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Aristomenes of Aigina, the son of Xenarkes, belonged to the clan of the Midylidai, and had good examples to follow in his own family. One of his uncles, Theognetos, was victorious at Olympia, another, Kleitomachos, at the Isthmian games, both in wrestling, for which Aristomenes was to be distinguished. His victories at Megara, at Marathon, in Aigina, were crowned by success at the Pythian games. It is tolerably evident that at the time of this ode he was passing from the ranks of the boywrestlers (v. 78). No mention is made of the trainer, a character who occupies so much space in O. 8.

P. was, in all likelihood, present at the games (v. 59). The poem seems to have been composed for the celebration in Aigina — compare τόθι (v. 64), which points to distant Delphi, and note that Hesychia, and not Apollo, is invoked at the outset of the ode.

What is the date? According to the Schol., Pyth. 35 (Ol. 82, 3 = 450 B.C.), when Aigina had been six years under the yoke of Athens; but the supposed reference to foreign wars (v. 3), and the concluding verses, which imply the freedom of the island, led O. Müller and many others to give an earlier date to the victory, 458 B.C. Allusions to the battle of Kekryphaleia (Thuk. 1, 105) were also detected, but Kekryphaleia was a bad day for the Aiginetans, because the Athenian success was the forerunner of Aiginetan ruin (Diod. 11, 78), and a reference to it would have been incomprehensible. In any case, P. would hardly have represented the Athenians as the monstrous brood of giants (v. 12 foll.). Mezger, who adheres to the traditional date, sees in πολέμων (v. 3) an allusion, not to foreign wars, but to domestic factions, such as naturally ensued when the Athenians changed the Aiginetan constitution to the detriment of the nobles (οἱ παχεῖς). Krüger gives the earlier date of Ol. 77, 3 (470 B.C.). or Ol. 78, 3 (466 B.C.). Hermann goes back as far as Ol. 75, 3 (478 B.C.), and sees in the ode allusions to the Persian war, Porphyrion and Typhõeus being prefigurements of Xerxes — altogether unlikely. Fennell, who advocates 462 B.C., suggests the great victory of Eurymedon four years before “as having revived the memory of Salamis, while apprehensions of Athenian aggression were roused by the recent reduction of Thasos.”

If we accept the late date, the poem becomes of special importance as Pindar's last, just as P. 10 is of special importance as Pindar's earliest ode. Leopold Schmidt has made the most of the tokens of declining power. Mezger, on the other hand, emphasizes the steadiness of the technical execution, and the similarity of the tone. “In P. 10.20 we have μὴ φθονεραῖς ἐκ θεῶν μετατροπίαις ἐπικύρσαιεν, in P. 8.71: θεῶν δ᾽ ὄπιν ἄφθιτον αἰτέω, Ξέναρκες, ὑμετέραις τύχαις, and in P. 10.62 we have as sharp a presentation of the transitoriness of human fortunes as in the famous passage P. 8.92.” But this comparison of commonplaces proves nothing. There is undoubtedly an accent of experience added in P. 8; and, according to Mezger's own interpretation, P. 8.71 is deeper than P. 10.20. Jean Paul says somewhere, “The youngest heart has the waves of the oldest; it only lacks the plummet that measures their depth.” In P. 8 Pindar has the plummet.

Hesychia is to Aigina what the lyre is to Syracuse; and the eighth Pythian, which begins with the invocation Φιλόφρον Ἡσυχία, is not unrelated to the first Pythian, which begins with the invocation Χρυσέα φόρμιγξ. In the one, the lyre is the symbol of the harmony produced by the splendid sway of a central power, Hieron; in the other, the goddess Hesychia diffuses her influence through all the members of the commonwealth. In the one case, the balance is maintained by a strong hand; in the other, it depends on the nice adjustment of forces within the state. Typhõeus figures here (v. 16) as he figures in the first Pythian; but there the monster stretches from Cumae to Sicily, and represents the shock of foreign warfare as well as the volcanic powers of revolt (note on P. 1.72); here there is barely a hint, if a hint, of trouble from without. Here, too, Typhõeus is quelled by Zeus, and Porphyrion, king of the giants, by Apollo (vv. 1618); but we have no Aitna keeping down the monster, and a certain significance attaches to ἐν χρόνῳ of v. 15.

The opening, then, is a tribute to Hesychia, the goddess of domestic tranquillity, who holds the keys of wars and councils, who knows the secret of true gentleness (vv. 1-7), who has strength to sink the rebellious crew of malcontents, such as Porphyrion and Typhõeus — the one quelled by the thunderbolt of Zeus, the other by the bow of Apollo — Apollo, who welcomed the son of Xenarkes home from Kirrha, crowned with Parnassian verdure and Dorian revel-song (vv. 8-20).

Then begins the praise of Aigina for her exploits in the games, and the praise of Aristomenes for keeping up the glory of his house and for exalting the clan of the Midylidai and earning the word that Amphiaraos spoke (vv. 21-40).

The short myth follows, the scene in which the soul of Amphiaraos, beholding the valor of his son and his son's comrades among the Epigonoi, uttered the words: Φυᾷ τὸ γενναῖον ἐπιπρέπει | ἐκ πατέρων παισὶν λῆμα (v. 44). The young heroes have the spirit of their sires. “Blood will tell.” Adrastos, leader of the first adventure, is compassed by better omens now; true, he alone will lose his son, but he will bring back his people safe by the blessing of the gods (vv. 41-55).

O. 8, another Aiginetan ode, is prayerful. Prayer and oracle are signs of suspense; and the utterance of Amphiaraos carries with it the lesson that Aigina's only hope lay in the preservation of the spirit of her nobility. What the figure of Adrastos means is not so evident. It may signify: Whatever else perishes, may the state abide unharmed.

Such, then, were the words of Amphiaraos, whose praise of his son Alkmaion is echoed by Pindar — for Alkmaion is not only the prototype of Aristomenes, but he is also the neighbor of the poet, guardian of his treasures, and spoke to him in oracles (vv. 56-60).

Similar sudden shifts are common in the quicker rhythms (Aiolian), and the Aiginetan odes of P. presume an intimacy that we cannot follow in detail.

P. now turns with thanksgiving and prayer to Apollo — entreats his guidance, craves for the fortunes of the house of Xenarkes the boon of a right reverence of the gods. Success is not the test of merit. It is due to the will of Fortune, who makes men her playthings. “Therefore keep thee within bounds.”

Then follows the recital of the victories, with a vivid picture of the defeated contestants as they slink homeward (vv. 61-87).

“The bliss of glory lends wings and lifts the soul above riches. But delight waxeth in a little space. It falls to the ground, when shaken by adversity. We are creatures of a day. What are we? what are we not? A dream of shadow is man. Yet all is not shadow. When God-given splendor comes there is a clear shining and a life of sweetness.”

“Aigina, mother dear, bring this city safely onward in her course of freedom, with the blessing of Zeus, Lord Aiakos, Peleus, and good Telamon and Achilles” (vv. 88-100).

Compare again the close of O. 8. This invocation of all the saints in the calendar is ominous.

To sum up: The first triad is occupied with the praise of Hesychia, ending in praise of the victor. The second triad begins with the praise of Aigina, and ends with the Midylidai, to whom the victor belongs. The third triad gives the story of Alkmaion, as an illustration of the persistency of noble blood. The fourth acknowledges the goodness of Apollo, and entreats his further guidance; for God is the sole source of these victories, which are now recounted. The fifth presents a striking contrast between vanquished and victor, and closes with an equally striking contrast between the nothingness of man and the power of God, which can make even the shadow of a dream to be full of light and glory. At the end is heard a fervent prayer for Aigina's welfare.

So we have two for introduction, one for myth, two for conclusion. It is evident that the circumstances are too absorbing for the free development of the mythic portion. We have here a tremulous poem with a melancholy note in the midst of joyousness.

The lesson, if there must be a lesson, is: In quietness and confidence shall be your strength. The only hope of Aigina, as was said above, is the persistence of the type of her nobility, but it is clear that it is hoping against hope.

The rhythms are Aiolian (logaoedic). The restlessness, in spite of Hesychia, forms a marked contrast to the majestic balance of P. 1.

Strophe 1

φιλόφρον: “Kindly.” Ar. Av. 1321:τὸ τῆς ἀγανόφρονος Ἡσυχίας εὐήμερον πρόσωπον.εὐμενής seems to be more personal. Compare v. 10.

Ἡσυχία: A goddess. Compare Αἰδώς, Φήμη, Ἔλεος, Ὁρμή, at Athens (Paus. 1, 17, 1). The Romans carried this still further.

Δίκας . . . θύγατερ : Εἰρήνη (peace between state and state) is the sister of Δίκη (O. 13.7), but Ἡσυχία, domestic tranquillity, is eminently the daughter of right between man and man. Cf. P. 1.70: σύμφωνον ἡσυχίαν, and if “righteousness exalteth a nation” the daughter of righteousness may well be called μεγιστόπολις.

: For the position, compare O. 8.1.

πολέμων: The Schol. understands this of factions (στάσεις). But when a state is at peace within itself, then it can regulate absolutely its policy at home and abroad, its councils and its armies. This is especially true of Greek history.

κλαῗδας ὑπερτάτας: Many were the bearers of the keys — Πειθώ (P. 9.43), Ἀθηνᾶ (Aisch. Eum. 827, Ar. Thesm. 1142), “Εὐμολπίδαι(So. O. C. 1053) .

Πυθιόνικον τιμάν = κῶμον.

Ἀριστομένει: On the dat. with δέκευ, see O. 13.29; P. 4.23.

τὸ μαλθακόν: “True (τό) gentleness.”

ἔρξαι τε καὶ παθεῖν : παθεῖν pushes the personification to a point where analysis loses its rights. There is no ἔρξαι without παθεῖν, hence the exhaustive symmetry. Hesychia knows how to give and how to receive, and so she teaches her people how to give and how to receive.

καιρῷ σὺν ἀτρεκεῖ = εὐκαίρως (Schol.).

Antistrophe 1

ἀμείλιχον . . . ἐνελάοη: The figure is that of a nail. Whose heart? The Schol.: ἐνθῇ τῇ ἑαυτοῦ καρδίᾳ, and that is the only natural construction of the Greek. Dissen and others think of the bitter hatred of the Athenians towards the Aiginetans. “Plants deep in his heart ruthless resentment.” If Ἡσυχία were meant, we should expect τεᾷ.

τραχεῖα . . . ὑπαντιάξαισα: “Meeting the might of embittered foes with roughness.” Tranquillity (conservatism) is harsh whenever it is endangered. No class more cruel than the repressive.

τιθεῖς . . . ἐν ἄντλῳ: ἄντλος is “bilgewater” (O. 9.57). ἄντλον δέχεσθαι is “to spring a leak,” ναῦς ὑπέραντλος is “a leaky, foundering ship.” ἐν ἄντλῳ τιθέναι is opposed to ἐλευθέρῳ στόλῳ κομίζειν (v. 98), hence = “to scuttle,” or, if that is unlyrical, “to sink.” The Schol., ἀφανίζεις καὶ ἀμαυροῖς.

τάν: Sc. Ἡσυχίαν.

Πορφυρίων: Porphyrion, the βασιλεὺς Γιγάντων mentioned below, attempted to hurl Delos heavenward, and was shot by Apollo, who is, among other things, the god of social order. If there is any special political allusion, this would seem to refer to parties within rather than enemies without.

μάθεν = ἔγνω, Schol. πάθεν and λάθεν are unnecessary conjectures.

εἴ τις . . . φέροι: We should expect εἴ τις . . . φέρει (see note on O. 6.11), but the opt. is used of the desirable course. Compare I. 4 (5), 15. One of Pindar's familiar foils. There is no allusion that we can definitely fix.

ἐκ δόμων: Adds color, as πρὸ δόμων, P. 2.18.

Epode 1

ἔσφαλεν: Gnomic aorist, which does not exclude the plumping effect of the tense. See P. 2.50.

ἐν χρόνῳ: Cf. P. 3.96; 4, 291.

Τυφὼς Κίλιξ: See P. 1.16: Τυφὼς ἑκατοντακάρανος: τόν ποτε | Κιλίκιον θρέψεν πολυώνυμον ἄντρον. — νιν = Ἡσυχίαν.

βασιλεὺς Γιγάντων: Porphyrion.

δμᾶθεν δὲ κεραυνῷ: Instead of the circumstantial δμᾶθεν μὲν κεραυνῷ δὲ τόξοισιν Ἀπόλλωνος. Typhõeus was slain by Zeus.

εὐμενεῖ: See v. 1.

Ξενάρκειον . . . υἱόν: Aristomenes. O. 2.13: Κρόνιε παῖ, P. 2.18: Δεινομένειε παῖ.

ποίᾳ: A wide term. Cf. P. 9.40.

Δωριεῖ: Always complimentary in Pindar (Mezger) — when he is addressing Dorians.

Strophe 2

ἔπεσε: The figure is like that of the lot (λάχος), O. 7.58.

Χαρίτων: The goddesses of the hymn of victory. See O. 9.29.

δικαιόπολις: According to the genealogy of Ἡσυχία (v. 1).

ἀρεταῖς: P. 4.296: ἡσυχίᾳ θιγέμεν, P. 9.46: ψεύδει θιγεῖν.

θιγοῖσα: P. uses θιγεῖν as an aor., and I hesitate to follow the MS. accent θίγοισα. Aigina has attained.

πολλοῖσι: With ἀέθλοις.

Antistrophe 2

τὰ δέ: “And then again,” with the shift δέ to another part of the antithesis, a Pindaric device instead of ἥρωας μὲν . . . ἀνδράσι δέ. See O. 11 (10), 8. On the contrast, see O. 2.2. On τὰ δέ, O. 13.55.

ἄσχολος: “I have no time” = “this is no time.”

ἀναθέμεν: To set up as an ἀνάθημα. Cf. O. 5.7: τὶν δὲ κῦδος ἁβρὸν | νικάσαις ἀνέθηκε, O. 11 (10), 7: ἀφθόνητος δ᾽ αἶνος Ὀλυμπιονίκαις | οὗτος ἄγκειται. The poet is thinking of the inscription of the votive offerings (O. 3.30).

λύρᾳ . . . φθέγματι: Cf. “liquidam pater vocem cum cithara dedit.

μὴ . . . κνίσῃ: μή sentences of fear are really paratactic, and are often added loosely. Compare note on P. 4.155. “I have no time” = “I say that I have no time.” κνίσῃ: Lit., “nettle,” “irk.”

τὸ . . . ἐν ποσί μοι τράχον: A more forcible τὸ πὰρ ποδός (P. 3.60; 10, 62), τὸ πρὸ ποδός (I. 7 [8], 13). ἐν ποσί, “on my path,” as ἐμποδών, “in my way.” τράχον shows that the matter is urgent, “my immediate errand.” Dissen combines τράχον ἴτω. But τράχον is heightened by the poet to ποτανόν.

τεὸν χρέος: Thy victory.

ποτανόν: Cf. P. 5.114: ἔν τε Μοίσαισι ποτανός. He calls his art ποτανὰ μαχανά (N. 7.22).

ἀμφὶ μαχανᾷ: Cf. P. 1.12. ἀμφίτε Αατοίδα σοφίᾳ βαθυκόλπων τε Μοισᾶν.

Epode 2

ἰχνεύων: “Following hard upon the track.” Echo of τράχον. Notice εῦ.

Ὀλυμπίᾳ: Pindaric brachylogy for Ὀλυμπιονίκαν.

Θεόγνητον: Honored by an epigram of Simonides (149 Bgk., 206 Schndw.): Γνῶθι Θεόγνητον προσιδὼν τὸν Ὀλὺμπιονίκαν | παῖδα, παλαισμοσύνης δεξιὸν ἁνίοχον, | κάλλιστον μὲν ἰδεῖν, ἀθλεῖν δ᾽ οὐ χείρονα μορφᾶς, | ὃς πατέρων ἀγαθῶν ἐστεφάνωσε πόλιν. See Paus. 6, 9, 1.

κατελέγχεις: Cf. O. 8.19 and I. 3 (4), 14: ἀρετὰν | σύμφυτον οὐ κατελέγχει, 7 (8), 65: τὸν μὲν οὐ κατελέγχει κριτοῦ γενεὰ πατραδελφεοῦ.

θρασύγυιον: See O. 8.68, for the propriety of the compound.

αὔξων: O. 5.4.

πάτραν: “Clan.”

λόγον: O. 2.24. Used as the Homeric ἔπος.

φέρεις: As a prize. “Thou earnest.”

Ὀικλέος παῖς: Amphiaraos, the seer, the just man and wise among the seven against Thebes. See O. 6.13. His spirit speaks.

αἰνίξατο: “Uttered as a dark saying, in a riddle,” as became an oracular hero.

Strophe 3

ὁπότε: See P. 3.91.

μαρναμένων: Cf. O. 13.15.

Φυᾷ . . . λῆμα: “By nature stands forth the noble spirit that is transmitted from sires to sons.” This is nothing more than an oracular way of saying τὸ δὲ συγγενὲς ἐμβέβακεν ἴχνεσιν πατρός (P. 10.12). Amphiaraos recognizes the spirit of the warriors of his time in his son and his sons' comrades, hence the plural. Tafel gives φυᾷ the Homeric sense, “growth,” “stature.” The Epigonoi had shot up in the interval, and become stalwart men. So also Mezger. But how would this suit Aristomenes?

δράκοντα: The device occurs on the shields of other warriors, but it is especially appropriate for Alkmaion — our Ἀλκμᾶνα — the son of the seer Amphiaraos. The serpent is mantic. See O. 6.46.

Antistrophe 3

δὲ καμών: Adrastos, who had failed in the first expedition, was the successful leader of the second.

προτέρᾳ πάθᾳ: A breviloquence, such as we sometimes find with ἄλλος and ἕτερος: ἕτερος νεανίας, “another young man,” “a young man beside.” The προτέρα ὁδός was a πάθα. Tr. “before.”

ἐνέχεται: Usu. in a bad sense. Here “is compassed.”

ὄρνιχος: Omen. See P. 4.19.

τὸ δὲ ϝοίκοθεν: “As to his household.” τὸ is acc.

ἀντία πράξει: “He shall fare contrariwise” (Fennell). Cf. O. 8.73: ἄρμενα πράξαις ἀνήρ.

θανόντος . . . υἱοῦ: Aigialeus.

Epode 3

Αβαντος: Abas, son of Hypermnestra and Lynkeus, king of Argos, not Abas, grandfather of Adrastos.

ἀγυιάς: On the acc. see P. 4.51.

καὶ αὐτός: As well as Amphiaraos.

στεφάνοισι βάλλω: P. 9.133: πολλὰ μὲν κεῖνοι δίκον | φύλλ᾽ ἔπι καὶ στεφάνους.

ῥαίνω δὲ καὶ ὕμνῳ: Cf. P. 5.93; I. 5 (6), 21: ῥαινέμεν εὐλογίαις, O. 10 (11), 109: πόλιν καταβρέχων.

γείτων ὅτι μοι: Alkmaion must have had a shrine (ἡρῷον) in Pindar's neighborhood that served the poet as a safety-deposit for his valuables.

ὑπάντασεν: Figuratively, “offered himself as a guardian.”

ἰόντι: As it would seem on this occasion.

ἐφάψατο: “Employed.” The dat., as with θιγοῖσα, v. 24. The prophecy doubtless pertained to this victory of Aristomenes, which P. describes with all the detail of a spectator. His relations to the Aiginetans were very intimate. The prophecy leads to the mention of the fulfilment.

συγγόνοισι: Alkmaion, through his father Amphiaraos, was a descendant of the great seer Melampus.

Strophe 4

πάνδοκον | ναόν: A temple, and not a simple ἡρῷον.

διανέμων: P. 4.260: ἄστυ . . . διανέμειν.

ἁρπαλέαν δόσιν: “A gift to be eagerly seized.” Phil. 2, 6: οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα τῷ θεῷ.

ἑορταῖς: The Delphinia in Aigina. See note on O. 13.112.

ὑμαῖς: Of Apollo and Artemis. See P. 4.3.

ἄναξ, ἑκόντι δέ: O. 1.36.

Antistrophe 4

κατὰ τὶν ἁρμονίαν: The MSS. have τιν᾽ τίν = σοί is De Pauw's conjecture, and is to be combined with the verbal subst. ἁρμονίαν. Cf. O. 13.91.

βλέπειν: With κατά. καταβλέπειν (not elsewhere in the classic period), like καθορᾶν. “It is my heart's desire to keep my eyes fixed on agreement with thee at every step of my whole path” (of song). The poet prays for accordance with the divine in his own case, as he afterwards asks (v. 71) that the successful house of the Midylidai may ever have reverential regard for the gods. Others take εὔχομαι as “I declare.” The passage has been much vexed.

ἕκαστον ὅσα = ἕκαστον τῶν ποιημάτων ὅσα . . . ἐπέρχομαι (Schol.).

νέομαι: Cf. ἀναδραμεῖν (O. 8.54), διελθεῖν (N. 4.72).

κώμῳ μὲν . . . Δίκα παρέστακε: P. is certain that Apollo stands by him as Justice does, but he looks forward to the future of the race: hence the demand that the fortunes of the Midylidai should be guarded by reverence for the divine. On μὲν . . . δέ, O. 11 (10), 8. With παρέστακε, compare O. 3.4: παρεστάκοι.

θεῶν δ᾽ ὄπιν: Usu. “favor of the gods,” but can the gods have ὄπις for men as they have τιμά? (P. 4.51).

Ξέναρκες: Father of Aristomenes (cf. v. 19), addressed as the head of the house, as the Amphiaraos of our Alkmaion.

εἰ γάρ τις . . . μαχαναῖς: A mere foil to v. 76. “Easy success is not wisdom, as the vulgar think. 'Tis not in mortals to command success. Each man's weird determines now success, now failure. Have God in all your thoughts. Keep within bounds.”

πεδ᾽ ἀφρόνων = ἐν ἄφροσι (Schol.). For this use of μετά, P. 5.94: μάκαρ ἀνδρῶν μέτα | ἔναιεν. “Wise amongst fools.” Success is the vulgar test of merit, of wisdom. See O. 5.16: ἠῢ δ᾽ ἔχοντες σοφοὶ καὶ πολίταις ἔδοξαν ἔμμεν. On πεδά see P. 5.47.

Epode 4

κορυσσέμεν: “To helmet,” where we should say “to panoply.” The head-piece was the crowning protection, πολλῶν μεθ᾽ ὅπλων σύν θ᾽ ἱπποκόμοις κορύθεσσιν (Soph.).

τὰ δέ: Such success with its repute of wisdom. Compare P. 2.57: νιν.

ἐπ᾽ ἀνδράσι κεῖται: Cf. the Homeric θεῶν ἐν γούνασι κεῖται, and P. 10.71.

παρίσχει: “Is the one that giveth.” It is not necessary to supply anything.

ὕπερθε βάλλων . . . ὑπὸ χειρῶν: “Tossing high in the air . . . under the hands (where the hands can catch it).” Men are the balls of Fortune (δαίμων). ὑπό with genitive instead of the accusative on account of the contrast with ὕπερθε, which suggests the genitive. Bergk reads ὑποχειρῶν, not found elsewhere.

μέτρῳ κατάβαινε: μ. = μετρίως, litotes for μὴ κατάβαινε. “Seek no further contests.” Thou hast victories enough of this kind (v. 85 shows that his opponents were boys). Aristomenes was leaving the ranks of the παῖδες παλαισταί.

ἐν Μεγάροις: O. 7.86.

μυχῷ: Marathon lies between Pentelikon and Parnes.

Μαραθῶνος: O. 9.95.

Ἥρας τ᾽ ἀγῶν᾽ ἐπιχώριον: The Aiginetan Heraia were brought from Argos.

ἀγῶνα ... δάμασσας: An easy extension of the inner object — νικᾶν στέφανον.

ἔργῳ: Emphasizes the exertion in contrast to the lucky man who achieves his fortune μὴ σὺν μακρῷ πόνῳ (v. 73). Schol.: μετ᾽ ἔργου καὶ ἐνεργείας πολλῆς.

Strophe 5

τέτρασι: See O. 8.68.

ἔμπετες = ἐνέπεσες.

σωμάτεσσι: In the other description (O. 8.68) we have γυίοις, which some consider an equiv. to σώμασι.

κακὰ φρονέων: Literally “meaning mischief.” “With fell intent” (Fennell). Cf. N. 4.95: μαλακὰ φρονέων.

οὔτε . . . οὐδέ: So I. 2, 44: μήτε . . . μηδέ.

ὁμῶς: Like as to thee.

ἔπαλπνος = ἡδύς, προσηνής (Schol.).

μολόντων: Easier to us as genitive absolute than as dependent on ἀμφί. See note on O. 13.15.

λαύρας: “Lanes,” “back-streets.”

ἐχθρῶν ἀπάοροι: “In suspense of their enemies” would be perfectly intelligible.

δεδαγμένοι: So with Bergk for δεδαιγμένοι = δεδαϊγμένοι.

Antistrophe 5

δὲ . . . μέριμναν: “He that hath gained something new (a fresh victory) at the season, when luxury is great (rife), soars by reason of hope (at the impulse of Hope), borne up by winged achievements of manliness (by the wings of manly achievements), with his thought above wealth.” This is a description of the attitude of the returning victor in contrast to that of the vanquished. He seems to tread air. Hope, now changed to Pleasure (see P. 2.49), starts him on his flight, and his manly achievements lend him the wings of victory (P. 9.135: πτερὰ Νίκας). From this height he may well look down on wealth, high as wealth is (O. 1.2). Hermann, and many after him, read ἁβρότατος ἔπι, in disregard of the Scholiast (ἀπὸ μεγάλης ἁβρότητος καὶ εὐδαιμονίας), and, which is more serious, in disregard of P.'s rules of position (see note on O. 1.37). Mezger considers ἀνορέαις as dat. termini (for which he cites O. 6.58; 13, 62, neither of them cogent), and sees in ἐλπίδος and ἀνορέαις the prophecy of future success among men. ἁβρότατος is not “the sweet spring-time of life,” but rather the time when there is every temptation to luxury, and when the young wrestler is called on to endure hardness.

ὑποπτέροις: Compare further O. 14.24: κυδίμων ἀέθλων πτεροῖσι.

τὸ τερπνόν: See note on O. 14.5.

οὕτω: Sc. ἐν ὀλίγῳ.

ἀποτρόπῳ γνώμᾳ: “Adverse doom.”

Epode 5

ἐπάμεροι: Sc. ἐσμέν. A rare and impressive ellipsis.

τί δέ τις; τί δ᾽ οὔ τις; “What is man? what is he not?” Man continueth so short a time in one stay that it is not possible to tell what he is, what he is not. One Scholiast understands it as “What is a somebody? what a nobody?” which is a clearer way of putting it.

σκιᾶς ὄναρ: Life had often been called a shadow and a dream before P., but this famous combination startles the Scholiast: εὖ τῇ ἐμφάσει χρώμενος, ὡς ἂν εἴποι τις τοῦ ἀσθενοῦς τὸ ἀσθενέστερον.

αἴγλα: Cf. O. 13.36: αἴγͅλα ποδῶν. The dream may be lighted up by victory.

ἐπεστιν ἀνδρῶν: The Schol. ἔπεστι κατὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων. If the text is right, we must understand ἔπεστιν as ἐστὶν ἐπί, “rests on.” Cf. ἐπιβαίνω. P.'s ἐπί, with genitive, is used of fixed position, O. 1.77; P. 4.273; 8, 46; N. 5.1.

φίλα μᾶτερ: P.'s love for Aigina and his interest in her fate are abundantly evident in his Aiginetan odes, nearly one fourth of the whole number. Here, of course, the heroine is meant.

ἐλευθέρῳ στόλῳ: Nautical figure. “In the course of freedom.”

κόμιζε: As always with the note of care.

Δὶ . . . Ἀχιλλεῖ: i. e. σὺν Δὶ καὶ σὺν Αἰακῷσὺν Πηλεῖ . . . σύν τ᾽ Ἀχιλλεῖ. See O. 9.94, and for this special case compare N. 10.53: Ἑρμᾷ καὶ σὺν Ἡρακλεῖ, where god and hero are connected, as god and heroes are connected here, by καί. The brothers of the first generation are coupled by τε καί, Achilles completes the line with τε.

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hide References (27 total)
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    • Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae, 1142
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    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1053
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.105
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