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【资料】英文版《品达颂歌》

品达颂歌遗失很多,目前保留下来的只有四卷。其他残章散见于各书。
此处是 《奥林匹亚凯歌》、《皮托凯歌》、《涅嵋凯歌》、《伊斯特米凯歌》 这四卷的全篇。

其文本出自:Odes. Pindar. Diane Arnson Svarlien. 1990.
为Basil L. Gildersleeve的翻译版本


奥林匹亚凯歌系列,共14首:
第 1——9 首


Olympian 1
For Hieron of Syracuse Single Horse Race 476 B. C.
Water is best, and gold, like a blazing fire in the night, stands out supreme of all lordly wealth. But if, my heart, you wish to sing of contests, [5] look no further for any star warmer than the sun, shining by day through the lonely sky, and let us not proclaim any contest greater than Olympia. From there glorious song enfolds the wisdom of poets,1 so that they loudly sing [10] the son of Cronus, when they arrive at the rich and blessed hearth of Hieron, who wields the scepter of law in Sicily of many flocks, reaping every excellence at its peak, and is glorified [15] by the choicest music, which we men often play around his hospitable table. Come, take the Dorian lyre down from its peg, if the splendor of Pisa and of Pherenicus placed your mind under the influence of sweetest thoughts, [20] when that horse ran swiftly beside the Alpheus, not needing to be spurred on in the race, and brought victory to his master, the king of Syracuse who delights in horses. His glory shines in the settlement of fine men founded by Lydian Pelops, [25] with whom the mighty holder of the earth Poseidon fell in love, when Clotho took him out of the pure cauldron, furnished with a gleaming ivory shoulder. Yes, there are many marvels, and yet I suppose the speech of mortals beyond the true account can be deceptive, stories adorned with embroidered lies; [30] and Grace, who fashions all gentle things for men, confers esteem and often contrives to make believable the unbelievable. But the days to come are the wisest witnesses. [35] It is seemly for a man to speak well of the gods; for the blame is less that way. Son of Tantalus, I will speak of you, contrary to earlier stories. When your father invited the gods to a very well-ordered banquet at his own dear Sipylus, in return for the meals he had enjoyed, [40] then it was that the god of the splendid trident seized you, his mind overcome with desire, and carried you away on his team of golden horses to the highest home of widely-honored Zeus, to which at a later time Ganymede came also, [45] to perform the same service for Zeus. But when you disappeared, and people did not bring you back to your mother, for all their searching, right away some envious neighbor whispered that they cut you limb from limb with a knife into the water's rolling boil over the fire, [50] and among the tables at the last course they divided and ate your flesh. For me it is impossible to call one of the blessed gods a glutton. I stand back from it. Often the lot of evil-speakers is profitlessness. If indeed the watchers of Olympus ever honored a mortal man, [55] that man was Tantalus. But he was not able to digest his great prosperity, and for his greed he gained overpowering ruin, which the Father hung over him: a mighty stone. Always longing to cast it away from his head, he wanders far from the joy of festivity. He has this helpless life of never-ending labor, [60] a fourth toil after three others, because he stole from the gods nectar and ambrosia, with which they had made him immortal, and gave them to his drinking companions. If any man expects that what he does escapes the notice of a god, he is wrong. [65] Because of that the immortals sent the son of Tantalus back again to the swift-doomed race of men. And when he blossomed with the stature of fair youth, and down darkened his cheek, he turned his thoughts to an available marriage, [70] to win glorious Hippodameia from her father, the lord of Pisa. He drew near to the gray sea, alone in the darkness, and called aloud on the deep-roaring god, skilled with the trident; and the god appeared to him, close at hand. [75] Pelops said to the god, “If the loving gifts of Cyprian Aphrodite result in any gratitude, Poseidon, then restrain the bronze spear of Oenomaus, and speed me in the swiftest chariot to Elis, and bring me to victory. For he has killed thirteen [80] suitors,2and postpones the marriage of his daughter. Great danger does not take hold of a coward. Since all men are compelled to die, why should anyone sit stewing an inglorious old age in the darkness, with no share of any fine deeds? As for me, on this contest [85] I will take my stand. May you grant a welcome achievement.” So he spoke, and he did not touch on words that were unaccomplished. Honoring him, the god gave him a golden chariot, and horses with untiring wings. He overcame the might of Oenomaus, and took the girl as his bride. She bore six sons, leaders of the people eager for excellence. [90] Now he has a share in splendid blood-sacrifices, resting beside the ford of the Alpheus, where he has his attendant tomb beside the altar that is thronged with many visitors. The fame of Pelops shines from afar in the races of the Olympic festivals, [95] where there are contests for swiftness of foot, and the bold heights of toiling strength. A victor throughout the rest of his life enjoys honeyed calm, so far as contests can bestow it. But at any given time the glory of the present day [100] is the highest one that comes to every mortal man. I must crown that man with the horse-song in the Aeolian strain. I am convinced that there is no host in the world today who is both knowledgeable about fine things and more sovereign in power, [105] whom we shall adorn with the glorious folds of song. A god is set over your ambitions as a guardian, Hieron, and he devises with this as his concern. If he does not desert you soon, I hope that I will celebrate an even greater sweetness, [110] sped by a swift chariot, finding a helpful path of song when I come to the sunny hill of Cronus. For me the Muse tends her mightiest shaft of courage. Some men are great in one thing, others in another; but the peak of the farthest limit is for kings. Do not look beyond that! [115] May it be yours to walk on high throughout your life, and mine to associate with victors as long as I live, distinguished for my skill among Greeks everywhere.
1 On this line see F. J. Nisetich, "Olympian 1.8-11: An Epinician Metaphor," HSCP 79, 1975, 55-68.
2 reading μναστῆρας, with the mss.


Olympian 2
For Theron of Acragas Chariot Race 476 B. C.
Songs, rulers of the lyre, what god, what hero, what man shall we celebrate? Indeed, Pisa belongs to Zeus; and Heracles established the Olympic festival, as the finest trophy of battle; [5] and Theron must be proclaimed because of his victorious four-horse chariot, Theron who is just in his regard for guests, and is the bulwark of Acragas, the strength of the city, the choicest bloom of illustrious ancestors, who labored much with their spirits, and won a sacred home by the river, and were [10] the eye of Sicily; their allotted lifetime attended them, bringing wealth and grace to their inborn excellence. But you, son of Cronus and Rhea, who rule over your home on Olympus, and over the foremost of festivals, and over the ford of Alpheus, be warmed by our songs and graciously preserve their ancestral land [15] for their future generations. When deeds have been accomplished, whether justly or contrary to justice, not even Time the father of all things could undo the outcome. But forgetfulness may come, with favorable fortune. Under the power of noble joys, malignant pain [20] is subdued and dies, whenever god-sent Fate lifts prosperity on high. This saying applies to the daughters of Cadmus on their lovely thrones: they suffered greatly, but their heavy sorrow collapsed in the presence of greater blessings. [25] Long-haired Semele, who died in the roar of the thunderbolt, lives among the Olympians; Pallas is her constant friend, and indeed so is father Zeus, and she is loved by her ivy-crowned son. And they say that even in the sea, among the ocean-daughters of Nereus, immortal life [30] is granted to Ino for all time. Truly, for mortal men at least, the time when we will reach the limit of death is by no means fixed, nor when we will bring a peaceful day, the sun's child, to an end in unworried well-being. But at various times various currents, both of pleasure and of toil, come to men. [35] In such a way does Fate, who keeps their pleasant fortune to be handed from father to son, bring at another time some painful reversal together with god-sent prosperity, since the destined son met and killed Laius, and fulfilled the oracle of Pytho, [40] spoken long before. But the sharp-eyed Erinys saw it, and destroyed his warlike sons through mutual slaughter. Yet Polyneices, when laid low, left behind him a son, Thersander, honored in youthful contests and in the battles of war, [45] a scion to defend the house of the descendants of Adrastus. And it is fitting that the son of Aenesidamus, whose roots grew from that seed, should meet with songs of praise and with the lyre. For in Olympia he himself received a prize of honor; at Pytho [50] and at the Isthmus, the Graces who love them both brought garlands of flowers to his equally blessed brother for his four-horse team, victorious in the twelve courses of the race. To attempt a contest and be successful brings release from sadness. Wealth adorned with excellence brings many opportunities, rousing deep wild ambitions; [55] it is a brilliant star, a man's true light, at least if one has and knows the future, that the reckless souls of those who have died on earth immediately pay the penalty—and for the crimes committed in this realm of Zeus there is a judge below the earth; with hateful [60] compulsion he passes his sentence. But having the sun always in equal nights and equal days, the good receive a life free from toil, not scraping with the strength of their arms the earth, nor the water of the sea, [65] for the sake of a poor sustenance. But in the presence of the honored gods, those who gladly kept their oaths enjoy a life without tears, while the others undergo a toil that is unbearable to look at. Those who have persevered three times, on either side, to keep their souls free from all wrongdoing, [70] follow Zeus' road to the end, to the tower of Cronus, where ocean breezes blow around the island of the blessed, and flowers of gold are blazing, some from splendid trees on land, while water nurtures others. With these wreaths and garlands of flowers they entwine their hands [75] according to the righteous counsels of Rhadamanthys, whom the great father, the husband of Rhea whose throne is above all others, keeps close beside him as his partner. Peleus and Cadmus are counted among them, and Achilles who was brought there by his mother, when she had [80] persuaded the heart of Zeus with her prayers— Achilles, who laid low Hector, the irresistible, unswerving pillar of Troy, and who consigned to death Memnon the Ethiopian, son of the Dawn. I have many swift arrows in the quiver under my arm, [85] arrows that speak to the initiated. But the masses need interpreters.1 The man who knows a great deal by nature is truly skillful, while those who have only learned chatter with raucous and indiscriminate tongues in vain like crows against the divine bird of Zeus. Now, bend your bow toward the mark; tell me, my mind, whom are we trying to hit [90] as we shoot arrows of fame from a gentle mind? I will aim at Acragas, and speak with true intent a word sworn by oath: no city for a hundred years has given birth to a man more beneficent in his mind or more generous with his hand [95] than Theron. But praise is confronted by greed, which is not accompanied by justice, but stirred up by depraved men, eager to babble and to bury the fine deeds of noble men. Since the sand of the shore is beyond all counting, [100] who could number all the joys that Theron has given others?
1 On this line see W. H. Race, "The End of Olympian 2: Pindar and the Vulgus," CSCA 12, 1979, 251-67, and G. W. Most, "Pindar O. 2.83-90," CQ 36, 1986, 304-16.

Olympian 3
For Theron of Acragas Chariot Race 476 B. C.
I pray that I may be pleasing to the hospitable sons of Tyndareus and to Helen of the beautiful hair while I honor renowned Acragas by raising my song in praise of Theron's victory at Olympia, won by the choicest of horses with untiring feet. With this in view the Muse stood beside me when I found a shining new manner [5] of fitting the splendid voice of the victory procession to the Dorian sandal. For the garlands twined around his hair exact from me this sacred debt, to blend harmoniously for the son of Aenesidamus the embroidered song of the lyre and the cry of the flutes with the arrangement of words, and Pisa bids me to raise my voice—Pisa, from which [10] god-fated songs come often to men, for anyone over whose brow the strict Aetolian judge of the Greeks tosses up around his hair the gray-green adornment of olive leaves, fulfilling the ancient behests of Heracles; the olive which once the son of Amphitryon brought from the shady springs of the Danube, [15] to be the most beautiful memorial of the Olympian contests, when he had persuaded the Hyperborean people, the servants of Apollo, with speech. With trustworthy intentions he was entreating them for a shady plant, to be shared by all men and to be a garland of excellence in the grove of Zeus which is hospitable to all. For already the altars had been consecrated to his father, and in mid-month the full [20] evening's eye shone brightly, the Moon on her golden chariot, and he had established the consecrated trial of the great games along with the four years' festival beside the sacred banks of the Alpheus. But Pelops' sacred ground was not flourishing with beautiful trees in the valleys below the hill of Cronus. He saw that this garden, bare of trees, was exposed to the piercing rays of the sun. [25] And so his spirit prompted him to travel to the land of the Danube, where the horse-driving daughter of Leto had received him when he came from the mountain-glens and deep, winding valleys of Arcadia; through the commands of Eurystheus, compulsion from his father urged him on the quest of the doe with the golden horns, which once Taÿgete [30] had inscribed as a sacred dedication to Artemis who sets things right. Pursuing that doe he had also seen that land beyond the cold blasts of Boreas; there he had stood and marvelled at the trees, and sweet desire for them possessed him, to plant them around the boundary-line of the horse-racing ground with its twelve courses. And now in his kindness he comes regularly to this festival of ours, together with the godlike [35] twin sons of deep-waisted Leda. For Heracles, when he ascended to Olympus, assigned to them the ordering of the marvellous contest of men, the contest in excellence and in the driving of swift chariots. And so my spirit somehow urges me to say that glory has come to the Emmenidae and to Theron through the dispensation of the sons of Tyndareus with their fine horses, because that family [40] comes to them with the most hospitable feasting-tables of any mortal men, observing the rites of the blessed gods with pious thoughts. If water is best and gold is the most honored of all possessions, so now Theron reaches the farthest point by his own native excellence; he touches the pillars of Heracles. Beyond that the wise cannot set foot; nor can the unskilled set foot [45] beyond that. I will not pursue it; I would be a fool.

Olympian 4
For Psaumis of Camarina Chariot Race 452 B. C.
Charioteer of the thundercloud with untiring feet, highest Zeus! Your Seasons, whirling to the embroidered notes of the lyre's song, sent me as a witness of the most lofty games. When friends are successful, the noble immediately smile on [5] the sweet announcement. Son of Cronus, you who hold Aetna, the wind-swept weight on terrible hundred-headed Typhon, receive, for the sake of the Graces, this Olympic victory-procession, [10] this most enduring light of widely powerful excellence. For the procession comes in honor of Psaumis' chariot; Psaumis, who, crowned with the olive of Pisa, hurries to rouse glory for Camarina. May the god be gracious to his future prayers, since I praise a man who is most eager in the raising of horses, [15] who rejoices in being hospitable to all guests, and whose pure thoughts are turned towards city-loving peace. I will not stain my words with lies. Perseverance is what puts men to the test, and what saved the son of Clymenus [20] from the contempt of the Lemnian women. He won the foot race in bronze armor, and said to Hypsipyle as he went to take the garland: “Such is my swiftness; [25] and I have hands and heart to match. Even on young men gray hair often grows, even before the expected age.”

Olympian 5
For Psaumis of Camarina Mule Car Race ?460 or 456 B. C.
Daughter of Ocean, with a smiling heart receive the sweet bloom of lofty excellence and Olympian garlands, the gifts of Psaumis and of his mule car team with untiring feet. Psaumis who, exalting your city, Camarina, which cares for its people, [5] honored the six double altars, at the greatest festivals of the gods, with the sacrifice of oxen and in contests on the fifth day, contests of horse teams, and mule teams, and of riding the single horse. To you he has dedicated rich renown by his victory, and he had his father Acron and his new-founded home proclaimed by the herald. Coming from the lovely homes of Oenomaus and of Pelops, [10] he sings of your sacred grove, Pallas protector of the city, and of the river Oanis, and the local lake, and the sacred canals with which Hipparis waters its people, and swiftly builds a tall-standing grove of steadfast dwellings, bringing this host of citizens out of helplessness into the light. [15] Always, when it is a question of excellence, toil and expense strive to accomplish a deed that is shrouded in danger; those who are successful seem wise, even to their fellow-citizens. Savior Zeus, high in the clouds, you who dwell on the hill of Cronus and honor the wide-flowing Alpheus and the sacred cave of Ida! I come as your suppliant, singing to the sound of Lydian flutes, [20] entreating you to adorn this city with glorious hosts of noble men; and that you, Psaumis the Olympic victor, delighting in the horses of Poseidon, may carry on to the end a pleasurable old age with your sons standing beside you. If a man cultivates both prosperity and health, being generous with his possessions and winning praise as well, let him not seek to become a god.

Olympian 6
For Hagesias of Syracuse Mule Car Race 472 or 468 B. C.
1Raising the fine-walled porch of our dwelling with golden pillars, we will build, as it were, a marvellous hall; at the beginning of our work we must place a far-shining front. If someone were an Olympic victor, [5] and a guardian of the prophetic altar of Zeus at Pisa, and a fellow-founder of renowned Syracuse, what hymn of praise would that man fail to win, by finding fellow-citizens ungrudging in delightful song? Let the son of Sostratus know that this sandal fits his divinely-blessed foot. But excellence without danger [10] is honored neither among men nor in hollow ships. But many people remember, if a fine thing is done with toil. Hagesias, that praise is ready for you, which once Adrastus' tongue rightly spoke for the seer Amphiaraus, son of Oicles, when the earth swallowed up him and his shining horses. [15] In Thebes, when the seven pyres of corpses had been consumed, the son of Talaus spoke in this way: “I long for the eye of my army, a man who was good both as a prophet and at fighting with the spear.” And this holds good as well for the man of Syracuse who is master of our victory-procession. Though I am not prone to quarrel, and not overly fond of victory, [20] I would even swear a great oath, and on this point at least I will clearly bear witness for him; and the honey-voiced Muses will give their consent. Phintis, come now and yoke the strength of mules for me, quickly, so that we can drive the chariot along a clear path, and I can at last arrive at the race of these men. [25] For those mules above all others know how to lead the way along this path, since they have won garlands at Olympia. And so it is right to open for them the gates of song; and I must go today, in good time, to Pitana, beside the ford of Eurotas. Pitana, who, it is said, lay with Poseidon son of Cronus, [30] and bore a child, violet-haired Evadne. But she hid her unwedded pregnancy in the folds of her robe. And in the appointed month she sent servants, and told them to give the baby to be tended by the hero, Aepytus son of Eilatus, who ruled over the Arcadians at Phaesana, and had his allotted home on the Alpheus, [35] where Evadne was raised, and first touched the sweets of Aphrodite beneath Apollo's embrace. She did not escape the notice of Aepytus in all the time that she was hiding the offspring of the god; no, he went to Pytho, pressing down the unspeakable anger in his spirit with intense concern, to consult the oracle about this unbearable disaster. And she laid down her purple and saffron girdle, [40] and her silver pitcher, and beneath a blue-shaded thicket gave birth to a god-inspired boy. The golden-haired god sent gentle-minded Eleithuia and the Fates to help her. From her womb and her sweet birth-pangs Iamus came right away into the light. In her distress, [45] she left him on the ground. But by the will of the gods, two gray-eyed serpents nurtured him with the harmless venom of bees, caring for him. And when the king had driven back from rocky Pytho, he questioned everyone in the household about the child whom Evadne had borne. For he said that he was begotten by Phoebus, [50] and that he would be, for men on earth, a prophet above all mortals, and that his race would never fail. Such was his speech. But they claimed that they had neither seen nor heard the baby, born four days ago. For it had been hidden in the rushes and the boundless thicket, [55] his tender body washed in the golden and purple light of violets. Therefore his mother declared that he should be called for all time by this immortal name, “Iamus.” And when he had attained the delightful fruit of golden-crowned Youth, he went down into the middle of the Alpheus, and called on wide-ruling Poseidon, his grandfather, and on the Archer who watches over god-built Delos, [60] praying that the honor of caring for the people be on his head, under the clear night sky. His father's voice responded in clear speech, and sought him out: “Rise, my son, and follow my voice here to a place that welcomes all.” They came to the steep rock of the lofty hill of Cronus. [65] There the god gave him a double treasure of prophecy: there and then to hear a voice that did not know how to lie; and when bold-plotting Heracles came, the sacred scion of the Alcidae, and founded for his father a festival frequented by mortals and the greatest ritual of contests, [70] then he commanded him to establish an oracle on the highest altar of Zeus. Since then the race of the sons of Iamus has been very famous throughout Greece. Prosperity attended them; and by honoring excellence, they walk along a bright path. Every action brings evidence. Envious blame from others hangs [75] over those who have once driven first down the final course of a race, and on whom honored Grace has shed glorious beauty. But if, Hagesias, it is true that the men on your mother's side, living below the boundaries of Cyllene, piously gave many gifts, with prayers and sacrifices, to the herald of the gods, Hermes, who rules over games and the dispensation of contests, [80] and honors Arcadia, the home of fine men, it is that god, son of Sostratus, who with his loud-thundering father fulfills your good fortune. I think I have on my tongue a shrill whetstone, which steals over me (and I am willing) with fair-flowing breaths. My mother's mother was the nymph of Stymphalus, blossoming Metopa, [85] who bore horse-driving Thebe, whose delicious water I drink, while I weave my embroidered song for heroic spearmen. Now rouse your companions, Aeneas, first to shout the praises of Hera Parthenia, and then to know whether we have truly escaped the ancient reproach [90] of men's speech, “Boeotian pig.” For you are a faithful herald, a message-stick of the lovely-haired Muses, a sweet mixing-bowl of loud-sounding songs. Tell them to remember Syracuse and Ortygia, which Hieron rules with his pure scepter and with good counsels, [95] while he attends on the worship of Demeter of the red feet, and on the festival of her daughter with her white horses, and on the might of Aetnaean Zeus. The sweet-voiced lyres and music are familiar with Hieron. May time not creep up and disturb his prosperity, but may he with loving friendliness welcome the victory-procession of Hagesias as it comes to one home from his other home within the walls of Stymphalus, [100] leaving his motherland, Arcadia of the fine flocks. On a stormy night it is good to have two anchors to throw down from a swift ship. May a god lovingly bestow a glorious lot on the men of both cities. Master, ruler of the sea, husband of Amphitrite of the golden distaff, grant straight sailing free from troubles, [105] and give new growth to the delightful flower of my songs.
1 On the two possible dates see C. M. Bowra, Pindar (Oxford 1964), p. 409.

Olympian 7
For Diagoras of Rhodes Boxing-Match 464 B. C.
As when someone takes a goblet, all golden, the most prized of his possessions, foaming with the dew of the vine from a generous hand, and makes a gift of it to his young son-in-law, welcoming him with a toast from one home to another, [5] honoring the grace of the symposium and the new 1 marriage-bond, and thereby, in the presence of his friends, makes him enviable for his harmonious marriage-bed; I too, sending to victorious men poured nectar, the gift of the Muses, the sweet fruit of my mind, I try to win the gods' favor [10] for those men who were victors at Olympia and at Pytho. That man is prosperous, who is encompassed by good reports. Grace, which causes life to flourish, looks with favor now on one man, now on another, with both the sweet-singing lyre and the full-voiced notes of flutes. And now, with the music of flute and lyre alike I have come to land with Diagoras, singing the sea-child of Aphrodite and bride of Helios, Rhodes, [15] so that I may praise this straight-fighting, tremendous man who had himself crowned beside the Alpheus and near Castalia, as a recompense for his boxing, and also his father Damagetus, a man pleasing to Justice, living on the island of three cities near the foreland of spacious Asia, among Argive spearmen. [20] I shall want to proclaim my message for them, the widely powerful race of Heracles, and tell correctly from the beginning, from Tlepolemus, the story that concerns all. For, on the father's side, they boast descent from Zeus, while, on the mother's, they are descendants of Amyntor, through Astydameia. But around the minds of men [25] countless errors loom; and this is impossible to discover: what is best to happen to a man, now and in the end. For indeed, striking Licymnius, the bastard brother of Alcmena, with a staff of hard olive-wood as he came out of the chamber of Midea, [30] the founder of this land once killed that man, in anger. Disturbances of the mind lead astray even a wise man. Tlepolemus went and sought the god's oracle. To him the golden-haired god spoke, from his fragrant sanctuary, of a voyage by ship from the shore of Lerna straight to the pasture land with sea all around it, where once the great king of the gods showered the city with golden snow, [35] when, by the skills of Hephaestus with the bronze-forged hatchet, Athena leapt from the top of her father's head and cried aloud with a mighty shout. The Sky and mother Earth shuddered before her. Then even the god that brings light to mortals, son of Hyperion, [40] enjoined his dear children to observe the obligation that was soon to be due: that they should be the first to build for the goddess an altar visible to all men, and by founding a sacred burnt-offering warm the spirit of the father and of the daughter who thunders with her spear. She who casts excellence and joys into men is the daughter of Forethought, Reverence. [45] Truly, a cloud of forgetfulness sometimes descends unexpectedly, and draws the straight path of action away from the mind. For they climbed the hill without bringing the seed of burning flame; and they established the sacred precinct on the acropolis with fireless sacrifices. Zeus brought to them a yellow cloud [50] and rained on them abundant gold. And the gray-eyed goddess herself bestowed on them every art, so that they surpassed all mortal men as the best workers with their hands; and the roads bore works of art like living, moving creatures, and their fame was profound. For a wise craftsman, even superior skill is free from guile. The ancient stories of men tell [55] that when Zeus and the immortals were dividing the earth among them, Rhodes was not yet visible in the expanse of the sea, but the island was hidden in the salty depths. Helios was absent, and no one marked out a share for him; in fact they left him without any allotment of land, [60] although he was a holy god. And when Helios mentioned it, Zeus was about to order a new casting of lots, but Helios did not allow him. For he said that he himself saw in the gray sea, growing from the bottom, a rich, productive land for men, and a kindly one for flocks. And he bid Lachesis of the golden headband [65] raise her hands right away, and speak, correctly and earnestly, the great oath of the gods, and consent with the son of Cronus that that island, when it had risen into the shining air, should thereafter be his own prize of honor. And the essence of his words was fulfilled and turned out to be true. There grew from the waters of the sea [70] an island, which is held by the birthgiving father of piercing rays, the ruler of fire-breathing horses. And there he once lay with Rhodes, and begat seven sons who inherited from him the wisest minds in the time of earlier men; and of these one begat Cameirus, and Ialysus the eldest, and Lindus. Each had his own separate share of cities [75] in their threefold division of their father's land, and their dwelling-places were named after them. There it is that a sweet recompense for his pitiful misfortune is established for Tlepolemus, the first leader of the Tirynthians, as for a god: [80] a procession of flocks for burnt sacrifice and the trial of contests. With the flowers from these Diagoras has had himself crowned twice, and at the renowned Isthmus four times, in his good fortune, and again and again at Nemea and in rocky Athens; and the prizes of the bronze shield in Argos and the works of art in Arcadia and Thebes are familiar with him, and the duly ordered contests [85] of the Boeotians, and Pellana and Aegina, where he was six times victor. And in Megara the list carved in stone gives no other account. But, Father Zeus, you who rule over the ridges of Atabyrium, grant honor to the hymn ordained in praise of an Olympian victor, and to the man who has found excellence as a boxer, and grant to him honored grace [90] in the eyes of both citizens and strangers. For he walks a straight course on a road that hates arrogance, knowing clearly the sound prophetic wisdom of his good ancestors. Do not bury in obscurity the shared seed of Callianax. When the Eratidae are graced with victories, the city too holds festivities; but in a single space of apportioned time [95] the winds shift quickly from moment to moment.
1 Reading with Snell νέος for ἑόν.

Olympian 8
For Alcimedon of Aegina Boys' Wrestling 460 B. C.
Mother of golden-crowned contests, Olympia, queen of truth! where prophets, judging from burnt sacrifices, inquire of Zeus of the flashing thunderbolt, if he has any message to give concerning men [5] whose spirits are seeking to attain great excellence and a breathing-space from toils. Accomplishment is granted to the prayers of men in gratitude for their piety. Well-wooded grove of Pisa beside the Alpheus, [10] welcome this victory-procession and the garland we bring to the victor; the man who is attended by your splendid prize of honor has great glory forever. Some good things come to one man, some to another; with the favor of the gods, there are many paths of success. [15] Timosthenes, fortune has allotted you and your brother to the care of your ancestor Zeus, who made you renowned at Nemea, and made Alcimedon an Olympic victor beside the hill of Cronus. He was beautiful to look at, and his deeds did not belie his beauty [20] when by his victory in wrestling he had Aegina with her long oars proclaimed as his fatherland. There the savior Themis, seated beside Zeus the god of hospitality, is honored more than among all other men. For when there is a heavy weight in the balance that sways many ways, to judge with a straight mind and not inopportunely [25] is a difficult struggle. But some ordinance of the immortals set up as a divine pillar for visitors of all kinds this sea-girt land—and may the dawning time to come never tire of fulfilling this— [30] guarded by the Dorian people since the time of Aeacus, whom wide-ruling Poseidon and the son of Leto, when they were about to build the crown of walls to encircle Ilium, summoned as a fellow worker; for it was fated that when war arose, [35] in the city-destroying battles, that wall would breathe forth ravening smoke. And three gray-green serpents, when the wall was newly built, tried to leap into it; two of them fell down, stunned, and gave up their lives, [40] and the third leapt up with a cry. Pondering this adverse omen, Apollo said right away: “Pergamos is taken, hero, through the works of your hands—so says a vision sent to me from the son of Cronus, loud-thundering Zeus— [45] not without your sons: the city will be destroyed 1with the first generation, and with the third.”2 The god spoke clearly, and then hurried on his way, driving to Xanthus, and to the Amazons with their fine horses, and to the Danube. And the wielder of the trident drove his swift chariot to the sea-washed Isthmus, [50] bringing Aeacus here on his golden horses, and going to see the ridge of Corinth, famous for its feasts. But nothing can be equally delightful to all men. If I have, in my song, exalted the glory of Melesias for his training of beardless youths, [55] let envy not strike me with a rough stone. For I will tell how he himself won the same grace at Nemea, and later, among men, in the battle of the pancratium. To teach [60] is easier for one who has knowledge himself. And it is foolish not to learn in advance; for the minds of those with no experience are insubstantial. Melesias, beyond all others, could speak of those deeds: what manner of training will advance a man who is going to win the most longed-for glory from the sacred games. [65] Now it is his honor that his thirtieth victory has been won for him by Alcimedon, who, with divine good fortune, yet without falling short in his own manliness, thrust off from himself and onto the four limbs of other boys a hateful homecoming with contemptuous talk and a secret way back, [70] and breathed into his father's father the force that wrestles off old age. Hades is forgotten by a man with good accomplishments. But I must awaken memory and tell [75] of the choicest victory of hands for the Blepsiads, who are now crowned with their sixth garland from the contests flourishing with leaves. Even the dead have a share in rites performed according to law; the dust does not cover [80] the good grace of their kinsmen. Having heard the voice of Hermes' daughter, Angelia,3 Iphion might tell Callimachus of the splendid adornment at Olympia, which Zeus gave to their race. May he be willing to grant noble deeds upon noble [85] deeds, and to ward off bitter diseases. I pray that, for the share of fine things allotted to them, Zeus may not cause the mind of Nemesis to waver; rather, may he grant a painless life, and thus give new growth to themselves and their city.
1 Reading with Gildersleeve ῥάζεται for ἄρζεται.
2 Reading with the MSS τερτάτοις. See GRBS 1987.
3 Message

Olympian 9
For Epharmostus of Opus Wrestling-Match 466 B. C.
The resounding strain of Archilochus, the swelling thrice-repeated song of triumph, sufficed to lead Epharmostus to the hill of Cronus, in victory-procession with his dear companions. [5] But now, from the bow of the Muses who, shooting from afar, send a shower of such arrows of song as these on Zeus of the red lightning-bolt and on the sacred height of Elis, which once the Lydian hero Pelops [10] won as the very fine dowry of Hippodameia. And shoot a winged sweet arrow to Pytho; for your words will not fall to the ground, short of the mark, when you trill the lyre in honor of the wrestling of the man from renowned Opus. Praise Opus and her son; [15] praise her whom Themis and her glorious daughter, the savior Eunomia, have received under their protection; she flourishes with excellence beside your stream, Castalia, and beside the Alpheus. From there the choicest garlands [20] glorify the famous mother-city of the Locrians with her splendid trees. I am lighting up that dear city with fiery songs, and more swiftly than a spirited horse or a winged ship [25] I will send that message everywhere, so surely as I, by some destined skill, am cultivating the exquisite garden of the Graces; for they are the givers of delight, but men become brave and skillful by divine will. For [30] how could Heracles have wielded his club against the trident, when Poseidon took his stand to guard Pylos, and pressed him hard, and Phoebus pressed him hard, attacking with his silver bow; nor did Hades keep his staff unmoved, with which he leads mortal bodies down to the hollow path [35] of the dead. My mouth, fling this story away from me! Since to speak evil of the gods is a hateful skill, and untimely boasting is in harmony with madness. [40] Do not babble of such things now. Keep war and all battles apart from the immortals. But lend your tongue to the city of Protogeneia, where, by the ordinance of Zeus with the flashing thunderbolt, Pyrrha and Deucalion came down from Parnassus and made their first home, and without the marriage-bed [45] they founded a unified race of stone offspring, and the stones gave the people their name1. Arouse for them a clear-sounding path 2 of song; praise wine that is old, but praise the flowers of songs that are new. They tell, indeed, [50] how the strength of the waters overwhelmed the dark earth; but by the skills of Zeus the ebbing tide suddenly drained off the flood. From these were descended your ancestors with their bronze shields, [55] young men sprung from the beginning from the stock of the daughters of Iapetus and from the powerful sons of Cronus, always a native line of kings, until the ruler of Olympus carried off the daughter of Opus from the land of the Epeians, and lay with her peacefully in the glens of Mount Maenalus, and brought her [60] to Locrus, so that age would not overtake him and lay the burden of childlessness on him. His bride was carrying in her womb the seed of the greatest god, and the hero rejoiced to see his adopted son, and gave him the same name as his mother's father, Opus, [65] a man beyond words in beauty and fine deeds. Locrus gave him a city and a people to govern, and strangers came to him from Argos and Thebes, from Arcadia and Pisa. But among the settlers he chiefly honored the son of Actor [70] and Aegina, Menoetius, whose son went with the Atreidae to the plain of Teuthras, and stood alone beside Achilles, when Telephus turned to flight the mighty Danaans, and attacked their ships beside the sea, to reveal to a man of understanding [75] the powerful mind of Patroclus. From that time forward, the son of Thetis exhorted him in deadly war never to post himself far from his own man-subduing spear. [80] May I be a suitable finder of words as I move onward in the Muses' chariot; may boldness and all-embracing power attend me. Because of his friendship with my people and his excellence, I went to honor the Isthmian crowning of Lampromachus, when both he and Epharmostus were victors [85] on a single day. And then there were two other joyous victories at the gates of Corinth, and others won by Epharmostus in the vale of Nemea; and at Argos he won glory in a contest of men, and as a boy at Athens. And at Marathon, when he was barred from competing with the beardless youths, [90] how he endured the contest for silver cups among the older men! Having subdued those men by the trick of quickly shifting balance without falling, with what a roar of applause did he pass through the ring, in his prime, and handsome, and having accomplished the finest deeds. [95] Again, among the Parrhasian people he was marvellous to look at, at the festival of Lycaean Zeus, and when at Pellana he carried off as his prize a warm remedy against chilly winds. The tomb of Iolaus bears witness for him, and also Eleusis by the sea, for his splendid achievements. [100] That which is inborn is always the best; but many men strive to win glory with excellence that comes from training. Anything in which a god has no part is none the worse for being quelled in silence. For some roads [105] lead farther than others, and a single occupation will not nourish us all. The paths to skill are steep; but, while offering this prize of song, boldly shout aloud [110] that this man, by the blessing of the gods, was born with deftness of hand and litheness of limb, and with valor in his eyes; and at the banquet of Aias son of Oileus he laid his victorious garland on the altar.
1 Pun on λαὸ᾽δψ, “people”, and λήθοι, “stones.”
2 Reading with Snell and MSS οἶμον for οὖρον.

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奥林匹亚凯歌系列,共14首:
第 10——14 首




Olympian 10
For Hagesidamus of Western Locri Boys' Boxing 476 B.C.
Read me the name of the Olympic victor, the son of Archestratus, where it has been written in my mind. For I owed him a sweet song, and I have forgotten. But come, Muse, you and the daughter of Zeus, unforgetting Truth: with the hand that puts things right, [5] keep from me the blame for lying, for wronging my friend. Approaching from far away, the future has arrived and made me ashamed of my deep debt. Still, payment with interest has a way of dissolving the bitter reproach of men. [10] Now, just as the flowing wave overwhelms the rolling pebble, so shall I pay my account in full, in gratitude and friendship. For unswerving Exactitude rules the city of the Western Locrians, and Calliope is important to them, and bronze-armored Ares. [15] Battle with Cycnus set back even Heracles, strong and violent; let Hagesidamus, victorious as a boxer at Olympia, offer thanks to Ilas, just as Patroclus did to Achilles. [20] With the help of a god, one man can sharpen another who is born for excellence, and encourage him to tremendous achievement. Without toil only a few have attained joy, a light of life above all labors. The laws of Zeus urge me to sing of that extraordinary contest-place which Heracles founded by the ancient tomb of Pelops [25] with its six altars, after he killed Cteatus, the flawless son of Poseidon and Eurytus too, with a will to exact from the unwilling Augeas, strong and violent, the wages for his menial labor. [30] Heracles lay in wait in the thicket below Cleonae, and in his turn overcame those men by the roadside; for once before those arrogant Moliones had destroyed his Tirynthian army, when it was encamped in the valley of Elis. And indeed it was not much later before the man who betrayed his friend, [35] the king of the Epeians, saw his land with all its possessions, his own city, sink into a deep channel of destruction beneath unyielding fire and blows of iron. A fight with a stronger man [40] is impossible to push away. So even he, by his own senselessness, last of all found himself captured and did not escape sheer destruction. But the brave son of Zeus gathered the entire army and all the spoils together in Pisa [45] and measured out a sacred precinct for his supreme father. He enclosed the Altis all around and marked it off in the open, and he made the encircling area a resting-place for feasting, honoring the stream of the Alpheus along with the twelve ruling gods. [50] And he called it the Hill of Cronus; it had been nameless before, while Oenomaus was king, and it was covered with wet snow. But in this rite of first birth the Fates stood close by, and the one who alone puts genuine truth to the test, [55] Time. Time moved forward and told the clear and precise story, how Heracles divided the gifts of war and sacrificed the finest of them, and how he established the four years' festival with the first Olympic games and its victories. [60] Who won the first garland, with the skill of his hands or feet or chariot, setting the boast of victory in his mind and achieving it with his deeds? In the foot race the best at running the straight course [65] with his feet was the son of Licymnius, Oeonus, who had come from Midea at the head of an army. In wrestling, Echemus won glory for Tegea. And the prize in boxing was won by Doryclus, who lived in the city of Tiryns. And in the four-horse chariot [70] the victor was Samos of Mantinea, the son of Halirhothius. Phrastor hit the mark with the javelin. Niceus sent the stone flying from his circling arm beyond all the others, and his fellow soldiers raised a sudden burst of loud cheering. [75] The lovely light of the moon's beautiful face lit up the evening and in the delightful festivities the whole precinct rang with a song in praise of victory. Even now we will follow the first beginnings, and as a namesake song of proud victory, we will shout of the thunder [80] and the fire-wrought shaft of Zeus who rouses the thunder-clap, the burning bolt that suits omnipotence. Swelling music will answer the reed-pipe in songs [85] which have come to light beside famous Dirce, after a long time, but like a long-desired child from the wife of a man who has already reached the opposite of youth, who fills his father's mind with the warmth of love; since his wealth falling into the hands of a stranger who is master of another home [90] is the most hateful thing to a dying man. And, Hagesidamus, when a man with fine achievements but no songs reaches the house of Hades, he has spent his strength and his breath in vain and gained only a short-lived delight with his effort. But on you the soft-singing lyre and the sweet flute scatter grace [95] and the Pierian daughters of Zeus nurture your wide fame. While I, earnestly lending my hand, have embraced the famous tribe of the Locrians, showering with honey their city of fine men. And I praised the lovely son of Archestratus, [100] whom I saw at that time beside the Olympic altar, winning victory with the valor of his hands—beautiful in form, and blended with that youthful bloom which once [105] kept Ganymede from shameless death, with the help of Cyprian Aphrodite.

Olympian 11
For Hagesidamus of Western Locri Boys' Boxing 476 B. C.
There is a time when men's need for winds is the greatest, and a time for waters from the sky, the rainy offspring of clouds. But when anyone is victorious through his toil, then honey-voiced odes [5] become the foundation for future fame, and a faithful pledge for great deeds of excellence. This praise is dedicated to Olympian victors, without stint. My tongue wants to foster such themes; [10] but it is by the gift of a god that a man flourishes with a skillful mind, as with anything else. For the present rest assured, Hagesidamus son of Archestratus: for the sake of your boxing victory, I shall loudly sing a sweet song, an adornment for your garland of golden olive, [15] while I honor the race of the Western Locrians. There, Muses, join in the victory-song; I shall pledge my word to you that we will find there a race that does not repel the stranger, or is inexperienced in fine deeds, but one that is wise and warlike too. For [20] neither the fiery fox nor loud-roaring lions change their nature.

Olympian 12
For Ergoteles of Himera Long Foot Race 466 B. C
I entreat you, child of Zeus the Deliverer, saving Fortune, keep protecting Himera, and make her powerful. For by your favor swift ships are steered on the sea, and on dry land rushing battles [5] and assemblies where counsel is given. But men's expectations are often tossed up and then back down, as they cleave the waves of vain falsehood. Never yet has any man on earth found a reliable token of what will happen from the gods. Our understanding of the future is blind. [10] And therefore many things fall out for men contrary to their judgement, bringing to some reversal of delight, while others, having encountered grievous storms, in a short time exchange their troubles for high success. Son of Philanor, truly, like a cock that fights at home, even [15] the fame of your swift feet would have shed its leaves ingloriously beside your native hearth, if hostile civil strife had not deprived you of your Cnossian fatherland. But as things are, Ergoteles, having been crowned with garlands at Olympia, and twice from Pytho, and at the Isthmus, you exalt the hot baths of the Nymphs, while keeping company with them beside your own fields.


Olympian 13
For Xenophon of Corinth Foot Race and Pentathlon 464 B. C.
While I praise a house that has been three times victorious at Olympia, gentle to her own citizens, and hospitable to strangers, I shall recognize prosperous Corinth, [5] the portal of Isthmian Poseidon, glorious in her young men. There dwell Eunomia1 and her sisters, the secure foundation of cities: Dike,2 and Eirene, 3 who was raised together with her, the guardians of wealth for men, the golden daughters of wise Themis.4 They are resolute in repelling [10] Hybris, 5 the bold-tongued mother of Koros. 6 I have fine things to tell, and straightforward boldness urges my tongue to speak. It is impossible to conceal one's inborn nature. As for you, sons of Aletes, often the Seasons have sent you victorious splendor [15] for your consummate excellence when you won in sacred contests, and often into the hearts of men the Seasons rich in flowers have cast ancient inventiveness. But the fame for every work is due to its inventor. Whence did the graces of Dionysus first come to light, with the ox-driving dithyramb? [20] Who invented the bridle for the harness of horses, or placed the double king of birds on top of the temples of gods? And in Corinth the sweet-breathing Muse blossoms, and also Ares, with the deadly spears of young men. Highest lord [25] of Olympia, ruling far and wide; for all time, father Zeus, may you be ungrudging of our words, and ruling this people in safety, grant a straight course to the fair wind of Xenophon's good fortune. Receive the ordained song of praise in honor of his garlands, the procession which he leads from the plains of Pisa, [30] since he has been victorious in both the pentathlon and the foot race; he has attained what no mortal man has ever attained before. Two wreaths of wild celery crowned him, when he appeared at the Isthmian festival; and Nemea does not speak differently. [35] The brilliance of his father Thessalus' feet is stored up by the streams of the Alpheus, and at Pytho he has honor for the single and the double foot race within the circuit of a single day's sun; and in the same month, in rocky Athens, one swift-footed day placed three very beautiful prizes on his head, [40] and the games of Athena Hellotis give him seven victories. In the games of Poseidon between the two seas, the songs would be too long that could tell of all the victories won by Terpsias and Eritimus, with their father Ptoeodorus. And as for all the times you were best at Delphi, and in the lion's pastures, I am ready to contend with many [45] over the number of your honors; for, truly, I would not know how to give a clear account of the number of pebbles in the sea. Each thing has its limit; knowing it is the best and most timely way. And I, sailing on my own course for the common good, [50] and singing of the wisdom and the battles of ancient men in their heroic excellence, shall not falsify the story of Corinth; I shall tell of Sisyphus, who, like a god, was very shrewd in his devising, and of Medea, who resolved on her own marriage against her father's will, and thus saved the ship Argo and its seamen. [55] And again, in the fight long ago before the walls of Dardanus, Corinthians seemed to decide the issue of battles on either side: some of them attempting, with the dear race of Atreus, to recover Helen, and others doing everything they could [60] to oppose the attempt. And the Danaans trembled before Glaucus, when he came from Lycia; he boasted to them that in the city of Peirene lay the rule and rich estate and hall of his ancestor, Bellerophon, who once suffered greatly when beside the spring he wanted to harness Pegasus, the son of the snake-entwined Gorgon; [65] until the maiden Pallas brought to him a bridle with golden cheek-pieces. The dream suddenly became waking reality, and she spoke: “Are you sleeping, king, son of Aeolus? Come, take this charm for the horse; and, sacrificing a white bull, show it to your ancestor, Poseidon the Horse-Tamer.” [70] The goddess of the dark aegis seemed to say such words to him as he slumbered in the darkness, and he leapt straight up to his feet. He seized the marvellous thing that lay beside him, and gladly went to the seer of the land, [75] and he told the son of Coeranus the whole story: how, at the seer's bidding, he had gone to sleep for the night on the altar of the goddess, and how the daughter herself of Zeus whose spear is the thunderbolt had given him the spirit-subduing gold. The seer told him to obey the dream with all speed; [80] and, when he sacrificed a strong-footed bull to the widely powerful holder of the earth, straightaway to dedicate an altar to Athena, goddess of horses. The power of the gods accomplishes as a light achievement what is contrary to oaths and expectations. And so mighty Bellerophon eagerly [85] stretched the gentle charmed bridle around its jaws and caught the winged horse. Mounted on its back and armored in bronze, at once he began to play with weapons. And with Pegasus, from the chilly bosom of the lonely air,7 he once attacked the Amazons, the female army of archers, [90] and he killed the fire-breathing Chimaera, and the Solymi. I shall pass over his death in silence; but Pegasus has found his shelter in the ancient stables of Zeus in Olympus. But I, while casting the whirling javelins with straight aim, must not miss the mark [95] as I speed many shafts with the strength of my hands. I have come as a willing champion of the Muses on their splendid thrones and of the race of Oligaethus. I shall make their many victories at the Isthmus and at Nemea manifest in a few words; and, as a truthful witness under oath, [100] the sweet-tongued cry of the noble herald, who announced their victories sixty times at both places, will confirm my words. Their victories at Olympia seem to have already been mentioned; and of those in the future I could tell clearly when the time comes. For now I am hopeful, although a god controls [105] the outcome. If the good fortune of their family continues, we shall leave this to Zeus and Enyalius to accomplish. They won six times beneath the brow of Parnassus; and all their victories in Argos and in Thebes, and all that shall be witnessed by the royal Lycaean altar that rules over the Arcadians, and by Pellana, and Sicyon, and Megara, the beautifully enclosed precinct of the Aeacidae, [110] and Eleusis and splendid Marathon, and the wealthy and beautiful cities beneath the high crest of Aetna, and Euboea—you may search through all Greece, and you will find that their victories are more than the eye can see. Come, swim away with agile feet! [115] Zeus the Accomplisher, grant reverence, and a sweet good fortune of delights.
1 Good Government
2 Justice
3 Peace
4 Law
5 Arrogance
6 Surfeit
7 Reading with Snell and MSS ψυχρῶν and ἐρήμου for ψυχρᾶς and ἐρηήμων.



Olympian 14
For Asopichus of Orchomenus Boys' Foot Race ?488 B. C.
You who have your home by the waters of Cephisus, who dwell in the town of beautiful horses: songful queens, Graces of splendid Orchomenus, guardians of the ancient race of Minyans, [5] hear me; I am praying. For with your help all delightful and sweet things are accomplished for mortals, if any man is skillful, or beautiful, or splendid. Not even the gods arrange dances or feasts without the holy Graces, who oversee everything [10] that is done in heaven; with their thrones set beside Pythian Apollo of the golden bow, they worship the everlasting honor of the Olympian father. Lady Aglaia, and Euphrosyne, lover of dance and song, daughters of the strongest god, [15] listen now; and you, Thalia, passionate for dance and song, having looked with favor on this victory procession, stepping lightly in honor of gracious fortune. For I have come to sing of Asopichus in Lydian melodies and chosen phrases, because the Minyan land is victorious at Olympia, [20] thanks to you. Now go, Echo, to the dark-walled home of Persephone and bring the glorious message to his father; when you see Cleodamus, tell him that his son, by the famous valley of Pisa, has wreathed his youthful hair with the wings of the renowned games.
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只看该作者      板凳  发表于: 05-24
皮托凯歌系列,共12首:
第1——7首

Pythian 1
For Hieron of Aetna Chariot Race 470 B. C.
Golden lyre, rightful joint possession of Apollo and the violet-haired Muses, to which the dance-step listens, the beginning of splendid festivity; and singers obey your notes, whenever, with your quivering strings, you prepare to strike up chorus-leading preludes. [5] You quench even the warlike thunderbolt of everlasting fire. And the eagle sleeps on the scepter of Zeus, relaxing his swift wings on either side, the king of birds; and you pour down a dark mist over his curved head, a sweet seal on his eyelids. Slumbering, he ripples his liquid back, [10] under the spell of your pulsing notes. Even powerful Ares, setting aside the rough spear-point, warms his heart in repose; your shafts charm the minds even of the gods, by virtue of the skill of Leto's son and the deep-bosomed Muses. But those whom Zeus does not love are stunned with terror when they hear the cry of the Pierian Muses, on earth or on the irresistible sea; [15] among them is he who lies in dread Tartarus, that enemy of the gods, Typhon with his hundred heads. Once the famous Cilician cave nurtured him, but now the sea-girt cliffs above Cumae, and Sicily too, lie heavy on his shaggy chest. And the pillar of the sky holds him down, [20] snow-covered Aetna, year-round nurse of bitter frost, from whose inmost caves belch forth the purest streams of unapproachable fire. In the daytime her rivers roll out a fiery flood of smoke, while in the darkness of night the crimson flame hurls rocks down to the deep plain of the sea with a crashing roar. [25] That monster shoots up the most terrible jets of fire; it is a marvellous wonder to see, and a marvel even to hear about when men are present. Such a creature is bound beneath the dark and leafy heights of Aetna and beneath the plain, and his bed scratches and goads the whole length of his back stretched out against it. Grant that we may be pleasing to you, Zeus, [30] you who frequent this mountain, this brow of the fruitful earth, whose namesake city near at hand was glorified by its renowned founder, when the herald at the Pythian racecourse proclaimed the name of Aetna, announcing Hieron's triumph with the chariot. For seafaring men, the first blessing at the outset of their voyage is a favorable wind; for then it is likely that [35] at the end as well they will win a more prosperous homecoming. And that saying, in these fortunate circumstances, brings the belief that from now on this city will be renowned for garlands and horses, and its name will be spoken amid harmonious festivities. Phoebus, lord of Lycia and Delos, you who love the Castalian spring of Parnassus, [40] may you willingly put these wishes in your thoughts, and make this a land of fine men. All the resources for the achievements of mortal excellence come from the gods; for being skillful, or having powerful arms, or an eloquent tongue. As for me, in my eagerness to praise that man, I hope that I may not be like one who hurls the bronze-cheeked javelin, which I brandish in my hand, outside the course, [45] but that I may make a long cast, and surpass my rivals. Would that all of time may, in this way, keep his prosperity and the gift of wealth on a straight course, and bring forgetfulness of troubles. Indeed he might remember in what kind of battles of war he stood his ground with an enduring soul, when, by the gods' devising, they found honor such as no other Greek can pluck, [50] a proud garland of wealth. But now he has gone to battle in the manner of Philoctetes; and under compulsion even a haughty man fawned on him for his friendship. They say that the god-like heroes went to bring from Lemnos that man afflicted with a wound, the archer son of Poeas, who sacked the city of Priam and brought an end to the toils of the Danaans; [55] he went with a weak body, but it was fated. In such a way may a god be the preserver of Hieron for the time that is still to come, giving him the opportunity for all he desires. Muse, hear me, and beside Deinomenes sing loud praises for the reward of the four-horse chariot. The joy of his father's victory is not alien to him. [60] Come, let us devise a friendly song for the king of Aetna, for whom Hieron founded that city with god-built freedom, in accordance with the laws of the rule of Hyllus. The descendants of Pamphylus, and, truly, of the Heracleidae also, dwelling beneath the cliffs of Taÿgetus, are willing to abide forever as Dorians under the ordinances of Aegimius. [65] Setting out from Pindus they took Amyclae and prospered, highly renowned neighbors of the Tyndaridae with their white horses, and the fame of their spear burst into bloom. Zeus the Accomplisher, grant that beside the waters of Amenas the true report of men may always assign such good fortune to citizens and kings alike; with your blessing the man who is himself the leader, [70] and who instructs his son, may bring honor to the people and turn them towards harmonious peace. I entreat you, son of Cronus, grant that the battle-shouts of the Carthaginians and Etruscans stay quietly at home, now that they have seen their arrogance bring lamentation to their ships off Cumae. Such were their sufferings, when they were conquered by the leader of the Syracusans—a fate which flung their young men from their swift ships into the sea, [75] delivering Hellas from grievous bondage. From Salamis I will win as my reward the gratitude of the Athenians, and in Sparta from the battles before Cithaeron1—those battles in which the Medes with their curved bows suffered sorely; but beside the well-watered bank of the river Himeras I shall win my reward by paying my tribute of song to the sons of Deinomenes, [80] the song which they earned by their excellence, when their enemies were suffering. If you speak in due proportion, twisting the strands of many themes into a brief compass, less blame follows from men. For wearying satiety blunts the edge of short-lived expectations, and what the citizens hear secretly weighs heavy on their spirits, especially concerning the merits of others. [85] Nevertheless, since envy is better than pity, do not abandon fine deeds! Steer your men with the rudder of justice; forge your tongue on the anvil of truth: if even a small spark flies, it is carried along as a great thing when it comes from you. You are the guardian of an ample store. You have many faithful witnesses of both good and bad. But abide in a blossoming temper, [90] and if you are fond of always hearing sweet things spoken of you, do not be too distressed by expenses, but, like a steersman, let your sail out to the wind. Do not be deceived, my friend, by glib profit-seeking. The loud acclaim of renown that survives a man is all that reveals the way of life of departed men to storytellers and singers alike. The kindly excellence of Croesus does not perish, [95] but Phalaris, with his pitiless mind, who burned his victims in a bronze bull, is surrounded on all sides by a hateful reputation; lyres that resound beneath the roof do not welcome him as a theme in gentle partnership with the voices of boys. The first of prizes is good fortune; the second is to be well spoken of; but a man [100] who encounters and wins both has received the highest garland.
1 Reading with Snell τᾶν . . μακᾶν for τὰν . . μάκαν; read either ἄρα (Wilamowitz) or ἀπὸ (Stone, CR 49, 1935, 124) for ἐρέω. Cf. R. W. B. Burton, Pindar's Pythian Odes, Oxford 1962, 106f.

Pythian 2
For Hieron of Syracuse Chariot Race ?470 or 468
1Great city of Syracuse! Sacred precinct of Ares, plunged deep in war! Divine nurse of men and horses who rejoice in steel! For you I come from splendid Thebes bringing this song, a message of the earth-shaking four-horse race [5] in which Hieron with his fine chariot won the victory, and so crowned Ortygia with far-shining garlands—Ortygia, home of Artemis the river-goddess: not without her help did Hieron master with his gentle hands the horses with embroidered reins. For the virgin goddess who showers arrows [10] and Hermes the god of contests present the gleaming reins to him with both hands when he yokes the strength of his horses to the polished car, to the chariot that obeys the bit, and calls on the wide-ruling god who wields the trident. Other kings have other men to pay them the tribute of melodious song, the recompense for excellence. [15] The voices of the men of Cyprus often shout the name of Cinyras, whom golden-haired Apollo gladly loved, Cinyras, the obedient priest of Aphrodite. Reverent gratitude is a recompense for friendly deeds. And you, son of Deinomenes, the West Locrian girl invokes you, standing outside her door: out of the helpless troubles of war, [20] through your power she looks at the world in security. They say that by the commands of the gods Ixion spins round and round on his feathered wheel, saying this to mortals: “Repay your benefactor frequently with gentle favors in return.” [25] He learned a clear lesson. For although he received a sweet life among the gracious children of Cronus, he did not abide his prosperity for long, when in his madness of spirit he desired Hera, who was allotted to the joyful bed of Zeus. But his arrogance drove him to extreme delusion; and soon the man suffered a suitable [30] exquisite punishment. Both of his crimes brought him toil in the end. First, he was the hero who, not without guile, was the first to stain mortal men with kindred blood; second, in the vast recesses of that bridal chamber he once made an attempt on the wife of Zeus. A man must always measure all things according to his own place. [35] Unnatural lust throws men into dense trouble; it befell even him, since the man in his ignorance chased a sweet fake and lay with a cloud, for its form was like the supreme celestial goddess, the daughter of Cronus. The hands of Zeus set it as a trap for him, [40] a beautiful misery. Ixion brought upon himself the four-spoked fetter, his own ruin. He fell into inescapable bonds, and received the message that warns the whole world. She bore to him, without the blessing of the Graces, a monstrous offspring—there was never a mother or a son like this—honored neither by men nor by the laws of the gods. She raised him and named him Centaurus, [45] and he mated with the Magnesian mares in the foothills of Pelion, and from them was born a marvelous horde, which resembled both its parents: like the mother below, the father above. The gods accomplish everything according to their wishes; [50] the gods, who overtake even the flying eagle and outstrip the dolphin in the sea, and bend down many a man who is overly ambitious, while to others they give unaging glory. For my part, I must avoid the aggressive bite of slander. For I have seen, long before me, [55] abusive Archilochus often in a helpless state, fattening himself with strong words and hatred. But to be rich by the grace of fortune is the best part of skillful wisdom. And you clearly have this blessing, and can display it with a generous mind, ruler and leader of many garland-crowned streets and a great army. When wealth and influence are in question, [60] anyone who says that any man in Greece of earlier times surpassed you has a soft mind that flails around in vain. But I shall ascend a ship covered with flowers, and sing the praises of excellence. Boldness helps youth in terrible wars; and so I say that you too have found boundless fame [65] by fighting among both horsemen and foot soldiers. And your wisdom beyond your years provides me with praise of you that cannot be challenged in any detail. Greetings! This song, like Phoenician merchandise, is sent to you over the gray sea: look kindly on the Castor-song, composed in Aeolian strains; [70] come and greet the gracious offering of the seven-toned lyre. Learn and become who you are. To children, you know, an ape is pretty, always pretty. But Rhadamanthys has prospered, because his allotted portion was the blameless fruit of intelligence, and he does not delight his inner spirit with deceptions, [75] the kind that always follow a man because of the schemes of whisperers. Those who mutter slander are an evil that makes both sides helpless; they are utterly like foxes in their temper. But what does the fox really gain by outfoxing? For while the rest of the tackle labors in the depths, [80] I am unsinkable, like a cork above the surface of the salt sea.2 A crafty citizen is unable to speak a compelling word among noble men; and yet he fawns on everyone, weaving complete destruction.3 I do not share his boldness. Let me be a friend to my friend; but I will be an enemy to my enemy, and pounce on him like a wolf, [85] treading every crooked path. Under every type of law the man who speaks straightforwardly prospers: in a tyranny, and where the raucous masses oversee the state, and where men of skill do. One must not fight against a god, who raises up some men's fortunes at one time, and at another gives great glory to others. But even this [90] does not comfort the minds of the envious; they pull the line too tight and plant a painful wound in their own heart before they get what they are scheming for. It is best to take the yoke on one's neck and bear it lightly; kicking against the goad [95] makes the path treacherous. I hope that I may associate with noble men and please them.
1 The date and occasion are uncertain and controversial. For a discussion of the possibilities see e.g. H. Lloyd-Jones, “Modern Interpretation of Pindar: the Second Pythian and Seventh Nemean Odes,” JHS 93 (1973) 109-37, and C. Carey, A Commentary on Five Odes of Pindar (New York 1981), p. 21.
2 With Snell the comma is omitted between ἕρκος and ἅλμας.
3 Reading with Snell ἄταν for ἀγὰν.

Pythian 3
For Hieron of Syracuse Horse Race ?474 B. C.
If it were proper for this commonplace prayer to be made by my tongue, I would want Cheiron the son of Philyra to be alive again, he who has departed, the wide-ruling son of Cronus son of Uranus; and I would want him to reign again in the glens of Pelion, the beast of the wilds [5] whose mind was friendly to men; just as he was when once he reared Asclepius, that gentle craftsman who drove pain from the limbs that he healed, that hero who cured all types of diseases. His mother, the daughter of Phlegyas with his fine horses, before she could bring him to term with the help of Eleithuia who attends on childbirth, was stricken by the golden [10] arrows of Artemis in her bedroom and descended to the house of Hades, by the skills of Apollo. The anger of the children of Zeus is not in vain. But she made light of Apollo, in the error of her mind, and consented to another marriage without her father's knowledge, although she had before lain with Phoebus of the unshorn hair, [15] and was bearing within her the pure seed of the god. She did not wait for the marriage-feast to come, nor for the full-voiced cry of the hymenaeal chorus, such things as unmarried girls her own age love to murmur in evening songs to their companion.1 Instead, [20] she was in love with what was distant; many others have felt that passion. There is a worthless tribe among men which dishonors what is at home and looks far away, hunting down empty air with hopes that cannot be fulfilled. Such was the strong infatuation [25] that the spirit of lovely-robed Coronis had caught. For she lay in the bed of a stranger who came from Arcadia; but she did not elude the watcher. Even in Pytho where sheep are sacrificed, the king of the temple happened to perceive it, Loxias, persuading his thoughts with his unerring counsellor: his mind, which knows all things. He does not grasp falsehood, and he is deceived [30] by neither god nor man, neither in deeds nor in thoughts. Knowing even then of her sleeping with Ischys, son of Elatus, and of her lawless deceit, he sent his sister, raging with irresistible force, to Lacereia, since the girl lived by the banks of Lake Boebias. [35] A contrary fortune turned her to evil and overcame her. And many neighbors shared her fate and perished with her; fire leaps from a single spark on a mountain, and destroys a great forest. But when her kinsmen had placed the girl in the wooden walls of the pyre, and [40] the ravening flame of Hephaestus ran around it, then Apollo spoke: “I can no longer endure in my soul to destroy my own child by a most pitiful death, together with his mother's grievous suffering.” So he spoke. In one step he reached the child and snatched it from the corpse; the burning fire divided its blaze for him, [45] and he bore the child away and gave him to the Magnesian Centaur to teach him to heal many painful diseases for men. And those who came to him afflicted with congenital sores, or with their limbs wounded by gray bronze or by a far-hurled stone, [50] or with their bodies wasting away from summer's fire or winter's cold, he released and delivered all of them from their different pains, tending some of them with gentle incantations, others with soothing potions, or by wrapping remedies all around their limbs, and others he set right with surgery. But even skill is enthralled by the love of gain. [55] Gold shining in his hand turned even that man, for a handsome price, to bring back from death a man who was already caught. And so the son of Cronus hurled his shaft with his hands through both of them, and swiftly tore the breath out of their chests; the burning thunderbolt brought death crashing down on them. We must seek from the gods what is appropriate for mortal minds, [60] knowing what lies before our feet, and what kind of destiny we have. Do not crave immortal life, my soul, but use to the full the resources of what is possible. But if wise Cheiron were still living in his cave, and if our honey-voiced odes [65] had cast a spell on his spirit, I would have persuaded him to send even now a healer to cure noble men of their feverish diseases, someone called a son of Apollo or of his father Zeus. And I would have gone on a ship, cleaving the Ionian waters, to the fountain of Arethusa and the presence of my Aetnaean host, [70] the king who rules Syracuse, gentle to his citizens, bearing no envious grudge against good men, a marvellous father to his guests. If I had reached his shores bringing a double blessing, golden health and a victory-song to add brilliance to his garlands from the Pythian games, which once Pherenicus took when he was the best at Cirrha, [75] I say that I would have come across the deep sea to him as a light that shines farther than a star of the sky. But I, for my part, want to offer a prayer to the Mother, the revered goddess whose praises, with those of Pan, girls often sing at night beside my doorway. [80] Hieron, if you are skilled in understanding the true essence of words, you have learned and know the saying of former times: “The immortals dispense to men two pains for every blessing.” Fools cannot bear their pain with grace, but noble men can, by turning the good side outwards. It is your lot to be attended by good fortune. [85] For great destiny watches over the leader of the people, the tyrant, if over any man. But a secure life was not granted either to Peleus son of Aeacus or to godlike Cadmus; yet they are said to have attained the highest prosperity of all mortal men, since [90] they heard the Muses of the golden headbands singing on the mountain and in seven-gated Thebes, when Cadmus married ox-eyed Harmonia, and Peleus married the famous daughter of wise Nereus. And the gods held feasts for both of them, and they saw the royal sons of Cronus on their golden seats, and they received [95] wedding gifts. By the grace of Zeus, they set their hearts right again from their former troubles. But in time Cadmus' three daughters, by their bitter suffering, took from him his share of joy; even though father Zeus had visited the desirable bed of white-armed Thyone. [100] And Peleus' son, the only child whom immortal Thetis bore in Phthia, had his life taken in battle by the bow, and roused the wailing of the Danaans while his body was burning on the pyre. But if any mortal has the path of truth in his mind, he must fare well at the hands of the gods as he has the opportunity. But the winds are changeable [105] that blow on high. The prosperity of men does not stay secure for long, when it follows weighing upon them in abundance. I will be small when my fortunes are small, great when they are great. I will honor in my mind the fortune that attends me from day to day, tending it to the best of my ability. [110] But if a god were to give me luxurious wealth, I hope that I would find lofty fame in the future. We know of Nestor and Lycian Sarpedon, whom men speak of, from melodious words which skilled craftsmen join together. Through renowned songs excellence [115] gains a long life. But few find that easy to accomplish.
1 Reading with Snell ἑταίρᾳ for ἑταῖραι.

Pythian 4
For Arcesilas of Cyrene Chariot Race 462 B. C.
Today you must stand beside a beloved man, Muse, the king of Cyrene with its fine horses, so that while Arcesilas celebrates his triumph you may swell the fair wind of song that is due to the children of Leto and to Pytho, where once the priestess seated beside the golden eagles of Zeus, [5] on a day when Apollo happened to be present, gave an oracle naming Battus as the colonizer of fruitful Libya, and telling how he would at once leave the holy island and found a city of fine chariots on a shining white breast of the earth, and carry out [10] in the seventeenth generation the word spoken at Thera by Medea, which once the inspired daughter of Aeetes, the queen of the Colchians, breathed forth from her immortal mouth. She spoke in this way to the heroes who sailed with the warrior Jason: “Hear me, sons of high-spirited men and of gods. For I say that from this wave-washed land one day the daughter of Epaphus [15] will have planted in her a root of cities that are 1 dear to men, in the temple of Zeus Ammon. Instead of short-finned dolphins they will have swift horses, and reins instead of oars, and they will drive storm-footed chariot teams. That token shall make [20] Thera the mother-city of great cities, the token which once, beside the out-flowing waters of lake Tritonis, Euphemus received as he descended from the prow, a clod of earth as a gift of friendship from a god in the likeness of a man. And as a sign of favor, Zeus the son of Cronus sounded a peal of thunder, when the stranger found us hanging the bronze-jawed anchor [25] , the bridle of the swift Argo, against the ship. Before that we had been dragging our seafaring ship for twelve days from the Ocean over the deserted back of the land, having drawn it ashore by my counsels. And then the solitary god approached, who had assumed the splendid appearance of an honored man. He began to speak friendly words, [30] such as beneficent hosts use when they first invite arriving strangers to a meal. But we could not stay, for the plea of our sweet homecoming prevented us from lingering. He said that he was Eurypylus, the son of the holder of the earth, the immortal earth-shaker Poseidon. He realized that we were hurrying on our way, and straightaway with his right hand he snatched up a piece of earth, [35] the first thing to come to hand, and sought to present it as a gift of hospitality. He did not fail to persuade Euphemus; the hero leapt down onto the shore, and, pressing his hand in the hand of the stranger, received the divine clod of earth. But now I learn that it was washed out of the ship into the sea by a wave [40] at evening, following the watery tide. Truly, I often urged the sailors who relieve their masters from toil to guard it; but their minds were forgetful, and now on this island the immortal seed of spacious Libya is washed ashore before the proper time. For if only Euphemus had gone to his home in holy Taenarus and cast the clod beside the earthly mouth of Hades— [45] Euphemus the son of lord Poseidon, ruler of horses, whom once Europa the daughter of Tityus bore beside the banks of the Cephisus— the blood of the fourth generation descended from him would have taken possession of that broad continent together with the Danaans; for then they will be uprooted from Lacedaemon and the Argive gulf and Mycenae. [50] As it is, Euphemus shall find in the beds of foreign women a chosen race, who, with the honor of the gods, will come to this island and beget a man who will be master of the dark-clouded plains; whom one day Phoebus, in his home rich in gold, will mention in his oracles [55] when he goes into the Pythian shrine at a later time; Phoebus will tell him to carry cities in his ships to the fertile precinct of the son of Cronus beside the Nile.” Indeed, these were the oracular verses of Medea. And the godlike heroes bowed down motionless and in silence, listening to her shrewd words of wisdom. Battus, blessed son of Polymnestus, it was you that, in accord with this word of prophecy, [60] the oracle glorified by the spontaneous cry of the Delphic Bee, who three times loudly bid you hail, and declared that you were the destined king of Cyrene, when you came to ask the oracle what relief the gods would grant you for your stammering voice. And even now, in later days, as in the prime of red-blossoming spring, [65] eighth in the line of Battus' descendants flourishes Arcesilas. To him Apollo and Pytho gave glory in the chariot race above those that live around. I will offer him, and the all-golden fleece of the ram, to the Muses as a theme for song. For when the Minyans sailed after that fleece, divinely-sent honors were planted for his race. [70] What beginning of their seafaring welcomed them? What danger bound them with strong bolts of adamant? There was a divine prophecy that Pelias would be killed by the illustrious descendants of Aeolus, either at their hands or through their unflinching counsels; and an oracle came to him that chilled his shrewd spirit, spoken beside the central navel of well-wooded mother earth: [75] to be on careful guard in every way against a man with one sandal, whenever he should come from the homesteads in the steep mountains to the sunny land of famous Iolcus, whether he be stranger or citizen. And in time he arrived: an awesome man armed with two spears. He wore two different types of clothing: [80] his native Magnesian dress fitted to his marvellous limbs, and a leopard-skin wrapped around him protected him from shivering showers. His splendid locks of hair had not been cut away, but flowed shining down his back. He quickly went straight ahead, making trial of his dauntless2 spirit, and stood [85] in the marketplace crowded with people. They did not recognize him. Nevertheless, one of the awed onlookers said even this: “Surely this is not Apollo, nor Ares, the husband of Aphrodite, with his bronze chariot. And they say that the sons of Iphimedeia—Otus and you, bold lord Ephialtes—died in splendid Naxos. [90] And indeed Tityus was hunted down by the swift arrow of Artemis, which she sped from her unconquerable quiver, so that men might desire to touch only the loves that are within their reach.” They said such things among themselves; and Pelias arrived, rushing headlong with his mule team and his polished chariot. [95] He was instantly astonished, looking at the single sandal, plain to see on the stranger's right foot. But he hid his fear in his heart and said: “What country, stranger, do you claim as your fatherland? And what woman, of mortals on earth, bore you from her aged womb? Do not befoul your story with most hateful lies, [100] but tell me of your birth.” And the stranger boldly answered him with gentle words, in this way: “I say that I am going to bring the teaching of Cheiron; for I come from his cave, from the presence of Chariclo and Philyra, where the holy daughters of the Centaur raised me. Living twenty years without [105] having said or done anything shameful in their house, I have come to my home to recover the ancient honor of my father, now held improperly, which once Zeus granted to Aeolus, the leader of the people, and to his sons. For I hear that lawless Pelias, yielding to his empty3 mind, [110] violently robbed it from my parents, who were the rulers by right. When I first saw the light, they feared the arrogance of the monstrous ruler, and made a show of dark mourning in the home, with the wailing of women as if someone had died, and sent me away secretly, in purple swaddling clothes, [115] making the night my escort on the journey, and gave me to Cheiron the son of Cronus to rear. But you know the chief points of this story. Good citizens, show me clearly the home of my ancestors, who rode on white horses. For I am the son of Aeson, and a native; I do not arrive4 in a strange foreign land. The divine centaur called me by the name Jason.” [120] So he spoke; and as he entered his father's eyes recognized him, and tears burst forth from his aged eyelids, for his soul rejoiced when he saw his son, the choicest and most handsome of men. And both his father's brothers [125] came when they heard the report of Jason. Pheres was near by; he came from the Hypereian spring, and Amythaon came from Messene. Admetus and Melampus came quickly, showing kindness to their cousin. And while they joined in the banquet, Jason, welcoming them with gentle words and offering them fitting hospitality, extended every kind of joyfulness, [130] reaping the sacred bloom of good living for five full nights and as many days. But on the sixth day, speaking in earnest, Jason confided the entire story from the beginning to his kinsmen; and they took his side. At once he hurried from the camp with them, and they came to the hall of Pelias. [135] They rushed in, and took their stand. And when Pelias heard them he came to meet them himself, the son of Tyro with beautiful hair. And Jason, with his soothing voice distilling gentle language, laid the foundation of skillful words: “Son of Poseidon, Cleaver of the Rock, the minds of mortals are all too swift [140] to praise crafty gain rather than justice, although they are moving towards a harsh reckoning. But you and I must govern our tempers rightly and weave our future prosperity. You know what I am going to say. A single cow was mother to Cretheus and to bold-thinking Salmoneus. And now we, sprung from them in the third generation, look on the golden strength of the sun. [145] May the Fates withdraw if there is any hatred between members of the same family, which blots out reverence. It is not right for us to resort to swords of sharp bronze or spears in dividing the great honors of our ancestors. I leave you the flocks, and the golden herds of cattle, and all the fields, which you keep, having stolen them [150] from my ancestors, feeding fat your wealth; and it does not grieve me that they provide for your household beyond all measure. But as for the royal scepter and the throne, in which Aeson son of Cretheus once sat, and dispensed straight justice for a nation of horsemen: without any distress between us, [155] release these to me, lest some more disturbing evil arise from them.” So he spoke. And Pelias answered softly: “I will be such a man as you ask. But already old age attends me, while the flower of your youth is now swelling. You have it in your power to remove the anger of the gods below. For Phrixus asks us to bring his soul home, [160] going to the halls of Aeetes, and to recover the deep-fleeced hide of the ram, on which he was once saved from the sea and from the impious weapons of his stepmother. A marvellous dream came and told me these things, and I have asked the oracle at Castalia whether it must be pursued; and the oracle urges me to make ready as soon as possible a ship to escort him home. [165] Willingly fulfill this quest, and I swear that I will deliver up to you the royal power and the kingdom. And, as a mighty oath, may Zeus, who is ancestor to us both, be our witness.” They approved this agreement, and they parted. And Jason himself at once [170] sent messengers everywhere to announce the voyage. Soon there came the three sons, untiring in battle, whom dark-eyed Alcmena and Leda bore to Zeus son of Cronus; and two high-haired men, sons of the earth-shaker, obeying their innate valor, one from Pylos and the other from the headland of Taenarus; you both achieved [175] noble fame, Euphemus and wide-ruling Periclymenus. And from Apollo the lyre-player came, the father of songs, much-praised Orpheus. And Hermes of the golden wand sent two sons to take part in the unabating toil, Echion and Erytus, bursting with youth. Swiftly [180] came those that dwell around the foothills of Mount Pangaeon, for with a smiling spirit their father Boreas, king of the winds, quickly and willingly equipped Zetes and Calais with purple wings bristling down their backs. And Hera kindled in the demigods an all-persuasive sweet longing [185] for the ship Argo, so that no one would be left behind to stay by his mother's side, nursing a life without danger, but even at the risk of death would find the finest elixir of excellence together with his other companions. When the choicest seamen came down to Iolcus, Jason reviewed and praised them all; and [190] the seer Mopsus, making his prophecy from birds and the casting of sacred lots, gladly gave the men the signal to set out. And when they hung the anchor over the ship's ram, the leader, standing at the stern, took in his hands a golden goblet and called on the father of Uranus' descendants, Zeus whose spear is the thunderbolt; and he called on the [195] swift-rushing waves and winds, and on the nights, and the paths of the sea, and the propitious days, and on the kindly fortune of their homecoming.. And from the clouds there answered an auspicious peal of thunder, and bright flashes of lightning came bursting forth, and the heroes drew a breath of relief, trusting in the sign of the god. [200] The seer shouted to them to throw themselves into the oars, announcing that their hopes were sweet; and the rowing sped on under their swift hands, insatiably. Escorted by the breezes of the South wind, they reached the mouth of the Inhospitable Sea, and there they set up a holy precinct to Poseidon, god of the sea; [205] there was a herd of red Thracian bulls, and a newly-built hollow of altar stones. And as they rushed into deep danger, they entreated the lord of ships that they might escape the irresistible onset of the clashing rocks. There was a pair of them; they were alive, and they rolled onward more swiftly [210] than the battle-lines of the loud-thundering winds. But that voyage of the demigods put an end to them. And then the Argonauts came to Phasis, where they clashed with the dark-faced Colchians in the realm of Aeetes himself. And the queen of sharpest arrows brought the dappled wryneck from Olympus, bound to the four spokes [215] of the indissoluble wheel: Aphrodite of Cyprus brought the maddening bird to men for the first time, and she taught the son of Aeson skill in prayerful incantations, so that he could rob Medea of reverence for her parents, and a longing for Greece would lash her, her mind on fire, with the whip of Persuasion. [220] And she quickly revealed the means of performing the labors set by her father; and she mixed drugs with olive oil as a remedy for hard pains, and gave it to him to anoint himself. They agreed to be united with each other in sweet wedlock. But when Aeetes placed in their midst the adamantine plough [225] and the oxen, who breathed the flame of burning fire from their golden jaws and stamped at the earth in turn with their bronze hoofs, he led them along and single-handedly brought them under the yoke. And he drove them, stretching the furrows straight, and split the back of the clodded earth, a fathom deep. Then he spoke in this way: “Let your king, [230] whoever commands the ship, complete this work for me; then let him carry off the immortal coverlet, the fleece gleaming with its golden fringe.” When he had spoken thus, Jason threw off his saffron cloak and, trusting in the god, set his hand to the task. The fire did not touch him; he followed the advice of the foreign woman who knew every kind of remedy. He grasped the plough, and bound the necks of the oxen in the irresistible [235] harness, and prodding their strong-ribbed bulk with the unceasing goad the powerful man accomplished the allotted measure of his task. And Aeetes wailed, though his cry was silent, amazed at Jason's strength. His companions stretched their friendly hands towards the mighty man, [240] and crowned him with garlands of laurel, and greeted him with gentle words. But at once the marvellous son of Helios spoke of the shining fleece, telling where the sword of Phrixus had stretched it out. He expected that Jason would not be able to accomplish this further labor. For the fleece lay in a thicket, held in the ravening jaws of a serpent, [245] which in thickness and length surpassed a ship with fifty oars, built by the blows of a hammer. It is too long a way for me to go by the beaten track; for time presses, and I know a shortcut. In poetic skill I am a guide to many others. Jason killed the gray-eyed serpent with its dappled back by cunning, [250] Arcesilas, and stole away Medea, with her own help, to be the death of Pelias. And they reached the expanses of Ocean, and the Red Sea, and the race of the Lemnian women, who killed their husbands. There they displayed their prowess of limbs in athletic contests with a cloak for a prize, and they went to bed with the women. In foreign [255] fields then the fated day, or night, received the seed of your shining prosperity; for there the race of Euphemus was planted, to continue forever. And having gone to share the home of the Lacedaemonians, in time they left to settle the island once called Calliste. From there the son of Leto granted that your race should bring prosperity to the plain of Libya [260] , with the honor of the gods, and govern the divine city of golden-throned Cyrene, having discovered the wisdom of right counsel. Now, learn the skill of Oedipus: if a man, with a sharp-cutting axe, cuts the branches from a great oak, and spoils its marvellous beauty, [265] even with its fruit destroyed it votes for its own worth, if it comes at last to the winter fire; or if it is placed with upright columns belonging to a ruler, performing a slavish service among foreign walls, having deserted its native place. [270] But you are a most opportune healer, and Apollo Paean honors your light. One must apply a gentle hand to tend a sore wound: it is easy even for weak men to shake a city to its foundations, but to set it in its place again is indeed a difficult struggle, unless a god suddenly comes to guide its rulers. [275] These blessings are woven out for you: be bold, and apply all earnestness for the sake of fortunate Cyrene. Of the sayings of Homer, take to heart and heed this one: “a noble messenger,” he said, “brings the greatest honor to every business.” Even the Muse is exalted by a correct message. Cyrene [280] and the most renowned hall of Battus recognized the just mind of Damophilus; a young man among boys, and in counsels like an elder who has lived a hundred years, he robs the evil tongue of its brash voice, and he has learned to hate the arrogant; [285] he does not struggle against good men, or postpone any decisive action, for the right moment has a brief measure in the eyes of men. He recognizes it well, and he serves it as an attendant, not a slave. But they say that this is the most grievous thing of all, to recognize what is good and to be debarred from it by compulsion. And truly he, like Atlas, [290] now strains against the weight of the sky, far from his ancestral land and his possessions. But immortal Zeus freed the Titans; and in time, when the wind ceases, there are changes of sails. But he prays that at some time, when he has drained to the dregs his cup of ruinous affliction, he will see his home, and, joining the symposium near the spring of Apollo, [295] yield his spirit often to the joys of youth, and attain peace, holding the well-made lyre among his skillful fellow citizens, bringing no pain to anyone, and himself unharmed by his townsmen. Then he would tell you, Arcesilas, what a fountain of immortal song he found, when he was recently entertained by his host at Thebes.
1 Reading with Snell μελησιμβρότων for μελησίμβροτον.
2 Reading with Snell and MSS ἀταρβάκτοιο for ἀταρμύκτοιο.
3 For λευκαῖς see Dareus in TAPA 1977.
4 Reading with Snell ἱκάνω for ἱκοίμαν.

Pythian 5
For Arcesilas of Cyrene Chariot Race 462 B. C.
Wealth is widely powerful, whenever a mortal man receives it, blended with pure excellence, from the hands of fortune, and takes it as a companion that makes many friends. [5] Arcesilas, favored by the gods, from the first steps of your famous life you seek for it with glory, by the grace of Castor with his golden chariot, [10] who, after the wintry storm, sheds calm on your blessed hearth. Skillful men are better able to bear even god-given power. Great prosperity surrounds you, as you walk with justice. [15] First, since you are a king of great cities, your inborn eye looks on this as a most revered prize of honor, united with your mind; [20] and you are blessed even now, because you have already earned the boast of victory with your horses from the renowned Pythian festival, and you will welcome this victory-procession of men, a delight for Apollo. And so, do not forget, when you are celebrated in song around Cyrene's sweet garden of Aphrodite, [25] to set the god in the highest place as the cause of all things, and to love Carrhotus above all your companions. He did not bring with him Excuse, the daughter of late-thinking Afterthought, when he came to the house of the descendants of Battus who rule by right; [30] but he was welcomed beside the waters of Castalia, and he flung over your hair the prize of honor for the victorious chariot; his reins were undamaged in the precinct of the twelve swift-footed courses. For he broke no part of his strong equipment; it hangs dedicated there, [35] all the handiwork of dextrous craftsmen, which he brought past the hill of Crisa to the hollow valley of the god. The cypress shrine keeps it [40] beside the statue which the Cretan bowmen set up in the Parnassian chamber, carved from a single piece of wood. Therefore it is fitting to welcome a benefactor with a willing mind. [45] Son of Alexibias, the lovely-haired Graces make you radiant. You are blessed, you who have, even after great hardship, a memorial of the best words. For among forty [50] drivers who fell, having brought your chariot through unscathed with a fearless mind, you have come now from the splendid games to the plain of Libya and your ancestral city. But no man is without a share of toils, or ever will be. [55] Yet the ancient prosperity of Battus continues, despite its dispensation of both good and bad, a tower of the city and a most brilliant shining eye to strangers. Even loud-roaring lions fled in fear from Battus, when he unleashed on them his voice from across the sea. [60] And Apollo, the first leader, doomed the beasts to dread fear, so that his oracles to the guardian of Cyrene would not go unfulfilled. It is Apollo who dispenses remedies to men and women for grievous diseases, [65] and who bestowed on us the cithara, and gives the Muses' inspiration to whomever he will, bringing peaceful concord into the mind, and who possesses the oracular shrine; wherefore he settled the mighty descendants of Heracles and Aegimius in Lacedaemon [70] and in Argos and in sacred Pylos. But it is my part to sing of the lovely glory that comes from Sparta, where the Aegeidae were born, and from there [75] they went to Thera, my ancestors, not without the gods; they were led by a certain fate. From there we have received the feast with its many sacrifices, and at your [80] banquet, Carneian Apollo, we honor the well-built city of Cyrene, which is held by foreigners who delight in bronze, the Trojan descendants of Antenor. For they came with Helen, after they had seen their native city consumed in the smoke [85] of war. And that horse-driving race was faithfully welcomed with sacrifices by men who came to them bringing gifts, men whom Aristoteles1led, when, with his swift ships, he opened a deep path across the sea. And he founded precincts of the gods that were greater than before, [90] and he established, for the processions of Apollo, protector of men, a straight cut, level, paved road for the clatter of horses' hooves, where at the edge of the marketplace he rests by himself in death. He was blessed when he dwelled among men, [95] and thereafter a hero worshipped by the people. Apart from him, in front of the houses, are the other sacred kings who took their allotted places in Hades, and somehow below the earth they hear, in their minds, great excellence sprinkled with gentle dew [100] by the outpourings of victory-songs—prosperity for themselves, and a justly earned and shared grace for their son Arcesilas. It is fitting for him, in the song of the young men, to celebrate Phoebus with his golden sword, [105] now that he has received from Pytho the graceful victory-song as a compensation for his expense. Intelligent men praise him. I will say what has been said by others: [110] he nurtures a mind and tongue that are beyond his years; in courage he is a long-winged eagle among birds; his strength in competition is like a bulwark. Among the Muses, he has had wings since he was a child in his dear mother's lap, [115] and he has proved himself a skillful charioteer. He has boldly tried every local opportunity for fine deeds, and now a god gladly brings his power to perfection; and in the future, blessed sons of Cronus, grant him the same, both in deeds and in counsels, [120] lest some fruit-destroying blast of winter wind quell his life. The great mind of Zeus steers the fortune of men that he loves. I pray to him [125] to grant another prize of honor at Olympia to the race of Battus.
1 The other name of the founder of Cyrene, Battus.

Pythian 6
For Xenocrates of Acragas Chariot Race 490 B. C.
Listen! for we are again ploughing the field of dark-eyed Aphrodite, or of the Graces, as we approach the sacred navel of the loud-roaring land; [5] where, for the prosperous Emmenids and Acragas on the river, and especially for Xenocrates, a Pythian victor's treasure-house of songs has been built and is ready in the glen of Apollo, rich in gold. [10] It is buffeted by neither the invading onset of winter rain, the loud-roaring cloud's pitiless army, nor the wind that sweeps all kinds of rubble into the depths of the sea. Its facade, shining in pure light, [15] will announce your chariot victory to the speech of men and make it famous—the victory you share with your father and your race, Thrasybulus, won in the vales of Crisa. You keep it on your right hand and [20] uphold the commandment, one of the precepts which they say once in the mountains the son of Philyra enjoined on the powerful son of Peleus, when he was separated from his parents: first of the gods, worship the son of Cronus, the loud-voiced ruler of lightning and thunder; [25] and never deprive your parents of such honor during their allotted lifetime. Long ago, too, powerful Antilochus showed that he had this way of thinking; [30] he died for his father's sake, by awaiting the man-slaying commander of the Ethiopians, Memnon. For the horse kept Nestor's chariot from moving, since it had been wounded by Paris' arrows; and Memnon was aiming his strong spear. [35] The old man of Messene, his mind reeling, shouted to his son; the cry he hurled did not fall to the ground; his god-like son stayed on the spot and paid for his father's rescue with his own life, [40] and because he accomplished this tremendous deed he seemed to the younger men to be the greatest man of his time in excellence towards his parents. These things are past. Of men alive today, Thrasybulus [45] more than anyone has approached his father' s standard, and he rivals his father's brother in every splendor. He manages his wealth with intelligence, reaping not an unjust or arrogant youth, but the wisdom found in the quiet haunts of the Pierian Muses. [50] Earth-shaking Poseidon, he is devoted to you, who rule over horse-races, and his thoughts are pleasing to you. His sweet temperament, when he associates with his drinking companions, surpasses even the bee's intricate honeycomb.

Pythian 7
For Megacles of Athens Four-Horse Chariot Race 486 B. C.
The great city of Athens is the most beautiful prelude of song, which the widely powerful race of the Alcmaeonids can lay as a foundation of odes in honor of their horses. [5] What fatherland, what family will you name that is more illustrious in Greece? For in all cities the story [10] of the citizens of Erechtheus makes the rounds, Apollo, how they made your dwelling in divine Pytho a marvel to see. Five Isthmian victories lead my song forward, and one outstanding triumph [15] at Zeus' Olympian games, and two from Cirrha— yours, Megacles, and your ancestors'. I rejoice at this new success; but I grieve that fine deeds are repaid with envy. [20] It is true what they say: the abiding bloom of good fortune brings with it both good and bad.

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Pythian 8
For Aristomenes of Aegina Wrestling 446 B. C.
Kindly Peace, daughter of Justice, you who make cities great, holding the supreme keys of counsels and of wars, [5] receive this honor due to Aristomenes for his Pythian victory. For you know both how to give and how to receive gentleness, with precise timing. And yet, whenever anyone drives pitiless anger into his heart, [10] you meet the strength of your enemies roughly, sinking Arrogance in the flood. Porphyrion did not know your power, when he provoked you beyond all measure. Gain is most welcome, when one takes it from the home of a willing giver. [15] Violence trips up even a man of great pride, in time. Cilician Typhon with his hundred heads did not escape you, nor indeed did the king of the Giants.1 One was subdued by the thunderbolt, the other by the bow of Apollo, who with a gracious mind welcomed the son of Xenarces on his return from Cirrha, crowned with [20] a garland of laurel from Parnassus and with Dorian victory-song. His island with her just city has not fallen far from the Graces, having attained the famous excellence of the Aeacidae; she has had perfect [25] glory from the beginning. She is praised in song for having fostered heroes who were supreme in many victory-bearing contests and in swift battles; and she is distinguished in these things even for her men. But I do not have the time to set up [30] their whole long story to the lyre and the gentle voice, for fear that satiety would come and distress us. But my debt to you, child, which comes running at my feet, your latest fine achievement, let it fly on the wings of my artfulness. [35] For in wrestling you follow in the footsteps of your mother's brothers, and you do not disgrace Theognetus at Olympia, nor the bold-limbed victory of Cleitomachus at the Isthmus. And by exalting the clan of the Midylids, you fulfill the prophecy which once Amphiaraus the son of Oicles spoke in riddling words, when he saw, in seven-gated [40] Thebes, those sons standing by their spears, when they came from Argos on that second march, the Epigoni. Thus he spoke, while they were fighting: “By nature the genuine spirit of the fathers [45] is conspicuous in the sons. I clearly see Alcmaeon, wielding a dappled serpent on his blazing shield, the first at the gates of Cadmus. And he who suffered in the earlier disaster, the hero Adrastus, now has the tidings of a better [50] bird of omen. But at home his luck will be the opposite. For he alone of the Danaan army will gather the bones of his dead son, by the fortune sent from the gods, and come with his people unharmed [55] to the spacious streets of Argos, the city of Abas.” So spoke Amphiaraus. And I myself rejoice as I fling garlands over Alcmaeon and sprinkle him with song, because this hero is my neighbor and guardian of my possessions, and he met me when I was going to the songful navel of the earth, [60] and he touched on prophecies with his inborn arts. And you, Apollo, shooting from afar, you who govern the glorious temple, hospitable to all, in the hollows of Pytho, there you granted the greatest of joys. [65] And before, in your festival at home, you brought him a coveted gift for the pentathlon. Lord, I pray that with a willing mind I may observe a certain harmony on every step of my way. [70] Justice stands beside the sweet-singing victory procession. I pray that the gods may regard your fortunes without envy, Xenarces. For if anyone has noble achievements without long toil, to many he seems to be a skillful man among the foolish, [75] arming his life with the resources of right counsel. But these things do not depend on men. It is a god who grants them; raising up one man and throwing down another. Enter the struggle with due measure. You have won a prize of honor at Megara, and in the valley of Marathon; and at the local contest of Hera [80] you were dominant in action with three victories, Aristomenes. And you fell from above on the bodies of four opponents, with grim intent; to them no cheerful homecoming was allotted, as it was to you, at the Pythian festival; [85] nor, when they returned to their mothers, did sweet laughter awaken joy. They slink along the back-streets, away from their enemies, bitten by misfortune. But he who has gained some fine new thing in his great opulence [90] flies beyond hope on the wings of his manliness, with ambitions that are greater than wealth. But the delight of mortals grows in a short time, and then it falls to the ground, shaken by an adverse thought. [95] Creatures of a day. What is someone? What is no one? Man is the dream of a shadow. But when the brilliance given by Zeus comes, a shining light is on man, and a gentle lifetime. Dear mother Aegina, convey this city on her voyage of freedom, with the blessing of Zeus, and the ruler Aeacus, [100] and Peleus, and good Telamon, and Achilles.
1 Porphyrion, mentioned above.


Pythian 9
For Telesicrates of Cyrene Hoplite Race 474 B. C.
With the help of the deep-waisted Graces I want to shout aloud proclaiming the Pythian victory with the bronze shield of Telesicrates, a prosperous man, the crowning glory of chariot-driving Cyrene; [5] the long-haired son of Leto once snatched her from the wind-echoing glens of Mt. Pelion, and carried the girl of the wilds in his golden chariot to a place where he made her mistress of a land rich in flocks and most rich in fruits, to live and flourish on the root of the third continent. Silver-footed Aphrodite welcomed [10] the Delian guest from his chariot, touching him with a light hand, and she cast lovely modesty on their sweet union, joining together in a common bond of marriage the god and the daughter of wide-ruling Hypseus. He was at that time king of the proud Lapiths, a hero of the second generation from Oceanus; [15] in the renowned glens of Mt. Pindus a Naiad bore him, Creusa the daughter of Gaia, delighting in the bed of the river-god Peneius. And Hypseus raised his lovely-armed daughter Cyrene. She did not care for pacing back and forth at the loom, nor for the delights of luncheons with her stay-at-home companions; [20] instead, fighting with bronze javelins and with a sword, she killed wild beasts, providing great restful peace for her father's cattle; but as for her sweet bed-fellow, sleep, [25] she spent only a little of it on her eyelids as it fell on them towards dawn. Once the god of the broad quiver, Apollo who works from afar, came upon her wrestling alone and without spears with a terrible lion. Immediately he called Cheiron from out of his halls and spoke to him: [30] “Leave your sacred cave, son of Philyra, and marvel at the spirit and great strength of this woman; look at what a struggle she is engaged in, with a fearless head, this young girl with a heart more than equal to any toil; her mind is not shaken with the cold wind of fear. From what mortal was she born? From what stock has this cutting been taken, that she should be living in the hollows of the shady mountains [35] and putting to the test her boundless valor?1 Is it lawful to lay my renowned hand on her? And to cut the honey-sweet grass of her bed?” And the powerful Centaur, laughing softly with a gentle brow, right away gave his wise advice in reply: “Hidden are skilled Persuasion's keys to holy love, [40] Phoebus, and both gods and men blush to take the pleasure of a bed for the first time openly. For even in your case, for whom it is unlawful to touch on falsehood, a gentle impulse has swayed you to dissemble your words. You ask me from what race the girl comes, lord Apollo? You who know the appointed end of all things, [45] and all the paths that lead to them? And how many leaves the earth puts forth in spring, and how many grains of sand in the sea and in rivers are dashed by the waves and the gusting winds; and that which will be, and from where it will come, all this you clearly see. [50] But if I must match myself even against one who is wise, I will speak. You came to this glen to be her husband, and you will bear her over the sea to the choicest garden of Zeus, where you will make her the ruler of a city, when you have gathered the island-people [55] to the hill encircled by plains. And now queen Libya of the broad meadows will gladly welcome your glorious bride in her golden halls. There she will right away give her a portion of land to flourish with her as her lawful possession, not without tribute of all kinds of fruit, nor unfamiliar with wild animals. There she will bear a child, whom famous Hermes [60] will take from beneath his own dear mother and carry to the Seasons on their lovely thrones and to Gaia. They will admire2 the baby on their knees and drop nectar and ambrosia on his lips, and they will make him immortal, to be called Zeus and holy Apollo, a delight to men he loves, an ever-present guardian of flocks, [65] Agreus and Nomius, and others will call him Aristaeus.” Having spoken thus, Cheiron urged the god to fulfill the delightful consummation of his marriage. Accomplishment is swift when the gods are already hurrying, and the roads are short. That very day decided the matter. They lay together in the bedchamber of Libya, rich in gold, where she possesses a most beautiful city [70] which is renowned for victories in contests. And now in very holy Pytho, where by his victory he had Cyrene proclaimed, the son of Carneiades brought lovely, flourishing good fortune to her; she will welcome him graciously, when he brings back home to the land of beautiful women [75] desirable fame from Delphi. Great excellence can always inspire many stories; but to embroider a short account from a lengthy theme is what wise men love to hear. Right proportion in the same way contains the gist of the whole; as seven-gated Thebes once knew well, [80] Telesicrates was not dishonored by Iolaus; when he had cut off the head of Eurystheus with the edge of his sword, he was buried below the earth by the tomb of the charioteer Amphitryon, his father's father, where he lay as the guest of the Sown Men, having come to dwell in the streets of the Cadmeans, who ride on white horses. Wise Alcmena lay with Amphitryon and with Zeus, and bore [85] in a single birth twin sons, strong and victorious in battle. Only a mute man does not have Heracles' name on his lips, and does not always remember the waters of Dirce, which reared him and Iphicles. To them I will sing a victory-song for the fulfillment of my prayer; [90] may the pure light of the clear-voiced Graces not desert me. For I say that I have praised this city three times, in Aegina and on the hill of Nisus, truly escaping silent helplessness. Therefore, whether a man is friendly or hostile among the citizens, let him not obscure a thing that is done well for the common good and so dishonor the precept of the old man of the sea, [95] who said to praise with all your spirit, and with justice, even an enemy when he accomplishes fine deeds. The women saw your many victories at the seasonal rites of Pallas, and each silently prayed that you could be her dear husband, [100] Telesicrates, or her son; and in the Attic Olympia too, and in the contests of deep-bosomed Mother Earth, and in all your local games. But while I am quenching my thirst for song, someone exacts an unpaid debt from me, to awake again [105] the ancient glory of his ancestors as well: for the sake of a Libyan woman they went to the city of Irasa, as suitors of the very famous daughter of Antaeus with the beautiful hair. Many excellent kinsmen sought her, and many strangers too, since her beauty was marvellous. They wanted [110] to pluck the flowering fruit of golden-crowned Youth. But her father, cultivating for his daughter a more renowned marriage, heard how Danaus once in Argos had found for his forty-eight daughters, before noon overtook them, a very swift marriage. For right away he stood the whole band of suitors at the end of a course, [115] and told them to decide with a footrace which of the heroes, who came to be bridegrooms, would take which bride. The Libyan too made such an offer in joining his daughter with a husband. He placed her at the goal, when he had arrayed her as the crowning prize, and in their midst he announced that that man should lead her to his home, whoever was the first to leap forward [120] and touch her robes. There Alexidamus, when he had sped to the front of the swift race, took the noble girl's hand in his hand and led her through the crowd of Nomad horsemen. They cast on that man many leaves and garlands, [125] and before he had received many wings for his victories.
1 Following Snell's punctuation.
2 Reading with Bergk and Snell θαησάμενοι for κατθηκάμεναι.

Pythian 10
For Hippocleas of Thessaly Boys« Double Foot Race 498 B. C.
Lacedaemon is prosperous; Thessaly is divinely blessed. Both are ruled by the race of a single ancestor, Heracles, the best in battle. Why do I make this untimely boast? Because Pytho summons me, and Pelinna, [5] and the sons of Aleuas; they want me to present to Hippocleas the glorious voices of men in celebration. For he is trying his hand at contests, and the gorge of Parnassus proclaimed him to the people that live around as the greatest of the boys in the double-course footrace. [10] Apollo, the end and the beginning both grow sweet when a god urges on a man«s work. No doubt he accomplished this with the help of your counsels. Kinship has stepped into the footprints of the father, who was twice an Olympic victor in the war-enduring armor of Ares; [15] and the contest in the deep meadow that stretches beneath the rock of Cirrha made Phricias victorious in the race. May a good fate follow them in their future days as well, so that their noble wealth will blossom; [20] having received no small share of the delights of Greece, may they encounter no envious reversals at the hands of the gods. A god«s heart should be free from pain; but a man is considered fortunate, and wise poets sing his praises, if he wins victory with his hands or the excellence of his feet, and takes the greatest prizes through his courage and strength, [25] and lives to see his young son duly winning Pythian garlands. He can never set foot in the bronze heavens; but whatever splendor we mortals can attain, he reaches the limit of that voyage. Neither by ship nor on foot could you find [30] the marvellous road to the meeting-place of the Hyperboreans— Once Perseus, the leader of his people, entered their homes and feasted among them, when he found them sacrificing glorious hecatombs of donkeys to the god. In the festivities of those people [35] and in their praises Apollo rejoices most, and he laughs when he sees the erect arrogance of the beasts. The Muse is not absent from their customs; all around swirl the dances of girls, the lyre«s loud chords and the cries of flutes. [40] They wreathe their hair with golden laurel branches and revel joyfully. No sickness or ruinous old age is mixed into that sacred race; without toil or battles they live without fear of strict Nemesis. Breathing boldness of spirit [45] once the son of Danae went to that gathering of blessed men, and Athena led him there. He killed the Gorgon, and came back bringing stony death to the islanders, the head that shimmered with hair made of serpents. To me nothing that the gods accomplish ever appears [50] unbelievable, however miraculous. Hold the oar! Quick, let the anchor down from the prow to touch the bottom, to protect us from the rocky reef. The choicest hymn of praise flits from theme to theme, like a bee. [55] And I hope that, while the Ephyreans pour forth my sweet voice beside the Peneius, with my songs I will make Hippocleas even more admired for his garlands by boys his age and by his elders, and I will make the girls think of him. For [60] people«s minds are tickled by various desires; but whatever each man strives for, let him hold on to it eagerly if he gets it, the concern that is close at hand. It is impossible to foresee what will happen a year from now. I trust in the gentle friendship of Thorax; he made busy efforts for my sake, [65] and yoked this four-horse chariot of the Pierian Muses, a friend for a friend, going gladly arm in arm. Gold shows its nature when it is tried by the touchstone, and so does a right-thinking mind. We shall further praise his noble brothers, because [70] they exalt and strengthen the traditional laws of the Thessaliaaans; the good piloting of states, handed from father to son, rests in the hands of noble men.


Pythian 11
For Thrasydaeus of Thebes Foot Race or Double Foot Race 474 or 454 B. C.
1Daughters of Cadmus, Semele dwelling among the Olympians and Ino Leucothea, sharing the chamber of the Nereid sea-nymphs: come, with the mother of Heracles, greatest in birth, to the presence of Melia; come to the sanctuary of golden tripods, [5] the treasure-house which Loxias honored above all and named the Ismenion, true seat of prophecy. Come, children of Harmonia, where even now he calls the native host of heroines to assemble, so that you may loudly sing of holy Themis and Pytho and the just [10] navel of the earth, at the edge of evening, in honor of seven-gated Thebes and the contest at Cirrha, in which Thrasydaeus caused his ancestral hearth to be remembered by flinging over it a third wreath [15] as a victor in the rich fields of Pylades, the friend of Laconian Orestes, who indeed, when his father was murdered, was taken by his nurse Arsinoe from the strong hands and bitter deceit of Clytaemnestra, when she sent the Dardanian daughter of Priam, [20] Cassandra, together with the soul of Agamemnon, to the shadowy bank of Acheron with her gray blade of bronze, the pitiless woman. Was it Iphigeneia, slaughtered at the Euripus far from her fatherland, that provoked her to raise the heavy hand of her anger? Or was she vanquished by another bed [25] and led astray by their nightly sleeping together? This is the most hateful error for young brides, and is impossible to conceal because other people will talk. Citizens are apt to speak evil, for prosperity brings with it envy as great as itself. [30] But the man who breathes close to the ground roars unseen. He himself died, the heroic son of Atreus, when at last he returned to famous Amyclae, and he caused the destruction of the prophetic girl, when he had robbed of their opulent treasures the houses of the Trojans, set on fire for Helen«s sake. And his young son went to the friend of the family, the old man [35] Strophius, who dwelled at the foot of Parnassus. But at last, with the help of Ares, he killed his mother and laid Aegisthus low in blood. My friends, I was whirled off the track at a shifting fork in the road, although I had been traveling on a straight path before. Or did some wind throw me off course, [40] like a skiff on the sea? Muse, it is your task, if you undertook to lend your voice for silver, to let it flit now this way, now that: now to the father, who was a Pythian victor, now to his son Thrasydaeus. [45] Their joyfulness and renown shine brightly. With their chariots they were victorious long ago; they captured the swift radiance of the famous games at Olympia with their horses. And at Pytho, when they entered the naked footrace, they put to shame [50] the Hellenic host with their speed. May I desire fine things from the gods, seeking what is possible at my time of life. For I have found that those of middle rank in a city flourish with longer prosperity, and I find fault with the lot of tyrannies. I am intent upon common excellences. The evil workings of envy are warded off, [55] if a man who attains the summit and dwells in peace escapes dread arrogance. Such a man would go to the farthest shore of a dark death that is finer when he leaves to his sweetest offspring the grace of a good name, the best of possessions. Such is the grace that spreads abroad the fame of the son of Iphicles, [60] Iolaus, whose praises are sung; and of the strength of Castor, and of you, lord Polydeuces, sons of the gods: you who dwell for one day at home in Therapne, and for the other in Olympus.
1 The scholia (Inscr. a and b) give both dates.



Pythian 12
For Midas of Acragas Flute-Playing Contest 490 B. C.
I beseech you, splendor-loving city, most beautiful on earth, home of Persephone; you who inhabit the hill of well-built dwellings above the banks of sheep-pasturing Acragas: be propitious, and with the goodwill of gods and men, mistress, [5] receive this victory garland from Pytho in honor of renowned Midas, and receive the victor himself, champion of Hellas in that art which once Pallas Athena discovered when she wove into music the dire dirge of the reckless Gorgons which Perseus heard [10] pouring in slow anguish from beneath the horrible snakey hair of the maidens, when he did away with the third sister and brought death to sea-girt Seriphus and its people. Yes, he brought darkness on the monstrous race of Phorcus, and he repaid Polydectes with a deadly wedding-present for the long [15] slavery of his mother and her forced bridal bed; he stripped off the head of beautiful Medusa, Perseus, the son of Danae, who they say was conceived in a spontaneous shower of gold. But when the virgin goddess had released that beloved man from those labors, she created the many-voiced song of flutes [20] so that she could imitate with musical instruments the shrill cry that reached her ears from the fast-moving jaws of Euryale. The goddess discovered it; but she discovered it for mortal men to have, and called it the many-headed strain, the glorious strain that entices the people to gather at contests, [25] often sounding through thin plates of brass and through reeds, which grow beside the city of lovely choruses, the city of the Graces, in the sacred precinct of the nymph of Cephisus, reeds that are the faithful witnesses of the dancers. If there is any prosperity among men, it does not appear without hardship. A god will indeed grant it in full today . . . [30] What is fated cannot be escaped. But that time will come, striking unexpectedly, and give one thing beyond all expectation, and withhold another.
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涅嵋凯歌系列,共11首:
第1——11首


Nemean 1
For Chromius of Aetna Chariot Race ?476 B. C.
Sacred place where Alpheus breathed again; Ortygia, scion of renowned Syracuse, bed of Artemis, sister of Delos! From you sweet-voiced [5] song rushes out to give great praise for storm-footed horses, by the grace of Aetnaean Zeus. The chariot of Chromius and Nemea urge me to harness a song of praise for deeds of victory. The foundations of the song have been laid with the gods, and with this man's god-given excellence. [10] The summit of perfect glory is found in good fortune. The Muse loves to remember great contests. Sow some splendor on the island, which Zeus the lord of Olympus gave to Persephone; he nodded assent with his flowing hair, that as the best land on the fruitful earth< [15] he would make Sicily fertile and prosperous in her cities blossoming with wealth. And the son of Cronus sent her a people enamored of bronze-armored battle, horsemen often wedded to the golden leaves of Olympia's olive. I have embarked on the occasion for many themes, without flinging a false word. I have arrived singing of fine deeds at the courtyard gates [20] of a man who loves guests, where a beautifully arranged meal has been prepared for me, and the halls are often familiar with strangers from other lands. It is his lot to have noble friends to bring against his slanderers, like water against smoke. [25] Various men have various skills. It is right for a man to follow straight paths, and strive according to his nature. For strength manifests itself in action, and intelligence in counsels, for those who have the inborn skill of foreseeing the future. Son of Hagesidamus, your way of life [30] grants you the enjoyment of many things. I take no pleasure in keeping great wealth hidden away in my hall, but in using what I have to be successful and to win a good name by helping my friends. For the hopes of men who toil much come to all alike. But as for me, I cling to the theme of Heracles gladly, rousing an ancient story from among the great heights of his excellence, [35] how, when the son of Zeus suddenly came out of his mother's womb into the brilliant light, escaping her birth-pangs, with his twin brother, he did not escape the notice of gold-throned Hera when he was placed in his saffron swaddling-clothes. But the queen of the gods, [40] stung in her heart, immediately sent serpents. The doors opened, and they crept into the spacious inner-chamber, eager to coil their swift jaws around the babies. But Heracles lifted his head straight up, and had his first experience of battle, seizing [45] the two necks of the serpents in his two irresistible hands. When they were strangled, time squeezed the breath of life out of their unspeakable limbs. Unbearable fear1 struck the women who were then helping Alcmena at her bedside; [50] for she herself leapt to her feet from her bed, unrobed as she was, and tried to ward off the violent attack of the monsters. And swiftly the chiefs of the Cadmeans rushed in together in their bronze armor, and Amphitryon came brandishing a sword bared from its scabbard, stricken with sharp distress. For each man alike is oppressed by his own trouble, but the heart recovers quickly from someone else's grief. [55] He stood, possessed by overwhelming astonishment and delight. For he saw the supernatural courage and power of his son; the immortals had turned the story of the messengers to falsehood for him. [60] And he called his neighbor, the outstanding prophet of Zeus the highest, the truthful seer Teiresias. And the prophet told him and all the men what fortunes the boy would encounter: how many he would slay on land, and how many lawless monsters at sea. And he told of a certain one, [65] most hateful, who walked with crooked insolence towards men, whom the boy would send to his doom. For he said that when the gods meet the giants in battle on the plain of Phlegra, the shining hair of the giants will be stained with dirt beneath the rushing arrows of that hero. But he himself [70] will have allotted to him in peace, as an extraordinary reward for his great hardship, continuous peace for all time among the homes of the blessed. He will receive flourishing Hebe as his bride and celebrate the wedding-feast, and in the presence of Zeus the son of Cronus he will praise the sacred law.2
1 Reading with Snell δέος for βέλος.
2 Reading with Snell νόμον for δόμον.

Nemean 2
For Timodemus of Acharnae Pancratium ?485 B. C.
Just as the Homeridae, the singers of woven verses, most often begin with Zeus as their prelude, so this man has received a first down-payment of victory in the sacred games by winning [5] in the grove of Nemean Zeus, which is celebrated in many hymns. And if the life that guides him straight along the path of his fathers has given him as an adornment to great Athens, it must be that the son of Timonous will often reap the finest bloom of the Isthmian games, and be victorious in the Pythian contests. [10] It is right for Orion to travel not far from the mountain Pleiades. And certainly Salamis can raise a warrior. In Troy Hector heard of Aias. And you, Timodemus, are exalted [15] by your enduring spirit of valor in the pancratium. Acharnae has long been famous for fine men. And in everything that has to do with contests, the sons of Timodemus are proclaimed the most outstanding. Beside Parnassus, ruling on high, they carried off four victories in the games, [20] while the men of Corinth have already given them eight garlands in the glades of noble Pelops; in the Nemean contest of Zeus they have won seven times, and at home their victories are countless. Citizens, praise Zeus in a victory procession for Timodemus' glorious homecoming. [25] Begin with a sweet-singing voice!


Nemean 3
For Aristocleides of Aegina Pancratium ?475 B. C.
Queenly Muse, our mother! I entreat you, come in the sacred month of Nemea to the much-visited Dorian island of Aegina. For beside the waters of the Asopus young men are waiting, craftsmen of honey-voiced [5] victory-songs, seeking your voice. Various deeds thirst for various things; but victory in the games loves song most of all, the most auspicious attendant of garlands and of excellence. Send an abundance of it, from my wisdom; [10] begin, divine daughter, an acceptable hymn to the ruler of the cloud-filled sky, and I will communicate it by the voices of those singers and by the lyre. The hymn will have a pleasant toil, to be the glory of the land where the ancient Myrmidons lived, whose marketplace, famous long ago, [15] Aristocleides, through your ordinance, did not stain with dishonor by proving himself too weak in the strenuous course of the pancratium. But in the deep plain of Nemea, his triumph-song brings a healing cure for wearying blows. Still, if the son of Aristophanes, who is beautiful, and whose deeds match his looks, [20] embarked on the highest achievements of manliness, it is not easy to cross the trackless sea beyond the pillars of Heracles, which that hero and god set up as famous witnesses to the furthest limits of seafaring. He subdued the monstrous beasts in the sea, and tracked to the very end the streams of the shallows, [25] where he reached the goal that sent him back home again, and he made the land known. My spirit, towards what foreign headland are you turning my voyage? I bid you to summon the Muse in honor of Aeacus and his race; consummate justice attends the precept, “praise the noble.” [30] And no man should prefer to desire what is alien. Search at home; you have won a suitable adornment for singing something sweet. Among old examples of excellence is king Peleus, who rejoiced when he cut a matchless spear, and who alone, without an army, captured Iolcus, [35] and caught the sea-nymph Thetis after many struggles. And powerful Telamon, the comrade of Iolaus, sacked the city of Laomedon; and once he followed him to meet the bronze-bowed strength of the Amazons. And fear, the subduer of men, never dulled the edge of his mind. [40] A man with inborn glory has great weight; but he who has only learned is a man in darkness, breathing changeful purposes, never taking an unwavering step, but trying his hand at countless forms of excellence with his ineffectual thought. But golden-haired Achilles, staying in the home of Philyra as a child, played at great deeds, often [45] brandishing in his hands a javelin with a short blade; swift as the wind, he dealt death to wild lions in battle, and he slew wild boars and carried their panting bodies to the Centaur, son of Cronus, first when he was six years old, and afterwards for all the time he spent there. [50] Artemis and bold Athena gazed at him with wonder, as he slew deer without the help of dogs and crafty nets; for he excelled with his feet. I have this story as it was told by earlier generations. Deep-thinking Cheiron reared Jason under his stone roof, and later Asclepius, [55] whom he taught the gentle-handed laws of remedies. And he arranged a marriage for Peleus with the lovely-bosomed1 daughter of Nereus, and brought up for her their incomparable child, nurturing his spirit with all fitting things, so that when the blasts of the sea-winds sent him [60] to Troy, he might withstand the spear-clashing war-shout of the Lycians and Phrygians and Dardanians; and when he came into close conflict with the spear-bearing Ethiopians, he might fix it in his mind that their leader, powerful Memnon the kinsman of Helenus, should not return to his home. From that point the light of the Aeacids has been fixed to shine far. [65] Zeus, it is your blood and your contest at which my song aimed its shot, shouting the joy of this land with the voices of young men. Their cry is well-suited to victorious Aristocleides, who linked this island with glorious praise and the sacred [70] Theoric temple of the Pythian god with splendid ambitions. By trial the accomplishment is made manifest, of that in which a man proves himself preeminent, as a boy among young boys, a man among men, or, thirdly, among elders, according to each stage which we,the race of men, possess. [75] And mortal life sets in motion four excellences, and bids us to think of what is at hand. You are2 not without these excellences. Farewell, my friend! I am sending this to you, honey mixed with white milk, crested with foam from mixing, a draught of song accompanied by the Aeolian breathings of flutes, [80] although it is late. The eagle is swift among birds: he swoops down from afar, and suddenly seizes with his talons his blood-stained quarry; but chattering daws stay closer to the ground. By the grace of Clio on her lovely throne and because of your victorious spirit, the light has shone on you from Nemea and Epidaurus and Megara .
1 Reading with Snell ἀγλαόκολπον for ἀγλαόκαρπον.
2 Reading with Snell ἄπεσσι for ἄπεστι.


Nemean 4
For Timasarchus of Aegina Boys' Wrestling ?473 B. C.
When toils have been resolved, festivity is the best physician; and songs, the skillful daughters of the Muses, soothe with their touch. And warm water does not wet the limbs so gently [5] as praise that accompanies the lyre. Speech lives longer than deeds; whatever words the tongue, with the favor of the Graces, draws from the deep mind. May it be mine to set forth such speech, in honor of Zeus the son of Cronus, and Nemea, [10] and Timasarchus' wrestling, as a prelude to my song. And may it be welcomed by the home of the Aeacids, with its fine towers, that light which shines for all, with justice that defends the stranger. And if your father Timocritus had still been warmed by the strength of the sun, playing embroidered notes on the cithara [15] and bending to this strain, he would have often celebrated his triumphant son, because he had sent back from the contest at Cleonae a chain of garlands, and from splendid, illustrious Athens; and because in seven-gated Thebes, [20] beside Amphitryon's splendid tomb, the Cadmeans gladly crowned him with flowers, for the sake of Aegina. For he looked on1 a hospitable city, when he came as a friend to friends, to the prosperous court of Heracles, [25] with whom once powerful Telamon destroyed Troy and the Meropes and the great and terrible warrior Alcyoneus, but not before that giant had laid low, by hurling a rock, twelve chariots and twice twelve horse-taming heroes who were riding in them. [30] A man who did not understand this proverb would appear to be inexperienced in battle: since “it is likely that the doer will also suffer.” The laws of song and the hurrying hours prevent me from telling a long story, [35] and I am drawn, by a magic charm on my heart, to touch on the new-moon festival. Nevertheless, although the deep salt sea holds you around the middle, strain against treacherous plots. We will be seen arriving in the light far above our enemies. But another man, with an envious glance, [40] broods in the darkness over an empty thought that falls to the ground. As for me, I know that whatever excellence ruling destiny gave me, time will creep forward and bring it to its appointed perfection. Weave out, sweet lyre, right now, [45] the beloved song with Lydian harmony, for Oenone and Cyprus, where Teucer the son of Telamon reigns far from home; but Aias holds ancestral Salamis, and Achilles holds the shining island in the Euxine sea. [50] Thetis rules in Phthia, and Neoptolemus in the expanses of Epirus, where jutting ox-pasturing headlands, beginning in Dodona, slope down to the Ionian sea. But beside the foot of Pelion, [55] Peleus turned a warlike hand against Iolcus and gave it in subjection to the Haemones2 after encountering the crafty arts of Acastus' wife Hippolyte. With the sword of Daedalus, the son of Pelias sowed the seeds of death for Peleus [60] from an ambush. But Cheiron rescued him and carried out the destiny which had been fated by Zeus. And Peleus, having thwarted all-powerful fire, and the sharp claws of bold-plotting lions, and the edge of their terrible teeth, [65] married one of the Nereids throned on high, and saw the fine circle of seats in which the lords of sky and sea were sitting, as they gave him gifts and revealed the future strength of his race. Beyond Gadeira towards the western darkness there is no passage; turn back [70] the ship's sails again to the mainland of Europe, for it is impossible for me to tell the full story of the sons of Aeacus. For the Theandridae, having pledged my word, I went as a ready herald of the limb-strengthening contests [75] at Olympia and the Isthmus and Nemea, where, whenever they make trial of their skill, they return home with the glorious fruit of garlands; in that home, Timasarchus, we hear that your family is an attendant of victory songs. But if [80] in honor of your uncle Callicles you bid me to build a monument whiter than Parian stone, know that gold, when it is refined, shows all radiance, and a song in honor of noble deeds makes a man equal in fortune to kings. [85] May that man, who dwells beside the stream of Acheron, hear my voice singing, where in the contest of the loud-roaring wielder of the trident he flourished with crowns of Corinthian wild celery. Euphanes, your aged grandfather, [90] once willingly sang his praises, child. Each man has his own generation; and each man expects to speak best of what he has seen himself. If he were praising Melesias, how he would throw his opponent in the struggle! Weaving his words, impossible to wrestle down in speech; [95] with gentle thoughts towards noble men, but a rough adversary to his opponents.
1 Reading with Snell and MSS κατέδρακεν for κατέδραμεν.
2 Following Snell's punctuation.

Nemean 5
For Pytheas of Aegina Boys' Pancratium ?483 B. C.
I am not a sculptor, to make statues that stand motionless on the same pedestal. Sweet song, go on every merchant-ship and rowboat that leaves Aegina, and announce that Lampon's powerful son Pytheas [5] won the victory garland for the pancratium at the Nemean games, a boy whose cheeks do not yet show the tender season that is mother to the dark blossom. He has brought honor to the Aeacids, the heroic spearmen descended from Cronus and Zeus and the golden Nereids, and to his mother city, a land friendly to guests. [10] Once by the altar of father Zeus Hellenius the illustrious sons of Endais and the strong, mighty Phocus stood and prayed, stretching their hands to the sky, that the city would one day be famous for men and ships. Phocus was the son of the goddess Psamatheia; he was born by the shore of the sea. Reverence restrains me from speaking of an enormous and unjust venture, [15] how indeed they left the glorious island, and what divine power drove the brave men from Oenone. I will stop: it is not always beneficial for the precise truth to show her face, and silence is often the wisest thing for a man to heed. But if it is resolved to praise wealth, or the strength of hands, or iron war, [20] let someone mark off a long jump for me from this point. I have a light spring in my knees, and eagles swoop over the sea. The most beautiful chorus of Muses sang gladly for the Aeacids on Mt. Pelion, and among them Apollo, sweeping the seven-tongued lyre with a golden plectrum, [25] led all types of strains. And the Muses began with a prelude to Zeus, then sang first of divine Thetis and of Peleus; how Hippolyte, the opulent daughter of Cretheus, wanted to trap him with deceit. With elaborate planning she persuaded her husband, the watcher of the Magnesians, to be a partner in her plot, and she forged a false story; [30] that Peleus had made an attempt on her in Acastus' own bed. But the opposite was true; for she often begged him and coaxed him with all her heart, but her reckless words provoked his temper. Without hesitating he refused Acastus' bride, fearing the anger of father Zeus, the god of hospitality. And from the sky Zeus who rouses the clouds noticed, [35] Zeus the king of the immortals, and he promised that soon he would make one of the Nereids of the golden distaff the sea-dwelling wife of Peleus, after gaining the consent of their brother-in-law Poseidon, who often comes from Aegae to the famous Dorian Isthmus. There joyful bands welcome the god with the cry of reed-pipes, and contend with the bold strength of their limbs. [40] The fortune that is born along with a man decides in every deed. And you, Euthymenes from Aegina, have twice fallen into the arms of Victory and attained embroidered hymns. Truly even now, Pytheas, your mother's brother honors the kindred race of that hero following after you. Nemea is linked to him, and Aegina's festival month which belongs to Apollo. [45] And he was victorious over his peers both at home and in the lovely hollows of the hill of Nisus. I rejoice, because every state strives for noble deeds. Know that through the help of Menander's good fortune you won sweet requital for your toils. It is fitting that a trainer of athletes should come from Athens. [50] But if you come to Themistius, let there be no more coldness! Lift up your voice, and hoist the sails to the top-most yard; proclaim him as a boxer, and tell how he claimed double excellence with his victory in the pancratium at Epidaurus. Bring to the porch of Aeacus green garlands of flowers, in company with the golden-haired Graces.


Nemean 6
For Alcimidas of Aegina Boys' Wrestling ?465 B. C.
There is one race of men, one race of gods; and from a single mother we both draw our breath. But all allotted power divides us: man is nothing, but for the gods the bronze sky endures as a secure home forever. Nevertheless, we bear some resemblance to the immortals, either in greatness [5] of mind or in nature, although we do not know, by day or by night, towards what goal fortune has written that we should run. Even now Alcimidas gives visible proof that his hereditary qualities are like the fruitful fields, which, in alternation, [10] at one time give men yearly sustenance from the plains, and at another time gather strength from repose. He has come from the lovely games of Nemea, the athletic boy who, pursuing this ordinance of Zeus, has shown that he is a successful hunter in the wrestling ring, [15] by planting his step in the tracks of his grandfather, his blood-relative. For that man, an Olympic victor, was the first to bring garlands from the Alpheus to the Aeacidae; and he had himself crowned five times at the Isthmus, [20] and three times at Nemea, putting an end to the obscurity of Socleides, who proved to be the greatest of the sons of Hagesimachus, since he had three victorious sons who reached the summit of excellence, [25] and who had a taste of toils. With the favorable fortune of the gods, no other family has been proclaimed by the boxing contest in the center of all Greece as the guardian of more garlands. I hope, with this great praise, to hit the target squarely, like one who shoots from a bow. Come, Muse, give a straight course to the glorious wind of song for this man. [30] For when men pass away songs and stories preserve their fine deeds for them, and there is no shortage of these in the house of the Bassids. Their race has long been famous, carrying a cargo of their own victory songs; for those who plough the field of the Pierian Muses, they are able to provide a rich supply of songs, because of their proud achievements. [35] In very holy Pytho the blood of this family was once victorious, his hands bound with leather straps—Callias, who had found favor with the children of Leto of the golden distaff, and beside Castalia at evening he was made radiant by the loud chorus of the Graces. [40] And the bridge of the untiring sea1honored Creontidas in the biennial festival of those who live around, when bulls are slain in the sacred precinct of Poseidon. And the herb of the Nemean lion once [45] crowned him when he was victorious beneath the shady primeval mountains of Phlius. There are broad avenues open on every side for storytellers to adorn this glorious island, since the Aeacids provided them by example with an outstanding share of great excellence. [50] Their name flies far, over the land and across the sea. It even reached the Ethiopians, when Memnon did not return to his home; Achilles descended from his chariot and fell upon2 them, a grievous antagonist, when he slew the son of the shining Dawn with the edge [55] of his raging sword. Poets of former times found this highway, and I myself am following them; this is my concern. But the wave that rolls nearest to the ship is said to stir the spirit most of all. I came as a messenger, willingly bearing on my back a double burden, [60] to proclaim that this twenty-fifth boast of victory from the games which men call sacred, Alcimidas, has been provided by you for your glorious family. Beside the sacred precinct of the son of Cronus, child, you and Polytimidas were deprived of two Olympic garlands [65] by a sudden drawing of lots. I would say that Melesias is equal in speed to a dolphin that darts through the salt sea; he is the charioteer who guided your hands and strength.
1 i.e. the Isthmus of Corinth.
2 Reading with Snell ἔμπεσε for ἔμβαλε.


Nemean 7
For Sogenes of Aegina Boys' Pentathlon ?467 B. C.
1Eleithuia, seated beside the deep-thinking Fates, hear me, creator of offspring, child of Hera great in strength. Without you we see neither the light nor the dark night before it is our lot to go to your sister, Hebe, 2 with her lovely limbs. [5] Yet we do not all draw our first breath for equal ends. Under the yoke of destiny, different men are held by different restraints. But it is by your favor that, even so, Sogenes the son of Thearion, distinguished by his excellence, is celebrated in song as glorious among pentathletes. For he lives in a city that loves music, the city of the Aeacidae with their clashing spears; [10] and they very much want to foster a spirit familiar with contests. If someone is successful in his deeds, he casts a cause for sweet thoughts into the streams of the Muses. For those great acts of prowess dwell in deep darkness, if they lack songs, and we know of only one way to hold a mirror up to fine deeds: [15] if, by the grace of Mnemosyne with her splendid headdress, one finds a recompense for toils in glorious song. Skillful men know the wind that will come on the day after tomorrow, and they do not suffer loss through the love of gain. The rich man and the poor man alike travel together to the boundary of death. [20] And I expect that the story of Odysseus came to exceed his experiences, through the sweet songs of Homer, since there is a certain solemnity in his lies and winged artfulness, and poetic skill deceives, seducing us with stories, and the heart of the mass of men is blind. For if [25] they had been able to see the truth, then mighty Aias, in anger over the arms, would never have planted in his chest the smooth sword—Aias, who was the most powerful in battle, except for Achilles, and whom the breath of the unswerving Zephyr conveyed in swift ships, to bring back the wife of golden-haired Menelaus [30] from the city of Ilus. But the wave of Hades breaks over all alike; it falls on the man who does not expect it, and on the one who does. There is honor for those whose fame a god causes to grow luxuriant when they are dead. Neoptolemus came to help,3 to the great navel of the broad-bosomed earth. And he lies beneath the Pythian soil, [35] after he sacked the city of Priam, where even the Danaans toiled. But on his return voyage he missed Scyros, and after wandering from their course they came to Ephyra. He ruled in Molossia for a brief time; and his race always bore [40] this honor of his. He had gone to consult the god, bringing precious things from the finest spoils of Troy; and there he met with a quarrel over the flesh of his sacrifice, and a man struck him with a knife. The hospitable Delphians were grieved beyond measure; but he fulfilled his fate. It was destined that within that most ancient grove one [45] of the ruling race of Aeacus should, for all time to come, stay beside the fine-walled house of the god, and dwell there to preside over the processions of heroes, which are honored by many sacrifices.4 As for their justly earned good name, a few words will suffice: it is no lying witness that presides over achievements of the offspring of you and Zeus, [50] Aegina. I have this bold speech to make, an authoritative path of words from their home, for their shining excellence. But enough, for respite is sweet in every deed. Even honey may cloy, and the delightful flowers of Aphrodite. Each of us differs in nature, for we were each allotted a different life. [55] One man has this, others have something else; but for one man to win the prize of complete happiness is impossible. I cannot say to whom Fate has handed this consummation as a lasting possession. But to you, Thearion, she gives a due measure of prosperity, and while you have gained a bold spirit for fine deeds, [60] she does not impair the wisdom of your mind. I am your friend; averting the dark shadow of abuse, and bringing genuine glory, like streams of water, to the man who is dear to me, I shall praise him. This wage is worthy of good men. If any Achaean man is nearby [65] who lives above the Ionian sea, he will not find fault with me. I trust in my being their representative. And among my fellow townsmen, the glance of my eye is bright; I have not overshot the mark, and I have thrust all violence away from my path. May the rest of my days approach benevolently. Anyone who knows the truth will declare whether I follow a path that is out of tune, singing a twisted5 song. [70] Sogenes, of the Euxenid clan, I swear that I did not overstep the line when I hurled, like a bronze-cheeked javelin, my swift tongue—a throw that disqualifies a man's strong neck from the sweat of the wrestling-match, before his limbs fall under the burning sun. If there was toil, greater delight follows. [75] Let me go on. If I rose too high and shouted loudly, I am not too rude to pay my debt of gratitude to the victor. It is easy to weave garlands. Strike up the song! The Muse welds together gold and white ivory with coral, the lily she has stolen from beneath the ocean's dew. [80] But in remembrance of Zeus and in honor of Nemea, whirl a far-famed strain of song, softly. On this spot it is fitting to sing with a gentle voice of the king of gods. For they say that he planted the seed of Aeacus, received by the mother, [85] to be a city-ruler in my6 illustrious fatherland, and to be a kindly 7 friend and brother to you, Heracles. If one man has any benefit from another, we would say that a neighbor, if he loves his neighbor with an earnest mind, is a joy worth any price. But if a god should also uphold this truth, [90] then under your protection, Heracles, you who subdued the Giants, Sogenes would dwell happily, fostering a spirit of devotion to his father, beside the rich and sacred road of his ancestors, since he has his house in your precincts, flanking him on either hand as he goes, like the yoke-arms of a four-horse chariot. Blessed Heracles, [95] it is fitting for you to persuade the husband of Hera and the gray-eyed virgin goddess; you are often able to give mortals courage against the impasse of helplessness. Would that you might join their youth and splendid old age to a strong and secure life, and weave it through to the end [100] in good fortune, and may their children's children always have the honor of the present day, and a still better one to come. But my heart will never say that I have done violence to Neoptolemus with cruel words. To plough the same ground three or four times [105] is poverty of thought, like babbling “Corinth of Zeus” to children.
1 On the uncertainty of the date, see C. Carey,A Commentary on Five Odes of Pindar (New York 1981), p. 133.
2 Youth
3 Adding a period after τεθνακότων and reading with C. Carey, A Commentary on Five Odes of Pindar New York 1981, 148-50, βοαθέων . . . μόλεν.
4 Following Snell's punctuation, period after πολυθύ τοις and after ἐκγόνων, below.
5 Reading with Snell ψάγιον for ψόγιον.
6 Reading with Snell and MSS ἐμᾷ for ἑᾷ.
7 Reading with Snell προπράον᾽ for προπρεῶν᾽.


Nemean 8
For Deinias of Aegina Double Foot Race ?459 B. C.
Queenly Season of Youth, herald of the divine embraces of Aphrodite, you who rest in the eyes of young girls and boys, and carry one man in the gentle arms of compulsion, but handle another man differently. It is a desirable thing, for one who has not strayed from due measure in any deed, [5] to be able to win the better kinds of love; such loves,the shepherds of Cyprian Aphrodite's gifts, attended the marriage-bed of Zeus and Aegina. And from that union a son was born, the king of Oenone, the best in hands and mind. Many men often prayed that they might see him; for, unbidden, the choicest heroes that dwelled around him [10] wanted to submit to his commands willingly, those who marshalled their people in rocky Athens, and the descendants of Pelops in Sparta. As a suppliant I cling to the sacred knees of Aeacus, on behalf of his dear city and these citizens, bringing [15] a Lydian crown embroidered with song, glory from Nemea in the double foot race for Deinias and his father Megas. For prosperity that is planted with a god's blessing is more abiding for men; such prosperity as once loaded Cinyras with wealth in sea-washed Cyprus. I stand with feet lightly poised, catching my breath before I speak. [20] For many stories have been told in many ways. But to find something new and submit it to the touchstone for testing is danger itself. Words are a dainty morsel for the envious; and envy always clings to the noble, and has no quarrel with worse men. Envy devoured the son of Telamon, throwing him onto his own sword. A man who was not gifted in speech, but brave in his heart, is held down by oblivion [25] under deadly strife; and the greatest prize of honor has been offered to the shifty lie. For in a secret vote the Danaans favored Odysseus; and Aias, robbed of the golden armor, wrestled with death. Truly, they did not tear equal wounds in the warm flesh of the enemy when they were driven back [30] under the man-protecting spear, at one time around the newly-slain corpse of Achilles, and on destructive days spent on other toils. It seems that hateful Misrepresentation existed even long ago: a fellow traveler of flattering tales, deceitful-minded, a malignant disgrace. She does violence to the illustrious, and upholds the rotten glory of the obscure. [35] May I never have such a nature, father Zeus; may I stick to the simple paths of life, so that when I die I will not fasten a bad name to my children. Some men pray for gold, others for boundless land; I pray to find favor with my fellow-citizens until my limbs are buried in the earth, by praising what is praiseworthy and casting blame on wrongdoers. [40] Excellence grows among skillful and just men up to the liquid air, as a tree shoots up fed by fresh dew. The uses of friends are of all kinds; those in times of toil are the highest, yet delight also seeks to set a trustworthy pledge before the eyes. Megas, to bring your soul back to life again [45] is not possible for me. Empty hopes end in vain; but it is easy to set up, for your fatherland and for the Chariads, a monument of the Muses in honor of the twice illustrious feet of two men. I rejoice in letting fly a boast suitable to such a deed; and with incantations a man [50] makes hardship painless. Truly, the song of victory existed long ago, even before the quarrel arose between Adrastus and the race of Cadmus.

Nemean 9
For Chromius of Aetna Chariot Race ?474 B. C.
Muses, we will go in victory procession from Apollo's shrine in Sicyon to newly-founded Aetna, where the doors flung open wide are overwhelmed by guests, at the prosperous home of Chromius. Make a sweet song of verses! For, mounting his chariot of victorious horses, he gives the word to sing for the mother and her twin children [5] who jointly watch over steep Pytho. There is a saying among men: a noble deed when it is accomplished should not be buried silently in the ground; and divine song is suited to boasting. But we will wake the shouting lyre and the flute in honor of the very pinnacle of horse-contests, which Adrastus established for Phoebus by the streams of the Asopus. [10] Having mentioned them, I will adorn that hero with glorious honors, who, at the time when he was ruler there, made his city famous and glorious with new festivals, and contests of men's strength, and hollow chariots. For once Adrastus fled from bold-thinking Amphiaraus and terrible civil strife, from his ancestral home, Argos; and the sons of Talaus were no longer rulers, overpowered by sedition. [15] A stronger man puts an end to the previous justice. The sons of Talaus gave man-conquering Eriphyle, as a faithful pledge, in marriage to Amphiaraus son of Oicles, and became the most powerful of the golden-haired Danaans; and once they led a noble army of men to seven-gated Thebes—an expedition not attended by birds of good omen. In their mad desire to leave home, the son of Cronus, by whirling his lightning-bolt, urged them not to go, [20] but to abstain from the journey. And so that company, in bronze armor, and with their horses in war-harnesses, was hastening to arrive at manifest doom. And planting1their sweet return on the banks of the Ismenus, they fattened the white-flowering smoke with their corpses2. For seven funeral pyres feasted on their bodies' young limbs. But, for the sake of Amphiaraus, Zeus with his all-powerful thunderbolt [25] split the deep-breasted earth, and concealed him together with his horses, before he could be struck in the back by the spear of Periclymenus, and his warlike spirit disgraced. For amid divinely-sent panic even the children of gods flee. If it is possible, son of Cronus, I would like to put off for as long as I can this fierce trial of empurpled spears, this contest for life and death; [30] and I pray to you, grant to the children of the Aetnaeans the long-lived blessing of good laws, father Zeus, and join the people with splendid celebrations in their city. There they have men who love horses and whose souls are superior to wealth. My words are hard to believe; for reverence, which brings renown, is secretly beguiled by the love of gain. If you had been Chromius' shield-bearer among foot-soldiers and horses, and in ship-battles, [35] you would have been able to judge the danger of the sharp battle-cry, because in battle it was that goddess, Reverence, who armed his warrior-spirit to repel the destruction of the war-god. But few are able to conspire with hand and heart to turn back against the ranks of the enemy the cloud of slaughter that presses close upon them. Indeed men say that glory blossomed for Hector beside the flowing Scamander; [40] and around the steep cliffs of the Helorus' banks at the place which men call “the passage of Rhea,” this light has shone on the son of Hagesidamus, in his earliest manhood. I will tell of the honors he won at other times, many on the dust of dry land and on the neighboring sea. And out of toils, which are undertaken with the aid of youth and justice, there comes a gentle life at the approach of old age. [45] Let him know that he has received marvellous prosperity from the gods. For if, together with many possessions, a man wins renown and glory, there is no higher peak on which a mortal can set his feet. Peace loves the symposium, and new-flourishing victory is fostered by soft song, and the voice becomes bold beside the mixing-bowl. [50] Let someone mix the wine now, the sweet forerunner of victory-song, and dispense the powerful son of the vine in those silver goblets which once Chromius' horses won for him and sent from holy Sicyon together with the duly twined garlands of Leto's son. Father Zeus, I pray that I may celebrate this excellence by the favor of the Graces, and excel many poets in honoring victory with my verses, [55] throwing my shaft nearest of all to the mark of the Muses.
1 ἐρεισάμενοι. Wilamowitz: “ reditum in Ismeni ripa sibi fixerunt.”
2 Reading σώμασι πίαναν (Bergk).


Nemean 10
For Theaeus of Argos Wrestling ?444 B. C.
Graces, sing of the city of Danaus and his fifty daughters on their splendid thrones, Hera's Argos, a home suitable for a god; it blazes with countless excellences because of its bold deeds. Long indeed is the story of Perseus and the Gorgon Medusa, [5] and many are the cities founded in Egypt by the devising of Epaphus. Nor did Hypermnestra go astray, when she restrained in its scabbard her sword, which was alone in its verdict. And once the golden-haired, gray-eyed goddess made Diomedes an immortal god; and the earth in Thebes, thunder-struck by the bolts of Zeus, swallowed up the prophetic son of Oicles, Amphiaraus, the storm-cloud of war. [10] And Argos has long been the best city for women with beautiful hair; Zeus made this saying clear by visiting Alcmena and Danae, and he united the fruit of intelligence with straightforward justice in the father of Adrastus and in Lynceus. And Zeus nourished the spear of Amphitryon, who attained the height of prosperity and entered into kinship with that god, when, clad in bronze armor, [15] he slew the Teleboae. Taking on the appearance of Amphitryon, the king of the immortals entered the hall of that hero, bearing the fearless seed of Heracles; whose bride Hebe, the most beautiful of the goddesses, walks forever in Olympus beside her mother Hera, goddess of marriage. My mouth is too small to tell the whole story of all the noble things in which the precinct of Argos has a share. [20] And there is also the satiety of men, which is grievous to encounter. But nevertheless, awaken the well-strung lyre, and take thought of wrestling; the contest for the bronze shield calls the people to the sacrifice of oxen in honor of Hera and to the trial of contests. There the son of Ulias, Theaeus, was victorious twice, and gained forgetfulness of toils that were bravely borne. [25] And he once was victor over the people of Greece at Pytho; and, going with good fortune, he won the crown at the Isthmus and at Nemea, and he gave the Muses a field to plough, since he won three times at the gates of the sea, and three times on the sacred ground, according to the ordinance of Adrastus. Father Zeus, his mouth keeps silent what his heart truly desires. The accomplishment of all [30] deeds rests with you. Adding boldness to a heart that does not shrink from labor1, he asks for your grace. I sing what is known to the god2and to whoever strives for the chief crown in the foremost games. Pisa holds the highest ordinance, that of Heracles. Still, the sweet voices of the Athenians at their festival twice sang victory-songs as a prelude for Theaeus, [35] and in earth baked by fire olive oil came to the fine men of Hera's city in jars with richly painted sides. Theaeus, the honor of successful contests often attends on the well-known race of your maternal ancestors, by the favor of the Graces and the Tyndarids. I would think it right, if I were a kinsman of Thrasyclus [40] and Antias, not to veil the light in my eyes. For this horse-breeding city of Proetus has flourished with so many victories in the glens of Corinth, and four times from the men of Cleonae. And from Sicyon they returned with silver wine-goblets, and from Pellana with soft wool cloaks around their shoulders. [45] But it is impossible to give a full reckoning of their countless prizes of bronze—for it would require long leisure to number them—which Cleitor and Tegea and the upland cities of the Achaeans and Mount Lycaeon set by the racecourse of Zeus for men to win with the strength of their feet and hands. But since Castor [50] and his brother Polydeuces came to Pamphaës to receive a hospitable welcome, it is no wonder that it is innate in their race to be good athletes; since the Dioscuri, guardians of spacious Sparta, along with Hermes and Heracles, administer the flourishing institution of the games, and they care very much for just men. Indeed, the race of the gods is trustworthy. [55] Changing places in alternation, the Dioscuri spend one day beside their dear father Zeus, and the other beneath the depths of the earth in the hollows of Therapne, each fulfilling an equal destiny, since Polydeuces preferred this life to being wholly a god and living in heaven, when Castor was killed in battle. [60] For Idas, angered for some reason about his cattle, stabbed him with the point of his bronze spear. Looking out from Taÿgetus, Lynceus saw them seated in the hollow of an oak3; for that man had the sharpest eye of all who live on earth. He and Idas at once reached the spot with swift feet, and quickly contrived a mighty deed; [65] and these sons of Aphareus themselves suffered terribly by the devising of Zeus. For right away Polydeuces the son of Leda came in pursuit. They were stationed opposite, near the tomb of their father; from there they seized the grave-column, monument to Hades, a polished stone, and hurled it at the chest of Polydeuces. But they did not crush him, or drive him back; rushing forward with his swift javelin, [70] he drove its bronze point into the ribs of Lynceus, and Zeus hurled against Idas a fiery smoking thunderbolt. They burned together, deserted. Strife with those who are stronger is a harsh companion for men. Swiftly Polydeuces the son of Tyndareus went back to his mighty brother, and found him not yet dead, but shuddering with gasps of breath. [75] Shedding warm tears amid groans, he spoke aloud: “Father, son of Cronus, what release will there be from sorrows? Order me to die too, along with him, lord. A man's honor is gone when he is deprived of friends; but few mortals are trustworthy in times of toil to share the hardship.” So he spoke. And Zeus came face to face with him, [80] and said these words: “You are my son. But Castor was begotten after your conception by the hero, your mother's husband, who came to her and sowed his mortal seed. But nevertheless I grant you your choice in this. If you wish to escape death and hated old age, and to dwell in Olympus yourself with me and with Athena and Ares of the dark spear, [85] you can have this lot. But if you strive to save your brother, and intend to share everything equally with him, then you may breathe for half the time below the earth, and for half the time in the golden homes of heaven.” When Zeus had spoken thus, Polydeuces did not have a second thought. [90] He opened the eye, and then released the voice of the bronze-clad warrior, Castor.
1 Omit comma after οὐδ᾽, taking it with ἀμόκθω rather than with the verb (Fennell, Farnell).
2 Reading θεῷ τε καὶ ὅστις, with the mss.
3 Reading ἡμένους (Boeckh), although Didymus defends ἡμένος as a Doric acc.


Nemean 11
For Aristagoras of Tenedos on his installation as President of the Council ?446 B. C.
Daughter of Rhea, you who have received the town hall under your protection, Hestia, sister of Zeus the highest and of Hera who shares his throne, welcome Aristagoras to your dwelling, and welcome to a place near your splendid scepter his companions, [5] who, in honoring you, guard Tenedos and keep her on a straight course; often they worship you, first of the gods, with libations, and often with the savor of burnt sacrifice. Lyres and songs peal among them, and Themis, who belongs to Zeus the god of hospitality, is honored with everlasting feasts. With glory to the end [10] may he fulfill his twelve-month office, with his heart unwounded. I call that man blessed in his father Hagesilas, in his marvellous body, and in his inborn steadiness. But if any man who has prosperity surpasses others in beauty, and displays his strength by being best in the games, [15] let him remember that his robes are thrown around mortal limbs, and that he will clothe himself with earth, the end of all. Yet it is right for him to be praised in the good words of his fellow-citizens, and for us to adorn him with the honeyed sound of songs. For in contests of those who live around him, sixteen [20] splendid victories crowned Aristagoras and his illustrious fatherland, in wrestling and in the proud pancratium. But the too hesitant hopes of his parents restrained the boy's strength from attempting the contests at Pytho and Olympia. For I swear by the power of Oath: in my judgment, whether he went to Castalia [25] or to the well-wooded hill of Cronus, he would have returned home in finer fashion than the opponents who strove against him, having celebrated the four years' festival ordained by Heracles, and having crowned his hair with purple wreaths. But, among mortals, empty-headed pride [30] casts one man out of his goods; and a timid spirit foils another man of the fine achievements that should be his, dragging him back by the hand as he disparages his own strength too much. Truly, it was easy to recognize in him the ancient blood of Peisander of Sparta, who came from Amyclae with Orestes, [35] leading here a bronze-armored host of Aetolians, and also the blending of his blood with that of his mother's ancestor Melanippus, beside the stream of the Ismenus. But ancient excellence yields strength in alternate generations of men; the dark fields do not give fruit continuously, [40] nor are trees accustomed to bear an equal wealth of fragrant flowers in every circling year, but in alternation. And thus the race of mortal men is led by Fate. But no clear sign comes to mortals from Zeus. Nevertheless we embark on bold endeavors, [45] longing for many deeds, for our limbs are bound by shameless hope, while the streams of foresight lie far away. But we must hunt for due measure in our love of gain. The madness of unattainable desires is too sharp.

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Isthmian 1
For Herodotus of Thebes Chariot Race ?458 B. C.
My mother, Thebe of the golden shield, I shall place your interests above my lack of leisure. May rocky Delos, in whose praises I have poured myself out, not be indignant at me. [5] What is dearer to good men than their noble parents? Yield, island of Apollo; indeed, with the help of the gods I shall accomplish the end of both graceful songs, honoring in the dance both Phoebus with the unshorn hair, in wave-washed Ceos with its mariners, and the sea-dividing reef of the Isthmus. [10] Since the Isthmus gave to the people of Cadmus six garlands from her games, the glory of triumph for my fatherland, where Alcmena bore her fearless son, before whom the bold hounds of Geryon once trembled. But I, while I frame for Herodotus a prize of honor for his four-horse chariot, [15] and for managing the reins with his own hands and not another's, want to join him to the song of Castor or of Iolaus, for of all heroes they were the strongest charioteers, the one born in Sparta and the other in Thebes. And in the games they attempted the greatest number of contests, and adorned their homes with tripods [20] and caldrons and goblets of gold, tasting victorious garlands. Their excellence shines clearly, in the naked footraces and in the shield-clashing hoplite races, and in all the deeds of their hands, in flinging the spear [25] and whenever they hurled the stone discus. For there was no pentathlon, but for each feat a separate prize was set up. Often crowning their hair with wreaths from these contests they appeared beside the streams of Dirce or near the Eurotas, [30] the son of Iphicles, who was of the same city as the race of the Sown Men, and the son of Tyndareus, dwelling among the Achaeans in his highland home of Therapne. Farewell. But I, arraying with song Poseidon and the sacred Isthmus and the shores of Onchestus, shall tell, along with the honors of this man, the very famous fortune of his father Asopodorus [35] and of his ancestral land of Orchomenus, which received him from the boundless sea when he was hard-pressed by shipwreck, in chilly misfortune. But now once more his hereditary fortune has embarked him on [40] the fair weather of the old days. And he who has suffered toils gains foresight in his mind. If a man has devoted his whole spirit to excellence, sparing neither expense nor toils, it is right to grant the boast of manliness to those who achieve excellence, with an ungrudging [45] mind. For it is an easy gift for a skilled man to speak words of praise in recompense for labors of all kinds and thus to promote the common good. Different wages for different deeds are sweet to men, to the shepherd and the ploughman and the bird-trapper, and the man whom the sea nourishes. Every man is intent upon keeping persistent famine from his belly. [50] But he who wins rich renown in the games or in war receives the highest gain: to be well spoken of by his fellow-citizens and by strangers, the choicest bloom of speech. For us it is right to celebrate the earth-shaking son of Cronus, returning a good deed to our beneficent neighbor, the lord of horse-racing and chariots; [55] and to invoke your sons, Amphitryon, and the secluded valley of Minyas, and Eleusis, the famous precinct of Demeter, and Euboea, when we speak of curving race-courses. Protesilas, I add besides your sacred ground in Phylace, the home of Achaean men. [60] But the brief limits of my song prevent me from telling of all the victories that Hermes, lord of games, granted to Herodotus and his horses. Truly, often that which is hushed in silence actually brings greater pleasure. May he, raised up on the splendid wings of the Pierian Muses with their lovely voices, [65] also arm his hand with wreaths from Pytho, with exquisite wreaths from the Alpheus and the Olympian games, thus winning glory for seven-gated Thebes. But if someone hoards hidden wealth at home, and attacks others with mockery, he fails to consider that he is giving up his soul to Hades without glory.


Isthmian 2
In memory of the victories of Xenocrates of Acragas Chariot Race ?470 B. C.
The men of old, Thrasybulus, who mounted the chariot of the Muses with their golden headbands, joining the glorious lyre, lightly shot forth their honey-voiced songs for young men, if one was handsome and had [5] the sweetest ripeness that brings to mind Aphrodite on her lovely throne. For in those days the Muse was not yet a lover of gain, nor did she work for hire. And sweet gentle-voiced odes did not go for sale, with silvered faces, from honey-voiced Terpsichore. But as things are now, she bids us heed [10] the saying of the Argive man, which comes closest to actual truth: “Money, money makes the man,” he said, when he lost his wealth and his friends at the same time. But enough, for you are wise. I sing the Isthmian victory with horses, not unrecognized, which Poseidon granted to Xenocrates, [15] and sent him a garland of Dorian wild celery for his hair, to have himself crowned, thus honoring the man of the fine chariot, the light of the people of Acragas. And in Crisa widely powerful Apollo looked graciously on him, and gave him glory there as well. And joined with the renowned favors of the sons of Erechtheus [20] in splendid Athens, he found no fault with the chariot-preserving hand of the man who drove his horses, the hand with which Nicomachus gave the horses full rein at the right moment—that driver whom the heralds of the seasons, the Elean truce-bearers of Zeus son of Cronus recognized, since they had no doubt experienced some hospitable act of friendship from him. [25] And with sweet-breathing voice they greeted him when he fell into the lap of golden Victory in their own land, which they call the precinct of Olympian Zeus, where the sons of Aenesidamus were linked with immortal honors. [30] Truly, Thrasybulus, the homes of your family are not unfamiliar with lovely victory-processions, nor with the sweet boasting of songs. For it is no hill to climb, nor is the road steep, if one brings the honors of the Heliconian Muses to the homes of famous men. [35] Having hurled the discus far, may I fling my javelin as far beyond all others, as Xenocrates obtained a sweet temper surpassing all men. He was honored in his townsmen's company, and he upheld the raising of horses according to the customs of all Greeks. He also welcomed all the banquets for the gods, [40] and the force of the blowing wind never made him furl his sail around his hospitable table; he journeyed as far as Phasis in the summer, and in the winter sailed to the banks of the Nile. Now, although envious hopes beset the minds of mortals, let him never hush in silence either his father's excellence [45] or these songs. For I did not fashion them to stand idle. Give this message, Nicasippus, when you come across my trusty friend.


Isthmian 3
For Melissus of Thebes Chariot Race at Nemea ?474/3
If any man has good fortune, either in famous contests or by the strength of his wealth, yet restrains troublesome ambition in his mind, he is worthy to be joined with his townsmen's praises. Zeus, great excellence attends on mortals [5] from you. Greater prosperity lives with those who revere you; but it does not keep company with crooked minds, flourishing equally for all time. As a recompense for glorious deeds, it is right to celebrate a noble man, and it is right to exalt him in victory-songs with the gentle Graces. Yes, in two contests Melissus [10] has had a share of good fortune, to turn his heart to sweet joyfulness; he received garlands in the glens of the Isthmus, and in the valley of the deep-chested lion he had Thebes announced when he was victorious in horse-racing. He does not dishonor the inborn excellence he has from his ancestors. [15] Surely you know of the ancient glory of Cleonymus in the chariot-races. And, being related to the Labdacids on their mother's side, they followed a path of wealth with the toil of their four-horse teams. But the whirling days of a man's lifetime change many things. Only the children of the gods are unwounded.


Isthmian 4
For Melissus of Thebes Pancratium ?474/3
Thanks to the gods, I have countless paths opening on every side; Melissus, at the Isthmian games you revealed abundant resources for celebrating in song the excellence of your family, in which the sons of Cleonymus flourish perpetually, [5] with a god's favor, as they progress towards the mortal end of life. But a changeable wind sweeps down and drives all men at different times. These men truly are spoken of as honored in Thebes from the beginning; they have good relations with the neighboring towns, and are bereft of loud arrogance. And as for the memorials that fly through all the world, [10] memorials of boundless fame for living and dead men, they have attained all of these in full. Through their manly deeds they reached from home to touch the farthest limit, the pillars of Heracles— do not pursue excellence any farther than that! And they became breeders of horses [15] and were pleasing to bronze-clad Ares. But on a single day the rough storm of war robbed their blessed hearth of four men. Now, after the wintry gloom of the changing months, the ground has blossomed as if with crimson roses by the will of the gods. The shaker of the earth who dwells at Onchestus [20] and at the sea-bridge before the walls of Corinth, by offering to that family this marvellous song, wakes from her bed their ancient fame for glorious deeds. For she had fallen asleep, but now she has awakened and her body shines, marvellous to see, like the morning-star among other stars. [25] She proclaimed their chariot victorious on the high ground of Athens and also in Sicyon at the games of Adrastus, and thus gave them leaves of song, like these, from the singers of their time. Nor did they keep their curved chariot from competing in the general contests; striving against all of Greece, they rejoiced in spending their wealth on their horses. [30] Those who attempt nothing face silence and obscurity, and fortune remains hidden even to those who contend, until they reach the final goal. For she dispenses from this side and from that, and the skill of weaker men [35] can overtake and trip up a stronger man. Indeed, you know of the bloodstained might of Aias, which late at night he pierced by falling on his own sword, thus bringing blame on all the sons of the Greeks who went to Troy. But he is honored throughout the world by Homer, who set the record right concerning all his excellence and told it with the staff of his divine words, for posterity to play. [40] For if one says something well, that saying goes forth speaking with an immortal voice. And the radiance of fine deeds, forever unquenchable, has crossed the fruitful earth and the sea. May we win the favor of the Muses and kindle that torch of song, a worthy garland from the pancratium [45] for Melissus, too, the scion of the race of Telesias. For in the toil of conflict he resembles the spirit of loud-roaring lions in boldness, while in wisdom he is like the fox, who forestalls the swoop of the eagle by falling on her back. And it is right to do anything to blot out one's enemy. For Melissus was not allotted the nature of Orion; [50] he is negligible to look at, though heavy to grapple with in his strength. And yet once there went from Thebes, Cadmus' city, a hero short in stature but unflinching in spirit. This hero went to the house of Antaeus in grain-bearing Libya, to keep him from roofing Poseidon's temple with the skulls of strangers, [55] Alcmena's son. He went to Olympus, after he had explored all lands and the high-cliffed hollow of the gray sea, and had tamed the straits for sailors. Now he dwells beside aegis-bearing Zeus, and has the most beautiful prosperity. He is honored as a friend by the immortals and is married to Hebe; [60] he is lord of a golden house, and son-in-law to Hera. For him, above the Electran gates, we Thebans, busily preparing the feast and the circle of newly-built altars, pile up burnt offerings in honor of the eight bronze-clad men, now dead, the sons whom Megara, Creon's daughter, bore him. [65] For them the flame rises in the rays of the setting sun and blazes all night long, prodding the air with fragrant smoke. And on the second day is that struggle of strength, the final event of the annual games. And there, his head wreathed with white [70] myrtle, this man showed forth a double victory, having won before in the boy's contest by heeding the wise advice of his helmsman and trainer, Orseas. I will honor him together with Orseas in my victory-song, pouring delightful grace on both.


Isthmian 5
For Phylacidas of Aegina Pancratium ?478 B. C.
Mother of the Sun, Theia of many names, for your sake men honor gold as more powerful than anything else; [5] and through the value you bestow on them, o queen, ships contending on the sea and yoked teams of horses in swift-whirling contests become marvels. And in athletic contests, someone who has wreathed his hair with many garlands has achieved longed-for fame, when he has been victorious with his hands [10] or with the swiftness of his feet. But the valor of men is judged by gods, and there are only two things that cultivate the sweetest flower of life in blossoming prosperity: to have good fortune and a noble reputation. Do not seek to become Zeus; you have everything, [15] if a share of these fine things comes to you. Mortal aims befit mortal men. But for you, Phylacidas, flourishing twofold excellence is recorded at the Isthmus, and at Nemea for both you and Pytheas in the pancratium. But my heart [20] cannot taste songs without telling of the race of Aeacus. I have come with the Graces for the sons of Lampon to this well-governed city. If Aegina turns her steps to the clear road of god-given deeds, then do not grudge [25] to mix for her in song a boast that is fitting recompense for toils. In heroic times, too, fine warriors gained fame, and they are celebrated with lyres and flutes in full-voiced harmonies for time beyond reckoning. Heroes who are honored by the grace of Zeus provide a theme for skilled poets: [30] among the Aetolians the brave sons of Oeneus are worshipped with shining sacrifices; in Thebes the horseman Iolaus has his honor, and Perseus in Argos, and the spearman Castor together with Polydeuces by the streams of Eurotas. But in Oenone the honors belong to the great-hearted spirits [35] of Aeacus and his sons. Twice in battles they sacked the city of the Trojans: the first time following Heracles, the second time the sons of Atreus. Now, drive me into the air! Tell me, who killed Cycnus, and who Hector, [40] and the fearless commander of the Ethiopians, bronze-armed Memnon? Who wounded noble Telephus with his spear by the banks of Caïcus? Men whose voices name the outstanding island of Aegina as their fatherland, built long ago [45] as a tower for lofty excellence to ascend. My swift tongue has many arrows, to shout the praises of these heroes. And now the city of Aias, Salamis, could testify that she was saved by her sailors in Ares' confrontation in the destructive storm sent by Zeus, [50] when slaughter poured like hail on countless men. Nevertheless, quench this boast in silence. Zeus dispenses both good and bad, Zeus the master of all. But such honors as these also welcome the joy of triumph, covered with the delicious honey of song. Let a man strive and contend [55] in the games when he has learned from the race of Cleonicus. The long toil of their men is not hidden in blind darkness, nor has thought of the expense fretted away their devotion to their hopes. I praise Pytheas also among limb-subduing pancratiasts, [60] skillful with his hands in guiding straight the course of Phylacidas' blows, and with a mind to match. Take a garland for him, and bring him a fillet of fine wool, and send along this winged new song.


Isthmian 6
For Phylacidas of Aegina Pancratium ?484 or 480 B. C.
Just as we mix the second bowl of wine when the men's symposium is flourishing, here is the second song of the Muses for Lampon's children and their athletic victories: first in Nemea, Zeus, in your honor they received the choicest of garlands, [5] and now in honor of the lord of the Isthmus and the fifty Nereids, for the victory of the youngest son, Phylacidas. May there be a third libation of honey-voiced songs to pour over Aegina in honor of Zeus Soter of Olympia. [10] For if a man, rejoicing in expense and toil, achieves godly excellence, and a divinity sows the seed of lovely fame in him, then he already casts his anchor on the farthest shore of prosperity, since he is honored by the gods. The son of Cleonicus prays that with such feelings [15] he will meet death and welcome gray old age. And I entreat Clotho, throned on high, and her sister Fates, to hear my friend's prayers for fame. And as for you, sons of Aeacus with your golden chariots, [20] I say that it is my clearest law to sprinkle you with praises whenever I set foot on this island. Countless continuous roads have been cut a hundred feet wide for your fine deeds, both beyond the springs of the Nile and through the land of the Hyperboreans. There is no city so barbarous or so strange in its speech [25] that it does not know the fame of the hero Peleus, the fortunate in-law of gods, or of Aias and his father Telamon. The son of Alcmena led him in ships to Troy, the toil of heroes, for war that delights in bronze, as an eager ally along with the men of Tiryns because of Laomedon's wrongdoing. [30] He took Pergamos, and with Telamon's help he slew the tribes of Meropes, and the herdsman Alcyoneus, huge as a mountain, whom he found at Phlegrae, and he did not keep his hands off the deep-voiced bow-string, not [35] Heracles. But when he came to summon the son of Aeacus to that expedition, he found them feasting. Standing in a lion's skin, the strong warrior, son of Amphitryon, was asked to pour the first libation of nectar by incomparable Telamon, who lifted up to him [40] the wine-bearing goblet bristling with gold. And Heracles stretched his invincible hands up to heaven and said, “Father Zeus, if you have ever heard my prayers with a willing heart, now, now with divine prayers [45] I entreat you to grant this man a brave son from Eriboea, a son fated to be my guest-friend. May he have a body as invulnerable as this skin that is now wrapped around me, from the beast whom I killed that day in Nemea as the very first of my labors. And may he have spirit to match.” When he had spoken, the god sent to him [50] the king of birds, a great eagle. He felt thrilled inside with sweet joy, and he spoke like a prophet: “Telamon, you will have the son that you ask for. Name him after the bird that appeared: wide-ruling Aias, awesome in the war-toils of the people.”1 [55] He spoke, and immediately sat down. But for me it would take a long time to tell the story of all their excellence. For I came, Muse, a steward of victory-songs to Phylacidas and Pytheas and Euthymenes. The story will be told in the Argive manner, very briefly. [60] For those splendid boys and their uncle won three victories in the pancratium—at the Isthmus, and others at Nemea with its fine trees, and they brought to light a great share of praises. With the lovely dew of the Graces they refresh the family of the Psalychids; [65] they have kept upright the house of Themistius, and they live in a city which the gods love. Lampon, “taking care with his work,” honors these words of Hesiod, and he advises his sons with them too, thus bringing a shared adornment to his city. [70] He is loved for his kindness to his guest-friends; he pursues with moderation in his thoughts and restrains with moderation. He does not say one thing and think another. You might say that for athletes he is like the bronze-mastering Naxian whetstone among other stones. I shall give him to drink the pure water of Dirce, which the deep-waisted daughters of [75] golden-robed Mnemosyne 2 brought forth beside the fine-walled gates of Cadmus.
1 Compare Aias with Greek αἰετός, eagle
2 Memory


Isthmian 7
For Strepsiades of Thebes Pancratium ?454 B. C.
In which of the local glories of the past, divinely blessed Thebe, did you most delight your spirit? Was it when you raised to eminence the one seated beside Demeter of the clashing bronze cymbals, flowing-haired [5] Dionysus? Or when you received, as a snow-shower of gold in the middle of the night, the greatest of the gods, when he stood in the doorway of Amphitryon, and then went in to the wife to beget Heracles? Or did you delight most in the shrewd counsels of Teiresias? Or in the wise horseman Iolaus? [10] Or in the Sown Men, untiring with the spear? Or when you sent Adrastus back from the mighty war-shout, bereft of countless companions, to Argos, home of horses? Or because you stood upright on its feet the Dorian colony of the men of Lacedaemon, and your descendants, [15] the Aegeids, captured Amyclae according to the Pythian oracles? But since ancient grace sleeps, and mortals are forgetful of whatever does not reach the highest bloom of skillful song, joined to glorious streams of words, [20] then begin the victory procession with a sweet-singing hymn for Strepsiades; for he is the victor in the pancratium at the Isthmus, both awesome in his strength and handsome to look at; and he treats excellence as no worse a possession than beauty. He is made radiant by the violet-haired Muses, and he has given a share in his flowering garland to his uncle and namesake, [25] for whom Ares of the bronze shield mixed the cup of destiny; but honor is laid up as recompense for good men. For let him know clearly, whoever, in this cloud of war, wards off the hailstorm of blood in defense of his dear fatherland by bringing destruction to the enemy host, that he is causing the greatest glory to grow for the race of his fellow-citizens, [30] in both his life and his death. And you, son of Diodotus, emulating the warrior Meleager, emulating Hector and Amphiaraus, breathed out your blossoming youth [35] in the front ranks, where the best men sustained the strife of war at the limit of their hopes. They endured unspeakable sorrow; but now the holder of the earth has sent me calm after the storm. I shall sing entwining my hair with garlands. May the envy of the immortals not disturb [40] whatever delight I pursue from day to day as I peacefully make my way towards old age and the allotted span of my life. For we die all alike, but our fates are diverse. If a man looks to things far away, he is too short to reach the bronze-floored home of the gods; winged Pegasus threw his master Bellerophon, who wanted to go to the dwelling-places of heaven and the company of Zeus. A thing that is sweet beyond measure is awaited by a most bitter end. But grant to us, Loxias, luxuriant with your golden hair, [50] a blossoming garland also from your contests at Pytho.


Isthmian 8
For Cleandros of Aegina Pancratium ?478 B. C.
Young men! One of you go, in honor of Cleandros and his youth, to the splendid doorway of his father Telesarchus, and awake the victory-song, glorious recompense for his troubles, as a reward for his victory at the Isthmus, and [5] because he found strength in the Nemean games. Therefore I too, though grieving in my heart, am asked to invoke the golden Muse. Released from great sorrows, let us not fall into bereavement of garlands; do not nurse your pain. Having ceased from insurmountable troubles, we will sing something sweet for the people, even after toil. Since [10] one of the gods has turned aside for us the stone of Tantalus above our heads, an unbearable hardship for Greece. But as for me, the passing away of terror has stopped my mighty worry. It is always better to look at what lies before one's foot, in every case. For a treacherous lifetime hangs over men's heads, [15] twisting around the path of life. Yet even this may be healed for mortals, if only they have freedom. It is right for a man to take to heart good hope; and it is right for a man raised in seven-gated Thebes to offer the choicest bloom of the Graces to Aegina. For as twin daughters they were born to the same father, the youngest of Asopus' children, and they were pleasing to Zeus the king. He caused one of them to dwell beside the beautiful stream [20] of Dirce, to lead a chariot-loving city; but he carried you to the island Oenopia and slept with you there, where you bore Aeacus, the dearest of all men on earth to the loud-thundering father. Aeacus settled disputes even for the gods. His god-like [25] sons and their sons, devoted to war, were the best in manliness, engaged in the brazen battle-throng that causes groans, and they were wise and prudent in spirit. All this was remembered even by the assembly of the blessed gods, when Zeus and splendid Poseidon contended for marriage with Thetis, each of them wanting her to be his lovely bride; for desire possessed them. [30] But the immortal minds of the gods did not accomplish that marriage for them, when they heard the divine prophecies. Wise Themis spoke in their midst and said that it was fated that the sea-goddess should bear a princely son, stronger than his father, who would wield another weapon in his hand more powerful than the thunderbolt [35] or the irresistible trident, if she lay with Zeus or one of his brothers. “No, cease from this. Let her accept a mortal's bed, and see her son die in battle, a son who is like Ares in the strength of his hands and like lightning in the swift prime of his feet. My counsel is to bestow this god-granted honor of marriage on Peleus son of Aeacus, [40] who is said to be the most pious man living on the plain of Iolcus. Let the message be sent at once to Cheiron's immortal cave, right away, and let the daughter of Nereus never again place the leaves of strife in our hands. On the evening of the full moon [45] let her loosen the lovely bridle of her virginity for that hero.” So the goddess spoke, addressing the sons of Cronus, and they nodded assent with their immortal brows. The fruit of her words did not perish, for they say that Zeus shared the common concern even for the marriage of Thetis. And the voices of poets made known the youthful excellence of Achilles to those who had been unaware of it—Achilles, who [50] stained the vine-covered plain of Mysia, spattering it with the dark blood of Telephus, and bridged a homecoming for the Atreids, and freed Helen, cutting with his spear the sinews of Troy, which had once tried to keep him from marshalling on the plain the work of man-slaying war—he cut down [55] the high-spirited strength of Memnon, and Hector, and other excellent heroes. Achilles, champion of the sons of Aeacus, showed them the way to the house of Persephone, and thus brought fame to Aegina and to his race. Even when he was dead songs did not forsake him; beside his pyre and tomb the Muses of Helicon stood, and poured over him the many-voiced dirge. It proved to be the will of the immortals [60] to make a noble man, even when dead, a theme for the hymns of goddesses; and even now this brings up a subject for words, and the Muses' chariot rushes forward to shout praises in memory of Nicocles the boxer. Honor him, who won the garland of wild Dorian celery in the Isthmian valley; since [65] he too was once victorious over all that lived around him, battering them with his inescapable hands. He is not dishonored by the offspring of his father's distinguished brother. Therefore let another young man weave for Cleandros a garland of tender myrtle in honor of the pancratium, since the contest of Alcathous and the young men of Epidaurus welcomed him before in his success. A good man may praise him, [70] for he did not restrain his youth, keeping it hidden in his pocket1and ignorant of fine deeds.
1 Reading κόλπῳ (Theiler, Slater) or κόλπου (Young) rather than κειᾷ.
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