1 Pythian 4 This poem celebrates, like Pythian 5, the chariot victory won at Delphi in 466 or 462 B. C. 1 by king Arcesilas of Cyrene. It seems to have been performed in the victor s home city. 2 Since the ode is much longer than all other preserved epinicians, some scholars assume that it was performed by a solo singer rather than by a chorus. 3 However, nothing precludes a choral performance. 4 In the last triad the narrator pleads with the king on behalf of the exiled Cyrenaean Demophilus for the latter s return. It has been suggested that Demophilus, who in the last line is said to have recently visited Thebes, where he learned immortal words (the present poem), commissioned the ode, and even that he himself performed it. (ref.) The song opens with an invocation of the Muse: Σάμερον μὲν χρή σε παρ ἀνδρὶ φίλῳ στᾶμεν, εὐίππου βασιλῆϊ Κυράνας, ὄφρα κωμάζοντι σὺν Ἀρκεσίλᾳ, Μοῖσα, Λατοίδαισιν ὀφειλόμενον Πυθῶνί τ αὔξῃς οὖρον ὕμνων, (Pythian ) (Today, Muse, you must stand beside a man who is a friend, the king of Kyrene with its fines horses, so that while Arkesilas is celebrating you may swell the breeze of hymns owed to Leto s children and to Pytho (Translation of Race)) As Braswell comments, comparing with Olympian 3. 4 and Bacchylides 11. 5, Greek παρά c. dat. used with ἵστημι (and esp. the compound παρίστημι), like English to stand by or beside (someone) can imply help as well as presence, even when (as here) it is not especially emphasized. 5 The request that the Muse stand beside Arcesilas thus combines  the hymnic summoning of the deity,  the notion, associated with the goddess of song, that she travels to her subject matter the enactment of the song is her arrival 6 and  the wish 1 On the dating of the Pythian festivals, see references in n. above. According to schol. P. 4 Inscr. a, b and schol. P. 5 Inscr. the victory was won in the 31st festival. 2 Cf. Neumann-Hartmann (2007) with ref. (performance at the court? Chek Neumann- Hartmann etc.) 3 Davies (1988) 56; Gentili et al. (1995) 103 (where it is suggested that a solo singer might have been accompanied by a mute chorus). Davies, M. (1988), Monody, Choral Lyric and the Tyranny of the Hand-Book CQ N. S. 38: Add Ferrari? 4 See Carey (1989) 564 n Braswell (1988) See further discussion below of the poem s concluding passage, and compare the discussion of N. 3 in the next chapter.
2 that she help the king. Furthermore, the prayer that the Muse swell the favourable wind of songs suggests the notion of the ode as a sea journey. 7 The first antistrophe then introduces, through the quotation of a prophecy uttered on Thera by Medea, the expedition of the Argonauts. One of these heroes is Euphamus, and Medea foretells how his descendants will eventually colonize Libya, having first migrated from Lemnos to Thera: < > ἀντὶ δελφίνων δ ἐλαχυπτερύγων ἵππους ἀμείψαντες θοάς, ἁνία τ ἀντ ἐρετμῶν δίφρους τε νωμάσοισιν ἀελλόποδας. (Pythian ) (In place of short-finned dolphins they will take swift horses and instead of oars they will ply reins and chariots that run like a storm. (Translation of Race.)) Through this description the recent chariot victory is presented as the fullfilment of Medea s prophecy, and Arcesilas as the successor not only of the Theran colonists but ultimately of the Argonauts, mythical oarsmen par excellence. Medea continues her prophecy, recalling how Euphamus was given a clod of earth by the sea god Triton in Libya, which the Argonauts visited before sailing to Thera. The clod is a sign that Euphamus descendant Battus Arcesilas forefather will found Cyrene: κεῖνος ὄρνις ἐκτελευτάσει μεγαλᾶν πολίων ματρόπολιν Θήραν γενέσθαι, τόν ποτε Τριτωνίδος ἐν προχοαῖς λίμνας θεῷ ἀνέρι εἰδομένῳ γαῖαν διδόντι ξείνια πρῴραθεν Εὔφαμος καταβαίς δέξατ αἰσίαν δ ἐπί οἱ Κρονίων Ζεὺς πατὴρ ἔκλαγξε βροντάν, <====> ἁνίκ ἄγκυραν ποτὶ χαλκόγενυν ναῒ κριμνάντων ἐπέτοσσε, θοᾶς Ἀργοῦς χαλινόν δώδεκα δὲ πρότερον ἁμέρας ἐξ Ὠκεανοῦ φέρομεν νώτων ὕπερ γαίας ἐρήμων ἐννάλιον δόρυ, μήδεσιν ἀνσπάσσαντες ἁμοῖς. τουτάκι δ οἰοπόλος δαίμων ἐπῆλθεν (Pythian ) 7 Cf. Gildersleeve (1881) 282; Becker (1937) 70; Silk (1974) 157; Braswell (1988) 64.
3 ( This sign will bring it to pass that Thera will become the mother-city of great cities the token which Euphamos once received at the ouflow of Lake Tritonis, when he descended from the prow and accepted earth proferred as a guest-present by a god in the guise of a man and father Zeus, son of Kronos, pealed for him an auspicious thunderclap when he came upon us hanging the bronze-jawed anchor, swift Argo s bridle, against the ship. Before that, we had drawn up the sea-faring bark from Okeanos in accordance with my instructions, and for twelve days had been carrying it across the desolate stretches of land. At that point the solitary god approached us (Race s translation)) The description of the anchor as a bridle suggests an analogy between the Argo and Arcesilas victorious horses. 8 Euphamus descendants gain a kind of hereditary right to Cyrene when he receives a clod of earth by the mythical Lake Tritonis, which must thus be located by Pindar in the same region as the city. 9 As it appears from ll. 25-8, and (see futher discussion below), Pindar follows the same tradition as the Hesiodic Catalogue, where the heroes travelled from Colchis, the location of the Golden Fleece at the eastern end of the Black Sea, up the River Phasis to the Oceanus (the stream encircling the world), continuing south to the outer coast of Libya (the Greek name for Africa), whence they carried the ship across the continent to the Mediterranean. 10 In Pindar s account, after marching across Libya the heroes reach Lake Tritonis, where they launch the Argo. As the disguised god Triton approaches they are about to leave the lake along a river that will take them to the Mediterranean. The departure at the beginning of the second triad of the Argo from Libya signalled by an auspicious thunderclap just like that of the same ship from Iolcus in ll reflects the narrator s departing on a poetic journey from Cyrene, the here and now of performance. After ending the quotation of Medea s prophecy in l. 56, subsequently telling of how Battus was greeted as the fated king of Cyrene by the Delphic Oracle, and how his dynasty continues to blossom through Arcesilas, the narrator returns, in the transition between the third and the fourth triad, to the myth of the Argonauts. A long narrative, the second in the poem, ensues, describing the events leading up to the expedition and the journey through the Clashing Rocks to Colchis, where in the eleventh triad king Aeëtes finally reveals to Jason the 8 Cf. Braswell (1988) ; Gentili et al. (1995) Other authors place it elsewhere: see Braswell (1988) 90 with ref.; Huß in Der neue Pauly s. v. Triton (2). (ref. to English version.) 10 Hes. fr. 241 MW = schol. Ap. Rhod (pp Wendel) and schol. Ap Rhod (p. 281 Wendel). The former scholion mentions that also Antimachus follows this version. Different authors versions of the return journey are listed and discussed in EGM ii Later sources, listed by Gentili et al. (1995) 435-6, describe how the Argonauts carry the ship through Libya on their shoulders. According to Hecataeus FGrH 1 F 18 the Argonauts sailed from Oceanus down the Nile.
4 location of the fleece. Introducing the second mythical narrative, the speaker states his intention to offer to the Muses not only Arcesilas but also the Golden Fleece (ll. 67-8). When the narrator comes to the fleece, he accordingly interrupts the account: αὐτίκα δ Ἀελίου θαυμαστὸς υἱὸς δέρμα λαμπρόν ἔννεπεν, ἔνθα νιν ἐκτάνυσαν Φρίξου μάχαιραι ἔλπετο δ οὐκέτι οἱ κεῖνόν γε πράξασθαι πόνον. κεῖτο γὰρ λόχμᾳ, δράκοντος δ εἴχετο λαβροτατᾶν γενύων, ὃς πάχει μάκει τε πεντηκόντερον ναῦν κράτει, τέλεσεν ἃν πλαγαὶ σιδάρου. < > μακρά μοι νεῖσθαι κατ ἀμαξιτόν ὥρα γὰρ συνάπτει καί τινα οἶμον ἴσαμι βραχύν πολλοῖσι δ ἅγημαι σοφίας ἑτέροις. κτεῖνε μὲν γλαυκῶπα τέχναις ποικιλόνωτον ὄφιν, ὦ Ἀρκεσίλα, κλέψεν τε Μήδειαν σὺν αὐτᾷ, τὰν Πελίαο φονόν ἔν τ Ὠκεανοῦ πελάγεσσι μίγεν πόντῳ τ ἐρυθρῷ Λαμνιᾶν τ ἔθνει γυναικῶν ἀνδροφόνων (Pythian ) (At once the wondrous son of Helios told him where Phrixos sacrificial knives had stretched out the shining hide, but he did not expect him to perform that further trial, because it lay in a thicket and was right by the ferocious jaws of a serpent, which exceeded in breadth and length a ship of fifty oars, which strokes of iron have fashioned. But it is too far for me to travel on the highway, because the hour is pressing and I know a short path and I lead the way in wise skill for many others. He cunningly slew the green-eyed snake with spotted back, O Arkesilas, and with her own help stole away Medea, the slayer of Pelias. They came to the expanses of Okeanos, to the Red Sea, and to the race of man-slaying Lemnian women. (Translation of Race)) The description of the snake as bigger than a ship of fifty oars, which strokes of iron have fashioned suggests the construction of the Argo. 11 Euripides Hypsipyle TrGF f 21 refers to the Argo as a πεντηκόντερον, as does also Apollodorus It is not clear whether Pythian is the origin of or just the earliest known allusion to this tradition. 12 The mythical narrative is introduced by the question about which danger bound [the heroes] with mighty nails of adamant (l. 71: τίς δὲ κίνδυνος κρατεροῖς ἀδάμαντος δῆσεν 11 Cf. Gildersleeve (1881) Cf. Braswell (1988) 338; EGM ii 207 n. 37 with ref. Check Silk (1974)
5 ἅλοις;), presenting the danger of the expedition as an irresistible challenge to the heroes 13 This question is answered through the reference (ll ) to the jaws of the serpent, bigger than a ship of fifty oars, which strokes of iron have fashioned, and the narrative is thereby interrupted. 14 Both descriptions (l. 71 and ll. 241 ff.) combine a reference to danger with an allusion to carpentry, suggesting the building of the Argo. According to Apollonius the Argo was built with the help of Athena; 15 that the tradition of divine assistance in the construction of the ship is presupposed by Pindar seems confirmed by his allusion to the speaking beam of Dodonian oak (see discussion below). The interruption of the Argonautic myth with the reference to a ship finished by strokes of iron (l. 246: τέλεσεν ἃν πλαγαὶ σιδάρου) seems to suggest an analogy between the construction of the Argo, built with the help of a goddess, and the enactment executed with the help of the Muse of the mythical narrative about the ship: the interruption of the narrative mirrors the completion of the ship. In addition, the journey of the Argo converges with the poetic enactment, as the narrator breaks off the myth of the journey by declaring that it is too far for him to return (νεῖσθαι often takes on this meaning 16 ) along the carriageway, but that he knows a short road. 17 This convergence of myth and poetic enactment is also indicated, as often in Pindar, through the intimation of danger with which the narrative is interrupted: the narrator shrinks back, as it were, from the serpent. The interruption suggests that the task of describing the serpent exceeds the poem s scope, and thereby another aspect of the analogy between song and ship: they are both surpassed by the serpent in size. Pindar may also be alluding to earlier epic treatments of the myth, 18 suggesting through the break-off the difference between lyric and epic poetry: the narrator has embarked in a lyric poem on an epic narrative, but now has to take a shortcut back to the encomiastic occasion since time is pressing (l. 247). The unity of poetic enactment and mythical journey may be further suggested by a play in the reference to the short οἶμον (l. 248: road ) on the similarity and assumed etymological connection between the words οἶμος and οἴμη (song) Braswell (1988) Cf. Gildersleeve (1881) 299. The question in l. 71 is recalled also by the description in ll of how Hera instils in the heroes a yearning for the ship Argo: see Schroeder (1922) 39; Burton (1962) 154; Braswell (1988) 163; Gentili et al. (1995) Apoll. Rhod , , 226 (with schol. 551, 721 (check)), ; cf. Schulten in RE ii s. v. Argo (1) Cf. Braswell (1988) 193-4, Cf. Braswell (1988) On which see Braswell (1988) 6-12; West (2005) with ref. 19 Cf. Felson (1999) Felson, N. (1999), Vicarious Transport: Fictive Deixis in Pindar s Pythian Four, HSCPh 99: 1-31.
6 The narrator resumes the story and tells of how Jason killed the serpent. He is said to have done it through τέχναις, through wiles or trickery. 20 This might be an allusion to the tradition that Medea charmed the serpent to sleep. 21 We would then have to assume that Jason subsequently killed it. The kill seems reflected in the description of the fifty-oar ship, to which the snake is compared, as completed with strokes of iron. The τέχναις may also allude to a version of the myth not mentioned by any written source but suriving in several pictorial representations, a version where Jason, seemingly with the aid of Athena, was swallowed and then disgorged by the serpent, perhaps killing it from the inside. 22 In any case, the hero then stole Medea (l. 250), and in the next two lines the journey of song continues into the Oceanus (via the River Phasis, mentioned in l. 211, as must be understood), south to the Red Sea (today referred to as the Indian Ocean, part of the Oceanus), 23 and then to Lemnos, where Euphamus became the progenitor of the Battiads. The migration of his descendants to Cyrene, via Sparta and Thera, is told of in the following twelfth strophe. The narrator has thereby manoeuvered, taking a short cut as he promised in l. 248, from Colchis and the jaws of the serpent in the mythical past to the here and now where Arcesilas is celebrated. Ll see the speaker moving from Colchis via the Oceanus to Lemnos. In later sources, as presumably also in earlier, the Argonauts visit Lemnos on their way to Colchis, 24 but Pindar lets the heroes stop by the island on their homeward journey, thus making an elegant transition to the praise of Arcesilas family and to the encomiastic present. The narrator introduces the mythical narrative by declaring that he will sing not only about Arcesilas but also about the Golden Fleece however, the story about the Golden Fleece turns out to be also about the king. The short road suggests not only the omission of the passages (alluded to earlier in the poem) to and from the Oceanus, but also the transposition of the Argonauts visit on Lemnus and the use of this visit as a bridge to the here and now. This innovation is perhaps indicated by the narrator s description of himself as a leader for many others in poetic skill (l. 248). The narrator in a way plays the role of Medea when he renders her prophecy in ll , and the short road later taken by the narrator reflects the short cut from the Oceanus to the Mediterranean shown to the Argonauts by Medea (l. 27). Mythical action and poetic enactment converge as often in the transition from 20 Cf. Braswell (1988) Thus Braswell (1988) This is the version followed by Antimachus (fr. 73 Matthews), Apollonius ( ), and others. 22 See LIMC s. v. Iason nos with commentary; Meyer (1980) 79-98; Simon, Hirmer and Hirmer (1981) ; EGM ii Meyer, H. (1980), Medeia und die Peliaden: Eine attische Novelle und ihre Entstehung (Rome). Simon, E., Hirmer, M. and Hirmer, A. (1981), Die griechischen Vasen 2 (Munich). 23 Thus Gentili et al. (1995) 497, who refer to Hdt and for the name. 24 See Braswell (1988)
7 mythical narrative and the world beyond that of mortals in this case the Oceanus to the here and now. The Argonauts short road leads to Lake Tritonis, that of the narrator to nearby Cyrene. The reference to the short road is perhaps ironic: at Odyssey the Argonauts are said to return from Aeëtes through the Clashing Rocks. 25 Sophocles (Scythians TrGF 4 547) and Euripides (Medea 434-5) let the Argonauts travel to and from Colchis along the same route. Sailing back through the Dardanelles would be shorter and less strenuous than the itinerary taken in the Hesiodic Catalogue as well as in Pythian 4, and no reason is given in the latter poem for not doing that (on the contrary, the rocks are in ll said to have been pacified when the Argonauts passed through them on the way to Colchis). Linking the myth of the Argonauts more closely to Cyrene is obviously the poet s reason for taking the route through Libya. Like the Argonauts short cut around half the world, the narrator s to the here and now is not necessarily short, as it continues subsequent to the journey described above from Colchis to Lemnos from the latter island to Sparta (l. 257), Thera (l. 258), and only thence to Libya (l. 259), a journey taking many generations. In the following, 12th antistrophe the Battiads are then praised as devising just counsel (l. 262: ὀρθόβουλον μῆτιν ἐφευρομένοις), and the narrator therefore it is implied asks Arcesilas to know the wisdom or skill of Oedipus (l. 263: γνῶθι νῦν τὰν Οἰδιπόδα σοφίαν), by which is probably meant to become acquainted with the kind of wisdom characteristic of Oedipus, 26 who solved the Sphinx riddle. 27 If this is the correct interpretation, the following parable is a riddle posed to Arcesilas: 28 εἰ γάρ τις ὄζους ὀξυτόμῳ πελέκει ἐξερείψειεν μεγάλας δρυός, αἰσχύνοι δέ οἱ θαητὸν εἶδος, καὶ φθινόκαρπος ἐοῖσα διδοῖ ψᾶφον περ αὐτᾶς, εἴ ποτε χειμέριον πῦρ ἐξίκηται λοίσθιον, ἢ σὺν ὀρθαῖς κιόνεσσιν δεσποσύναισιν ἐρειδομένα μόχθον ἄλλοις ἀμφέπει δύστανον ἐν τείχεσιν, ἑὸν ἐρημώσαισα χῶρον. 25 The identification of the Symplegades with the entrance to the Black Sea evident in Pindar and all later sources was not yet made by Homer (or the epic source on which he seems to have based himself): see West (2005) Braswell (1988) 362; Hummel (1993) Cf. sch. 467; Burton (1962) 168-9: Braswell (1988) Alternatively, the wisdom of Oedipus might refer to an otherwise unknown parable, attributed to the legendary Theban king, which Pindar goes on to cite: Gildersleeve (1880) 301; Gentili et al. (1995) 501. Check Carey in Maia
8 < > (Pythian ) ( if someone with a sharp-bladed axe should strip the boughs from the great oak tree and ruin its splendid appearance, although it cannot bear foliage, it gives an account of itself, if ever it comes at last to a winter s fire, or if, supported by upright columns belonging to a master, it performs a wretched labor within alien walls, having left its own place desolate. (Translation of Race)) The meaning of the parable is partly obscure, but as several scholars have argued, Damophilus, the exiled Cyrenaean whose plea follows in the last triad, seems to be likened to an oak tree which has left its own place desolate. 29 Damophilus and the oak tree resemble each other not just in having abandoned their own land. In l. 265 the expression διδοῖ ψᾶφον περ αὐτᾶς, by comparison with Aeschines 1. 77, seems to mean that [t]he tree submits itself to a vote in the sense that it gives an account of itself, i. e. of its positive qualities 30 Damophilus resembles the oak tree in that he too through the poem s last epode pleads his case. However, the parable also seems to be a further allusion to the ship Argo. According to a tradition attested by Aeschylus (TrGF 3 20), by Pherecydes (EGM fr. 111a), and by many later authors, the Argo had the power of speech and prophecy because of a beam joined into its hull. 31 That this beam was of Dodonian oak is first mentioned in Apollonius Argonautica, but is probably implied also by Aeschylus and Pherecydes. 32 The talking oak trees of Dodona, expressing the will of Zeus, are described in the Odyssey and many later sources. 33 The speaking beam is in the version of Apollonius Rhodius ( , ; cf. Apollodorus ) fitted into the ship by Athena, in that of Valerius Flaccus (1. 305) by Hera. The oak in the legend of the Argo, like that in Pindar s parable, is removed from its own land, and while the former is joined into the hull of the ship, the latter is joined into a city wall (l. 268; compare the analogy of ship and city in the following epode). 34 The Dodonian oak also, like the one described in the parable, has the ability to give an account of itself. The strokes of iron 29 Thus schol. 368a; Burton (1962) 169; Silk (1974) 144-5; Braswell (1988) 361. Gentili et al. (1988) 502 think the oak represents the city of Cyrene. 30 Braswell (1988) 365. Cf. Gildersleeve (1880) 300; Burton (1962) 169; Gentili et al. (1995) Cf. Jessen in RE ii s. v. Argo (1) ; Vian in Vian and Delage (1976) i 74 n. 4. Vian, F. and E. Delage ( ) (transl.), Apollonius de Rhodes: Argonautiques, i-iii (Paris). 32 Cf. Ap. Rh ; Wilamowitz (1962) ii 178; Parke (1967) 13; Dräger (1993) Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, U. von (1962), Hellenistische Dichtung in der Zeit des Kallimachos 2 (2 original volumes in 1) (Berlin). Dräger, P. (1993), Argo pasimelousa (Stuttgart). Parke, H. W. (1967), The Oracles of Zeus (Oxford). 33 Hom. Od ; Hes. fr , fr. 319; Aesch. PV 832; cf. Parke (1967) 12-33; Graf in The New Pauly iv 606-7, s. v. Dodona. 34 Cf. Braswell (1988) 368: ἄλλοις ἐν τείχεσιν: within other city-walls, i. e. city walls different from his own city walls.
9 (πλαγαὶ σιδάρου), mentioned in ll as an allusion to the building of the Argo, are echoed in the description of the oak tree being stripped of its branches by a sharp-cutting axe in ll The parable thus, by likening Damophilus to the oak tree, links him with the myth of Argo and the Dodonian oak. As proposed above, the ship Argo functions as a metaphor for the poem. Developing this metaphor, Pindar may thus suggest that, just as the Argo had a speaking beam, Demophilus is fitted into the song through which he pleads his case. The Argo s arrival in Libya where it is carried as an ἐννάλιον δόρυ ( a beam of the sea, l. 27, compare l. 38; δόρυ is a common pars pro toto for ship 35 but here perhaps suggests the speaking beam) reflects the return that Demophilus hopes for. The confluence of the mythical and the poetic journey extends into the penultimate epode, which praises Arcesilas, but also alludes to recent political unrest at Cyrene: 36 ῥᾴδιον μὲν γὰρ πόλιν σεῖσαι καὶ ἀφαυροτέροις ἀλλ ἐπὶ χώρας αὖτις ἕσσαι δυσπαλὲς δὴ γίνεται, ἐξαπίνας εἰ μὴ θεὸς ἁγεμόνεσσι κυβερνατὴρ γένηται. (Pythian ) [For easily can even weaklings shake a city; but to set it back in place again is a difficult struggle indeed, unless suddenly a god becomes a helmsman for the leaders. (Translation of Race)] The reference to the divine helmsman invokes the common image of the ship of state, and as Braswell suggests, comparing with Sophocles Antigone 162-3, it is possible that the preceding descriptions of the city being shaken and set back in place, while suggesting a building, could also have been applied to a ship (in which case πόλιν σεῖσαι would suggest rock the boat, and χώρας αὖτις ἕσσαι put on an even keel ). 37 The mention at the start of this epode (l. 270) of Apollo, to whom this song in l. 3 is presented as a hymn, makes it clear that he is the king s protective deity, and l. 274 then suggests the hope that he might act as a helmsman for Cyrene. The Muse, meanwhile, accompanies the narrator on his poetic sea voyage, and thus might be thought to act as his divine helmsman, although the notion is not made explicit in this poem, as it is in Bacchylides At the beginning of Pythian 4 the Muse is asked, moreover, not only to increase the wind of songs, and thereby to commence the poetic journey, but also to παρ στᾶμεν (ll. 1-2) which might mean aid as well as stand next to 35 Cf. Braswell (1988) Cf. Braswell (1988) Braswell (1988) 375. Cf. Gildersleeve (1888) 302; Gentili et al. (1995) 504.
10 (see discussion above) Arcesilas, thus also in a sense to serve as the king s helmsman. Finally, in the context of Argonautic myth, the reference to a god becoming helmsman suggests the tradition, alluded to at the Odyssey , that Hera conveyed the Argo past the Symplegades (although in Pythian 4 it is left unsaid how the Argonauts got through the Clashing Rocks). The poem s last triad opens with an allusion to Homer: <====> τῶν δ Ὁμήρου καὶ τόδε συνθέμενος ῥῆμα πόρσυν ἄγγελον ἐσλὸν ἔφα τιμὰν μεγίσταν πράγματι παντὶ φέρειν αὔξεται καὶ Μοῖσα δι ἀγγελίας ὀρθᾶς. (Pythian ) (And among the sayings of Homer, take this one to heart and heed it: he said that a good messenger brings the greatest honor to every affair. The Muse, too, is strengthened through true reporting. (Translation of Race, modified)) As the scholion 493 suggests, ll must refer to Iliad : 38 ἐσθλὸν καὶ τὸ τέτυκται ὅτ ἄγγελος αἴσιμα εἰδῇ. ( and it is good when a messenger knows what is right.) Poseidon speaks these words to Iris. She has come to deliver a message from Zeus, commanding the sea god to withdraw from the battle. At Pythian the good messenger perhaps suggests Pindar 39 but also in a context where she is introduced in the next line, and where an allusion is made to another goddess acting as a messenger the Muse. αὔξεται καὶ Μοῖσα δι ἀγγελίας ὀρθᾶς (l. 279) seems to mean that the Muse, too, and not just the affair on which she bestows honour by acting as a messenger, is strengthened through true reporting. Braswell suggests that in αὔξεται the literal sense is very much present: the Muse is not just metaphorically exalted, but literally increased in power. 40 He further refers to Theogony 28-9, which describes how the Muse does not necessarily speak the truth; Pindar suggests the idea that the goddess power, by which must here be understood her power of 38 Cf. Burton (1962) 170-1; Braswell (1988) 378; Gentili et al. (1995) That Pindar is the good messenger is assumed by the scholia 493; Burton (1962) 171; Braswell (1988) 379; Gentili et al. (1995) Braswell (1988) 379.
11 persuasion, grows if she does speak the truth. The reference to a messenger at the beginning of this final triad, devoted to praise of Damophilus and the conveyance (in the epode) of his plea, suggests that it is a message delivered to Arcesilas. In the following antistrophe, a description of Demophilus may reflect the narrator: οὐδὲ μακύνων τέλος οὐδέν. ὁ γὰρ καιρὸς πρὸς ἀνθρώπων βραχὺ μέτρον ἔχει. εὖ νιν ἔγνωκεν θεράπων δέ οἱ, οὐ δράστας ὀπαδεῖ. (Pythian ) ( nor delaying any accomplishment, since opportunity in men s affairs has a brief span. He has come to know it well; he serves it as an attendant, not a hireling. (Translation of Race)) Braswell suggests that τέλος here indicates the accomplishment of an action, 41 and this action, which Damophilus does not hesitate to perform, is asking the king to call him back to Cyrene. Braswell further comments that the implication of l. 286 is that Demophilus, as the narrator goes on to say (287), has recognized (εὖ νιν ἔγνωκεν) that it is a favourable moment to seek reconciliation with the king and has accordingly taken the necessary steps. 42 However, while describing Damophilus, οὐδὲ μακύνων τέλος οὐδέν reflects also the narrator, who is about to end the song τέλος can mean completion and simultaneously, in the concluding epode, put forward Damophilus plea, thereby not delaying the accomplishment of asking the king to recall the exiled Cyrenaean. In the gnomic statement of l. 286 καιρός, a difficult word which here may refer to something like the opportune moment, suggests the limited time during which the king may be willing to allow Damophilus to return to Cyrene. However, as Pfeijffer notes, in references to the poetic enactment, especially in so-called break off passages, καιρός describes what is expedient from the poet s point of view, the criterion being effectiveness in the light of the encomiastic aims of his odes. 43 Pythian indicates that the song itself is about to be broken off as soon as Damophilus plea, the message of the Muse, has been delivered. In the following lines the suffering exile, Damophilus, is likened to Atlas: 41 Braswell (1988) Braswell (1988) Pfeijffer (1999b) pocket ed. 390 ad P He cites O ; P , 9. 78, 10. 4; N On καιρός in Pindar, cf. Pfeijffer (1999b) with ref. on p. 392.
12 φαντὶ δ ἔμμεν τοῦτ ἀνιαρότατον, καλὰ γινώσκοντ ἀνάγκᾳ ἐκτὸς ἔχειν πόδα. καὶ μὰν κεῖνος Ἄτλας οὐρανῷ προσπαλαίει νῦν γε πατρῴας ἀπὸ γᾶς ἀπό τε κτεάνων λῦσε δὲ Ζεὺς ἄφθιτος Τιτᾶνας. ἐν δὲ χρόνῳ μεταβολαὶ λήξαντος οὔρου < > ἱστίων. (They say that the most distressing thing is to know the good, but to be forced to stay away. Yes, that Atlas is wrestling even now with the sky away from his homeland and his possessions; yet immortal Zeus released the Titans. In the course of time sails are changed when the wind dies down. (Translation of Race.)) As Gildersleeve and others have pointed out, the comparison of Damophilus to Atlas echoes the parable in the preceding triad of the oak, which supports the wall of a foreign city. 44 The likening of Damophilus to Atlas is followed by an implicit likening of Arcesilas to Zeus. The latter comparison seems to involve exceptionally high praise. Not counting the cases involving Heracles a man when he performed his exploits and only subsequently a god (see next chapter) the only other epinician honorand apart from Arcesilas to be compared to a god is another king, Hieron, whose rule also seems to be presented as analogous to that of Zeus in Pythian In the gnomic statement at the transition to the closing epode (ll ) what is implied by μεταβολαὶ ἱστίων ( change of the sails ) depends on the meaning of οὔρου. οὖρος usually means favourable breeze, but can also just mean wind, or even rough breeze, storm. 46 The change of the sails referred to here could imply if the wind that now drops has been strong enough to necessitate furling the sails and letting the ship be driven off course both that the sails are hoisted and that the course is set for the ship s destination. Alternatively, if the wind has not been strong enough for the ship to be blown off course, it would be enough to hoist the sails further. Independent of its context, then, the gnomic statement of ll is ambiguous. When considered in relation to the context, at least three different are possible. Gnomic statements forming part of break-offs are often applicable either to the honorand or to the narrator, but in this special case where the 44 Gildersleeve (1880) 303; Braswell (1988) 367, Cf. Race (1997) i See LSJ s. v.; Braswell (1988) 392; Gentili et al. (1995) 509.