Not much is known about the life of Bacchylides, but everyone knows how great of a poet he was, becoming one of Ancient Greece's best lyrical poets. The Greeks included him in their canonical list of nine lyric poets, and some of his works survived. His career coincided with the rise of drama, including the playwrights Aeschylus or Sophocles, and his lyrics are known for their clarity in expression and simplicity, making it easier to study the lyrical poetry of Ancient Greece.
Epinicians were a genre of occasional poetry that resembled victory odes, written in prose in Ancient Greece as lyrics for a chorus. These were commissioned for and performed at the celebration of an athletic victory in the Panhellenic Games and sometimes in honor of a victory in war. Some of Bacchylides' epinicians survived and are reproduced here.
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