This article studies a neglected melic poem by Pindar, a hyporcheme for Hieron of Syracuse. It places the work in the context of vigorous poetic production associated with Hieron's foundation of the city of Aitna in 476/5 and assembles the relevant fragments, arguing for the inclusion of frr. 105ab, 106, 114 S-M, and for the relevance of sch. Aelius Aristeides Panathenaikos 187, 2 Dindorf. It analyzes and accepts as likely the evidence of the Pindaric sch. vet. Pythian 2.127 Drachmann that this hyporcheme was referred to by Pindar as a Kastoreion or “Kastor song,” and weighs the significance of the further claim that the poet gifted it to Hieron as a “free extra.” A survey of the hyporcheme as a melic form permits some conclusions as to the likely performative qualities of the work. A close reading of the surviving fragments follows, with an emphasis on how they advanced key motifs of Hieron's propaganda: notably, the image of himself as king and founder, and as a promoter of Dorian culture; and his efforts to assume a kind of Spartan mantle. It is also argues that the poem associates Sicily with the invention of the chariot in an effort to counterbalance the greater hippic successes already achieved by Hieron's brothers Gelon and Polyzalos, as well as the Emmenids.
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Research Article| October 01 2019
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Peter Wilson; Dancing for Free: Pindar's Kastor Song for Hieron. Classical Antiquity 1 October 2019; 38 (2): 298–363. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/ca.2019.38.2.298
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