Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Update

I added the Greek text and a translation and discussion of S. 48.  Of Sappho's short fragments, this is one of the most passionate and also one of the most important: there is reason to speculate it influenced the author(s) of Song of Songs.  The reading of one verb is much disputed and I print and translate a version that has not appeared in most translations of Sappho's poetry.  It is a matter of only two or three letters but it gives the fragment an entirely different meaning than it otherwise has.  I also include the English translation of the letter in which this fragment is quoted, which was addressed to Iamblichus: he  was eccentric even by Neo-Platonic/Pythagorean standards, but his importance to the history of mathematics makes it very intriguing that his correspondent knew he would appreciate the reference to Sappho and what I sense are other allusions to Sappho's poetry in the letter.

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