Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
HorkosThe Oath in Greek Society$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Alan Sommerstein and Judith Fletcher

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781904675679

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781904675679.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Epinician Swearing

Epinician Swearing

Chapter:
(p.91) 8 Epinician Swearing
Source:
Horkos
Author(s):

Bonnie MacLachlan

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781904675679.003.0009

Swearing on oath was a common practice in ancient Greece. A puzzling aspect of oath-taking is that assertory and promissory oaths tend to be taken only in situations of epistemic uncertainty. In epinician poetry, a discrepancy exists between the usual circumstances of oath-taking in the Greek world and references to testifying under oath: oaths were typically sworn in situations of mistrust. This chapter examines the ‘rhetorical trope’ in epinician lyric whereby the singing voice (the ‘poetic I’) often swore to the truth of its assertions. It looks at Bacchylides, who twice swears an oath while leaning on Earth, and Pindar, who often calls upon the language of oath-taking and testifying. More specifically, the chapter considers how Bacchylides and Pindar see themselves as reporting truth, and also discusses the act of giving testimony as a feature of the pragmatics of oath-taking.

Keywords:   ancient Greece, oath-taking, oaths, epinician poetry, mistrust, Bacchylides, Pindar, truth, testimony

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.