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tians, though they cannot be looked upon as helps towards a more minute biography.
We will now proceed to an account of the poems, or fragments of poems, which have been ascribed to Hesiod, or to his school. These are of three classes : 1. Historical and genealogical ; 2. Didactic; 3. Short mythical compositions. For convenience we shall begin with that which is printed first in the ordinary editions, though, according to Wolf, its date is at least one hundred years later than the Works and Days. Tke Hesiodic Theogony, or generation, genealogy, and enumeration of the gods, is a work of great importance as giving to us an ancient and genuine attempt of its author or authors “to cast,” in the words of Mr. Grote, (i. 16,) “ the divine foretime into a systematic sequence.” If it be an imperfect attempt, it is yet more connected and coherent than the passing notices of gods and goddesses which are scattered up and down the Iliad and the Odyssey, whilst in the Homeric Hymns we only get a light thrown upon the several deities individually; so that Hesiod stands out to us as the first systematizer of Greek mythology, though that there were other systems is evident from the discrepancies of his account from that of Homer. Still, as Mr. Grote observes, it was the Hesiodic Theogony—from which doubting Pagans and open foes of Paganism alike drew their subjects of attack, “so that it is absolutely necessary to recount in their native simplicity the Hesiodic stories, in order to know what it was that Plato deprecated and Zenophanes denounced" (i. 16). His Theogony, as it has come down to us, is divisible into three parts: (1.) The cosmogony, or origin of the world and all the physical fabric and powers thereof; and this part, commencing after an exordium, takes up from the 116th to the 452nd line. Then follows (2.) the Theogony proper, from 453 to 982; and afterwards (3.) a Heroogony, or generation of heroes by immortal sires from mortal mothers, which begins at 963, and breaks off abruptly at 1021; from which point, or rather from the last two verses of the Theogony, posed that a Hesiodic poem, named the
Catalogues of Women,” a lost poem of the first class on the heroines afore-mentioned, commenced.
A careful comparison of the Theogony of Hesiod with that of Homer, (as we gather it from different passages,) instituted
it is sup
by Mr. Grote, assigns to the former a coarser and less delicate fancy than that of the latter, indicative of a later and more advanced age. He also points to Crete and Delphi as the probable source whence our poet derived his Theogonic system. Its main variations from the elder account are, the mention of Uranus as an arch-god prior to Cronus, and the legend of Cronus swallowing his children, which it is not improbable that the poet himself learned at Delphi (cf. Theog. 499, 500). After his deposition by Zeus, Cronus is placed by Hesiod, not, as by Homer, in Tartarus with the rest of the Titans, but in a sort of Elba in the isles of the Blest (cf. Op. et D. 168). Zeus is in Homer the eldest, in Hesiod the youngest, of the three sons of Cronus. Aphrodite, the daughter, according to the Iliad, of Zeus and Dione, is in Hesiod (Theog. 188) born of the sea-foam after the mutilation of Cronus, itself a coarser fiction of Hesiodic origin. The Cyclops of Hesiod are the sons of Uranus, and forge the thunderbolts of Jove, whereas in the Odyssey they are but gigantic shepherds having each one central eye in their foreheads, huge and round. Hesiod, again, mentions three Centimani, Homer only one, namely, Briareus. And Hesiod's system is moreover diverse from Homer's in the record of the battles between the gods and the Titan's, about which the latter is silent, while the former fully describes them, and so has given us one of the finest passages in the whole Theogony.
Altogether we find that the statement of Herodotus, that Homer and Hesiod made the Theogony of the Greeks, is to some extent correct, inasmuch as Homer gives incidental glimpses of an earlier system than Hesiod's : while Hesiod has with a masterly hand systematized a generation and genealogy of the gods, not gathered from Homer, nor coinciding with it, but at the same time older than the so-called Orphic Theogony. The origin of these Theogonies was, no doubt, a desire to satisfy natural curiosity respecting the rites and services of various gods and their temples: and, as Mr. Grote observes, the case of Prometheus outwitting Jove as regards the sacrifices, (Hesiod, Theog. 528-561,) is a very striking specimen of this. Whatever may have been the additions, whatever the hiatus in the Theogony attributed to Hesiod, it must always be most valuable, as the source from which we gather the earliest systematized genealogy, or key to the
worship of each god, such as grew out of their various services, rites, and ceremonies, -so that at this day we may with Herodot. ii. 53 recognise in Homer and Hesiod the main authors of Grecian belief, respecting the names, generations, attributes, and agency, the forms and worship, of the gods.
The story of Pandora, which appears also with some variations in “the Works and Days,” will claim a few words, when, after noticing briefly the fragmentary “Shield of Hercules,” we conclude with a sketch of Hesiod's best attested poem, the "Έργα και ημέραι.
The “Shield of Hercules” begins with fifty-six verses, which an anonymous grammarian, quoted by Goettling, assigns to the 4th Book of the Eoai, or “ Catalogues of Women,” to which allusion has been made above. Next follows a second part, from 57 to 140, continued after an interval from 317 to 480, and containing the encounter of Hercules and Iolaus with Mars and Cycnus, and the discomfiture and death of the last-mentioned; whilst the verses from 141 to 317 give us a poetic description of the “ Shield of Hercules,” naturally introduced into the details of the combat. It is a somewhat disjointed specimen of the 3rd class of Hesiod's Poems, and the portion, whence its name is derived, is an evident imitation of Homer's description of the “Shield of Achilles.”
In the first portion of the poem, we hear of Amphitryon, the grandson of Perseus, having slain his uncle Electryon, in a fit of passion about some cattle ; and the Taphians and Teleboans from Acarnania invading Tiryns, and putting Electryon's sons to the sword, so that of his whole family only his daughter Alcmena remained. Amphitryon was to wed her, but not before he had accomplished her vow, and smitten the Teleboans for the slaughter of her brethren. Starting from Thebes, whither Alcmena had accompanied him from Tiryns into exile for his uncle's death, he achieved the destruction of the Teleboans by aid of the Cadmeans, and Phocians, and Locrians. (Scut. Herc. 12—82). On his return to Thebes to claim his bride, Jove had been beforehand with him in the husband's form and likeness, όφρα θεοίσιν 'Ανδράσι τ' αλφηστησιν αρής αλκήρα φυτεύσαι ; so that in due time Alemena bore twin sons, Hercules by Jupiter, and Iphicles by Amphitryon. The other portions of the poem need no further special notice, save the observation that the description of the “ Shield of Hercules" is far more ornate than that of Homer, and discovers an absence of simplicity indicative of a later date: and that the poem ends with the spoiling of Cycnus by the heroes, after that his powerful patron Mars with Fear and Terror have retired to Olympus, as well as the goddess Athena, to whose aid Hercules had been indebted. His burial by Ceyx king of Trachys is mentioned, as is the destruction of his tomb, which was swept away by the river Anaurus, at the instigation of Apollo, whose pilgrims Cycnus had been wont to plunder on the way with holy offerings to Delphi.
The Works and Days (Έργα και ημέραι) was the only poem of Hesiod which, as has been before stated, the Bootians believed to be genuine. It is of the didactic, or second class of Hesiodic poems, differing much from the other two, which are extant, in the simplicity and soberness of its tone and subjects. Its principal element is a collection of precepts, ethical, political, economical, and specially the last. It is reasonably inferred that the latter part of the title (każ quépui) arose from the circumstance of the last seventy-eight verses being a sort of calendar for the agriculturist. The first ten lines of the poem bear the impress of another hand : and it has been generally held that three episodes have been inserted in the original didactic poem; viz. (1.) The Fable of Prometheus and Pandora (47—105); (2.) The Metallic Ages of the World (109-201); and (3.) the Description of Winter (504—558). The rest will be found to be a strictly homely inculcation of maxims to men, as touching their duties, moral, social, and political.
The first of these portions, which we have mentioned as of doubtful genuineness, is remarkable as conveying a somewhat different account of the legend of Prometheus and Pandora from that in the Theogony. For the Theogony omits the part which Epimetheus plays in the Works and Days in accepting Pandora at Jove's hands in opposition to the solemn injunction of his wiser brother Prometheus (Op. et D. 50–85). Neither is there in the Theogony any mention of the cask of evils, from which Pandora in the Works and Days is made to lift the lid, and so bring mischiefs and diseases into the world.
With reference to the ages of men, metallically distinguished, it is pointed out by Mr. Grote, in the second chapter of his first volume, that there is in this passage supplied what the
Theogony fails to give, a narrative of the origin of mankind; which exactly suits the sober tone of the poem.
We find the gods establishing (1st,) the Golden Race, (Op. et D. 120, seq.,) who after death became guardian demons, the unseen police of the gods, all over the earth ; (2nd,) the Silver, (140, &c.,) who became the blest of the under world; (3rd,) the Brazen; men of hard ash-wood, with brazen arms, who fought to extermination, and in Hades were nameless and unprivileged ; (4th,) the Heroic, better than its immediate predecessors, and made up of the warriors before Troy and Thebes, whose after state is in the Isles of the Blest, under the mild sway of Cronus, where they reap unseen fruits three times in the year; (5th,) the poet's own contemporaries, the Iron Race and age, (173, Op. et D.,) of whom he says that they have neither Nemesis nor aidws, and that Jove will shortly destroy them.
To account for the instrtion of an unmetallic race, (No. 4,) Mr. Grote points out a double vein of sentiment pervading the poet's mind an ethical sentiment, guiding his fancy as to the past, as well as his appreciation of the present, bridging over the chasm between gods and men by antecedent races, the pure, the less pure, the least pure. But this ethical vein, he says, a mythical vein intersects. Hesiod could not leave out the divine race of heroes, nor yet identify the warriors before Thebes and Troy with the golden, silver, or brazen age. As ancestors of all the chief living men of the poet's age, they claimed a nearness to the present generation, and so he finds an unmetallic niche for them between the ages of brass and iron.
Passing by these, and looking generally at the Works and Days, the great interest of the poem consists in its allusions to himself, his history, and his personal wrongs. In it we cannot fail to be struck by the low opinion which he forms of women, against whom he rails, as we afterwards find Simonides, Archilochus, Bacchylides, and still later Euripides, railing. Woman was in that day half drudge, half toy to man, and the Scriptural blessing given in the "help-meet" for man was an idea 'which a Greek could not thoroughly entertain.
The poem is the first of its class, didactic and not heroic, looking inward and forward, upon personal and practical life,