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A peculiar interest attaches to this poem as the earliest work of Pindar that we have, for, according to the common count, the poet was only twenty years old when he composed the tenth Pythian in honor of the victory of Hippokleas, παῖς διαυλοδρόμος, Pyth. 22 (Ol. 69, 3 = 502 B.C.). The Scholiast says that Hippokleas gained another victory the same day in the single-dash foot-race (σταδίῳ), but no direct mention of it is made in this poem. The father of Hippokleas had overcome twice at Olympia as ὁπλιτοδρόμος, once at Pytho in an ordinary race. Pindar was employed for this performance not by the family of Hippokleas, but by the Aleuadai of Larisa. Dissen thinks that the ode was sung at Larisa, Böckh at Pelinna, the home of Hippokleas.

Always an aristocrat, at the time of P. 10 Pindar had not reached the years of balance in which even he could see some good in the λάβρος στρατός. Here he simply repeats the cant of his class. He is what we may suppose the Kyrnos of Theognis to have been when he started life, and this poem is redolent of the young aristocracy to which P. belonged. The Persian war had not yet come with its revelation. “The Gods and the Good Men,” that is his motto, but the good men must be of his own choosing. He believed in God, he believed also in Blood. The praise of Hippokleas, as aristocratic as his name, was a congenial theme. “Rich is Lakedaimon, blessed is Thessaly; o'er both the seed of Herakles bears sway.” This is the high keynote of the poem — the name of Herakles, the pride of race. “Is this an untimely braggart song?” he asks. “Nay, I am summoned by Pytho and the Aleuadai, descendants of Herakles, to bring to Hippokleas a festal voice of minstrels” — Pytho and the Aleuadai, God and Blood (vv. 1-6). “For Hippokleas maketh trial of contests, and the Parnassian gorge hath proclaimed him foremost of boys in the double course. Apollo, achievement and beginning wax sweet alike when God giveth the impulse, and it was by thy counsels that he accomplished this, but by inborn valor hath he trodden in the footsteps of his father.” Apollo gave the accomplishment, the father the native vigor — God and Blood again (vv. 7-13). “That father was twice victorious at Olympia, clad in the armor of Ares, and the field of contests 'neath the rock of Kirrha proclaimed him victor in the footrace. May fortune attend them in after-days also with flowers of wealth.” May Blood have the blessing of God (vv. 13-18).

Now follows the moral, not other for the youthful poet than for the gray-haired singer, and Pindar prays for Pelinna as he is afterwards to pray for Aigina (P. 8, end). “Having gained no small share of the pleasant things of Hellas, may they suffer no envious reverses from the gods. Granted that God's heart suffers no anguish, 'tis not so with men. A happy man is he in the eyes of the wise, and a theme for song, who by prowess of hand or foot gains the greatest prizes by daring and by strength (vv. 19-24), and in his lifetime sees his son obtain the Pythian wreath. Higher fortune there is none for him. The brazen heaven he cannot mount, he has sailed to the furthest bound. By ships nor by land canst thou find the marvellous road to the Hyperboreans” (vv. 25-30).

Then follows the brief story of Perseus' visit to the Hyperboreans, a land of feasts and sacrifices. The Muse dwells there, and everywhere there is the swirl of dancing virgins, with the music of lyre and flute. Their heads are wreathed with golden laurels, and they banquet sumptuously. Disease nor old age infests this consecrated race.

The land of the Hyperboreans is a glorified Thessaly, and P. was to come back to it years after in O. 3. What Perseus saw, what Perseus wrought, was marvellous; but was he not the son of Danaë, was he not under the guidance of Athena? (v. 45). And so we have an echo of the duality with which the poem began; and as Pindar, in the second triad (v. 21), bows before the power of God, so in the third (v. 48) he says: ἐμοὶ δὲ θαυμάσαι | θεῶν τελεσσάντων οὐδέν ποτε φαίνεται | ἔμμεν ἄπιστον.

And now, with the same sudden start that we find in his later poems, Pindar returns to the victor and himself. And yet he is haunted by the image of the Hyperboreans, and as he hopes “that his song sweetly sung by the Ephyraian chorus will make Hippokleas still more a wonder for his victories mid elders as mid mates, and to young virgins a sweet care,” the notes of the lyres and the pipings of the flutes and the dances of the Hyperborean maidens (vv. 38-40) come before him. Again a moralizing strain is heard. The highest blessing is the blessing of the day. “What each one striveth for, if gained, he must hold as his near and dear delight. That which is to be a year hence is beyond all ken” (vv. 61, 62). What is that but the τὸ δ᾽ αἰεὶ παράμερον ἐσλὸν | ὕπατον ἔρχεται παντὶ βροτῷ of O. 1.99? Only the young poet has the eager clutch of youth (ἁρπαλέαν φροντίδα), and a year was a longer time for him in P. 22 than in Ol. 77. Then P. thanks the magnate who yoked this four-horse chariot of the Pierides, the chariot which would never be yoked on so momentous occasion for the poet (see O. 6.22), and the ode closes with a commendation of the noble brethren who bear up the state of the Thessalians. On them, the Good Men, depends the blessing of the right governance of the cities ruled by their fathers (vv. 55-72). The last word of the fourth triad is the praise of Blood, as the great thought of the third is God.

Leopold Schmidt has detected the signs of youthfulness in every element of the poem — in periodology, in plan, in transitions, in the consciousness of newly acquired art, in the treatment of the myth, in the tropology, in the metres, in the political attitude. In an edition like this the examination of so subtile a study cannot find a place. A few words on the general subject will be found in the Introductory Essay, p. lvii.

It is noteworthy that the triads do not overlap. Praise occupies the first triad; prayer, fortified by an illustration of God's power, the next two; hope takes up the fourth.

The measures are logaoedic. The mood is set down as a mixture of Aiolian and Lydian.

Strophe 1

ὀλβία ... μάκαιρα: Climax. Asyndeton and climax remain characteristics of P. to the end.

Ἡρακλέος: The Aleuadai were of the Herakleid stock.

τί; κομπέω παρὰ καιρόν; “What? Am I giving utterance to swelling words untimely?” This is Mommsen's reading, and more natural and lively than τί κομπέω παρὰ καιρόν; “Why this swelling (prelude) untimely? with the implied answer, ‘It is not untimely.’”

ἀλλά: “Nay — but.”

Πελινναῖον: Also called Πέλιννα (Πέλινα), in Hestiaiotis, east of Trikka, above the left bank of the Peneios. identified with the ruins near Gardhiki.

ἀπύει: For the sing. (as it were, “with one voice”), compare O. 9.16; P. 4.66; 11, 45.

Ἀλεύα ... παῖδες: The Aleuadai were one of the great aristocratic families of Thessaly. It does not appear in what relation Hippokleas stood to them. Perhaps he was the favorite, or ἀίτας (Theokr. 12, 14), of Thorax, who ordered the song. Fennell, however, thinks that Thorax was the father. See v. 16.

Ἱπποκλέᾳ: The form objected to by Ahrens has been defended by Schneidewin on the authority of inscriptions.

ἀγαγεῖν: As a bride to her husband. Compare also v. 66.

Antistrophe 1

γεύεται γὰρ ἀέθλων: Cf. P. 9.38; N. 6.27: πόνων ἐγεύσαντο, Ι. 4 (5), 19: τὸ δ᾽ ἐμὸν κέαρ ὕμνων γεύεται.

στρατῷ: O. 5.12. Pure dative dependent on ἀνέειπεν.

Παρνάσιος ... μυχός: Cf. P. 5.38: κοιλόπεδον νάπος.

διαυλοδρομᾶν: For the δίαυλος, see O. 13.37.

ἀνέειπεν: O. 9.100; P. 1.32.

Ἄπολλον, γλυκὺ δέ: On δέ, see O. 1.36. γλυκύ is predicative, “waxes a thing of sweetness,” “a delight.”

τέλος ἀρχά τε: The whole, from beginning to end, hence the sing. αὔξεται, as ἀπύει, v. 4. There were two τέλη and two ἀρχαί in the δίαυλος. The first τέλος is the second ἀρχή, and δαίμονος ὀρνύντος is needed for both. Hence perhaps the position, though πρᾶξις ὁδοί τε (P. 9.74) would suffice as a parallel, “the end as the beginning.”

τὸ δὲ συγγενές: Accus. dependent on ἐμβέβακεν. Pindaric variation for τῷ συγγενεῖ opposed to τεοῖς γε μήδεσιν.

ἐμβέβακεν: Cf. N. 11.44: μεγαλανορίαις ἐμβαίνομεν.

Epode 1

πολεμαδόκοις: On the armor of the ὁπλιτοδρόμος, see P. 9.1. As the shield is the important part, the adjective is well chosen.

βαθυλείμων: So with Hartung for βαθυλείμων᾽ β. seems to be a fit epithet for the low-lying course, ἀγών, for which see P. 9.124. Compare also P. 1.24: βαθεῖαν ... πλάκα. The acc. βαθυλείμωνα) is tr. by Fennell “rising from rich meadows.”

ὑπὸ ... πέτραν: “Stretching along under,” hence the accusative. For πέτραν, compare P. 5.37: Κρισαῖον λόφον.

κρατησίποδα: Dependent on θῆκεν. “Made prevalent of foot,” “victorious in the race.”

Φρικίαν: The position is emphatic, but the examples cited by Rauchenstein are all nominatives, Ο. 10 (11), 34. 38. 56; P. 12.17; I. 5 (6), 30. 35. The emphatic acc. naturally takes the head of the sentence. Φ. is the victor's father; according to Hermann and others a horse. If Phrixos is an aristocratic Thessalian name, Phrikias might also be suffered to pass muster.

ἀνθεῖν: As if ἕποιτο μοῖρα were equivalent to εἴη μοῖρα.

σφίσιν: Depends on ἕποιτο. The extremes are rhythmically near. Compare Hdt. 1, 32:εἰ μή οἱ τύχη ἐπίσποιτο πάντα καλὰ ἔχοντα τελευτῆσαι εὖ τὸν βίον.

Strophe 2

φθονεραῖς ἐκ θεῶν | μετατροπίαις: Cf. I. 6 (7), 39: δ᾽ ἀθανάτων μὴ θρασσέτω φθόνος, Hdt. 1, 32:τὸ θεῖον πᾶν φθονερόν.

θεὸς εἴη = θεὸς ἔστω. Compare O. 3.45. Schneidewin's αἰεί is unnecessary, nor need we take εἴη as = εἴη ἄν. “Let him that is free from heartache be a god.” “Set him down as a god.”

γίνεται σοφοῖς: “Is accounted in the eyes of the wise.” More natural than ὑμνητὸς σοφοῖς, “a theme for poets.”

ὃς ἂν χερσὶν ποδῶν ἀρετᾷ, κτἑ.: Cf. Od. 8. 147: οὐ μὲν γὰρ μεῖζον κλέος ἀνέρος ὄφρα κ᾽ ἔῃσιν | τι ποσσίν τε ῥέξῃ καὶ χερσὶν ἑῇσιν.

Antistrophe 2

κατ᾽ αἶσαν = κατὰ τὸ προσῆκον (Schol.). “Duly” with τυχόντα. Cf. P. 4.107.

τυχόντα: On the aor. part. with ἴδῃ, see P. 5.84.

στεφάνων: According to the Scholiast, Hippokleas gained both δίαυλος and στάδιον the same day. See v. 58.

χάλκεος οὐρανός: Compare the story about Diagoras, quoted in the introduction to O. 7, Cic. Tusc. 1, 46, 111:Morere, Diagora, non enim in caelum ascensurus es.

ὅσαις ... πλόον: “Whatsoever brilliant achievements we men of mortal race attain, he sails to the outmost bound.” Combine περαίνει πλόον πρὸς ἔσχατον with Rauchenstein and Leop. Schmidt. Cf. Ι. 5 (6), 12: ἐσχατιὰς ... πρὸς ὄλβου. The dative with ἅπτεσθαι, as Ι. 3 (4), 29: ἀνορέαις δ᾽ ἐσχάταισιν | οἴκοθεν στάλαισιν ἅπτονθ᾽ Ἡρακλείαις. Compare the close of O. 3.

ἀγλαΐαις: For the word, see O. 13.14; the pl., O. 9.106.

ναυσί: On the omission of οὔτε, see P. 6.48, and compare below, v. 41: νόσος οὔτε γῆρας.

κεν εὕροις: Simply εὕροις in the old MSS. ἄν is supplied by Moschopulos. In such passages, P. prefers κεν. See v. 62; O. 10 (11), 22; P. 7.16; N. 4.93. Bergk, following an indication of the Scholia, writes τάχ᾽, the opt. being used in the old potential sense. See note on O. 3.45.

Ὑπερβορέων: See O. 3.16.

ἀγῶνα = ἀγοράν (Eustathios).

θαυματάν: O. 1.28.

Epode 2

Περσεύς: See P. 12, 11.

ὄνων: The ass is a mystic animal. Hence the ready belief that the Jews worshipped an ass. See Justin Martyr, Apol. I. 32, and esp. c. 54, where Christ and Perseus, Pegasos and the foal of an ass are paralleled.

ἐπιτόσσαις = ἐπιτυχών. Cf. P. 3.27: τόσσαις, 4, 25: ἐπέτοσσε.

θεῷ: Apollo.

ῥέζοντας: The acc., as if ἐπιτόσσαις were = εὑρών.

ὕβριν ὀρθίαν: “Rampant lewdness” (Paley). “Towering wantonness.” ὕβρις is “braying,” and its accompaniments (compare Hdt. 4, 129:ὑβρίζοντες ὦν οἱ ὄνοι ἐτάρασσον τὴν ἵππον τῶν Σκυθέων” ), and ὄρθιος in P. is regularly used of sound (O. 9.117; N. 10.76), as Mezger notes, but ὁρῶν cannot be explained away. On the sacrifice of the ass to Apollo, the musical beast to the musical god, see A. B. Cook, Journ. Hell. Stud. XIV., pt. 1, where this passage is illustrated by a fresco found at Mycenae representing two rampant asses with lolling tongues and leering eyes.

κνωδάλων: Properly used of “gnawing” (ravening) monsters; hence, as here, of untamed beasts of draught, Aisch. P. V. 407: ἔζευξα πρῶτος ἐν ζυγοῖσι κνώδαλα.

Strophe 3

τρόποις ἑπὶ σφετέροισι : ἐπί of the conditions. See P. 1.84. “With such ways as theirs” to make her stay. “Such are their ways.” These ways are next set forth

σφετέροισι: See note on O. 9.84.

βοαί: O. 3.8: βοὰν αὐλῶν, Ν. 5, 38: καλάμοιο βοᾷ, which seem to us more natural.

δονέονται: The music swirls with the dance and as well as the dance. N. 7.81: πολύφατον θρόον ὕμνων δόνει ἡσυχᾷ.

δάφνᾳ τε χρυσέᾳ: O. 11 (10), 13: ἐπὶ στεφάνῳ χρυσέας ἐλαίας, and see note on O. 8.1.

ἀναδήσαντες: Where we might expect the middle, but κόμας will serve for the reflexive. See note on O. 14.24: ἐστεφάνωσε.

εἰλαπινάζοισιν: Od. 1. 226: εἰλαπίνη ἦε γάμος; ἐπεὶ οὐκ ἔρανος τάδε γ᾽ ἐστίν.

νόσοι δ᾽ οὔτε γῆρας: See v. 29.

κέκραται: Is “blended” with the current of their blood. See O. 10 (11), 114.

Antistrophe 3

ὑπέρδικον: This stern (over-just) goddess they had escaped, not that they were not subject to her, but because they had satisfied her; they had been found guiltless before her

θρασείᾳ δὲ πνέων καρδίᾳ: A variation from what we should expect, θρασύ or θρασέα, like χαμηλὰ πνέων (P. 11.30); κενεὰ πνεύσας (O. 10 [11], 102).

ἁγεῖτο: Parenthetic imperf.

ποικίλον: Cf. P. 8.46: δράκοντα ποικίλον.

δρακόντων φόβαισι = δρακοντείοις φόβαισι. The locks were snakes.

νασιώταις: The Seriphians. See P. 12.12.

θαυμάσαι: “For wondering.” “To rouse my wonder.” The strict grammatical dependence is on ἄπιστον. In prose, ἄπιστον ὥστε θαυμάσαι. Schol. Flor.: ἐγὼ πιστεύων πάντα τοὺς θεοὺς δύνασθαι οὐ θαυμάζω.

Epode 3

σχάσον: “Check,” “hold.” σχ. is a nautical word. Eur. Phoen. 454:σχάσον δὲ δεινὸν ὄμμα καὶ θυμοῦ πνοάς” . Asyndeton in a sudden shift

ἄγκυραν: The boat-figure grows out of νασιώταις, and χοιράδος πέτρας out of λίθινον θάνατον. Cf. P. 12.12. χ. π. “reef,” “rocky reef.”

ἔρεισον χθονί: “Let it go and grapple the bottom.” The dat. is instrumental.

πρῴραθε: P. 4.191.

ἄλκαρ: “A guard against.”

ἐγκωμίων: Do not land. Your bark will be dashed against the rocks of a long story. Your ship must go to other shores, your song to other themes, as a bee hies from flower to flower. Pindar lives himself into a metaphor, as if it were no metaphor; hence metaphor within metaphor. No mixed, only telescoped, metaphor.

ἄωτος: Is hardly felt as our “flower” or “blossom.” This would make both μέλισσα and λόγον flowers, and P., even in his nonage, could hardly have been guilty of that.

ὧτε: Cf. P. 4.64.

Strophe 4

Ἐφυραίων: Ephyra, afterwards Kranon, was ruled by the Skopadai, great lovers of art. The inhabitants belonged to the stock of the Herakleidai, from Ephyra, in Thesprotia.

ἀμφὶ Πηνεϊόν: At Pelinna.

γλυκεῖαν: Proleptic.

τὸν Ἱπποκλέαν: The article seems prosaic to G. Hermann. Rauchenstein writes ποθ᾽. The other examples are not exactly parallel, but “this Hippokleas of ours” will serve.

ἔτι καὶ μᾶλλον: Even more than he now is, by reason of his victories.

σὺν ἀοιδαῖς: Much more lively than ἀοιδαῖς or δι᾽ ἀοιδῶν. Cf. P. 12.21.

στεφάνων: See v. 26.

νέαισίν τε παρθένοισι μέλημα: A hint that Hippokleas is passing out of the boy-stage. Compare the allusions to love in P. 9, esp. v. 107.

ὑπέκνισεν: Danger is a nettle, ἔρως is a κνίδη. κνίζειν is used of love, Hdt. 6, 62:τὸν δὲ Ἀρίστωνα ἔκνιζε ἄρα τῆς γυναικὸς ταύτης ἔρως” . Cf. I. 5 (6), 50: ἁδεῖα δ᾽ ἔνδον νιν ἔκνιξεν χάρις, where ἔνδον = ὑπό.

Antistrophe 4

τῶν ... ὀρούει : ὀρ. with genitive, like ἔραμαι. Compare also P. 6.50: ὀργᾷς ὃς ἱππειᾶν ἐσόδων.

τυχών κεν ... σχέθοι = εἰ τύχοι, σχέθοι κεν. Similar positions of ἄν are common enough in prose. Here the opt. with κεν is an imperative.

ἁρπαλέαν = ὡς ἁρπαλέον τι. “With eager clutch.” Compare P. 8.65: ἁρπαλέαν δόσιν.

φροντίδα = μέλημα.

πὰρ ποδός: Cf. P. 3.60: γνόντα τὸ πὰρ ποδός, and I. 7 (8), 13: τὸ δὲ πρὸ ποδὸς ἄρειον αἰεὶ σκοπεῖν.

εἰς ἐνιαυτόν: “A year hence.”

ξενίᾳ: Thessalian magnates were famous for a rather rude hospitality. See note on P. 4.129. Xen. Hell. 6, 1, 3:ἦν δὲ καὶ ἄλλως φιλόξενός τε καὶ μεγαλοπρεπὴς τὸν Θετταλικὸν τρόπον.

Θώρακος: Thorax was the magnate who ordered the poem. His relation to Hippokleas is obscure.

ἐμὰν ποιπνύων χάριν: Acc. to the Schol. ἐμὰν χάριν=τὴν ἐξ ἐμοῦ χάριν, “my song of victory.” ποιπνύων would then be transitive, “panting to gain.” But the other interpretation, “in panting eagerness for my sake,” would be more appropriate to the circumstances of the young and unknown poet. Thorax was a personal friend of victor and singer.

τόδε: “This” of mine.

ἅρμα Πιερίδων: Compare O. 6.22 and I. 7 (8), 62: Μοισαῖον ἅρμα. This is for P. a grand occasion.

τετράορον: Böckh sees an allusion to the four triads, and sees too much.

φιλέων φιλέοντ᾽ ἄγων ἄγοντα: We should say, in like manner, “lip to lip, and arm in arm,” so that it should not appear which loves, which leads. Whether this refers to Hippokleas or to Pindar depends on the interpretation of χάριν.

Epode 4

πρέπει: “Shows” what it is.

κἀδελφεοὺς μὲν ἐπαινήσομεν: With Hermann. Thorax, Eurypylos, and Thrasydaios were at the headquarters of Mardonios before the battle of Plataia (Hdt. 9, 58).

νόμον: The state. Cf. P. 2.86.

ἐν δ᾽ ἀγαθοῖσι κεῖνται: Cf. P. 8.76: τὰ δ᾽ οὐκ ἐπ᾽ ἀνδράσι κεῖται. Some MSS. have κεῖται (schema Pindaricum), for which see O. 11 (10), 6. ἀγαθοῖσι in the political sense.

πατρώιαι: Another mark of the youthful aristocrat. Besides, Pindar had nothing to hope for from the mob.

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hide References (34 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (34):
    • Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 407
    • Euripides, Phoenician Women, 454
    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.32
    • Herodotus, Histories, 4.129
    • Herodotus, Histories, 6.62
    • Herodotus, Histories, 9.58
    • Homer, Odyssey, 1.226
    • Homer, Odyssey, 8.147
    • Pindar, Nemean, 10
    • Pindar, Nemean, 11
    • Pindar, Nemean, 4
    • Pindar, Nemean, 6
    • Pindar, Nemean, 7
    • Pindar, Olympian, 1
    • Pindar, Olympian, 13
    • Pindar, Olympian, 14
    • Pindar, Olympian, 3
    • Pindar, Olympian, 5
    • Pindar, Olympian, 6
    • Pindar, Olympian, 8
    • Pindar, Olympian, 9
    • Pindar, Pythian, 1
    • Pindar, Pythian, 11
    • Pindar, Pythian, 12
    • Pindar, Pythian, 2
    • Pindar, Pythian, 3
    • Pindar, Pythian, 5
    • Pindar, Pythian, 6
    • Pindar, Pythian, 7
    • Pindar, Pythian, 8
    • Pindar, Pythian, 9
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 6.1.3
    • Pindar, Pythian, 4
    • Cicero, Tusculanae Disputationes, 1.46
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