Van den Groenendaal, Wim
Selbstdarstellung in Pindar's and Bacchylides' epinician odes composed for Sicilian laudandi.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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An epinician ode is not only praise for a laudandus but also a form of civic discourse in which the laudandus conducts a debate inviting the audience to make a judgement. This enquiry investigates how the eighteen epinician odes composed by Pindar and Bacchylides for Sicilian laudandi accommodate the political and social aspirations of the patrons commissioning them. It also investigates how rhetoric contributes to the fulfilment of the encomiastic purpose in those odes. This enquiry situates the epinician odes in their proper historical context. It contrasts its findings with those of others. It concludes that in odes composed for laudandi other than tyrants the purpose of the debate is more often than not to counter suspicions which fellow citizens may harbour against the laudandus. However, the laudandi concerned appear to have been problematic already before they entered Panhellenic competition, and not, as some scholars think, because of their newly acquired status as Panhellenic victor. In particular, Pindar’s fifth and sixth Olympian odes are poems in which the suspicions of others are apparently countered as a matter of urgency. At the other end of the spectrum is Pindar’s first Nemean ode, arguably an ode composed for an unproblematic laudandus. This enquiry concludes that the presence of strategies of inclusion or exclusion is not determined by the status of the laudandus. It further concludes that odes composed for tyrants do not necessarily reflect a Herrschaftssystem: rather elements of Polisideologie are often used in these odes in the debate with the audience. Hence the variety of patron message employed in epinician odes is much greater than has hitherto been thought. Finally, this enquiry makes some observations on the development of odes composed for the Sicilian tyrants over time and links the observations with historical circumstances surrounding the Deinomenid and Emmenid tyrannies.
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