Pindar, Roman copy of Greek 5th century BC bus...
Pindar, Roman copy of Greek 5th century BC bust (Museo Archeologica Nazionale, Naples) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pindar (c. 520- 445 BCE) was a Greek poet born just outside of Thebes.

He was recognized in his lifetime as the author of many Odes, but only four books survive today. These describe and honor the champions of the Olympian, Pythian, Nemean and Isthmian games.

Wikipedia says:

Pindar was the first Greek poet to reflect on the nature of poetry and on the poet’s role. 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:

Cover of "The Odes (Penguin Classics L209...
Cover of The Odes (Penguin Classics L209)

Creatures for a day! What is a man?
What is he not? A dream of a shadow
Is our mortal being. But when there comes to men
A gleam of splendour given of heaven,
Then rests on them a light of glory
And blessed are their days.¹


Related » Aesculapius, Aphrodite, Blessed Isles

A tour of the RISD Museum in 20 objects, part two


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