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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


ELPENOR EDITIONS IN PRINT
Page 2

But after earth had covered this generation- they are called pure spirits dwelling on the earth, and are kindly, delivering from harm, and guardians of mortal men; for they roam everywhere over the earth, clothed in mist and keep watch on judgements and cruel deeds, givers of wealth; for this royal right also they received;- then they who dwell on Olympus made a second generation which was of silver and less noble by far. It was like the golden race neither in body nor in spirit. A child was brought up at his good mother's side an hundred years, an utter simpleton, playing childishly in his own home. But when they were full grown and were come to the full measure of their prime, they lived only a little time in sorrow because of their foolishness, for they could not keep from sinning and from wronging one another, nor would they serve the immortals, nor sacrifice on the holy altars of the blessed ones as it is right for men to do wherever they dwell. Then Zeus the son of Cronos was angry and put them away, because they would not give honour to the blessed gods who live on Olympus.

αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ δὴ τοῦτο γένος κατὰ γαῖα κάλυψε͵ τοὶ μὲν δαίμονες ἁγνοὶ ἐπιχθόνιοι τελέθουσιν ἐσθλοί͵ ἀλεξίκακοι͵ φύλακες θνητῶν ἀνθρώπων͵ [οἵ ῥα φυλάσσουσίν τε δίκας καὶ σχέτλια ἔργα ἠέρα ἑσσάμενοι πάντη φοιτῶντες ἐπ΄ αἶαν͵] πλουτοδόται· καὶ τοῦτο γέρας βασιλήιον ἔσχον. Δεύτερον αὖτε γένος πολὺ χειρότερον μετόπισθεν ἀργύρεον ποίησαν Ὀλύμπια δώματ΄ ἔχοντες͵ χρυσέῳ οὔτε φυὴν ἐναλίγκιον οὔτε νόημα· ἀλλ΄ ἑκατὸν μὲν παῖς ἔτεα παρὰ μητέρι κεδνῇ ἐτρέφετ΄ ἀτάλλων͵ μέγα νήπιος͵ ᾧ ἐνὶ οἴκῳ· ἀλλ΄ ὅτ΄ ἄρ΄ ἡβήσαι τε καὶ ἥβης μέτρον ἵκοιτο͵ παυρίδιον ζώεσκον ἐπὶ χρόνον͵ ἄλγε΄ ἔχοντες ἀφραδίῃς· ὕβριν γὰρ ἀτάσθαλον οὐκ ἐδύναντο ἀλλήλων ἀπέχειν͵ οὐδ΄ ἀθανάτους θεραπεύειν ἤθελον οὐδ΄ ἔρδειν μακάρων ἱεροῖς ἐπὶ βωμοῖς͵ ᾗ θέμις ἀνθρώποις κατὰ ἤθεα. τοὺς μὲν ἔπειτα Ζεὺς Κρονίδης ἔκρυψε χολούμενος͵ οὕνεκα τιμὰς οὐκ ἔδιδον μακάρεσσι θεοῖς οἳ Ὄλυμπον ἔχουσιν.

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