previous next

The ninth Pythian was composed in honor of Telesikrates of Kyrene, son of Karneiades, who was successful as an ὁπλιτοὸρόμος, Pyth. 28 (Ol. 75, 3 = 478 B.C.). Telesikrates had previously distinguished himself at all the local games of Kyrene, had been victorious in Aigina, at Megara, and, after the race in armor, gained a foot-race at Delphi, Pyth. 30 (Ol. 77, 3 = 470 B.C.). P. tells of the former victory only, and the poem must have been composed at the earlier date. Böckh thinks that Telesikrates had not returned to Kyrene when the poem was sung; nor, on the other hand, is there any trace of a κῶμος at Delphi. Hence the inference that the performance was at Thebes. Unfortunately δέξεται (v. 79) proves nothing more than that the ode was not composed at Kyrene. Otfried Müller conjectures that Telesikrates belonged to the Aigeidai, and we have good reason to believe that Pindar was an Aigeid (P. 5.76). The name Karneiades points to the Karneia, a traditional festival among the Aigeidai.

The acknowledged difficulty of the poem will justify a detailed abstract.

I sing Telesikrates, crowning glory of Kyrene, whom Apollo brought on golden chariot from windy Pelion, and made the huntress-maiden queen of a fruitful continent (vv. 1-9). Silverfoot Aphrodite received the Delian guest and shed winsome shamefastness on the bridal couch of Apollo and the daughter of Hypseus, king of the Lapithai, to whom a Naiad bore her (vv. 10-18). Naught did this white-armed maiden reck of loom or dance or home-keeping with her playmates. With dart and falchion slew she the fierce beasts of prey and gave rest to her father's kine, scant slumber granting to eyelids on which sleep loves to press towards dawn (vv. 19-27).

He found her — he, God of the Wide Quiver — as she was struggling alone, unarmed, with a furious lion. Out he called Cheiron from his cave to mark the woman's spirit, and to tell her parentage (vv. 28-36). Whate'er her lineage, the struggle shows boundless courage. “Is it right,” asks the god, “to lay hand on her and pluck the sweet flower of love?” The Centaur smiled and answered: “Secret are the keys of Suasion that unlock the sanctuary of love's delights; gods and men alike shun open union” (vv. 37-45). Thou didst but dissemble, thou who knowest everything, both end and way, the number of the leaves of spring, the number of the sands in sea and rivers, that which is to be and whence it is to come. But if I must measure myself with the Wise One — (vv. 46-54).

I will speak. Thou didst come to be wedded lord to her, and to bear her over sea to the garden of Zeus, where thou wilt make her queen of a city when thou shalt have gathered the islandfolk about the plain-compassed hill. Now Queen Libya shall receive her as a bride in golden palaces, lady of a land not tributeless of fruits nor ignorant of chase (vv. 55-62). There shall she bear a son, whom Hermes shall bring to the Horai and to Gaia, and they shall gaze in wonder at their lapling, and feed him with nectar and ambrosia, and make him an immortal Zeus and a pure Apollo, God of Fields, God of Pasture; to mortal men, Aristaios. So saying he made the god ready for the fulfilment of wedlock (vv. 63-72). Swift the achievement, short the paths of hastening gods. That day wrought all, and they were made one in the golden chamber of Libya, where she guards a fair, fair city, famed for contests. And now the son of Karneiades crowned her with the flower of fortune at Pytho, where he proclaimed Kyrene, who shall welcome him to his own country, land of fair women, with glory at his side (vv. 73-81).

Great achievements are aye full of stories. To broider well a few among so many — that is a hearing for the skilled. Of these the central height is Opportunity — Opportunity, which Iolaos did not slight, as seven-gated Thebes knew. Him, when he had shorn away Eurystheus' head, they buried in the tomb of Amphitryon, his father's father, who came to Thebes a guest (vv. 82-90). To this Amphitryon and to Zeus, Alkmena bare at one labor two mighty sons. A dullard is the man who does not lend his mouth to Alkmena's son, and does not alway remember the Dirkaian waters that reared him and his brother Iphikles. To whom, in payment of a vow for the requital of their grace to me I will sing a revel song of praise. May not the clear light of the Muses of Victory forsake me, for I have already sung this city thrice in Aigina, at Megara (vv. 91-99), and escaped by achievement the charge of helpless dumbness. Hence be a man friend or be he foe, let him not break the commandment of old Nereus and hide the merit of a noble toil. He bade praise with heartiness and full justice him that worketh fair deeds. (So let all jealousy be silent. Well hast thou wrought.) At the games of Pallas mute the virgins desired thee as lord, (loud the mothers) thee as son, Telesikrates, when they saw the many victories thou didst win (vv. 100-108).

So at the Olympian games of Kyrene, so at the games of Gaia and at all the contests of the land. But while I am quenching the thirst of my songs, there is one that exacts a debt not paid, and I must awake the glory of thine old forefathers, how for the sake of a Libyan woman they went to Irasa — suitors for the daughter of Antaios. Many wooed her, kinsmen and strangers — for she was wondrous fair (vv. 109-117) — all eager to pluck the flower of youthful beauty. The father, planning a more famous wedding for his daughter, had heard how Danaos had found speedy bridal for his eight-and-forty virgins ere midday should overtake them, by ranging all that had come as suitors for his daughters, to decide who should have them by contests of swiftness (vv. 118-126). Like offer made the Libyan for wedding a bridegroom to his daughter. He placed her by the mark as the highest prize, and bade him lead her home who should first touch her robes. Then Alexidamos outstripped the rest in the whirlwind race, took the noble maid by the hand, and led her through the throng of the Nomad horsemen. Many leaves they threw on them and wreaths; many wings of Victory had he received before (vv. 127-135).

The ode, beautiful in details, has perplexed commentators both as to its plan and as to its drift. The limpid myth of Kyrene has been made to mirror lust and brutality. Telesikrates is supposed by one to have violated a Theban maiden, by another to be warned against deflouring his Theban betrothed until he is legally married to her. It is hard to resist the impression of a prothalamion as well as of an epinikion, but all conditions are satisfied by the stress laid on καιρός, which Leopold Schmidt has made the pivot. Mezger happily calls the ode “Das Hohelied vom Καιρός,” “the Song of Songs, which is Season's.” The key is v. 84: δὲ καιρὸς ὁμοίως | παντὸς ἔχει κορυφάν. The poet, following his own canon — βαιὰ δ᾽ ἐν μακροῖσι ποικίλλειν, | ἀκοὰ σοφοῖς, v. 83 — has selected four examples to show that the laggard wins no prize. Witness how Apollo, no laggard in love, seized Kyrene (ὠκεῖα δ᾽ ἐπειγομένων ἤδη θεῶν | πρᾶξις ὁδοί τε βραχεῖαι, v. 73); how Iolaos, no dastard in war, shore off the head of Eurystheus (v. 87). Witness Antaios (v. 114), who caught from Danaos the lesson of speedy marriage for his daughter (ὠκύτατον γάμον). Witness Alexidamos (v. 131), who won the prize by his impetuous rush in the race (φύγε λαιψηρὸν δρόμον). Mezger, who emphasizes the recurrence of αὐτίκα (vv. 31, 62, 124), shows, in perhaps unnecessary detail, that the poem breathes unwonted determination and energy, and thinks that it is intended to urge the victor to make quick use of his victory for pressing his suit to some eligible maiden. The poet is to be to Telesikrates what Cheiron was to Apollo. This view seems to me rather German than Greek, but it is not so unbearable as Dissen's rape and Böckh's caution against the anticipation of the lawful joys of marriage.

The poem has certain marked points of resemblance and contrast with P. 3. As in P. 3, the myth begins early; as in P. 3, the foremost figure is a heroine beloved of Apollo. There the god espies his faithless love — wanton Koronis — in the arms of Ischys. Here he finds the high-hearted Kyrene struggling, unarmed, with a lion. There Cheiron was charged with the rearing of the seed of the god. Here Cheiron is summoned to leave his cave and witness the courage of the heroine. The fruit of this love is not snatched from the body of the mother fordone, and borne in haste to the foster-father, but the child is taken by Hermes, in virtue of his office, is fed with nectar and ambrosia by the Horai and Gaia, and becomes, not an Asklepios, to perish in lightning flame, but an Aristaios.

In P. 9, as in P. 4, the myth comes to the front, the myth of Kyrene occupying three fifths of the ode. Iolaos dominates one fifth, Alexidamos the last.

The rhythms are Dorian (dactylo-epitrite). They are lighter than the norm (O. 3), and hence are supposed to be a mixture of Dorian and Lydian.

Strophe 1

ἐθέλω: “I am fain.”

χαλκασπίδα: The ὁπλιτοδρόμος originally wore shield, helmet, and greaves (Paus. 6, 10, 4), and is so figured on a celebrated vase (Gerhard, A. V., IV.). Afterwards the shield only was worn, which, being the heaviest, is here made prominent. Compare Paus. 2, 11, 8: καὶ γυμνὸς καὶ μετὰ τῆς ἀσπίδος.

βαθυζώνοισιν: Cf. O. 3.35: βαθυζώνου . . . Λήδας.

ἀγγέλλων: See O. 7.21

Χαρίτεσσι: Mistresses of the song of victory, as often: O. 4.8; 7, 11; P. 6.2.

γεγωνεῖν: Of the herald cry, as O. 2.5: Θήρωνα . . . γεγωνητέον.

διωξίππου: Cf. P. 4.17. A further illustration of the subject is given by the description so often referred to, So. El. 680 foll., where two of the contestants are Libyans (v. 702) and their chariots Barkaian (v. 727).

στεφάνωμα: The result of the γεγωνεῖν, rather than apposition to ἄνδρα. See P. 1.50 and 12, 5.

τάν: Change from city to heroine, P. 12.3.

χαιτάεις . . . Λατοΐδας: We can afford to wait for Λατοΐδας, as the epithet is characteristic of Apollo, who is ἀκειρεκόμας, P. 3.14 and I. 1, 7, and the ode is Pythian. Compare v. 28: εὐρυφαρέτρας . . . Ἀπόλλων, and O. 7.13.

χρυσέῳ π. . δ.: Notice the pretty chiasm.

ἀγροτέραν: P. 3.4: Φῆρ᾽ ἀγρότερον. The myth, as many of P.'s heroine myths, is taken from the Ἠοῖαι of Hesiod, a fragment of which opens the Ἀσπὶς Ἡρακλέους.

πολυμήλου: See on O. 1.13. The Schol. here has distinctly πολυπροβάτου.

ῥίζαν: The earth is conceived as a plant with three roots, Libya being one, Europe and Asia being the other two. The order from θῆκε to οἰκεῖν is noteworthy — θῆκεν (a), δέσποιναν (b), χθονὸς ῥίζαν (c), ἀπείρου τρίταν εὐήρατον (c), θάλλοισαν (b), οἰκεῖν (a). So the Schol.

Antistrophe 1

ἀργυρόπεζα: Aphrodite, as a sea-goddess, was specially honored in Libya. Compare P. 5.24. ἀργ. refers to the sheen on the waves, the track of the moonlight. We have here the lunar side of the goddess.

θεοδμάτων: The latter part of the compound is still felt here. See O. 3.7. Add to the instances there given fr. XI. 40: θεόδματον κέλαδον.

ὀχέων: Depends on ἐφαπτομένα. On the construction, see O. 1.86. Simply a natural bit of color. To make ὀχ. depend on ὑπέδεκτο as a whence - case is not happy.

χερὶ κούφᾳ: Often taken as = χερὶ κουφιζούσῃ. Surely the young couple did not need bodily help so much as moral sympathy, and it is a pity to spoil Pindar's light touch as well as Aphrodite's.

ἐπὶ . . . εὐναῖς: Dat.-locative of the result of the motion often with ἐπί in Homer, regularly with ἐν and τίθημι in prose.

εὐναῖς: P. 2.27.

βάλεν αἰδῶ, κτἑ.: This αἰδώς is the ἁρμός that binds the pair in wedlock. The intimate union is emphasized by ξυνόν, ἁρμόζοισα, μιχθέντα. θεῷ and κούρᾳ depend on ξυνόν (compare P. 6.15), resumed and varied by μιχθέντα (compare P. 4.222), an anticipatory contrast to the light of love κεῖραι μελιαδέα ποίαν, that Apollo proposes (v. 40). For the complex, compare P. 5.102: σφὸν ὄλβον υἱῷ τε κοινὰν χάριν | ἔνδικόν τ᾽ Ἀρκεσίλᾳ. “And shed upon the pleasures of their couch the charm of shamefastness, uniting thus in bonds of mutual wedlock the god and the maiden-daughter of Hypseus.”

ἁρμόζοισα: Below, v. 127, ἁρμόζων is used of a lawful marriage.

Λαπιθᾶν ὑπερόπλων: The statues of the western pediment of the temple of Zeus at Olympia represent the combat between the Centaurs and the Lapithai. — τουτάκις = τότε, P. 4. 255.

γένος: Acc. of limit to δεύτερος.

ἔτικτεν: See O. 6.41.

Epode 1

Γαίας θυγάτηρ: Not necessary to the sense. By putting the end of the sentence at the beginning of the epode (compare O. 1.23. 81; 2, 17; 3, 26 al.), antistrophe and epode are closely combined, and the mechanical (a) + (a) + (b) of strophe, antistrophe, and epode is avoided, and we have instead (a) + ((a) + (b)). So J. H. H. Schmidt.

λευκώλενον: So Lehrs (after the Schol., λευκόπηχυν) for the MS. εὐώλενον.

θρέψατο: O. 6.46.

παλιμβάμους . . . ὁδούς: The to and fro necessary with the upright loom.

δείνων τέρψιας οὔθ᾽ ἑταρᾶν οἰκουρίαν: The best MSS. have οὔτε δείπνων οἰκουριᾶν μεθ᾽ ἑταιρᾶν τέρψιας, for which the metre demands οἰκοριᾶν, a form for which there seems to be no warrant. The Scholia show an old trouble. I have accepted Bergk's recasting of the passage — δείνων = δίνων, “dances.” The monotonous to and fro of the loom would be well contrasted with the “whirl” of the dance. Maidens and banquets are disparate in Pindar. ἑταρᾶν οἰκουρίαν is = μεθ᾽ ἑταρᾶν οἰκουρίαν, and this may help to account for the corruption of the text.

φασγάνῳ: “Falchion.”

: With a note of asseveration, as in μήν.

τὸν δὲ σύγκοιτον γλυκύν: “Him that as bed-fere (bedfellow) is so sweet.”

παῦρον . . . ὕπνον: Transposed with Mommsen. π. “scant,” litotes for “not at all.”

ἐπὶ γλεφάροις: Od. 2. 398: ὕπνος ἐπὶ γλεφάροισιν ἔπιπτεν. Cf. v. 13.

ἀναλίσκοισα: “Wasting sleep,” brachylogy for wasting time in sleep.

ῥέποντα πρὸς ἀῶ: Sleep is sweetest and deepest before dawn (“suadentque cadentia sidera somnum”). Yet this is the time when the huntress has no right to sleep. “This is the time,” as a naturalist says, “when savages always make their attacks.”

Strophe 2

λέοντι: Whether there were lions in Greece at that time or at any time matters not. There were lions in Kyrene, P. 5.58.

ὀβρίμῳ: Used of the monster Typhõeus, O. 4.7.

ἄτερ ἐγχέων: Schol. ἄνευ δόρατος.

αὐτίκα: See the introduction.

ἐκ μεγάρων: “From out his halls,” sc. Cheiron's. Called him out and said to him.

ἄντρον: Cf. P. 3.63: εἰ δὲ σώφρων ἄντρον ἔναἰ ἔτι Χείρων.

Φιλυρίδα: Cf. P. 3.1.

ἀταρβεῖ . . . κεφαλᾷ: A steady head is a compliment as well as ἀταρβεῖ κραδίᾳ, which Schneidewin reads. Note the serenity of the heads of combatants in Greek plastic art. κραδίᾳ is unlikely with ἦτορ to follow.

κεχείμανται φρένας: The MSS. have φρένες. Some recognize in this the σχῆμα Πινδαρικόν (O. 11.6). Mommsen suggests οὐκ ἐχείμανθεν, others see in κεχείμανται a plural. Compare Curt. Gr. V. II.^{1} 223. I have no hesitation in following Bergk's suggestion, φρένας.

ἀποσπασθεῖσα: The lover cannot imagine such a maiden to have come into such surroundings except by accident.

Antistrophe 2

ἔχει: “Inhabits.”

γεύεται: “Tastes,” “makes trial of.”

ἀλκᾶς: Doubtful whether the lion's or the maiden's, and, to add to the trouble, we have ἀπειράντου, “boundless,” and ἀπειράτου, “untried.” Apollo has no fear for the heroine, and so, on the whole, it is better to understand “the boundless strength” of the maiden.

ὁσία: Especially hard to define. Plato's Euthyphron discusses τὸ ὅσιον. Grote translates ὁσιότης, “holiness;” Jowett, “piety.” Ammonios says: ὅσιον καὶ ἱερὸν διαφέρει: ὅσια μὲν γάρ ἐστι τὰ ἰδιωτικά, ὧν ἐφίεται καὶ ἔξεστι προσάψασθαι: ἱερὰ δὲ τὰ τῶν θεῶν, ὧν οὐκ ἔξεστι προσάψασθαι. ὁσία, the human right, is also the divine right, as Eur. says,

Ὁσία πότνα θεῶν
Ὁσία δ᾽ κατὰ γᾶν
χρυσέαν πτέρυγα φέρεις.

Perhaps the use of the word here is another of those strokes that serve to show that this is no ordinary amour.

κλυτὰν χέρα: With the same epic simplicity as Od. 9. 364: εἰρωτᾷς μ᾽ ὄνομα κλυτόν.

ῥα; Not disjunctive, and best punctuated thus. Myers translates after Donaldson, who makes disjunctive, “or rather on a bridal bed,” λεχέων being the lectus genialis spread δώμασιν ἐν χρυσέοις (v. 60). Unfortunately for all this legality, the Centaur, despite his refined environment, the κοῦραι ἁγναί of P. 4.103, understood λεχέων to be nothing more than εὐνᾶς.

ποίαν: P. 8.20. Here of the flower of love. Cf. v. 119: ἀποδρέψαι καρπὸν ἀνθήσαντα. The oracular god, who has been speaking in oracular phrase, winds up with an oracular hexameter.

ζαμενής: “Inspired” (Fennell). But see P. 4.10.

χλαρόν: The passage requires an equivalent of προσηνὲς καὶ γλυκύ (Schol.), which is better satisfied by association with χλιαρόν, “lukewarm,” than by derivation from the root of κέχλαδα with Curtius. We have not here the “lively” horse-laugh of the other Centaurs; we have the half-smile of the great teacher.

κλαΐδες: See P. 8.4, and add Eur. Hippol. 538:Ἔρωτα . . . τὸν τᾶς Ἀφροδίτας φιλτάτων θαλάμων κλῃδοῦχον.

Πειθοῦς . . . φιλοτάτων: Both genitives depend on κλαΐδες. “Secret are the keys that Suasion holds to the hallowed joys of love.” On Peitho, see P. 4.219.

τοῦτο . . . τυχεῖν: This apposition serves to show the growth of the articular inf., sparingly used even in Pindar.

τοπρῶτον: τυχεῖν τοπρῶτον εὐνᾶς: “To enter the bridal bed.” Not as if this applied only to the first time.

Epode 2

ψεύδει θιγεῖν: On the dat., see P. 4.296. For the thought, P. 3.29: ψευδέων οὐχ ἅπτεται.

μείλιχος ὀργά: “Bland humor,” “pleasant mood.” Apollo is merely teasing the Centaur by pretending to ask his advice. Others, “soft desire,” “guiling passion.”

παρφάμεν: “To dissemble,” “utter in jest.” παρά, “aside” (from what is meant).

ὁπόθεν: Sc. ἐστί.

κύριον . . . τέλος , κτἑ.: “The decisive end.” The final destiny, and the ways that lead thereto.

ὅσσα . . . κλονέονται: Oracle in Hdt. 1, 47:οἶδα δ᾽ ἐγὼ ψάμμου τ᾽ ἀριθμὸν καὶ μέτρα θαλάσσης.

φύλλα: Fits the woodland environment.

ἀναπέμπει: The spring leaves are an army in rank and file, the sands are an army in rout (κλονέονται).

χὤ τι μέλλει: The τέλος again (v. 48).

χὠπόθεν | ἔσσεται = ὁπόθεν τὸ μέλλον ἔσται: The κέλευθοι again.

καθορᾷς: From thy lofty height. Apollo is a σκοπός, and κατά is not effaced.

καὶ πὰρ σοφὸν ἀντιφερίξαι: καὶ σοφῷ σοι ὄντι ἐξισωθῆναι (Schol.). “To match myself against the Wise One.”

Strophe 3

ἐρέω: Effective position. The word is not necessary.

πόσις: Compare P. 4.87: πόσις | Ἀφροδίτας, and contrast dative and genitive. Kyrene becomes Apollo's wife. As A. was unmarried it was easy to put the myth in this honorable form.

ἵκεο βᾶσσαν: O. 6.64: ἵκοντο πέτραν. See P. 4.51.

μέλλεις . . . ἐνεῖκαι: On the aor., O. 7.61; 8, 32.

Διὸς . . . ποτὶ κᾶπον: See O. 3.24, for κᾶπος. For Διός, P. 4.16: Διὸς ἐν Ἄμμωνος θεμέθλοις.

ἐπὶ . . . ἀγείραις = ὲπαγείραις.

λαὸν . . . νασιώταν: See P. 4.17 foll. The island was Thera.

ὄχθον ἐς ἀμφίπεδον: Cf. P. 4.8: πόλιν ἐν ἀργινόεντι μαστῷ. Cheiron has the oracular tone in perfection. He parodies Apollo.

Λιβύα: The nymph, daughter of Epaphos (P. 4.14).

δώμασιν ἐν χρυσέοις: Where she will abide, not ἐς, as N. 11.3: Ἀρισταγόραν δέξαι τεὸν ἐς θάλαμον.

ἵνα: Always “where” in P.

αῖσαν: Share.

αὐτίκα: Cf. v. 31.

συντελέθειν ἔννομον: “To abide with her as hers in law,” “to be her lawful possession.” Paley tr. “To become an occupier of it together with herself.” Cf. Aisch. Suppl. 565: βροτοὶ δ᾽ οἳ γᾶς τότ᾽ ἦσαν ἔννομοι. But see O. 7.84. The Schol., misled by νήποινον, glosses συντελέθειν by συντελεῖν, “to contribute.”

νήποινον: With the good sense of ποινή, P. 1.59; ποίνιμος, P. 2.17, glossed as ἄμοιρον. “Not tributeless.”

Antistrophe 3

Ἑρμᾶς: Hermes was not only the patron of flocks and herds, but also the great gerulus of Olympos. The Hermes of Praxiteles, with the infant Dionysos, is one of many.

εὐθρόνοις: A note of majestic beauty. So Kleio (N. 3.83) and the daughters of Kadmos (O. 2.24). Even Aphrodite as εὔθρονος (I. 2, 5) is more matronly than she is as ποικιλόθρονος (Sappho). On the images of the seated Horai at Delphi, see O. 13.8.

Ὥραισι: The Horai, as authors of ἀρχαῖα σοφίσματα (O. 13.17), are well introduced here, but who would question the appropriateness of the Seasons and Mother Earth as the foster-mothers of a rural deity like Aristaios?

Γαίᾳ: Great-grandmother of Kyrene (v. 19), if the relation is to be insisted on.

ὑπό: Vividly local, “from under,” “from his mother's womb.” See O. 6.43.

ἐπιγουνίδιον = ἐπὶ γονάτων. P. makes the very widest use of these adjj. in -ιος. Combine ἐπιγουϝίδιον with αὐταῖς. αὑταῖς is unknown to Pindar. See O. 13.53.

θαησάμεναι: So Bergk for θηκάμεναι, θησάμεναι of the codices, for which Moschopulos κατθηκάμεναι. θαης. = θαυμάσασαι (Schol.).

αὐταῖς: Bergk reads αὐγαῖς.

θήσονται: “Shall decree,” to which καλεῖν is epexegetic.

καλοῦσι δ᾽ Ἰοκάστην μετοῦτο γὰρ πατὴρ
ἔθετο καλεῖν,

which shows that τίθεσθαι and καλεῖν are not necessarily synonymous, as Shilleto would make them here.

Ζῆνα: Aristaios, an ancient divinity of woodland life, of flocks, herds, and fields, is a representative of Ζεὺς Ἄριστος (Ἀρισταῖος), of Ἀπόλλων Ἀγρεύς, . Νόμιος. Best known to modern readers by the passage in Verg. Georg. 4, 317 foll.

ἁγνόν: Used of Helios, O. 7.60.

ἄγχιστον: “Ever nigh.”

ὀπάονα: St. Anthony has taken his place.

καλεῖν: Epexegetic inf. By insisting so much on the fruit of the union, the Centaur hallows it, and formally weds the two.

γάμου . . . τελευτάν: Cf. O. 2.19: ἔργων τέλος.

ἔντυεν: Cf. O. 3.28; N. 9.36.

Epode 3

ὁδοὶ . . . βραχεῖαι: Cf. v. 49: οἶσθα καὶ πάσας κελεύθους.

διαίτασεν: “Decided,” as an umpire decides, hence “accomplished.” διαιτᾶν = διανύειν (Hesych.).

θαλάμῳ δ᾽ ἐν πολυχρύσῳ: Cf. v. 60: δώμασιν ἐν χρυσέοις.

ἀμφέπει: City and heroine are blended, as P. 12.2.

νιν: Kyrene, the city.

Καρνειάδα: A name of good omen, recalling Ἀπόλλων Κάρνειος. See P. 5.80.

συνέμιξε: See O. 1.22.

ἀνέφανε: By the voice of the heralds. Cf. N. 9.12: ἄμφαινε κυδαίνων πόλιν.

δέξεται: Shows that the ode was not composed at Kyrene.

καλλιγύναικι πάτρᾳ: κ. not a likely adjective on Dissen's theory. See introduction.

Strophe 4

ἀρεταὶ . . . πολύμυθοι, κτἑ.: “Great achievements aye bring with them many legends, but to adorn a few things is a hearing for the wise,” what the wise, the poets, those who understand the art, love to hear. P.'s art in his selections among the mass of themes will be appreciated by his fellows. In this transition we have the key to the poem, for in all P.'s chosen myths καιρός is atop — the καιρός of Kyrene and Apollo, the καιρός of Iolaos, the καιρός of Antaios, of Alexidamos.

ἀκοὰ σοφοῖς: Cf. O. 2.93: φωνάεντα συνετοῖσιν.

παντὸς ἔχει κορυφάν: Cf. O. 7.4: κορυφὰν κτεάνων.

ἔγνον = ἔγνωσαν.

Ἰόλαον: The son of Iphikles and nephew of Herakles, trusty companion of the latter hero. See O. 9.105. This example of the headship of καιρός may have been suggested by the training of Telesikrates in the gymnasium of Iolaos at Thebes, by the neighborhood of the celebration, by P.'s vow to Herakles and Iphikles (v. 96). Compare a similar introduction of Alkmaion, P. 8.57.

νιν = τὸν καιρόν.

Εὐρυσθῆος: The taskmaster of Herakles. See O. 3.28.

Ἀμφιτρύωνος | σάματι: Before the Proitid gate, where there was a gymnasium of Iolaos (Paus. 9, 23, 1). See also O. 9.105 for the Ἰολάου τύμβος.

πατροπάτωρ: Amphitryon — Iphikles — Iolaos.

ϝοι: O. 9.16: θυγάτηρ τἐ ϝοι.

ξένος: Amphitryon had been exiled from Tiryns by Sthenelos.

λευκίπποισι: Cf. O. 6.85. Hypallage for λευκίππων.

Antistrophe 4

ϝοῖ: Amphitryon.

δαΐφρων: On the meaning and etymology of this word, see F. D. Allen in Am. Journ. Phil. I. pp. 133-135, who rejects both δαῆναι and δαΐ, “battle,” and looks to δαΐς, “torch” (√du, δαϝ). From the “fiery-hearted” of the Iliad, it becomes, acc. to A., the “high-spirited” of the Odyssey. Mezger's “doppelsinnig,” as of one divided between her mortal and her immortal love, has no warrant.

διδύμων: Iphikles and Herakles.

σθένος υἱῶν: See O. 6.22.

κωφὸς ἀνήρ: P.'s characteristic way of whirling off from the subject in order to come back to it with more effect.

παραβάλλει: “Lends.” Cf. παραβάλλειν κεφαλήν, οὖς, and O. 9.44: φέροις . . . ἄστει γλῶσσαν.

θρέψαντο: See v. 20. On the plur. see O. 10 (11), 93. The copiousness of the Dirkaian stream (Διρκαίων ῥεέθρων, Soph.) is emphasized by the plural. The name of Iolaos is heightened by this glorification of father and uncle, and the poet at the same time shows how he can avail himself of a καιρός to fulfil his vow.

τέλειον ἐπ᾽ εὐχᾷ κωμάσομαι: “I must needs sing a song to crown my vow with fulfilment,” τέλειον κωμάσομαι = τέλειον κῶμον ᾁσομαι. The κῶμος is to fulfil the obligation that rests upon the vow. A much-disputed passage. τι with τέλειον is unsatisfactory, τι with ἐσλόν may be made tolerable by litotes, “a great blessing.” See P. 7.14: χαίρω τι. Hermann makes the vow refer to μή με λίποι, whereas in that case we should have expected λιπεῖν. The great blessing may very well be the victory of Telesikrates.

κωμάσομαι: The modal future. “I must needs,” “I am fain.”

Χαρίτων: See v. 3. Nothing suggests prayer like successful prayer. On the asyndeton, see O. 1.115.

καθαρὸν φέγγος: To illumine the path of the victories of Telesikrates. On φέγγος and φάος, see note on P. 3.75.

Αἰγίνᾳ τε . . . Νίσου τ᾽ ἐν λόφῳ: On the one ἐν, compare O. 9.94. Nisos was a mythic king of Megara. The poet, as usual, transports himself to the scene where the victories were won. See P. 1.79.

Αἰγίνᾳ τε γάρ, κτἑ.: P. has thrice already glorified the city in Aigina and Megara, and vindicated there his poetic art, of course, in the praise of the victories of Telesikrates in these places. Now he hopes that the light of the Charites will continue to illumine his poesy (compare O. 1.108: εἰ δὲ μὴ ταχὺ λίποι), for he looks forward to other themes.

τάνδε: Dissen has τόνδε. The poet says that he has glorified this city (Thebes) by celebrating the victories of Telesikrates at the places mentioned. T. evidently had close ties with Thebes, a Σπαρτῶν ξένος, like Amphitryon. Others refer τάνδε to Kyrene.

Epode 4

σιγαλὸν ἀμαχανίαν: “Dumb helplessness,” “silence from want of words.” Pindar is fighting his own battles as well as those of Telesikrates. Compare the passage O. 6.89: ἀρχαῖον ὄνειδος ἀλαθέσιν | λόγοις εἰ φεύγομεν.

ἔργῳ: Must refer to Pindar, “by my work,” “by my song.” Beck's φυγόντ᾽ would, of course, refer to Telesikrates.

τοὔνεκεν, κτἑ.: “Wherefore,” as I have glorified the city, and Telesikrates has won his prize, let friend and foe alike respect good work done in the common interest (ἐν ξυνῷ), for the common weal.

λόγον: “Saying.”

βλάπτων: “Violating.”

ἁλίοιο γέροντος: Old men of the sea are always preternaturally wise. See P. 3.92. Here Nereus is meant, whom Homer calls ἅλιον γέροντα (Il. 18. 141).

κρυπτέτω: The word of Nereus is a light unto the path, and disobedience quenches it in silence. Cf. O. 2.107: κρύφον τε θέμεν ἐσλῶν καλοῖς ἔργοις, N. 9.7: μὴ χαμαὶ σιγᾷ καλύψαι. See also O. 7.92: μὴ κρύπτε κοινὸν | σπέρμ᾽ ἀπὸ Καλλιάνακτος.

καὶ τὸν ἐχθρόν: Would apply strictly only to εἴ τις ἀντάεις, but εἰ φίλος is there only to heighten εἴ τις ἀντάεις.

σύν τε δίκᾳ: So the MSS. and the Scholia. σύν γε δίκᾳ introduces a qualification that is not needed for καλά. The praise is to be hearty and fair. προθύμως τε καὶ δικαίως (Schol.).

ὡρίαις: In their season.

Παλλάδος: Armed Pallas (Τριτογένεια, Ὀβριμοπάτρη) was worshipped at Kyrene, and weapon-races run in her honor.

παρθενικαὶ πόσιν: The Doric maidens of Kyrene were present at the games. The wish, as the wish of Nausikaa, Od. 6. 244: αἲ γὰρ ἐμοὶ τοιόσδε πόσις κεκλημένος εἴη.

υἱὸν εὔχοντο: “Or they (the mothers) wished as son.” The shift is sudden, and Hartung's αἱ δ᾽ for is worth considering; not so Bergk's awkward παρθενικᾷ, which destroys the color of ἄφωνοι, and does not allow us to supply the complementary φωνᾷ to the complementary ματέρες, as Hartung's αἱ δ᾽ would do.

Strophe 5

Ὀλυμπίοισι: A local game.

βαθυκόλπου: Especially appropriate to Mother Earth (v. 18). Compare P. 1.12.

ἀοιδᾶν δίψαν: “The songs are athirst,” as “deed is athirst” (N. 3, 6), but the poet finds that he is quenching the thirst of his Muse, and would fain pause, but Telesikrates (τις) reminds him that there is one more theme to call up — the glory of his ancestors.

ἐγεῖραι . . . δόξαν: A half-forgotten tale is roused from sleep, and this, too, is a καιρός story.

καὶ τεῶν: As well as the glory of the Thebans, Herakles and Iphikles.

προγόνων: Plural, for though Alexidamos alone is meant, the whole line is involved.

Ἴρασα: The choice part of the country, through which the Libyans led the new-comers by night for good reasons, acc. to the story of Herodotos, 4, 158. As P. would say Ἴρασα πρὸς πόλιν more readily than πρὸς πόλιν Ἴρασα, it is not fair to cite this passage as an example of ἔβαν with acc. See P. 4.52.

Ἀνταίου: The father of the maiden (Barké) bore the same name as the famous Libyan antagonist of Herakles.

Antistrophe 5

ἔπλετο: Binds strophe and antistrophe together, and thus gives special prominence to the epode, which here contains the καιρός-point.

χρυσοστεφάνου: O. 6.57: τερπνᾶς δ᾽ ἐπεὶ χρυσοστεφάνοιο λάβεν | καρπὸν Ἥβας.

ἀνθήσαντα: Flower and fruit are one.

ἀποδρέψαι: Cf. v. 40. On the active, see O. 1.13.

φυτεύων: Of a deep-laid plan. So N. 4.59: φύτευέ ϝοι θάνατον ἐκ λόχου.

γάμον: “Wedding,” not “wedlock.”

τεσσαράκοντα καὶ ὀκτώ: One of the fifty Danaides (Hypermnestra) had saved her husband, N. 10.6; Hor. Od. 3, 11, 33; one (Amymone) had yielded to Poseidon.

πρὶν μέσον ἆμαρ ἑλεῖν = πρὶν τὸ μέσον τῆς ἡμέρας γενέσθαι (Schol.). “Before the oncoming of midday.” ἑλεῖν does not require an object any more than αἱρεῖ in the familiar phrase λόγος αἱρεῖ.

γάμον: No fear of repetition. See note on P. 1.80.

αὐτίκα: See v. 31.

ἀγῶνος: “Lists,” as O. 10 (11), 26.

σὺν δ᾽ ἀέθλοις: Cf. O. 2.46. “With the help of,” instead of “by means of.”

σχήσοι: Opt. in or. obl. = ind. only with interrog. in P., as in Homer, except O. 6.49, which see. First occurrence of fut. opt.

Epode 5

ἐδίδου: “Offered.”

Αίβυς: Antaios.

ἁρμόζων: See v. 14.

τέλος . . . ἄκρον: Praemium summum (Dissen), “the great prize.”

ἀπάγεσθαι: Where we should expect ἀπαγαγέσθαι: but ἄγειν often tricks expectation, and there is, besides, a note of triumph in the present. So ἆγεν below, v. 133.

ὃς ἂν . . . ψαύσειε: The oratio recta would be ὃς ἂν . . . ψαύση, and ὃς ἂν . . . ψαύσειε would be a slight anakoluthon. This, however, is doubtful for P. ἂν . . . θορών may possibly be=ἀναθορών, but in all likelihood ἄν belongs to the opt. and gives the view of the principal subject, Antaios. Compare Hes. Theog. 392: ὃς ἂν μάχοιτο, implying μάχοιτ᾽ ἄντις. So here ὃς ἂν ψαύσειε implies ψαύσειεν ἄντις.

ἀμφί: With ψαύσειε.

ϝοι: Does not depend on πέπλοις, but on the whole complex.

πέπλοις: The fluttering robe heightens the picture (v. 128: κοσμήσαις). On the dat. see v. 46.

φύγε λαιψηρὸν δρόμον = δρόμῳ λαιψηρῶς ἔφυγεν.

χεπὶ χειρός: P. 4.37: χειρί ϝοι χεῖρα.

Νομάδων: The scene is laid in Barka.

δι᾽ ὅμιλον: In prose we must say δι᾽ ὁμίλου. With the accus. we feel the throng.

δίκον . . . ἔπι: A similar scene in P. 4.240.

πτερὰ . . . Νίκας: O. 14.24: ἐστεφάνωσε κυδίμων ἀέθλων πτεροῖσι χαίταν. On the prothalamion theory we have a parallel with Telesikrates.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (35 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (35):
    • Aeschylus, Suppliant Maidens, 565
    • Euripides, Bacchae, 370
    • Euripides, Hippolytus, 538
    • Euripides, Phoenician Women, 12
    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.47
    • Homer, Iliad, 18.141
    • Homer, Odyssey, 2.398
    • Homer, Odyssey, 6.244
    • Homer, Odyssey, 9.364
    • Pindar, Nemean, 10
    • Pindar, Nemean, 11
    • Pindar, Nemean, 3
    • Pindar, Nemean, 4
    • Pindar, Nemean, 9
    • Pindar, Olympian, 1
    • Pindar, Olympian, 11
    • Pindar, Olympian, 13
    • Pindar, Olympian, 14
    • Pindar, Olympian, 2
    • Pindar, Olympian, 3
    • Pindar, Olympian, 4
    • Pindar, Olympian, 6
    • Pindar, Olympian, 7
    • Pindar, Olympian, 9
    • Pindar, Pythian, 1
    • Pindar, Pythian, 12
    • Pindar, Pythian, 2
    • Pindar, Pythian, 3
    • Pindar, Pythian, 5
    • Pindar, Pythian, 6
    • Pindar, Pythian, 7
    • Pindar, Pythian, 8
    • Sophocles, Electra, 680
    • Pindar, Pythian, 4
    • Vergil, Georgics, 4.317
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: