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The victory commemorated in this poem was gained Pyth. 29, i. e. Ol. 76, 3 (474 B.C.). Hieron had himself proclaimed as a citizen of Aitna in order to please the city founded by him, Ol. 76, 1 (476 B.C.), to take the place of Katana. In the same year he had gained a victory over the Etruscans off Cumae, thus crowning the glory of the battle of Himera. The great eruption of Aitna, which began Ol. 75, 2 (479 B.C.), and continued several years, figures largely in this poem, which has been much admired and often imitated, notably by Gray in his “Progress of Poesy.”

Pindar's poems are constellations. There are figures as in the heavens, a belt, a plough, a chair, a serpent, a flight of doves, but around them clusters much else. The Phorminx is the name of the constellation called the first Pythian. In the first part of the poem the lyre is the organ of harmony, in the second the organ of praise. In the first part everything is plain. Apollo and the Muses are to the Greek the authors of all harmony, artistic, political, social, spiritual. The lyre, as the instrument of Apollo, is the symbol of the reign of harmony over the wide domain of Zeus. Everything that owes allegiance to Zeus obeys his son Apollo, obeys the quivering of the lyre's strings. So the footstep of the dancer, the voice of the singer. Even the thunderbolt, the weapon of Zeus, is quenched, the bird of Zeus slumbers, the wild son of Zeus, violent Ares, sleeps a deep sleep. This is the art of the son of Leto and the deep-bosomed Muses (vv. 1-12).

All those that Zeus hath claimed as his own are ruled by harmony. Not so those that he loves not. When they hear the sound of the Pierides, they strive to flee along the solid earth and the restless main. So he who now lies in dread Tartaros, enemy of the gods, Typhon, reared in the famed Kilikian cave. His hairy breasts are pinched by the high sea-shores of Kymé and Sicily, and Aitna's heaven-mounting column pinions him — Aitna, nurse of keen snow, from whose inmost recesses belch purest streams of unapproachable fire, rivers that roll sparkling smoke by day, while purple flame by night bears in its whirl masses of stone down to the surface of the deep, plashing. These jets of fire are upflung by yon monster. Terrible are they — a marvel to behold, a marvel even to hear from those that have beheld. Such a creature is that which lies bound by peak and plain, while his back is goaded by his craggy couch (vv. 13-28).

May we not be of those thou lovest not, may we find favor in thy sight, O Zeus, lord of Aitna's mount — the forehead of this fruitful land, whose namesake neighbor city the famed founder glorified when the herald proclaimed her in the Pythian course by reason of Hieron's noble victory with the chariot. As men who go on shipboard count as the first blessing a favoring wind, an omen of a happy return, so we count from this concurrence that the city will henceforth be renowned for wreaths of victory and chariots, her name be named mid banquet-songs. Lykian and Delian lord, thou that lovest the Kastalian fount of Parnasos, make this purpose good, make the land a land of men (vv. 2940).

So far Apollo and the Muses dominate — dominate as the interpreters of Zeus. Now Zeus himself comes forward. Apollo is mentioned no more, but the prayer to him, v. 40, is matched by a prayer to the Muse in v. 58.

Zeus, Apollo, the Muses, have now led us up to the praise of Hieron. The achievements of mortals are all due to the gods. Men are bards; are valiant and eloquent through them (v. 41); and so, through them, Hieron has the virtues of his high position, and all the so-called counsels addressed to him are merely indications of what he is, or thinks he is, or tries to be. In praising his hero Pindar picks out first the quality that had recently distinguished him, and this success was won θεῶν παλάμαις (v. 48). The future lacks nothing but forgetfulness of toils and pains. Greater prosperity, greater wealth, it cannot give. It can only administer (οὕτω, v. 46). When the forgetfulness of the bitter past comes, then the memory of all the glorious achievements of war, with all its proud wealth, will return. May our hero, like Philoktetes of old (v. 50), have a god to be his friend and benefactor. But the song is not for Hieron alone. His son, Deinomenes (v. 58), shares the joy in the victory of his sire; his son is king of the city Aitna, which Hieron built for him, founding it with god-sent freedom in the laws of Doric stock, after the principles of Doric harmony (v. 65). May this harmony between people and princes abide, and may father pass to son the keynote of concordant peace (v. 79) — peace within and peace from barbaric foes without. Zeus keep the Phoenician and the Tyrrhenian battle-shouts at home, now that they have seen the fell destruction of their ships, the punishment of their insolence, before Kymé — that weight that rests upon Typhon's breast. For what Salamis to Athens, what Plataia to Sparta, that to the sons of Deinomenes is the day of Himera (v. 80).

But brevity is best. Twist the strands tight. Less, then, will be the blame, for surfeit dulleth the edge of expectation. Others' blessings and advantages are a hateful hearing; yet envy is better than pity. Hold, Hieron, to thy high career. Still guide the people with a just helm. Still be thy word forged on the anvil of truth. No sparkle of dross that flieth past is without its weight, coming from thee. Steward of many things thou art. Faithful witnesses there are many for right and wrong. Firm abide in generous temper. Wax not weary in expenditure. Let thy sail belly to the wind. Let no juggling gains lure thee. After mortals liveth fame alone as it revealeth the lives of the departed to speakers and to singers. Kroisos' generous kindliness perisheth not. The cruel soul of Phalaris — brazen-bull-burner — is whelmed by hating bruit; no harps beneath the roof-tree receive him to soft fellowship with warbling boys. Good fortune is first; then good fame. Whoso hath chanced on both and made both his own hath received the highest crown (vv. 81-100).

The mood is Dorian, the rhythms dactylo-epitrite.

Of the five triads, the first two deal with harmony; the third and the fourth have to do with Hieron's work as a founder, his work as a warrior, with the sweet music of a concordant state, the sweet silence from the barbaric cry, have to do with Aitna and Himera. The last triad avoids the weariness of praise by disguising it under sage counsel, with the intimation that Hieron has not only been prosperous, but has gained the fair voices of the world.

Strophe 1

χρυσέα φόρμιγξ: Cf. Hes. Scut. Hercl. 202: ἱμερόεν κιθάριζε Διὸς καὶ Δητοῦς υἱὸς χρυσείῃ φόρμιγγι, N. 5.24: φόρμιγγ᾽ Ἀπόλλων ἑπτάγλωσσον χρυσέῳ πλάκτρῳ διώκων.

ἰοπλοκάμων: Cf. O. 6.30: παῖδα ϝιόπλοκον. Our violet is the ἴον μέλαν of the Greeks, and “black” is the nearest translation of ιο-.

σύνδικον ... κτέανον: “Joint possession.”

βάσις: The dancer's foot listens and obeys the throb of the cithern.

ἀοιδοί: The singers of the chorus.

προοιμίων: “Preludes.”

ἀμβολὰς τεύχῃς = ἀναβολὰς ποιῇ, ἀναβάλλῃ. Cf. Od. 1. 155: τοι φορμίζων ἀνεβάλλετο καλὸν ἀείδειν.

ἐλελιζομένα: “Quivering.” O. 9.14: φόρμιγγ᾽ ἐλελίζων.

αἰχματὰν κεραυνόν : αἰ. better as a subst. than as an adjective. κ. is personified, “spearwielder Thunderbolt.”

ἀενάου πυρός: So ἄνθεμα χρυσοῦ (O. 2.79).

ἀνὰ σκάπτῳ Διός: The eagle on the sceptre of Zeus is a familiar figure. Compare So. fr. 766: σκηπτοβάμων αἰετὸς κύων Διός.

ὠκεῖαν: Of the inherent quality. See note on O. 12.3. Contrasting epithet to heighten χαλάξαις.

Antistrophe 1

ἀρχὸς οἰωνῶν: Cf. O. 13.21: οἰωνῶν βασιλέα.

ἀγκύλῳ κρατί: Od. 19. 538: αἰετὸς ἀγκυλοχείλης.

κνώσσων: This is a deep sleep with fair visions. See O. 13.71.

ὑγρὸν νῶτον: The feathers rise and fall like waves on the back of the sleeping bird in response to his breathing.

ῥιπαῖσι : . often of winds and waves. So P. 4.195: κυμάτων ῥιπὰς ἀνέμων τε.

κατασχόμενος = κατεχόμενος. There is no aor. feeling. Cf. Od. 11. 334: κηληθμῷ δ᾽ ἔσχοντο, and Thompson's notes on Plat. Phaidr. 238 D, 244 E.

βιατὰς Ἄρης: To match αἰχματὰν κεραυνόν above.

ἰαίνει: With θυμόν, O. 7.43. “Lets his heart (himself) dissolve in deep repose.”

κῆλα: Compare O. 1.112; 2, 91; 9, 5-12; I. 4 (5), 46 for the same metaphor.

ἀμφί: With the peculiar poetic use, rather adverbial than prepositional. “With the environment of art,” “by virtue of.” So P. 8.34: ἐμᾷ ἀμφὶ μαχανᾷ.

βαθυκόλπων: Like βαθύζωνος, of stately and modest beauty. The deep girdle and the deep folds might be due to amplitude or to dignity, or both. βαθύκολπος of Mother Earth, P. 9.101.

Epode 1

πεφίληκε: Emotional perfect = pres., though on the theory that φίλος means “own,” π. = “hath made his own.”

ἀτύζονται: On the concord, see O. 2.92; O. 10 (11), 93. The neuter ὅσσα conjures up strange shapes.

βοάν: Of music. O. 3.8; P. 10.39; N. 5.38.

γᾶν: ἀμαιμάκετον with πόντον throws up as a complementary color στερεάν, “solid,” with γᾶν. For ἀμαιμάκετον, “furious,” “restless,” see Il. 6. 179, where it is used of the Chimaira. The sea is the favorite haunt of monsters.

κατά: On κ. with the second member, see O. 9.94.

αἰνᾴ Ταρτάρῳ: So Ἰσθμός is fem. in P. O. 8.48; N. 5.37; I. 1, 32.

Τυφώς: See Il. 2. 782, where his bed is said to be εἰν Ἀρίμοις, which is in Kilikia. Cf. Aisch. P. V. 351:τὸν γηγενῆ τε Κιλικίων οἰκήτορα ... ἑκατογκάρανον ... Τυφῶνα” . In this passage, too long to quote entire, Prometheus prophesies the eruption in language that seems to be a reflex of Pindar's description.

Κιλίκιον ... ἄντρον: P. 8.16: Τυφὼς Κίλιξ.

πολυώνυμον = πολυθρύλητον.

ὑπὲρ Κύμας: Behind and above — not immediately over. The whole region is volcanic. Ischia, the ancient Pithekussa, where Hieron established a colony, was rudely shaken by an earthquake in 1880, almost destroyed in 1883.

κίων ... οὐρανία: Aisch. P. V. 349: κίον᾽ οὐρανοῦ τε καὶ χθονὸς ὤμοιν ἐρείδων.

πάνετες ... τιθήνα: τ. is adjective enough to take an adverb.

τιθήνα: Kithairon is χιονοτρόφος, Eur. Phoen. 803.

Strophe 2

ἐρεύγονται μὲν ... ποταμοὶ δέ: Aisch. P. V. 367: ἐκραγήσονταί ποτε ποταμοὶ πυρός.

ἁγνόταται: The commentators see in this epithet Pythagorean reverence of fire. The reverence of fire is Indo-European. For μὲν ... δέ, see O. 11 (10), 8.

παγαί: ποταμοί ... κρουνούς: All carefully used. παγαί, “well up,” ποταμοί, “roll,” κρουνοί are “shot up” in jets.

ἁμέραισιν ... ἐν ὄρφναισιν: Cf. O. 1.2: νυκτὶ ... ἐν ἁμέρᾳ.

βαθεῖαν: Measured from the top of the mountain. “Far below.”

σὺν πατάγῳ: Effective position.

Ἁφαίστοιο: This personification was not so vivid to the Greek as it is to us. See note on P. 3.39.

τέρας ... θαυμάσιον προσιδέσθαι: For the inf., compare I. 3 (4), 68: ὀνοτὸς μὲν ἰδέσθαι. θαῦμα ἰδέσθαι is a common Homeric phrase.

θαῦμα δὲ καὶ παρεόντων ἀκοῦσαι: καί is naturally “even,” and goes with ἀκοῦσαι. “It is a marvel of marvels to see, a marvel even to hear.” This makes προσιδέσθαι refer to the φλόξ, the ἀκοῦσαι to the σὺν πατάγῳ. So Schneidewin. παρεόντων (for which we have the variant παριόντων) is genitive absolute without a subject, “when men are present.” P. uses the construction somewhat charily (see note on O. 13.15), and Cobet's παρ᾽ ἰδόντων, “to hear of from those who have seen,” would be seductive in prose. P. does not happen to use παρά thus.

Antistrophe 2

οἷον: Exclamatory, O. 1.16.

στρωμνά: The bed of the monster is αἰνὰ Τάρταρος, v. 15.

εἴη, Ζεῦ, τὶν εἴη: Asyndeton is common and natural in prayers (see O. 1.115), and so is the suppression of the dative (ἡμῖν).

μέτωπον: The mountain rises from the plain as the forehead from the face. The transfer of the designations of parts of the body to objects in nature is so common as not to need illustration. Whatever original personifying power this transfer may have had seems to have faded out in Greek poetry (Hense, Adolf Gerber).

τοῦ ... ἐπωνυμίαν: Cf. O. 10 (11), 86: ἐπωνυμίαν χάριν νίκας ἀγερώχου.

Πυθιάδος δ᾽ ἐν δρόμῳ: Dissen compares O. 1.94: τᾶν Ὀλυμπιάδων ἐν δρόμοις, but there τᾶν . depends on κλέος.

ἀνέειπε: “Proclaimed.”

ὑπέρ: “By reason of.”

καλλινίκου ἅρμασι: P. 11.46: ἐν ἅρμασι καλλίνικοι.

Epode 2

ναυσιφορήτοις: “Seafaring.” P. refers to a belief of the craft. In this case a good beginning makes a good ending.

ἐς πλόον ... οὖρον: Connected by the rhythm.

ἐοικότα: “Likelihoods” for “likelihood” Cf. O. 1.52: ἄπορα, P. 2.81: ἀδύνατα, P. 4.247: μακρά.

τυχεῖν: In Thukyd. also the regular construction of εἰκός is the aor. inf., never the fut. 1, 81, 6:εἰκὸς Ἀθηναίους ... μήτε ... δουλεῦσαι μήτε καταπλαγῆναι” . So 1, 121, 2; 2, 11, 8; 3, 10, 6, al.

δὲ λόγος: “This (faithful) saying.”

ταύταις ἐπὶ ξυντυχίαις: “With this good fortune to rest on.”

δόξαν: “Belief.”

λοιπόν: So λοιπὸν αἰεί, P. 4.256. — νιν = πόλιν.

σὺν εὐφώνοις θ.: “'Mid tuneful revels.”

Λύκιε: So Hor. Od. 3, 4, 61:Delius et Patareus Apollo” , Patara being in Lykia. In solemn invocations the gods are appealed to by names which remind them of their favorite abodes.

Δάλοι᾽ ἀνάσσων: The participle here and in φιλέων is almost substantive. For the elision of Δάλοι᾽, see O. 13.35.

ἐθελήσαις: “Deign.” P. uses βούλομαι but once (fr. VIII. 1). Attic distinctions do not always apply to the earlier period, but be it noted that ἐθέλω or θέλω is the higher word; hence regularly θεοῦ θέλοντος.

ταῦτα: The implied wishes and hopes.

νόῳ: Local dative, the range of which is narrower even in poetry than is commonly supposed.

εὔανδρον: τιθέμεν must be understood with this as well as with νόῳ. A slight zeugma, τ. being there “put” or “take,” and here “make.” Herm. reads εὐανδροῦν.

Strophe 3

μαχαναί: Sc. εἰσι, “ways and means.”

ἀρεταῖς: “Achievements.”

σοφοί: Specifically of poets. Cf. O. 1.9; P. 1.12; N. 7.23. P. is thinking of his class in σοφοί, the βιαταὶ and περίγλωσσοι being put in another by the force of τε.

περίγλωσσοι: Supposed to refer to the rhetorical school of Korax, who began his career under Hieron. See O. 2.96.

ἔφυ^ν: Gnomic aorist. P. identifies φύσις with θεός. See O. 9.107. 111.

μὴ ... βαλεῖν: ἔλπομαι takes μή as involving wish; βαλεῖν may be fut. (cf. P. 10.55) or aor. (N. 4.92). The negative favors the aor. (μὴ βάλοιμι). P. 4.243 the neg. οὐκέτι indicates the reading πράξεσθαι.

χαλκοπάρᾳον: N. 7.71: ἀπομνύω μὴ τέρμα προβὰς ἄκονθ᾽ ὧτε χαλκοπάρᾳον ὄρσαι θοὰν γλῶσσαν. The tongue, which P. handles boldly, is the missile here also. Being a javelin, it is forged, v. 86. See O. 6.82.

ὡσείτε: The ellipsis (ὡσεί τις βάλοι) is hardly felt. Cf. O. 6.2: ὡς ὅτε.

ἀγῶνος ... ἔξω: “Outside of the lists,” so as not to count.

παλάμᾳ: See P. 3.57.

ἀμεύσασθαι): “Surpass.” Cf. P. 6, end.

ἀντίους: Supposed to refer to Simonides and Bakchylides. It is conjectured that there was to be a contest of poets.

εἰ γὰρ ... εὐθύνοι: A wish that runs over into a condition. See O. 1.108.

πᾶς χρόνος: All time to come, O. 6.56; N. 1.69.

οὕτω: “As heretofore.”

εὐθύνοι: Cf. N. 2.7: εὐθυπομπὸς αἰών. The nautical image was still in the poet's eye. Cf. v. 34 and O. 13.28: Ξενοφῶντος εὔθυνε δαίμονος οὖρον.

καμάτων δ᾽ ἐπίλασιν: Victory brings serenity (O. 1.98); breathing space (O. 8.7); tranquillity (N. 9.44). Hieron suffered with the stone.

παράσχοι: See O. 1.39.

Antistrophe 3

ἁνίχ᾽: “What time.” P.'s usage does not militate against the rule, ἡνίκα: ὅτε :: καιρός: χρόνος. See O. 7.35; 9, 33.

εὑρίσκοντο: “Gained” in the usu. sense of the middle of this verb. So P. 3.111. The active “find” can be used in similar connections (so P. 2.64, and elsewhere), and, in fact, the active being the general, is often used where the particular middl might be expected. The plural of Hieron and his brothers.

τιμάν: τιμή is something practical, and does not correspond to “honor” pure and simple.

δρέπει: Active, O. 1.13; P. 1.49; P. 4.130; P. 6.48; fr. XI. 72, Middle, N. 2.9; fr. IX. 1, 6; fr. IX. 2, 1. The active is colder.

ἀγέρωχον: O. 10 (11), 87: νίκας ἀγερώχον. . only of persons in Homer, who does not use it in the same sense acc. to the lexicographers. To P. the word must have carried with it the γέρας notion denied to it by modern etymologists. The booty gained at Himera was immense.

νῦν γε μάν: A statement that defies contradiction. Cf. v. 63.

Φιλοκτήταο: The type of a suffering hero. See the Philoktetes of Sophokles. “At that very time Syracuse contained the famous statue of the limping Philoktetes by Pythagoras of Rhegion, of which Pliny says that those who looked at it seemed to feel the pain (xxxiv. 59). Even if we hesitate to believe that the sculptor intended an allusion to Hieron, we may well suppose that Pindar's comparison was suggested by the work of Pythagoras” (Jebb).

τὰν ... δίκαν: Notice the rare article with δίκαν, “wise.”

ἐστρατεύθη: An aor. pass., where the middle would seem more natural. Cf. ἐπορεύθη. We can understand the passive of Philoktetes “who was won to the war,” not so well of Hieron.

σὺν δ᾽ ἀνάγκᾳ: “Under the pressure of necessity.” The comitative, personal character of σύν makes it a favorite preposition in poetry, keeps it out of model prose.

φίλον: Predicate, “fawned him into a friend.” Rauchenstein's μὴ φίλον is not Pindaric.

καί τις ἐὼν μεγαλάνωρ: τις is referred to the proud citizens of Kymé (Cumae), who were forced to beg help from the tyrant. According to Euripides, Odysseus and Diomed, according to Sophokles, Odysseus and Neoptolemos, were sent for Philoktetes. Odysseus was evidently not a favorite with P. (N. 7.21; 8, 26), and μεγαλάνωρ may be a sneer.

μεταβάσοντας: So Kayser for the MS. μεταλάσοντας or μεταλλάσσοντας. Compare O. 1.42: μεταβᾶσαι. Böckh gives μεταμείβοντας (Hesych., Suid., Zonaras); but while the present is admissible on general grounds (O. 13.59; P. 4.106), we should not emend it into a text. μεταμεύσοντας would be nearer, but it has even less warrant than Wakefield's μετανάσσοντας, a future formed on the aorist of ναίω (P. 5.70: ἐν Ἄργει ἔνασσεν Ἡρακλέος ἐκγόνους).

Epode 3

τοξόταν: The bow of Philoktetes, being the chief thing, could not be left out. We are not to look for any correspondence to this in the history of Hieron.

Πριάμοιο πόλιν ... πόνους Δαναοῖς: Chiastic not only in position, but also in sense. For the shifting stress on Πριάμοιο and πόνους, see O. 6.5.

ἀσθενεῖ μὲν χρωτὶ βαίνων, ἀλλὰ μοιρίδιον ἦν: On the shift from participle to finite verb, see O. 1.13.

θεός: As one short syllable, possibly as θές. Compare Θέμναστος, Θέδωρος in Megaric inscriptions (Cauer ^{2} 104, and G. Meyer, Gr. Gr. § 119). Schneidewin suggests θεὸς σωτήρ. ὀρθωτήρ does not occur elsewhere. Compare N. 1.14: Ζεὺς ... κατένευσεν ... Σικελίαν ... ὀρθώσειν.

χρόνον ... καιρόν: With the usu. differentiation of “time” and “season.” “To give the season” is “to give in season.”

Δεινομένει: Hieron had appointed his son, Deinomenes, regent of Aitna (v. 60).

κελαδῆσαι: O. 1.9.

ποινάν: “Reward.” So in a good sense N. 1.70; Aisch. Suppl. 626. The reward is the κέλαδος.

Αἴτνας βασιλεῖ: In Greek one is king of the Aitnaians, rather than king of Aitna. The genitive of the place has something of the iure divino stamp. So of the old house of the Battiads, P. 4.2: βασιλῆι Κυράνας. Cf. N. 8.7.

Strophe 4

τῷ: “For whom.” Deinomenes was succeeded by Chromios. See N. 9.

πόλιν κείναν: κ. seems to prove that the ode was sung, not at Aitna, but at Syracuse.

θεοδμάτῳ σὺν ἐλευθερίᾳ: See O. 3.7.

Ὑλλίδος στάθμας: There were three Doric tribes Ὑλλεῖς, Πάμφυλοι, and Δυμᾶνες. The Πάμφυλοι and Δυμᾶνες were the descendants of Pamphylos and Dyman, sons of Aigimios. The Herakleidai did not belong to the Doric stock proper, and so are distinguished from the descendants of Aigimios, P. 5.72: Ἡρακλέος ἔκγονοι Αἰγιμιοῦ τε. Compare also fr. I. 1, 3: Γ̔́λλου τε καὶ Αἰγιμιοῦ. So Ὑλλὶς στάθμα and Αἰγιμιοῦ τεθμοί cover the ground of the Dorians, official and actual.

ἐν νόμοις: Cf. O. 2.83: βουλαῖς ἐν ὀρθαῖσι Π̔αδαμάνθυος.

καὶ μάν: “Ay, and I dare swear.” A clear intimation, if such were needed, that the Herakleidai were not real Dorians. This does not make it necessary to change the MS. Δωριεῖς, v. 65, to Δωρίοις. They all belonged to the Δωριεὺς στρατός, fr. I. 1, 4.

ναίοντες: Though they dwell far from the old home of Aigimios, they are still a Δωρὶς ἀποικία, I. 6 (7), 12.

τεθμοῖσιν: See O. 6.69.

ἔσχον: “They gat” (O. 2.10). The occupation of Amyklai was a memorable event in Doric annals. I. 6 (7), 14: ἕλον δ᾽ Ἀμύκλας Αἰγεῖδαι. We must not forget nor yet exaggerate Pindar's personal interest in all this as an Aigeid.

λευκοπώλων: The Dioskuroi were buried at Therapnai, on the left bank of the Eurotas. The white color of the steeds of the Dioskuroi is fixed by the myth. So Cic. N. D. 3, 5, 11:Tyndaridas ... cantheriis albis ... obviam venisse existimas?” White horses belonged to royalty, P. 4.117. White was not a favorite color for horses in Vergil's time (Georg. 3, 82), but that does not concern us here. Even in the Apocalypse (19, 11) the KING OF KINGS is mounted on a white horse.

Antistrophe 4

Ζεῦ τέλειε: Zeus, God of the Accomplishment, in whose hands are the issues of things. Compare O. 13.115.

αἰεὶ δέ: On δέ, after the vocative, see O. 1.36. The infinitive may be used in wish and entreaty, but δίδοι τοίαν for δὲ τοιαύταν would be more natural. Mommsen's δὸς τοίαν for τοιαύταν is based on the Scholiast's παράσχου. τοιαύταν αἶσαν refers to the first line of the strophe, θεοδμάτῳ σὺν ἐλευθερίᾳ. “Grant that the judgment of the world may with truth assign such a lot to citizens and kings.”

Ἀμένα: Amenas, or Amenanos, “the unsteady” (mod. Giudicello), a stream of varying volume, which flowed through the city of Aitna.

διακρίνειν: Is used of legal decision, O. 8.24; of marking off by metes and bounds, O. 10 (11), 51.

λόγον: See O. 1.28, where ἀλαθὴς λόγος is kept apart from βροτῶν φάτις and δεδαιδαλμένοι μῦθοι.

σύν τοι τίν: “With thy blessing.”

υἱῷ τ᾽ ἐπιτελλόμενος: The position favors the close connection with σὺν τίν, “and with a son to whom he gives commands.” The regent who receives Hieron's behests, being a son, may be expected to carry them out in his spirit.

γεραίρων: A significant concession to the new city, which at once becomes something heroic and divine; “by paying honor due.”

λίσσομαι νεῦσον: Asyndeton in prayer.

ἅμερον: Proleptic. “In peace and quiet.”

ὄφρα ... ἔχῃ, instead of ἔχειν, the temporal final sense of ὄφρα being hardly felt. ἔχῃ is intr.

κατ᾽ οἶκον: Hdt. 6, 39:εἶχε κατ᾽ οἴκους.

Φοῖνιξ = Poenus, Carthaginian.

Τυρσανῶν τ᾽ ἀλαλατός: This forcible form of expression, which is built on the same lines as βία Ἡρακλέος, σθένος ἡμιόνων, is made still bolder by the participle ἰδών, as if ἀλαλάζων Τυρσανός had been written.

ναυσίστονον ... πρὸ Κύμας: Best explained ὅτι ὕβρις πρὸ Κύμης ναυσίστονος ἐγένετο. There is no Pindaric warrant for the use of ὕβρις as “loss,” “damage.” The reflection that their overweening insolence off Cumae had brought groans and lamentations to the ships (cf. P. 2.28) would silence their savage yell and keep them quiet at home. The Etruscans must have been especially prominent in this famous engagement: Diodoros does not mention the Phoenicians (Carthaginians) in his account (11, 51).

πρὸ Κύμας: Brings up the image of the ὑβριστής already depicted (v. 18). Typhon symbolizes every form of violence, domestic (Σικελία) or foreign (Κύμη).

Epode 4

οἷα: See O. 1.16.

ἀρχῷ: Hieron. The dat. with the aor. partic. is easy, as the aor. is the shorthand of the perf.

βάλεθ᾽: The middle is peculiar, as if the ἁλικία were an ἄγκυρα, as I. 5 (6), 13: βάλλετ᾽ ἄγκυραν.

Ἑλλάδ᾽: Where Greek was spoken there was Ἑλλάς. Here Magna Graecia is specially meant.

ἐξέλκων: The image of the sea-fight is half kept up.

ἀρέομαι, κτἑ.: “From Salamis I shall try to get for my reward the favor of the Athenians,” i. e., when I desire reward from the Athenians I shall seek it by praising Salamis. P. climbs up to Himera by parallels, as is his wont. See O. 1, init.

ἐρέω: For the shift, see v. 55. Böckh's ἐρέων lightens the construction if we take it as a present, denied for classic times; but compare Theogn. 492; Soph. O. C. 596.

πρὸ Κιθαιρῶνος μάχαν: Knit together. πρό, “in front of,” “at the foot of.” The battle of Plataia is meant, where the Lacedaemonians distinguished themselves especially.

ταῖσι: Refers to Σαλαμῖνος (= τῆς ἐν Σαλαμῖνι μάχης) and πρὸ Κιθαιρῶνος μάχαν. Not simply “where,” but “in and by which.”

εὔυδρον ἀκτάν: Cf. O. 12.19. παρὰ δὲ σὰν εὔυδρον ἀκτάν, Ἱμέρα, would not be unpoetic nor un-Pindaric.

Ἱμέρα: Genitive of Ἱμέρας, the river.

τελέσαις: Participle; ἀρέομαι must be recalled.

ἀμφ᾽ ἀρετᾷ: v. 12.

καμόντων: Rather strange, so soon after κάμον, in view of P.'s ποικιλία, though the Greeks have not our dread of repetition. See P. 9.123.

Strophe 5

καιρόν: Adverbial. “If thy utterance prove in season.”

φθέγξαιο: The poet to himself with a wish (O. 1.108).

πείρατα συντανύσαις: “Twisting the strands of many things into a brief compass.” The contrast is ἐκτείνειν λόγον, τείνειν, ἀποτείνειν, ἐκτείνειν, μακράν. See Intr. Ess. p. xliii (note).

ἕπεται: “Is sure to follow.” Indic. apodosis, as I. 2, 33; 4 (5), 14.

μῶμος: O. 6.74. In moralizing passages the metaphors follow in rapid succession — not so much mixing as overlapping. A defence of P. in this regard that should flatten his language out so as to make the metaphor disappear would be worse than a confession of the worst.

ἀπὸ ... ἐλπίδας: “Satiety with its gruesomeness dulls quick hopes.” αἰανής, of doubtful etymology, is used of κόρος again Ι. 3 (4), 2. The hopes speed to the end; the poet, by lingering, wearies, and not only so, but rouses resentment at the blessings of those whom he praises. This prepares the return to the praise of Hieron, which is couched in imperatives, a rhetorical form strangely misunderstood to convey a real sermon.

ἀστῶν δ᾽ ἀκοά: “What citizens hear.” Citizens are naturally envious (O. 6.7), and the good fortune of others is an ill-hearing, and oppresses their soul in secret. “What is heard from citizens” has in its favor P. 11.28: κακολόγοι δὲ πολῖται.

κρέσσων ... οἰκτιρμοῦ φθόνος: Proverbial. Hdt. 3, 52:φθονέεσθαι κρέσσον ἐστὶ οἰκτίρεσθαι.

μὴ παρίει καλά: “Hold to thy noble course.” παρίει possibly suggested the following metaphor. Notice the large number of present imperatives, as in the παραίνεσις of Isokrates ad Demonicum (1).

νώμα ... στρατόν: P. 8.98: ἐλευθέρῳ στόλῳ πόλιν τάνδε κόμιζε. On στρ. see O. 11 (10), 17.

ἀψευδεῖ δὲ πρὸς ἄκμονι χάλκευε γλῶσσαν: This is counted as one of P.'s harsher metaphors, in spite of Cic. de Orat. 3, 30, 121:non enim solum acuenda nobis neque procudenda lingua est.” P. might have continued the figure just given, for the tongue may be considered a rudder (compare P. 11.42 with James 3, 4), but the vibrating tongue is to Pindar a javelin (compare κῆλα, v. 12), and in N. 7.71 he has ἄκονθ᾽ ὧτε χαλκοπάρᾳον ὄρσαι θοὰν γλῶσσαν. χάλκευε grows out of νώμα. The “true anvil” refers in all likelihood to the shaping of the arrow or javelin on a part of the anvil designed for that purpose. The figure is reflected in the next sentence.

Antistrophe 5

εἴ τι καὶ φ.: καί, “never so.”

παραιθύσσει: P. is thinking of the sparks that fly from the anvil, sheer dross it may be (φλαῦρον), but “surely you must know, coming from you, it rushes as a mighty mass.” If the figure is pressed, the moral is “Hammer as little as possible,” but the figure is not to be pressed. φέρεται, “is reported,” the common rendering, is too faint after παραιθύσσει.

ταμίας: A higher word than “steward,” in Engl. Compare O. 14.9.

ἀμφοτέροις: Is “good and bad,” as θάτερον is “worse.”

εὐανθεῖ ... παρμένων: “Abide in the full flower of thy spirit.” Contrast to Phalaris.

εἴπερ τι φιλεῖς, κτἑ.: Arguing on a basis of conceded facts.

ἁκοὰν ἁδεῖαν ... κλύειν: A good explanation of the idiom εὖ ἀκούειν.

μὴ κάμνε λίαν δαπάναις: The Christian exhortation, “Be not weary in welldoing,” is addressed to well-doers, and Hieron's expenditure was doubtless liberal enough. It does not follow that he hoarded because he was φιλάργυρος. Of the virtue of generosity Kroisos was the model soon to be adduced.

ἱστίον ἀνεμόεν: The sail (so as to be) breezeful, (so as) to belly with the breeze. Cf. I. 2, 39: οὐδέ ποτε ξενίαν οὖρος ἐμπνεύσαις ὑπέστειλ᾽ ἱστίον ἀμφὶ τράπεζαν.

μὴ δολωθῇς ... κέρδεσςιν): Referred by some to “courtier arts,” but it is better to keep the generosity side uppermost until we come to Kroisos. Tr. “juggling gains.” No mean saving on the one hand, no grasping at unworthy gains on the other. The positive exhortation stands between the two negatives.

φίλος: The commentators note P.'s familiarity. What other word was possible for a Greek gentleman?

ὀπιθόμβροτον: Sensitive as Hieron is to the voice of the world about him, he is far from deaf to the acclaim of posterity.

Epode 5

ἀποιχομένων ... ἀοιδοῖς: Cf. N. 6.33: ἀποιχομένων γὰρ ἀνέρων ἀοιδαὶ καὶ λόγοι τὰ καλά σφιν ἔργ᾽ ἐκόμισαν.

δίαιταν = βίοτον, which is the parallel, O. 2.69.

μανύει = ἀπαγγέλλει.

λογίοις: Usually interpreted of prose-writers, the early logographers; but it may refer to panegyrists. Compare not only N. 6.33, just quoted, but the same ode, v. 51: πλατεῖαι πάντοθεν λογίοισιν ἐντὶ πρόσοδοι νᾶσον εὐκλέα τάνδε κοσμεῖν.

Κροίσου: A romantic figure, if one may say so, in Greek history, though, perhaps, Lydian influence has not been sufficiently emphasized. That a Greek with such close relations to Delphi as Pindar bore should have given a niche to Kroisos is not strange.

ἀρετά: “Generosity,” as often.

τὸν δὲ ταύρῳ χαλκέῳ καυτῆρα: κ. takes the dative of instrument by virtue of its transparently verbal nature.

νόον: Acc. of specification to νηλέα. The prose laws of position are not to be pressed. τὸν δέ may well be “the other,” and the rest in apposition.

ταύρῳ χαλκέῳ: A survival or revival of Moloch worship.

Φάλαριν: See Introd. O. 2.

κατέχει: Evil report weighs upon the memory of Phalaris as Aitna upon the body of Typhon, though κατέχει may be used of a weight of glory, O. 7.10; δ᾽ ὄλβιος ὃν φᾶμαι κατέχοντ᾽ ἀγαθαί.

νιν ... κοινωνίαν ... δέκονται: κ. is construed after the analogy of δέξιν δέχονται, which we have

ἐφ᾽ [σξ. προφάσει] σ᾽ ἐγὼ καὶ παῖδες αἱ λελειμμέναι
δεξόμεθα δέξιν ἥν σε δέξασθαι χρεών.

ὀάροισι: Depends on κοινωνίαν.

τὸ δὲ παθεῖν εὖ: We might expect the present, but the notion of achievement will serve. N. 1.32: εὖ τε παθεῖν καὶ ἀκοῦσαι.

δευτέρα μοῖρα: So So. O. C. 145 speaks of πρώτης μοίρας. With the sentiment compare I. 4, 12: δύο δέ τοι ζωᾶς ἄωτον μοῦνα ποιμαίνοντι τὸν ἄλπνιστον εὐανθεῖ σὺν ὄλβῳ εἴ τις εὖ πάσχων λόγον ἐσλὸν ἀκούσῃ.

ἐγκύρσῃ καὶ ἕλῃ (ἀμφότερα). The two verbs show a combination of luck and will.

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  • Commentary references from this page (52):
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    • Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 351
    • Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 367
    • Aeschylus, Suppliant Maidens, 626
    • Euripides, Iphigeneia in Aulis, 1181
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    • Pindar, Olympian, 1
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    • Cicero, de Natura Deorum, 3.5
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