Attitudes to the Past
DOI link for Attitudes to the Past
Attitudes to the Past book
Among the earliest surviving European literature is the poetry of Hesiod, notably his Works and Days, in which he describes the hard lot of the farmerthe labour involved in tilling the land to obtain the food needed for survival in a harsh and hostile world. Hesiod lived in the Age of Iron, but in happier days, in the Ages of Gold and Silver, food was plentifully available without the drudgery of farming: it only required gathering and eating. This idealised picture still plays a part in our schizophrenic view of the past and of ‘simple societies’, be it the concept of the ‘noble savage’, or what Sahlins has more scientifically documented as ‘the original affluent society’.