Choral lyric as 'ritualization': poetic sacrifice and poetic ego in Pindar's Sixth Paian

TitleChoral lyric as 'ritualization': poetic sacrifice and poetic ego in Pindar's Sixth Paian
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsKurke, L
Ancient AuthorsPindarus Lyr. (TLG 0033)
JournalClassical Antiquity

Abstract The ego or speaking subject of Pindar's Sixth Paian is anomalous, as has been acknowledged by many scholars. In a genre whose ego is predominantly choral, the speaking subject at the beginning of Paian 6 differentiates himself from the chorus and confidently analogizes his poetic authority to the prophetic power of Delphi by his self-description as ααοοίίδδιιμμοονν ΠΠιιεερρίίδδωωνν ππρροοfάάτταανν. I would like to correlate Pindar's exceptional ego in this poem with what has recently emerged as the poem's exceptional performance context. Following Ian Rutherford's 1997 discovery of a second marginal title for the third triad (““For the Aiginetans, a prosodion to Aiakos””), we might postulate performance by two choruses: the first two triads sung by a Delphian chorus stationary at the altar, the last triad sung by an Aiginetan chorus as they process to the altar. The need to reconcile within the poem and the space of performance two choruses, two communities, and two local mythic traditions generates the strikingly prominent speaking subject of Paian 6 as a mediating figure. []


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