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Page:Odes of Pindar (Paley).djvu/22

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xvi
PREFACE.

Those who maintain that because some of the allusions in Pindar to the story of Helen, Glaucus the Corinthian, Hector, Ajax,[1] etc., suit more or less well the narrative in our Iliad, therefore Pindar was acquainted with that poem, are bound to furnish a reasonable explanation of the wide discrepancy that exists in other passages between the Pindaric and the Homeric accounts. In some of the former, e.g. in Ol. ii. 79, we seem to have a strange combination of what is in our Homer with what is not. "Achilles was brought (viz., to the isles of the blest) by his mother, after she had persuaded the heart of Zeus by her prayers;[2] that hero who proved himself more than a match for Hector, that sturdy pillar of Troy, and who gave Cycnus to death, and the Ethiopian son of the Morning (Memnon)." Again, in Isthm. iv. 39 the same characters are joined with another non-Homeric one, "Say, who slew Cycnus, who Hector, and the undaunted leader of the Ethiopian hosts, Memnon of the brazen spear: who it was that wounded the brave Telephus with his spear by the banks of the Caïcus."[3] What is more perplexing still, Pindar gives a detailed account of events only just alluded to, and apparently epitomised, in our Homer. Thus, in Od. iv. 187, we read that a son of Nestor wept, "for he remembered

  1. Ol. xiii. 59; ii. 79; Nem. ii. 14.
  2. See Il. i. 524.
  3. Memnon is only once mentioned by name in the Odyssey, xi. 522.