Theogony and Works and Days

Trade Paper – $16.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3487-4
Publication Date
April 2017
Page Count
176 pages
Trim Size
5.125 x 7.75

Theogony and Works and Days

A New Bilingual Edition
Translated from the Greek by Kimberly Johnson

Widely considered the first poet in the Western tradition to address the matter of his own experience, Hesiod occupies a seminal position in literary history. His Theogony brings together and formalizes many of the narratives of Greek myth, detailing the genealogy of its gods and their violent struggles for power. The Works and Days seems on its face to be a compendium of advice about managing a farm, but it ranges far beyond this scope to meditate on morality, justice, the virtues of a good life, and the place of humans in the universe. These poems are concerned with orderliness and organization, and they proclaim those ideals from small-scale to vast, from a handful of seeds to the story of the cosmos. Presented here in a bilingual edition, Johnson’s translation takes care to preserve the structure of Hesiod’s lines and sentences, achieving a sonic and rhythmic balance that enables us to hear his music across the millennia.
About the Author

HESIOD is believed to have lived in the eighth century B.C.E. The Works and Days and the Theogony are ascribed to him, though it is not certain that the same poet wrote both. He is the first poet in Western literature to have written about himself, in this respect distinct from Homer.

KIMBERLY JOHNSON is a professor in the English department at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

"Wonderfully sensitive to the musicality and order of Hesiod’s Theogony and Works and Days, Kimberly Johnson’s deft translation restores attention to the complex poetic dimensions of these texts. With lyrical precision, Johnson illuminates the vast range of form and figure Hesiod employs to evoke the genealogy of gods and the labor of quotidian agricultural life. At the same time, this translation vividly captures the humor, restlessness, and forceful assertion that distinguishes Hesiod’s oeuvre. Johnson’s translation should be an essential text not only for readers of classical poetry, but for those interested in the long history of environmental literature." —Margaret Ronda, author of Personification