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Bacchylides
Bacchylides
(/bəˈkɪlɪˌdiːz/; Greek: Βακχυλίδης,[1] Bakkhylídēs; (c. 518 BC - c. 450 BC) was a Greek lyric poet. Later Greeks
Greeks
included him in the canonical list of nine lyric poets which included his uncle Simonides. The elegance and polished style of his lyrics have been noted in Bacchylidean scholarship since at least Longinus.[2][3] Some scholars, however, have characterized these qualities as superficial charm.[4] He has often been compared unfavourably with his contemporary, Pindar, as "a kind of Boccherini to Pindar's Haydn".[5] However, the differences in their styles do not allow for easy comparison, and translator Robert Fagles
Robert Fagles
has written that "to blame Bacchylides
Bacchylides
for not being Pindar
Pindar
is as childish a judgement as to condemn ... Marvel for missing the grandeur of Milton".[6] His career coincided with the ascendency of dramatic styles of poetry, as embodied in the works of Aeschylus
Aeschylus
or Sophocles, and he is in fact considered one of the last poets of major significance within the more ancient tradition of purely lyric poetry.[7] The most notable features of his lyrics are their clarity in expression and simplicity of thought,[8] making them an ideal introduction to the study of Greek lyric poetry in general and to Pindar's verse in particular.[9]

Contents

1 Life 2 Work

2.1 History 2.2 Style 2.3 Ode 5 2.4 Ode 13 2.5 Ode 15

3 Notes 4 References 5 Further reading 6 External links

Life[edit]

“ One canon is there, one sure way of happiness for mortals – if one can keep a cheerful spirit throughout life.[10] ”

This precept, from one of Bacchylides' extant fragments, was considered by his modern editor, Richard Claverhouse Jebb, to be typical of the poet's temperament: "If the utterances scattered throughout the poems warrant a conjecture, Bacchylides
Bacchylides
was of placid temper; amiably tolerant; satisfied with a modest lot; not free from some tinge of that pensive melancholy which was peculiarly Ionian; but with good sense..."[11] Bacchylides' lyrics do not seem to have been popular in his own lifetime. Lyrics by his uncle, Simonides, and his rival, Pindar, were known in Athens and were sung at parties, they were parodied by Aristophanes
Aristophanes
and quoted by Plato, but no trace of Bacchylides' work can be found until the Hellenistic age, when Callimachus
Callimachus
began writing some commentaries on them.[12] Like Simonides
Simonides
and Pindar, however, Bacchylides
Bacchylides
composed lyrics to appeal to the sophisticated tastes of a social elite[13] and his patrons, though relatively few in number, covered a wide geographical area around the Mediterranean, including for example Delos
Delos
in the Aegean Sea, Thessaly
Thessaly
to the north of mainland Greece and Sicily or Magna Graecia
Magna Graecia
in the west.[14] It has been inferred from the elegance and quiet charm of his lyrics that he only gradually acquired fame towards the end of his life.[15] Being drawn from sources compiled long after his death, the details of Bacchylides's life are sketchy and sometimes contradictory. According to Strabo, he was born in Ioulis, on the island of Ceos, and his mother was the sister of Simonides.[16] According to Suda, his father's name was Meidon and his grandfather, also named Bacchylides, was a famous athlete,[17] yet according to Etymologicum Magnum
Etymologicum Magnum
his father's name was Meidylus.[18] There is an ancient tradition, upheld for example by Eustathius and Thomas Magister, that he was younger than Pindar
Pindar
and some modern scholars have endorsed it, such as Jebb, who assigns his birth to around 507 BC,[19] whereas Bowra, for example, opted for a much earlier date, around 524–1 BC. Most modern scholars however treat Bacchylides
Bacchylides
as an exact contemporary of Pindar, placing his birth around 518 BC.[20] According to one account, Bacchylides
Bacchylides
was banished for a time from his native Ceos
Ceos
and spent this period as an exile in Peloponnesus, where his genius ripened and he did the work which established his fame.[21] Plutarch
Plutarch
is the only ancient source for this account and yet it is considered credible on the basis of some literary evidence[22] ( Pindar
Pindar
wrote a paean celebrating Ceos, in which he says on behalf of the island "I am renowned for my athletic achievements among Greeks" [ Paean 4, epode 1], a circumstance that suggests that Bacchylides
Bacchylides
himself was unavailable at the time.) Observations by Eusebius and Georgius Syncellus can be taken to indicate that Bacchylides
Bacchylides
might have been still alive at the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War,[23] but modern scholars have differed widely in estimates of the year of his death – Jebb, for example sets it at 428 BC[24] and yet a date around 451 BC is more favoured.[20] Ceos, where Bacchylides
Bacchylides
was born and raised, had long had a history of poetical and musical culture, especially in its association with Delos, the focal point of the Cyclades
Cyclades
and the principal sanctuary of the Ionian race, where the people of Ceos
Ceos
annually sent choirs to celebrate festivals of Apollo. There was a thriving cult of Apollo on Ceos
Ceos
too, including a temple at Carthaea, a training ground for choruses where, according to Athenaeus,[25] Bacchylides's uncle, Simonides, had been a teacher in his early years. Ceans had a strong sense of their national identity, characterized by their own exotic legends, national folklore and a successful tradition of athletic competition, especially in running and boxing – making the island a congenial home for a boy of quick imagination.[26] Athletic victories achieved by Ceans in panhellenic festivals were recorded at Ioulis
Ioulis
on slabs of stone and thus Bacchylides
Bacchylides
could readily announce, in an ode celebrating one such victory (Ode 2), a total of twenty-seven victories won by his countrymen at the Isthmian Games. Ceans had participated in the defeat of the Persians at the Battle of Salamis and they could take pride in the fact that an elegy composed by Bacchylides's uncle was chosen by Athens to commemorate the Athenians who fell at the Battle of Marathon. Being only thirteen miles from the Athenian cape Sunium, Ceos
Ceos
was in fact necessarily responsive to Athenian influences. Bacchylides's career as a poet probably benefited from the high reputation of his uncle, Simonides, whose patrons, when Bacchylides was born, already included Hipparchus (son of Peisistratos), brother of Hippias the tyrant of Athens (527–14 BC) and cultural coordinator of the city at that time. Simonides
Simonides
later introduced his nephew to ruling families in Thessaly
Thessaly
and to the Sicilian tyrant, Hieron of Syracuse, whose glittering court attracted artists of the calibre of Pindar
Pindar
and Aeschylus.[27][28] Bacchylides's first notable success came sometime after 500 BC with commissions from Athens for the great Delian festival (Ode 17) and from Macedonia for a song to be sung at a symposium for the young prince, Alexander I (fr. 20B). Soon he was competing with Pindar
Pindar
for commissions from the leading families of Aegina
Aegina
and, in 476 BC, their rivalry seems to have reached the highest levels when Bacchylides
Bacchylides
composed an ode celebrating Hieron's first victory at the Olympian Games (Ode 5). Pindar
Pindar
celebrated the same victory but used the occasion to advise the tyrant of the need for moderation in one's personal conduct (Pindar's Olympian Ode 1), whereas Bacchylides
Bacchylides
probably offered his own ode as a free sample of his skill in the hope of attracting future commissions.[29] Bacchylides
Bacchylides
was commissioned by Hieron in 470 BC, this time to celebrate his triumph in the chariot race at the Pythian Games
Pythian Games
(Ode 4). Pindar
Pindar
also composed a celebratory ode for this victory (Pindar's Pythian Ode 1), including however stern, moral advice for the tyrant to rule wisely. Pindar
Pindar
was not commissioned to celebrate Hieron's subsequent victory in the chariot race at the Olympic Games in 468 BC – this, the most prestigious of Hieron's victories, was however celebrated by Bacchylides
Bacchylides
(Ode 3). The tyrant's apparent preference for Bacchylides
Bacchylides
over Pindar
Pindar
on this occasion might have been partly due to the Cean poet's simpler language and not just to his less moralizing posture,[8] and yet it is also possible that Bacchylides and his uncle were simply better suited to palace politics than was their more high-minded rival.[30] Alexandrian scholars in fact interpreted a number of passages in Pindar
Pindar
as hostile allusions to Bacchylides
Bacchylides
and Simonides
Simonides
and this interpretation has been endorsed by modern scholars also.[23] As a composer of choral lyrics, Bacchylides
Bacchylides
was probably responsible also for the performance, involving him in frequent travel to venues where musicians and choirs awaited instruction. Ancient authorities testify to his visit to the court of Hieron (478–467)[31] and this is indeed indicated by his fifth Ode (476 BC), where the word xenos (V.11) implies that he had already been Hieron's guest, (probably accompanied by his uncle).[23] Verses 15 and 16 of his third ode (468 BC), also for Hieron, indicate that he might have composed that work at Syracuse.[32] Work[edit] History[edit] The poems were collected into critical editions sometime in the late 3rd century BC by the Alexandrian scholar, Aristophanes
Aristophanes
of Byzantium, who probably restored them to their appropriate metres after finding them written in prose form.[33] They were arranged in nine 'books', exemplifying the following genres[8] ( Bacchylides
Bacchylides
in fact composed in a greater variety of genres than any of the other lyric poets who comprise the canonic nine, with the exception of Pindar, who composed in ten):[34]

"The relation of Bacchylides
Bacchylides
to Greek art is a subject that no student of his poetry can ignore" – Richard Claverhouse Jebb.[35] Theseus, visiting the underwater palace of his father, Poseidon, meets with Amphitrite, as witnessed by the goddess Athena
Athena
and by some of the neighbourhood dolphins – here presented by the artist Euphronios. The underwater encounter is also the subject of a Bacchylides dithyramb.

dithyrambs paeans hymns prosodia partheneia hyporchemata epinikians erotica encomia

The Alexandrian grammarian Didymus (circa 30 BC) wrote commentaries on the work of Bacchylides
Bacchylides
and the poems appear, from the finding of papyri fragments, to have been popular reading in the first three centuries AD.[36] Their popularity seems to have continued into the 4th century also: Ammianus Marcellinus
Ammianus Marcellinus
(xxv. 4) observed that the emperor Julian enjoyed reading Bacchylides, and the largest collection of quotations that survived up until the modern era was assembled by Stobaeus
Stobaeus
(early 5th century).[37] All that remained of Bacchylides's poetry by 1896, however, were sixty-nine fragments, totalling 107 lines.[38] These few remains of his writings were collected by Brunck, Bergk,[39] Bland, Hartung, and Neue.[40][1] The oldest sources on Bacchylides
Bacchylides
and his work are scholia on Homer, Hesiod, Pindar, Aristophanes, Apollonius Rhodius and Callimachus. Other fragments and 'notices' are sprinkled through the surviving works of ancient authors, which they used to illustrate various points they were making, as for example:[41]

Bacchylides, Encomia fr. 5, preserved by a 1st-century BC or AD papyrus form Oxyrhynchus
Oxyrhynchus
(P.Oxy. 1361 fr. 4).

Dionysius of Halicarnassus
Dionysius of Halicarnassus
– frag. 11 Strabo
Strabo
– notice 57 Plutarch
Plutarch
– frag. 29 Apollonius Dyscolus – frag. 31 Zenobius – frag.s 5, 24 Hephaestion – frag.s 12, 13, 15 Athenaeus
Athenaeus
– frag.s 13, 16, 17, 18, 22 Clement of Alexandria
Alexandria
– frag.s 19, 20, 21, 32 Stobaeus
Stobaeus
– frag.s 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 20, 28 Priscian
Priscian
– frag. 27 Johannes Siceliota – frag. 26 Etymologicum Magnum
Etymologicum Magnum
– frag.s 25, 30 Palatine Anthology
Palatine Anthology
– frag.s 33, 34.

Fortunately for Bacchylidean scholarship, a papyrus came to light in Egypt at the end of the 19th century with a text of Greek uncials, which a local claimed to have found in a ransacked tomb, between the feet of a mummy. It was snapped up for a "preposterous" price by the great Egyptologist Wallis Budge, of the British Museum. Budge's plan to return to the museum with the papyrus was unacceptable to the British Consul and to the Egyptian Service of Antiquities so he resorted to desperate measures. In an elaborate plan involving a crate of oranges, switched trains and covert embarkations, he eventually sailed from the Suez with the papyrus dismembered and disguised as a packet of photographs.[38][42] He presented his find in 1896 to Frederic Kenyon
Frederic Kenyon
in the British Museum's Department of Manuscripts. Kenyon reassembled 1382 lines, of which 1070 were perfect or easily restored and, the following year, he published an edition of twenty poems, six of them nearly complete.[38] Some more pieces of the Egyptian fragments were fitted together by Friedrich Blass
Friedrich Blass
in Germany and then followed the authoritative edition of Bacchylides' poetry by Richard Claverhouse Jebb[n 1] – a combination of scholars that inspired one academic to comment: "we almost had the Renaissance back again".[44] As noted by Frederic Kenyon,[45] the papyrus was originally a roll probably about seventeen feet long and about ten inches high, written in the Ptolemaic period, with some Roman characteristics that indicate a transition between styles, somewhere around 50 BC. It reached England in about two hundred torn fragments, the largest about twenty inches in length and containing four and a half columns of writing, the smallest being scraps with barely enough space for one or two letters. The beginning and end sections were missing and the damage done to the roll was not entirely the result of its recent discovery. Kenyon gradually pieced the fragments together, making three independent sections: the first, nine feet long with twenty-two columns of writing; the next section, a little over two feet long with six columns; the third, three and a half feet long with ten columns – a total length of almost fifteen feet and thirty-nine columns. Friedrich Blass
Friedrich Blass
later pieced together some of the still detached fragments and concluded that two of the poems on the restored roll (Odes vi. and vii., as numbered by Kenyon in the editio princeps) must be parts of a single ode (for Lachon of Ceos) – hence even today the poems can be found numbered differently, with Jebb for example one of those following Blass's lead and numbering the poems differently from Kenyon from poem 8 onwards (Kenyon 9 = Jebb 8 and so on).[36] Bacchylides
Bacchylides
had become, almost overnight, among the best represented poets of the canonic nine, with about half as many extant verses as Pindar, adding about a hundred new words to Greek lexicons.[46] Ironically, his newly discovered poems sparked a renewed interest in Pindar's work,[47] with whom he was compared so unfavourably that "the students of Pindaric poetry almost succeeded in burying Bacchylides all over again."[4] Style[edit]

“ Together with true glories, men will praise also the charm of the melodious Cean nightingale. – Bacchylides, Ode 3[48] ”

Much of Bacchylides's poetry was commissioned by proud and ambitious aristocrats, a dominant force in Greek political and cultural life in the 6th and early part of the 5th centuries, yet such patrons were gradually losing influence in an increasingly democratic Greek world.[49] The kind of lofty and stately poetry that celebrated the achievements of these archaic aristocrats was within the reach of 'The Cean nightingale',[50][51] yet he seems to have been more at home in verses of a humbler and lighter strain, even venturing on folksiness and humour.[50][51]

The distinctive merits of Bacchylides, his transparent clearness, his gift of narrative, his felicity in detail, the easy flow of his elegant verse, rather fitted him to become a favourite with readers... he was a poet who gave pleasure without demanding effort, a poet with whom the reader could at once feel at home. – Richard Claverhouse Jebb[52]

Lyric poetry
Lyric poetry
was still a vigorous art-form and its genres were already fully developed when Bacchylides
Bacchylides
started out on his career. From the time of the Peloponnesian War, around the end of his life, the art-form was in decline, as exemplified by the inferior dithyrambs of Philoxenos of Cythera.[7] Meanwhile, tragedy, as developed by Athenian dramatists of the calibre of Aeschylus
Aeschylus
and Sophocles, had begun to emerge as the leading poetic genre, borrowing the literary dialect, the metres and poetic devices of lyric poetry in general and the dithyramb in particular (Aristotle Poetics IV 1449a). The debt however was mutual and Bacchylides
Bacchylides
borrowed from tragedy for some of his effects – thus Ode 16, with its myth of Deianeira, seems to assume audience knowledge of Sophocles's play, Women of Trachis, and Ode 18 echoes three plays – Aeschylus's Persians and Suppliants and Sophocles's Oedipus Rex.[53] His vocabulary shows the influence of Aeschylus
Aeschylus
with several words being common to both poets and found nowhere else.[54] The use of gripping and exciting narrative and the immediacy gained from the frequent use of direct speech are thought to be among Bacchylides's best qualities,[8] influencing later poets such as Horace
Horace
(who imitated him, according to Pomponius Porphyrion, in Carmen I. 15, where Nereus
Nereus
predicts the destruction of Troy).[55] These narrative qualities were modelled largely on the work of Stesichorus, whose lyrical treatment of heroic myth influenced, for instance, Ode 5.[56] Whereas however Stesichorus
Stesichorus
developed graphic images in his poetry that subsequently became established in vase painting, Bacchylides
Bacchylides
merely employed images already current in his own day.[35]

Theseus
Theseus
triumphing over the notorious thug Procrustes
Procrustes
– here depicted by the artist Euphronios. Bacchylides
Bacchylides
celebrated such victories by Theseus
Theseus
in one of his dithyrambs, sung in the form of a dialogue between chorus and chorus-leader (poem 18).

Simonides, the uncle of Bacchylides, was another strong influence on his poetry,[57] as for example in his metrical range, mostly dactylo-epitrite in form, with some Aeolic rhythms and a few iambics. The surviving poems in fact are not metrically difficult, with the exception of two odes (Odes XV and XVI, Jebb).[58] He shared Simonides's approach to vocabulary, employing a very mild form of the traditional, literary Doric dialect, with some Aeolic words and some traditional epithets borrowed from epic. Like Simonides, he followed the lyric tradition of coining compound adjectives – a tradition in which the poet was expected to be both innovative and tasteful – but the results are thought by some modern scholars to be uneven.[8][59] Many of his epithets however serve a thematic and not just a decorative function, as for instance in Ode 3, where the "bronze-walled court" and "well-built halls" of Croesus
Croesus
(Ode 3.30–31 and 3.46) contrast architecturally with the "wooden house" of his funeral pyre (Ode 3.49), in an effect that aims at pathos and which underscores the moral of the ode.[60] Bacchylides
Bacchylides
is renowned for his use of picturesque detail, giving life and colour to descriptions with small but skilful touches, often demonstrating a keen sense of beauty or splendour in external nature: a radiance, "as of fire," streams from the forms of the Nereids
Nereids
(XVI. 103 if. Jebb); an athlete shines out among his fellows like "the bright moon of the mid-month night" among the stars (VIII. 27 if.); the sudden gleam of hope which comes to the Trojans by the withdrawal of Achilles
Achilles
is like a ray of sunshine "from beneath the edge of a storm-cloud" (XII – 105 if.); the shades of the departed, as seen by Heracles
Heracles
on the banks of the Cocytus, resemble countless leaves fluttering in the wind on "the gleaming headlands of Ida" (V. 65 if ).[61] Imagery is employed sparingly but often with impressive and beautiful results,[62] such as in the simile of the eagle in Ode 5 below. Ode 5[edit] Bacchylides
Bacchylides
has often been compared unflatteringly with Pindar, as for example by the French critic, Henri Weil: "There is no doubt that he fails of the elevation, and also of the depth, of Pindar. The soaring wing was refused him, and he should never have compared himself, as he does somewhere, to an eagle."[63] The image of the eagle occurs in Ode 5, which was composed for Hieron of Syracuse in celebration of his Olympic victory with the race-horse Pherenicus in 476 BC. Pindar's Olympian Ode 1 celebrates the same race and the two poems allow for some interesting comparisons. Bacchylides's Ode 5 includes, in addition to a brief reference to the victory itself, a long mythical episode on a related theme, and a gnomic or philosophical reflection – elements that occur also in Pindar's ode and that seem typical of the victory ode genre.[64] Whereas however Pindar's ode focuses on the myth of Pelops
Pelops
and Tantalus
Tantalus
and demonstrates a stern moral about the need for moderation in personal conduct (a reflection on Hieron's political excesses),[65] Bacchylides's ode focuses on the myths of Meleager
Meleager
and Hercules, demonstrating the moral that nobody is fortunate or happy in all things (possibly a reflection on Hieron's chronic illness).[48] This difference in moral posturing was typical of the two poets, with Bacchylides
Bacchylides
adopting a quieter, simpler and less forceful manner than Pindar.[66] Frederic G. Kenyon, who edited the papyrus poems, took an unsympathetic view of Bacchylides's treatment of myth in general:

The myths are introduced mechanically, with little attempt to connect them with the subject of the ode. In some cases they appear to have no special appropriateness but to be introduced merely at the poet's pleasure. There is no originality of structure; the poet's art is shown in craftsmanship rather than in invention. – Frederic G. Kenyon[45]

Bacchylides
Bacchylides
however might be better understood as an heir to Stesichorus, being more concerned with story-telling per se, than as a rival of Pindar.[67] But irrespective of any scruples about his treatment of myth, Bacchylides
Bacchylides
is thought to demonstrate in Ode 5 some of his finest work and the description of the eagle's flight, near the beginning of the poem, has been called by one modern scholar "the most impressive passage in his extant poetry."[68]

...Quickly

cutting the depth of air

on high with tawny wings

the eagle, messenger of Zeus

who thunders in wide lordship,

is bold, relying on his mighty

strength, while other birds

cower, shrill-voiced, in fear.

The great earth's mountain peaks do not hold him back,

nor the tireless sea's

rough-tossing waves, but in

the limitless expanse

he guides his fine sleek plumage

along the West Wind's breezes, manifest to men's sight.

So now for me too countless paths extend in all directions

by which to praise your [i.e. Hieron's] prowess...(Ode 5.16–33)[69]

Bacchylides's image of the poet as an eagle winging across the sea was not original – Pindar
Pindar
had already used it earlier (Nemean Odes 5.20–21). In fact, in the same year that both poets celebrated Pherenicus's Olympic victory, Pindar
Pindar
also composed an ode for Theron of Acragas (Olympian 2), in which he likens himself to an eagle confronted with chattering ravens – possibly a reference to Bacchylides
Bacchylides
and his uncle.[70] It is possible in that case that Bacchylides's image of himself as an eagle in Ode 5 was a retort to Pindar.[71] Moreover, Bacchylides's line "So now for me too countless paths extend in all directions" has a close resemblance to lines in one of Pindar's Isthmian Odes (1.1–2), "A thousand ways ... open on every side widespread before me"[72] but, as the date of Pindar's Isthmian Ode is uncertain, it is not clear in this case who was imitating whom.[73] According to Kenyon, Pindar's idiosyncratic genius entitles him to the benefit of a doubt in all such cases: "... if there be actual imitation at all, it is fairly safe to conclude that it is on the part of Bacchylides."[45] In fact one modern scholar[74] has observed in Bacchylides
Bacchylides
a general tendency towards imitation, sometimes approaching the level of quotation: in this case, the eagle simile in Ode 5 may be thought to imitate a passage in the Homeric Hymn
Hymn
to Demeter (375–83), and the countless leaves fluttering in the wind on "the gleaming headlands of Ida", mentioned later in the ode, recall a passage in Iliad
Iliad
(6.146–9). A tendency to imitate other poets is not peculiar to Bacchylides, however – it was common in ancient poetry,[75] as for example in a poem by Alcaeus (fragment 347), which virtually quotes a passage from Hesiod
Hesiod
(Works and Days 582–8). Pindar's Olympian Ode 1 and Bacchylides's Ode 5 differ also in their description of the race – while Pindar's reference to Pherenicus is slight and general ("...speeding / by Alpheus' bank, / His lovely limbs ungoaded on the course...": Olympian I.20–21),[76] Bacchylides describes the running of the winner more vividly and in rather more detail – a difference that is characteristic of the two poets:[77][n 2]

When Pherenicos with his auburn mane

ran like the wind

beside the eddies of broad Alpheios,

Eos, with her arms all golden, saw his victory,

and so too at most holy Pytho.

Calling the earth to witness, I declare

that never yet has any horse outstripped him

in competition, sprinkling him with dust

as he rushed forward to the goal.

For like the North Wind's blast,

keeping the man who steers him safe,

he hurtles onward, bringing to Hieron,

that generous host, victory with its fresh applause.(Ode 5.37–49)[69]

Ultimately, however, Bacchylides
Bacchylides
and Pindar
Pindar
share many of the same goals and techniques – the difference is largely one of temperament:

They share a common repertory of motifs, images, conventions, diction; and they affirm and celebrate the heroic values of an ancient aristocracy. Both seek to bridge the gap between the fleeting present in its glorious display of beauty and energy and the eternal world of the gods. Pindar
Pindar
however grasps the contrasts between the extremes of mortality and divinity with greater intensity than Bacchylides
Bacchylides
and for this reason seems the more philosophical and meditative, more concerned with ultimate questions of life and death, transience and permanence. Bacchylides
Bacchylides
prefers to observe the gentler play of shadow and sadness over the sensuous surface of his brilliant world. – Charles Segal[79]

You, Pindar, holy mouth of the Muses, and you, talkative Siren, Bacchylides ...-anon. in Palatine Anthology[80]

Ode 13[edit] Ode 13 of the Bacchylides
Bacchylides
is a Nemean ode performed to honor the athlete Pytheas of Aegina
Aegina
for winning the pancration event of the Nemean games. Bacchylides
Bacchylides
begins his ode with the tale of Heracles fighting the Nemean lion, employing the battle to explain why pancration tournaments are now held during the Nemean games. The allusion to Heracles’ fight with the lion is also meant to incite why it is that Pytheas fights for the wreaths of the games: to obtain the undying glory that the heroes of old now possess for their deeds. Bacchylides
Bacchylides
then sings the praises of Pytheas' home, the island Aegina, and how "her fame excites a dancer’s praise." [81] Bacchylides
Bacchylides
continues this dancer allusion in praise of Aegina, and ends it by listing some famous men who were born on the island, namely Peleus
Peleus
and Telamon. Bacchylides
Bacchylides
then tells of the greatness of these men’s sons, Achilles
Achilles
and Ajax, alluding to a second myth, the tale of Ajax repelling Hector
Hector
on the beaches of Troy, keeping the Trojans from burning the Greek ships. Bacchylides
Bacchylides
relates how Achilles’ inaction spurred the Trojans to false hope, and how their swollen pride led them to be destroyed at the hands of the men they thought they had vanquished. The ode plays upon the fact that those who are listening to Bacchylides
Bacchylides
have also read the epics of Homer, and understand the whole story behind this scene that would speak poorly of Achilles
Achilles
if people did not know the role he played in the Trojan war. With this tale complete Bacchylides
Bacchylides
proclaims once again that the actions he has just told will be forever remembered thanks to the muses, leading once again into his praise of Pytheas and his trainer Menander, who shall be remembered for their great victories in the Pan-Hellenic games, even if an envious rival slights them.[81][82] Ode 15[edit] The Sons of Antenor, or Helen Demanded Back, is the first of Bacchylides’s dithyrambs in the text restored in 1896. The opening is incomplete, as part of the papyrus was damaged.[83] The dithyramb treats a moment in myth before the Trojan war, when Menelaus, Antenor, and Antenor’s sons go to King Priam
Priam
to demand the return of Helen. As is often the case with ancient Greek literature, Bacchylides
Bacchylides
plays of the audience’s knowledge of Homer
Homer
without repeating a scene told by Homer. He instead describes a scene which is new to the audience, but which is given context by knowledge of the Iliad
Iliad
and Odyssey. The story of this embassy was known to Homer, who merely alludes to it at Iliad
Iliad
3.205ff., but it was fully related in the cyclic epic poem Cypria, according to the Chrestomathy of Proclus. The style also plays off of Homer. Characters are almost always named with their fathers, i.e. Odysseus, son of Laertes (as reconstructed). They are also given epithets, though these are not the traditional Homeric epithets: godly Antenor, upright Justice, reckless Outrage.[84] Notes[edit]

^ Jebb was also responsible for the expansion of Bacchylides's article for the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica.[43] ^ A better example of his descriptive reporting of a victory can be found in fr. 10, honouring a runner who won two events at the Isthmian games: "For when he had come to a halt at the finishing line of the sprint, panting out a hot storm of breath, and again when he had wet with his oil the cloaks of the spectators as he tumbled into the packed crowd after rounding the course with its four turns, the spokesmen of the wise judges twice proclaimed him Isthmian victor..."[78]

^ a b Baynes 1878. ^ Longinus, De Sublimitate, 33, 5. (in Latin) ^ Robert Wind (1972). "Myth and History in Bacchylides
Bacchylides
Ode 18". Hermes. 100 (4): 511–523. JSTOR 4475767.  ^ a b Burnettn 1985, p. 3 ^ Slavitt (1998), p. 1 ^ Fagles 1961, p. [page needed] quoted by Slavitt 1998, p. 1. ^ a b Jebb 1905, p. 27 ^ a b c d e Campbell (1982), p. 415 ^ Jebb 1905, Intro. vi ^ Frag. 7 Jebb 1905 ^ Jebb 1905, p. 60 ^ Maehler 2004, p. 25 ^ Maehler 2004, p. 3 ^ Jebb 1905, pp. 25–26 ^ Jebb 1905, p. 3 ^ Strabo
Strabo
x p.486, cited by Jebb 1905, p. 1 ^ cited by Jebb 1905, p. 1 ^ Et. Mag. 582.20, cited by Campbell 1982, p. 413 ^ Jebb 1905, pp. 2–4 ^ a b Gerber 1997, p. 278 ^ Plutarch
Plutarch
de exil. 14.605c ^ Maehler 2004, p. 10 ^ a b c Campbell 1982, p. 414 ^ Jebb 1905, p. 4 ^ Athenaeus
Athenaeus
10 p. 456 F, cited by Jebb 1905, p. 5 ^ Jebb 1905, p. 7 ^ Maehler 2004, p. 9 ^ Jebb 1905, pp. 11–12 ^ Schmidt 1987, pp. 20–23. ^ Jebb 1905, pp. 13–20 ^ Claudius Aelianus
Claudius Aelianus
Varia historia iv.15. ^ Campbell 1982, p. 418 ^ Maehler 2004, p. 27 ^ Jebb 1905, p. 43 ^ a b Jebb 1905, p. 73 ^ a b Campbell (1982), p. 416 ^ Kenyon (1897): Introduction: xiv. ^ a b c Slavitt (1998), p. 3 ^ Bergk 1853, (in Latin) & (in Greek). ^ Neue 1823, (in Latin) & (in Greek). ^ Jebb 1905, pp. 74–76 ^ Burnett 1985, pp. 1–2 ^ Jebb 1911. ^ Louis Bevier (1924). " Bacchylides
Bacchylides
XVI (XVII)". The Classical Weekly. 17 (13): 99–101. doi:10.2307/30107807. JSTOR 30107807.  ^ a b c Frederic G. Kenyon, The Poems of Bacchylides; from a Papyrus in the British Museum, Longmans and Co. (1897), Introduction: ix. ^ Jebb 1905, pp. 68–69 ^ Lawrence Henry Baker (1923). "Some Aspects of Pindar's Style". The Sewanee Review. 31 (1): 100–110. JSTOR 27533621.  ^ a b Campbell 1982, p. 423 ^ Maehler 2004, p. 4 ^ a b Slavitt 1998, p. 6 ^ a b Jebb 1905, p. 78 ^ Jebb 1905, p. 74 ^ Maehler 2004, p. 18 ^ Jebb 1905, pp. 67–68 ^ Jebb 1905, p. 77 ^ Jebb 1905, pp. 32–33 ^ G. O. Hutchinson, Greek Lyric Poetry: A Commentary on Selected Larger Pieces, Oxford University Press (2001), p. 324 ISBN 0-19-926582-8 ^ Jebb 1905, p. 92 ^ Jebb 1905, p. 63 ^ Segal 1985, p. 238 ^ Jebb 1911, p. 123. ^ Jebb 1905, pp. 60–61 ^ Henri Weil, Journal des Savants (Jan. 1898), quoted in translation by Burnett 1985, p. 3 ^ Jebb 1905, pp. 34–38 ^ Pindar, p. 1 ^ Jebb 1905, p. 59 ^ Segal 1985, p. 235 ^ Campbell 1982, p. 424 ^ a b Stephen Trzaskoma, R. Scott Smith, Stephen Brunet, Anthology of classical myths: primary sources in translation, Hackett Publishing Company (2004), pp. 64–5 ISBN 0-87220-721-8 ^ Pindar, p. 16 ^ Campbell 1982, p. 426 ^ Pindar, p. 246 ^ Campbell 1982, p. 427 ^ Maehler 2004, p. 22 ^ Segal 1985, p. 236 ^ Pindar, p. 3 ^ Jebb 1905, pp. 56–57 ^ Campbell 1992, p. 172 ^ Segal 1985, p. 239 ^ Anth.Pal 9.571.4, cited by Campbell 1982, p. 113 ^ a b Bacchylides. "Ode 13". Translated by Robert Fagles. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1961 ^ Bacchylides. "Ode 13". Translated by David R. Slavitt. Philadelphia: University of Penn Press, n.d. ^ “Bacchylides.” The 1911 Classic Encyclopedia. 6 Oct 2006, accessed 12 March 2012. ^ Fagles 1961, p. [page needed].

References[edit]

 Baynes, T.S., ed. (1878), "Bacchylides", Encyclopædia Britannica, 3 (9th ed.), New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, p. 194  Bergk, Wilhelm Theodor (1853), Poetae Lyrici Graeci . (in Latin) & (in Greek) Campbell, David A. (1982), Greek Lyric Poetry, Bristol Classical Press  Campbell, David (1992), Greek Lyric, IV, Loeb, p. 172  Fagles, Robert (1961), Bacchylides: Complete Poems, Yale University Press  Gerber, Douglas E. (1997), A Companion to the Greek lyric poets, Brill, p. 278, ISBN 90-04-09944-1  Jebb, Richard Claverhouse (1905), Bacchylides: The Poems and Fragments, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press  Maehler, Herwig (2004), Bacchylides: a selection, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-59977-6  Neue, Christian Friedrich (1823), Bacchylidis Cei Fragmenta, Berlin . (in Latin) & (in Greek) Pindar; Conway, Geoffrey Seymour (1972), The odes of Pindar, Dent, ISBN 978-0-460-01017-7, retrieved 2 January 2012  Segal, Charles (1985), "Bacchylides", The Cambridge History of Classical Literature: Greek Literature, Cambridge University Press  Slavitt, David R (1998), Epinician Odes and Dithyrambs of Bacchylides, University of Pennsylvania Press, ISBN 0-8122-3447-2  Schmidt, D.A. (1987), "The Performance of Bacchylides
Bacchylides
ODE 5", The Classical Quarterly, 37: 20–23, doi:10.1017/S0009838800031621, JSTOR 639341 

Attribution:

 Jebb, Richard Claverhouse (1911), "Bacchylides", in Chisholm, Hugh, Encyclopædia Britannica, 3 (11th ed.), Cambridge University Press, pp. 121–124 

Library resources about Bacchylides

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By Bacchylides

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Further reading[edit]

Barrett, William Spencer. 2007. Bacchylides
Bacchylides
10. 11–35. In Greek Lyric, Tragedy, and Textual Criticism. Edited by M. L. West, 214–231. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press Burnett, Anne Pippin. 1985. The Art of Bacchylides. Martin Classical Lectures 29. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press. Calame, Claude. 2011. "Enunciative Fiction and Poetic Performance: Choral Voices in Bacchylides’ Epinicians." In Archaic and Classical Choral Song: Performance, Politics and Dissemination. Edited by L. Athanassaki and E. Bowie, 115–138. Berlin: De Gruyter. Calame, Claude. 2009. "Gender and Heroic Identity between Legend and Cult: The Political Creation of Theseus
Theseus
by Bacchylides." In Poetic and Performative Memory in Ancient Greece: Heroic Reference and Ritual Gestures in Time and Space. By Claude Calame, 105–148. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. Crane, Gregory. 1996. "The Prosperity of Tyrants: Bacchylides, Herodotus, and the Contest for Legitimacy." Arethusa 29.1: 57- 85 D’Alessio, Giambattista. 2013. "The Name of the Dithyramb: Diachronic and Diatopic Variations." In Dithyramb
Dithyramb
in Context. Edited by Barbara Kowalzig and Peter Wilson, 113–132. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. Fearn, David. 2007. Bacchylides: Politics, Performance, Poetic Tradition. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. Goldhill, Simon. 1983. "Narrative Structure in Bacchylides
Bacchylides
5." Eranos 81: 65–81. Hadjimichael, Theodora A. 2015. Sports-Writing: Bacchylides’s Athletic Descriptions. Mnemosyne. 68.3: 363-392. Kyriakou, Poulheria. 2001. "Poet, Victor, and Justice in Bacchylides." Philologus 145.1: 16-33. McDevitt, Arthur. 2009. Bacchylides: The Victory Poems. London: Bristol. Nagy, Gregory. 2000. "Reading Greek Poetry Aloud: Reconstruction from the Bacchylides
Bacchylides
Papyri." Quaderni urbinati di cultural classica, new series 64.1: 7–28. Segal, Charles. 1997. Aglaia: The Poetry of Alcman, Sappho, Pindar, Bacchylides, and Corinna. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. Segal, Charles. 1976. " Bacchylides
Bacchylides
Reconsidered: The Epithets and the Dynamics of Lyric Narrative." Quaderni urbinati di cultura classica 22:99–130.

External links[edit]

 Greek Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: Βακχυλίδης (in Modern Greek translations) Works by or about Bacchylides
Bacchylides
at Internet Archive Works by Bacchylides
Bacchylides
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English translations Bacchylides
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Poems - Dithyrambs and Epinicians

v t e

Nine lyric poets — Ancient Greek literature

Alcman Sappho Alcaeus Anacreon Stesichorus Ibycus Simonides Pindar Bacchylides

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 100169207 LCCN: n50058180 ISNI: 0000 0001 2247 8492 GND: 118506080 SELIBR: 176426 SUDOC: 032474520 BNF: cb12349762f (data) BIBSYS: 90193179 NKC: jn19990210

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