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Aegina: Contexts for Choral Lyric PoetryMyth, History, and Identity in the Fifth Century BC$
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David Fearn

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199546510

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199546510.001.0001

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Thebes, Aegina, and the Temple of Aphaia: A Reading of Pindar's Isthmian 6

Thebes, Aegina, and the Temple of Aphaia: A Reading of Pindar's Isthmian 6

(p.294) 8 Thebes, Aegina, and the Temple of Aphaia: A Reading of Pindar's Isthmian 6
Aegina: Contexts for Choral Lyric Poetry

Henrik Indergaard

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the myth contained in Pindar's Isthmian 6, in which Pindar tells the story of how Herakles, visiting Telamon to summon him for their expedition against Troy, prays to Zeus that his host will have a son who will be a great warrior, naming the child Ajax. The importance of the common exploits of Herakles and Telamon for Aegina is discussed, especially in light of the pedimental sculpture of the Temple of Aphaia, along with the increased prominence of Ajax in the Aeginetan tradition, which reveals revisionism of more ancient versions of the Ajax myth. Also of interest is the way in which the mythical narrative of the friendship between Herakles and the Aeginetan Aiakidai seems to mirror contemporary relations between Thebes and Aegina, as an aetiology for cultural and political ties, between Theban poet and Aeginetan patron, and between Thebes and Aegina more broadly.

Keywords:   Herakles, Ajax, Aegina, Thebes, Aphaia pediments, Aiakidai, Pindar, Isthmian 6

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