Pindar, Fragments

LCL 485: 400-401

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“δοιὰ βοῶν θερμὰ πρὸς ἀνθρακιὰν στέψαν πυρὶ δεῖπνον σώματα· καὶ τότ᾿ ἐγὼ 5σαρκῶν τ᾿ ἐνοπὰν <⏑⏑?> ἠδ᾿ ὀ- στέων στεναγμὸν βαρύν· ἦν διακρῖναι ἰδόντα πολλὸς ἐν καιρῷ χρόνος”

169a P. Oxy. 2450 (26, 1961), vv. 6–62. Plat. Gorg. 484B δοκεῖ δέ μοι καὶ Πίνδαρος ἅπερ ἐγὼ λέγω ἐνδείκνυσθαι ἐν τῷ ᾄσματι, ἐν ᾧ λέγει ὅτι νόμος[m-dash]ἀθανάτων· οὗτος δὲ δή, φησίν, ἄγει[m-dash]ἀπριάτας . . . ἠλάσατο τὰς βοῦς. cf. Leg. 4.714E–715A. schol. Aristid. or. 2.226 (3.408 Dindorf) (Ἡρακλῆς) τὰς τοῦ Γηρυόνου βόας οὔτε αἰτήσας οὔτε πριάμενος ἤλασεν. schol. Pind. Nem. 9.35a, vv. 1–4.

Α' Νόμος ὁ πάντων βασιλεύς θνατῶν τε καὶ ἀθανάτων ἄγει δικαιῶν τὸ βιαιότατον ὑπερτάτᾳ χειρί. τεκμαίρομαι

  • 1δοιὰ βοῶν Boeckh: διαβοῶν codd.
  • 2πρὸς Schroeder: δ᾿ εἰς codd.
  • 3δεῖπνον Lehnus: δ᾿ ὑπνόων τε codd.: δ᾿ ὤπτων Snell δικαιῶν τὸ βιαιότατον schol. Pind., Aristid.: βιαιῶν τὸ δικαιότατον Plat. Gorg. 484B: δικαιοῦντα τὸ βιαιότατον Plat. Leg. 715A
  • 5<ἴδον> Schroeder: <κλύον> Snell


“They put two warm bodies of oxen around the embers, and began roasting the carcasses. Then I (heard?) 5the cry of flesh and the loud groaning of bones; There was a long time on that occasion to see and distinguish it.”

169a An Oxyrhynchus papyrus (1st–early 2nd cent. a.d.) gives parts of vv. 6–62. Plato, Gorgias. “And it seems to me that Pindar demonstrates just what I am saying in the poem where he says (vv. 1–2), and then continues (vv. 3–6) . . . when he drove off the cattle without paying for them.” Scholion on Aristides, Oration 2 (In Defense of Oratory). “He (sc. Heracles) drove off Geryon’s cattle without asking or paying for them.” For accounts of this labor of Heracles, see Diod. Sic. 4.15.3 and Apollodorus 2.5.8. From the time of Herodotus (cf. 3.38.4) the opening of this poem has been quoted in support of various contradictory positions and what exactly Pindar means by νόμος (“law,” “custom”) remains disputed.

Law, the king of all,Str. 1 of mortals and immortals, guides them as it justifies the utmost violence with a sovereign hand. I bring as witness

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pindar-fragments.1997