Flying with the Muses

Pindar, Pythian 5.106-117

“People who know praise that man.
I will tell you what is said.
He wields a mind
Stronger than his age
And his tongue too. His courage is like
A fine-winged eagle among the other birds
He flies among the Muses thanks to his dear mother
And has proved to be a wise charioteer.
He has dared to travel
Every approach their is
To his homeland’s excellence.”

ἄνδρα κεῖνον ἐπαινέοντι συνετοί·
λεγόμενον ἐρέω·
κρέσσονα μὲν ἁλικίας
νόον φέρβεται
γλῶσσάν τε· θάρσος δὲ τανύπτερος
ἐν ὄρνιξιν αἰετὸς ἔπλετο·
ἀγωνίας δ᾿, ἕρκος οἷον, σθένος·
ἔν τε Μοίσαισι ποτανὸς ἀπὸ ματρὸς φίλας,
πέφανταί θ᾿ ἁρματηλάτας σοφός·
ὅσαι τ᾿ εἰσὶν ἐπιχωρίων καλῶν ἔσοδοι,

white vase with red lined muse tuning a lyre
Muse tuning two kitharai. Detail of the interior from an Attic white-ground cup, ca. 470–460 BC. From Eretria.

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