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epinician poetry

Greek poetry composed “for victory” (cf. Nike). It praised victors in athletic and equestrian competitions (see agōnes), and is associated particularly with Bacchylides and Pindar, and before them Ibycus and Simonides; but see also Posidippus (2) for the Hellenistic period. The standard 5th- and 4th-century (and even later) expression for such a poem was enkomion, though Pindar (Nem. 4.78) speaks once of “epinician songs.” The classification of epinician as a separate genre of lyric poetry was a development of the Hellenistic period (see lyric poetry, Greek).


Harvey, A. E. “The Classification of Greek Lyric Poetry.” Classical Quarterly 49 (1955): 157–175.Find this resource:

    Hornblower, Simon, and Catherine Morgan, eds. Pindar’s Poetry, Patrons, and Festivals: From Archaic Greece to the Roman Empire. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. See especially chaps. 5 (Rosalind Thomas), 6 (Nick Lowe), 8 (Christopher Carey), and 13 (Riet van Bremen).Find this resource:

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