Pindar’s Homer: The Lyric Possession of an Epic Past

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7. Pindar and Homer, Athlete and Hero

§1. Having observed how epic and the ainos of praise poetry can converge as well as diverge, we have begun to appreciate how the convergent kleos of Pindar’s epinician lyric poetry may momentarily collapse the distinction between hero and victorious athlete. Perhaps the clearest example that we have seen so far is Nemean 9.39–42, where the kleos of the hero Hektor and the kleos of the victorious athlete are drawn into an explicit parallel. [1] The link between hero and athlete can also be achieved by the formal mention of the athlete’s immediate ancestors, who are treated by the ainos of epinician lyric poetry as if they were a logical extension from the world of heroes. The continuum of the ancestors is made conveniently open-ended by the epinician as it reaches back in time, extending far back to the world of heroes. We can see that same kind of open-endedness in the speech of Phoenix to Achilles, spoken in the mode of an ainos and introduced by the following phrase: [2]

Iliad IX 524–525 {199|200}

In this Homeric case the klea andrōn, the ‘glories of men’ who came before, does not have to reach very far back in time since the discourse is already happening in the world of heroes. For heroes in the world of heroes, the ‘men who came before’ are their ancestors. Still, the reference is open-ended in its vagueness, and the vagueness helps emphasize the unbroken continuum of the ‘men who came before’ for men of the present. And the name of the person who is the hidden subject of the ainos told by Phoenix, Patroklos or Patro-kleēs ‘he who has the klea of the ancestors’, reinforces the notion that the ‘men of the past’ are indeed the ancestors for men of the present. [

§2. In the diction of Pindar’s ainos, however, the ‘men who came before’ are not only the heroes who receive the kleos but also those who give the kleos to the heroes. Thus, for example, the proteroi ‘men of the past’ at Pindar Pythian 3.80 are clearly the actual tellers of the tradition, not its subject matter: μανθάνων οἶσθα προτέρων ‘you know, learning from men of the past’. [8] The same sort of ambiguity is attested in other poets as well:

οὐ μὲν δὴ κείνου γε μένος καὶ ἀγήνορα θυμὸν
τοῖον ἐμεῦ προτέρων πεύθομαι, οἵ μιν ἴδον
Λυδῶν ἱππομάχων πυκινὰς κλονέοντα φάλαγγας
Ἕρμιον ἂμ πεδίον, φῶτα φερεμμελίην.

Mimnermus F 14.1–4 W

There is reason to think, then, that the phrase klea andrōn ‘glories of men’ inherits a neutrality of active/passive diathesis in the genitive plural andrōn ‘of men’: in other words the genitive in this phrase seems to carry with it both an objective and a subjective function. The glories are being told simultaneously about and by the men of the past. There is a presupposition of an unbroken succession extending from the men of the past to the men of the present, both those men who are the subjects of the glory and those men who perpetuate the glory through song. These glories, these klea, are evidently the shared property throughout time of both the patrons and the poets who sing about them. As we have seen in the words of the poet Ibycus addressed to his patron, the tyrant Polykrates, your glory, your kleos, is my kleos (Ibycus SLG 151.47–48). [

§4. There is comparative evidence for the objective/subjective neutrality of the genitive in klea andrōn: in the diction of the Rig-Veda, the expression śámso narā́ṃ ‘glory of men’ allows either an objective or a subjective function for the genitive plural narā́ṃ ‘of men’: the emphasis can thus shift back and forth from the glory due the patron of the sacrifice to the glory due the composer of the sacred hymn that activates the sacrifice. [13] The neutralization of objective/subjective diathesis is not clearly attested in the case of śrávo nr̥ṇā́ṃ ‘glory of men’ at Rig-Veda 5.18.5, where we see a direct cognate of klea andrōn: here the genitive plural seems to be specialized in the objective sense. In this connection, however, I draw attention to the contrast between singular śrávas– in Indic and plural klea in Greek: the singular conveys the notion of a single given composition, while the plural seems to emphasize a given tradition of composition. [14] When Achilles is singing the klea andrōn in the Iliad (IX 189), Patroklos is described emphatically as the only one who is listening to him (190). Presumably Patroklos will take up where Achilles left off: δέγμενος Αἰακίδην, ὁπότε λήξειεν ἀείδων ‘he was waiting for whatever moment the Aeacid would stop singing’ (191). The name of Patroklos seems appropriate to this theme: it is only through Patrokleēs ‘he who has the klea of the ancestors’ that the plurality of performance, that is, the activation of tradition, can happen. As long as Achilles himself sings the klea andrōn, these glories cannot be heard by any audience except Patroklos. [15]

§5. The theme of reciprocity between the kleos of heroes in the past or of patrons in the present on one hand and the kleos of poets from past to present on the other hand finds direct expression in Pindaric song, where the idealized poet of the past can be represented as “Homer” while the implicit poet of the present is Pindar:

τῶν δ’ Ὁμήρου καὶ τόδε συνθέμενος | ῥῆμα πόρσυν’. ἄγγελον ἐσλὸν ἔφα τιμὰν μεγίσταν πράγματι παντὶ φέρειν. | αὔξεται καὶ Μοῖσα δι’ ἀγγελίας ὀρθᾶς

Pindar Pythian 4.277–279

In other words, just as the Muse of poetry and song gives the greatness of tīmē ‘honor’, [
18] so also she receives it. [19] Just as the poet, whether it is the “Homer” of the past or the Pindar of the present, ‘wins as prize’ [= verb pherō] for his subject the honor [tīmē] as conferred by the words of poetry, thereby ‘making great’ [= verb auxō] both the subject of the poetry and the poetry itself, [20] so also the person who happens to be the subject of the poetry, as a man of the present who has performed a glorious deed, can ‘win’ the honor conferred by the words of poetry in an unbroken continuum extending from the world of heroes to the world of the here and now, thereby ‘making great’ the immediate ancestry that produced him. Such was the case of the victorious athlete Aristomenes of Aegina, glorified by Pindar in Pythian 8: {203|204}

αὔξων δὲ πάτραν Μειδυλιδᾶν λόγον φέρεις, | τὸν ὅνπερ ποτ’ Ὀικλέος παῖς (…) αἰνίξατο (…) | (43) ὧδ’ εἶπε μαρναμένων· | φυᾷ τὸ γενναῖον ἐπιπρέπει | ἐκ πατέρων παισὶ λῆμα … | (55) τοιαῦτα μὲν | ἐφθέγξατ’ Ἀμφιάρηος. χαίρων δὲ καὶ αὐτὸς | Ἀλκμᾶνα στεφάνοισι βάλλω.

Pindar Pythian 8.38–57

To extend the stories of heroes into the present, with a contemporary deed implicitly worthy of the kleos that the heroes had earned through the klea andrōn, is to ‘win as a prize [= verb pherō] the words [logos]’, as in this passage (Pythian 8.38). As we also see in this passage, such words take the form of an ainos (8.40).

§6. Conversely the past deeds of heroes, worthy as they are of kleos, may be said to extend all the way to the present, if the contemporary deed is worthy of kleos, and this too is to ‘win as a prize [= verb pherō] the words [logos]’, as we see from the Pindaric description of the heroic legacy of Achilles:

τὸν μὲν οὐδὲ θανόντ’ ἀοιδαὶ <ἐπ>έλιπον, | ἀλλά οἱ παρά τε πυρὰν τάφον θ’ Ἑλικώνιαι παρθένοι στάν, ἐπὶ θρῆνόν τε πολύφαμον ἔχεαν. | ἔδοξ’ ἦρα καὶ ἀθανάτοις, | ἐσθλόν γε φῶτα καὶ φθίμενον ὕμνοις θεᾶν διδόμεν. | τὸ καὶ νῦν φέρει λόγον, ἔσσυταί τε Μοισαῖον ἅρμα Νικοκλέος | μνᾶμα πυγμάχου κελαδῆσαι

Pindar Isthmian 8.56a–62

The thought expressed here has been paraphrased by one critic as follows: “This handing over of a brave man [= Achilles] and his achievements to poetry even today brings fame (as it formerly did with Achilles).” [
24] In other words the death of Nikokles, by virtue of his deeds in the contemporary world, merits the same tradition of song that the death of Achilles had once merited and still merits in the here and now by virtue of his deeds in the heroic world. The name of Nikokles, Nīkoklēs ‘he who has the glory [kleos] of victory [nīkē]’, is made appropriate to the themes of Pindar’s Isthmian 8 in that the death of this Nikokles, cousin of the Isthmian victor Kleandros who is the primary honorand of this composition, is said not to impede the glory that he merited as a victorious boxer: rather the death is said to be the key to the continuation of the boxer’s glory, just as the death of Achilles was the key to the extension of the glory of heroes in the present. The name of Kleandros, Kleandros ‘he who has the glories of men [klea andrōn]’, is thus likewise made appropriate to the themes of Isthmian 8 in that the ‘glories of men’, the klea andrōn, are more specifically ‘the glories of men who came before, heroes’ (τῶν πρόσθεν … κλέα ἀνδρῶν | ἡρώων (Iliad IX 524–525), [25] that is, the glories of dead men of the past, as we saw from the implicit ainos narrated by Phoenix to Achilles. [26] In that particular instance the message carried by the ainos of the old man Phoenix, from the overall standpoint of the Iliad, is also carried by the very name of Patroklos, Patro-kleēs ‘he who has the glory [kleos] of the ancestors’. [27] The thematic appropriateness of the honorand’s name, Kleandros, as indicating the klea andrōn ‘glories of men’, is underlined by its placement as the first word of Isthmian 8. In all the attested epinician poems of Pindar, Kleandros stands out as the only victor whose name begins the composition. [28] Even the inherited reciprocity of the concept of klea andrōn ‘glories of men’, in that the ‘men’ may be either the poets or the subject of the poets, is recapitulated in the composition of Isthmian 8: the poet, Pindar of Thebes, and the subject, Kleandros of Aegina, are represented as mythological relatives in that the nymphs Thebe and Aegina are twin sisters, both sired by the river Asopos (Isthmian 8.15–23). The son of Zeus and Aegina is none other than Aiakos (8.21–22), ancestor of the Aiakidai, while the Aigeidai, who represent the patriliny of Pindar himself (Pythian 5.75), [29] are elsewhere described as the {205|206} descendants of Thebe (Isthmian 7.15). In view of this relationship Pindar of Thebes offers the flower of the Kharites ‘Graces’, personifications of reciprocity, [30] to Aegina, the community of the honorand (8.16–16a). [31]

§7. In Iliad IX, the klea andrōn ‘glories of men’ is dramatized both as an ainos told by Phoenix to Achilles (524) and as an epic sung by Achilles to his one-man audience (189). [32] The audience of the epic is also the hidden subject of the ainos: he is Patro-kleēs ‘he who has the kleos of the ancestors’, whose name conveys both the medium of the epic and the medium of the ainos. In Iliad IX the kleos of the ainos about the implicit subject of Patroklos is appropriated by the epic, which is a kleos that is aphthiton ‘unfailing, unwilting’ (413). The situation is the opposite in Pindar’s Isthmian 8, where the kleos of the epic about the explicit subject of Achilles is appropriated by the kleos of the ainos, in that the never-ending kleos of Achilles is presented as extending all the way into the kleos of the victor. [33] Here too, as in Iliad IX, the kleos of the ancestors plays a role. This time, however, the kleos of the ancestors is realized not in the theme and the name of Patroklos but rather in the actual kleos of the victor’s own ancestors as celebrated by the lyric poetry of Pindar. In this particular case, moreover, the kleos of the victor’s ancestors is realized in the victor’s own name, Kleandros. The victor Kleandros is living proof that the kleos, the very identity, of his family is predicated on the achievements of its members. The victor of Isthmian 8 was planned from the start, from the very time that he was named, to become what he, to his good fortune, became through his athletic victory. A person’s name, which he is given at birth on the basis of his ancestry, commits him to his identity. In the case of Kleandros, we see that a historical person—and even his identity as defined by his name—can fit the themes of the epinician. This can happen because the family’s prestige and their very identity depend on the traditional institution of glorification by way of poetry and because this institution is preserved by epinician lyric poetry.

§11. Nestor’s lesson on chariot driving amounts to a lesson on how to think for oneself in a moment of crisis. The key to the lesson, which Nestor calls a ‘signal’ or sēma (XXIII 326), is what Antilokhos should do when he reaches the terma ‘turning point’ in the parabola-shaped course of the chariot race. Let us picture the trajectory of the racecourse as a counterclockwise movement around the turning point (cf. XXIII 336), which is at the twelve-o’clock position: as the driver approaches the turning point, he prepares to round it as closely as possible by restraining with the reins his horse-team on the left side while impelling them with a goad on the right side (XXIII 336–341). As Douglas Frame has pointed out to me about this passage, the key to success here is a blend of opposites: impulsiveness on one side, restraint on the other. [40] The noos ‘mind’ of Antilokhos, which we may define for the moment as his ability to “read” a sēma ‘sign, signal’, [41] responds to this lesson (νοέοντι XXIII 305) by finding an occasion to apply the principle. The {208|209} occasion comes earlier than the situation described by Nestor, which is at the turning point. Before Antilokhos ever reaches the turning point, he impulsively seizes an opportunity to pass the chariot of Menelaos, thereby nearly “fishtailing” the older hero and thus nearly killing them both (XXIII 402–441). This seemingly reckless act of Antilokhos is in reality a rational application of the principle taught by Nestor, as we see at the moment that Antilokhos decides to take the risk: he does so by recourse to his noos (νοήσω at XXIII 415, picking up νοέοντι at XXIII 305). [42] What Menelaos thinks is a matter of reckless adolescent driving, an act lacking in noos (νῦν αὖτε νόον νίκησε νεοίη XXIII 604), is in reality a deliberate and rational move. [43] Though Antilokhos risks everything, his risk is a calculated one nevertheless, and the overarching principle of rational behavior is underscored by the restraint with which Antilokhos handles the angry Menelaos in the following scene: the two disputing contestants finally come to terms, with Menelaos generously allowing Antilokhos to keep the prize that should rightfully have been his own (XXIII 586–611). [44] This restraint of Antilokhos, which leads to his success in keeping the prize, complements the earlier impulsiveness when he nearly “fishtailed” Menelaos (XXIII 418–441). [45]

§12. In the case of Antilokhos his noos enables him to win because he understands and can apply what Nestor had taught him, particularly through the sēma ‘sign, signal’ (XXIII 326) about what to do at the turning point. In other words Antilokhos “reads” the sēma ‘sign’ of Nestor, and this reading is a matter of noos. [46] The verb noeō ‘recognize’, derivative of noos, is practically synonymous with “read” in the sense of “read the sign.” In view of Nestor’s specifically saying that the sēma ‘sign’ of victory (XXIII 326) centers on the way in which Antilokhos is to make his turn around the turning point, and in view of Nestor’s explicitly linking this sēma ‘sign’ and this terma ‘turning point’, it is noteworthy that the narrative goes on to indicate that the terma is itself a sēma. But now (XXIII 331) the word sēma has the specific meaning of ‘tomb’, which is conventionally visualized as a mound of earth, such as the tomb of Patroklos (at ΧΧΙII 45):

ἤ τευ σῆμα βροτοῖο πάλαι κατατεθνηῶτος,
ἢ τό γε νύσσα τέτυκτο ἐπὶ προτέρων ἀνθρώπων, {209|210}
καὶ νῦν τέρματ’ ἔθηκε ποδάρκης δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς.

ΧΧΙΙΙ 331–333

The two distinct alternatives set up by this Homeric passage, either a turning point or a tomb, correspond to one and the same thing in the institution of chariot races as attested in the Panhellenic Games, where the turning points of chariot racecourses were conventionally identified with the tombs of heroes. [
48] According to Pausanias the spirit of such a hero, called Taraxippos ‘he who disturbs the horses’, often causes the racing chariots to crash as they round the turning point (6.20.15–19). Similarly, in the chariot race in honor of the dead hero Patroklos, it is the turning point where Antilokhos must take care, according to Nestor, not to let his chariot crash (XXIII 341–345).

§13. Despite the collapsing of distinctions between turning point and hero’s tomb in the institution of chariot racing within the framework of the Games, the narrative of the Iliad overtly maintains their distinctness: the turning point for the chariot race in honor of Patroklos had been in the past either just that, a turning point, or else a sēma ‘tomb’ of a hero, of one who came before (XXIII 331–332). But here too is a collapsing of distinctions, though this happens only latently, by way of the double use of sēma in the sense of both ‘sign’ (XXIII 326) and ‘tomb’ (XXIII 331). [49] The emphasis on one alternative interpretation, that the object in question is the tomb of a hero, is expressed by a word that points to the other alternative interpretation, that the object in question is a turning point: the word is sēma, which conveys not only the notion of ‘tomb’ (XXIII 331) but also the ‘sign’ of Nestor (XXIII 326) concerning precisely how to make a turn at a turning point (XXIII 334–348; cf. 309, 318–325). Thus the ostentatiously presented alternative of a sēma ‘tomb’ (XXIII 331), in view of the sēma ‘sign’ of Nestor to his son only five verses earlier (XXIII 326), bears its own message: not only the tomb is a sign but the very mention of the tomb may be a sign. Thus the sēma is a reminder, and the very use of the word is a reminder. In a more detailed study of sēma, I have characterized the attitude of this narrative concerning Nestor’s lesson as one of take it or leave it: “If you reject the alternative that the turning point is {210|211} a sēma ‘tomb’ of a dead man, then the sēma ‘sign’ of Nestor to Antilokhos has a simplex message about how to make a turn; if you accept it, on the other hand, then the same sēma ‘sign’ has an additional message about the sēma ‘tomb’ as a reminder of kleos.” [50]

§14. Moreover, in the case of Antilokhos this sēma is a reminder not just of kleos in general but of Patro-kleēs ‘he who has the klea of the ancestors’ in particular. After the death of Patroklos, Antilokhos takes over from Patroklos the role of ritual substitute, so that the sēma ‘sign’ for Antilokhos is about a role model who will set the pattern, from the standpoint of the Iliad, of stories in the future epic career of Antilokhos.

§15. As I have argued at length elsewhere, the role of Patroklos as ritual substitute of Achilles is conveyed by his characterization as therapōn of Achilles. [51] This word therapōn, normally translated as ‘attendant’ or ‘companion in arms’, is apparently a borrowing of an Anatolian word, attested in Hittite as tarpašša-|tarp(an)alli- ‘ritual substitute’. [52] This sense of therapōn is latent in most Homeric contexts, but it comes to the surface in the application of the word to Patroklos in the context of his dying in place of Achilles. As long as Patroklos behaves as an attendant of Achilles, his identity is subsumed under that of Achilles and he is safe from harm; once he ventures on his own, however, he is doomed to die in place of Achilles. This two-way relationship of Patroklos to Achilles, passive as an understudy and active as a ritual substitute, is conveyed by the word therapōn. [53] A primary function of Patroklos, as an attendant of Achilles, was to be his hēniokhos ‘chariot driver’ (XXIII 280). One Automedon, who had served as chariot driver for Patroklos when Patroklos ventured off on his fatal quest, takes over from Patroklos as chariot fighter after Patroklos dies, while one Alkimedon takes over from Automedon as chariot driver (XVII 474–483). Both Automedon and Alkimedon are described as therapontes ‘attendants’ of Achilles (XXIV 573–574), whom the hero honored more than all his other hetairoi ‘companions in arms’ after the death of Patroklos (XXIV 574–575). Another hetairos ‘companion in arms’ who is very dear to Achilles is Antilokhos (XXIII 556), and he is described in this way specifically in the context of his winning a prize from Achilles as a result of his success as a chariot driver in the Funeral Games of Patroklos. In the Odyssey, when the spirits seen in Hades by the newly killed suitors are enumerated, Antilokhos ranks high enough to be the third hero mentioned, immediately after Achilles himself and Patroklos (xxiv 16). This parallelism of Antilokhos with Patroklos is {211|212} also to be found in the Aithiopis, where Achilles avenges the death of Antilokhos at the hands of Memnon (Proclus summary, p. 106 lines 4–6 Allen), much as he avenges the death of Patroklos at the hands of Hektor in the Iliad. Antilokhos, then, is a potential therapōn of Achilles in traditional epic narrative, and he is acknowledged as such in the Iliad (again XXIII 556). [54]

§18. In Pindar’s Pythian 6, honoring the young charioteer Thrasyboulos, a direct connection is established between the noos of Thrasyboulos and that of Antilokhos. After a reference to the par-ain-esis ‘instructive speech’ of Cheiron to Achilles (παραινεῖν 6.23), where the old Centaur instructs the young hero that one must honor one’s parents in the same way that one honors Zeus most of all (6.23–27), the lesson for the present is applied directly to Antilokhos, who had died on the battlefield as a substitute for his father:

ἔγεντο καὶ πρότερον Ἀντίλοχος βιατὰς | νόημα τοῦτο φέρων, | ὃς ὑπερέφθιτο πατρός, ἐναρίμβροτον | ἀναμείναις στράταρχον Αἰθιόπων | Μέμνονα. Νεστόρειον γὰρ ἵππος ἅρμ’ ἐπέδα | Πάριος ἐκ βελέων δαιχθείς· ὁ δ’ ἔφεπεν | κραταιὸν ἔγχος· Μεσσανίου δὲ γέροντος | δονηθεῖσα φρὴν βόασε παῖδα ὅν, | χαμαιπετὲς δ’ ἄρ’ ἔπος οὐκ ἀπέριψεν· αὐτοῦ | μένων δ’ ὁ θεῖος ἀνὴρ | πρίατο μὲν θανάτοιο κομιδὰν πατρός, | ἐδόκησέν τε τῶν πάλαι γενεᾷ | ὁπλοτέροισιν {212|213} ἔργον πελώριον τελέσαις | ὕπατος ἀμφὶ τοκεῦσιν ἔμμεν πρὸς ἀρετάν. | τὰ μὲν παρίκει· τῶν νῦν δὲ καὶ Θρασύβουλος | πατρῴαν μάλιστα πρὸς στάθμαν ἔβα, | πάτρῳ τ’ ἐπερχόμενος ἀγλαίαν {ἔδειξεν} ἅπασαν. | νόῳ δὲ πλοῦτον ἄγει, | ἄδικον οὔθ’ ὑπέροπλον ἥβαν δρέπων, | σοφίαν δ’ ἐν μυχοῖσι Πιερίδων· | τίν τ’, Ἐλέλιχθον, ἄρχεις ὃς ἱππιᾶν ἐσόδων, | μάλα ἁδόντι νόῳ, Ποσειδάν, προσέχεται.

Pindar Pythian 6.28–51

Here the linking of the present with the past of both the heroes and the ancestors is explicit: “But those things [= the deeds of the hero Antilokhos] are in the past. As for the present, Thrasyboulos stands up to the standard of his {213|214} ancestors.” As we have seen in another Pindaric passage, the victorious man of the present is said to be repeating the patterns of the ancestors by virtue of repeating the patterns of the heroes, in this case, of Antilokhos. [
60] Just as Antilokhos had noos (νόημα: 6.29), with an emphasis on the impulsive side of the hero (biātās: 6.29), [61] so also does Thrasyboulos have noos as he enriches his family by winning (νόῳ 6.47) and as he pleases Poseidon, the lord of horse racing (νόῳ 6.51). In the meantime the theme of the ancestors, as conveyed by the name Patrokleēs for Antilokhos in the Iliad, is conveyed for Thrasyboulos by the model of Antilokhos in Pindar’s Pythian 6.

§19. We have seen three clear examples where the victorious man of the present is said by Pindar’s lyric poetry to be repeating the patterns of the ancestors by virtue of repeating the patterns of the heroes: there was Aristomenes in Pythian 8, Kleandros in Isthmian 8, and now Thrasyboulos in Pythian 6. In each case, epic is represented as extending into the epinician ainos of Pindar, which in turn presents itself as the ultimate authority of tradition. More than that, the medium of the epinician ainos, as mastered by the likes of Pindar, is accepted as the ultimate authority by a society that can even name its children in accordance with the grand themes of the epinician tradition. {214|215}


[ back ] 1. Cf. Ch. 6§7–9.

[ back ] 2. On the speech of Phoenix as ainos or par-ain-esis ‘instructive speech’, cf. Ch. 6§88–89.

[ back ] 3. For the phraseology, compare Mimnermus F 14.2 W, as discussed at Ch. 7§1–2.

[ back ] 4. On the function of this expression οὕτω as a marker of the beginning of an ainos, see again Fraenkel 1950 II 339. Also Ch. 6§88–89, and 7§6.

[ back ] 5. Compare τῶν πρόσθεν ‘who came before’ here at Iliad ΙΧ 524 with the word προτέρων in κλέεα προτέρων ἀνθρώπων ‘the klea of men who came before’ at Hesiod Theogony 100, where the klea refers to both epic and theogonic poetry.

[ back ] 6. Compare κλέεα προτέρων ἀνθρώπων | ἡρώων ‘the klea of men who came before, heroes’ with κλέα φωτῶν | … ἡμιθέων ‘the klea of men, demigods [hēmitheoi]’ at Homeric Hymn 32.18–19 and γένος ἀνδρῶν | ἡμιθέων at Homeric Hymn 31.18–19, where the word γένος seems to refer explicitly to genealogical poetry. On hēmitheoi ‘demigods, heroes’ as a word connoting hero cult, see N 1979.159–161.

[ back ] 7. Cf. Ch. 6§88–89.

[ back ] 8. Cf. Pindar Nemean 3.52–53: λεγόμενον δὲ τοῦτο προτέρων ἔπος ἔχω ‘I have this utterance [epos] as spoken by those that came before’. (On the possibility of translating ‘spoken of’ instead of ‘spoken by’ here, see N 1979.325 §8n5 and Hubbard 1985.42–43n92.) On the interpretation of σὲ δ’ ἀντία προτέρων φθέγξομαι at Olympian 1.36 as ‘I shall call upon you [= Pelops] in the presence of the predecessors’, that is, with the past tradition as witness see Ch. 4§18–20.

[ back ] 9. On the possibility that Mimn-ermos ‘Mimnermus’ is a name commemorating the resistance (as conveyed by the verb mimnō), at the river Hermos (Hermos), of the Smyrnaeans against the Lydians, see West 1974.73, who adduces the tradition that Hellanicus, Hellanīkos, was born on the day of the Hellenic victory over the Persians at Salamis (Hellanicus FGH 4 T 6).

[ back ] 10. As I tentatively interpret this poem, it concerns the miraculous appearance of a hero from the past at a decisive moment of battle in the recent history of a given polis; for a collection of testimonia related to the subject of the epiphany of a hero who rescues, in some contemporary crisis, the community in which he is traditionally worshipped, see Brelich 1958.91–92 on Theseus at Marathon (Plutarch Life of Theseus 35.5), Phylakos and Autonoos at Delphi (Herodotus 8.34–39; Pausanias 10.8.7). For instances where a group prays to heroes for intervention in moments of crisis, see Brelich ibid. on Ajax and Telamon at Salamis (Herodotus 8.64), Idomeneus and Meriones in a Cretan war (Diodorus 5.79.4). The emphatic use of keinos ‘that one’ at lines 1/9 of Mimnermus F 14 suggests, of and by itself, an epiphany: cf. Sappho F 31.1 V (where the collocation of φαίνεταί μοι κῆνος with ἴσος θέοισιν likewise suggests an epiphany, even if the following infinitive at line 2, on which see Race 1983.94n10, shifts the understanding of φαίνεται from ‘is manifested’ to ‘seems’). The description of ‘that one’ as a man who was by far the best man in his own time suggests a figure like Achilles.

[ back ] 11. Cf. Ch. 6§73–75.

[ back ] 12. Cf. Ch. 6§86–88. In a forthcoming work, T. K. Hubbard argues that the epiphanic hero in this context is Amphiaraos himself, not his son Alkmaion.

[ back ] 13. See Geldner 1951 I 265–266; also Schmitt 1967.98.

[ back ] 14. Cf. Schmitt, p. 96.

[ back ] 15. On the Homeric device creating a sense of interchangeability between characters of epic and members of the audience, see Frontisi-Ducroux 1986; in particular I cite her persuasive argument that Patroklos as the audience of Achilles is interchangeable with the audience of the Iliad; cf. also Russo and Simon 1968.

[ back ] 16. On pherō in the sense of ‘win as a prize’, see Ch. 6§86–88.

[ back ] 17. For the collocation of tīmē ‘honor’ and auxō ‘make/become greater’ here, we may compare Pindar Nemean 7.32: τιμὰ δὲ γίνεται ὧν θεὸς ἁβρὸν αὔξει λόγον τεθνακότων ‘ tīmē becomes the possession of those who get words [logos] told about them, when they are dead, that are made great [ auxō ] and luxuriant [habros] by the divinity’. (On the positive usage of habros ‘luxuriant’ see Ch. 10§13–15 and following.) On the collocation of logos ‘word(s)’ and the genitive designating the subject of the song, compare λόγον Ὀδυσσέος ‘words [logos] about Odysseus’ at Nemean 7.21, which are attributed to “Homer” (21). The notion that there are more ‘words’ [logos] about Odysseus than ‘experiences’ [pathā] by Odysseus, as expressed at 7.20–21, is correlated at 7.23 with the presence of supposedly misleading mūthoi ‘myths’ about Odysseus. On the semantics of mūthoi as a broader and relatively unreliable concept as opposed to alētheia ‘truth’ as the narrower and absolutely reliable one, see Ch. 2§27–28 and following. In the Odyssey, we may note, the outnumbering of the actual experiences of Odysseus by the stories about Odysseus has to do with the telling of numerous adventures, most often by Odysseus himself, in the format of an ainos: Ch. 8§29–30 and following.

[ back ] 18. See also Pindar Isthmian 4.37–38, where “Homer” is represented as giving tīmē to a subject, in this case the hero Ajax. I interpret δι’ ἀνθρώπων here as a functional variant of Homeric ἐπ’ ἀνθρώπους in the sense of ‘throughout humankind’, a phrase deployed in collocation with kleos ‘glory’ and other designations of song and its performance (as at Iliad X 213, XXIV 202; Odyssey i 299, xix 334, xxiv 94, 201). The variation of ἐπί + accusative and διά + genitive, where both the accusative and the genitive convey the diffusion of song, is attested in a single context at Nemean 6.48–49: πέταται δ’ ἐπί τε χθόνα καὶ διὰ θαλάσσας τηλόθεν ὄνυμ’ αὐτῶν ‘their reputation spreads over land and sea’ (with reference to the glory of the Aiakidai: 45–47, quoted at Ch. 8§9–11).

[ back ] 19. See also Pindar Isthmian 6.67, where “Hesiod” is represented as being given tīmē by virtue of having an audience that not only listens to his poetic words but also applies their inherent wisdom. In this case the audience is specified as Lampon, who passes on this wisdom to his sons, in the mode of par-ain-esis (υἱοῖσι τε φράζων παραινεῖ ‘indicating to his sons, he makes par-ain-esis ’ 6.68; more on par-ain-esis ‘instructive speech’ at Ch. 6§6–7, 6§88–89), and who even shares this wisdom with the community at large, thus bringing about kosmos ‘orderliness’ (6.69; more on kosmos at Ch. 5§16–17).

[ back ] 20. The underlined word καὶ makes clear that not only the poetry but also the subject of the poetry is meant: αὔξεται καὶ Μοῖσα (Pythian 4.279). I use the word poetry here in the broadest sense, to include song.

[ back ] 21. On pherō in the sense of ‘win as a prize’: Ch. 7§3–5.

[ back ] 22. Cf. Ch. 6§86–88.

[ back ] 23. As I argue in N 1979.176–177, the phraseology here implies that Achilles was destined to have a kleos that is a-phthi-ton ‘unfailing, unwilting’, as explicitly formulated at Iliad IX 413. Cf. Steiner 1986.38.

[ back ] 24. Köhnken 1975.30; cf. Pòrtulas 1985.214.

[ back ] 25. Cf. Ch. 7§1–2.

[ back ] 26. Cf. Ch. 7.

[ back ] 27. Cf. Ch. 6§89–91.

[ back ] 28. This detail is noted by Köhnken 1975.32n3. For an analogous emphasis on an honorand’s name by way of initial positioning in the composition, see Bacchylides Epinician 6.1 SM: here the theme of Λάχων, the honorand’s name and the first word of the composition, is immediately picked up by λάχε at 6.2.

[ back ] 29. Cf. Ch. 12§79–80.

[ back ] 30. On kharis (plural kharites) ‘grace’ as a designation of reciprocity, see, for example, Ch. 2§28n72.

[ back ] 31. This gesture of offering the flower of the Kharites is followed by οὕνεκα ‘because’, introducing the myth of the daughters of Asopos (Pindar Isthmian 8.17 and following; cf. Nemean 3.3–5). For another reference to this myth, which served to validate an alliance between Thebes and Aegina, see Herodotus 5.80; on the role of the Aiakidai in this passage, see Ch. 6§57–58. For yet another reference, cf. Bacchylides Epinician 9.53 and following. Cf. Hubbard 1987c.15–16.

[ back ] 32. On Patroklos as audience, see Ch. 7§3–5.

[ back ] 33. See again Isthmian 8.56a–62, as quoted at Ch. 7§5–6 above.

[ back ] 34. Cf. Aristotle Rhetoric 1400b21.

[ back ] 35. Another striking example is the name of a victor’s father in Pythian 11.43, Puthonīkos ‘he who has victory at the Pythian Games’. What goes for athletes goes for horses as well: consider the name of the prize horse of Hieron, Pherenīkos (Olympian 1.18, Pythian 3.74), which means ‘he who carries off the victory [nīkē]’. Cf. Burnett 1985.179n7, who offers a list of “puns” in Pindar and Bacchylides; I suggest, however, that the term pun in this context is too narrow, implying as it does a playful attitude towards the names of the honorands. On the serious function of the name as a “micro-récit” in Archaic Greek traditions, see Calame 1986.155 and Loraux 1988b.

[ back ] 36. Cf. Ch. 6§83–85.

[ back ] 37. Cf. Famell 1932.187.

[ back ] 38. This interpretation requires that νιν at Pythian 6.19 refer to πατρὶ τεῷ at 15: cf. Gildersleeve 1899.318.

[ back ] 39. There is a variation on this epic scene in Iliad VIII 80 and following, where it is Diomedes rather than Antilokhos who saves Nestor, this time from Hektor, after Nestor’s chariot is immobilized as Paris shoots the old man’s horse with an arrow (unlike Antilokhos, of course, Diomedes himself does not get killed in performing the rescue). On the pointed references to Diomedes as a stand-in, as it were, for Antilokhos, as in Iliad IX 57–58, see Schein 1987.247. It is the apparent Iliadic awareness of the story of Antilokhos’ death that guarantees the epic pedigree of this story as Pindar alludes to it.

[ back ] 40. In this connection, Frame also draws my attention to the description of the Siamese twins known as the Aktorione Molione in Nestor’s narrative about the chariot race at the Funeral Games of Amarynkeus in Iliad XXIII: in this contest, which is the only one that Nestor says that he did not win (XXIII 638), the twins were victorious by way of their combined efforts, where one twin was consistently guiding the horses as he held the reins while the other twin would urge them on with the whip (XXIII 641–642). Since the left hand is conventionally the bridle hand (see LSJ s.v. ἡνία Ι.3) and since this heroic pair were Siamese twins, I assume that the user of the reins, the twin of restraint, would have to be on the left side, and that the twin of impulse would have to be on the right.

[ back ] 41. On the semiotics of reading as ‘recognizing’, see N 1983, especially p. 39; also Pucci 1987.87. Cf. also Ch. 6§49–50 and following.

[ back ] 42. That Antilokhos is behaving here as an exponent of mētis ‘cunning intelligence’ is argued further in N 1983.53n37, extending the arguments presented by Detienne and Vernant 1974.22–24, 29–31.

[ back ] 43. Again, this point is argued in N 1983.53n37.

[ back ] 44. Cf. N, p. 48.

[ back ] 45. Ibid. Thus the act of balancing restraint and impulsiveness achieves in the end a dominant sense of restraint.

[ back ] 46. Cf. Ch. 7§10–11.

[ back ] 47. This usage of proteroi ‘men who came before’, as we have seen at Ch. 7§1–2, implies an ainos (on which see Ch. 6§2–4 and following). Like the ainos, the sēma here is one code conveying at least two messages.

[ back ] 48. See Rohde 1898 I 173 and n1 (= 1925.127 and n147n59); also Sinos 1980.53n6 and N 1983.46.

[ back ] 49. The sēma here is like the ainos: one code conveying two messages.

[ back ] 50. N 1983.47.

[ back ] 51. N 1979.292–295; Sinos 1980.29–38; Lowenstam 1981.126–177.

[ back ] 52. Van Brock 1959.119: “Le tarpalli– est un autre soi-même, une projection de l’individu sur laquelle sont transférées par la magie du verbe toutes les souillures dont on veut se débarasser.”

[ back ] 53. Again, N 1979.292–295.

[ back ] 54. Sinos 1980.30 remarks: “It was Patroklos who succeeded in the competition with his multiforms, Antilokhos, Automedon, and Alkimedon.”

[ back ] 55. Cf. Ch. 7§10–11.

[ back ] 56. Cf. Ch. 7§10–11.

[ back ] 57. The use of the adverb proteron here should be compared with that of the adjective proteros in indicating that an ainos is at work (cf. Ch. 7§1–2).

[ back ] 58. Compare νόημα τοῦτο φέρων ‘who wins as a prize this thought’ here at Pythian 6.29, applying to Thrasyboulos as well as to his model Antilokhos, with λόγον φέρεις ‘you win as a prize the words’ at Pythian 8.38, applying to Aristomenes as well as to his model Alkmaion (as discussed at Ch. 6§86–88).

[ back ] 59. Compare πλοῦτον ἄγει ‘does he bring about wealth’ here with ψυχὰν κομίξαι … δέρμα τε κριοῦ … ἄγειν ‘to save the psūkhē and bring back the fleece of the ram’ at Pindar Pythian 4.159. The materialism here is of the “otherworldly” sort (Ch. 8§43–45 and following). Cf. Pindar Pythian 6.5: ὀλβίοισιν Ἐμμενίδαις ‘for the patriliny of the Emmenidai, who are olbioi’; again, the materialism here is “otherworldly” (Ch. 8§43–45 and following).

[ back ] 60. Compare again νόημα τοῦτο φέρων ‘who wins as a prize this thought’ here at Pythian 6.29, applying to Thrasyboulos as well as to his model Antilokhos, with λόγον φέρεις ‘you win as a prize the words’ at Pythian 8.38, applying to Aristomenes as well as to his model Alkmaion (Ch. 7§18).

[ back ] 61. On noos as a balance of impulsiveness and restraint, initially favoring the former and ultimately adopting the latter, see Ch. 7§10–11 and following. The noos of Patroklos is described as biātās at Pindar Olympian 9.75, precisely in a context where Achilles warns him not to venture off on his own (9.76-79).