Sappho lesbian dating
Ambrose Philips' 1711 translation of the Ode to Aphrodite portrayed the object of Sappho's desire as male, a reading that was followed by virtually every other translator of the poem until the twentieth century, Toward the end of the twentieth century, though, some scholars began to reject the question of whether or not Sappho was a lesbian – Glenn Most wrote that Sappho herself "would have had no idea what people mean when they call her nowadays a homosexual", At the beginning of the twentieth century, the German classicist Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff posited that Sappho was a sort of schoolteacher, in order to "explain away Sappho's passion for her 'girls and has been rejected by several prominent classicists as unjustified by the evidence.
In 1959, Denys Page, for example, stated that Sappho's extant fragments portray "the loves and jealousies, the pleasures and pains, of Sappho and her companions"; and he adds, "We have found, and shall find, no trace of any formal or official or professional relationship between them, ...
Nonetheless, her work is innovative; it is some of the earliest Greek poetry to adopt the "lyric 'I'" – to write poetry adopting the viewpoint of a specific person, in contrast to the earlier epic poets Homer and Hesiod, who present themselves more as "conduits of divine inspiration".
Traditional modern literary critics of Sappho's poetry have tended to see her poetry as a vivid and skilled but spontaneous and naive expression of emotion: typical of this view are the remarks of H. Rose that "Sappho wrote as she spoke, owing practically nothing to any literary influence," and that her verse displays "the charm of absolute naturalness." Against this essentially romantic view, one school of more recent critics argues that, on the contrary, Sappho's poetry displays and depends for its effect on a sophisticated deployment of the strategies of traditional Greek rhetorical genres.
For instance, the Cologne Papyrus on which the Tithonus poem is preserved was part of a Hellenistic anthology of poetry, which contained poetry arranged by theme, rather than by metre and incipit, as it was in the Alexandrian edition.Only approximately 650 lines of Sappho's poetry still survive, of which just one poem – the "Ode to Aphrodite" – is complete, and more than half of the original lines survive in around ten more fragments.Many of the surviving fragments of Sappho contain only a single word The two major sources of surviving fragments of Sappho are quotations in other ancient works, from a whole poem to as little as a single word, and fragments of papyrus, many of which were discovered at Oxyrhynchus in Egypt.Sappho's poetry is still considered extraordinary and her works continue to influence other writers.Beyond her poetry, she is well known as a symbol of love and desire between women.Sappho was a prolific poet, probably composing around 10,000 lines.Her poetry was well-known and greatly admired through much of antiquity, and she was among the canon of nine lyric poets most highly esteemed by scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria.Sappho clearly worked within a well-developed tradition of Lesbian poetry, which had evolved its own poetic diction, meters, and conventions.Among her famous poetic forebears were Arion and Terpander.This indication that Sappho was born into an aristocratic family is consistent with the sometimes rarefied environments that her verses record.One ancient tradition tells of a relation between Charaxus and the Egyptian courtesan Rhodopis.