Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2010.03.34 Anne Pippin Burnett, Pindar. Ancients in Action.

London: Bristol Classical Press, 2008. Pp. 175. ISBN 78185! 7112. "2!.00 #p$%.

&e'ie(ed $) *aria Pa'lou, +ni'ersit) o, C)prus #-pa'lou0./)a0oo.1r% [Table of Contents is listed at the end of the review.] Burnett's new book on Pindar is a welcome addition to the Duckworth Ancients in Action series, the aim of which is 'to introduce major figures of the ancient world to the modern general reader, including the essentials of each subject's life, works, and significance for later western civilisation'. The book includes an ntroduction and Conclusion, four cha!ters, a shortish Bibliogra!h" and an nde#. The ntroduction o!ens with a biogra!hical note on $indar's life and oeuvre, followed b" a brief sketch of his rece!tion in anti%uit" and, es!eciall", in modern times, and a tin" list of thorn" issues which have troubled students of $indar within the last centur" such as his elitism, and the unit" and !erformance &choral or monodic' of his odes [(eedless to sa" that Burnett, and Chris Care", have been the...)*+,-*ί of the so called 'choral grou!']. .ven having regard to the restrictions im!osed b" the book's !ur!ose, as an introductor" handbook for novices, this section is e#tremel" com!ressed and, most im!ortantl", marginali/es dominant current trends in $indaric scholarshi! &e.g. re0!erformance, new historicism etc'. n m" view, a more e#tensive and informative treatment of $indaric criticism, as well as a short section on the e!inician genre, its forms and conventions, would have been e#!edient here. Cha!ter 1 o!ens with an overview of the festivities held for victorious athletes u!on their return to their homeland. Burnett !refers to see these celebrations as closed and !rivate gatherings among members of the elite rather than as ban%uets o!en to the whole cit" &21', in s!ite of the fact that scattered evidence in the Epinicians testifies to both conte#ts &see e.g. Ol.13.45'. 6he underlines the social and !olitical dimensions and im!lications of athletic distinction in the crown0bearing $anhellenic games for the victor and his famil"7 and she does not omit the im!ortance of !raise song for the !reservation of one's name and 89έ*:. ;s she remarks, the victor" song was 'an act of genial reci!rocit". <n behalf of victorious hosts, it offered to share the gods' gift of 8ῦ=*: with e%uals and friends, and through them with the whole localit", while on behalf of those who received it, the ode voiced the !raise that would re!a" such an e#alted benefaction' &2>021'. The cha!ter closes with an ins!ection of $indar's !oetic arsenal and briefl" discusses some of the e!inician conventions and $indaric techni%ues, such as the !retence of s!ontaneit", s!eech0acts, o!ening invocations to

Burnett em!hasi/es. while s!ecial mention is made of the four trainers that we come across in the Epinicians? <rseas &Isthm. !la"s in this grou! of odes. Cha!ter 3 o!ens with a sketch of the four crown0bearing games at <l"m!ia. !roverbial wisdom.E for Diagoras of Fhodes is offered as an a!t e#am!le of $indar's attem!t to res!ond to this challenge with gnomes and references to the contingenc" and vicissitudes of human life s!rinkled throughout the !oem &C10CC'. as well as the significance which !owerful rulers laid u!on their e%uestrian achievements 0 and underlines their !olitical dimension. king of C"rene. a contested thesis which she !ut forward more rigorousl" in her 2>>B book Pindar's Songs for Young Athletes of Aegina. !ra"ers. reminders of immortalit" and fragmentar" m"thical e!isodes. su!ervised training and !artici!ation in institutionali/ed contest s!orts.1>'.C'.D7 Pyth.s she observes. la"ing !articular em!hasis u!on the abilit" of festival contests to control and tem!er raw violence and aggression immanent in man" s!orts 0 es!eciall" combat s!orts. even the env" of gods.5. . however. Gieron and his general Chromius. las &Ol. form and function &35'.gods. (emea and sthmus.5 and Ol.D and Isthm. The second cha!ter focuses on e!inicians com!osed for bo" victors. . in so far as athletic distinction of a well0known mature athlete is more liable to evoke the env" of his !eers. Aenander &Nem. the" dis!la" some distinctive features such as? a' invocations to female deities@!owers7 b' adjectives describing "outh7 c' a !la"ful air of juvenilit" indulging in child0like e#aggeration7 d' references to trainers &4>'. t o!ens with a brief note on the bo"s' education. . (evertheless. show" elitist s!orts accessible onl" to the !owerful and rich. mule0carts and chariots with a certain reserve in order to !revent an" sus!icion of t"rannical as!irations. she makes no further comment on the une%uivocall" more !rominent role that famil".17 Isthm.s she !oints out.ven though Burnett fleetingl" admits that in the odes for bo"s the im!lication of the victor's entire familial line is more a!!arent &4E'. Burnett is reticent about the com!le#ities and !roblematic nature of references to these !rofessionals.ccording to her.eginetan odes are for bo" athletes.1' are on a grand scale. as well as the two $"thians which $indar com!osed for . .rcesilas. . one of the features which distinguish !oems for men from !oems for bo"s is the notion of env". n the final cha!ter Burnett discusses the odes for the t"rants of 6icil". these celebrations differed from those of ordinar" athletes both in terms of form &guests were greater in numbers and the choruses more numerous &1>4'' and function &here the song is not offered to the . Based on the fact that out of the si# odes celebrating e%uestrian victories of ordinar" citi/ens &Ol. songs for bo"s share man" features with songs for men in terms of scale. she contends that non0rulers usuall" chose to celebrate their winning horses. a to!ic which has been e#tensivel" dealt with b" (igel (icholson in a recent book 0 sur!risingl" not included in the bibliogra!h". served to turn each !erformance into a uni%ue e#!erience both for the victor and the celebrants. The rest of the cha!ter deals with e%uestrian events.3@4'.B' and Aelesias &Ol. &5>'.E7 Isthm. Burnett declares that 'e%uestrian events were less meaningful than the trials' &CC' 0 a controversial thesis if we consider the !restige of such events. Theron.ll this. and es!eciall" the victor's father.B7 Ol. Burnett briefl" discusses how this 'civili/ing as!ect of victor"' is !la"ed out in the $indaric m"ths b" looking closel" at Pyth.3' onl" two &Ol. Ol. Del!hi.47 Ol.1 Burnett classifies 1D of the 4B e!inicians as odes for victors between 12 and 1C7 and she assumes that all . .t the same time.

man" of these are not full" develo!ed. n the anal"sis of the 1> odes. the notions of env" and !raise. the im!ortance of $indar's song in the !reservation of one's name and good re!utation. vehemence and kaleidosco!ic nature. is blemished b" the wa" in which she organi/es and structures her material. K*L8L9ίM. Burnett's book is readable and accessible to the general reader. n terms of themes and structure. densit" and de#terit". does not manage to communicate their force. .victor's !eers 'to be shared as their due' &1>4''. however. although informative. Hhereas the cha!ters encom!ass a wide range of issues. Hhereas it offers onl" a few new insights to readers familiar with $indar. thus making it difficult for the reader with no !revious e#!erience in the area to form a com!rehensive and relativel" coherent idea of $indar's st"le. There are onl" 1> Oreek transliterated words throughout the book. Past but not least.lthough man" sam!les of $indar's work are included. this book !rovides a good introduction to $indar for undergraduate neo!h"tes and the general reader. a!!reciate that in an introductor" handbook bibliogra!h" cannot and should not be e#tensive and e#haustive7 but the bibliogra!h" is deficient. ἡNJ)ίM' would be given in Oreek as well. their brief and su!erficial treatment. for Burnett there are two main traits which distinguish the odes for rulers? a' that the" did not 'reflect the same jo"ous e#change of glor" given and !raise returned that regularl" enlivened songs made for athletes of the mainland' &1>4'7 b' that the" 'were less !rodigal in leveling ma#ims and self0de!recating jokes7 the" still !retended to s!ontaneit". but generall" the" give u! the trade0mark suggestion of error' &1>B'. however. and the rhetoric. Table of Contents ntroduction 5 . while other themes are scattered throughout the book. richness. Ger clear and elegant st"le. while in the more genial court of Theron the !raise has a different tone and flavor &1>D011E'. t would have been !referable if Burnett had included fewer !oems followed b" more com!rehensive and detailed anal"ses that would enable the reader to gras! their com!le#it". N*IίM. Burnett also identifies differences in the wa" in which $indar a!!roaches and treats each of these rulers? for instance. which occu!ies most of this cha!ter. all found in the Conclusion. would e#!ect that at least some ke" terms which !oint to recurring themes in the e!inicians &such as IJά. inviting us to think and reflect more carefull" on !ragmatics and the codes that $indar uses in order to conve" his meaning successfull". even though the book targets the 'general reader'. Aoreover. m!ortant and thought0!rovoking recent books on $indar are cons!icuousl" absent. Burnett's idea of classif"ing the odes into the three aforementioned categories and the identification of the differences among them in terms of function and st"le can be !otentiall" fruitful and contribute to a better understanding of $indar's victor" songs. The book closes with a few general remarks on commissioned !oetr". she notes that in the odes for Gieron the !raise is 'more urgent and !ur!oseful' because 'the ruler and his court recogni/ed the bitter !ossibilit" of civic dissatisfaction' &11E'. form and function of his encomiastic !oetr".2 The aforementioned objections aside. as well as with a note on the wa" in which aristocrac" is !ortra"ed and !resented in the e!inicians.

B.C Nem. Aann.rchives .E7 Isthm.37 Nem. Pindar and the Cult of eroes &<#ford 2>>B'7 C. #ICS 6u!!lement 5B &Pondon 2>>E'7 (icholson &n.17 Ol. $.D7 Ol. Currie. 6ee. R. Thursda"..Cha!ter 1? $raising a Qictorious . 1>1 (.57 Ol. (icholson.C' 34 Cha!ter 3? Celebrations for Aen &Pyth.1>7 Nem.E7 Isthm. 15>1> GTAP generated at >C?BC?4C. 2. Athlet und Polis im archaischen und fr!h"lassischen Griechenland &OSttingen 2>>1'7 .17 Br"n Aawr College.17 Pyth.1'.27 Pyth.D' D5 Cha!ter 4? Celebrations for Fulers &Ol.17 Pyth. D. Aristocracy and Athletics in Archaic and Classical Greece &Cambridge 2>>B'.4' 1>1 Conclusion 1D1 6elect Bibliogra!h" 1DE (otes 1D5 nde# 1E3 Notes: 1.57 Ol. e. Br"n Aawr. (.37 Ol. Aorrison.B7 Pyth.. 11 Aarch 2>1> . Aerion .g.thlete 1D Cha!ter 2? Celebrations for Bo"s &Pyth. Performances and Audiences in Pindar's Sicilian Odes.vailable for Feview BACF Gome Br"n Aawr Classical Commentaries BACF.27 Pyth.37 Nem. Comment on this review in the BACF blog Fead Patest nde# for 2>1> Change Oreek Dis!la" Books ..

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