Pindarica

Classical Quarterly 18 (3-4):151- (1924)
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Abstract

There is no established agreement concerning the meaning of πτυχας. The scholiasts give three alternatives: τας ποισεσιν πε διαιρεται ες στρος κα ντιστρΦους κα πδς. To the same effect, but more comprehensively, Boeckh interprets: artificiosi flexus numerorum harmoniae saltationis. Similarly Donaldson, Paley, Fennell, and Mezger apply the expression to the artistic turns of poetry; and Gildersleeve's sinuous songs is explained to mean the same thing. Myers translated sounding labyrinths of song, which Sandys modified to sounding bouts of song; but I am not sure that I understand their metaphors. Embroidery of song is apparently a suggestion of the scholiast, since he remarks that πτυχας is suitably attached to δαιδαλωσμεν and ποικλλειν—σπερ π κατασκευσματος. But we look in vain for a justification of πτυχα so employed. Then comes the counsel of despair μνων πτυχας: τος μνοις κατ περΦρασιν, for which it is perhaps unnecessary to refer to Rutherford's Annotation, p. 250. I cannot think that anyone is really satisfied with such explanations, although there are no open notes of dissent. There must be some objection which I do not see to the rendering ‘glorious pages of minstrelsy,’ and yet πτυχ is well established in that connexion: Aesch. Suppl. 947 οδ' ν ββλων πτυχας κατεσΦραγισμνα where Schuetz rightly finds a reference to charta papyracea )( πνακες. Everyone remembers Gray's ‘Knowledge … her ample page rich with the spoils of time did ne'er unroll.’

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