(2310 words)
  • Douglas Gerber (University of Western Ontario)

Although substantial remains of Pindar’s poetry have been preserved, little is known about his life. According to ancient sources he was born in Cynoscephalae, a village near Thebes, the major city in Boeotia. He is supposed to have had two daughters and one son, and received his early training in Athens. Many other details of his life can be found in the ancient biographical tradition, but this tradition is notoriously untrustworthy, not only for Pindar but also for other early poets. That Pindar considered himself a Theban is however beyond doubt. The year of his birth is known and it is unlikely that he lived much beyond 446, the last date that can be assigned to any of his poetry.

In the latter part of the 3rd c…

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Gerber, Douglas. "Pindar". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 February 2006
[, accessed 02 July 2015.]