Born around 522 BC in a village in Boeotia, Pindar would grow into a prominent ancient Greek lyric poet still studied to this day. Out of the canonical lyric poets associated with ancient Greek times (nine in total), Pindar was lucky to leave a legacy behind with works that are known as the best preserved out of the bunch. Those who spend their time studying ancient writers, usually agree that he is one of the greatest in his field.
After the end of the Medean Wars, Pindar was lucky to see the defeat and death of Mardonius who occupied his region at the time. Once the war had passed, he was able to enjoy a reputation that spread throughout Greece. As a result, Pindar was able to travel, attending to his patrons.
By analyzing some of his text, it seems that he made a stop to the court of Hiero I of Syracuse at some point (most likely in 476). It is believed that this visit coincided with the time that he wrote the first three Olympic Odes for victories of Hiero and Theron. Other cities that Pindar visited were Delphi and Athens, which may have been around the same time that he wrote one or two dithyrambs meant to be sung at the Great Dionysiae. To date, only fragments of this piece are in existence.
Being in a position like Pindar has its perks. For example, Alexander the Great spared his house, which was located in Thebes, as he admired the complimentary text he created regarding and in honor for his ancestor, king Alexander I of Macedon. If Pindar interests you, then perhaps a few words of wisdom will shed light on the man whose earned quite a reputation as one of the best:
“A shadow in a dream is man, but when God sheds a brightness then shining light is on earth and life is sweet as honey.”
“A graceful and honorable old age is the childhood of immortality.”
“Even wisdom has to yield to self-interest.”
“Every gift which is given, even though is be small, is in reality great, if it is given with affection”
“Great deeds give choice of many tales. Choose a slight tale, enrich it large, and then let wise men listen.”
“Learn what you are and be such.”
“Men are the dreams of a shadow.”
“Not every truth is the better for showing its face undisguised; and often silence is the wisest thing for a man to heed.”
“Seek not, my soul, the life of the immortals; but enjoy to the full the resources that are within thy reach.”
“The best of healers is good cheer.”
“The days that are still to come are the wisest witnesses.”
“The present will not long endure.”
“The test of any man lies in action.”
“Whatever is beautiful is beautiful by necessity”.