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The third Olympian celebrates the same victory as the preceding ode. In what order the two were sung does not appear. O. 2 was probably performed in the palace of Theron; O. 3 in the Dioskureion of Akragas. The superscription and the Scholia indicate that this ode was prepared for the festival of the Θεοξένια, at which Kastor and Polydeukes entertained the gods. It is natural to assume the existence of a special house-cult of the Dioskuroi in the family of the Emmenidai, but we must not press v. 39 too hard.

The third Olympian, then, combines the epinikian ode with the theoxenian hymn. The Tyndaridai are in the foreground. It is the Tyndaridai that the poet seeks to please (v. 1) by his Ὀλυμπιονίκας ὕμνος. It is the Tyndaridai, the twin sons of Leda (v. 35), that are the ruling spirits of the Olympian contests. It is the Tyndaridai that are the givers of fame to Theron (v. 39). The victory is the same as that celebrated in the previous ode, but there Theron is always present to our minds. We are always thinking of the third member of the triad — god, hero, man. Here Theron is kept back. The poet who was there almost, if not altogether, defiant in his heralding of Theron, utters scarce a word of praise here. Before it was merit, here it is grace.

The poem is a solemn banquet-hymn. The victory calls for the fulfilment of a divine service, a θεόδματον χρέος (v. 7). Pisa is the source of θεομοροι ἀοιδαί (v. 10). The myth has the same drift. It is the story of the Finding of the Olive, the token of victory. This is no native growth. It was brought by Herakles from the sources of the Istros, a memorial of Olympic contests (v. 15). It was not won by force, but obtained by entreaty from the Hyperborean servants of Apollo (v. 16), and the hero craved it as shade for the sacred enclosure of his sire, and as a wreath for human prowess (v. 18). Already had the games been established, but the ground was bare to the keen scourgings of the sun (v. 24). Sent to Istria on another errand by Zeus, he had beheld and wondered (v. 32). Thither returning at the impulse of his heart, he asked and received, and planted the olive at Olympia (v. 34), which he still visits with the sons of Leda (v. 35).

The parallel with Herakles is revealed at the end. Theron has reached his bound — his Herakles' pillars. Beyond lies nothing. Seek no further (v. 45).

The olive was a free gift of God. So is this victory of Theron. It might be dangerous to press the details. Yet it is not unGreek to say that the beauty of life is found of those who walk in the path of duty. Theron's praise is no less because it is indirect.

The dactylo-epitrite rhythms are peculiarly appropriate in a hymn addressed to deities so Dorian in their character as the Dioskuroi. The compass of the strophe is not great, but especial stateliness is given to the composition by the massiveness of the epode. It is noteworthy that strophe and epode end with the same measure.

Of the three triads, the central one contains the heart of the Finding of the Olive. The story is begun at the close of the first triad, and finished at the beginning of the third, and thus the parts are locked together.

Strophe 1

φιλοξείνοις: The Dioskuroi were in an especial manner gods of hospitality, though an allusion to the Θεοξένια is not excluded

ἀδεῖν = ἁδεῖν, Aeolic ψίλωσις, P. 2.96.

καλλιπλοκάμῳ θ᾽ Ἑλένᾳ: κ., used of Thetis and Demeter in Homer, who is more lavish in his use of ἐυπλόκαμος. Helen is καλλίκομος, Od. 15. 58. τε . . . τε, as the brothers, so the sister. See O. 1.115. H. shares her brothers' hospitable nature. See Od. 4. 130 foll., 296 foll.

κλεινὰν Ἀκράγαντα: With P.'s leaning to the fem.

γεραίρων: “While honoring.”

εὔχομαι: A prayer and not a boast. So also P. 8.67, where αἰτέω forms a sufficient contrast.

Θήρωνος Ὀλυμπιονίκαν ὕμνον: Instead of the prosaic Ὀλυμπιονίκου ὕμνον.

ὀρθώσαις: Simply “raising,” without any sidenotion of column (O. 7.86) or statue (I. 1, 46):

ἀκαμαντοπόδων: O. 5.3: ἀκαμαντόποδος . . . ἀπήνας.

ἄωτον: Appos. to ὕμνον. Compare O. 5.1; 8, 75.

οὕτω μοι παρεστάκοι: So with Mommsen, instead of οὕτω τοι παρέστα μοι. οὕτω, as she had done before. In a wish, P. 1.46. 56. With παρεστάκοι compare P. 8.70: κώμῳ μὲν ἁδυμελεῖ | Δίκα παρέστακε.

νεοσίγαλον: “With its gloss fresh upon it.” We say, with another figure, “fire-new.” O. 9.52: ἄνθεα δ᾽ ὕμνων νεωτέρων.

τρόπον: The novelty consists in the combination of honor to God and honor to man, of theoxenia and epinikion. See the Introduction.

πεδίλῳ: The πέδιλον strikes the measure.

Antistrophe 1

ἐπεὶ . . . γεγωνεῖν: Gives the double element — the victory of Theron (ἐπινίκιον), and the right of the Tyndaridai to Pisa (Θεοξένια). Compare v. 9: τᾶς ἄπο | θεόμοροι νίσοντ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἀνθρώπους ἀοιδαί, with v. 34: ἵλαος ἀντιθέοισιν νίσεται | σὺν βαθυζώνου διδύμνοις παισὶ Λήδας. The song is the refluence of the coming of Herakles and the Tyndaridai.

χαίταισι μὲν ζευχθέντες: P. prefers this warmer participial conception to the colder infinitive (τὸ) χαίταισιν ἐπιζευχθῆναι στεφάνους. See P. 2.23; 3, 102; 11, 22; N. 4.34; I. 4, 49; 7, 12. Dem. 18, 32: διὰ τούτους οὐχὶ πεισθέντας, much more vigorous than διὰ τὸ τούτους μὴ πεισθῆναι. The familiarity of these constructions in Latin deadens our perception of them in Greek, where they are very much rarer. μέν, with an answering τε, v. 9. See O. 4.13.

πράσσοντι: P. 9.111: ἐμὲ δ᾽ ὦν . . . τις πράσσει χρέος. The more familiar middle occurs O. 10.33.

θεόδματον: The last part of the compd. is felt elsewhere, O. 6.59; P. 1.61; 9, 11; though faintly in I. 5, 11: θεοδμάτους ἀρετάς. There is no echo of ὀρθώσαις.

φόρμιγγά τε . . . καὶ βοὰν αὐλῶν ἐπέων τε: τε . . . καί unites the instrumentation, τε adds the words as an essential element.

ποικιλόγαρυν: Cf. O. 4.2: ποικιλοφόρμιγγος ἀοιδᾶς.

θέσιν = ποίησιν. Etym. Magn. p. 319, 31: θέσις ποίησις παρ᾽ Ἀλκαίῳ, and p. 391, 26: Πίνδαρος θέσιν τὸ ποίημα λέγει. Sappho, fr. 36 (Bgk.): οὐκ οἶδ᾽ ὄττι θέω.

Αἰνησιδάμου παιδί: In honor of Theron.

συμμῖξαι: Cf. O. 1.22.

τε Πίσα: See v. 7.

γεγωνεῖν: Supply πράσσει, which is easier, as the near neighborhood of συμμῖξαι keeps the construction wide-awake. γέγωνεν (Christ) does not give a clear sense, though the shift is in P.'s manner.

τᾶς ἄπο: O. 1.8.

θεόμοροι: “God-given,” as I. 7, 38: γάμου θεόμορον γέρας.

Epode 1

τινι = τούτῳ (in his honor), τινι. — κραίνων . . . βάλῃ: Pres., the rule; aor., the exemplification. Simple subj. in generic sentence as in Homer

ἐφετμάς: See P. 2.21.

προτέρας: “Of old,” “of yore.” O. 7.72: ἐπὶ προτέρων ἀνδρῶν.

ἀτρεκής: “Unswervable.”

Ἑλλανοδίκας: The judge of the contest, so called because Greeks alone could participate in the games. Originally the number is said to have been two, afterwards ten, according to the number of the φυλαί of the Eleians, and afterwards still further enlarged.

γλεφάρων . . . ὑψόθεν: The eyes of the victor would naturally follow the movement of the prizegiver's hand, hence ὑψόθεν.

Αἰτωλός: The Eleians were called Aitolians, after their leader, Oxylos, who accompanied, or rather guided, the Herakleidai on their return.

γλαυκόχροα: Cf. So. O. C. 701:γλαυκᾶς . . . φύλλον ἐλαίας” . The hue is grayish-green. On the symbolism of the olive, see Porphyr. de Antro Nymph. c. 33. P. does not distinguish the ἐλαία from the κότινος (wild olive).

τάν ποτε: The relative begins the myth. Cf. O. 1.25.

Ἴστρου: A half-fabulous river.

Ἀμφιτρυωνιάδας: Herakles. The mouth-filling word, well suited to the hero, occurs again, I. 5, 38. Cf. Catull. 68, 112:falsiparens Amphitryoniades.

Strophe 2

δᾶμον Ὑπερβορέων: The well-known favorites of Apollo, who lived “beyond the North,” according to P., as he brings them into contrast with the Nile (I. 5 [6], 23). Perseus' visit to the Hyperboreans is described in P. 10 (Pindar's earliest poem).

Ἀπόλλωνος θεράποντα: P. 10.34: ὧν θαλίαις ἔμπεδον | εὐφαμίαις τε μάλιστ᾽ Ἀπόλλων | χαίρει.

πείσαις . . . λόγῳ: λ. has an emphatic position. Herakles does not often stoop to plead.

πιστὰ φρονέων: “With loyal soul,” if “loyal” were antique; “true to his sire.”

αἴτει: “He had to ask.” Not αἰτεῖ, the histor. pres., which is very rare in P., and turns on P. 5.82, which see.

πανδόκῳ: Compare O. 1.93; 6, 69.

ἄλσει: “Every place consecrated to the gods is an ἄλσος, even if it be bare of trees,” says the Schol.

σκιαρόν τε φύτευμα: It had shaded the Ἴστρου παγαί, v. 14.

ξυνὸν ἀνθρώποις: The shade is common to all men, the wreaths are for the victors (Böckh). “A common boon.”

αὐτῷ: With ἀντέφλεξε. “In his face.” — διχόμηνις: “Monthhalver.” The full moon lighted the height of the festival.

ὅλον: “Full” (proleptic).

χρυσάρματος: Compare the “yellow harvest-moon.”

ἑσπέρας: “At eventide” (cf. P. 4.40), acc. to Böckh, but the moon may flash full the Eye of Even, which is herself. Still the adverbial interpretation is favored by O. 10 (11), 81: ἐν δ᾽ ἕσπερον | ἔφλεξεν εὐώπιδος | σελάνας ἐρατὸν φάος.

Antistrophe 2

ἀέθλων . . . κρίσιν: So N. 10.23, but O. 7.80: κρίσις ἀμφ᾽ ἀέθλοις.

ἁγνάν: The decision is “pure” (intemerate) as the judge is “true” (unwarped), v. 12.

ἁμᾶ (Dor.) = ἅμα here, and P. 3.36; N. 5.11, but=ὁμοῦ, N. 7.78.

θῆκε: Sc. Ἡρακλῆς. Change of subject is very common in Greek, e. g. O. 9.50; P. 4.25. 251. See also O. 1.89.

κρημνοῖς: “Bluffs,” as in Homer. P. 3.34: παρὰ Βοιβιάδος κρημνοῖς, fr. XI. 64: πὰρ κρημνὸν θαλάσσας.

οὐ καλὰ , κτἑ.: On the position of οὐ compare O. 4.17.

δένδρε᾽ ἔθαλλεν: δ. is inner object: δένδρα τεθηλότα εἶχε.

Κρονίου. Böckh combines Κρονίου Πέλοπος. This would require Κρονίδα (Herm.). Aristarchos combines χῶρος Πέλοπος, ἐν βάσσαις Κρονίου. Hence we read χῶροςἐν βάσσαις ΚρονίουΠέλοπος, which is very much in P.'s manner.

τούτων . . . γυμνός: As τῶν is used as a relative, the asyndeton is not felt with the fuller τούτων, which need not be = τούτων οὖν.

κᾶπος: So “garden” of any favored spot, P. 9.57: Διὸς ἔξοχον κᾶπον (Libya).

ὑπακουέμεν: As a slave. “To be exposed to,” “lashed by” (cf. “that fierce light which beats upon a throne”).

ὀξείαις . . . αὐγαῖς: O. 7.70: ἔχει τέ μιν ὀξειᾶν γενέθλιος ἀκτίνων πατήρ, Theogn. 425: αὐγὰς

ὀξέος ἠελίου.

πορεύειν: The Schol. makes this form here = πορεύεσθαι, but it is better to make πορεύειν transitive and ὥρμα intransitive. Bergk reads ὥρμαιν᾽.

Epode 2

ἱπποσόα: I. 4 (5), 32: ἱπποσόας Ἰόλαος. In P. 2.9 Artemis puts on the trappings when Hieron yokes his horses. Homer calls her (Il. 6. 205) χρυσήνιος.

δέξατ᾽ ἐλθόντ᾽ . . . ἀπὸ, κτἑ.: Refers to a previous visit, the memory of which was recalled by the nakedness of the κᾶπος. The circumstances of the two visits are different; the first visit (from Arcady) was under the stress of ἀνάγκα, and at the bidding of the hated Eurystheus, and the second visit (from Elis) was in faithful love (πιστὰ φρονέων), at the bidding of his own spirit.

δειρᾶν: O. 9.63: Μαιναλίαισιν ἐν δειραῖς.

ἀγγελίαις: The plural of an impressive message, also I. 7 (8), 43: ἰόντων . . . αὐτίκ᾽ ἀγγελίαι. Eurystheus sent his message to Herakles by Kopreus (Il. 15. 639), a proceeding which both Homeric and Pindaric Scholiasts ascribe to fear.

ἔντυε: As in P. 9.72: ὣς ἄρ᾽ εἰπὼν ἔντυεν τερπνὰν γάμου κραίνειν τελευτάν. The extension of ἐντ. from παρασκευάζειν to διεγείρειν (Schol.) is not Homeric.

πατρόθεν: The ἀνάγκα bound sire as well as son. The story of the oath of Zeus and the consequent subjection of Herakles to Eurystheus is told, Il. 19. 95 sqq.

χρυσόκερων . θήλειαν: Mythic does have mythic horns.

Ταϋγέτα: One of the Pleiades, daughter of Atlas, mother of Lakedaimon and Eurotas. In order to escape the pursuit of Zeus, she was changed by Artemis into a doe, and after she returned to her human form she consecrated a doe to the goddess.

ἀντιθεῖσα = ἀνατιθεῖσα (Schol.).

Ὀρθωσίᾳ: The hiatus is paralleled by O. 6.82; N. 6.24; I. 1, 16 (Bergk). — 'O. is not different from Ἄρτεμις Ὀρθία, before whose altar boys were scourged at Sparta. Both doe and scourging indicate a substitution for human sacrifice. As the capture of the doe ordinarily precedes the cleansing of the Augean stables, and so the founding of the Olympic games, v. 34 foll., see Ol. 10 (11), we have another indication that there were two visits to the land of the Hyperboreans.

ἔγραψεν: The Scholiast is good enough to give us the inscription on the doe's collar: Ταϋγέτη ἱερὰν ἀνέθηκεν Ἀρτέμιδι.

Strophe 3

πνοιᾶς ὄπιθεν Βορέα: P. comes back to the Hyperboreans with an explanatory touch. See on P. 4.29. To emphasize the distance is to emphasize Herakles' devotion to his sire. This P. has done here and in vv. 14, 26. πνοιᾶς has scarcely any MS. warrant, but πνοιαῖς can only be defended by vague analogy.

θάμβαινε = θαύμαινε, which is an inferior reading.

τῶν: Depends on ἵμερος.

δωδεκάγναμπτον: See O. 2.55.

φυτεῦσαι: Epexegetic infinitive. The place was called τὸ Πάνθειον (Schol.).

ταύταν ἑορτάν: The Theoxenia.

νίσεται: The only correct spelling, acc. to the best MSS., and borne out by G. Meyer, Gr. Gr., § 497, νι?σομαι for νι-νσ-ι-ο-μαι.

βαθυζώνου: Epithet applied to the Graces, P. 9.2; to the Muses, I. 5 (6), 74; to Latona, Fr. V. 2, 2. See P. 1.12.

Antistrophe 3

ἐπέτραπεν = ἐπέτρεψεν (Schol.).

θαητὸν ἀγῶνα νέμειν: The Dioskuroi were θεοὶ ἐναγώνιοι. N. 10.52: εὐρυχόρου ταμίαι Σπάρτας ἀγώνων.

ἀνδρῶν τ᾽ ἀρετᾶς: Especially of those games that require personal prowess. O. 1.95: ἵνα ταχυτὰς ποδῶν ἐρίζεται | ἀκμαι τ᾽ ἰσχύος θρασύπονοι, N. 9.12: ἰσχύος τ᾽ ἀνδρῶν ἁμίλλαις ἅρμασι τε γλαφυροῖς ἄμφαινε κυδαίνων πόλιν, N. 5.52: πύκταν τέ νιν καὶ παγκρατίῳ φθέγξαι ἑλεῖν Ἐπιδαύρῳ διπλόαν | νικῶντ᾽ ἀρετάν. Still charioteering was not without its dangers. See P. 6.

ῥιμφαρμάτου: So. O. C. 1062.

διφρηλασίας: As ἀφετήριοι the Dioskuroi had an altar at the starting-post of the Hippodrome (Paus. 5, 15, 5).

πὰρ θυμὸς ὀτρύνει: The πᾳ of the MSS. (= πως, Schol.) cannot be construed; with ὀτρύνει it makes no sense, and διδόντων is too far off. πάρ, Böckh (παροτρύνει), with poor and late MSS. The old Scholiasts show uneasiness.

Ἐμμενίδαις | Θήρωνί τε: Theron crowns the line. The dat. with ἐλθεῖν as often when equiv. to γενέσθαι.

ἐποίχονται: Sc. the Emmenidai. Compare what is said of Xenokrates, brother of Theron, I. 2, 39:καὶ θεῶν δαῖτας προσέπτυκτο πάσας.

Epode 3

τελετάς = τὰς ἑορτάς (Schol.).

εἰ δ᾽ ἀριστεύει , κτἑ.: “If” (which no one will deny). A familiar sentiment, such as the Greeks did not hesitate to repeat on occasion. See O. 1.1.

νῦν δέ: The reading νῦν γε is at first sight more natural, but νῦν δέ has the better warrant “Now in his turn.” This comes near an apodotic δέ.

ἐσχατιάν: Of one that casts anchor. I. 5 (6), 12: ἐσχατιὰς ἤδη πρὸς ὄλβου | βάλλετ᾽ ἄγκυραν θεότιμος ἐών.

ἀρεταῖσιν: “By his deeds of emprise.”

οἴκοθεν: Variously interpreted. As οἴκοθεν οἴκαδε is proverbial for ease and comfort of transmission and transition (O. 6.99; 7, 4), so the omission of οἴκαδε shows difficulty, trouble, arduous effort. Compare I. 3 (4), 30: ἀνορέαισιν δ᾽ ἐσχάταισιν οἴκοθεν στάλαισιν ἅπτονθ᾽ Ἡρακλειαις. The effect is “the far distant pillars of Herakles.”

Ἡρακλέος σταλᾶν: Proverbs weary less by repetition than original figures.

οὔ νιν διώξω: νιν = τὸ πόρσω. Neither οὐ μάν nor οὐ μή is Pindaric. Suavius dicit de se quae Theroni dicere vult (Dissen).

κεινὸς εἴην: “Set me down an empty fool” (if I do). There is no omission of ἄν. Compare Lys. 21, 21:μαινοίμην δοκοίην μαίνεσθαι, εἰ ἀναλίσκοιμι” .

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    • Homer, Iliad, 19.95
    • Homer, Iliad, 6.205
    • Homer, Odyssey, 15.58
    • Homer, Odyssey, 4.130
    • Lysias, Defence against a Charge of Taking Bribes, 21
    • Pindar, Isthmean, 2
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    • Pindar, Olympian, 1
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    • Pindar, Olympian, 4
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    • Pindar, Olympian, 7
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    • Pindar, Pythian, 1
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    • Pindar, Pythian, 2
    • Pindar, Pythian, 3
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    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1062
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 701
    • Pindar, Pythian, 4
    • Catullus, Poems, 68
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