Boyhood in Pindar

Bruzzone, Rachel, Classics, University of Virginia
Clay, Jenny Strauss, Classics, University of Virginia
Myers, Karen Sara, Classics, University of Virginia

Pindar's poetry treats adolescent boys in very different ways, sometimes portraying them in an erotic manner and sometimes ignoring this aspect of their youth altogether. The allure of boy athletes is attested both in literature and in visual evidence, so it is striking that they earn only one erotic compliment from Pindar, a comparison of Ganymede to Hagesidamos of Western Lokroi (O9.10.101-105). A closer examination of these odes reveals that Pindar treats the boy victors as adults in many other ways as well, giving them a nearly identical portrayal as he does of adult victors.
In the following paper I will examine Pindar's treatment of his young victors, particularly investigating the ways in which Pindar treats his boy victors as adults and possible explanations for this characterization of them. In my first chapter I will discuss the history of pederasty in Ancient Greece and examine the meaning of youth in Greek culture, and in the second chapter I will explore both the lack of pederasty in Pindar and the ways that the poet treats the boy victors as he does his adult laudandi.

MA (Master of Arts)
poetry, Greek, adolescent boys, victors, youth, pederasty
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