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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Hesiod Bilingual Anthology : FIVE GENERATIONS OF MEN

from Hesiod's Works and Days, * Lines 109-200, * Translated by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, * Greek Fonts


IRST of all the deathless gods who dwell on Olympus made a golden race of mortal men who lived in the time of Cronos when he was reigning in heaven. And they lived like gods without sorrow of heart, remote and free from toil and grief: miserable age rested not on them; but with legs and arms never failing they made merry with feasting beyond the reach of all evils. When they died, it was as though they were overcome with sleep, and they had all good things; for the fruitful earth unforced bare them fruit abundantly and without stint. They dwelt in ease and peace upon their lands with many good things, rich in flocks and loved by the blessed gods. 

Ἀνθρώπων Γένη

Χρύσεον μὲν πρώτιστα γένος μερόπων ἀνθρώπων ἀθάνατοι ποίησαν Ὀλύμπια δώματ΄ ἔχοντες. οἳ μὲν ἐπὶ Κρόνου ἦσαν͵ ὅτ΄ οὐρανῷ ἐμβασίλευεν· ὥστε θεοὶ δ΄ ἔζωον ἀκηδέα θυμὸν ἔχοντες νόσφιν ἄτερ τε πόνων καὶ ὀιζύος͵ οὐδέ τι δειλὸν γῆρας ἐπῆν͵ αἰεὶ δὲ πόδας καὶ χεῖρας ὁμοῖοι τέρποντ΄ ἐν θαλίῃσι͵ κακῶν ἔκτοσθεν ἁπάντων· θνῇσκον δ΄ ὥσθ΄ ὕπνῳ δεδμημένοι· ἐσθλὰ δὲ πάντα τοῖσιν ἔην· καρπὸν δ΄ ἔφερε ζείδωρος ἄρουρα αὐτομάτη πολλόν τε καὶ ἄφθονον· οἳ δ΄ ἐθελημοὶ ἥσυχοι ἔργ΄ ἐνέμοντο σὺν ἐσθλοῖσιν πολέεσσιν.

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