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Cosmology in action: An analysis of selected odes

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on changes from a broad outline derived from one element of all the poems to a consideration of particular poems as a whole to investigate how Pindar applies cosmological ideas for encomiastic purposes. Analyses of odes, namely, Olympian 12, Isthmian 4 and Olympian 13 follow on some general remarks on cosmology and praise, and a brief discussion of Pythian 7 and Nemean 2 as examples of the ubiquity of cosmological concerns in Pindar's poetry. The overview of cosmological ideas presents a world in which man has to recognize both his frailty when confronted with the divine order and the expectations and obligations attached to his position in human society. The chapter presents brief references to Corinthian heroes and the main narrative concerning Bellerophon and Pegasos, and demonstrates how difficult it is to achieve what is "exactly right", by fully using one's capabilities without doing "too much".

Keywords: Bellerophon; Corinthian heroes; cosmology; divine order; Pegasos; Pindar; selected odes



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