Scholia Reviews ns 6 (1997) 22.
William H. Race (ed. & tr.), Pindar: Nemean Odes, Isthmian Odes, Fragments. Cambridge, Mass. & London: Harvard University Press, 1997. Pp. vii + 446, incl. an index of proper names and 3 maps. ISBN 0-674-99534-1. UKú9.95.
William J. Henderson,
Rand Afrikaans University, Johannesburg.
This is the second volume of the new Loeb Pindar; the first, also by Race, and also published in 1997, included the Olympian and Pythian odes. The new Pindar inevitably invites comparison with the previous one by Sandys. First published in 1915, and reprinted into the 60s, it served its users long and well. However, the very fact that Race's edition (in two volumes of 385 and 446 pages respectively) exceeds Sandys' edition (in one volume of 635 pages) by almost 200 pages, shows how the Pindaric corpus has expanded and that a new edition is justified.
Other differences are immediately apparent, and become more pronounced as one reads into the text. The two most obvious are the spelling of Greek proper names and the method of translation. Sandys chose the Latinised spelling of Greek proper nouns and a continuous prose translation. Race set out his procedures in this regard in the first volume. For the spelling of Greek proper names he has used transliterated Greek (e.g., Kronos), except where the English has become common (e.g., Athens, Priam, Helen, Phoebus). For the rest, the Doric (or conventionalised Ionic) form of names is used and the Aeolic avoided (Vol. 1, p. vii). His English version is intended ' . . . to produce a readable, clear translation that reflects the grammar of the original Greek, while following the lineation of the Greek text as closely as normal English word order allows' (Vol. 1, p. vii). For students and researchers alike, such a line-for-line translation has several advantages over a continuous prose version: line numbers on the right that correspond with those of the original on the left promote quick reference and checking; the varying line length and frequent pauses create atmosphere, tone and movement more in keeping with lyric poetry; and the visual shape of the text is not only more reader-friendly, but actually evokes the feel of poetry and song: for example, the interrelationship of strophe, antistrophe and epode, also indicated in the translation, is clearly visible. Also, while not pretending to be poetic, this kind of translation produces surprisingly attractive results.
In line with his predecessor, Race has provided an exposition of each poem's argument, short explanatory notes attached to the translation, and an apparatus criticus of the Greek text. These sections have been entirely rewritten. A brief survey will suffice to show the improvements:
1. The introductions to and summaries of the complete poems are clear and concise. In dating odes, Race is consistently more conservative, offering a fixed date only when there are definite external or internal indications. Thus N. 1 is placed after the foundation of Aetna in 476 (Sandys: 'probably 476'); N. 9 in 474 or later on similar grounds (thus also Sandys); I. 2 'perhaps as late as 470' (Sandys: 472?); I. 5 'sometime after 480', the date of Salamis (Sandys: 476?); and I. 8 in 478, the year after the expulsion of the Persians (thus also Sandys). The faulty line numbers given by Sandys for N. 3 (p. 333) and I. 2 (p. 447) have been corrected. Where Sandys confidently regarded the scholion on Pae. 6 as proof of the apologetic nature of N. 7 p. 377), Race considers the connection speculative and reaffirms the difficulty of interpretation.
2. Race has provided considerably more explanatory notes. He does not correct Sandys' reference at N. 1.1-3 to Verg., A. 3.695f. (instead of 694-96), but offers an alternative reference for Ortygia at A. 3.124. For Sandys' ridiculous explanation of the reference to the fox at I. 4.45-48 (p. 465, n. 2), Race offers a sensible one (p. 167, n. 3), based on research beyond the normal confines of classical philology.
3. The apparatus criticus has been entirely revised. In the first place, whereas Sandys gave the titles of poems as a matter of fact, Race indicates them as they appear in the manuscripts, or as they have been conjectured by scholars (e.g. N. 8-10; I. 1-3, 5-8). Secondly, the two editors often choose different readings, but display no general pattern in their choices: each reading is rightly judged on its merits in the context. Sometimes Sandys follows the manuscripts and Race the emendations of scholars: e.g. N. 1.7: Q' E(/RGMASIN and 72: DO/MON; 3.31: E)/LABEJ and 76: A)/PESTI. At other times it is the other way round: e.g. N. 1.66: MO/RON. They also follow different options in the manuscript readings: e.g. N. 3.28, where Sandys reads E)SLO/J with some mss, and Race E)SLO/N with others. Both also occasionally prefer emendations to the manuscript tradition: e.g. N. 4.90: instead of the mss. reading O( SO\J A)EI/SETAI, PAI=, Sandys reads SO\J A)/EISE/N POTE, PAI= with Hermann and Boeck, while Race reads A)EI/SETAI, PAI=, O( SO/J with Mommsen. Thirdly, Race scores points against his predecessor in providing more information. Often, both choose the same reading, but only Race acknowledges the debt and supplies the alternative(s): e.g. N. 1.13: SPEI=RE/ NUN, 24: E)SLOU/J, 37: W(J, 60: E)KKA/LESEN. Or Sandys omits information altogether: e.g. I. 8.70, where Race credits Triclinius with the reading, and adds XO/A PW D: KO/LPW| Theiler: KO/LPOU Young.
Now, a few comments on the fragments. Race, like Sandys, offers a selection, a policy enforced by the fact that many fragments are too short for meaningful translation.[] Both editors justify their selections, and both maintain the groupings for the Paeans, Dithyrambs, Prosodia, Partheneia, Hyporchemata, Encomia, Threnoi and Incerta (Sandys pp. 510-11; Race 222-23). However, Race's edition offers several improvements:
1. Sandys placed the fragmentary I. 1 among the fragments; Race includes it among the Isthmian odes.
2. Sandys' arrangement of the fragments is confusing and requires time-consuming searching; Race follows Maehler's numbering and places the fragments in sequence accordingly.
3. Race includes more fragments than Sandys did or could.[]
4. Sandys presented nine Paeans (Pae. 1-9 = frr. 52-60); Race, following Maehler, gives twice as many (Pae. 1-21 = frr. 52-70). For Sandys, fr. 61 was a dithyramb; it is now a paean.
5. Race provides 'very selective' critical notes (p. 222), referring the reader instead to Maehler's Teubner edition, an advantage not available to Sandys.
6. Finally, where Sandys concluded his volume with an index, Race offers genealogies for N. 6 and Parth. 2, an index of proper names (which also covers vol. 1), and three maps.
One's final assessment can only be positive: praise and thanks to the Loeb Classical Library for realising the need for a new Pindar, Race for a task well and judiciously done, and to the Harvard University Press for an excellent and reader- friendly product. We welcome a new companion, while bidding a fond farewell to its well-thumbed and much appreciated predecessor.
[] The omitted frr. (with Maehler's numbering) are: 1, 4, 6-28, 30, 39, 40, 41, 44-50, 52c, 52g(A), 52h(A), 52l, 52n, 52r, 52t, 52u, 52w, 62-69, 71, 72- 74, 79-88, 89b, 90-91, 97-104, 112-17, 144-45, 147, 158, 161-65, 170-71, 173-78, 181, 184-86, 189-90, 192, 196-97, 200, 202, 204, 206, 216, 218-19, 223- 24, 230.
[] Additional frr. (those in brackets being only testimonia) are: 2, (3), 5, (32), 33-38, 52m, o, p, q, s, u, v, (54), 62-70a, c, d, 81, 92-93, 94c, 96, 107a, b, 118, 124d, 140c, d, 141, 146, 148-49, 151, 156, 160, 179-91, 201, 203, 209, 211-12, 215, 217, 225- 26, 228-33.