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Odes for Victorious Athletes: Pindar (Johns Hopkins New Translations from Antiquity)


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Publisher Comments:

You've just won the gold medal, what are you going to do? In Ancient Greece, your patron could throw a feast in your honor and have a poet write a hymn of praise to you. The great poet Pindar composed many such odes for victorious athletes. Esteemed classicist Anne Pippin Burnett presents a fresh and exuberant translation of Pindar's victory songs.

The typical Pindaric ode reflects three separate moments: the instant of success in contest, the victory night with its disorderly revels, and the actual banquet of family and friends where the commissioned poem is being offered as entertainment. In their essential effect, these songs transform a physical triumph, as experienced by one man, into a sense of elation shared by his peers — men who have gathered to dine and to drink.

Athletic odes were presented by small bands of dancing singers, influencing the audience with music and dance as well as by words. These translations respect the form of the originals, keeping the stanzas that shaped repeating melodies and danced figures and using rhythms meant to suggest performers in motion.

Pindar's songs were meant to entertain and exalt groups of drinking men. These translations revive the confident excitement of their original performances.

Book News Annotation:

Burnett (University of Chicago) presents a translation of 44 odes sung in honor of victorious athletes, written by ancient Greek author Pindar. The translations strive to retain the odes' original stanzas and seek to revive the excitement of the original performances at feasts in honor of the victorious athletes. Burnett's introduction overviews the context of the odes and their performance and gives a history of Pindar. Each ode is preceded by notes from the translator on the athletes and mythical figures mentioned in the ode, and any relevant scholarly and translation issues. The book ends with a register of mythic names. There is no subject index. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Product Details

Johns Hopkins University Press
Burnett, Anne Pippin
Laudatory poetry, Greek.
Athletics -- Greece.
Ancient and Classical
Literary Criticism : General
Johns Hopkins New Translations from Antiquity
Publication Date:
8.30x5.40x.60 in. .55 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Greek
History and Social Science » Linguistics » Specific Languages and Groups
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Odes for Victorious Athletes: Pindar (Johns Hopkins New Translations from Antiquity) New Trade Paper
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Product details 191 pages Johns Hopkins University Press - English 9780801895753 Reviews:
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