Among the works of the fifth-century BC lyric poet Bacchylides are epinician odes celebrating victors in the cycle of Greek Games, which were occasions of major political, cultural and religious significance in the Greek world. Fourteen of Bacchylides' epinician odes survive wholly or in part. The five included in this volume are those that have come down to us in fullest form; they are of great importance for the study of epinician poetry in particular and of early fifth-century lyric in general. In his Introductory Essays and Commentary D. L. Cairns explicates the social, ethical, cultural, and artistic features of Bacchylidean epinician within the contexts in which it is so deeply embedded. The volume will be of interest to advanced students and scholars with a good knowledge of the Greek language. It is also designed to be usable by students with little or no Greek. The commentary is keyed to the translation as well as to the Greek text, and the emphasis throughout is more on contextual and literary interpretation than on purely technical aspects of language and metre. D. L. Cairns is Professor of Classics in the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of Aidos: The Psychology and Ethics of Honour and Shame in Ancient Greek Literature (Oxford 1993) and of numerous papers on early Greek literature and culture, and he is the editor or joint editor of five volumes of collected essays including Oxford Readings in Homer's Iliad (2002). J. G. Howie has written ground-breaking papers on early Greek poetry, is the translator of D. Fehling's Herodotus and his 'Sources' ( Die Quellungangaben bei Herodot ), and is currently working on a translation of E. Krummen's important work on Pindar, Pyrsos Hymnon (1990).
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