“A Test Proves the Worth of a Man”: Pindar, Olympian 4.17-27

Last week I mentioned the tale of Erginos, the legendary king of the Minyans from Orchomenos in Boiotia. Pindar uses him as an example (he is the “child of Klumenos” below)

“I will not stain my story
With a lie. A test proves the worth of a man.
This rescued the child of Klumenos
from the dishonor of the Lemnian women.
He won the race in bronze armor
And said to Hypsipyle as he left with the crown:
“This is my speed:
My hands and heart are its equal. Sometimes gray hair
grows even on young men
thick, before the appointed time.

οὐ ψεύδεϊ τέγξω
λόγον· διάπειρά τοι βροτῶν ἔλεγχος·
ἅπερ Κλυμένοιο παῖδα
Λαμνιάδων γυναικῶν ἔλυσεν ἐξ ἀτιμίας.
χαλκέοισι δ’ ἐν ἔντεσι νικῶν δρόμον
ἔειπεν ῾Υψιπυλείᾳ μετὰ στέφανον ἰών·
‘οὗτος ἐγὼ ταχυτᾶτι·
χεῖρες δὲ καὶ ἦτορ ἴσον. φύονται δὲ καὶ νέοις
ἐν ἀνδράσιν πολιαί
θαμάκι παρὰ τὸν ἁλικίας ἐοικότα χρόνον.’

Hypsipyle is the queen of the Lemnian women who are part of the tradition of Jason and the Argonauts.

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