Pindar: Selected Odes (Olympian One, Pythian Nine, Nemeans Two and Three, Isthmian One) 0856686689, 9780856686689

Pindar's Odes, blending beauty of poetic form and profundity of thought, are one of the wonders of Ancient Greece.

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PINDAR Selected Odes

Efilitol with a n Introduction.Translation an J C o m m e n t a n by

Stephen Instone

Pindar SELECTED ODES Olympian

One, P y t h i a n Nine, Nemeans Three, Isthmian One

edited and translated by

Stephen Instone with illustrations by Holly Bennett

Apollo discovered Cyrene 'in a wrestling fight with a terrible lion* (λέοντι όβρίμω . . . παλαίοισαν), Pythian 9.26-7 ARIS & PHILLIPS L T D - WARMINSTER

Two &

ν Ο Stephen Instone 1996. Allrightsreserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means including photocopying without the prior permission of the Publishers in writing.


British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Preface


0 85668 668 9 (cloth) 0 85668 669 7 (limp)


General Introduction






Texts and Translations












Commentaries Vocabulary Index

Printed and published in England by Aris & Phillips Ltd., Teddington House, Warminster, Wiltshire Β A12 8PQ


89 189 209

vii vi


Illustrations Apollo discovered Cyrene 'in a wrestling fight with a terrible lion' (λέονη . . . όβρίμφ . . . παλαίοισαν), Pythian 9.26-7


Poseidon granted Pelops 'a chariot of gold and untiring horses with wings' (δίφρον τε χρύσεον πτεροΐσίν τ ' άκάμαντα^ ίππους), Olympian 1.87


'Him [Apollo] the mighty centaur... answered immediately and gave his advice'(τόν 8k Κένταυρος ζαμενής . . . μήην έάν /etofe άμείβετο), Pythian 9.38-9


•And it is likely that not far from the mountain-born Pleiades Orion will travel' (ίση δ ' έοικό^ / όρειάν γε Πελειάδων / μ ή τηλόθεν Ώαρίωνα νεΐσθαι), Nemean 2.10-12


TFor he [Achilles] overcame them by speed of foot' (ποσσί γάρ κράτεσκε). Nemean 3.52


Intrepid Hercules 'at whom once Geryon's bold dogs trembled in fear* (θρασειαι τόν ποτε Γηρυόνα φρίζαν κύνες), Isthmian 1.13


Pindar is an eccentric poet; his victory odes are not straightforward to understand, and often require a considerable amount of elucidation. But I have tried to make this edition user-friendly to both those who know Greek and those who do not. For the benefit of the former I have given more help with the Greek language than is usual in this series and added a vocabulary; for the latter I have confined the linguistic comments to separable notes which can be easily passed over, and have tried in the translations to get across something of the rhythm and idiosyncratic style of Pindar's Greek while keeping them readable and accurate. The five odes in this edition have been selected for a number of reasons. Olympian One is Pindar's most famous ode; Pythian Nine and Nemean Three contain delightful myths. In contrast with these three odes, Nemean Two and I s t h m i a n One have little in the way of mythical story. Nemean Two, however, raises interesting questions about how, if at all, such a short ode was performed; and the inclusion of I s t h m i a n One provides an opportunity for evaluation of the influential Pindaric criticism of E.L. Bundy, and enables the selection to contain examples of odes commemorating victories at each of the four major games (Olympic, Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian) and so show how Pindar tailors his odes to fit the venue of victory. By comparing these five odes with each other the reader can appreciate both what are the regular features of a Pindaric ode and also the odes' heterogeneity. I hope also that I have managed to convey something of their charm, beauty, and profundity. Many friends and scholars have helped me with this book. I owe much to what I learnt from classes on Pindar held at Oxford by Mr W.S. Barrett and Professor Jasper Griffin. I am also indebted for advice to Philippa Back, Dr. P.H. Blythe, Elena Brebner, Dr. S.C. Colvin, Professor H.G.T. Maehler, Professor R.C.T. Parker, Professor P.J. Parsons, and Penny Wyatt. To Holly Bennett I am very grateful for the illustrations, which remind us that there is more to the appreciation of Pindar's poetry than just an intellectual understanding of it; and I would have found the whole task much more difficult without the help of Aris & Phillips and in particular of Janet Davis. But above all I must thank Professor M.L. West and Professor M.M. Willcock; the painstaking comments and corrections which they both made on various draft typescripts have improved this book greatly, and to Professor Willcock I am also indebted for help with the proof-reading. London, August 1996



General Introduction

For my parents

1. Pindar's life and times: what we can and cannot know Pindar is an elusive figure. Many biographical details about him are uncertain because for the reconstruction of his life we rely almost entirely on what he says in his poetry. But poetry is not history, and statements in his poems which may appear to be good evidence for his biography have to be evaluated with caution. Poets do not always tell the truth (cf. Pindar's own comment on Homer at N . 7.20-3), and Greek poets composed from a stock of traditional vocabulary and modes of expression which in the course of time could lose earlier literal meanings and instead be used for poetic effects. But there do survive short biographies, and also biographical notes and anecdotes, which purport to give information about Pindar's life. The earliest of this material are the biographical snippets contained in the scholia, notes to Pindar's poems made from the third century BC onwards; the fullest are the L i v e s composed during the 2nd to 3rd centuries AD; the latest is the Suda, an encyclopaedia compiled in the 10th century A D . But whereas modern critics tend to distinguish between biographical fact and imaginative speculation, ancient ones often did not Yet some of it is reliable, and we are helped by the fact that many of the people for whom Pindar wrote his victory odes are well known from other sources and by our ability to date with certainty some of the victories which he celebrated. We therefore have an historical framework which does not rely on his poetry. Thebes was Pindar's home town. In his poetry he shows a special attachment to the place, addressing it as 'My mother' (/.1.1) and saying that he drinks its holy water (O. 6.85), and a line in I s t h m i a n Eight speaks of him as one who was 'brought up in seven-gated Thebes' (/. 8.16). At first sight he seems to be telling us about his family's origins in P y t h i a n Five: 'My glorious fame sings out from Sparta where heroes of the Aegeidae, my ancestors, were born' (P. 5.72-6). The Aegeidae were a Theban family of ancient Dorian stock who had a branch in Laconia (/. 7.14-15, Hdt. 4.147-9), and in P y t h i a n One he says that the members of the family who ended up in Sparta had set out from Pindus (P. 1.66). The Pindus is a range of mountains running south-west down the middle of mainland Greece, through Thessaly, and ending about 100 miles from Thebes. The name 'Pindar' could reflect a family connection with the Pindus, and his earliest surviving ode, Pythian Ten, was composed for a Thessalian family. But it is a strong possibility that the word for 'my' in P. 5 does not refer to Pindar but to the singer or chorus of singers from Cyrene, in north Africa, who sang the ode (composed for the king of Cyrene); that the Pindus which Pindar mentions is not the mountain range but a place of the same name; and that he is not connected

2 PINDAR with the Aegeidae (cf. Krummen, 130-41; D'Alessio, 122. See also p. 15). These are the sorts of problem that make it difficult to use the text as a biographical source. Pindar probably lived from 518 BC to some time after 446, the date of his latest surviving ode, Pythian Eight This covers a period in Greek history when in some places tyrannies were giving way to more democratic forms of government, with power tending to shift from individuals or wealthy families to the people. In Athens the Peisistratid tyranny came to an end, and so in Sicily did the Deinomenid tyranny; Polycrates, tyrant of Samos, died c. 522 and in the 490s a democracy was established in the island. Pindar lived during a period when he could see the consequences of wealth and power getting into the hands of a dominant individual, and see how wicked individuals and overweening power tend not to last long. Although his poetry makes few direct historical references, the unstable nature of the times he lived in influenced his writing. He composed many of his victory odes for tyrants and for members of powerful and wealthy families (they had the money to pay him well), and wanted to praise these people when they had commissioned him to celebrate their victories in the games; yet he was aware of their shortcomings and precarious positions, and regularly includes in his odes moral and political advice and warnings that bear on them as individuals. He begins P y t h i a n Seven, a very short ode for Megacles, one of the noble and prominent Alcmaeonid family of Athens, with fulsome praise of the victor and his family: The great city of Athens makes the finest beginning that can be laid down as a coping-stone of song for the mighty family of the Alcmaeonids. For what family, what home that you dwell in, will you claim to hear of in Greece as more famous?' (P. 7.1-8) But the tone quickly changes: Ί rejoice at your recent good fortune; but this concerns me, envy taking over these fine deeds. Thus do they say thatflourishinghappiness that abides with a man brings both good and bad.' (19-21). It is traditional for Greek poets to remark on the precariousness of good fortune; but Megacles was. exiled from Atftens the same year that he won his victory in the Pythian Games, earlier members of his family had been exiled before, and the power of the Alcmaeonids was fading. So though the remark is traditional, it is specially relevant to Megacles. Six of the most splendid odes are for Sicilian tyrants. They were very rich by Greek standards, and they could be cruel. It is no coincidence that Pindar fills these

INTRODUCTION 3 poems with stories of monstrous individuals who were punished for their hybris: Tantalus in Ο. 1, Typhos in P. 1, Ixion in P . 2; and O. 2 tells us about a system of rewards and punishments meted out to people after their deaths. The Sicilian tyrants, unlike some of those on mainland Greece, did not claim to be champions of the people. P y t h i a n One was written for Hieron the tyrant of Syracuse; when Pindar prays that Hieron's leadership may turn the people to concord and quiet (67-70), this suggests that there were already signs of unrest. In another poem, composed for a young Theban's victory probably in 474, Pindar tells the story of how Agamemnon was murdered by Clytaemestra on his return home from Troy; he highlights Agamemnon's wealth, the envy it aroused from the people, and his killing of Iphigeneia and return with Cassandra, continuing: 'Finding that in a city a moderate middle course flourishes with longer prosperity, I find fault with the lot of tyrants; I am keen on excellence that all (P. 11.52-4) can share in.' This passage is applicable to Agamemnon, whose prosperity after sacking Troy did not last long, and the instability of the tyrant's life is a stock theme in Greek literature; but if, as is probable, the poem was written in 474, during the period he was also writing for the Sicilian tyrants, then it is likely that the thought was also influenced by the instability of their regimes and the popular unrest against them. Nemean Three is the only ode in this selection that was composed for a victor from Aegina, but in fact a quarter of the surviving odes are for victors from this island, which lies about 20 miles south-west of Athens and 40 miles south of Thebes. In the sixth and first half of the fifth centuries it was a powerful state. Its fleet was the second largest (after Corinth's) in mainland Greece until Athens rebuilt hers during the Persian Wars, and its sea-faring merchants brought in great wealth. We do not hear of the island being dominated by one outstandingly powerful or wealthy family (though three of the eleven Aeginetan odes are for one family), and Pindar may have been attracted to the island just because it wasriotdominated by a hybristic tyrant. He stresses repeatedly in his odes for Aeginetans the justice of the people: '... Aegina, where divine justice the saviour, companion of Zeus who protects strangers, is practised supremely among men.' (0. 8.21-3) The island is d i k a i o p o l i s , 'with just cities' or 'having a just state* (P. 8.22), and he regularly mentions its Dorian qualities (cf. Μ 3.3), which represent a seal of Pindaric approval. The Aeginetans numbered among their ancestors the great Aeacid family which was descended from Zeus and included Peleus, Telamon, Ajax and Achilles. More recently, at the Battle of Salamis in 480 their navy had played the major role in

4 PINDAR defeating the Persian invaders. Pindar refers to this event in I s t h m i a n Five (48-50), poignantly highlighting the bloody losses sustained by the Aeginetans, He also refers to the defeat of the Persians (this time probably at Plataea) at the beginning of Isthmian Eight, which was also composed for an Aeginetan victor; again, not the triumph but the suffering and grief incurred by the Aeginetans is what he dwells on: 'Although grieving at heart, I am asked to call on the golden Muse; having been released from great sufferings, let us not now fall amid a lack of victory crowns, nor increase our cares. But now that we have ceased to have intractable woes, let us share out something sweet, even though hardship has preceded; for a god has turned aside from us the stone of Tantalus [the Persian threat] that hung over our heads, cause of unbearable toil for Greece.' (7.8.5-11) The sympathetic tone of this passage contrasts with anything we find in the odes for the Sicilian tyrants: Pindar sympathises with the Aeginetans for their suffering. The passage contrasts with the tone of P y t h i a n Three, an ode composed for Hieron when he was ill but nonetheless lacking sympathy (cf. esp. P . 3.73-83 where Pindar says to Hieron that if he could help him he would, but as it is he is not a doctor and Hieron should grin and bear it). A melancholy mood returns in P y t h i a n Eight, Pindar's last surviving ode, composed for a victorious Aeginetan wrestler in 446 when the island had lost its power and was subservient to Athens. In the poem is one of Pindar's most moving passages, stressing with bleak starkness the misery of the defeated athlete and the weakness and frailty of the human condition, rounded off with a prayer for the safety of the island: Tou fell from on high onto the bodies of four opponents whom you hated; to them no glad homecoming like yours v/as awarded in the Pythian Games; nor when they returned to their mothers did sweet laughter rouse pleasure; but they cower in the alleyways, awayfromtheir enemies, smitten with their ill-fortune ... We are ephemeral. What is anyone? What isn't anyone? People arc a dream of a shadow. But when god-given radiance comes, a bright light is upon men and there is a sweet period of life. Aegina, dear mother, convey this state here in a voyage of freedom with Zeus and the rule of Aeacus and with noble Telamon and Achilles.' (P. 8.81-7,95-100)

INTRODUCTION 5 Pindar regularly highlights the victor's glory by contrasting him with others less fortunate, and the misery of the defeated athlete comes again at O. 8.67-9. But no other passage in his work evokes the shame of defeat to the extent that the profound . bitterness and specificity of detail does here; nowhere else is the human condition reduced to such insignificance (a dream of a shadow); and the evil intent of the victor recalls the attitude of Athens toward her enemies, among whom had been Aegina. There can be no doubt that what Aegina had suffered came to affect the way Pindar handled his stock themes by the time he came to write P y t h i a n Eight These passages from Aeginetan odes illustrate how, although many of Pindar's odes contain the same basic themes, he moulded these themes and tailored them in different ways for different people. However, while we can distinguish the tone of odes for Sicilian tyrants from that of odes for Aeginetans, and interpret these two groups in the light of different geographical and political circumstances, it must be borne in mind that often we do not know in what year a particular ode was composed, often we know nothing about the history of the recipients apart from what Pindar suggests, sometimes it is not clear what victory is being commemorated (P. 2, /. 4), and once we are even in doubt whether a text represents two separate odes or a single one (/. 3 and /. 4). Even statements made in the first-person, where Pindar might appear to be speaking about himself, have to be treated with caution and cannot necessarily be used as a source for reliable biographical detail (cf. p. 1 above). A poet may say things about himself for literary reasons, e.g. for rhetorical emphasis or because it was conventional for a poet to say it, rather than to tell us about himself. For instance, in Nemean Three he reprimands himself at one point for having gone off course (26-7). This is not an admission of compositional incompetence, but a rhetorical device to draw attention to his moving on to a new theme (cf. P. 11.38-40). Again, when in the passage of P. 11 quoted above (p. 3) he says Ί find fault with the lot of tyrants' (P. 11.53), he is using the first person not so much to express an individual opinion but more to confirm the truth of a conventionally held general statement, as if he had said Ί agree that tyrannies tend to be unstable'. But some first-person statements do refer to him as an individual. He ends Olympian One with the wish that he may carry on consorting with victors because he is 'conspicuous in skill everywhere throughout Greece' (116). The proud, almost boastful, tone here is typical of Pindar (contrast the more restrained tone of Ibycus at the end of his ode to the tyrant Polycrates, PMG 282. 47-8); the meaning is straightforward, and it tells us something about Pindar's own opinion of himself. Similarly, when at the start of Isthmian One he says he has two poems to compose and will complete them both, this tells us something about his own work commitments. But in between the personal and the impersonal is a grey area which is difficult to interpret. In P y t h i a n Three he says that if he were able to bring help to Hieron, who was ill, he would cross the sea and come to him, continuing: 'But ΐ wish to pray to the mother goddess: girls by my


PINDAR front-door often sing to her, holy goddess, together with Pan during the night. (P. 3.77-9) 1

What exactly does Pindar mean here? Did he have by his house a shrine to the mother goddess and to Pan, so that what he means is that he wants to stay at home and pray to them rather than go out to Hieron? Or does he mean more abstractly that Hieron's salvation lies in the hands of the gods? Or is the clause merely an imaginary illustration of one of Pindar's favourite sayings, namely that one should spurn remote possibilities and go for what is at hand (an idea which comes in this ode, too, at 21-3 and 59-60)? In Pythian Eight the prophet Amphiaraus says that he is pleased to see that his son Alcmaeon has inherited his excellence: 'So spoke Amphiaraus; and rejoicing I, too, throw crowns on Alcmaeon and sprinkle him with song, because he is my neighbour and guardian of my possessions; and he met me once as I was going to the prophetic navel of the earth [Delphi] and with his inherited skills touched on prophecies/ (P. 8.55-60) Was there a statue of Alcmaeon near Pindar's house? Had Pindar deposited his valuables in its sacred precinct? Had he received a vision of Alcmaeon while going to the Delphic oracle? Or does he merely mean that he salutes a hero who isfromhis own home town and who has enabled him to create poetry with a prophetic power? A third example: in Nemean Three he appears to say that he was late with the poem: Ί am sending you this honey that has been mixed with white milk, and dew accompanies the stirred mixture, a draught of song amid the blowings of Aeolian pipes, though it is late.' (N. 3.76-80) Was Pindar late in delivering the ode? Or is the lateness another rhetorical device, aimed at flattering the recipient of the ode, as one might say on arriving at a friend's for dinner Ί hope I'm not late', even when one knows one is not late, in order to suggest one's pleasure at being present? (See further ad l o c , where a literal interpretation is recommended.) These examples present difficult problems of interpretation, and there are other similar passages. Often there is insufficient evidence to be sure one way or the other about whether to accept a literal, personal, interpretation or a rhetorical one. But even on a rhetorical interpretation it does not follow that we can learn nothing about Pindar: for instance, even if one doubts that he had a shrine to Pan and to the mother

INTRODUCTION 7 goddess near his house, and doubts that he met Alcmaeon and deposited his belongings with him, and one believes instead that he used these motifs from personal cult worship to make rhetorical points, nevertheless the fact that he selected these particular types of example to make the rhetorical points suggests that he had a general disposition to believe in the efficacy of personal cult worship. A modern analogy would be to turn down a last-minute invitation to play tennis by saying, 'Sorry, I'm in the middle of hoovering'. You may not in fact be hoovering, but by coming up with that type of excuse you show that in general you think it important to keep the house clean.

2. Origins of the victory ode Pindar did not invent the idea of composing poetry for victorious athletes. In Book 23 of the I l i a d Homer tells of the athletes who won in the Funeral Games for Patroclus; the victors are famous mythological characters, but the book shows how from the very beginning of Greek literature a victorious athlete was thought a worthy subject for song. Hesiod tells us (Works a n d D a y s 654-9) that he sung at games in Chalcis in honour of Amphidamas and won a tripod; at the festival there must have been a singing competition in addition to athletics events, just as in Pindar's own time there were musical competitions at the Pythian Games. Hesiod does not say what he sung, but he may have included a short eulogy of Amphidamas or of his sons who put on the games, though there is no evidence that he composed victory odes In O l y m p i a n Ten Pindar gives his version of who won in the first Olympic Games. The victors he names (64-73) are mythological characters brought in from other literary sources, and he suggests that he regards his own victory odes as following a practice begun before him: 'The whole precinct was singing with sweet festivities as a means of praise. Following earlier beginnings let us now sing the song of thanks for a noble victory.' (0.10.76-9) Stesichorus, who flourished a century before Pindar, wrote a poem called The Funeral Games f o r P e l i a s . Nothing of it survives, but about this time Ibycus, another lyric poet, was composing in Italy and it is possible that he wrote poems in honour of victorious athletes; cf. S L G 166.36-7 (West [1993], p. 98), and S L G 176.2. He also composed a poem for Polycrates, tyrant of Samos, which ends rather as O l y m p i a n One does: 'You too, Polycrates, will have immortal glory as far as my song and glory can give it to you' (PMG 282.47-8). It is Simonides, uncle of Pindar's rival Bacchylides, who provides us with the first certain examples of epinician (or victory) poetry. Only brief fragments survive (West [1993], pp. 160-1), but we know that the victors for whom he wrote included tyrants from Sicily and southern Italy and other people from that area.


PINDAR So when Pindar and Bacchylides came to write their victory odes they inherited a tradition of epinician poetry which may at first have had as its subject-matter mythological athletes who had been victorious in mythological games; later on poets will have turned to sing of historical victors when the games themselves began to attract as competitors the poets' rich patrons. The term 'epinician' means 'for a victory'. We have four books of epinician odes attributed to Pindar, numbering 45 poems in all (though one, 0. 5, is almost certainly not by him). The poems were divided into four books in the 3rd century BC by scholars in Alexandria, then the centre of Greek learning, according to whether they thought a poem was for a victor in the Olympian, Pythian, Nemean or Isthmian Games. Sometimes they may have put an ode into the wrong book: P y t h i a n Two does not seem to commemorate a Pythian victory, and Nemeans 9, 10, and 11 do not commemorate victories at the Nemean Games but were tacked on to the Nemeans which at that time were the last of the four books. Pindar wrote other poems which the Alexandrians collected into another 13 books. They classified these poems as encomia (poems of praise), dirges, paeans (mainly honouring Apollo or Artemis), dithyrambs (lively songs, perhaps accompanying civic cults), hymns, processional songs, maiden songs (sung by choirs of girls), hyporchemata (sometimes lighthearted, to judge from the pun on Hieron's name in fr. 105(a)), and an obscure second batch of maiden songs. Despite these apparently distinct categorisations, it is clear from what remains of this other poetry that much of it, in its moral and religious background, use of myth, and literary style, was similar to the epinicians. Equally, many features of the epinicians are not especially epinician. Indeed, although Pindar does a couple of times call a victory ode an 'epinician' (0. 8.75, N . 4.78), more often he uses various words which mean merely 'song'. This is a point of some importance, because if one thinks of the poems as epinicians in the sense of 'composed to commemorate a victory and to praise a victor', as Alexandrian scholars did, then it is tempting to assume that the sole purpose of all the odes we know as epinicians was to praise the victor (for an influential statement of this exaggerated view, see Bundy, I 3). However, it is not self-evident that the need to praise, in the sense of extol, was always uppermost in Pindar's mind. The victory odes were 'for a victory' in the sense of commemorating and occasioned by a victory, but mention of the victory itself is usually a small part of the ode; in the rest Pindar felt free not merely to praise, but also to reflect generally, advise, warn, even indirectly criticise. The victory occasioned the ode, and there is usually a clear part of the ode where Pindar gives fulsome praise for the victory: but having been commissioned to compose it, he took the opportunity to write more generally, on the position of the victor in the world with respect to the rest of mankind and to the gods. So, while a victor might have wanted a poem containing nothing but praise, it is not clear that Pindar thought it was his duty to produce this. Poets in ancient Greece were traditionally repositories of wisdom; by Pindar's time sophos, the Greek word

INTRODUCTION 9 for 'wise' or 'clever' could be used to mean in particular 'skilled at poetry'. Wealthy rulers and other patrons would employ poets almost as their political advisers; and it was customary for the poets to advise and criticise as well as to praise, whether or not they were being paid by rich patrons to do this; in turn, the recipients of the poems and other readers or listeners would hope to learn about life in general and how they could improve themselves. Hesiod addresses rulers in his Works a n d D a y s and speaks to them bluntly: Ό you bribe-devouring kings, straighten your words and utterly forget your crooked judgements', (Op. 263-4). About 100 years later Solon remonstrated against the influential rich in Athens (cf. frr. 4, 13, 15, 34W). In the last triad of P y t h i a n One Pindar continues this tradition of political comment with a string of admonitions to Hieron: 'Control your people with just government, harden your tongue on an untying anvil... stay in a good temper, and if you always like to hear nice things said of you, do not ever tire of expenditure ... do not be tricked by clever rewards ... The kindly excellence of Croesus does not perish, but a hostile reputation everywhere holds the pitiless tyrant Phalaris who roasted his victims in a bronze bull. To fare well is the best of prizes, to be well spoken of comes second; a man who lights on and obtains both gets the highest crown.' (P. 1.86-100) We see here a mixture of advice, veiled criticism, and praise for victory. The allusion to Phalaris, a Sicilian tyrant renowned for his cruelty who lived about a century before Hieron, is intended to remind Hieron of the sort of person he should not be like; he should model himself on Croesus, the king of Lydia famous for his wealth and friendli ness. This passage is unique in Pindar for the directness with which he gives his admonitions, but in the way it mixes different elements (congratulations for the victory, advice, warnings) it is not unlike what we find on a smaller scale and stated more obliquely, often through the veil of myth, in other victory odes. Within this selection of odes, warnings are given to the victor at 0 . 1.54-64 (suffering of wicked Tantalus), N . 3.19-21 (limits imposed by the Pillars of Heracles), 7. 1.67-8 (danger of not being generous). The recurrence in Pindar's odes of these and other elements (myth, eulogy, advice, rhetorical devices, victory-lists etc.) underlines the role of generic convention and tradition for understanding the poems. It is true that Pindar inherited a way of writing victory odes and re-uses from earlier epinician poetry, whether his own or by others, a stock of common material and methods of composition, selecting and adapting it to fit the particular occasion for which he was commissioned. But equally, it would be a mistake to think that he was operating within the terms of conventions that were fixed or that the nature of the victory ode was already firmly

10 PINDAR established before Pindar's time. Two of the most remarkable things about the surviving odes of Pindar are the way they vary among themselves and the way they differ from those of Bacchylides (the only other writer of such poetry whose work survives in any quantity). Pindar's odes range in length from one triad (e.g. 0. 11, P. 7) or just five strophes (N. 2) to the exceptionally long 13 triads of P. 4. In some odes athletics and the victory are the dominant themes (/. 1 is a good example), in some they receive only a brief mention, and in two so little is said on the subject that what victory if any is being commemorated remains uncertain (P. 2, P. 3). The mythical element can cover most of the ode (as in P. 9), be confined to one word ('Erechtheus' P. 7.10, 'Persephone' 0. 14.21), or be absent altogether (0. 11). And how the odes were performed must also have varied, though what the variations were we can only speculate. If one compares Pindar's victory odes with those of Bacchylides, one finds that Pindar regularly includes in an ode a list of previous victories won by the victor or by earlier generations of his family, but that Bacchylides does so very rarely; Pindar likes to point out the beauty of the physique of young victors, Bacchylides prefers not to; Pindar is fond of including political reflections and advice in his odes for the tyrant Hieron, whereas Bacchylides (who also wrote for Hieron) excludes it. For these reasons, the idea (which lies behind Bundy's influential work) that Pindar constructed his odes within the rules of the genre is a somewhat misleading view. Both the rules and the genre were highly flexible. And what sort of rule is a flexible rule? As Wittgenstein said about language, to suppose that we must be able to define the rules of its usage would be like supposing that whenever children play with a ball they play a game according to strict rules (Blue a n d B r o w n Books p. 25).

3. Myth The majority of Pindar's victory odes contain a mythical section, usually in the form of a story about gods and heroic figures from the past from which a moral pertinent to the victor is drawn. There is nothing new in this. Most Greek poetry from Homer onwards, and prose too, made use of myths. It was not until the time of Thucydides in the latter part of the fifth century that myth was distinguished clearly from history, so up to then Greeks relied on traditional stories about gods, heroes and heroines for their understanding of the past and for the background to the present; and even after Thucydides we find Plato using myths to back up philosophical arguments. Heroes and heroines from the past, often stronger, bigger and more beautiful than contemporary men and women, and descended from gods and goddesses, were authorities from whom the Greeks could learn, and whom they could use as exemplars for their own actions. Myths were often modified to be more closely analogous to other contexts (e.g. contemporary situations), and to make more explicit the point which the author wished to draw from them. Homer made use of this method. In Book 24 of the Iliad

INTRODUCTION 11 Achilles persuades Priam, for all his unhappiness at the death of his son Hector, to have something to eat; he brings in the story of Niobe: she, too, like Priam was bereaved of her children, when Apollo and Artemis killed them in anger; but despite her cares she remembered to nourish herself, and therefore Priam should do likewise (//. 24.599-620). What is said about Niobe is tailored to the circumstances surrounding Priam's plight; in particular, the central detail that she remembered to eat looks like an ad hoc invention to make her a suitable model for Priam to follow. Pindar, too, uses mythical stories in this way. In O l y m p i a n One he rejects features of the traditional story about Pelops, in particular the episode in which he was served up by his father Tantalus to the gods at a banquet and had one of his shoulders inadvertently eaten by Demeter. Instead, he substitutes a story in which Pelops was loved by Poseidon and conveyed by him to Mt. Olympus but later brought back down to earth to be among mortals again. This last event is part of Tantalus' punishment for not coping correctly with his great prosperity; for, according to the version of the story which Pindar tells, he became arrogant and stole ambrosia and nectar from the gods to give to his drinking companions (0.1.36-66). We can see analogies between Pindar's version of the myth and the situation of the tyrant Hieron for whom the ode was composed: just as a god (Poseidon) has a special affection for Pelops, so a god is specially devoted to Hieron and has ensured his Olympic success (106-8); Pelops temporarily experiences an almost divine status but in the end cannot escape his mortal condition, just as Hieron experiences a temporary bliss and elevated status as an Olympic victor but is still only mortal; later we are told how Pelops acquired his wife after winning a race thanks to untiring horses that had wings, reminiscent of the earlier detail (21) that Hieron won at Olympia with a remarkable horse that needed no goad. It is in keeping with Pindar's allusive style that many of the points of contact between the myth and Hieron's situation are not made explicit; cautiously we have to infer them. The only explicit connection between Hieron and Pelops is the fact that at Olympia, where Hieron was victorious, there was a precinct sacred to Pelops where blood-sacrifices were offered (23-4, 90-6). Just how many implicit connections there are is indeterminate, and the text allows more than one interpretation. Often Pindar chooses a myth that is connected with the victor's home town or ancestry. In the odes for victors from Aegina all but one (P. 8) of the myths tell of the exploits of the Aeacids who were indigenous heroes of the island. The central myth of Nemean Three tells of the athletic exploits of Achilles when he was a child being cared for by his foster-parent the centaur Chiron, and of how later he manifested this natural strength and ability when he was at Troy. The obvious link between Achilles and the victor lies in the Aeginetan ancestry of Achilles: Achilles was descended from an Aeginetan hero and the victor came from Aegina. But the myth is relevant to the victor in other less obvious ways too. The youthful athleticism of Achilles is an example of inherited natural ability, which Pindar

12 PINDAR thought more important than taught skills for success in the games (N. 3.40-2); the physical prowess of Peleus, Achilles' father, was highlighted earlier in the ode (32-6). Later Achilles goes abroad, and putting his ability to the test is victorious at Troy, Likewise, the victor Aristocleidas went abroad from Aegina to Nemea, and in winning maintained the reputation for excellence that his ancestors possessed (12¬ 18). In P y t h i a n Nine the main myth describes how Apollo fell in love with Cyrene, a heroine who gave her name to the city of Cyrene in north Africa where the victor Telesicrates lived, and how she bore him a son Aristaeus; a subsequent myth tells of the marriage of two of the victor's ancestors, Alexidamus and Libyssa ('the girl from Libya'). There is a problem of interpretation here: Why this mythical emphasis on union between male and female? Was Telesicrates about to get married? Or are the mythical unions relevant to the victor merely as metaphors, standing for the consummate achievement of victory? The trouble with the latter view is that it does not explain why Pindar should have chosen sexual union rather than anything else to stand for the achievement of victory, and it ignores references in the text that suggest that women are important to Telesicrates in more than merely a metaphorical way (74, 97-103). On the other hand, mythical marriages and sexual relationships are frequently recounted by Pindar, and there is no evidence in the text of P. 9 itself to suggest that marriage was imminent for Telesicrates. Nevertheless, marriage was something to which he could now especially look forward because of his outstanding victory and physical excellence (cf. 97-103: local girls, as they watched him win, silently prayed that he might be their husband). So the myths in this ode are relevant to Telesicrates not only because they tell of heroes and heroines who came from his home land, but also because their main theme is loosely relevant to him. A major myth is absent from I s t h m i a n One; instead we hear about the great athletic ability of the demi-god Castor and the hero Iolaus. The victor who received the ode was a Theban, Herodotus, who had won in the chariot race, and his connection with the two lies in the fact that both were supreme charioteers (17) and one of them (Iolaus) a Theban; the two were also victorious in numerous other athletics events (J S-31), and this is a mythical expansion of the fact that the Isthmian Games had provided not just Herodotus' victory but a multiplicity of victories for Thebes (10-11). Nemean Two is so short that there is no room for any substantial heroic narrative. Even so, Pindar manages to squeeze in a compressed allusion to Ajax who, like the victor, was a great fighter brought up on Salamis; it is also possible that the victor's family was involved with the cult of Ajax on Salamis (see on 13-14). Pindar's myths and mythical allusions are usually relevant to the victor's situation in a number of ways, even if their relevance is not immediately apparent; to a contemporary audience, more familiar than we are with the victor's life and achievements, they may often have had even greater relevance than we can discern.

INTRODUCTION 13 4. Performance Pindar did not intend the people for whom he composed his victory odes to sit at home and read them. That much is clear from the many references in them to accompanying music, singing, and dancing. The first performance of most victory odes must have been as part of a big outdoor celebration back in the victor's home city after the games were over, but exactly what happened is not entirely clear. Our only evidence for how they were performed is what the odes themselves tell us, and interpreting that can be difficult. Sometimes the language referring to details of performance is metaphorical, so it is a question of trying to work out what the metaphor could stand for. When Pindar says in O l y m p i a n One, 'Take the Dorian phorminx [lyre] from its peg' (17-18), this cannot be a command which he intended to carry out literally, because the ode is already under way and the lyre already in use; it must be a comment on the musical style of the ode as a whole, probably meaning that it is in the dignified Dorian mode (scale) in contrast to a less elevated style of music played for Hieron at symposia (cf. 16-17); see also on N . 3.79, 'amid the blowings of Aeolian pipes'. About half the odes mention the musical instruments used in performance. These are of two types: a stringed instrument referred to as either the phorminx or lyre (a phorminx was an old-fashioned name for a lyre), and the aulos which was a reed instrument like an oboe or shawm often coming in pairs and generally translated •pipes'. The two types were commonly used together, and the result was noisy: Nemean Three mentions voices, lyre and aulos, and the whole ode is characterised first as a hymnos (song) and then as a bod (noise). In Olympian Three Pindar says he must mix together the various-toned phorminx, the noise of auloi, and the composition of words (0. 3.8-9), and in Nemean Nine 'a wondrous song befits proud vaunts of words; let us rouse up the loud-sounding phorminx and the aulos to go with it' (N. 9.7-8). To judge from the adjectives he uses to describe the instruments, he believed that the overall effect was a pleasing mixture of various loud noises. In the shortest odes (0. 4, 0. 11, 0. 12, P. 7, N . 2, /. 3) there is no mention of musical instruments, which could be an indication that they were not necessarily intended for performance. Several odes mention a k6mos. The word usually denotes a revel or a band of revellers making a processional celebration, but can mean merely 'song of celebration', so it is not always clear whether 'k6mos' is referring to the performance of the ode itself (as a song of celebration) or to some other more rowdy revel that may have taken place after the ode had been sung; and, again, there is the further possibility that what Pindar says about the k6mos is not to be taken literally. These problems arc ilustrated in Nemean Nine. This ode begins, 'We shall have a k6mos from Sicyon to Aetna'. Atfirstsight these words are puzzling because Sicyon (a city near Corinth) is hundreds of miles from Aetna in Sicily; a literal procession is ruled out. What Pindar means is, 'My song will embrace both Sicyon and Aetna* (Sicyon

14 PINDAR was where the victor had been victorious, Aetna was where he lived). In the penultimate strophe of the ode the k6mos motif is resumed: 'Relaxation likes a symposium; but a recent victory is augmented by soft singing; one's voice becomes bold by the wine-bowl. Let someone stir in his voice, sweet preface to the k6mos.' (48-50) Here Pindar seems to allude to the rowdier type of k6mos, which may have followed the ode's performance; the command in the last sentence ('Let someone ...') is a forceful way of saying 'victory deserves vigorous celebration in song'. Both passages illustrate something he is fond of doing in his odes, including details taken from events which are familiar to the victor and which provide a dramatic setting for the ode, or part of it, but which are not actually taking place during the ode's performance. It is along these lines that the komos implied at N . 2.24 is to be interpreted (see Introduction to Nemean Two). On several occasions Pindar qualifies the word *k6mos' with a deictic pronoun meaning 'this one here'. In Pythian Five the victor (king of Cyrene) is said to have welcomed 'this komos of men here, Apollo's delight' (P. 5.22-3, cf. 103-4); in Olympian Eight Pindar imaginatively calls on Olympia to welcome 'this k6mos here on Aegina and this crowning of the victor' (0. 8.10); in Olympian Four he asks Zeus to welcome the Olympic victor and 'this komos here', and appears to go on to say (interpretation and text are uncertain) that men celebrating the victor are returning to his home town while riding on a chariot (0. 4.10-11); and in Olympian Fourteen he invokes the Charites (goddesses personifying grace) at the victor's home as they see 'this komos here stepping lightly in honour of the victor's good fortune' (0. 14.16¬ 17). The use of the deictic pronoun ('this here') seems to confirm that each of these odes at least really was sung as part of a komos in the sense of 'processional celebration'. It has been thought that some of the shorter odes were performed at the place of victory before the victor had returned home, as an impromptu celebration before a fuller one later on (Gelzer). The possibility might appear to gain some support from a short victory ode of Bacchylides in which he speaks of his Muse as 'born at the Isthmus' (Bacch. 2.11), suggesting that the ode was composed and sung at the Isthmian Games. But Bacchylides may mean no more than that his inspiration to compose an ode derived from an Isthmian victory. It is possible that some odes, especially the shortest ones (which would take scarcely more than a minute to recite), were not intended to be performed but are literary compositions in the style of ones that were performed. Nemean Two, one of Pindar's shortest odes, may fall into this category; but if it was performed, the performance took place back in the victor's home land (see Introduction to N . 2).

INTRODUCTION 15 Another question concerns the extent to which the odes were sung and performed by a chorus. In general, it is likely that they were sung by a chorus of voices and accompanied by dancing, but given the diversity of length, content, and metre which they display, it is unlikely that the role of the chorus was always the same; in addition, there must have been a certain amount of flexibility and variation over the extent to which Pindar himself was in charge of a chorus, and the extent to which how an ode was performed was left to be decided by the victor and his home town. An apparent problem arises because the odes contain not only references to their being sung by a chorus (e.g. Μ 3.3-5 'near to the water of Asopus are waiting young men, makers of honey-voiced song-celebrations'), but also what seem to be utterances either spoken by Pindar himself or referring to him alone (e.g. 0.1.115-16 'May it be permitted ... for me so long to consort with victors, conspicuous in my skill everywhere throughout Greece', /. l.lff.) which, it has been thought, would have been inappropriate if uttered by persons other than Pindar. So were the odes sung by a chorus, or were they sung by Pindar? In fact this is generally a pseudo-problem, because the chorus sung on Pindar's behalf and functioned as his spokesman, so the thoughts expressed in the odes remained his whoever sung them; but he modifies his persona, sometimes (through use of statements in the first-person singular - T) stressing himself as poet and individual, sometimes (through references to the chorus and use of statements in the first-person plural - 'we'), receding into the background and stressing the role of the chorus. Once in the odes he seemingly distances himself from what is said to such an extent that the normal relationship between poet and chorus is reversed: instead of the chorus singing as representatives of the poet, it sings a passage that seems to be true only of themselves and inapplicable to Pindar (P. 5.72-81; see above, p. 1); but this is an anomaly and interpretation of the passage is disputed. For a good discussion of these matters, see the article by D'Alessio. Relatively little is said in the odes about the chorus as dancers (cf. P. 1.1-4). Did the singers themselves dance, or were the dancers a separate section of the chorus? Did dance accompany the whole of an ode? Were the very shortest odes accompanied by dancing at all? Unfortunately, we do not know the answers to these questions, though the heterogeneity of the odes suggests that choreography will have varied.

5. Athletics Greek athletics centred round competitions held at four major festivals: the Olympic Games (founded in 776 BC), the Pythian Games (582), the Isthmian Games (582), and the Nemean Games (573). The Olympics were the top meeting (0. 1.3-7, cf. N . 10.32-3), just as they still are despite the proliferation nowadays of other championships. There were many other minor games held in Greek cities, and Pindar usually tells us if a victor at one of the big four had earlier won at one of

16 PINDAR these. But a victory at any of the minor venues was not normally regarded as prestigious enough to warrant a victory ode; all Pindar's odes commemorate victories at the four major games, apartfromNemeans 9-11 and probably Pythian 2. Neither Pindar nor Bacchylides wrote for victors at the Panathenaic Games, a big event in Athens. This is probably because the Panathenaea were largely for Athenian competitors, with not all events open to all Greeks as was the case at the big four which were panhellenic. Moreover, whereas at the big four the main goal was the glory of winning, with just a token prize (wreaths of olive at Olympia, laurel at Delphi, and varieties of celery at Nemea and the Isthmus), at the Panathenaea some winners could receive up to 140 amphorae of olive-oil, a prize of great commercial value (perhaps equivalent to three or four years' worth of their wages, or to what the winners of the New York or London Marathons get nowadays; see Young, 115-27). It is doubtful if Pindar would have enjoyed seeing this type of professionalism in athletics. In his view the proper rewards for a victor were an enhanced status approaching ihat of the great heroes of the past, praise, and above all preservation of the memory of the victor's achievement One of his victory odes could provide all three, but no amount of money or olive-oil could do so. The four big games varied slightly in the events they offered; some events did not become part of their official programmes until several years, decades, or even centuries after the first games. In Pindar's day the main events can be divided into three groups: (1) a multitude of different equestrian events (for either horses or colts, singly or in fours, with or without a chariot); (2) running races: the stadion (one length of the stadium, about 180 metres), the diaulos (there and back), the doiichos (up to three miles), the hoplitodromia (there and back wearing hoplite armour); (3) the pentathlon (long-jump, running, discus, javelin, wrestling), boxing, wrestling, pancration (a mixture of boxing, wrestling and other fighting methods). At Olympia for half a century there was a mule-cart race (an event commemorated in 0. 5 and 0. 6), and a race for mares during v/hich the rider dismounted and finished on foot ( i la Royal Tournament), and at the Pythian Games there were also musical competitions for the lyre and (cf. P . 12) for auloi (pipes). For the events in groups (1) and (3) there were at Olympia and Delphi two age divisions, boys and adults; but at Nemea and the Isthmus there was a third, in-between, category for youths ( a g e n c i o i , 'beardless people'). Vno chariot race was held in special esteem. It was an expensive business to rear suitable horses (see on /. 1.42), and the event offered the opportunity for a lavish display cf wealth and therefore power. This, rather than victory itself, is what A'dbiaces was most proud of when he boasted, Ί entered seven chariots (more than an*, individual ever before) and was victorious and also came second and fourth, and \ hr-.d everything arranged in a style worthy of my victory. For such things naturally g^.i > e re respect, and in doing them one creates an impression of power' (Thuc. 6.16). A: the end cf Olympian One Pindar hopes that Hieron will after his victory in the b ;rse race go on to win the chariot race (108-12). The event naturally appealed to

INTRODUCTION 17 wealthy aristocrats and leading political figures. The Sicilian tyrants Hieron and Theron, Arcesilas king of Cyrene, and Megacles of the noble Alcmaeonid family, all commissioned Pindar to compose poems in honour of their equestrian victories; Alcibiades' victories are said to have been commemorated by Euripides, and later Philip of Macedon won at Olympia. Sixteen of Pindar's surviving odes, more than a third, are for equestrian victors. The wealth of such people must have been an attraction to the poet when he was deciding what commissions to accept; at /. 1.67-8 Pindar's suggestion to the victor that he make good use of his wealth alludes to this factor. The curious race in armour was introduced at the end of the sixth century. It reflects the military training done in Greece at the time by soldiers in armour (hoplites). Since all citizens were liable to be called up for fighting, the event appealed not merely to specialised athletes. The runners ran two lengths of the stadium with shield, helmet, and sometimes greaves. P y t h i a n Nine is for a victor in this event. In the other running events the men probably competed naked, though this is a controversial matter and there is some evidence that suggests that some athletes may have worn loin-cloths. At one time this may even have been standard practice, if the story of the unfortunate Orsippus of Megara is credible: he is said to have been in sight of victory when he contrived to trip on his loin-cloth and fell over; from then on (720 BC), so the story goes, nudity was the norm (cf. Thuc. 1.6; McDonnell, 182¬ 93). At Olympia girls took part in their own, separate, athletics competitions (Paus. 5.16). It is generally thought that at Olympia, and probably at most other venues, women were not even allowed to watch the men's competitions, but the evidence is not conclusive on this point (cf. Paus. 5.6.7, 5.13.10,6.20.9; Pi. P . 9.97-103; Instone [1990], 32-3). None of Pindar's surviving odes is for a victrix. Although Pindar was more interested in the moral implications of success than in sport for its own sake, he does provide us with many interesting details about Greek athletics. Besides the prizes mentioned above for winning at the major games, there were silver cups for a win at Sicyon (N. 9.51, N . 10.43), a cloak at Pellene (0. 9.97¬ 8), and at Argos a piece of armour made of bronze (0. 7.83). There were no prizes for coming second or third, and it was a disgrace to be beaten (0. 8.68-9, P . 8.81-7). The modern idea, said for instance of big city marathons, that 'It's the taking part that counts', or 'Everyone's a winner' was wholly absent. Athletes had coaches (N. 5.48-9, The best craftsmen for athletes come from Athens'), and at Olympia competitors consulted an oracle about their chances (0. 8.1-7). The winner brought honour not just to himself, but also to the whole community to which he belonged ( P . 9.93 'An excellent deed done for all', cf. Μ 2.8, W. 3.67-8, /. 1.50-1). We are rarely told details about particular victories, but there are exceptions: Xenophon of Corinth is said by Pindar to have been the first man to win both the stadion race and the pentathlon at the same Olympics (0. 13.30-1), and in I s t h m i a n Four there is a

18 PINDAR wonderful description of the pancratiast Melissus who came from Pindar's home town Thebes: 'In daring, his spirit when effort was required was like that of loud-roaring wild lions; and he had the skill of a fox which spreads itself to await an eagle's swoop ... For he did not have the enormous physique of Orion, but though unimpressive to look at he was so heavily-built as to be difficult to engage in combat.' (/. 4.45-51)

6. Language and style (1) Dialect Greece in Pindar's day was divided into different states each with its own regional dialectical variations. At home in Thebes Pindar would have spoken Greek tinged by the Boeotian dialect, but his written poetry is largely unaffected by his home dialect and in writing he adopts a composite literary dialect that does not correspond to Greek as it was spoken in any one locality. Other Greek poets before him had adopted this linguistic style. Even Sappho, writing poems in her native Aeolic dialect for her friends on the island of Lesbos, admitted in some poems, sometimes referred to as the 'abnormal' poems, dialect forms that would not have been spoken on Lesbos in her day (e.g. fr. 44). Three main causes can be suggested for why Greek poets adopted varieties of a general poetic language. Firstly, by avoiding reliance on their own vernacular they could appeal to a wider audience. Secondly, there was the ubiquitous influence of the language of epic poetry, especially the Homeric and Hesiodic poems, and epic poetry because of its diverse origins contains a diverse range of word-forms. Thirdly, each genre of literature was associated with a particular dialect, generally that of the region where the genre was supposed to have originated; so, choral lyric was associated with the Doric world, and the language used in it was given a Doric colouring. The type of general poetic language used by Pindar was one shared by Simonides, Bacchylides, and other writers of choral lyric poetry. The most distinctive feature of this brand of lyric poetry is the use of a long alpha in words where Attic-Ionic (and epic) dialect had gta. The Doric dialect, named after the Dorians who settled in western Greece, is characterised by the presence of this long alpha, which is known as 'Doric alpha' (examples at the start of O A . are μςγάνορος μβγήνοροδ\ γαρύεν = γηρύ€ν, άελίου = ήβλίου). But Pindar was different in two ways from the other writers of choral lyric. Firstly, he used Doric alpha more frequently; this is because it was a normal feature of his native Boeotian dialect, whereas Simonides and Bacchylides were native Ionic speakers; secondly, he more frequently used other

INTRODUCTION 19 Doric forms. Many other features of his poetic language are caused by the influence of the language of epic poetry (e.g. -oto for -ου in the gen. masc. sg., omission of augment). The effect of these epic forms in Greek lyric poetry is perhaps comparable to the effect on us today of e.g 'thy', 'thou', 'ye' etc. in English poetry: the forms mark out the poetry as artificial, as something different from the spoken language and so as something requiring its own brand of interpretation. (2) Literary technique It is this more than anything else that makes Pindar's poetry fascinating; for if one reduces his poems to prose pr&is, the substance of what he has to say is fairly ordinary. His moral outlook is traditional, his admiration for athletics victors is unexceptional, he was not the only Greek poet to write for leading political figures, and it was common practice in all poetic genres to use mythical stories. But it is the striking and imaginative way he expresses himself that makes his poetry unique, giving vitality to its content and making one pay attention to it. It is also compressed; one often has to puzzle hard to establish his chains of thought, and this in itself makes one end up thinking about what he is saying. Many features of his flamboyant style are pointed out in the commentaries, but here are some of the main ones with examples taken from the odes in this selection. They can broadly be divided into three groups: those relating to (a) sentences in the context of a poem as a whole, (b) individual words in the context of a sentence, (c) other features. (a) i . Priamel (from the Latin 'praeambulum' meaning 'preamble'). This is a rhetorical device in which a series of statements (usually three or four) of similar form are set down one after the other as a means of emphasising the last one. It has antecedents in epic poetry; Hesiod, concerned with what plough-shaft is best, advises, 'Connecting-poles of laurel or elm are most free from worms; the main body, if it is of oak; the plough-shaft, if it is of holm-oak' (Op. 435-6). And Sappho tells us, 'Some say a host of horses, some a host of infantry, some say a host of ships is the most beautiful thing on the black earth; but I say it is whatever one desires' (16.1-4). Pindar's most famous example is the opening of Olympian One: water is best, gold shines like fire, the sun outshines other stars, the most splendid games are the Olympics ( O . 1.1-7); the device is made more sophisticated here by the variation in form and increasing length of the different statements. Other priamels are at P . 9.76-9, W. 3.80-4,/.1.47-51.


(a) ii. Ring-composition This is when the end of a poem or section returns to an earlier theme, often with verbal echoes. The device is not confined to poetry, and again has epic precedent (cf. the story of Niobe at //. 24.602-17 and, on a larger scale, the Iliad as a whole with Bk. 24 responding to, and resolving, the tensions created by Bk. 1). Pindar often uses ring-composition to give structure to a myth and to link the

20 PINDAR mylh to the rest of the poem; so, in Olympian One, 'Glory shines for him [Hieron] in the populous new home of Lydian Pelops' (23-4) ~ 'and the glory's seen afar in races at Olympia of Pelops ... and he who is victor [Hieron]' (93-7). Other examples: P. 9.4 ~ 73 (Cyrene), N . 2.1-5 - 24-5 (beginning with Zeus), N . 3.64 - 84 (shining fame), /.1.16-30-1 (Castor and Iolaus). (a) iii. Abrupt transition Usually this is a means of moving on to a new theme, regularly after a mythical story has been told where it riiay be in the guise of an apology for having gone off course (cf. N . 3.26-7) or missed the target. Often the transition appears more abrupt than it is, because a connection of thought has been omitted; this happens most frequently prior to, or in the middle of, one or more gnomic (proverbial) statements, as at P. 9.76-9, /. 1.39-40. This way of writing turns otherwise unexciting platitudes into something intellectually and emotionally stimulating, with the consequence that one is forced to think about what is being said. (b) i . Variation If Pindar can think of two different ways of putting together two clauses or of mentioning two items, then he generally does so rather than use parallel forms of expression; sometimes this involves the use of chiasmus (an a-b-b-a form of expression, such as Ί hate breakfast, lunch I love'): 0.1.5-7 'look no further... nor let us proclaim' (imperative followed by exhortation), O. 1.13-14 'harvesting fully... and shines in' (participle followed by main verb), O. 1.87 'a chariot of gold and untiring horses' (chiasmus), /.1.16 'song about Castor or concerning Iolaus' (lit. 'with either a Castory song or one of Iolaus') , /. 1.50 'he who in the games or while fighting' (noun followed by participle). Variation is especially common in the enumeration of victories, livening up an otherwise tedious list as at N . 2.19-24, N . 3.84, /. 1.52-9. (b) ii. Brachylogy Irregular brevity of expression appears in several forms. One is zeugma, e.g. at O. 1.88 'he [PelopsJ caught strong Oenomaus and the maiden to sleep with', where the single word £Xev ('took') has two different senses: applied to Oenomaus it means 'killed', applied to Hippodameia it means 'got as wife'. Another is e l l i p s e , e.g. at P . 9.65 concerning the various names given to Cyrene's son, "Hunter' and 'Shepherd', 'Aristaeus' for others his name'; here 'for some' has been left out from the first clause. Sometimes, especially in generalising ('gnomic') statements, concision leads to the Greek being able to bear more than one interpretation, making it difficult to decide upon the correct one; see e.g. on P. 9.76¬ 9, N . 2.10-12, /. 1.40. (b) iii. Hyperbaton This is when a word or word-group is displaced from its natural position and for emphasis put in an unexpected place, e.g. O. 1.93-5 'And the glory's seen afar in races at Olympia of Pelops', giving more emphasis to Pelops than 'And

INTRODUCTION 21 the glory of Pelops ...'; N . 3.14-16 [lit.] 'whose famous agora not with reproaches, thanks to you, did Aristocleidas dishonour', where 'not' is displaced. (b) iv. Litotes A type of understatement, in which instead of a strong positive statement the negative of its opposite is substituted, as in the last example under Hyperbaton 'not ... dishonour' = 'very much honoured'. This is one of Pindar's favourite rhetorical tropes. Other examples at 0. 1.81 Ά risk that is a great one does not grip a weak man', i.e.'... only takes hold of a very strong man'; P . 9.32 *Her mind is not storm-tossed with fear', i.e. 'She is completely fearless'; P . 9.58 'neither lacking blossoms of all fruits, nor of beasts unknowing', i.e. 'full of blossoming fruits and full of beasts'; P . 9.80 'not slighting', i.e. 'honouring to the full'; N. 2.12 'not far from', i.e. 'close upon'; N . 3.20-1 'it is no longer easy', i.e. 'it is now impossible'; N . 3.30 'are not better', i.e. 'are much worse'; N . 3.41-2 'he never enters the contest with a sure foot', i.e. 'always enters it very unsteadily'; N . 3.76 These you lack not', i.e. 'These you certainly have'; /.1.15 'not with another's hands', i.e. 'with his very own hands'. Those interested further may consult Kohnken [ 1976]. (b) v. Asyndeton Absence of connecting particles such as 'and', 'but', 'therefore', as at 0. 1.52-3 'But for me to call one of the blessed gods gluttonous is impossible, I stand back. Lack of gain regularly gets slanderers'. In Greek, particles meaning 'and' or 'but' are much more frequent between clauses and sentences than in English, so their absence is more striking in the Greek than it appears in English translation. The firstfivesentences of I s t h m i a n One are in asyndeton, which adds urgency to what is being said; other examples are at N . 3.76, P . 9.26. (b) vi. Personification P. 9.79-80 'Seven-gated Thebes did once observe Iolaus as well not slighting it'; W. 3.6-7 'Different things thirst for different things, but victory in the games especially loves song'; /. 1.3-4 'May rocky Delos ... not be wroth with me'. Personification of places is especially common. (b) vii. Vivid verbs Pindar often uses an unexpectedly vivid and specific verb instead of a more mundane one. He has several favourites: Am mixed (μείγνυμαι) = 'am united with', 0. 1.90-1 'now he shares and mixes with splendid blood sacrifices'; cf. P. 9.13, N . 2.22. Taste (γεύομαι) = 'experience' / 'sample', P. 9.35 'does she ... taste her unbounded strength'; N . 3.42 'he samples countless exploits with his purpose unaccomplished'. Harvest / p l u c k (δρέπω) = 'enjoy', 0. 1.13 'harvesting fully the pick of the field of every excellence'; P. 9.109-11 'they were wanting to pluck from her golden-garlanded youth the blossoming fruit'. Other examples: 0. 1,55-6 'he could not d i g e s t massive prosperity'; 0. 1.83 'keep a fameless old age o n t h e boil'; P. 9.32 'her mind is not s t o r m - t o s s e d with fear'; iV. 3.40 'it is through inborn glory that a person c a r r i e s g r e a t weight'; /. 1.4 'Delos, on whom / have p o u r e d myself o u t .



(b) viii. Compound adjectives The Greek language easily creates compound words of all sorts, and Greek authors used them readily, often forming new ones of their own invention. Where Pindar stands out is in the way in which he, (a) gives traditional compound adjectives a new meaning or application, (b) seems to have invented particularly striking compound adjectives (though one must bear in mind that they may have been known to Pindar from authors whose texts are now lost to us). Examples of (a): O. 1.93 where the Greek word meaning Visited by many foreigners' (πολυξενωτάτψ) had in Hesiod the slightly different sense of 'very hospitable' (Op. 715); P . 9.2 where he calls the Graces 'full-bodiced' (βαθυ£ώνοισιν), an epithet common in Homer applied to flesh-and-blood women, so Pindar by applying it to the Graces adds to the personification of them. Examples of (b): O. 1.96 'hard-fought supremacy in strength', the Greek word translated 'hard-fought' (θρασύπονοι) not being found elsewhere; P . 9.62 lit. 'kneeplaced infant'; N . 3.39 'man-conquering fear'; /. 1.23'shield-clattering runs'. (c) Striking images One feature of Pindar's narrative style is his ability to highlight vividly certain important events and ideas; and one way he does so is through the creation of striking images. Four examples: O. 1.1-2 (the shine of gold) 'Gold like fire that is burning during the night is conspicuous beyond other great wealth'; P . 9.23-5 (sleep, Cyrene's sweet bedfellow) 'spending but short time with her bedfellow sweet - with the sleep that on her eyelids used to descend just before dawn'; N . 3.76 (a draught of song) Ί am sending you this honey that has been mixed with white milk, and dew accompanies the stirred mixture, a draught of song amid the blowings of Aeolian pipes*. /. 1.37-8 (rescue from shipwreck) 'welcomed him in his icy misfortune out of the measureless sea'.

7. Pindaric odes after Pindar With the rise of tragedy in the fifth century and the gradual replacement of old aristocracies by other forms of power, it was inevitable that the victory ode as Pindar knew it would not survive. The victory ode genre, in which a vividly told mythical narrative was generally just one part within a larger choral performance, gave way to a genre in which dramatisation of myth took up the whole performance and the role of the chorus was diminished; a genre which had operated largely on a one-to-one basis, the epinician poet composing for wealthy indivduals and offering reflections on himself and them, gave way to one in which the poet kept himself outside the drama and composed for a state festival. Euripides is said to have composed an ode for Alcibiades* achievements in the Olympic chariot race, probably in 416 BC (see above, p. 16. Note that whereas

INTRODUCTION 23 Alcibiades, as quoted by Thucydides, says he came first, second and fourth, the poet here says Alcibiades came first, second and third; we do not know which version is correct). Some lines of the ode are quoted by Plutarch:

Ί shall sing of you, son of Cleinias; glorious is victory, but most glorious is your doing what no other Greek has done in the chariot race, to have come in the race first, second, and third, and to come away without fatigue; and, crowned with the olive of Zeus (?), to hand over [yourself] to the herald to cry out the news.' (Plutarch A l e . 11) This is more direct and straightforward than Pindar generally is (though for the 'unique achievement' idea, cf. 0.13.30-1); how, if at all, the ode was performed, and whether it contained the regular Pindaric ingredients (myth, ethical generalisations, self-reflection etc.) we do not know. The metre, dactylo-epitrite, could pass as Pindaric. But elsewhere Plutarch says that in the ode Euripides also said that 'a pre­ requisite for happiness is a famous city' ( D e m . 1.1); it is not clear that Pindar, with his emphasis on inborn individual ability and divine help as the requirements for success, would have agreed with this view. Not until Callimachus in the third century do 'epinicians' surface again. Fragments of two survive, one in honour of a Nemean chariot-victory by Queen Berenice II, the other for a chariot victory won by a leading politicalfigure,Sosibius, probably at the Isthmian Games (for the former, see P. J. Parsons, ZPE 25 (1977), 1¬ 50; for the latter, Callim. fr. 384). Berenice, like Callimachus himself, came from Cyrene; in celebrating her victory Callimachus was doing what earlier Pindar had done for her predecessor Arcesilas. The first line of the Victoria B e r e n i c e s , as the lines for her have been dubbed, has at first glance a Pindaric ring to it (To Zeus and Nemea I owe a gift of gratitude'; for the poem as something owed, cf. P . 9.103-5), but really we are dealing here with a different type of poetry: Callimachus' 'epinicians' are in elegiac metre, a hexameter followed by a pentameter with unfailing regularity, and were but part of a much larger composition (the learned A e t i a = Origins) most of which was taken up by wholly different themes, loosely based on the origins of various cults, and designed to be read not performed; Callimachus has spatchcocked epinician praise into an alien genre. . But while it is fair to say that the epinician genre virtually died out with Pindar, the influence of his literary style lived on: his love of allusion, his praise of patrons, his epigrammatic terseness, these are all prominent features of Callimachus* poetry,

24 PINDAR too, and it in turn was profoundly influential on Latin poetry; in an indirect way, therefore, Pindar's general literary influence on classical poetry was greater than appears at first sight. Virgil is not a poet regularly associated with Pindar, but interesting connections between the two can be found. At the end of 0. 1 Pindar proudly says to Hieron, 'may it be permitted for you to tread loftily, and for me so long to consort with victors, conspicuous in my skill everywhere throughout Greece'. At the end of the Fourth E c l o g u e , a prophetic poem praising and heroising a child about to be bom, Virgil says:

INTRODUCTION to give his name to the glassy sea.


... Many a breeze lifts aloft the Dircaean swan whenever, Antonius, he heads for the high expanses of cloud. But I, in the manner and method of an Apulian bee, painstakingly gathering sweet thyme round many a grove on the wet banks of the Tiber, mould my hard-worked poems and remain insignificant. You, a poet with a grander touch, shall celebrate Caesar...

I j $

I Whoever strives to rival Pindar, lulus, is relying on wings joined with wax by the skill of Daedalus and is destined

Like a stream running down from a mountain, a stream which the rains have swollen over its familiar banks, Pindar boils and rushes without measure with unrestrained voice, Worthy to be crowned with Apollo's bay ...

'May the last part of a long life still remain to me then, and breath enough to praise your deeds; neither Thracian Orpheus nor Linus shall beat me at singing ...' (£c. 4.53-6). Virgil's boast, unexpected in the context and not in keeping with his general diffidence about his poetic ability, is explained if we allow that he had here the end of 0. 1 in mind. A more sustained Virgilian use of Pindaric motifs comes at the beginning of the Third Georgic in the course of an elaborate refusal by the poet to recount Octavian's military achievements. The poet imagines himself as a chariot-race victor in foreign games who is returning to his Italian home town of Mantua to celebrate the victory, the first ever achieved by a native of Mantua, by building there a magnificent temple to Octavian. Pindar often compares his poetry to architectural forms (e.g. 0. 6.1-4, P . 6.7-9). Virgil here goes a step further: his praise of Octavian's achievements will be depicted in the architecture itself. We all know about Hippodameia and Pelops conspicuous with his ivory shoulder, he says; I must find a way to raise myself aloft and fly victorious through the lips of men. The allusion to Ο. 1 and its Pelops myth is clear. It is also apposite: the Third Georgic is about the breeding of horses, including racehorses; the poet represents himself as a victor in the games; Octavian is to be praised; the poet is proudly confident of his future association with Octavian. Even the 'recusatio* motif itself ('Much as I'd like to praise you, I can't now') is an extension of Pindar's own use of break-off formulae (bringing a section of an ode to a sudden end in order to pass on to the next section). So in the end Virgil's diffidence, or reluctance, gets the better of him, and Pindar becomes not someone he will attempt to rival, but someone he does not dare rival. Victory ode motifs have been put to a new purpose. There is something rather similar in Latin poetry's most famous 'Pindaric ode', Horace Odes 4.2, addressed to lulus Antonius the son of Mark Antony:



(Horace Odes 4.2.1-9,25-34)

The beautiful comparison between Pindar, the unrestrained mountain torrent, and Horace, the tiny bee who cannot attain such poetic heights, has an undercurrent of irony; in one of his poems Pindar compares his own method to that of a bee (P. 10.53-4, 'The pick of encomium songs darts like a bee from one theme to another*), and the painstaking labour which Horace says is the hallmark of his poetry and unlike Pindar's method, is in fact an obvious feature of Pindar's poetry too and one to which Pindar regularly refers (cf. N . 3.12: the ode is a 'toil' of delight). Although Horace admired Pindar, what he says about the unrestrained and measureless nature of Pindar's poetry was later seized on by others who regarded the particular hallmark of Pindar's odes to be the irregularity and apparent freedom of the metres he used and his inability to maintain a constantly brilliant tone. The author known as Longinus said (probably in the 1st century AD) that Pindar (and Sophocles) 'sometimes blaze and burn up everything with their force, but often their fire inexplicably goes out and they fall flat in complete failure' (33.5). It was not until Boeckh in the early nineteenth century that the proper length of the lines of Pindar's odes was recognised, and the rationale behind his metres began to be established. Certainly, some parts, especially the endings, of many of Pindar's odes are quiet, almost anticlimactic, but this was a deliberate strategy, (a) to offset the passages of brilliant praise and imagery, and (b) not to risk the dangers of excess and the ill-feeling of others (cf. 0. 1.47,56-7).


PINDAR We now move forward in time to the poetry of Renaissance England (c. 1509¬ 1660) when, thanks in part to Caxton's introduction of the printing press in 1474, there was a re-birth of interest in classical literature and culture. Which renaissance author wins the crown for being the first to model his poetry on Pindar's odes (the only poetry of Pindar then known) is a matter for dispute; it depends on what one i thinks is required for being 'Pindaric'. But some of the first signs of Pindar in j English literature can be found in Ben Jonson. He had a large knowledge of j Classical literature, and combined a private voice with a public stance much in the j manner of Pindar. His poem To the Immortal Memory and Friendship of that Noble Pair, Sir Lucius Cary and Sir H. Morison', despite its unpromising title, is a poem of J Pindaric form (triadic) and length (128 lines; cf. 0 . 1, P. 9) in praise of two men j who died unnaturally early. Although the content is not especially reminiscent of the victory odes, and the rhyming couplets sometimes give up all pretence at Pindaric seriousness (as 116-7, 'Nothing perfect done, / but as a Cary or a Morison'), the irregularity of the length and rhythm of the couplets captures an essential feature of Pindar's poetry as perceived by later poets, namely the irregularity of his odes' metrical form. This is the 'turn' (= strophe) of the third triad: It is not growing like a tree In bulk, doth make men better be, Or standing long an oak, three hundred year, To fall a log, at last, dry, bald and sear; A lily of a day Is fairer far in May, Although it fall and die that night: It was the plant and flower of light. In small proportions, we just beauties see, And in short measures, life may perfect be.

INTRODUCTION 27 'Pindaric' ode is justified on two grounds: firstly, rhyme is as essential to English poems as metrical form is to Greek (the original meaning of 'to rhyme' is 'to make verses'), so Jonson's use of rhyme was virtually a pre-requisite for his writing a poem at all; secondly, inasmuch as both rhyme in English poems and metrical form in Greek are giving discipline to the lines, they are each doing kindred jobs for the poet. Just occasionally a spark of Pindar shines through Jonson's poem. Between the third 'counterturn' (= antistrophe) and 'stand' (= epode) there is a striking enjambement ('Ben' ending the counterturn, and 'Jonson' starting the stand): ... we priests and poets say Such truths, as we expect for happy men, And there he [Morison] lives with memory; and Ben Jonson, who sung this of him, ere he went himself to rest... (82-6) The use of enjambement to knit together different stanzas is very much in Pindar's manner (see on P. 9.51; cf. P . 2.73). A few lines later there is a brief mythological allusion to the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux), brothers who in death are apart as death has parted Cary and his brother-in-law Morison; this, too, is Pindaric, reminiscent of the allusion to the Dioscuri at the end of P. 11 (61-4). But it is the name of Abraham Cowley (1618-1667), who like Jonson went to Westminster School, that of all English poets is most associated with Pindar. He published renderings of 0 . 2 and Ν. 1 (and Horace Odes 4.2), and also twelve original 'Pindaric' odes which he prefaced with the following remarks on the strangeness of Pindaric style:

The Figures are unusual and bold, even to Temeritie, and such as I durst not have to do withal in any other kind of Poetry: the Numbers [metres] are various and (65-74) irregular, and sometimes (esp. some of the long ones) seem harsh and uncouth, i f the just measures and cadencies be not observed in the Pronunciation. So that almost all It is impossible to represent fully in English verse, where it is the difference their Sweetness and Numerosity (which is to be found, if I mistake not, in the between stressed and unstressed syllables that determines the metrical form, the basis , roughest, if rightly repeated) lies in a manner wholly at the Mercy of the Reader. of Pindar's metres which lies in the difference between long and short syllables (Preface to 1656 Poems) (between e.g. 'length' and 'leg'); one cannot even, for instance, correlate unstressed ι English syllables with short Pindaric ones or stressed English syllables with long What he is saying is that Pindar's odes have a rhythmical pattern, which is hard to Pindaric ones, since Pindar regularly has runs of short syllables but in English runs of j discern but can be conveyed if the poems are read out correctly. Exactly what he unstressed syllables do not occur. Moreover, whereas classical poetry makes a clearthinks are their metres, or as he puts it, their 'just measures and cadencies', he does cut distinction between long and short syllables, in English the distinction between , not say. His own 'Pindaric* odes have a variety of titles (e.g. 'Destinie', T o Mr Hobs' stressed and unstressed syllables is frequently unclear (as in the last syllable of j [the philosopher Thomas Hobbes], 'To Dr Scarborough*, *Life and Fame', T o the 'Zanzibar'). So Jonson, sensibly, has not tried to imitate Pindaric metre, but has opted : New Year', The Muse', The Resurrection', 'Brutus'). Pindar comes across through merely to bring out one of its essential features, its apparent irregularity. Rhyme is not merely their unpredictable metrical form, but also Cowley's use of a variety of alien to Pindar and to virtually all classical poetry, but Jonson's use of it in a

28 PINDAR other peculiarly Pindaric motifs. The final stanza of The Resurrection', for example, starts with a sudden break-off and a self-address: Stop, stop my Muse, allay thy vigorous heat, kindled at a Hint so Great, Hold thy Pindarique Pegasus closely in, which does to rage begin. With this compare e.g. N . 3.26-8, P. 10.51-2, P. 11.38-45; there is, however, more humour in Cowley's lines than ever in Pindar, and Cowley's equestrian image contrasts with the nautical metaphors that Pindar favours for this type of rhetorical flourish. At the beginning of The Muse' Cowley compares his poem to a journey of song to be undertaken by chariot: Go, the rich Chariot instantly prepare; The Queen, my Muse, will take the air. This is in Pindar's manner (cf. 0. 1.110, 0. 6.22-5, /. 2.2 for the 'chariot of song' image), but the illogicality of preparing a chariot for a Muse that is to 'take the air' robs the lines of Pindaric seriousness. Sometimes it seems that Cowley tries deliberately to undercut any Pindaric allusions, as in this passage from the middle of 'The Resurrection': Begin the Song, and strike the Living Lyre; ... Then shall the scattered Atomes crowding come Back to their Ancient Home, Some from Birds, from Fishes some, Some from Earth, and some from Seas, Some from Beasts, and some from Trees. Some descend from Clouds on high, Some from Metals upwards fly. The opening line is strikingly reminiscent of 0. 1.17-18, but what follows is wholly unpindaric and smacks of an attempt to parody Lucretius. So, poetry of irregular form was now established as a genre. After Cowley one finds that while irregularity of form remains popular for serious subjects, Pindaric themes tend to be less apparent. Several of Dryden's odes are sometimes referred to as 'Pindaric , e.g. Ά Song for St. Cecilia's Day', and 'Alexander's Feast' (two poems written for musical performance, celebrating the patroness of the arts and the power of music), and his ode To the Pious Memory of the Accomplished Young Lady, Mrs Anne Killigrew (Excellent in the Two Sister-Arts of Poesy and Painting)'. The 1

INTRODUCTION 29 power of music is most memorably expressed by Pindar in the opening triad of P. 1, which Dryden doubtless had in mind in these three poems; and in producing poems designed to be accompanied by music he was reviving an essential feature of Pindar's odes that had been ignored by Jonson and Cowley; but in other respects Dryden's poems are alien to the style of Pindar, in their use of repetition ('He sung Darius great and good, / By too severe a fate, / Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen, / Fallen from his high estate, / And weltering in his blood', 'Feast' 75-9), in the complete lack of rhythmic correspondence between stanzas (Pindar composed his victory odes either in repeated strophes or in repeated triads), and in their concentration on a single theme.

8. From Pindar's text to ours The earliest history of the odes is uncertain, but there are some clues to the means by which the odes were preserved in the poems themselves. Firstly, Pindar may have given a copy of an ode to the victor or his family (cf. N . 4.13-16 'If your father Timocritus were now still warmed by the heat of the sun, he would often have played an intricate tune on the lyre, inclined to this very song, and have sung a victory ode', a difficult passage but one that seems to envisage the victor's father possessing N . 4 itself and performing it.). Secondly, the victor's city may have received a copy to deposit in temple archives; 0 . 7, for Diagoras of Rhodes, one of the greatest of ancient athletes, is said to have been dedicated in gold letters in the temple of Athene at Lindos (Inscr. 0. 7); cf. P. 6.7-9 'a ready treasury of songs has been secured in Apollo's gold temple [Delphi]'. Thirdly, the chorus-leader might have received a copy (cf. 0. 6.91). Finally, Pindar himself may have kept copies; he may also have deposited odes in the temple of Apollo Ismenius at his home city Thebes, as Heraclitus is said to have deposited his work in the temple of Artemis at Ephesus (Diogenes Laertius 9.6). After the first copies, copies of copies will have been made and the poems gradually circulated more widely. In the 5th and 4th centuries Pindar is quoted by a variety of authors (Herodotus, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle, Menander), who particularly liked him for his succinct sententiousness. However, Plato quotes from extant victory odes only the opening line of 0. 1, which may have become proverbial already before his time, /. 1.2 and P. 3.55; and Aristophanes does not quote any victory odes, only religious songs (fr. 76 for the Athenians, fr. 105(a) for Hieron). What this suggests is that record of the victory odes, which were commissioned by individuals and written primarily for the individuals, tended to circulate more slowly than record of Pindar's civic poetry (e.g. dithyrambs, hyporchemata). It was not until classical scholarship began to flourish in the library at Alexandria in the 3rd century that an interest in establishing the text began. The first systematic collection of Pindar's work was made in the 3rd century by Zenodotus, the first head of the library at Alexandria; he also edited it, and his collection is perhaps referred to by a scholiast commenting on the spurious 0 . 5

30 PINDAR (This ode was not in the original manuscripts [έδαφΙοι?]' Inscr. a O. 5). In the 2nd century Aristophanes of Byzantium, Zenodotus* successor-but-two at Alexandria, edited the texts and arranged them into 17 books (four of odes, plus'the other genres mentioned above, p. 8), and Aristarchus produced commentaries. In the 2nd century AD the victory odes were chosen to represent Pindar in the national curriculum of the day, and they were subsequently collected into a single parchment codex (cf. P. A n t . 2. 76 + 3.212, 3rd century AD) based on the text established by Aristophanes, though the O l y m p i a n s (P. B e r o l . 17047) and the P y t h i a n s (P. L a u r . 3. 317) were still copied on separate book rolls in the 3rd-4th centuries. This codex was the basis for the two families of manuscripts of Pindar's epinicians that underlie our present-day texts. These two families are known as the Ambrosian and the Vatican recensions. The sole surviving representative of the Ambrosian recension is manuscript A (Ambrosianus C 222 inf., late 13th century); but it contains only Olympians 1-12, and in the case of 0.1 it can be inferred from the fact that the scholia (marginal notes) in A are very close to those in C and other mss. in the Vatican group (see Drachmann, I pp. x-xi) that A.'s exemplar must have had Ο. 1 missing and supplied it from the Vatican group: so for Ο. 1 the text and scholia of A are not of independent value. In general, the text of Pindar is well preserved, much better than for instance the texts of Aeschylus, Sophocles or Euripides; the main difficulty for an editor is not that of establishing what words Pindar wrote, but of uncovering why he wrote them. The scholia originated in separate books, independent of the text, and still circulated in this form as late as the 3rd-4th century A D (P. B e r o l . 13419 = Pack 1357). They record interpretations of the text by ancient commentators (including Zenodotus, Aristarchus, and other Alexandrian scholars). These are sometimes of great value for interpreting Pindar, especially when material we would not otherwise know about is quoted from lost works; quotations, for example, from the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women, show us how indebted Pindar was to that work as a source for the myth of Cyrene in P. 9. Small parts of the text and some scholia are preserved on papyri. Those relevant to this selection of odes are ΓΡ (P. Oxy. 13. 1614), which contains O. 1.106-116; Π (P. Oxy. 26. 2451), containing not very valuable scholia to /. 1; and Π (Forsch. u. Ber. 10 (1968), 122ff.), which has on it 0. 1.7-12. 2



INTRODUCTION 31 Note on the text The Greek text of the five odes included in this edition is based on the 1987 Teubner edition of Pindar's odes edited by Snell and Maehler; it differs from that edition in the following places: 0. 1.113 P. 9.58 P. 9.91 Μ 3.10

έν δλλοισι (t άλλοισι. S-M) νήποινον (νάποινον S-M), P. 9.62 αύγαϊ^ (αϋταϊς S-M) εϋκλέιξζν (βύκλεΐξαι S-M) πολυνεφέλςί (πολυνεφέλα S-M), Ν. 3.48 άσθμαίνων έκόμι£εν (άσθμαίνοντα κόμιζβν S-M). Ν. 3.78 κιρνάμενον (κιρναμένα S-M) /. 1.36 έρειπόμενον (έρειδόμενον S-M) Punctuation has been altered at P. 9.90-1,113, N . 3.45, /. 1.14-15.

The apparatus criticus has been modified from that in the Teubner edition. The manuscripts cited are as follows: A C Ν V Β D L Η

(Ambrosianus C 222 inf.) (Parisinus graecus 2774) (Ambrosianus Ε 103 sup.) (Parisinus graecus 2403) (Vaticanus graecus 1312) (Laurentianus 32,52) (Vaticanus graecus 902) (Vaticanus graecus 41)

c. 1280 A D c. 1300 End of 13th century End of 13th century End of 12th century Early 14th century Early 14th century Early 14th century

Different types of manuscript reading are noted by the following abbreviations: s

A Aw A AP A Αϊ A

A above the line additional reading reported in A A before correction A after correction A on the line A in the heading of a scholium A both in its text of the ode and in the heading of a scholium codd. = all manuscripts Σ = scholium a c


c l


= = = = = s =


Bibliography 1. Pindar: Texts and commentaries A. Boeckh, Pindari opera (Leipzig, 1811-21) Boeckh Β. K. Braswell, A commentary on the F o u r t h Pythian ode of Braswell P i n d a r (Berlin and New York, 1988) E. L. Bundy, S t u d i a P i n d a r i c a , I The E l e v e n t h Olympian Ode, Π Bundy The First Isthmian O d e , University of California P u b l i c a t i o n s in Classical Philology vol. 18, nos. 1 & 2 (1962); reprinted in one volume as S t u d i a Pindarica (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1986) R. W. B. Burton, Pindar's Pythian odes (Oxford, 1962) Burton J. B. Bury, Pindar's Nemean odes (London and New York, 1890) Bury C. Carey, A commentary o n five odes of Pindar, Pythian 2, Carey 1981 Pythian 9, Nemean 1, Nemean 7, I s t h m i a n 8 (Salem, 1981) L. Dissen, Pindari c a r m i n a quae supersunt (Gotha, 1830) Dissen A. B. Drachmann, S c h o l i a v e t e r a i n P i n d a r i c a r m i n a (Leipzig, Drachmann 1903-27) D. Fisker, Pindars erste Olympische Ode, Odense University Fisker Classical Studies 15 (Odense, 1990) D. E. Gerber, Pindar's Olympian One: a commentary, Phoenix Gerber suppl. 15 (Toronto, 1982) B. L. Gildersleeve, Pindar, t h e Olympian a n d Pythian odes (New Gildersleeve York, Cincinnati, and Chicago, 1890) G. M . Kirkwood, Selections f r o m P i n d a r (California, 1982) Kirkwood L. Lehnus, P i n d a r o , Olimpiche (Milan, 1981) Lehnus H. Maehler, Pindarus, Π Fragmenta, I n d i c e s (Leipzig, 1989) Maehler A. Privitera, Pindaro, L e I s t m i c h t (Milan, 1982) Privitera O. Schroeder, Pindari c a r m i n a (Leipzig, 1923) Schroeder I Epinicia* (Leipzig, 1987) Snell/Maehler B. Snell and H. Maehler, Pindarus: E. Thummer, Pindar, d i e i s t h m i s c h e n G e d i c h t e (Heidelberg, 1968¬ Thummer 9) Verdenius W. J. Verdenius, C o m m e n t a r i e s o n P i n d a r U: Olympian Odes I , 10, 11, Nemean 11, Isthmian 2, Mnemosyne s u p p l 101 (Leiden, 1987) Willcock Μ. M . Willcock, Pindar, victory odes. Olympians 2, 7 and 11; Nemean 4; Isthmians 3, 4 and 7 (Cambridge, 1995) Williams F. L. Williams, A c r i t i c a l e d i t i o n of Nemean odes 1-4 of Pindar (Ann Arbor, 1982) 2


BIBLIOGRAPHY 33 2. Books and articles about Pindar Bulman P. Bulman, P h t h o n o s i n P i n d a r (California, 1992) Cairns F. Cairns, "Έρω^ in Pindar's First Olympian ode', H e r m e s 105 (1977), 129-37 Carey 1980 C. Carey, 'Three myths in Pindar: N.4,0.9, N.3', E r a n o s 78 (1980), 143-62 Carey 1989 C. Carey, 'The performance of the victory ode', A m e r i c a n J o u r n a l of Philology 110 (1989), 545-65 Carey 1991 C. Carey, The victory ode in performance: the case for the chorus', C l a s s i c a l Philology 86 (1991), 191-200 D'Alessio G. B. D'Alessio, 'First-person problems in Pindar', B u l l e t i n of t h e I n s t i t u t e of C l a s s i c a l Studies 39 (1994), 117-40 Dornseiff F. Dornseiff, Pitidars S t i l (Berlin, 1921) Erbse H. Erbse, 'Pindars dritte Nemeische Ode', H e r m e s 97 (1969), 272¬ 91 Ferrari F. Ferrari, 'La regia del canto: osservazioni sulla Nemea ΠΙ di Pindaro', R i v i s t a d i F i l o l o g i a 118 (1990), 5-23 Gelzer T. Gelzer, 'μουσα αύθιγβι/ή^: Bemerkungen zu einem Typ Pindarischer und Bacchylideischer Epinikien', Museum Helveticum . 42 (1985), 95-120 Gianotti G. F. Gianotti, Ή terzo carme Nemeo di Pindaro', A t t i d e l l ' A c c a d e m i a d e l l e Scienze d i Torino 109 (1975), 29-65 van Groningen B. A. van Groningen, P i n d a r e a u b a n q u e t (Leiden, 1960) 1960 Heath/ M . Heath and M . Lefkowitz, 'Epinician performance', C l a s s i c a l Lefkowitz Philology 86 (1991), 173-91 Howie 1983 J. G. Howie, The revision of myth in Pindar Olympian One: the death and revival of Pelops (25-27, 36-66)', Papers of t h e Liverpool L a t i n Seminar 4 (1983), 277-313 Howie 1991 J. G. Howie, 'Pindar's account of Pelops' contest with Oenomaus (with a translation of Olympian 1)', Nikephoros 4 (1991), 55-120 Hubbard Τ. K. Hubbard, The P i n d a r i c m i n d , Mnemosyne suppl. 85 (Leiden, 1985) Instone 1989 S. J. Instone, 'Pindar's enigmatic Second Nemean', B u l l e t i n of t h e Institute of C l a s s i c a l Studies 36 (1989), 109-116 Instone 1990 S. J. Instone, 'Love and sex in Pindar: some practical thrusts', B u l l e t i n of the I n s t i t u t e of Classical Studies 37 (1990), 30-42 Instone 1993 S. J. Instone, 'Problems in Pindar's Third Nemean'. E r a n o s 91 (1993), 13-31 Irigoin J. Irigoin, H i s t o i r e du texte de Pindare (Paris, 1952)

34 Kakridis

PINDAR J. Kakridis, 'Die Pelopssage bei Pindar', P h i l o l o g u s 85 (1930), 463¬ 77 [= Pindaros und Bakchylides edd. W.M. Calder and J.M. Stern (Darmstadt, 1970), 175-90] Kohnken 1974 A. Kohnken, Tindar as innovator: Poseidon Hippios and the relevance of the Pelops story in Olympian Γ, C l a s s i c a l Quarterly 24 (1974), 199-206 Kohnken 1976 A. Kohnken, 'Gebrauch und Funktion der Litotes bei Pindar', Glotta 54 (1976), 62-7 Kdhnken 1985 A. Kohnken, 'Meilichos orga'. Liebesthematik und aktueller Sieg in der neunten pythischen Ode Pindars', E n t r e t i e n s Hardt 31 (1985), 71-110 Krummen E. Krummen, Pyrsos hymnon: F e s t l i c h e G e g e n w a r t und mythischrituelle Tradition a l s Voraussetzung einer Pindarinterpretation, Isthmie 4, Pythie 5, Olympie 1 und 3 (Berlin and New York, 1990) Kurke L. Kurke, The traffic in p r a i s e : P i n d a r a n d the p o e t i c s of social economy (Ithaca and London, 1991) Lefkowitz M . Lefkowitz, ΤΩ ΚΑΙ ΕΓΏ: the first-person in Pindar', Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 67 (1963), 177-253 [revised version in 'First-person fictions: Pindar's poetic Ί " (Oxford, 1991), 1-71] Lloyd-Jones H. Lloyd-Jones, 'Pindar*, P r o c e e d i n g s of t h e B r i t i s h Academy 68 (1982), 139-63 Peron J. P&on, Les images nuiritimes de P i n d a r e (Paris, 1974) Pfeijffer I. L. Pfeijffer, The image of the eagle in Pindar and Bacchylides', Classical Philology 89 (1994), 305-17 Privitera G. A. Privitera, 'Pindaro, Nem. 3.1-5, e l'acqua di Egina', Quaderni Urbinati 29 (19SZ), 63-70 Race 1989 W. H. Race, 'The six crowns at Pindar, Isthmian 1.10-12', Greek R o m a n , and Byzantine Studies 30 (1989), 27-39 Race 1990 W. H. Race, Style and rhetoric i n Pindar's odes (Atlanta, 1990) Robertson D. S. Robertson, 'The food of Achilles', C l a s s i c a l Review 54 (1940), 77-80 Robbins 1978 E. Robbins, 'Cyrene and Cheiron: the myth of Pindar's Ninth Pythian', P h o e n i x 32 (1978), 91-104 Robbins 1982 E. Robbins, 'Heracles, the Hyperboreans, and the hind: Pindar 01. 3', Phoenix 36 (1982), 295-305 Stoneman R. Stoneman, 'The Theban eagle', C l a s s i c a l Quarterly 26 (1976), 187-97 Wilamowitz U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, P i n d a r o s (Berlin, 1922) WinningtonR. P. Winnington-Ingram, 'Pindar's Ninth Pythian ode', Bulletin Ingram of the Institute of Classical Studies 10 (1969), 9-15 Woodbury 1981 L. Woodbury, 'The victor's virtues'. T r a n s a c t i o n s of t h e A m e r i c a n Philological A s s o c i a t i o n 111 (1981), 237-56

BIBLIOGRAPHY 35 Woodbury 1982 L. Woodbury, 'Cyrene and the τελευτά of marriage in Pindar's Ninth Pythian Ode', T r a n s a c t i o n s of the A m e r i c a n P h i l o l o g i c a l A s s o c i a t i o n 112 (1982) 245-58 3. Other works T. W. Allen, H o m e r , t h e o r i g i n s and t h e t r a n s m i s s i o n (Oxford, Allen 1924) Annas J. Annas, A n i n t r o d u c t i o n t o Plato's Republic (Oxford, 1981) Burkert 1983 W. Burkert, H o m o necans, English translation by P. Bing (California and London, 1983) Burkert 1985 W. Burkert, G r e e k r e l i g i o n , English translation by J. Raffan (Cambridge Mass. and Oxford, 1985) Chamoux F. Chamoux, Cyrene sous la m o n a r c h i c des B a t t i a d e s (Paris, 1953) Claus D. B. Glaus, Toward t h e s o u l (New Haven and London, 1981) Cook A. B. Cook, Zeus (Cambridge, 1914-40) Cornford F. M . Cornford, 'Psychology and social structure in the Republic of Plato*, C l a s s i c a l Quarterly 6 (1912), 246-65 Denniston J. D. Denniston, The Greek p a r t i c l e s (Oxford, 1954) Dodds E. R. Dodds, The Greeks a n d t h e i r r a t i o n a l (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1951) Dover K. J. Dover, *Greek homosexuality and initiation', in Collected Papers, The Greeks a n d t h e i r legacy, Π, (Oxford, 1988), 115-34 Finley/ Μ. I. Finley and H . W. Pleket, The Olympic Games (London, Pleket 1976) Frankel H. Frankel, Early Greek p o e t r y a n d p h i l o s o p h y , English translation by M . Hadas and J. Willis (Oxford, 1975) Gardiner 1910 Ε. N. Gardiner, Greek a t h l e t i c sports and f e s t i v a l s (London, 1910) Gardiner 1930 Ε. N. Gardiner, A t h l e t i c s of t h e a n c i e n t world (Oxford, 1930) Gebhard E. Gebhard, 'The sanctuary of Poseidon on the Isthmus of Corinth and the Isthmian Games', in Mind a n d body: a t h l e t i c contests in a n c i e n t G r e e c e , ed. O. Tzachou-Alexandri (Athens, 1989), 82-8 van Groningen B. A . van Groningen, L a c o m p o s i t i o n l i t t e r a i r e arcliaXque 1958 g r e c q u e (Amsterdam, 1958) Harriot R. Harriot, Poetry a n d c r i t i c i s m before P l a t o (London, 1969) Hornblower S. Hornblower, The G r e e k world 4 7 9 - 3 2 3 B C (London, 1983) Jacobsthal P. Jacobsthal, G o t t i n g e r Vasen (Berlin, 1912) Jiithner J. Jiithner, D i e a t h l e t i s c h e n Uebesubungen der G r i e c h e n , ed. F. Brein (Vienna, 1965-8) Lacroix L. Lacroix, Etudes d ' a r c h i o l o g i e n u m i s m a t i q u e (Paris, 1974) L^vSque/ P. Livgque and A. Verbanck-Piirard, 'H&aclfes hiros ou dieu?', Verbanckin H i r a c l e s , Festschrift for F. Cumont, edd. C. Bonnet and C Puirard Jourdain-Annequin (Brussels and Rome, 1992), 43-65 2

36 McDonnell

Moorhouse Parke Parker Pollard Price Slater

Wade-Gery Walcot West 1966 West 1971 West 1978 West 1981 West 1985 West 1992 West 1993 Wilson Young

PINDAR M . McDonnell, The introduction of athletic nudity: Thucydides, Plato, and the vases'. Journal of H e l l e n i c Studies 111 (1991), 182¬ 93 A. C. Moorhouse, 'AN with the future', C l a s s i c a l Quarterly 40 (1946), 1-10 H. W. Parke, Greek o r a c l e s (London, 1967) R. C. T. Parker, Miasma: p o l l u t i o n and purification in early Greek religion (Oxford, 1983) J. Pollard, Birds in Greek life and myth (London, 1977) S. Price, 'Delphi and divination', in Greek r e l i g i o n and society edd. P. E. Easterling and J. V. Muir (Cambridge, 1985), 128-54 W. S. Slater, 'Problems in interpreting scholia on Greek texts', in Editing Greek and Latin texts, ed. J. N. Grant (Toronto, 1989), 37¬ 61 Η. T. Wade-Gery, 'Kynaithos', in Essays i n Greek histoty (Oxford, 1958) 17-36 P. Walcot, Envy and the Greeks (Warminster, 1978) M . L. West (ed.), Hesiod. Theogony (Oxford, 1966) M . L. West, Early Greek p h i l o s o p h y a n d t h e o r i e n t (Oxford, 1971) M . L. West (ed.), Hesiod, Worte and days (Oxford, 1978) M . L. West, The singing of Homer and the modes of early Greek music', Journal of Hellenic Studies 101 (1981), 111-29 M . L. West, The Hesiodic c a t a l o g u e of women (Oxford, 1985) M . L. West, A n c i e n t Greek m u s i c (Oxford, 1992) M . L. West (tr.), Greek lyric p o e t r y (Oxford, 1993) J. R. Wilson, 'ΚΑΙΡΟΣ as 'Due measure", G l o t t a 58 (1980), 180¬ 7 D. C. Young, The Olympic myth of Greek a m a t e u r a t h l e t i c s (Chicago, 1984)


Abbreviations etc. Allen ABV ARV


Bernabi Davies FGrH 3


Meiggs/ Lewis Miller Ν OCD



SEG Sweet

H o m e d opera V., Hymnos, Cyclum, fragmenta etc. continens, ed. T. W. Allen (Oxford, 1912) A t t i c black-figure v a s e - p a i n t e r s , J. D. Beazley (Oxford, 1956) A t t i c red-figure v a s e - p a i n t e r s , J. D. Beazley, 2nd edition (Oxford, 1963) Poetae epici G r a e c i , t e s t i m o n i a et f r a g m e n t a I, ed. A. Bcrnab£ (Leipzig, 1987) Epicorum G r a e c o r u m f r a g m e n t a , ed. M . Davies, (Gottingen, 1988) D i e F r a g m e n t e der g r i e c h i s c h e n H i s t o r i k e r , ed. F. Jacoby (Berlin and Leiden, 1923-58) Inscriptiones G r a e c a e i, 3rd edition, ed. D. Lewis (Berlin and New York, 1981) R. Kiihner, Ausfuhrliche G r a m m a t i k der g r i e c h i s c h e n S p r a c h e , 2. Teil besorgt von B. Gerth (Hanover, 1898-1904) H. G. Liddell, R. Scott, and H. Stuart Jones, with the assistance of R. McKenzie, edd., A G r e e k - E n g l i s h l e x i c o n , 9th edition (Oxford, 1940) A s e l e c t i o n of G r e e k h i s t o r i c a l i n s c r i p t i o n s , edd. R. Meiggs and D. Lewis (Oxford, 1961) A r e t e : Greek sports f r o m a n c i e n t sources, ed. S. G. Miller, 2nd edition (Berkeley, 1991) Tragicorum G r a e c o r u m f r a g m e n t a , ed. A. Nauck, 2nd edition 1889, with supplement by B. Snell (Hildesheim, 1964) Tlie Oxford c l a s s i c a l d i c t i o n a r y , edd. N. G. L. Hammond and H . H. Scullard, 2nd edition (Oxford, 1970) The G r e e k and L a t i n literary texts f r o m G r e c o - R o m a n Egypt, ed. R.A. Pack, 2nd edition (Ann Arbor, 1965) Poetae m e l i c i G r a e c i , ed. D. L. Page (Oxford, 1962) P o e t a r u m m e l i c o r u m G r a e c o r u m f r a g m e n t a , ed. M . Davies (Oxford, 1991) Real-Encyclopadie der classischen Altertumswissenscliaft, edd. G. Wissowa, W. Kroll, K. Mittelhaus, and K. Ziegler (Stuttgart 1893-1980) Supplementum epigraphicum G r a e c u m (Leiden, 1923-) Supplementum lyricis G r a e c i s , ed. D. L. Page, (Oxford, 1974) Sport a n d r e c r e a t i o n in a n c i e n t G r e e c e : A s o u r c e b o o k w i t h t r a n s l a t i o n s , ed. W. E. Sweet (Oxford, 1987)






OLYMPIAN ONE For Hieron of Syracuse, victor in the horse-race

ΙΕΡΩΝΙ ΣΥΡΑΚΟΣΙΟΙ KEAHTI A' "Αριστον μέν ίίδωρ, ό δέ χρυσός αίθόμ€νον πΟρ ατ€ διαπρέπ€ΐ νυκτι μ€γάνορος έξοχα πλούτου· Α δ* α€θλα γαρΰεν έλδ€αι, φίλον ήτορ μηκέτ' άελίου σκόπ€ΐ άλλο θαλπνότ€ρον έν άμέρ? φα€ννδν άστρον έρήμας δι* αΙθέρος, μηδ' Όλυμπίας αγώνα φέρτ€ρον αύδάσομ€ν δθ€ν ό πολύφατος ύμνος άμφιβάλλ€ται σοφών μητίβσσχ, κ€λαδ€ΐν Κρόνου πάίδ* έ ς άφν€αν ίκομένους μάκαιραν Ιέρωνος έστίαν, θ€μιστ€ΐον ος άμφέπ€ΐ σκαπτον έν πολυμηλφ Σ\κ€λί$ δρέπων μέν κορυφάς άρ€ταν άπο πασαν, άγλαΐζ€ται δέ καί μουσικας έν άώτφ, οία παίζομβν φίλαν άνδρες άμφΐ θαμά τράπ€ζαν. αλλά Δωρίαν άπδ φόρμιγγα πασσάλου λάμβαν', €ΐ τ ί τοι Πίσας τ€ και Φ€ρ€νίκου χάρις νόον ύπο γλυκυτάταις έθηκ€ φροντίσιν, δτ€ παρ* Άλφ€φ σύτο δέμας άκέντητον έν δρόμοισι παρέχων, κράτ€ΐ δέ προσέμ€ΐξ€ δ€σπόταν,


πολυμήλφ Α*ΟΗ: πολυμάλφ



Α ι


Water is best; gold like fire that is burning during the night is conspicuous shining beyond other great wealth; but, my heart, if you desire song to celebrate games, look no further than the sun for another star hotter that during the day is radiant throughout the empty sky, \ nor let us proclaim a contest better than Olympia. _ Jt's from there that song that's much talked of casts itself around faeadroit poets' mind's, for them to praise ^ the offspring of Cronus after coming to the rich and blessed hearth of Hieron, {




who rightfully is holding sceptre and power in sheep-rich Sicily, harvesting fully the pick of the field of every excellence, and shines in the best of poetry and music such as we men often play over his hospitable table. Come, take the Dorian phorminx from its peg, if the pleasure you received from Pherenicus and Pisa suggested to your mind the sweetest trains of thought, when speeding by the Alpheus he showed an ungoaded body in the hippodrome and brought in touch with victory his lord,

^ ο ο > χαιτά€ΐς άνβμοσφαράγων έκ Παλιού κόλπων ποτέ Λατοίδας άρπασ\ έν€ΐκέ τ€ χρυσέψ παρθένον άγροτέραν δίφρφ, τόθι νιν πολυμήλου και πολυκαρποτάτας θήκ€ δέσποιναν χθονός ρίζαν άπβίρου τρίταν €υήρατον θάλλοισαν οίκ€ΐν. ύπέδ€κτσ δ' άργυρόπ€ζ' Άφροδίτα Δάλιον ξ€ΐνον θ€θδμάτων όχέων έφαπτομένα χ€ρι κούφ