The augment use in the five oldest Odes of Pindar


  • Filip De Decker Universiteit Gent



Pindar, Greek verbal morphology, augment, lyric Greek


In this short article I discuss the augment use in Pindar's five oldest Odes (based on the text of the editions by Snell & Maehler' in the Teubner and Race in the Loeb), namely Pythian 10 (498 BC), Pythian 6 (490), Pythian 12 (490), Olympian 14 (488, if correctly dated) and Pythian 7 (486). As the augment use in Pindar has never been studied in detail before and commentaries often do not mention it, I use the observations made for epic Greek as basis, more specifically that the augment is used to refer to foregrounded actions and actions in the recent past, and that it remains absent when actions in a remote or mythical past are related. I start by outlining these observations, then I determine which (un)augmented forms in Pindar are secured by the metre (the transmission of Pindar's Odes has not been unproblematic) and at the end apply the epic observation to the metrically secure forms of these five Odes. My investigation will show that the verb forms referring to the near-deixis (the victor's deeds, his origins and those of his city and the mythical characters with whom he is compared), are augmented, whereas the forms referring to other (mythical) actions remain unaugmented, but, as was the case with epic Greek, there are nevertheless also exceptions.


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