Luck and Gossip’s Bite

Pindar, Pythian 2. 49-57

“The god authorizes every outcome on his own expectations–
the god who races the winged eagle,
Outdoes the sea-dwelling dolphin and
Brings the arrogant mortals to their knees,
And then grants unaging glory to other people.

I need to escape the gnawing bite of bad gossip–
I have watched from afar while Archilochus,
That shit-talker, is pressed to helplessness
Thanks to hateful words.
Getting rich with luck
Is the best allotment of wisdom.”

θεὸς ἅπαν ἐπὶ ἐλπίδεσσι τέκμαρ ἀνύεται,
θεός, ὃ καὶ πτερόεντ᾿ αἰετὸν κίχε, καὶ θαλασ-
σαῖον παραμείβεται
δελφῖνα, καὶ ὑψιφρόνων τιν᾿ ἔκαμψε βροτῶν,
ἑτέροισι δὲ κῦδος ἀγήραον παρέδωκ᾿. ἐμὲ δὲ χρεών
φεύγειν δάκος ἀδινὸν κακαγοριᾶν·
εἶδον γὰρ ἑκὰς ἐὼν τὰ πόλλ᾿ ἐν ἀμαχανίᾳ
ψογερὸν Ἀρχίλοχον βαρυλόγοις ἔχθεσιν
πιαινόμενον· τὸ πλουτεῖν δὲ σὺν τύχᾳ
πότμου σοφίας ἄριστον.

Picture of a fragment of a Roman wall painting. Two women incline their heads toward each other
Roman wall painting of women gossiping. Getty Villa 96.AG.302

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