Theogony by Hesiod

One of my required Greek reading was Theogony by Hesiod which are basically a geneological list of ancient Gods and Goddess, the birth of man, Cronos, Nyx, Zeus, etc. I actually read two version of the poems, Hugh G Evelyn-White and M.L. West’s translations and both are different in terms of readibility and definitions so if one version doesn’t work for you, try the other one.

Theogony is much shorter and is a series of compiled stories from the first 100 lines of Hesiod dedicating it to the Muses, to the birth of the world, the stories between Earth and Sky, Cronos and primary of Zeus. Included are also the geneology that traces back some of the more famous creatures in Greek literature like the Erinyes, Kyklopes, Giant, Cerberus, Medusa etc.

It is an interesting reading on its own albeit briefly. One of the gripes about it was the fact that it read like a summarized version of a story. Luckily, the discussion perceding this book are much interesting; such as Hesiod being somewhat misogynist, how woman was again portrayed as a bane to men (Pandora), the weird parenticidal tendecies among these Greeks and intermarriage within themselves like Zeus and Hera are siblings and also husband and wife, Themis is his aunt and they have Athena in a weird head birthing scene etc. It is interesting if you are studying the book and is a good interesting factoid if you love those things instead of learning by reading of Percy Jackson’s books.


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