Olympian Fourteen

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Last changed: April 11, 2011    

Olympian XIV
For Asopichos of Orchomenos, winner in the foot-race

I
The waters of Kaphisos belong
To the place of fine horses where you dwell,
Queens of song, in sparkling Orchomenos,
Graces, who watch
Over the ancient race of the Minyans,
[5] Hear, when I pray. By your help
All sweet and delightful things
Belong to men; if anyone
Is wise or lovely or famous.
For without the holy Graces
Not even the Gods rule dances or feasts.
[10] They dispose all that is done in Heaven;
Their thrones are set
At the side of Pythian Apollo, the golden-bowed,
And they worship the everlasting glory
Of the Father on Olympos.


II
O Lady Glory, and Mirth, delighting in music,
Children of the most mighty of Gods,
[15] Listen now, and Health, lover of the dance,
Look on the company lightly treading after friendly fortune.
I have come with a song for Asopichos
In the Lydian style with careful art;
For through you the Minyan race
[20] Is victorious at Olympia.
    Go now, Echo, to the black walls
Of Persephona's house
And bring the fine news to his father;
See Kleodamos and tell him
How his son
In the famous valleys of Pytho
Has crowned his young hair
With the wings of a glorious triumph.




Olympian XIV was probably composed in 488 BC to be sung on the victor's return to his native Orchomenos, where the Graces - Aglaia (Glory), Euphrosyna (mirth), and Thalia (Health) - had a prominent place in local cult.

4 Minyas was the legendary founder of Orchomenos; hence its inhabitants are Minyans.

20ff. The victor's father, Kleodamos, has recently died, but Pindar assumes that he is able to hear of his son's success.

 
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Please send your comments concerning The Stoa: A Consortium for Electronic Publication in the Humanities to Ross Scaife (scaife@stoa.org). This document was published on: September 10 1999