Chiara Ciampa (KCL) - 2015-16 Students

Pindar and the Presocratics

This research proposal aims to investigate the affinities and the interrelations between early Greek philosophers and the choral poetry of the late archaic period, as represented by Pindar, and to explore how the latter and the Presocratics developed some similar motifs and avenues of expression in different contexts and for a different audience. The temporal and spatial spheres of Pindar and the Presocratics roughly overlapped, and some of the Presocratics chose poetry as the mode in which to express their ideas. Equally, a variety of Pindaric assertions related to human life and beliefs, which has a lot in common with the concepts addressed by the first philosophical thinkers: aletheia, death and afterlife, reflection on man’s condition, mythos, and even the role of the poet. Then, rather than seeing Pindar and the Presocratics as two isolated entities, it may be more appropriate to view them as two different discursive models in a shared cultural scenario.

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