The Poetics of Victory in the Greek West: Epinician, Oral Tradition, and the Deinomenid Empire

Hardcover | November 16, 2015

byNigel Nicholson

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The Poetics of Victory in the Greek West examines the relationship between epinician and the heroizing narratives about athletes, or "hero-athlete narratives," that circulated orally in Sicily and Italy in the late archaic and early classical period. Drawing on the colorful stories told aboutathletes in later sources, the fragments of Simonides, and the surviving odes of Pindar and Bacchylides, it argues that epinician was formed in opposition to orally transmitted narratives and that these two forms - epinician and the hero-athlete narrative - promoted opposed political visions, withepinician promoting the Deinomenid empire and its structures and the hero-athlete narrative opposing Deinomenid rule. Combining an intimate knowledge of the material culture of the Greek West with an innovative use of available source material, The Poetics of Victory in the Greek West exposes the rich intersections between athletics and politics in Sicily and Italy, offering a new and compelling account ofDeinomenid self-promotion and of the varied and complex communities that operated under the Deinomenids' control or within their shadow. Further, by establishing models of production and interpretation for the orally transmitted narratives and bringing them into dialogue with epinician, The Poeticsof Victory in the Greek West reveals much about epinician as a form, how it developed in the Greek West, what meanings it already carried, and what meanings it accrued as it was appropriated by Hieron the second Deinomenid ruler.

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The Poetics of Victory in the Greek West examines the relationship between epinician and the heroizing narratives about athletes, or "hero-athlete narratives," that circulated orally in Sicily and Italy in the late archaic and early classical period. Drawing on the colorful stories told aboutathletes in later sources, the fragments of ...

Nigel Nicholson is Dean of Faculty and Walter Mintz Professor of Classics at Reed College.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:376 pages, 9.21 × 6.3 × 0.98 inPublished:November 16, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190209097

ISBN - 13:9780190209094

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsIntroductionThe Hero-Athlete NarrativeEpinician and the Hero-Athlete NarrativePolitics and Athlopolitics in Sicily and Southern ItalyEpizephyrian Locri: Hagesidamus and EuthymusCroton: Astylus and PhilippusSicily under Gelon: The Two GlaucusesSicily under and after Hieron: Ergoteles of Himera and Tisander of NaxosBeyond the Deinomenids: Alexidamus of MetapontumConclusionNotesList of Works CitedIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This is a brilliant book. Nicholson combines breathtaking control of the history, archaeology, numismatics, and topography of Sicily and South Italy with an ambitious new model of epinician and local oral narratives as co-existing, competing forms. The result is a richly textured account ofthe politics of form in the history of the Greek West." --Leslie Kurke, University of California, Berkeley