Hesiod, Works and Days

LCL 57: 88-89

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θῆκε δέ μιν Κρονίδης ὑψίζυγος, αἰθέρι ναίων γαίης τ᾽ ἐν ῥίζῃσι καὶ ἀνδράσι πολλὸν ἀμείνω· 20ἥ τε καὶ ἀπάλαμόν περ ὁμῶς ἐπὶ ἔργον ἔγειρεν. εἰς ἕτερον γάρ τίς τε ἰδὼν ἔργοιο χατίζων πλούσιον, ὃς σπεύδει μὲν ἀρώμεναι ἠδὲ φυτεύειν οἶκόν τ᾽ εὖ θέσθαι, ζηλοῖ δέ τε γείτονα γείτων εἰς ἄφενος σπεύδοντ᾽· ἀγαθὴ δ’ Ἔρις ἥδε βροτοῖσιν. 25καὶ κεραμεὺς κεραμεῖ κοτέει καὶ τέκτονι τέκτων, καὶ πτωχὸς πτωχῷ φθονέει καὶ ἀοιδὸς ἀοιδῷ. ὦ Πέρση, σὺ δὲ ταῦτα τεῷ ἐνικάτθεο θυμῷ, μηδέ σ᾽ Ἔρις κακόχαρτος ἀπ᾽ ἔργου θυμὸν ἐρύκοι νείκε᾽ ὀπιπεύοντ᾽ ἀγορῆς ἐπακουὸν ἐόντα. 30ὤρη γάρ τ᾽ ὀλίγη πέλεται νεικέων τ᾽ ἀγορέων τε, ᾧτινι μὴ βίος ἔνδον ἐπηετανὸς κατάκειται ὡραῖος, τὸν γαῖα φέρει, Δημήτερος ἀκτήν. τοῦ κε κορεσσάμενος νείκεα καὶ δῆριν ὀφέλλοις κτήμασ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἀλλοτρίοις. σοὶ δ᾽ οὐκέτι δεύτερον ἔσται 35ὧδ᾽ ἔρδειν, ἀλλ᾽ αὖθι διακρινώμεθα νεῖκος ἰθείῃσι δίκῃς, αἵ τ᾽ ἐκ Διός εἰσιν ἄρισται. ἤδη μὲν γὰρ κλῆρον ἐδασσάμεθ᾽, ἄλλά τε πολλὰ ἁρπάζων ἐφόρεις μέγα κυδαίνων βασιλῆας δωροφάγους, οἳ τήνδε δίκην ἐθέλουσι δικάσσαι, 40νήπιοι, οὐδὲ ἴσασιν ὅσῳ πλέον ἥμισυ παντός, οὐδ᾽ ὅσον ἐν μαλάχῃ τε καὶ ἀσφοδέλῳ μέγ᾽ ὄνειαρ.

κρύψαντες γὰρ ἔχουσι θεοὶ βίον ἀνθρώποισιν·

  • 19 τ’ om. Par. 2763, del. Guyet
  • 21 χατίζων DΦGalenus al.: χατίζει C


son, who dwells in the aether, set it in the roots of the earth, and it is much better for men. It rouses even the helpless man to work. For a man who is not working but who looks at some other man, a rich one who is hastening to plow and plant and set his house in order, he envies him, one neighbor envying his neighbor who is hastening toward wealth: and this Strife is good for mortals. And potter is angry with potter, and builder with builder, and beggar begrudges beggar, and poet poet.

(27) Perses, do store this up in your spirit, lest gloating Strife keep your spirit away from work, while you gawk at quarrels and listen to the assembly. For he has little care for quarrels and assemblies, whoever does not have plentiful means of life stored up indoors in good season, what the earth bears, Demeter’s grain. When you can take your fill of that, then you might foster quarrels and conflict for the sake of another man’s wealth. But you will not have a second chance to act this way—no, let us decide our quarrel right here with straight judgments, which come from Zeus, the best ones. For already we had divided up our allotment, but you snatched much more besides and went carrying it off, greatly honoring the kings, those gift-eaters, who want to pass this judgment—fools, they do not know how much more the half is than the whole, nor how great the boon is in mallow and asphodel!3

(42) For the gods keep the means of life concealed

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.hesiod-works_days.2018