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From (Theogonic) Mythos to (Poetic) Logos: Reading Pindar’s Genealogical Metaphors after Freidenberg

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AbstractThis paper analyzes the use of kinship categories to refer to personified (hypostasized) concepts in Ancient Greek literature, with particular emphasis on Pindar. This device serves to include an abstract concept within a genealogy that is dominated by divinities or quasi-religious entities. Comparing the use of this device in Hesiod, Plato, and Pindar, I suggest that, before the emergence of properly analytic categories within the philosophical discourse, genealogical metaphor served as the most important means of concept formation available to Ancient Greeks. In particular, Pindar’s use of genealogical metaphors points to a productive encounter between image and concept. In this context, I review the neglected work of the Soviet Classicist Olga Freidenberg, who put forward a theory of poetic metaphor as a transitional phenomenon between mythological image and philosophical concept, and discuss the differences between the method of historical poetics employed by Freidenberg and the idealist paradigm that informs the better known work by Hermann Fränkel, Bruno Snell, and Wilhelm Nestle on the shift from “mythos” to “logos” in early Greek thought and literature.

1. For stimulating questions and comments, I am grateful to the members of the audience at the conference Imagined Beginnings: The Poetics and Politics of Cosmogony, Theogony and Anthropogony in the Ancient World, held at the University of Chicago in April 2011. I also thank German Dziebel and Christopher Faraone for their comments on a draft of this paper.
2. The texts of Pindar are quoted from the Teubner edition (ed. H. Maehler post B. Snell, 8th ed.). Unless noted otherwise, other texts are quoted from standard editions (such as OCT). The following abbreviations are used to refer to the texts of Pindar and Bacchylides: O. = Olympian, P. = Pythian, N. = Nemean, I. = Isthmian, Pai. = Paian, Ep. = Epinikion. All translations from Greek are my own.
3. FN11 See, for example, H. Fränkel, “Pindars Religion,” Die Antike 3 (1927) 39–63. Notable examples of works that foreground Pindar as a historical individual are U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Pindaros (Berlin, 1922) and C. M. Bowra, Pindar (Oxford, 1964); the biographical approach also informs much of the older commentarial tradition on Pindar’s epinician odes.
4. FN22 Recent work on epinician odes from this perspective includes A. P. Burnett, Pindar’s Songs for Young Athletes of Aigina (Oxford, 2005), B. Currie, Pindar and the Cult of Heroes (Oxford, 2005), B. Kowalzig, Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece (Oxford, 2007); the foundation for the study of epinikion in the context of local cult(s) was laid by E. Krummen, Pyrsos Hymnon: Festliche Gegenwart und mythisch-rituelle Tradition als Voraussetzung einer Pindarinterpretation (Isthmie 4, Pythie 5, Olympie 1 und 3) (Berlin, 1990). Important recent work on non-epinician genres includes I. Rutherford, Pindar’s Paeans: A Reading of the Fragments with a Survey of the Genre (Oxford, 2001), L. Kurke, “Choral Lyric as ‘Ritualization’: Poetic Sacrifice and Poetic Ego in Pindar’s Sixth Paian.” CA 24.1 (2005): 81–130, G. D’Alessio, “Defining local identities in Greek lyric poetry” in Wandering Poets in Ancient Greek Culture: Travel, Locality and Pan-Hellenism, eds. R. Hunter and I. Rutherford (Cambridge, 2009) 137–167.
5. FN33 For a summary of evidence on Pindar as a self-conscious innovator, see Bowra, op. cit., 193–196. Metaphor and imagery in Pindar is an established topic of research, yet it was never central to Pindaric interpretation: O. Goram. “Pindari translationes et imagines” Philologus 14 (1859) 241–280; F. Dornseiff, Pindars Stil (Berlin, 1921) 54–75; C. M. Bowra, op. cit., 239–277; D. Steiner, The Crown of Song: Metaphor in Pindar (London, 1986). My approach, which emphasizes conceptual and ideological utility of Pindaric metaphor, is close to the one put forward by Leslie Kurke in The Traffic in Praise: Pindar and the Poetics of Social Economy (Ithaca, 1991): rather than viewing imagery as a way to “enhance the emotional charge of the poem,” Kurke assumes that “the poet incorporated various cultural symbols and thereby transmitted a coherent message to his audience through his imagery” (11). Kurke’s Coins, Bodies, Games, and Gold (Princeton 1999) extends this method of reading imagery to all of Archaic Greek culture.
6. FN44 The canonical formulation of this doctrine is that of Wilhelm Nestle, Vom Mythos zum Logos: Die Selbstentfaltung des griechischen Denkens von Homer bis auf die Sophistik und Sokrates (Stuttgart, 1940). Nestle’s perspective is that of a historian of philosophy. Continued pertinence of this narrative, especially in discussions of the rise of Greek philosophy, is evident from the collections: La naissance de la raison en Grèce, ed. J.-F. Mattéi (Paris, 1990) and From Myth to Reason? Studies in the development of Greek thought, ed. R. Buxton (Oxford, 1999). In the words of Claude Calame, “it is a persistent paradigm, at its foundation difficult to disprove” (Myth and History in Ancient Greece: The Symbolic Creation of a Colony [Princeton, 2003] 6). It has been pointed out that the actual Greek usage of the words mythos and logos goes ill with Nestle’s teleological account (Calame, Myth and History, 12–27; B. Lincoln, “Gendered Discourses: The Early Greek History of Mythos and Logos,” History of Religions 36.1 (1996) 1–12); although intrinsically interesting, these observations are only laterally relevant, inasmuch Nestle’s narrative in fact operates with “emic” categories of myth and logic. In a recent contribution to an analogous debate in art history, Barbara Borg, building on the opposition between the mythical (symbolic) and rational (allegorical), seeks to inquire into “visual representations with regard to their semantic structure in the context of ancient modes of thought and expression” (B. Borg, Der Logos des Mythos: Allegorien und Personifikationen in der frühen griechischen Kunst [Munich, 2002] 34).
7. FN55 For a rare example of explicit polemical engagement with this school, see R. L. Fowler, The Nature of Early Greek Lyric: Three Preliminary Studies (Toronto, 1987) 3–13. See also C. Calame, “The Rhetoric of Mythos and Logos: Forms of Figurative Discourse” in From Myth to Reason?, 119–143, a study which points to one fruitful way of revising the “Fränkel-Snell” approach to Greek literary history. Much more usual is a tacit assumption that grand narratives of literary history that are grounded in idealist philosophy are outdated (or out of fashion), combined with a preference for the methodological paradigms of positivism or historical contextualism. As a corrective to what may appear as the final triumph of the British (vs. Germanic) model for doing classical philology, one may point out that some of the aspects of the widely respected work of Marcel Detienne and Jean-Pierre Vernant, which hearken back to the work of Émile Durkheim in particular, can be seen as a continuation of the German idealist tradition, cloaked in the garb of French structuralism.
8. FN66 Cf. the words Alexander Veselovsky used in 1870, formulating a recent paradigm-shift in the discipline of history which he proposed to extend to literary history: “Great personalities now appeared to be reflections of one or another movement generated by the masses, reflections which are more or less brilliant depending on the degree of consciousness with which these men related themselves to the movement, or the degree of energy with which they helped the movement to express itself” (“On the Methods and Aims of Literary History as a Science” Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature 16 (1967) 33–42; translation by Harry Weber; quotation on p. 35).
9. FN77 Text follows Hesiod, Theogony, ed. M. L. West (Oxford, 1966), but I omit brackets around lines 218–9.
10. FN88 Cf. Bowra’s discussion of personification (hypostatization) in Pindar: “Abstract notions are treated as if they are persons, especially in the special form by which one thing is said to be the child of another. This is a very ancient instrument of thought, used in pre-scientific times to convey through an easily understandable means intimate relations between one thing and another” (op. cit., 198). Pindar’s special fondness for “family figures” is noted by Basil Gildersleeve in Pindar. The Olympian and Pythian Odes (New York, 1885) 193, ad O. 8.1.
11. FN99 An instance of genealogical metaphor in early Greek philosophy is Heraclitus, fr. 53 Diels: Πόλεµος πάντων µὲν πατήρ ἐστι “War is the father of all” (to which Dornseiff [op. cit., 52] compares Pindar’s fr. 169). Cf. the same figure in Greek proverbs and quasi-proverbial wisdom: Γαστὴρ παχεῖα λεπτὸν οὐ τίκτει νόον “A fat belly does not engender a slender mind” (Arsenius, Apophthegmata 5.22a), Ὕβριν τε τίκτει πλοῦτος, οὐ φειδὼ βίου “It is wealth that engenders violence, not sparing way of life” (Stob. 4.31c.55; cf. Eur. fr. 438 Nauck = Arsenius, Apophthegmata 17.47a); Βραχεῖα τέρψις ἡδονῆς τίκτει λύπην “A short enjoyment of pleasure engenders pain” (Mantissa proverbiorum 1.38).
12. FN1010 In a different context, Night bears Aithêr and Day from a union with Erebus (Theog. 123–5).
13. FN1111 M. L. West disregards this syntagmatic mechanism in his list of “the different kinds of logic” present in the account of Night’s progeny: “Day follows Night, comes out from her”; Death and Night “are of like nature”; “Sleep is the brother of Death . . . and is practised at night”; Dreams “come at night”; “Cavil, Pain, Nemesis, Age, Strife . . . are dark and dreadful”; “the Hesperides live in the far west” where Night lives; Moirai and Keres have an “affinity with Death”; “Deceit and Sex are practised at night” (Hesiod. Theogony, ed. M. L. West [Oxford, 1966] 35–6). I am inclined to take Philotês to refer to “Friendship”, both in light of the thematic nexus of which it is part, and because otherwise Philotês would duplicate Eros (note that philia “friendship” is a late word, which does not occur in Homer, Hesiod or Pindar). Accordingly, I would resist restricting the meaning of Apatê as West does in his commentary on line 224.
14. FN1212 See, e.g., K. Morgan, Myth and Philosophy from the pre-Socratics to Plato (Cambridge, 2000), R. G. Edmonds, Myths of the underworld journey: Plato, Aristophanes, and the “Orphic” gold tablets (Cambridge, 2004), esp. 161–170; and the relevant contributions in Plato and Hesiod (Oxford, 2010), eds. G. R. Boys-Stones and J. H. Haubold. Plato’s use of genealogy for concept formation is discussed by Lambros Couloubaritsis in “De la généalogie a la genèséologie” in La naissance, ed. J.-F. Mattéi, 83–96 and “Transfigurations du paradigme de la parenté” in Le Paradigme de la Filiation (Paris, 1995) 169–186.
15. FN1313 Cf. Leslie Kurke’s recent paraphrase of Wordsworth, “philosophy is born trailing clouds of glory from the uncanny or otherworldly realm of prephilosophical sophia.” (“Plato, Aesop, and the Beginnings of Mimetic Prose,” Representations 94 [2006] 6–52; quote on p. 22.)
16. FN1414 Fr. 57: Dew as the daughter of Zeus and Moon; fr. 64: Tykha as “the sister of Good Order and Persuasion and the daughter of Forethought.” Note also a genealogical metaphor of Litai “Supplications” as children of Zeus in Hom. Il. 9.502.
17. FN1515 Franz Dornseiff (op. cit., 50–54) provides the best discussion of the transitional quality of Pindar’s genealogical image, which “often already fades toward allegory. It is this shimmering quality that makes for the charm of much Greek poetry” (“manchmal ist . . . auch bereits nach der Allegorie hin verblaßt. Eben dieses Schillernde macht einen Reiz vieler griechischer Dichtungen aus” [51]). Pindar’s post-archaic placement is emphasized by a dismissive—and certainly exaggerated—take on the opening of O. 13 as “almost heraldry and emblem-composition of the 17th c.” (“fast Heraldik und Emblematik des 17. Jahrhunderts” [ibid]). Dornseiff ’s discussion of Pindar’s “shimmering” usage, which does not permit of a differentiation between a thing and a god, is firmly within the Herder-Cassirer tradition discussed in Section 2. Along the same lines, Wilhelm Nestle (op. cit., 163–5) points out that some of Pindar’s hypostasized concepts (Khronos, Nomos, Theia) are paralleled in the Orphic cosmology, but not in Hesiod. These and other parallels with early Greek philosophy suggest that Pindar stands “auf der Grenze zweier Zeiten” (165; see also n. 55). Wilamowitz acknowledges that Pindar’s genealogical images only imply “Zusammengehorigkeit” (and not “mythische Zeugung”) and points to later parallels, but regards them as tokens of a distinctively Greek view of divinity; in Pindar, it is “keine poetische Figur” (Der Glaube der Hellenen, vol. 2 [Berlin 1932] 131; see also his “Pindars siebentes nemeisches Gedicht,” SB Berlin 1908, 328–52, esp. 329–332). Hans Strohm (Tyche [Stuttgart, 1944], 40–45) points to the artistic advantages of Pindar’s “plastic” concepts. Following Hermann Fränkel (op. cit. 59–63), Charles Segal puts an emphasis on the concrete, non-conceptual nature of Pindar’s poetry, in which abstract nouns “verge toward, though not quite reach” personification; cf.: “In Pindar’s mythopoeic mind, almost nothing is entirely abstract. The boundaries between the personal and the non-personal are extremely fluid” (Segal 1967.438). Thomas Hubbard’s study The Pindaric Mind: A Study of Logical Structure in Early Greek Poetry (Leiden, 1985) sets out to explore, with reference to Pindar, “the significance of polarity and analogy for archaic Greek thought” (“as opposed to the syllogistic structures and subordination of Aristotelian and post-Aristotelian logic” [5]), but largely jettisons historical and poetic categories in favor of structural analysis in terms of basic binary oppositions.
18. FN1616 Best-known approach to metaphor and cognition is that of George Lakoff (beginning with Women, Fire, and dangerous things: what categories reveal about the mind [Chicago, 1987]). The resurrection of rhetorical analysis of tropes within certain kinds of deconstructionism has made it legitimate to speak of metaphors in relation to non-artistic texts; in particular, Hayden White’s work has emphasized the prevalence of literary structures in historiography. Perhaps most productively, Hans Blumenberg has pointed to the persistence of metaphors in the history of ideas (for a recent fruitful application of Blumenberg’s paradigm, see P. Hadot, The Veil of Isis: An Essay on the History of the Idea of Nature [Cambridge, Mass., 2006]).
19. FN1717 What follows is necessarily a very selective and fragmentary account. I am only interested in one particular intellectual strand, one of those that lead to Olga Fredeinberg’s ideas. Other figures who made important contributions to theorization of myth as a distinct mode of thought are Giambattista Vico, Christian Heyne, Lucien Lévy-Bruhl and Claude Lévi-Strauss. For other accounts of the development of a notion of myth in the 19th and early 20th c., see M. Detienne, L’invention de la mythologie (Paris 1981) and G. W. Most, “From Logos to Mythos”, in From Myth to Reason?, 25–50.
20. FN1818 “Fragment of an Essay on Mythology”; quotation from J. G. von Herder, Against Pure Reason: Writings on Religion, Language, and History, trans. and ed. by Marcia Bunge [Minneapolis, 1993], 80.
21. FN1919 “Treatise on the Origin of Language”, section 3; quotation from J. G. von Herder, Philosophical Writings, trans. and ed. by M. N. Forster (Cambridge UP 2002) 101.
22. FN2020 As a token of the far-reaching impact of the idealist tradition on German scholarship, it may be interesting to note that this argument implicitly underlies Wilamowitz’s linkage of grammatical gender and poetic personification (“Pindars siebentes nemeisches Gedicht”, 332).
23. FN2121 Cf. “Was God so poor in ideas and words that he had to resort to such confusing word usage? Or was he such a lover of hyperboles, of outlandish metaphors, that he imprinted this spirit into the very basic-roots of his language?” (114).
24. FN2222 “Zum Mechanismus des Bedeutungswandels” (1927) in Kleine Schriften (Zurich, 1959), 286–296, esp. 294.
25. FN2323 E. Cassirer, Language and Myth (New York, 1953 [1925]) 33.
26. FN2424 B. Malinowski, “Myth in Primitive Psychology” (1948) in Magic, Science, and Religion, and other Essays (Long Grove, Illinois, 1992) 93–148; quotation on p. 125. Note the way in which the Enlightenment rhetoric that opposed religious fancy on the ground of rationality, reversed by the Romantics and the ensuing German intellectual tradition, returns, in functionalism, to claim that religious fancy itself is but a disguise for a form of rationality.
27. FN2525 E. Cassirer, op. cit., 87–88.
28. FN2626 See Olga Freidenberg, Image and Concept: Mythopoetic Roots of Literature, ed. N. Braginskaya, trans. K. Moss (Amsterdam, 1997); a corrected translation of the chapter on “Metaphor” can be accessed online at The original work was completed in 1954, and published posthumously in 1978. An excellent introduction to Freidenberg’s intellectual background (including Cassirer’s influence) can be found in Nina Perlina, Ol’ga Freidenberg’s Works and Days (Bloomington 2002). Richard Martin, in a forthcoming article, employs the insights of Olga Freidenberg to argue, with particular reference to Pindar, against a rhetoric-inflected notion of imagery: “Against Ornament: O. M. Freidenberg’s Concept of Metaphor in Ancient and Modern Contexts” in Persistent Forms: Explorations in Historical Poetics, eds. I. Kliger and B. Maslov. The synchrony of Martin’s and my work on Pindar and Freidenberg’s theory of metaphor is both incidental and suggestive of the relevance of Freidenberg’s ideas, up to now almost entirely neglected in the Western academy, to the historically informed study of poetic form in Ancient Greece.
29. FN2727 The following translations are my own. The page numbers refer to the most recent Russian edition of this work: Ol’ga Freidenberg, Mif i literatura drevnosti, 3rd ed. (Ekaterinburg, 2008). There exists a Serbian translation of the entire Lectures, by Radmila Mečanin, in Mit i antička književnost (Beograd 1987) and a Polish translation of Lectures 11 and 12, by T. Brzostowska-Tereszkiewicz and A. Pomorski, in Semantyka kultury (Kraków, 2005).
30. FN2828 “For the primitive thought, the cause of one phenomenon lay in a contiguous phenomenon. As a result, there emerged a chain of causes and effects in the shape of a circle, a continuous, locked line, in which each member was both a cause and an effect. This notion of causality evoked a conception of the surrounding world as permanence in flux: for the primitive humans, all that exists appeared to be static, but this stasis had for them its phases” (28). Characteristically, Freidenberg is much more radical than Nestle in the roughly contemporary Vom Mythos zum Logos, who believed that mythical thought has a concept of causality, but applies it “noch rein willkürlich und unkritisch” (op. cit., 2).
31. FN2929 A fuller illustration of Freidenberg’s theory of Greek myth in English can be found in her “The Oresteia in the Odyssey” (1946), forthcoming as an appendix in Persistent Forms: Explorations in Historical Poetics, eds. I. Kliger and B. Maslov. On Freidenberg as a precursor to structuralism and semiotics, see Yu. M. Lotman, “O. M. Freidenberg as a Student of Culture” (1973) in Semiotics and Structuralism: Readings from the Soviet Union, ed. and trans. by H. Baran (White Plains, NY, 1974), 257–68.
32. FN3030 Freidenberg’s often irresponsible etymologies were licensed by a “Marxist” approach to language put forward by Nikolai Marr, which enjoyed Stalin’s patronage until 1950; that approach defied traditional comparative linguistics (see, e.g., Perlina, op. cit., 69–115).
33. FN3131 Engels’ work is largely built on L. H. Morgan’s Systems of Consanguity and Affinity of the Human Family (1871). For an assessment of the current state of the field see Bernard Chapais, Primeval Kinship: How Pair-Bonding Gave Birth to Human Society (Cambridge, Mass., 2008). It is striking that Freidenberg does not permit the recognition of blood relations in archaic society even on the basis of uterine kinship. Her unwillingness to privilege maternal descent was probably a reaction to the (by then already debunked) theory of primeval matriarchy: allowing the physical act of birth to translate into a socially consequential fact would be tantamount to subscribing to a version of the Mutterrecht theory. Interestingly, Chapais confirms Morgan’s insight that clans/gens (rod in Russian) could only emerge following the systematic recognition of paternity by children, made possible by pair-bonding. Yet, since the latter is a property of all human societies, this momentous transition has now been pushed back into evolutionary prehistory of humanity.
34. FN3232 Perhaps the closest analogue to allegory in Pindar is the extended description of Hesykhia holding the keys in Pythian 8.1–12, his last datable poem, but even here no one-to-one correspondence between attributes and concepts obtains. Note that in the history of Archaic and Classical Greek art the debate has focused on the transition from the symbolic to the allegorical representation. The former involves the compression of meaning and expression, whereas the latter artificially segregates the two; thus, allegory is widely seen as an invention of the philosophical age or a result of the degradation of the mythopoeic faculty (see Borg, op. cit., 13–35).
35. FN3333 Bruno Snell, Discovery of the Mind in Greek Philosophy and Literature (1946), trans. by T. G. Rosenmeyer. New York. Snell canonized the version of genre sequence preferred by A. W. Schlegel and Hegel (epic > lyric > drama), not the one favored by Schelling (lyric > epic > drama); see G. Genette. The Architext: An Introduction (1979), trans. by J. E. Lewin (Berkeley, 1992). The association of science and prose was also taken for granted in the grand Mythos-zum-Logos narrative. Wilhelm von Humboldt aligns prose with conceptual (rather than imaginative) type of intellectuality; scientific discourse, whose purpose lies “in the precision in the separating and fixing of concepts”, demands prose (On Language: On the Diversity of Human Language Construction and its Influence on the Mental Development of the Human Species, ed. M. Losonsky [Cambridge 1999] 173).
36. FN3434 Deborah Steiner, in what is currently the standard study of metaphor in Pindar, includes a discussion of myth, citing analogies between the two; cf. “[m]yth, like metaphor, contributes to the construction of the particular world in which Pindar sets his victors, where poet and athlete mix freely with gods and heroes, and cross the everyday boundaries of space and time” (137). Indeed, inasmuch as Pindaric epinikion seeks to appropriate the mythical world for encomiastic tasks, it appears to allude to the earliest kind of mythology, as Freidenberg saw it, where the boundaries between gods and mortals are moot. Yet we must be aware that this is most likely a pseudo-archaic gesture, not a survival of a primitive worldview. Elsewhere in her discussion of metaphor in Pindar, Steiner uses idealist language, referring to the poetry’s participation in “a Platonic world of fundamental being” (151), metaphor’s creation of “a special ground where poets encounter their divine counterparts” and “a ladder which the poet and his subjects may travel” (154), and citing Heidegger’s notion of poetry as evocation of full being.
37. FN3535 This point is strongly made in Richard Martin’s forthcoming article “Against Ornament: O. M. Freidenberg’s Concept of Metaphor in Ancient and Modern Contexts” (cited above).
38. FN3636 Among the animates, Pindar applies the adjective to the horses of the gods (O. 1.41, O.8.51, fr. 30.2), the eagles of Zeus (P. 4.4), the mythical statue-like Kêlêdones (Pai. 8.70); half-personified Nika I. 2.26, as well as the Nereiads (N. 5.7) and the Muse (I. 8.5).
39. FN3737 L. Kurke, Coins, Bodies, Games, and Gold, 50.
40. FN3838 Interestingly, the same genealogical nexus is used in praise of the oligarchic constitution of the Lokrian Opus κλεινᾶς ἐξ Ὀπόεντος . . . ἃν Θέµις θυγάτηρ τέ οἱ σώτειρα λέλογχεν / µεγαλόδοξος Εὐνοµία (O. 9.14–16). A fragment from Pindar’s hymns (30) shows that Pindar could give a very different treatment to the same theogonic nexus: in that fragment, the Horai carry the epithets aglaokarpoi, alatheiai, and khrusamrukes, which more traditionally link them to the Olympian order.
41. FN3939 Theognis 153–4 West: δῆµος δ’ ὧδ’ ἂν ἄριστα σὺν ἡγεµόνεσσιν ἕποιτο / µήτε λίην ἀνεθεὶς µήτε βιαζόµενος· / τίκτει γὰρ κόρος ὕβριν, ὅταν πολὺς ὄλβος ἕπηται / ἀνθρώποις ὁπόσοις µὴ νόος ἄρτιος ᾖ.
42. FN4040 Cf. Macarius Chrysokephalus, Paroemiae 8.27; Michael Apostolius, Collectio paroemiarum 16.65.
43. FN4141 This rearrangement is paralleled once, in an oracle quoted in Herodotus 8.77, but was unusual enough for a Pindar scholiast (O.13.12d–e) to designate it as wrong (οὐκ ὀρθῶς . . . λέγει), to which a different (?) scholiast added a quotation from “Homer” (in fact, Theog. 153).
44. FN4242 Cf. the conclusion reached by Thomas Hubbard (“Pegasus’ Bridle and the Poetics of Pindar’s Thirteenth Olympian” HSCP 90 [1986] 27–48): “Hybris and Koros are to be seen as the personified consequences of originally legitimate appetites which have not been properly restrained [. . .] unrestrained pursuit of any goal may result in surfeit and disgust. Pindar appropriately modifies the economic determinism implied by Koros as mother of Hybris into a more sophisticated moral calculus” (36–37). Further discussion of related Archaic Greek genealogical metaphors, see Robert Schmiel, “The ΟΛΒΟΣ, ΚΟΡΟΣ, ΥΒΡΙΣ, ΑΤΗ Sequence”, Traditio 45 (1989–1990) 343–346 (with bibliography).
45. FN4343 Vine is described as wine’s mother in Aesch. Pers. 614–615.
46. FN4444 Here also belong the metonymic linkages involving locales, including a reference to Delos as “the daughter of the sea” (πόντου θύγατερ fr.33c.3) or to Ortygia as “the sister of Delos” (Ὀρτυγία, δέµνιον Ἀρτέµιδος, Δάλου κασιγνήτα N.1.4). In general, in his genealogical metaphors Pindar uses feminine kinship terms much more often than male ones: thugatêr “daughter” (10), adelfea “sister” (1), kasignêta “sister” (1) matêr “mother” (11); among the male analogues, only patêr “father” (4) is used metaphorically; pais “child” is applied 6 times to feminine entities, and 3 times to masculine and neuter entities. The reason behind this remarkable distribution is the preponderance of feminine-gendered abstract nouns in Greek; in the long run, that also explains why in the later Western tradition allegorical figures tend to be female. Note also a preference for “matrilinear” genealogies in Hesiod (West, op. cit., 34–5), which intriguingly suggests an influence of the grammar of the language on the actual content of the theogony.
47. FN4545 Another god with a claim to parenthood who is not Zeus O. 2 is Kronos: πάτηρ [µέγας] . . . πόσις ὁ . . . Ῥέας (O. 2.76). There is a possibility that Khronos and Kronos are identified in this text, as they are, in fact, in Orphic philosophy (Nestle, op. cit., 163).
48. FN4646 Hesykhia and Aggelia in Pindar are subjects of two important Ph.D. theses: E. L. Bundy, Hesykhia in Pindar (UC Berkeley, 1954) and L. L. Nash, The Aggelia in Pindar. (Harvard University, 1976; publ.: New York, 1990). Interestingly, genealogical metaphors that serve to foreground important epinician concepts are also prominent in Bacchylides: the Day (on which the Olympic contest was held) is “the daughter of Khronos and Night” in Bacch. Ep. 7.1–2, Nika is the daughter of Kronos (based on supplement) and of Styx in Ep. 11.1–9 (this hypostasized Nika also appears in Ep. 12.5 and 13.59).
49. FN4747 This noun has an unusually broad meaning in Greek; note the basic definition given in LSJ (s.v.): “an act [of a god]”. Cf. on Pindaric usage: “The evidence indicates that Pindar’s teleological vision did not entertain the notion of mere chance; for him τύχα is the particular manifestation of divine workings” (W. H. Race, “Elements of the Plot and the Formal Presentation in Pindar’s Olympian 12” CJ 99.4 [2004] 373–94; quotation on p. 377). For a classic discussion of this concept, see Strohm, Tyche, who describes it as a “Situation-begriff” or a modal concept representing an “Aktionsart” of divine power (34–35).
50. FN4848 Hypostasized: O.12.2, fr. 38, 39, 40, 41; also frequent in adverbial phrases, which indicate the presence of “luck”: sun . . . tykha (P. 2.56, N. 4.7, N. 5.48, N. 6.24, I. 8.67); epi tykha (O. 14.16); tykha (dat.) (N. 10.25, P. 8.53). It may be instructive to compare the frequency of Pindar’s other favorite abstract nouns: Alatheia (9 times; of which 2 hypost.), Hesykhia (9 times; of which 2 hypost.) Kleos (18 times), Tima (32), Areta (76); the last three, interestingly, are never hypostasized. A special case is presented by Kharis (35 times; of which 4 hypost.), given the reality of the goddesses Kharites “Graces” (30 times).
51. FN4949 Paus. 7.26.8 = Pind. fr. 41; cf. Arch. fr. 16, where Tykha and Moira are already aligned.
52. FN5050 E. L. Bundy, Studia Pindarica (Berkeley, 1962) 36 (= 2006 digital edition at UC eScholarship, p. 49).
53. FN5151 On the historical context of this poem, see W. S. Barrett, “Pindar’s Twelfth Olympian and the Fall of the Deinomenidai” JHS 93 (1973) 23–35.
54. FN5252 For a somewhat different take on the lack of myth in O. 12, see O. Becker, “Pindars Olympische Ode vom Glück” Die Antike 16 (1940) 38–50, esp. 49.
55. FN5353 Contrast: “All man can do is pray to Tyche” (R. Hamilton, “Olympian 2 and the coins of Himera” Phoenix 38.3 [1984] 261–4; quotation on p. 264). Similarly, Bowra accounts for the prevalence of personifications in Pindar’s by his religious beliefs “he felt that the traditional myths did not account for everything that he thought divine, and that behind or above or around the gods were abstract powers which had almost the strength and the appeal of actual divinity” (84–5; italics added): although exceedingly difficult to localize in the divine realm, a personification of an abstract concept cannot be conceived of in any way except as a divinity. On personification in Greek religion, see W. Burkert, Greek Religion (Oxford, 1990) 184–7, who in particular discusses O. 12 as an anticipation of the rise of importance of Tykhê in the classical and Hellenistic periods.Interestingly, Pindar also attests to a converse pattern of the generic or metonymic use of names of the gods whose personality is well established (e.g.: Haphaistos “fire” in P. 1.25, P. 3.40, Ares “violence” in P. 11.36, etc., Aphrodite “love” O.6.35); this kind of usage is particularly prominent in Attic tragedy (W. Pötscher, “Das Person-Bereichdenken in der frühgriechischen Periode” Wiener Studien 72 [1959] 5–25). Both patterns may be seen as symptoms of the destabilization of the conceptual domain that (traditionally) was dominated by personal divinities: actual divinities become abstract nouns, and abstract nouns that are not divinities are personified.
56. FN5454 In fact, Pindar’s consistently “moralizing” treatment of inherited mythology, what Wilhelm Nestle termed “Ethisierung des Mythos” (op. cit., 157–162), is itself a token of modernized religiosity, which can be paralleled in early Greek philosophy. I would emphasize that what is at issue is not (or not primarily) Pindar’s own views, but the ways the (relatively recent) genre of epinikion allows for the expression of more “modern” views than other choral genres. This difference, I believe, can help us explain one of the most challenging cruces in Pindaric interpretation: Pindar’s apparently apologetic stance in his account of the death of Neoptolemos in Nemean 7 (as contrasted with the account given in Paean 6). Whereas the cult-embedded genre of paian contains the traditional form of the myth accepted at Delphi (without moralization), Nemean 7, consistently with the epinician rejection of ethically questionable myths, presents a modernized (moralized) version.
57. FN5555 For a recent reading of the poem that stresses the structuring role of Tykha, see W. H. Race, op. cit.
58. FN5656 This epithet may reflect an actual cult of Zeus of Freedom established in Himera for this political occasion, as argued based on the evidence for other similar cults by Barrett, op. cit., although he acknowledges that “we cannot infer a cult from the invocation” (34). Curiously, the use of this epithet, an unorthodox genealogy of Fortune, and Pindaric syntax conspired to generate a faulty inference, preserved by one of the scholiasts (O.12.1b), that the implied child of Zeus is Eirêna (one of the Horai).
59. FN5757 Dornseiff, op. cit., 52.

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