Pindar’s Mythmaking: The Fourth Pythian Ode by Charles Segal

By Charles Segal

Combining ancient and philological process with modern literary research, this research of Pindar's longest and such a lot complex victory ode, the Fourth Pythian, lines the underlying legendary styles, implicit poetics, and approaches of mythopoesis that animate his poetry

Originally released in 1986.

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At this point he explains (γάρ, 119) that he is in fact "the child of Aeson, belonging to the place" (Αΐσονος παις έπιχώριος, 118). He thereby establishes the personal ties of ancient association and local habitation appropriate to κεδνοί. " In his second speech, after Jason has been accepted and festively regaled by his clan, he begins with a direct and honorific address to Pelias: παϊ Ποσειδάνος Πετραίου The point about Pelias and the citizens is well made by Illigy 66f. The status of xenos is, of course, crucial to Jason's threat to Pelias' position in Thebes.

Such is the glory that ac­ crues from a great and lasting deed: a victory in the games, the founding of a city, a heroic battle, a noble death in war. Receiving a god's gift is a leitmotiv of the poem. Euphamus received the divine clod (dexato, 37) but lost it. 28 The abortive receiving in the marshes of Lake Tritonis is then set right on Lemnos, where the fated day (moiiidion amai) will receive not the imperishable seed of the divine clod (cf. 30 Battus "descends" into the Pythia's chamber at Delphi (katabanta, 55), as Euphamus "descended" from the Argo to receive the divine clod (katabas, 22).

Only near the end of his speech does he reveal the real addressees: "Know ye the chief points of these words" (άλλα τούτων μεν κεφάλαια λόγων / ϊστε, 4 The tone of Pelias' in 99ff. , M£autis, 23335. For Norwood, however, Pelias' εσομαι τοΐος in 156f. shows "a knightly manner" (p. 39] and "flawless courtesy" (p. 40]. The contrast with Apollo's manner in Pyth. 33ff. is telling. Theseus in Bacchylides 17 is another example of the polite, calm, and self-assured young hero: cf. Carey, 146. 5 See Giannini (1977-80) 140.

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