Author(s): Zsolt Adorjáni
The philosophy of Pindar?
Subject(s): Essay|Book Review |Scientific Life, Cultural Essay
Published by: Korunk Baráti Társaság
Keywords: Greek lyric; Pindar; philosophy; time; god; human existence
Summary/Abstract: In this paper I try to treat some basic features of Pindaric poetry for laymen who are interested in ancient Greek literature. In doing so, I conceive of Pindar’s poetry as a kind of implicit philosophy, i.e. some set of coherent answers to fundamental questions of existence, without implying that Pindar should be supposed to expound a systematic view of the world. Instead of this I read and interpret his work as poetry, yet poetry rich in sudden insights and quick forays into the realm of philosophy. In the introductory part I highlight some significant moments in Pindar’s afterlife, thus foregrounding the reasons for the long-lasting glory and sudden decline of his reputation. In order to resuscitate at least his thinking for a Greekless reader, in the subsequent short chapters I investigate Pindar’s views about time, the godhead, and human existence. The analysis shows that, in spite of some poetic inconsistencies, Pindaric poetry has a considerable innate drift towards giving serious and sometimes novel answers concerning metaphysical questions. Thus Pindar serves, beyond being one of the most genuine poets, as a link between the pre-Socratic philosophers and the “professional” thinkers to come. There is much to learn from him for future generations as well.
- Issue Year: 2015
- Issue No: 02
- Page Range: 16-22
- Page Count: 7
- Language: Hungarian