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Lesley Dean-Jones, Chair 2210 Speedway, Mail Code C3400, Austin, TX 78712-1738 • 512-471-5742

Spring 2007

GK 390 • Pindar

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
32205 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
WAG 112

Course Description

Pindar was justly considered the greatest of the Greek lyric poets in antiquity, and a substantial portion of his work survives intact. His poetry is well known for its lexical and metrical innovations, density of metaphor, complexity of syntax and reference, as well as its mythological revisionism, political allusions, and cultic references. It thus continues to be a rich source of critical investigation and controversy. This graduate seminar will provide a close reading and discussion of the major victory odes, as well as some fragments. In addition, ample attention will be paid to the Pindaric scholia (probably our best preserved tradition of Alexandrian annotation next to the Homeric scholia) and to the history of Pindaric criticism in modern times. Our approach will combine traditional text criticism and philological analysis with broader questions of literary interpretation, viewed from the varying perspectives of historical, formalist, rhetorical, and structuralist criticism. The critical questions discussed will to some extent depend on the interests of the students in the seminar, but will certainly include Pindar's relation to mythological tradition, his attitude toward political affairs involving Thebes and the other cities for which he wrote, his relations to Orphism and Pythagoreanism, to Eleatic philosophy of athletic competition and commissioned poetry, and the class-background of Pindars patrons. Consideration will also be given to Pindars later influence, particularly in Hellenistic and Roman poetry. The course grade will be determined by translation quizzes (25%) and a substantial research paper on a topic of each students choice (50%), as well as short oral presentation on suggested topics and participation of class discussion (25%). In late April, the seminar will be taught for two weeks by Prof. Adolf Kohnken, recently retired from the University of Munster. Prof Kohnken is a noted expert on Pindar and Hellenstic poetry, and is the editor of Hermes.


Pindari Carmina cum fragmentis Vol 1 & II (ed. Snell-Maehler) Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes (ed. B.L. Gildersleeve) Pindar: The Nemean and Isthmian Odes (ed. C.A.M. Fennell) E.L.Bundy, Studiea Pindarica


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