Chapter

The Agricultural Regime of <i>Works and Days</i>

Anthony T. Edwards

in Hesiod's Ascra

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780520236585
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929579 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520236585.003.0004
The Agricultural Regime of Works and Days

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The evidence from Works and Days leads to the conclusion that Hesiod's Ascra was neither very centralized nor very hierarchized as a community. It is believed that by Hesiod's time the least intensive agricultural regime that could be practically employed was plow cultivation. It then addresses the testimony of Works and Days in isolation, on its own terms, and without regard for its role as evidence for practices elsewhere in Greece. Hesiod gives virtually no evidence at all for crops other than cereals and vines. Hesiod's repeated emphasis upon storage and saving throughout Works and Days supports the hypothesis that he describes a short fallow regime. Moreover, the timing of the various activities of the agricultural year is discussed in order to identify the rhythm of slack and peak seasons. Hesiod's calendar of tasks does display the rhythms of slack and busy season's characteristic of an extensive short fallow regime.

Keywords: Works and Days; Hesiod; Ascra; agricultural regime; plow cultivation; Greece; storage; cereals; vines; calendar

Chapter.  14303 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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