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Aspects of Death and the Afterlife in Greek Literature$
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George Alexander Gazis and Anthony Hooper

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621495

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621495.001.0001

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What is your Lot?

What is your Lot?

Lyric Pessimism and Pindar’s Afterlife

Chapter:
(p.69) 4 What is your Lot?
Source:
Aspects of Death and the Afterlife in Greek Literature
Author(s):

George Alexander Gazis

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781789621495.003.0004

A novel interpretation of the underworld narrative of Pindar’s Olympian 2, which moves away from the established approach that seeks to separate and define specific religious/cultic beliefs, and looking instead at the mythic tradition which Pindar exploits in order to paint an image of the afterlife which is as diverse as it is familiar. Gazis argues specifically, that the afterlife is visualised as a three levelled construct. This model, if superimposed upon the Homeric division of the cosmos would reflect precisely the geographical elements of the underworld, the earth and heaven, with the last level, representing a plain of existence in the sky. Gazis argues, however, that the description which Pindar presents has very little to do with any concrete doctrine. Whether this is done intentionally or as a result of genuine ignorance is a question that has to, inevitably, remain open. What can however be proved, is that Pindar’s approach to the concept of distinct afterlives remains, within its peculiarity, as traditional as ever.

Keywords:   Pindar, mythic tradition, afterlife, cosmos, underworld, heaven

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