Pindar’s Verbal Art: An Ethnographic Study of Epinician Style

  Wells, James Bradley. 2010. Pindar's Verbal Art: An Enthnographic Study of Epinician Style. Hellenic Studies Series 40. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies.


This Appendix documents the analysis described in Chapters 3 and 4 above and applied to all of Pindar’s epinikia. The primary purpose of this Appendix is to provide supporting evidence for the arguments presented in Chapters 3 and 4, principally that five ways of epinician speaking—gnôma, lyric, angelia, mythological narrative, and eukhesthai—constitute the epinician way of speaking. This Appendix also documents the fact that many of Pindar’s epinikia exhibit some discernable pattern of orchestration, suggesting that the ways of epinician speaking are compositional devices, discursive formulae. The implication of such orchestration is that Pindar is an oral poet. One direction of future research would be to consider to what extent the ways of epinician speaking are traditional. As discussed in Chapter 5, epinician utterances often exhibit hybridizations, so that a single utterance may have features of more than one way of epinician speaking. I have described above how the criterion of addressivity enables us to identify the dominantly constitutive speech genre of such hybrid utterances. I apply that criterion in the diagrams that follow. The patterns of orchestration suggest that this criterion is meaningful from the point of view of Pindar and his language. There are a few “rules” for the presentation method that I adopt here: (1) an utterance is unembedded in relation to a preceding utterance when it is located at the left-most margin of the list of utterances occurring in a song; (2) one utterance is embedded in another when the embedded utterance stands in a hypotactic relationship to the embedding utterance; (3) embedding is indicated by the symbol ➥. In addition to diagramming the discursive structure of each epinician song, I occasionally address points of interpretation that any patterns suggest. Each individual song comes with its particular burden of interpretive history. If I were to engage with that history, this Appendix would multiply the length of Pindar’s Verbal Art. For the sake of expediency, then, my treatment of scholarship in this appendix is minimal.

Olympian 1

wells app fig1

I discuss Olympian 1’s discursive structure in detail in Chapter 5, including the deviation from the overall pattern of ring composition at lines 111–112.

Olympian 2

There is an interlocking pattern, A-B-A-B, among gnomic and mythological narrative utterances at lines 15–30. A lyric passage (lines 83–86) demarcates two chiastic patterns, A-B-C-B-A (lines 30–83 and 86–100). Given that the content of lines 3–4 parallels the content of the following angelia, these items may form terms B of a chiastic pattern with the eukhesthai utterances, terms A, of lines 1–2 and 12–15: A-B-B-A.

Olympian 3

If the discursive patterning recommends either that we disregard embedding dynamics or that we treat tas (line 9) as an article instead of a relative pronoun, then there is an angelia (lines 42–44) nested in an interlocking pattern (among lyric and gnomic utterances), which eukhesthai utterances ring; thus, A-B-C-B-D-C-A. Item D is inconsistent with an overall pattern; such inconsistency turns out to be patterned across Pindar’s epinician corpus as a whole.

Olympian 4

The pattern is generally interlocking, but has a chiastic dimension among items B and C: A-B-A-C-A-C-A-B. Because the dominantly lyric passage at lines 14–16 is highly inflected by features of the angelia style, I describe them as discursively analogous (terms C).

Olympian 5

There is an interlocking pattern A-B-A-B among eukhesthai utterances and gnômai. The embedded angelia of lines 4–8 is an outstanding example of how epinician styles interact dialogically: although the relative pronoun (line 4) signals the onset of embedding and although there is a change of verbal tense (present to past) and person (second to third), a second-person pronoun tin (line 7) occurs in the embedded angelia. I interpret the change of addressee from Kamarina (lines 1–8) to Pallas (lines 9–14) as the onset to a new (unembedded) utterance, which is also an eukhesthaiangelia hybrid. The stylistic hybridity of lines 9–14 forms an undeniable parallel with lines 1–8, recommending the structural interpretation that I offer. The single-sentence eukhesthai of lines 17–23 has two addressees, Zeus and Psaumis, a juxtaposition that the concluding gnôma qualifies.

Olympian 6

This song has an overall ring-composition structure. This pattern suggests some discursive relationship between the gnomic passage at lines 9–11 and the lyric passage at lines 96–97 (indicated by dotted line). Features of angelia so heavily inflect the gnomic utterance at lines 74–76 that perhaps it should be taken with lines 71–74.

Olympian 7

Given that lines 1–19 have a chiastic structure and that lines 94–95 are a gnomic coda to the song—and if we identify eukhesthai utterances as A, angeliai as B, gnomic utterances as C, and passages of mythological narrative as D—then the discursive pattern of lines 20–94 is: A-B-C-D-C-D-C-D-C-D-B-A-B-A-B, an elaborated chiastic pattern (terms A and B) embracing an elaborated interlocking pattern (terms C and D).

Olympian 8

Lines 1–76 have a ring-composition structure if we grant that the angelia inflections of the eukhesthai utterance at lines 9–11 make that passage discursively parallel to lines 65–71 and assume that the eukhesthai utterance at lines 1–7 has a reflexive quality that communicates how the epinician composer describes his task at lines 74–76.

Olympian 9

There appears to be a general ring-composition pattern with outliers at lines 1–4 and 80–99. Alternatively, there is an interlocking pattern, A-B-C-D-A-B-E-C-D, where A identifies the mythological narrative passages at lines 29–35 and 49–79; B, the eukhesthai passages at lines 35–36 and 80–83; C, the gnomic passages at lines 37–39 and 100–108; D, the eukhesthai passages at lines 40–49 and 108–112; and E, the lyric passage with embedded angelia at lines 83–99, a case of (patterned?) structural inconsistency. Perhaps both patterns apply.

Olympian 10

Lines 15–90 have an interlocking pattern, A-B-C-A-B-C. Lyric and eukhesthai passages dominate the beginning and end of the song. Lines 1–12 could be described structurally as a generally interlocking pattern, A (eukhesthai)-B (lyric)-A (eukhesthai)-B (lyric)-C (gnôma)-A (eukhesthai); if so, the angelia (lines 13–15) would be a kind of coda to the opening of the song, and that coda would parallel lines 100–105. There is a mythological angelia (lines 64–73) embedded in the central mythological narrative (41–77). Lines 73–77 offer a mythological representation of epinician performance.

Olympian 11

Olympian 11 has a lyric passage that deviates from an overall ring-composition pattern, another case of inconsistency that appears to be patterned across the epinician corpus. It is possible to interpret the structure of Olympian 11 as interlocking (with patterned inconsistency), A (gnôma)-C (lyric)-B (eukhesthai)-A (gnôma)-B (eukhesthai)-A (gnôma).

Olympian 12

Olympian 12 has a relatively straightforward ring-composition structure. The eukhesthai of lines 13–19 has angelia inflections and coincides exactly with the song’s epode.

Olympian 13

I present here one way to describe the discursive structure of this song. There are others. A first gray area concerns lines 6–10: maybe the passage is better described as an angelia; and it may be embedded in the preceding utterance if (line 6) is a relative pronoun, as is likely, and not an article. There is an interlocking pattern woven into the ring-composition pattern of lines 1–91: A (lyric, lines 11–12)-B (gnôma, line 13)-A (lyric, lines 45–46)-B (gnômai, lines 47–48).

Olympian 14

Prayers addressed to the Graces are the most salient feature of this song. Eukhesthai utterances frame lines 8–12.

Pythian 1

The beginning and end of Pythian 1 do not conform to the overall ring-composition structure of the song. Angeliai at lines 35–38 and 47–52 are also outliers, but the latter passage could be taken with the preceding eukhesthai utterances (lines 42–46), given that angeliai are embedded among the eukhesthai utterances of lines 67–82.

Pythian 2

Pythian 2 has two sections with a mainly interlocking pattern (lines 21–52 and 52–68), two with a mainly chiastic pattern (lines 1–20 and 69–96). The epinician composer’s intentions expressed by eukhesthai utterances at lines 83–85 seem to answer to the mythological exemplum of Rhadamanthus (lines 73–75).

Pythian 3

Lines 11–60 have an interlocking pattern, possibly nested in eukhesthai utterances. There seems to be a simple chiastic arrangement among speech genres in lines 61–80, assuming that the eukhesthai of lines 61–62 is doing double structural duty. Lines 81–115 have a ring-composition pattern.

Pythian 4

For the sake of space I do not provide detailed descriptions of the discursive structure for each instance of direct discourse in this song. There is a simple ring structure in lines 1–68. Lyric passages (lines 247–248 and 279) embrace an interlocking pattern, A-B-A-B, etc., in lines 249–278. A brief passage in the style of mythological narrative (line 291) breaks up the interlocking pattern of lines 279–297. The ring structure of lines 1–68 and the interlocking patterns of lines 247–297 ring the central mythological narrative of lines 68–246.

Pythian 5

Two patterned sections, one in the first half of the song, one in the second, ring lines 55–76: in the first half of Pythian 5, lines 1–54 have a ring-composition structure; in the second half, lines 77–117 have an interlocking pattern and lines 118–124 have a simple ring pattern. I am assuming that the analogous content of the angelia at lines 55–57 (praise for the city of the laudandus) and the lyric passage at lines 72–76 (commemoration of the Ageidai, a family descended from one of the autochthonous inhabitants of Thebes, the laudator’s city) indicates a formal relationship between the two utterances.

Pythian 6

The one-word opening prayer, Akousat’ ‘Hear!’, is appropriate to this song’s emphasis upon angelia, as evidenced by the appearance of the verb apangelei ‘will proclaim’ (line 18) and the angelia passages at lines 44–49 and lines 52–54. Since the mythological narrative of lines 28–43 shares the same discursive level as the mythological narrative of lines 21–27, which is clearly embedded in the preceding eukhesthai utterance, I describe both passages of mythological narrative as embedded in that eukhesthai utterance. Although the mythological narrative passages are embedded, they parse two other patterns: (1) eukhesthai-lyric-eukhesthai (lines 1–43) and (2) angeliaeukhes-thaiangelia (lines 44–54). In the lyric passage (lines 1–14), the composition builds the “treasury of hymns,” whose façade utters the eukhos-type of eukhesthai at lines 14–18. In other words, the lyric passage, in a sense, anticipates what the following eukhesthai utterance enacts. Further, given that the “treasury of hymns” is a metaphor for the song, which proclaims the virtues of Thrasyboulos in the angeliai of lines 44–49 and 52–54, the second pattern, angeliaeukhesthaiangelia (lines 44–54), performs the function described (notice apangelei ‘will proclaim’, line 18) in the first pattern, eukhesthai-lyric-eukhesthai, so that the two patterns are more functionally analogous than formally patterned—though there is some formal patterning too: the audience hears (Akousat’ ‘Hear!’ [second-person plural], line 1) the treasury-song’s (first pattern) victory announcement (second pattern).

Pythian 7

This brief song has a simple ring–composition structure with a gnomic coda.

Pythian 8

The features of angelia in lines 16–28 suggest the parallel with lines 78–86, which address a report (angelia) of the laudandus’s achievements to the laudandus.

Pythian 9

Note that in the angelia of 71–75 the tense moves from past to future, mirroring perhaps the future tense of Kheiron’s mythological narrative at 54–65. Although a relative pronoun at line 80 indicates embedding, the discursive structure of the song recommends treating 80–86 as corresponding to lines 68–70.

Pythian 10

Two simple ring structures (lines 1–9 and 10–22) followed by a gnomic coda (lines 22–29) organize the first part of the ode. A second part has an interlocking pattern (lines 29–54) and a ring-composition pattern (lines 55–71), followed by a gnomic coda.

Pythian 11

The patterning of this song suggests that the vocative ô philoi ‘oh friends’ (line 38) should be interpreted as an apostrophe in contrast with a second-person address, which is constitutive of the eukhesthai speech genre. The same applies to the vocative in line 62.

Pythian 12

Nemean 1

Three ring-composition sections pattern this song. The discursive structure (form) and content of lines 18–32 indicate that the angelia and eukhesthai are corresponding terms of the central ring-composition pattern: the eukhesthai, addressed to the song’s laudandus, whose wisdom and strength the utterance celebrates (so that he possesses the qualities exemplified in the preceding gnomic statement at lines 26–28); an eukhesthai utterance in the mode of an eukhos ‘vaunt’ is analogous to the angelia of lines 22–25.

Nemean 2

The utterance at lines 10–12 has gnomic style, but is connected to the preceding angelia. Taking lines 1–12 together, there is an interlocking pattern, A-C-B-A-B.

Nemean 3

Lines 1–32 have a ring-composition pattern; lines 70–84, an interlocking pattern. Lines 32–70 are a series of simple ring-composition patterns.

Nemean 4

Features of the lyric speech genre are dominant in lines 4–8, but there are gnomic inflections, which suggest treating 1–8 as a unit that corresponds to the closing lines. I take lines 22–30 as contiguous with preceding lines 13–22, given their angelia inflections. The speech object of the eukhesthai at lines 13–22 is the same as the grammatical subject (and speech object) of the angelia at lines 22–30. The discursive structure of lines 85–90 suggests a parallel angeliaeukesthai speech genre blending in its ring-composition antecedent at lines 9–30. The parallel content of lines 9–30 and 85–90 corroborates this suggestion: Timasarkhos’ father, Timokritos, is mentioned in line 13, his grandfather Euphanes in line 89; both are represented as singing. Lines 93–96 are gnomic in style, but the passage has content appropriate to angelia.

Nemean 5

Lines 1–16 have an interlocking pattern, A-B-C-A-B, lines 16–21 a ring pattern, A-B-A, taking the eukhesthai utterance of lines 19–20 and the lyric utterance of line 20 together, given that the lyric passage sustains the metaphor of the eukhesthai passage. After the central mythological narrative (lines 22–39), lines 40–54 have an overall interlocking pattern, A-B-C-D-A-B-C. This interpretation of the discursive structure of lines 40–54 depends upon treating the angelia inflections of the eukhesthai utterances at lines 50–54 as meaningful and as corresponding to the angelia of 44–46.

Nemean 6

Although it is possible to interpret the discursive structure of this song in other ways, I opt for the interpretation that there is an interlocking pattern, A-B-C-A-D-B-E-C-D.

Nemean 7

There is a series of interlocking patterns: A-B-A-C-B (lines 1–13), A-B-A-B (lines 12–24), A-B-C-A-D-B-C (lines 24–58), and A-B-A-B (lines 58–67). Ring composition shapes the discursive structure of lines 67–104. There is a gnomic coda. This song exhibits an especially high degree of stylistic hybridization.

Nemean 8

After an opening eukhesthai the patterning of lines 4–25 blends ring and interlocking discursive structures: A-B-C-D-C-D-B-A. Lines 26–51 have an overall ring-composition structure from which the lyric passage at lines 48–49 deviates.

Nemean 9

Indicating a structural correspondence between the passages on the basis of content, the lyric utterance at 48–49 asserts the power of song to augment an athletic victory, answering to the angelia at lines 4–5, which claims that victory motivates song.

Nemean 10

This song’s discursive structure includes three sections with interlocking patterns among ways of epinician speaking: A-B-X-Y-Z-A-B (lines 1–28), A-B-C-A-B-C (lines 29–54), and A-B-A-B (lines 55–90).

Nemean 11

Lines 1–12 exhibit an interlocking pattern, A-B-A-B. Lines 29–48 have a simple ring-composition pattern, A-B-A.

Isthmian 1

The beginning and end of the song form a chiastic pattern, A-B-B-A. Lines 6–16 have a small ring-composition pattern, A-B-A. Lines 32–63 have an interlocking pattern that embraces a third term, the gnomic passage at lines 41–51: A-C-B-A-B. The mythological narrative of lines 17–31 is at the discursive core of Isthmian 1. There is a gnomic coda.

Isthmian 2

The second-person address in lines 1 and 12 (the opening and closing of the passage) recommend describing lines 1–12 as an eukhesthai passage. Given this, the song has a ring-composition pattern, from which the lyric passage at lines 12–13 deviates. The topic of Isthmian 2’s opening and closing lines is song, so that there is a thematic, as well as discursive, dimension to the ring-composition pattern of the song.

Isthmian 3

This short song has two sections (lines 1–6 and 9–17) patterned A-B-A; B in both sections is a form of eukhesthai. There is a gnomic coda.

Isthmian 4

Lines 1–39 have a ring-composition pattern, A-B-C-D-C-B-A. Lines 40–51 have an interlocking pattern (with an outlier), A-C-B-A-B. Lines 61–72 have a simple ring-composition pattern, A-B-A.

Isthmian 5

Lines 1–29 have two ring patterns, one A-B-A (lines 1–15), the other A-B-C-B-A (lines 16–29). On the other “side” of the mythological narrative of lines 30–38, which is the discursive core of this song, there are two sections of interlocking patterns (A-B-A-B, lines 43–50, and A-B-C-A-B-C, lines 51–61) embraced by eukhesthai passages at lines 38–42 and 62–63.

Isthmian 6

Isthmian 6 has two patterned sections located before and after a discursively central mythological narrative. Lines 1–27 have an interlocking pattern among eukhesthai (A) and angelia (B), utterances that incorporate a gnomic statement (C), with the resulting structure A-C-B-A-B. After the lyric passage at line 56, lines 57–75 have a simple ring-composition pattern, A-B-A.

Isthmian 7

Isthmian 7 generally has a ring-composition pattern, from which lines 20–25 and 44–47 deviate.

Isthmian 8

Ring composition organizes the discursive structure among utterances of two speech genres, eukhesthai (A) and lyric (B).

Isthmian 9