Pindar's Celedones (Paean 8, 68 - 79): A Note

TitlePindar's Celedones (Paean 8, 68 - 79): A Note
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsSkempis, M
Ancient AuthorsPindarus Lyr. (TLG 0033)
JournalClassical Quarterly

Pindar's Celedones have raised much controversy over the years. Their identity still remains uncertain, although there have been many attempts from scholars to specify whether the term refers to mythical creatures comparable to the Sirens of Homer or to elaborate life-like statues adorning the gable of a long-lost Delphic temple. In this paper, I wish to argue for a metaphorical reading of the Celedones in Pindar's Paean 8 that resides in the poetic (re-)signification of proper names and how they are put into narrative(s). Drawing intratextual evidence from Olympian 1 and intertextual evidence from early Greek epic, I contend that the Celedones, richly semanticized as they are, become the means by which Pindar deals with the rigours of the song-making process, as he strives to introduce an ambivalent take on the choral praise of Apollo at Delphi, one that rests on the paradox of song exquisiteness and its negative consequences. []


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