SAPPHO / Σαπφώ,The Greek Poems

William Harris
Σαπφώ: Αρχαίο Ελληνικό κείμενο και Αγγλική μετάφραση, σχόλια, ανάλυση
Intoduction, Censorship, Interpretation and Texts, Microstructure Analysis free ebook

If there were two names which everyone would immediately associate with Greek poetry, they would probably be those of Homer and Sappho. But there is a huge disparity between the four printed volumes of the Iliad and Odyssey, which come down to us in a well known and readable format from ancient times, as compared with our dozen pages of Sappho gleaned from Hellenistic literary sources and scraps of Egyptian papyrus used as wrapping paper for business accounts. The Homeric texts come in a steady flow of manuscripts confirmed by early samples in essays and many papyri, so there is little question about the authenticity of the text. Sappho on the other hand was being read in 7th century Byzantium in a collection of some half dozen volumes, but thereafter these were suppressed on the grounds of her supposedly aberrant sexual preferences, and removed from the libraries and the copyists’ benches. So one would almost think of classifying her, along with a vast body of what has not come down from Greek times, with the ‘lost literature’ of a vibrant culture which once had a quarter of a millions volumes in its great libraries. One might think hr name
had largely faded out in out times. But this is not the case. In preparing this study I thought it worth checking with one of the search engines on the Internet for the word “Sappho”, a name which is not likely to be conflated with other names or titles. (Homer is not a good search term, it might be an American painter, a baseball term, a pigeon type or either name of generations of American men.) To my amazement, I got a count of 119,000 returns, and examining the first hundred “best choices”…. free ebook