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“ the Dancers were returned to the place whence they “ fet out, before they renewed the dance they stood “ still while the Epode was sung.
“ If the same persons both danced and sung, when
we consider how much breath is required for a full " Song, perhaps one may incline to think, that the “ Strophé and Antistrophé partook something of the “ Recitative manner, and that the Epode was the
more compleat Air.
“ There is a pillage in the ancient Grammarian, “ Marius Victorinus, which is much to the fime pur
pote as this above, though he does not distinctly “ Ipeak of dancing. The pafiage is this :
Pieraque Lyricorum carminum, quæ versu, colifque & commatibus componuntur, ex Strophé, “ Antitrophé, & Epodo, ut Græci appellant, ordinata “ fubfiitunt. Quorum ratio talis eft. Antiqui Deo«!um laudes carminibus comprehenfas, circum aras
coruin euntes canebant. Cujus primum ambitum,
quem ingrediebantur ex parte dextrâ, Strophen “ vocabant; reversioner autem finiftrosum factam, " completo priore orbe, Antistrophen appellabant. " Deinde in conspectu eorum foliti confiftere cantici,
reliqua confequebantur, appellantes id Epodon.
“ The Writers I have quoted speak only of Odes, " sung in the temples : but Demetrius Triclinius,
upon the measures of Sophocles, says the same “ thing upon the Odes of the Tragick Chorus.
“ What the Scholiast upon Hephæftion, cited above, « adds about the Heavenly Motions, &c, is also faid
“ hy Vi&torinus, and by Demetrius Triclinius, and “ likewise by the Scholiaft on Pindar. Yet I consider “ this in no other light, than I do the fantastical con« ceits with which the Writers on Music abound. “ Ptolemy, out of his three Books of Harmonics, “ employs one almost entirely upon comparing the “ principles of Music with the motions of the Planets, " the faculties of the mind, and other such ridiculous
imaginations. And Aristides Quintilianus, fup“ posed an older Author, is full of the same fooleries. “ Marius Victorinus has another scheme allo, viz. " that the dancing forwards and backwards was in“ vented by Theseus, in memory of the labyrinth “ out of which he escaped. But all this is taking “ much unnecessary pains to account why, viena “ Dancers have gone as far as they can one way,
they should return back again; or at least not dance “ in the same circle till they are giddy."
Such was the structure of the Greek Ode, in which the Strophé and the Antistrophé, i. e. the first and second stanzas, contained always the same number and the fame kind of verses. The Epode was of a different length and measure; and if the Ode ran out into any length, it was always divided into Triplets of stanzas, the two first being constantly of the same length and ineafure, and all the Epodes in like manner corresponding exactly with each other : from all which the regularity of this kind of compositions is fufficiently evident. There are indeed some Odes, which coníft of Strophés, and Antistrophés without any Epode ;
and others which are made up of Strophés only, of different lengths and mcarures. But the greatest num. ber of Pindar's Odes are of the first kind.
I have in the trantation retained the names of Strophé and Antistrophé, on purpose to imprint the more ftrongly on the Mind of the English reader, the exact regularity observed by Pindar in the structure of his Odes; and have even followed his example in one, which in the original consists only ci two Strophés.
Another charge against Pindar relates to the supposed wildness of his imagination, lis extravagant digreffions, and sudden transitions, which leads me to confider the second point, viz. the connection of bis thoughts. Upor which I hall say but little in this place, having endeavoured to point out the connexion, and account for many of the digressions, in my Arguments and Notes * to the several Odes which I have translated. Here therefore I inall only observe in general, that wiloever imagines the vistories and praises of the Conquerors are ihe proper subjects of the Odes inscribed to them, will find himself mistaken. These victories indeed gave occasion to these fongs of triumph, and are therefore conftantly taken notice of by the Poet, as are also any particular and remarkable circumftances relating to them, or to the lives and characters of the Conquerors themselves : but, as such circumstances could rarely furnith out inatter fufhcient for an Ode of any lengui, lo would it have been an indecency unknown to the
civil * See p. 122.
civil equality and freedom, as well as to the simplicity of the age in which Pindar lived, to have filled a poem intended to be sung in public, and even at the altars of the gods, with the praises of one man only; who, besides, was often no otherwise considerable, but as the victory which gave occasion to the Ode had made him. For these reasons, the Poet, in order to give his
pcem its due extent, was obliged to have recourse to other circumstances, arising either from the family or country of the Conqueror, from the Games in which he had come off victorious, or from the particular deities who had any relation to the occasion, or in whose temples the Ode was intended to be sung. All thefe, and many other particulars, which the reading the Odes of Pindar may suggest to an attentive obferver, gave hints to the Poet, and led him into those frequent digressions, and quick transitions; which it is no wonder should appear to us at this distance of time and place both extravagant and unaccountable.
Upon the whole, I am persuaded that whoever will consider the Odes of Pindar with regard to the manners and customs of the age in which they were written, the occasions which gave birth to them, and the places in which they were intended to be recited, will find little reason to censure Pindar for want of order and regularity in the plans of his compositions. On the contrary, perhaps, he will be inclined to admire him, for raising so many beauties from such trivial hints, and for kindling, as he fometimes does, fo great a flame from a single spark, and with so little fuel.
There is still another prejudice against Pindar, which may arise in the minds of those people who are not thoroughly acquainted with ancient History, and who may therefore be apt to think meanly of Odes, infcribed to a set of Conquerors, whom possibly they may look upon only as so many Prize-fighters and Jockeys. To obviate this prejudice, I have prefixed to my translation of Pindar's Odes a Dissertation * on the Olympick Games: in which the reader will see what kind of persons these Conquerors were, and what was the nature of those famous Games; of which every one, who has but just looked into the history of Greece, must know enough to desire to be better acquainted with them. The collection is as full as I have been able to make it, assisted by the labours of a learned Frenchman, Pierre du Faur, who, in his Book intituled Agonisticon, hath gathered almost every thing that is mentioned in any of the Greek or Latin Writers relating to the Grecian Games, which he has thrown together in no very clear order ; as is observed by his Countryman Mons. Burette, who hath written several pieces on the subject of the Gymnastick Exercises, inserted in the Second Volume of “ Memoires de l'Aca« demie Royale, &c.” printed at Amsterdam, 1719. In this Dissertation I have endeavoured to give a complete History of the Olympick Games : of which kind
there For this Differtation, and the learned Author's copious notes in the following Odes, we must refer the curious reader to the work at large, N.