Friday, June 4, 2010
The Works and Days
The Shield of Herakles
Purchased at Talking Leaves...Books. I think I bought this for more oral exams in grad school, but I may have just bought it for fun. It was on the exam, I know that much.
I think I bought this version because it was translated by Richmond Lattimore. With very few exceptions, my experience of classical literature has been mediated by Richmond Lattimore. I can remember reading Aeschylus and Euripedes and Sophocles as an undergraduate and being amazed to find his name on every single book I read.
Running a bit late...
from The Works and Days
Muses, who from Pieria give glory through singing,
come to me, tell of Zeus, your own father,
sing his praises, through whose will
mortal men are named in speech or remain unspoken.
Men are renowned or remain unsung
as great Zeus wills it.
For lightly he makes strong,
and lightly brings strength to confusion,
lightly diminishes the great man,
uplifts the obscure one,
lightly the crooked man he straightens,
withers the proud man,
he Zeus, of the towering thunders,
whose house is highest.
Hear me, see me, Zeus: hearken:
direct your decrees in righteousness.
To you, Perses, I would describe
the true way of existence.