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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Hesiod’s Works and Days had its greatest influence on English poetry through the Georgics. While Hesiod’s early translators into English—Chapman in 1618, Cooke in 1728, and Elton in 1815—were primarily interested in Hesiod as a theological and moral thinker, it was Virgil’s focus on an essentially problematic relation of the human and nature, as seen in the role of labor and the relation of farming to war and politics, that persisted in the English georgic tradition. Virgil established his vision, however, through a deliberate contrast with Hesiod’s idea of a seamless connection of the human world, through farming, with the greater cosmos. In this way, Hesiod may be said to have deeply influenced the later georgic tradition, albeit through inversion.

Keywords: Hesiod, Works and Days, Virgil, Georgics, English georgic, Chapman, farming, nature

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