Syracuse1 was founded by a colony of Dorians from Corinth, under the Herakleid Archias, in Ol. 11, 3 (734 B.C.). The first point settled was the island Ortygia ( N. 1.1:ἄμπνευμα σεμνὸν Ἀλφεοῦ, κλεινᾶν Συρακοσσᾶν θάλος Ὀρτυγία” ), with which Achradina, on the mainland, was afterwards united. The city grew until it embraced in its circuit five districts, each worthy to be called a city; but even in the earlier time Pindar's address was no figure of speech, P. 2.1:μεγαλοπόλιες Συράκοσαι” .

The constitution of Syracuse, originally aristocratic, was changed into a tyrannis by Gelon, prince of Gela, who reconciled the factions of the city, Ol. 73, 4 (485 B.C.). After Gelon became lord of Syracuse, he made it his residence, enlarged it, built up Achradina, added Tyche, and what was afterwards called Neapolis. All this was not accomplished without high-handed measures, such as the transplanting of the populations of other cities. Gela lost half its inhabitants. Kamarina was razed to the ground, and the Kamarinaians transferred in a body to Syracuse (see O. 4). Under Gelon's rule Syracuse became the chief city of Sicily, the tyrant of Syracuse one of the most important personages on Grecian soil. Applied to by the Greeks for aid, when the invasion of Xerxes was impending, Gelon offered two hundred triremes, twenty thousand men-at-arms, two thousand cavalry, two thousand archers, two thousand slingers, two thousand light troops, and provisions for the whole Greek army until the close of the war, on condition that he should have the command in chief (Herod. 7, 158). Soon after this offer was declined, Gelon was called on to help his father-in-law, Theron of Akragas, against the Carthaginians, who had espoused the cause of Terillos of Himera (see O. 12), and Anaxilas of Rhegion, son-in-law of Terillos.

The great battle of Himera, popularly put on the same day as the battle of Salamis — really fought somewhat earlier — ended in the signal defeat of the Carthaginians, who lost one hundred and fifty thousand men dead on the field. The Carthaginians sued for peace, which was granted on singularly easy terms; for the Carthaginians were backed by the Persian empire with its vast resources. The battle of Salamis had not yet shown the weakness of the Persian power; and, in fact, the immediate effect of that battle has been exaggerated. Persia lost little of her prestige until the close of the fifth century, and Persian gold was a potent element in Greek history far into the fourth.

The consequence of the victory at Himera was a vast accession of power and influence for Gelon. Anaxilas of Rhegion, and a number of Sicilian cities, recognized his supremacy. But in the midst of his plans and projects Gelon died of dropsy, Ol. 75, 3 (478 B.C.). To his brother, Polyzelos, he left the command of the army, the guardianship of his minor son, and the hand of his widow, daughter of Theron. Hieron, the elder of the surviving brothers, who had been prince of Gela, succeeded to the government. Owing to the machinations of Hieron, Polyzelos was forced to take refuge with Theron of Akragas, who was at once his father-in-law and his son-in-law; and a war between Hieron and Theron was imminent, had not a reconciliation been effected by Simonides, the poet. Polyzelos was allowed to return to Syracuse, but Hieron was thenceforward sole ruler. In 477 the Epizephyrian Lokrians invoked the help of Hieron against Anaxilas of Rhegion; the prince sent his brother-inlaw, Chromios (see N. 1 and 9), to Anaxilas, and the lord of Rhegion held his hand. In 474 the inhabitants of Kyme (Cumae) were hard pressed by the Etruscans. Hieron immediately granted the desired aid, and defeated the Etruscans in a naval engagement off Cumae. A helmet with the inscription Ἱάρων Δεινομένεος καὶ τοὶ Συρακόσιοι τῷ Δὶ Τυράν᾽ ἀπὸ Κύμας was found at Olympia in 1817 (Hicks, No. 15). The year after — Ol. 76, 4 (473 B.C.) — Hieron defeated Thrasydaios, son of Theron, and Akragas and Himera both acknowledged his sway; but he granted them their independence and a democratic constitution.

To his success in war Hieron wished to add the heroic honors paid to the founder of a new city. This new city, Aitna, was founded, Ol. 76, 1 (476 B.C.), in the territory of Katana, the old inhabitants having been removed to Leontini. Ten thousand citizens were imported, half from Syracuse and Gela, the other half Peloponnesian immigrants. The constitution was Doric; and Hieron's son, Deinomenes, and his brother-in-law, Chromios, were put in charge. Hieron often called himself Αἰτναῖος (P. 1); Chromios followed his example (N. 1), and the founding of the city was celebrated by the “Aitnaian women” of Aischylos, and by Pindar's first Pythian.

The court of Hieron was a centre of literature and art. Epicharmos was a frequent guest. Aischylos, Simonides, Bakchylides, Pindar were among the visitors. No Doric prince ever reached such a height of glory. He was brilliantly successful at the great games: Ol. 73 and 77, with the single horse; Ol. 78, with the chariot; Pyth. 26 and 27, with the single horse; Pyth. 29, with the chariot, and again with mules. Successes elsewhere are not unlikely. He devised and performed liberal things. A special treasury was erected at Olympia for the Carthaginian booty, and the noble gift which he vowed to the Olympian Zeus was set up after his death by his son Deinomenes — a bronze four-horse chariot and driver, the work of Onatas, on either side a horse with a boy rider by Kalamis.

As a Doric prince, Hieron has found as little favor with posterity as he did with his Athenian contemporary Themistokles. A tyrant, he helped the moralists to make the uneasiness of crowned heads still more uneasy. He became the type of splendid success and of splendid misery; for he was tortured by bodily suffering, he was surrounded by sycophants and informers, and lived in an atmosphere of treachery and meanness. Those who see in Pindar's Hieronic odes sermons levelled at the unfortunate prince will be inclined to despise the greatest ruler of his day. A more humane judgment will recognize high qualities impaired by the faults that were engendered and exaggerated by the tyrannis.

Hieron died Ol. 78, 2 (467 B.C.), at Aitna, and upon his death received heroic honors.

The first Olympian celebrates the victory gained by Hieron, Ol. 77 (472 B.C.), with his race-horse Pherenikos. He was then at the height of his power and glory. Some put the ode four years earlier, Ol. 76 (476 B.C.).

The theme of the poem is given in v. 7,μηδ᾽ Ὀλυμπίας ἀγῶνα φέρτερον αὐδάσομεν” ; and while every Olympian does honor to Olympia, this is the πρόσωπον τηλαυγές, this is, as Lucian says (Gall. 7), τὸ κάλλιστον τῶν ᾀσμάτων ἁπάντων. It may have been put first, because it was the most beautiful; but it owes, in turn, no little of its celebrity to its position, for which it was commended by its myth as well as by its theme. The chariot-race of Pelops for Hippodameia was the true beginning of Olympian contests, and the Pelopion was the heart of Pisa. The Aiolian rhythms are bright and festal, and glitter as the language glitters. Pindar is consciously treading a lofty measure. “No better element than water,” he says, “no brighter blaze than fire by night, no form of wealth that outdazzles gold, no light of heaven so luminous, so warming, as the sun, which dims the ether into voidness, no contest more noble than the Olympian, the source of highest songs to highest bards, chanting Zeus supreme in the palace of Sicily's chief lord, who plucks the loftiest fruits of emprise, who is decked with the sheen of the fairest flower of poesy. For him the noblest chords must be struck, the sweetest musings of the poet recalled, and the scene brought back when the steed Victor bore his lord to triumph (vv. 1-22). Forth shines his glory in the land which Lydian Pelops made his own, for Pelops, the favorite of the gods, has found his resting-place (v. 93) where Hieron, favorite of the gods, has won his victory. The fame of Hieron shines forth (v. 23) — the fame of the Olympiads looks forth (v. 94) — and the story of Pelops is encircled by a belt of glory.”

In his version of the Pelops legend (vv. 25-96), Pindar contradicts the popular account: hence the elaborate caveat at the outset. To make the myth resplendent as his theme, he must remove the foulness of envious tongues. No cannibal feast was offered to the gods by Tantalos, none shared by them (v. 52). Tantalos's sin — the giving of the sacred nectar and ambrosia to his fellows — brought ceaseless woe on himself; but his son, though sent to earth again, was remembered by Poseidon, to whom he had been what Ganymede was afterwards to Zeus. The darkness of the fate of Tantalos only heightens the brilliancy of the fortunes of Lydian Pelops.

The story told, the tone is sensibly lowered. An Olympian victory is still sunshine for life, and Pindar avers that no prince more deserving of what is noble — none of more powerful sway — shall be set forth by his hymns; but there is the old moral that the present good is the highest, and the old restlessness of hope for a yet sweeter song, and a yet more glorious victory. And then, at the last, the poem rises to the height at which it began. The Muse has her most powerful shaft in keeping for the poet's bow. The king, as king, whatever else others may attain, is at the summit of human fortune. Look no further. Prayer can only seek the keeping of this lofty height for king and bard alike (vv. 97-116).

The poem is an epitome of Pindar's manner — approach by overlapping parallels, the dexterous use of foils, implicit imagery. His moralizing is national. No Greek lets us off from that.

The rhythm is Aiolian (Αἰοληΐδι μολπᾷ, v. 102), the tune the rider-tune (ἱππείῳ νόμῳ, v. 101). On the reconciliation of this statement with v. 18, Δωρίαν φόρμιγγα, see the passage.

Of the four triads, the first is taken up with the introduction, and the preparation of the myth; the second and third contain the myth; the fourth connects the myth with the conclusion.

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.

νυκτί: The local-temporal dative. Below ἐν ἁμέρᾳ.

μεγάνορος: P. 10.18: ἀγάνορα πλοῦτον.

γαρύεν: Dor. for γηρύειν. The inf. in -εν is well authenticated in several Pindaric passages.

μηκέτι: More vivid than μή (Herm.). Look for no other light, now that the sun has risen.

θαλπνότερον . . . φαεννόν: P. delights in double epithets, vv. 10, 59; O. 2.60. 90.

ἐν ἁμέρᾳ φαεννόν: suggested by πῦρ νυκτί.

ἐρήμας: Not otiose. There are no rivals; μόνος ἅλιος ἐν οὐρανῷ, Simonid. fr. 77 (Bgk.). Αἰθήρ is Homerically fem. here and O. 13.88:αἰθέρος ψυχρᾶς ἀπὸ κόλπων ἐρήμων.

δι᾽ αἰθέρος: Note P.'s peculiarly plastic use of the prepositions.

αὐδάσομεν: There is no good reason for denying to P. the so-called short subj., as here and O. 7.3. The imper. fut. with μή, which so many commentators accept here, has little warrant anywhere. In So. Ai. 572, still cited in some books, θήσουσι depends on ὅπως. See note on O. 6.24. I. 7 (8), 8,δαμωσόμεθα” was understood by the Schol. as subj., and δέξεται in a generic sense — Fr. X. 4: οἷσι . . . δέξεται — is in all likelihood a subj.

ἀμφιβάλλεται: Variously rendered. P.'s usage (see O. 2.98; 9, 5; 13, 93 al.) indicates a shower of poetic βέλη or κῆλα whirring about the minds of the bards. So the μαντεῖα in So. O.R. 481 ἀεὶ ζῶντα περιποτᾶται. Cf. Eur. H. F. 422:ἀμφιβαλεῖν βέλεσιν.

σοφῶν = ἀοιδῶν. They are called “ἐπέων τέκτονες,P. 3.113 .

κελαδεῖν: Favorite word with P., who has ennobled it. “Sound forth,” “praise.” The inf. in its old final sense.

Κρόνου παῖδα: There is always a certain stateliness in genealogy. The adjective is still statelier than the genitive. Cf. O. 2.13: ἀλλ᾽ Κρόνιε παῖ Ῥέας. There is good reason for the specially common mention of Kronos in the Olympians. See v. 111.

ἐς ἀφνεὰν . . . μάκαιραν: See v. 6. Compare P. 5.11: τεὰν μάκαιραν ἑστίαν, and I. 3 (4), 35: ἐρήμωσεν μάκαιραν ἑστίαν.

ἱκομένους: Concord with the involved subject of κελαδεῖν. The v. 1. ἱκομένοις is not to be considered. Cf. I. 5 (6), 21: τέθμιόν μοι φαμὶ σαφέστατον τάνδ᾽ ἐπιστείχοντα νᾶσον ῥαινέμεν εὐλογίαις.

Antistrophe 1

θεμιστεῖον . . . σκᾶπτον: Lit., “staff of doom,” “judicial sceptre.”

ὅς: For position, compare O. 2.9.

πολυμάλῳ = πολυκάρπῳ: The Schol. Germ. cite Il. 9. 542, in which μῆλον is “fruit.” Strabo, 6, 273, puts οἱ καρποί in the first line for Sicily. Others πολυμήλῳ, “rich in flocks.” Demeter is μαλοφόρος, Paus. 1, 44, 3.

δρέπων: Where we might expect δρεπόμενος, P. 1.49; 4, 130; 6, 48. The δρέπανον is a woodman's bill, Lycurg. 86.

κορυφάς: O. 2.14: ἀέθλων κορυφάν, 7, 4: πάγχρυσον κορυφὰν κτεάνων.

ἀγλατζεται δέ: The change to the finite construction brings out the nearer image in bolder relief. Special reason is discernible also in P. 3.53. When there is no μέν the change is easier, I. 3 (4), 12.

ἐν ἀώτῳ: P. uses ἐν with plastic vividness. Compare N. 3.32: ἐν ἀρεταῖς γέγηθε, as in Latin sometimes gaudere in.

οἷα: Not to be roughly explained as = ὅτι

τοιαῦτα. It is the exclamatory relative from which the causal sense can be picked out. “Such are the plays we play.” Compare P. 1.73; 2, 75; 3, 18.

Δωρίαν . . . φόρμιγγα : Δ. does not refer to the metres, as is shown by v. 103, Αἰογηίδι μολπᾷ. Hieron is a Doric prince; the φόρμιγξ may well be a Doric instrument. O. 3.5: Δωρίῳ πεδίλῳ does refer to the measure; but πέδιλον is not φόρμιψξ, and at the worst the Aiolic melody may be considered as a subdivision of the Doric. See Aristot. Pol. 4, 3, where it is said that some recognize only two ἁρμονίαι, the Dorian and the Phrygian.

λάμβανε: Here the aor. might be expected, but the pres. shows that the action is watched. The poet addresses himself, his φίλον ἦτορ.

εἴ τι . . . ἔθηκε: This the regular form of condition in adjurations. Cf. I. 5 (6), 42.

Φερενίκου: Name of Hieron's horse, “Victor.” In the form Βερεϝίκη (Macedonian), the name is familiar. The Φ. of P. 3 was doubtless grandsire to this Φ.

τε καί: This combination is common in P.; the occurrence varies much in various authors. In P. it serves to unite complements, both opposites and similars. Here Πίσας, the scene, and Φ., Victor, make up the sum of the song.

χάρις: Usu. rendered “beauty,” “charm.” Why should it not be “song,” the grace of poetry, as below? Pindar had pledged himself to sing the victory; and, when the steed sped to the goal, the promised song made him feel the stir of sweetest cares.

γλυκυτάταις . . . φροντίσιν: φροντίδες is used of the poet's musings. “Brought me under the empire of sweet musings.”

ταρ᾽ Ἀλφεῷ: παρά in prose, with genitive or dative, is shrivelled into an exclusively personal preposition, like Fr. chez. It is freer and more original in Pindar, although “in the domain of Alpheios” would err only in suggesting too much.

δέμας: The living body, originally distinct from σῶμα. Used plastically as the Lat. corpus = se.

προσέμιξε: The concrete, personal μιγνύναι is common in Pindar, and must have its rights of contact. Here “brought to victory's embrace.” “Wedded,” “clasped,” “embraced,” “encircled,” will answer for many cases. With this passage compare P. 9.77: καί νυν ἐν Πυθῶνί νιν ἀγαθέᾳ Καρνειάδα υἱὸς εὐθαλεῖ συνέμιξε τύχᾳ.

Epode 1

ἱπποχάρμαν: From χάρμα or χάρμη? See P. 2.2.

κλέος: Echoed, v. 93.

Αυδοῦ: The gold of v. 1 glitters in the rich adjective.

Πέλοπος ἀποικίᾳ: Emphasizes the scene for the third time, and prepares the transition.

τοῦ: The story often begins with a relative.

ἐπεί: “Since” (causal).

καθαροῦ λέβητος: κ. possibly to present a contrast to the μιαρὸς λέβης of the familiar story (Ov. Met. 6, 407), which P. is at the pains of denying below. The ablatival genitive is used below v. 58. Later Greek meets poetry here.

Κλωθώ: Klotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, the three fates, are λόχιαι θεαί, acc. to Euripides, I. T. 206.

ἐλέφαντι φαίδιμον ὦμον κεκαδμένον: . depends on κεκ. φαίδιμον is explained by ἐλέφαντι.

θαυματά: So the best MSS. On the omission of ἐστί, see v. 1.

καί πού τι καί: So Thuk. 2, 87:καί πού τι καὶ ἀπειρία πρῶτον ναυμαχοῦντας ἔσφηλεν.

φάτις: The interpolated MSS. have φρένας, Christ suggests φρόνιν. φάτις cannot be acc. pl., and would not do us much good, if it were. We must connect closely, after the Pindaric fashion, φάτις ὑπὲρ τὸν ἀλαθῆ λόγον, as one element, put δεδαιδαλμένοι . . . μῦθοι in apposition with it, and make ἐξαπατῶντι absolute, “mislead” = “are misleading.” So κλέπτει, absol. N. 7.23; cf. P. 2.17. Notice the contrast between φάτις, the poetical story, and λόγος, the prosaic truth; μῦθος has departed from its Homeric sense.

ποικίλοις: The etymology points to embroidery ( ποικιλείμων νὺξ ἀποκρύψει φάος) and embroidery to falsehood, as we have learned from Fr. broder, whereas ἁπλοῦς μῦθος τῆς ἀληθείας ἔφυ.

Strophe 2

Χάρις: The charm of poetry. Compare O. 14.5, where there are three Χάριτες: σὺν γὰρ ὔμμιν τά τε τερπνὰ καὶ τὰ γλυκἔ ἄνεται πάντα βροτοῖς.

τεύχει: The rule, present.

ἐμήσατο: The manifestation, aor.

ἁμέραι δ᾽ ἐπίλοιποι . . . σοφώτατοι: O. 10 (11), 59: τ᾽ ἐξελέγχων μόνος ἀλάθειαν ἐτήτυμον Χρόνος.

ἔστι: . in this position is never otiose. Often=ὄντως ἔστι. “In truth it is.”

ἀνδρί: Not differentiated from ἀνθρώπῳ. So often in poetry.

ἀμφί: A favorite preposition in P., esp. with dat., little used in prose. In the sense of this passage περί is more commonly employed even in P.: ἀμφί, being the narrower, is the more picturesque.

υἱὲ Ταντάλου, σὲ δέ: The effect of δέ after the vocative is to give pause. It is not uncommon in Pindar, and is used where γάρ would seem more natural, δέ=δή. Cf. O. 6.12; 8, 15; P. 10.10 al.

σὲ . . . φθέγξομαι: The position shows that σέ is not felt as the object of ἁρπάσαι (v. 41) until ἁρπάσαι is reached, when the impression is renewed. “Touching thee I will utter what wars with earlier bards.”

ὁπότε: Where the simple ὅτε might have been used. O. 9.104; P. 8.41 al. The tendency of the compounds is to crowd out the simple forms.

ἐκάλεσε: Sc. θεούς.

τὸν εὐνομώτατον ἐς ἔρανον: P. likes to put the preposition between attribute and substantive or substantive and attribute. The article is added, as here, P. 2.3: τᾶν λιπαρᾶν ἀπὸ Θηβᾶν. τόν is deictic, and εὐνομώτατον gives an anticipatory refutation of the γαστριμαργία.

ἔρανον: This word is selected to show the familiar footing of Tantalos. Nor is ὡίλαν Σίπυλον idle. The adjective there also is intended to enhance the intimacy of the ἀμοιβαῖα δεῖπνα.

παρέχων: P. nowhere uses the middle of this familiar verb.

Ἀγλαοτρίαιναν: An original feminine, “Bright - trident,” then a surname, like “Bright-eyes” (Jh. Schmidt). The Greek cares little about possible ambiguity of accusatives before and after an infinitive.

Antistrophe 2

ἱμέρῳ: P. uses ἵμερος and πόθος both so little that we can only say that his usage is not inconsistent with the traditional distinction. Of passionate desire ἵμερος is used, O. 3.33: τῶν νιν γλυκὺς ἵμερος ἔσχεν . . . φυτεῦσαι. For ποθέω compare O. 6.16: ποθέω στρατιᾶς ὀφθαλμὸν ἐμᾶς.

χρυσέαισιν ἀν᾽ ἵπποις : ., here of the chariot. ἀνά is another Pindaric preposition that is very little used in prose, even with the acc.

μεταβᾶσαι: Depends on ἱμέρῳ, as, in the passage cited above, φυτεῦσαι.

δευτέρῳ χρόνῳ: So without ἐν, O. 2.41: ἄλλῳ χρόνῳ, P. 4.55: χρόνῳ ὑστέρῳ.

Ζηνί depends on ἦλθε; in its moral sense not simply to, but for. Ganymede, according to Böckh, was considered by P. to be the son of Laomedon, Pelops was a contemporary of Laomedon, and so the chronology is saved, if it is worth saving.

τωὔτ᾽ ἐπὶ χρέος: “For the same service.”

ματρί: More tender than πρὸς ματέρα.

πολλὰ μαιόμενοι: “Despite many a search.”

φῶτες: φώς (poet.) is colorless, or=“wight.”

πυρὶ ζέοισαν: To be closely connected. The Schol. renders ὕδατος ἀκμάν by ὕδωρ ἀκμαίως ζέον. The position of the words shows impatience and horror.

μαχαίρᾳ makes the butchery more vivid.

κατὰ μέλη ῀μελεϊστί rather than τάμον κάτα μέλη, with μέλη in apposition to σε.

τραπέζαισί τ᾽ ἀμφί: . is an adverb in P. 4.81, and P. 8.85. The τράπεζαι were arranged in two rows facing each other, each guest having a τράπεζα. “They divided among themselves the flesh to the tables on both sides.”

δεύτατα: “The last morsels,” implying a cannibalic delicacy.

διεδάσαντο: The finite verbs throughout force attention to the horrid details.

Epode 2

ἄπορα: O. 10 (11), 44: ἄπορον. The plur. exaggerates, P. 1.34.

γαστρίμαργον: “Cannibal” approaches the effect.

ἀφίσταμαι: Asyndeton is especially in place where repugnance is to be expressed. See Dissen, Exc. II.

ἀκέρδεια λέλογχεν: Gnomic perfect. For the sentiment compare P. 2.55. λαγχάνω has more commonly a person for a subject.

κακαγόρος: Dor. for κακηγόρους.

ἦν: See v. 35.

ἀλλὰ γάρ : γάρ gives the reason for the ἀλλά, as who should say, ἄλλως δ᾽ ἦν, “but all in vain; for.”

καταπέψαι . . . κόρῳ: The same homely sphere of imagery as concoquere, “stomach.” Nor is “brook” far off. So Il. 1. 81: εἴ περ γάρ τε χόλον γε καὶ αὐτῆμαρ καταπέψῃ.

ἕλεν: P. 2.30: ἐξαίρετον ἕλε μόχθον.

ἃν . . . λίθον: Apposition “which in the form of a stone.”

ϝοι πατήρ: We could dispense with ϝοι or αὐτῷ. Yet ϝοι πατήρ gives the punisher, αὐτῷ λίθον the punishment, and the apposition makes it easier, ἅν going with ϝοι and λίθον with αὐτῷ. Compare I. 7 (8), 9: τὸν ὑπὲρ κεφαλᾶς ἅτε Ταντάλου λίθον παρά τις ἔτρεψεν ἄμμι θεός.

κεφαλᾶς βαλεῖν: Ablatival genitive, which is better than to make μενοινῶν “expecting,” and κεφαλᾶς the mark, with βαλεῖν=τεύξεσθαι.

εὐφροσύνας ἀλᾶται: ἀλᾶται with genitive as Eur. Tro. 640.

Strophe 3

ἀπάλαμον=πρὸς ὃν οὐκ ἔστι παλαμήσασθαι. Schol.

μετὰ τριῶν: Supposed to refer to the three great sinners, Tityos, Sisyphos, and Ixion. Tityos is mentioned in Od. 11. 576, Tantalos in v. 582, and Sisyphos, v. 593, and Ixion may have dropped out of the list. In any case, we are to understand with τριῶν, not ἀνδρῶν, but πόνων, which, on the hypothesis mentioned, would refer to the punishments of Tityos, Sisyphos, and Ixion. If we analyze the woes of Tantalos, the stone, the hunger, and the thirst, we shall have three. What is the fourth? Is it the βίος ἐμπεδόμοχθος, the thought that nectar and ambrosia had made him immortal (ἄφθιτον), or the remembrance of the nectareous and ambrosial life of the immortals, the “sorrow's crown of sorrow,” or the reflection that his son had been banished from heaven for his fault (τοὔνεκα προῆκαν)? As Tantalos is mentioned only for Pelops' sake, the last view gains probability.

νέκταρ ἀμβροσίαν τε : τε here, like -que, makes νέκταρ and ἀμβροσίαν a whole. τε, connecting single words, is chiefly poetic or late.

ἔθεσαν: It is better to admit a tribrach than to accept the MS. θέσσαν, or Mommsen's θέν νιν, although we miss an object. Hartung would read ἀφθίτους θῆκεν, referring to the ἅλικες συμπόται, but the point is the favor shown by the gods to Tantalos. οἷς νιν is tempting.

τι with ἔρδων.

λαθέμεν=λήθειν. Inferior MSS. have λασέμεν, making ἔλπεται refer to the future as ἔλπομαι does v. 109; but ἔλπομαι in the sense of “think,” “suppose” — compare spero — may take the present as it does repeatedly in Homer. Il. 9. 40; 13, 309. Mommsen reads λελαθέμεν.

προῆκαν : πρα., “straight(forward).”

υἱὸν . . . ϝοι: The dat. shows how he felt it.

ἀνέρων: v. 36.

πρὸς εὐάνθεμον . . . φυάν: Even in the three temporal passages, here, P. 9.27, and N. 9.44, πρός shows its “fronting” sense.

νιν . . . γένειον: σχῆμα καθ᾽ ὅλον καὶ μέρος, not different from “they bound him hand and foot.”

μέλαν: “To blackness.” Proleptic use, esp. common in tragic poets. So. Antig. 881; O. C. 1200; Eur. H. F. 641:βλεφάρων σκοτεινὸν φάος ἐπικαλύψαν.

ἑτοῖμον ἀνεφρόντισεν γάμον: . here is almost equivalent to “tempting.” ἀνεφρόντισεν, “woke to the desire of.” Love is a φροντίς. Notice that this triad is welded together, and moves very fast, with stress on γάμον (v. 69, 80).

Antistrophe 3

Πισάτα . . . πατρός = Οἰνομάου, v. 76. Oinomaos, king of Pisa, had offered his daughter Hippodameia in marriage to any one who should overcome him in a chariot race. Fragments of the sculptures representing the ἀγών of Pelops, from the eastern pediment of the temple of Zeus, have been unearthed at Olympia.

σχεθέμεν: It is better to make the whole passage from Πισάτα . . . σχεθέμεν explanatory to γάμον than to make γάμον “bride,” in apposition to Ἱπποδάμειαν. σχ. “to win.”

οἶος ἐν ὄρφνᾳ: Cf. P. 1.23: ἐν ὄρφναισιν. A similar scene, O. 6.58, where Iamos invokes Poseidon by night.

ἄπυεν: Loud call to the loud sea. ἠπύειν, of a cry that is intended to carry — “halloo.”

πὰρ ποδί: On παρά, with dat., see v. 21.

εἶπε: Regular word to introduce the language of the speaker. Hence seldom with any other than the finite construction in the best period.

Φίλια δῶρα: Note the effective position and the shyness.

ἐς χάριν τέλλεται: “Come up to favor” = “count aught in one's favor.” Verg. Aen. 4, 317, cited by Dissen, is not so delicate: “fuit aut tibi quicquam dulce meum.

πέδασον . . . πόρευσον . . . πέλασον: Neither the three aorists nor the three π̓ς are accidental.

κράτει . . . πέλασον=κρ. πρόσμιξον. Cf. v. 22.

Oinomaos was wont to transfix the suitors from behind.

Epode 3

θυγατρός: The sense was fairly complete with νάμον. Compare the structure of the strophe. P. likes this method of welding the parts of the triad, e. g., O. 2.105: Θήρωνος. O. 6.50: πατρός. O. 9.53: νεωτέρων. With the nominative the effect is startling. See P. 11.22.

μέγας . . . λαμβάνει: “Great peril takes no coward wight.” λ., according to one Schol.=καταλαμβάνει, “takes possession of,” “inspires” (cf. P. 4.71: τίς δὲ κίνδυνος κρατεροῖς ἀδάμαντος δῆσεν ἅλοις;); according to another= δέχεται, “admits of,” “allows of,” less vigorous.

ἄναλκιν οὐ φῶτα: So I. 1, 15: ἀλλοτρίαις οὐ χερσί. The rhythm calls for a prolonged οὐ, and ἄναλκιν is thought over again with φῶτα. “A coward — no! no coward wight.”

οἷσιν: Not to be dissected into τούτων οἷσιν.

τά: So Mommsen after good MSS. Doric for τί.

ἀνώνυμον . . . μάταν: An impressive cumulation in which it must be remembered that καθήμενος means more than “sitting” in English. It is “sitting idle, useless.”

ἕψοι: “Nurse.”

μάταν: “Aimlessly,” “and all to no good end.”

ὑποκείσεται: Acc. to Schol.=προκείσεται. “On this I shall take my stand.” “This struggle shall be my business.”

πρᾶξιν: “Achievement,” “consummation,” not yet colorless.

δίδοι = δίδου: More solemn and impressive than the aorist with which he began.

ἔννεπεν: Bergk writes ἤνεπεν everywhere in P. A formal imperf., but it has no clear imperfect force in P.

ἀκράντοις: ἐπί in ἐφάψατο eases the dat., which P. however uses, as well as the genitive, with verbs of contact. Dative P. 8.60; N. 8.36; Genitive O. 9.13; P. 3.29.

ἀγάλλων: “Honoring,” “by way of honoring.” N. 5.43.

δίφρον . . . χρύσεον: v. 42.

πτεροῖσιν: The horses of Pelops on the chest of Kypselos were winged, Paus. 5, 17, 7. πτ. instrumental rather than local.

Strophe 4

ἕλεν . . . σύνευνον: Commonly set down as a zeugma, yet hardly so to be considered. “He overcame Oinomaos, and the maid to be his bedfellow.” τε, consequential.

Οἰνομάου βίαν: β. not otiose.

τέκε: So the best MSS. short in Aiolic. τέκε τε, the reading of the inferior MSS., would suggest a change of subject, not surprising in Greek, but clearly a metrical correction.

ἀρεταῖσι μεμαότας: “Forward in deeds of valor.” Not “to deeds of valor,” for which there is no warrant, as Il. 8. 327, and 22, 326, have ἐπί. The Schol., however, understands the passage as ἐπιθυμοῦντας τῆς ἀρετῆς καὶ ταύτης ἀντεχομένους, thus giving μεμαότας the Pindaric construction of a verb of approach, ἅπτεσθαι, θιγεῖν. Ἀρεταῖσι μεμαλότας, another reading, is frigid. P. does not personify . The Scholiasts give the names of the six, among whom figure Atreus and Thyestes. Pindar is supposed not to know the horrors of the house any more than Homer, but one cannibalic incident was enough for one poem, to say nothing of the rule τὰ καλὰ τρέψαι ἔξω.

αἱμακουρίαις=τοῖς τῶν νεκρῶν ἐναγίσμασι. A Boeotian word (Schol.). The yearly offering was the sacrifice of a black ram, Paus. 5, 13, 2.

μέμικται: With ἐν, I. 2, 29. On μ. see v. 22.

πόρῳ κλιθείς: The conception is that of support (instrumental).

τύμβον ἀμφίπολον: See O. 10 (11), 26: ἀγῶνα . . . ἀρχαίῳ σάματι πὰρ Πέλοπος βωμῶν ἑξάριθμον. The tomb of Pelops was near the great altar of Zeus in the Altis.

παρὰ βωμῷ: On παρά, see v. 20.

τὸ δὲ κλέος . . . δέδορκε: Echo of λάμπει δέ ϝοι κλέος, v. 23. Combine τὸ κλέος τᾶν Ὀλυμπιάδων and ἐν δρόμοις Πέλοπος. The δρόμοι refers not to the exploits of Pelops, but to the scene (ἵνα), where not only speed but strength is shown.

δέδορκε: Perceptual perfect = present. Compare ὄπωπα, ὄδωδα. Glory is an ὀφθαλμός.

ταχυτὰς ποδῶν . . . ἀκμαί τ᾽ ἰσχύος: The two great elements of speed and strength are set forth, N. 9.12, ἰσχύος τ᾽ ἀνδρῶν ἁμίλλαις ἅρμασί τε γλαφυροῖς. Here ποδῶν suggests the ἀκαμαντοπόδων ἵππων ἄωτον (O. 3.3). There is another division, πόνος δαπάνα τε, with the same complementary τε (O. 5.15), the πόνος for the feats of bodily strength (θρασύπονοι), the δαπάνα for the horse-race (δαπάνᾳ χαῖρον ἵππων, I. 3, 47).

ἐρίζεται: The middle of reciprocal action, as if we had πόδες ταχεῖς ἐρίζονται. Compare I. 4 (5), 4: καὶ γὰρ ἐριζόμεναι νᾶες ἐν πόντῳ . . . θαυμασταὶ πέλονται.

λοιπὸν ἀμφὶ βίοτον: His life has light on both hands.

μελιτόεσσαν: “Delicious,” which we also extend beyond its proper sphere.

Antistrophe 4

ἀέθλων γ᾽ ἕνεκεν: The necessary amari aliquid. “So far as sunshine is to be found in games.” “Religiose dictum” (Dissen). Then follows a bit of cheerful philosophy.

τὸ δ᾽ αἰεὶ . . . βροτῶν: “The highest boon is aye the blessing of the day.” τὸ αἰεὶ παράμερον ἐσλόν is not, as one of the old Scholia has it, τὸ καθ᾽ ἡμέραν καὶ ἀδιαλείπτως παρὰ τοῖς ἀνθρώποις ἀγαθόν. P. emphasizes the supremeness of the day's blessing as it comes.

ἐσλόν: A curious Boeotian form everywhere in Pindar.

παντὶ βροτῶν: The reading of the best MSS., as if ἑκάστῳ βροτῶν or παντί τινι βροτῶν. Compare also Plat. Legg. 6, 774 c:πᾶσι τῶν ἐν ταύτῃ τῇ πόλει.

ἐμὲ δὲ στεφανῶσαι: P. passes over to his highest duty and his highest pleasure.

ἱππείῳ νόμῳ: The rider-tune, τὸ Καστόρειον (Castor gaudet equis), well suited to the achievement. Compare P. 2.69: τὸ Καστόρειον δ᾽ ἐν Αἰολίδεσσι χορδαῖς θἐλων, I. 1, 16: Καστορείῳ Ἰολάοἰ ἐναρμόξαι νιν ὕμνῳ. The Aiolians were the great equestrians of Greece.

πέποιθα ... μή: Verbs of believing incline to the swearing negative μή. “I am confident,” “I am ready to swear that.”

ἀμφότερα: Adv., like ἀμφότερον.

ἄμμε: With Mommsen for ἄμα.

δαιδαλωσέμεν: Acc. to Mommsen, an old aor. inf., like ἀξέμεν, Il. 24. 663. But even if this is granted, it does not affect the sphere of time, as an aorist inf., after such a verb as πέποιθα, may be thrown into the future. See note on ἔλπομαι, P. 1.43. The compliment of a comparison with the past is not so great as with the future. The case O. 2.102 is different.

ὕμνων πτυχαῖς: “Sinuous songs,” the in and out of choral song and music and dance.

τεαῖσι . . . μερίμναισιν: Depends on ἐπίτροπος. μέριμναι, as in N. 3.69: σεμνὸν ἀγλααῖσι μερίμναις Πυθίου. Here God makes the plans of Hieron his own.

μήδεται: Might be used absol. “Is full of watchful thought.” Dissen compare N. 6.62: ἕπομαι δὲ καὶ αὐτὸς ἔχων μελέταν, but it would be easy to get an acc. μερίμνας out of the dat., “is meditating the accomplishment of them.” Schol.: μήδεται δέ, ἐργάζεταί δε νικητήν.

ἔχων τοῦτο κᾶδος: “With this for his great concern.”

εἰ δὲ μὴ ταχὺ λίποι: The original wish element is plain in all or nearly all Pindar's ideal conditionals. Subject of λίποι is θεός, and λίποι is intr.

γλυκυτέραν: Sc. μέριμναν, “a sweeter care,” “a sweeter victory.”

κεν . . . κλεΐξειν: κεν with fut. inf. here, and only here, in P. Some of the Scholiasts use the aor. in the paraphrase. But it is better not to change. The construction is due to anacoluthia rather than to survival.

Epode 4

σὺν ἅρματι θοῷ: For σύν compare N. 10.48: σὺν ποδῶν σθένει νικᾶσαι, and the older use of Lat. cum.

ἐπίκουρον . . . ὁδὸν λόγων: Combine ἐπίκουρον λόγων. The path is the path of song, which will help forward the glory of Hieron, as told in the λόγοι by the λόγιοι. See P. 1.94: ὀπιθόμβροτον αὔχημα δόξας | οἶον ἀποιχομένων ἀνδρῶν δίαιταν μανύει καὶ λογίοις καὶ ἀοιδοῖς. The path is to be opened by poesy for rhetoric.

παρ᾽ εὐδείελον . . . Κρόνιον: The famous hill at Olympia, on the summit of which sacrifices were offered to Kronos. See O. 5.17; 6, 64; 9, 3. The sunniness of Olympia is emphasized, O. 3.24.

βέλος . . . τρέφσι: Poetical and musical bolts are familiar. O. 2.91; 9, 5; 13, 95; P. 1.12; I. 4 (5), 46.

ἀλκᾷ: Dissen comb. with καρτερώτατον, and compare O. 13.52: πυκνότατον παλάμαις. So, too, the Schol. It is more vigorous to combine it with τρέφει, as Böckh does. “Keeps in warlike plight.”

τρέφει: “Nurses,” “keeps.” τ., a favorite word with Sophokles, and so perhaps ridiculed by Ar. Vesp. 110:αἰγιαλὸν τρέφει” .

ἐπ᾽ ἄλλοισι: ἐπί = “in,” though it suggests the various altitudes of the great.

κορυφοῦται: “Heads itself,” “caps itself.” The topmost summit is for kings.

μηκέτι: ἔτι suggests the temptation; see v. 5.

πάπταινε πόρσιον: P. 3.22: παπταίνει τὰ πόρσω. I. 6, 44: τὰ μακρὰ δ᾽ εἴ τις παπταίνει. π., originally of a restless, uneasy search in every direction. In P. πάπταινε is little, if anything, more than σκόπει. “Look no further.”

εἴη: Asyndeton in a prayer. The present is more solemn and less used in prose than γένοιτο. P. 1.29: εἴη, Ζεῦ, τὶν ἔη ϝανδάνειν.

τοῦτον: “Thy.” Pronoun of the second person.

τοσσάδε: “All my days.”

σοφίᾳ = ἐπὶ σοφίᾳ. ς. is “poetic art.” The tone is high enough, for P. pairs himself with Hieron by the parallel τε . . . τε, “as . . . so” (σέ τε . . . ἐμέ τε), but ἐόντα is part of the prayer, and not an assertion merely.

1 In the historical introductions, especial acknowledgments are due to Mezger.

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hide References (49 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (49):
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    • Aristotle, Politics, 4.1290a
    • Aristotle, Rhetoric, 1.7.14
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