Friday, September 23, 2011


Among the memorable characters in Metamorphoses 6 is Niobe, the daughter of Tantalos, the fabled king punished in the Underworld.

Tantalos is remembered in the 1st Olympian Ode of Pindar, which begins,

stands out supreme of all lordly wealth.

Pindar, Olympian 1

If indeed the watchers of Olympus ever honored a mortal man, that man was Tantalus. But he was not able to digest his great prosperity, and for his greed he gained overpowering ruin . . .

Tantalos, Ixion, Sisyphos

. . . he stole from the gods nectar and ambrosia, with which they had made him immortal, and gave them to his drinking companions. If any man expects that what he does escapes the notice of a god, he is wrong.

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