Departmental Papers (Classical Studies)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

April 1990


The section of Works and Days commonly known as the Nautilia (618-94), where the poet turns his attention from agriculture and "economics" to sailing, has both delighted and mystified students of Hesiod. The fascination that this passage elicits from all readers of the poem is easy to understand, for not only is the topic of sailing completely unexpected where it occurs, but the length of the digression is surprising in view of Hesiod's claim that he had little personal experience in the activity. Even more intriguing are the autobiographical details about his father's migration from Kyme to Ascra and his own competition at Chalcis at the funeral games for Amphidamas.


Reprinted from Classical Antiquity, Volume 9, Issue 1, 1990, pages 99-113. The author has asserted his right to include this material in ScholarlyCommons@Penn.



Date Posted: 25 September 2006

This document has been peer reviewed.