Works and Days

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‘The Works and Days’ is a didactic poem of some 800 lines composed by the ancient Greek poet Hesiod. The poem deals with daily life and work, interwoven with allegory, fable and personal history. It also serves as a farmer's almanac, through which Hesiod instructs his brother Perses in the agricultural arts, and as a compendium of advice for life as a farmer. As such it opens a window on archaic Greek society, ethics, and superstition. ‘The Works and Days’ contains two mythological etiologies for the pain and trouble of the human condition, the earliest versions of the tale of Prometheus and Pandora, and of the Ages of Man.