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

Halliwell, Jonathan Miles (2009). Epinician precepts: a study of Chiron and the wise adviser in Pindar. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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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: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology (CAHA)
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/257


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