Echoes of Sappho in two epigrams of Posidippus

2015.11.19 | By Gregory Nagy Epigrams 52 and 55 of Posidippus, a poet who flourished in the third century BCE, contain references to the songs of Sappho. That is what I argue here. Further, I argue that these references seem to be evoking the main themes that we see Sappho’s Tithonos Song, which is quoted and analyzed in my posting for 2015.11.12. Read more

The Tithonos Song of Sappho

2015.11.12 | By Gregory Nagy This posting of 2015.11.12 picks up from where I left off at 2015.11.5. There I explored the idea of a cycle from girl to woman back to girl in the poetics of Sappho, and I noted the use of the word pais in the sense of ‘girl’ in a vase painting that showed the pursuit of a girl by a woman who was in turn… Read more

Once again this time in Song 1 of Sappho

2015.11.05 | By Gregory Nagy I argue here in this posting for 2015.11.05 that the expression dēute (δηὖτε) as used at lines 15 and 16 and 18 in Song 1 of Sappho refers not only to some episodically recurrent emotion of love as experienced by the speaker but also to the seasonally recurrent performance of the song on festive occasions that I reconstruct back to the earliest attested phases of… Read more

“The mother, so sad it is, of the very best”: The lament of Thetis in Iliad 18

2015.10.29 | By Gregory Nagy In this posting, I show the thinking that went into a self-evaluation exercise that I had put together for “Heroes X.” In putting together the wording for this exercise as I wrote it in 2013, I was thinking of things that never made it into the book version. So, my thinking about Iliad 18.54–56 is being shared here in public for the very first time. Read more

Diachronic Sappho: some prolegomena

2015.10.22 | By Gregory Nagy In my posting for Classical Inquiries 2015.10.08, I offered my own working translations of some songs attributed to Sappho, complementing my interpretations as posted for Classical Inquiries 2015.10.01. These songs, currently known as “the newest Sappho,” are part of a set of new discoveries of papyrus fragments. In my posting here for Classical Inquiries 2015.10.22, my current interpretations of the “newest Sappho” songs are integrated… Read more