The paean, or sacred hymn to Apollo, had a central place in the song-dance culture of classical Greece. The most celebrated examples of the genre in antiquity were Pindar's paeans, which became known to scholars in this century thanks to the discovery of papyrus fragments, some published as recently as 1989. Long overdue, this book offers the first comprehensive re-evaluation of the poems. It includes a text and translation of all the paeans of Pindar, newly classified, with a supplement comprising fragments from poems of uncertain genres. Dr Rutherford accompanies each fragment with an interpretation dealing with issues of religion, performance, and genre. A two-part comprehensive introduction looks at general aspects of the genre, including early
history, functions, performance, form, eidographic determinacy, use in Greek tragedy, and paeanic ambiguity - as well as offering an overview of the Pindaric paeans and their Hellenistic edition.
Readership: Scholars and advanced students of classical Greek literature, especially lyric poetry and Pindar.
Ian Rutherford, Reader in Greek and Head of Department, University of Reading
"We must be grateful to Rutherford for bringing these texts to the attention of a wider audience. The commentaries give a handy synthesis of the scattered secondary literature ... will need to be consulted by everyone working on the Paeans." - Journal of Hellenic Studies
"Pindar's Paeans is the most concentrated investigation (of these papyri) yet undertaken ... Rutherford's book uses first-rate scholarship to deal with difficult fragments in a way that allows broader conclusions (not least about the roles of lyric poetry in Greek culture) to emerge from the patient sifting of details. It is a fine achievement" - Greece & Rome