Essay on The Complete Odes by Pindar

Essay on The Complete Odes by Pindar

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The Olympic odes served in many ways as a means to bestow the basic democratic values of the Polis onto the Greek citizens. Stephen Instone’s introduction for The Complete Odes translated by Anthony Verity, gives insight into Pindar, a very famous ode writer’s objectives in writing. These odes were commissioned to demonstrate the greatness of the Olympic victor’s family, hometown and their athletic ability. Yet poets such as the great Pindar made very sure that these odes gave much glory to the gods. Linking the athlete’s ability directly back to the gods favor onto them. This in turn was essential in maintaining a strong Democracy and religious system. The Greeks power and strength came from their culture and unity; these odes demonstrated this.
The gods in many ways ruled the lives of the citizens, in that Greeks believed that the Gods are the reason for their victories, not only in the Olympic Games but in day to day life. Without the help of the gods interventions Greeks did not believe success would be possible (Instone). So in consequence citizens would do anything to be in the good favor of the gods. To be in this favor entailed many acts including adhering to the social roles of the democracy, and the rituals of the cult. Men were supposed to be the strong warrior athletes that were able to compete in these tests of strength. Yet still those who did not compete were not looked down upon because there were many other ways to gain fame in the Greek world. All citizens had a role to play in society and had to play it; men for example were elected to be the conductor of religious activity. This entailed animal sacrifice, which was absolutely necessary for the favor of the Gods especially at these games. Without proper sacri...


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... is important to the democratic ideals that the City states hold. I would also like to know more on the shared culture that the Greeks had and how they all came together. Also it is important to speak on the godly matter of this event. The Greeks seemed to be looking for ways to get back to the perfect form of the gods. Though they would probably never say it, it seems as though the Greeks in competition wished only to gain close accessibility to being a god on earth with a victory for your hometown. I wonder also about the gods jealously and how it could affect a competitor. Also I am very curious on the competition process of preparation and travel to the games. Another question I was concerned with was why if women are to be locked away in a house were women lusting after victors. How would women see these men, where the games thus an open forum for women also?

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