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The gnomic expression of cosmology in Pindar

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Chapter Summary

Cosmology as it is usually understood today is a branch of metaphysics and constitutes "the science of the nature, structure, and origin of the universe as a whole". This definition, which implies an objective approach, or at least one in which the main focus is on the universe, not man and human life in the universe, differs substantially from the one given by Oudemans and Lardinois, which makes man and his place in the world the central issues of a cosmology. This chapter describes the main cosmological assumptions underlying Pindar's poetry as they are expressed in gnomic expression (gnomai), a form of popular wisdom. The classification that the author used to analyse Pindar's gnomai with a view to their cosmological content is based on a combination of the six cosmological categories of Oudemans and Lardinois and the three socio-psychological dimensions of Shimkin and Sanjuan already referred to.

Keywords: cosmology; gnomic expression; Lardinois; metaphysics; Oudemans; Pindar; Pindar's poetry; Sanjuan; Shimkin



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