Tuesday, February 15, 2022


PINDAR (Greek, c. 518-438 BCE)

Ancient Greek poet from Thebes; of the "Nine Lyric Poets of Ancient Greece," his work is the best preserved. Despite (or because of) the magnificence of his language, the poems are difficult to understand, and for this reason are little read today. Pindar lived through the first Persian invasion of Greece (which ended at Marathon) and the second, when Thebes was occupied by Xerxes' general, Mardonius. Legend says that as a boy, Pindar was stung on the mouth by a bee, which explains the honey-like quality of his verses.

  • The three-part structure of the "Pindaric ode" is named for him. It starts with a stanza (strophe) followed by a response (antistrophe) and wrapped up with a finale (epode). The form has been used by others through the ages.


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