Simon Hornblower argues for a relationship between Thucydides and Pindar not so far acknowledged in modern scholarship. He argues that ancient critics were right to detect stylistic similarities between these two great exponents of the 'severe style' in prose and verse. In Part One he explores the background of epinikian poetry and athletics, the values shared by the two authors, and religion and colonization myths, and presents a geographically organized survey of Pindar's Mediterranean world, exploiting onomastic evidence. Part Two includes an analysis of Thucydides' account of the Olympic games of 420 BC; discussions of the four components of Thucydides' history in their relation to Pindar; statements of method, excursuses, speeches, and narrative, especially the Sicilian books; and a stylistic-literary comparison of Thucydides and Pindar.
Simon Hornblower is Professor of Classics and Ancient History, University College London.