Text #9125"Pindar", in .
Pindar (c. 522 – c. 443 BC) was an Ancient Greek lyric poet from Thebes. Of the canonical nine lyric poets of ancient Greece, his work is the best preserved. … Five ancient sources contain all the recorded details of Pindar’s life. One of them is a short biography discovered in 1961 on an Egyptian papyrus dating from at least 200 AD (P.Oxy.2438). The other four are collections that weren’t finalized until some 1600 years after his death:
Commentaries on Pindar by Eustathius of Thessalonica;
Vita Vratislavensis, found in a manuscript at Breslau, author unknown;
a text by Thomas Magister;
some meagre writings attributed to the lexicographer Suidas.
Although these sources are based on a much older literary tradition, going as far back as Chamaeleon of Heraclea in the 4th century BC, they are generally viewed with scepticism today: much of the material is clearly fanciful. …
He was probably born in 522 BC or 518 BC (the 65th Olympiad) in Cynoscephalae, a village in Boeotia, not far from Thebes. His father’s name is variously given as Daiphantus, Pagondas or Scopelinus, and his mother’s name was Cleodice. …
The early-to-middle years of Pindar’s career coincided with the Persian invasions of Greece in the reigns of Darius and Xerxes. During the invasion in 480/79 BC, when Pindar was almost forty years old, Thebes was occupied by Xerxes’ general, Mardonius, who with many Theban aristocrats subsequently perished at the Battle of Plataea. It is possible that Pindar spent much of this time at Aegina. His choice of residence during the earlier invasion in 490 BC is not known, but he was able to attend the Pythian Games for that year, where he first met the Sicilian prince, Thrasybulus, nephew of Theron of Acragas. Thrasybulus had driven the winning chariot and he and Pindar were to form a lasting friendship, paving the way for his subsequent visit to Sicily. …
Pindar seems to have used his odes to advance his, and his friends’, personal interests. … Pindar proudly mentions his own ancestry, which he shared with the king [Arcesilas, king of Cyrene]… Membership of this clan possibly contributed to Pindar’s success as a poet, and it informed his political views, which are marked by a conservative preference for oligarchic governments of the Doric kind.