Friday, August 21, 2020


Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Pindar, Olympian Odes 1.82-84 (tr. Anthony Verity):
Men must die, so why should anyone crouch in darkness,
aimlessly nursing an undistinguished old age,
without a share in glorious deeds?

θανεῖν δ᾽ οἷσιν ἀνάγκα, τά κέ τις ἀνώνυμον
γῆρας ἐν σκότῳ καθήμενος ἕψοι μάταν,
ἁπάντων καλῶν ἄμμορος;
Stephen Instone ad loc.:

C.M. Bowra, Pindar (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1964), p. 96:
The true splendour of Pindar's world lies not in the hopes of radiant rewards after death, but in the worth of high endeavours for their own sake as proof of a man's courage and efforts. It is these that bring glory, and glory is the highest happiness and the richest reward in which a man can put his trust. Undying renown is for Pindar a more substantial consolation than any after-life below the earth or beyond the western sea.

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