Aeginetan Epinician Culture: Naming, Ritual, and Politics
Taking as its point of departure the prevalence of catalogues of family victories and the unusual emphasis on personal names in extant Aeginetan epinician poetry, this chapter asks important questions about the relations between the commissioning of Aeginetan choral poetry in all its forms, local and Panhellenic cult, and Aeginetan aristocratic politics. It is likely that the control of and support for non-epinician choral song was itself in the hands of the same aristocratic group of Aeginetan individuals and clans that commissioned the poets to write victory odes in celebration of the athletic achievement of their family members. By forging links between Aeginetan aristocratic self-representation, ritual, and competitive oligarchic politics, this chapter adds sharpness and contextual specificity to modern scholarly theories about the broader cultural and political significance of epinician poetry; the chapter also includes a new treatment of the significance of Simonides' poem for Krios.
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