Discussion Topics

Why does Pindar use athletic victors as the hinge for a discussion of moral virtues?

What does Pindar have to say about the importance of family background?

How are metaphors and images used in Pindar’s poetry to convey his ideas about human achievement?

How does Pindar associate his own poetic skills with those of the victorious athlete?

In what sense is Pindar’s outlook an “antidemocratic” one?

Why does not Pindar simply tell his myths in a straightforward manner?


(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Further Reading:

Carne-Ross, D. S. Pindar. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1985. A brief work addressed to the general reader, with a short but useful bibliography.

Crotty, Kevin. Song and Action: The Victory Odes of Pindar. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982. Devoted to individual examinations of the performances of the odes for which Pindar is most remembered. Includes notes, bibliography, and index.

Finley, Moses I. The Ancient Greeks. New York: Penguin, 1991. Gives brief but interesting and useful information on Simonides, Bacchylides, and Pindar.

Grant, Mary A. Folktale and Hero-Tale Motifs in the Odes of Pindar. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1967. Straightforward account of the subject, with an index of motifs and an index of mythological characters.

Hamilton, Edith. The Greek Way. New York: W. W. Norton, 1993. An excellent short book on the Greek way of life; devotes a chapter to Pindar. Bridges scholarship and general readership. Includes seven pages of references, especially to works of ancient Greek writers.

Highet, Gilbert. The Classical Tradition: Greek and Roman Influences on Western Literature. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985. The best work available on the...

(The entire section is 481 words.)