biographical name

(born 518/522, Cynoscephalae—died c. 438 BC, Argos) Greek poet. A Boeotian of aristocratic birth, Pindar was educated in neighbouring Athens and lived much of his life in Thebes. Almost all his early poems have been lost, but his reputation was probably established by his later hymns in honour of the gods. He developed into the greatest lyric poet of ancient Greece, respected throughout the Greek world. Of his 17 volumes, comprising almost every genre of choral lyric, only four have survived complete, and those lack his musical settings. The extant poems, probably representing his masterpieces, are odes (see Pindaric ode) commissioned to celebrate triumphs in various Hellenic athletic games. Lofty and religious in tone, they are noted for their complexity, rich metaphors, and intensely emotive language.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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