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Title: Pindar and the Greek lyric tradition
Author: Coward, Thomas Robert Philip
ISNI:       0000 0004 5991 3015
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis explores to what degree and in what forms Pindar is dependent upon former traditions of lyric poetry, how he shapes his poetic strategy, and what is distinctive about Pindar as a result of this engagement. It considers to what degree these influences are perceptible to his listeners and what their expectations and experiences would be. It shows how poets and poetry interact in a predominantly song-performance culture and provides a means for understanding Pindar’s style and poetry by showing what is ‘Pindaric’ and what is ‘lyric’ about Pindar. The Introduction describes the environment of Pindar and his audiences. Chapter One proposes categories of interaction. Chapter Two focuses on the articulation of the poetic persona. It considers Pindar’s debts and allusions to Alcman in this respect by analysing their uses of the first-person and descriptions of performance. Chapter Three compares the register, style, metre, and content of a selection of Pindar’s mythical narratives (Pyth. 4, Nem. 10, 169a S-M) with those of Alcman, Stesichorus, Ibycus and Simonides in order to demonstrate the differences and similarities between ‘epic’ and ‘lyric’ narratives. Chapter Four contrasts the exile and reconciliation poems of Alcaeus and Pindar, and shows how Pindar modifies the Alcaic voice when commenting on comparable socio-political situations. It also examines Alcaeus’ Hymn to Apollo and a Pindaric paian. Chapter Five looks at Pindar’s response to the erotic and sympotic praise of Sappho, Ibycus and Anacreon and in way he adapts such praise into the consciously ‘higher’ register of his banquet songs and victory odes. Chapter Six examines Pindar’s strategies of performance criticism on the dithyrambos (70b S-M) compared with examples from Lasus and Pratinas, and it then considers the way Pindar creates and describes his own history of aulos-playing and its practitioners (140b S-M, Pyth. 12). This thesis presents Pindar as a literary and musical historian, commentator, and innovator through the tacit or explicit appropriation of the conventions and distinctive features of his predecessors and contemporaries. It explores the balance that a Pindaric composition strikes between tradition and innovation, and convention and originality.
Supervisor: D'Alessio, Giovan Battista ; Silk, Michael Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available