The Ancient Library

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shield unmanageable so long as it remained in it [Plutarch, Marius, 25]. When well thrown, the pilum would penetrate both shield and armour. (See cut.)

Pllumniis. One of the three deities conceived by the Italian tribes to protect women in childbed, and their offspring, from the mischief of the forest god Silvanus. (See picumnus.)


Pindar (Gr. PindarSs}. The greatest of the Greek lyric poets, born about 522 B.C. at CynoscSphalse, near Thebes; son of the flute-player Daiphantus, of the ancient and noble family of the JDgldse. His instruc­tion in music, begun by his father, was continued by the musician and dithyrambic poet Lasus of Hermlone and the two Boeotian poetesses Myrtis and COrinna. He subsequently enjoyed the instructions of the eminent musicians AgathQcles and Apollfidorus at Athens. He lived chiefly at Thebes, but was renowned and honoured far and wide, among free communities as well as by tyrants and monarchs, not pildm. only for his skill in his art, (In „,„ Mu.eum at

but also for his profound Mainz, restored.)

piety. As a special favourite of Apollo, he was given a seat in the temple at Delphi, and was regularly invited to the divine banquet called the ThloxSnla. When he was condemned to a fine by his fellow citizens for glorifying the hostile city of Athens, the Athenians recouped him and accorded him the honour of prdx£nla, and afterwards erected a bronze statue in his honour. He was on the most intimate terms with Amyntas of Macedon, the Aleuadae in Thessaly and ArcSsIlaus of Gyrene, but more especially with Theron of Agrigentum and with Hieron of Syracuse, at whose court he lived 476^472. He died a peaceful death 422, aged eighty, in the theatre at Argos. It is well known that, in the destruction of Thebes, Alexander the Great spared Pindar's house and descen- | dants alone [Dion Chrysostom, Or. ii, p. 25 M; cp. Milton's third English sonnet). As a poet, Pindar was remarkably prolific.

His works, divided by the Alexandrian scholars into seventeen books, included hymns, pceans, dithyrambs, prOsodta, par-th&nla, encSmla, scdlia, threni, and gpinfcla [cp. Horace, Odes iv 2]. Of most of his poetry we have only fragments, but the four books of SpinlcTa are nearly complete. These were songs celebrating the victors in the great national games, and sung by a chorus, sometimes at the scene of the victory, some­times at the feast on the victor's return home. They contain fourteen Olympian, twelve Pythian, eleven Nemean, and eight Isthmian odes. Pindar's poetry is characterized by magnificence and sublimity of thought, expression, and metrical form. It is per­meated by deep and warm religious senti­ments resting on the popular creed, still nnimpugned by sophistic teaching, and only ennobled by the impress of the poet's per­sonality. He does not celebrate the victors by particular description; he takes his main ideas from the circumstances of the victor's home or personal position, or from the nature of the contest, and works them into a plot always artistic, though often ob­scured by the interlacing of the strands of thought and by the myths which are inter­woven in appropriate detail. Harmony in thought, expression, and metre make the shortest and longest of his poems equally complete in themselves as works of art. Pindar's poetic language is the Ionic Homeric dialect, intermingled with jEolie and especially with Doric forms.

By some mistake his name (Pindarus Thcbanus) became attached to an abstract of Homer's Iliad written in Latin hexa­meters for the use of schools in the 1st century a.d., and much used in the Middle Ages.

Pirselcns. A Greek painter, probably of the time after Alexander the Great. He was the chief representative of what is called rhopdgrdphia (" painting of petty subjects, such as still-life"). He painted genre pictures in the Dutch style (barbers' and cobblers' shops), and subjects in still-life, of small size, but of proportionately care­ful execution. [Propertius, iii 9, 12: Pirei-cus parvd vindlcat arte IScum. In Pliny, N. H, xxxv 112, the manuscript reading is rhyparOgrdphSs (" rag and tatter painter "), defended in Brunn's Kunstlergeschichte, ii 260, against Welcker's usually accepted emendation rhopQgrdphSs, il toy-painter," " painter of small and trivial subjects," from rhOpSs, " petty wares," " odds and ends." The word rhOpSgrdphta is actu-

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