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ι μήτ' ἀρετάν ποτε σιγάτω πατρώαν,

45 • μηδὲ τούσδ ̓ ὕμνους· ἐπεί τοι

« οὐκ ἐλινύσοντας αὐτοὺς εἰργασάμαν.
• ταῦτα, Νικάσιππ', ἀπόνειμον, ὅταν
† ξεῖνον ἐμὸν ἠθαῖον ἔλθῃς.

Nile, and the Pillars of Herakles
were the extreme limits of Hellênic
(ordinary) navigation. The last
had been used metaphorically in
praise of Theron, Ο. 3. 44, and
could hardly be used again for
Xenokrates. Note the chiasmus.
θερείαις Sc. ώραις.

42 ἀκτάν Schol. interprets αὐγάς. Perhaps a variant ἀκτάς with written over was read as ἀκτῖνας.

48 ὅτι, κ.τ.λ. Because envious expectations beset men's minds.' Cr. O. 7. 24, 25 ἀμφὶ δ ̓ ἀνθρώπων φρασὶν ἀμπλακίαι | ἀναρίθμητοι κρέ μανται, Ι. 7. 14. The metaphor is from nets. The poet may mean that the democratic party were anxious for the Emmenidae to fall into oblivion, but the mention of φθόνος in most likely mere common. place. Cf. N. 8. 21, 22, I. 1. 44.


44 σιγάτω The address to Nikesippos begins at v. 43, so that Thrasybulos is the subject.

45 μηδέ Ο. ούτε...οὐδέ Ρ. 8. 83-85, " neither ... nor indeed.' ὕμνους This ode and probably the skolion, of which Athenaeos has preserved a fragment, Frag. 101 [89].

Cf. N. 5. 1.

47 Νικάσιππ The transmitter of the odes to Sicily; cf. O. 6. 87— 91, O. and P. Ρ. xvii. ἀπόνει μον ‘Impart. The Schol. wrongly interprets by ἀνάγνωθι, quoting the ̓Αχαιών σύλλογος of Sophokles (Frag. 150, Dindorf), σὺ δ ̓ ἐν θρόν νοισι γραμμάτων πτυχὰς ἔχων | ἀπό


48 ηθαῖον Doria for ἡθεῖον. See L. and S. ἔλθῃς For ἐλθεῖν with acc. of person ef. Soph. Phil. 141. Το γκειν Ρ. 4. 126 1., Ν. 5. 50.





MELISSOS, one of the noble and wealthy Kleonymidae of Thebes, probably gained this victory in the spring of B.C. 478, in the year after the Battle of Plataea (vv. 34-36). The mention of Herakles' conquest of Antaeos and his clearance of the sea possibly glances at the Hellenic victory over the Bápßapo. The ode was probably recited at a meeting of the clan in a temple or before an altar.

In the Mss. and in editions carlier than Böckh's the third Isthmian ode consisted of only one strophic system, ending at v. 19 (30), the rest being the fourth Isthmian. The identity of subject and rhythm, the connexion of thought in the two portions, the obvious incompleteness of the first portion and the abrupt and unique character of the supposed beginning of the old fourth Isthmian, amply justify Hermann in proposing, and Böckh in adopting, the union of the five systems into one ode; but I think that originally there were six systems, of which the second has been lost (sce note on v. 19).

Mr Bury regards the first system as a new proeme to an earlier ode.

As to recurrences note εὐκλέων ἔργων υυ. 7, 41, ἴστε μὲν νν. 15, 53, aλλ· aλλ• •aλλ- vv. 18, 23, also vv. 35, 49 and vv. 42 and 60, and the exact responsions ἀρετάν υυ. 13, 31, τέλος υυ. 29, 23 (cf. 32, 45), τιμα- υυ. 55, 25, σὺν θεῷ ν. 23, ἐκ σέθεν ν. 5, Μελισσο νν. 62, 20, αναμένα υυ. 65, 41 (cf. 83), -éolai vv. 68, 50, -aσev vv. 56, 44, ávhp v. 88, άvdpŵv v. 52. There are other repetitions.

The divisions of the ode fall after vv. 18 and 60, the central portion, vv. 19—60, being devoted to the victor's ancestors and to Aias' humiliation and fame. It was especially laudable in a man who could afford to compete in chariot-races to endure the hardships of a pancratiast. The compounds apparently coined for this ode are βαθύκρημνος, χαλκοάρας.

The mode is Dorian; the metres dactylo-epitritic.

The Strophe is unsymmetrical; the Epode is perhaps antithetic mesodic with epode, thus 6 4, taking c and d together.

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1-3. One who enjoys good fortune in a moderate spirit is praiseworthy.

4-6. Zeus prolongs the prosperity of the devout.

7, 8. The man of prowess must receive a meed of praise. 9-12. Melissos has won twice, at Isthmos and Nemea. 12-17. His merits are hereditary.

18. But only gods are exempt from vicissitudes.


19-23. By favour of the god Melissos' victory gives the poet ample opportunity for praise of his prosperous family. But the breeze of mortal destiny varies and shifts. Praises of the prosperous Kleônymidae :

23, 24.


34, 35.

36, 37.


Yet in one day four fell in battle.

But their winter of sorrow gives way to spring.

Poseidon has roused from slumber their ancient fame.

43-47. Their former achievements.

* Caesura after seventh syllable.

48. They rejected the obscurity of the unenterprising. 49-53. But in contests the issue is doubtful. Craft gets the better of sterling worth.

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55-57. But Homer made him famous everywhere for ever.

58-60. For good poetry is immortal, and universal as light. 61-63. May such a beacon-flame be lit for Melissos: 63-69. Who is brave and cunning, though undersized ; 70-73. As compared with Antaeos was Herakles; 73-78. Who after a glorious career dwells with the gods. 79-86. In his honor the Thebans celebrate yearly funeral sacrifices and games to his eight sons.

87-end. At which games Melissos, thanks to his trainer Orseas, won three victories.

Mezger sums up the fundamental ideas of the poem as follows. "Melissos and his clan should be highly praised because they are fortunate both in wealth and in victory, and yet keep their pride within bounds. For though they like all mortals are not exempt from vicissitude and have to endure much sorrow, yet still in the victory of Melissos and the consequent reawakening of the fame and the poetic praises of the clan a fresh spring has brought back what the winter had taken." He tells us that Perthes rightly says that the myth of Aias refers to the unsuccessful efforts of the Kleônymidae to win victories, while Melissos in his success resembles Herakles.

No doubt the uncertainty of human affairs is one of the main strands in the thread of song, but another conspicuous strand is the power of song to reward merit (vv. 7, 8; 19-21; 27-29; 39, 40; 44, 45, 55-63; 90). A third strand is the ascription of worth, fame, and happiness to the gods (vv. 4—6; 19, 23; 33; 37-41; 61; 76-78). We may accept the poet's own criticism of this ode. He calls it, v. 39, τόνδε θαυμαστὸν ὕμνον.

Στρ. α'.

1 Εἴ τις ἀνδρῶν εὐτυχήσαις ἡ σὺν εὐδόξοις ἀέθλοις

1 σύν The construction with this preposition is half-way between that of P. 1. 38, σὺν εὐφώνοις θα

λίαις ὀνομαστάν, and of N. 10. 48, 'by means of.' Of course the preposition is to be taken with εὐτυχή

3 ἢ σθένει πλούτου κατέχει φρασὶν αἰανῆ κόρον,

3 ἄξιος εὐλογίαις ἀστῶν μεμίχθαι.

4 Ζεύ, μεγάλαι δ ̓ ἀρεταὶ θνατοῖς ἕπονται


5 5 ἐκ σέθεν· ζώει δὲ μάσσων ὄλβος ὀπιζομένων, πλαγίαις δὲ φρένεσσιν

6 οὐχ ὁμῶς πάντα χρόνον θάλλων ὁμιλεῖ.

σαις. For εὐτυχέω, in connexion with games, cf. N. 1. 10. εὐδόξοις 'Glorious' rather than 'glorifying,' cf. P. 6. 16 λόγοισι θνατῶν | εὔδοξον. In short, in an adjective qualifying a sphere of action the causative phase of meaning is too clearly implied to need special attention. Note five compounds of ev- in ten


2 σθένει. Cf. O. 9. 51 ύδατος σθένος, of a food, Frag. 84, 10 νιφετοῦ σθένος | ὑπέρφατον, in a list of overwhelming calamities; so that in neither passage is the idea of 'might' absent. Here again the rendering abundance' is unsatisfactory in view of P. 5. 1 ὁ πλοῦτος εὐρυσθενής, when combined with ἀρετᾷ καθαρᾷ, cf. also I. 6. 2, 3, Frag. 207. Render 'potent wealth,' ef. Ο. 6. 22 σθένος ημιόνων, ' strong mules.” κατέχει Keeps down, cf. Solon Frag. 4 [13]. 7 δήμου θ' ηγεμό νων ἄδικος νέος, οἶσιν ἑτοῖμον | ύβριος ἐκ μεγάλης ἄλγεα πολλὰ παθεῖν· | οὐ γὰρ ἐπίστανται κατέχειν κόρον οὐδὲ παρούσας | εὐφροσύνας κοσμεῖν δαιτὸς ἐν ἡσυχίῃ, Theognis 321 εἰ δὲ θεὸς κακῷ ἀνδρὶ βίον καὶ πλοῦτον ὀπάσσῃ, ἀφραίνων κακίην οὐ δύναται κατέχειν. φρασίν Locative, cf. N. 10. 28. alavý This epithet is applied, P. 1. 83, to κόρος, the surfeit of hearing excessive praise of another. In both places it means 'disgusting,' 'sickening.' For the present use οι κόρος cf. N. 1. 65, Ο. 1. 56 καταπέψαι | μέγαν ὄλβον οὐκ ἐδυνάσθη, κόρῳ δ ̓ ἕλεν | ὅταν ὑπέροπλον, Ο. 13.


10, note. The victor's κόρος is parent of ὕβρις, which is parent of other people's κόρος at the victor and his praises.

3 εὐλογίαις Cf. N. 11. 17 ἐν λό γοις ἀστῶν ἀγαθοῖσι...αἰνεῖσθαι. μετ μίχθαι Cf. Ο. 1. 22, N. 3. 68, 4. 21, 9. 31, 1. 6. 19. For the perfect cf. O. 1. 53, N. 3. 84, 9. 41, Dêm. Meidias 504 ad fin. τηνικαῦτα...ὅτε πρῶτον μὲν διακοσίους καὶ χιλίους περ ποιήκατε συντελεῖς ὑμεῖς.

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4 μεγάλαι ἀρεταί Signal merits, such as success in games, proper use of wealth and modesty in prosperity.

5 ἐκ σέθεν Note the emphatic position. μάσσων For the comparative cf. N. 8. 17. Not even piety and modesty can prevent great prosperity from being unstable; cf. even P. 7. 20. ἐπιζομένων • When folk revere thee'; cf. P. 8. 43, 1. 26, v. 49 infra, note. πλαγίαις · Froward. cf. N. 1. 64 πλαγίῳ κόρῳ.

οὐχ ὁμῶς πάντα Scarcely any.' An exaggeration veiled by meiosis. For ὁμῶς πάντα, see Ι. and S. ὁμῶς. θάλλων Cf. P. 7. 21. ὁμιλεῖ Cf. Eur. El. 939 ηύχεις τις εἶναι τοῖσι χρήμασι σθένων· | τὰ δ' οὐδὲν εἰ μὴ βραχὺν ὁμιλῆσαι χρόνον· | ἡ γὰρ φύσις βέβαιος, οὐ τὰ χρήματα. ἡ μὲν γὰρ ἀεὶ παραμένουσ' αίρει κάρα | ὁ δ ̓ ὄλβος ἄδικος καὶ μετὰ σκαιῶν ξυνών | ἐξέπτατ' οίκων, σμι κρὸν ἀνθήσας χρόνον, Ρ. 5. 2 όταν τις ...αὐτὸν (πλοῦτον) ἀνάγῃ | πολύφιλον ἐπέταν, Ηes. W. and D. 324 παῦρον δέ τ ̓ ἐπὶ χρόνον ὄλβος ὀπηδεῖ.

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