Song 44 of Sappho revisited: what is ‘oral’ about the text of this song?

2016.08.31 | By Gregory Nagy This song, attributed to Sappho, shows the same kind of formulaic structure that we see at work in the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey. Such a structure, in the case of Homeric poetry, indicates that this poetry originated from oral traditions. So also in the case of the songmaking exemplified by Song 44 of Sappho, the formulaic structure of this song indicates a parallel origin from… Read more

Song 44 of Sappho and the Role of Women in the Making of Epic

2015.02.27 | By Gregory Nagy At H24H 4§20, I formulate this “take-away” from that analysis: “Song 44 of Sappho is an example of epic as refracted in women’s songmaking traditions.” And I simply give a reference there to an earlier analysis that I had attempted, in a book entitled Homeric Questions (Nagy 1996). [The hyperlink directs to an open access version of the book on the CHS website.] I now think that the reference I… Read more