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The "newish" Sappho #58

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The "newish" Sappho #58

Postby Paul Derouda » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:46 pm

This is the "formerly new" Sappho that was published in full (or relatively so) only in 2004.

The source is http://inamidst.com/stuff/sappho/. Some words are conjectured, but I'm pasting the version without square brackets for readability.

Υμμες πεδὰ Μοίσαν ἰοκόλπων κάλα δῶρα, παῖδες,
σπουδάσδετε καὶ τὰν φιλάοιδαν λιγύραν χελύνναν·
ἔμοι δ’ ἄπαλον πρίν ποτ’ ἔοντα χρόα γῆρας ἤδη
ἐπέλλαβε, λεῦκαι δ’ ἐγένοντο τρίχες ἐκ μελαίναν·
βάρυς δέ μ’ ὀ θῦμος πεπόηται, γόνα δ’ οὐ φέροισι,
τὰ δή πότα λαίψηρ’ ἔον ὄρχησθ’ ἴσα νεβρίοισι.
τὰ μὲν στεναχίσδω θαμέως· ἀλλὰ τί κεν ποείην;
ἀγήραον ἄνθρωπον ἔοντ’ οὐ δύνατον γένεσθαι.
καὶ γάρ ποτα Τίτωνον ἔφαντο βροδόπαχυν Αὔων
ἔρωι φυράθεισαν βάμεν’ εἰς ἔσχατα γᾶς φέροισαν,
ἔοντα κάλον καὶ νέον, ἀλλ’ αὖτον ὔμως ἔμαρψε
χρόνωι πόλιον γῆρας, ἔχοντ’ ἀθανάταν ἄκοιτιν.

I have trouble understanding the syntax of the first two lines, especially the function of πεδὰ (Aeolic for μετά). Μοίσαν is apparently genitive plural. Perhaps "You be zealous in pursuit of (?) the violet-bosomed Muses' beautiful gifts, girls, and the song-loving clear-toned tortoiseshell(=lyre)". It doesn't seem right, because first we have σπουδάσδετε with πεδὰ and then with the plain accusative, but I can't read it any other way.
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Re: The "newish" Sappho #58

Postby jeidsath » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:18 pm

"Especially the lyre/music" -- given the reference to dancing later on.

"Even the lyre" -- Would music be one of the muses' gifts that would be more useful than others in old age? Would she have come back to it later in the poem?

Or maybe the lyre is something that women, or whoever is her audience, wouldn't normally learn?
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κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.
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Re: The "newish" Sappho #58

Postby Hylander » Mon May 01, 2017 1:12 am

πεδὰ -- adverbial?
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Re: The "newish" Sappho #58

Postby mwh » Mon May 01, 2017 2:37 am

I think Paul had it right, except that τὰν φιλάοιδαν λιγύραν χελύνναν too will be governed by πεδὰ=μετὰ. The construction is simply “σπουδάζετε after the Muses’ gifts and the lyre.” If we wanted, we could say that the Muses give song and dance, while the tortoise-shell lyre was traditionally the invention of Hermes (as in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo). τὰν=τὴν comes close to “that famous …”.

The poem is complete, apart from the missing bits that have been supplemented. It closes with the mythological exemplum of Tithonus, who was exempted from death but not from aging. So now we can say we have two complete poems of Sappho (the other being Sappho 1). And a more recent find has given us all but the beginning of another (known as the "Brothers" poem). Rejoice!
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Re: The "newish" Sappho #58

Postby Hylander » Mon May 01, 2017 2:04 pm

Here is an on-line discussion of Sappho 58, which I now see mwh linked to several years ago:

http://community.middlebury.edu/~harris/sappho.new.html

There's a discussion of the somewhat strange-sounding epithet ἰοκόλπων.

And here are earlier threads:

http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=63686&p=174018&hilit=sappho#p174018

http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=63636

From before the mwh epoch, when we were stumbling around in the dark:

http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=61044
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Re: The "newish" Sappho #58

Postby mwh » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:15 pm

Yesterday I came across yet another proposal for the lost beginnings of the first two lines:

Μοισαν επιδειξασθ’ ι]οκολπων καλα δωρα, παιδες,
και παιξατε και τα]ν φιλαοιδαν λιγυραν χελυνναν.
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Re: The "newish" Sappho #58

Postby Paul Derouda » Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:31 am

Thanks. I think I maybe like this one better. In Epic,παίζω is always associated with music/dance, even in the places where LSJ claims (in my opinion incorrectly) that it means "play [a game]". Nausicaa in Od 6 isn't playing, she's dancing with a ball. As far as Epic is concerned, "play like a child" is incorrect as well, as in "Marta Argerich plays the piano like a child" :) - I don't think παίζω is ever used of children in Epic.

The direct object is a bit surprising though, I couldn't find a parallel in Epic. But this isn't Epic.
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Re: The "newish" Sappho #58

Postby mwh » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:05 am

The direct object is a bit surprising though, I couldn't find a parallel in Epic. But this isn't Epic.
It’s hard to find a decent parallel anywhere. And neither verb seems quite right for the given objects. But what really damns it, to my mind, is that και. I doubt anyone will improve on West’s supplements.
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