curiosities in the pythian odes

From Pindar’s Pythian Odes, on omnipotence:

God bringeth every end to pass according to his desires. He over-taketh even the winged eagle and passeth the dolphin in the sea; and he bringeth low many a proud man, granting to other glory that grows not old.

Other translations pluralize “god” to “gods”. Did the Greeks think that the gods controlled everything as in fatalism? It would be hard to argue as such. In the Greek religion and in these odes, there is a multiplicity of gods each doing their own will.

On omniscience:

Thou who knowest the final destiny of all things and all the paths thereto; all the leaves that the earth sends up in the spring, and all the sands whirled by the waves in sea and rivers and by the blasts of the winds; thou seest well the future and whence it shall come to pass.

This is about Apollo. Apollo seems to have been omniscient in that he could see the future. In Greek myth/history Apollo used the Oracle of Delphi to propagate his prophecy of the future. His prophecy always came true. The Greeks heavily believed in fatalism.

In Pindar, we are able to read the beginnings of a pantheistic worldview in which all the Greek gods are being merged into one uber-god. Pindar sometimes talks to monotheism/pantheism and sometimes to polytheism. That was the philosophical current of the day.

About christopher fisher

The blog is meant for educational/entertainment purposes. All material can be used and reproduced in any length for any purpose as long as I am cited as the source.
This entry was posted in Greek History, Omnipotence, Omniscience. Bookmark the permalink.

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