Bacchylides: A Selection
Bacchylides (c. 520-450 BC) was one of the nine Greek lyric poets selected as models of this genre by the Alexandrian scholars who first collected and edited their songs in the 3rd century BC. Bacchylides' songs did not survive the end of antiquity, but substantial portions of at least three books have been recovered from papyri found in Egypt. This 2004 book was the first commentary in English since R. C. Jebb's Bacchylides (1905). It aims to introduce the reader to two important areas of Greek choral lyric poetry in which Bacchylides was pre-eminent: songs in praise of individuals (victory odes 3-6 and 11, and enkomia frr. 20A-D), and songs composed for religious festivals (dithyrambs, procession songs, and paeans). Among the most attractive features of his style are the well-balanced formal structure of his poems, and his vivid narrative which is capable of creating scenes of high drama and deep passion.
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