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Abstract | Place and Identity in Pindar’s Olympian 2

My current book project, Myth, Locality, and Identity in Pindar’s Sicilian Odes, examines the way that local topographical features are adopted and adapted as nodes of civic identity in Pindar’s Sicilian odes. The book argues that by weaving regional and Panhellenic mythic traditions into the local landscape Pindar infuses physical spaces with meaning and thereby contextualizes cities, their citizens, and their rulers within a wider Greek framework. This paper focuses on Pindar’s representation of civic and ruler identity in one of Pindar’s odes for the Emmenid tyrants of Akragas. I argue first that Pindar affiliates the Emmenids with the River Akragas, an established civic symbol that is rooted in the physical landscape. I then propose that this link with the local landscape allows Pindar to portray the Theron and his family as pivotal figures who situate Akragas within a broader Panhellenic mythic tradition.

About Virginia Lewis

Virginia Lewis (PhD UC Berkeley) is an Assistant Professor of Classics at Florida State University. Her research focuses on Greek literature, with particular interests in archaic and classical Greek poetry, Pindar, tragedy, Greek Sicily, and theories of space and place. She has published on tragedy and has articles in progress on Pindar’s Sicilian odes. At the CHS, she will be completing a manuscript of her current book project, Myth, Locality, and Identity in Pindar’s Sicilian Odes, which examines the role played by local places, myths, and religious cults in epinician poetry for victors from Sicily and considers how these elements shape identity.

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