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This groundbreaking e-book makes an attempt an absolutely contextualized examining of the poetry written by means of Pindar for Hieron of Syracuse within the 470s BC. It argues that the victory odes and different occasional songs composed by way of Pindar for the Sicilian tyrant have been a part of an in depth cultural application that integrated athletic festival, coinage, structure, sanctuary commitment, urban origin, and masses extra. within the tumultuous years following the Persian invasion of Greece in 480, elite Greek leaders and their towns struggled to capitalize at the Greek victory and to outline themselves as unfastened peoples who triumphed over the specter of Persian monarchy. Pindar's victory odes are an enormous contribution to Hieron's objective of panhellenic pre-eminence, redescribing modern tyranny as an instantiation of golden-age kingship and consonant with most sensible Greek culture. In a fragile technique of cultural legitimation, the poet's compliment deploys athletic victories as a symptoms of extra normal preeminence. 3 preliminary chapters set the degree via featuring the background and tradition of Syracuse lower than the Deinomenid tyrants, exploring problems with functionality and patronage, and juxtaposing Hieron to rival Greek leaders at the mainland. next chapters learn in flip all Pindar's preserved poetry for Hieron and contributors of his courtroom, and contextualizes this poetry via evaluating it to the songs written for Hieron by way of Pindar's poetic modern, Bacchylides. those odes boost a in particular "tyrannical" mythology during which a hero from the earlier enjoys strange closeness with the gods, in simple terms to deliver wreck on him or herself by means of failing to control this closeness thoroughly. Such unfavourable exemplars counterbalance Hieron's success and current the hazards opposed to which he needs to (and does) safeguard himself by means of regal advantage. The readings that emerge are marked by means of remarkable integration of literary interpretation with the political/historical context.

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