Category Archives: Pindar

Pindar, Pythian 8.88-100 (Contributed by Chris Childers)

Written for Aristomenes of Aegina, victor in the wrestling competition in 446 BC, this is the latest of Pindar’s datable odes. It is also widely considered his darkest: the aging poet, so the theory goes, depressed by thoughts of his own mortality, just couldn’t summon up an appropriately triumphal celebration–think of Mozart in the valley […]

Pindar, Pythian 1.1-12 (Chosen by Chris Childers)

One of Pindar’s grandest odes, the First Pythian celebrates Hieron of Syracuse’s chariot victory of 470 and his founding of the city of Aetna in 476/5 within a broader context of Pan-Hellenic peace, thanks to strong leadership within and victory over barbarian invaders. Just as, after the defeat of the forces of Chaos, order reigns […]

Pindar Olympian 10.1-12 (contributed by Nigel Nicholson)

This poem was written for Hagesidamos, the son of Archestratos, from Epizephyrian Locri, a decent sized city on the toe of Italy. Hagesidamos had won the boys’ boxing contest at the great Olympic festival of 476, the first after the Persian Wars and the one at which Hieron of Syracuse won the horse race (the […]

Olympian 1.1-13

This poem celebrates the victory of Hieron, ruler of Syracuse, in the single-horse race at the Olympic Games in 476BC. A number of Pindar’s victory odes were written for Sicilians, and the poet spent some time on the island in the 470s. These opening lines to the poem are typical of Pindar’s love of the […]