Friday, January 31, 2014

Sappho Round-up

I find myself repeatedly posting new links in a variety of places as coverage of the new Sappho fragment continues, so I am going to simplify my life and collect them here. I'm actually teaching Sappho next week in my Women in Ancient Greece and Rome course, and we just did Catullus 51 in my second year Latin poetry course, so this is all quite timely.

January 29th 
  • Victoria Woollaston in the Daily Mail.
  • James Romm in the Daily Beast, with comment by Albert Heinrichs of Harvard University, who has seen the papyrus himself.
  • Paul Barford has a rather cynical take on the discovery of the new Sappho Papyrus on his Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues blog. While the issue of black market and illegal antiquities should not be dismissed, without any information on the owner it is difficult to state when or whether this piece may have been illegally obtained. Also, it looks to me like the fragment that is being included with the news stories cannot be from the papyrus in question. I've barely scanned it, but the final line does not seem to correspond to any of Obbink's reading. And Obbink gives the papyrus dimensions as 18.2 x 10.8 cm, thus the nicely squared image in the articles seems unlikely to be from the new find.
January 30th 
  • Charlotte Higgins in the Guardian. Contains a link to Tim Whitmarsh's translation of the nearly complete poem naming Charaxos and Larichos, and a link to Dirk Obbink's forthcoming publication of the fragment in Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik (ZPE). (Although the ZPE link seems to no longer work.)
  • Annalisa Quinn for NPR, with comment by Margaret Williamson at Dartmouth College.
  • Tom Payne in the Telegraph, in which Sappho is compared with, nay, surpasses David Bowie! Payne has translated Ovid's Ars Amatoria and offers his own translation of the Charaxos and Larichos poem.
  • Laura Swift, lecturer in Classics at the Open University, published her thoughts in The Conversation, also with the broken link to Obbink's article. 
January 31st
  • Oliver Moody in the Times. This is behind a pay wall.
  • Katy Waldman for Slate Magazine includes translations of both poems by Thomas H. Buck which have been "Sappho-ized" by Katy herself.
February 1st

  • Res Gerendae, a blog written by grad students at Cambridge, has a write up by Matt Scarborough with a bit more background on Sappho's corpus.
February 3rd
  • Prof. Francesca Tronchin has collected tweets on her Storify page with lots of good discussion of cultural heritage issues and questions about the provenience of the fragment.
  • Dr. Llewelyn Morgan has a nice post about Sappho's influence on the Roman poet Catullus on his blog.