Sappho: Night Owl & Star Gazer

Scattered throughout the fragments of Sappho's poetry are references to staying up all night as well as observations about celestial objects and events.

I wrote a short essay on this for Women in Astronomy: Sappho and the Origins of Ancient Greek Astronomy.

There is no reason to doubt that Sappho viewed the cosmos as spherical, including the world on which she lived.  That world view (Weltanschauung) is attested in sources close to when Sappho lived and it would be unreasonable not to believe Sappho had such a view.

Here is a link to a visualization of the geocentric (and non-rotating/orbiting) way of viewing things that Sappho likely had (not very different from how, as earth based observers, we still view the universe today).

Here is a draft of a discussion of one fragment of Sappho's poetry that I think is one of the most important examples of her incorporation of star/moon gazing and meditation.






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