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a new whole poem by Sappho found!

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a new whole poem by Sappho found!

Postby Bombichka » Fri Jun 24, 2005 8:52 am

http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,6109,1513491,00.html

congratulations all Greek poetry lovers!

I wonder when and where we get to see the text
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Postby auctor » Fri Jun 24, 2005 9:42 am

... and a slightly less sensationalist account by Dr West is at
http://tinyurl.com/ak4d5
still it's very good news.
On a related but perhaps unrealistic note, I wonder if there will ever be the technology available to recapture lost sound - that could open a whole can of worms!

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Postby annis » Fri Jun 24, 2005 12:34 pm

Aargghhh!

Can someone find us the Greek? The print version of the TLS has it according to a note in the web article. I have no idea where I'd get a print TLS in Madison, WI.
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Postby annis » Sun Jun 26, 2005 11:10 pm

Someone posted the poem in Unicode to classics-l.

I aoidified it into a PDF here.
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Postby Carola » Mon Jun 27, 2005 6:46 am

Let's hope that all these new discoveries fire up some enthusiasm for Greek (and Latin) studies in our schools. I know I am so keen on my White Greek study group, hoping I can one day do some translating of these ancient manuscripts myself.
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Postby swiftnicholas » Tue Jun 28, 2005 2:35 am

Thanks Will! :D :D :D :D
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Postby annis » Tue Jun 28, 2005 2:45 am

swiftnicholas wrote:Thanks Will!


You're quite welcome. There is a long weekend coming up, and I hope to have a commentary ready for this (and Sappho 1, already in the works) by next Monday.

Anyone who downloaded it before seeing this post right now should reload it, and also make sure that the date on it is today (June 27). I propogated two typos from the classics-l post. I got a copy of the TLS today, and fixed those.
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Postby mingshey » Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:13 am

Thanks, William!
It's really great to see the ancient poets still being discovered!
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Postby 1%homeless » Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:30 pm

I got a copy of the TLS today, and fixed those.


Ok, how did you obtain a copy of that?
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Postby Bardo de Saldo » Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:44 pm

Acme TLS.
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Postby annis » Tue Jun 28, 2005 10:15 pm

1%homeless wrote:Ok, how did you obtain a copy of that?


I wandered over to the local Borders bookstore. It was shelved in the "Foreign Magazines" section.
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Postby 1%homeless » Wed Jun 29, 2005 5:34 am

I wandered over to the local Borders bookstore. It was shelved in the "Foreign Magazines" section.


And I was trying to think of the most exotic route... :lol:
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Postby swiftnicholas » Wed Jun 29, 2005 10:06 pm

Here are some questions directed toward anyone currently reading the new Sappho poem:

In line 2, is xelu/nnan understood as a f.acc.sg?

In line 5, how is o)qu=moj formed? And, is go/na dual?

In line 6, is lai/yhr' n.nom.pl? or is it also in the dual?

In line 7, is qame/wj formed from qami/zw? If so, how? Also, is poei/hn a pres.inf.act form of poie/w?

In line 8, is du/naton m.acc.sg? And could somebody comment on how a)gh/raon ou) du/naton ge/nesqai works?

In line 9, is brodo/paxun in m.acc.sg? It would seem then that it should go with Ti/qwnon rather than the gen. Au)/wn, but I don't think that is the case.

Line 10 is difficult for me. First, faqeisan: Is it from fhmi/? Is it a gen.pl or acc.sg? Is it aor.part.pass? Next, ba/men': Is it from ba/zw? Is it nom. or acc? Is it fut.part.mid? But how is faqeisan ba/men' understood?

In the second half of line 10, is ga=j an acc.pl form, or gen.sg?

In line 11, in what form is u)/mwj? Is it an adverbial form of o(/moioj? If so, would it be understood with xro/nwi, as "like time, wideranging oldage seized him", or should it be understood as likening Tithonus' aging to Sappho's own? (or neither?)

Following this paragraph are some very preliminary notes on my first reading of the poem. Perhaps they can offer a starting point for discussion as we all eagerly await the new Aoidoi commentary. I would love to receive corrections or comments.


Line 1: u)/mmej nom. 2nd pl., [su/] ; peda\ [meta/] dor/aeolic ; Moi/san f. gen. pl., dor/aeolic [Moi=sa] ; i)oko/lpwn f. gen. pl. [i)o/kolpoj] violet-bosomed ; ka/la f. acc. dual (pl?) [ka/lh] ; dw=ra n. acc. pl. [dw=ron] ; pai=dej f. voc. pl. [pai=j]

Line 2: spouda/sdete pres. imperat. act. 2nd pl. dor/aeolic [spouda/zw] ; ta\n f. acc. sg. dor/aeolic [o(] ; fila/oidon f. acc. sg. [fila/oidoj] fond of singing ; ligu/ran f. acc. sg. [liguro/j] clear, whistling ; xelu/nnan f. acc. sg. (?) [xe/luj] tortoise (came to mean lyre)

Line 3: e)/moi dat. 1st sg. [e)gw/] ; a)/palon m. acc. sg. [a)palo/j] tender ; pot' (pota= aeolic enclitic, pote/) ; e)/onta pres. part. act. m. acc. sg. [ei)mi/] ; xro/a acc. sg. [xroia/; xrw/j] skin; body; superficial appearance, its color <<LSJ lists Sappho.20: pantoda/paisi memeixme/na xroi/aisin>> ; gh=raj n. nom. sg.

Line 4: e)pe/llabe aor. ind. act. 3rd sg. [e)pilamba/nw] lay hold of, seize, attack ; leu=kai f. nom. pl. [leu/kh] ; e)ge/nonto aor. ind. mid. 3rd. pl. [gi/gnomai] ; tri/xej f. nom. pl. [qri/c] hair of the head ; melai/nan f. gen. pl. dor/aeolic [me/laj]

Line 5: ba/ruj m. nom. sg. ; o)qu=moj ? ; pepo/htai perf. ind. m/p 3rd sg. [poie/w] ; go/na f. nom. dual (?) [go/nu] knees ; fe/roisi pres. ind. act. 3rd pl. aeolic [fe/rw]

Line 6: ta\ (ie. knees) f. nom. dual [o(] ; lai/yhr' (laiyhra/) n. acc. pl. [laiyhro/j] light, nimble, swift ; e)/on imperf. ind. act.1st sg. [ei)mi/] ; o)/rxhsq' (o)rxh=sqai) pres. inf. m/p dor/aeolic [o)rxe/omai] to dance in a row ; i)/sa f. nom. sg. [i)/soj] equal to ; nebri/oisi m/n dat. pl. [nebri/aj] fawn

Line 7: ta\ (ie. this situation) [o(] f. nom. sg. ; stenaxi/sdw pres. ind. act. 1st sg. [stenaxi/zw] I lament ; qame/wj <<from qami/zw, constantly engaged? See S.OC 671-672, minu/retai qami/zousa a)hdw/n>> ; ti/ what? ; ken (ke; ken before vowels; enclitic) epic and Ionic for a)/n, Aeolic and Old Doric ka ; poei/hn ? <<perhaps poei=n [poie/w] pres. inf. act. ?>>

Line 8: a)gh/raon m acc. sg. [a)gh/raoj] not growing old, undecaying ; a)/nqrwpon m. acc. sg. ; e)/ont' pres. part. act. m. acc. sg. [ei)mi/] ; du/naton m. acc. sg. (?) [dunato/j] able, possible ; ge/nesqai aor. inf. mid. [gi/gnomai] to come to being

Line 9: Ti/qwnon m. acc. sg. ; e)/fanto aor. ind. mid. 3rd pl. [fhmi/] to declare; "it was told" ; brodo/paxun m. acc. sg.(?) red-armed ; Au)/wn f. gen. pl. aeolic contr. [h)w/j] dawn

Line 10: e)/rwi m. dat. sg. [e)/roj] love, desire ; faqeisan aor. part. pass. f (gen. pl. or acc. sg) [fhmi/] ; ba/men' (ba/mena) fut. part. mid. n. (nom or acc.) pl. [ba/zw] ; e)/sxata n. acc. pl. [e)/sxatoj] outermost ; ga=j f. (acc. pl. or gen. sg.) [gh=] ; fe/roisan pres. part. act. f. acc. sg. [fe/rw]

Line 11: e)/onta pres. part. act. m acc. sg. [ei)mi/] ; ka/lon m. acc. sg. [ka/loj] beautiful ; ne/on m. acc. sg. [ne/oj] ; au)=ton m. acc. sg. [au)to/j] ; u)/mwj [o(/moioj?] ; e)/marye aor. ind. act. 3rd sg. [ma/rptw] catch, seize

Line 12: xro/nwi m. dat. sg. [xro/noj] time ; po/lion imperf. ind. act. 3rd pl. unaug. [pole/w] range over ; gh=raj n. nom. sg. [gh=raj] ; e)/xonta pres. part. act. m. acc. sg. [e)/xw] ; a)qana/tan f. acc. sg. [a)qa/natoj] ; a)/koitin f. acc. sg. [a)/koitij] spouse, wife
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Postby annis » Wed Jun 29, 2005 10:34 pm

swiftnicholas wrote:In line 2, is xelu/nnan understood as a f.acc.sg?


Yes.

In line 5, how is o)qu=moj formed? And, is go/na dual?


Put a space after the omicron (which is the definite article). [face=spionic]go/na[/face] is plural of [face=spionic]to\ go/nu[/face] (a famously heteroclite noun).

In line 6, is lai/yhr' n.nom.pl? or is it also in the dual?


Plural.

In line 7, is qame/wj formed from qami/zw? If so, how? Also, is poei/hn a pres.inf.act form of poie/w?


It is adv. from [face=spionic]qame/ej[/face], and means the same thing as [face=spionic]qama/[/face], "often."

In many dialects the iota of [face=spionic]poie/w[/face] disappears.

In line 8, is du/naton m.acc.sg? And could somebody comment on how a)gh/raon ou) du/naton ge/nesqai works?


It is neuter, in an impersonal construction, "it is not possible that..." + inf. (that should lead to the rest of the construction for you. :))

In line 9, is brodo/paxun in m.acc.sg? It would seem then that it should go with Ti/qwnon rather than the gen. Au)/wn, but I don't think that is the case.


Recall that compound adjectives usually only have two endings; it is feminine. [face=spionic]Au)/wn[/face] is accusative (a somewhat unexpected form for a [face=spionic]wV[/face] stem; Smyth 267)

Line 10 is difficult for me. First, faqeisan: Is it from fhmi/?


That word is incomplete! It's missing a short syllable, and much of the word is uncertain. West has not ventured a guess.

Next, ba/men': Is it from ba/zw?


[face=spionic]bai/nw[/face]

In the second half of line 10, is ga=j an acc.pl form, or gen.sg?


Note the accent. It must be the gen.sg.

In line 11, in what form is u)/mwj? Is it an adverbial form of o(/moioj?


Close. In Aeolic [face=spionic]om[/face] often becomes [face=spionic]um[/face]. With psilosis, this is [face=spionic]o(/mwj[/face].

Perhaps they can offer a starting point for discussion as we all eagerly await the new Aoidoi commentary.


That is already in progress. :)

I cannot comment on everything you've said (most appears correct), but I would like to make one note for you...

Line 6:e)/on imperf. ind. act.1st sg. [ei)mi/];


This is actually a 3.sg. imperf.
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Postby annis » Wed Jun 29, 2005 10:36 pm

One more:

swiftnicholas wrote:Line 7: ken (ke; ken before vowels; enclitic) epic and Ionic for a)/n, Aeolic and Old Doric ka ; poei/hn ? <<perhaps poei=n [poie/w] pres. inf. act. ?>>


Present 1.sg. optative.
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Postby swiftnicholas » Thu Jun 30, 2005 11:31 am

Thanks for all the comments. :D

Quote:
In line 5, how is o)qu=moj formed? And, is go/na dual?

Put a space after the omicron (which is the definite article). go/na is plural of to\ go/nu (a famously heteroclite noun).


Doh! That didn't occur to me. Has the definite article become almost fully developed by Sappho's time? Does it still have a demonstrative force, like "this heart of mine"?


Quote:
In line 9, is brodo/paxun in m.acc.sg? It would seem then that it should go with Ti/qwnon rather than the gen. Au)/wn, but I don't think that is the case.

Recall that compound adjectives usually only have two endings; it is feminine. Au)/wn is accusative (a somewhat unexpected form for a wV stem; Smyth 267)


Au)/wn is the subject, right?


Quote:
Line 10 is difficult for me. First, faqeisan: Is it from fhmi/?

That word is incomplete! It's missing a short syllable, and much of the word is uncertain. West has not ventured a guess.


Whoops. I thought something was up with this word, but when I put it into the morphological tool at Perseus, it gave me: aor.part.pass. f.(gen.pl or acc.sg) of fhmi/, which didn't make sense, but I thought perhaps it had a different--possibly Aeolic--form.


I looked it over again last night, and had a much better feel for it. The recurring idea of "seizing" or "attacking" is very powerful: Sappho tells the girls to take advantage of the Muses' beautiful gifts (I keep thinking, "seize the day"); old age seizes her body; whiteness (like a disease) conquors her hair; heaviness overcomes her heart; Sappho is overcome with grief; Tithonus is seized by Dawn; then Tithonus is overcome with old age too. And the juxtaposition in line 5 almost suggests that the heaviness of her heart is buckling her knees.

~Nicholas

PS. In your PDF, do the dots below the lines all represent uncertain characters?

PPS. If your commentary is going to scan or discuss the metre, then ignore this, but where can I read about hag2c||hag2c? And, is the poem to be seen as five couplets? or do the lines along the left margin indicate something else?
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Postby annis » Thu Jun 30, 2005 1:08 pm

swiftnicholas wrote:Has the definite article become almost fully developed by Sappho's time? Does it still have a demonstrative force, like "this heart of mine"?


The article still can be used independently as a demonstrative or relative (as in Homer), but when modifying a noun just take it as the article. This was once a point of controversy, but is not I think any longer.

Au)/wn is the subject, right?


In indirect discourse, yes.

I looked it over again last night, and had a much better feel for it. The recurring idea of "seizing" or "attacking" is very powerful: Sappho tells the girls to take advantage of the Muses' beautiful gifts (I keep thinking, "seize the day"); old age seizes her body; whiteness (like a disease) conquors her hair;


Nicholas, I don't think you need my commentaries! You seem to be paying close attention to the associated meanings of words when you do your dictionary work, which is half the battle in understanding these poems.

PS. In your PDF, do the dots below the lines all represent uncertain characters?


Yes. This is the usual way to do that. You'll see it in any critical edition of Sappho.

PPS. If your commentary is going to scan or discuss the metre, then ignore this, but where can I read about hag2c||hag2c?


The Aeolic meters section of the Aoidoi introduction to meter will make this clear, though I don't discuss this form in particlar. hag is a hagesichorean:

x -uu- u--

The 2c part means two choriambic expansions. So add two choriambs (-uu-) to the existing one:

x -uu- -uu- -uu- u--

Evidently the poems in the fourth book of the Alexandrian edition of Sappho were couplets in this meter. (I think. I get this information from Page's Sappho and Alcaeus and there's some puzzling further discussion I don't yet grok.)

And, is the poem to be seen as five couplets? or do the lines along the left margin indicate something else?


Yes, that line indicates strophic division. In the commented text I use a slightly larger spacing between lines for that, since something about my commenting setup causes those lines to go all wonky.
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Postby annis » Fri Jul 01, 2005 1:47 am

And one more.

swiftnicholas wrote:Line 6: nebri/oisi m/n dat. pl. [nebri/aj] fawn


If this were [face=spionic]nebri/aj[/face] the dat.pl. would be [face=spionic]-aisi[/face]. Right now I believe the word is [face=spionic]nebri/on to/[/face], formally diminutive of [face=spionic]nebro/j o([/face] fawn. Now, I can't actually find this form attested, but it parallels a lot of young animal vocabulary:

[face=spionic]pai=j[/face] :[face=spionic]paidi/on[/face] child
[face=spionic]de/lfac[/face] : [face=spionic]delfa/kion[/face] adolescent pig
[face=spionic]qh/r[/face] : [face=spionic]qhri/on[/face] animal, etc.

If someone has access to a current L&S supplement, I'd love to know if there's anything new in the [face=spionic]nebr[/face]- family.
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Postby swiftnicholas » Fri Jul 01, 2005 5:04 pm

annis wrote:If this were nebri/aj the dat.pl. would be -aisi. Right now I believe the word is nebri/on to/, formally diminutive of nebro/j o( fawn. Now, I can't actually find this form attested, but it parallels a lot of young animal vocabulary:

pai=j :paidi/on child
de/lfac : delfa/kion adolescent pig
qh/r : qhri/on animal, etc.


A diminutive would certainly suit the poem's emphasis on the polarity of youth and oldage.

The myth of Tithonus and Dawn is an extreme illustration: the everfresh dawn--new every day--and Tithonus, who is also immortal but grows older and older everyday, are opposites joined together in marriage. It is wonderfully analogous to the teacher's situation, as Dr West points out: the teacher grows older and older, while her class is refreshed each term with new children. And also the stark contrast of black and white hair, with life (again, like a disease) progressing from a rich color to a lifeless white, like a greyscale. The polarity reminds me of that in pre-Socratic philosophy---particularly Heraclitus.

Is there any possibility that, with nebri/oisi, Sappho is alluding to the Bacchantes, who wore fawnskins? I know very little about Lesbian culture or Dionysian festivals. Did the Bacchantes dance in the fawnskins? An allusion to Dionysus would be fitting: a symbol of agriculture, of sowing and reaping, of the life cycle, of the earth constantly refreshing itself as mortals grow old and die.

Nicholas, I don't think you need my commentaries! You seem to be paying close attention to the associated meanings of words when you do your dictionary work, which is half the battle in understanding these poems.


I am quite fond of dictionaries and their words :oops: but I still depend on your commentaries (and those of others) for a greater understanding of the morphology and syntax, and for a wider perspective on the poets. And not even for the difficult parts only: I make no little number of simple mistakes! It is especially helpful for dialectical variations, and for scanning metre.

Evidently the poems in the fourth book of the Alexandrian edition of Sappho were couplets in this meter. (I think. I get this information from Page's Sappho and Alcaeus and there's some puzzling further discussion I don't yet grok.)


Is Page's book good? I've seen it on the shelves of my library, but haven't checked it out yet. I have a book of Sappho's poems and fragments by C.R. Haines (which, incidentally, is only about a year away from public domain). I haven't used it much (enough, however, to know that I don't like his translations); is it a good resource? Are there other works on Sappho you would recommend? I've always been too frustrated by the scanty remains of her poetry to pursue the scholarship and critcism of her work.

~Nicholas
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Postby annis » Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:24 pm

swiftnicholas wrote:A diminutive would certainly suit the poem's emphasis on the polarity of youth and oldage.


Well, formally a diminutive. The list of animal words I give are all clearly derived, diminutive forms, but aren't really diminutive in sense. So I'm wondering if in Lesbian *[face=spionic]nebri/on[/face] isn't just the usual word for "fawn." Alas, the Lobel and Page Poetarum Lesbiorum Fragmenta shows this poem as the only place the word occurs.

Is there any possibility that, with nebri/oisi, Sappho is alluding to the Bacchantes, who wore fawnskins? I know very little about Lesbian culture or Dionysian festivals.


I have no idea at all. Right now I'm inclined to take the surface sense.

Is Page's book good?


Yes. It is still the standard reference and current scholars are still engaged with it, either to agree or to argue with it.

I have a book of Sappho's poems and fragments by C.R. Haines (which, incidentally, is only about a year away from public domain). I haven't used it much (enough, however, to know that I don't like his translations); is it a good resource?


I've never read this Haines book. The generations immediately prior to Page harbored a number of irritating ideas about Sappho, and much of Page's work is devoted to dispatching those, i.e., the "Sappho's Finishing School for Girls" idiocy; alas, not killing blows. Here he is on fragment 31:

Page wrote:There is in fact neither bride nor bridgegroom in this poem; and there is neither schoolteacher nor pupil in the general tradition. Sappho loves this girl with a passion of which the nature is no more disguised than the intensity. The ancients, who knew this poem in its completeness, had no doubt about its meaning. To 'Longinus', to Catullus, to Plutarch, it was a masterpiece among poems of passionate love; the perfect delineation of 'the emotions that accompany a love in ecstasy', in the ancient critic's phrase. We may amend, 'a love in jealousy': but if we look further we shall find nothing. This is a poem sung by Sappho to her friends; its subject is the emotion which overwhelms her when she sees a beloved girl enjoying the company of a man. Only for one generation in 2,500 years has it ever been mistaken for anything else.


So you might find it interesting as a history of scholarship to compare Haines to Page.

Are there other works on Sappho you would recommend?


Not on Sappho specifically, but Campbell's Greek Lyric Poetry: A Selection (not the Loebs) is very good, the standard introduction to Greek verse (lots of grammar and literary notes).
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Postby swiftnicholas » Sat Jul 02, 2005 12:46 am

annis wrote:Well, formally a diminutive. The list of animal words I give are all clearly derived, diminutive forms, but aren't really diminutive in sense. So I'm wondering if in Lesbian *nebri/on isn't just the usual word for "fawn." Alas, the Lobel and Page Poetarum Lesbiorum Fragmenta shows this poem as the only place the word occurs.


Ah, I see now.

Quote:
Is there any possibility that, with nebri/oisi, Sappho is alluding to the Bacchantes, who wore fawnskins? I know very little about Lesbian culture or Dionysian festivals.

I have no idea at all. Right now I'm inclined to take the surface sense.


I think that's smart: the surface meaning is substantial enough. It only came to my attention through nebri/zw. Perhaps somebody out there can provide a reason why it isn't possible or likely.


This is what Haines says about fragment 31 (which he numbers "4"):

This famous lyric preserved for us by the so-called Longinus in his treatise On the Sublime, scarcely to be matched for its exquisite art and intense passion, has in respect to its subjective meaning met with the most divergent interpretations. Passionate love for a girl is certainly portrayed, but though the writer speaks in the first person, she may surely be depicting passion as a poet, not as a woman, and in any case the rival here is a man, and no definite individual either, as o)/ttij shows. There is no real reason to suppose that Anactoria is alluded to. The same difficult problem confronts us in the case of Shakespeare's Sonnets. Are they masterpieces of pure objective imagination, or hot with real personal feeling? Catullus, as a lyrist the nearest Roman rival to Sappho, has translated this poem. This lyric is quoted or imitated, among others, by Plato, Theocritus, Lucretius, Plutarch, Lucian, Horace, and Tennyson. See Wilamowitz, Sappho und Simonides pp. 56 ff. He seems to think that it is a wedding poem.


It's not very different. I don't know the poem yet (but I see it in the near future :)). I read the last sentence to suggest that he disagrees with Wilamowitz; but perhaps I read too much into it.

~Nicholas
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Postby annis » Wed Jul 06, 2005 10:04 pm

Voilà: Sappho 58, commented.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Postby mingshey » Thu Jul 07, 2005 2:23 am

Thanks William.

There's also a new link with the Greek text, now:
http://www.languagehat.com/archives/001966.php

, which, in turn, redirects us to
http://serendipity.lascribe.net/transla ... ng_view=en

, which, again, to
http://glaukopidos.blogspot.com/2005/06 ... nvade.html
.
See the German link too:
http://www.diepresse.com/Artikel.aspx?c ... &id=491453
with comments by one of the discoverers, Michael Gronewald.
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Postby annis » Thu Jul 07, 2005 2:30 am

Angelo has been keeping track of various blogs and interesting links, too: http://caelestis.info/sauvagenoble/2005/06/lsa-pause-sappho-58.html.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Postby swiftnicholas » Thu Jul 14, 2005 6:37 pm

Hey, it looks great Will. I can't wait to read through your comments.

Thanks,
Nicholas
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