The Complete Odes, Paperback Book
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


'we can speak of no greater contest than Olympia' The Greek poet Pindar (c. 518-428 BC) composed victory odes for winners in the ancient Games, including the Olympics.

He celebrated the victories of athletes competing in foot races, horse races, boxing, wrestling, all-in fighting and the pentathlon, and his Odes are fascinating not only for their poetic qualities, but for what they tell us about the Games. Pindar praises the victor by comparing him to mythical heroes and the gods, but also reminds the athlete of his human limitations. The Odes contain versions of some of the best known Greek myths, such as Jason and the Argonauts, and Perseus and Medusa, and are a valuable source for Greek religion and ethics.

Pindar's startling use of language - striking metaphors, bold syntax, enigmatic expressions - makes reading his poetry a uniquely rewarding experience.

Anthony Verity's lucid translations are complemented by an introduction and notes that provide insight into competition, myth, and meaning.

ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Poetry by individual poets
  • ISBN: 9780199553907

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If you judged this book by its cover and picked it up hoping for some rough man-love, think again, Buster. What we have here are the texts of commissioned chorus pieces. Divorced from the original Greek poetry, music and performance, I'm not sure that you could call them literature. There is the occasional great turn of phrase. It's worth underlining them, hidden as they are amongst the chaff. Personally I don't think there's enough of them to rescue Pindar as a poet. The fact that rich athletes would buy poems comparing them to the gods I find unspeakably vulgar. On the other hand the paper used for this edition is nice. There is a good introduction and notes. The translation is clear. It's essentially prose which has had it's lines broken so that it looks like poetry. Happily Verity makes no further pretence towards poetry. The 5 star rating is for the amount of time the poems have survived. Well done, boys!

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