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 Book Review - Theogony, Works and Days, Shield

Hesiod: Theogony, Works and Days, Shield

Translated by Apostolos N. Athanassakis
January 1984
Paperback, 184 pages
Johns Hopkins University Press
ISBN 0801829992

The book Hesiod: Theogony, Works and Days, Shield features absolutely stunning translations (by Apostolos N. Athanassakis) of the works of the influential ancient Greek poet Hesiod. And in addition to the full text of the three separate poems, there are also several other features that make this book an essential reference in any library.

The author has made understanding these works much easier by including informative introductions to the poems. Also, Athanassakis has added descriptive notes that explain much of the text - these notes are in essence a line by line explanation of some of the more elusive references. Finally, there are other elements, such as the helpful line numbers to assist the reader, a useful bibliography, and a pair of indices dedicated to both names and themes respectively, that all contribute to the usefulness of this book.

Athanassakis is a distinguished scholar who has the rare ability to imbue his translations with a lyrical quality that is usually only found in the original Greek. And students, please do not be put off by the fact that these are works are poems, for they are not only quite enjoyable to read, but are also accessible versions of the Greek myths. Indeed, it is worth noting that Hesiod's Theogony is one of our most important sources for information about the births of the Greek gods and goddesses.

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I begin my song with the Heliconian Muses; they have made Helicon, the great god haunted mountain, their domain; their soft feet move in the dance that rings the violet dark spring and the altar of mighty Zeus.


Art & Myth in Ancient Greece

This book is an essential resource for anyone interested in ancient Greek art and mythology. With over 370 illustrations of Greek gods, goddesses, heroes, and heroines, this book contains a wealth of information about the relationship between myth and art.

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