Acarnania is a region of west-central Greece that lies along the Ionian Sea, west of Aetolia, with the Achelous River for a boundary, north of the gulf of Calydon, the entrance to the Gulf of Corinth. Today it forms the western part of the regional unit of Aetolia-Acarnania; the capital and principal city in ancient times was Stratos. The north side of Acarnania of the Corinthian Gulf was considered part of the region of Epirus. Acarnania's foundation in Greek mythology was traditionally ascribed to son of Alcmaeon; the name of Acarnania appears to have been unknown in the earliest times. Homer only calls the country opposite Ithaca and Cephalonia, under the general name of "Epeirus", or the mainland, although he mentions the Aetolians; the country is said to have been inhabited by the Taphii, the Leleges, the Curetes. The Taphii, or Teleboae were chiefly found in the islands off the western coast of Acarnania, where they maintained themselves by piracy; the Leleges were more disseminated, were in possession at one period of Aetolia and other parts of Greece.
The Curetes are said to have come from Aetolia, to have settled in Acarnania, after they had been expelled from the former country by Aetolus and his followers. The name of Acarnania is derived from Acarnan, the son of Alcmaeon, said to have settled at the mouth of the Achelous. If this tradition is of any value, it would intimate that an Argive colony settled on the coast of Acarnania at an early period. In the 7th century BC, Greek influence in the region became prominent when Corinth settled Anactorium and Leucas, Kefalonia settled Astacus; the original inhabitants of the country were driven more into the interior. Settlements in Alyzeia, Limnaea, Oeniadae, Palaerus and Stratus are mentioned by Thucydides, this latter city being the seat of a loose confederation of Acarnanian powers, maintained until the late 1st century BC; the ancient Acarnanians, were Greeks, as such were allowed to contend in the great Pan-Hellenic games, although they were connected with their neighbours, the Agraeans and Amphilochians on the gulf of Ambracian Gulf, who were barbarian or non-Hellenic nations.
Like other rude mountaineers, the Acarnanians are praised for their courage. They formed good light-armed troops, were excellent slingers, they lived, for the most part dispersed in villages, when attacked, to the mountains. Strabo relates that they were united, however, in a political League, of which Aristotle wrote an account in a work now lost. Thucydides mentions a hill, named Olpae, near the Amphilochian Argos, which the Acarnanians had fortified as a place of judicial meeting for the settlement of disputes; the meetings of the League were held at Stratus, the chief town in Acarnania. At an early period, when part of Amphilochia belonged to the Acarnanians, they used to hold a public judicial congress at Olpae, a fortified hill about 3 miles from Argos Amphilochicum. Of the constitution of their League we have scarcely any particulars. We learn from an inscription found at Punta, the site of ancient Actium, that there was a council and a general assembly of the people, by which decrees were passed..
At the head of the League there was a general. The chief priest of the temple of Apollo at Actium seems to have been a person of high rank; because it is located strategically on the maritime route to Italy, Acarnania was involved in many wars. Their hatred against the Corinthian settlers, who had deprived them of all their best ports led the Acarnanians to side with the Athenians; the Acarnanians espoused the cause of the expelled Amphilochians, in order to obtain the restoration of the latter, they applied for assistance to Athens. The Athenians accordingly sent an expedition under Phormio, who took Argos, expelled the Ambraciots, restored the town to the Amphilochians and Acarnanians. An alliance was now formally concluded between the Athenians; the only towns of Acarnania which did not join it were Astacus. The Acarnanians were of great service in maintaining the supremacy of Athens in the western part of Greece, they distinguished themselves in 426 BC, when they gained a signal victory under the command of Demosthenes over the Peloponnesians and Ambraciots at the Battle of Olpae.
At the conclusion of this campaign they concluded a peace with the Ambraciots, although they still continued allies of Athens In 391 BC we find the Acarnanians engaged in war with the Achaeans, who had taken possession of Calydon in Aetolia.
The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, Hellenistic period, it is succeeded by medieval Greek. Koine is regarded as a separate historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it resembled Attic Greek and in its latest form it approaches Medieval Greek. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects. Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians and philosophers, it has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a standard subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article contains information about the Epic and Classical periods of the language. Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects; the main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Aeolic and Doric, many of them with several subdivisions.
Some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions. There are several historical forms. Homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the "Iliad" and "Odyssey", in poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic and other Classical-era dialects; the origins, early form and development of the Hellenic language family are not well understood because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence. Several theories exist about what Hellenic dialect groups may have existed between the divergence of early Greek-like speech from the common Proto-Indo-European language and the Classical period, they differ in some of the detail. The only attested dialect from this period is Mycenaean Greek, but its relationship to the historical dialects and the historical circumstances of the times imply that the overall groups existed in some form. Scholars assume that major Ancient Greek period dialect groups developed not than 1120 BCE, at the time of the Dorian invasion—and that their first appearances as precise alphabetic writing began in the 8th century BCE.
The invasion would not be "Dorian" unless the invaders had some cultural relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the Attic-Ionic regions, who regarded themselves as descendants of the population displaced by or contending with the Dorians; the Greeks of this period believed there were three major divisions of all Greek people—Dorians and Ionians, each with their own defining and distinctive dialects. Allowing for their oversight of Arcadian, an obscure mountain dialect, Cypriot, far from the center of Greek scholarship, this division of people and language is quite similar to the results of modern archaeological-linguistic investigation. One standard formulation for the dialects is: West vs. non-west Greek is the strongest marked and earliest division, with non-west in subsets of Ionic-Attic and Aeolic vs. Arcadocypriot, or Aeolic and Arcado-Cypriot vs. Ionic-Attic. Non-west is called East Greek. Arcadocypriot descended more from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age.
Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect. Thessalian had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Pamphylian Greek, spoken in a small area on the southwestern coast of Anatolia and little preserved in inscriptions, may be either a fifth major dialect group, or it is Mycenaean Greek overlaid by Doric, with a non-Greek native influence. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, or to an island. Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, Northern Peloponnesus Doric; the Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek. All the groups were represented by colonies beyond Greece proper as well, these colonies developed local characteristics under the influence of settlers or neighbors speaking different Greek dialects; the dialects outside the Ionic group are known from inscriptions, notable exceptions being: fragments of the works of the poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos, in Aeolian, the poems of the Boeotian poet Pindar and other lyric poets in Doric.
After the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BCE, a new international dialect known as Koine or Common Greek developed based on Attic Greek, but with influence from other dialects. This dialect replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, spoken in the region of modern Sparta. Doric has passed down its aorist terminations into most verbs of Demotic Greek. By about the 6th century CE, the Koine had metamorphosized into Medieval Greek. Ancient Macedonian was an Indo-European language at least related to Greek, but its exact relationship is unclear because of insufficient data: a dialect of Greek; the Macedonian dialect (or l
Diodorus Siculus or Diodorus of Sicily was a Greek historian. He is known for writing the monumental universal history Bibliotheca historica, much of which survives, between 60 and 30 BC, it is arranged in three parts. The first covers mythic history up to the destruction of Troy, arranged geographically, describing regions around the world from Egypt and Arabia to Greece and Europe; the second covers the Trojan War to the death of Alexander the Great. The third covers the period to about 60 BC. Bibliotheca, meaning ` library', acknowledges. According to his own work, he was born at Agyrium in Sicily. With one exception, antiquity affords no further information about his life and doings beyond in his work. Only Jerome, in his Chronicon under the "year of Abraham 1968", writes, "Diodorus of Sicily, a writer of Greek history, became illustrious". However, his English translator, Charles Henry Oldfather, remarks on the "striking coincidence" that one of only two known Greek inscriptions from Agyrium is the tombstone of one "Diodorus, the son of Apollonius".
Diodorus' universal history, which he named Bibliotheca historica, was immense and consisted of 40 books, of which 1–5 and 11–20 survive: fragments of the lost books are preserved in Photius and the excerpts of Constantine Porphyrogenitus. It was divided into three sections; the first six books treated the mythic history of the non-Hellenic and Hellenic tribes to the destruction of Troy and are geographical in theme, describe the history and culture of Ancient Egypt, of Mesopotamia, India and Arabia, of North Africa, of Greece and Europe. In the next section, he recounts the history of the world from the Trojan War down to the death of Alexander the Great; the last section concerns the historical events from the successors of Alexander down to either 60 BC or the beginning of Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars. He selected the name "Bibliotheca" in acknowledgment that he was assembling a composite work from many sources. Identified authors on whose works he drew include Hecataeus of Abdera, Ctesias of Cnidus, Theopompus, Hieronymus of Cardia, Duris of Samos, Philistus, Timaeus and Posidonius.
His account of gold mining in Nubia in eastern Egypt is one of the earliest extant texts on the topic, describes in vivid detail the use of slave labour in terrible working conditions. He gave an account of the Gauls: "The Gauls are terrifying in aspect and their voices are deep and altogether harsh, they are boasters and threateners and are fond of pompous language, yet they have sharp wits and are not without cleverness at learning." Pliny the Elder Strabo Acadine Ambaglio, Franca Landucci Gattinoni and Luigi Bravi. Diodoro Siculo: Biblioteca storica: commento storico: introduzione generale. Storia. Ricerche. Milano: V&P, 2008. X, 145 p. Buckley, Terry. Aspects of Greek History 750-323 BC: A Source-based Approach. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-09958-7. Lloyd, Alan B.. Herodotus, Book II. Leiden: Brill. Pp. Introduction. ISBN 90-04-04179-6. Siculus, Diodorus. H.. Library of History: Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press. Siculus, Diodorus. Rhodomannus; the Historical Library of Diodorus the Sicilian in Fifteen Books to which are added the Fragments of Diodorus.
London: J. Davis. Downloadable via Google Books. Siculi, Diodori. Bibliothecae Historicae Libri Qui Supersunt: Nova Editio. Argentorati: Societas Bipontina. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list Downloadable via Google Books. Clarke, Katherine. 1999. "Universal perspectives in Historiography." In The Limits of Historiography: Genre and Narrative in Ancient Historical Texts. Edited by Christina Shuttleworth Kraus, 249–279. Mnemosyne. Supplementum 191. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. Hammond, Nicholas G. L. 1998. "Portents and Dreams in Diodorus’ Books 14–17." Greek and Byzantine Studies 39.4: 407–428. McQueen, Earl I. 1995. Diodorus Siculus; the Reign of Philip II: The Greek and Macedonian Narrative from Book XVI. A Companion. London: Bristol Classical Press. Muntz, Charles E. 2017. Diodorus Siculus and the World of the Late Roman Republic. New York: Oxford Univ. Press. Pfuntner, Laura. 2015. "Reading Diodorus through Photius: The Case of the Sicilian Slave Revolts." Greek and Byzantine Studies 55.1: 256–272. Rubincam, Catherine.
1987. "The Organization and Composition of Diodorus’ Bibliotheke." Échos du monde classique 31:313–328. Sacks, Kenneth S. 1990. Diodorus Siculus and the First Century. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press. Sinclair, Robert K. 1963. "Diodorus Siculus and the Writing of History." Proceedings of the African Classical Association 6:36–45. Stronk, Jan P. 2017. Semiramis’ Legacy; the History of Persia According to Diodorus of Sicily. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press. Sulimani, Iris. 2008. "Diodorus’ Source-Citations: A Turn in the Attitu
The Pythia was the name of the high priestess of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi who served as the oracle known as the Oracle of Delphi. The name Pythia is derived from Pytho. In etymology, the Greeks derived this place name from the verb, πύθειν "to rot", which refers to the sickly sweet smell of the decomposition of the body of the monstrous Python after she was slain by Apollo; the Pythia was established at the latest in the 8th century BC, was credited for her prophecies inspired by being filled by the spirit of the god, in this case Apollo. The Pythian priestess emerged pre-eminent by the end of 7th century BC and would continue to be consulted until the 4th century AD. During this period the Delphic Oracle was the most prestigious and authoritative oracle among the Greeks, she was without doubt the most powerful woman of the classical world; the oracle is one of the best-documented religious institutions of the classical Greeks. Authors who mention the oracle include Aeschylus, Clement of Alexandria, Diogenes, Herodotus, Justin, Lucan, Ovid, Pindar, Plutarch, Strabo and Xenophon.
Details of how the Pythia operated are missing as authors from the classical period treat the process as common knowledge with no need to explain. Those who discussed the oracle in any detail are from 1st century BC to 4th century AD and give conflicting stories. One of the main stories claimed that the Pythia delivered oracles in a frenzied state induced by vapours rising from a chasm in the rock, that she spoke gibberish which priests interpreted as the enigmatic prophecies and turned them into poetic dactylic hexameters preserved in Greek literature; this idea, has been challenged by scholars such as Joseph Fontenrose and Lisa Maurizio, who argue that the ancient sources uniformly represent the Pythia speaking intelligibly, giving prophecies in her own voice. Herodotus, writing in the fifth century BC describes the Pythia speaking in dactylic hexameters; the Delphic oracle may have been present in some form from 1400 BC, in the middle period of Mycenaean Greece. There is evidence that Apollo took over the shrine with the arrival of priests from Delos in the 8th century, from an earlier dedication to Gaia.
The 8th-century reformulation of the Oracle at Delphi as a shrine to Apollo seems associated with the rise in importance of the city of Corinth and the importance of sites in the Corinthian Gulf. The earliest account of the origin of the Delphic oracle is provided in the Homeric Hymn to Delphic Apollo, which recent scholarship dates within a narrow range, c. 580–570 BC. It describes in detail how Apollo chose his first priests, whom he selected in their "swift ship", but Apollo, who had Delphinios as one of his cult epithets, leapt into the ship in the form of a dolphin. Dolphin-Apollo revealed himself to the terrified Cretans, bade them follow him up to the "place where you will have rich offerings"; the Cretans "danced in time and followed, singing Iē Paiēon, like the paeans of the Cretans in whose breasts the divine Muse has placed "honey-voiced singing". "Paean" seems to have been the name. G. L. Huxley observes, "If the hymn to Apollo conveys a historical message, it is above all that there were once Cretan priests at Delphi."
Robin Lane Fox notes that Cretan bronzes are found at Delphi from the eighth century onwards, Cretan sculptures are dedicated as late as ca 620–600 BC: "Dedications at the site cannot establish the identity of its priesthood," he observes, "but for once we have an explicit text to set beside the archaeological evidence." An early visitor to these "dells of Parnassus", at the end of the eighth century, was Hesiod, shown the omphalos. There are many stories of the origins of the Delphic Oracle. One late explanation, first related by the 1st century BC writer, Diodorus Siculus, tells of a goat herder named Coretas, who noticed one day that one of his goats, who fell into a crack in the earth, was behaving strangely. On entering the chasm, he found himself filled with a divine presence and could see outside of the present into the past and the future. Excited by his discovery he shared it with nearby villagers. Many started visiting the site to experience the convulsions and inspirational trances, though some were said to disappear into the cleft due to their frenzied state.
A shrine was erected at the site, where people began worshiping in the late Bronze Age, by 1600 BC. After the deaths of a number of men, the villagers chose a single young woman as the liaison for the divine inspirations, she spoke on behalf of gods. According to earlier myths, the office of the oracle was possessed by the goddesses Themis and Phoebe, the site was sacred to Gaia. Subsequently, it was believed to be sacred to the "Earth-shaker" god of earthquakes. During the Greek Dark Age, from the 11th to the 9th century BC, a new god of prophecy, Apollo seized the temple and expelled the twin guardian serpents of Gaia, whose bodies he wrapped around the caduceus. Myths stated that Phoebe or Themis had "given" the site to Apollo, rationalizing its seizure by priests of the new god, but having to retain the priestesses of the original oracle because of the long tradition. Poseidon was mollified by the gift of a new site in Troizen. Diodorus explained how the Pythia was an appropriately clad young virgin, for great
Mycenae is an archaeological site near Mykines in Argolis, north-eastern Peloponnese, Greece. It is located about 120 kilometres south-west of Athens; the site is 19 kilometres inland from the Saronic Gulf and built upon a hill rising 900 feet above sea level. In the second millennium BC, Mycenae was one of the major centres of Greek civilization, a military stronghold which dominated much of southern Greece, the Cyclades and parts of southwest Anatolia; the period of Greek history from about 1600 BC to about 1100 BC is called Mycenaean in reference to Mycenae. At its peak in 1350 BC, the citadel and lower town had a population of 30,000 and an area of 32 hectares; the first correct identification of Mycenae in modern literature was during a survey conducted by Francesco Grimani, commissioned by the Provveditore Generale of the Kingdom of the Morea in 1700, who used Pausanias's description of the Lion Gate to identify the ruins of Mycenae. Although the citadel was built by Greeks, the name Mukanai is thought not to be Greek but rather one of the many pre-Greek place names inherited by the immigrant Greeks.
Legend has it. Thus, Pausanias ascribes the name to the legendary founder Perseus, said to have named it either after the cap of the sheath of his sword, or after a mushroom he had plucked on the site; the earliest written form of the name is Mykēnē, found in Homer. The reconstructed Mycenaean Greek name of the site is; the change of ā to ē in more recent versions of the name is the result of a well-known sound change in Attic-Ionic. Mycenae, an acropolis site, was built on a hill 900 feet above sea level, some 19 kilometres inland from the Gulf of Argolis. Situated in the north-east corner of the Argive plain, it overlooked the whole area and was ideally positioned to be a centre of power as it commanded all easy routes to the Isthmus of Corinth. Besides its strong defensive and strategic position, it had good farmland and an adequate water supply. There are only faint traces of Neolithic settlement on the site although it was continuously occupied from the Early Neolithic through the Early Helladic and Middle Helladic periods.
EN Rainbow Ware constitutes the earliest ceramic evidence discovered so far. The population had grown by the Middle Helladic; as elsewhere, a dominant Cretan influence prevailed from c. 1600, the first evidence of this coming from the shaft graves discovered in 1876 by Heinrich Schliemann. Schliemann's shaft graves came to be known as Circle A to distinguish them from the Circle B graves which were found at a date, although Circle B are the earlier graves dated c. 1650 to c. 1550 and within MHIII. Circle A is dated to the sixteenth century BC including the transition from Middle to Late Helladic IA; the contents of Circle B are less wealthy than those of Circle A. Pottery material spanning the entire Early Helladic was discovered 1877–78 by Panagiotis Stamatakis at a low depth in the sixth shaft grave in Circle A. Further EH and MH material was found beneath the walls and floors of the palace, on the summit of the acropolis, outside the Lion Gate in the area of the ancient cemetery. An EH–MH settlement was discovered near a fresh-water well on top of the Kalkani hill south-west of the acropolis.
The first burials in pits or cist graves manifest in MHII on the west slope of the acropolis, at least enclosed by the earliest circuit wall. In the absence of documents and objects that can be dated, events at Mycenae can only be dated within the constraints of Helladic chronology which relies on categorisation of stratified material objects pottery, within an agreed historical framework. Mycenae developed into a major power during LHI and is believed to have become the main centre of Aegean civilisation through the fifteenth century to the extent that the two hundred years from c. 1400 BC to c. 1200 BC are known as the Mycenaean Age. The Minoan hegemony was ended c. 1450 and there is evidence that Knossos was occupied by Mycenaeans until it too was destroyed c. 1370 BC. From on, Mycenaean expansion throughout the Aegean was unhindered until the massive disruption of society in the first half of the eleventh century which ended Mycenaean civilisation and culminated in the destruction of Mycenae itself c. 1150 BC.
Outside the partial circuit wall, Grave Circle B, named for its enclosing wall, contained ten cist graves in Middle Helladic style and several shaft graves, sunk more with interments resting in cists. Richer grave goods mark the burials as regal. Mounds over the top contained broken drinking vessels and bones from a repast, testifying to a more than ordinary farewell. Stelae surmounted the mounds. A walled enclosure, Grave Circle A, included six more shaft graves, with nine female, eight male, two juvenile interments. Grave goods were more costly than in Circle B; the presence of engraved and inlaid swords and daggers, with spear points and arrowheads, leave little doubt that warrior chieftains and their families were buried here. Some art objects obtained from the graves are the Silver Siege Rhyton, the Mask of Agamemnon, the Cup of Nestor, weapons both votive and practical. Alan Wace divided the nine tholos tombs of Mycenae into three groups of three, each based on architecture, his earliest – the Cyclopean Tomb, E
Pindar was an Ancient Greek lyric poet from Thebes. Of the canonical nine lyric poets of ancient Greece, his work is the best preserved. Quintilian wrote, "Of the nine lyric poets, Pindar is by far the greatest, in virtue of his inspired magnificence, the beauty of his thoughts and figures, the rich exuberance of his language and matter, his rolling flood of eloquence, characteristics which, as Horace rightly held, make him inimitable." His poems can however, seem difficult and peculiar. The Athenian comic playwright Eupolis once remarked that they "are reduced to silence by the disinclination of the multitude for elegant learning"; some scholars in the modern age found his poetry perplexing, at least until the 1896 discovery of some poems by his rival Bacchylides. His poetry, while admired by critics, still challenges the casual reader and his work is unread among the general public. Pindar was the first Greek poet to reflect on the poet's role. Like other poets of the Archaic Age, he has a profound sense of the vicissitudes of life, but he articulates a passionate faith in what men can achieve by the grace of the gods, most famously expressed in the conclusion to one of his Victory Odes: His poetry illustrates the beliefs and values of Archaic Greece at the dawn of the classical period.
Five ancient sources contain all the recorded details of Pindar's life. One of them is a short biography discovered in 1961 on an Egyptian papyrus dating from at least 200 AD; the other four are collections that weren't finalized until some 1600 years after his death: Commentaries on Pindar by Eustathius of Thessalonica. Although these sources are based on a much older literary tradition, going as far back as Chamaeleon of Heraclea in the 4th century BC, they are viewed with scepticism today: much of the material is fanciful. Scholars both ancient and modern have turned to Pindar's own work – his victory odes in particular – as a source of biographical information: some of the poems touch on historic events and can be dated; the 1962 publication of Elroy Bundy's ground-breaking work Studia Pindarica led to a change in scholarly opinion—the Odes were no longer seen as expressions of Pindar's personal thoughts and feelings, but rather as public statements "dedicated to the single purpose of eulogizing men and communities."
It has been claimed that biographical interpretations of the poems are due to a "fatal conjunction" of historicism and Romanticism. In other words, we know nothing about Pindar's life based on either traditional sources or his own poems. However, the pendulum of intellectual fashion has begun to change direction again, cautious use of the poems for some biographical purposes is considered acceptable once more. Pindar was born in 522 BC or 518 BC in Cynoscephalae, a village in Boeotia, not far from Thebes, his father's name is variously given as Daiphantus, Pagondas or Scopelinus, his mother's name was Cleodice. It is told that he was stung on the mouth by a bee in his youth and this was the reason he became a poet of honey-like verses. Pindar was about twenty years old in 498 BC when he was commissioned by the ruling family in Thessaly to compose his first victory ode, he studied the art of lyric poetry in Athens, where his tutor was Lasos of Hermione, he is said to have received some helpful criticism from Corinna.
The early-to-middle years of Pindar's career coincided with the Persian invasions of Greece in the reigns of Darius and Xerxes. During the invasion in 480/79 BC, when Pindar was forty years old, Thebes was occupied by Xerxes' general, who with many Theban aristocrats subsequently perished at the Battle of Plataea, it is possible. His choice of residence during the earlier invasion in 490 BC is not known, but he was able to attend the Pythian Games for that year, where he first met the Sicilian prince, nephew of Theron of Acragas. Thrasybulus had driven the winning chariot and he and Pindar were to form a lasting friendship, paving the way for his subsequent visit to Sicily. Pindar seems to have used his odes to advance his, his friends', personal interests. In 462 BC he composed two odes in honour of Arcesilas, king of Cyrene, pleading for the return from exile of a friend, Demophilus. In the latter ode Pindar proudly mentions his own ancestry, which he shared with the king, as an Aegeid or descendent of Aegeus, the legendary king of Athens.
The clan was influential in many parts of the Greek world, having intermarried with ruling families in Thebes, in Lacedaemonia, in cities that claimed Lacedaemonian descent, such as Cyrene and Thera. The historian Herodotus considered the clan important enough to deserve mention. Membership of this clan contributed to Pindar's success as a poet, it informed his political views, which are marked by a conservative preference for oligarchic governments of the Doric kind. "Pindar might not claim to be an Aegeid since his'I' statements do not refer to himself. The Aegeid clan did however have a branch in Thebes, his reference to'my ancestors' in Pythian 5 could have been spoken on behalf of both Arcesilas and himself – he may have used this ambivalence to e