Thucydides and Pindar : historical narrative and the world Epinikian poetry


Thucydides and Pindar : historical narrative and the world Epinikian poetry

Simon Hornblower

Oxford University Press, 2004

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Includes bibliographical references and indexes



Simon Hornblower argues for a relationship between Thucydides and Pindar not so far acknowledged in modern scholarship. He argues that ancient critics were right to detect stylistic similarities between these two great exponents of the `severe style' in prose and verse. In Part One he explores the background of epinikian poetry and athletics, the values shared by the two authors, and religion and colonization myths, and presents a geographically organized survey of Pindar's Mediterranean world, exploiting onomastic evidence. Part Two includes an analysis of Thucydides' account of the Olympic games of 420 BC; discussions of the four components of Thucydides' history in their relation to Pindar; statements of method, excursuses, speeches, and narrative, especially the Sicilian books; and a stylistic-literary comparison of Thucydides and Pindar.


  • I
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Could Thucydides have known Pindar, and did he?
  • 3. Content and outlook
  • 4. Myths, religion, women, colonization
  • 5. People, places, prosopography, and politics
  • 6. Introduction to Part II
  • 7. The clearest example of Thucydides Pindaricus: 5.49-50, the Olympic Games of 420 BC
  • 8. Statements of method
  • causation
  • 9. 'Antiquarian' excursions
  • 10. Speeches
  • 11. Narrative
  • 12. Thucydides and Pindar: a stylistic comparison
  • Conclusion

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