In this paper I try to establish and channel a Pindaric undercurrent in Propertius’ Apollo-elegy which hitherto escaped the notice of literary critics. The lynchpin of the argument are the verses 4. 6. 57 f. of Propertius and Pyth. 4. 244–250 of Pindar. In these passages both poets practice radical shortening of narration in order to avoid
...epic eccentricity. Some elements of Pindar’s imagery and metapoetic stance seemingly absent in Propertius are detected in other parts of the elegy. If the allusion is accepted, the intriguing parallel between the historical Cleopatra and the mythical Medea emerges, the former being destroyed by the Romans, the latter afflicting vengeance upon Pelias. This can be related to the same constellation in 3. 11, where Cleopatra appears as the personified perversion of the political and erotic sway of mythical and historical queens.
In this essay I investigate some changes in Pindar’s Nachleben. I start with the immediate aftermath of his poetry right after its (first) performance and pursue with the process of how it became written poetry securing its way into the Byzantine manuscript tradition. Regarding its popularity in the 16–17th century I highlight the fact that
... Pindar remained novem princeps lyricorum for a long time and thus served as a lodestar and cynosure for generations of poets to come until the Enlightment brought a wind of change ending the era in which Pindar was a source of inspiration. Yet due attention is paid to the German poet Hölderlin who in his imitation of Pindar differs from the trends of his time. Finally I cast some light on the interesting shift of interest which made Pindar a lively subject of scholarly pusuits whereas his power of shaping modern European lyric was at an end.