A Short Path To Wisdom

Pindar, Pythian 4.246-248

“The path for me to walk is long, since
The hour narrows–but I know a shortcut.
I lead many others to wisdom.”

μακρά μοι νεῖσθαι κατ᾿ ἀμαξιτόν· ὥρα
γὰρ συνάπτει· καί τινα
οἶμον ἴσαμι βραχύν· πολ-
λοῖσι δ᾿ ἄγημαι σοφίας ἑτέροις.

Schol. ad Pin. Pyth 4 var.

“Along the wagon-path: [this means] to travel and speak along that path of the praising of Jason.”

κατ’ ἀμαξιτόν: κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ταύτην τὴν τῶν ἐγκωμίων τοῦ ᾿Ιάσονος πορεύεσθαι καὶ λέγειν.

“The hour is narrowing”: the right time is urging me to recount this to Arkesliaos.

ὥρα γὰρ συνάπτει: καιρός με ἐπείγει, ὥστε πρὸς τὸν ᾿Αρκεσίλαον ἀναδραμεῖν.

“I know some way”: this means I know some short path, which means that I also know how to speak this explanation briefly.”

καί τινα οἶμον ἴσαμι: καί τινα οἶδα ὁδὸν βραχεῖαν, τουτέστιν οἶδα κατὰ τὰς ἐξηγήσεις καὶ βραχέα λέγειν.

“Wisdom to others”: This is about that wisdom from earlier, speaking concisely, and becoming and exemplar to others, which means a teacher. What he’s saying is I am showing many others about concision, how to explain things concisely.”

σοφίας ἑτέροις: ἤτοι ταύτης τῆς σοφίας, τῆς περὶ τὸ συντόμως λέγειν, καὶ ἄλλων γέγονα καθηγητὴς, ὅ ἐστι διδάσκαλος· ἢ πολλοῖς προσέσχον ἄλλοις, ὡς ἐν συντομίᾳ, ὥστε ταχέως αὐτὰ ἐξειπεῖν.

Color photograph of museum display with a horse and wheeled wagon made out of clay.
Ancient Greek Vase Gallery, National Archaeological Museum of Greece, Athens, Greece.

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