When was the pythian nome performed?

Research output

1 Citation (Scopus)


According to Strabo, the Pythian nome, which depicted Apollo's victory over Python, formed the program of auletic and citharistic contests from their introduction at the Pythian Games (586 and 558 BC respectively). Yet interpreting any solo Pythian victory as proof of performing a Pythian nome is unfounded. The existence of the vocal, citharodic Pythian nome is not well evidenced. For instrumentalists it was likely only obligatory at the beginning. In 12 of 17 known cases we are not aware what the Pythian winners played, and in two cases (in the early 5th and in the 4th century BC) other nomes were performed at the Pythian contests. A hypothesis that the program was divided into compulsory and optional cannot be proven; rather an agonistic occasion stimulated gradual loss of ritual character of the pieces performed and the acquiring of more variety, whereas musical representation of a dragon-fight was probably transferred from the agonistic to the cult program of the festival. References to the Pythian nome a
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-91
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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