Syracuse, Sicily 13-19 October, 2019
Even a cursory look at the remaining corpus of Pindar’s victory odes leaves one in no doubt about the wealth, power, and prestige of his Sicilian patrons. Exactly a third of the odes were composed for Sicilian athletic victories and those dedicated to the ruling families of Sicily are the most numerous and have long been considered among the most beautiful, sophisticated, and memorable ancient Greek poetry. It is thus not surprising that recent scholarship has focused on Pindar’s special relationship with Sicily in the context of Sicilian social, political, and cultural climate in the fifth century BCE (Morgan (2015), Nicholson (2015), Lewis (forthcoming). On the other hand, surprisingly few scholars of Pindar and the historical context in which he worked have ever been to Sicily to see the hometowns of Pindar’s patrons, where the songs would most likely have premiered in elaborate public performances, and which figure prominently in all of his compositions. The goal of this conference is to bring scholars from a variety of disciplines to Siracusa to discuss these odes and to visit the archaeological remains of the places and people they celebrate.
At the conclusion of the conference, an optional tour of relevant sites (Thursday-Saturday, October 17-19) will visit Kamarina, Gela, the site and museum of Agrigento (Akragas), the site and museum of Himera, and the general area of ancient Aetna on the slopes of Mount Etna.