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Epinician precepts: a study of Chiron and the wise adviser in Pindar

Halliwell, Jonathan Miles (2009)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis offers a fresh appraisal of the wise adviser in Pindar's epinician poetry. By focusing on the prominent figure of Chiron, it shows how Pindar engages with the paraenetic tradition in a way that reveals the distinctive character of the epinician poet. The first part of the study explores the function of Chiron as an interactive model for Pindar as poet-teacher. Chapter 1 examines how the mythical pedagogue enhances the status of the poet as wise adviser by illuminating the moral character of his advice. It shows how the relationship between teacher and pupil in the myth provides a model for that of poet and addressee and enables the poet to present his advice indirectly. In two separate case studies, I explore how Chiron's paradigmatic associations interact with the poet as adviser. In Chapter 2 (Nemean 3), I argue that the poet dramatises the instruction of a pupil as part of a collaborative and interactive form of learning. In Chapter 3 (Pythian 3), I argue that Pindar reconfigures preceptual instruction in a 'dialogue' between two speakers who enact the pedagogic relationship of Chiron and Asclepius. This strategy allows the poet to present his teaching tactfully and authoritatively. I conclude that Chiron is a figure for the poet as tactful and authoritative adviser and contributes to the poet's creation of a 'paraenetic encomium'. Secondly, this study of the reception and remodelling of the paraenetic tradition in Pindar illuminates the distinctive character of his advice and its central importance in Pindar's construction of poetic and moral authority.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Barker, Andrew (1943-)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Classics, School of Historical Studies
Keywords:Pindar, centaur, wise adviser, lyric poetry, epinician, proverb, gnome, games, athletics, hero, myth, song
Subjects:PA Classical philology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:257
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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