriareus and Cottus and Gyes, he bound them in cruel bonds,
because he was jealous of their exceeding manhood and comeliness
and great size: and he made them live beneath the wide-pathed
earth, where they were afflicted, being set to dwell under the
ground, at the end of the earth, at its great borders, in bitter
anguish for a long time and with great grief at heart. But the
son of Cronos and the other deathless gods whom rich-haired Rhea
bare from union with Cronos, brought them up again to the light
at Earth's advising. For she herself recounted all things to the
gods fully, how that with these they would gain victory and a
glorious cause to vaunt themselves. For the Titan gods and as
many as sprang from Cronos had long been fighting together in
stubborn war with heart-grieving toil, the lordly Titans from
high Othyrs, but the gods, givers of good, whom rich-haired Rhea
bare in union with Cronos, from Olympus. So they, with bitter
wrath, were fighting continually with one another at that time
for ten full years, and the hard strife had no close or end for
either side, and the issue of the war hung evenly balanced. But
when he had provided those three with all things fitting, nectar
and ambrosia which the gods themselves eat, and when their proud
spirit revived within them all after they had fed on nectar and
delicious ambrosia, then it was that the father of men and gods
spoke amongst them:
(ll. 644-653) `Hear me, bright children of Earth and Heaven, that
I may say what my heart within me bids. A long while now have
we, who are sprung from Cronos and the Titan gods, fought with
each other every day to get victory and to prevail. But do you
show your great might and unconquerable strength, and face the
Titans in bitter strife; for remember our friendly kindness, and
from what sufferings you are come back to the light from your
cruel bondage under misty gloom through our counsels.'
(ll. 654-663) So he said. And blameless Cottus answered him
again: `Divine one, you speak that which we know well: nay, even
of ourselves we know that your wisdom and understanding is
exceeding, and that you became a defender of the deathless ones
from chill doom. And through your devising we are come back
again from the murky gloom and from our merciless bonds, enjoying
what we looked not for, O lord, son of Cronos. And so now with
fixed purpose and deliberate counsel we will aid your power in
dreadful strife and will fight against the Titans in hard
(ll. 664-686) So he said: and the gods, givers of good things,
applauded when they heard his word, and their spirit longed for
war even more than before, and they all, both male and female,
stirred up hated battle that day, the Titan gods, and all that
were born of Cronos together with those dread, mighty ones of
overwhelming strength whom Zeus brought up to the light from
Erebus beneath the earth. An hundred arms sprang from the
shoulders of all alike, and each had fifty heads growing upon his
shoulders upon stout limbs. These, then, stood against the
Titans in grim strife, holding huge rocks in their strong hands.
And on the other part the Titans eagerly strengthened their
ranks, and both sides at one time showed the work of their hands
and their might. The boundless sea rang terribly around, and the
earth crashed loudly: wide Heaven was shaken and groaned, and
high Olympus reeled from its foundation under the charge of the
undying gods, and a heavy quaking reached dim Tartarus and the
deep sound of their feet in the fearful onset and of their hard
missiles. So, then, they launched their grievous shafts upon one
another, and the cry of both armies as they shouted reached to
starry heaven; and they met together with a great battle-cry.
(ll. 687-712) Then Zeus no longer held back his might; but
straight his heart was filled with fury and he showed forth all
his strength. From Heaven and from Olympus he came forthwith,
hurling his lightning: the bold flew thick and fast from his
strong hand together with thunder and lightning, whirling an
awesome flame. The life-giving earth crashed around in burning,
and the vast wood crackled loud with fire all about. All the
land seethed, and Ocean's streams and the unfruitful sea. The
hot vapour lapped round the earthborn Titans: flame unspeakable
rose to the bright upper air: the flashing glare of the thunder-
stone and lightning blinded their eyes for all that there were
strong. Astounding heat seized Chaos: and to see with eyes and
to hear the sound with ears it seemed even as if Earth and wide
Heaven above came together; for such a mighty crash would have
arisen if Earth were being hurled to ruin, and Heaven from on
high were hurling her down; so great a crash was there while the
gods were meeting together in strife. Also the winds brought
rumbling earthquake and duststorm, thunder and lightning and the
lurid thunderbolt, which are the shafts of great Zeus, and
carried the clangour and the warcry into the midst of the two
hosts. An horrible uproar of terrible strife arose: mighty deeds
were shown and the battle inclined. But until then, they kept at
one another and fought continually in cruel war.
(ll. 713-735) And amongst the foremost Cottus and Briareos and
Gyes insatiate for war raised fierce fighting: three hundred
rocks, one upon another, they launched from their strong hands
and overshadowed the Titans with their missiles, and buried them
beneath the wide-pathed earth, and bound them in bitter chains
when they had conquered them by their strength for all their
great spirit, as far beneath the earth to Tartarus. For a brazen
anvil falling down from heaven nine nights and days would reach
the earth upon the tenth: and again, a brazen anvil falling from
earth nine nights and days would reach Tartarus upon the tenth.
Round it runs a fence of bronze, and night spreads in triple line
all about it like a neck-circlet, while above grow the roots of
the earth and unfruitful sea. There by the counsel of Zeus who
drives the clouds the Titan gods are hidden under misty gloom, in
a dank place where are the ends of the huge earth. And they may
not go out; for Poseidon fixed gates of bronze upon it, and a
wall runs all round it on every side. There Gyes and Cottus and
great-souled Obriareus live, trusty warders of Zeus who holds the
(ll. 736-744) And there, all in their order, are the sources and
ends of gloomy earth and misty Tartarus and the unfruitful sea
and starry heaven, loathsome and dank, which even the gods abhor.
It is a great gulf, and if once a man were within the gates, he
would not reach the floor until a whole year had reached its end,
but cruel blast upon blast would carry him this way and that.
And this marvel is awful even to the deathless gods.
(ll. 744-757) There stands the awful home of murky Night wrapped
in dark clouds. In front of it the son of Iapetus (22) stands
immovably upholding the wide heaven upon his head and unwearying
hands, where Night and Day draw near and greet one another as
they pass the great threshold of bronze: and while the one is
about to go down into the house, the other comes out at the door.
And the house never holds them both within; but always one is
without the house passing over the earth, while the other stays
at home and waits until the time for her journeying come; and the
one holds all-seeing light for them on earth, but the other holds
in her arms Sleep the brother of Death, even evil Night, wrapped
in a vaporous cloud.
(ll. 758-766) And there the children of dark Night have their
dwellings, Sleep and Death, awful gods. The glowing Sun never
looks upon them with his beams, neither as he goes up into
heaven, nor as he comes down from heaven. And the former of them
roams peacefully over the earth and the sea's broad back and is
kindly to men; but the other has a heart of iron, and his spirit
within him is pitiless as bronze: whomsoever of men he has once
seized he holds fast: and he is hateful even to the deathless
(ll. 767-774) There, in front, stand the echoing halls of the god
of the lower-world, strong Hades, and of awful Persephone. A
fearful hound guards the house in front, pitiless, and he has a
cruel trick. On those who go in he fawns with his tail and both
is ears, but suffers them not to go out back again, but keeps
watch and devours whomsoever he catches going out of the gates of
strong Hades and awful Persephone.
(ll. 775-806) And there dwells the goddess loathed by the
deathless gods, terrible Styx, eldest daughter of back-flowing
(23) Ocean. She lives apart from the gods in her glorious house
vaulted over with great rocks and propped up to heaven all round
with silver pillars. Rarely does the daughter of Thaumas, swift-
footed Iris, come to her with a message over the sea's wide back.
But when strife and quarrel arise among the deathless gods, and
when any of them who live in the house of Olympus lies, then Zeus
sends Iris to bring in a golden jug the great oath of the gods
from far away, the famous cold water which trickles down from a
high and beetling rock. Far under the wide-pathed earth a branch
of Oceanus flows through the dark night out of the holy stream,
and a tenth part of his water is allotted to her. With nine
silver-swirling streams he winds about the earth and the sea's
wide back, and then falls into the main (24); but the tenth flows
out from a rock, a sore trouble to the gods. For whoever of the
deathless gods that hold the peaks of snowy Olympus pours a
libation of her water is forsworn, lies breathless until a full
year is completed, and never comes near to taste ambrosia and
nectar, but lies spiritless and voiceless on a strewn bed: and a
heavy trance overshadows him. But when he has spent a long year
in his sickness, another penance and an harder follows after the
first. For nine years he is cut off from the eternal gods and
never joins their councils of their feasts, nine full years. But
in the tenth year he comes again to join the assemblies of the
deathless gods who live in the house of Olympus. Such an oath,
then, did the gods appoint the eternal and primaeval water of
Styx to be: and it spouts through a rugged place.
(ll. 807-819) And there, all in their order, are the sources and
ends of the dark earth and misty Tartarus and the unfruitful sea
and starry heaven, loathsome and dank, which even the gods abhor.
And there are shining gates and an immoveable threshold of bronze
having unending roots and it is grown of itself (25). And
beyond, away from all the gods, live the Titans, beyond gloomy
Chaos. But the glorious allies of loud-crashing Zeus have their
dwelling upon Ocean's foundations, even Cottus and Gyes; but
Briareos, being goodly, the deep-roaring Earth-Shaker made his
son-in-law, giving him Cymopolea his daughter to wed.
(ll. 820-868) But when Zeus had driven the Titans from heaven,
huge Earth bare her youngest child Typhoeus of the love of
Tartarus, by the aid of golden Aphrodite. Strength was with his
hands in all that he did and the feet of the strong god were
untiring. From his shoulders grew an hundred heads of a snake, a
fearful dragon, with dark, flickering tongues, and from under the
brows of his eyes in his marvellous heads flashed fire, and fire
burned from his heads as he glared. And there were voices in all
his dreadful heads which uttered every kind of sound unspeakable;
for at one time they made sounds such that the gods understood,
but at another, the noise of a bull bellowing aloud in proud
ungovernable fury; and at another, the sound of a lion,
relentless of heart; and at anothers, sounds like whelps,
wonderful to hear; and again, at another, he would hiss, so that
the high mountains re-echoed. And truly a thing past help would
have happened on that day, and he would have come to reign over
mortals and immortals, had not the father of men and gods been
quick to perceive it. But he thundered hard and mightily: and
earth around resounded terribly and the wide heaven above, and
the sea and Ocean's streams and the nether parts of the earth.
Great Olympus reeled beneath the divine feet of the king as he
arose and earth groaned thereat. And through the two of them
heat took hold on the dark-blue sea, through the thunder and
lightning, and through the fire from the monster, and the
scorching winds and blazing thunderbolt. The whole earth
seethed, and sky and sea: and the long waves raged along the
beaches round and about, at the rush of the deathless gods: and
there arose an endless shaking. Hades trembled where he rules
over the dead below, and the Titans under Tartarus who live with
Cronos, because of the unending clamour and the fearful strife.
So when Zeus had raised up his might and seized his arms, thunder
and lightning and lurid thunderbolt, he leaped form Olympus and
struck him, and burned all the marvellous heads of the monster
about him. But when Zeus had conquered him and lashed him with
strokes, Typhoeus was hurled down, a maimed wreck, so that the
huge earth groaned. And flame shot forth from the thunder-
stricken lord in the dim rugged glens of the mount (26), when he
was smitten. A great part of huge earth was scorched by the
terrible vapour and melted as tin melts when heated by men's art
in channelled (27) crucibles; or as iron, which is hardest of all
things, is softened by glowing fire in mountain glens and melts
in the divine earth through the strength of Hephaestus (28).
Even so, then, the earth melted in the glow of the blazing fire.
And in the bitterness of his anger Zeus cast him into wide
(ll. 869-880) And from Typhoeus come boisterous winds which blow
damply, except Notus and Boreas and clear Zephyr. These are a
god-sent kind, and a great blessing to men; but the others blow
fitfully upon the seas. Some rush upon the misty sea and work
great havoc among men with their evil, raging blasts; for varying
with the season they blow, scattering ships and destroying
sailors. And men who meet these upon the sea have no help
against the mischief. Others again over the boundless, flowering
earth spoil the fair fields of men who dwell below, filling them
with dust and cruel uproar.
(ll. 881-885) But when the blessed gods had finished their toil,
and settled by force their struggle for honours with the Titans,
they pressed far-seeing Olympian Zeus to reign and to rule over
them, by Earth's prompting. So he divided their dignities
(ll. 886-900) Now Zeus, king of the gods, made Metis his wife
first, and she was wisest among gods and mortal men. But when
she was about to bring forth the goddess bright-eyed Athene, Zeus
craftily deceived her with cunning words and put her in his own
belly, as Earth and starry Heaven advised. For they advised him
so, to the end that no other should hold royal sway over the
eternal gods in place of Zeus; for very wise children were
destined to be born of her, first the maiden bright-eyed
Tritogeneia, equal to her father in strength and in wise
understanding; but afterwards she was to bear a son of
overbearing spirit, king of gods and men. But Zeus put her into
his own belly first, that the goddess might devise for him both
good and evil.
(ll. 901-906) Next he married bright Themis who bare the Horae
(Hours), and Eunomia (Order), Dike (Justice), and blooming Eirene
(Peace), who mind the works of mortal men, and the Moerae (Fates)
to whom wise Zeus gave the greatest honour, Clotho, and Lachesis,
and Atropos who give mortal men evil and good to have.
(ll. 907-911) And Eurynome, the daughter of Ocean, beautiful in
form, bare him three fair-cheeked Charites (Graces), Aglaea, and
Euphrosyne, and lovely Thaleia, from whose eyes as they glanced
flowed love that unnerves the limbs: and beautiful is their
glance beneath their brows.
(ll. 912-914) Also he came to the bed of all-nourishing Demeter,
and she bare white-armed Persephone whom Aidoneus carried off
from her mother; but wise Zeus gave her to him.
(ll. 915-917) And again, he loved Mnemosyne with the beautiful
hair: and of her the nine gold-crowned Muses were born who
delight in feasts and the pleasures of song.
(ll. 918-920) And Leto was joined in love with Zeus who holds the
aegis, and bare Apollo and Artemis delighting in arrows, children
lovely above all the sons of Heaven.
(ll. 921-923) Lastly, he made Hera his blooming wife: and she was
joined in love with the king of gods and men, and brought forth
Hebe and Ares and Eileithyia.
(ll. 924-929) But Zeus himself gave birth from his own head to
bright-eyed Tritogeneia (29), the awful, the strife-stirring, the
host-leader, the unwearying, the queen, who delights in tumults
and wars and battles. But Hera without union with Zeus -- for
she was very angry and quarrelled with her mate -- bare famous
Hephaestus, who is skilled in crafts more than all the sons of
(ll. 929a-929t) (30) But Hera was very angry and quarrelled with
her mate. And because of this strife she bare without union with
Zeus who holds the aegis a glorious son, Hephaestus, who excelled
all the sons of Heaven in crafts. But Zeus lay with the fair-
cheeked daughter of Ocean and Tethys apart from Hera....
....deceiving Metis (Thought) although she was full wise. But he
seized her with his hands and put her in his belly, for fear that
she might bring forth something stronger than his thunderbolt:
therefore did Zeus, who sits on high and dwells in the aether,
swallow her down suddenly. But she straightway conceived Pallas
Athene: and the father of men and gods gave her birth by way of
his head on the banks of the river Trito. And she remained
hidden beneath the inward parts of Zeus, even Metis, Athena's
mother, worker of righteousness, who was wiser than gods and
mortal men. There the goddess (Athena) received that (31)
whereby she excelled in strength all the deathless ones who dwell
in Olympus, she who made the host-scaring weapon of Athena. And
with it (Zeus) gave her birth, arrayed in arms of war.
(ll. 930-933) And of Amphitrite and the loud-roaring Earth-Shaker
was born great, wide-ruling Triton, and he owns the depths of the
sea, living with his dear mother and the lord his father in their
golden house, an awful god.
(ll. 933-937) Also Cytherea bare to Ares the shield-piercer Panic
and Fear, terrible gods who drive in disorder the close ranks of
men in numbing war, with the help of Ares, sacker of towns: and
Harmonia whom high-spirited Cadmus made his wife.
(ll. 938-939) And Maia, the daughter of Atlas, bare to Zeus
glorious Hermes, the herald of the deathless gods, for she went
up into his holy bed.
(ll. 940-942) And Semele, daughter of Cadmus was joined with him
in love and bare him a splendid son, joyous Dionysus, -- a mortal
woman an immortal son. And now they both are gods.
(ll. 943-944) And Alemena was joined in love with Zeus who drives
the clouds and bare mighty Heracles.
(ll. 945-946) And Hephaestus, the famous Lame One, made Aglaea,
youngest of the Graces, his buxom wife.
(ll. 947-949) And golden-haired Dionysus made brown-haired
Ariadne, the daughter of Minos, his buxom wife: and the son of
Cronos made her deathless and unageing for him.
(ll. 950-955) And mighty Heracles, the valiant son of neat-ankled
Alemena, when he had finished his grievous toils, made Hebe the
child of great Zeus and gold-shod Hera his shy wife in snowy
Olympus. Happy he! For he has finished his great works and
lives amongst the dying gods, untroubled and unaging all his
(ll. 956-962) And Perseis, the daughter of Ocean, bare to
unwearying Helios Circe and Aeetes the king. And Aeetes, the son
of Helios who shows light to men, took to wife fair-cheeked
Idyia, daughter of Ocean the perfect stream, by the will of the
gods: and she was subject to him in love through golden Aphrodite
and bare him neat-ankled Medea.
(ll. 963-968) And now farewell, you dwellers on Olympus and you
islands and continents and thou briny sea within. Now sing the
company of goddesses, sweet-voiced Muses of Olympus, daughter of
Zeus who holds the aegis, -- even those deathless one who lay
with mortal men and bare children like unto gods.
(ll. 969-974) Demeter, bright goddess, was joined in sweet love
with the hero Iasion in a thrice-ploughed fallow in the rich land
of Crete, and bare Plutus, a kindly god who goes everywhere over
land and the sea's wide back, and him who finds him and into
whose hands he comes he makes rich, bestowing great wealth upon
(ll. 975-978) And Harmonia, the daughter of golden Aphrodite,
bare to Cadmus Ino and Semele and fair-cheeked Agave and Autonoe
whom long haired Aristaeus wedded, and Polydorus also in rich-
(ll. 979-983) And the daughter of Ocean, Callirrhoe was joined in
the love of rich Aphrodite with stout hearted Chrysaor and bare a
son who was the strongest of all men, Geryones, whom mighty
Heracles killed in sea-girt Erythea for the sake of his shambling
(ll. 984-991) And Eos bare to Tithonus brazen-crested Memnon,
king of the Ethiopians, and the Lord Emathion. And to Cephalus
she bare a splendid son, strong Phaethon, a man like the gods,
whom, when he was a young boy in the tender flower of glorious
youth with childish thoughts, laughter-loving Aphrodite seized
and caught up and made a keeper of her shrine by night, a divine
(ll. 993-1002) And the son of Aeson by the will of the gods led
away from Aeetes the daughter of Aeetes the heaven-nurtured king,
when he had finished the many grievous labours which the great
king, over bearing Pelias, that outrageous and presumptuous doer
of violence, put upon him. But when the son of Aeson had
finished them, he came to Iolcus after long toil bringing the
coy-eyed girl with him on his swift ship, and made her his buxom
wife. And she was subject to Iason, shepherd of the people, and
bare a son Medeus whom Cheiron the son of Philyra brought up in
the mountains. And the will of great Zeus was fulfilled.
(ll. 1003-1007) But of the daughters of Nereus, the Old man of
the Sea, Psamathe the fair goddess, was loved by Aeacus through
golden Aphrodite and bare Phocus. And the silver-shod goddess
Thetis was subject to Peleus and brought forth lion-hearted
Achilles, the destroyer of men.
(ll. 1008-1010) And Cytherea with the beautiful crown was joined
in sweet love with the hero Anchises and bare Aeneas on the peaks
of Ida with its many wooded glens.
(ll. 1011-1016) And Circe the daughter of Helius, Hyperion's son,
loved steadfast Odysseus and bare Agrius and Latinus who was
faultless and strong: also she brought forth Telegonus by the
will of golden Aphrodite. And they ruled over the famous
Tyrenians, very far off in a recess of the holy islands.
(ll. 1017-1018) And the bright goddess Calypso was joined to
Odysseus in sweet love, and bare him Nausithous and Nausinous.
(ll. 1019-1020) These are the immortal goddesses who lay with
mortal men and bare them children like unto gods.
(ll. 1021-1022) But now, sweet-voiced Muses of Olympus, daughters
of Zeus who holds the aegis, sing of the company of women.
(1) The epithet probably indicates coquettishness.
(2) A proverbial saying meaning, `why enlarge on irrelevant
(3) `She of the noble voice': Calliope is queen of Epic poetry.
(4) Earth, in the cosmology of Hesiod, is a disk surrounded by
the river Oceanus and floating upon a waste of waters. It
is called the foundation of all (the qualification `the
deathless ones...' etc. is an interpolation), because not
only trees, men, and animals, but even the hills and seas
(ll. 129, 131) are supported by it.
(5) Aether is the bright, untainted upper atmosphere, as
distinguished from Aer, the lower atmosphere of the earth.
(6) Brontes is the Thunderer; Steropes, the Lightener; and
Arges, the Vivid One.
(7) The myth accounts for the separation of Heaven and Earth.
In Egyptian cosmology Nut (the Sky) is thrust and held apart
from her brother Geb (the Earth) by their father Shu, who
corresponds to the Greek Atlas.
(8) Nymphs of the ash-trees, as Dryads are nymphs of the oak-
trees. Cp. note on "Works and Days", l. 145.
(9) `Member-loving': the title is perhaps only a perversion of
the regular PHILOMEIDES (laughter-loving).
(10) Cletho (the Spinner) is she who spins the thread of man's
life; Lachesis (the Disposer of Lots) assigns to each man
his destiny; Atropos (She who cannot be turned) is the `Fury
with the abhorred shears.'
(11) Many of the names which follow express various qualities or
aspects of the sea: thus Galene is `Calm', Cymothoe is the
`Wave-swift', Pherusa and Dynamene are `She who speeds
(ships)' and `She who has power'.
(12) The `Wave-receiver' and the `Wave-stiller'.
(13) `The Unerring' or `Truthful'; cp. l. 235.
(14) i.e. Poseidon.
(15) Goettling notes that some of these nymphs derive their names
from lands over which they preside, as Europa, Asia, Doris,
Ianeira (`Lady of the Ionians'), but that most are called
after some quality which their streams possessed: thus
Xanthe is the `Brown' or `Turbid', Amphirho is the
`Surrounding' river, Ianthe is `She who delights', and
Ocyrrhoe is the `Swift-flowing'.
(16) i.e. Eos, the `Early-born'.
(17) Van Lennep explains that Hecate, having no brothers to
support her claim, might have been slighted.
(18) The goddess of the hearth (the Roman "Vesta"), and so of the
house. Cp. "Homeric Hymns" v.22 ff.; xxxix.1 ff.
(19) The variant reading `of his father' (sc. Heaven) rests on
inferior MS. authority and is probably an alteration due to
the difficulty stated by a Scholiast: `How could Zeus, being
not yet begotten, plot against his father?' The phrase is,
however, part of the prophecy. The whole line may well be
spurious, and is rejected by Heyne, Wolf, Gaisford and
(20) Pausanias (x. 24.6) saw near the tomb of Neoptolemus `a
stone of no great size', which the Delphians anointed every
day with oil, and which he says was supposed to be the stone
given to Cronos.
(21) A Scholiast explains: `Either because they (men) sprang from
the Melian nymphs (cp. l. 187); or because, when they were
born (?), they cast themselves under the ash-trees, that is,
the trees.' The reference may be to the origin of men from
ash-trees: cp. "Works and Days", l. 145 and note.
(22) sc. Atlas, the Shu of Egyptian mythology: cp. note on line
(23) Oceanus is here regarded as a continuous stream enclosing
the earth and the seas, and so as flowing back upon himself.
(24) The conception of Oceanus is here different: he has nine
streams which encircle the earth and the flow out into the
`main' which appears to be the waste of waters on which,
according to early Greek and Hebrew cosmology, the disk-like
(25) i.e. the threshold is of `native' metal, and not artificial.
(26) According to Homer Typhoeus was overwhelmed by Zeus amongst
the Arimi in Cilicia. Pindar represents him as buried under
Aetna, and Tzetzes reads Aetna in this passage.
(27) The epithet (which means literally `well-bored') seems to
refer to the spout of the crucible.
(28) The fire god. There is no reference to volcanic action:
iron was smelted on Mount Ida; cp. "Epigrams of Homer", ix.
(29) i.e. Athena, who was born `on the banks of the river Trito'
(cp. l. 929l)
(30) Restored by Peppmuller. The nineteen following lines from
another recension of lines 889-900, 924-9 are quoted by
Chrysippus (in Galen).
(31) sc. the aegis. Line 929s is probably spurious, since it
disagrees with l. 929q and contains a suspicious reference
THE CATALOGUES OF WOMEN AND EOIAE (fragments) (1)
Fragment #1 --
Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Arg. iii. 1086:
That Deucalion was the son of Prometheus and Pronoea, Hesiod
states in the first "Catalogue", as also that Hellen was the son
of Deucalion and Pyrrha.
Fragment #2 --
Ioannes Lydus (2), de Mens. i. 13:
They came to call those who followed local manners Latins, but
those who followed Hellenic customs Greeks, after the brothers
Latinus and Graecus; as Hesiod says: `And in the palace Pandora
the daughter of noble Deucalion was joined in love with father
Zeus, leader of all the gods, and bare Graecus, staunch in
Fragment #3 --
Constantinus Porphyrogenitus (3), de Them. 2 p. 48B:
The district Macedonia took its name from Macedon the son of Zeus
and Thyia, Deucalion's daughter, as Hesiod says:
`And she conceived and bare to Zeus who delights in the
thunderbolt two sons, Magnes and Macedon, rejoicing in horses,
who dwell round about Pieria and Olympus....
....And Magnes again (begot) Dictys and godlike Polydectes.'
Fragment #4 --
Plutarch, Mor. p. 747; Schol. on Pindar Pyth. iv. 263:
`And from Hellen the war-loving king sprang Dorus and Xuthus and
Aeolus delighting in horses. And the sons of Aeolus, kings
dealing justice, were Cretheus, and Athamas, and clever Sisyphus,
and wicked Salmoneus and overbold Perieres.'
Fragment #5 --
Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Arg. iv. 266:
Those who were descended from Deucalion used to rule over
Thessaly as Hecataeus and Hesiod say.
Fragment #6 --
Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Arg. i. 482:
Aloiadae. Hesiod said that they were sons of Aloeus, -- called
so after him, -- and of Iphimedea, but in reality sons of
Poseidon and Iphimedea, and that Alus a city of Aetolia was
founded by their father.
Fragment #7 --
Berlin Papyri, No. 7497; Oxyrhynchus Papyri, 421 (4):
(ll. 1-24) `....Eurynome the daughter of Nisus, Pandion's son, to
whom Pallas Athene taught all her art, both wit and wisdom too;
for she was as wise as the gods. A marvellous scent rose from
her silvern raiment as she moved, and beauty was wafted from her
eyes. Her, then, Glaucus sought to win by Athena's advising, and
he drove oxen (5) for her. But he knew not at all the intent of
Zeus who holds the aegis. So Glaucus came seeking her to wife
with gifts; but cloud-driving Zeus, king of the deathless gods,
bent his head in oath that the.... son of Sisyphus should never
have children born of one father (6). So she lay in the arms of
Poseidon and bare in the house of Glaucus blameless Bellerophon,
surpassing all men in.... over the boundless sea. And when he
began to roam, his father gave him Pegasus who would bear him
most swiftly on his wings, and flew unwearying everywhere over
the earth, for like the gales he would course along. With him
Bellerophon caught and slew the fire-breathing Chimera. And he
wedded the dear child of the great-hearted Iobates, the
and she bare....'
Fragment #8 --
Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodes, Arg. iv. 57:
Hesiod says that Endymion was the son of Aethlius the son of Zeus
and Calyee, and received the gift from Zeus: `(To be) keeper of
death for his own self when he was ready to die.'
Fragment #9 --
Scholiast Ven. on Homer, Il. xi. 750:
The two sons of Actor and Molione... Hesiod has given their
descent by calling them after Actor and Molione; but their father
Porphyrius (7), Quaest. Hom. ad Iliad. pert., 265:
But Aristarchus is informed that they were twins, not.... such as
were the Dioscuri, but, on Hesiod's testimony, double in form and
with two bodies and joined to one another.
Fragment #10 --
Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Arg. i. 156:
But Hesiod says that he changed himself in one of his wonted
shapes and perched on the yoke-boss of Heracles' horses, meaning
to fight with the hero; but that Heracles, secretly instructed by
Athena, wounded him mortally with an arrow. And he says as
follows: `...and lordly Periclymenus. Happy he! For
earth-shaking Poseidon gave him all manner of gifts. At one time
he would appear among birds, an eagle; and again at another he
would be an ant, a marvel to see; and then a shining swarm of
bees; and again at another time a dread relentless snake. And he
possessed all manner of gifts which cannot he told, and these
then ensnared him through the devising of Athene.'
Fragment #11 --
Stephanus of Byzantium (8), s.v.:
`(Heracles) slew the noble sons of steadfast Neleus, eleven of
them; but the twelfth, the horsemen Gerenian Nestor chanced to be
staying with the horse-taming Gerenians.
Nestor alone escaped in flowery Gerenon.'
Fragment #12 --
Eustathius (9), Hom. 1796.39:
`So well-girded Polycaste, the youngest daughter of Nestor,
Neleus' son, was joined in love with Telemachus through golden
Aphrodite and bare Persepolis.'
Fragment #13 --
Scholiast on Homer, Od. xii. 69:
Tyro the daughter of Salmoneus, having two sons by Poseidon,
Neleus and Pelias, married Cretheus, and had by him three sons,
Aeson, Pheres and Amythaon. And of Aeson and Polymede, according
to Hesiod, Iason was born: `Aeson, who begot a son Iason,
shepherd of the people, whom Chiron brought up in woody Pelion.'
Fragment #14 --
Petrie Papyri (ed. Mahaffy), Pl. III. 3:
`....of the glorious lord
....fair Atalanta, swift of foot, the daughter of Schoeneus, who
had the beaming eyes of the Graces, though she was ripe for
wedlock rejected the company of her equals and sought to avoid
marriage with men who eat bread.'
Scholiast on Homer, Iliad xxiii. 683:
Hesiod is therefore later in date than Homer since he represents
Hippomenes as stripped when contending with Atalanta (10).
Papiri greci e latini, ii. No. 130 (2nd-3rd century) (11):
(ll. 1-7) `Then straightway there rose up against him the trim-
ankled maiden (Atalanta), peerless in beauty: a great throng
stood round about her as she gazed fiercely, and wonder held all
men as they looked upon her. As she moved, the breath of the
west wind stirred the shining garment about her tender bosom; but
Hippomenes stood where he was: and much people was gathered
together. All these kept silence; but Schoeneus cried and said:
(ll. 8-20) `"Hear me all, both young and old, while I speak as my
spirit within my breast bids me. Hippomenes seeks my coy-eyed
daughter to wife; but let him now hear my wholesome speech. He
shall not win her without contest; yet, if he be victorious and
escape death, and if the deathless gods who dwell on Olympus
grant him to win renown, verily he shall return to his dear
native land, and I will give him my dear child and strong, swift-
footed horses besides which he shall lead home to be cherished
possessions; and may he rejoice in heart possessing these, and
ever remember with gladness the painful contest. May the father
of men and of gods (grant that splendid children may be born to
(ll. 21-27) `on the right....
and he, rushing upon her,....
drawing back slightly towards the left. And on them was laid an
unenviable struggle: for she, even fair, swift-footed Atalanta,
ran scorning the gifts of golden Aphrodite; but with him the race
was for his life, either to find his doom, or to escape it.
Therefore with thoughts of guile he said to her:
(ll. 28-29) `"O daughter of Schoeneus, pitiless in heart, receive
these glorious gifts of the goddess, golden Aphrodite...'
(ll. 30-36) `But he, following lightly on his feet, cast the
first apple (13): and, swiftly as a Harpy, she turned back and
snatched it. Then he cast the second to the ground with his
hand. And now fair, swift-footed Atalanta had two apples and was
near the goal; but Hippomenes cast the third apple to the ground,
and therewith escaped death and black fate. And he stood panting
Fragment #15 --
Strabo (14), i. p. 42:
`And the daughter of Arabus, whom worthy Hermaon begat with
Thronia, daughter of the lord Belus.'
Fragment #16 --
Eustathius, Hom. 461. 2:
`Argos which was waterless Danaus made well-watered.'
Fragment #17 --
Hecataeus (15) in Scholiast on Euripides, Orestes, 872:
Aegyptus himself did not go to Argos, but sent his sons, fifty in
number, as Hesiod represented.
Fragment #18 -- (16)
Strabo, viii. p. 370:
And Apollodorus says that Hesiod already knew that the whole
people were called both Hellenes and Panhellenes, as when he says
of the daughters of Proetus that the Panhellenes sought them in
Apollodorus, ii. 2.1.4:
Acrisius was king of Argos and Proetus of Tiryns. And Acrisius
had by Eurydice the daughter of Lacedemon, Danae; and Proetus by
Stheneboea `Lysippe and Iphinoe and Iphianassa'. And these fell
mad, as Hesiod states, because they would not receive the rites
Probus (17) on Vergil, Eclogue vi. 48:
These (the daughters of Proetus), because they had scorned the
divinity of Juno, were overcome with madness, such that they
believed they had been turned into cows, and left Argos their own
country. Afterwards they were cured by Melampus, the son of
Suidas, s.v.: (18)
`Because of their hideous wantonness they lost their tender
Eustathius, Hom. 1746.7:
`....For he shed upon their heads a fearful itch: and leprosy
covered all their flesh, and their hair dropped from their heads,
and their fair scalps were made bare.'
Fragment #19A -- (19)
Oxyrhynchus Papyri 1358 fr. 1 (3rd cent. A.D.): (20)
(ll. 1-32) `....So she (Europa) crossed the briny water from afar
to Crete, beguiled by the wiles of Zeus. Secretly did the Father
snatch her away and gave her a gift, the golden necklace, the toy
which Hephaestus the famed craftsman once made by his cunning
skill and brought and gave it to his father for a possession.
And Zeus received the gift, and gave it in turn to the daughter
of proud Phoenix. But when the Father of men and of gods had
mated so far off with trim-ankled Europa, then he departed back
again from the rich-haired girl. So she bare sons to the
almighty Son of Cronos, glorious leaders of wealthy men -- Minos
the ruler, and just Rhadamanthys and noble Sarpedon the blameless
and strong. To these did wise Zeus give each a share of his
honour. Verily Sarpedon reigned mightily over wide Lycia and
ruled very many cities filled with people, wielding the sceptre
of Zeus: and great honour followed him, which his father gave
him, the great-hearted shepherd of the people. For wise Zeus
ordained that he should live for three generations of mortal men
and not waste away with old age. He sent him to Troy; and
Sarpedon gathered a great host, men chosen out of Lycia to be
allies to the Trojans. These med did Sarpedon lead, skilled in
bitter war. And Zeus, whose wisdom is everlasting, sent him
forth from heaven a star, showing tokens for the return of his
dear son.... ....for well he (Sarpedon) knew in his heart that
the sign was indeed from Zeus. Very greatly did he excel in war
together with man-slaying Hector and brake down the wall,
bringing woes upon the Danaans. But so soon as Patroclus had
inspired the Argives with hard courage....'
Fragment #19 --
Scholiast on Homer, Il. xii. 292:
Zeus saw Europa the daughter of Phoenix gathering flowers in a
meadow with some nymphs and fell in love with her. So he came
down and changed himself into a bull and breathed from his mouth
a crocus (21). In this way he deceived Europa, carried her off
and crossed the sea to Crete where he had intercourse with her.
Then in this condition he made her live with Asterion the king of
the Cretans. There she conceived and bore three sons, Minos,
Sarpedon and Rhadamanthys. The tale is in Hesiod and
Fragment #20 --
Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Arg. ii. 178:
But according to Hesiod (Phineus) was the son of Phoenix,
Agenor's son and Cassiopea.
Fragment #21 --
Apollodorus (22), iii. 14.4.1:
But Hesiod says that he (Adonis) was the son of Phoenix and
Fragment #22 --
Porphyrius, Quaest. Hom. ad Iliad. pert. p. 189:
As it is said in Hesiod in the "Catalogue of Women" concerning
Demodoce the daughter of Agenor: `Demodoce whom very many of men
on earth, mighty princes, wooed, promising splendid gifts,
because of her exceeding beauty.'
Fragment #23 --
Apollodorus, iii. 5.6.2:
Hesiod says that (the children of Amphion and Niobe) were ten
sons and ten daughters.
Aelian (23), Var. Hist. xii. 36:
But Hesiod says they were nine boys and ten girls; -- unless
after all the verses are not Hesiod but are falsely ascribed to
him as are many others.
Fragment #24 --
Scholiast on Homer, Il. xxiii. 679:
And Hesiod says that when Oedipus had died at Thebes, Argea the
daughter of Adrastus came with others to the funeral of Oedipus.
Fragment #25 --
Herodian (24) in Etymologicum Magnum, p. 60, 40:
Tityos the son of Elara.