Pindar’s First Pythian Ode

Pindar's First

Pindar's First Pythian Ode

Text, Introduction and Commentary

Almut Fries, The Queen’s College, Oxford

This is the first large-scale edition with introduction and commentary of Pindar’s First Pythian Ode. Composed for Hieron of Syracuse to mark his Delphic chariot victory of 470 BC and his recent foundation of the city of Aetna, the poem is not only a literary masterpiece, but also of central importance for our understanding of Greek history and culture in the early fifth century BC. As our only contemporary written source for the Sicilian Wars against the Carthaginians and Etruscans, it stands on a level with Simonides’ Plataea Elegy and Aeschylus’ Persians on the Persian Wars. This is a period where epoch-making Greek victories in the east and west were celebrated by the greatest poets in a way that reveals much about the atmosphere in which their works were created and received.

The book offers a new edition of the text with a detailed introduction and commentary, which discuss textual problems, language, metre and transmission as well as a variety of literary questions, the historical background and the early performance and reception history of the ode. It will be of interest to scholars and students of archaic and classical Greek poetry and of Greek history of the early fifth century BC.