Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns, and Homerica eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 271 pages of information about Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns, and Homerica.

(ll. 790-791) On the eighth of the month geld the boar and loud-bellowing bull, but hard-working mules on the twelfth.

(ll. 792-799) On the great twentieth, in full day, a wise man should be born.  Such an one is very sound-witted.  The tenth is favourable for a male to be born; but, for a girl, the fourth day of the mid-month.  On that day tame sheep and shambling, horned oxen, and the sharp-fanged dog and hardy mules to the touch of the hand.  But take care to avoid troubles which eat out the heart on the fourth of the beginning and ending of the month; it is a day very fraught with fate.

(ll. 800-801) On the fourth of the month bring home your bride, but choose the omens which are best for this business.

(ll. 802-804) Avoid fifth days:  they are unkindly and terrible.  On a fifth day, they say, the Erinyes assisted at the birth of Horcus (Oath) whom Eris (Strife) bare to trouble the forsworn.

(ll. 805-809) Look about you very carefully and throw out Demeter’s holy grain upon the well-rolled (43) threshing floor on the seventh of the mid-month.  Let the woodman cut beams for house building and plenty of ships’ timbers, such as are suitable for ships.  On the fourth day begin to build narrow ships.

(ll. 810-813) The ninth of the mid-month improves towards evening; but the first ninth of all is quite harmless for men.  It is a good day on which to beget or to be born both for a male and a female:  it is never an wholly evil day.

(ll. 814-818) Again, few know that the twenty-seventh of the month is best for opening a wine-jar, and putting yokes on the necks of oxen and mules and swift-footed horses, and for hauling a swift ship of many thwarts down to the sparkling sea; few call it by its right name.

(ll. 819-821) On the fourth day open a jar.  The fourth of the mid-month is a day holy above all.  And again, few men know that the fourth day after the twentieth is best while it is morning:  towards evening it is less good.

(ll. 822-828) These days are a great blessing to men on earth; but the rest are changeable, luckless, and bring nothing.  Everyone praises a different day but few know their nature.  Sometimes a day is a stepmother, sometimes a mother.  That man is happy and lucky in them who knows all these things and does his work without offending the deathless gods, who discerns the omens of birds and avoids transgressions.

ENDNOTES: 

(1) That is, the poor man’s fare, like `bread and cheese’.
(2) The All-endowed.
(3) The jar or casket contained the gifts of the gods mentioned
     in l.82.
(4) Eustathius refers to Hesiod as stating that men sprung `from
     oaks and stones and ashtrees’.  Proclus believed that the
     Nymphs called Meliae ("Theogony”, 187) are intended. 
     Goettling would render:  `A race terrible because of their

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Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns, and Homerica from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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