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ὕπατος, an emphatic repetition of “ κάλλιστ᾽ ἔχων”,—‘supreme of fates,’— far best. It has been usual to take “ὕπατος” here as ‘last.’ But neither “ὕπατος” nor “ὑπέρτατος” ever bears that sense in classical Greek. Pindar often uses “ὕπατος” as ‘best,’ but never as ‘last’: O. 1. 100, P. 6. 42 and 10. 9, N. 10. 32. In post-classical poetry “ὕπατος” sometimes means ‘last,’ but that use was imitated from the Lat. supremus and summus. Thus in an epitaph on an Italian, a certain Aelius, Apollonides writes (Anthol. P. 7. 233), “νοῦσον ὅτ᾽ εἰς ὑπάτην ὠλίσθανε, τέρμα τ᾽ ἄφυκτον εἶδεν”. Whether the Apollonides of the Anthology was or was not he of Nicaea, who dedicated to Tiberius a commentary on Timon's “Σιλλοί” (Diog. Laert. 9. 109), at least he belonged to that age. This is proved by his words in Anthol. P. 9. 287, “Ἠελίου νῆσον ὅτ᾽ εἶχε Νέρων”, alluding to the residence of Tiberius at Rhodes (c. 6 B.C.— 2 A.D.). The epigram was written after Tiberius had been adopted by Augustus in 4 A.D., as he is called “Ζῆνα τὸν ἐσσόμενον”, and perhaps after he had come to the throne (14 A.D.). It would be interesting to know whether “ὕπατος” as =‘last’ can be carried back beyond the Roman, or later Alexandrian, age; I can find no trace of it.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Pindar, Nemean, 10
    • Pindar, Olympian, 1
    • Pindar, Pythian, 10
    • Pindar, Pythian, 6
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