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Pindar And Bacchylides

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Chapter Summary

Pindar’s narratives display a considerable variety. An exception is the fact that virtually all the narratives are located in a distant past, with the result that the bulk of Pindar’s primary narratives are subsequent. This characteristic also affects the way in which Pindar regularly marks off the narrative section from the surrounding text of the victory ode. A feature typical of several Pindaric narratives is their extraordinary compression. The relative brevity of Pindar’s narratives and his occasional tendency to focus on comparatively short episodes are not amenable to intricate narratives with multiple storylines or complex instances of simultaneous events. Like Pindar, Bacchylides locates his narratives in an unspecified past and regularly marks them off by means of the adverb ‘once upon a time’.

Keywords: Bacchylides; Pindar; Pythian 4

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