Thursday, June 17, 2021


Talent versus Training

Pindar, Olympian Odes 9.100-111 (for Epharmostos; tr. Anthony Verity):
Natural talents are the best in every way.
Many have taken lessons in prowess,
trying their utmost to achieve distinction;
but without a god's help every achievement
is best passed over in silence.
Some roads reach further than others,
and no single regime will develop us all.
All skills lie on a steep path; but when you give him this prize
raise a loud and confident shout that this man was with divine help
born with quick hands and agile legs, and with courage in his eyes.

τὸ δὲ φυᾷ κράτιστον ἅπαν· πολλοὶ δὲ διδακταῖς        100
ἀνθρώπων ἀρεταῖς κλέος
ὤρουσαν ἀρέσθαι·
ἄνευ δὲ θεοῦ σεσιγαμένον
οὐ σκαιότερον χρῆμ᾽ ἕκαστον· ἐντὶ γὰρ ἄλλαι
ὁδῶν ὁδοὶ περαίτεραι,        105
μία δ᾽ οὐχ ἅπαντας ἄμμε θρέψει
μελέτα· σοφίαι μὲν
αἰπειναί· τοῦτο δὲ προσφέρων ἄεθλον,
ὄρθιον ὤρυσαι
θαρσέων, τόνδ᾽ ἀνέρα δαιμονίᾳ γεγάμεν        110
εὔχειρα, δεξιόγυιον, ὁρῶντ᾽ ἀλκάν.
Basil L. Gildersleeve ad loc. (whose line numbering is 107-119):

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