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THE PHILOSOPHERS.
65
hissing sou ad of £. as it did not blend easily with their playing, and it was this fact which probably led Lasus to so curious a style of poetry.
Among the scholars of Lasus was Pindar, (born in the spring of 522 B. c.,) who came from a noble Theban family. Pindar's parents were musical, and there were several flute-players in his family, but he soon became far more than a mere flute-Dlayer. He came to Athens, to study music, at a very early age, for after his return to Thebes he began a further course of studies under Corinna and Myitis, two famous poetesses, then in Boeotia, all of which was done before his twentieth year.
He strove in public contests with the two latter, but always unsuccessfully; Corinna defeated him five times, which result, Pausanius thinks, may have been partly due to her personal charms.
Corinna once offered to beautify Pindar's early efforts with mythological allusions, but on his bringing her a poem, the first six verses of which touched on every part of Theban Mythology, she smiled and said: " One must sow seed by hands-full, not by bagsfull."
Pindar's poetic career began very early, for at twenty years old he wrote his first Epinikion (triumphal ode), in honor of a youth of the tribe of Aleuads.* His services were soon sought for throughout all Hellas: for although he imitated Simonides in writing for hire, yet his muse was unquestionably a nobler one, and his Epinikia bear an air of heartiness which seems to be
•MullerGes. t. 1, p. 394.






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