A sense of loxias: Bacchylides 16.1

Classical Quarterly 69 (1):435-438 (2019)

Abstract

Bacchylides 16 is a hybrid poem. It sets out to explore the relation of cognate types of choral song, the paean and the dithyramb, in one and the same narrative. To that end, it poses a ritual section, which deals with Apollo's stop by the banks of the river Hebrus on his way back from the Hyperboreans to Delphi, ahead of a mythic section whose thematic spine focusses on the aftermath of Oechalia's sack by Heracles and his marital crisis with Deianeira leading up to his death and deification. My concern, here, lies with the very beginning of the Apolline paeanic section, which lacks a gratifying supplement of the few words missing, so one can get a glimpse of how the poet's voice positions itself with respect to the god's upcoming arrival at Delphi. I understand the first line in the following way :Λοξ]ίου [ἀ]ίο[μεν] ἐπεὶὁλκ]άδ’ ἔπεμψεν ἐμοὶ χρυσέανΠιερ]ίαθεν ἐ[ΰθ]ρονος [Ο]ὐρανία,πολυφ]άτων γέμουσαν ὕμνωνWe sense Loxias ever sinceOurania of the fair throne sent mefrom Pieria a golden cargofraught with much-praised songs.Relying on the way editors read the papyrus, the traces that precede the concluding ἐπεί of the first line suggest that it is occupied by a glyconic.

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References found in this work

Greek Metre.C. W. Willink & M. L. West - 1984 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 104:226-227.
The Art of Bacchylides.C. Carey & A. P. Burnett - 1987 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 107:196-197.
Bacchylides: The Poems and Fragments.Richard C. Jebb - 1906 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 26:180.
Bacchylidis Carmina Cum Fragmentis.Gilbert Norwood & Bruno Snell - 1951 - American Journal of Philology 72 (4):415.

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