By Bruno Currie

Pindar and the Cult of Heroes combines a research of Greek tradition and faith (hero cult) with a literary-critical examine of Pindar's epinician poetry. It seems to be at hero cult as a rule, yet focuses in particular on heroization within the fifth century B.C. . There are person chapters at the heroization of conflict useless, of athletes, and at the spiritual therapy of the residing within the fifth century. Hero cult, Bruno Currie argues, can be expected, in numerous methods, in a person's lifetime. Epinician poetry too can be interpreted within the mild of this cultural context; essentially, this style explores the patron's spiritual prestige. The e-book good points vast stories of Pindar's Pythians 2, three, five, Isthmian 7, and Nemean 7.

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294-6, N. 48-52, /. 1). 84 The examples maybe multiplied, but the interpretation is nearly always controversial. A rare occasion, however, when ancient scholarship seems to supply external evidence for the performance of epinicians at a festival deserves mention. By way of elucidation of the phrase 'in honour of Zeus Aitnaios' (N. 6), an ancient commentator writes: 'Hieron's associates used to sing the epinicians which had been composed for [victories in] the crown-bearing games at the contest and festival of Zeus Aitnaios.

In /. 8, for instance, we find the significant phrase yXvKv rt Sa^cocro^e^a, 'let us sing something sweet before the people'; Stesichorus, traditionally regarded as a choral poet, had earlier used the noun Sa^co^ara for 'songs sung in public' (212 PMG). 90 The overriding impression is thus that this is public poetry. This sits well, of course, with the assumption of choral performance of the odes, and of festivals as an occasion for their performance. Another dichotomy which, like public and private, needs to be treated with suspicion is that between religious and secular poetry.

37 This was evidently a popular belief, open to ridicule from Lucian still in the second century AD (De Luctu [On Mourning[ 11). 509—13 Andromache is made to say that the dead Hektor derives no 'benefit' (cxfreXos) from the garments which are burned after his death, a polemical point is perhaps being made: by contrast, Herodotus' Melissa can derive 'benefit' (cxfreXos) from clothes offered to her, 33 Burkert ig85a: 198. For the punishment of the dead, cf. further h. Horn. 367-9; 0. 58-60; Aesch.

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