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Divine, Human and Poetic Time in Pindar, Pythian 9

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This paper argues that Pythian 9, hailed for its romantic charm, also throws into relief an aspect that is widely assumed to be absent from it, specifically the gap between men and gods. That is, differences between the praise for Telesicrates and the Apollo and Alexidamus myths indicate that the swiftness even of a Pythian victor does not compare with the immediacy with which gods realize their desires. Furthermore, a narratological reading, elucidating the ‘content of the form’, suggests that the ode’s temporal organization, particularly the aspects of order and duration, underscores the discrepancy between divine and human times.


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Affiliations: 1: Universität Heidelberg, Seminar für Klassische Philologie Marstallhof 2-4, 69117 Heidelberg Germany, Email:


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