The Symposion as Theme and Performance Context in Pindar’s Epinicians

TitleThe Symposion as Theme and Performance Context in Pindar’s Epinicians
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsAthanassaki, L
EditorObbink, DD, Prodi, EE, Cazzato, V
Ancient AuthorsPindarus Lyr. (TLG 0033)
Book TitleThe Cup of Song: Studies on Poetry and the Symposion
ISBN9780199687688 (print)

This chapter examines the use and function of all Pindaric sympotic metaphors and similes and all representations of the symposion as performance venue on the basis of two criteria: (a) the identity and political status of the honorand and (b) the nature of the depicted symposion, i.e. small private events vs. big public gatherings. Similes and metaphors are mainly found in songs for Pindar’s aristocratic patrons, whereas brief descriptions of symposia as performance venues are mainly found in songs for tyrants, kings, and their milieu. Pindar’s symposia are small, peaceful, and sophisticated gatherings, distinguished from public festivals termed θαλίαι‎ and ἀγλαΐαι ἀστυνόμοι‎. Banquets and symposia at the courts of tyrants are neither big nor luxurious, but intimate and peaceful events. Pindaric sympotic imagery does not aim at prescribing the performance venue, but at harmonizing the tyrants’ ethos with the values of the various aristocracies in the Greek world. []


Site information

© 2007-2012 MOISA: International Society for the Study of Greek and Roman Music and Its Cultural Heritage

Site designed by Geoff Piersol and maintained by Stefan Hagel
All rights reserved.