Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Two New Poems of Sappho

Two new poems of Sappho have been found and a preliminary translation released here. The poems are in a fragment dating to 2nd and 3rdCentury CE which may have come from Oxyrhynchus. An article in Daily Beast on the find gives an indication of scholarly reaction:

“The new Sappho is absolutely breath-taking,” said Albert Henrichs, a Harvard classics professor who examined the papyrus with Dr. Obbink. “It is the best preserved Sappho papyrus in existence, with just a few letters that had to be restored in the first poem, and not a single word that is in doubt. Its content is equally exciting.” One of the two recovered poems, Prof. Henrichs notes, speaks of a “Charaxos” and a “Larichos,” the names assigned by ancient sources to two of Sappho’s brothers but never before found in Sappho’s own writings. It has as a result been labeled the Brothers poem by Prof. Obbink.

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