Two Anchors, Two Lands

Pindar, Olympian 6. 101-105

“Two anchors are good
to cast out from a swift ship
on a stormy night.

I hope that the god grants  these people and their friends
A glorious fate.
Lord, ruler of the sea: provide them with a direct journey
Free of all troubles.

And, husband of golden-rodded Amphitrite,
Help the pleasurable flower of my songs grow.”

ἀγαθαὶ δὲ πέλοντ᾿ ἐν χειμερίᾳ
νυκτὶ θοᾶς ἐκ ναὸς ἀπεσκίμ-
φθαι δύ᾿ ἄγκυραι. θεός
τῶνδε κείνων τε κλυτὰν αἶσαν παρέχοι φιλέων.
δέσποτα ποντόμεδον, εὐθὺν δὲ πλόον καμάτων
ἐκτὸς ἐόντα δίδοι, χρυσαλακάτοιο πόσις
Ἀμφιτρίτας, ἐμῶν δ᾿ ὕμνων ἄεξ᾿ εὐτερπὲς ἄνθος.

Scholia ad Pind. Ol. 6.101

“Two anchors are good: two anchors extended from one ship are good and useful in a stormy night, he means. He says that also because Hegesias has two countries, both in Arkadia and among the Syracusans.

Also: the winds are harsh at night. This is clearly about ships, for whom two anchors are need…they are useful. In the same way, the two cities stand against developing troubles.

“[the anchors] are good: this is a clever way of defending the two countries that claim the victor. IT means, just as it is advantageous and profitable to let out two anchors in a storm and the night, it is also a good thing to have two countries.”

ἀγαθαὶ δὲ πέλονται: ἀγαθαὶ δέ, φησι, καὶ χρήσιμοι κατὰ χειμερίαν νύκτα δύο ἄγκυραι ἠρεισμέναι ἐκ μιᾶς νεώς. τοῦτο δέ φησι διὰ τὸ καὶ τὸν ᾿Αγησίαν δύο περιέχεσθαι πατρίσι, τῇ τε ᾿Αρκαδίᾳ καὶ ταῖς Συρακούσαις.

ἄλλως· ἐν νυκτὶ δ’ ἄνεμοι χαλεποί· —δῆλον νηῶν·πρὸς οὓς χρηστέον δύο ἀγκύραις ….. … <δύο ἄγκυραι> χρήσιμοι, οὕτω καὶ πρὸς τὰς γινομένας ταραχὰς αἱ δύο πόλεις.

 ἀγαθαὶ δὲ πέλονται: ἀστείως ἀπολογεῖται τοῦ εἶναι τὸν νικηφόρον δύο πατρίδων, καί φησιν· ὥσπερ ἐστὶ λυσιτελὲς καὶ συμφέρον ἐν χειμῶνι καὶ νυκτὶ [τὴν νῆα] δύο ἀγκύραις ἐπερείδεσθαι, οὕτως ἐπικερδὲς καὶ δύο πατρίδας

color photograph of stone pyramid-shaped anchors standing together in an outdoor display
Ship stone anchors on display at deposit of the open-air exhibition along the Ancient Greek theater in the Archaeological Museum of Piraeus (Athens). Picture by Giovanni Dall’Orto, November 14 2009.

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