“They claim that after some time Themis was given by Gaia whatever he share was and then that Apollo received that as a gift from Themis. They say that Apollo gave to Poseidon the portion of land called Kalauria which is near Troizen as an exchange-gift for the oracle. I have also heard that men who were shepherding their flocks chanced upon the oracle and were inspired by the mist and then acted as prophets of Apollo. The account with the most adherents is the story of Phêmonoê, that she was the first prophet of the god and the first person who sang hexameters.
Boiô, a local woman who created a Hymn for the Delphians, used to say that people who visited from the Hyperboreans along with others and Olên created the oracle for the god and that he, Olên, was the first to give prophecies and to sing a hexameter.
Boiô composed these verses: “Here in fact, they built the oracle of good memory / the children of the Hyperboreans, Pagasos and shining Aguieus.”
Once she has named other Hyperboreans, near the end of the hymn she mentioned Olên: “And Olên who was the first prophet of Phoibos / and the first to make the song of ancient epic verses.” There is in common memory no mention of him at all; all that is left is the prophecy of women only.”
“Muse, send a glorifying wind right at that home–
For songs and stories safeguard noble deeds
When men have passed on.
And these things are not scarce for the Bassidae.
This ancient-famed family
Has a private store of victory songs to fill ships,
Capable of inspiring many a Pieriean plowman
With hymns thanks to their glorious deeds.”
“Older poets found these things
To be an elevated roadway;
I follow it even though I have concern–
The wave that is always turning
Right into the front of the ship
Is said to cause everyone’s heart
The most trouble.”
“I wouldn’t celebrate or even mention a man
For the strength of his feet or his wrestling,
Not even if he had a Cyclopean size and strength
And could conquer the gods’ Thracian Northwind
And not even if he were better looking than Tithonos
And wealthier than Midas and Kinyras,
Not even if he were more royal than the Tantalid Pelops
And had a tongue more persuasive than Adrastus
And possessed fame for everything except rushing courage.
No man proves good in a war
If he cannot endure seeing bloody murder,
And can strike out while standing near the enemy.
This is virtue, this is the best prize among human beings,
The noblest thing for a young man to win.
This is a shared good for the whole state and the people,
When a man stands firm among the front ranks,
Relentless, completely forgetful of shameful retreat,
Offering up his life and enduring heart,
Ready with an encouraging word for the man next to him.
This man proves to be good in war.
Then he quickly turns aside the threatening ranks
Of the enemy soldiers and the battle’s wave is fueled by his passion.
And should he fall among the first ranks, losing his life,
He brings fame to his city, people, and father,
Stabbed through many times around the chest
And embossed shield, straight through his armor.
The young and the old mourn for him alike
And the whole city feels harsh grief from longing,
Yet his grave and children are well known to all
Along with his children’s children and generations to come.
His noble fame will never die, nor his name
But he will be immortal even though under the earth,
Whoever the man is raging Ares slays in his moment of excellence
As he stands fast and struggles for his land and children.
But if he escapes the fate of a sorrowful death,
And claims victory to vouchsafe his boastful spear,
Everyone will honor him, the young and the old alike,
And he will go to Hades, after living life well.
He will be prominent among his people as he ages,
No one will dream of slighting his respect and due:
All the young men give their places at the bench to him,
And yield to him, along with his peers and elders.
May everyone now try to reach the peak
Of that virtue, never giving up in war.
“She was looking at you as a goddess
And took special pleasure in your song.
Now she stands out among the Lydian women
The way the rose-toed moon outshines
All of the stars at the moment
When the sun goes down–
Her light falls over the briny sea
And the flowering fields equally.
Dew drips down in beauty
And roses open their blooms
Along with soft chervil and
As she moves back and forth
She often recalls Atthis with longing,
And she burdens her sensitive thoughts
Because of you…”