Bust of Hesiod


The Greek poet Hesiod spent much of his life farming his father’s land near the town of Ascra. He attributed his poetic gifts to the nine daughters of Mnemosyne, the Muses, who appeared to him one day while he was tending sheep on Mt. Helicon; they asked that he “sing of the race of the blessed gods immortal.” His two epic poems, Theogony and Works and Days, date from roughly the same era as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and the introduction of the Greek alphabet.

All Writing

Often an entire city has suffered because of an evil man.

—Hesiod, c. 700 BC

Avoid the talk of men. For talk is mischievous, light, and easily raised, but hard to bear and difficult to be rid of. Talk never wholly dies away when many people voice her: even talk is in some ways divine.

—Hesiod, c. 700 BC

Labor is no disgrace.

—Hesiod, c. 700 BC

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