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Joshua A. Zacks M.A.

Forschungsprojekt: Militarism in Aeginetan Epinician Poetry

This project investigates the performance contexts of Pindar's Aeginetan Odes. First, I aim to survey instances of choral self-depiction in Nemean 5, Isthmian 6 and Isthmian 5. Following this textual study, I examine how the mythic sections of these poems are reflected in the sculptural program of Aegina's Aphaia temple. This program was drastically altered ca. 490 BCE just as it reached completion. Whereas the original pedimental sculptures featured subjects of Aeginetan epichoric myth, the two new sculptural groups depict combat scenes between mortals at Troy.  Given the well documented hostilities between Athens and Aegina in the late 6th century, inter-polis rivalry between the two city-states has been suggested as a reason for the change. On this view, the sculptures affirm Aeginetan military might in mythic terms and challenge Athenian claims to military dominance. Some of these newer sculptures can also be identified and securely linked to the mythic sections of Pindar's Aeginetan poems. My project thus seeks to address how sculpture, poetry and Epinician performance intersect in the glorification of Aeginetan military prowess.