Piety In Pindar's Olympian

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Olympic gold is sought after by present day Olympians, and represents victory for the athlete and their country. Successful athletes achieve great honor and respect for their victory when engaged in competition. Pindar’s epinician poetry celebrated Greek ethos during such competition. His victorious athletes were rewarded through epinikia (Kyle 194). Pindar’s victory odes expressed the importance of piety among the athletes with regard to how they prepared for a competition in order to become the victor (195). Athletes prayed before competition in hopes of gaining charis from the gods for divine intervention in the games (195). At the same time, the victorious athlete was composed and exhibited aidos when they were crowned the victor (195).…show more content…
Pindar’s odes varied in length, but all contained common elements. These common elements revealed the name of the victorious athlete, the event, the greatness of the victor’s family and city, the calling upon otherworldly powers to celebrate the victor, and a relevant mythological story. This analysis of Pindar’s Olympian 2 will confirm the use of those common elements, and reveal how Pindar conveys Theron’s human achievements into a predetermined afterlife, and grant him a divine reward; eternal glory. The athletes in Pindar’s odes honed their skills by using their personal strength, courage and vigorous training to prepare for competition (Burnett 2). Sometimes their life was at risk, but they were honoring the gods in hopes of receiving charis so they could become the…show more content…
Theron conquered the eye of Sicily, created their wealthy city, and added magnificence and wealth to their descendants (Pindar, Olympian 2.8-14). Theron’s family claimed a bloodline from Oedipus (Burnett 16). Ainesidamos was the father of Theron and Xenokrates was his brother (16). Heron’s father Ainesidamos received praise in the ode as this victory was also for him (Pindar, Olympian 2. 45-47). Xenokrates is also celebrated for winning the chariot race in Pindar’s Pythian 2, and Isthmian 2 (Burnett 96,159). Pindar recognized Xenokrates for his athletic victory in the chariot race in the ode to Theron (Pindar, Olympian 2.49-53). The greatness of Theron, his family and his city confirm the relationship of favor that was built with the gods. Perhaps Pindar included Theron’s brother in the ode to keep Theron from exhibiting hubris. Victorious athletes did not want to attract the attention of the gods because the gods would retaliate. The victorious athletes in Pindar’s odes “were supposed to be moved by glory and not greed” (Kyle 197). Pindar’s odes called upon otherworldly powers to join in the celebration of the victor. This is seen when Pindar calls upon the gods on the throne of Olympos to protect and guard Theron’s ancestry (Pindar, Olympian 2. 12-14). Pindar conveys that not even Chronos can undo the favor because of the joy Theron’s noble victory created (Pindar, Olympian 2. 14-21). Pindar’s victorious athletes

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