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The Odes

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,103 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
'What Pindar catches is the joy beyond ordinary emotions as it transcends and transforms them' —C. M. Bowra

Arguably the greatest Greek lyric poet, Pindar (518-438 B.C.) was a controversial figure in fifth-century Greece—a conservative Boiotian aristocrat who studied in Athens and a writer on physical prowess whose interest in the Games was largely philosophical. Pindar's E
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 256 pages
Published September 30th 1982 by Penguin Books (first published -450)
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Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grece

Pindare est un poète grec du 6eme siècle avant JC. Il a connu la guerre contre les perses relatée par Hérodote. Bien que postérieur à Homère et Hésiode, ses compositions ont été très appréciées et j'ai toujours eu envie de lire ces fameux Péans que les armées grecques chantaient avant le combat, dont parle Thucydide dans la guerre du Péloponnèse. Certains chants sont hélas très lacunaires, on a gardé surtout des poèmes qui étaient dédiés aux vainqueurs des jeux olympiques.

Mon seul regret avec ce
Cymru Roberts
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greek-drama, poetry
Five, ten, fifteen stars I give the Odes of this most melifluous of Greek poets save Homer, Pindar, mouthpiece of the Muses.

I started reading this book maybe in 2012 or '13, and it took me till now to finish it, mostly because after reciting one Ode, especially one as overflowing with amazement as Nemea 11, or Isthmia 3 & 4, I had to set the slim volume of copious counsel down and let it simmer, let the violet-shade of the Graces linger a little.

For background on the episodes of Greek lore (
Luís C.
Lisbon Book-Fair 2017.
Daniel Chaikin
Oh dear... Pindar is tough. I used two translations to try to get through this, but apparently Pindar is tough on translators too. Not only were their poetics different, but the meaning was often wildly different (that is, when I understood the meaning).

Pindar of Thebes wrote numerous books, about 18 of which were known to have existed, and all but four are now lost. Those four consist of his poems in honor of the winner of various events at ancient olympic games. The poems are rife with mytholo
Apr 10, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greek, poetry
These were... sort of tough to get through. You better know your greek mythology to make any sense out of them, if not, be ready to read the footnotes every 15 seconds.
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Una delle cose più difficili che ho letto in greco. Studiato a morte, profondamente inciso nella memoria e nell'anima. Ma giuro che l'autore è Pindaro, il poeta greco, non il signor Peter Pindar.
Jackson Cyril
I read Pindar in Italian translation, hoping that the musical qualities of the language would better capture the subtle cadences of the Greek than modern English-- I'm not sure I succeeded. At the end of the day, however, Pindar in translation is hardly the equal of Pindar in the Greek. One hears, hidden beneath the layers of translation, a majestic voice with an almost Miltonic power struggling to make itself heard.
Arthur Sperry
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a Latin and Greek Major as an Undergrad, I love reading the classics as much as I can. Pindar has some great lines and beautiful turns of phrase.
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Difficult reading, but interesting subject, his Odes for the victors at Olympic Games.
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I write this just cause I did a sort of whistle stop tour of the epinicion odes this morning, having previously read Pythians I, II, IX and Olympian I in the Greek and done essay work on Olympian I. I ended up finding lots of reasons to find Pindar highly imprssive although at first the painful process of actually translating him had made me feel less favorable. It's particularly in the poems with longer sections of mythological narrative like Olympian I, Pythian IV and IX that it's clear Pindar ...more
Cliff Davis
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ancient-greece
I enjoyed these vibrant poems that bring to life the ancient Greek world, even though they were reputed to be obscure and difficult.
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
Anyone who translates Pindar into verses this well crafted is a genius.
Χρύσα Ράπτου
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, poetry
Pindar was one of the greatest poets of the ancient Greek world. Deserves 5++ stars!
Aug 03, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: poetry
THE ODES. (this trans. 1969). Pindar. *.
All I can say is that I tried. These odes, written by Pindar (518BC-438BC), probably between the years 480BC and 460BC, are simply not accessible to me. Although the translator C. M. Bowra has attempted to provide us with enough background to give it our best try, I still didn’t have enough knowledge to make heads or tails of the work. Pindar wrote these odes to honor winners of various Olympic games. Each was dedicated to the individual champion in each
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I'm finally done with this book. It took me several years to pick it up again and now that I did it still put up a fight.
Pindar's victory poems were my favorite in this compilation, even if they could get a bit tiring if read one after another, that being because they can be very similar in structure and even themes. You've got to know your Greek myths well in order to get most of what Pindar writes, for there can be up to two or more heroic stories per poem.
At first I wasn't so thrilled about
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pindar’s Victory Odes - 5th century BC
This is a nice Greek/German translation by Eugen Dönt, comfortable to read and easy to understand.
Inevitably, the beauty of the metric-rhymes has been lost in translation.
Only the fortunate reader who can read the original Greek will appreciate.
Pindar composed these Victory Odes by request, and to celebrate the winning athletes in the years of the Olympian Games, which were later also organized in Pythia, Isthmia, and Nemea.
To avoid making these poems borin
Alp Turgut
Ve sonunda geldik 2015'in son kitabına. Antik çağın 9 büyük lirik şairinden biri olan Pindar / Pindaros'un (MÖ 518-438) tüm şiirlerini okuyucuya sunan "The Odes / Bütün Zafer Şarkıları", olimpiyat oyunlarında zafer kazananları övmek ve ödüllendirmek amaçlı yazılmış şiirleri barındırıyor. Sappho ve Hipponaks'ın aksine mitolojiye daha fazla önem veren Pindaros'un metaforik dilini anlamak gerçekten çok zor. Fazlasıyla sabır gerektiren bir eser olmasından dolayı eserin açıkçası bir yerden sonra gerç ...more
Jul 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Pindar, whose name is used in Marx as a euphemism for one who sings the praises of tyrannies, wrote some of the greatest poetry of the ancient world. Extolling athletes and connecting them to incidents in myth, each ode weaves a web of mystery and beauty that will make you want to wear a laurel wreath and dilute your wine; indeed, the odes are so pleasing, you won't notice your gag reflex upon reading the conservative maxims interspersed throughout.
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Las Odas de Píndaro, son un grupo de poemas dirigidos a celebrar triunfos de famosos griegos en los juegos de la antigüedad.

Es como una canción dedicada a un triunfador, pero las Odas de Píndaro, con sus demás poemas son además fuente invaluable de Mitología Griega, describe con hermoso lirismo diferentes pasajes. Debo mencionar entre ellos en primer lugar a Jasón y los Argonautas, y también me entusiasmaron las historias de Tántalo y de Beleforonte.
I think these are made to be heard but not read. Perhaps it was just the translation. When I was in the mood for them I enjoyed them, other times it was a struggle to keep going. I'm glad I have read them though, you really do notice how political they are in some cases and that brings them closer to us in modern times. I much preferred London mayor Boris Johnson reading an Olympic ode in the Greek at the 2012 London games.
Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Worth it for the following:

"Even so we go abroad in our manhood's height,
pondering many designs; for our limbs are shackled to shame-
less hope, and the streams of forethought lie afar.
We should seek out some measure in things gained;
too bitter are the pangs of madness after loves that arc past
Mar 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heavy poems without the cultural context -- I spent most of the time looking at the absurd quantity of notes rather than with each poem. Nevertheless, there were moments when the poetry truly shined, whether it was Pindar's cheeky commentary, his beautiful phrasing, or his strong (and impressive) understanding of city-state/Grecian mythology.
James Violand
Jul 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students of ancient Greece.
Shelves: own
Pindar earned his bread by comparing champion athletes with mythical heroes. Much of our knowledge of these heroes come from their being recorded in his odes. Interesting read. Not for everyone, especially not for those who do not appreciate Greek poetry.
Mike Jensen
Nov 10, 2010 marked it as books-abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Ancient flowery poetry of the "Oh great [name of god] who ascends from on high" sort puts me off. Reading this translation of Pindar's odes was an attempt to finally overcome this and "get it." I failed and bailed out. I found this book a bore. Maybe it is better in Greek.
Sep 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
This might be extremely valuable to those translating from the original Greek, but for the rest of it, I'd guess it's an unrewarding chore. Pindar is the grand-daddy of all brown-nosers and should be the patronus of all modern spin doctors. Save your money - buy some donuts.
Jun 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Possibly the greatest poet to have ever lived. A primary influence on our ideology of sport, Pindar also nearly single-handedly created the unified kingdom of Rhodes, where the relevant poem was inscribed in gold on the central temple. His control of language is simply unsurpassed.
Nov 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
Pindar is like the yeast to true classical poetry's wine. His style and allusions felt obscure even for this type of art and I really never could get into his head. This has thankfully been preserved for us despite thousands of years, but is best used as a textbook, not recreational reading.
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 00-bce, poetry
I found it a bit boring really but there were a few points of interest
Nov 20, 2016 rated it liked it
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  • Idylls
  • Heroides
  • Greek Lyric Poetry
  • The Georgics
  • The Sixteen Satires
  • Pharsalia: The Civil War
  • Hesiod: The Works and Days/Theogony/The Shield of Herakles
  • Leucippe and Clitophon
  • Euripides II: The Cyclops / Heracles / Iphigenia in Tauris / Helen
  • Homeric Hymns
  • Menander: The Plays and Fragments
  • Greek Lyrics
  • 7 Greeks
  • The Comedies
  • Epigrams
  • Selected Satires
  • The Poems

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