I will show you the measures

of the much-thundering sea... (line 648)

Observe measures. Timeliness is best in all matters. (line 694)

Hesiod,The Works and Days, trans., Richard Lattimore, Ann Arbor,1969, pp. 95 and 101

PLACE: Boiotia, Greece

TIME: ca. 8th Century B.C.

CIRCUMSTANCE: Hesiod has already described the events in the farmer's annual life. He now describes the cycles in the sailor's life. Of the two types of existence he clearly prefers the farmer, for, as a Boiotian poet he lives "far away from the sea and its tossing waters", which sets him apart from Homer, whose works are conceived close to the element.



... and the infinite great sea

moaned terribly

and the earth crashed aloud,

and the wide sky resounded

as it was shaken, and tall Olympos rocked

on its bases

in the fan of the wind of the immortals,

and a strong shudder drove deep

into gloomy Tartaros under the suddenness

of the footrush

and the quenchless crashing of their feet

and their powerful missiles.

So either against either they threw

their re-echoing weapons

and the noise of either side outcrying

went up to the starry

heaven as with great war crying

they drove at each other.

Now Zeus no longer held in his strength,

but here his heart filled

deep with fury, and now he showed

his violence entire

and indiscriminately. Out of the sky

and off Olympos

he moved flashing his fires incessantly,

and the thunderbolts,

the crashing of them and the blaze

together came flying, one after

another, from his ponderous hand,

and spinning whirls of inhuman

flame, and with it the earth,

the giver of life, cried out

aloud as she burned, and the vast forests

in the fire screamed....


The wonderful conflagration crushed Chaos, (line 700)

and to the eyes' seeing

and ears' hearing the clamor of it,

it absolutely

would have seemed as if Earth

and the wide Heaven above her

had collided, for such would have been

the crash arising

as Earth wrecked and the sky came piling down

on top of her,

so vast was the crash heard

as the gods collided in battle.

The winds brought on with their roaring

a quake of the earth and dust storm,

with thunder and with lightning,

and the blazing thunderbolt,

the weapons thrown by great Zeus,

and they carried the clamor

and outcry between the hosts opposed,

and a horrible tumult

of grisly battle uprose,

and both sides showed power in the fighting.

Hesiod,Theogony, lines 678-694 and 700-710, trans., Richard Lattimore, Ann Arbor, 1968, p.163-165.

PLACE: Boiotia, Greece

TIME: ca. 8th Century B.C.

CIRCUMSTANCE: Hesiod tells how the Titans and the gods fought, how the Titans were defeated and were banished to Tartaros, in the bowels of the earth.