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Amphiaraos As Alkman: Compositional Strategy and Mythological Innovation in Pindar's Pythian 8.39-60

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image of Mnemosyne

It is argued that Amphiaraos' prophecy in Pindar's eighth Pythian takes place not at the time of the second expedition against Thebes, but at the moment of his heroisation, during the first battle. In the passage leading up to this prophecy, Pindar creates for his audience a listening experience analogous to Amphiaraos' visionary experience, effectuating a fusion of time-layers. In the coda to the speech, it is revealed that this version of the heroisation of Amphiaraos, which centers on the seer's vision of his son Alkman, originates in a vision of Alkman that Pindar himself experienced. Pindar's vision serves as an authoritative source for what appears to be an innovative aspect of the episode.


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