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Medieval and Classical Library

Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns and Homerica


Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #8

Proclus on Works and Days, 828:
Some make the "Divination by Birds", which Apollonius of Rhodes
rejects as spurious, follow this verse ("Works and Days", 828).

THE ASTRONOMY (fragments)

Fragment #1 --
Athenaeus xi, p. 491 d:
And the author of "The Astronomy", which is attributed forsooth
to Hesiod, always calls them (the Pleiades) Peleiades: `but
mortals call them Peleiades'; and again, `the stormy Peleiades go
down'; and again, `then the Peleiades hide away....'

Scholiast on Pindar, Nem. ii. 16:
The Pleiades.... whose stars are these: -- `Lovely Teygata, and
dark-faced Electra, and Alcyone, and bright Asterope, and
Celaeno, and Maia, and Merope, whom glorious Atlas begot....'
`In the mountains of Cyllene she (Maia) bare Hermes, the herald
of the gods.'

Fragment #2 --
Scholiast on Aratus 254:
But Zeus made them (the sisters of Hyas) into the stars which are
called Hyades.  Hesiod in his Book about Stars tells us their
names as follows: `Nymphs like the Graces (1), Phaesyle and
Coronis and rich-crowned Cleeia and lovely Phaco and long-robed
Eudora, whom the tribes of men upon the earth call Hyades.'

Fragment #3 --
Pseudo-Eratosthenes Catast. frag. 1: (2)
The Great Bear.] -- Hesiod says she (Callisto) was the daughter
of Lycaon and lived in Arcadia.  She chose to occupy herself with
wild-beasts in the mountains together with Artemis, and, when she
was seduced by Zeus, continued some time undetected by the
goddess, but afterwards, when she was already with child, was
seen by her bathing and so discovered.  Upon this, the goddess
was enraged and changed her into a beast.  Thus she became a bear
and gave birth to a son called Arcas.  But while she was in the
mountains, she was hunted by some goat-herds and given up with
her babe to Lycaon.  Some while after, she thought fit to go into
the forbidden precinct of Zeus, not knowing the law, and being
pursued by her own son and the Arcadians, was about to be killed
because of the said law; but Zeus delivered her because of her
connection with him and put her among the stars, giving her the
name Bear because of the misfortune which had befallen her.

Comm. Supplem. on Aratus, p. 547 M. 8:
Of Bootes, also called the Bear-warden.  The story goes that he
is Arcas the son of Callisto and Zeus, and he lived in the
country about Lycaeum.  After Zeus had seduced Callisto, Lycaon,
pretending not to know of the matter, entertained Zeus, as Hesiod
says, and set before him on the table the babe which he had cut

Fragment #4 --
Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Catast. fr. xxxii:
Orion.] -- Hesiod says that he was the son of Euryale, the
daughter of Minos, and of Poseidon, and that there was given him
as a gift the power of walking upon the waves as though upon
land.  When he was come to Chios, be outraged Merope, the
daughter of Oenopion, being drunken; but Oenopion when he learned
of it was greatly vexed at the outrage and blinded him and cast
him out of the country.  Then he came to Lemnos as a beggar and
there met Hephaestus who took pity on him and gave him Cedalion
his own servant to guide him.  So Orion took Cedalion upon his
shoulders and used to carry him about while he pointed out the
roads.  Then he came to the east and appears to have met Helius
(the Sun) and to have been healed, and so returned back again to
Oenopion to punish him; but Oenopion was hidden away by his
people underground.  Being disappointed, then, in his search for
the king, Orion went away to Crete and spent his time hunting in
company with Artemis and Leto.  It seems that he threatened to
kill every beast there was on earth; whereupon, in her anger,
Earth sent up against him a scorpion of very great size by which
he was stung and so perished.  After this Zeus, at one prayer of
Artemis and Leto, put him among the stars, because of his
manliness, and the scorpion also as a memorial of him and of what
had occurred.

Fragment #5 --
Diodorus iv. 85:
Some say that great earthquakes occurred, which broke through the
neck of land and formed the straits (3), the sea parting the
mainland from the island.  But Hesiod, the poet, says just the
opposite: that the sea was open, but Orion piled up the
promontory by Peloris, and founded the close of Poseidon which is
especially esteemed by the people thereabouts.  When he had
finished this, he went away to Euboea and settled there, and
because of his renown was taken into the number of the stars in
heaven, and won undying remembrance.


(1)  This halt verse is added by the Scholiast on Aratus, 172.
(2)  The "Catasterismi" ("Placings among the Stars") is a
     collection of legends relating to the various
(3)  The Straits of Messina.


Fragment #1 --
Scholiast on Pindar, Pyth. vi. 19:
`And now, pray, mark all these things well in a wise heart. 
First, whenever you come to your house, offer good sacrifices to
the eternal gods.'

Fragment #2 --
Plutarch Mor. 1034 E:
`Decide no suit until you have heard both sides speak.'

Fragment #3 --
Plutarch de Orac. defectu ii. 415 C:
`A chattering crow lives out nine generations of aged men, but a
stag's life is four times a crow's, and a raven's life makes
three stags old, while the phoenix outlives nine ravens, but we,
the rich-haired Nymphs, daughters of Zeus the aegis-holder,
outlive ten phoenixes.'

Fragment #4 --
Quintilian, i. 15:
Some consider that children under the age of seven should not
receive a literary education...  That Hesiod was of this opinion
very many writers affirm who were earlier than the critic
Aristophanes; for he was the first to reject the "Precepts", in
which book this maxim occurs, as a work of that poet.

THE GREAT WORKS (fragments)

Fragment #1 --
Comm. on Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics. v. 8:
The verse, however (the slaying of Rhadamanthys), is in Hesiod in
the "Great Works" and is as follows: `If a man sow evil, he shall
reap evil increase; if men do to him as he has done, it will be
true justice.'

Fragment #2 --
Proclus on Hesiod, Works and Days, 126:
Some believe that the Silver Race (is to be attributed to) the
earth, declaring that in the "Great Works" Hesiod makes silver to
be of the family of Earth.


Fragment #1 --
Pliny, Natural History vii. 56, 197:
Hesiod says that those who are called the Idaean Dactyls taught
the smelting and tempering of iron in Crete.

Fragment #2 --
Clement, Stromateis i. 16. 75:
Celmis, again, and Damnameneus, the first of the Idaean Dactyls,
discovered iron in Cyprus; but bronze smelting was discovered by
Delas, another Idaean, though Hesiod calls him Scythes (1).


(1)  Or perhaps `a Scythian'.