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"Pindar might not actually claim to be an Aegeid since his 'I' statements do not necessarily refer to himself.The Aegeid clan did however have a branch in Thebes, and his reference to 'my ancestors' in Pythian 5 could have been spoken on behalf of both Arcesilas and himself – he may have used this ambivalence to establish a personal link with his patrons." in which he glorifies Neoptolemus, a national hero of Aegina and Molossia.Like other poets of the Archaic Age, he has a profound sense of the vicissitudes of life, but he also articulates a passionate faith in what men can achieve by the grace of the gods, most famously expressed in the conclusion to one of his Victory Odes: 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.Scholars both ancient and modern have turned to Pindar's own work – his victory odes in particular – as a source of biographical information: some of the poems touch on historic events and can be accurately dated.He studied the art of lyric poetry in Athens, where his tutor was Lasos of Hermione, and he is also said to have received some helpful criticism from Corinna.The early-to-middle years of Pindar's career coincided with the Persian invasions of Greece in the reigns of Darius and Xerxes.

Nemean 7 in fact is the most controversial and obscure of Pindar's victory odes, and scholars ancient and modern have been ingenious and imaginative in their attempts to explain it, so far with no agreed success." In his first Pythian ode, composed in 470 BC in honour of the Sicilian tyrant Hieron, Pindar celebrated a series of victories by Greeks against foreign invaders: Athenian and Spartan-led victories against Persia at Salamis and Plataea, and victories by the western Greeks led by Theron of Acragas and Hieron against the Carthaginians and Etruscans at the battles of Himera and Cumae.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.Such celebrations were not appreciated by his fellow Thebans: they had sided with the Persians and had incurred many losses and privations as a result of their defeat.His praise of Athens with such epithets as bulwark of Hellas (fragment 76) and city of noble name and sunlit splendour (Nemean 5) induced the authorities in Thebes to fine him 5000 drachmae, to which the Athenians are said to have responded with a gift of 10000 drachmae.

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