Thursday, January 07, 2021


Who Is This Hero?

Bacchylides 18.31-45 (tr. Richmond Lattimore):
Who is this hero, then, does he say?
Where does he come from? What has he with him?
Does he come armed with weapons of war?
Has he a great following behind him?
Or alone, and with body servants
only, goes he as a merchant who travels
into alien lands?
Strong he must be, and resolute,
adventurous, too, who has stood the onset
of such big men and put them down.
Surely, the drive of a god is behind him,
to bring law to the lawless people.
It is no easy thing to engage
again and again, and never be loser.
In the length of time all things are brought to completion.

τίνα δ᾽ ἔμμεν πόθεν ἄνδρα τοῦτον
λέγει, τίνα τε στολὰν ἔχοντα;
πότερα σὺν πολεμηΐοις ὅ-
πλοισι στρατιὰν ἄγοντα πολλάν;
ἢ μοῦνον σὺν ὀπάοσιν        35
στείχειν ἔμπορον οἷ᾽ ἀλάταν
ἐπ᾽ ἀλλοδαμίαν,
ἰσχυρόν τε καὶ ἄλκιμον
ὧδε καὶ θρασύν, ὅς τε τοσούτων
ἀνδρῶν κρατερὸν σθένος        40
ἔσχεν; ἦ θεὸς αὐτὸν ὁρμᾷ,
δίκας ἀδίκοισιν ὄφρα μήσεται·
οὐ γὰρ ῥᾴδιον αἰὲν ἔρ-
δοντα μὴ 'ντυχεῖν κακῷ.
πάντ᾽ ἐν τῷ δολιχῷ χρόνῳ τελεῖται.

35 ὀπάοσιν Weil: ὅπλοισιν
39 τοσούτων Platt: τούτων
"What has he with him?" is a bit thin for τίνα τε στολὰν ἔχοντα; (line 32). See H. Maehler ad loc.:
στολή can mean 'equipment' or 'clothing' ('equipment': Aesch. Supp. 764, Pers. 1018; 'clothing': Aesch. Pers. 192, Soph. Phil. 224, Ar. Eccl. 846 στολὴ ἱππική, cf. Hdt. 1.80.2). The chorus' questions concerning στολή, weapons (33-4) and companions (35-7), will be answered in reverse order by the king: companions (46), weapons (47-9), clothes (50-4), so στολάν in 32 is likely to refer to his chiton and chlamys.
At line 45, Maehler regards τελεῖται as future.

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