Greatest Literature banner

Works and Days

Critique • Quotes

Works and Days and other Hesiod works, trans. Lattimore1968 collection
Publication details ▽ Publication details △

First publication
c.700 BCE

Literature form

Instructional, philosophical

Writing language

Author's country
United States

Approx. 1,000 lines

Notable lines

Pierian Muses, bringers of fame: come
Tell of your father, Zeus, and sing his hymn,
Through whom each man is famous or unknown....

— First lines, trans. Wender

That man is best who reasons for himself
Considering the future. Also good
Is he who takes another's advice.
But he who neither thinks himself nor learns
From others, is a failure as a man.


Never reproach a man for poverty
Which eats out the heart and destroys, for it
Is given by the blessed, deathless gods.

— trans. Wender

He is truly blest
And rich who knows these things and does his work,
Guiltless before the gods, and scrupulous,
Observing omens and avoiding wrong.

— Last lines


Critique • Quotes