Bacchylides and the Fitzgerald rule
It has been inferred from the elegance and quiet charm of his lyrics that he only gradually acquired fame towards the end of his life... According to one account, Bacchylides was banished for a time from his native Keos and spent this period as an exile in Peloponnesus, where his genius ripened and he did the work which established his fame.
The tyrant's apparent preference for Bacchylides over Pindar on this occasion might have been partly due to the Cean poet's simpler language and not just to his less moralizing posture, and yet it is also possible that Bacchylides and his uncle were simply better suited to palace politics than was their more high-minded rival.
That's all from Wikipedia. Here's some context:
Bacchylides' lyrics do not seem to have been popular in his own lifetime. Lyrics by his uncle, Simonides, and his rival, Pindar, were known in Athens and were sung at parties, they were parodied by Aristophanes and quoted by Plato, but no trace of Bacchylides' work can be found until the Hellenistic age, when Callimachus began writing some commentaries on them. Like Simonides and Pindar, however, Bacchylides composed lyrics to appeal to the sophisticated tastes of a social elite and his patrons, though relatively few in number, covered a wide geographical area around the Mediterranean, including for example Delos in the Aegean Sea, Thessaly in the north of the Greek mainland, and Sicily or Magna Graecia in the west.
To remind you, the Fitzgerald rule says that you spot talent by looking at what people persist at, not by what persistently happens to them. You can read more about it here.