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Published in: Journal Of Hellenic Religion, , Vol. 3, 19-38.


This paper focuses on the meaning of lines 56 to 59 in Pindar’s Ol. 2, and in particular, examines what should be understood concerning the phrase ποινάς ἔτεισαν in line 58. The possibility is explored that perhaps the penalty demanded of the dead is not, as many have suggested, the loss of wits that the ψυχή experiences upon the death of the body, although this certainly is a concept with which we are familiar from Homeric epic. Nor, it is argued, does the statement necessarily to refer to servitude that the dead owe to Persephone, which some feel is present in Pindar Fragment 133 (Snell). Rather, it is suggested that the penalty paid by the impure mentioned in line 58 consists of the soul being sent to live out another incarnation upon the earth.

Keywords: homeric-epic,snell,wits,incarnation,fragment,phrase,experiences,earth

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