Greek Lyric Sappho - Alcaeus

ISBN-10: 0674991575
ISBN-13: 9780674991576
Edition: 1982 (Revised)
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Description: This volume contains the poetic fragments of the two illustrious singers of early sixth-century Lesbos: Sappho, the most famous woman poet of antiquity, whose main theme was love; and Alcaeus, poet of wine, war, and politics, and composer of short  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 1982
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 1/1/1982
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 510
Size: 4.75" wide x 7.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.990

This volume contains the poetic fragments of the two illustrious singers of early sixth-century Lesbos: Sappho, the most famous woman poet of antiquity, whose main theme was love; and Alcaeus, poet of wine, war, and politics, and composer of short hymns to the gods. Also included are the principal testimonia, the ancients' reports on the lives and work of the two poets. The five volumes in the Loeb Classical Library edition of Greek Lyric contain the surviving fragments of solo and choral song. This poetry was not preserved in medieval manuscripts, and few complete poems remain. Later writers quoted from the poets, but only so much as suited their needs; these quotations are supplemented by papyrus texts found in Egypt, most of them badly damaged. The high quality of what remains makes us realise the enormity of our loss. Volume I presents Sappho and Alcaeus. Volume II contains the work of Anacreon, composer of solo song; the Anacreontea; and the earliest writers of choral poetry, notably the seventh-century Spartans Alcman and Terpander. Stesichorus, Ibycus, Simonides, and other sixth-century poets are in Volume III. Bacchylides and other fifth-century poets are in Volume IV along with Corinna (although some argue that she belongs to the third century). Volume V contains the new school of poets active from the mid-fifth to the mid-fourth century and also collects folk songs, drinking songs, hymns, and other anonymous pieces.

Sappho, whom Plato (see Vols. 3 and 4) called "the tenth Muse," was the greatest of the early Greek lyric poets. She was born at Mytilene on Lesbos and was a member---perhaps the head---of a group of women who honored the Muses and Aphrodite. Her family was aristocratic; it is said that she was married and had a daughter. Her brilliant love lyrics, marriage songs, and hymns to the gods are written in Aeolic dialect in many meters, one of which is named for her---the Sapphic. Mostly fragments survive of the nine books she is thought to have authored. Her verse is simple and direct, exquisitely passionate and vivid. Catullus, Ovid, and Swinburne (see Vol. 1) were among the many later poets she influenced.

Preface
Introduction
Select Bibliography
Sappho: Testimonia Text
Alcaeus: Testimonia Text
Sappho or Alcaeus
Tables Of Comparative Numeration
Index Of Authors And Sources
General Index

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