Representing the beginnings of women’s poetry in European cultures, Sappho’s songs have become an influential and complex sociopolitical paradigm related to female same-sex intimacy in modern eras. The first large-scale commentary in English in the last fifty years, this book fills a major gap in research on archaic Greece and provides interdisciplinary introductory studies and comprehensive commentary on major fragments of Sappho. The book pays special attention to contextualization cues reflected in the fragments, exploring the texts not only as works of literature with a particularly intricate history of ancient reception, but especially—as intended in the earlier stages of their transmission—as compositions for performance. Based on a fresh and detailed examination of the original papyri and textual sources, and focusing on the archaic culture within which Sappho’s poetry was performed, Fragments of Sappho covers a wide range of issues related to language, transmission, ancient visual and literary representations, and sociocultural contexts.
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Dimitrios Yatromanolakis is Assistant Professor of Ancient Greek and Latin Literature at The Johns Hopkins University.
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