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Pindar's Peaceful Rapes.

The speaker of Pindar's epinician poems (1) is well known for esteeming piety and religious reverence. (2) The victories he celebrates were won at religious festivals, the Odes contain many hymnic elements, including prayers, and piety is a topos of praise for the victors (e.g., Ol. 3.41, 6.4-5, 6.95-96; Isthm. 2.39). There are numerous mythic examples of impiety punished, including Tantalus, Typhos, Ixion, Asclepius. and Bellero-phon. (1) Moreover, the speaker often expresses a horror of irreverence and refuses to speak ill of the gods. The most famous instance occurs in Olympian I, where the narrator repudiates the most common version of the myth of Pelops. He claims to speak "contrary to his predecessors" ([phrase omitted]. Ol. 1.36), (4) who say that when Pelops was butchered by his father and served to the gods, Demeter absentmindedly took a bite before realizing that she was eating human flesh. (5) The speaker concludes emphatically: "Tor me, it is impossible to call any of the blessed gods a glutton--I stand back" ([phrase omitted], Ol. 1.52). In Olympian 9, the speaker rejects stories of Heracles battling the gods on similar grounds and with similar intensity, exclaiming "Hurl that story away from me, my mouth!" ([phrase omitted], Ol. 9.35-39). The narrator, then, emphatically rejects stories that reflect poorly on the gods, for "it is seemly for a man to speak well of the gods, for less is the blame" ([phrase omitted], Ol. 1.35).

I focus here on a less-recognized aspect of the Pindaric speaker's piety: his descriptions of divine rape. Many of the poems' mythological narratives include ktistic stories of the divine origin of the victor's family or his city, and these origin stories typically trace back to a mortal girl or nymph who is raped and impregnated by a god. Yet these rapes are described in unusual terms: language of pleasure and consent, even of marriage, is juxtaposed with the vocabulary of abduction and rape. The speaker thus refashions divine rapes as pleasurable and reciprocal sexual relationships. This representation is, I argue, related to the poet's programmatic piety. Rather than repudiate or critique stories of rape, the poet manipulates them into something quite different: stories of affection and marriage. He thus participates in a long tradition of euphemizing and downplaying rape, one that continues to this day. My approach to Pindar's depictions of divine rape is, in the words of Lynn Higgins and Brenda Silver (1991, 4), a "conscious critical act of reading the violence and the sexuality hack into texts where it has been deflected." Through close reading, this paper aims to unmask the violence and brutality underlying Pindar's sanitized tales of mythic rape/abduction.

I. Denominating Rape

I begin with issues of terminology. As many critics have noted, the Greeks (and Romans) had no single word that corresponds exactly to the English word "rape." (6) Indeed, Edward Harris--considering Athenian historical and legal sources, but also poetic depictions of mythic rape--has argued repeatedly that, because there is no corresponding Greek word, critics should abandon the word "rape" when discussing Greek literature (2006, 305-306, 331; 1997, 483-484). He suggests that, because the ancients did not understand rape as a violation of a woman's physical integrity and personal subjectivity, it is anachronistic and misleading to foist modern terminology and ideology onto their literature. Similarly, Rosanna Omitowoju (2002), in a study of rape in Athenian forensic speeches and New Comedy, emphasizes that Athenian male citizens conceived of rape solely in terms of the consent of a woman's [phrase omitted], with little to no interest in the consent of the woman herself. (7) In her opinion, the modern concept represented by our English word "rape"--with its emphasis on the woman's choice and her right to make that choice-maps poorly onto the ancient view.

While acknowledging that Classical Athenian legal and historical documents present rape as a property crime against a man rather than a personal, physical assault against a woman, I follow Sharon lames (2014; cf. Gardner 2012), who argues that "to consider rape only from legal and social perspectives amounts to a double erasure of the experience of rape victims and--because those rape victims, after all, were also Athenians-leaves us with only a partial understanding of rape in Athens, and of Athenian attitudes towards rape" (2014, 35). lames exposes a gap between Greek authors' socio-legal definitions of rape and their acknowledgment of the visceral, physical reactions and suffering of victims, which she argues makes it "not merely reasonable, but necessary" to use the word "rape" in these contexts. (8)

In historical and legal contexts of the Classical period, the words [phrase omitted] (outrage) and [phrase omitted] (violence) are common, and prosecutions for rape would have occurred under the [phrase omitted] (public action for outrage) or the [phrase omitted] (private action for violence). (9) The word Pindar uses most frequently in his mythic rape narratives is [phrase omitted]. Cognate with the Latin rapio (source of the English "rape"), the verb means to "seize," "snatch," or "steal." When its object is a person, it often connotes rape, in the sense of "forcible abduction for sexual purposes." (10) Indeed, it is used in an exclusively sexual sense in the Theogony and the Homeric Hymns. (11) Forms of [phrase omitted] also appear in several rape narratives in Homer, including the rape of Marpessa by Apollo ([phrase omitted], Il. 9.564) and the rape of Cleitus by Eos ([phrase omitted], Od. 1 5.250-251). (12) In mythic, pre-political, and pre-civic contexts, [phrase omitted] is the preferred term for divine rape/abduction.

The violent connotations of [phrase omitted] are readily apparent. In Homer, the verb is used most often in animal similes where a warrior is compared to a predator snatching and devouring its prey (Il. 5.556, 12.305, 13.199. 17.62, 18.319, 22.310). In these instances, the comparisons are often especially bloody and brutal. For example, the two Aiantes are compared to lions seizing a goat (Il. 13.198-199) when they kill Imbrius and hurl his severed head into the crowd, while Menelaus slaying Euphorbus is compared to a lion who snatches a heifer, breaks her neck with his "mighty jaws" (Il. 17.63), and then "gulps down the blood and all the entrails, rending them" ([phrase omitted], Il. 17.64-65). The verb also appears in other contexts, where it connotes rapidity rather than force (Il. 12.445, 13.528, 16.814, 22.276; Od. 5.416, 10.48), but it should be noted that, in instances where only speed is implied, it is objects and not people that are seized. (13) When applied to persons, [phrase omitted] has strong connotations of force and predation. Its use in Pindar's tales of divine rape signifies violent, aggressive assault and transportation, undertaken for sexual purposes and without the consent of the victims.

II. The Loving Gifts of Cypris: Poseidon and Pelops

The description, in Olympian 1, of the relationship between Pelops and Poseidon is the first example ol a "peaceful" rape narrative in Pindar. According to the speaker, Pelops was not chopped, boiled, and eaten, but was abducted ([phrase omitted], Ol. 1.40) by Poseidon to serve as his [phrase omitted]. Poseidon's violence and aggression are clear: he descends on a "most orderly feast" ([phrase omitted], 37-38) and, "his wits overcome with desire" ([phrase omitted], 41), carries off the boy, whose disappearance causes much concern to his family (46). (14) The use of [phrase omitted], Poseidon's loss of self-control, and the family's fruitless search for Pelops, signify the god's use of force and confirm that the abduction was undertaken without consent.

Yet the narrator emphasizes that Poseidon "loved" Pelops: the verb [phrase omitted] (25) provides the transition from praise of Hieron to the mythological narrative, and [phrase omitted] remains, in Krummen's words (1990, 184), "das beherrschende Thema" of the Pelops story. Poseidon's [phrase omitted]; is characterized as a great boon to his victim, but Pelops's dismissal from heaven, and from his relationship with the god, is presented as a punishment to his family, a punishment that returns him to "the swift-fated race of men" ([phrase omitted]... [phrase omitted], 66). Moreover, Pelops retroactively endorses the rape and describes the relationship in positive terms when he approaches Poseidon to ask for his aid in marrying Hippodameia (71-85). In his prayer to the god, Pelops reminds him of the "loving gifts of Cypris" ([phrase omitted], 75) and calls upon the bonds of [phrase omitted], of gratitude and goodwill (75). As Ruth Scodel (1998, 138) writes of a similar passage in the Hecuba, the use of the word [phrase omitted] "requires a blurring of the distinction between rape and a consensual relationship." (13) Like Hecuba, Pelops blurs this distinction in order to obtain a favor from the rapist: his retroactive acquiescence to the rape enables him to characterize the relationship as one of voluntary exchange and thereby to impose an obligation on Poseidon.

In response, the god honors Pelops ([phrase omitted], 86b) and gives him a golden chariot and winged horses. (16) With these gifts, Pelops defeats Hippodameia's father, wins his bride, and eventually fathers six sons (88-95)." The speaker portrays him enjoying "splendid funeral sacrifices" ([phrase omitted], 90-91) and having a "much-visited tomb" ([phrase omitted], 93), suggesting that the benefits received from Poseidon's [phrase omitted] extend beyond death. Poseidon's violent seizure of the defenseless young man eventually wins Pelops victory, family, eternal fame, and, as the poet concludes, "sweet tranquility" ([phrase omitted], 98).

The speaker employs a mitigated tale of divine rape as an exemplum within the Pelops narrative to further downplay the violence of the abduction: he briefly compares Pelops to Ganymede, (18) who also came to Olympus "for the same service to Zeus" ([phrase omitted], 45). While all previous extant references to Ganymede use [phrase omitted] or similar words to describe Zeus's abduction of the boy, (19) in Pindar's version, Ganymede is the active subject of a neutral verb ([phrase omitted], 44). The evasive, ambiguous use of [phrase omitted] "service" or "duty," also bowdlerizes the sexual component of Ganymede's labor. The comparison thus promotes the Pindaric speaker's positive characterization of the initial erotic violence. This revisionism combines with the detailed description of Poseidon's rewards to Pelops and the vocabulary of [phrase omitted] and [phrase omitted] to obscure the troubling aspects of the abduction and portray divine rape as beneficial to the mortal victim.

III. Sweet Aphrodite: Apollo and Evadne

The speaker's program of downplaying sexual violence continues in Olympian 6, where the narrator traces the lineage of the victor to Iamos, the son of Apollo by Evadne. The narrative of Evadne's impregnation by Apollo, like that of Pelops's abduction by Poseidon, juxtaposes words connoting pleasure with words connoting rape: Evadne "in submission to Apollo, first touched sweet Aphrodite" ([phrase omitted], Ol. 6.35). In this line, the poet both implies rape through his use of [phrase omitted] with the dative (translated by Race as "in submission to"), rather than a genitive of agent, (20) but also indicates that it was a positive experience for Evadne. Like Ganymede in Olympian 1, she is the subject of an active verb ([phrase omitted]) and her experience is said to be "sweet" ([phrase omitted]). (21)

Further, Evadne's rape puts her at risk of violence from within her own family. (22) When her stepfather Aipytus discovers that she is pregnant, he experiences "unspeakable rage" ([phrase omitted], 37) and considers it an "unbearable disaster" ([phrase omitted], 38). Evadne is forced to give birth to her child in secret and out of doors, "under a dark thicket" ([phrase omitted], 40). (23) Yet the birth narrative also contains positive elements: Apollo shows concern for Evadne, sending "gentle counseling Eleithuia" and the Fates to aid her (42). With the help of Eleithuia. Evadne does not stiller in childbirth: her son is born "amid the lovely birth pains" ([phrase omitted], 43), an almost oxymoronic expression. Despite the ease of her experience, she is distressed ([phrase omitted], 44) and abandons her child on the ground, where he survives with the aid of the gods (45-47). (24) As Jacob Stern (1970, 334) puts it, "the tone constantly wavers" and there is "a hint of ominous darkness" in the wrath of the father-figure and the suffering of the voting girl. (25) Yet the speaker strives to mitigate the negative side of Evadne's experience through the use of positive words, such as [phrase omitted] and [phrase omitted], and the emphasis on Apollo's care and concern.

The uncertainty about Evadne's fate is ultimately resolved, again with the help of Apollo. Rather than immediately persecuting his stepdaughter and her son, Aipytus goes to Delphi for advice and returns reassured that the child is semi-divine (36-38, 47-51). This outcome eliminates the possibility of generational strife and allows a happy ending for Evadne and her child. The happy ending is, again, owed to Apollo, whose oracle sooths Aipytus's anger. After the return of her stepfather, Evadne herself vanishes from the narrative, which jumps from Iamus's infancy to his adolescence, when he approaches the gods to ask for "an office beneficial to the people" ([phrase omitted], 60). Apollo responds "readily" ([phrase omitted], 61) and grants his son the power of prophecy and the position of oracle at Olympus. (26) The disappearance of Evadne and the focus on the "much-renowned" ([phrase omitted], 71) future of Iamus and his descendants further mitigate the initial rape and the victim's fear and distress.

This practice of consoling a rape victim with prophecies of her child's future glory dates back to the Odyssey, where Poseidon admonishes Tyro to "be glad in our lovemaking" ([phrase omitted], Od. 1 1.248) for, in due course, "you will bear glorious children" ([phrase omitted], Od. 1 1.249). Yet in Pindar, the victim herself is not reassured; rather, the consolation is directed to the readers, while the victim and her perspective are erased. This motif will be apparent in Pindar's other stories of divine rape, which portray rape-abduction as a means of dynastic security and city foundation. In the following narratives, rape sets the stage for a glorious future in the form of a divine child and/or a new city, the heritage of Pindar's victors. Yet the women who will bear these children disappear from the narrative as soon as they are raped; they are not consoled by their children, but are replaced by them.

IV. Rape, Abduction, and City Foundation: Protogeneia, Aegina, Cyrene

The mythical narrative of Olympian 9 tells the story of the founding of the city Opous by means of rape. According to Pindar, Opous was established with the help of Zeus, who abducted ([phrase omitted], 58) Protogeneia and. having impregnated her, gave her in marriage to the childless king Locrus (59-61). The use of a form of [phrase omitted] again indicates rape, but it is immediately mitigated by the adjective [phrase omitted]: "having raped her, peacefully he lay with her" ([phrase omitted], 58-59). The juxtaposition of [phrase omitted] and [phrase omitted]; is, again, oxymoronic, and the adjective immediately following softens the harshness of the participle, as does the provocative enjambment of the main verb.

The rape of Protogeneia is quickly elided by the production of an heir for the childless Locrus. Andrew Miller (1993, 135) has remarked on the swift pace of the narrative: no sooner is Protogeneia pregnant (61) than "the hero rejoiced to see his adopted son" ([phrase omitted], 62). The birth of this child is a cause for celebration and the infant immediately becomes "a man indescribable in his beauty and accomplishments" ([phrase omitted], 65-66). According to Miller (1993, 135), this hasty development "suggests an element of the miraculous in Opous's manly excellence," but it also, as with Evadne, deflects attention from the experience of the raped Protogeneia to the happy outcome of her pregnancy. The emphasis on Locrus's joy and the remarkable character of his stepson reinforce Zeus's generosity in averting "a childless fate" ([phrase omitted], 60-61). As with Poseidon/Pelops and Apollo/Evadne, the narrator portrays divine rape as a source of divine benefits, but in this case they accrue not to the victim but to the male who acquires the rights to her sexuality and fertility.

Indeed, Protogeneia disappears from the narrative as soon as her pregnancy is established. The narrator omits her reaction not only to the initial rape, but to being passed from one unknown man to another. Of course, Protogeneia's consent is not required in marriage, which is an arrangement transacted between men. Yet the Greeks were well aware that women might be frightened and distressed by the jarring displacement of marriage, (27) and Protogeneia has experienced an unusually abrupt and alarming relocation, having been forcibly abducted from her home and transported to Arcadia by a strange god, then handed over by him to a strange man. In fact, the reality of the situation is that Protogeneia has been trafficked: she is kidnapped, transported, sexually exploited by one man, and handed over to another for further exploitation of her sexuality and fertility. The narrator effaces this sequence of events by focusing on Locrus's joy and Opous's positive qualities, and some commentators have viewed the outcome as positive for Protogeneia as well; as Emily Kearns (2013, 58) puts it, "a considerate Zeus" has made "decent provision" for his victim. (28) Yet the narrator has not framed Zeus's actions in terms of any consideration for Protogeneia; rather, he presents the transaction as a boon to Locrus (Ol. 9.59-62). (29) Kearns's description of Zeus therefore requires attributing to the character a motive not found in the text. In fact, Zeus's behavior is directed toward gratifying himself and Locrus, whereas Protogeneia's interests and wishes are not considered.

The story of Aegina follows the same basic pattern of the story of Protogeneia, but the Pindaric speaker mitigates divine rape through the use of euphemism and circumlocution (Isthm. 8; Nem. 7.50, 8.6-8; cf. Pae. 6.134-137). The longest version of this narrative occurs in Isthmian 8, which describes Zeus's rape of two daughters of the river god Asopus. Thebe he settles ([phrase omitted], Isthm. 8.20) beside Dirce, but Aegina he carries off ([phrase omitted], 21) to the island Oenopia and there sleeps with her ([phrase omitted], 21). The use of [phrase omitted] to describe the abduction affords a more neutral alternative to the forms of [phrase omitted] seen in other rape narratives, much as the use of [phrase omitted] to describe Ganymede's "service" to Zeus at Olympian 1.44 obscures the violence found in the more common use of [phrase omitted]. (30) In fact, other versions of the story of Aegina are analogous to the traditional story of Ganymede: she, too, is snatched by Zeus in his form as an eagle. (31) Thus the use of [phrase omitted], rather than a more explicit word of rape, again downplays the inherent sexual violence of the tale. A similar revisionism also occurs in the very brief narrative of Zeus and Aegina found in Nemean 8, where the rape is euphemistically summarized as "the shepherds of Cypris's gifts" ([phrase omitted], 6-7). This formulation recalls the expression used by Pelops in Olympian 1 ([phrase omitted], Ol. 1.75) and, again, implies that the relationship is mutual.

The poet also omits details of the rape that would cast Zeus's actions in a negative light. Other sources present a more explicitly pessimistic version of the tale, in which the rape is characterized as a crime against Aegina's father, Asopus. For example, Corinna (frag. 654.iii. 12-51 PMG) recounts a version in which Zeus and several other gods invade Asopus's house "in secret" ([phrase omitted], 9) and abduct ([phrase omitted], 10) all nine of his daughters in a "planned and collective act of rape" (Larmour 2005, 42). Later versions relate that Asopus pursued his daughter's rapist and Zeus chased him off with his thunderbolts (Apollodorus, Bibl. 3.12.6, cf. Statius, Theb. 7.315-325; Nonnus, Dion. 7.180-183). The rape is also presented as the cause of Zeus's anger against Sisyphus, who revealed the identity of his daughter's abductor to Asopus (Pherecydes 3F119; cf. Apollodorus, Bibl. 1.85, 3.12.6; Pausanias 2.5.1; Hyginus, Fab. 38). These other versions of the myth depict Zeus interfering in, and even punishing, a father's natural response to his daughter's abduction and rape. In addition to Asopus's emotional investment in his daughter's wellbeing, he has the right and responsibility to control and dispose of her sexuality as he wishes and to punish those who damage it. (32) Zeus's attack on Asopus is therefore an attack on a father's legitimate rights as his daughter's [phrase omitted] and is contrary to both law and custom. His actions are subject to the same kind of condemnation leveled by Ion against Apollo: "How then is it just that you gods write the laws for mortals, but are yourselves guilty of lawlessness?" (Euripides, Ion 442-443). While some of these versions may not have been available to Pindar, their presence in contemporary and later accounts demonstrates that the story of Aegina is open to a very different coloring than Pindar gives it, or any of his stories of divine rape. In this case, the Pindaric speaker does not explicitly deny the alternate mythological version, as he does in Olympian 1, but suppresses details that would reflect poorly on the divine protagonist. (33)

The violence of the rape is also mitigated by the narrative trajectory of the poem, which again passes swiftly over the abduction in order to focus on the glory of Aegina's offspring. The rape is expressed in only two words ([phrase omitted], Isthm. 8.21), and the speaker then turns immediately to the birth of Aeacus, which he announces in the same line ([phrase omitted], 21). The child is described as the "dearest of mortals" ([phrase omitted], 22-23) to Zeus and a man "who settles disputes even for the gods" ([phrase omitted], 23-24). The focus is, as in the story of Protogeneia, on the divine child and his positive qualities. The narrative continues with Aeacus's "godlike sons" ([phrase omitted], 24-25) Peleus and Telamon, and the awarding of Thetis to Peleus as "the most pious man" ([phrase omitted], 40) in Iolcos. The speaker again deflects attention from the initial abduction to portray the positive outcomes of divine rape: the origin of a heroic race that will eventually give rise to the victor Hagesias.

The most extensive narrative of divine rape and transportation occurs in Pythian 9, which tells of Apollo's abduction and impregnation of Cyrene. This has been called "the most romantic of Pindar's odes" (Woodbury 1972, 561) but it is, again, a story of rape, as can be seen in the first strophe, when Apollo "snatches" ([phrase omitted], Pyth. 9.6) Cyrene and carries her off to Libya. Critics have often overlooked the violent connotations of [phrase omitted]) in this case, tending instead to describe the ode as "romantic" and "charming." (34) For example, Leonard Woodbury (1972, 565) argues that [phrase omitted] refers only to Cyrene's "forcible abduction," concluding "it has nothing to say about sexual assault." (35) Yet it is difficult to understand how it is possible to "forcibly abduct" a woman for sexual purposes without sexually assaulting her. Adolf Kohnken (1985, 82-83) argues that [phrase omitted] here suggests swiftness rather than violence, "ebenso wie bei Homer" (83). Yet, as discussed above, Homer frequently uses [phrase omitted]) in the context of violence and often in the context of rape, and in instances where speed rather than violence is implied, it is objects rather than people that are seized. Kearns (2013, 59) also elides the violence of Apollo's actions when she compares the god to a fairytale prince sweeping a princess off her feet and whisking her away. Such treatments neglect the conflation of rape and abduction characteristic of Pindar's use of [phrase omitted], and substitute an anachronistic picture of fairytale romance for the violence of sexually-motivated abduction.

The violence of Apollo's action is suggested not only by the verb [phrase omitted], but by the entire structure of the initial description of Cyrene's rape. As Carol Dougherty (1993, 141) points out, the word order parallels the introduction to the rape of Persephone in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter: in both cases, the feminine pronoun and a form of [phrase omitted] are both placed emphatically at the beginning of successive lines ([phrase omitted], Pyth. 9.5-6; [phrase omitted], Hymn. Horn. Cer. 3-4). Dougherty therefore suggests that the Cyrene narrative should be read in terms of the rape of Persephone, the archetypal story of "marriage by rape" in Greek myth (1993, 141), a reading that acknowledges Cyrene's reluctance. (36) Yet Pindar mitigates the rape by turning immediately to the benefits that Cyrene receives from Apollo: he "made her mistress of a land rich in flocks and exceedingly fruitful" ([phrase omitted], Pyth. 9.6a-7). (37) The poet also suggests a reciprocal relationship by introducing Aphrodite, who is portrayed welcoming Cyrene to Libya and presiding over her sexual initiation:
[phrase omitted]. (Pyth. 9.9-12)

Silver-footed Aphrodite welcomed
her Delian guest, touching
with a light hand the god-made chariot,
and cast lovely reverence over their sweet bed.


The speaker uses positive adjectives--[phrase omitted] and [phrase omitted], echoing the narrative of Evadne--to portray Apollo's actions in a positive light and soften the violence implicit in [phrase omitted].

The speaker then backtracks to tell the history of Apollo's infatuation with the nymph. Significantly, Cyrene's characterization in this passage strongly suggests that she would not be receptive to Apollo's sexual advances. The introduction to the poem describes her as a "virgin huntress" ([phrase omitted], Pyth. 9.6), a formulation that evokes Artemis, elsewhere called [phrase omitted] (Il. 21.471; Bacchylides 5.123, 1 1.37). (38) This correspondence is continued in the narrative of Apollo's first encounter with Cyrene. According to the speaker, she rejects traditional women's activities, such as weaving or dining with friends (Pyth. 9.18-19), and prefers fighting and hunting (20-22). Her "sweet bedfellow" ([phrase omitted], 23) at this point is sleep itself--she has, it is implied, no interest in men. Cyrene therefore emerges as a parallel for numerous mythic women who, like Artemis (and often as companions of Artemis), prefer virginity and the hunt to marriage and traditional female pursuits. Many of these nymphs, such as Daphne, (39) Callisto, and Arethusa, are pursued and raped by lustful gods, and some of them are so opposed to the loss of their virginity that they prefer to lose their humanity in metamorphosis rather than submit to rape. The parallels between Cyrene and other mythic rape victims hint that she would not have welcomed Apollo's sexual interest--hence his use of rape-abduction.

In the narrative of Apollo's first encounter with Cyrene, he happens upon her battling a lion single-handedly and is so impressed that he summons the centaur Chiron to ask for information and advice:
[phrase omitted]; (Pyth. 9.33-37)

"What man bore her? From what stock was she torn,
who dwells in the hollows of the shady mountains
and makes trial of her boundless valor?
Is it lawful to lay my glorious hand upon her,
and to reap the honey-sweet grass from her bed?"


Some commentators prefer to read this exchange in a humorous light, yet, as others have noticed, Apollo's language here is aggressive and even violent. (40) The verb [phrase omitted], particularly with [phrase omitted] (thus, "lay hands on"), may have connotations of force and is often used to mean "attack." (41) Moreover, the question "From what stock was she torn" ([phrase omitted]) and the description of defloration as reaping grass ([phrase omitted]) introduce graphic agricultural imagery that envisions Cyrene's body as the land itself, in need of male cultivation. (42) The verb [phrase omitted] is particularly aggressive: it is often used to mean "plunder" or "ravage." (43) The contrast between the ceremonious question "Is it lawful?" ([phrase omitted], Pyth. 9.36) and the completing infinitives is jarring. Finally, as Dougherty (1993; cf. 1998, 270-271) has noted, this rape narrative also functions as a colonization narrative, in which the transfer of the Greek nvmph to Libya represents the Greek founding of the colony of Cyrene. The aggressive agricultural language not only indicates the violence of Cyrene's rape but "evokes the violence of colonization as well--violence to the landscape and to the native populations" (Dougherty 1993, 144). (44)

The violence of both rape and colonization, however, is whitewashed in Pindar's narrative. The image of Aphrodite welcoming Apollo and Cyrene mitigates the violence of the initial abduction, as does Chiron's response to Apollo's questions. (45) The centaur replaces the more aggressive form of [phrase omitted]) used by the narrator at 9.6 with a form of [phrase omitted], saying, "You will carry her over the sea" ([phrase omitted], 52-53; cf. [phrase omitted], 10). This substitution parallels the speaker's use of [phrase omitted], rather than a more explicit word of rape, in the story of Aegina (Isthm. 8.21). (46) Likewise, Chiron describes the rape of Cyrene using the language of marriage: he evokes the power of [phrase omitted] or "Persuasion" (Pyth. 9.39), and tells Apollo that he will be Cyrene's husband ([phrase omitted], 51) and she his bride ([phrase omitted], 56). (47) Chiron continues with a description of Libya welcoming Cyrene kindly ([phrase omitted], 56-56a) and giving her the land as a "lawful possession" ([phrase omitted], 57). (48) As Dougherty (1993, 145) points out, Chiron's language elides the violence of Apollo's initial question, portraying rape as marriage and colonization as a legitimate gift from the personified land itself.

Chiron's language of marriage is also used elsewhere by the speaker, who describes the relationship as "a mutual marriage" ([phrase omitted], 13) and "the sweet fulfillment of marriage" ([phrase omitted], 66). (49) These repeated references to marriage are striking, but there is no indication that Apollo plans to set up housekeeping with Cyrene. (50) Rather, the use of words indicating marriage and the positive adjectives applied to them ([phrase omitted]) portray the relationship as reciprocal and deflect attention away from the fact that it is accomplished by rape. Likewise, Chiron concludes his prophecy with a description of Aristaeus, the son Cyrene will bear Apollo. He will be immortalized by the Horae and Gaia (59-63) and he will be "a joy to men he holds dear, an everpresent guardian of the flocks" ([phrase omitted], 64-64a). Chiron, like the speaker of the narratives of Aegina and Protogeneia, directs attention to the positive result of the rape by describing the beneficial qualities of its offspring, whose very name means "best."

V. Heavy Suffering: Apollo and Coronis

In conclusion, I turn to Pythian 3, a narrative with a very different outcome: the story of the "lawless deceit" ([phrase omitted], 32) and death of Apollo's beloved, Coronis. Unlike Pindar's other mortal beloveds, Coronis does not receive supernatural favors from a god, but is instead destroyed "with heavy suffering" ([phrase omitted], 42). The reason for this difference is made explicit by the narrator: Coronis, unlike the rape victims discussed above, did not submit to divine ownership of her body, but attempted to control her own sexuality and pursue a relationship of her own choice. In the narrator's words, she preferred "another marriage" ([phrase omitted], 13) and slept with an Arcadian while pregnant with the "pure seed" ([phrase omitted], 15) of Apollo. The narrative of Coronis serves as a cautionary tale, in contrast to the poet's other tales of mortal/immortal sexual relationships: it legitimizes the gods' sexual ownership of their victims, and delegitimizes Coronis's attempt at self-determination by overtly presenting her punishment as justified.

The speaker endorses this divine perspective through moralizing, condemnatory language: Coronis "slighted" ([phrase omitted], 12) Apollo "in the error of her mind" ([phrase omitted], 13). The description of her relationship with Ischys as "another marriage" casts her as an unfaithful wife and Apollo as a wronged husband, although, as with Cyrene, the two have no formal relationship? (1) On the other hand, the speaker emphasizes that Coronis was not legitimately married to her mortal lover, saying "she did not wait" ([phrase omitted], 16) for the marriage celebration, but preempted a lawful relationship with sex and undertook the affair without her father's knowledge ([phrase omitted], 13). (52) These details paint Coronis as deceitful, lustful, and sexually transgressive, a portrait that reflects common male anxieties about women and validates Apollo's vengeance. (53) The narrative of Coronis reveals the brutality implicit in Pindar's tales of divine rape: sexual possession by the gods is not offered to mortals as a choice, and those who attempt to resist it will be punished.

Coronis is struck down before she can give birth to her son "with the help of mother-tending Eleithuia" ([phrase omitted], 9). The reference to Eleithuia evokes Apollo's benevolence in sending her to Evadne in Olympian 6, but here he sends his sister instead ([phrase omitted], 32) in order to punish both Coronis and her innocent neighbors (32-37). While the earlier part of the narrative had painted Coronis in the worst possible light, the story of her death emphasizes Apollo's positive qualities. (54) Indeed, it is significant that here again, as in the narratives of Pelops and Aegina, Pindar has altered the received version of the story. According to the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women (fr. 60 M-W), Apollo was informed of Coronis's infidelity by a raven, and it was for this tattling that the raven was turned black. In Pindar's version, however, Apollo becomes aware of Coronis's misdeed through his own prophetic powers:
[phrase omitted]. (Pyth. 3.27-30)

Nor did she elude the watcher, but even in sheep-receiving Pytho, the
lord of the temple,
Loxias, happened to perceive it, persuading himself by means of his
truest companion:
his all-knowing mind. He does not take part in falsehoods, and neither
god
nor mortal deceives him in deeds or in thoughts.


David Young (1968, 38) argues that Pindar omits the etiological myth because it is an unnecessary digression from the main narrative. Yet the repeated references to Apollo's omniscience indicate that the poet also intends to praise the god, and suggest that the speaker has deliberately altered the myth to erase the somewhat farcical version in which Apollo appears as a typical cuckold, always the last to know. (55) Pindar's version of the tale of Coronis has, like the story of Pelops, been edited to eliminate any flaw in divine omniscience. The conclusion again portrays Apollo in a positive light as he mercifully intervenes to rescue his child from the mother's corpse, declaring "I will no longer endure in my soul to destroy my own stock by a most piteous death" ([phrase omitted], 40-42).

Coronis thus provides a counterexample for the mortal beloveds described elsewhere in Pindar's Odes. Protogeneia, Evadne, Aegina, and Cyrene suffer the gods' sexual exploitation passively, and Pelops even endorses it after the fact. In return for their submission, they often receive significant benefits, and their children become heroes and demigods, the ancestors of Pindar's laudandi. The contrast with Coronis is made explicit in a moralizing interjection:
[phrase omitted]. (Pyth. 3.21-23)

There is a most worthless tribe among men
who dishonor what is at hand and gaze at what is far off,
chasing idle things with unfulfilled hopes.


Coronis's crime is that she is not satisfied with what she has, with the advantages of being the beloved of a god. Instead, she attempts to assert her own will and make her own sexual choices. The comparison with, for example, Protogeneia--passively submitting to marriage with the man Zeus has chosen for her--is striking. Unlike the other mortals who receive divine favor in compensation for divine rape, Coronis resists sexual ownership by Apollo and therefore suffers and dies, while also causing suffering and death to those around her.

Read in this light, it is significant that Pindar's story of Coronis includes no details on the origin of her relationship with Apollo. Was she, like Cyrene and Evadne, a victim of Apolline rape? (56) While leaving this possibility open, the narrator includes several verbs connoting rape in Coronis's story, employing the broad semantic range of these words in the context of death rather than sex. For example, forms of [phrase omitted] (overpower) are used twice to describe Coronis's death (Pyth. 3.9, 3.35). As Evanthia Tsitsibakou-Vasalos points out (2010, 32), the speaker exploits the semantic ambiguity of this verb, which is used of breaking or taming animals, of violent death, and of sexual submission. (57) The first instance is especially suggestive: according to the speaker, Coronis was overpowered by Artemis ([phrase omitted], Pyth. 3.9-10) in her bedchamber ([phrase omitted], 11). The detail that she was struck down in her bedchamber underscores the sexual connotations of the verb: as she was once sexually overpowered in her bedroom by Apollo, so she is now killed in it by his proxy. (58) The narrator also uses a form of [phrase omitted] (ruin or destroy) in his account of the death of Coronis's neighbors ([phrase omitted], 36); this verb is often used of the sexual ruination of a woman, whether by rape or seduction. (59) Finally, Apollo's rescue of Asclepius from the pyre is denoted by a form of [phrase omitted] (Pyth. 3.44). Coronis's attempt to exert control over her own sexuality, her defiance of Apollo's sexual ownership, leads to death and a disaster that is presented in markedly sexual terms. (60) Apollo's sexual dominance of Coronis extends into his murder of her and her neighbors, as is demonstrated by the collocation of words signifying both death and rape.

The speaker's moralizing in Pythian 3 makes explicit a message implicit in other Pindaric mythological narratives: that divine behavior is above reproach, that, as Mary Lefkowitz (1976, 145) puts it, "wrong-doing, ignorance, and deception remain the exclusive characteristics of mortal men." This message helps to clarify numerous instances in which tales of divine rape are mitigated by overwhelmingly positive adjectives, including [phrase omitted] (Ol. 1.75), [phrase omitted] (Ol. 6.35; Pyth. 9.12), [phrase omitted] (Ol. 6.43), [phrase omitted] (Ol. 9.58), [phrase omitted]Q (Pyth. 9.13), and [phrase omitted] {Pyth. 9.66). The rapes themselves are also recast as "gifts" ([phrase omitted], Ol. 1.75; Nem 8.7) and even as marriages (Pyth. 9.13, 66; cf. 9.51, 55). Pindar's victims do not resist, protest, or attempt to flee divine rape--rather, they are constructed as, if not willing, at least submissive. The narrator insists that divine rapes are positive experiences, and he does so by programmatically effacing the horrors of rape through euphemizing, omitting key details, and excluding the perspective of the victims.

The poet thus participates in a longstanding practice of normalizing sexual violence by effacing or eliding the suffering of its victims. (61) In fact, their experience is virtually erased: with the exception of Pelops, the only male, none of Pindar's rape victims speaks in the text; the women who are raped are silenced. In his emphasis on the benevolence of the gods and the glorious ancestry of the victors, the speaker whitewashes the brutality of divine rape. Yet traces of that brutality remain: the poet's program of downplaying and euphemizing the violence inherent in tales of divine rape indicates his awareness that such actions by the gods are at best morally dubious. For all that Pindar tries to obscure the human tragedy of rape--that the victims have been violated, that some have been separated from their families, that their lives are forever changed--he ultimately fails. The violence, to paraphrase Nancy Rabinowitz (2011, 17), is both obscured and exposed in the text: the poet has attempted to erase it, but the erasure marks remain. (62)

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Notes

(1.) The identity of the Pindaric ego has been the subject of much recent attention. I am concerned here with literary rather than historical/performative issues and I rely on the work of Miller (1993, 22) and others in establishing a distinction between the persona "Pindar," the narrator/speaker of the poems, and the historical poet Pindar who presents the speaker. Generally, I refer here to the persona "Pindar" (usually called "the speaker" or "the narrator").

(2.) See, e.g., Norwood 1945; Thummer 1957; Bowra 1964; Huxley 1978; Walsh 1984; Race 1986 and 1990, 85-140; Mackie 2003; Boeke 2007; Baxter 2012. Bundy (1962), on the other hand, argues that the religious elements of the poems must be understood only in terms of the poet's obligation to eulogize the victor, claiming that the environment of the poems is "hostile to personal, religious, political, philosophical and historical references that might interest the poet but do nothing to enhance the glory of a given patron" (35). Critics have noted that Bundy's approach virtually ignores the mythological narratives (see, e.g., Rose 1974, 145-155; Cingano 1979, 169-182; Segal 1986, 4; Krummen 1990, 20-1), despite their prominence in the text; many comprise well over fifty percent of the poems in which they are embedded.

(3.) Tantalus: Ol. 1.54-158; Typhos: Ol. 4.7, Pyth. 1.13-28, Pyth. 8.16; Ixion: Pyth. 2.21-41; Asclepius: Pyth. 3.47-58; Bellerophon: Ol. 13.60-93, Isthm. 7.44-8.

(4.) Since Pindar is the earliest extant source for the myth of Pelops, the identity of these [phrase omitted] is unclear. The story of the butchering of Pelops is told in the scholia to Olympian 1 as well as the scholia ad Lycoph. 149-152; Hyginus, Fab. 83; Vergil, G. 3.7; Ovid, Met. 6.404; Lucian, De salt. 54 and Pausanias 5.13.4; the story is referenced in numerous other sources.

(5.) The text of Pindar is Race 1997. All translations are my own.

(6.) E.g., Cole 1984, 98; Scafuro 1990, 128; Omitowoju 2002, 18; Harris 2004, 41-43; A. Cohen 2010, 229; Rabinowitz 2011, 6; Gardner 2012, 121; Glazebrook 2015, 82.

(7.) Scafuro (1990, 133) makes a similar point about tragedy: "The authors of many accounts of these myths had little interest in specifying the nature of the union from the girl's point of view--whether she desired it or whether she was raped appears to have made little difference."

(8.) Sommerstein (2006, 245 note 6), A. Cohen (2010, 229), Rabinowitz (201 1, 16-18), and Glazebrook (2015, 83) also endorse the use of the word "rape" in Classical scholarship. Rozee (1993), in a broad, cross-cultural survey of rape, argues forcefully against the ethnographic tendency to normalize institutionalized or culturally acceptable practices of rape in other societies, concluding that "although it is important to accurately and respectfully record life in other cultures, it is also important not to embrace androcentrism to avoid ethnocentrism" (512). As she points out, while a rape may be acceptable, legal, or even praiseworthy according to a society's cultural norms, this does not mean that the victim did not perceive it as a violation, and her perspective is no less valid.

(9.) See MacDowell 1976, Cole 1984, Cohen 1991, Omitowoju 2002, Harris 2004; however, no direct evidence of prosecutions for rape under any of these laws survives. The broad semantic ranges of [phrase omitted] and [phrase omitted] cover numerous offenses in addition to sexual violence.

(10.) I owe this phrasing to Sowa 1984, 122; cf. DeBloois 1997, 246-247.

(11.) In the Theogony: of Persephone (914); in the Homeric Hymns: of Persephone (2.3, 2.19, 2.56, 2.404, 2.414), of Aphrodite in her story to Anchises (5.117,5.121), of Ganymede (5.293), and of Tithonus (5.218).

(12.) The verb [phrase omitted] is also used by Paris to describe his seizure of Helen ([phrase omitted], Il. 3.444), which may or may not have been a violent abduction. Similarly, it occurs repeatedly in the prologue of Herodotus's Histories to describe a series of mythic rapes and counter-rapes that are portrayed as the origins of Greco-Persian hostility (Io, 1.1.4; Europa, 1.2.1; Medea, 1.2.2; Helen, 1.3.1). Cole (1984, 98 note 9) argues that Herodotus uses [phrase omitted] without a sexual connotation, claiming that his examples "do not refer to sexual assault, but to robbery, plundering, and abduction" and additional language of [phrase omitted] is needed to establish rape. Yet Herodotus uses [phrase omitted] for the rape/abduction of Athenian women by Pelasgians intent on vengeance against Athens ([phrase omitted] 6.138.1); here the violence of the action is clear without additional language of [phrase omitted]. The sexual connotation of [phrase omitted] is made clear by the Persians' alternate version of the abduction of Io in which she was not raped ([phrase omitted]) but instead came willingly ([phrase omitted], Herodotus 1.5.2) because she was pregnant by a Phoenician. The Persians, thus, assume that sex occurred, but draw a distinction between a version in which lo was raped and a version in which she consented.

(13.) Omitowoju (2002, 18) makes a similar point about [phrase omitted]: of themselves, these words are not necessarily sexual, but when their object is a woman or a child, they generally mean rape. Similarly, while [phrase omitted] denotes violence, it does not explicitly denote sexual violence. This desexualization of rape, and the focus on the forcible abduction that precedes the forcible penetration of rape, is eerily similar to the descriptions of the rape/abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls by the terrorist organization Boko Haram in April of 2014. While the media consistently referred to the attack with words like "abduction" or "kidnapping," it has long been clear that the girls were raped and forced into marriage against their will. See the Human Rights Watch 2014 report on the Chibok abduction (http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/nigeria1014web.pdf, especially pp. 25-36) and related commentary, e.g., Alter 2014, Heaton 2014, Farge and Whiting 2015, McCoy 2015, Nossiter 2015.

(14.) On Poseidon's violence here, see Segal 1964, 213.

(15.) Euripides, Hec. 824-835. In this passage, Hecuba asks Agamemnon to avenge the death of Polydorus: "What [phrase omitted], will my child receive for her most loving embraces in the bed?" ([phrase omitted]; Hec. 829-830). As Scodel (1998, 137-138) notes, many critics have been disturbed by Hecuba's conflation of marriage and rape in these lines but, as Scodel points out, Hecuba is exploiting the only resource she has left: her daughter's sexual value (144 and 146). One of the anonymous reviewers writes that [phrase omitted] is often used of pederastic relationships to express the submission of the [phrase omitted] to the [phrase omitted] (Dover 1978, 44-45, 83; cf. Davidson 2007, 37-75); this observation is particularly appropriate here. [phrase omitted], and related verb forms are also, of course, used of heterosexual relationships, as in the Hecuba passage quoted above.

(16.) Segal (1964, 213; cf. Krummer 2014, 222) points out that these horses recall the golden horses with which Poseidon abducted Pelops (Ol. 1.40), yet here they are a gift, a sign of the god's affection and [phrase omitted]. On Poseidon's gifts as part of an established convention in homoerotic relationships, see Cairns 1977, 129-130; cf. Krummer 2014, 228.

(17.) As Kurke (1991, 117 with note 67) points out, Pindar here again suppresses an alternate (and unflattering) mythical tradition. In other versions, Pelops won by murder and treachery (Pausanias 5.1.7, 6.20.17, 8.14.10-12; Apollodorus, Epit. 2.69).

(18.) Kakridis (1930, 463-477) has shown that Pindar extensively modeled Pelops's abduction on the story of Ganymede found in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite. Griffith (1989, 171-173) has also shown that there are links with the story of the rape of Persephone narrated in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter.

(19.) Hymn. Hom. Ven. 203: [phrase omitted] and 208: [phrase omitted]; Il. 20.232: [phrase omitted]; Theognis, fr. 1.1347: [phrase omitted].

(20.) Cf. Isthm. 8.44-45 of Peleus and Thetis: [phrase omitted].

(21.) Cf. Felson 2009, 157.

(22.) This is an outcome that other victims of divine rape experience, particularly in tragedv (e.g., Danae, Auge, Alope, Melanippe, Leucothea, and Perimele). In this story pattern, described by Burkert (1979, 6-7) as the "girl's tragedy," young girls are raped by gods and then face punishment and sometimes death when their fathers discover it. On the "girl's tragedy" story pattern in Greek tragedy, see Scafuro 1990.

(23.) Evadne's story follows that of her mother Pitana, who is also impregnated by a god (Poseidon) and must conceal her "maiden pregnancy" ([phrase omitted], Ol. 6.31) and give birth in secret.

(24.) Pace Felson-Rubin 1980, 82 and Carne-Ross 1976, who view the birth narrative as wholly positive.

(25.) Cf. Finley 1966, 113-114. The scholiasts were also aware of the shifting tone of this passage (76b).

(26.) As Kakridis (1928, 426-429) has noted, there are significant parallels between the Iamos-Apollo encounter in Olympian 6 and the Pelops-Poseidon encounter in Olympian I; cf. Carne-Ross 1976, 19 and Kirkwood 1982, 90.

(27.) As shown, for example, by the distress of both mother and daughter in the Hymn to Demeter. Sourvinou-Inwood 1973, 12-20 and Foley 1994, 104-111; cf. DeBloois 1997. On the paradigmatic reluctance of the Greek bride and the conflation of rape and marriage, see Dougherty 1993, 64-65; cf. Sourvinou-Inwood 1987, 136-141; Jenkins 1983; Zeitlin 1986, 141-143; Seaford 1987; Stewart 1995; Rabinowitz 201 1, 17.

(28.) For a similar perspective on Zeus's actions here, see Lefkowitz 2007, 66.

(29.) In addition, by appropriating Protogeneia and handing her over to another man, Zeus has usurped the role that would properly belong to her father. On Zeus's interference with the rights of a father, see the discussion of Aegina above.

(30.) The verb [phrase omitted] is also used to describe Zeus's rape of Aegina in other sources: [phrase omitted] (Pausanias 2.5.1);[phrase omitted] (Apollodorus, Bibl. 3.12.6). Pindar himself uses a very similar word, [phrase omitted] (snatch up, carry off), at Pae. 6.136 (cf. Il. 20.234 of Ganymede).

(31.) Apollodorus, Bibl. 3.12.6; Hyginus, Fab. 52; Pausanias 2.29.2; Nonnus, Dion. 7.110, 7.210, 13.201, 13.212, 24.77. Ovid recounts an alternative version in which Zeus apparently raped Aegina in the form of fire (Asopida luserit ignis. Met. 6.113); this story is not found in any other extant source. The subject was also popular in art: the rape of Aegina has been identified on several vase paintings (cf. Kaempf-Dimitriadou 1979, 22-24) and, according to Pausanias (5.22.6), it was the subject of a statue group at Olympia.

(32.) In the Athenian civic context, the Draconian Law allowed (although it did not mandate) a father's murder of a man caught having intercourse with his daughter (Demosthenes 23.55; the law does not appear to distinguish between rape and consensual sex), while conviction for rape under the required that damages be paid to the victim's [phrase omitted] (usually her father or husband). Conviction for rape under the [phrase omitted] might entail a variety of punishments, including death. In any case, it is clear that rape of an unmarried girl was construed as an offense against her father; see, e.g., Porter 1986, 217; Sourvinou-Inwood 1987, 143-144; Harris 2004.

(33.) Cf. Larmour 2005, 42. This type of mythological revisionism may also occur in Pindar's tale of the Cerynian hind in Ol. 3 where the poet hints at the transformation of Taygete into a deer but omits the usual explanation for it: that Artemis transformed her companion in order to save her from rape by the pursuing Zeus (as detailed in the scholiast to Ol. 3; cf. Pausanias 3.18.10). See Robbins 1982, 302-303 and Kerenyi 1959, 120.

(34.) E.g., Burton 1962, 59; Carey 1981, ad loc; Instone 1996, 119; Grethlein 201 1, 402; cf. Floyd 1968, 183; Robbins 1978, 99; Kearns 2013, 59. These critics often point to the erotic focus of the poem, which includes three other narratives of sex and/or marriage, including a brief mention of the rape of Alcmene by Zeus (another example of mitigated rape: Zr|vl aiyEtoa, Pyth. 9.84), a longer tale of the bride-contest for a beautiful Cyrenaican (Pyth. 9.105-125), and the embedded tale of a similar contest for the Danaids (Pyth 9.1 1 1-116). On the erotic emphasis of the poem and the relationship between marriage and victory, see Woodbury 1972; Carson 1982; Kohnken 1985; Kurke 1991, 112-118; Dougherty 1993.

(35.) Similar suggestions are made by Robbins 1978, 103-104; Carey 1981, 76; Kirkwood 1982, 223; Giannini 1990, 55; Grethlein 201 1, 386.

(36.) Persephone's lack of consent is made absolutely clear in the Homeric Hymn: [phrase omitted] (19), [phrase omitted] (20), [phrase omitted] (27), [phrase omitted] (30), [phrase omitted] (68), [phrase omitted] (72), [phrase omitted] (81), [phrase omitted] (344, 432). On the other hand, the Pindaric speaker gives no hint of Cyrene's reaction to her kidnap.

(37.) As Kurke (1991, 112-1 13) notes, Apollo's favors to Cyrene are framed as a series of "carefully balanced" exchanges: from [phrase omitted] to [phrase omitted], from [phrase omitted] to [phrase omitted], from the windy hollows of Pelion to the "lovely and flourishing" Libya. As Kurke concludes, "In exchange for her virginity and for her former life, Apollo bestows on her as her bridal portion the territory of Kyrene" (113). It is unclear whether Cyrene would have accepted this exchange if she had been given a choice.

(38.) Cf. Carey 1981, 68 and Dougherty 1993, 142. On rape-marriage as the "taming" and acculturation of a wild female, see Sourvinou-Inwood 1987; cf. Dougherty 1993, 141-144.

(39.) In Pythian 9, Cyrene is portrayed as a granddaughter of Daphne's father Peneus (15), a relationship that reinforces the parallel between the two nymphs.

(40.) Critics who view the exchange as humorous include Burton (1962, 41), Gentili (1995, 235), and Hornblower (2014, 10), while Instone (1990, 41) suggests that "the astonished questions of Apollo... are what Pindar imagines must have gone through the minds of the women each time they saw the victorious Telesikrates." On the other hand, Winnington-Ingram (1969, 10) recognizes that violence is suggested, asking: "Is it right to do what? To go straight out on to the hillside and rape the girl. This is the clear suggestion..." Cf. Ruck and Matheson 1968, 211; Kohnken 1985, 82; Dougherty 1993, 143-146; Howie 2012, 36.

(41.) E.g., Herodotus 3.19.3, 3.138.3, 5.34.2, 5.101.3, 5.109.1, 5.109.3, 5.1 1 1.2, 5.111.4, 5.1 12.2, 6.101.1, 7.136.1, 7.172.3, 7.209.4, 9.49.2, 9.71.2, 9.108.1; Aeschylus, Cho. 76, 251; Euripides, Bacch. 343, Hipp. 282, Phoen. 488. The verb may be accompanied by a form of [phrase omitted] or [phrase omitted] to mean "apply force to" or may appear on its own to mean "ravage, attack." On the violence implied by [phrase omitted] in this passage, see Winnington-Ingram 1969, 10 and Kohnken 1985, 82.

(42.) Dougherty (1993, 143-146; cf. 1998, 270-272) discusses the "harshness" of the agricultural imagery as a metaphor for defloration, arguing that the violence of the metaphor should not be "glossed over or effaced through euphemism" (1993, 143; cf. Howie 2012, 36). On the frequent use of the "woman as furrow/field" metaphor in Greek literature, see duBois 1988, 39-85 and Dougherty 1993, 61-80. On Cyrene as both person and land, see Young 1968, 76; Felson-Rubin 1978, 358-359, 363-365; Athanassaki 2003, 99.

(43.) In the Homeric poems, this verb is used of the suitors' plundering of Odysseus's property (Od. 1.378 [= 2.143], 2.312, 18.143 [= 24.459], 22.369; cf. Od. 1 1.578) and also regularly refers to violence on the battlefield (Il. 10.456, 1 1.546, 11.548, 14.466). In Herodotus, [phrase omitted] very often describes ravaging or laving waste to territory (4.127.2, 5.63.4, 6.75.3, 6.99.2, 8.32.2, 8.65.1, 9.15.2). Aeschylus uses a similar metaphor to Pindar's in describing death in battle as Ares "shearing off the bloom" of youth ([phrase omitted], Supp. 666).

(44.) Cf. Calame 1990; T. Miller 1997, 152-165; and Athanassaki 2003, 93-114 on the colonization motif in Pythian 9.

(45.) As Felson (2009, 153) puts it, "Pindar manipulates the mythic narrative... both by foregrounding the god's transformation of Cyrene and by controlling who speaks about the god." Certainly Cyrene, like all of Pindar's female rape victims, has no opportunity to offer her own perspective.

(46.) Kohnken (1985, 93) suggests that the violence implied in Apollo's use of the phrase [phrase omitted] is reversed by the image of Aphrodite "touching with a light hand" ([phrase omitted], Pyth. 9.1 1) the chariot that transports Apollo and Cyrene to Libya.

(47.) On the importance of Peitho in marriage see Buxton 1982, 35; Redfield 1982, 198; Foley 1985, 85-86; Dougherty 1993, 144. Segal (1986, 168) argues that Chiron "averts a possible rape" and "deflects Apollo's hand... to gentler ways," to metis, as opposed to rape (cf. Burton 1962, 40 and Kohnken 1985, 82). Yet it is unclear what metis is employed in the abduction; there is no hint, for example, that the god persuaded Cyrene to come with him voluntarily.

(48.) See Carey 1981, 82 on the legalistic language of this passage, including [phrase omitted] (56), [phrase omitted] (57), and [phrase omitted] (57).

(49.) The language of marriage does not preclude rape: Euripides' Ion repeatedly refers to Apollo's rape of Creusa as a "marriage by force" (10-11, 437, 445). Euripides' Trojan War plays also use the language of both marriage and rape to describe the fate of female war captives (Scodel 1998 and Rabinowitz 2011, 13-16). As Rabinowitz (2011, 17) points out, the incongruity in this language is significant: "It points to a similarity between normal marriage and rape, and the lack of women's choice in general." On the language of marriage used in Pythian 9 and the Ion, see Kearns 2013, who views Apollo's characterization in Pythian 9 as "emphatically positive" (59).

(50.) Cf. Kearns 2013, 59; Carey 1991, 69-70; Grethlein 2011, 397; Athanassaki 2003, 99.

(51.) Cf. Park 2009, 96-97 note 164: "Of course Apollo, as a god, never formally marries Koronis, but the possessive authority he exercises over her represents the closest approximation to marriage that can occur between a god and a mortal."

(52.) Pindar has again altered the earlier version of this myth as it appeared in the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women, where Coronis did indeed marry Ischys. The poet has reversed the emphasis of the Ehoiai, which stresses Ischys's culpability bv making him the subject of an active verb: "[phrase omitted] (fr. 60 M-W). As Park (2009, 97) puts it, the Pindaric speaker "plays down [Ischys's] agency in the affair" in order to transfer blame to Coronis. The betrayal of her father is especially striking given that, at this point in the narrative, she has been identified only by her patronymic ([phrase omitted], Pyth. 3.8).

(53.) Cf. Kyriakou 1994, 36: "Pindar's audience was bound to sympathize with the verdict against Coronis and Apollo thus emerged as the champion of morality and justice, the punisher of female lust."

(54.) Cf. Tsitsibakou-Vasalos 2010, 34 and Segal 1986, 28.

(55.) D'Alessio (2005, 235) has pointed out that the word order of lines 27-30 leads the audience to anticipate the appearance of the raven as Apollo's "watcher" and "companion." As he concludes, "Pindar is skillfully playing with the expectation of the audience."

(56.) Apollo's relationship with Coronis is usually not considered a rape, but no extant version treats its origin. Given Apollo's actions elsewhere, it would not be surprising if he raped Coronis as well; cf. Felson 2009, 165: "[The poet] protects the god from any charge of hubris or atasthalia by keeping the initial rape of Coronis on the periphery and never asking whether she willingly slept with the god or was coerced."

(57.) On [phrase omitted] in contexts of rape see Vermeule 1979, 101; Cole 1984, 98; Stewart 1995, 75; see Seaford 1987, 110-1 1 1 on [phrase omitted] in contexts of marriage. The word [phrase omitted] (wife) is related to [phrase omitted].

(58.) Cf. Tsitsibakou-Vasalos 2010, 32. The poet also exploits the sexual context of [phrase omitted] in Pythian 1 1, where Clytemnestra is said to have been "overpowered by another man's bed" ([phrase omitted], Pyth. 11.24; cf. Od. 3.269).

(59.) See Rosivach 1998, 13-14 on [phrase omitted] as a term of rape in New Comedy; Scafuro (1990, 128) views it as a "neutral" verb that may mean either "seduction" or "rape" since "it refers to the effect of the action which the agent undertakes, not the means by which he achieves that end."

(60.) The divine seed ([phrase omitted], Pyth. 3.15) Coronis carries is also echoed by the seed of fire ([phrase omitted], Pyth. 3.37) which destroys her and her neighbors.

(61.) Cf. Rabinowitz 2011 on the "rape culture" of Greek tragedy.

(62.) As some critics have noted, this practice of re-imagining rape in more palatable form continues in translation, teaching, and interpretation of ancient myth. See, e.g., Curran 1984, 264-265 on the "arabesques of euphemism" adopted by modern translators of rape in Ovid; Keuls 1985, 49-50 on euphemisms for rape in modern commentary on the Greek myths; Packman 1 993 on euphemistic translations of rape in Roman comedy; and Wolfthal 1999, 28-35, 197-198 on the sanitization and glorification of artistic depictions of classical rape by modern art historians. As these critics suggest, if scholars accept at face value the poet's insistence that such rapes are "sweet" and "pleasant," then we are in danger of endorsing the sexual violence camouflaged bv these adjectives and of erasing the experience of actual rape victims, ancient and modern, whose experiences could hardly be called "peaceful."

I would like to thank Sharon James, Bill Race, and Erika Weiberg for their thoughtful feedback on this article. Thanks, too, to the anonymous referees for Helios, who offered many helpful suggestions.

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Author:De Boer, Katherine R.
Publication:Helios
Article Type:Critical essay
Date:Mar 22, 2017
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