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Akragas (Agrigentum) was a daughter of Gela. Gela was founded, Ol. 22, 4 (689 B.C.), by a Rhodian colony; Akragas more than a hundred years afterwards, Ol. 49, 4 (581 B.C.). In Ol. 52, 3 (570 B.C.) the notorious Phalaris made himself tyrant of the city, and, after a rule of sixteen years, was dethroned by Telemachos, the grandfather of Emmenes or Emmenides, who gave his name to the line, and became the father of Ainesidamos. Under the sons of Ainesidamos, Theron and Xenokrates, the name of the Emmenidai was brought to the height of its glory, and an alliance formed with the ruling house of Syracuse. Damareta, the daughter of Theron, married first Gelon, and, upon his death, Polyzelos, his brother. Theron married a daughter of Polyzelos, and, finally, Hieron married a daughter of Xenokrates.

The Emmenidai belonged to the ancient race of the Aigeidai, to which Pindar traced his origin, and claimed descent from Kadmos, through Polyneikes, who was the father of Thersandros by Argeia, daughter of Adrastos. Evidently a roving, and doubtless a quarrelsome, race, the descendants of Thersandros went successively to Sparta, to Thera, to Rhodes, and finally to Akragas. Such was the ancestry of Theron, who made himself master of Akragas by a trick, which he is said to have redeemed by a just, mild, and beneficent reign. Under his rule Akragas reached its highest eminence, and Theron's sway extended to the neighborhood of Himera and the Tyrrhenian sea. When he drove out Terillos, tyrant of Himera, and seized his throne, Terillos applied to his son-in-law, Anaxilas of Rhegion, for help, who, in his turn, invoked the aid of the Carthaginians. Thereupon Theron summoned to his assistance his son-in-law, Gelon, of Syracuse, and in the famous battle of Himera the Sicilian princes gained a brilliant victory. (See Introd. to Ol. 1.) The enormous booty was spent on the adornment of Syracuse and Akragas. Akragas became one of the most beautiful cities of the world, and the ruins of Girgenti are still among the most imposing remains of antiquity. A few years after the battle of Himera, Gelon died, Ol. 75, 3 (478 B.C.), and was succeeded by his brother Hieron in the rule of Syracuse. To the other brother, Polyzelos, were assigned the command of the army and the hand of Damareta, daughter of Theron, widow of Gelon, with the guardianship of Gelon's son; but the two brothers had not been on the best terms before, and Hieron took measures to get rid of Polyzelos, who was a popular prince. Polyzelos took refuge with Theron, who had married his daughter, and who in consequence of this double tie refused to give him up to Hieron. The Himeraians, oppressed by Theron's son Thrasydaios, made propositions to Hieron; two cousins of Theron, Kapys and Hippokrates, joined his enemies, and the armies of Hieron and Theron faced each other on the banks of the Gela. Thanks, however, to the good offices of the poet Simonides, peace was made; Polyzelos was suffered to return, and Hieron married the daughter of Xenokrates, brother of Theron. The rebellious spirits in Himera were quelled, and our just, mild, and beneficent prince, who was elevated to the rank of a hero after his death, so thinned the ranks of the citizens by executions that it was necessary to fill them up by foreigners. Kapys and Hippokrates having been put to flight, Theron sat firmly on his throne again, and, after putting to death all his enemies, had the great satisfaction of gaining an Olympian victory, Ol. 76 (476 B.C.), which Pindar celebrates in this ode and the following.

Theron died Ol. 76, 4; Xenokrates, his brother, who won two of the victories celebrated by Pindar (P. 6 and I. 2), died either before him or soon after. Thrasydaios, his son and successor, whose cruelty had roused the Himeraians to revolt, chastised the Agrigentines with scorpions, and attacked Hieron with 20,000 mercenaries. After his defeat, Akragas and Himera rose against him, and he fled to Megara, where he died, and the revolted cities became democracies. Thrasybulus, the son of Xenokrates, continued to live in Akragas, but the memory of Thrasydaios was a stench in the nostrils of the Himeraians; hence their gratitude to Ζεὺς Ἐλευθέριος and Σώτειρα Τύχα for having delivered them from such a monster (O. 12).

In the opening of the second Olympian, Pindar himself points out the threefold cord that runs through the ode, and recent commentators have found triads everywhere. It is best to limit ourselves to the poet's own lines. When Pindar asks, “What god, what hero, what man shall we celebrate?” he means to celebrate all three, and god, hero, and man recur throughout: the god helping, the hero toiling, the man achieving. God is the disposer, the hero the leader, and the man the follower. The man, the Olympian victor, must walk in the footsteps of the greater victor, must endure hardness as the hero endured hardness, in order that he may have a reward, as the hero had his reward, by the favor of God. This is a poem for one who stands on the solemn verge beyond which lies immortal, heroic life. But we must not read a funeral sermon into it, and we must notice how the poet counteracts the grave tone of the poem by the final herald cry, in which he magnifies his own office and champions the old king.

Hymns, lords of the lyre, what god, what hero, what man shall we sound forth? Pisa belongs to Zeus (θεός), Olympia was stablished by Herakles (ἥρως), Theron (ἀνήρ) hath won the great four-horse chariot race. His sires (ἥρωες) founded Akragas; Zeus (θεός) send the future glorious as the past has been (vv. 1-17). Done cannot be made undone. The past was toilsome and bitter, but forgetfulness comes with bliss, and suffering expires in joyance. So in the line of Theron himself, the daughters of Kadmos (ἡρῷναι, ἠοῖαι), Semele, Ino, suffering once, as the founders of Akragas toiled once, are now glorified. Yet this light was quenched in deeper gloom. After Semele, after Ino, comes the rayless darkness of Oidipus, so dark that even his name is shrouded. Polyneikes fell, but Thersandros was left, and after him came Theron (ἀνήρ), and Theron's noble house, with its noble victories (vv. 17-57). But this is not all. Earthly bliss is not everything. There is another world, and the poet sets its judgment-seat, unfolds the happiness of the blessed, and introduces into the harmony of the blissful abode a marvellous discord of the damned. In that land we hear of Kronos and of Rhea (θεοί), Peleus, and Kadmos, and Achilles (ἥρωες). Of men there is expressive silence (vv. 58-91). Theron is old, and the poet, instead of working out his triad mechanically, vindicates the reserve of his art. He has arrows enough in his quiver; he has power enough in his pinion. He can shoot, he can fly, whithersoever he will; and now, that we have left that other world, and have come back to this realm of Zeus, he bends his bow, he stoops his flight, to Akragas. Now he can praise Theron with all the solemnity but without the gloom of an epitaph, and the last words fall like a benediction on the gracious king (vv. 92110).

There is no myth proper. The canvas is covered by the prefiguration-picture of the house of Kadmos and the vision of the world beyond. Innocent suffering is recompensed by deep happiness, heroic toil by eternal reward. Theron's achievements have the earnest of an immortal future. Time cannot express his deeds of kindness.

The rhythms are Paionian, manly, vigorous, triumphant, but Bakcheiac strains seem to have been introduced with the same effect as the belts of darkness which chequer the poem.

Of the five triads, the first opens the theme, the last concludes it; the second triad deals with the mythic past; the third returns to Theron, and connects the second with the fourth, which is taken up with the world beyond.

Strophe 1

ἀναξιφόρμιγγες: Originally song dominated instrumental music. Music was “married to immortal verse,” as the woman to the man. Pratinas ap. Athen. 14, 617 D. makes song the queen: τὰν ἀοιδὰν κατέστασε Πιερὶς βασίλειαν: δ᾽ αὐλὸς ὕστερον χορευέτω: καὶ γάρ ἐσθ᾽ ὑπηρέτας. In P. 1 init. the φόρμιγξ gives the signal, but there is no difference in the relation.

τίνα θεόν, τίν᾽ ἥρωα, τίνα δ᾽ ἄνδρα: Imitated by Hor. Od. 1, 12:quem virum aut heroa lyra vel acri | tibia sumis celebrare, Clio, | quem deum?” Horace follows the artificial climactic arrangement, which brings him up to — Augustus. So Isok. Euag. 39: οὐδεὶς οὔτε θνητὸς οὔθ᾽ ἡμίθεος οὔτ᾽ ἀθάνατος. Antiphon (1, 27) gives us Pindar's order: οὔτε θεοὺς οὔθ᾽ ἥρωας οὔτ᾽ ἀνθρώπους αἰσχυνθεῖσα οὐδὲ δείσασα. The triplet here announced runs through the poem. To Zeus (A) belongs the place (a), to Herakles (B) the festival (b), to Theron (C) the prize (c), and the order is * with a subtle variation of case.

κελαδήσομεν: See O. 1.9. Whether we have subj. or fut. here it is impossible to tell, nor does it matter.

Ὀλυμπιάδα . . . Ἡρακλέης: See O. 10 (11), 56, for the story.

ἀκρόθινα: Compare O. 10 (11), 62: τὰν πολέμοιο δόσιν ἀκρόθινα διελὼν ἔθυε καὶ πενταετηρίδ᾽ ἔστασεν ἑορτάν. Usually ἀκροθίνια, as in N. 7.41.

γεγωνητέον: “We must proclaim so far as voice can be heard.” The post-Homeric -τέος forms are not common in lyric poetry.

ὄπιν: So Hermann, as acc. of extent to δίκαιον. Others ὄπι. Most of the MSS. have ὀπί, glossed by διὰ φωνῆς λαμπρᾶς, and all have ξένον, which is interpreted as δίκαιον ὄντα κατὰ τὴν φιλίαν τῶν ξένων. ὄπις as a masc. subst. = ὀπιζόμενος (cf. P. 4.86; I. 3 [4], 5) would not be unwelcome to me, “a just respecter of guests.” So λάτρις = λατρεύων and σίνις = σινόμενος, besides others in -ις.

ξένων: Supposed to have reference to Polyzelos, the fugitive brother of Hieron.

ἔρεισμ᾽ Ἀκράγαντος: The reference is to the great day of Himera. So Athens, for her share in the Persian war, is called (fr. IV. 4, 2) Ἑλλάδος ἔρεισμα. The compliment is heightened by the well - known strength of Akragas.

εὐωνύμων . . . πατέρων: Notice the auspicious beginning of the last lines in the four stanzas: v. 8, εὐωνύμων, v. 16, εὔφρων, v. 38, εὐθυμιᾶν, and, like a distant echo, v. 104, εὐεργέταν.

ὀρθόπολιν: Continuation of the figure in ἔρεισμα. This raising of the city to its height is supposed to refer to the adornment of Akragas with great temples and other magnificent public buildings.

Antistrophe 1

καμόντες οἵ: This position of the relative is not so harsh as in Latin, on account of the stronger demonstrative element of the Greek relative. So v. 25: ἔπαθον αἳ μεγάλα.

θυμῷ: Od. 1. 4: πολλὰ δ᾽ γ᾽ ἐν πόντῳ πάθεν ἄλγεα ὃν κατὰ θυμόν.

ἱερόν: All cities were dedicated to some deity, but Akragas especially, having been given to Persephone by Zeus, εἰς ἀνακαλυπτήρια. Preller, Gr. Myth. 1, 485.

ἔσχον: “Got” (of conquest). So P. 1.65. The ingressiveness of ἔσχον is due to the meaning of the verb.

οἴκημα ποταμοῦ = οἴκημα ποτάμιον. In such combinations the full adj. is more common than the fossilized adj. or genitive. Compare P. 6.6: ποταμίᾳ Ἀκράγαντι. The river bore the same name as the city. Compare further Eur. Med. 846:ἱερῶν ποταμῶν πόλις” , Theogn. 785: Εὐρώτα δονακοτρόφου ἀγλαὸν ἄστυ, and O. 13.61, where Corinth is called ἄστυ Πειράνας.

Σικελίας . . . ὀφθαλμός: Compare O. 6.16: ποθέω στρατιᾶς ὀφθαλμὸν ἐμᾶς. Athens and Sparta were the two eyes of Greece. See Leptines ap. Aristot. Rhet. 3, 10, 7, whence Milton's “Athens, the eye of Greece.”

αἰὼν . . . μόρσιμος: “Time followed as it was allotted.”

ἔφεπε: In innumerable passages αἰών, χρόνος, βίος are represented as the attendants of men. This personification is easier to the Greek than it is to us, and must be looked for. See O. 6.56.

πλοῦτόν τε καὶ χάριν: Notice the close connection of “wealth and honor.” χ. is the glory lent by poesy, and “wealth and poesy” would represent the material and the spiritual elements of happiness. On χάρις, see O. 1.18. 30.

γνησίαις ἐπ᾽ ἀρεταῖς: In prose we should consider ἐπί “on account of.” Here it is more plastic. “Wealth and poesy crown their native gifts.” See O. 11 (10), 13: κόσμον ἐπὶ στεφάνῳ, and compare note on P. 5.124.

Κρόνιε παῖ Π̔έας: Much more vigorous than παῖ Κρόνου τε καὶ Ῥέας, though we must not forget dialectic preferences for the forms in -ιος. Rhea is mentioned again with Kronos, v. 85: πόσις πάντων Ῥέας ὑπέρτατον ἐχοίσας θρόνον, and Zeus is called παῖς Ῥέας, fr. XI. 5. For this Kronos element, see O. 1.10. P. himself was a servant of Rhea (Magna Mater). The special allusions detected by the commentators to Theron's personal history are due to fanciful combinations.

ἕδος Ὀλύμπου: Here again Ὀλύμπου is = Ὀλύμπιον, as ποταμοῦ = ποτάμιον. The triplet here reminds one of the triplet in the first strophe, and by assigning ἀέθλων κορυφάν to Herakles (O. 6.69), and πόρον τ᾽ Ἀλφεοῦ to Theron (compare O. 1.20: παρ᾽ Ἀλφεῷ σύτο δέμας), we should have the same order.

πόρον τ᾽ Ἀλφεοῦ: So, O. 10 (11), 53: “The watercourse of the Alpheios.” So-called genitive of apposition.

ἰανθείς = εὐφρανθείς, but the old “warming,” “dissolving,” “melting” sense is not wholly lost. See P. 1.11.

σφίσιν depends on κόμισον λοιπῷ γένει. There is no σχῆμα καθ᾽ ὅλον καὶ μέρος for the dat. For the construction, compare O. 8.83, and P. 1.7;

ἵνα δοκῇ θεὸν τεκεῖν
ἡμῖν τε τιμὴ παντὶ τῷ γένει παρῇ.

κόμισον, like our “convey,” always connotes “care,” “safety.”

Epode 1

τῶν . . . τέλος: Familiar commonplace. The meaning is essentially complete without ἔργων τέλος, so that these two words come in as a reinforcement. “When fully consummated.”

ἀποίητον: We should expect ἄπρακτον like Lat. factum infectum, but ἀποίητον embraces ἄπρακτον.

λάθα: N. 10.24: νικάσαις δὶς ἔσχεν Θεαῖος δυσφόρων λάθαν πόνων. P. 1.46: εἰ γὰρ πᾶς χρόνος καμάτων ἐπίλασιν παράσχοι.

πότμῳ σὺν εὐδαίμονι: σύν semi-personifies πότμος.

γένοιτ᾽ ἄν: “Must come.” “Cannot fail to come.”

ἐσλῶν=ἐσθλῶν, itself a poetic word. See O. 1.99; 2, 69.

ὑπὸ χαρμάτων: ὑπό, with the genitive of things, keeps the personification alive in prose. But the “under” element of ὑπό is felt in P., though, of course, it is more evident with the dat., “Under the weight of.” χαρμ. is echoed in v. 109 (Mezger).

παλίγκοτον δαμασθέν: “Quell'd in spite's despite.” The πῆμα resists, but resists in vain. παλίγκοτον is adversative, not attributive merely.

Strophe 2

πέμψῃ: So the Ambrosianus and the Schol. Otherwise πέμπῃ might stand. The durative tenses of πέμπειν are often used where we should expect the complexive (or aoristic) tenses. π. has not the same notion of “detachment” as our “send.”

ἀνεκὰς . . . ὑψηλόν: Ar. Vesp. 18:ἀνεκὰς ἐς τὸν οὐρανόν.ὑψηλόν is predicative. The figure is that of a wheel.

ἕπεται: “Sorts with,” “suits,” ἁρμόζει, Schol.

εὐθρόνοις: Elsewhere of goddesses only, P. 9.65; N. 3.83; I. 2, 5. Ὁμηρικὸς ζῆλος, says a Scholiast. Cf. Il. 8. 565: ἐύθρονον Ἠῶ μίμνον, al.

Κάδμοιο κούραις: Semele, Ino, Autonoë, Agaue, were all in trouble. P. selects those who emerge.

ἔπαθον αἵ: See v. 8. Ino, pursued by her mad husband, leaped into the sea and became a goddess, Leukothea. Semele, killed by lightning because she wished to see her celestial lover, Zeus, in full array, was afterwards received up into heaven.

πένθος δὲ πιτνεῖ: An intercalated reflection, and not a part of the narrative, as ἔπιτνεν would make it.

βαρύ: Position as in παλίγκοτον δαμασθέν, v. 22.

κρεσσόνων πρὸς ἀγ.: “Before the face of mightier blessings.”

βρόμῳ κεραυνοῦ: The instrumental “by” is more poetic than the locative “mid.” The tenderness of Semele is brought out by the womanly τανυέθειρα.

Παλλάς: The Scholiasts call attention to the significant omission of Hera; the specific mention of Pallas may be explained in half a dozen ways. She was one of the guardian deities of Akragas, a close sympathizer with her father. The triad here is not to be emphasized.

παῖς κισσοφόρος: Dionysos. Cf. fr. IV. 3, 9: τὸν κισσοδέταν θεόν.

Antistrophe 2

ἐν καὶ θαλάσσᾳ: Here καί belongs to λέγοντι (Bossler).

κόραισι Νηρῆος ἁλίαις: Compare v. 13: Κρόνιε παῖ Ῥέας. The Nereids are the daughters of Nereus and the sea ( ἅλς). Nereus is “water” (mod. Gr. νερό), as his spouse is Doris — the sea being a symbol of riches (ἔστιν θάλασσα, τίς δέ νιν κατασβέσει;).

βίοτον ἄφθιτον . . . τὸν ὅλον ἀμφὶ χρόνον: The expression seems redundant, unless we remember that βίοτον expresses the enjoyment of life, and not the mere duration (χρόνος).

τὸν ὅλον . . . χρόνον: Compare πᾶς χρόνος, P. 1.46. On ἀμφί see O. 1.97, where the “both” signification is plainer. As περί w. acc. may mean “around” (without) and “around” (within), so ἀμφί may be “about” (without) and “about” (within), and so be loosely used for ἐν.

βροτῶν γε: However it may stand with high and mighty heroines.

πεῖρας θανάτου: The θάνατος is the πεῖρας. Cf. v. 19: ἔργων τέλος.

οὐδ᾽ ἡσύχιμον ἁμέραν , κτἑ.: Instead of a mechanical τέλος ἁμέρας to balance πεῖρας θανάτου, instead of a mechanical ὁπόθ᾽ ἱξόμεθα to balance ὁπότε τελευτάσομεν, P. varies the structure: “Surely in the case of mortals a certain goal of death is in no wise fixed, nor [is it fixed] when we shall bring one day, child of a single sun (spanned though it be but by a single sun), with unfretted good to its end in peace.” The position removes all harshness. βροτῶν at the head of the sentence is only semi-dependent. ἡσύχιμον ἁμέραν, in like manner, allows us to wait for its regimen.

παῖδ᾽ ἀελίου: The personification may have faded somewhat, but the mind dissociates τελευτάσομεν from the apposition.

ἔβαν: Gnomic.

Epode 2

Μοῖρα: In P. Moira is above the gods, but in harmony with them.

τε: “She who.”

πατρώιον , κτἑ.: “Maintains as an heirloom [= from sire to son] this fair fate of theirs.”

τῶνδε: As usu. of the victor's house, the Emmenidai.

ἐπί τι . . . πῆμα: The calamity is gently touched. The name of Oidipus is not even mentioned. Where P. does mention the hero, it is to honor him, P. 4.263.

παλιντράπελον: “Reverse.” Pendant to παλίγκοτον δαμασθέν, v. 22.

ἐξ οὗπερ: “Since.”

μόριμος υἱός= κατὰ μοῖραν αὐτῷ γενόμενος.

συναντόμενος: On his way from the Delphic oracle, where Apollo had told him that he would be the murderer of his father that begot him (So. O.R. 793).

χρησθὲν | παλαίφατον τέλεσσεν: P. ignores the first part as recorded by So. O.R. 791: ὡς μητρὶ μὲν χρείη με μιχθῆναι.

Strophe 3

ὀξεἶ Ἐρινύς: ὀξέως βλέπουσα, Schol. She saw, while Oidipus was blind. So. Ai. 835: καλῶ δ᾽ ἀρωγοὺς τὰς ἀεί τε παρθένους, ἀεὶ δ᾽ ὁρώσας πάντα τἀν βροτοῖς πάθη, | σεμνὰς Ἐρινῦς τανύποδας.

σὺν ἀλλαλοφονίᾳ: The comitative σύν with the dat., instead of the simple instrumental dat., which has forgotten its comitative origin. Cf. P. 12.21: ὄφρα . . . σὺν ἔμτεσι μιμήσαιτ᾽ ἐρικλάγκταν γόον.

γένος ἀρήιον: “His fighting stock,” his sons, the spear-side of his house.

Θέρσανδρος: The son of Polyneikes and his wife Argeia, daughter of Adrastos.

ἐν μάχαις . . . πολέμου: He was slain by Telephos before Troy.

θάλος: Cf. O. 6.68: Ἡρακλέης σεμνὸν θάλος Ἀλκαϊδᾶν.

ἀρωγόν: Aigialeus, the only son of Adrastos, had fallen before Thebes, so that Thersandros became the avenger of the family in the war of the Epigonoi. (So Böckh with the Schol.)

σπέρματος . . . ῥίζαν: “Seed root,” origin.

ἔχοντα: So Aristarchos. The MSS. have ἔχοντι, which some Scholiasts take as ἔχουσι, while others note the change from dat. (ἔχοντι) to acc. (τὸν Αἰνησιδάμου), a change which, however natural from substantive to participle, is not natural from participle to substantive.

μελέων λυρᾶν τε: Blended in v. 1: ἀναξιφόρμιγγες ὕμνοι.

Antistrophe 3

γέρας: “Prize.”

ὁμόκλαρον: Likewise victorious. The brother was Xenokrates. Compare P. 6 and I. 2.

κοιναί: “Impartial.”

Χάριτες: Who give and grace victories. See O. 6.76; N. 5 (end); N. 10.38.

ἄνθεα τεθρίππων: The chariots are wreathed with the flowers they have gained. See P. 9.133: πολλὰ μὲν κεῖνοι δίκον | φύλλ᾽ ἔπι καὶ στεφάνους.

δυωδεκαδρόμων: Chariots had to make twelve courses. Cf. P. 5.33. Hence O. 3.33: δωδεκάγναμπτον τέρμα, and O. 6.75.

τὸ δὲ τυχεῖν = τὸ νικῆσαι, Schol. N. 1.10: ἔστι δ᾽ ἐν εὐτυχίᾳ | πανδοξίας ἄκρον.

ἀγωνίας: The bad sense is late.

δυσφρονᾶν: Formed like εὐφρόνη, ἀφρόνη = ἀφροσύνη. The best MSS. have δυσφροσύναν παραλύει. δυσφ. is glossed by ἀθυμία. This is the recurrent thought of the ode — the balance of good and bad.

μὰν πλοῦτος: μ., a faded oath, by way of confirmation. Often used to meet objections.

ἀρεταῖς δεδαιδαλμένος: See O. 13 for a poetic lesson on the necessity of something more than wealth. Cf. P. 5.1: πλοῦτος εὐρυσθενής, ὅταν τις ἀρετᾷ κεκραμένον καθαρᾷ αὐτὸν ἀνάγῃ | πολύφιλον ἑπέταν.

τῶν τε καὶ τῶν: “This and that.” Not “good and bad,” but “indefinite blessings.” So, in prose, τὸν καὶ τόν, “this man and that man.”

βαθεῖαν ὑπέχων μέριμναν ἀγροτέραν: Acc. to the majority of interpreters this means “rousing a deep and eager yearning for achievement,” “putting into the heart of man a deep and eager mood.” So the Schol.: συνετὴν ἔχων τὴν φροντίδα πρὸς τὸ ἀγρεύειν τὰ ἀγαθά. ἀγρότερος is used of the Centaur, P. 3.4; ἀγροτέρα of Kyrene, P. 9.6. But lions are ἀγρότεροι, N. 3.46, and as μέριμνα leans in P. to the bad, and ὑπέχων occurs nowhere else in P., diversity of opinion may be pardoned. ὑπέχειν, “sustain,” is the other side of κατέχειν, “keep down,” and that other side appears, v. 21: ἐσλῶν . . . ὑπὸ χαρμάτων πῆμα θνᾴσκει | παλίγκοτον δαμασθέν. There the monster is crushed, here the high (deep) load of carking care is shouldered. Wealth is an Atlas.

Epode 3

ἀστὴρ ἀρίζηλος , κτἑ.: The shifting of the imagery is facilitated by the beginning of the epode. ἀρίζηλος = ἀρίδηλος, an Homeric word.

φέγγος is used of the sun, the moon, or any great or conspicuous light.

εἰ δέ: The passage has an enormous literature to itself. In despair, I have kept the reading of the MSS., with the interpretation “If, in truth, when one hath it (νιν = πλοῦτον) he knows (of) the future that,” etc. δέ in P. is often not far from δή. This would make the sentence an after-thought. Böckh's εἴ γε, which is simple, is not lyrical (Mommsen). εὖ δέ and ἒν δέ are not convincing conjectures. εὖτε has been suggested. Bergk considers οἶδεν to have been used once by brachylogy instead of twice, and punctuates εἰ δέ νιν ἔχων τις, οἶδεν τὸ μέλλον, “If any one that hath it knows, he (Theron) knows.” In that case, Theron would have been mentioned. Mezger makes εἴ τις οἶδεν . . . ἀνάγκᾳ the protasis, and ἴσαις δέ . . . τύρσιν the apodosis, or rather the apparent apodosis, the real apodosis being some verb of ascertainment understood. See my Lat. Gr. (3 ed.), 601. “If one knows . . . (why, then, he must know that) . . . the good,” etc. This makes δέ apodotic. See O. 3.43. It would be better to leave the first sentence frankly without an apodosis.

θανόντων: The sins committed in the world below are punished here on earth. Earth and Hades are mutual hells. P.'s view of the yonder world, as set forth in this passage, may be supplemented by the fragments of the θρῆνοι. P. believes in the continued existence of the soul after death, in transmigration, in retribution, in eternal blessedness. Immediately after death the soul is judged and sent to join the ranks of the pious or of the wicked. Good souls dwell with Pluton and Persephone in perpetual light and happiness, the bad must endure anguish past beholding for punishment and purification. If they do not mend, they are sent back to earth, and after death come again before the inexorable judgment-seat. Those who are purified return to earth in the ninth year, and are made kings, heroes, sages. When a man has maintained himself in each of these transition stages, and has kept pure from all wrong, he becomes a hero, and dwells forever in the islands of the blessed. (After Mezger.)

αὐτίκ᾽: “Straight,” εὐθέως, Schol.

ἀπάλαμνοι: Cf. O. 1.59: ἀπάλαμον βίον.

ἔτισαν: The aor. disposes of Rauchenstein's αὖτις.

τᾷδε Διὸς ἀρχᾷ: On earth. — 65: κατὰ γᾶς: κατὰ with genitive in P. only here

τις: Dread indefiniteness.

λόγον φράσαις: “Rendering his sentence.” φράζειν, of deliberate, careful, clear speech. λόγος is used of an oracle, P. 4.59.

Strophe 4

ἴσαις δὲ νύκτεσσιν αἰεί, | ἴσαις δ᾽ ἁμέραις: I follow Mommsen. The best MSS. have ἴσαις δ᾽ ἐν ἁμ. Various changes have been made to save the uniformity and avoid — for ˘ ˘ in v. 68. So, v. 67: ἴσον δέ, v. 68: ἴσα δ᾽ ἐν ἁμ., which J. H. H. Schmidt follows. Equal nights and equal days may be equal to each other (equinoctial) or equal to ours; may be equal in length or equal in character. “Equal to each other in character” seems to be the safest interpretation. “The night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike.” To some the passage means that the blessed have the same length of day and night that we do, but their lives are freer from toil. This interpretation is favored by ἀπονέστερον, which shows that the standard of comparison is earthly life, though Dissen makes it refer to the wicked.

δέκονται: It is a boon. δέρκονται, the reading of the mass of our MSS., is unmetrical, and not over-clear

οὐ χθόνα: The position of the negative in P. is especially free; here it is to be justified by οὐδὲ πόντιον ὕδωρ.

ἐν χερὸς ἀκμᾷ: So, P. 2.8: ἀγαναῖσιν ἐν χερσὶν ποικιλανίοις ἐδάμασσε πώλους. N. 1.52: ἐν χερὶ τινάσσων φάσγανον. Local more vivid than instrumental.

ἀκμᾷ: “Strength;” as ἀκμὰ ποδῶν, I. 7 (8), 37, is “speed.”

κεινὰν παρὰ δίαιταν: “For the sake of unsatisfying food,” as mortals do. This use of παρά, “along,” “by way of,” and so “by reason of,” “for the sake of,” is solitary in P., but becomes common in the later time. So παρ᾽ .

τιμίοις θεῶν: At the court of Pluton and Persephone.

ἔχαιρον: When they were on earth.

εὐορκίαις: Ps. 24, 3: Who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

τοὶ δέ = οἱ κακοί.

ὀκχέοντι = ὀχέουσι = ὑφίστανται καὶ βαστάζουσιν (Schol.).

Antistrophe 4

ἐτόλμασαν: “Persevered.”

ἐστρὶς | ἑκατέρωθι : τρὶς ἑκατέρωθι would naturally mean six times. ἐστρίς may mean three times in all. The soul descends to Hades, then returns to earth, then descends again for a final probation.

ἔτειλαν: Act. only here in P.

Διὸς ὁδόν: The king's highway (mystic).

παρὰ Κρόνου τύρσιν: Not “along,” as in prose, but “to the neighborhood of,” as if παρὰ Κρόνον, “to the court of Kronos,” who presides over the happy isles.

ϝᾶσος: Dor. = νήσους.

ἄνθεμα χρυσοῦ = . χρυσᾶ. So I. 1, 20: φιάλαισι χρυσοῦ. Cf. P. 1.6; 4, 71. 240; N. 5.54; I. 7 (8), 67.

τὰ μὲν χερσόθεν . . . ὕδωρ δ᾽ ἄλλα: Chiasm. The world below is a brilliant repetition of the world above. The prizes are of gold — gold instead of olive and laurel. In ὕδωρ, Dissen sees an allusion to the water-parsley of the Isthmian games.

στεφάνοις: I have given what seems to be the best MS. reading. κεφαλάς is used in a gloss to explain στεφάνοις, as στ. is not applicable to χέρας, ὅρμοι being used for neck and breast, στέφανοι for heads. Bergk suggests: ὅρμοις (= ἐκ in Lokrian inscriptions) τῶν χέρες ἀναπλέκοντι καὶ στεφάνοιςὅρμοις and στεφάνοις being Aeolic accusatives.

Epode 4

βουλαῖς ἐν ὀρθαῖσι: Like ἐν νόμοις, P. 1.62; ἐν νόμῳ, N. 10.28; I. 2, 38; and ἐν δίκᾳ, O. 2.18; 6, 12; P. 5.14; N. 5.14. ἐν δίκῃ is common even in prose

Ῥαδαμανθυος: The τις of v. 65.

ὃν . . . πάρεδρον: The best MSS. have ὃν πατὴρ ἔχει γᾶς with a gap. The true reading cannot be elicited with certainty from the Scholia and glosses. Even in antiquity the critics were at a loss. I have resigned myself with Dissen and Schneidewin to the reading of the interpolated MSS.

Π̔έας . . . θρόνον: Rhea, as mother of the gods, thrones above all.

Πηλεύς: An Hellenic saint, a Greek Joseph. See N. 5.26, where he resists the wiles of Hippolyta, and I. 7 (8), 41: ὅντ᾽ εὐσεβέστατον φάτις Ἰωλκοῦ τράφειν πεδίον. Peleus and Kadmos are associated again, P. 3.87. Here they are linked by τε καί on account of the like fortune in marriage, l. c. 91: ὁπόθ᾽ Ἁρμονίαν γᾶμεν βοῶπιν | δὲ Νηρέος εὐβούλου Θέτιν παῖδα κλυτάν.

Κάδμος: Called ἀντίθεος, P. 3.88.

Ἀχιλλέα: ἐν νήσοις μακάρων σέ φασιν εἶναι | ἵναπερ ποδώκης Ἀχιλεύς, acc. to the famous skolion of Kallistratos ap. Athen. 15, 695 A. See Plat. Symp. 179 E, 180 B. Acc. to N. 4.49 Achilles has another abode, an island in the Euxine. It has been fancied that Theron was a Peleus, a Kadmos, and an Achilles in one.

Strophe 5

ἄμαχον ἀστραβῆ κίονα: An allusion to Ἕκτωρ (acc. to Greek feeling = *ἐχέτωρ) as the “upholder” is not impossible, though the metaphor is common enough.

Κύκνον: Son of Poseidon, who opposed the landing of the Greeks.

θανάτῳ πόρεν: Compare P. 5.60: ἔδωκε θῆρας αἰνῷ φόβῳ, N. 1.66: φᾶσέ νιν δώσειν μόρῳ, and Lat. dare morti, “put (in)to (the maw of) death.” Instead of flattening antique personification, let us emboss our own. πορεῖν is combined with νέμειν and διδόναι, P. 5.65.

Ἀοῦς τε παῖδ᾽ Αἰθίοπα: Memnon. Kyknos, Hektor, and Memnon are grouped, I. 4 (5), 39, another triad.

πολλά μοι , κτἑ.: Asyndeton common on announcing the end.

ὑπ᾽ ἀγκῶνος: Compare Theokr. 17, 30: ὑπωλένιόν τε φαρέτρην.

βέλη: Of poetry, I. 4, 46; O. 13.93.

ἐντί: Is explained as a singular, but Gust. Meyer, Gr. Gr., § 483, dissents. It is livelier as a plural, O. 10 (11), 93; P. 1.13.

φωνάεντα συνετοῖσιν: A stock quotation, “that have a voice only for the wise.”

ἐς δὲ τὸ πάν: Sometimes written τοπάν or τόπαν to save the quantity, like σύμπαν, ἅπαν, πρόπαν. τὸ πάν is glossed by τὸ κοινόν, Shakespeare's “the general,” ποὺς πολλοὺς καὶ χυδαιοτέρους. The other rendering, “generally,” is less satisfactory. The change from the dative συνετοῖσιν to ἐς and the acc. is in P.'s manner. Mr. Verrall argues (Journal of Philol., No. XVII.) at length in favor of τοπάν from *τοπή, “divination,” a word which he elicits from τοπάζειν.

σοφός: Of poetic art.

φυᾷ: A Pindaric cry to be heard often, e. g. O. 9.107: τὸ δὲ φυᾷ κράτιστον ἅπαν, for while P. does not despise training, O. 8.60, where, by the way, he is praising a trainer, he believes in Ruskin's first rule, “Be born with genius.” God, Apollo, the Muse, the Muses, Charis, the Charites — these are the sources of the poet's inspiration. It is part and parcel of his aristocratic “blood” theory.

μαθόντες: The old sneer that finds an echo in Persius, “Quis expedivit psittaco suum χαῖρε?” The commentators refer this characteristic to Simonides and Bakchylides. Simonides was considered σοφώτατος, and if Simonides was meant, σοφὸς πολλὰ ϝειδὼς φυᾷ would be spiteful. Bakchylides was the nephew of Simonides, disciple, imitator, and collaborator of his uncle. It is supposed that P. gained the contract for writing this poem over S. and B., and hence this scornful and, we should say, ignoble note of superiority. As Simonides had just made peace between Hieron and Theron, it is very unlikely that P. should have made this arrogant fling at this time.

λάβροι: With κόρακες. The antithesis is the ὄρνις θεῖος (Mezger). Usually punctuated λάβροι παγγλωσίᾳ, κόρακες ὥς.

κόρακες ὥς . . . γαρύετον: The dual certainly suggests definite pairs, especially as it is often used with mocking effect, e. g. in Plato's Euthydemos (compare Arcades ambo). The use of the dual on metrical (?) grounds for the plural is not tolerable. Mr. Verrall's suggestion that the reference is to the two Sicilian rhetoricians, Korax and Tisias (the latter of whom was called κακοῦ κόρακος κακὸν ᾠόν) is ingenious. See P. 1.94, where the panegyric side of oratory is recognized. If we must have rivalry, why not rivalry between the old art of poetry (φυᾷ) and the new art of rhetoric (μαθόντες)? Besides, λάβροι κόρακες of this kind succeed best in the λάβρος στρατός (P. 2.87).

ἄκραντα: “Ineffectual stuff.”

Antistrophe 5

Διὸς πρὸς ὄρνιχα θεῖον: See P. 1.6. The eagle (Pindar) sits quiet and disdainful on the sceptre of Zeus. His defiant scream will come, and then the ineffectual chatter will cease. Compare

μέγαν αἰγυπιὸν δ᾽ ὑποδείσαντες τάχ̓ ἂν ἐξαίφνης εἰ σὺ φανείης,
σιγῇ πτήξειαν ἄφωνοι.

ἔπεχε νῦν σκοπῷ, κτἑ.: Resumption of the figure in vv. 92-94. Cf. N. 9.55: ἀκοντίζων σκοποἶ ἄγχιστα Μοισᾶν.

θυμέ: So N. 3.26.

τίνα βάλλομεν: Not exactly = βαλοῦμεν: “Whom are we trying to hit?” The pres. for fut., except in oracles (O. 8.42), is rare, conversational, passionate. See Thuk. 6, 91, 3.

ἐκ μαλθακᾶς . . . φρενός: The quiver usually has a hostile significance, hence φρενός is qualified. The arrows are kindly (ἀγανά), not biting (πικρά).

ἐπί: As in O. 8.48: ἐπ᾽ Ἰσθμῷ ποντίᾳ ἅρμα θοὸν τάνυεν.

τανύσαις αὐδάσομαι = τείνας τὸ τόξον ἀποφανοῦμαι (Schol.). Böckh punctuates τανύσαις: and makes it an optative (imperative opt.), counter to the Pindaric use of τοι.

αὐδάσομαι: In its full sense of “loudly proclaim.”

ἐνόρκιον λόγον: O. 6.20: μέγαν ὅρκον ὀμόσσαις.

τεκεῖν μή: The neg. is μή on account of the oath. Commentators are divided as to τεκεῖν, whether it is past or future. For the future, see O. 1.105. For the past, P. 2.60: εἰ δέ τις ἤδη κτεάτεσσί τι καὶ περὶ τιμᾷ λέγει | ἔτερόν τιν᾽ ἀν᾽ Ἑλλάδα τῶν πάροιθε γενέσθαι | χαύνᾳ πραπίδι παλαιμονεῖ κενεά. The past is better on account of the ἑκατόν γε ϝετέων: “These hundred years,” with an especial reference to Akragas, which was founded about a hundred years before (Ol. 49, 3 = 582 B.C.).

Epode 5

Θήρωνος: Effective position. Compare v. 17: λοιπῷ γένει, and O. 1.81. The sense is fairly complete in the antistrophe; and the use of the dependent genitive here renews the whole thought with a challenge. — αἶνον: In prose this word was reserved for religious occasions. P. uses ἔπαινος but once

ἐπέβα: Is supposed to have an actual basis in the behavior of Kapys and Hippokrates, two kinsmen of Theron, who went over to Hieron (Schol.). But gnomic aorists have an actual basis also.

οὐ δίκᾳ συναντόμενος: “Not mated with justice, but [set on] by rabid men. Compare I. 2, 1: χρυσαμπύκων | ἐς δίφρον Μοισᾶν ἔβαινον κλυτᾷ φόρμιγγι συναντόμενοι.

μάργων: Of men besotted in their fury. So μαργουμένους, N. 9.19.

τὸ λαλαγῆσαι θέλων: The articular infinitive, which is not fully developed in P., is seldom used after verbs of will and endeavor, and then always has a strong demonstrative force — often with a scornful tang. So. Ant. 312:οὐκ ἐξ ἅπαντος δεῖ τὸ κερδαίνειν φιλεῖν” , 664:τοὐπιτάσσειν τοῖς κρατοῦσιν ἐννοεῖ” , O. C. 442:τὸ δρᾶν οὐκ ἠθέλησαν” (cited by De Jongh). So in prose with σπεύδειν, θαρρεῖν, διώκειν, and the opposite. “Full fain for this thing of babbling.”

κρύφον: A very rare substantive.

τε θέμεν: Better than τιθέμεν, which would depend awkwardly on λαλαγῆσαι.

ἐπεὶ . . . δύναιτο : ἐπεί is “whereas.” Madmen may attempt to babble down and obscure his praises, but his deeds of kindness are numberless, and cannot be effaced any more than they can be counted.

χάρματα: Echo of χαρμάτων, v. 21 (Mezger).

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hide References (37 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (37):
    • Aristophanes, Wasps, 18
    • Euripides, Bacchae, 335
    • Euripides, Medea, 846
    • Homer, Iliad, 8.565
    • Homer, Odyssey, 1.4
    • Pindar, Nemean, 1
    • Pindar, Nemean, 10
    • Pindar, Nemean, 3
    • Pindar, Nemean, 4
    • Pindar, Nemean, 5
    • Pindar, Nemean, 7
    • Pindar, Nemean, 9
    • Pindar, Olympian, 1
    • Pindar, Olympian, 13
    • Pindar, Olympian, 2
    • Pindar, Olympian, 3
    • Pindar, Olympian, 6
    • Pindar, Olympian, 8
    • Pindar, Olympian, 9
    • Pindar, Pythian, 1
    • Pindar, Pythian, 12
    • Pindar, Pythian, 2
    • Pindar, Pythian, 3
    • Pindar, Pythian, 5
    • Pindar, Pythian, 6
    • Pindar, Pythian, 9
    • Plato, Symposium, 179e
    • Plato, Symposium, 180b
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 169
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 835
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 312
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 664
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 442
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 791
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 793
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.91.3
    • Pindar, Pythian, 4
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