Two Distinct Epinician Styles: Uniqueness of Poetic Expression in Bacchylides’ and Pindar’s Victory Odes


13. Uluslararası Dil, Yazın ve Deyişbilim Sempozyumu: Basit Üslup 26-28 Eylül 2013 / 13th International Language, Literature and Stylistics Symposium: Simple Style September, 26-28, 2013, Kars, Turkey, 1 - 04 September 2013, vol.1, pp.615-627

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 1
  • City: Kars
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.615-627
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Beginning with the criticism in antiquity scholars have commonly perceived Bacchylides “the Cean nightingale” and Pindar “the Theban eagle,” as two rival poets in epinician poetry with totally different styles. Dionysius of Halicarnassus is the one of the earliest critics who explores this stylistic bifurcation clearly. Dionysius’ distinction between “austere” (auste^ra) and “polished” (glaphyra) forms of composition makes the identification of the prominent bifurcation between the styles of Bacchylides and Pindar possible. Defining this stylistic bifurcation accurately is only possible by scrutinizing the categories represented by the music in the archaic epoch, which is the integral part of the epinician poetry. These musical categories clarify how the style chosen by Archaic Greek poet is parallel with the ethical references of the performed music of epinician. In this paper that takes its point of departure from above-mentioned stylistic bifurcation, I will argue that both poets have the “unique” expressions in their stylistic contexts via a comparative study of some pieces of Bacchylides’ and Pindar’s victory odes.