In her new book, Pindar and Greek Religion: Theologies of Mortality in the Victory Odes (Cambridge University Press, 2022), Boston College’s Behrakis Assistant Professor in Hellenic Studies Hanne Eisenfeld combines close reading and philological analysis with religious historical approaches to the Ancient Greek lyric poet Pindar’s songs and his world. She focuses on a set of mythical figures in Pindar’s victory odes whose identities blur the boundaries between mortality and immortality. By exploring them within the lived religious landscapes of the fifth century BCE, Eisenfeld demonstrates that Pindar’s depiction of these figures are in fact engaged with contemporary religious contexts and revalues mortality as a prerequisite for the glory found in victory. Eisenfeld’s work highlights the inextricability of Greek literature and Greek religion, and models a novel approach to Greek lyric poetry at the intersection of these fields.
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