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The circumstances of the poem have been dealt with fully. Introd. p. 5 sqq. It is an ungenerous money-making age, in which the arts are scorned, the claims of friendship and hospitality neglected, all the true uses of wealth forgotten; men care no longer for the great deeds nor the song in which alone great deeds shall live, remembering not that but for the singers of old the heroes had been lost to memory, and from the Muses glory comes to men. Yet is it labour spent in vain to address oneself to the covetous; gold they have and ever shall desire, but I will choose men's honour and men's love, and with the help of the Muse will yet find a friend. Some one will arise who yet in this age will do a deed of fame; for now war is upon the land; Carthage and Syracuse are putting on their armour, and Hiero stands in our midst like one of the old heroes. Gods of the land cast our enemies out over the sea, all that is left of them, and let our towns and countrysides have peace from the long agony of battle; and let Hiero's fame be carried wide to the uttermost east by song. For many there are whom the Muses love; and may all tell of Sicily her folk, and Hiero. Daughter of Eteocles, ye Graces, let one call me and I will come with my muse, and will not leave you, for all that is fairest among men ye give.

Such is the argument of this fine poem, which starting with a tirade against a selfish time ever exalts the power of song, and turns at the last gracefully to praise of Hiero and outburst of prayer for Sicily's deliverance. The theme is complex, but the leading motif of the whole is the honour of poetry and vindication of the poet's place, as is shown by the key-words: ὑμνεῖν (2), Χάριτας (6), εὖ εἰπόντα (13), ἀοιδῶν (24), Μουσάων ὑποφήτας (29), ἀοιδὸς Κήιος (44), ἀοιδοί (50), ἀοιδαί (57), τημὴν καὶ ἀνθρώπων φιλότητα (66), ἀοιδοῦ (73), ὑμνεῖν (103), Χαρίτων (108). Indirectly the poem is an appeal on the poet's own behalf, but the claim is pressed rather by suggestion than immediate request. As the first Hiero had honoured the poets of his age--Pindar, Simonides, Bacchylides--as the heroes of Thessaly, and Troy had found their singer, so the latter Hiero is addressed in a poem which by direct mention or constant reminiscence of phrase calls to mind the lyrics of the fifth century. The title Χάριτες, the use of the word Χάριτες in l. 6, the last announcement of attachment to the Χάριτες in l. 104 are full of memories of Pindar and Bacchylides, Pind. Pyth. ix. ad init.: ἐθέλω χαλκάσπιδα Πυθιονίκαν
σὺν βαθυζώνοισιν ἀγγέλλων
Τελεσικράτη Χαρίτεσσι γεγωνεῖν.

” Bacchylides, v. 9: “ σὺν Χαρίτεσσι βαθυζώνοις ὑφάνας
ὕμνον ἀπὸ ζαθέας
νάσου ξένος ὑμετέρων πέμπει
κλεεννὰν ἐς πόλιν
χρυσάμπυκος Οὐρανίας κλεινὸς θεράπων.

” Bacchyl. xix. (vid. on l. 69). The outburst against the wrong use of wealth (Theocr. v. 22-28) echoes Pindar and Bacchylides alike (vid. ad loc.), as does the passage 40-58, of which the motif is 'carent quia vate sacro.'

H. hymn Apoll. 189: “ Μοῦσαι μέν θ᾽ ἅμα πᾶσαι ἀμειβόμεναι ὀπὶ καλῇ
ὑμνεῦσίν ῥα θεῶν δῶρ᾽ ἄμβροτα ἠδ᾽ ἀνθρώπων
τλημοσύνας.

” Hesiod, Theog. 43: “      αἱ δ᾽ ἄμβροτον ὄσσαν ἱεῖσαι
θεῶν γένος αἰδοίων πρῶτον κλείουσιν ἀοιδῇ.

” Matthew Arnold, Empedocles: 'First hymn they the Father
Of all things; and then
The rest of immortals
The action of men.'

[2] ὑμνεῖνὑμνεῖν vid. Introd. p. 41.

κλέα ἀνδρῶν Iliad ix. 524 τῶν πρόσθεν ἐπευθόμεθα κλέα ἀνδρῶν.

[4] 'We are mortals here on earth; let man sing fellow-man.' The careful antithesis of these things is noticeable. Each line falls into two balanced halves: 1-2 = 3-4; 1 and 2 correspond in alternating order, Διὸς κούραιςὑμνεῖν ἀθανάτους :: ἀοιδοῖςκλέα ἀνδρῶν.

[5] τίς γάρ, 'then who of all who dwell beneath the grey dawn.' γάρ is used (in Homeric Greek) to introduce a question with a tone of impatience or surprise, Iliad i. 122: “ ᾿Ατρείδη κύδιστε, φιλοκτεανώτατε πάντων,
πῶς γάρ τοι δώσουσι γέρας μεγάθυμοι ᾿Αχαιοί;

” Monro, Hom. Gram. § 348. 4. Here Theocritus after his introductory quatrain plunges abruptly into his complaint against greed.

[6] Χάριτας Pind. Isth. v. 26: “ σὺν Χάρισιν δ᾽ ἔμολον Λάμπωνος υἱοῖς
τάνδ᾽ ἐς εὔνομον πόλιν.

πετάσας sc. οἶκον. The accus. and dative both being required in the construction, only the latter is actually introduced, Isocr. 31 a συμβούλοις χρῶνται, οἱ μὲν τῶν ἀστῶν τοῖς τολμηροτάτοις οἱ δὲ ἐξ ἁπάντων ἐκλεξάμενοι τοῖς φρονιμωτάτοις: cf. Odyss. iv. 597.

[9] τε see on xi. 79; Odyss. v. 356: “ ὤμοι ἐγώ, μή τίς μοι ὑφαίνῃσιν δόλον αὖτε
ἀθανάτων, ὅτε με σχεδίης ἀποβῆναι ἀνώγει.

” Homer uses , ὅτε, ὅτι indifferently = 'in that' or 'because,' Odyss. viii. 78; xx. 269; v. 340.

[11] 'And hide on their chill knees once more their patient head' (Calv.). The poems are personified and represented as begging from house to house, returning empty-handed and blaming their master for their fruitless journey, and sitting dejected, head on hand, till they are sent forth again.

γονάτεσσι is an unexampled form. Homer uses γούνεσσι or γούνασι: so δούρεσσι (Hartung ψυχραῖς ἐν κονίῃσι). For the imagery cf. Cebes, Tabula 9 Λύπητὴν κεφαλὴν ἐν τοῖς γόνασιν ἔχουσα (Renier).

[14] 'Men care not as of old to be praised for noble deeds.' The statement is compressed, but means obviously 'care not for noble deeds nor yet for noble fame.'

ἐπί, 'on the ground of,' Isocr. 44 d ἐφ᾽ ἑκάστῳ τιμᾶσθαι τῶν ἔργων.

[15] ὑπὸ κερδέων not quite equivalent to κέρδει, but 'under the influence of gain,' Demosth. p. 107. 71 οὐδὲ προήχθην οὔθ᾽ ὑπὸ κέρδους οὔθ᾽ ὑπὸ φιλοτιμίας. The use is commoner with adjectives (cf. xxiv. 60, note) and verbs that are only virtually passive, Plato, Laws 695 b ὑπὸ μέθης μαίνεσθαι: Thucyd. ii. 85 ad fin ὑπ᾽ ἀπλοίας ἐνδιέτριψεν οὐκ ὀλίγον χρόνον.

[16] Join ἄργυρον with πόθεν οἴσεται, 'whence he shall win money,' Arist. Equites 800 ἐξευρίσκων ὁπόθεν τὸ τριώβολον ἕξει: Theocr. xvii. 10.

[18] ἀπωτέρω γόνυ κνάμα, 'the knee is nearer than the shin,' Plaut. Trinum. v. 2. 30'tunica pallio propior'”; Arist. Eth. ix. 8. 2 καὶ αἱ παροιμίαι δὲ πᾶσαι ὁμογνωμονοῦσι, οἷον τὸ "μία ψυχή" καὶ "κοινὰ τὰ φίλων," καὶ "ἰσότης φιλότης" καὶ "γόνυ κνήμης ἔγγιον." The equivalent of 'charity begins at home.'

[21] ὃς ἐξ ἐμεῦ οἴσεται οὐδέν. The future must bear a modal sense, 'who will have nought from me,' 'who intends to get nothing,' Eurip. frag. 33: “ γυναῖκα δ᾽ ὅστις παύσεται λέγων κακῶς
δύστηνος ἆρα κοὐ σοφὸς κεκλήσεται.

” 'He who gets' (or 'shall get') would of course be ὃς ἂν φέρηται: cf. εἰ μαχεῖ with ἐὰν μάχῃ.

[22] sqq. The true use of wealth. The retort to churlish greed is given courteously in "δαιμόνιοι": “'Blanda est appellatio qua utitur etiam is qui alterum leniter increpat vel amice admonet'” (Ast, Lex. Plat.); Plato, Rep. 344 d δαιμόνιε Θρασύμαχε, οἷον ἐμβαλὼν λόγον ἐν νῷ ἔχεις ἀπιέναι; With the whole passage following cf. Theocr. xvii. 106 sqq.; Bacchylides, iii. 13 (addressed to Hiero): “ οἶδε πυργωθέντα πλοῦτον μὴ μελαμφαρέϊ
κρύπτειν σκότῳ.
βρύει μὲν ἱερὰ βουθύτοις ἑορταῖς,
βρύουσι φιλοξενίας ἀγυιαὶ
λάμπει δ᾽ ὑπὸ μαρμαρυγαῖς χρυσὸς
ὑψιδαιδάλτων τριπόδων σταθέντων
πάροιθε ναοῦ.

” Pind. Nem. i. 44: “ οὐκ ἔραμαι πολὺν ἐν μεγάρῳ πλοῦτον κατακρύψαις ἔχειν,
ἀλλ᾽ ἐόντων εὖ τε παθεῖν καὶ ἀκοῦσαι, φίλοις ἐξαρκέων.

[24] ψυχᾷ δοῦναι Horace, Ode iv. 7. 19; Simonides 85: “ ἀλλὰ σὺ ταῦτα μαθὼν βιότου ποτὶ τέρμα
ψυχῇ τῶν ἀγαθῶν τλῆθι χαριζόμενος.

ἀοιδῶν repeated again in 29 Μουσάων τίειν ὑποφήτας, but this is no tautology, since it is for new emphasis and with a new turn of phrase that the duty of granting somewhat to the arts is insisted on.

[27] τραπέζη, 'hospitality.' The passage seems suggested by Odyss. xv. 69: “ νεμεσσῶμαι δὲ καὶ ἄλλῳ
ἀνδρὶ ξεινοδόκῳ, ὅς κ᾽ ἔξοχα μὲν φιλέῃσιν,
ἔξοχα δ᾽ ἐχθαίρῃσιν: ἀμείνω δ᾽ αἴσιμα πάντα.
ἶσόν τοι κακόν ἐσθ᾽, ὅς τ᾽ οὐκ ἐθέλοντα νέεσθαι
ξεῖνον ἐποτρύνει καὶ ὃς ἐσσύμενον κατερύκει.

” Cf. Theognis, 467 sqq.

[29] ὑποφήτας, 'the interpreters'; cf. xxii. 116. The poet is the servant by whose mouth the Muses speak. So Vergil 'Musae quarum sacra fero': Ap. Rhod. iv. 1379 Μουσάων ὅδε μῦθος: ἐγὼ δ᾽ ὑπακουὸς ἀείδω Πιερίδων: Horace 'Musarum sacerdos.'

[30] ἐσθλὸς ἀκούσῃς, 'may win a noble name'; cf. xxix. 21. ἀκούω being used as for the passive of καλέω.

[31] Pind. Isth. i. ad fin.: εἰ δέ τις ἔνδον νέμει πλοῦτον κρυφαῖον,
ἄλλοισι δ᾽ ἐμπίπτων γελᾷ, ψυχὰν
᾿Αΐδᾳ τελέων οὐ
φράζεται δόξας ἄνευθεν.

[32] ὡσεί τις μακέλᾳ, 'as one whose hands are hardened with the mattock's toil, poor of poor line bewailing hapless poverty'; Shirley (though in very different context): “      'Sceptre and crown
     Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade.'

[33] ἀχήν Hesych. ἠχῆνες, πένητες.

ἐκ πατέρων cf. xvii. 13; xxv. 117; xxiv. 108 ἐκ πατέρων ἀφνειός: the preposition expressing inherited characteristics, 'poor by descent.'

[34] sqq. Theocritus illustrates his text by the example of the old heroes who but for song would have been lost to memory, but now, doing great deeds and finding a bard, live in the songs of men. Antiochus and Aleuas were kings of Thessaly, contemporaries and patrons of Simonides. The Scopadae were feudal lords of the territory of Crannon in Thessaly; the head of the house, Scopas, son of Creon, was addressed by Simonides in a song of which Plato (Protag. 339 b) preserves the famous fragment: ἄνδρα ἀγαθὸν μὲν ἀλαθέως γενέσθαι χαλεπὸν χερσί τε καὶ ποσὶ καὶ νόῳ τετράγωνον ἄνευ ψόγου τετυγμένον.

[35] πενέσται, 'serfs.'

ἁρμαλιή, 'the portions of food assigned month by month to each dependent'; cf. on xv. 95. The word is used by Hesiod; then revived, as were many obsolete words, by the Alexandrians. Ap. Rhod. i. 393; Leonidas, 95 (Geffck.).

ἐμετρήσαντο, 'had measured to them'; cf. Hesiod, W. and D. 349 εὖ μὲν μετρεῖσθαι παρὰ γείτονος εὖ δ᾽ ἀποδοῦναι.

[34] -39. Note the careful antithetical arrangement of these lines: 34, 35 = 36, 37 = 38, 39; πολλοί = πολλοί = μυρία.

[38] ἐνδιάασκον, 'drove afield'; but the word is not elsewhere used transitively; vid. Liddell and Scott. [Hence ἔνδι᾽ ἄγεσκον, Graefe; ἔνδι᾽ ἔλασκον, Meineke; most unlikely after ἐλαυνόμενοι in 36. Or if change is necessary we might read ἔνδιοι ἔσχον, cf. l. 95. ἔνδι^ος and ἔνδι_ος are both used. ποίμναις for ποίμενες, Voss.]

[39] ποιμένες ἔκκριτα for rhythm cf. xxii. 49.

[40] ἀλλ᾽ οὔ σφιν τῶν ἦδος. There is a Homeric ring in the line; Odyss. xxiv. 95 αὐτὰρ ἐμοὶ τί τόδ᾽ ἦδος ἐπεὶ πόλεμον τολύπευσα; cf. Iliad xviii. 80; A. Pal. v. 291.

[41] εὐρεῖαν σχεδίαν Leonidas, 94 (A. Pal. vii. 67): “ εἰ καί σοι μέγα βρίθεται ὀκρυόεσσα
βᾶρις ἀποφθιμένων.

” Both expressions are chosen in order to call to the mind a picture of a vast throng of spirits embarking (see Geffcken on Leonidas, loc. cit.).

[42] τὰ πολλὰ καὶ ὄλβια, 'the wealth they had on earth.' A. Pal. vii. 326: “ τόσσ᾽ ἔχω ὅσσ᾽ ἔμαθον καὶ ἐφρόντισα καὶ μετὰ Μουσῶν
σέμν᾽ ἐδάην: τὰ δὲ πολλὰ καὶ ὄλβια τῦφος ἔμαρψεν.

[43] ἔκειντο see on ii. 124. The sentiment is repeated by Horace, Od. iv. 9. 25: “ 'Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona
Multi, sed omnes illacrimabiles
     Urgentur ignotique longa
     Nocte carent quia vate sacro.'

” Pind. Nem. vii. 17; Ol. x. 109: “ καὶ ὅταν καλὰ ἔρξαις, ἀοιδᾶς ἄτερ,
᾿Αγησίδαμ᾽, εἰς ᾿Αΐδα σταθμὸν
ἀνὴρ ἵκηται, κενεὰ πνεύσαις
ἔπορε μόχθῳ βραχύ τι τερπνόν:
τὶν δ᾽ ἁδυεπής τε λύρα
γλυκύς τ᾽ αὐλὸς ἀναπάσσει χάριν.

[44] Κήιος Simonides, 556-468 b. c., the first of the great writers of 'epinikia'; author also of Paeans, Dithyrambs, Hymns, and other forms of Lyric poetry of which fragments remain.

αἰόλα not 'in varied style,' i. e. different forms of lyrics, but a song of varied mood and rhythm, as Pind. N. iv. 24 ποικίλον κιθαρίζων: A. Pal. ix. 584 αἰόλον ἐν κιθάρᾳ νόμον ἔκρεκον. Dryden's 'Alexander's Feast' is an αἰόλον μέλος.

[46] ὁπλοτέροις, 'posteris.' In Homer = younger; as here, A. Pal. iv. 2. 6, where παλαιοτέρων and ὁπλοτέρων are opposed. In A. Pal. ii. 362 ὁπλότερος κῶμος = New Comedy.

ἵπποι cf. Pind. Ol. i. 18; Bacchyl. v. 37: “      ξανθότριχα μὲν
Φερένικον ᾿Αλφεὸν παρ᾽ εὐρυδίναν πῶλον ἀελλοδρόμαν
εἶδε νικασάντα χρυσόπαχυς ᾿Αώς.

[48] Λυκίων. Sarpedon and Glaucus; Iliad xv.

[49] Κύκνον. The story of Cycnus was related in the 'Cypria.' See Herod. ii. 116; Proclus, Chrestom. 1 ἔπειτα ᾿Αχιλλεὺς αὐτοὺς τρέπεται ἀνελὼν Κύκνον τὸν Ποσειδῶνος: Quint. Smyrn. iv. 153.

ἀπὸ χροιᾶς see on xiv. 68.

[52] ἔσχατον not 'lowest' (as Fritzsche), but furthest; 'at the limit of the world.' Odysseus, in Odyss. xi, sails beyond the sunset to the world of the dead. Cf. Soph. O. T. 177; Hesiod, Theog. 621: “ ἔνθ᾽ οἵγ᾽ ἄλγε᾽ ἔχοντες ὑπὸ χθονὶ ναιετάοντες
εἵατ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἐσχατίῃ μεγάλης ἐν πείρασι γαίης.

[55] βουσὶἀμφ᾽ ἀγελαίαις cf. Bacchyl. x. 43 οἱ δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἔργοισίν τε καὶ ἀμφὶ βοῶν ἀγέλαις θυμὸν αὔξουσιν.

[57] ὤνασαν cf. vii. 36.

σφεας as monosyll. σφεας. For the sense cf. Spenser, Ruines of Time: 'For not to have been dipt in Lethe lake
     Could save the son of Thetis from to die;
But that blind bard did him immortal make
     With verses dipt in dew of Castalie.'

[60] κύματα μετρεῖν, 'to count the waves.' Expressions of size and number are constantly confused in Greek; Soph. Ajax 130 μακρὸς πλοῦτος: Herod. i. 203 ὄρος πλήθεϊ μέγιστον: vid. Lobeck, Ajax, loc. cit.

[61] ὅσσ᾽ ἄνεμος, 'which the wind drives shoreward with the grey sea.' It seems better to take μετά as coupling γλαυκᾶς ἁλός to ὅσσα, than to join ἄνεμος μετὰ γλαυκᾶς ἁλός. The whole surface of the sea seems to be driving coastwards; cf. Catullus' 'Sea-picture' (lxiv. 274): “ 'Post, vento crescente, magis magis increbrescunt,
Purpureaque, procul nantes, a luce refulgent.'

” For μετά cf. Plato, Rep. 591 b δικαιοσύνην μετὰ φρονήσεως κτωμένη. (Paley translates 'vis venti cum vi maris'; so Hiller.) For the expression cf. Verg. Georg. ii. 108.

[62] ὕδατι_ νίζειν. The ι is lengthened before a liquid; cf. xxii. 121; xi. 45; Iliad xii. 459; see Monro, H. G. § 371.

πλίνθον 'laterem lavare.' Terence, Phorm. i. 4. 9.

[63] παρελθεῖν, 'to win to better things'; see Iliad vi. 337. I have taken this--the reading of three MSS.--as yielding the best sense. The vulgata lectio is παρελθεῖν = 'to get the better of,' but usually 'to get the better of by craft,' not suitable here. παρέλκειν (Hemsterh.) παρασπᾶν (Briggs) means 'to draw away from the right path.' παραινεῖν, Warton (Bergk, Hiller), does not take an accusative. C. Hartung's παρέρπειν ('subdole accedere') is bad. Cf. generally Theognis, 105: “ δειλο̣̣ς εὖ ἔρδοντι ματαιοτάτη χάρις ἐστίν,
     ἶσον καὶ σπείρειν πόντον ἁλὸς πολιῆς.

[64] χαιρέτω, 'farewell to him'; cf. xxvii. 15; Herond. vi. 31 χαιρέτω φίλη πολλὰ ἐοῦσα τοίη. Often in Attic, Eurip. Medea 1044 χαιρέτω βουλεύματα τὰ πρόσθεν.

[65] ἔχοι ἵμερος cf. on ii. 45; Callim. vi. 68 σχέτλιος: ὅσσα πάσαιτο τόσων ἔχεν ἵμερος αὖτις: cf. Pind. Nem. viii. 64: “ χρυσὸν εὔχονται, πεδίον δ᾽ ἕτεροι
ἀπέραντον: ἐγὼ δ᾽ ἀστοῖς ἁδὼν
     καὶ χθονὶ γυῖα καλύψαιμ᾽
     αἰνέων αἰνητά.

[67] ἑλοίμαν. The opt. without ἄν in 1st person expresses not unfrequently willingness; Odyss. vii. 314 οἶκον δέ τ᾽ ἐγὼ καὶ κτήματα δοίην = dare velim not dederim: Iliad xv. 45; Theocr. xxix. 38 κἠπὶ τὰ χρύσεα μᾶλαβαίην, 'I should like to go': Pind. Pyth. iv. 118 (210) οὐχ ἱκοίμαν, 'I would not go'--'nolim venire' (Opinio cum voluntatis quadam significatione, Hermann).

[69] ὁδοί here, literally, 'journeyings.' Others read ἀοιδᾶν with majority of MSS.; ὁδός is then metaphorical. Cf. Bacchyl. 19 ad init. πάρεστι μυρία κέλευδος ἀμβροσίων μελέων: and after ὁδὸς κέλευθος, οἶμος, in Pindar.

[71] Here Theocritus passes to the address to Hiero. Yet even in this age there is hope for heroic song. The world has not yet run its course; and great deeds will once more be done: there is the stir of war throughout the land, and a new champion of Hellenic freedom has arisen--Hiero: and my song will find a worthy subject of praise.

μῆνας ἄγων cf. Aratus, 551: “ ἐν τοῖς ἠέλιος φέρεται δυοκαίδεκα πᾶσιν
πάντ᾽ ἐνιαυτὸν ἄγων.

     'Vos, o clarissima mundi
Lumina! labentem caelo quae ducitis annum.'

[72] ἵπποι the horses of the Sun (not a reference to Olympia as Vahlen would have it). Mimnermus, frag. 12: “ ἠέλιος μὲν γὰρ πόνον ἔλλαχεν ἤματα πάντα,
     οὐδέ ποτ᾽ ἄμπαυσις γίγνεται οὐδεμία
ἵπποισίν τε καὶ αὐτῷ.

[75] ῎Ιλου cf. Iliad x. 415 θείου παρὰ σήματι ῎Ιλου.

[76] Φοίνικες the carthaginians; see Introd. loc. cit.

[77] ἄκρον σφυρόν the extreme spur; Musaeus, 45 ὅσσοι ναιετάεσκον ἁλιστεφέων σφυρὰ νήσων. The phrase is merely a geographical description of the Carthaginian city, and does not imply that Sicily was not occupied by the invader. Kniper's Λιλύβης is not needed.

ἐρρίγασιν, 'shudder'; excitement of preparation, rather than fear, seems to be meant. The word can hardly without further designation mean 'horrent armis' (as Rumpel, Lex. Theocr.).

[78] βαστάζουσιμέσα δοῦρα, 'grip by the middle.' Cf. Aesch. Eumenid. 158 ἔτυψεν δίκαν διφρηλάτου μεσολαβεῖ κέντρῳ, 'gripped by the middle to give the blow force.'--Sidgwick. For μέσος cf. ἔχει μέσος, Arist. The threatening war is graphically described in the image of troops preparing for instant battle.

[82] αἰ γὰρ Another Homeric echo; Iliad ii. 371 αἲ γὰρ Ζεῦ τε πάτερ καὶ ᾿Αθηναίη καὶ ᾿Απόλλων. With this fine prayer for blessing on the arms of Syracuse, and expulsion of her enemies from the island, cf. Pind. Pyth. i. (to Hiero I) 134: “ Ζεῦ τέλειε:…σύν τοι τίν κεν ἁγητὴρ ἀνήρ,
υἱῷ τ᾽ ἐπιτελλόμενος δᾶμον γεραί-
ρων τράποι σύμφωνον ἐφ᾽ ἁσυχίαν.
λίσσομαι, νεῦσον, Κρονίων, ἅμερον
ὄφρα κατ᾽ οἶκον Φοῖνιξ, Τυρσανῶν τ᾽ ἀλαλατὸς ἔχῃ ναυ-
σίστονον ὕβριν ἰδὼν τὰν πρὸ Κύμας:
οἷα Συρακοσίων ἀρ-
χῷ δαμασθέντες πάθον,
ὠκυπόρων ἀπὸ ναῶν,
ὅς σφιν ἐν πόντῳ βάλεθ᾽ ἁλικίαν,
῾Ελλάδ᾽ ἐξέλκων βαρείας
δουλίας.

[83] ᾿Εφυραίων. Ephyra is the old name of Corinth; of which city Syracuse was a colony: cf. xv. 91.

κούρη Persephone. ματρί Demeter; the special divinities of Sicily. Bacchyl. iii. 1: “ ἀριστοκάρπου Σικελίας κρέουσαν
Δάματρα ἰοστέφανόν τε κούραν ὕμνει.

” Cf. Pind. Ol. vi. 160 where Ζεὺς Αἰτναῖος is added as a third to the gods of Syracuse.

[84] Λυσιμελείας Thucyd. vii. 53.

[86] ἀγγέλλοντας, 'with news of disaster.' For the present cf. Demosth. Crown, § 169 ἑσπέρα μὲν γὰρ ἦν ἧκε δ᾽ ἀγγέλλων τις ὡς ῾Ελάτεια κατείληπται. The sense differs from that of the future ('that they may tell'), and conveys an idea of hurried flight and confused telling of the news, without discrimination of tune.

[87] Cf. Herod. vi. 27 ἀπὸ ἑκατὸν καὶ εἴκοσι εἶς μόνος ἀπέφυγε.

[89] Vid. Introd. p. 6. Theocritus refers not only to the impending war with Syracuse but to the years of struggle under Pyrrhus, when the land was laid waste, and the subsequent return of the Carthaginians.

[91] A charming picture of peaceful country sides, the more effective by contrast with the heroic tone of the preceding lines.

[92] βληχοῖντο. From a Doric form βληχέομαι; vid. Dialect, § 3 (a).

[93] σκνιφαῖον ἅπ. λεγ. from σκίφος, 'twilight.' The adjective is used as in 95, etc.

ἐπισπεύδοιεν tersely put for 'warn him to hasten.'

[95] 'What time the cicada in the thickets, watching the shepherds at their noontide toil, makes its loud music in the boughs.' The summer ploughing is obviously meant; see Hesiod, ᾿Εργ. 460, where Paley points out that there were three seasons for ploughing: (1) late autumn; (2) in spring, after the land had been benefited by the frost (πολεῖν); (3) in summer, for a second crop νεῶσαι). νειός is land thus ploughed three times (dist. novalia). Cf. generally Alcaeus, 39: “      τὸ γὰρ ἄστρον ῾δογ-σταῤ περιτέλλεται
δ᾽ ὤρα χαλέπα, πάντα δὲ δίψαισ᾽ ὑπὸ καύματος
ἄχει δ᾽ ἐκ πετάλων ἀδέα τέττιξ, πτερύγων ἄπο,
κακχέει λιγύραν πύκνον ἀοίδαν.

[96] 96, 97 'And the spiders spin out their webs on the armour.' Bacchyl. frag. 13 (Bergk = 46 Kenyon): “ ἐν δὲ σιδαροδέτοις πόρπαξιν αἰθᾶν
ἀραχνᾶν ἱστοὶ πέλονται.

ἀχεῖ indicative, because ἁνίκα is here a relative time-adverb (not a conjunction)--see Sonnenschein, Syntax--defining further the implied thought 'in the summer time.'

διαστήσαιντο, 'weave loosely.' Plato (Phaedrus 268 a) calls a loosely woven work ἤτριον διεστηκός. [W. Schulze, Hermes xxviii. p. 30, assumes a word δια-στέομαι = to weave, from which this aorist is to be derived, not from διίστημι: διαστική is given = a spider's web, and Hesych. has ἐνδίαστρα = κλῶσμα. J. A. Hartung as usual emends διϊστουργοῖντο: but the usual derivation is not impossible.]

[97] ἔτι μηδ᾽ for μηκέτι, 'no longer.' Cf. Soph. O. T. 24 πόλις γὰρἔτ᾽ οὐχ οἵα τε.

[99] Hiero's fame is to be carried far east to the Euphrates, and northward into Thrace--far away from his own land. Cf. Propert. ii. 7. 18 'gloria ad hibernos lata Borysthenidas.'

[104] See Introd. The mention of Orchomenus is led up to by the reminiscences of Pindar, and is introduced to represent the Χάριτες as ἀρχαῖαι θεαί (Holzinger, Philolog. li. p. 193). Eteocles, son of Cephisus, king of Orchomenus, was (according to the Scholiast) the first to sacrifice to the Χάριτες as divine.

[105] ᾿Ορχομενὸν Μινύειον cf. Odyss. xi. 284. The feud between Thebes and Orchomenus dated from prehistoric times. In 364 Orchomenus was destroyed by her rival.

[106] 'If none call me I will abide here: but if any call, boldly will I go forth with my song'; i.e. if anywhere I can gain recognition I will go there and try my fortune boldly.

[108] ὔμμε = Χάριτες. For the conception of Χάριτες here, cf. Theognis, 1138: “ ᾤχετο μὲν Πίστις μεγάλη θεός, ᾤχετο δ᾽ ἀνδρῶν
Σωφροσύνη: Χάριτές τ᾽, φίλε, γῆν ἔλιπον.

” 'The Graces are the representatives of a civilizing moral law. Where they are, there are rules, manners, harmony, and that ineffable magic power from which spring the charm and grace of spiritual life.' Buchholz on Theog. loc. cit. Pind. Ol. xiv. 3: “      λιπαρᾶς ἀοίδιμοι βασίλειαι
Χάριτες ᾿Ορχομενοῦ, παλαιγόνων Μινυᾶν ἐπίσκοποι,
κλῦτ᾽ ἐπεὶ εὔχομαι: σὺν ὔμμιν γὰρ τά τε τερπνὰ καὶ
τὰ γλυκέα γίγνεται πάντα βροτοῖς:
εἰ σοφὸς εἰ καλὸς εἴ τις ἀγλαὸς ἀνήρ.


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  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Plautus, Trinummus, 5.2
    • Vergil, Georgics, 1.5
    • Vergil, Georgics, 2.108
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