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Pindar's Songs for Young Athletes of Aigina$
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Anne Pippin Burnett

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199277940

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199277940.001.0001

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6. Isthmian 5: Achilles and Telephos

6. Isthmian 5: Achilles and Telephos

(p.89) 6. Isthmian 5: Achilles and Telephos
Pindar's Songs for Young Athletes of Aigina

Anne Pippin Burnett

Oxford University Press

Isthmian 5, the last ode in the series commissioned by Lampon and written by Pindar, again celebrates the younger son, Phylakidas, probably in 478 BC. Coached by his older brother, Phylakidas has taken another pankratic victory at the Isthmos, but he has evidently not gained the Olympic prize that was publicly prayed for in Isthmian 6. Here, Pindar had two special problems: he had to praise a victor who has so far missed his heart's desire, and he had to glorify the lesser victory of a youth at a time when men of his city had recently triumphed (or died) in a bloody encounter with invading Persians. The ode's momentary levelling of all things mortal means that news of a youthful victory in the pankration may now follow immediately, and without apology, upon the bloodshed at Salamis. Against Telephos, the aspect of the visionary Achilles undergoes a radical change.

Keywords:   ode, pankration, Pindar, Isthmian 5, Phylakidas, victory, Salamis, Achilles, Telephos

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