Overview

You've just won the gold medal, what are you going to do? In Ancient Greece, your patron could throw a feast in your honor and have a poet write a hymn of praise to you. The great poet Pindar composed many such odes for victorious athletes. Esteemed classicist Anne Pippin Burnett presents a fresh and exuberant translation of Pindar's victory songs.

The typical Pindaric ode reflects three separate moments: the instant of success in contest, the victory night with its disorderly ...

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Odes for Victorious Athletes

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Overview

You've just won the gold medal, what are you going to do? In Ancient Greece, your patron could throw a feast in your honor and have a poet write a hymn of praise to you. The great poet Pindar composed many such odes for victorious athletes. Esteemed classicist Anne Pippin Burnett presents a fresh and exuberant translation of Pindar's victory songs.

The typical Pindaric ode reflects three separate moments: the instant of success in contest, the victory night with its disorderly revels, and the actual banquet of family and friends where the commissioned poem is being offered as entertainment. In their essential effect, these songs transform a physical triumph, as experienced by one man, into a sense of elation shared by his peers—men who have gathered to dine and to drink.

Athletic odes were presented by small bands of dancing singers, influencing the audience with music and dance as well as by words. These translations respect the form of the originals, keeping the stanzas that shaped repeating melodies and danced figures and using rhythms meant to suggest performers in motion.

Pindar's songs were meant to entertain and exalt groups of drinking men. These translations revive the confident excitement of their original performances.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Anne Pippin Burnett is Professor Emerita of Classics at the University of Chicago.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

The Odes

Olympian 1 Tantalos and Pelops 11

Olympian 2 Petals of Gold 16

Olympian 3 Herakles and the Olive Trees 21

Olympian 4 A Gray Haired Victor 24

Olympian 5 Victory with a Mule-cart 26

Olympian 6 The Birth of lamos 28

Olympian 7 A Snowstorm of Gold 34

Olympian 8 Building Troy's Walls 39

Olympian 9 The Flood 43

Olympian 10 Herakles Founds the Olympic Games 48

Olympian 11 The Fox and the Lion 53

Olympian 12 An Exile's Good Fortune 54

Olympian 13 Bellerophon Tames Pegasos 56

Olympian 14 The Graces 61

Pythian 1 Aitna Erupts 62

Pythian 2 The Rape of a Cloud 67

Pythian 3 The Birth of Asklepios 72

Pythian 4 Jason and the Argonauts 77

Pythian 5 Battos and the Founding of Cyrene 91

Pythian 6 The Rescue of Nestor 96

Pythian 7 An Athenian Exile 98

Pythian 8 The Vision of Amphiaraos 99

Pythian 9 Apollo's Lust 103

Pythian 10 Perseus among the Hyperboreans 109

Pythian 11 Orestes Avenges His Father 112

Pythian 12 The Song of the Gorgon Sisters 115

Nemean 1 The Birth of Herakles 117

Nemean 2 Victory as Prologue 121

Nemean 3 The Childhood of Achilles 123

Nemean 4 Peleus Wrestles with Thetis 127

Nemean 5 The Wiles of Hippolyta 131

Nemean 6 Achilles and Memnon 135

Nemean 7 Neoptolemos at Delphi 138

Nemean 8 Ajax in Death and in Battle 142

Nemean 9 Amphiaraos Is Rescued from Shame 145

Nemean 10 Kastor's Revival 149

Nemean 11 The City's Hearth 154

Isthmian 1 A Hymn for Kastor and Lolaos 156

Isthmian 2 Money and the Muse 159

Isthmian 3-4 A Hymn for Herakles 162

Isthmian 5 Achilles and Telephos 166

Isthmian 6 The Engendering of Ajax 169

Isthmian 7 A Brave Theban Warrior 173

Isthmian 8 A Cosmic Monster Avoided 176

Isthmian 9 A Fragment for an Aiginetan Victor 180

Selected Bibliography 181

Register of Mythic Names 183

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