The Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana is a library and Renaissance building in Venice, northern Italy. The library is named after the patron saint of Venice, it is not to be confused with the State Archive of the Republic of Venice, housed in a different part of the city. The building, begun in 1537, is the "undoubted masterpiece" of Jacopo Sansovino, a key work in Venetian Renaissance architecture. Andrea Palladio, who saw it being built, called it "probably the richest built from the days of ancients up to now", it has been described by Frederick Hartt as "surely one of the most satisfying structures in Italian architectural history", it has an prominent site, with the long facade facing the Doge's Palace across the Piazzetta di San Marco, the shorter sides facing the lagoon and the Piazza San Marco. Venice had become the main Italian centre of book printing and publishing, the library was an opportunity to promote what had become an important industry for the city, it was provided with a building designed by Jacopo Sansovino.
On this prime site, owned by the Republic, the library itself was always only on the upper floor, with the ground floor let to shops and, today and restaurants. The first sixteen arcaded bays of his design were constructed during 1537 to 1553, with work on frescoes and other decorations continuing until 1560. Sansovino died in 1570, but in 1588, Vincenzo Scamozzi undertook the construction of the additional five bays, still to Sansovino's design, which brought the building down to the molo or embankment, next to Sansovino's building for the Venetian mint, the Zecca; the upper storey of the building took a device which Andrea Palladio would adapt to the pre-existing Venetian window to introduce what has become known as the Palladian window, as Palladio used it so often. The Venetian window has three parts: a central high round-arched opening, with two smaller rectangular openings to the sides, the latter topped by lintels and supported by columns. Sansovino's upper storey in the library has only a single tall opening, places a larger order in between each window, doubles the small columns supporting the arch, placing the second column behind rather than beside the first.
Palladio would add the side openings, in his Basilica Palladiana in Vicenza. The ground floor uses the Doric order, as opposed to the Ionic above, is based on the Colosseum in Rome; the whole building is richly decorated, with high relief sculptures in the spandrels, lower reliefs of mythological scenes on the soffits of the arches. No large areas of plain wall are visible at all. At the top of the building there is a rich frieze with putti and large garlands a balustrade on the roofline, with standing nude classical deities, so that "the upper contour of the structure... dissolves against the sky", "all traditional boundaries of the building block are thus dissolved". The sculpture was by various artists; the building, though in a rich Renaissance classicism, has enough elements in common with the Venetian Gothic Doge's Palace across the square to harmonize well with it. These include the round heads to the openings, the arcades on the first two storeys; the entrance from the arcade to the upper floor is not marked or suggested by any special feature on the outside, which one would expect in a grand building of the period.
This somewhat gives the impression that this long facade might be just the side of an enormous building. In fact, with 21 bays at the front and three at the sides, it is very long and thin, although it does extend some way backwards in places; when Scamozzi built the abutting Procuratie Nuove along the Piazza San Marco, he used similar styles for the lower two floors, but had a third storey above, in the Corinthian order and with rectangular aedicule windows, topped by alternating curved and triangular pediments. The main interior rooms are lavishly decorated, with oil paintings by Titian, Paolo Veronese, Bernardo Strozzi, Andrea Schiavone and others set into the walls and rich ceilings; these show mythological and allegorical figures and groups. One of the early librarians, from 1530, was Pietro Bembo. However, the library stock began to be collected before the construction of the building. For example, the germ of the collections in the library was the gift to the Serenissima of the manuscript collection assembled by Byzantine humanist, scholar and collector, Cardinal Bessarion, he made a gift of his collection on 31 May 1468: some 750 codices in Latin and Greek, to which he added another 250 manuscripts and some printed books, constituting the first "public" library open to scholars in Venice.
Like the British Library or the Library of Congress at times, the Biblioteca Marciana profited from a law of 1603 that required that a copy be deposited in the Marciana of all books printed at Venice, the first such law. The Marciana was enriched by the transfer in the late eighteenth century of the collections accumulated in several monasteries, such as SS. Giovanni e Paolo in Venice and S. Giovanni di Verdara in Padua. Major additions made to the collection include: 1589: Melchiorre Guilandino of Marienburg.
Christian Gottlob Heyne
Christian Gottlob Heyne was a German classical scholar and archaeologist as well as long-time director of the Göttingen State and University Library. He was a member of the Göttingen School of History. Heyne was born in Saxony, his father was a poor weaver who had left Silesia and moved to Saxony to maintain his Protestant faith. In 1748 he entered the University of Leipzig, where he was short of the necessaries of life, he was helped by the classicist Johann Friedrich Christ, who encouraged him and loaned him Greek and Latin texts. He obtained a position as tutor in the family of a French merchant in Leipzig, which enabled him to continue his studies. In 1752 law professor Johann August Bach awarded Heyne a master's degree, but he was for many years in straitened circumstances. An elegy written by Heyne in Latin on the death of a friend attracted the attention of Count von Brühl, the prime minister, who expressed a desire to see the author. Accordingly, in April 1752, Heyne journeyed to Dresden.
He was well received and promised a secretaryship and a good salary. Another period of poverty followed, only by persistent solicitation was Heyne able to obtain the post of under-clerk in the count's library, with a salary of less than twenty pounds sterling. Heyne increased this pittance by translation: in addition to some French novels, he rendered into German The Loves of Chaereas and Callirrhoe of Chariton, the Greek romance writer, he published his first edition of Tibullus in 1755, in 1756 his Epictetus. In the latter year the Seven Years' War broke out and the library was destroyed, Heyne was once more in a state of destitution. In 1757 he was offered a tutorship in the household of Frau von Schönberg, where he met his future wife. In January 1758 Heyne accompanied his pupil to the University of Wittenberg, but the Prussian invasion drove him out in 1760; the bombardment of Dresden, on 18 July 1760, destroyed all his possessions, including an finished edition of Lucian, based on a valuable codex of the Dresden Library.
In the summer of 1761, still without any fixed income, he married, became land-steward to the Baron von Löben in Lusatia. At the end of 1762, however, he was able to return to Dresden, where he was commissioned by P. D. Lippert to prepare the Latin text of the third volume of his Dactyliotheca. On the death of Johann Matthias Gesner at the University of Göttingen in 1761, the vacant chair was refused first by Ernesti and by Ruhnken, who persuaded Münchhausen, the Hanoverian minister and principal curator of the university to bestow it on Heyne, his emoluments were augmented, his growing celebrity brought him most advantageous offers from other German governments, which he persistently refused. Heyne was given the post of director of the university library, a position he held until his death in 1812. Under his directorship, the library, today known as the Göttingen State and University Library, grew in size and reputation to be one of the leading academic libraries of the world, due to Heyne's innovative cataloguing methods and aggressive international acquisitions policy.
Unlike Gottfried Hermann, Heyne regarded the study of grammar and language only as the means to an end, not as the chief object of philology. But, although not a critical scholar, he was the first to attempt a scientific treatment of Greek mythology, he gave an undoubted impulse to philological studies. Of Heyne's numerous writings, the following may be mentioned: editions, with copious commentaries, of Tibullus, Pindar, Bibliotheca Graeca, Iliad, his Antiquarische Aufsätze is a valuable collection of essays connected with the history of ancient art. His contributions to the Göttingische gelehrte Anzeigen are said to have been between 7,000 and 8,000 in number. For further details on Heyne's life, see the biography by Heeren which forms the basis of the interesting essay by Thomas Carlyle. Class. Schol iii. 36–44. Heyne was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in April 1789, he died in Göttingen. Johann Christian Gottlieb Ackermann This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed..
"Heyne, Christian Gottlob". Encyclopædia Britannica. 13. Cambridge University Press. P. 438. Arnold Hermann Ludwig Heeren: Christian Gottlob Heyne, biographisch dargestellt, Göttingen 1813. Alfred Schmidt: "Deutungen des Mythos im achtzehnten und neunzehnten Jahrhundert. Von Heyne zu Marx", in: Peter Kemper: Macht des Mythos – Ohnmacht der Vernunft? Frankfurt am Main 1989, ISBN 3-596-26643-2. Pp. 125–147
Aristarchus of Samothrace
Aristarchus of Samothrace was a grammarian noted as the most influential of all scholars of Homeric poetry. He was the librarian of the library of Alexandria and seems to have succeeded his teacher Aristophanes of Byzantium in that role, he left Samothrace island at a young age and went to Alexandria where he studied with the director of the library. At first he was a teacher at the Royal courtyard and director of the library from 153 to 145 BC. After he was persecuted by his disciple Ptolemy the Benefactor, he found refuge in Cyprus where he died, it said that Aristarchus had a remarkable memory and was indifferent as to his external appearance. He established the most important critical edition of the Homeric poems, he is said to have applied his teacher's accent system to it, pointing the texts with a careful eye for metrical correctness, his rejection of doubtful lines made his severity proverbial. It is that he, or more another predecessor at Alexandria, was responsible for the division of the Iliad and Odyssey into twenty-four books each.
According to the Suda, Aristarchus wrote 800 treatises on various topics. His works cover such writers as Alcaeus, Pindar and the tragedians. Accounts of his death vary, though they agree that it was during the persecutions of Ptolemy VIII of Egypt. One account has him, having contracted an incurable dropsy, starving himself to death while in exile on Cyprus, he modified the system of the ancient Greek textual signs and from some point on these signs were called Aristarchian symbols. The historical connection of his name to literary criticism has created the term aristarch for someone, a judgmental critic. Homeric scholarship New Advent Encyclopedia article on Library of Alexandria Aristarch.org, Humanist Critique
In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the most important events in Greek mythology and has been narrated through many works of Greek literature, most notably Homer's Iliad; the core of the Iliad describes a period of four days and two nights in the tenth year of the decade-long siege of Troy. Other parts of the war are described in a cycle of epic poems, which have survived through fragments. Episodes from the war provided material for Greek tragedy and other works of Greek literature, for Roman poets including Virgil and Ovid; the war originated from a quarrel between the goddesses Hera and Aphrodite, after Eris, the goddess of strife and discord, gave them a golden apple, sometimes known as the Apple of Discord, marked "for the fairest". Zeus sent the goddesses to Paris, who judged that Aphrodite, as the "fairest", should receive the apple. In exchange, Aphrodite made Helen, the most beautiful of all women and wife of Menelaus, fall in love with Paris, who took her to Troy.
Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and the brother of Helen's husband Menelaus, led an expedition of Achaean troops to Troy and besieged the city for ten years because of Paris' insult. After the deaths of many heroes, including the Achaeans Achilles and Ajax, the Trojans Hector and Paris, the city fell to the ruse of the Trojan Horse; the Achaeans desecrated the temples, thus earning the gods' wrath. Few of the Achaeans returned safely to their homes and many founded colonies in distant shores; the Romans traced their origin to Aeneas, Aphrodite's son and one of the Trojans, said to have led the surviving Trojans to modern-day Italy. The ancient Greeks believed that Troy was located near the Dardanelles and that the Trojan War was a historical event of the 13th or 12th century BC, but by the mid-19th century AD, both the war and the city were seen as non-historical. In 1868, the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann met Frank Calvert, who convinced Schliemann that Troy was a real city at what is now Hissarlik in Turkey.
On the basis of excavations conducted by Schliemann and others, this claim is now accepted by most scholars. Whether there is any historical reality behind the Trojan War remains an open question. Many scholars believe that there is a historical core to the tale, though this may mean that the Homeric stories are a fusion of various tales of sieges and expeditions by Mycenaean Greeks during the Bronze Age; those who believe that the stories of the Trojan War are derived from a specific historical conflict date it to the 12th or 11th century BC preferring the dates given by Eratosthenes, 1194–1184 BC, which corresponds with archaeological evidence of a catastrophic burning of Troy VII. The events of the Trojan War are found in many works of Greek literature and depicted in numerous works of Greek art. There is no authoritative text which tells the entire events of the war. Instead, the story is assembled from a variety of sources, some of which report contradictory versions of the events; the most important literary sources are the two epic poems traditionally credited to Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey, composed sometime between the 9th and 6th centuries BC.
Each poem narrates only a part of the war. The Iliad covers a short period in the last year of the siege of Troy, while the Odyssey concerns Odysseus's return to his home island of Ithaca following the sack of Troy and contains several flashbacks to particular episodes in the war. Other parts of the Trojan War were told in the poems of the Epic Cycle known as the Cyclic Epics: the Cypria, Little Iliad, Iliou Persis and Telegony. Though these poems survive only in fragments, their content is known from a summary included in Proclus' Chrestomathy; the authorship of the Cyclic Epics is uncertain. It is thought that the poems were written down in the 7th and 6th century BC, after the composition of the Homeric poems, though it is believed that they were based on earlier traditions. Both the Homeric epics and the Epic Cycle take origin from oral tradition. After the composition of the Iliad and the Cyclic Epics, the myths of the Trojan War were passed on orally in many genres of poetry and through non-poetic storytelling.
Events and details of the story that are only found in authors may have been passed on through oral tradition and could be as old as the Homeric poems. Visual art, such as vase painting, was another medium. In ages playwrights and other intellectuals would create works inspired by the Trojan War; the three great tragedians of Athens—Aeschylus and Euripides—wrote a number of dramas that portray episodes from the Trojan War. Among Roman writers the most important is the 1st century BC poet Virgil. In Book 2 of the Aeneid, Aeneas narrates the sack of Troy; the following summary of the Trojan War follows the order of events as given in Proclus' summary, along with the Iliad and Aeneid, supplemented with details drawn from other authors. According to Greek mythology, Zeus had become king of the gods by overthrowing his father Cronus. Zeus was not faithful to his wife and sister Hera, had many relationships from which many children were born. Since Zeus believed that there were too many people populating the earth, he envisioned
Heidelberg is a university town in Baden-Württemberg situated on the river Neckar in south-west Germany. In the 2016 census, its population was 159,914, with a quarter of its population being students. Located about 78 km south of Frankfurt, Heidelberg is the fifth-largest city in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. Heidelberg is part of the densely populated Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. Founded in 1386, Heidelberg University is Germany's oldest and one of Europe's most reputable universities. A scientific hub in Germany, the city of Heidelberg is home to several internationally renowned research facilities adjacent to its university, including four Max Planck Institutes. A former residence of the Electorate of the Palatinate, Heidelberg is a popular tourist destination due to its romantic cityscape, including Heidelberg Castle, the Philosophers' Walk, the baroque style Old Town. Heidelberg is in the Rhine Rift Valley, on the left bank of the lower part of the Neckar in a steep valley in the Odenwald.
It is bordered by the Gaisberg mountains. The Neckar here flows in an east-west direction. On the right bank of the river, the Heiligenberg mountain rises to a height of 445 meters; the Neckar flows into the Rhine 22 kilometres north-west in Mannheim. Villages incorporated during the 20th century stretch from the Neckar Valley along the Bergstraße, a road running along the Odenwald hills. Heidelberg is on European walking route E1. Since Heidelberg is among the warmest regions of Germany, plants atypical of the central-European climate flourish there, including almond and fig trees. Alongside the Philosophenweg on the opposite side of the Old Town, winegrowing was restarted in 2000. There is a wild population of African rose-ringed parakeets, a wild population of Siberian swan geese, which can be seen on the islands in the Neckar near the district of Bergheim. Heidelberg is a unitary authority within the Regierungsbezirk Karlsruhe; the Rhein-Neckar-Kreis rural district surrounds it and has its seat in the town, although the town is not a part of the district.
Heidelberg is a part of the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region referred to as the Rhein-Neckar Triangle. This region consists of the southern part of the State of Hessen, the southern part of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate, the administrative districts of Mannheim and Heidelberg, the southern municipalities of the Rhein-Neckar-Kreis; the Rhein-Neckar Triangle became a European metropolitan area in 2005. Heidelberg consists of 15 districts distributed in six sectors of the town. In the central area are Altstadt and Weststadt; the new district will have 5,000–6,000 residents and employment for 7,000. Further new residential space for 10,000-15,000 residents was made available in Patrick Henry Village following the departure of the US Armed Forces; the following towns and communes border the city of Heidelberg, beginning in the west and in a clockwise direction: Edingen-Neckarhausen, Schriesheim, Schönau, Neckargemünd, Gaiberg, Sandhausen, Plankstadt and Mannheim. Heidelberg has an oceanic climate, defined by the protected valley between the Pfälzerwald and the Odenwald.
Year-round, the mild temperatures are determined by maritime air masses coming from the west. In contrast to the nearby Upper Rhine Plain, Heidelberg's position in the valley leads to more frequent easterly winds than average; the hillsides of the Odenwald favour precipitation. The warmest month is July, the coldest is January. Temperatures rise beyond 30 °C in midsummer. According to the German Meteorological Service, Heidelberg was the warmest place in Germany in 2009. Between 600,000 and 200,000 years ago, "Heidelberg Man" died at nearby Mauer, his jaw bone was discovered in 1907. Scientific dating determined his remains as the earliest evidence of human life in Europe. In the 5th century BC, a Celtic fortress of refuge and place of worship were built on the Heiligenberg, or "Mountain of Saints". Both places can still be identified. In 40 AD, a fort occupied by the 24th Roman cohort and the 2nd Cyrenaican cohort; the early Byzantine/late Roman Emperor Valentinian I, in 369 AD, built new and maintained older castra and a signal tower on the bank of the Neckar.
They built a wooden bridge based on stone pillars across it. The camp protected the first civilian settlements; the Romans remained until 260 AD. The local administrative center in Roman times was the nearby city of Lopodunum. Modern Heidelberg can trace its beginnings to the fifth century; the village Bergheim is first mentioned for that period in documents dated to 769 AD. Bergheim now lies in the middle of modern Heidelberg; the people converted to Christianity. In 863 AD, the monastery of St. Michael was founded on the Heiligenberg inside the double rampart of the Celtic fortress. Around 1130, the Neuburg Monastery was founded in the Neckar valley. At the same time, the bishopric of Worms extended its influence into the valley, founding Schönau Abbey in 1142. Modern He
Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman statesman, orator and philosopher, who served as consul in the year 63 BC. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, is considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists, his influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose, not only in Latin but in European languages up to the 19th century, was said to be either a reaction against or a return to his style. Cicero introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary distinguishing himself as a translator and philosopher. Though he was an accomplished orator and successful lawyer, Cicero believed his political career was his most important achievement, it was during his consulship that the second Catilinarian conspiracy attempted to overthrow the government through an attack on the city by outside forces, Cicero suppressed the revolt by summarily and controversially executing five conspirators.
During the chaotic latter half of the 1st century BC marked by civil wars and the dictatorship of Gaius Julius Caesar, Cicero championed a return to the traditional republican government. Following Julius Caesar's death, Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle, attacking him in a series of speeches, he was proscribed as an enemy of the state by the Second Triumvirate and executed by soldiers operating on their behalf in 43 BC after having been intercepted during an attempted flight from the Italian peninsula. His severed hands and head were as a final revenge of Mark Antony, displayed on The Rostra. Petrarch's rediscovery of Cicero's letters is credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance in public affairs and classical Roman culture. According to Polish historian Tadeusz Zieliński, "the Renaissance was above all things a revival of Cicero, only after him and through him of the rest of Classical antiquity." The peak of Cicero's authority and prestige came during the 18th-century Enlightenment, his impact on leading Enlightenment thinkers and political theorists such as John Locke, David Hume and Edmund Burke was substantial.
His works rank among the most influential in European culture, today still constitute one of the most important bodies of primary material for the writing and revision of Roman history the last days of the Roman Republic. Cicero was born in 106 BC in a hill town 100 kilometers southeast of Rome, he belonged to the tribus Cornelia. His father possessed good connections in Rome. However, being a semi-invalid, he studied extensively to compensate. Although little is known about Cicero's mother, Helvia, it was common for the wives of important Roman citizens to be responsible for the management of the household. Cicero's brother Quintus wrote in a letter. Cicero's cognomen, or personal surname, comes from the Latin for cicer. Plutarch explains that the name was given to one of Cicero's ancestors who had a cleft in the tip of his nose resembling a chickpea. However, it is more that Cicero's ancestors prospered through the cultivation and sale of chickpeas. Romans chose down-to-earth personal surnames.
The famous family names of Fabius and Piso come from the Latin names of beans and peas, respectively. Plutarch writes that Cicero was urged to change this deprecatory name when he entered politics, but refused, saying that he would make Cicero more glorious than Scaurus and Catulus. During this period in Roman history, "cultured" meant being able to speak both Greek. Cicero was therefore educated in the teachings of the ancient Greek philosophers and historians. Cicero used his knowledge of Greek to translate many of the theoretical concepts of Greek philosophy into Latin, thus translating Greek philosophical works for a larger audience, it was his broad education that tied him to the traditional Roman elite. Cicero's interest in philosophy figured in his career and led to him providing a comprehensive account of Greek philosophy for a Roman audience, including creating a philosophical vocabulary in Latin. In 87 BC, Philo of Larissa, the head of the Academy, founded by Plato in Athens about 300 years earlier, arrived in Rome.
Cicero, "inspired by an extraordinary zeal for philosophy", sat enthusiastically at his feet and absorbed Plato's philosophy. Cicero said of Plato's Dialogues. According to Plutarch, Cicero was an talented student, whose learning attracted attention from all over Rome, affording him the opportunity to study Roman law under Quintus Mucius Scaevola. Cicero's fellow students were Gaius Marius Minor, Servius Sulpicius Rufus, Titus Pomponius; the latter two became Cicero's friends for life, Pomponius would become, in Cicero's own words, "as a second brother", with both maintaining a lifelong correspondence. In 79 BC, Cicero left for Asia Minor and Rhodes; this was to avoid the potential wrath of Sulla, as Plutarch claims, though Cicero himself says it was to hone his skills and improve his p
Greek mythology is the body of myths told by the ancient Greeks. These stories concern the origin and the nature of the world, the lives and activities of deities and mythological creatures, the origins and significance of the ancient Greeks' own cult and ritual practices. Modern scholars study the myths in an attempt to shed light on the religious and political institutions of ancient Greece and its civilization, to gain understanding of the nature of myth-making itself; the Greek myths were propagated in an oral-poetic tradition most by Minoan and Mycenaean singers starting in the 18th century BC. Two poems by Homer's near contemporary Hesiod, the Theogony and the Works and Days, contain accounts of the genesis of the world, the succession of divine rulers, the succession of human ages, the origin of human woes, the origin of sacrificial practices. Myths are preserved in the Homeric Hymns, in fragments of epic poems of the Epic Cycle, in lyric poems, in the works of the tragedians and comedians of the fifth century BC, in writings of scholars and poets of the Hellenistic Age, in texts from the time of the Roman Empire by writers such as Plutarch and Pausanias.
Aside from this narrative deposit in ancient Greek literature, pictorial representations of gods and mythic episodes featured prominently in ancient vase-paintings and the decoration of votive gifts and many other artifacts. Geometric designs on pottery of the eighth century BC depict scenes from the Trojan cycle as well as the adventures of Heracles. In the succeeding Archaic and Hellenistic periods and various other mythological scenes appear, supplementing the existing literary evidence. Greek mythology has had an extensive influence on the culture and literature of Western civilization and remains part of Western heritage and language. Poets and artists from ancient times to the present have derived inspiration from Greek mythology and have discovered contemporary significance and relevance in the themes. Greek mythology is known today from Greek literature and representations on visual media dating from the Geometric period from c. 900 BC to c. 800 BC onward. In fact and archaeological sources integrate, sometimes mutually supportive and sometimes in conflict.
Mythical narration plays an important role in nearly every genre of Greek literature. The only general mythographical handbook to survive from Greek antiquity was the Library of Pseudo-Apollodorus; this work attempts to reconcile the contradictory tales of the poets and provides a grand summary of traditional Greek mythology and heroic legends. Apollodorus of Athens wrote on many of these topics, his writings may have formed the basis for the collection. Among the earliest literary sources are the Iliad and the Odyssey. Other poets completed the "epic cycle", but these and lesser poems now are lost entirely. Despite their traditional name, the "Homeric Hymns" have no direct connection with Homer, they are choral hymns from the earlier part of the so-called Lyric age. Hesiod, a possible contemporary with Homer, offers in his Theogony the fullest account of the earliest Greek myths, dealing with the creation of the world. Hesiod's Works and Days, a didactic poem about farming life includes the myths of Prometheus and the Five Ages.
The poet gives advice on the best way to succeed in a dangerous world, rendered yet more dangerous by its gods. Lyrical poets took their subjects from myth, but their treatment became less narrative and more allusive. Greek lyric poets, including Pindar and Simonides, bucolic poets such as Theocritus and Bion, relate individual mythological incidents. Additionally, myth was central to classical Athenian drama; the tragic playwrights Aeschylus and Euripides took most of their plots from myths of the age of heroes and the Trojan War. Many of the great tragic stories took on their classic form in these tragedies; the comic playwright Aristophanes used myths, in The Birds and The Frogs. Historians Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, geographers Pausanias and Strabo, who traveled throughout the Greek world and noted the stories they heard, supplied numerous local myths and legends giving little-known alternative versions. Herodotus in particular, searched the various traditions presented him and found the historical or mythological roots in the confrontation between Greece and the East.
Herodotus attempted to reconcile the blending of differing cultural concepts. The poetry of the Hellenistic and Roman ages was composed as a literary rather than cultic exercise, it contains many important details that would otherwise be lost. This category includes the works of: The Roman poets Ovid, Valerius Flaccus and Virgil with Servius's commentary; the Greek poets of the Late Antique period: Nonnus, Antoninus Liberalis, Quintus Smyrnaeus. The Greek poets of the Hellenistic period: Apollonius of Rhodes, Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Parthenius. Prose writers from the same periods who make reference to myths includ