The Iliad is one of the most enduring creations of Western Civilization and was originally written to be recited or chanted to the accompaniment of various instruments. Properly performed, this work today is just as meaningful, just as powerful, and just as entertaining as it was in the ninth century BC, and it casts its spell upon modern listeners with the same raw intensity as it did upon the people of ancient times.
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Among the finest poets of ancient Greece was Hesiod, a contemporary of Homer, who lived in the eighth century B.C. It is still a matter of dispute whether Homer or Hesiod was the earlier poet, and sometimes whether they were one and the same person! At any rate, Hesiod's incredible poetry serves as a major source for our understanding of Greek mythology, farming practices, time keeping and astronomy. In and of itself, the "Works and Days" is unparalleled in its richness and beauty, easily rivaling Homer.