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    Pindar’s Poem’s

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    – ranges from first half of the fifth century
    – moving from the archaic period into the classical
    Pythian 1
    – Hieron’s victory in the chariot race 470BC references Aetna not Syracuse to draw attention to his new city
    – same as Bacchylides 4 which instead references Syracuse
    – Pindar makes more local “Aetna’s king” “Aetna’s citizens”
    – however “this mountain” not “this” denoting immediate surroundings
    – “but also a wondrous marvel to hear about from witnesses” leaves open possibility will be re-performed
    – “I and singers obey your direction” invocation of the lyre causing eruption invokes choral performance
    – “dancers step”
    – more generalised beginning for wider audience
    – usual myth connected to Sicily Typhaeon, usually outside mainstream mythology
    – information usually in the opening does not come until end of the second triad
    – “let us devise a welcome song” like a partnership with the muse
    – “let me persuade you” suggests a superior position in skill able to persuade the muse
    – “muse hear me and celebrate”
    Nemean 4
    – “if your father Timocritus were still warmed by the fierce sun he would have often accompanied this song”
    – evidence of re-performance in a symposium context, choruses were expensive
    – “leaning on his song” like reclining at the symposium
    – “the word lives longer than the deeds” re – performance is integral, Pindar privileging his own achievement over the victor’s?
    – represents ongoing struggles against envy matching the toil and rest of the athlete
    – “the songs convention stops me from narating at length”
    – “I cannot recount the whole story of the of the children of Aeacus”
    Nemean 5
    – Lampon’s son Pytheas victory at the Pancration
    – “sweet song, you must go forth from Aegina on every ship”
    power of poetry to spread fame, song may be re-performed in other places
    – “I am ashamed of telling of a great act unjustly attempted”
    Nemean 7
    – “Odysseus fame, I believe is greater than his true experience because of homer’s sweet poetry”
    – highlights Homer’s skill but at the same time associates it with “lies”
    – Pindar views Homer differently than how we do now, the suicide of Ajax is strongly associated with Homer although best known from Sophocles’ Ajax
    – “even honey and the pleasant flowers of Aphrodite can bring tedium”
    Isthmian 6
    – quotes Hesiod’s works and days “it is application that promotes your cultivation”
    – why affect to quote directly when not, he may be working from memory
    – using the authority of the poet, not the point, the audience has less knowledge
    – shift from using authority of the muses to other poets
    – “it would be long to for me to relate all the successes”
    Olympian 1
    – written for the victory in the horse race by Hieron, foreshadows victory in chariot race
    – the same as Bacchylides 5
    – why the first in the corpus?
    – famous opening preamble using focussing device builds in a crescendo
    – “compose in play” “we men”
    – “my heart” obtrusive narrator he is the first addressee
    – story of Pelop and Oenemous, the chariot race where Pelops cheated
    – strong sense of the Pindaric personality “I stand aside” calls other poets liars and associates with ill intentioned neighbour, claim to piety and moral authority
    – direct address to Pelops
    – intertext of Achilles choice and Achilles and Thetis Iliad 17 gives Pelop’s heroic stature
    – condences the scene, arrogant characterisation of Pelops no invocation, the power of love “success I desire”
    – contrast secrecy and nightime
    – “deep-roaring” gives the sound as well, a way of spreading poetry
    – “Pelops said” movement to first person
    – “the muse keeps a mighty defensive weapon” protection
    – stresses power of poetry to decieve
    -then echoes in praise of Hieron rhetoric used to deceive “conferring honour, contrives to make even the unbelievable believable, but this is not necessary for praise of Hieron
    Pythian 7
    – possibly performed at the site of victory
    Nemean 9
    – “let us lift high the deep-voiced lyre and lift up the pipe”
    – “let us go in revel company, muses” as if they are part of the celebration
    – “someone demands payment of a debt” necessary to recall the fame of ancestors
    Nemean 3
    – “lady muse, my mother” close relationship and quasi-biography
    – “for young men, artificers in honey sweet revels impatient for you voice awaits you”
    – choral performance
    – Heath and Leftkowitz believe refers outside the poem to another part of the celebration
    – “Begin a hymn” seems ordering a subordinate “I shall pass onto these voices” idea of re-performance?
    – “my heart, to what foreign shore are you steering my ship astray” represents how poetry spreads fame, oral subterfuge
    – starts with “queen” stresses divinity of the muse then bids to pass on a hymn giving intermediary role
    – uses vocative which suggests impatience
    Pythian 3
    – written for Hieron
    – “it is from sonrous verses…that we know of Nestor and Lycian Sarpedon…Glory giving songs cause excellence to abide for ages”
    – the power of poetry to provide fame,and suggests the survival of the song
    – “from every blessing the immortals hand men a double greif” Pindar deliberately misunderstands Iliad 24 Achilles on the jars
    – used to comfort Priam/Hieron who is ill
    – interesting given Pindar’s generally pious persona
    – suggests intimate relationship built up ovr a number of odes
    – mentions Pherenicus the horse who won at the Olympic games Olympian 1
    – “poets of old” draws attention to his status as a poet of today
    Pythian 11
    – “I have become bewildered at the place where the road forks or did some wind blow me off course”
    – the pretense of being composed orally gives the praise sincerity when in reality it is just a transition passage
    – spontaneous and not commissioned
    – constructs a separate narrator and poet, the narrator can be lead astray but the poet is artfully in control
    – the matricide of Orestes the narrator has gone too far
    – “muse your task” muse accepts commission tasks usually for the narrator are hers
    Nemean 1
    – written for Chromius of Aetna prominent general under Hieron
    – payed a role in the re-founding of the city 476/5BC between then and Heiron’s death 467/6BC
    – “I have grasped the occasion” as if just had to sing
    – only 25 lines on the actual victor, gets carried away with the myth
    – didactic element “anyone who walked in the crooked way of excess”
    – takes pains to place him within the community maybe as just moved there to rule
    – wider focus than other poems, mentions the whole of Sicily given to Persephone, suggsts lots of Sicilian victors
    – suggests wider audience, for the benefit of rivals in other cities?
    – intertextuality with other famous poems
    – Heracles as a model for high achievement
    – hymnal quality of the myth relating his birth, labours and rise to Olympus, spheres of influence
    – like Chromius’ rise to power
    – uses the audiences expectations and then cut off directly after the myths
    Pythian 10
    – ends at the most important moment between Castor and Polydeuces and we expect more moralising passages
    – “Why do I vaunt beyond measure?…quickly drop the anchor”
    – driving the muses chariot again
    Olympian 6
    – written for Hagesius of Syracuse around 476-467BC
    – Hagesias was the preist of the shrine of Zeus, claimed descent from Iamus
    – picks up the connection between the two heroes. Heracles founded the games whereas Iamus founded oracles
    – makes begginings an explicit issue “when a work is begun its outward face must be made to gleam afar”
    – same elements as Nemean one, the birth of Heracles, snakes, Tieresias and Hebe
    – “success without labour is not favoured among men”
    – more interested in the victor as the sole audience for the poems
    – however clearly something more connects odes like Nemean 1 and Olympian 6
    – both were coutiers of Hieron so audiences might have included some of the same people
    – Pindar plays with the fact more than one ode in performance
    Pythian 4
    – the longest of Pindar’s odes, miniature argonautica
    – “lead many others in poetic skill” self motivated, Pindar does not need the muses authority
    – explicit references to Homer’s sayings “in all affairs a good message brings the greatest honour”
    – closest to Iliad 15 Poseidon and Iris
    – “it is a long way to go on the wagon road”
    – “I shall give him…to the muses” gives topics of song to them not the other way around
    Isthmian 4
    – “But Homer…has honoured [Ajax] among men, in that he has set straight his whole achievement”
    – “with his staff of wonderful verses” positive
    – suppresses Heracles’ murder of his own children at Thebes, merely “bronze clad” sons, suggest they were warriors killed in battle
    – believes Pindar takes an agressive stance to Homer and always alludes to his poems
    – however he doesn’t relate anything from the two main narratives as a mark of respect?
    – these are two well established in order to be moulded to his purpose
    – different traditions where is comes to Heracles
    Olympian 3
    – “the muse stood beside me” like a partnership or military formation
    – the pillars of Heracles stand for the limits of the known world and boundaries of prowess
    – also important not to go beyond and incur the anger of the gods
    Pindaric Narrative
    – Pindar moralises in his own voice
    – invocations in homer are more hymnal requests show a clearly stratified and distant relationship
    – an effective strategy for praise, Pindar himself is the guarantee of fame
    – strong personality allows for greater control and movement between different sections
    Olympian 7
    – Pindar uses other sources of authority “ancient tales of men relate”
    – acknowledges the importance of experience even if this is not as important as natural ability
    Nemean 10
    – starts with the end of the story Castor and Pollux sharing divinity
    – summary and expansion not suspense
    – references to “swift-feet” injects pace into the narrative
    – doesn’t have heroes talking to eachother to keep pace, instead Zeus talking to Pollux, emphasis on his choice, importance of family
    – ends abruptly with the loyalty of Polydeuces he does not hesitate in his decision
    – last word is Castor even though he has been passive throughout, most important thing to Polydeuces
    – “my mouth is too small to relate everything”
    Isthmian 5
    – written for Phyilidas of Aegina around 478BC shortly after the Persian war and the voting of honours to the Aeginetian fleet
    – him and his brother both won at the same games, brother was his trainer, father was Lampon
    – Pindar uses a lot of doubling e.g. the myth of Castor and Pollux
    – the family of the Aeacids who sacked Troy twice
    – “long toil” and “men’s prowess is decided by the gods” contradict each other
    – contemporary references to Salamis, celebrating war efforts, victory and prowess of heroes
    – “tell me who killed Cycus and Hector” series of questions like homeric narrator
    Epinician Poetry
    – Pindar would not be conscious of a “genre” although there would be recognisable conventions
    – it is agonistic poetry, he would also want to be innovative and different from his peers
    – Willcock says there is no such thing as a conventional ode, so what is the point of talking about it
    – all of the elements are usually there just arranged in a different way
    – Pindar had to find ways to make standard features seem more interesting
    – structure of the ode
    – striking opening
    – circumstances and moralising (prerequisties for victory victors name and place)
    – myth
    – circumstances and moralising (consequences of victory, family succession, trainer and limitations of human life)
    Pythian 9
    – written for Telesicrates of Cyrene, winner of the race in armour
    – conflates place of birth and mythical heroine and founder who was abducted by Apollo, probably for performance at home
    – comic presentation of Apollo’s love for Cyrene, play on the admiration of Telesicrates
    – Cyrene displays qualities of a victor, wrestling a lion, sporting commenty
    – Apollo is analogous to the poet, admiring and describing skill, elevates both he and the victor
    – ironic Chiron is the adoptive son of Apollo but portrayed like father figure “indulgent lift of the brow” contrast “mighty” and “smiled subduedly”
    – “secret are the keys to divine acts of love which are held by wise persuasion”
    – the race of Alexidamas, fast paced narrative like the race
    Pythian 8
    – written for Aristomenes of Aegina who won the wrestling
    – desire to do something new, not reuse themes from Isthmian 5
    – myth of the second Theban war Epigoni, sons more successful Aristomenes and his uncles
    – “the fathers spirit is plain to see, fixed in the nature of his sons”
    – mention of Adrastus seems irrelevant but not from the authors point of view as this anticipates theme of fortune changing in the final triad
    Heath and Leftkowitz
    – Olympian 1 is evidence of solo performance
    – fictional start of solo performance more likely in a poem already solo performed
    – choral performance cannot be ruled out or proved outright
    – ancient critics interpreted as choral trying to account for things they did not understand
    – some monodonies of Sophocles keep triadic structure
    – soloists could accompany themselves on the lyre
    – Pythian 1 reference to solo performance and songs, no mention in unison
    – Olympian 6 instruct Aeneas to sing and komasts a separate song to Hera Partheneia
    – why do the first person references always relate to the poet
    – Olympian 6 is a statement not a reference to activity outside the poem
    – scholars do not identify the authority for choral hypothesis though this in itself does not prove wrong
    – most poetry in this form was choral e.g dithyrambs, paeans, partheneia, dirges and tragic chorus
    – absence of these features in solo poetry
    – only Olympian 1 works for solo hypothesis
    – Pindar frequently attributes actions to himself that he is clearly not doing though
    – look outside the text only to explain away problems with own argument
    Olympian 9
    – “blazing songs” Pindar tries to make it seem as if the song is bursting out of him, a natural talent
    – also “cultivating” wants to make out that something he plans and works at
    – supresses popular story of Heracles fighting the gods Poseidon, Apollo and Hades
    – “mouth, throw this away from me” “hateful poetry”
    – “skills are difficult but when offering this prize boldly shout out loud” emphasis on the benefits of straight praise
    – driving the chariot of the muses
    – hard work is part of the gods plan and so wealth is a sign of moral goodness and the gods favour
    – it is necessary for competition in the most prestigious events
    – the wealthier the victor the more Pindar gets paid so part of the value judgement
    – Pindar tries to portray Heracles as a aristocratic champion, links with the Olympic foundation
    – tries to show opponants as immoral
    – obvious choice as strongest, bravest, son of Zeus, founder, married to Hebe, laboured for victory.
    – brings olive to Olympia from the Hyperboreans showing endurance and courage
    – this is an allegory for the experience of victory
    – felt did not fit the ethical persona of his poetry, making victors look like outstanding citizens
    Olympian 10
    – Heracles kills the Moliones and Kind Augeas of Epeians
    – they are ambassadors to the Pythian games making them sacred
    – destroy’s Augeas’ whole kingdom
    – the komos gives only “brief delight” in comparison to the “broad fame” of the song
    – plays with the fact he is a poet in high demand, delay in meeting a commission
    Olympian 2
    – written for Theron of Acragas victory in the chariot race, another Syracusan tyrant
    – quality comes from birth not training, same prowess cannot be achieved just through training
    – “but tedium soon follows praise”
    – “come, my heart, at whom are we shooting now…I will swear with a true mind” dramatizes the decision to sing feigning sincerity
    Hard Work
    – the need for hard work connected with the function of the poet
    – fame and the song like a consellation and reward for the exhaustion of competition
    – Pindar manipulates the secondary audience using oblique nature of the information, treating as if already knew information already
    – imprecision about the performance of poetry might be due to accommodate more than one type of performance
    – why both monodonist and choral theories can get a hold on the debate
    – the narrator sharing name of historical author is a way of internalising in the song something that would have been evident in the original performance
    – idea of Pindar as a guest friend adds to feeling of sincerity as posits another form of relationship other than monetary one
    – e.g. Isthmian 2 “pass this on, Nicasippus, when you meet my honoured friend”
    Isthmian 8
    – uses first person plurals to make seem like a close relationship with the victor
    – “and from large griefs let us not fall in want of garlands”

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