Hesiod (/ˈhiːsiəd, ˈhɛsiəd/; Greek: Ἡσίοδος Hēsíodos) was a Greek poet generally thought by scholars to have been active between 750 and 650 BC, around the same time as Homer. He is generally regarded as the first written poet in the Western tradition to regard himself as an individual persona with an active role to play in his subject. Ancient authors credited Hesiod and Homer with establishing Greek religious customs. Modern scholars refer to him as a major source on Greek mythology, farming techniques, early economic thought (he is sometimes considered history's first economist), archaic Greek astronomy and ancient time-keeping.
|Born||fl. 750 BC|
The dating of Hesiod's life is a contested issue in scholarly circles (see § Dating below). Epic narrative allowed poets like Homer no opportunity for personal revelations. However, Hesiod's extant work comprises several didactic poems in which he went out of his way to let his audience in on a few details of his life. There are three explicit references in Works and Days, as well as some passages in his Theogony that support inferences made by scholars. The former poem says that his father came from Cyme in Aeolis (on the coast of Asia Minor, a little south of the island Lesbos) and crossed the sea to settle at a hamlet, near Thespiae in Boeotia, named Ascra, "a cursed place, cruel in winter, hard in summer, never pleasant" (Works 640). Hesiod's patrimony there, a small piece of ground at the foot of Mount Helicon, occasioned lawsuits with his brother Perses, who seems, at first, to have cheated him of his rightful share thanks to corrupt authorities or "kings" but later became impoverished and ended up scrounging from the thrifty poet (Works 35, 396).
Unlike his father, Hesiod was averse to sea travel, but he once crossed the narrow strait between the Greek mainland and Euboea to participate in funeral celebrations for one Athamas of Chalcis, and there won a tripod in a singing competition. He also describes a meeting between himself and the Muses on Mount Helicon, where he had been pasturing sheep when the goddesses presented him with a laurel staff, a symbol of poetic authority (Theogony 22–35). Fanciful though the story might seem, the account has led ancient and modern scholars to infer that he was not a professionally trained rhapsode, or he would have been presented with a lyre instead.[nb 1]
Some scholars have seen Perses as a literary creation, a foil for the moralizing that Hesiod develops in Works and Days, but there are also arguments against that theory. For example, it is quite common for works of moral instruction to have an imaginative setting, as a means of getting the audience's attention,[nb 2] but it could be difficult to see how Hesiod could have travelled around the countryside entertaining people with a narrative about himself if the account was known to be fictitious. Gregory Nagy, on the other hand, sees both Pérsēs ("the destroyer" from πέρθω, pérthō) and Hēsíodos ("he who emits the voice" from ἵημι, híēmi and αὐδή, audḗ) as fictitious names for poetical personae.
It might seem unusual that Hesiod's father migrated from Asia Minor westwards to mainland Greece, the opposite direction to most colonial movements at the time, and Hesiod himself gives no explanation for it. However around 750 BC or a little later, there was a migration of seagoing merchants from his original home in Cyme in Asia Minor to Cumae in Campania (a colony they shared with the Euboeans), and possibly his move west had something to do with that, since Euboea is not far from Boeotia, where he eventually established himself and his family. The family association with Aeolian Cyme might explain his familiarity with eastern myths, evident in his poems, though the Greek world might have already developed its own versions of them.
In spite of Hesiod's complaints about poverty, life on his father's farm could not have been too uncomfortable if Works and Days is anything to judge by, since he describes the routines of prosperous yeomanry rather than peasants. His farmer employs a friend (Works and Days 370) as well as servants (502, 573, 597, 608, 766), an energetic and responsible ploughman of mature years (469 ff.), a slave boy to cover the seed (441–6), a female servant to keep house (405, 602) and working teams of oxen and mules (405, 607f.). One modern scholar surmises that Hesiod may have learned about world geography, especially the catalogue of rivers in Theogony (337–45), listening to his father's accounts of his own sea voyages as a merchant. The father probably spoke in the Aeolian dialect of Cyme but Hesiod probably grew up speaking the local Boeotian, belonging to the same dialect group. However, while his poetry features some Aeolisms there are no words that are certainly Boeotian. His basic language was the main literary dialect of the time, Homer's Ionian.
It is probable that Hesiod wrote his poems down, or dictated them, rather than passed them on orally, as rhapsodes did—otherwise the pronounced personality that now emerges from the poems would surely have been diluted through oral transmission from one rhapsode to another. Pausanias asserted that Boeotians showed him an old tablet made of lead on which the Works were engraved. If he did write or dictate, it was perhaps as an aid to memory or because he lacked confidence in his ability to produce poems extempore, as trained rhapsodes could do. It certainly wasn't in a quest for immortal fame since poets in his era had probably no such notions for themselves. However, some scholars suspect the presence of large-scale changes in the text and attribute this to oral transmission. Possibly he composed his verses during idle times on the farm, in the spring before the May harvest or the dead of winter.
The personality behind the poems is unsuited to the kind of "aristocratic withdrawal" typical of a rhapsode but is instead "argumentative, suspicious, ironically humorous, frugal, fond of proverbs, wary of women." He was in fact a misogynist of the same calibre as the later poet Semonides. He resembles Solon in his preoccupation with issues of good versus evil and "how a just and all-powerful god can allow the unjust to flourish in this life". He recalls Aristophanes in his rejection of the idealised hero of epic literature in favour of an idealised view of the farmer. Yet the fact that he could eulogise kings in Theogony (80 ff., 430, 434) and denounce them as corrupt in Works and Days suggests that he could resemble whichever audience he composed for.
Various legends accumulated about Hesiod and they are recorded in several sources:
Two different—yet early—traditions record the site of Hesiod's grave. One, as early as Thucydides, reported in Plutarch, the Suda and John Tzetzes, states that the Delphic oracle warned Hesiod that he would die in Nemea, and so he fled to Locris, where he was killed at the local temple to Nemean Zeus, and buried there. This tradition follows a familiar ironic convention: the oracle that predicts accurately after all. The other tradition, first mentioned in an epigram by Chersias of Orchomenus written in the 7th century BC (within a century or so of Hesiod's death) claims that Hesiod lies buried at Orchomenus, a town in Boeotia. According to Aristotle's Constitution of Orchomenus, when the Thespians ravaged Ascra, the villagers sought refuge at Orchomenus, where, following the advice of an oracle, they collected the ashes of Hesiod and set them in a place of honour in their agora, next to the tomb of Minyas, their eponymous founder. Eventually they came to regard Hesiod too as their "hearth-founder" (οἰκιστής, oikistēs). Later writers attempted to harmonize these two accounts.
Greeks in the late 5th and early 4th centuries BC considered their oldest poets to be Orpheus, Musaeus, Hesiod and Homer—in that order. Thereafter, Greek writers began to consider Homer earlier than Hesiod. Devotees of Orpheus and Musaeus were probably responsible for precedence being given to their two cult heroes and maybe the Homeridae were responsible in later antiquity for promoting Homer at Hesiod's expense.
The first known writers to locate Homer earlier than Hesiod were Xenophanes and Heraclides Ponticus, though Aristarchus of Samothrace was the first actually to argue the case. Ephorus made Homer a younger cousin of Hesiod, the 5th century BC historian Herodotus (Histories II, 53) evidently considered them near-contemporaries, and the 4th century BC sophist Alcidamas in his work Mouseion even brought them together for an imagined poetic ágōn (ἄγών), which survives today as the Contest of Homer and Hesiod. Most scholars today agree with Homer's priority but there are good arguments on either side.
Hesiod certainly predates the lyric and elegiac poets whose work has come down to the modern era. Imitations of his work have been observed in Alcaeus, Epimenides, Mimnermus, Semonides, Tyrtaeus and Archilochus, from which it has been inferred that the latest possible date for him is about 650 BC.
An upper limit of 750 BC is indicated by a number of considerations, such as the probability that his work was written down, the fact that he mentions a sanctuary at Delphi that was of little national significance before c. 750 BC (Theogony 499), and that he lists rivers that flow into the Euxine, a region explored and developed by Greek colonists beginning in the 8th century BC. (Theogony 337–45).
Hesiod mentions a poetry contest at Chalcis in Euboea where the sons of one Amphidamas awarded him a tripod (Works and Days 654–662). Plutarch identified this Amphidamas with the hero of the Lelantine War between Chalcis and Eretria and he concluded that the passage must be an interpolation into Hesiod's original work, assuming that the Lelantine War was too late for Hesiod. Modern scholars have accepted his identification of Amphidamas but disagreed with his conclusion. The date of the war is not known precisely but estimates placing it around 730–705 BC, fit the estimated chronology for Hesiod. In that case, the tripod that Hesiod won might have been awarded for his rendition of Theogony, a poem that seems to presuppose the kind of aristocratic audience he would have met at Chalcis.
Three works have survived which are attributed to Hesiod by ancient commentators: Works and Days, Theogony, and Shield of Heracles. Other works attributed to him are only found now in fragments. The surviving works and fragments were all written in the conventional metre and language of epic. However, the Shield of Heracles is now known to be spurious and probably was written in the sixth century BC. Many ancient critics also rejected Theogony (e.g., Pausanias 9.31.3), even though Hesiod mentions himself by name in that poem. Theogony and Works and Days might be very different in subject matter, but they share a distinctive language, metre, and prosody that subtly distinguish them from Homer's work and from the Shield of Heracles (see Hesiod's Greek below). Moreover, they both refer to the same version of the Prometheus myth. Yet even these authentic poems may include interpolations. For example, the first ten verses of the Works and Days may have been borrowed from an Orphic hymn to Zeus (they were recognised as not the work of Hesiod by critics as ancient as Pausanias).
Some scholars have detected a proto-historical perspective in Hesiod, a view rejected by Paul Cartledge, for example, on the grounds that Hesiod advocates a not-forgetting without any attempt at verification. Hesiod has also been considered the father of gnomic verse. He had "a passion for systematizing and explaining things". Ancient Greek poetry in general had strong philosophical tendencies and Hesiod, like Homer, demonstrates a deep interest in a wide range of 'philosophical' issues, from the nature of divine justice to the beginnings of human society. Aristotle (Metaphysics 983b–987a) believed that the question of first causes may even have started with Hesiod (Theogony 116–53) and Homer (Iliad 14.201, 246).
He viewed the world from outside the charmed circle of aristocratic rulers, protesting against their injustices in a tone of voice that has been described as having a "grumpy quality redeemed by a gaunt dignity" but, as stated in the biography section, he could also change to suit the audience. This ambivalence appears to underlie his presentation of human history in Works and Days, where he depicts a golden period when life was easy and good, followed by a steady decline in behaviour and happiness through the silver, bronze, and Iron Ages – except that he inserts a heroic age between the last two, representing its warlike men as better than their bronze predecessors. He seems in this case to be catering to two different world-views, one epic and aristocratic, the other unsympathetic to the heroic traditions of the aristocracy.
The Theogony is commonly considered Hesiod's earliest work. Despite the different subject matter between this poem and the Works and Days, most scholars, with some notable exceptions, believe that the two works were written by the same man. As M.L. West writes, "Both bear the marks of a distinct personality: a surly, conservative countryman, given to reflection, no lover of women or life, who felt the gods' presence heavy about him."
The Theogony concerns the origins of the world (cosmogony) and of the gods (theogony), beginning with Chaos, Gaia, Tartarus and Eros, and shows a special interest in genealogy. Embedded in Greek myth, there remain fragments of quite variant tales, hinting at the rich variety of myth that once existed, city by city; but Hesiod's retelling of the old stories became, according to Herodotus, the accepted version that linked all Hellenes.
The creation myth in Hesiod has long been held to have Eastern influences, such as the Hittite Song of Kumarbi and the Babylonian Enuma Elis. This cultural crossover would have occurred in the eighth and ninth century Greek trading colonies such as Al Mina in North Syria. (For more discussion, read Robin Lane Fox's Travelling Heroes and Walcot's Hesiod and the Near East.)
The Works and Days is a poem of over 800 lines which revolves around two general truths: labour is the universal lot of Man, but he who is willing to work will get by. Scholars have interpreted this work against a background of agrarian crisis in mainland Greece, which inspired a wave of documented colonisations in search of new land. This poem is one of the earliest known musings on economic thought.
This work lays out the five Ages of Man, as well as containing advice and wisdom, prescribing a life of honest labour and attacking idleness and unjust judges (like those who decided in favour of Perses) as well as the practice of usury. It describes immortals who roam the earth watching over justice and injustice. The poem regards labor as the source of all good, in that both gods and men hate the idle, who resemble drones in a hive. In the horror of the triumph of violence over hard work and honor, verses describing the "Golden Age" present the social character and practice of nonviolent diet through agriculture and fruit-culture as a higher path of living sufficiently.
In addition to the Theogony and Works and Days, numerous other poems were ascribed to Hesiod during antiquity. Modern scholarship has doubted their authenticity, and these works are generally referred to as forming part of the "Hesiodic Corpus" whether or not their authorship is accepted. The situation is summed up in this formulation by Glenn Most:
"Hesiod" is the name of a person; "Hesiodic" is a designation for a kind of poetry, including but not limited to the poems of which the authorship may reasonably be assigned to Hesiod himself.
Of these works forming the extended Hesiodic corpus, only the Shield of Heracles (Ἀσπὶς Ἡρακλέους, Aspis Hērakleous) is transmitted intact via a medieval manuscript tradition.
Classical authors also attributed to Hesiod a lengthy genealogical poem known as Catalogue of Women or Ehoiai (because sections began with the Greek words ē hoiē, "Or like the one who ..."). It was a mythological catalogue of the mortal women who had mated with gods, and of the offspring and descendants of these unions.
Several additional hexameter poems were ascribed to Hesiod:
In addition to these works, the Suda lists an otherwise unknown "dirge for Batrachus, [Hesiod's] beloved".
The Roman bronze bust, the so-called Pseudo-Seneca, of the late first century BC found at Herculaneum is now thought not to be of Seneca the Younger. It has been identified by Gisela Richter as an imagined portrait of Hesiod. In fact, it has been recognized since 1813 that the bust was not of Seneca, when an inscribed herma portrait of Seneca with quite different features was discovered. Most scholars now follow Richter's identification.[nb 4]
Hesiod employed the conventional dialect of epic verse, which was Ionian. Comparisons with Homer, a native Ionian, can be unflattering. Hesiod's handling of the dactylic hexameter was not as masterful or fluent as Homer's and one modern scholar refers to his "hobnailed hexameters". His use of language and meter in Works and Days and Theogony distinguishes him also from the author of the Shield of Heracles. All three poets, for example, employed digamma inconsistently, sometimes allowing it to affect syllable length and meter, sometimes not. The ratio of observance/neglect of digamma varies between them. The extent of variation depends on how the evidence is collected and interpreted but there is a clear trend, revealed for example in the following set of statistics.
Hesiod does not observe digamma as often as the others do. That result is a bit counter-intuitive since digamma was still a feature of the Boeotian dialect that Hesiod probably spoke, whereas it had already vanished from the Ionic vernacular of Homer. This anomaly can be explained by the fact that Hesiod made a conscious effort to compose like an Ionian epic poet at a time when digamma was not heard in Ionian speech, while Homer tried to compose like an older generation of Ionian bards, when it was heard in Ionian speech. There is also a significant difference in the results for Theogony and Works and Days, but that is merely due to the fact that the former includes a catalog of divinities and therefore it makes frequent use of the definite article associated with digamma, oἱ.
Though typical of epic, his vocabulary features some significant differences from Homer's. One scholar has counted 278 un-Homeric words in Works and Days, 151 in Theogony and 95 in Shield of Heracles. The disproportionate number of un-Homeric words in W & D is due to its un-Homeric subject matter.[nb 6] Hesiod's vocabulary also includes quite a lot of formulaic phrases that are not found in Homer, which indicates that he may have been writing within a different tradition.
In Greek mythology, Aether (; Ancient Greek: Αἰθήρ, Aither, pronounced [aitʰɛ̌ːr]) is one of the primordial deities. Aether is the personification of the "upper sky". He embodies the pure upper air that the gods breathe, as opposed to the normal air (ἀήρ, aer) breathed by mortals. Like Tartarus and Erebus, Aether may have had shrines in ancient Greece, but he had no temples and is unlikely to have had a cult.Androktasiai
In Greek mythology, the Androctasiae or Androktasiai (Ancient Greek: Ἀνδροκτασίαι; singular: Androktasia) were the female personifications of manslaughter, and daughters of the goddess of strife and discord, Eris. This name is also used for all of Eris' children collectively, as a whole group.
Hesiod in the Theogony names their mother as Eris ("Discord"), and their siblings as: Ponos (Hardship), Lethe (Forgetfulness), Limos (Starvation), the Algea (Pains), the Hysminai (Battles), the Makhai (Wars), the Phonoi (Murders), the Neikea (Quarrels), the Pseudea (Lies), the Logoi (Stories), the Amphillogiai (Disputes), Dysnomia (Anarchy), Ate (Ruin), and Horkos (Oath) In the epic poem the Shield of Heracles, attributed to Hesiod, Androktasia (singular) was one of the many figures, depicted on Heracles' shield.Crius
In Greek mythology, Crius (; Ancient Greek: Κρεῖος or Κριός, Kreios/Krios) was one of the Titans, children of Uranus and Gaia.As the least individualized among the Titans, he was overthrown in the Titanomachy. M. L. West has suggested how Hesiod filled out the complement of Titans from the core group—adding three figures from the archaic tradition of Delphi, Coeus, and Phoibe, whose name Apollo assumed with the oracle, and Themis. Among possible further interpolations among the Titans was Crius, whose interest for Hesiod was as the father of Perses and grandfather of Hecate, for whom Hesiod was, according to West, an "enthusiastic evangelist".Cyclops
A cyclops ( SY-klops; Ancient Greek: Κύκλωψ, Kyklōps; plural cyclopes sy-KLOH-peez; Κύκλωπες, Kyklōpes), in Greek mythology and later Roman mythology, is a member of a primordial race of giants, each with a single eye in the center of his forehead. The word cyclops literally means "round-eyed" or "circle-eyed".Hesiod described three one-eyed cyclopes who served as builders, blacksmiths, metalworkers, and craftsmen: Brontes, Steropes, and Arges, the sons of Uranus and Gaia, brothers of the Titans. Homer described another group of mortal herdsmen or shepherd cyclopes, the sons of Poseidon. Other accounts were written by the playwright Euripides, poet Theocritus and Roman epic poet Virgil. In Hesiod's Theogony, Zeus releases three cyclopes from the dark pit of Tartarus. They provide Zeus' thunderbolt, Hades' "helmet of darkness", and Poseidon's trident, and the gods use these weapons to defeat the Titans.
In an episode of Homer's Odyssey, the hero Odysseus encounters the cyclops Polyphemus, the son of Poseidon and Thoosa, who lives with his fellow cyclopes in a distant country. The connection between the two groups has been debated in antiquity and by modern scholars. It is upon Homer's account that Euripides and Virgil based their accounts of the mythical creatures. The ancient Greek geographer Strabo describes another group of seven Lycian cyclopes, also known as "Bellyhands" because they earned from their handicraft. They had built the walls of Tiryns and perhaps the caverns and the labyrinths near Nauplia, which are called cyclopean.Gaia
In Greek mythology, Gaia ( or ; from Ancient Greek Γαῖα, a poetical form of Γῆ Gē, "land" or "earth"), also spelled Gaea (), is the personification of the Earth and one of the Greek primordial deities. Gaia is the ancestral mother of all life: the primal Mother Earth goddess. She is the immediate parent of Uranus (the sky), from whose sexual union she bore the Titans (themselves parents of many of the Olympian gods) and the Giants, and of Pontus (the sea), from whose union she bore the primordial sea gods. Her equivalent in the Roman pantheon was Terra.Hecatoncheires
The Hecatoncheires (in English, stress on the fourth syllable; singular: Hecatoncheir ; Greek: Ἑκατόγχειρες, translit. Hekatoncheires, lit. 'Hundred-Handed Ones'), also called the Centimanes (; Latin: Centimani) or Hundred-Handers, were figures in the archaic, pre-Olympian era within Greek mythology, three giants of incredible strength and ferocity that surpassed all of the Titans, whom they helped overthrow. Their name derives from the Greek ἑκατόν (hekaton, "hundred") and χείρ (cheir, "hand"), "each of them having a hundred hands and fifty heads".Hesiod (crater)
Hesiod is a crater on Mercury. It has a diameter of 101 kilometers. Its name was adopted by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 1976. Hesiod is named for the Ancient Greek poet Hesiod, who lived around 800 BCE.Nyx
Nyx (; Greek: Νύξ, Núx, "Night"; Latin: Nox) is the Greek goddess (or personification) of the night. A shadowy figure, Nyx stood at or near the beginning of creation and mothered other personified deities such as Hypnos (Sleep) and Thanatos (Death), with Erebus (Darkness). Her appearances are sparse in surviving mythology, but reveal her as a figure of such exceptional power and beauty that she is feared by Zeus himself.Oceanid
In Greek mythology, the Oceanids or Oceanides (; Ancient Greek: Ὠκεανίδες, pl. of Ὠκεανίς) are the nymphs who were the three thousand (a number interpreted as meaning "innumerable") daughters of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys.Paean (god)
In Greek mythology, Paean (Ancient Greek: Παιάν), Paeëon or Paieon (Παιήων), or Paeon or Paion (Παιών) was the physician of the gods.Pandora
In Greek mythology, Pandora (Greek: Πανδώρα, derived from πᾶν, pān, i.e. "all" and δῶρον, dōron, i.e. "gift", thus "the all-endowed", "all-gifted" or "all-giving") was the first human woman, created by Hephaestus on the instructions of Zeus. As Hesiod related it, each god co-operated by giving her unique gifts. Her other name—inscribed against her figure on a white-ground kylix in the British Museum—is Anesidora (Ancient Greek: Ἀνησιδώρα), "she who sends up gifts" (up implying "from below" within the earth).
The Pandora myth is a kind of theodicy, addressing the question of why there is evil in the world. According to this, Pandora opened a jar (pithos), in modern accounts sometimes mistranslated as "Pandora's box", releasing all the evils of humanity. Hesiod's interpretation of Pandora's story, sometimes considered as misogynous, went on to influence both Jewish and Christian theology and so perpetuated her bad reputation into the Renaissance. Later poets, dramatists, painters and sculptors made her their subject and over the course of five centuries contributed new insights into her motives and significance.Pandora's box
Pandora's box is an artifact in Greek mythology connected with the myth of Pandora in Hesiod's Works and Days. The container mentioned in the original story was actually a large storage jar but the word was later mistranslated as "box."
In modern times an idiom has grown from it meaning "Any source of great and unexpected troubles", or alternatively "A present which seems valuable but which in reality is a curse". Later depictions of the fatal container have been varied, while some literary and artistic treatments have focused more on the contents of the idiomatic box than on Pandora herself.Phonoi
In Greek mythology, the Phonoi (Ancient Greek: Φονος; singular: Phonos) were male personifications of murder. Hesiod in the Theogony names their mother as Eris ("Discord"), and their siblings as: Ponos (Hardship), Lethe (Forgetfulness), Limos (Starvation), the Algea (Pains), the Hysminai (Battles), the Makhai (Wars), the Androktasiai (Manslaughters), the Neikea (Quarrels), the Pseudea (Lies), the Logoi (Stories), the Amphillogiai (Disputes), Dysnomia (Anarchy), Ate (Ruin), and Horkos (Oath) In the epic poem the Shield of Heracles, attributed to Hesiod, Phonos (singular) was one of the many figures, depicted on Heracles' shield.Pontus (mythology)
In Greek mythology, Pontus (; Greek: Πόντος, Póntos, "Sea") was an ancient, pre-Olympian sea-god, one of the Greek primordial deities. Pontus was Gaia's son and has no father; according to the Greek poet Hesiod, he was born without coupling, though according to Hyginus, Pontus is the son of Aether and Gaia.Tethys (mythology)
In Greek mythology, Tethys (; Greek: Τηθύς), was a Titan daughter of Uranus and Gaia, sister and wife of Titan Oceanus, mother of the Potamoi and the Oceanids. Tethys had no active role in Greek mythology and no established cults.Themis
Themis (; Ancient Greek: Θέμις) is an ancient Greek Titaness. She is described as "[the Lady] of good counsel", and is the personification of divine order, fairness, law, natural law, and custom. Her symbols are the Scales of Justice, tools used to remain balanced and pragmatic. Themis means "divine law" rather than human ordinance, literally "that which is put in place", from the Greek verb títhēmi (τίθημι), meaning "to put".
To the ancient Greeks she was originally the organizer of the "communal affairs of humans, particularly assemblies". Moses Finley remarked of themis, as the word was used by Homer in the 8th century BCE, to evoke the social order of the 10th- and 9th-century Greek Dark Ages:
Themis is untranslatable. A gift of the gods and a mark of civilized existence, sometimes it means right custom, proper procedure, social order, and sometimes merely the will of the gods (as revealed by an omen, for example) with little of the idea of right.
Finley adds, "There was themis—custom, tradition, folk-ways, mores, whatever we may call it, the enormous power of 'it is (or is not) done'. The world of Odysseus had a highly developed sense of what was fitting and proper."Theogony
The Theogony (Greek: Θεογονία, Theogonía, Attic Greek: [tʰeoɡoníaː], i.e. "the genealogy or birth of the gods") is a poem by Hesiod (8th – 7th century BC) describing the origins and genealogies of the Greek gods, composed c. 700 BC. It is written in the Epic dialect of Ancient Greek.Titan (mythology)
The Titans (Greek: Τιτάν, Titán, plural: Τiτᾶνες, Titânes) and Titanesses (or Titanides; Greek: Τιτανίς, Titanís, plural: Τιτανίδες, Titanídes) are a race of deities originally worshiped as part of Ancient Greek religion. They were often considered to be the second generation of divine beings, succeeding the primordial deities and preceding the Olympians, but also included certain descendants of the second generation. The Titans include the first twelve children of Gaia (Mother Earth) and Uranus (Father Sky), who ruled during the legendary Golden Age, and also comprised the first pantheon of Greek deities.Works and Days
The Works and Days (Ancient Greek: Ἔργα καὶ Ἡμέραι, Erga kai Hēmerai) is a didactic poem of some 800 lines written by the ancient Greek poet Hesiod around 700 BC. At its center, the Works and Days is a farmer's almanac in which Hesiod instructs his brother Perses in the agricultural arts.
Scholars have seen this work against a background of agrarian crisis in mainland Greece, which inspired a wave of colonial expeditions in search of new land. In the poem Hesiod also offers his brother extensive moralizing advice on how he should live his life. The Works and Days is perhaps best known for its two mythological aetiologies for the toil and pain that define the human condition: the story of Prometheus and Pandora, and the so-called Myth of Five Ages.