Strophe 1

ἄριστον μὲν ὕδωρ: Much cited in antiquity, and variously interpreted. χρῆσις ὑπερέχει, says Aristotle, “ὅθεν λέγεται ἄριστον μὲν ὕδωρ(Rhet. 1, 7, 14) . No profound philosophical tenet is involved, as is shown by the parallel passage, O. 3.42:εἰ δ᾽ ἀριστεύει μὲν ὕδωρ, κτεάνων δὲ χρυσὸς αἰδοιέστατον, κτἑ” . The poet emphasizes, after the Greek fashion, water as the source and sustenance of life. The copula ἐστί, εἰσί is rare in P. This first sentence is characteristic of P.'s advance by a series of steps. “Water,” “gold,” “sun” are only for the enhancement of the Olympic games. Much in P. is merely foil.

δέ: The article is still largely deictic in P. Notice the rhythm, which is an important guide. δέ, “but there is another — gold — a blazing fire like it loometh — a night fire far above all proud wealth.”

πῦρ is brought into close relation with νυκτί by its position.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: