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Hesiod-Theogony
Theog.(1-115)
Theog.(116-206)
Theog.(207-305)
Theog.(306-403)
Theog.(404-506)
Theog.(507-612)
Theog.(613-712)
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Theogony

By Hesiod

Translated by H.G. Eveyln-White

Part 6 (507-612)

(ll. 507-543) Now Iapetus took to wife the neat-ankled mad
Clymene, daughter of Ocean, and went up with her into one bed.
And she bare him a stout-hearted son, Atlas: also she bare very
glorious Menoetius and clever Prometheus, full of various wiles,
and scatter-brained Epimetheus who from the first was a mischief
to men who eat bread; for it was he who first took of Zeus the
woman, the maiden whom he had formed.  But Menoetius was
outrageous, and far-seeing Zeus struck him with a lurid
thunderbolt and sent him down to Erebus because of his mad
presumption and exceeding pride. And Atlas through hard
constraint upholds the wide heaven with unwearying head and arms,
standing at the borders of the earth before the clear-voiced
Hesperides; for this lot wise Zeus assigned to him.  And ready-
witted Prometheus he bound with inextricable bonds, cruel chains,
and drove a shaft through his middle, and set on him a long-
winged eagle, which used to eat his immortal liver; but by night
the liver grew as much again everyway as the long-winged bird
devoured in the whole day. That bird Heracles, the valiant son
of shapely-ankled Alcmene, slew; and delivered the son of Iapetus
from the cruel plague, and released him from his affliction --
not without the will of Olympian Zeus who reigns on high, that
the glory of Heracles the Theban-born might be yet greater than
it was before over the plenteous earth.  This, then, he regarded,
and honoured his famous son; though he was angry, he ceased from
the wrath which he had before because Prometheus matched himself
in wit with the almighty son of Cronos.  For when the gods and
mortal men had a dispute at Mecone, even then Prometheus was
forward to cut up a great ox and set portions before them, trying
to befool the mind of Zeus.  Before the rest he set flesh and
inner parts thick with fat upon the hide, covering them with an
ox paunch; but for Zeus he put the white bones dressed up with
cunning art and covered with shining fat.  Then the father of men
and of gods said to him:

(ll. 543-544) `Son of Iapetus, most glorious of all lords, good
sir, how unfairly you have divided the portions!'

(ll. 545-547) So said Zeus whose wisdom is everlasting, rebuking
him. But wily Prometheus answered him, smiling softly and not
forgetting his cunning trick:

(ll. 548-558) `Zeus, most glorious and greatest of the eternal
gods, take which ever of these portions your heart within you
bids.' So he said, thinking trickery. But Zeus, whose wisdom is
everlasting, saw and failed not to perceive the trick, and in his
heart he thought mischief against mortal men which also was to be
fulfilled. With both hands he took up the white fat and was
angry at heart, and wrath came to his spirit when he saw the
white ox-bones craftily tricked out: and because of this the
tribes of men upon earth burn white bones to the deathless gods
upon fragrant altars.  But Zeus who drives the clouds was greatly
vexed and said to him:

(ll. 559-560) `Son of Iapetus, clever above all! So, sir, you
have not yet forgotten your cunning arts!'

(ll. 561-584) So spake Zeus in anger, whose wisdom is
everlasting; and from that time he was always mindful of the
trick, and would not give the power of unwearying fire to the
Melian (21) race of mortal men who live on the earth.  But the
noble son of Iapetus outwitted him and stole the far-seen gleam
of unwearying fire in a hollow fennel stalk. And Zeus who
thunders on high was stung in spirit, and his dear heart was
angered when he saw amongst men the far-seen ray of fire.
Forthwith he made an evil thing for men as the price of fire; for
the very famous Limping God formed of earth the likeness of a shy
maiden as the son of Cronos willed.  And the goddess bright-eyed
Athene girded and clothed her with silvery raiment, and down from
her head she spread with her hands a broidered veil, a wonder to
see; and she, Pallas Athene, put about her head lovely garlands,
flowers of new-grown herbs.  Also she put upon her head a crown
of gold which the very famous Limping God made himself and worked
with his own hands as a favour to Zeus his father. On it was
much curious work, wonderful to see; for of the many creatures
which the land and sea rear up, he put most upon it, wonderful
things, like living beings with voices: and great beauty shone
out from it.

(ll. 585-589) But when he had made the beautiful evil to be the
price for the blessing, he brought her out, delighting in the
finery which the bright-eyed daughter of a mighty father had
given her, to the place where the other gods and men were. And
wonder took hold of the deathless gods and mortal men when they
saw that which was sheer guile, not to be withstood by men.

(ll. 590-612) For from her is the race of women and female kind:
of her is the deadly race and tribe of women who live amongst
mortal men to their great trouble, no helpmeets in hateful
poverty, but only in wealth. And as in thatched hives bees feed
the drones whose nature is to do mischief -- by day and
throughout the day until the sun goes down the bees are busy and
lay the white combs, while the drones stay at home in the covered
skeps and reap the toil of others into their own bellies -- even
so Zeus who thunders on high made women to be an evil to mortal
men, with a nature to do evil. And he gave them a second evil to
be the price for the good they had: whoever avoids marriage and
the sorrows that women cause, and will not wed, reaches deadly
old age without anyone to tend his years, and though he at least
has no lack of livelihood while he lives, yet, when he is dead,
his kinsfolk divide his possessions amongst them.  And as for the
man who chooses the lot of marriage and takes a good wife suited
to his mind, evil continually contends with good; for whoever
happens to have mischievous children, lives always with unceasing
grief in his spirit and heart within him; and this evil cannot be
healed.

Hesiod - Theogony Table of Contents

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