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

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8. The Authoritative Speech of Prose, Poetry, and Song: Pindar and Herodotus I

§1. The historiā ‘inquiry’ of Herodotus, like the ainos of epinician poets like Pindar, claims to extend from the epic of heroes. Like the ainos of Pindar, the historiā of Herodotus is a form of discourse that claims the authority to possess and control the epic of heroes. I propose to support these assertions by examining the structure of Herodotus’ narrative, traditionally known as the Histories, and by arguing that the traditions underlying this structure are akin to those underlying the ainos of Pindar’s epinician heritage. [1] With reference to my working definition, in Chapter 1, of song, poetry, and prose, I argue that the study of Herodotus, master of prose, will help further clarify our ongoing consideration of the relationship between song in Pindar and poetry in epic.

§2. As in the songs of Pindar, the figure of Homer is treated as the ultimate representative of epic in the prose of Herodotus (e.g., 2.116–117). [2] In fact, the poetry of Homer along with that of Hesiod is acknowledged by Herodotus as the definitive source for the cultural values that all Hellenes hold in common:

ὅθεν δὲ ἐγένοντο ἕκαστος τῶν θεῶν, εἴτε αἰεὶ ἦσαν πάντες, ὁκοῖοί τέ τινες τὰ εἴδεα, οὐκ ἠπιστέατο μέχρι οὖ πρώην τε καὶ χθὲς ὡς εἰπεῖν λόγῳ. Ἡσίοδον γὰρ καὶ Ὅμηρον ἡλικίην τετρακοσίοισι ἔτεσι δοκέω μευ πρεσβυτέρους γενέσθαι καὶ οὐ πλέοσι. οὗτοι δέ εἰσι οἱ ποιήσαντες θεογονίην Ἕλλησι καὶ τοῖσι θεοῖσι τὰς ἐπωνυμίας δόντες {215|216} καὶ τιμάς τε καὶ τέχνας διελόντες καὶ εἴδεα αὐτῶν σημήναντες. οἱ δὲ πρότερον ποιηταὶ λεγόμενοι τούτων τῶν ἀνδρῶν γενέσθαι ὕστερον, ἔμοιγε δοκέειν, ἐγένοντο τούτων. τὰ μὲν πρῶτα αἱ Δωδωνίδες ἱέρειαι λέγουσι, τὰ δὲ ὕστερα τὰ ἐς Ἡσίοδόν τε καὶ Ὅμηρον ἔχοντα ἐγὼ λέγω.

Herodotus 2. 53.1–3

§4. I now quote the prooemium of Herodotus in its entirety:

Herodotus prooemium

§5. It is important to pay careful attention here in the prooemium to the development of thought that links the noun apodeixis ‘public presentation’ with the verb from which it is derived, apo-deik-numai, to be found in the clause b that follows. We would expect this verb in the middle voice to mean ‘make a public presentation of’, that is, ‘publicly demonstrate, make a public demonstration’; there are contexts where such a translation is indeed appropriate. Thus when Xerxes has a canal made in order to turn the isthmus of Mount Athos into an island, he is described as ἐθέλων τε δύναμιν ἀποδείκνυσθαι καὶ μνημόσυνα λιπέσθαι ‘wishing to make a public demonstration of his power and to have a reminder of it left behind’ (Herodotus 7.24; cf. 7.223.4). Combined with the direct object gnōmēn/gnōmās ‘opinions, judgments’, this verb in the middle voice is used in contexts where someone is presenting his views in public; the contexts include three specific {218|219} instances of self-expression by Herodotus (2.146.1, 7.139.1, 8.8.3). [24] Yet in the context of the prooemium, and also in other Herodotean contexts where apo-deik-numai in the middle voice is combined, as here, with the direct object ergon/erga ‘deed(s)’, it is to be translated simply as ‘perform’ rather than ‘make a public presentation or demonstration of’. Thus in Powell’s Lexicon to Herodotus we can find 29 contexts where apo-deik-numai, in combination with direct objects like ergon/erga, is translated as ‘perform’. [25] In the prooemium that we have just read, for example, the reference is to the megala erga ‘great deeds’ that have been apodekhthenta ‘performed’ by Hellenes and barbarians alike. If we translated apodekhthenta here as ‘publicly presented’ or ‘demonstrated’ instead of ‘performed’, the text would not make sense to us. So also ‘performed’ is suggested in a context like the following, where a dying Kallikrates expresses his deep regret:

ὅτι οὐδέν ἐστί οἱ ἀποδεδεγμένον ἔργον ἑωυτοῦ ἄξιον προθυμευμένου ἀποδέξασθαι

Herodotus 9.72.2

that there was no deed performed by him that was worthy of him, though he had been eager to perform [one].

Clearly this young man’s sorrow is not over the fact that he has not made a public display of a great deed but over the more basic fact that he does not have a great deed to display. The obvious explanation for these usages of apo-deik-numai in the sense of performing rather than publicly presenting or demonstrating or displaying a deed is that the actual medium for publicly presenting the given deed is in all these cases none other than the language of Herodotus. In other words, performing a deed is the equivalent of publicly presenting a deed because it is ultimately being displayed by the Histories of Herodotus.

§6. Similarly saying something is in the case of Herodotus the equivalent of writing something because it is ultimately being written down in the Histories (e.g., 2.123.3, 4.195.2, 6.14.1, 7.214.3; cf. also Hecataeus FGH 1 F 1). [26] In other words saying and writing are treated as parallel speech-acts. [27] This sort of parallelism goes one step beyond what we have seen in the use of ana-gignōskō ‘know again, recognize’ in the sense of ‘read out loud’, as in {219|220} Aristophanes Knights 118, 1011, 1065. [28] This meaning of ana-gignōskō is a metaphorical extension of the notion of public performance, as we see in Pindar Olympian 10.1, where the corresponding notion of the actual composition by the poet is kept distinct through the metaphor of an inscription inside the phrēn ‘mind’ (10.2–3). [29] As for the language of Herodotus, in contrast, not only the composition but also the performance, as a public speech-act, can be conveyed by the single metaphor of writing. For Herodotus, the essential thing is that the writing, just like the saying, is a public, not a private, speech-act (again 7.214.3). [30] The historiā ‘inquiry’ that he says he is presenting in the prooemium of the Histories is not a public oral performance as such, but it is a public demonstration of an oral performance, by way of writing. Moreover, the very word apodeixis, referring to the ‘presentation’ of the historiā in the prooemium, can be translated as the ‘demonstration’ of such oral performance.

§11. Elsewhere the language of Pindar draws the logioi into an explicit parallelism with aoidoi ‘poets’, and the emphasis is on their enshrining the achievements of those who have long since died: {222|223}

ὀπιθόμβροτον αὔχημα δόξας | οἶον ἀποιχομένων ἀνδρῶν δίαιταν μανύει | καὶ λογίοις καὶ ἀοιδοῖς. οὐ φθίνει Κροίσου φιλόφρων ἀρετά.

Pindar Pythian 1.92–94

This explicit parallelism of logioi and aoidoi should be compared with that of logoi ‘words’ and aoidai ‘songs’ in Nemean 6 (ἀοιδαὶ καὶ λόγοι 30) [
44] the same poem from which I have just quoted the only other attestation of logioi in Pindar’s epinician lyric poetry. [45] Let us turn back, then, to Nemean 6:

Pindar Nemean 6.28–30

In short the language of Pindar makes it explicit that logioi ‘masters of speech’ are parallel to the masters of song, aoidoi, in their function of maintaining the kleos ‘glory’ of men even after death, and it implies that this activity of both logioi and aoidoi is a {223|224} matter of apodeixis ‘public presentation’.

§15. In other attested contexts, the adjective exitēlos can designate such things as the fading of color in fabrics (Xenophon Oeconomicus 10.3) or in paintings (Pausanias 10.38.9), the loss of a seed’s generative powers when sown in alien soil (Plato Republic 497b), and the extinction of a family line (Herodotus 5.39.2). The references to vegetal and human evanescence reveal this adjective to be semantically parallel to the verb phthi-, which I have been translating as ‘fail’ in its application to the transience of man’s aretē. [56] Moreover, the adjective aphthiton, derived from phthi- and translatable as ‘unfailing, unwilting’, [57] is a traditional epithet of kleos in the inherited diction of praise poetry, as when the poet Ibycus makes the following pledge to his patron Polykrates:

καὶ σύ, Πολύκρατες, κλέος ἄφθιτον ἑξεῖς
ὡς κατ’ ἀοιδὰν καὶ ἐμὸν κλέος

Ibycus SLG 151.47–48

What emerges then from this comparison of phraseology in song, poetry, and prose is that the two negative purpose clauses in the prose prooemium of Herodotus—the first one intending that human accomplishments should not be evanescent and the second, that they should not be without kleos—amount to a periphrasis of what is being said in the single poetic phrase kleos aphthiton.

§16. In this regard we may compare various Platonic passages concerning the concept of collective memory as a force that preserves the extraordinary and {225|226} erases the ordinary. [59] To be noted especially is the expression τινα διαφορὰν … ἔχον ‘that which has some distinctness to it’ in designating that which deserves to be recorded, at Plato Timaeus 23a. In this sense the memory of oral tradition is at the same time a forgetting of the ordinary as well as a remembering of the extraordinary (but exemplary). Such an orientation is parallel to what is being expressed by τά τε ἄλλα καὶ ‘in particular’ in the prooemium of Herodotus. [60] Also to be noted are the similarities between the prooemium of Herodotus and the following Platonic passage:

πρὸς δὲ Κριτίαν τὸν ἡμέτερον πάππον εἶπεν … ὅτι μεγάλα καὶ θαυμαστὰ τῆσδ’ εἴη παλαιὰ ἔργα τῆς πόλεως ὑπὸ χρόνου καὶ φθορᾶς ἀνθρώπων ἠφανισμένα, πάντων δέ ἓν μέγιστον, οὗ νῦν ἐπιμνησθεῖσιν πρέπον ἂν ἡμῖν εἴη σοί τε ἀποδοῦναι χάριν καὶ τὴν θεὸν ἅμα ἐν τῇ πανηγύρει δικαίως τε καὶ ἀληθῶς οἷόνπερ ὑμνοῦντας ἐγκωμιάζειν.

Plato Timaeus 20e–21a

The emphasis in the phrase πάντων δὲ ἓν μέγιστον ‘there was one in particular that was the greatest’ is comparable with the emphasis in the phrase τά τε ἄλλα καὶ δι’ ἣν αἰτίην ἐπολέμησαν ἀλλήλοισι ‘in particular, [this apodeixis of this historiā concerns] why (= on account of what cause [aitiā]) they entered into conflict with each other’ in the prooemium of Herodotus. [

§20. For Herodotus, the question of the prooemium, δι’ ἣν αἰτίην ἐπολέμησαν ἀλλήλοισι ‘on account of what cause they came into conflict with each other’, begins to be answered in the first sentence of the narrative proper: Περσέων μέν νυν οἱ λόγιοι Φοίνικας αἰτίους φασὶ γενέσθαι τῆς διαφορῆς ‘the logioi of the Persians say that it was the Phoenicians who were the cause of the conflict’ (Herodotus 1.1.1). [70] The semantic relationship here between the noun aitiā ‘cause’ and the subsequent adjective aitios, which I have just translated as ‘the cause’, can best be understood by considering the definition of aitios in the dictionary of Liddell and Scott as ‘responsible for’ in the sense of ‘being the cause of a thing to a person’. [71] There is a juridical dimension of aitios in the sense of ‘guilty’ and aitiā in the sense of ‘guilt’, operative throughout the Histories of Herodotus. [72] We may compare the semantics of Latin causa, which means not only ‘cause’ but also ‘case, trial’, and the derivatives of which are ac-cūs-āre and ex-cūs-āre. In the case of Herodotus’ main question, what was the aitiā ‘cause’ of the conflict between Hellenes and barbarians, the inquiry proceeds in terms of asking who was aitios ‘responsible, guilty’. From the standpoint of the logioi who speak on behalf of the Persians, Herodotus says, the Phoenicians were first to be in the wrong, aitioi (1.1.1): they abducted Io, and ‘this was the first beginning of wrongs committed’ (τῶν ἀδικημάτων πρῶτον τοῦτο ἄρξαι 1.2.1). This wrong is then righted when the Hellenes abduct Europa, and ‘this made things even for them’ (ταῦτα μὲν δὴ ἴσα πρὸς ἴσα σφι γενέσθαι 1.2.1). But then the Hellenes reportedly committed a wrong, thereby becoming aitioi ‘responsible’ (μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα Ἕλληνας αἰτίους τῆς δευτέρης ἀδικίης γενέσθαι 1.2.1), when they abducted Medea. This wrong is in turn righted when Paris abducts Helen (1.2.3). Up to this time, from the standpoint of the Persian logioi, there have been two cycles of wrongs righted: first the barbarians were aitioi, and the Hellenes retaliated; then the Hellenes were aitioi, and the barbarians retaliated. From then on, however, according to the Persians, the degree of wrongdoing escalated when the Achaeans captured Troy: {228|229}

τὸ δὲ ἀπὸ τούτου Ἕλληνας δὴ μεγάλως αἰτίους γενέσθαι· προτέρους γὰρ ἄρξαι στρατεύεσθαι ἐς τὴν Ἀσίην ἢ σφέας ἐς τὴν Εὐρώπην.

Herodotus 1.3.4

From here on, [they say that] it was the Hellenes who were very much in the wrong [aitioi], because it was they who were the first to begin to undertake a military campaign into Asia, instead of their [= the Persians’] undertaking a military campaign into Europe.

According to this Persian scenario then, the third and greatest cycle of wrongs to be righted is completed when the Persians finally invade Hellas.

§21. Against this backdrop of the Trojan and Persian Wars, the testimony of Herodotus links up with the ongoing inquiry into the aitiā ‘cause’ of the conflict between Hellenes and barbarians. We have heard from the barbarians. Now we hear from Herodotus:

ταῦτα μέν νυν Πέρσαι τε καὶ Φοίνικες λέγουσι. ἐγὼ δὲ περὶ μὲν τούτων οὐκ ἔρχομαι ἐρέων ὡς οὕτως ἢ ἄλλως κως ταῦτα ἐγένετο, τὸν δὲ οἶδα αὐτὸς πρῶτον ὑπάρξαντα ἀδίκων ἔργων ἐς τοὺς Ἕλληνας, τοῦτον σημήνας προβήσομαι ἐς τὸ πρόσω τοῦ λόγου, ὁμοίως σμικρὰ καὶ μεγάλα ἄστεα ἀνθρώπων ἐπεξιών. τὰ γὰρ τὸ πάλαι μεγάλα ἦν, τὰ πολλὰ αὐτῶν σμικρὰ γέγονε, τὰ δὲ ἐπ’ ἐμεῦ ἦν μεγάλα, πρότερον ἦν σμικρά. τὴν ἀνθρωπηίην ὦν ἐπιστάμενος εὐδαιμονίην οὐδαμὰ ἐν τὠυτῷ μένουσαν ἐπιμνήσομαι ἀμφοτέρων ὁμοίως.

Herodotus 1.5.3–4

So that is what the Persians and Phoenicians say. But I will not go on to say whether those things really happened that way or some other way. Instead, relying on what I know, I will indicate [= verb sēmainō] who it was who first committed wrongdoing against the Hellenes. I will move thus ahead with what I have to say, as I proceed through great cities and small ones as well. For most of those that were great once are small today; and those that used to be small were great in my time. Understanding that the good fortune [eudaimoniā] of men never stays in the same place, I will keep in mind both alike.

§25. Let us begin by considering the prooemium of the Odyssey. After a reference to the destruction of Troy by Odysseus (Odyssey i 2), the hero’s many subsequent wanderings are described in the following words:

πολλῶν δ’ ἀνθρώπων ἴδεν ἄστεα καὶ νόον ἔγνω

Odyssey i 3

He saw the cities of many men, and he came to know their way of thinking [noos].

The correlation here of seeing (ἴδεν) with consequent knowing (καὶ νόον ἔγνω) recapitulates the semantics of perfect oida: “I have seen: therefore I know.” [
79] This general quest of Odysseus is parallel to a specific quest that was formulated for him by the seer Teiresias; this brings us to the second pertinent passage from the Odyssey. In this passage we find Odysseus himself saying to Penelope:

ἐπεὶ μάλα πολλὰ βροτῶν ἐπὶ ἄστε’ ἄνωγεν ἐλθεῖν

Odyssey xxiii 267–268

since he [= Teiresias] ordered me to proceed through very many cities of men.

Teiresias had told Odysseus to undertake this quest after the hero has killed the suitors (xi 119–120); [
80] specifically Odysseus is to go inland, with an oar {231|232} on his shoulder, until it is mistaken for a winnowing shovel (xi 121–137; xxiii 265–284). This experience, says Teiresias, will be a sēma ‘sign, signal’ for Odysseus (xi 126; xxiii 273). In such contexts the coding of a sēma in the dimension of seeing is analogous to the coding of an ainos in the dimension of hearing. [81] The sēma of Teiresias bears a twofold message: what is an oar for seafarers is a winnowing shovel for inlanders. The message of this sēma, however, is twofold neither for the seafarers nor for the inlanders since the former can surely distinguish oars from winnowing shovels while the latter are presented as knowing only about winnowing shovels. Rather the message is twofold only for Odysseus as the traveler since he sees that the same signal has two distinct messages in two distinct places: what is an oar for the seafarers is a winnowing shovel for the inlanders. [82] In order to recognize that one sēma can have more than one message, Odysseus must travel—πολλὰ βροτῶν ἐπὶ ἄστεαἐλθεῖν ‘to proceed through many cities of men’ (again xxiii 267–268). [83] The wording brings us back to Herodotus, who describes himself as ὁμοίως σμικρὰ καὶ μεγάλα ἄστεα ἀνθρώπων ἐπεξιώνproceeding through great cities and small ones as well’ (again 1.5.3), in his quest to investigate the cause of the conflict that he is to narrate. {232|233} Figuratively Herodotus travels along the ‘roads of logoi’ from city to city, much as Odysseus travels in his heroic quest. This argument meshes with the larger argument that the Homeric stance of Herodotus engages not only the Iliad but also the Odyssey.

§27. The ideological correspondence between the quest of Odysseus and the quest described by Herodotus runs even deeper. Matching the sēma ‘signal’ that Odysseus gets from Teiresias is a sēma given by Herodotus when he indicates who committed the wrongdoing that led to the conflict that he narrates while traveling down the road through cities large and small: as we have seen, the word that expresses the idea of ‘indicate’ is sēmainō, derivative of sēma (1.5.3). The choice of this word in indicating that the wrongdoer was Croesus is apt in that sēmainō denotes a mode of communication that is implicit as well as explicit. The narrative of Herodotus never says explicitly how the wrongdoing of Croesus is linked with the previous wrongdoings in the ongoing conflict between Hellenes and barbarians. Up to the point where Croesus is named, the series of wrongdoings had reached a {233|234} climax in the Trojan War. In the version attributed to the logioi who speak on behalf of the Persians, the Hellenes were in the wrong when they undertook the Trojan War, and the barbarians were in the right when they retaliated with the Persian War, about to be narrated in the Histories. [87] But the narrator of the Histories never says explicitly that this version is false. Instead he keeps saying it implicitly. Something else happened between the Trojan War and the Persian War, and that was the ‘enslavement’ of the Hellenes of Asia by Croesus (1.5.3, in conjunction with 1.6.1–3). [88] Thus even if the Hellenes had been in the wrong when they undertook the Trojan War, the barbarians had already retaliated for that wrong. The Ionian Revolt, in reaction to the ‘enslavement’ of the Hellenes (Herodotus 5.49.2–3), [89] would not count as wrongdoing in the latest cycle of wrongdoing and retaliation, in that Herodotus clearly does not accept the Persian premise that all Asia belongs to the Persians (1.4.4). Thus the real wrong in the latest cycle of wrongdoing and retaliation is the invasion of Europe by the barbarians in the Persian War. Again, Herodotus does not say this explicitly but implicitly, and the word that he uses to designate his mode of communication is sēmainō (1.5.3). We are reminded of the mode in which the god Apollo himself communicates:

ὁ ἄναξ, οὗ τὸ μαντεῖόν ἐστι τὸ ἐν Δελφοῖς, οὔτε λέγει οὔτε κρύπτει ἀλλὰ σημαίνει

Heraclitus 22 B 93 DK

§28. In his investigations of causes, Herodotus himself follows the convention of communicating in this mode. For example, in discussing the cause alleged by Croesus for his attack on Cyrus, namely, the usurpation of Median hegemony by the Persians, Herodotus promises to indicate the original cause of that usurpation:

… δι᾽ αἰτίην τὴν ἐγὼ ἐν τοῖσι ὀπίσω λόγοισι σημανέω

Herodotus 1.75.1 {234|235}

§29. Thus when Herodotus sēmainei ‘indicates’, he does so on the basis of superior knowledge. We now see that he is doing something more than simply qualifying his statement when he indicates that Croesus was aitios ‘responsible’ for the conflict that he will narrate:

οὗτος ὁ Κροῖσος βαρβάρων πρῶτος τῶν ἡμεῖς ἴδμεν τοὺς μὲν κατεστρέψατο Ἑλλήνων ἐς φόρου ἀπαγωγήν

Herodotus 1.6.2

This Croesus was the first barbarian ever, within our knowledge, to reduce some Hellenes to the status of paying tribute …

§33. The main theme of the Iliad, the mēnis ‘anger’ of Achilles, which leads to the deaths of countless Achaeans and Trojans, [106] is caused by the insult of Agamemnon, whom Achilles holds aitios ‘responsible’ (Iliad I 335; cf. XIII 111). [107] In the later reconciliation scene between the two heroes, however, when Achilles finally renounces his mēnis (XIX 35, 75), Agamemnon claims that he was not aitios (XIX 86), but that it was Zeus—along with Moira ‘Fate’ and an Erīnūs ‘Fury’—who inflicted upon him a baneful atē ‘derangement’ (XIX 87–88). Even the other gods hold Zeus responsible for creating a new phase of conflict between Achaeans and Trojans (XI 78 ᾐτιόωντο)—a phase triggered by the conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon in the Iliad. [108] As for the overall conflict between Achaeans and Trojans, triggered by the abduction of Helen, Priam can claim the same sort of exculpation: it was not Helen who was aitiē ‘responsible’ to him for all his woes, but rather all the gods (III 164). Such claims that the phase of the war narrated by the Iliad—or, for that matter, the entire Trojan War—was all part of a grand divine scheme is perfectly in accord with what the Iliad announces about its own plot: it is the Will of Zeus (I 5). [109] At the beginning of the Cypria, the entire potential narrative of the Trojan War is equated with the Will of Zeus (F 1 Allen). [110] King Alkinoos even tells a weeping Odysseus that the Trojan War was devised by the gods so that poets may have something to sing about for men of the future (viii 579–580). [111] In the same line of thinking Telemachus defends Phemios when this poet sings about the suffering of the Achaeans after the Trojan War, on the grounds that Phemios is not aitios for what he narrates (i 347–348; cf. xxii 356); rather it is Zeus himself who is aitios (i 348). {238|239}

§34. In contrast the overarching narrative of Herodotus about the conflict between Hellenes and barbarians, linked as it is with the epic conflict between Achaeans and Trojans, seems on the surface to be preoccupied with a different and nonpoetic perspective, inquiring into the question: who were juridically responsible? Here too, however, the word conveying responsibility is aitioi.

§35. Let us for the moment examine the question from a juridical point of view: who then was in the wrong? The Persian view is that the Hellenes were in the wrong when the Achaeans undertook the war against the Trojans, though the Trojans had been in the wrong earlier when Paris abducted Helen. On the surface, then, it is a juridical matter of a series of retaliations for wrongs committed.

§36. But another principle is at work whenever retaliation happens—a principle that is not made explicit at the beginning of Herodotus’ inquiry. Accepting the authority of the Egyptians, whom he describes elsewhere as the supreme logioi among all men ever encountered by him (λογιώτατοι 2.77.1), [112] Herodotus says that he personally does not believe that Helen was at Troy when the city was destroyed by the Achaeans (2.120). At the same time he clearly accepts the premise that the destruction of Troy was in retaliation for the abduction of Helen (ibid.). In fact Herodotus reasons that the absence of Helen from Troy sealed the fate of the Trojans. It made it impossible for them to offer compensation to the Achaeans and thus avoid retaliation since the Achaeans refused to believe that Helen was not in Troy until they destroyed it (ibid.). The cause for the Trojans’ predicament is made clear when Herodotus finally makes explicit something that had been kept implicit up to this point:

ἀλλ’ οὐ γὰρ εἶχον Ἑλένην ἀποδοῦναι οὐδὲ λέγουσι αὐτοῖσι τὴν ἀληθείην ἐπίστευον οἱ Ἕλληνες, ὡς μὲν ἐγὼ γνώμην ἀποφαίνομαι, τοῦ δαιμονίου παρασκευάζοντος ὅκως πανωλεθρίῃ ἀπολόμενοι καταφανὲς τοῦτο τοῖσι ἀνθρώποισι ποιήσωσι, ὡς τῶν μεγάλων ἀδικημάτων μεγάλαι εἰσὶ καὶ αἱ τιμωρίαι παρὰ τῶν θεῶν. καὶ ταῦτα μὲν τῇ ἐμοὶ δοκέει εἴρηται.

Herodotus 2.120.5

§38. What we are about to see is a pattern of narration where a man who does wrong, who is aitios, pays for that wrong by suffering a great misfortune, for which he then holds a god responsible, aitios. Then the given god makes clear that it was really the wrongdoer who was juridically responsible for the wrong that he did, and that the god is ‘responsible’ only for the transcendent scheme of divine retribution for that wrong.

§39. Croesus the Lydian suffers the great misfortune of losing his mighty empire at the hands of Cyrus the Persian, whose empire he had attacked. When Cyrus asks Croesus why he had taken up arms against him, Croesus replies:

ὦ βασιλεῦ, ἐγὼ ταῦτα ἔπρηξα τῇ σῇ μὲν εὐδαιμονίῃ τῇ ἐμεωυτοῦ δὲ κακοδαιμονίῃ· αἴτιος δὲ τούτων ἐγένετο ὁ Ἑλλήνων θεὸς ἐπάρας ἐμὲ στρατεύεσθαι

Herodotus 1.87.3

Ο king, I did it because of your good fortune [eudaimoniā = having a good daimōn] and my bad fortune [= having a bad daimōn]. But the one who is responsible [aitios] is the god of the Hellenes, who impelled me to take up arms.

This outcome, a violent shift from good to bad fortune, is the central theme already formulated in the initial words of Herodotus as he began his inquiry into the responsibility of Croesus:

τὸν δὲ οἶδα αὐτὸς πρῶτον ὑπάρξαντα ἀδίκων ἔργων ἐς τοὺς Ἕλληνας, τοῦτον σημήνας προβήσομαι ἐς τὸ πρόσω τοῦ λόγου, ὁμοίως σμικρὰ καὶ μεγάλα ἄστεα ἀνθρώπων ἐπεξιών. τὰ γὰρ τὸ πάλαι μεγάλα ἦν, τὰ πολλὰ αὐτῶν σμικρὰ γέγονε, τὰ δὲ ἐπ’ ἐμεῦ ἦν μεγάλα, πρότερον ἦν σμικρά. τὴν ἀνθρωπηίην ὦν ἐπιστάμενος {240|241} εὐδαιμονίην οὐδαμὰ ἐν τὠυτῷ μένουσαν ἐπιμνήσομαι ἀμφοτέρων ὁμοίως.

Herodotus 1.5.3–4

Relying on what I know, I will indicate [= verb sēmainō] who it was who first committed wrongdoing against the Hellenes. I will move thus ahead with what I have to say, as I proceed through great cities and small ones as well. For most of those that were great once are small today; and those that used to be small were great in my time. Understanding that the good fortune [eudaimoniā = having a good daimōn] of men never stays in the same place, I will keep in mind both alike.

§41. There is an interesting juridical distinction here. The god Apollo is clearly the cause of the Lydian king’s misfortunes, in that it was Apollo’s Oracle that gave Croesus the opportunity to make his mistake, but Apollo is not legally responsible, aitios. Croesus made the mistake. [116] There is an analogous theme in Homeric poetry. We have seen how the gods are presented as the causes of human misfortunes and thus accused by mortals as aitioi ‘responsible’. But here too the gods can disclaim legal responsibility, as when Zeus says:

ὦ πόποι οἷον δή νυ θεοὺς βροτοὶ αἰτιόωνται.
ἐξ ἡμέων γάρ φασι κάκ’ ἔμμεναι· οἱ δὲ καὶ αὐτοὶ
σφῇσιν ἀτασθαλίῃσιν ὑπὲρ μόρον ἄλγε’ ἔχουσιν

Odyssey i 32–34 {241|242}

Alas, how mortals hold us gods responsible [= aitioi]!
For they say that their misfortunes come from us. But they get their sufferings,
beyond what is fated, by way of their own acts of recklessness [atasthaliai].

The notion that mortals are responsible for the misfortunes that they suffer as retribution for their wickedness is a prominent one in the Odyssey, [
117] setting it apart from the Iliad, which stresses the Will of Zeus as the force that controls the plot of the epic. [118] In other words, whereas the Iliad stresses that a grand divine scheme is at work in all human actions, even when one mortal wrongs another, the Odyssey in contrast stresses the responsibility of mortals in committing any wrong. The difference, however, is not as great as it first seems. Even the Iliad acknowledges the legal responsibility of a wrongdoer, and even the Odyssey acknowledges a divine scheme in human actions. Thus when Agamemnon claims that not he but Zeus was aitios ‘responsible’ for his conflict with Achilles (Iliad XIX 86), as the gods inflicted atē ‘derangement’ upon him (XIX 87–88; 134–136), he nevertheless acknowledges that he is legally in the wrong and expresses his willingness to offer retribution for his wronging Achilles (XIX 137–138). [119] Conversely even the Odyssey acknowledges a grand divine scheme in the actual pattern of retribution for wrongdoing, most notably when Odysseus takes vengeance upon the reckless suitors through the active planning of the gods, especially of Athena.

§43. Applying these Homeric perspectives of human accountability to the narrative of Herodotus, we can see that the story of Croesus conveys both an Iliadic and an Odyssean moral perspective. The narrative dramatizes both why a mortal commits a wrong and how he pays for that wrong—all in accordance with an implicit divine scheme. Let us briefly reexamine the narrative with these themes in mind.

§47. Herodotus goes on to tell how the teachings of Solon fall on deaf ears and how Croesus is then marked for nemesis ‘retribution’ (1.34.1) precisely because he thought that he was the most olbios of men (ibid.). In Solon’s teachings the word atē had come up twice in the context of describing how disastrous it is when it afflicts someone who is rich but an-olbos, that is, ‘not olbios’ (1.32.6). In all of Herodotus the noun atē occurs only here. [132] The nemesis ‘retribution’ against Croesus takes the immediate form of the accidental death of his son, whose name happens to be Atus. [133] And the man who killed him accidentally with a spear happens to be called Adrāstos, where the morphology of the adjectival a-drāstos suggests the interpretation ‘he from whom one cannot run away’. [134] This interpretation is supported by the attestation of Adrāsteia as the epithet of the goddess Nemesis (Aeschylus Prometheus 936). Adrastos is then told by the grieving Croesus:

εἶς δὲ οὐ σύ μοι τοῦδε τοῦ κακοῦ αἴτιος, εἰ μὴ ὅσον ἀέκων {246|247} ἐξεργάσαο, ἀλλὰ θεῶν κού τις, ὅς μοι καὶ πάλαι προεσήμαινε τὰ μέλλοντα ἔσεσθαι

Herodotus 1.45.2

You are not responsible [aitios] to me for this great disaster, except insofar as you were the unwilling agent, but someone of the gods is, who long ago indicated [= verb sēmainō] to me in advance what was going to happen.

Croesus is referring to a dream that had ‘indicated’ to him—and again the verb in question is sēmainō—that his son would die by the spear (1.34.2). [
135] This pattern of accusing a god as aitios ‘responsible’ for a misfortune only proves that the accuser is the one who is aitios. In the course of his later and ultimate misfortune, the loss of his empire, Croesus again accuses a god—this time Apollo directly—as aitios, who in turn makes clear that Croesus was really aitios (Herodotus 1.91.4). [136] In this connection we may note the teaching of Hesiod in the Works and Days: olbios ‘blissful’ is the man who acts in a ritually and morally correct manner (ὄλβιος ὃς τάδε πάντα | εἰδὼς ἐργάζηται 826–827) [137] and who is therefore an-aitios ‘not aitios’ to the gods (ἀναίτιος ἀθανάτοισιν 827).

§50. In the actual poetry of Solon, then, the teaching of the Sage about this topic is direct: hubris is a cause of atē. In the narrative of Herodotus, on the other hand, Solon’s teaching about hubris is indirect. The attitude of Croesus at the time of his encounter with Solon is surely symptomatic of atē, but what the Lydian tyrant has actually done in attacking the Persian Empire is surely an act of hubris: Croesus is being irresistibly drawn into a pattern of unlimited expansion that will ultimately ruin him and set Hellas and Persia on a collision course. Still, the atē and hubris of Croesus are not confronted directly by Solon in the encounter dramatized by Herodotus. In his own poetry, Solon can speak in his juridical role as lawmaker. In his encounter with a tyrant, however, he is more diplomatic. The juridical point that Croesus is guilty, that is to say aitios ‘responsible’ for his misfortunes (Herodotus 1.91.4), [141] is established not by Solon directly but by the turn of events that bring to fulfillment the words of Solon. Without the narration of Herodotus, neither the guilt of Croesus the tyrant nor the meaning of Solon the sage could be manifest. The words of the Sage have been ambiguously spoken in the mode of an ainos, the true meaning of which can only be brought out by the turn of events as narrated by Herodotus. The narration itself underlines the universal applicability of its lesson at a later point, as we see Croesus, now a captive of the Persians and about to be burned to death on a funeral pyre, reminiscing about the wise words that Solon had once addressed to him and declaring his present realization that Solon had at that time been {248|249} speaking not so much to him as to the whole human race, especially ‘to those who think that they are fortunate [olbioi] ’ (οὐδέν τι μᾶλλον ἐς ἑωυτὸν λέγων ἢ ἐς ἅπαν τὸ ἀνθρώπινον καὶ μάλιστα τοὺς παρὰ σφίσι αὐτοῖσι ὀλβίους δοκέοντας εἶναι Herodotus 1.86.5). I see in this detail from Herodotus an explicit formulation of a Classical ideal concerning the function of the ainos. On the surface the ainos is predicated on the reality of uncertainties in interaction between performer and audience; underneath the surface, however, it is predicated on the ideology of an ideal audience, listening to an ideal performance of an ideal composition, the message of which applies to all humanity. [142] {249|250}


[ back ] 1. In making this attempt, I reach an important turning point at Ch. 9§16.

[ back ] 2. Further commentary on this passage at Ch. 14§14.

[ back ] 3. Herodotus here is contrasting the relatively recent fixing of the Hellenic heritage with that of the Egyptian.

[ back ] 4. The relative pronoun ὅθεν ‘wherefrom’, used here as an indirect question, reflects the “prooemium style,” discussed in detail at Ch. 8§4 and 8§6.

[ back ] 5. Cf. How and Wells 1928.193–194.

[ back ] 6. Cf. Hesiod Theogony 73–74 and the commentary of West 1966.180.

[ back ] 7. Cf. Herodotus 2.83 on tekhnē as ‘system of operation’; on classification by way of tekhnē as ‘sphere of activity’, cf. Herodotus 2.164.1.

[ back ] 8. On the pertinence of this word to the speech-activity of Herodotus, see Ch. 8§20, 233, and following.

[ back ] 9. On eidos as ‘visible form’, there is further elaboration at Ch. 9§15.

[ back ] 10. Such a ranking makes Hesiod and Homer more canonical, more Panhellenic: see Ch. 3§3–4. In his allusion to the other poets, Herodotus probably means Orpheus and Musaeus; for the conventional ideology that presents them as predecessors of Homer and Hesiod, see Lloyd 1976.247, 251. Cf. Hippias 86 B 6 DK; Aristophanes Frogs 1032–1035; Plato Apology 41a; cf. also Ephorus FGH 70 F 101, Plato Republic 363a, 377d, 612b. We may note with particular interest the tradition that Homer was descended from Orpheus: Pherecydes FGH 3 F 167, Hellanicus 4 F 5, Damastes 5 F 11; or from Musaeus: Gorgias 82 B 25 DK. Cf. Lloyd 1975.177 on the Herodotean scheme of 3 generations = 100 years.

[ back ] 11. That is, the discussion at Herodotus 2.52.1 and following, not quoted here.

[ back ] 12. The priestesses are named later by Herodotus (2.55.3).

[ back ] 13. I stress that the discourse of Herodotus acknowledges at 2.53 the authority of Homer and Hesiod (above) in the context of acknowledging at 2.52 and 2.53.3 the authority of the Oracle of Zeus at Dodona.

[ back ] 14. The Hesiodic stance of Herodotus will be taken up at Ch. 9§7.

[ back ] 15. On the aptness of Latin prooemium, a word borrowed from Greek prooimion (on which see Ch. 12§33 and following), as applied to the first sentence of the Histories of Herodotus, see Krischer 1965. Unlike Krischer, however, I do not think that the resemblances between the prooemium of the Iliad and the prooemium of the Histories (on which see Ch. 8§6) can be ascribed simply to the imitation of Homer by Herodotus.

[ back ] 16. This point is perhaps more simple than it seems at first sight: I mean that the rhetoric of Herodotus’ prooemium in particular and his entire composition in general is predicated on the traditions of speaking before a public, not of writing for readers. To me, that in itself is enough to justify calling such traditions oral. See Ch. 6§46. To many others, however, this same word oral has a much more narrow meaning, restricted by our own cultural preconceptions about writing and reading. Cf. Introduction §16. On the important distinction between reading aloud and silent reading, see Ch. 6§50 and following; cf. Svenbro 1987, following Knox 1968. On silent reading in the late medieval context, see Saenger 1982.

[ back ] 17. Following Krischer and others I have supplied indentations in order to delineate the syntax; I have also set off as (a) and (b) the two negative purpose clauses, coordinated not only by μήτε…/μήτε… but also by the homoioteleuton …γένηται/…γένηται.

[ back ] 18. The Ionic form apodexis in the usage of Herodotus, guaranteed by the testimony of inscriptions written in the Ionic dialect (see, for example, LSJ s.v. ἀποδείκνυμι), apparently reflects a conflation of apo-deik-numai ‘present publicly, make public’ and apo-dek-omai ‘accept or approve a tradition’. Such a conflation seems to be at work in Herodotus 6.43.3; as M. Lang points out to me, the implication is not only that whatever is accepted is made public but also that whatever is made public is accepted. Such acceptance is the presupposition of a living tradition. On the syntax of what is introduced by ἀπόδεξις ἥδε, see §7 and n34 below. For an earlier mention of the contexts of apo-deik-numai ‘present publicly’, see Ch. 6§31.

[ back ] 19. For the semantics of historiā ‘inquiry, investigation’, see Ch. 9§1 and following.

[ back ] 20. For more on the semantics of exitēla ‘evanescent’, see Ch. 8§14.

[ back ] 21. I discuss the translation ‘performed’ below.

[ back ] 22. The adverbial τά τε ἄλλα καὶ… that precedes the relative construction …δι᾽ ἢν αἰτίην… has the effect of throwing the emphasis forward from the general to the specific, to parallel the movement from general to specific in the negative purpose clauses (a) and (b). For more on Herodotean devices of shading over and highlighting, see Ch. 2§36.

[ back ] 23. This final clause, τά τε ἄλλα καὶ δι’ ἢν αἰτίην ἐπολέμησαν ἀλλήλοισι, is difficult. I interpret it as an indirect question, thus disagreeing with Erbse 1956.211 and 219: he takes the whole construction as an elaborated direct object of a hypothetical ἱστορήσας in a hypothetical expression Ἡρόδοτος Ἁλικαρνησσεὺς ἱστορήσας ἀπέδεξε τάδε, which has supposedly been reshaped into the actual expression that we read in Herodotus, Ἡροδότου Ἁλικαρνησσέος ἱστορίης ἀπόδεξις ἥδε. I also disagree with Erbse’s view (Ch. 8§1) that δι’ ἢν αἰτίην… is a relative construction as opposed to an indirect question (in other words that the construction is equivalent to τὴν αἰτίην δι’ ἢν… ). Relative constructions can in fact be used for the purpose of indirect question: cf. Herodotus 2.2.2 Ψαμμήτιχος δὲ ὡς οὐκ ἐδύνατο πυνθανόμενος πόρον οὐδένα τούτου ἀνευρεῖν, οἲ γενοίατο πρῶτοι ἀνθρώπων ‘when Psammetichus was unable to find, by way of inquiry, a method of discovering who were the first race of men …’; Herodotus 1.56.1 μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα ἐφρόντιζε ἱστορέων, τοὺς ἂν Ἑλλήνων δυνατωτάτους ἐόντας προσκτήσαιτο φίλους ‘after this, he took care to investigate which of the Hellenes were the most powerful, for him to win over as friends’; Thucydides 5.9.2 τὴν δὲ ἐπιχείρησιν, ᾧ τρόπῳ διανοοῦμαι ποιεῖσθαι, διδάξω ‘I will inform you in what way the attempt that I have in mind is to be accomplished’. In most cases the relative clause is linked with verbs that express or connote the speech-act of narration: see Ch. 8§6.

[ back ] 24. Comparable to these three instances of apo-deik-numai + gnōmēn/gnōmās as object is apo-phain-omai + gnōmēn as object at Herodotus 2.120.5: here again Herodotus is going publicly on record. On the synonymity of apo-deik-numai and apo-phain-omai, see the cooccurrence of these two words at Herodotus 5.45.1–2 (as discussed in Ch. 11§4).

[ back ] 25. Powell 1938.38 s.v. ἀποδείκνυμι B II (middle).

[ back ] 26. Cf. Ch. 6§46 and 8§3.

[ back ] 27. Cf. Hartog 1980.292–297 for an extensive survey of Herodotean contexts. Cf. also Svenbro 1987.39.

[ back ] 28. Cf. Ch. 6§49.

[ back ] 29. Ibid. Cf. the use of ana-gignōskō ‘read out loud’ in Diogenes Laertius 9.54, with reference to the “public première” of various compositions by Protagoras (80 A 1 DK); cf. also the anecdotes in Plutarch On the Malice of Herodotus 862a-b (Diyllus FGH 73 F 5) and in Lucian Herodotus 1–2 about public “readings” supposedly performed by Herodotus himself.

[ back ] 30. Hartog, p. 294, suggests that the writing of the name of Ephialtes at 7.214.3 is as if the words of Herodotus were emanating from “une stèle d’infamie.” For more on Herodotus 7.214.3, see Ch. 8§28.

[ back ] 31. Cf. Ch. 6§46.

[ back ] 32. See Snell 1924.65.

[ back ] 33. Hartog 1980.285.

[ back ] 34. The noun apodeixis takes on the syntax of a verb designating narration, as is already indicated by the conjunction ὡς immediately following the clause … ἀπόδεξις ἥδε … and introducing the complex purpose clause that comes before the concluding clause of indirect question (on which see §5 above). Moreover, as Krischer 1965.162 points out, the indirect question in the prooemium of Herodotus, δι’ ἢν αἰτίην ἐπολέμησαν ἀλλήλοισι ‘on account of what cause they got into conflict with each other’ in the prooemium of Herodotus is parallel to the indirect question in the prooemium of the Iliad (I 6), ἐξ οὗ δὴ τὰ πρῶτα διαστήτην ἐρίσαντε ‘[narrate to me, Muse,… ] starting with what time they first quarrelled, standing divided’. I stress that the relative clause ‘on account of what cause they got into conflict with each other’ is linked with ‘This is the apodeixis of the investigation of Herodotus …’, just as ‘starting with what time they first quarreled …’ is linked with ‘Sing, goddess, the anger of Achilles …’ (I 1). Note too the parallelism of wide syntactical gaps spanned by ἀπόδεξις ἥδε … δι’ ἢν αἰτίην … ‘making public … on account of what cause’ in Herodotus and by ἄειδε … ἐξ οὗ δὴ τὰ πρῶτα … ‘sing … starting with what time they first…’ in the Iliad (Book I lines 1–6). Among the other Homeric attestations of both actual prooemia and indirectly retold prooemia (for a list of both types, see van Groningen 1946), there are other occurrences of relative clauses used as indirect questions (the clearest example is Odyssey viii 76 ὥς ποτε δηρίσαντο … ‘how they once fought’; note too the frequent use of prōta/prōtos/prōton/etc. ‘first’ in the indirect questions of the prooemia, as at Iliad I 6/XI 217/XVI 113, to be compared with prōtoi ‘first’ at Herodotus 2.2.2, quoted at Ch. 8§4. Cf. also Ch. 8§2 above. On the parallelisms between the Homeric Iliad and the Herodotean Histories in the formal transition from prooemium to narrative proper, see n37.

[ back ] 35. A monument can be such a medium, as in the case of μνημόσυνα ‘monument’, direct object of apo-deik-numai (ἀποδέξασθαι), at Herodotus 1.101.2. Immerwahr 1960.266 remarks: “The conception of fame underlying both monuments and deeds is exactly the same.” Cf. Hartog 1980.378n3.

[ back ] 36. It is from such contexts of apo-deik-numai that we begin to understand the basis of its apparent conflation with apo-dek-omai ‘accept or approve a tradition’, on which see Ch. 8§3.

[ back ] 37. On the semantics of aitiā ‘cause’ and aitioi ‘responsible ones’ [= ‘the cause’] as in Herodotus prooemium and in 1.1.1, see Krischer 1965.160–161; also Ch. 8§19. For a parallel transition from prooemium to narrative proper by way of repeating, with variation, a key word (in this case αἰτίην followed by ἐπολέμησαν ‘cause … getting into conflict’ picked up by αἰτίους followed by διαφορῆς ‘cause … conflict’), see Krischer ibid., who points to the prooemium of the Iliad (ἐξ οὗ δὴ τὰ πρῶτα διαστήτην ἐρίσαντε ‘starting with what time they first quarrelled, standing divided’ at I 6) and the first line of the narrative proper (τίς τ’ ἄρ σφωε θεῶν ἔριδι ξυνέηκε μάχεσθαι; ‘who, then, of the gods set them off against each other, to fight in a quarrel?’ at I 8). Krischer also adduces the prooemia to the Catalogue of Ships (ἀρχούς at Iliad II 493, picked up by ἦρχον at II 494), to the Odyssey (νόστιμον ἦμαρ at i 9, picked up by νόστου at i 13), and to the Theogony (ὅ τι πρῶτον γένετ’ αὐτῶν at line 115, picked up by ἦ τοι μὲν πρώτιστα Χάος γένετ’ at 116).

[ back ] 38. For the phraseology that immediately follows this passage, see Ch. 7§5.

[ back ] 39. For this interpretation, see Farnell 1932.285.

[ back ] 40. Cf. the remarks at Ch. 8§4 on the syntactical continuity of ἀπόδεξις… ἀποδεχθέντα.

[ back ] 41. The Aiakidai are not only the immediate lineage of Aiakos, including the sons Peleus and Telamon, the grandsons Achilles and Ajax, and so on, but also the ultimate lineage of Aiakos, extending into the here and now, into the population of Aegina in Pindar’s time: see Ch. 6§56 and following.

[ back ] 42. The Greek verb phthi– in the intransitive expresses various images of transience, most notably the failing of liquid sources and the wilting of plants (for a survey of passages, see N 1979.174–189; also Risch 1987).

[ back ] 43. The song goes on to declare that the virtue of Croesus contrasts with the depravity of the tyrant Phalaris (Pindar Pythian 1.95–98). Thus the logioi, like the aoidoi, have in their repertoire such Hellenes as Phalaris, not just non-Hellenes like Croesus (cf. §13 below).

[ back ] 44. This emended reading is adopted in the edition of SM; the manuscript reading ἀοιδαὶ καὶ λογίοι, however, in conjunction with the papyrus reading αοιδοι και λο[ (Π41), makes it possible to read instead ἀοιδοὶ καὶ λόγιοι, if λόγιοι may be scanned as a disyllable (on which see, for example, Famell 1932.284).

[ back ] 45. Cf. Ch. 8§9.

[ back ] 46. The quotation here follows the emended reading adopted in the edition of SM: see above.

[ back ] 47. Alternatively, if we follow the reading ἀοιδοὶ καὶ λόγιοι (above): aoidoi and logioi.

[ back ] 48. Cf. Ch. 8§8. Note too that the Egyptians as the most proficient logioi of all humans are described as μνήμην ἐπασκέοντες ‘engaging in the practice of memory’ in Herodotus 2.77.1.

[ back ] 49. Cf. Ch. 8§8.

[ back ] 50. Pace Farnell 1932.116.

[ back ] 51. Cf. Ch. 8§9.

[ back ] 52. Cf. Ch. 9§11n42.

[ back ] 53. See Ch. 10§3 and following. See also Ch. 10§7 for iconographical evidence on the story of Croesus that is even earlier than the testimony of Pindar and Bacchylides (500 B.C.: Beazley 1963.238 no. 1).

[ back ] 54. I use the word prose here in the sense of a mimesis of speech: Ch. 1§53. In the case of an opposition between logioi, masters of speech, and aoidoi, masters of song, we can say that speech or speaking is unmarked, while song is marked. On the terms unmarked and marked, see Introduction §12. One cannot define logioi in terms of aoidoi, in that logioi is the unmarked category in the usage of Herodotus. Herodotus is implicitly a logios even by virtue of not being an aoidos. Moreover, I have already argued (Ch. 9§8–9 above) that the syntax of the transition from the prooemium to the first sentence of the Histories proper is for us explicit evidence that Herodotus considered himself a logios. It is only for Herodotus that this consideration is implicit, not explicit. I would therefore disagree with the view that the use of the word logios, in the three attestations besides Herodotus 1.1.1, shows that it is appropriate only to non-Hellenes in Herodotus (2.3.1, 2.77.1, 4.46.1). In two of these attestations (2.77.1 and 4.46.1), non-Hellenes happen to be singled out within the category of logioi, but there is no indication that the category itself is foreign to Greek institutions. Even if we accepted the view that logioi implies non-Hellenes, we would still have to reckon with Herodotus’ practice of referring explicitly to things foreign while at the same time referring implicitly to things Greek (cf. Hartog 1980). Finally logios is not the only word for the referent in question, that is, for the master of speaking before an audience. Besides the opposition of logios and aoidos in the diction of Herodotus, we find the parallel opposition of logopoios ‘speechmaker, artisan of speech’ and mousopoios ‘songmaker, artisan of song’, where the first referent is Aesop and the second referent is Sappho herself (Herodotus 2.134.3 … 135.1 Αἰσώπου τοῦ λογοποιοῦ … Σαπφοῦς τῆς μουσοποιοῦ). The significance of this application of logopoios to the figure of Aesop in particular will be discussed in p. 325. Elsewhere in Herodotus, the word logopoios applies to a predecessor of Herodotus, Hecataeus (Herodotus 2.143.1 Ἑκαταίῳ τώ λογοποιῷ; also 5.36.2, 5.125); further discussion in p. 325. It is the likes of Hecataeus that Herodotus had in mind when he used the word logioi in the first sentence of the Histories proper (1.1.1).

[ back ] 55. I disagree with the proposal of Krischer 1965.166 that the two negative clauses reflect different media.

[ back ] 56. On the references of phthi- to vegetal and human evanescence, see §11n42 above. Cf. Steiner 1986.38.

[ back ] 57. Cf. Introduction §5n10.

[ back ] 58. Cf. Ch. 6§75.

[ back ] 59. Survey in Brisson 1982.23–28.

[ back ] 60. As discussed at Ch. 8§4. On the Herodotean device of highlighting the extraordinary by shading over the ordinary, see also Ch. 2§36n95.

[ back ] 61. Solon, explicitly designated here as the wisest of the Seven Sages (Plato Timaeus 20d; cf. p. 243), is represented as a friend and possibly a relative of the father of Critias, Dropides, whose name he mentions in several passages of his attested poetry (20e; also Plato Charmides 157e); see Solon F 22 W. Another poet who mentions Dropides is Mimnermus (Plato Charmides 157e); see Mimnermus PMG 495.

[ back ] 62. Cf. Ch. 8§4.

[ back ] 63. Cf. Ch. 6§73.

[ back ] 64. See, for example, Iliad II 486, XI 227, as discussed in N 1979.15–18.

[ back ] 65. Further discussion at Ch. 8§45.

[ back ] 66. More below on this subject.

[ back ] 67. This phrase is picked up by αἰτίους in the next sentence, at Herodotus 1.1.1.

[ back ] 68. The question “who caused the conflict between them?” at line 7 of Iliad I is answered with “Apollo” at line 8, followed by an explanatory clause at lines 8–9 (introduced by γάρ) that tells why Apollo caused the conflict: he was angry. Then comes another explanatory clause at lines 11–12 (introduced by οὕνεκα) that tells why Apollo was angry: Agamemnon had dishonored Chryses, the priest of Apollo. Thus there is a complex answer to a simplex question, and the answer assumes that the intended question is also complex: it asks not only “who caused this conflict?” but also “why did this conflict happen?”

[ back ] 69. On the anger of Achilles as the self-expressive “plot” of the Iliad, see N 1979.73. Cf. Considine 1986.

[ back ] 70. For poetic parallels to the device of recapitulating a key concept of the prooemium in the first sentence of the narrative proper, see Ch. 8§9.

[ back ] 71. LSJ s.v. αἴτιος II (+ genitive of the thing and dative of the person).

[ back ] 72. See especially Pagel 1927, with adjustments by Immerwahr 1956; Krischer 1965.160–161 (disagreeing with Erbse 1956); Hohti 1976.

[ back ] 73. Note the asyndeton that highlights the introduction of this subject: Κροῖσος ἦν Λυδὸς μὲν γένος, παῖς δὲ Ἀλυάττεω, τύραννος δὲ ἐθνέων τῶν ἐντὸς Ἅλυος ποταμοῦ … (Herodotus 1.6.1).

[ back ] 74. Cf. also the first sentence of Herodotus 1.27.1.

[ back ] 75. For the notion, as expressed here in Herodotus 1.6.3, that the Hellenic cities were eleutheroi ‘free’ before Croesus, see Ch. 10§50. The first Hellenic city that Croesus attacks is Ephesus (1.26.1–2). He then proceeds to attack each of the other cities of the Asiatic Ionians and Aeolians (1.26.3), in each case contriving an aitiā ‘cause’ to justify his actions (1.26.3 ἄλλοισι ἄλλας αιτίας ἐπιφέρων, τῶν μὲν ἐδύνατο μέζονας παρευρίσκειν, μέζονα ἐπαιτιώμενος, τοῖσι δὲ αὐτῶν καὶ φαῦλα ἐπιφέρων). In no instance does Herodotus indicate the specific aitiā.

[ back ] 76. Cf. Hohti 1976.42–43. For Herodotus, the ktisis ‘colonization’ of Asia by Hellenes does not count as a provocation because he clearly does not accept the Persian premise that all Asia belongs to the Persians (see 1.4.4). In fact the Croesus narrative shows that Herodotus thinks of the Hellenes’ cities in Asia as rightfully theirs: the enslavement of these cities by Croesus led to the mistaken Persian premise. Furthermore by implication the crime of Croesus is pertinent to the concept of the Athenian Empire: Ch. 10§50 and following.

[ back ] 77. See Ch. 10§50–51 for a discussion of how the theme of ‘enslavement’, that is, of making free Greek cities pay tribute, is developed by the narrative of Herodotus; also, how the theme of Croesus the Tyrant is formulated in the mode of an ainos; finally, how the ainos applies to Athens and its Athenian Empire, the heir to the Persian Empire, in turn the heir to the Lydian Empire.

[ back ] 78. Still to come, at Ch. 9§7, is a discussion of the Herodotean appropriation of Hesiod.

[ back ] 79. See Snell 1924.61 for areas of semantic overlap between perfect oida ‘I know’ and aorist eidon ‘I saw’, therefore ‘I witnessed, experienced’. For example, κακὰ πόλλ’ ἐπιδόντα at Iliad XXII 61 means ‘having experienced many evil happenings’; compare the description of Herakles at Odyssey xxi 26 as μεγάλων ἐπιίστορα ἔργων ‘the one who experienced deeds of enormity [that is, of evil]’. Cf. Ch. 9§1.

[ back ] 80. As for the instructions of Teiresias concerning the nostos ‘safe homecoming’ of Odysseus (xi 100–118; nostos is the first word, at xi 100), the themes that are emphasized—not to mention the wording itself—are strikingly parallel to what we find in the prooemium of the Odyssey (i 1–10).

[ back ] 81. This point is elaborated in N 1983.51. Cf. Ch. 6§35. On ainos as a code, see Ch. 6§4.

[ back ] 82. There are further levels of interpretation, as discussed in N 1983.45. Let us consider the gesture of Odysseus, prescribed by the seer Teiresias, where he plants into the ground the handle of what he is carrying, at the precise point where it is no longer recognized as an oar (Odyssey xi 129). The picture of the implement planted into the ground is a sēma ‘sign’ bearing a twofold message. On the one hand it can mean “the sailor is dead,” as in the case of Odysseus’ dead companion Elpenor, whose tomb is to be a mound of earth with the handle of his oar planted on top (xi 75–78, xii 13–15); in fact the tomb of Elpenor is designated as his sēma (xi 75). On the other hand it can mean “the harvest is finished”: to plant the handle of a winnowing shovel in a heap of grain at a harvest festival is a stylized gesture indicating that the winnower’s work is done (Theocritus 7.155–156; I infer that the time of the year is July or August: cf. Gow 1952 II 127). Cf. Hansen 1977.38–39 (also p. 35 on the Feast of St. Elias, July 20th). The first meaning reflects the god-hero antagonism between Poseidon and Odysseus, on the level of nostos ‘homecoming’; the second reflects the more complex god-hero antagonism between Athena and Odysseus, on the two levels of nostos ‘homecoming’ and noos ‘way of thinking’: this point is elaborated in N 1983.53n31. On the role of Athena as patroness of pilots, and the related themes of noos and nostos, see N 1985.74–81. The complexity of the gesture of Odysseus in planting his implement is reinforced by the inherent symbolism of the winnowing shovel: just as this implement separates the grain from the chaff, so also it separates true things from false things; I compare the discussion of krisis in the sense of separating, discriminating, judging at Ch. 2§25 and following.

[ back ] 83. To decode the code of a sēma, one has to know the noos ‘way of thinking’ of the one who encoded it: hence the expression καὶ νόον ἔγνω ‘and he came to know their noos’ in Odyssey i 3. For a survey of contexts where the sēma is the code, see N 1983. It may be possible to take the interpretation further: by knowing the noos ‘way of thinking’ of many men in many cities (Odyssey i 3), the hero may in effect come to know his own noos through that of others. Cf. Odyssey v 274 and the commentary at N 1979.202 (also 1983.39): the stargazer may come to understand his own situation by gazing at the situation played out by the stars (note too that Orion is defined by the Bear Star as the Bear Star takes aim at Orion).

[ back ] 84. On τὸν ἐόντα λόγον here at 1.95.1 in the sense of ‘the true and real logos’, see Woodbury 1958.155–156 and n34.

[ back ] 85. Note the wording: ἐπιδίζηται δὲ δὴ τὸ ἐντεῦθεν ἡμῖν ὁ λόγος τόν τε Κῦρον ὅστις ἐὼν τὴν Κροίσου ἀρχὴν κατεῖλε, καὶ τοὺς Πέρσας ὅτεῳ τρόπῳ ἡγήσαντο τῆς Ἀσίης ‘Next, I look for the logos that tells what kind of a man Cyrus was—to have conquered the empire of Croesus—and how the Persians achieved hegemony over Asia’ (1.95.1). For other examples of hodos ‘road’ in the sense of ‘alternative version’, see Herodotus 1.117.2 (here the choice is between one true logos and one false one) and 2.20.1 (note the use of the word sēmainō ‘indicate’ here) in conjunction with 2.22.1.

[ back ] 86. For Pindar, see the list compiled by Slater 1969.373 s.v. ὁδός (b); also id. p. 275 s.v. κέλευθος. Cf. Becker 1937.50–85. Precisely in the context of saying that he knows three roads of song but will tell the “real” story, Herodotus uses the word graphō ‘write’ in referring to his authoritative version (1.95.1). By implication, writing can be for Herodotus the authoritative speech-act in that whatever he writes can be equated with whatever he would say publicly (cf. Ch. 6§46, Ch. 8§3, Ch. 8§5).

[ back ] 87. Cf. Ch. 8§19 and following.

[ back ] 88. On this attitude of Herodotus, see Ch. 8§20 and following, above.

[ back ] 89. See again Ch. 8§20 and following, above.

[ back ] 90. Cf. Ch. 6§35. Cf. also Herodotus 6.123.2, where the communication of the Pythia or priestess of Apollo’s Oracle is again denoted by this verb sēmainō, as well as Theognis 808 (the only instance of sēmainō in the attested nonepigraphic elegiac and iambic poetry of the Archaic period). In Herodotus 7.142.2, what the words of the oracle are actually supposed to mean is also expressed by way of the word sēmainō.

[ back ] 91. Cf. also Herodotus 7.213.3: …δι’ ἄλλην αἰτίην, τὴν ἐγὼ ἐν τοῖσι ὄπισθε λόγοισι σημανέω ‘… on account of another cause [aitiā] that I will indicate [= verb sēmainō ] in later logoi’. Here the ‘other cause’ has to do with explaining why Ephialtes was killed—a cause that Herodotus says is not connected with the man’s guilt in betraying the Hellenes at Thermopylae. For that betrayal, however, Herodotus does hold Ephialtes guilty: τοῦτον αἴτιον γράφω ‘I declare him in writing to be responsible [aitios]’ (7.214.3). On the use of graphō ‘write’ in denoting the discourse of Herodotus, see Ch. 8§6 above. But Herodotus does not think that the death of Ephialtes is causally related to his betrayal of the Hellenes. In fact Herodotus’ promised account of the real cause of the death of Ephialtes is nowhere to be found in the Histories. Such an omission suggests that the phrases ἐν τοῖσι ὄπισθε λόγοισι and ἐν τοῖσι ὀπίσω λόγοισι denote simply ‘in a later narration’, as if the attested Histories were simply one in a potential series of narrations by Herodotus. This stance is typical not only of written works but also of oral performance, where the given composition being performed presupposes a limitless series of future performances in which new compositions may take place.

[ back ] 97. Cf. Ch. 8§79.

[ back ] 98. Cf. Ch. 8§23 and following.

[ back ] 99. For a discussion of the immediate and ultimate messages in the “code” of what the disguised Odysseus has to say, see N 1979.233–241. For a study of the word khlaina ‘cloak’ as a symbol of ambiguous discourse, I cite the unpublished work of R. Ingber.

[ back ] 100. See the arguments in N ibid. supporting the notion that the Odyssey is referring to the ainos as a distinctly poetic form of expression.

[ back ] 101. N, Ch. 8§19n1, after Meuli 1975 (= 1954) 742–743n2.

[ back ] 102. Cf. Ch. 6§2 and following.

[ back ] 103. Cf. Ch. 8§79.

[ back ] 104. The seer represented in this Pindaric passage is probably Cassandra: see SM ad loc. Cf. also Pindar Olympian 7.68–69 τελεύταθεν δὲ λόγων κορυφαὶ ἐν ἀλαθείᾳ πετοῖσαι ‘and the koruphai of logoi were accomplished, falling into place in truth [alētheia]’ (this passage concerns an oath about the future, as sworn by Lachesis the Moira ‘Fate’, in conjunction with the Will of Zeus: Olympian 7.64–68). For apo-koruphoō in the sense of ‘sum up’ (note also the imagery of achieving a high vantage point in the English expression), see Herodotus 5.73.2. Bundy [1986] 18 paraphrases ὁ δὲ καιρὸς ὁμοίως παντὸς ἔχει κορυφάν at Pindar Pythian 9.78–79 as follows: “By judicious selection and treatment [kairos] I can convey the spirit [koruphē] of the whole just as well.” Cf. Race 1979.254, 265n11.

[ back ] 105. Cf. Ch. 8§20 and following.

[ back ] 106. Cf. Ch. 8§17 and following.

[ back ] 107. In contrast Achilles says that the Trojans are not personally aitioi ‘responsible’ to him (Iliad I 153); similarly Poseidon says that Aeneas is not personally aitios to the Achaeans (Iliad XX 297).

[ back ] 108. Cf. Ch. 8§17 and following.

[ back ] 109. This point, that the traditional plot of an epic narrative is programmatically equated with the Will of Zeus, is elaborated in N 1979.82§25n2.

[ back ] 110. N 1979.131§17n1. Cf. also Odyssey xi 558–560: Odysseus is telling the shade of Ajax that no one else but Zeus was aitios ‘responsible’ for the tragic misfortune that befell Ajax.

[ back ] 111. Commentary on the element of self-reference in this passage: N 1979.100–101.

[ back ] 112. If indeed Herodotus is implicitly a logios, on which subject see Ch. 8§8 and §12, then his expressed opinion about the authority of the Egyptians as supreme logioi (2.77.1) is in line with the prominence of his narrative about his own journey to Egypt in Book II of the Histories.

[ back ] 113. For this expression, see Ch. 8§5.

[ back ] 114. Cf. Ch. 8§20 and following.

[ back ] 115. See Ch. 8§27.

[ back ] 116. Croesus comes to admit this after hearing the Oracle’s response to his recriminations: Herodotus 1.91.6.

[ back ] 117. Odyssey i 33–34, as quoted immediately above, should be understood in conjunction with i 6–7.

[ back ] 118. Further discussion at N 1979.113§24n3.

[ back ] 119. Dodds 1951.3 remarks: “Early Greek justice cared nothing for intent—it was the act that mattered.” Dodds also points out (ibid.) that even Achilles as the aggrieved party accepts Agamemnon’s premise, that he had not acted of his own volition (xix 270–274; cf. I 412). Further observations on this point at Ch. 9§5.

[ back ] 120. I believe that this pattern of omission in the Odyssey is the reflex of an opposition in theme between the Iliad and Odyssey (above). In other words the divergences in the uses of atē in the Iliad and the Odyssey do not reflect divergences in the actual meaning of atē. See Francis 1983.97–99 for passages in the Odyssey where we can find latent implications of atē for the suitors in an Iliadic sense. Moreover, atē can apply in an Iliadic sense to other characters in the Odyssey (e.g., Helen at iv 261, who is afflicted by Aphrodite). Conversely in the Iliad atē applies at least once in an Odyssean sense, where Phoenix says that the Litai, goddesses of supplication personified (IX 502), afflict with atē a man who does wrong in cruelly rejecting supplications (IX 510–512). The message here is intended for Achilles, for whom atē would be a form of punishment. See Ch. 4§6. Yet another dimension to consider is the meaning of atē in juridical discourse: in the Law Code of Gortyn, for example, atā actually means ‘damage’ (6.23, 43; 9.14 Willetts) and even ‘obligation, indemnity, loss in a lawsuit’ (e.g., 10.23–24; 11.34–35, 41); see Francis, p. 121n83. Thus atē can refer both to crime, that is, how someone commits a wrong, and to punishment, that is, how someone pays for a wrong. In terms of cause and effect, atē can be both. To quote Wyatt 1982.261n18 (following Stallmach 1968.88n160): “Indeed, this is the meaning of personification—taking the act (or state) and making it also the cause of the state. Or, put grammatically, placing in subject position what should be the object or the instrument of the action.” For the imagery of atē as even reflected by its etymology (root *au̯ē-, in the sense of ‘being blown off course’), see in general the suggestive article of Francis 1983. For another possible etymology, see Wyatt 1982.

[ back ] 121. Cf. Ch. 8§20 and following.

[ back ] 122. The basic testimony on the concept of the Seven Sages is conveniently assembled in DK no. 10 (pp. 61–66). The canonical list attributed to Demetrius of Phaleron in Stobaeus 3.1.172 is as follows: Kleoboulos of Lindos, Solon of Athens, Khilon of Sparta, Thales of Miletus, Pittakos of Mytilene, Bias of Priene, Periandros of Corinth. In Plato Protagoras 343a, Myson is in place of Periandros. In Ephorus FGH 70 F 182, it is Anacharsis the Thracian who is in place of Periandros; also in Plutarch Banquet of the Seven Sages. Diogenes Laertius also mentions Pythagoras as an optional variant in the grouping (1.41, 42). For other variations, see again Diogenes Laertius 1.40–42 and the references in DK, p. 61 (cf. also Privitera 1965.55–56). One particular variation, noted at Ch. 12§8, is the membership of Aristodemos in the grouping of the Seven Sages. On the theme of Solon as the wisest of the Seven Sages, see, for example, Plato Timaeus 20d (cf. Ch. 8§16 above).

[ back ] 123. For this definition of ainos, see Ch. 6§4.

[ back ] 124. For example, Solon F 6.3W and F 34.2W; cf. Hesiod Works and Days 637 (where olbos is used synonymously with ploutos ‘wealth’ and aphenos ‘riches’) and Theogony 974 (Ploutos, son of Demeter, gives olbos).

[ back ] 125. On the use of tīmē in Herodotus and elsewhere to specify the ‘honor’ that a hero receives in cult after death, see N 1979.118§1n2.

[ back ] 126. In other words, if we juxtapose plousios and olbios, we find that the second is the marked member in that it can specify concepts not specified by the first. On the terminology of marked and unmarked, see Introduction §12. For a survey of traditional Greek poetic designations for the concept of immortalization by way of images conveying the material security of wealth, see N 1981, especially with reference to the words aiōn ‘vital force’ and aphthito- ‘unfailing, unwilting, inexhaustible’. Cf. also Risch 1987. The article N 1981 was written in response to that of Floyd 1980, who argues that the Indo-European heritage of the epithet aphthito- is semantically restricted to the notion of material wealth. There is a similar argument offered by Finkelberg 1986 (who cites Floyd 1980 but not N 1981). At p. 5 she asserts that the application of aphthito- to an “incorporeal entity” is a “semantic innovation”; at p. 4 she argues that, on the grounds that aphthito- applies mostly to “material objects,” the “concrete associations of the term must have been the original ones.” I question such a weighing of statistical predominance in determining what is “original.” And I point out a salient feature, not noted by Finkelberg, in the contexts where aphthito– applies to “material objects”: the concrete associations are otherworldly ones. In response to Finkelberg’s argument that kleos aphthiton as used at Iliad IX 413 is not a “self-contained unit,” I point to the discussion in N 1974.104–109, where the relationships that link the phrase types κλέος ἄφθιτον ἔσται (as at IX 413), κλέος ἔσται (as at Iliad VII 458), and κλέος ἄφθιτον (as at Sappho F 44.4 V) are explored from the perspective of a less narrow understanding of formula. I agree with Finkelberg that κλέος ἄφθιτον ἔσται at IX 413 is coefficient with κλέος οὔποτ’ ὀλεῖται as at II 325. I can also accept the possibility that κλέος οὔποτ’ ὀλεῖται does not occur at IX 413 because ὤλετο is already present at the beginning of the line. But I disagree with her inference that the presence of κλέος ἄφθιτον ἔσται instead of κλέος οὔποτ’ ὀλεῖται at IX 413 is an innovation; it could be an archaism that survives precisely for the stylistic purpose of avoiding word duplication. As a general approach to poetics, I suggest that allowance should always be made for the possibility that more archaic forms can be activated in situations where the more innovative device is inappropriate. For an illuminating discussion of the usage of relatively older and newer forms in poetics, see Meillet 1920. For another critique of Finkelberg’s argumentation, see Edwards 1988.

[ back ] 127. This Pindaric passage is quoted by Clement of Alexandria (Stromateis 3.3.17), who says that it concerns the Eleusinian Mysteries. Whether or not this specific ascription may stand, the language is in any case mystical. The poem is apparently from a thrēnos ‘lament’ for Hippokrates (scholia to Pindar Pythian 7.18a). On the affinities of this genre of lamentation called thrēnos with mystical themes of immortalization, see N 1979.170–177.

[ back ] 128. Compare Homeric Hymn to Demeter 480: ὄλβιος ὃς τάδ’ ὅπωπεν ἐπιχθονίων ἀνθρώπων ‘blissful [olbios] is he who has seen these things [= the Eleusinian Mysteries]’; later the olbios man who is favored by Demeter and Persephone (Hymn to Demeter 486) is described as getting the gift of Ploutos ‘Wealth’ personified (488–489). Again we see that material wealth is but a physical manifestation of transcendent bliss.

[ back ] 129. In light of Solon’s point that Tellos is most olbios of men (Herodotus 1.30), it is worth noting that this name Tellos seems to be a hypocoristic shortening of any one of a set of names built from the noun telos ‘end, fulfillment, achievement’, such as Telesiphrōn (on the morphology, see Immerwahr 1966.156–157n21). Whether or not Tellos was a historical figure (for bibliography, see Immerwahr ibid.), it is clear that the name has a bearing on the narrative of Herodotus, as we see from the profusion of teleutē/teleutaō in this Herodotean passage: this noun/verb is related to telos and means ‘end, fulfill[ment]’ (in the case of Tellos, τελευτή 1.30.4; in the case of Kleobis and Biton, τελευτή 1.31.3; in the case of Croesus, τελευτήσαντα and τελευτῆσαι 1.32.5; τελευτήσει and τελευτήσῃ 1.32.7; τελευτήσῃ and τελευτήν 1.32.9; τελευτήν 1.33; τελευτήσειν bis 1.39.2). (This interpretation of the significance attached to the name of Tellos has a bearing on the expression πάντα παραμείναντα at Herodotus 1.30.4, which I translate as ‘all his possessions having lasted’ in light of the parallel use of paramenō ‘last, endure’ at 3.57.3.) The form telos itself is used in the expression ἐν τέλεϊ τούτῳ ἔσχοντο ‘they were held fast in this telos’, which refers to the mystically dead state of Kleobis and Biton after they had performed their labors for the goddess Hera and had fallen asleep, never to be awakened again to this world (1.31.5). (On the use of ἔσχοντο ‘were held fast’ here in the sense of a ritualized pose, as in a dance, see Ch. 1§39.) I interpret telos here (pace Powell 1938.353: ‘death’) in the sense of ‘service to a god’ (LSJ, p. 1773 s.v. τέλος I.6). This same word in the plural is regularly applied to the Eleusinian Mysteries (LSJ ibid.); the derivative of telos, teletē (cf. genos and genetē), means primarily ‘initiation [into the mysteries of a god]’, for example, at Herodotus 4.79.1/2.

[ back ] 130. On the use of the word aethlos in designating the Labors of Herakles, see Ch. 5§3. In this connection we may note the word aethlophoroi ‘prize-winners’ describing Kleobis and Biton at Herodotus 1.31.2.

[ back ] 131. Cf. Bacchylides Epinician 5.50–55 SM. On the variations in themes of afterlife, with Hades on one side and Olympus/Elysium/Islands of the Blessed [Makares] on the other, see N 1979.164–210. In Hesiod Works and Days 172, the inhabitants of the Islands of the Blessed are called olbioi hērōes ‘blissful heroes’. On the implications of olbios at Odyssey xi 137, see N 1981.116n22.

[ back ] 132. The accepted reading is ἄγῃ not ἄτῃ at Herodotus 6.61.1.

[ back ] 133. That this name is used in Herodotus as an evocation of atē: Immerwahr 1966.157–158.

[ back ] 134. Cf. Immerwahr, p. 158n25.

[ back ] 135. The message is of course ambiguous, in that the notion of ‘spear’ would suggest primarily a context of war, not hunting.

[ back ] 136. The wording is quoted at Ch. 8§39.

[ back ] 137. On the parallelism established in the Works and Days between ritually and morally correct behavior, see N 1982.61.

[ back ] 138. A related topical convention: when men are afflicted by misfortune, they may say that the cause is the anger of a god, and the word for ‘cause’ in such contexts is, appropriately, aition in an aetiological sense. A striking example is Herodotus 9.93.4.

[ back ] 139. In that atē inevitably leads to retribution, it can be synonymous with retribution itself (cf. Solon F 13.75–76 W). For the semantics, see n120.

[ back ] 140. In other words, marked olbos is equivalent to unmarked ploutos plus divine sanction and dike ‘justice’. Previously at Ch. 8§45, we have seen an optional unmarked/marked opposition between plousios and olbios, where the latter is marked as a transcendent image of material security, in terms of afterlife. I say optional because the marked/unmarked opposition is not activated in every context: in some contexts ploutos and olbos are synonymous: see Ch. 8§45. In the present passage from Solon, we see the transcendence of olbos in terms of life in the here and now, not in the afterlife. For other instances where olbos, instead of being synonymous with ploutos ‘wealth’ (see Ch. 8§45), is restricted to convey the ethical notion of material security granted or taken away by the gods as a reward or punishment for righteous or unrighteous behavior, see Hesiod Works and Days 281, 321, 326. In the Odyssey the struggle of the righteous Odysseus against the unrighteous suitors is played out with many references to olbos and how it is dispensed by the gods (the perspective of Odysseus on this matter is the “correct” one: see, for example, Odyssey xviii 19). For the timeless image of material security as prevailing under the rule of a righteous king, see Odyssey xix 109–114 (cf. Hesiod Works and Days 225–237). On dikē as ‘justice’ or ‘righteousness’ long-range and ‘judgment’ short-range, see N 1982.58–60.

[ back ] 141. The wording is quoted at Ch. 8§39.

[ back ] 142. Cf. Ch. 6§4.