Hesiod (Greek Ἡσίοδος Hesiod; * before 700 BC, probably in Askra in Boeotia ) was a Greek poet who lived as agriculturists and farmers. In addition to Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Hesiod's works are the main sources of our present knowledge of Greek mythology and mythography as well as the everyday life of his time. He is considered the founder of the didactic epic, the didactic poem, which was called by the Romans, especially from Virgil, as Ascraeum carmen ( Verg. G.. 2, 176) later after his home Askra.


Some information about Hesiod's life may appear in his epics. In his works, Theogony and Works and Days (verses 633-640 ) he added three locations allegedly a biographical. However, some researchers rather assume that it is also case raised literary fictions.

Hesiod was - assuming that you the authenticity of the relevant passages - born in Askra on a small castle in Boeotia. His father, whose name is not known, came from Kyme, which lay on the coast of Asia Minor in Ionia. According to tradition, it is assigned to the nobles, but this can also be attributed to an incorrect translation of a phrase in Erga 298, which refers to Hesiod's brother: Perse, Dion genos (Greek Πέρση, δῖον γένος ) has been called " Perses, child of the Nobles "translated instead as it properly should be called, " Perses, the well -born child. " It also states that Hesiod's father owned a small trading company that relations with other Greek cities maintained - as was customary by coastal shipping. However, the business was not successful and failed. Then he crossed the Aegean and settled in Askra, where he earned a small piece of land at the foot of Helicon. There he married Pykimede, with whom he had two sons: Hesiod and Perses.

Askra was a poor place. Hesiod described him as " an enchanted castle ". His life was marked by "hard winter ", " a meager existence that never was pleasant ."


Hesiod's main works are the didactic poem Works and Days, Theogony and, further, the so-called Eoien, a well as a catalog of women ( γυναικῶν κατάλογος gynaikōn katalogos ) known, preserved only in fragments poem. In addition, it is the Shield of Heracles, a Epyllion in 460 verses attributed.

His epic Theogony in which he describes the creation of the world and of the gods in over a thousand hexameters, is largely based on the present knowledge of Greek mythology. In its written as a guide to peasant work didactic poem Works and Days ( Erga kai hemerai ) he glorified the work as the main task of the people and designed an early work ethic. So he is against the Homeric nobility ethics and emphasizes the self- Acquired over the Innate. Works and Days also includes the myth of Pandora's box. In addition, there a series of world ages is described. On a Golden Age, a Silver and a Bronze, follow ( Bronze ) age and on the so-called "age of heroes " in which, among other things, Odysseus and Achilles lived and held the Trojan War. At the end of this chronology is the Iron Age, Hesiod's own, which is characterized by general darkening and coarsening of manners. In view of arbitrariness and tyranny Hesiod calls for conditions of good moral character and conduct.

From the geographical indications in the Theogony can the world as it presented itself at the time the Greeks outline. This mainly includes areas that are located in the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor. The western Mediterranean was Hesiod known only very dimly. Further mentioned are the Black Sea ( Pontos ), the Danube ( Ister ) and the Alps, which are called Rhyphaen Mountains. The part of Europe which is located north of the Alps, Hesiod was unknown.

Pausanias tells of a work titled song on the seer Melampus. From this today Melampodie said seal only fragments survive.


  • Pausanias 9, 31, 5


  • Hesiod 's Works Germanized in the versification of the original manuscript of Ed. Eyth. Hoffmann's publishing bookshop, Stuttgart 1858 ( Theogony and The Shield of Heracles )
  • Friedrich Solmsen (ed.): Hesiodi Theogonia Opera et This Scvtvm. Editio Tertia. Oxford 1990. ISBN 978-0-19-814071-9 (Oxford Classical Texts )
  • Hesiod, Theogony. Works and Days. Greek and German, edited and translated by Albert von Schirnding. Artemis and Winkler, Zurich / Dusseldorf ³ 2002.
  • Reinhold Merkel Bach, Martin L. West ( Eds.): Fragmenta Hesiodea. Clarendon Press, Oxford 1967.
  • Otto Schönberger (translators and eds ): Hesiod, " Theogony ", Greek / German. Philipp Reclam jun., Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-15-009763-0.
  • Otto Schönberger (translators and eds ): Hesiod, " Works and Days ", Greek / German. Philipp Reclam jun., Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-15-009445-3.