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  • Print publication year: 2007
  • Online publication date: November 2009

6 - Conclusion

Summary

We have now completed our examination of Olympionikai. As a full conspectus of the conclusions reached above can be found in Section 1.4, there is no need to review the preceding discussion. Clarification of the relationship between the numerous Olympionikai we have encountered would be desirable, but, for reasons detailed in Appendix 17, this is not possible beyond a very simple point. It is, however, worthwhile to return in a more informed manner to a subject treated in Section 1.1, the reasons that Olympic victor lists repay careful attention. There are five issues that merit consideration.

First, the understanding that Olympionikai were a distinct form of literary expression, along with familiarity with each of the three distinct types of Olympionikai, makes it possible to study with greater effectiveness all the extant examples of such works, some of which are texts of considerable importance. A good example can be found in Diodorus Siculus' Olympiad chronicle. The fact that the Bibliotheca is an Olympionikai has been largely ignored in the relevant scholarship. This has obscured a factor that must have influenced many of Diodorus' authorial choices. Speaking more generally, modern scholars interested in any individual Olympionikai are likely to benefit substantially from a general knowledge of Olympionikai as a group, or more precisely, as three closely related subgroups.

The second reason that Olympic victor lists hold interest for modern scholars is that Olympiad chronicles were one of the basic sources of information used by literate ancient Greeks.

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