Pindar's Homer
The Lyric Possession of an Epic Past
a machine readable edition
Gregory Nagy

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Chapter 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 Nemean9.39-42, 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

houtô kai tôn prosthen epeuthometha 3 klea andrôn
Iliad IX 524-525

For thus 4 we have learned the klea of men who came before, 5
heroes 6

In this Homeric case the klea andrôn, 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-kleês '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. 7

§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 Pythian3.80 are clearly the actual tellers of the tradition, not its subject matter: manthanôn oistha proterôn 'you know, learning from men of the past'. 1 The same sort of ambiguity is attested in other poets as well:

ou men keinou ge menos kai agênora thumon
toion emeu proterôn peuthomai, hoi min idon
Ludôn hippomachôn pukinas kloneonta phalangas
Hermion am pedion, phôta pheremmeliên.
Mimnermus F 14.1-4 W

That one's strength [menos] and proud spirit [thûmos],
as I learn from men who came before me,
were not like this [= what I see in my own time]. They [= the men who came before me] saw him
rushing tempestuously at the strong battle-lines of the horse-riding Lydian warriors,
along the Plain of the River Hermos. 2 A spear-carrying man was he. 3

There is reason to think, then, that the phrase klea andrôn 'glories of men' inherits a neutrality of active / passive diathesis in the genitive plural andrôn '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

§3. The kleos that is given by the poet is ultimately given by the hero in the sense that the hero is the source of inspiration to the poet. When the voice of Pindar says that he experienced, on his way to Delphi, the epiphany of a hero (Pythian8.56-60), we are in effect witnessing an equation of the hero's message with the poet's message. 1 To the extent that the message belongs to the hero as well as the poet, klea andrôn is potentially the glorification sung by as well as about heroes. When Achilles is represented as singing the klea andrôn in the Iliad (IX 189), he is a model for the hero's possession of kleos. The possession of epic, as in the subtitle of this book, can be read as both an objective and a subjective genitive construct: not only does the poet possess the kleos of epic, but the kleos of the epic hero can possess the poet to sing it, just as the hero had once sung it.

§4. There is comparative evidence for the objective / subjective neutrality of the genitive in klea andrôn: in the diction of the Rig-Veda, the expression sámso naram 'glory of men' allows either an objective or a subjective function for the genitive plural naram '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. 1 The neutralization of objective / subjective diathesis is not clearly attested in the case of srávo...n[vocalr][ndot ][macr ]áam 'glory of men' at Rig-Veda 5.18.5, where we see a direct cognate of klea andrôn: here the genitive plural seems to be specialized in the objective sense. In this connection, however, I draw attention to the contrast between singular srávas- 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. 2 When Achilles is singing the klea andrôn 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: degmenos Aiakidên, hopote lêxeien aeidôn '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 Patrokleês '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 andrôn, these glories cannot be heard by any audience except Patroklos. 3

§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:

tôn d' Homêrou kai tode sunthemenos | rhêma porsun': angelon eslon epha timan megistan pragmati panti pherein: | auxetai kai Moisa di' angelias orthas
Pindar Pythian 4.277-279

Of all the words of Homer, understand and apply the saying that I now tell you: the best messenger, he said, wins as a prize [= verb pherô] 1 the greatest honor [tîmê] for everything. And the Muse too becomes greater [= verb auxô] 2 by way of the correct message.

In other words, just as the Muse of poetry and song gives the greatness of tîmê 'honor', 3 so also she receives it. 4 Just as the poet, whether it is the "Homer" of the past or the Pindar of the present, 'wins as prize' [= verb pherô] for his subject the honor [tîmê] as conferred by the words of poetry, thereby 'making great' [= verb auxô] both the subject of the and the poetry itself, 5 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 Pythian8:

auxôn de patran Meidulidan logon phereis, | ton honper pot' Oikleos pais ... ainixato ... | 43 hôd' eipe marnamenôn:i "phuai to gennaion epiprepei | ek paterôn paisi lêma..."i 55 toiauta men | ephthenxat' Amphiarêos. chairôn de kai autos | Alkmana stephanoisi ballô.
Pindar Pythian 8.38-57

Making great [= verb auxô] the house of the Meidulidai, you [= Aristomenes] win as a prize [= verb pherô] 6 the words [logos] that once the son of Oikles said [= said as an ainos]. ...Thus he spoke about those who fought: "The will of the fathers [pateres] shines through from them, in what is inborn in the nature of their sons." Thus spoke Amphiaraos. And I also take joy in casting a garland at Alkmaion. 7

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 andrôn, is to 'win as a prize [= verb pherô] the words [logos]', as in this passage (Pythian8.38). 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 pherô] the words [logos]', as we see from the Pindaric description of the heroic legacy of Achilles:

ton men oude thanont' aoidai <ep>elipon, | alla hoi para te puran taphon th' Helikôniai parthenoi stan, epi thrênon te poluphamon echean. | edox' êra kai athanatois, | esthlon ge phôta kai phthimenon humnois thean didomen.| to kai nun pherei logon, essutai te Moisaion harma Nikokleos | mnama pugmachou keladêsai
Pindar Isthmian 8.56a-62

Even when he [Achilles] died, the songs did not leave him, but the Heliconian Maidens [= the Muses] stood by his pyre and his funeral mound, pouring forth a song of lamentation [thrênos] that is famed far and wide. And so it was that the gods decided to hand over the worthy man, dead [phthi-menos] as he was, to the songs of the goddesses [= Muses]. 1 And this, even now, wins as a prize [= verb pherô] the words [logos], as the chariot team of the Muses starts moving on its way to glorify the memory of Nikokles the boxer.

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)." 2 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, Nîkoklês 'he who has the glory [kleos] of victory [nîkê]', is made appropriate to the themes of Pindar's Isthmian8 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 andrôn]', is thus likewise made appropriate to the themes of Isthmian8 in that the 'glories of men', the klea andrôn, are more specifically 'the glories of men who came before, heroes' tôn prosthen...klea andrôn | hêrôôn (Iliad IX 524-525), 3 that is, the glories of dead men of the past, as we saw from the implicit ainos narrated by Phoenix to Achilles. 4 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-kleês 'he who has the glory [kleos] of the ancestors'. 5 The thematic appropriateness of the honorand's name, Kleandros, as indicating the klea andrôn 'glories of men', is underlined by its placement as the first word of Isthmian8. In all the attested epinician poems of Pindar, Kleandros stands out as the only victor whose name begins the composition. 6 Even the inherited reciprocity of the concept of klea andrôn 'glories of men', in that the 'men' may be either the poets or the subject of the poets, is recapitulated in the composition of Isthmian8: 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 (Isthmian8.15-23). 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 (Pythian5.75), 7 are elsewhere described as the descendants of Thebe (Isthmian7.15). In view of this relationship Pindar of Thebes offers the flower of the Kharites 'Graces', personifications of reciprocity, 8 to Aegina, the community of the honorand (8.16-16a). 9

§7. In Iliad IX, the klea andrôn '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). 1 The audience of the epic is also the hidden subject of the ainos: he is Patro-kleês '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 Isthmian8, 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. 2 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 Isthmian8 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.

§8. Let us consider another example of the potential close relationship between a man's good name and his kleos as conferred by epinician lyric poetry. The name in question is to be found in Pindar's Pythian6. This time, instead of withholding the name till the final stages of the argument, as in the case of Kleandros I begin immediately with the given person's name and with the implications built into it. The man in question is called Thrasuboulos. At first the two components of this compound strike us as an oxymoron: thrasu- implies rashness or impetuousness, while -boulos implies deliberation or wise counsel. 1 But such a combination represents a traditional theme, as we find it in a lesson given by Nestor. The lesson takes place in Iliad XXIII, where the old hero instructs his son Antilokhos how to win a prize in a chariot race. The chariot race in question happens to be the centerpiece of the Funeral Games for Patroklos. As we shall see, Nestor's lesson is appropriate to the specific theme of funeral games and even to the general theme announced by the very name of Patroklos.

§9. As we unravel the story of Antilokhos in Iliad XXIII, I argue that the very identity of our victor, Thrasuboulos (henceforth spelled Thrasyboulos), has been planned, presumably from birth onward, by virtue of his name to participate in the epic themes of the Antilokhos story--though not necessarily the Antilokhos story of Iliad XXIII in particular. To put it another way, I argue that Thrasyboulos was named after the Antilokhos story, as an expression of the hopes and ambitions of his family--hopes and ambitions that centered on success in the Games and on a glorification of this success by way of poetry and song. It is as if Thrasyboulos, given the themes surrounding his name, had been bred not only for success at the Games but also by extension for immortalization by epinician lyric poetry, which is what formalizes such success. 1 Such hope and ambition should not surprise us, if indeed it was founded on the traditional belief that epinician poetry was so venerably ancient as to exist already when the Seven marched against Thebes. 2 We find this belief expressed in the epinician lyric poetry of Pindar, but surely Pindar did not privately invent it, any more than he privately invented the epinician tradition.

§10. The connections between Antilokhos and Thrasyboulos are unmistakable. 1 Antilokhos, the focus of our attention in Iliad XXIII, enters the chariot race in the Funeral Games of Patroklos, driving his father's chariot in place of Nestor, who is too old to compete as an athlete (621-623, 627-645). So also the young Thrasyboulos, the victor in Pythian6, is represented as driving the chariot for his father Xenokrates, the official victor (cf. Olympian2.14-20). According to one interpretation of line 19 of Pythian6, Thrasyboulos is pictured as driving the victorious chariot while his father is riding on his right. 2 In the epic tradition Antilokhos not only drives the chariot for his father Nestor but also rescues the old man from death by giving up his own life. He is struck down by Memnon, after the father's chariot is immobilized when Paris shoots Nestor's horse with an arrow (Pindar Pythian6.28-42; cf. Odyssey iv 186-188). 3 Given such a prominence of chariots in the epic career of Antilokhos, it would be well to look closely at the lesson on chariot driving given by Nestor to Antilokhos in Iliad XXIII. We find in this lesson a traditional theme corresponding to the oxymoron built into the name of Thrasyboulos.

§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 sêma (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. 1 The noos 'mind' of Antilokhos, which we may define for the moment as his ability to "read" a sêma 'sign, signal', 2 responds to this lesson (noeonti XXIII 305) by finding an occasion to apply the principle. The 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 (noêsô at XXIII 415, picking up noeonti at XXIII 305). 3 What Menelaos thinks is a matter of reckless adolescent driving, an act lacking in noos (nun aute noon nikêse neoiê XXIII 604), is in reality a deliberate and rational move. 4 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). 5 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). 6

§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 sêma 'sign, signal' (XXIII 326) about what to do at the turning point. In other words Antilokhos "reads" the sêma 'sign' of Nestor, and this reading is a matter of noos. 1 The verb noeô '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 sêma '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 sêma 'sign' and this terma 'turning point', it is noteworthy that the narrative goes on to indicate that the terma is itself a sêma. But now (XXIII 331) the word sêma has the specific meaning of 'tomb', which is conventionally visualized as a mound of earth, such as the tomb of Patroklos (at XXIII 45):

ê teu sêma brotoio palai katatethnêôtos,
H>'ê to ge nussa tetukto epi proterôn anthrôpôn,
kai nun termat' ethêke podarkês dios Achilleus.
Iliad XXIII 331-333

It is either the tomb [sêma] of a man who died a long time ago,
or it was a turning point [nussa; i.e, in racing] of men who came before 2
Now swift-footed brilliant Achilles has set it up as the turning point [= terma plural].

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. 3 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 sêma 'tomb' of a hero, of one who came before (XIII 331-332). But here too is a collapsing of distinctions, though this happens only latently, by way of the double use of sêma in the sense of both 'sign' (XXIII 326) and 'tomb' (XXIII 331). 1 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 sêma, 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 sêma 'tomb' (XXIII 331), in view of the sêma '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 sêma is a reminder, and the very use of the word is a reminder. In a more detailed study of sêma, 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 a sêma 'tomb' of a dead man, then the sêma '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 sêma 'sign' has an additional message about the sêma 'tomb' as a reminder of kleos." 2

§14. Moreover, in the case of Antilokhos this sêma is a reminder not just of kleos in general but of Patro-kleês '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 sêma '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 therapôn of Achilles. 1 This word therapôn, normally translated as 'attendant' or 'companion in arms', is apparently a borrowing of an Anatolian word, attested in Hittite as tarpa[schwa ]s[schwa ]sa-/tarp(an)alli- 'ritual substitute'. 2 This sense of therapôn 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 therapôn. 3 A primary function of Patroklos, as an attendant of Achilles, was to be his hêniokhos '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 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 therapôn of Achilles in traditional epic narrative, and he is acknowledged as such in the Iliad (again XXIII 556). 4

§16. If indeed the sêma 'signal' given to Antilokhos by his father, Nestor, conveys the name of Patro-kleês 'he who has the klea of the ancestors', then the relevance of the message may be that Antilokhos, like Patroklos, is to become a therapôn, a ritual substitute. Yet Antilokhos dies not in place of Achilles but rather in place of his own father. Antilokhos not only drives the chariot for his father but also rescues the old man from death by giving up his own life when Nestor's chariot is immobilized (cf. Pindar Pythian6.28-42). 1

§17. Which brings us back to the name of Thrasyboulos, combining the themes of rashness (Thrasu-) and prudence (-boulos). The same themes are combined in the actions of Antilokhos when he rashly swerved past the chariot of Menelaos and then, showing due restraint, prudently talked his opponent out of a prize. The same themes are also combined in the instructions of Nestor, ostensibly concerning the proper way to make a turn around the turning point in the chariot race: applying impulse on the right-hand or dominant side of the horse-team must be counterbalanced by applying restraint on the left-hand or recessive side. 1 The key to understanding the synthesis of these themes is to have noos just as Antilokhos had noos.

§18. In Pindar's Pythian6, 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 (parainein 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:

egento kai proteron Antilochos biatas | noêma touto pherôn, | hos huperephthito patros, enarimbroton | anameinais stratarchon Aithiopôn | Memnona. Nestoreion gar hippos harm' epeda | Parios ek beleôn daïchtheis: ho d' ephepen | krataion enchos: Messaniou de gerontos | donêtheisa phrên boase paida hon, | chamaipetes d' ar' epos ouk aperipsen: autou | menôn d' ho theios anêr | priato men thanatoio komidan patros, | edokêsen te tôn palai geneai | hoploteroisin ergon pelôrion telesais | hupatos amphi tokeusin emmen pros aretan. | ta men parikei: tôn nun de kai Thrasuboulos | patrôian malista pros stathman eba, | patrôi t' eperchomenos aglaian [lxub ]edeixen[rxub ] hapasan. | noôi de plouton agei, | adikon outh' huperoplon hêban drepôn, | sophian d' en muchoisi Pieridôn: | tin t', Elelichthon, archeis hos hippian esodôn, | mala hadonti noôi, Poseidan, prosechetai.
Pindar Pythian 6.28-51

In the past [proteron] 1 as well, there was a man, Antilokhos, a man of violent strength [biê], who won as his prize this thought [= this piece of instruction: noêma, from noos]. 2 | 30 He died for his father, standing up to the man-killer, the war-lord of the Aethiopians, Memnon. Nestor's horse, struck down by the arrows of Paris, got in the way of his chariot, while Memnon was wielding his powerful spear. The mind of Nestor, the old man from Messene, was stung, and he shouted for his son. The word that he uttered did not fall, useless, to the ground. This godlike man [= Antilokhos] made his stand, right there, and he paid the price for the saving of his father from death. | 40 To the young people of that time long gone, he was manifestly the foremost when it comes to achievement [aretê] concerning parents. He had accomplished a mighty deed. But those things are in the past. As for the present, Thrasyboulos stands up to the standard of the ancestors [= adjective patrôio-] better than anyone else. He has clearly measured up to his uncle [= Theron of Akragas] in every manner of excellence. By way of his thinking [noos] does he bring about wealth, 3 reaping the benefits of a youth that is neither without dikê nor overweening. Rather he reaps a skill [sophiâ] that is to be found in the recesses of Pieria [= the abode of the Muses]. He is close to you, with a noos that is very pleasing to you, O Earth-Shaking Poseidon, you who rule over the races of horses.

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 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. 4 Just as Antilokhos had noos (noêma : 6.29), with an emphasis on the impulsive side of the hero (biâtâs: 6.29), 5 so also does Thrasyboulos have noos as he enriches his family by winning (noôi 6.47) and as he pleases Poseidon, the lord of horse racing noôi 6.51). In the meantime the theme of the ancestors, as conveyed by the name Patrokleês for Antilokhos in the Iliad, is conveyed for Thrasyboulos by the model of Antilokhos in Pindar's Pythian6.

§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 Pythian8, Kleandros in Isthmian8, and now Thrasyboulos in Pythian6. 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.


§1n1. Cf. Ch.6§9.

§1n2. On the speech of Phoenix as ainos or par-ain-esis 'instructive speech', cf. Ch.6§89.

§1n3. For the phraseology, compare Mimnermus F 14.2 W, as discussed at Ch.7§2.

§1n4. On the function of this expression houtô as a marker of the beginning of an ainos, see again Fraenkel 1950 II 339. Also Ch.6§89, and Ch.7§6.

§1n5. Compare tôn prosthen 'who came before' here at Iliad IX 524 with the word proterôn in kleea proterôn anthrôpôn 'the klea of men who came before' at Hesiod Theogony100, where the klea refers to both epic and theogonic poetry.

§1n6. Compare kleea proterôn anthrôpôn | hêrôôn 'the klea of men who came before, heroes' with klea phôtôn i...hêmitheôn 'the klea of men, demigods [hêmitheoi]' at Homeric Hymn32.18-19 and genos andrôn | hêmitheôn at Homeric Hymn31.18-19, where the word genos seems to refer explicitly to genealogical poetry. On hêmitheoi 'demigods, heroes' as a word connoting hero cult, see N 1979.159-161.

§1n7. Cf. Ch.6§89.

§2n1. Cf. Pindar Nemean 3.52-53: legomenon de touto proterôn epos echô '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 se d' antia proterôn phthenxomai at Olympian1.36 as 'I shall call upon you [= Pelops] in the presence of the predecessors', that is, with the past tradition as witness, see Ch.4§18n7.

§2n2. On the possibility that Mimn-ermos 'Mimnermus' is a name commemorating the resistance (as conveyed by the verb mimnô), at the river Hermos (Hermos), of the Smyrnaeans against the Lydians, see West 1974.73, who adduces the tradition that Hellanicus, Hellanîkos, was born on the day of the Hellenic victory over the Persians at Salamis (Hellanicus FGH 4 T 6).

§2n3. 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 phainetai moi kênos with isos theoisin likewise suggests an epiphany, even if the following infinitive at line 2, on which see Race 1983.94n10, shifts the understanding of phainetai 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.

§2n4. Cf. Ch.6§75.

§3n1. Cf. Ch.6§88. In a forthcoming work, T. K. Hubbard argues that the epiphanic hero in this context is Amphiaraos himself, not his son Alkmaion.

§4n1. See Geldner 1951 I 265-266; also Schmitt 1967.98.

§4n2. Cf. Schmitt, p. 96.

§4n3. 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.

§5n1. On pherô in the sense of 'win as a prize', see Ch.6§87n1.

§5n2. For the collocation of tîmê 'honor' and auxô 'make / become greater' here, we may compare Pindar Nemean7.32: tima de ginetai hôn theos habron auxei logon tethnakotôn 'tîmê' becomes the possession of those who get words [logos] told about them, when they are dead, that are made great [auxô] and luxuriant [habros] by the divinity'. (On the positive usage of habros 'luxuriant' see Ch.10§15 and following.) On the collocation of logos 'word(s)' and the genitive designating the subject of the song, compare logon Odusseos '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' [pathâ] by Odysseus, as expressed at 7.20-21, is correlated at 7.23 with the presence of supposedly misleading mûthoi 'myths' about Odysseus. On the semantics of mûthoi as a broader and relatively unreliable concept as opposed to alêtheia 'truth' as the narrower and absolutely reliable one, see Ch.2§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§30.

§5n3. See also Pindar Isthmian4.37-38, where "Homer" is represented as giving tîmê to a subject, in this case the hero Ajax. I interpret di' anthrôpôn here as a functional variant of Homeric ep' anthrôpous 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 epi + accusative and dia + genitive, where both the accusative and the genitive convey the diffusion of song, is attested in a single context at Nemean6.48-49: petatai d' epi te chthona kai dia thalassas têlothen onum' autôn 'their reputation spreads over land and sea' (with reference to the glory of the Aiakidai: 45-47, quoted at Ch.8§25n1).

§5n4. See also Pindar Isthmian6.67, where "Hesiod" is represented as being given tîmê 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 (huioisi te phrazôn parainei 'indicating to his sons, he makes par-ain-esis' 6.68; more on par-ain-esis 'instructive speech' at Ch.6§7, Ch.6§89n1), 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).

§5n5. The underlined word kai makes clear that not only the poetry but also the subject of the poetry is meant: auxetai kai moisa (Pythian4.279). I use the word poetry here in the broadest sense, to include song.

§5n6. On pherô in the sense of 'win as a prize': Ch.7§5n1.

§5n7. Cf. Ch.6§87.

§6n1. 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.

§6n2. Köhnken 1975.30; cf. Pòrtulas 1985.214.

§6n3. Cf. Ch.7§1n2.

§6n4. Cf. 7 tag 305.

§6n5. Cf. Ch.6§89.

§6n6. 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 lachôn, the honorand's name and the first word of the composition, is immediately picked up by lache at 6.2.

§6n7. Cf. Ch.12§80.

§6n8. On kharis (plural kharites) 'grace' as a designation of reciprocity, see, for example, Ch.2§28n1.

§6n9. This gesture of offering the flower of the Kharites is followed by houneka 'because', introducing the myth of the daughters of Asopos (Pindar Isthmian8.17 and following; cf. Nemean3.3-5). 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. For yet another reference, cf. Bacchylides Epinician 9.53 and following. Cf. Hubbard 1987c.15-16.

§7n1. On Patroklos as audience, see Ch.7§4n3.

§7n2. See again Isthmian8.56a-62, as quoted at Ch.7§6 above.

§8n1. Cf. Aristotle Rhetoric 1400b21.

§9n1. Another striking example is the name of a victor's father in Pythian 11.43, Puthonikos '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, Pherenîkos (Olympian1.18, Pythian3.74), which means 'he who carries off the victory [nikê]'. 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.

§9n2. Cf. Ch.6§84.

§10n1. Cf. Farnell 1932.187.

§10n2. This interpretation requires that nin at Pythian6.19 refer to patri teôi at 15: cf. Gildersleeve 1899.318.

§10n3. 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.

§11n1. 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. hênia I.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.

§11n2. On the semiotics of reading as 'recognizing', see N 1983, especially p. 39; also Pucci 1987.87. Cf. also Ch.6§50 and following.

§11n3. That Antilokhos is behaving here as an exponent of mêtis 'cunning intelligence' is argued further in N 1983.53n37, extending the arguments presented by Detienne and Vernant 1974.22-24, 29- 31.

§11n4. Again, this point is argued in N 1983.53n37.

§11n5. Cf. N, p. 48.

§11n6. Ibid. Thus the act of balancing restraint and impulsiveness achieves in the end a dominant sense of restraint.

§12n1. Cf. Ch.7§11n2.

§12n2. This usage of proteroi 'men who came before', as we have seen at Ch.7§1, implies an ainos (on which see Ch.6§4 and following). Like the ainos, the sêma here is one code conveying at least two messages.

§12n3. See Rohde 1898 I 173 and n1 (= 1925.127 and n147n59); also Sinos 1980.53n6 and N 1983.46.

§13n1. The sêma here is like the ainos: one code conveying two messages.

§13n2. N 1983.47.

§15n1. N 1979.292-295; Sinos 1980.29-38; Lowenstam 1981.126-177.

§15n2. 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."

§15n3. Again, N 1979.292-295.

§15n4. Sinos 1980.30 remarks: "It was Patroklos who succeeded in the competition with his multiforms, Antilokhos, Automedon, and Alkimedon."

§16n1. Cf. Ch.7§10.

§17n1. Cf. Ch.7§11.

§18n1. 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).

§18n2. Compare noêma touto pherôn 'who wins as a prize this thought' here at Pythian6.29, applying to Thrasyboulos as well as to his model Antilokhos, with logon phereis 'you win as a prize the words' at Pythian8.38, applying to Aristomenes as well as to his model Alkmaion (as discussed at Ch.6§87).

§18n3. Compare plouton agei 'does he bring about wealth' here with psuchan komixai...derma te kriou...agein 'to save the psûkhê and bring back the fleece of the ram' at Pindar Pythian4.159. The materialism here is of the "otherworldly" sort (Ch.8§45 and following). Cf. Pindar Pythian6.5: olbioisin emmenidais 'for the patriliny of the Emmenidai, who are olbioi'; again, the materialism here is "otherworldly" (Ch.8§45 and following).

§18n4. Compare again noêma touto pherôn 'who wins as a prize this thought' here at Pythian6.29, applying to Thrasyboulos as well as to his model Antilokhos, with logon phereis 'you win as a prize the words' at Pythian8.38, applying to Aristomenes as well as to his model Alkmaion ( Ch.7§18n2).

§18n5. On noos as a balance of impulsiveness and restraint, initially favoring the former and ultimately adopting the latter, see Ch.7§11 and following. The noos of Patroklos is described as biâtâs at Pindar Olympian9.75, precisely in a context where Achilles warns him not to venture off on his own (9.76-79).

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