Πίνδαρος τὸ μὲν γένος Θηβαῖος, υἱὸς Δαϊφάντου κατὰ τοὺς ἀληθεστέρους· οἱ δὲ Σκοπελίνου· οἱ δὲ τὸν αὐτὸν Σκοπελίνου φασίν οἱ δὲ τὸν αὐτὸν Σκοπελίνου φασίν M: οἱ δὲ θετὸν αὐτὸν Σκοπελίνου φασίν m. οἱ δὲ Παγώνδα καὶ Μυρτοῦς, ἀπὸ κώμης Κυνοκεφάλων. ἡ δὲ Μυρτὼ ἐγαμήθη Σκοπελίνωι τῶι αὐλητῆι, ὃς τὴν αὐλητικὴν διδάσκων τὸν Πίνδαρον, ἐπεὶ εἶδε μείζονος ἕξεως ὄντα, παρέδωκε Λάσῶι παρέδωκε Λάσῶι m: σημείωσαι Λάσος ὁ πρῶτος τῶν διθυραμβοποιῶν post παρέδωκε Λάσῶι add. m in marg. τῶι Ἑρμιονεῖ μελοποιῶι, παρ’ ὧι τὴν λυρικὴν ἐπαιδεύθη. γέγονε δὲ κατὰ [τοὺς] τοὺς om. M χρόνους Αἰσχύλου, καὶ συγγεγένηται, καὶ τέθνηκεν ὅτε καὶ τὰ Περσικὰ ἤκμαζον. ἔσχε δὲ θυγατέρας δύο, Εὔμητιν καὶ Πρωτομάχην. κατώικει δὲ τὰς Θήβας, πλησίον τοῦ ἱεροῦ τῆς μητρὸς τῶν θεῶν τὴν οἰκίαν ἔχων τῆς Ῥέας post θεῶν add. m, post ἔχων m. ἐτίμα δὲ τὴν θεὸν σφόδρα, ὢν εὐσεβέστατος, καὶ τὸν Πᾶνα, καὶ τὸν Ἀπόλλωνα, εἰς ὃν καὶ πλεῖστα γέγραφε. νεώτερος δὲ ἦν Σιμωνίδου, πρεσβύτερος δὲ Βακχυλίδου. κατὰ δὲ τὴν Ξέρξου κατάβασιν ἤκμαζε τῆι ἡλικίαι. ἐτιμήθη δὲ σφόδρα ὑπὸ πάντων τῶν Ἑλλήνων διὰ τὸ ὑπὸ τοῦ Ἀπόλλωνος φιλεῖσθαι οὕτως, ὡς καὶ μερίδα λαμβάνειν ἀπὸ τῶν προσφερομένων τῶι θεῶι, καὶ τὸν ἱερέα βοᾶν ἐν ταῖς θυσίαις· Πίνδαρον ἐπὶ τὸ δεῖπνον τοῦ θεοῦ. λόγος καὶ τὸν Πᾶνα εὑρῆσαί ποτε ἄιδοντα περὶ τοῦ Πέλοπος Πέλοπος m: ὀρχήσασθαί ποτε τὸν αὐτοῦ παιᾶνα καὶ χαίρειν ἄιδοντα τοῦτον ἀεὶ ἐν τοῖς ὄρεσι m· λόγος δὲ ὅτι ποτὲ Λακεδαιμόνιοι Βοιωτοὺς ἐμπρήσαντες καὶ Θήβας ἀπέσχοντο μόνης τῆς οἰκίας αὐτοῦ, θεασάμενοι ἐπιγεγραμμένον τὸν στίχον τοῦτον· Πινδάρου τοῦ μουσοποιοῦ τὴν στέγην μὴ καίετε. ὅπερ καὶ τὸν Ἀλέξανδρον μετὰ ταῦτά φασι πεποιηκέναι· καὶ γὰρ οὗτος ἐμπρήσας τὰς Θήβας μόνης ἐκείνης ἐφείσατο. ἐχθρωδῶς δὲ διακειμένων τῶν Ἀθηναίων πρὸς τοὺς Θηβαίους, ἐπεὶ εἶπεν ἐν τοῖς ποιήμασιν· ὦ ταὶ λιπαραὶ καὶ μεγαλοπόλιες Ἀθᾶναι ὦ ταὶ λιπαραὶ καὶ m, Eustathius: ὦ ταλαίπωροι καὶ m: ὦ ταλαίπωροι Θῆβαι καὶ m, ἐζημίωσαν αὐτὸν χρήμασι Θηβαῖοι, ἅπερ ὑπὲρ αὐτοῦopencv ἔτισαν Ἀθηναῖοι. γέγραπται δὲ αὐτῶι ἑπτακαίδεκα βιβλία, ὧν τέσσαρα ἡ λεγομένη περίοδος λέγει τάδε· Ὀλυμπιονίκας Πυθιονίκας Ἰσθμιονίκας Νεμεονίκας. [Ἔστι δὲ τὰ Ὀλύμπια ἀγὼν εἰς τὸν Δία, τὰ Πύθια ἀγὼν εἰς τὸν Ἀπόλλωνα, τὰ Νέμεα ἀγὼν καὶ αὐτὸς εἰς Δία, τὰ δὲ Ἴσθμια ἀγὼν εἰς Ποσειδῶνα. τὰ δὲ ἔπαθλα τούτων ἐλαία, δάφνη, σέλινον ξηρόν τε καὶ χλωρόν.] [Ἔστι δὲ … χλωρόν] Drachmann ἀλλὰ περὶ μὲν τῶν ἄλλων καὶ τὰ ἐπιβάλλοντα τούτοις ὕστερον ἐροῦμεν· νῦν δὲ περὶ τῆς θέσεως τῶν Ὀλυμπιονικῶν λεκτέον. τινὲς μὲν οὖν ταύτην εἰς τὰ περὶ Οἰνομάου καὶ Πέλοπος τοῖς χρόνοις ἀναφέρουσιν· ἄλλοι δέ φασιν ὡς οὕτως αἰσχρὰν οὖσαν τὴν θέσιν οὐκ ἂν διεφύλαξαν· ἄλλοι δὲ Ἡρακλεῖ ἀνατιθέασιν, ὡς καὶ Πίνδαρος, ἐνδοξοτέροις κοσμῶν τὸν ἀγῶνα. ἐπεὶ γὰρ τὴν Αὐγείου κόπρον καθῆρε καὶ τῶν ἐπηγγελμένων οὐκ ἔτυχε, συναγαγὼν στρατόπεδον τόν τε Αὐγείαν φονεύει καὶ τὴν Ἦλιν παρίσταται, καὶ πολλὰ λάφυρα περιποιησάμενος ἀγῶνα τίθησι τοῖς μετ’ αὐτοῦ πολεμήσασιν· ὅθεν καὶ τὸ ἔθος διαμεῖναι. ἀλλ’ οὐδὲ αὕτη ἔμεινεν ἡ θέσις, ἐπεὶ τῆς συμβάσης αὐτοῖς δυσχερείας ὑπόμνησις ἦν. ἀλλ’ Ἴφιτός τις καὶ Εὐρύλοχος τοὺς Κιρραίους πολεμήσαντες (οὗτοι δὲ ἦσαν οἱ τὴν πάραλον τῆς Φωκίδος ληισταὶ κατέχοντες) καὶ πολλὰ λάφυρα συναγαγόντες, ὁ μὲν Ἴφιτος τὰ Ὀλύμπια κατέβαλεν, ὁ δὲ τὰ Πύθια· καὶ ταύτην ἐπιμεῖναι τὴν θέσιν συνέβη.
Τέθνηκε δὲ ὁ Πίνδαρος ἓξ καὶ ἑξήκοντα ἐτῶν γεγονὼς γεγονώς m: ἢ ὥς τινες ὀγδοήκοντα post γεγονώς add. Eustathius ἐπὶ Ἀβίωνος Ἀβίωνος m: Ἅβρωνος Wilamowitz ἄρχοντος κατὰ τὴν ἕκτην καὶ ὀγδοηκοστὴν ὀγδοηκοστήν m: εἰκοστὴν m Ὀλυμπίαδα. ἤκουσε δὲ Σιμωνίδου.
ὁ δὲ ἐπινίκιος οὗ ἡ ἀρχή· Ἄριστον μὲν ὕδωρ Pind. Ol. 1.1, προτέτακται ὑπὸ Ἀριστοφάνους τοῦ συντάξαντος τὰ Πινδαρικὰ διὰ τὸ περιέχειν τοῦ ἀγῶνος ἐγκώμιον καὶ τὰ περὶ τοῦ Πέλοπος, ὃς πρῶτος ἐν Ἤλιδι ἠγωνίσατο. γέγραπται δὲ Ἱέρωνι βασιλεῖ Συρακουσίων· αἱ δὲ Συράκουσαι πόλις τῆς Σικελίας· ὃς καὶ κτίστης ἐγένετο Αἴτνης πόλεως, ἀπὸ ὄρους αὐτῆς οὕτως αὐτὴν ὀνομάσας. ἀποστείλας δὲ οὗτος ἵππους εἰς Ὀλυμπίαν ἐνίκησε κέλητι. Τὸ μέτρον τούτου ὑπάρχει τριάς· τριὰς δέ ἐστι ποίημα ἐν ὧι στροφὴ, ἀντίστροφος, ἐπωιδός.
Pindar was a Theban by descent, the son of Daïphantus according to the more trustworthy authorities. But some claim that Pindar was the son of Scopelinus; others say Daïphantus himself was the son of Scopelinus. Others say Pindar was the son of Pagondas and Myrto, from the village of Cynocephalae. And Myrto was married to Scopelinus the pipes player, who taught Pindar the art of playing the pipes. And when he saw Pindar had greater talent than him, Scopelinus entrusted him to the melic poet Lasus of Hermione, under whom he was taught the art of playing the lyre. Pindar reached his peak during the time of Aeschylus and was his contemporary, and he died when the Persian wars were at their height. Pindar had two daughters, Eymetis and Protomache. He dwelled in Thebes and had a house close to the shrine of the mother of the gods Cybele. Pindar honored the goddess greatly and was extremely pious, and he honored Pan as well, and Apollo, for whom he also wrote most of his poems. Pindar was younger than Simonides, but older than Bacchylides. By the time of the invasion of Xerxes Pindar was at the height of his career in his old age. Pindar was greatly honored by all the Greeks because he was so loved by Apollo that he received a portion of the sacrifices people brought to the god, and the priest called during the sacrifices “Pindar, come to the feast of the god.” There is a story he once found Pan singing the ode about Pelops. There is also a story that once when the Lacedaemonians razed Boeotia and Thebes with fire they held off from burning his house alone because they saw the following line written on it: “Don’t burn the home of the poet Pindar.” And they say Alexander after these events also did the same: when he razed Thebes he spared only Pindar’s house. During the time the Athenians were hostile to the Thebans, when Pindar said in a verse: “Oh the gleaming and magnificent city of Athens…” the Thebans fined him money, which the Athenians paid on his behalf. There are seventeen books written by Pindar. The circuit of athletic games called the periodos provides the title for four of these: the Olympians, Pythians, Isthmians, and Nemeans. [The Olympics are a contest for Zeus, the Pythians a contest for Apollo, the Nemeans are also a contest for Zeus, and the Isthmians a contest for Poseidon. The prize crowns for these games are respectively olive, laurel, dried celery, and fresh celery.] But we will speak later about the other books and the additions to these. But now the foundation of the Olympian games should be discussed. Some men ascribe it to the events during the time of Oenomaus and Pelops, but others claim this establishment of the games was too ill-suited to be continually observed. But others ascribe it to Hercules, as Pindar does, adorning the contest with even more glory. For after he cleaned out the excrement from the Augean Stables and did not receive what was promised, Hercules gathered an army and killed Augeas and occupied Elis, and with the spoils he obtained he established the games for the men who fought with him. And this is how the custom still persists. But the establishment of the games itself did not last since it served as a reminder of the animosity that occurred between them. But when one Iphitus and Eurylochus waged war against the Cirrhaians (these were pirates who controlled the coast of Phocis) and assembled a great deal of loot, Iphitus founded the Olympian and Eurylochus the Pythian games. And this establishment of the games turned out to last.
Pindar died during the archonship of Abion in the 86th Olympiad after living for sixty-six years. He was a pupil of Simonides.
The epinician, the beginning of which is “Best is water…”, was placed first in the collection by Aristophanes of Byzantium when he arranged the Pindaric corpus because it contains an encomium to the games as well as the story of Pelops, who first competed at Elis. It was written for Hiero king of Syracuse (Syracuse is a city in Sicily), who was also the founder of the city of Aetna and named it this way from the mountain it resides on. Hiero sent a team of horses to Olympia and won in the horse-race. The stanzas of this poem are a triad: a triad is a poem in which there is a strophe, antistrophe, and an epode.