Hesiod, Theogony

LCL 57: 4-5

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αἵ νύ ποθ’ Ἡσίοδον καλὴν ἐδίδαξαν ἀοιδήν, ἄρνας ποιμαίνονθ’ Ἑλικῶνος ὕπο ζαθέοιο. τόνδε δέ με πρώτιστα θεαὶ πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπον, 25Μοῦσαι Ὀλυμπιάδες, κοῦραι Διὸς αἰγιόχοιο· “ποιμένες ἄγραυλοι, κάκ’ ἐλέγχεα, γαστέρες οἶον, ἴδμεν ψεύδεα πολλὰ λέγειν ἐτύμοισιν ὁμοῖα, ἴδμεν δ’ εὖτ’ ἐθέλωμεν ἀληθέα γηρύσασθαι.” ὣς ἔφασαν κοῦραι μεγάλου Διὸς ἀρτιέπειαι, 30καί μοι σκῆπτρον ἔδον δάφνης ἐριθηλέος ὄζον δρέψασαι, θηητόν· ἐνέπνευσαν δέ μοι αὐδὴν θέσπιν, ἵνα κλείοιμι τά τ’ ἐσσόμενα πρό τ’ ἐόντα, καί μ’ ἐκέλονθ’ ὑμνεῖν μακάρων γένος αἰὲν ἐόντων, σφᾶς δ’ αὐτὰς πρῶτόν τε καὶ ὕστατον αἰὲν ἀείδειν. 35ἀλλὰ τίη μοι ταῦτα περὶ δρῦν ἢ περὶ πέτρην; τύνη, Μουσάων ἀρχώμεθα, ταὶ Διὶ πατρὶ ὑμνεῦσαι τέρπουσι μέγαν νόον ἐντὸς Ὀλύμπου, εἴρουσαι τά τ’ ἐόντα τά τ’ ἐσσόμενα πρό τ’ ἐόντα, φωνῇ ὁμηρεῦσαι, τῶν δ’ ἀκάματος ῥέει αὐδὴ 40ἐκ στομάτων ἡδεῖα· γελᾷ δέ τε δώματα πατρὸς Ζηνὸς ἐριγδούποιο θεᾶν ὀπὶ λειριοέσσῃ σκιδναμένῃ, ἠχεῖ δὲ κάρη νιφόεντος Ὀλύμπου δώματά τ’ ἀθανάτων· αἱ δ’ ἄμβροτον ὄσσαν ἱεῖσαι θεῶν γένος αἰδοῖον πρῶτον κλείουσιν ἀοιδῇ 45ἐξ ἀρχῆς, οὓς Γαῖα καὶ Οὐρανὸς εὐρὺς ἔτικτεν,

  • 28 γηρύσασθαι Π1Π2n, γρ. L2 ex Σ: μυθήσασθαι bvK
  • 31 δρέψασαι Π1(?)a: δρέψασθαι bKSΣΔ Aristides
  • 32 θέσπιν Goettling: θείην codd.: θεσπεσίην Aristides Lucianus
  • 37 ἐντὸς Π1Π2KV Etym.: αἰὲν a


(22) One time, they2 taught Hesiod beautiful song while he was pasturing lambs under holy Helicon. And this speech the goddesses spoke first of all to me, the Olympian Muses, the daughters of aegis-holding Zeus: “Field-dwelling shepherds, ignoble disgraces, mere bellies: we know how to say many false things similar to genuine ones, but we know, when we wish, how to proclaim true things.” So spoke great Zeus’ ready-speaking daughters, and they plucked a staff, a branch of luxuriant laurel, a marvel, and gave it to me; and they breathed a divine voice into me, so that I might glorify what will be and what was before, and they commanded me to sing of the race of the blessed ones who always are, but always to sing of themselves first and last.

(35) But what is this to me, about an oak or a rock?3 Come then, let us begin from the Muses, who by singing for their father Zeus give pleasure to his great mind within Olympus, telling of what is and what will be and what was before, harmonizing in their sound. Their tireless voice flows sweet from their mouths; and the house of their father, loud-thundering Zeus, rejoices at the goddesses’ lily-like voice as it spreads out, and snowy Olympus’ peak resounds, and the mansions of the immortals. Sending forth their deathless voice, they glorify in their song first the venerated race of the gods from the beginning, those to whom Earth and broad Sky gave birth, and those who

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.hesiod-theogony.2018