Thebes, Aegina, and the Temple of Aphaia: A Reading of Pindar's Isthmian 6
This chapter discusses the myth contained in Pindar's Isthmian 6, in which Pindar tells the story of how Herakles, visiting Telamon to summon him for their expedition against Troy, prays to Zeus that his host will have a son who will be a great warrior, naming the child Ajax. The importance of the common exploits of Herakles and Telamon for Aegina is discussed, especially in light of the pedimental sculpture of the Temple of Aphaia, along with the increased prominence of Ajax in the Aeginetan tradition, which reveals revisionism of more ancient versions of the Ajax myth. Also of interest is the way in which the mythical narrative of the friendship between Herakles and the Aeginetan Aiakidai seems to mirror contemporary relations between Thebes and Aegina, as an aetiology for cultural and political ties, between Theban poet and Aeginetan patron, and between Thebes and Aegina more broadly.
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