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GEORGE LONG, M.A.,
FORMERLY FELLOW OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
THE EPICS OF HESIOD.
F. A. PALEY, M.A.
SECOND EDITION, REVISED.
LONDON: WHITTAKER AND CO. AVE MARIA LANE; GEORGE BELL AND SONS, YORK STREET, COVENT
EPICS OF HESIOD.
WITH AN ENGLISH COMMENTARY
AND THE READINGS OF FOURTEEN MSS. COLLATED FOR
F. A. PALEY, M.A.
EDITOR OF AESCHYLUS, ETC.
“Ηγούμαι εγώ ανδρί παιδείας μέγιστον μέρος είναι-τα υπό των ποιητών λεγόμενα οϊόν τ' είναι συνιέναι & τε ορθώς πεποίηται και 8 μή.
PLATO, Protag. p. 339A.
The present edition of HESIOD was undertaken, not indeed to satisfy a want in Classical Literature, which can hardly be said to be generally felt, but from a wish to bring more into use in our schools and colleges the works of a poet so widely celebrated in antiquity, yet by a kind of common consent, or long established fashion, in this country at least, so little studied in modern times.
Whatever opinions may be held as to the real dates of the Homeric and the Hesiodic poems, both in their original forms and in the perhaps much altered and interpolated recensions which have come down to us, one fact remains indisputable; they are the only extant Greek writings which have any claim even to approximate to the Epic age, properly so called. Consequently, their value merely as literature is not the only ground of their fitness and utility for students of Greek; they are not less important in a linguistic point of view, viz. as affording an insight into the peculiarities of the Epic style and dialect, all the more valuable because emanating from distinct centres of the epic art.
That there are some causes for the comparative neglect of Hesiod is not fairly to be denied. Hesiod, though regarded by the ancients as the rival and contemporary of Homer, is eclipsed by him both in the choice of a subject and the treatment of it. It is not to be expected that the matter-of-fact and unimpassioned poetry of the “Works and Days "," full as the poem is of “proverbial philosophy,” often obscure, occa
1 I use a common, but incorrect version of 'Epya kal 'Huépai, which means, “Farm operations and lucky and unlucky days.” The poem, as Prof. Mahaffy well remarks (Hist. Lit. i. 105), comprises much of what the later Greeks called Oeconomics, e.g. the choice of a wife and the conduct of a household.