In this paper I argue that the large truth claims made in Pindar's gnomic
language have a correspondingly large cultural function since they instantiate the capacity for unprecedented conceptual invention within a culture that lacks any master discourse in which its own self-understanding is embedded. I discuss the famous Nomos basileus fragment and its handling by Callicles in Plato's Gorgias, and by Hölderlin in his Pindar Fragments. I argue that, by using Pindar's claim as a starting point for reflections of their own, these thinkers recognize its contingency, and future orientation, as vatic speech.
In Plato's Phaedrus, Socrates compares the soul to a team of two horses, one obedient and one unruly, driven by a human charioteer. This article argues that essential clues to the psychological ideas expressed in this myth are provided by the imagery of the dance and that of the unruly horse, which resembles not only a satyr but also Socrates himself. Satyrs are daimonic beings with the ability to mediate between mortals and gods. They can thus represent qualities that are essential to the psychic equilibrium of a soul moving in what Socrates characterizes as choral dances led by the gods.
This paper builds on existing scholarship concerning Vergil's Diomedes and his relationship to Aeneas in two ways: first, by stressing that the character of Diomedes presented a problem for Vergil, not just because he wounded Aeneas, Aphrodite, and Ares in Iliad 5, but also because he came to be an important figure in Italian myth; second, by focusing on numerous passages previously ignored in this context, including ones in which Diomedes significantly does not appear. In these ways, I hope to show just how elaborate, and important, a process Vergil's rewriting of Diomedes is.
This article focuses on the relationships between Themistocles and the lyric poets Simonides of Ceos and Timocreon of Rhodes in Plutarch's Life of Themistocles. It is argued that Plutarch expects the reader to connect explicit references to the poets and their works with stories located outside the narrative in the anecdotal biographic tradition. Through an implicit synkrisis with the protagonist, the poets' anecdotal personae create a narrative counterbalance that suggests a faultline in Themistocles' characterization that, in turn, reflects the model of the "timocratic" man in Plato's Republic.