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Pindar’s Poem’s

– 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”
Pindar’s Poem’s

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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 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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Pindar's Poem's
Dating - 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 reference
2021-02-24 03:18:34
Pindar's Poem's
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