Words, Deeds, and Hopes in Common

Pindar, Nemean 1.26-30

“Strength works through deed
But thought works through the plans
Of those who have the innate skill to anticipate what will be.

Child of Hagesidamos, thanks to your nature
There are uses for both domains.

I don’t lust to keep
Great wealth hidden in my home
But rather to do well as things are and
To be praised for helping friends.
The hopes of hard-working people
Roll on in common.”

πράσσει γὰρ ἔργῳ μὲν σθένος,
βουλαῖσι δὲ φρήν, ἐσσόμενον προϊδεῖν
συγγενὲς οἷς ἕπεται.
Ἁγησιδάμου παῖ, σέο δ᾿ ἀμφὶ τρόπῳ
τῶν τε καὶ τῶν χρήσιες.
οὐκ ἔραμαι πολὺν ἐν
μεγάρῳ πλοῦτον κατακρύψαις ἔχειν,
ἀλλ᾿ ἐόντων εὖ τε παθεῖν καὶ ἀκοῦ-
σαι φίλοις ἐξαρκέων. κοιναὶ γὰρ ἔρχοντ᾿ ἐλπίδες
πολυπόνων ἀνδρῶν

Schol. Ad Pin. Nem 1.39

“Strength works through deed”: bravery ix exhibited and demonstrates itself through deeds, while thoughts do the same through counsels. This riffs on the Homeric line “war’s goal comes through the hands, words end in counsel”.

πράσσει γὰρ ἔργῳ μὲν σθένος: συμπράσσει καὶ συνεργεῖ τοῖς μὲν ἔργοις ἡ ἀνδρεία, τοῖς δὲ βουλεύμασι καὶ λόγοις ὁ νοῦς· μετέβαλε δὲ τὸ ῾Ομηρικόν (Π 630)· ἐν γὰρ χερσὶ τέλος πολέμου, ἐπέων δ’ ἐνὶ βουλῇ.

Schol. Ad Pin. Nem 1.48a

“Hopes roll on in common”: for he means that hopes and expectations and things to come are equally unknown to people.

κοιναὶ γὰρ ἔρχοντ’ ἐλπίδες: αἱ γὰρ ἐλπίδες καὶ αἱ μέλλουσαι, φησί, προσδοκίαι κοιναὶ καὶ ἄδηλοι τοῖς ἀνθρώποις εἰσίν.

Fragmentary statue of Herakles without a beard. Torso and head remain.

Cypriot; Statuette of Herakles; Stone Sculpture. MET, 6th Century BCE

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