Chapter 3. The Anthropology of Ancient Reception: The Late Archaic and Classical Periods

                        ΠΙΚΡΑΓΚΑΘΙ
Ἐνεφανίσθη καὶ χάθηκε ἡ δεσποινὶς ποὺ συνήντησα
μέσ᾽ στὸ συρτάρι μου. Στὴ θέσι της μιὰ τολύπη
κρατεῖ τὸν φώσφορο τῆς ζωοφόρου της. Ἄποικοι
νέμονται τὶς ἐκτάσεις ποὺ ἐγκατέλειψε μὰ τὸ παιδὶ
τῶν ἀναμνήσεών μας κομίζει πλοκάμια ποὺ μοιάζουν
μὲ τὶς ἕξι διαφορετικὲς ἡδονὲς τῆς δεσποινίδος
ποὺ ὑπῆρξε βασικῶς μητέρα τοῦ παιδιοῦ της καὶ
μητέρα μου. Κάποτε ζῶ μέσ᾽ στὸ συρτάρι. Μὰ
κάθε φορὰ ποὺ δὲν ὀνομάζονται μερικὲς περι–
πτώσεις ἀλλιῶς παρὰ χλαμύδες κάτω ἀπὸ τὶς ὁποῖες
ὑποσκάπτονται τὰ θεμέλια μιᾶς τραγικῆς κουρτίνας
παίρνω τὸ τελευταῖο μαντήλι της καὶ παρακαλῶ
τὸ βάτραχό μου νὰ καταργήσῃ κάθε οἰμωγὴ
ποὺ εἶναι δυνατὸν νὰ ὑπάρχῃ μέσα στοὺς θώκους
καὶ ἐπάνω ἀπὸ τὶς κουρτίνες.

The maiden whom I met in my drawer appeared
and disappeared. In her place a wisp is holding
the phosphorus of her zophoros. Settlers exploit
the regions that she left behind but the child
of our memories is bringing tentacles resembling
the six sensual pleasures of the maiden
who was basically the mother of her child and
my mother. Sometimes I live in the drawer.
But each time that certain cases are not named
otherwise but “chlamydes,” under which
the foundations of a tragic curtain are
undermined, I take her last handkerchief
and beg my frog to cancel any wail
that there may be in the seats
and above the curtains.
—Andreas Embeirikos, “Bitter Thorn”
In his discussion of the diverse rhetorical topics or elements of demonstrative syllogisms—rhetorical strategies of persuasion—Aristotle addresses the use of “induction” (epagôgê). It can be shown from a number of cases, he argues, that if the parentage of a child is at issue, mothers always discern the truth. This kind of syllogism draws conclusions from accepted premises. If, he continues, one aims to show that πάντες τοὺς σοφοὺς τιμῶσιν (“all honor the wise”), one may quote the rhetor Alkidamas of the late fifth and early fourth century, a pupil of Gorgias: [1]
Πάριοι γοῦν Ἀρχίλοχον καίπερ βλάσφημον ὄντα τετιμήκασι, καὶ Χῖοι Ὅμηρον οὐκ ὄντα πολίτην, καὶ Μυτιληναῖοι Σαπφὼ καίπερ γυναῖκα οὖσαν, καὶ Λακεδαιμόνιοι Χείλωνα καὶ τῶν γερόντων ἐποίησαν ἥκιστα φιλόλογοι ὄντες, [καὶ Ἰταλιῶται Πυθαγόραν,] καὶ Λαμψακηνοὶ Ἀναξαγόραν ξένον ὄντα ἔθαψαν καὶ τιμῶσιν ἔτι καὶ νῦν.
The Parians, at any rate, have given Arkhilokhos honors, even though he was abusive; and the Khians Homer, even though he was not a fellow-citizen; and the Mytileneans Sappho, even though she was a woman; and the Spartans, although they are least fond of learning, made Kheilon a member of their council of elders; [and the Italiotes have honored Pythagoras;] and the people of Lampsakos honored Anaxagoras with a public burial, although he was a foreigner, and they honor him even nowadays.
In this long series of cases presented as intriguing paradoxes, Alkidamas has listed a female figure. The “paradox” here is related to a most pervasive and powerful paradigm in the cultural rhetoric and practice of fifth- and fourth-century Athens. The point that is made is that Sappho, who was from Lesbos and closely associated with the city of Mytilene, was honored by the people of Mytilene, despite the fact that she was a woman. Paros gave honors to a poet fond of insults, and Khios to a non-citizen poet. [2] Compared to the examples of men “wise and skilled in art” offered by Alkidamas, the cultural paradox in the case of Sappho lies in her being a woman who conspicuously stood out as a poet in the long tradition of famous Lesbian male singers and poets/musicians that became proverbial in Greek antiquity. [3] By the standards of Athenian cultural politics, this feat was remarkable indeed.
The ideological paradigms and polarities that conditioned the reception of Sappho in antiquity (outside the island of Lesbos) were constantly different from those that shaped the ancient understanding of the poetry of Pindar, Arkhilokhos, Alkaios, and the Homeric epics. Although the songs and the figure of Sappho were often assimilated into sociocultural schemata pertaining to male archaic poets like Anakreon or even influential intellectuals and public figures like Sokrates, the anthropology of her reception was in each period and in different Greek and Roman societies filtered through culturally intricate politics of context, gender, and écriture. More than five centuries after Aristotle’s reference, Athenaios in the Learned Banqueters succinctly pointed to two principal, complementary ideological categories that had defined the figure of Sappho the song-maker, especially in the earliest and, as I shall argue, the most decisive stages of the transmission of her poetry in Athens:
 . . . Σαπφώ, γυνὴ μὲν πρὸς ἀλήθειαν οὖσα καὶ ποιήτρια, . . .  [4]

Sappho, a woman—according to truth and nature—and a
poetess . . . 
The emphasis placed on the word “woman” in this passing reference to Sappho confirms that a complex cultural hermeneutics of gender was one of the primary prisms through which her poetry and, more importantly, its sociocultural contexts were perceived in societies where the categories “woman,” “woman musician/poet,” and “East Greek” were markedly loaded. As discussed in the course of this chapter, these categories were a formative part of the social economy of Athenian performance cultures throughout the early transmission and successive reperformances of Sappho’s songs in that city. I shall argue that the second ideological concept, “woman poet/musician,” in conjunction with broader and particularly intricate socioeconomic discourses related to East Greek societies, shaped the early making of the figure of Sappho, thus adumbrating the subsequent discursive configurations with which she was presented as conversing.

On Lesbos

Sappho’s poetic activity must have been well known in her own time [5] beyond the female community of Mytilene. Leaving aside those fragments that suggest some kind of competition with other women on the part of the poetic voice, it is hardly possible to trace the receptions of her songs by contemporary Mytilenean society as a whole. Although the view that Alkaios addressed Sappho encomiastically in one of his verses (Alkaios fragment 384 V) and that the two poets may have been involved in a poetic dialogue [6] is not as compelling as it may appear, [7] Alkaios and other members of his hetaireia are likely to have been acquainted with the figure of Sappho. Two poets of approximately the same age living in a cultural milieu where song-making and performance were deeply embedded in the broader social economy would have been aware of each other’s presence within the confines of the archaic city of Mytilene.
More importantly, Sappho’s “involvement” in the political dissensions of the turbulent Mytilenean society suggests such a mutual familiarity. Her possible exile to Sicily (as attested in Marmor Parium Ep. 36), [8] Sappho fragment 98b V (replete with allusions to political crises in Mytilene), and the derogatory or ironic references by both poets to influential families of Lesbian nobles, [9] reinforce this view. [10]
Before proceeding to a broader investigation of archaic and classical Greek discourses about Lesbos—discourses that, as I shall argue, were conducive to the early shaping of Sappho—it is worth examining Alkaios fragment 384 V, a one-liner in which a laudatory address to Sappho by a contemporary Lesbian has been detected and unanimously accepted as certain by numerous scholars. This address has been considered the earliest marked instance of a reception of Sappho as “holy” by another song-maker from archaic Lesbos.
Lobel and Page, as well as other editors, printed Alkaios fragment 384 as follows:
ἰόπλοκ’ ἄγνα μελλιχόμειδε Σάπφοι

violet-haired, holy, soft-smiling Sappho
For many literary critics and the majority of critical editors, the fragment clearly indicates that Alkaios was an admirer of Sappho. [11] And for those scholars who have attempted in the past to defend Sappho’s “chastity,” Alkaios’ ἁγνὴ Σαπφώ has overtly or covertly become an enduring image. [12] It has often been suggested that in this greeting Sappho was duly portrayed by Alkaios as a sacred, decorous figure, similar to a goddess. [13]
The fragment is preserved by Hephaistion (14.4, p. 45 Consbruch), who quotes it to illustrate the so-called Alkaic dodecasyllable, without providing the name of its author. The manuscripts of Hephaistion are divided between -μειδε σαπφοι and -μειδες σαπφοι. Most scholars, including Lobel, Page, and Voigt, [14] have attributed it to Alkaios, but the ascription is not entirely safe. The fragment may well be attributed to Sappho. Voigt printed a different version, indicating that Hephaistion’s quotation provides the first line of a poem: [15]
※           Ἰόπλοκ’ ἄγνα μελλιχόμειδες ἄπφοι

violet-haired, holy, soft-smiling sister
Σάπφοι, according to this view, [16] cannot be sustained, since, in all other places in Lesbian poetry where Sappho’s name is recorded, it is spelled Ψάπφω. [17] If we changed the initial letter of the name in fragment 384 V (μελλιχόμειδε Ψάπφοι), the line would not scan: the double consonant would lengthen the preceding short vowel.
The noun ἀπφῦς is attested in Theokritos 15.13–15, [18] whereas the medieval Greek lexicon Suda and Eustathios record the word ἀπφά or ἄπφα. [19] Since the fragment cannot be recontextualized, and the formation of the epithet μελλιχομείδης is more probable than that of μελλιχόμειδος (which is not attested elsewhere), [20] we may conclude that the evidence goes against the vocative Σάπφοι. It is obvious that if ἄπφοι is correct, the alternative reading must be ascribed either to fictionalizing proclivities of ancient audiences and readers or to erroneous word division. But the situation is not so straightforward as this.
The nominative of ἄπφοι must be ἄπφω, [21] but such a word is unattested. [22] It is also noteworthy that in all fragments of Sappho where the form “Psappho” occurs, it is always at the beginning of a line and thus in no way affects the meter. [23] It is likely that “Psappho” represents the way Sappho’s name was pronounced in archaic Lesbos. [24]
On the basis of the existing evidence, the fragment cannot be deemed as providing evidence for the alleged admiration that Alkaios had for his fellow citizen, Sappho. For all that, I would argue that if the fragment as printed by Voigt was actually composed by Alkaios and ἄπφοι is accepted as an unattested archaic form, ancient audiences could have still perceived ἄπφοι as a word play on Sappho’s name (μελλιχόμειδες ἄπφοι). [25]

The Politics of Lesbian Idioms

It is time to focus on archaic and classical cultural discourses related to the island of Lesbos. My objective is to explore the broader sociopolitical landscape of practices of stereotyping and the dynamic process of constructing chunks of attributed traits [26] for the people of Lesbos, thus mapping an identity rhetoric that became part of the cultural habitus of diverse ancient Greek social groups, especially Athenians of the classical period. This habitus should be viewed as an ever-expanding set of cultural dispositions, concepts, and structures lying behind the social practices of individuals—a set of cultural codes that is not detached, however, from individual agency. The present emphasis on Athens is predicated not only on the availability of cultural/textual discourses associated with that city but also on the markedness and intricate resilience that these discursive biases display. Such habitual conceptual patterns activated specific—each time—mythopractical processes that reinvented Sappho’s image and negotiated the socioaesthetic value of her songs. [27] As I argued in Chapter Two, since the earliest sources for the reception of Sappho are visual and Attic and there are reasons to hold that a number of her songs were well known and performed in the context of late archaic and classical Athenian symposia and probably of female gatherings, the early textual discourses related to her figure should be viewed against the dynamics of cultural stereotyping that I shall explore. These dynamics, I suggest, mark the process of the formation of the cultural habitus that conditioned the politics of “reading” and eventual “writing” of the figure of Sappho in the early stages of its reception.
As soon as metonymic associations based on a specific cultural habitus are established, rehearsed, or even reformulated in diverse performative contexts, these associations function as matrices of ideologically marked signification from which further marked associations will accrue. The process is multileveled and by no means confined to biographical “scanning” of Sappho’s poetry by ancient audiences or to intertextual readings of varied complexity. I argue that “biographical” constructs, however interesting, form only a part of the broader ancient cultural practices of understanding and thinking about archaic Greek poets and socioaesthetic cultures. The current scholarly methodology of viewing representations of poets as biographical in nature is restrictive and often produces overschematic readings of ancient thought patterns because it engages primarily in identifying the fictionality of textual narratives without contextualizing them within their respective sociocultural economies. As the discussion of the case of the anthropological transcription of Nisa’s life in Chapter One illustrates, biographical schemata, or even autobiographical discourses, are not produced in a formalistic vacuum. Rather, they are embedded within wider, often tantalizingly intricate, webs of signification. The issue is therefore not only or mainly to trace the anecdotal structure of a narrative but to investigate further—as far as ancient sources permit—the multilayered discursive idioms of the social habitus that conditioned a narrative. Instead of examining the reception of Sappho as a schematic and blurred series of fragmented representations and roles—Sappho as a heterosexual lover, or a homoerotic figure, or a Muse—that have been attached to her over time in antiquity, I propose to shift the scholarly focus to early contextualization mechanisms that may allow us to read textual/cultural narratives about Sappho anthropologically—by revisiting ancient ideological spaces and by employing ancient sources as indigenous cultural informants.
Some of the earliest cultural conceptions about Lesbos are related to its female population. When in the ninth book of the Iliad Agamemnon lists the gifts he proposes to offer Akhilleus with a view to appeasing his wrath, among the precious items he enumerates are Lesbian women: [28]
δώσω δ᾽ ἑπτὰ γυναῖκας ἀμύμονα ἔργα ἰδυίας,
Λεσβίδας, ἃς ὅτε Λέσβον ἐϋκτιμένην ἕλεν αὐτὸς
ἐξελόμην, αἳ κάλλει ἐνίκων φῦλα γυναικῶν.

And I will give seven women skilled in flawless handiwork,
women of Lesbos—whom when Akhilleus himself captured well-built Lesbos
I chose out from the booty—who in beauty surpassed all the tribes of women.
Along with seven tripods, ten talents of gold, twenty cauldrons, and twelve superb, prizewinning horses, the seven women offered to Akhilleus function as objects of exchange in a social economy where gift exchange was essential in establishing and promoting relationships among individuals. The provenance of women is significant for the rhetoric of Agamemnon’s kingly offer because as alluring gifts or even commodities, they surpass all the races of women. If, with Jean Baudrillard, we attempt to detect a dynamic relationship between gift exchange and seduction (in the broadest sense of the term), [29] Agamemnon’s list of most valuable gifts is rhetorically displayed as an incomparably seductive deal [30] —especially if compared to other lists of gifts offered in critical moments in the Iliad. [31] The seven women—Lesbian and obtained on Lesbos (both references introduced emphatically in line 129)—are presented as unrivaled in two fundamental aspects of the socioeconomic marketability of women in ancient Greek societies: they are supremely skilled in handiwork and their allure can be emulated by no other groups of women. This kind of perception about the female inhabitants of a specific island, when embedded in poetry so widely performed and of such Panhellenic impact, reactivates the construction of traditions. As Ionian men are labeled ἑλκεχίτωνες (“with trailing tunics”) in the Iliad, especially on an occasion that suggests that this idea was traditional, [32] so Lesbian women are singled out as potentially unique in beauty among all women.
Being East Greek and standing out among others, a young woman from Lesbos could cause as much admiration as ambivalent uneasiness when her presence is envisaged in the context of male drinking parties. More specifically, when a singer or, in the case of group performance, several participants perform a poem composed by an East Greek, the connotations of a Lesbian girl’s beauty may become as polyvalent as the sympotic space allows. Anakreon fragment 358 PMG provides us with a masterly image of the elegance of such a girl:
σφαίρῃ δηὖτέ με πορφυρῇ
βάλλων χρυσοκόμης Ἔρως
νήνι ποικιλοσαμβάλῳ
συμπαίζειν προκαλεῖται ·
ἡ δ᾽, ἐστὶν γὰρ ἀπ’ εὐκτίτου                          5
Λέσβου, τὴν μὲν ἐμὴν κόμην,
λευκὴ γάρ, καταμέμφεται,
πρὸς δ᾽ ἄλλην τινὰ χάσκει.

Once again golden-haired Eros,
striking me with a purple ball,
challenges me to play with
a girl with embroidered sandals. [33]
But she, for she is from
well-built Lesbos, blames
my hair, because it is white,
and she is gaping at another.
That the word “another” (feminine) refers to an object of interest or desire seems beyond doubt, since the young girl χάσκει and the amatory tone of the song is conspicuous—at least in its opening phrasing. [34] Similarly central is the emphasis placed on the marked agency of the girl, who can strongly blame (καταμέμφεται) the singing voice’s “white hair” and prefers to gape at other seductive personae. The gaze of the singing “I” is male, [35] “once again” in search of an eroticized female companion, a playmate or συμπαίστρια. [36] Through the construction of an almost triangular performative space, Eros, presiding over the reenactment of the song, incites the singer to gaze at a girl who gazes at some other object of desire. Everything else in the song seems, or is, ambivalent, [37] and has caused a lively and extensive scholarly debate in which partisans of one or another view have applied themselves to a fetishization of the female gaze, as well as of the object of the gaze of the Lesbian lass.
For a number of decades, at least in the twentieth century as well as at the beginnings of the twenty-first century, scholars have argued that the phrase ἐστὶν γὰρ ἀπ’ εὐκτίτου Λέσβου (“since she is from well-built Lesbos”), which, along with πρὸς δ’ ἄλλην τινὰ χάσκει (“and she is gaping at another”), poses the main interpretative conundrums of the song for modern readers, is a clear reference to the sexual proclivities of Lesbian women. “Lesbos,” D. L. Page believed, “was a byword for [female homoerotic] practices as early as the lifetime of Anacreon, in the generation after Sappho.” [38] More recently and aggressively, its has been maintained that although ἐστὶν γὰρ ἀπ’ εὐκτίτου Λέσβου conveys no immediately identifiable homoerotic connotation, the ancient audience of this song would have gradually realized after the completion of its performance, that since “famous Sappho of Lesbos famously liked girls,” “ἄλλην here might be a girl, and the first girl is identified as Lesbian in the sense of being ‘Sappho’ in that respect.” [39] The detailed scenarios advanced with regard to the “original” audience and connotative implications of the song match in their diversity and speculative forcefulness only those often proposed for the fragmentary songs of Sappho—probably because of the marked manipulation of a Lesbian woman’s imaginary presence in the poem. [40] πρὸς δ’ ἄλλην τινὰ χάσκει, some scholars have argued, refers to the hair of a young man, not to a girl, since the word implied here is κόμην (“hair”) and the parallelism between τὴν μὲν ἐμὴν κόμην . . . καταμέμφεται (“she blames my hair”) in lines 6–7 and πρὸς δ’ ἄλλην τινὰ χάσκει (“and she is gaping at another”) in the closing line of the song is striking. Alternatively, the reasoning goes, the hair must be the pubic hair around the penis of a young man, or even the pubic hair of the elderly singing persona, thus alluding to Lesbian women’s alleged sexual preference for fellatio. [41] Such analyses presuppose that the young girl with the elegant sandals is viewed—probably in the context of a male symposion—as one who would find the pubic hair of an elderly or younger man attractive.
More curiously, it has very often been assumed that in our reconstructions of the context in which this song might have been performed (no period is ever specified, though scholars imply a performance in late archaic Greece), we need to envisage either that Anakreon composed this poem ad hoc—on the occasion of an actual symposion or a pannychis—or that the singing voice performs the piece with a couple of courtesans or female musicians providing entertainment with a ball. As late as the year 2000, the advantage of finding “a clear description of the dramatic setting, in which all three elements of the opening strophe—the ball hitting the lyric ‘I,’ the girl and Eros—are functional and connected” has led to “the idea of a stray ball originating from a game of catch played by the sandaled girl with a few other girls.” [42] The ingenuity and intense anxiety reflected in the explication of—and the fervent debate over [43] —even the tiniest details of syntactical construction of the song, [44] although particularly significant in plausibly decodifying its playful “joke” and “punchline,” obscure its central performative elements. One wonders whether, in the context of performance and reperformance, audiences of different periods and geographical regions might have made diverse associations, as constantly shifting sociocultural frames and ideologies would have affected the reception of the song. [45] Further, the attempts to identify the actual or dramatic setting of the piece have been related for the most part, I suggest, to a desire to uncover (or refute the existence of) an invaluable late archaic piece of evidence about the female sexuality of a particular region, which may in turn shed light on Sappho.

Paradigms and Histories

In fact, Sappho and the sociocultural context of her poetry have explicitly or only implicitly been behind almost all of the scholarly discussions to date. The history of the scholarly reception of this archaic song and other archaic melic fragments has not been explored. This prevents us from understanding fully the modern ideological premises that have conditioned the hermeneutics of Anakreon fragment 358 PMG or how early scholarly paradigms have mapped out interpretive tendencies in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. For all that, in the context of this investigation, two intriguing attempts at “rewriting” the politics of the song might be worth considering—attempts that have been reactivated in different forms by later critics. I hope this discussion will illustrate some of the discursive mechanisms by means of which the song and its overall cultural hermeneutic significance have been “rewritten” in modern scholarship.
The first of these hypotheses concerns the transmitted πρὸς δ’ ἄλλην τινὰ χάσκει (“she is gaping at another” [feminine]). At least as early as the eighteenth century, ἄλλην caused intense uneasiness to textual critics. Already in the sixteenth century, an ethical anxiety about this song emerged. [46] The emendation ἄλλον, [47] accepted later by some nineteenth- and twentieth-century editors, was the result of this kind of scholarly skepticism, based on the reasoning that the main manuscript preserving the text of Athenaios’ Deipnosophistai in which the fragment is quoted displays a number of scribal errors. It is important to recall that Athenaios cites the Peripatetic writer Khamaileon, who, in his treatise On Sappho, reported that Anakreon’s song was addressed to Sappho. If Sappho needs to be saved from the accusation of homoeroticism, the emendation ἄλλον provides a forceful and remarkably minimal scholarly intervention that points to “Sappho” gaping after another man, not “Anakreon.” [48]
Among those who endorsed the emendation ἄλλον was the authoritative critical editor Theodor Bergk,whose Poetae Lyrici Graeci continued to be cited as the standard edition of archaic and classical Greek lyric poets even after the appearance of Ernst Diehl’s Anthologia Lyrica Graeca. [49] Several decades before the publication of Bergk’s edition, Friedrich Gottlieb Welcker, a most influential figure in Classics, especially in the study of Sappho, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, suggested that the second stanza of the fragment (lines 5–8) is spurious—invented and added at a later stage in Greek antiquity. [50] This hypothesis marks a different but complementary interpretive practice: playing down the early authority of the second stanza frees archaic Lesbos from any possible, even imaginary, associations with female homoeroticism.
Although Weckler’s idea is hardly mentioned in recent discussions of Anakreon fragment 358 PMG, the overall interpretive method that it foregrounded is still widely subscribed to. If Sappho’s poetry is deemed homoerotic, Anakreon’s song must refer or allude to certain marked sociocultural realities of Lesbos. Also, if it is shown that ἄλλην τινά refers to a girl, this would provide us with the earliest piece of evidence for the “homoerotic” complexity of Sappho’s poetry. [51] Scholarly views about the existence or absence of female homoeroticism in archaic Lesbos have been implicitly or even explicitly dependent on the evidence of Anakreon’s song. The (manipulation of the) methodological concept of evidence attesting to ancient realities has been one of the most enduring discursive principles in the field of Classics and has contributed to a number of theoretical/hermeneutic paradigms that have not often been adequately challenged.
Instead of attempting to consider the fragment as evidence for a specific reality—whatever this might be—it is preferable, I suggest, to focus on its mechanisms of stereotyping. Anakreon’s song did not converse with Sappho. It was made to do so at a later period, [52] thus to some extent conditioning its modern scholarly reception. Although whether it represents a complete song is not clear, Anakreon 358 PMG certainly is “a miracle of construction.” [53] Probably for this reason, it has most often been deemed complete. [54]
Especially lines 5–8 display a tightly woven construction, [55] which contributes to a discursive elusiveness. The song begins with a synthesis of intricately chosen colors, diffuse as they are in the epithets πορφυρῇ, χρυσοκόμης, and probably ποικιλοσαμβάλῳ. [56] Color textures and desire are further developed with λευκή (κόμη) in the second stanza. Singing of an Eros whose hair is golden is a highly marked discursive gesture. [57] It emphatically introduces associations (“once again golden-haired Eros strikes me”) that in the context of performance may not be easily dismissed when ἄλλην τινά is being heard after κόμην. As for the purple color of the ball, it is worth observing that Aphrodite is πορφυρῆ in another song of Anakreon, and Eros is presented by Sappho as coming from heaven wrapped in a purple mantle. [58] Similarly, in other archaic melic compositions, the gait of a woman can be singled out as a quality of allure and admiration. [59] The focus on the elaborate sandals of the girl in this song makes her allure more ποικίλη.
Another programmatic, albeit parenthetical, singing “gesture” sets the tone of the second stanza: “but she—for she is from well-built Lesbos.” As soon as this phrasing is completed, a second parenthetical image introduced by γάρ emerges: she spurns his hair—“for it is white.” And as the girl blames the singing voice’s white hair, she prefers to gape at another—(feminine) object of desire. That πρὸς δ’ ἄλλην τινὰ χάσκει refers to “another girl” (νῆνιν or κούρην) is most likely. [60] However, as the song develops its condensed and allusive narrative, especially in the context of performance, other associations cannot be shunned. “Some other head of hair,” the hair of another man, may be deemed as implied by the antithesis between τὴν μὲν ἐμὴν κόμην and πρὸς δ’ ἄλλην τινά. Even if archaic or later Greek audiences could idiomatically understand πρὸς δ’ ἄλλην τινά as referring exclusively to “another girl,” the antithesis of “my hair” and “another” (κόμη?) is striking. The song itself plays on the idea of ambivalence: Eros challenges the singing “I” to play a “game,” the outcome of which is not certain, at least at the outset of the composition. The girl’s sandals are emphatically defined as ποικίλα; the ball is “iridescent;” [61] and the multilateral construction of the second stanza, as well as the emphatic χάσκει with no noun to refer to at the end of the second stanza, suggest an openendedness. The “game” being “played” among Eros, the girl, and the poetic voice is “varicolored.” Simon Goldhill has rightly stressed that a most pivotal element in the poetics of Anakreon is the “manipulation of the doubleness and gaps in language.” [62] Often intricate suggestiveness and ambivalence are poetic tropes exploited by Anakreon, even in cases where specific sociocultural representations, easily decipherable by ancient audiences, lie behind an erotic narrative or a metaphor.
In the song about the girl from Lesbos, I suggest, such a masterly cultural performance of ambivalence could contribute even more effectively to stereotyping. What should have remained certain after the end of a performance is that a girl from Lesbos represented a marked, idiosyncratic case. The precise “decodifying” of why it represented such a case must have depended on the occasion in which this song could be performed. To go a step further, in the context of monodic or group performances, the members of a gathering could certainly have been familiar with broader archaic cultural representations of women from Lesbos. In fact, the phrase ἐστὶν γὰρ ἀπ’ εὐκτίτου Λέσβου conjures up the Homeric formulaic image I considered earlier in this chapter: γυναῖκας . . . Λεσβίδας, ἃς ὅτε Λέσβον ἐϋκτιμένην ἕλεν αὐτὸς ἐξελόμην. As has been noted, the epithet for Lesbos in the Homeric epics is ἐϋκτιμένη, [63] and ἀπ’ εὐκτίτου Λέσβου, by pointing to the Homeric Λέσβος ἐϋκτιμένη, carries a somewhat dignified overtone: “she hails from Lesbos.” [64] If in the archaic period cultural imaginings of Lesbian women were invested with homoerotic connotations, synchronic archaic audiences would have made appropriate connections, despite the ambivalence of πρὸς δ’ ἄλλην τινὰ χάσκει and the polyvalence of ἐστὶν γὰρ ἀπ’ εὐκτίτου Λέσβου—Lesbos being known for its alluring women. Yet, at the same time, in a symposiastic context such connections could be broadened. In Athenian symposia of the classical period, where, as we shall see later in this chapter, Lesbian women were associated with a sexual preference for fellatio, participants would have activated different associations. And later, the culturally multivalent Lesbides, Lesbides, Lesbides would encourage Roman readers of the Epistula Sapphus ad Phaonem to view Anakreon’s song—in the context of a recitation or on other occasions—in a loaded manner. [65] I would argue, therefore, that the dynamics of connotative openendedness in the performances and reperformances of this song in the archaic and classical periods contributed to the circulation and development of ideological idioms, whatever these might have been—idioms that reflected practices of cultural stereotyping.
Such practices should be seen in a broader sociopolitical context, as part of familiar archaic and classical Greek discursive strategies related, among other factors, to intergroup identity formation. Associating specific geographical areas with certain cultural peculiarities and tendencies is a modality that goes back to the early archaic period. In the seventh century, iambic compositions such as those of Arkhilokhos presented marked elements of—and thus effectively disseminated—regional stereotyping. In Arkhilokhos fragment 42 W, a female figure is described through a comparison with Thracians and Phrygians:
          ὥσπερ αὐλῶι βρῦτον ἢ Θρέϊξ ἀνὴρ
ἢ Φρὺξ ἔμυζε· κύβδα δ’ ἦν πονεομένη.

Like a Thracian or Phrygian sucking beer through the tube
she sucked; and she was stooped over—working hard.
While in the Homeric epics the Thracians are known as wearing their hair long at the top (Θρήϊκες ἀκρόκομοι, “the top-knotted Thracians”) and Hipponax fragment 115.6 W repeats the same idea, [66] Arkhilokhos adopts or promotes a different image for them. This performative trafficability of stereotypes is evident in other songs of Arkhilokhos: in fragment 248 W, the inhabitants of the island of Karpathos are assigned a proverbial trait, [67] while in fragment 124 W the greediness and parsimony of the people of Mykonos (Μυκονίων δίκην) is juxtaposed with the behavior of a male figure who is criticized for going to symposia uninvited and drinking much wine without contributing to the expense. [68] Later, in a forceful composition, Pindar will attempt to reverse this practice of stereotyping by undermining the old idea that the Boiotians, his compatriots, were rustic and vulgar. [69]
Finally, an intriguing case that suggests how effectively special traits were attached to people of different geographical areas are the Sybarites. Although the archaic Greek city of Sybaris, in South Italy, was destroyed in 510 BC, its citizens remained in people’s cultural rhetoric salient examples of luxuriousness and effeminacy—comparable only to Ionian luxurious living. [70] In a story about Kleisthenes of Sikyon and his daughter Agariste, Herodotos includes in the list of her suitors Smindyrides of Sybaris, “a man whose lifestyle reached the highest degree of luxuriousness and delicacy,” [71] and in later tradition Smindyrides will remain a Sybarite most famous for his voluptuousness and effeminacy. Not unlike East Greek people and their neighbors, the Sybarites became a byword for soft-living luxury: Sybaritan boys, Athenaios notes, used “to wear purple mantles and have the locks of their hair tied up with golden ornaments.” [72] Again, Herodotos informs us of the very close ties that Sybaris and the Ionian city of Miletos had established, while Timaios confirms the friendship between the two cities and stresses that the Sybarites shared the devotion the Etruscans, among the people of Italy, and the Ionians showed toward luxury: the Sybarites, who loved—and were masters of the art of—banquets, [73] wore garments made of Milesian wool. [74] By the second half of the fifth century BC, the verb συβαρίζειν (or συβαριάζειν) was coined to express the practice of indulging in “Sybaritic” luxuriousness. [75]
In Anakreon’s time no such verb had been invented for people of Lesbos, as far as available sources permit us to see. Compared to other archaic instances of poetic exploitation of cultural stereotyping, Anakreon fragment 358 PMG appears more subtly multivalent in the associations it attempts to establish. I suggest that Anakreon’s song plays on such archaic discursive practices and ideological idioms, especially since his “story” is related to the imagined presence of an alluring young girl with fancy sandals in a convivial setting—that is, to the polyvalent performative manipulation of women’s bodies in poetry predominantly sung in male symposiastic contexts.

Libidinal Economies [76]

If Anakreon’s archaic ἐστὶν γὰρ ἀπ’ εὐκτίτου Λέσβου alludes to the Homeric Λέσβος ἐϋκτιμένη and its beautiful young women, a passage from a classical playwright explicitly introduces further marked dimensions to the Homeric image: [77]
(A.) δώσει δέ σοι γυναῖκας ἑπτὰ Λεσβίδας.
(B.) καλόν γε δῶρον, ἕπτ’ ἔχειν λαικαστρίας

(A.) He will give you seven women, from Lesbos.
(B.) What a beautiful gift—to have seven cocksuckers
This is a fragment from Pherekrates’ Kheirôn (159 K-A), a comedy that, as its title suggests, must have somehow employed in its overall thematics the mythological figure of the homonymous centaur. A date for the production of the comedy is difficult to posit, but the very late fifth century would be a suitable time for Pherekrates to have been able to criticize composers/poets like Timotheos and Philoxenos (Kheirôn fr. 155 K-A). [78] Pherekrates won his first victory some time between 437 and 430 BC, and his Savages (Agrioi) was performed in 420 BC. Whether his Kheirôn was a kind of mythological burlesque remains unknown. For all that, among the few and indirectly transmitted fragments that we have from this comedy, [79] it is worth observing that the largest part of fragment 162 K-A is a parody of a passage from the Greater Works (Megala Erga) attributed to Hesiod. According to Athenaios (8.364b–c), who quotes fragment 162 K-A, contemporary men, when it came to banquets, did not follow the exhortations offered by a (unidentified) character from Pherekrates’ Kheirôn (fr. 162.1–3 K-A); instead they memorized the lines that followed those excellent exhortations (fr. 162.4ff. K-A)—lines that described the graceless behavior of a host who has invited people to dinner after a sacrifice but looks forward to their leaving soon after their arrival. Athenaios points out that these lines from Pherekrates’ Kheirôn parodied some lines, now lost, from the Megala Erga. [80] Moreover, in the same fragment from Kheirôn, lines 11–12 K-A (μηδένα μήτ’ ἀέκοντα μένειν κατέρυκε παρ’ ἡμῖν | μήθ’ εὕδοντ’ ἐπέγειρε, Σιμωνίδη, “do not detain anyone to stay with us against his will, nor wake up a man who is asleep, Simonides”) constitute a quotation of Theognidea 467 and 469, [81] thus contributing further to the levels of intertextuality that the fragment must have displayed.
Comparably parodic, but this time more transparently so for us, is Pherekrates fragment 159 K-A, which draws on Homeric poetry. In Iliad 9.270–271, the speaker is Odysseus who addresses Akhilleus and lists the rich gifts that Agamemnon will give him to placate his mênis and to persuade him to help the Achaeans in this most critical moment of the war:
δώσει δ’ ἑπτὰ γυναῖκας ἀμύμονα ἔργα ἰδυίας,
Λεσβίδας . . . 

And he will give seven women skilled in flawless handiwork,
women of Lesbos . . . 
According to a widely endorsed suggestion by August Meineke, [82] the two speakers in Pherekrates fr. 159 K-A may be Odysseus and Akhilleus. The fragmentary nature of this passage and of the whole play does not allow us to view the two lines as something more than an intertextual dialogue with the Homeric episode, an obscene banter related to the beautiful Lesbian women of Iliad 9. I should stress that the Homeric reference to their beauty (9.272 and cf. 9.130) and their superb skills in handiwork is not omitted but caricatured in the καλόν of the second line of Pherekrates fragment 159 K-A and amplified by further details about their dexterity. The particle γε in the second speaker’s remark, “what a beautiful gift,” may convey a kind of irony, [83] but what is intriguing here is the word λαικαστρίας and its association with women from Lesbos in the fifth century BC. It is in this respect that Pherekrates’ fragment is of significance for my attempt to re-draw the cultural landscape of stereotyping against which the East Greek figure and poetry of Sappho could be viewed by male audiences in fifth- and fourth-century Athens.
The sources that preserve Pherekrates’ two lines comment on a sexual proclivity of the Lesbians. One of these sources, an ancient scholium on Aristophanes Frogs 1308, explains that the denotation of the verb lesbiazein is “to consort with, to have sexual intercourse (with someone) unlawfully; for the Lesbians were slandered on this account.” [84] The scholia recentiora on the same line of the Frogs, which do not quote Pherekrates fragment 159 K-A, provide a similar explanation: “lesbiazein is to do shameful things; for the Lesbians are notorious for shameful and unlawful [sexual] practices.” [85] Interestingly, another source in which the Pherekratean fragment is quoted is a twelfth-century commentary on Iliad 9.129, one of the lines in which Agamemnon refers to the seven Lesbian women that he chose for himself when Akhilleus captured well-built Lesbos—that is, women that Agamemnon proposes to give him as gifts. In this medieval Greek commentary by Eustathios of Thessalonike, the two passages are (haphazardly?) juxtaposed without any comment on the intertext of Pherekrates fragment 159 K-A. In his commentary on this Homeric line, Eustathios focuses on several aspects of the island of Lesbos, which, as he says, was also called Mytilene at that time, and points out the following:
ἰστέον δὲ καὶ ὅτι δοκεῖ οὐκ ἀγαθοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἡ Λέσβος ἐνεγκεῖν. Ὅθεν καὶ λεσβιάσαι τὸ αἰσχρῶς μολῦναι τὸ στόμα κατὰ Αἴλιον Διονύσιον, . . . 
one must know that it seems Lesbos did not produce [morally] good people; hence lesbiasai means “to defile the mouth shamelessly,” according to [the second-century AD Atticist lexicographer] Ailios Dionysios.
To illuminate this remark, Eustathios refers to Aristophanes Frogs 1308 (αὕτη ποθ’ ἡ Μοῦσ᾽ οὐκ ἐλεσβίαζεν, οὔ).
If we now turn to the fifth-century AD lexicographer Hesykhios, [86] the definition of λεσβιάζειν (“to do like the Lesbian women”) and its semantic association with λαικάζειν become even more focused: λεσβιάζειν· πρὸς ἄνδρα στοματεύειν. Λεσβιάδας γὰρ τὰς λαικαστρίας ἔλεγον (“lesbiazein: to mouth [the penis of] a man; for the laikastriai were called ‘Lesbian women’ ”). These and other ancient commentators as well as lexicographers clearly suggest that “to do like the Lesbian women”—lesbizein or lesbiazein—meant “to perform fellatio upon.” The ancient scholia on Aristophanes Wasps 1346 even provide the etiological explanation that the verb and the sexual practice it denotes took their name from the inhabitants of Lesbos because it was among them that this was experienced first by a woman. [87] The scholia on the same line from the Wasps quote three of the seven references to this Lesbian practice during the classical period. [88]
In fifth- and early fourth-century Attic comedy, from Aristophanes to Theopompos and Strattis, [89] the Lesbians were viewed as being idiosyncratic in providing and receiving sexual satisfaction. The verb λεσβίζειν/λεσβιάζειν appears to be equivalent to λαικάζειν—ancient Greek version of the Latin fellare. [90] Possibly in the context of a paignion (a mimetic entertainment of erotic character performed at symposia), [91] one of the three old women in the final part of the Ekklesiazousai, by referring to the Greek letter labda (δοκεῖς δέ μοι καὶ λάβδα κατὰ τοὺς Λεσβίους, “you seem to me that you also want to do the labda in the manner of the Lesbians”), would evoke the highly coarse tone of the verb λαικάζειν and, through histrionic suggestive gestures, the sexual position of one’s legs which the shape of the letter labda (Λ) implied. [92] It should be observed that in a few of the comic passages where the practice is referred to, the meaning is not entirely clear and that the possible connotations of λεσβίζειν as a marked Lesbian sexual preference might originally have been somewhat broader. Note that some of the passages that allude to Lesbian erotica suggest that fellatio could be envisaged—on the comic stage—as being practiced by males on males. [93] The principal meaning of λεσβίζειν/λεσβιάζειν must, therefore, have been “to perform oral sex,” possibly including cunnilingus. [94] In that regard, λεσβιάζειν and φοινικίζειν (“to do like the Phoenicians,” “to perform cunnilingus”) represented two ethnically distinguishable but not entirely dissimilar practices. [95]
Although in the Pherekrates fragment Λεσβίδας and λαικαστρίας are closely related, Λεσβίς in fifth-century Athens would not be exclusively taken as indicating a “cocksucker” but could more broadly denote a “prostitute.” [96] In a much later period and in different sociocultural contexts, the marked noun Λεσβίδες will be employed by Dion Khrysostomos [97] in a more general sense and in conjunction with hetairai (“courtesans”).
Coining words like λεσβίζω and λεσβιάζω that referred to specific addictions, practices, or idiosyncrasies were part of a broader discursive trope of ancient Greek cultural economy. The verbs λακωνίζειν, συβαρίζειν (συβαριάζειν), ἀττικίζειν, μεγαρίζειν, λακεδαιμονιάζειν, κορινθιάζεσθαι, σιφνιάζειν, χιάζειν, βοιωτιάζειν, χαλκιδίζειν, and αἰγυπτιάζειν all meant “to do like—to imitate—the people of a particular city, island, area, or ethnic group” and they all appeared in comedies, most of them in Attic plays of the classical period. [98] Among these, “imitating the Lakedaimonians,” “the Khalkidians,” “the Korinthians,” “the Siphnians,” or “the Lesbians” involved some kind of sexual proclivity. [99] In this context, I am not interested in undermining or supporting the trustworthiness of the evidence of classical comedy about Lesbian sexual proclivities. These comic references may perfectly reflect ideological constructs related to Athenian cultural politics. In the case of the Mytileneans, the prehistory of Athens’ dispute with them over Sigeion could have reinforced the creation of such an image of their social attitudes. [100] What is more important is to explore such views about Lesbian women in an even wider framework. The broader the context we attempt to take into account, the safer the implications of our historical fieldwork.

Cultural Theatrics

Classical and later Greek attitudes toward East Greek women can throw some further light on the complex ideological matrices through which the female worlds depicted in Sappho’s poetry could have been read and eventually rewritten. Since my focus here is on the cultural history of the classical period, the discussion that follows attempts to be as synchronic as possible, although I shall also consider later sources as comparative material related to possible (but not a priori certain) reflections of earlier inflections of stereotyping. Such inflections seem to have been so deeply embedded in the social imaginary of classical Athens that later ideological idioms displaying significant overlap with earlier ones might possibly have been in some archaizing “dialogue” with the classical practices of stereotyping. At the same time, I place emphasis on diffusion—through performance—and the trafficability of classical Athenian discursive biases related to East Greek women as well as the interaction of such biases with non-Athenian attitudes.
It is in the plays of Aristophanes and other almost contemporary playwrights that such ideological matrices, often constructed metonymically through socioeconomic associations, are displayed and parade, as it were, side by side with other refractions of classical Athenian male modes of thought. Defining female sexual satisfaction through the use of dildos was not an uncommon practice in fifth-century Attic comedy. In Aristophanes Lysistratê 158, the comic poet Pherekrates is credited with the phrase “skin the skinned dog”(κύνα δέρειν δεδαρμένην), [101] which in this context denotes the use of dildos by women. If their husbands ignore them, the women, Lysistrate suggests to Kalonike, can resort to dildos, which, according to Kalonike however, are only c(r)ock bunkum imitations. Earlier in the play, these leather toys are identified as products made in Miletos, [102] one of the major East Greek cities in Asia Minor. Milesian dildos must have become well known in one way or another. [103] The ancient scholia on Aristophanes Lysistratê 109–110 state that the comic poet playfully associated dildos with Milesian women, and this clear association must have also been made by classical Attic audiences. The scholia also assert that it was widows who used leather dildos. The Suda entry on the word ὄλισβος defines a dildo as a leather penis used by Milesian women as well as by τριβάδες (“ ‘masculine’ lesbians”) [104] and those who indulge in shameless sexual acts (αἰσχρουργοί). [105] Further, a fragment from another comedy by Aristophanes reiterates—this time through a unanimously endorsed supplement—the Milesian provenance of dildos. [106] And the contemporary comic poet Kratinos would humorously, but closely, associate dildos with promiscuous women. [107]
Not unlike Ionian music, East Greek women were viewed and constructed in fifth- and early-fourth-century Attic comedies as potentially sensual and even subversive. [108] In a long scene toward the end of Ekklesiazousai, the first of the three old women invokes the Muses to sit on her lips and to find a voluptuous Ionian ditty for her to sing (882–883):
                    . . . Μοῦσαι δεῦρ’ ἴτ’ ἐπὶ τοὐμὸν στόμα,
μελύδριον εὑροῦσαί τι τῶν Ἰωνικῶν.
At the outset of the scene, this old woman, probably an Athenian citizen, is represented as restless; she is burning with the desire to exploit the new privileges that Praxagora’s decree in the play now gives her: she can have the young girl’s lover for a sexual encounter before he sleeps with the girl, since according to the newly established social order, this is the legal procedure in such matters (944–945). The wanton tone of the whole episode is already evident in the reference to the “Ionian tune” the old lady wishes to sing. In the context of an exchange of songs between herself and the young girl, the girl indirectly addresses the former and teasingly asks, as a matter of urgency, for Orthagoras, a comic personified version of a dildo, so that the old woman may satisfy herself sexually. The old woman’s reply metonymically associates the Ionian women with the Lesbian women, thus providing, I suggest, the most marked and inclusive “definition” of East Greek female sexuality preserved in texts of the classical period (918–920):
ἤδη τὸν ἀπ’ Ἰωνίας
τρόπον τάλαινα κνησιᾷς‧
δοκεῖς δέ μοι καὶ λάβδα κατὰ τοὺς Λεσβίους.

Poor girl, you are already having an itch
for the Ionian pleasure.
You seem to me to also want to do the labda in the manner
of the Lesbians. [109]
Performative discourses of this kind, as well as other scripts and texts composed earlier than the early fourth century, effectively contributed to habitually internalized and reproduced ideological idioms related to the inhabitants of East Greek cities and of any other Greek areas—Sybaris in South Italy, for instance—that shared the luxuriousness and alleged profligacy of East Greece. Such modalities of thought were often adopted unquestioningly or further modified by later generations, which constructed their own cultural narratives based on comparably habitual processes.
It is therefore interesting that later authors refer to stories that suggest parallel ideas about the markedness of East Greek women—stories that have remained largely underexplored. My exploration here by no means suggests any kind of schematic continuity in ideological inflections of stereotyping, since considerably divergent views were advanced and constructed in the centuries after the classical period that is my focus. [110] I employ them only as comparative material that throws light on how the markedness of East Greek women could be perceived in later periods. These narratives are embedded mostly in historiographic or ethnographic discourses as well as in poetry and collections of thaumasia (“marvels”), legends, and other intriguing stories.
One of these narratives was reported by Theopompos of Khios, a major fourth-century BC East Greek historian, in his Philippikai historiai (“History of Philippos”). The Philippikai historiai was an ambitious project focused on Philippos II but covering diverse aspects of the history of “the deeds of Greeks and barbarians,” [111] a kind of universal history. In the fiftieth book of this work, Theopompos included the following story about the people of Methymna, one of the five chief cities on Lesbos:
καὶ τὰ μὲν ἐπιτήδεια προσφερομένους πολυτελῶς, μετὰ τοῦ κατακεῖσθαι καὶ πίνειν, ἔργον δ’ οὐδὲν ἄξιον τῶν ἀναλωμάτων ποιοῦντας. ἔπαυσεν οὖν αὐτοὺς τούτων Κλεομένης ὁ τύραννος, ὁ καὶ τὰς μαστροποὺς τὰς εἰθισμένας προαγωγεύειν τὰς ἐλευθέρας γυναῖκας <καὶ> τρεῖς ἢ τέτταρας τὰς ἐπιφανέστατα πορνευομένας ἐνδήσας εἰς σάκκους καταποντίσαι τισὶν προστάξας.
And they had their meals in sumptuous style, by reclining and drinking, but they did no estimable deed that would justify these expenses. So the tyrant Kleomenes stopped them from doing those lavish things—the tyrant who bound up in sacks the procuresses who were used to pandering women of the free class, as well as three or four of the most conspicuous prostitutes, and commanded them to be thrown into the sea. [112]
This quaint narrative, with Kleomenes or, rather, Kleomis, [113] a fourth-century ruler of Methymna, taking action over habits male and female, combines two pivotal elements often reflected in narratives about East Greece: the extravagant luxury of its different cities and the “otherness” of their women. This otherness, which here is only slightly alluded to, will become more explicit several centuries later in Ploutarkhos’ Aitia Hellênika (“Greek Questions”). [114] The question now is: “why, on Samos, people invoke the Aphrodite of Dexikreon”? Ploutarkhos’ research led him to two alternative etiological stories; the first of them reads as follows:
πότερον ὅτι τὰς γυναῖκας αὐτῶν ὑπὸ τρυφῆς καὶ ὕβρεως ἀκόλαστα ποιούσας Δεξικρέων ἀνὴρ ἀγύρτης καθαρμῷ χρησάμενος ἀπήλλαξεν.
Is it because a mendicant, Dexikreon, by conducting a purification rite, freed the Samian women from the dissoluteness they indulged in because of their luxuriousness and lewdness?
Although often representing different local traditions and sociopolitical rhetoric, East Greek women and their histories were viewed and written in terms of their potential licentiousness, their marked idiosyncrasies, or at least their unquenchable and lovelorn fervor. Long before the Suda entry related to the sex toys of Milesian women, [115] around the mid-third century BC Herodas, in one of his mimiambs, presented two women, Koritto and Metro, chatting about dildos somewhere on the coast of Asia Minor. [116] Kerdon, the craftsman who stitched a flawless scarlet dildo for Koritto, came from Khios or Erythrai (6.58), a city in Asia Minor almost opposite the island of Khios. The cobbler Kerdon reappears in another mimiamb by Herodas, [117] this time displaying in his shop the elegant shoes and, more indirectly, dildos he skillfully produced for his lady customers. As for Samian women, in the early third century BC Asklepiades of Samos composed an epigram about two of them with apparently atypical erotic proclivities:
Αἱ Σάμιαι Βιττὼ καὶ Νάννιον εἰς Ἀφροδίτης
          φοιτᾶν τοῖς αὐτῆς οὐκ ἐθέλουσι νόμοις,
εἰς δ’ ἕτερ’ αὐτομολοῦσιν ἃ μὴ καλά. δεσπότι Κύπρι,
          μίσει τὰς κοίτης τῆς παρὰ σοὶ φυγάδας.

The Samians Bitto and Nannion do not wish to frequent
          the realms of Aphrodite in accordance with her laws,
but desert to other things that are not good. Mistress Kypris,
          abhor those who are fugitives from the love-making within your realm. [118]
According to an ancient commentator on this epigram, Asklepiades attacks them for being “masculine” lesbians (ὡς τριβάδας διαβάλλει), but I agree with Kenneth Dover that Asklepiades most likely speaks about a lesbian couple from Samos. [119] Samos was also an island closely associated in the late fourth/early third centuries BC with unbridled wantonness as well as luxuriousness. Attracted to stories about East Greek curiosities and keen to assault any signs of Eastern habrotês (“luxury”), the Peripatetic Klearkhos of Soloi recounted the “profligate way of life” on Samos during the time of the turannos Polykrates, who was said to have conceived the construction of the impressive “Quarters” (λαύρα and Σαμίων ἄνθεα) in the city of Samos, where prostitutes and other luxurious commodities of all sorts were plentiful and at the disposal “of all Hellas.” [120] Samos was also recorded as the birthplace of a “woman writer” of a famous handbook on seduction and ars amatoria mentioned by Klearkhos in another work of his and by his almost contemporary historian Timaios of Tauromenion. [121] The name given to her was Philainis of Samos, and a number of other women writers from Samos and Lesbos later became the authors of such erotic manuals. [122]
An intriguing archival narrative about East Greek women has been preserved by Ploutarkhos in his Gunaikôn Aretai (“Virtues of Women”). Popular tradition had it that the young women of Miletos were once possessed by a “terrible and odd,” rather portentous and unbridled, passion. [123] At that time numerous people conjectured that the air of Miletos was suddenly infected in such a way as to cause young women mental derangement. The impulsive change in the behavior of all the young women involved a yearning for death, and many of them hung themselves, despite the appeals, objections, and entreaties of parents and friends. The only concern for the women of Miletos was to satisfy their obsession for death, and they would contrive any means for hanging themselves—one after the other. The oddity and markedness of the malady panicked the city of Miletos, which, devastated by the death of so many young women, took urgent measures: those who hung themselves were carried naked through the agora in the middle of the city. The “order of things” was bound to be restored through the wise agency of a man who proposed this measure, but the sheer lack of shame and the eccentricity that that legendary act of hanging themselves suggested were remembered—even in the version that Ploutarkhos heard and transmitted. [124]
Similar signs of uncontrollable passion were displayed in other stories of a rather different nature. Girls from the city of Methymna developed rampant and unconditional desire for Akhilleus when the hero was sacking and plundering Lesbos and other islands. [125] One of these girls, a certain Peisidike, contrived a plan and handed over Methymna to Akhilleus, in spite of the ardent resistance of the Methymnaian men, who defended their city in battle. Akhilleus’ promise to the girl was that after the sack of Methymna he would become her husband, but when the city came into his possession, he ordered his soldiers to stone her instead—for reasons it would be interesting to know. This violent execution, extremely rare in this type of plots, [126] was not recorded in a different version in which a girl from Pedasos—a city in the southern Troas and geographically close to Lesbos—fell in love with Akhilleus and threw an apple inscribed with a message that helped Akhilleus conquer her city. [127]
Even in one version of the myth of Phaon of Mytilene it is not only Sappho or Aphrodite that are distraughtly enamored of him, but the women of the city in general. As a result of this collective passion, again according to this version, Phaon is slain when one day he is caught (on Lesbos, presumably) in the very act of adultery. [128]
All these narratives and the wider cultural discourses they may reflect are much later than the ideological idioms conducive to the formation of a marked cultural habitus in the fifth and early fourth centuries BC. It is against the trafficability of these early habitually crystallized, internalized, and reproduced discursive filters—that, however, were also susceptible to modifications and revisions—as well as a number of other related conceptions, that I propose to examine the modalities of the late-sixth- and fifth-century receptions of Sappho.
I conclude this section by exploring a further discursive element, the antiquity of which cannot be determined. In an extensive fragment from Pherekrates’ Mettalês (“Miners”), [129] a woman recounts to another character of the play the wealth of most delicious food of every sort as well as fancy sauces that the dead enjoy in banquets in the underworld. When her interlocutor, astounded at the coveted pleasures the dead indulge in, rhetorically asks her to stop providing further information, she continues:
 . . .                     κόραι δ’ ἐν ἀμπεχόναις τριχάπτοις, ἀρτίως
                         ἡβυλλιῶσαι καὶ τὰ ῥόδα κεκαρμέναι,
                         πλήρεις κύλικας οἴνου μέλανος ἀνθοσμίου
                         ἤντλουν διὰ χώνης τοῖσι βουλομένοις πιεῖν.

And girls in [fine] coverings woven of hair,
having newly reached the bloom of youth and with their roses trimmed,
drew with a funnel cups full of dark wine with exquisite bouquet
for those who wished to drink. [130]
Although ῥόδα (“roses”) in the sense of “bush” also occurs—in a modified version (ῥοδωνιά, “rose-garden,” “rose-bed”)—in the Nemesis of Kratinos (fr. 116.2 K-A), [131] and the expression ῥόδα κεκαρμέναι becomes easily intelligible in view of the practice of depilation of women’s pubic hair in Greek antiquity, [132] an entry on ῥόδον in Hesykhios’ lexicon of rare words intrigues with its specificity: ῥόδον· Μιτυληναῖοι τὸ τῆς γυναικός (“rose: the people of Mytilene call so the vulva”). How far back in time does this information go? Is it based on “local knowledge” stemming from texts of Lesbian authors [133] that Hesykhios had in mind? Or was “rose” in its sexually charged meaning a loan word from the Lesbians that became well known throughout Greece? What is of interest here is the (even faded and diversely represented) resilience of the marked associations of women from Lesbos with carnal pleasure, potentially obtainable in symposiastic contexts. As I have shown, these marked idioms were foregrounded in Athens during the fifth century.

Early Performative Poetics

Before proceeding to a broader examination of the reception of Sappho in Attic symposia in the light of both the vase-paintings and the fifth-century perceptual filters explored in Chapter Two and earlier in this chapter, it is time to pause and focus on the possible channels of the early dissemination of Sappho’s song-making. Closely interrelated with these channels is the issue of the extent of the oral substratum in the composition of her songs. If Sappho’s poetry was characterized by structural features potentially susceptible to (even minimal) transmutations in the course of its performative transmission, such an aspect of her songs would be essential for an understanding of the earliest stages of her reception. We thus need to spell out all possible parameters that might have been conducive to such transmutations. Alternatively, if the transmission of her songs was characterized by a stable textual fixation, this might function as a decisive, “corrective” index in the gradual shaping of her figure.
As I shall argue later in this chapter, her poetry was only one of the elements in the wider, complex dynamics of the shaping of her figure in the early stages of her reception. The other crucial element was the relatively independent formation of her image after her poetry became popular in symposia. I suggest that when the songs of a poet become detached from the cultural economy that conditions the shaping of the figure of that poet, the practices and discursive metonymies that become operative in the politics of reception are conducive to an even more pronounced distancing of the figure from her poetry. The result is that, when necessary, it was specific elements of the poetry that were gradually selected and applied to the trafficability of her figure. The early reception of Sappho constituted the principal factor in the selection and preservation of the songs that were also to determine eventually the receptions of her poetry in the Roman and later eras. The early formation of the figure of Sappho in Athens—and in other areas of the ancient Greek world for which there are only a few informants—should not be approached as a unified corpus of attempts at writing biographies about Sappho. The current, widely sanctioned paradigm of tracing, or taking for granted the existence of, fixed early biographies for each archaic melic poet goes against the inherent fragmentariness of any historicizing linear narrativization.
At the dawn of the sixth century, Lesbos was presumably no different from other Greek societies that were still emerging from their oral milieu. [134] The extent of literacy was arguably limited, [135] but the most affluent families of the island must have received some kind of education through early participation in choruses as well as in related civic institutions. Even so, song-making was deeply embedded in the social fabric of villages and cities: melic and epic, as well as a large spectrum of other songs, were constantly composed, performed, and reperformed. Mytilenean society, one might argue, was developing with that acquaintance with aesthetic modes of thought frequently characteristic of societies reliant on oral communication.
It is not certain whether the island had produced long epic poems of its own, [136] but positing epic bards who drew on and contributed to a broader tradition of epic song-making would not be precarious—as long as this idea does not interfere with the construction of further hypotheses that attempt to “reconstruct” historicized archaic realities. Poetry that shares some structural features with the Homeric epics is attested in the surviving fragments of Sappho: fragment 44 V, which is generally attributed to her and is composed in glyconics internally expanded by two dactyls, [137] constitutes an unusual example of epically colored narrative. After the swift messenger Idaios announces the arrival of the bridegroom and his companions bringing the charming Andromakhe to Ilion, the wedding procession of Hektor and Andromakhe is set out in refined, epico-lyric detail. [138] In relation to this fragment and in view of the preservation of archaisms in its meter (glyconic expanded with two dactyls) such as isosyllabism and the Aeolic base, [139] it has been argued that the meter that Sappho employs here seems to be more archaic in structure than the Homeric hexameter, which frequently makes use of spondees instead of dactyls in the first four feet and refrains from adopting the pattern (short followed by long vowel) in the first foot: “The rigid phraseological correspondences between her pentameter and the epic hexameter are due to parallel inheritance of related formulas from related meters;” therefore, “by a fluke of history, structurally primitive material like the pentameter inherited by Sappho is attested at a relatively late phase, while structurally more developed material like the Homeric epic itself had become a Panhellenic fixed text at so early a period that it was already prehistoric from the standpoint of the classical period.” [140]
Such a view has far-reaching implications for melic poetry in general and the Lesbian poetic tradition in particular. Specifically, as some related studies have stressed, [141] a Lesbian tradition of song must have existed some time before that inherited by Alkaios and Sappho, [142] and the possibility that various linguistic relics of this old tradition may have been functional at the time when these two poets composed their songs cannot be overlooked. Artistic manifestations do not come into being in a vacuum, as some sources for the case of Lesbos testify.
Arkhilokhos of Paros, whose floruit is usually placed about a generation earlier than that of Alkaios and Sappho, shows some familiarity with the poetic tradition of Lesbos: he refers to the performance of a paean associated with the name of the island. [143] The superiority of the Lesbian minstrel became proverbial [144] —a pronouncement thought by Aristotle to allude to Terpandros, [145] the first-known influential Lesbian poet after the possibly earlier shadowy figure of Leskhes of Pyrrha or Mytilene. Terpandros of Antissa [146] along with Arion of Methymna were highly talented kitharôidoi who left Lesbos and took up residence in Peloponnesos. Terpandros and Arion were credited in later periods with significant innovations in music and choral dancing, respectively. If we can trust late sources, another poet from archaic Lesbos whose compositions did not escape time was Perikleitos (possibly around the end of the seventh century), the last Lesbian winner in the musical competition held at the Spartan Karneia. [147]
The songs composed by the earlier poets were for the most part transmitted orally. Early traditional compositions lay behind the art of the two poets, but interaction with the poetic traditions of other places such as Ionia could have been no less important. At the same time, a certain tradition in women’s poetry must have existed, anonymous or by individual—now unknown—poets.
The invention of the Greek alphabet is dated, according to most researchers, to the first half of the eighth century, although some Semitic epigraphers argue for an earlier date. [148] As has been noted, early short inscriptions and graffiti from Euboian Lefkandi and the Euboian colony of Pithekoussai in Ischia show that “Greek writing was in popular use in the farflung Euboian–Pithekoussan circuit before 750 BC.” [149] The so-called Dipylon oinochoe, dated to c . 740–730, [150] and the cup of Nestor from Pithekoussai, perhaps contemporary with or a little later thanthe former, [151] constitute the earliest known long metrical inscriptions (partly in hexameters). For the skyphos or cup of Nestor, a number of interpretations have been put forward but the idea that this represents one of the earliest “songs” composed specifically for sympotic settings is attractive. [152] The surviving pieces of early inscriptions and graffiti [153] are witnesses to the existence of early literacy. It should, nevertheless, be emphasized that its breadth cannot have been extensive. [154] New findings might change the picture we have about eighth-century Greek writing and literacy, [155] but even if it eventually turns out that alphabetic writing was used from the very beginning of the eighth century or the last quarter of the ninth century, what is significant is that it was unquestionably employed, perhaps after some time during which it spread all over Greece, for marking of property and for recording metrical lines (notwithstanding the fact that the number of lines recorded was normally small, to judge from what evidence we have). The latter use of writing as performance art should be given proper attention in discussions of orality and literacy in early Greece. Inscribed tombstones from the late seventh century show that the idea of commemoration and perpetuation of the name of the deceased through written material was already at work. Therefore, the gradual interaction between spoken and written word had started to produce a new technology of communication that was to take over from the apparently old, long established one. [156]
Cultural changes, however, cannot be adequately evaluated on the basis of the number of graffiti, dipinti, and inscriptions that may be found either in Greece or in several of its first apoikiai. The advent of the alphabet, however revolutionary its implications might have been, could not have brought with it a cultural amnesia of traditional communicative structures. From an anthropological, comparative perspective, it has persuasively been held that what we term orality and literacy “are not two separate and independent things; nor (to put it more concretely) are oral and written modes two mutually exclusive and opposed processes for representing and communicating information. On the contrary they take diverse forms in differing cultures and periods, are used differently in different social contexts and, insofar as they can be distinguished at all as separate modes rather than a continuum, they mutually interact and affect each other, and the relations between them are problematic rather than self-evident” (my emphasis). [157] Determining the extent of the influence of the written word on a culture like that of early Greece, which for several centuries relied predominantly on oral mental structures, is hardly possible, given the scarcity of the available information about archaic Greece.
For early archaic Greece, the most decisive evidence for the reconstruction of any modes of thought comes from poetry. In tracing the formulaic elements in the language and thematic composition of the Homeric epics and comparing them to epic songs of different cultures, [158] we need to be attentive to the comparative observation based on ethnographic research that formulaic composition is not necessarily tantamount to oral composition. [159] However, even when writing has established itself as a medium of aesthetic expression in a society predominantly reliant on oral communication, we cannot—and should not—dismiss the idea that the recurrent lexical and thematic building blocks of a song/poem, attributed by some scholars “to the literary and stylistic tradition . . . dominant” [160] in a specific cultural milieu, still functioned as manifestations of oral modes of thought during the process of the composition of a specific song. Traces of formulaic composition can also be found in archaic melic and elegiac poetry, [161] while some scholars have even taken the view that the “Homeric” formulae that occur in the elegiac fragments of Arkhilokhos are indications of his being an oral poet. [162] This view is questionable [163] and the characterization “oral poet” seems hardly possible, if not anachronistic, to apply unconditionally to any of the archaic melic poets. But it is evident that formulaic expressions fueled by the rhythmic patterns of meter—distinctive marks of the art of oral bards and singers—contributed to the composition of Arkhilokhos’ poems. The formulaic overtones of those poems would sound familiar to people accustomed to the techniques of oral poetry and would provide some help for easier memorization of a song by its potential performer and audience.
In the case of Sappho, [164] apart from the patterns of alliteration and assonance that her songs demonstrate, [165] it is worth observing that repetitions of phrases [166] or short thematic blocks occur: κ˼ὤττι ˻μοι μάλιστα θέλω γένεσθαι | . . . θύμωι and ὄσσα δέ μοι τέλεσσαι | θῦμος ἰμέρρει, τέλεσον (fr. 1.17–18, 26–27 V) compared to κὤσσα ϝ]ο̣ι̣ θύμω<ι> κε θέλη γένεσθαι | [πάντα τε]λέσθην (fr. 5.3–4 V); [167] οὐ δύνατον γένεσθαι (fr. 16.21 V) compared to οὐ δύνατον γένεσθαι (fr. 58.18 V); χρόα γῆρας ἤδη (fr. 21.6 V) compared to χρόα γῆρας ἤδη (fr. 58.13 V); τὰν εὔποδα νύμφαν (fr. 103.2 V) compared to εὔποδα νύμφαν (fr. 103B.2 V); λιγύραν ἀοίδαν (fr. 101A.2 V) possibly compared to λιγύραν [ἀοί]δαν (fr. 103.7 V); [168] χρυσοπέδιλος Αὔως (fr. 123 V) compared to χρυσοπέδι̣λ̣[ο]ς Αὔως (fr. 103.10 V). With the publication of three early Ptolemaic papyrus fragments that provide additional text for Sappho fragment 58 V, [169] thematic motifs repeated almost formulaically can be detected. The fragment now reads as follows:
※                 ἰ]ο̣κ[ό]λ̣πων κάλα δῶρα, παῖδες,
                   ]. φιλάοιδον λιγύραν χελύνναν.                     2
                   ] ποτ’ [ἔ]οντα χρόα γῆρας ἤδη
                   ἐγ]ένοντο τρίχες ἐκ μελαίναν,                      4
βάρυς δέ μ’ ὀ [θ]ῦμο̣ς̣ πεπόηται, γόνα δ’οὐ φέροισι,
τὰ δή ποτα λαίψῃρ’ ἔον ὄρχησθ’ ἴσα νεβρίοισιν.               6
†τα† στεναχίσδω θαμέως. ἀλλὰ τί κεν ποείην;
ἀγήραον ἄνθρωπον ἔοντ’ οὐ δύνατον γένεσθαι.              8
καὶ γάρ π̣[ο]τ̣α̣ Τίθωνον ἔφαντο βροδόπαχυν Αὔων
ἔρωι . . . α̣.εισαν βάμεν’ εἰς ἔσχατα γᾶς φέροισα[ν          10
ἔοντα̣ [κ]άλον καὶ νέον, ἀλλ’ αὖτον ὔμως ἔμαρψε
χρόνωι π̣ό̣λ̣ι̣ο̣ν̣ γῆρας, ἔχ̣[ο]ν̣τ’̣ ἀθανάταν ἄκοιτιν. ※?      12 [170]

                    ] children, the lovely gifts of violet-bosomed [Muses]
                    ] clear-sounding song-loving lyre.
                    ] once being . . . my body [is taken] now by old age
                    ] my hair has turned [white] from black
and my heart has weighed down, my knees that once were
nimble to dance as fawns do not support me.
I often groan for this. But what could I do?
It is impossible for a human being not to grow old.
The story was that Tithonos once, loved by rose-armed Dawn,
was carried off by her to the ends of earth,
when he was handsome and young; yet grey old age in time
overtook him, the husband of an immortal wife.
Starting with lines 1 and 2, the occurrence of ἰόκολπος and λίγυρος suggests that the epithets were employed in a number of songs to describe either a bride (fr. 30.5 V) and divinities (fr. 103.3 V and 58.11 V) [171] or singing (fr. 101A.2 and 103.7 V) and musical instruments (fr. 58.2 V). [172] The image in line 5 γόνα δ’ οὐ φέροισι (“my knees do not support me”) finds a close parallel in Alkman fragment 26.1–2 PMG οὔ μ’ ἔτι . . . γυῖα φέρην δύναται (“no longer can my limbs support me”), a fragment addressed to “honey-voiced girls.” More striking is the similarity between Sappho’s evocative, almost staccato †τα† στεναχίσδω θαμέως (“for these I groan often”) and Anakreon’s διὰ ταῦτ’ ἀνασταλύζω θαμά (“for these I sob often . . . ”) in fragment 395.7–8 PMG. These [173] may not be viewed as fortuitous elements in Sappho’s poetry. They should rather be construed as constituent parts of songs influenced both by compositional elements of oral tradition and by the conditions of their own oral performance. Although repetition of phrases, motifs, images, story patterns, and so forth in early archaic poetry was a feature of the poetics of individual poets, this poetics was considerably influenced by modes of communication generated by a predominantly oral society. That the use of writing might have determined the character of a composition and have entailed the formation of a somewhat different horizon of expectations on the part of the audience is possible. [174] However, one must pose the question whether archaic audiences (even some of the original ones that belonged to the social elite, if we may use such an overgeneralized term) were more familiar with written than oral modes of communication.
Even if eventually written down, poems achieved their communicative realization through the process of performance, by reaching their audiences and securing their wider popularity through public and private recitation and singing. [175] The availability of the technology of writing and the importance attached to the process of performance as a means for the dissemination of poetry [176] point to the multilaterality of communication in archaic Greek culture. [177] Pindar’s comparison of sculpture with poetry is a case in point. According to Pindar, in contrast to sculpture engraved on stone, poetry has the capacity to transmit the fame of an athlete more widely, since it can spread fame through oral performance: οὐκ ἀνδριαντοποιός εἰμ’, ὥστ’ ἐλινύσοντα ἐργάζεσθαι ἀγάλματ’ ἐπ’ αὐτᾶς βαθμίδος | ἑσταότ’‧ ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ πάσας ὁλκάδος ἔν τ’ ἀκάτωι, γλυκεῖ’ ἀοιδά,| στεῖχ’ ἀπ’ Αἰγίνας διαγγέλλοισ’, ὅτι . . .  (Nemean 5.1–3). More explicitly, Theognis describes the dissemination of Kyrnos’ name through images of winged journeys, songs in symposia and, more broadly, oral modes of communication: σοὶ μὲν ἐγὼ πτέρ’ ἔδωκα, σὺν οἷς ἐπ’ ἀπείρονα πόντον | πωτήσηι καὶ γῆν πᾶσαν ἀειρόμενος | ῥηϊδίως· θοίνηις δὲ καὶ εἰλαπίνηισι παρέσσηι | ἐν πάσαις, πολλῶν κείμενος ἐν στόμασιν,| καί σε σὺν αὐλίσκοισι λιγυφθόγγοις νέοι ἄνδρες | εὐκόσμως ἐρατοὶ καλά τε καὶ λιγέα | ἄισονται (237–243). [178] These archaic discourses, among numerous others, do not imply that the only means of transmission in archaic Greece was performance. They place special emphasis on it, however, showing that even though Pindar [179] may have experienced the writing down of his verses, he thought of them in terms of their oral transmission. It is hardly possible to underestimate the workings of a vibrant oral tradition behind the composition and performance of the songs and poems of archaic lyricists.

Music and Words: Transmission in Performance

In the fragmentary songs of Sappho that have survived, one can count more than thirty references to song as performing art and to all three categories of musical instruments (stringed, wind, and percussion). Characteristically, in one of her fragments Sappho conversed with her lyre (khelus)—by asking it initially to speak and find a voice. [180] That it was Sappho herself who composed the melodies of her poetic compositions should be beyond doubt.
Although no music has survived from archaic Greece, what may be said with relative confidence about Sappho’s songs is that the original musical settings were performed (rather than composed) in a higher register than those of the male poets. How much higher that register was we can only speculate. As far as the evidence goes, Sappho’s songs were not intended to be sung originally by male performers. Some of her fellow women were apparently musical (particularly the female figures addressed in fragments 22 and 96.5 V). [181] The sound of singing is more often than not described as λίγυρος, once as γλύκερος. [182] This coincides with a broader tendency in ancient Greek literary discourses to think of a fine singing voice as clear and pure. We hear that the Mixolydian was Sappho’s preferred mode; [183] its emotional and mournful character [184] probably suited some of her threnodic songs and laments. Contacts with Lydia must have resulted in diverse cross-cultural interaction in music and singing. [185] Some echoes of Eastern tropes of singing and rhythmical (antiphonal) mannerisms may well have accompanied the adoption of the Adonis cult by Greek populations from Syria and Phrygia. Furthermore, Sappho’s wedding and threnodic songs would perhaps have drawn—at least in modes of delivery (for example, antiphony)—on traditional songs. In a carmen populare said to originate from Lokroi, we observe similar dramatic tension to that detected in some songs of Sappho. [186] However, our intuitive notion that Sappho’s songs, which were mainly stanzaic and short, were similar to (modern) “folk songs” or medieval European compositions in terms of the repetition of music from stanza to stanza lacks supporting evidence.
Projections of our cultural categories on ancient material are often presented as almost certain, as in the following reconstructive account of melody in Sappho’s songs: “they were songs, in recurring stanzas, which implies a recurrent tune. It is a reasonable supposition that all songs in the same metre were sung to the same tune. [ . . . ] The tunes do not seem to have been elaborate, since the stanzas are clearly articulated in two, three or four lines.” [187] However, we must allow that even when they employed a recurrent metrical scheme, ancient song-makers might well have been more inventive and improvisational in the musical design of their compositions. Ethnomusicological and comparative fieldwork on musical cultures of Africa, Asia, notably China, and other continents places emphasis on improvisation even in cases where a song follows a metrical pattern. [188] Even so, ethnomusicological familiarity with non-Western European traditional music suggests that recurrent stanzas may not imply a recurrent tune. Note that the two metrical positions of indifferent quantity at the beginning of a glyconic, or in middle of such metric structures as – ⏑ – × × – ⏑⏑ – ⏑ – (cretic and glyconic) in Sappho fragment 98 V, might not have left the melodic line of a song unaffected. The same holds true for the cases where synecphonesis is introduced. [189] Especially in light of fieldwork currently conducted in diverse traditional societies, caution in advancing, and especially in endorsing, assumptions like the ones quoted above is urgently necessary.
This brings us to a related point. It has been suggested that since the origins of both an instrumental and a vocal system of musical notation probably cannot be traced back earlier than the middle of the fifth and the fourth centuries BC, respectively, [190] the musical settings of archaic melic poetry could not have been written down before then; hence, they were allegedly passed down orally (by means of continuous reperformances). [191] This is not an unreasonable idea [192] but it needs to be somewhat modified and articulated differently. How accurately can we assume Sappho’s original musical settings to have been maintained through the process of oral transmission? The whole issue depends on how one envisages the role of music in melic songs and the vehicles of their transmission. Even if the music of a song by Sappho was not complex and sophisticated—but there is no reason, let alone evidence, to suppose so—the difference in register noted above may be an indication that some adaptation was inevitable when that song was performed by a male singer or a male group. This was the minimal possible change, which would hardly affect the song, especially when the singer was (say) a professional kitharôidos. However, non-professional singers did sing Sappho in symposia. More importantly, since the words themselves could occasionally not resist “transmutations” in the process of oral transmission, [193] why believe that the music was always disseminated accurately? It can be argued that arrangements and diversifications, caused by the different environments and regions in which Sappho’s songs circulated, were inevitable. Perhaps indeed a composition by Sappho was, on occasion, set to a new musical accompaniment in cases and places where access to the original music was not entirely possible. We hear that in primary oral cultures new settings for the same song are sometimes composed. [194] Later Greek practice shows that composition of a new musical setting for specific lyric parts of a tragedy may also have taken place. [195] Even if the skeletal structure of the original music remained stable for some time, improvisational changes must have been inevitable. We may not take for granted that Sappho’s melodies were preserved unadulterated in the process of their transmission. I would therefore suggest that music may have not been a secure mnemotechnic aid for the preservation of the words of a song, as has been frequently argued in connection with archaic melic poetry. [196]
My overview of musical elements has focused on aspects of Sappho’s poetry that may shed some light on the processes of the early stages of its transmission and reception—processes I shall explore further in this chapter and in Chapter Four. What were the possible routes through which Sappho’s poetry reached its audiences? Performance in the case of archaic melic songs coincides with transmission. [197] In the context of the oral dissemination of Sappho’s songs, changes of the original “text” might have occurred. As has been insightfully analyzed by Wolfgang Rösler, [198] an Attic four-line skolion quoted by Athenaios, [199] originally extracted from a more extensive song of Alkaios (fragment 249 V), was being transmitted as an independent composition in (probably) classical Athenian symposia. Certain divergences of dialect and text/semantics between the skolion and the fragment of Alkaios, as it has been preserved in a papyrus from Oxyrhynchus, [200] may be viewed as “a reflex of a persistent symposiastic overuse, a product of a tradition that was perpetuated through the process of an oral, that is, uncontrollable, reproduction.” [201] Based on the two versions, scholars have attempted to trace the original, genuine readings in Alkaios’ song. [202] However, we might prefer to suggest that the two versions represent different stages of the early transmission of the song.
Along with oral transmission, the technology of writing could have helped with the first rudimentary written form of Sappho’s songs. Whether Sappho herself wrote down (some or most of) her poems is bound to be a controversial issue. Did she ever put down in writing some of her ritual songs (mainly wedding songs and laments)? Were her poems transferred into written form only posthumously, when the people of Mytilene firmly realized that Sappho along with Alkaios were to become the most influential of their poets? [203] The transmission of Sappho’s poetry should be envisaged as following two parallel channels, at least from the fifth century onward: oral performances and written versions. Nevertheless, the preponderance and importance of the former in the case of Sappho must be stressed, and it is to this that I shall now turn.

The Strategies of Traveling

How did the poetry of Sappho embark on its varied trips—from Lesbos to Athens to Alexandria and other regions? For Sappho’s audiences on Lesbos, participants in women’s gatherings and wedding rituals should be considered as the most likely candidates for the dissemination of her poetry. In addition, if the cult of Adonis had some associations with Lesbos, [204] a large number of women from the island would have had the opportunity to listen to Sappho’s composition about Adonis (fr. 140 V). [205] People in Sicily may also have had some early acquaintance with Sappho’s songs, when she was apparently there some time before 595/594. [206]
To go a step further, professional singers from Mytilene should have helped in the diffusion of the wedding songs: initially they would have spread them all over the island and its cities, and later in neighboring islands and mainlands. [207] Sappho’s epithalamians could be sung in other city-states, far from and near Lesbos. The coastline of Asia Minor is in such close proximity to Lesbos that Sappho’s songs might have been performed in Greek city-states of Ionia. [208] Thus the route of dissemination is not to be viewed as moving only from Lesbos to western parts of Greece, but also from Lesbos to the Ionian mainland and other Eastern islands.
Trade in Lesbos was well established already in the seventh century BC. [209] Cross-culturally, trade routes are a possible means of diffusion. People from places all over Greece traveled to and from Lesbos. It would not have been hard for some of them to hear Sappho’s songs—after they had already become part of the heritage of the island and were probably sung at banquets and other gatherings—and, more importantly, to bring these songs to their own cities and communities. From that moment onward, the songs embarked on long-distance journeys and reached varied audiences. People from different social milieus must have started to become familiar with them. Women (including the more educated) in Thessaly or Attica or even further afield were among the first to perform them. In Chapter Two, I argued that the representation on the Athens red-figure hydria assimilates Sappho into the idealized cognitive model of female musical gatherings. [210] I should add here that although it has been thought that the scroll that Sappho holds on this vase-painting indicates that by 440–420 BC Sappho’s poetry was transmitted in book form rather than through performance, this view cannot be substantiated, if the vase is investigated in the context of numerous other related representations. [211] Moreover, in the fourth century BC, Aristoxenos, in book four of his treatise On Music, reported the following: ἦιδον . . . αἱ ἀρχαῖαι γυναῖκες Καλύκην τινὰ ὠιδήν. Στησιχόρου δ᾽ ἦν ποίημα (“in ancient times women sang a song called Kalyke; that was a poem of Stesikhoros”). [212] It is significant that, again according to Aristoxenos, Kalyke was the name of a girl in the song who fell in love with a youth named Euathlos and used to pray to Aphrodite that she wed this youth. But Euathlos did not reciprocate her love and chaste Kalyke threw herself from a cliff near Leukas (ἐγένετο δὲ τὸ πάθος περὶ Λευκάδα). [213] The interconnections between this ancient song and the Phaon narratives related to Sappho and Aphrodite requires investigation in the light of broader cultural discourses. [214] For purposes of the present argument, I would place emphasis on Aristoxenos’ fourth-century BC reference to the performance by early Greek women of a traditional song attributed to Stesikhoros. [215] Late sources include an epigram by Philodemos about an extraordinarily attractive Oscan young woman whose negligible imperfections include the fact that she is unable to sing the songs of Sappho (εἰ δ’ Ὀπικὴ καὶ Φλῶρα καὶ οὐκ ἄιδουσα τὰ Σαπφοῦς). [216] Although this might have been employed as a variant of a cultural topos, [217] we can infer that—in the Hellenistic period and according to male writers—Sappho’s poetry was widely sung by women.

Economies of Symposia and Taverns

It is now time to bring together the diverse cultural nexuses and idioms that conditioned the earliest stages of the reception of Sappho in Athens. The Attic images investigated in Chapter Two do not suggest the emergence of a fixed and well-defined figure in the case of Sappho. No closely knit, unitary narrative can be reconstructed, and this, I suggest, is symptomatic of the overall cultural economy that defined the trafficability of the figure of Sappho in classical Athens. In other words, the reception of her figure in the classical period—that is, some generations after she composed her songs—appears more inherently fragmented and multileveled than that of male melic poets like Simonides and Anakreon. As I argue later in this chapter, the visual representations should be viewed in their fuller and more dynamic anthropological dimensions in the context of other broader cultural discourses, which were considerably more crystallized and habitually assimilated.
The aim of this section is to expand our investigation in order to trace and remap as many cultural idioms that defined the figure of Sappho as possible. The discourses I shall explore are widely scattered in our sources and have not been analyzed together. It is my contention that the textures of each discourse overlap with those of others, and what I shall attempt to reconstruct is the interdiscursivity of cultural economies that affected the shaping of the figure of Sappho throughout the fifth century BC. The idioms and cultural textures that will be examined have mostly passed unnoticed or certain of them have been viewed in a contextual vacuum and in a somewhat schematic manner. As a result, metonymic and metaphoric associations that were gradually attached to Sappho have remained vague or unexplored.
That “Sappho” was performed at symposia is suggested by one red-figure vase inscribed with her name—the Bochum kalyx-krater. [218] That the compositions of her fellow citizen Alkaios were sung at Attic symposia throughout the fifth century is indicated by the performative versions of Alkaios fragment 249 V as well as a fragment from the Daitalês (“Banqueters”) of Aristophanes: [219]
ἆισον δή μοι σκόλιόν τι λαβὼν Ἀλκαίου κἀνακρέοντος

Take . . .  and sing for me some drinking song of Alkaios and Anakreon.
It has persuasively been suggested that the twenty-five Attic skolia (drinking songs) transmitted by Athenaios in the fifteenth book of his Learned Banqueters were part of a collection of skolia that took shape in mid-fifth century BC. [220] As we have seen, the skolion 891 PMG was part of Alkaios fragment 249 V that was presumably transmitted even as an anonymous composition in classical Attic symposia. The different versions of the Harmodios skolion in honor of the turannoktonoi Harmodios and Aristogeiton [221] were well known to audiences of fifth-century comedies to the extent that characters in plays of Aristophanes constantly refer to, or quote their multiforms of, this song. [222] In the fourth century BC, Antiphanes will reconfirm the old popularity of the Harmodios. [223] Further, the Telamon and the Admetos songs—also specimens in Athenaios’ Attic collection—are recalled by playwrights, especially in the context of staged symposia. [224] In a reenactment of a banquet in the Wasps, another, explicitly political song by Alkaios is improvised. [225] Among the skolia that Athenaios preserves one is ascribed to the fifth-century Praxilla of Sikyon, a poet famous for her rococo-like hymn to Adonis. [226] I should like to stress that between Praxilla fragment 749 PMG and the skolion 897 PMG differences occur in the text as transmitted by the ancient sources. [227] I shall return to this issue in Chapter Four. On the tondo of a red-figure cup, replete as it is with images of symposiasts making music, drinking, and playing kottabos, an Atticized rendering of the opening phrase of a song generally assigned to Praxilla comes out of the mouth of a singer who reclines on a couch along with an aulos-player: ὦ διὰ τῆς θυρίδος (“oh you . . . through the window”). [228] Attic symposia facilitated the creation of song repertoires, which could constantly absorb new compositions and subject them to metonymic “genre” associations. [229]
In this fifth-century context of fervent interest in the composition of drinking songs, [230] Sappho’s poetry, as I shall argue in more detail in Chapter Four, did not remain unaffected. A neglected, albeit significant, late source attributes Praxilla fragment 749 PMG—a version of the Admetos song—to Sappho:
τοῦτο οἱ μὲν ’Αλκαίου, οἱ δὲ Σαπφοῦς· οὐκ ἔστι δέ, ἀλλ’ ἐν τοῖς Πραξίλλης φέρεται παροινίοις.
Some ascribe it to Alkaios, some to Sappho; it is not by either of these two, but it is transmitted in Praxilla’s drinking-songs. [231]
Eustathios reports that the Atticist lexicographer Pausanias in the second century AD wrote that the song was attributed either to Sappho or to Alkaios or to Praxilla. [232] Although these are not fifth-century BC sources and we do not know whether such attributions can be dated back to the Hellenistic period, when editorial activities toward a textual fixation of Sappho’s songs led to the first Alexandrian scholarly collection of her poetry, [233] they certainly reflect late discourses about the reception of Sappho. These lexicographic informants suggest that “Sappho” could well be viewed as being sung at Attic symposia. [234] Also, the performative rhythms of metrical structures—an aspect sometimes neglected by modern analysts of the cultural history of the classical period—must have played a role in the association of her songs composed in Aeolic meters with Attic fifth-century skolia, which were usually short compositions comprised of four lines or a couplet in meters of Aeolic type. [235]
As the visual representations of Sappho and Anakreon indicate, their songs must have arrived in Athens around the same time. Alkaios’ and Sappho’s compositions might have perhaps reached Athens slightly earlier, but none of our few early informants offer conclusive confirmation of this. As Terpandros apparently left Lesbos in the early seventh century and brought with him, to Sparta and to Delphoi, Aeolian and East Greek traditions in music and song-making—including the composition of skolia—so might Anakreon have contributed to the dissemination of Sappho’s poetry in Athens. [236] That Anakreon must have been familiar with Sappho’s songs is firmly established, as I have shown, by the parallel existence of their visual representations on Attic vases—which further suggests parallel performances and reperformances of their songs in the context of Athenian symposia. Since Sappho’s songs were known in Athens already by 510–500 BC, Anakreon, who performed his songs there around the same decades, must have heard some of her compositions being sung on different occasions—if he had not heard them long before during his trips from Teos to Samos and other Greek areas. Either way, Anakreon composed a song about a girl from Lesbos with elegant, jazzy sandals, thus contributing to the shaping of ambivalent cultural discourses about young women from this island. To go a step further, fragments of Anakreon indicate some kind of performative “dialogue” with the songs of Sappho or, rather, with their themes and broader cultural tradition. There is no way for us to trace the ancient receptions of Anakreon fragment 376 PMG, but it is tempting to think that it could be viewed, especially after the figures of Sappho and Anakreon began to be closely associated, [237] as “intertextually” alluding to Sappho’s songs about Phaon—compositions that were to be construed as indications of the idea that she herself leapt from the cliff of Leukatas because of her love for that exceptionally handsome man:
ἀρθεὶς δηὖτ’ ἀπὸ Λευκάδος
πέτρης ἐς πολιὸν κῦμα κολυμβῶ μεθύων ἔρωτι.

Once again I leap up from the Leukadian cliff
and dive into the grey, surging waves, drunk with love. [238]
Sappho’s †τα† στεναχίσδω θαμέως (“for these I groan often”) in the almost complete poem considered above [239] recalls Anakreon’s διὰ ταῦτ’ ἀνασταλύζω θαμά (“for these I sob often . . . ”) in fragment 395.7–8 PMG. [240] In Sappho fragment 94 V, the image καὶ πόλλαις ὐπαθύμιδας πλέκταις ἀμφ’ ἀπάλαι δέραι ἀνθέων [ ] πεποημέναις (“and around your tender neck [you placed] many woven garlands made from flowers”) and especially the occurrence of ὑποθυμίς in line 15 are reminiscent of Anakreon fragment 397 PMG πλεκτὰς δ’ ὑποθυμίδας περὶ στήθεσι λωτίνας ἔθεντο (“they put over their chests woven garlands of lotus”). [241] The ὑποθυμίς [242] was the indigenous word of the Aeolians and the Ionians for a garland, which used to be worn around the neck. [243] Athenaios remarks that the fourth-century BC scholar and poet Philetas of Kos mentions that the Lesbians called a myrtle spray hupothumis, around which they wove violets and various other flowers. [244]
On the level of poetics, both Sappho and Anakreon, as far as the evidence allows us to see, placed special emphasis on metapoetic pronouncements in their compositions. The singing voice of Anakreon fragment 402c PMG declares: [245]
ἐμὲ γὰρ †λόγων εἵνεκα παῖδες ἂν φιλέοιεν·
χαρίεντα μὲν γὰρ ἄιδω, χαρίεντα δ’ οἶδα λέξαι.

For young lads might love me for my words; [246]
for I sing graceful songs and I know how to speak charming
words.
The speaking subject in Sappho fragment 147 PMG stresses “her” future reception:
μνάσεσθαί τινα φα<ῖ>μι †καὶ ἕτερον† ἀμμέων

Someone will remember us, I say, in the future.
In another song, according to Ailios Aristeides, the singing subject (“Sappho”) boasted that Muses had made her really blessed, even enviable, and that she would be remembered even after her death. [247]
Further correspondences and commonly shared resonances can be detected in Sappho’s and Anakreon’s use of musical instruments that had an Eastern Greek aura. In their songs they referred frequently to the paktis and the barbitos, both stringed instruments of Eastern origin, as well as to neighboring Lydia and its lifestyle. [248] Such similarities bespeak the sharing of a common cultural milieu, but at the same time help us understand how Sappho’s songs could be associated with Anakreon’s East Greek compositions. In other words, these correspondences were conducive to the formation of the broader and more complex horizons of expectations that shaped the reception of both Anakreon and Sappho by late archaic and classical Athenians.
Since Anakreon’s poems were sung in Attic symposia, some of these short compositions were perceived and performed as sympotic skolia. [249] In this respect, it is intriguing that Teos, the birthplace of Anakreon, was associated with the composition of the skolia of the sixth-century BC Teian poet Pythermos, who was mentioned by Hipponax in one of his iambic verses. [250] According to Athenaios, some thought that Pythermos employed the “voluptuous” Ionian mode for the music of his skolia. [251] However, what was of considerable significance for the early reception of Sappho is the gradual and persistent association of her poetry and figure with Anakreon’s songs, full as they were of sympotic images.
The performative association of Anakreon’s erotic songs [252] —many of which were explicitly pederastic—with Sappho’s compositions increasingly and implicitly contributed, I argue, to the notion that those of Sappho could potentially have some “pederastic” dimensions. To be sure, the expression of passion (conventional or not) for young men in song was not confined to Anakreon. Among other archaic poets—for example, Ibykos and Stesikhoros— [253] Alkaios too composed pederastic songs. [254] Why then should Anakreon in particular be connected with Sappho’s poetry? I have already pointed to some of the broader discourses—visual, textual, cultural—that led to such a metonymic connection of Sappho and Anakreon. I further argue that this association, as reflected in the discourse of heterogeneous cultural informants, steadily shaped and placed into circulation an implicit definition of those songs that were received as marked “erotic songs” of Sappho. As soon as this association was established in the public imagination, it rendered Sappho’s songs open to diverse performative and interpretive “scannings,” especially by Athenian symposiasts. Probably the same performative context gradually facilitated the configuration of clusters of names of melic song-makers—clusters that were to endure for several centuries despite occasional modifications conditioned by their use in diverse discursive contexts.

Clusters

I shall examine here two such clusters, since they are related to each other in terms of their sympotic resonances. The first focuses on the association between Sappho and Anakreon; the second comprises the names Alkaios, Anakreon, and Ibykos. I begin with the latter.
I have already considered the image of old “Ionian” poets that the poet Agathon conjures up in the Thesmophoriazousai. [255] Sporting elegant headgears and mincing in Ionian style, Ibykos, Anakreon, and Alkaios [256] are viewed as composers of spicy, juicy music. As I argued in Chapter Two, the cultural schema of East Greek poets as elaborately dressed komasts was firmly established in the horizons of expectations of late fifth-century Athenians and had started being applied to any contemporary aesthete composer. Into that idealized cognitive model the names of Alkaios, Anakreon, and Ibykos had been assimilated—each one independently or even all of them as a musically and culturally coherent triad. The three names were placed together again by later sources, in a way suggesting an established configuration of a cluster of sympotic melic poets. Thus, in his Tusculan Disputations, Cicero derogatorily speaks about the statements and disclosures that homines doctissimi and the most distinguished poets make in their verses, illustrating his remark by citing the most extravagant cases of song-makers—all, significantly, from archaic Greece: Alkaios, a political man of great recognition in his city, who, yet, focused on love for youths; Anakreon, whose poetry, according to Cicero, is all erotic; and above all, Ibykos, who was burning from desire. As evinced in their writings, Cicero claims, the erôs of all of these poets was lustful. [257] A contemporary of Cicero, Philodemos, in his treatise On Music, constructs an argument against the Stoic philosopher Diogenes of Babylon and similarly refers to almost the entire marked triad of archaic pederastic poets:
οὐδὲ τοὺς νέους τοῖς μέλεσι διαφθ̣[ε]ίροντας παρέδειξεν τὸν Ἴβυκον καὶ τὸν Ἀνακρέοντα καὶ τοὺς ὁμοίους, ἀλλὰ τοῖς διανοήμασι.
And [Diogenes] did not [manage to] show that Ibykos and Anakreon and the like corrupted the young men by their music—rather this happened through their ideas. [258]
Even a scholiast on Pindar’s opening strophe in the second Isthmian ode—an introductory praise of those notable poets who shot their hymns of love at any handsome boy at the apex of his bloom—points out that these lines refer to Alkaios, Ibykos, and Anakreon (or any other poets) who paid special attention to the pursuit of their favorite boys. [259]
A definitional complementarity is more pervasive in the case of the cluster “Sappho and Anakreon.” This association is echoed already in Plato. Khamaileon has Sappho replying to a song addressed to her by Anakreon. Hermesianax, in the early third century BC, has Anakreon visiting Lesbos to pursue his love for Sappho, who must have been quite old, if not dead, when Anakreon was a boy. [260] In the late fourth/early third century BC, Klearkhos of Soloi also felt inclined to juxtapose the songs of Sappho and Anakreon. [261] The markedness of the juxtaposition takes diverse configurations, all of which, however, result in a habitually internalized assimilation of the figure and poetry of Sappho into the sympotic songs and persona of Anakreon. Writers who endorse—for a variety of purposes—the same associative schema range from the third century BC to the Roman period to medieval Greece: [262] in his treatise On the Isthmian Games, the scholar-poet Euphorion attesting that Anakreon and Sappho made mention of the instrument barbitos or barmos in their songs; [263] Ovid in his Tristia; [264] Ploutarkhos; [265] Dion Khrysostomos in an intriguing envisaging of the inappropriateness of the erotic songs of Sappho and Anakreon being sung by kings; [266] the anonymous Anacreontea; [267] Aulus Gellius; [268] Pausanias in his periegetic guide to Greece; [269] Maximos of Tyros; [270] Themistios; [271] Himerios; [272] and even Gregorios of Korinthos. [273] All these informants consciously or unconsciously define Sappho’s poetry through suggested analogies (subject, addressees, occasional context) with that of Anakreon. And there is no doubt that such parallelisms in turn exercised influence on early and later writers who attempted to reconstruct Sappho’s life. [274] Anakreon—who, according to Klemes of Alexandria, was the inventor of erotic poetry just as Lasos of Hermione, as Klemes claims in the same context, invented the dithyramb [275] —functioned as a fixed cultural idiom against which “Sappho” could be molded or even coined each time other central aspects of her songs and her figure were deemed irrelevant to a discursive strategy.
The trafficability of the cultural coinage “Anakreon and Sappho” was so extensive that their names could appear interchangeably in certain cases. Apart from ascribing the invention of the Mixolydian mode to her, the fourth-century BC music theorist Aristoxenos, we hear, reported that Sappho and Alkaios deemed their book rolls (volumina) as comrades. [276] But at the same time, according to another informant, Aristoxenos claimed that Anakreon and Alkaios thought of their libri as friends. [277] The two reports (possibly) unconsciously alter the names and provide different versions, but they further display, I suggest, some kind of fluidity in the applicability of similar concepts to the two song-makers.

Fluidities

A different kind of fluidity, more central to this investigation, can be detected in the representation of the figure of Sappho throughout fifth century BC. As suggested in Chapter Two, the Athens hydria bespeaks a discourse altogether dissimilar from that reflected in the Munich kalathos-psykter and especially the Bochum kalyx-krater. These three vase-paintings show an external receptivity of Sappho in both female and male performative contexts. I shall now argue that Sappho’s songs were characterized by a multilayered flexibility in terms of their potential assimilation into diverse performative contexts and cultural idioms. Especially in the classical period, which mainly concerns me here, Sappho was not seen as an established poetic figure whose songs could not have been subject to alterations that fitted the often independent shaping of her image. The poetry and the figure of a song-maker can be inextricably bound and move side by side. However, given the adaptability of Sappho’s songs to diverse sociocultural contexts, her figure was also and gradually, I suggest, delineated independently and in a variety of ideological modalities in the fifth century BC. In contrast to the Hellenistic discourses reflected in the epigrams that made her a Muse—a deeroticized, almost neutral eikôn—her figure in the fifth century resisted a unified narrativization—a definition that would fix her in the imagination of people as the representative par excellence of a specific cultural type. In other words, Sappho could receive diverse or complementary definitions that went beyond clear-cut taxonomic principles applied to the more easily and habitually contextualizable songs of male poets. The case of Simonides, which I choose among other similarly marked cases of male archaic lyricists, provides the backdrop against which the shaping of the figure of Sappho can be evaluated. In this respect, as I argue in Chapter One, Sappho should rather be viewed as a kind of discursive coinage, as it were, whose socioaesthetic value and trafficability were differently determined and estimated according to the diverse contexts of its circulation.
In one of the earliest dated plays (424 BC) of Aristophanes, the chorus of Athenian Knights express their hostility to Paphlagon—a fictional embodiment of the politician Kleon—by wishing that if his shamelessness is prevented in some way they will then, and only then, sing “drink, drink for good fortune”—the opening phrase of a “four-horse chariot” epinician ode of Simonides. [278] The archaic poet was regularly quoted and his image exploited in fifth-century comedy. [279] In his Helots, perhaps almost contemporary with Aristophanes’ Banqueters (427 BC), [280] Eupolis has one of the characters or the chorus of the play say that, compared to the songs of Gnesippos, performing the compositions of Stesikhoros, Alkman, and Simonides was old-fashioned those days. [281] Pheidippides seconds this idea in the quarrel he has with his father Strepsiades in the Clouds. [282] In the context of a banquet, Strepsiades asks his son to take a lyre and perform a song by Simonides, an epinician ode that included the image of the wrestler Krios of Aigina getting shorn when he went to “the glorious sanctuary of Zeus.” [283] Having recently graduated from Sokrates’ phrontistêrion, Pheidippides at once makes it clear that playing the lyre and singing at a drinking-party are old-fashioned practices and that Simonides is simply a bad poet. Comparable to this attitude is the view reflected in Eupolis fr. 398 K-A, where Pindar’s poems are said to have been “silenced” by the contemporary lack of love for beauty and honor on the part of the masses. More definitive, however, is the representation of Simonides as avaricious in Aristophanes’ Peace. [284] This fixed attribute for Simonides seems to go back to Xenophanes of Kolophon, who, according to tradition, called him a niggard (κίμβιξ). [285] It is evident that both Simonides and other archaic poets like Anakreon and Alkaios acquired a specific, somewhat unified “identity” in the imagination of fifth-century Athenians. [286]
With Sappho, I contend, the issue is more complex. What is detected in the surviving sources is a multiplicity of discourses revolving around her figure and lack of a unified narrativization. At the early stages of the reception of her poetry and her figure, this multiplicity and fluidity are accounted for, I argue, by their inherent dynamic tendency to be assimilated into idealized cognitive models and by complex gender politics. When images of Sappho and Anakreon painted on vases circulated in Attic symposia, the initial associations between the two figures began to develop—long before Plato’s juxtaposition.

A Politics of Music

I shall embark here on an examination of how broader cultural idioms may have conditioned the gradual shaping of the figure of Sappho by focusing first on discourses related to music. When her songs traveled to Athens, they went through a regional “translation,” in the sense that male participants at banquets and other performative venues had to “make sense” of them by relying on indigenous concepts and perceptual filters. Through such receptorial processes of discursive vraisemblance, the figure and songs of Sappho were naturalized and accommodated in different sociocultural environments. It is these filters we need to reconstruct in order to conduct historical-anthropological fieldwork on late archaic and classical cultural Athenian dynamics related to the reception of East Greek songs composed by a woman poet.
A fragment from an encomiastic skolion by Pindar provides us with a discursive framework highly pertinent to East Greek musical cultures:
τόν ῥα Τέρπανδρός ποθ’ ὁ Λέσβιος εὗρεν
πρῶτος, ἐν δείπνοισι Λυδῶν
ψαλμὸν ἀντίφθογγον ὑψηλᾶς ἀκούων πακτίδος

[the barbitos] which once was invented first by Terpandros,
the Lesbian, when he heard at banquets of the Lydians
the concordant, octave-doubling plucking of the tall pêktis. [287]
Archaic Lesbian communities were imagined (in later sociocultural spaces) as having their music infiltrated by the Lydian musical tradition. [288] “Lydian” in many such references should be understood, I suggest, as an inclusive term metonymically standing for a wider Near Eastern area, since Lydian music or culture were often thought of by diverse ancient Greek communities as an “idealized,” albeit profligate, effeminate, or decadent, topos. To take for granted poetic claims that a musical instrument originated in a specific Near Eastern context is somewhat precarious, since such ideas are frequently contradicted by other similarly constructed pronouncements. [289] Adopting a “foreign” musical instrument and adjusting it to more indigenous musical practices and tastes or “re-inventing” it altogether must have been a common modality in the ancient Near East and Greece. Especially the contiguity, geographical or cultural, of Lesbos and such areas as Lydia or Phrygia would suggest the sharing of a broader Anatolian musical koinê, despite regional, even marked, differences as well as related ideologies encoded in performative discourses. Attempting to ascertain the specific derivation of an instrument on the basis of chronologically and ideologically heterogeneous ancient informants is, therefore, an almost futile exercise. [290] What is certain is that a number of cordophones or idiophones were of East Greek or Eastern, non-Greek origin. [291] In the case of the pêktis (or in Dorian and Lesbian dialects paktis), a many-stringed plucked instrument, it is interesting that, as opposed to the non-Greek roots of numerous names of ancient Greek instruments, but similarly to the trigônos or trigônon, it stems from the Greek adjective pêktos or the verb pêgnumi (“to join or fasten together”). The pêktis, a high-pitched instrument [292] compared to the relatively low-pitched barbitos, was referred to by Sappho in her songs—once probably as being played by a female companion. [293] If Sappho’s archaic and East Greek paktis had any resemblance to the pêktides of the classical period, high-pitchedness would suit the higher register of the music of her songs in their reperformances by contemporary women in Lesbos.
To understand the broader associations that the pêktis and Lydian music—or music in dialogue with and potentially influenced by the Lydian tradition—had in Athenian contexts and how such cultural textures could permeate closely related performative discourses, we need to focus on a number of fifth-century discourses that establish a firm basis for the present investigation.
In an intriguing exhortation from his Seasons, Kratinos appears to have been one of the first playwrights to foreground the connections between sensual love songs, the Lydian musical fashion or mode, and women musicians—all in conjunction with and defining the work of an artistic male figure whose identity and apparent versatility have perplexed researchers to a considerable degree. Gnesippos was mentioned and parodied in other plays by Kratinos as well as by Khionides, Eupolis, and Telekleides. [294] The problem lies in the likelihood, ingeniously raised by Paul Maas and more recently supported by Ioannes Stephanis, that there were two Gnesippoi, one kitharôidos or melic poet, the other a tragedian or producer of tragedies, “the son of Kleomakhos.” [295]
ἴτω δὲ καὶ τραγωιδίας
ὁ Κλεομάχου διδάσκαλος
†μετὰ τῶν† παρατιλτριῶν
ἔχων χορὸν Λυδιστὶ τιλ-
          λουσῶν μέλη πονηρά

Let the son of Kleomakhos,
the didaskalos of tragedies,
go, taking with him a chorus of hair-plucking
female slaves, pulling the hair/textures/strains of their
          knavish limbs/songs in the Lydian style/mode. [296]
Even if Gnesippos is viewed as a paigniagraphos or, rather, paigniographos, as Athenaios labels him, [297] the point remains that through a lighthearted manipulation of the ambiguity of such words as tillein (“to pluck”), Ludisti, and melê, [298] Kratinos reflects an intricate web of signification, segments of which and further fine-tuning will recur throughout the fifth and fourth centuries. [299] Gnesippos is imagined here and in other instances as a producer of popular but decadent and frivolous art, and we should be especially attentive to such discourses about “noncanonical,” lowly forms and practices as they constitute, through their power of labeling, a key element in our tracing of habitually internalized idioms that shaped the understanding of cultural and artistic phenomena in fifth-century Athens. [300] The art and versatility of Gnessipos accommodate even more diverse ideological inflections than, for instance, those of the established Euripides in the Frogs, and they function as a heterologic locus on which fluidity, ambiguity, and exoticism are projected. Eupolis, for example, specifies more clearly the musical instruments—iambukai and trigôna—plucked by adulterers when they lasciviously perform Gnesippos’ songs at night:
τὰ Στησιχόρου τε καὶ Ἀλκμᾶνος Σιμωνίδου τε
ἀρχαῖον ἀείδειν, ὁ δὲ Γνήσιππος ἔστ’ ἀκούειν.
κεῖνος νυκτερίν’ ηὗρε μοιχοῖς ἀείσματ’ ἐκκαλεῖσθαι
γυναῖκας ἔχοντας ἰαμβύκην τε καὶ τρίγωνον

The compositions of Stesikhoros and Alkman and Simonides
are old-fashioned to sing, but we can hear Gnesippos [everywhere, yes.]
That man has invented nocturnal ditties, serenades for
adulterers
to sing to the iambukê and the trigônon and to call out chicks. [301]
Instruments such as the iambukê and the trigônon seem to have been high in register [302] and thus suitable for the performance of songs by women. In effect, “ditties sung by women,” “popular and folk song,” “adultery,” “high-pitchedness,” even “otherness” were metonymically correlated in male hegemonic discourses. The permutations that such connections developed, along with the traditional, archaic and classical Greek concept [303] that songs of mourning, antiphonal wailing, and women were inseparably interrelated, as if by nature, were grafted onto the Athenian social imaginary to the extent that musical modes high in register were thought of as “feminine,” “slack,” or “soft”—with all the broader, multifaceted cultural and semantic extensions that these terms might have involved in the classical period.
Thus Sophokles will categorize and label the alleged “ethnicity” of predominantly female stringed instruments by stressing the antiphonal sonority of two harps:
πολὺς δὲ Φρὺξ τρίγωνος ἀντίσπαστά τε
Λυδῆς ἐφυμνεῖ πηκτίδος συγχορδία

Often the Phrygian trigônos . . . and the concord
of the Lydian pêktis resounds in answering strains. [304]
Another fifth-century Athenian playwright, Diogenes, explores the associations between these two instruments and maidens, but this time the aulos and further Eastern ethnicities are introduced:
κλύω δὲ Λυδὰς Βακτρίας τε παρθένους
ποταμῷ παροίκους Ἅλυϊ Τμωλίαν θεόν
δαφνόσκιον κατ’ ἄλσος Ἄρτεμιν σέβειν
ψαλμοῖς τριγώνων πηκτίδων ἀντιζύγοις
ὁλκοῖς κρεκούσας μάγαδιν, ἔνθα Περσικῷ
νόμῳ ξενωθεὶς αὐλὸς ὁμονοεῖ χοροῖς

And I hear that the Lydian and Baktrian maidens
living by the river Halys worship the Tmolian goddess
Artemis in a laurel-shaded grove
while they thrum the magadis with concordant pluckings
of trigônoi (and) with counterbalancing pluckings of pêktides,
where the aulos, in Persian tune/style, sounds in welcome
concord to the choruses. [305]
Toward the end of the fifth century, the avant-garde dithyrambist Telestes composed a piece in which the companions of Pelops were presented as the first to introduce the Phrygian nomos of the mountain Mother in Greek banquets:
πρῶτοι παρὰ κρατῆρας Ἑλλάνων ἐν αὐλοῖς
συνοπαδοὶ Πέλοπος Ματρὸς ὀρείας
Φρύγιον ἄεισαν νόμον·
τοὶ δ’ ὀξυφώνοις πηκτίδων ψαλμοῖς κρέκον
Λύδιον ὕμνον.

The first to sing to the reed pipes the Phrygian
nomos of the Mountain Mother by the mixing-bowls
of the Greeks were the followers of Pelops;
and they thrummed the Lydian hymn with the high-pitched
pluckings of the pêktis. [306]
As in other cases, collocation of “Phrygian” and “Lydian” in terms of the origins of instruments suggests a traditionally or conventionally demarcated complementarity of Eastern musical traditions rather than cultural realities, despite the fact that, as we have seen, certain instruments were represented as more closely related to specific regions. Further, an East Greek poet who took up residence in Athens toward the end of the first part of the fifth century, Ion of Khios, in his satiric Omphalê (the name of a mythical queen of Lydia) referred to Lydian psaltriai or female harpists, to Lydian ointments and perfumes that are “better to know than the life-style in the island of Pelops,” and to a Lydian magadis aulos. [307] The comic poet Platon further elucidates the connotative force that psaltriai will acquire, especially in the context of male symposia, for which they were often hired to entertain the guests:
σπονδὴ μὲν ἤδη γέγονε καὶ πίνοντές εἰσι πόρρω,
καὶ σκόλιον ἦισται, κότταβος δ’ ἐξοίχεται θύραζε.
αὐλοὺς δ’ ἔχουσά τις κορίσκη Καρικὸν μέλος <τι>
μελίζεται τοῖς συμπόταις, κἄλλην τρίγωνον εἶδον
ἔχουσαν, εἶτ’ ἦιδεν πρὸς αὐτὸ μέλος Ἰωνικόν τι

Libation has already been poured and they are far along in drinking
and they have sung a skolion, and the kottabos has come out.
Some little lass with reed pipes is playing a Karian tune
for the banqueters, and I saw another lassie playing
a trigônon and she was singing an Ionian song to its accompaniment. [308]
Here, amidst the tossing of wine drops from kylikes onto a certain material and amatory object/subject (kottabos) and the singing of mirthful skolia, [309] Karian strains—elsewhere attested as charged with sympotic and sensual or threnodic associations [310] —are performed in the jolly space of a staged drinking-party while, using her female register, a young harp-player vocalizes a song, significantly described as Ionian. Having examined the marked idioms concerning Ionian ditties, female sexual pleasure, and voluptuous Ionian Muses, [311] I shall now place emphasis on the discursive convergence related to female things Ionian and Lesbian—a convergence that extends to imaginings of diverse webs of cultural practices. Further, it is worth bearing in mind that, as far as sources allow us to see, in the classical period the technical profession of sympotic psaltriai, kitharistriai, aulêtrides, and orkhêstrides—all female entertainers who could often be lumped together under the broader rubric pornê or hetaira—was both well established and regulated, at least in the fourth century, by legislation. [312]
Related but later representations are detected in philosophical and music-historical treatises. However, the ideological modalities are now ramified in the social discursive space of musical technicalities. In the third book of his Republic, Plato describes the Ionian and Lydian musical modes, the slack harmoniai, as soft and sympotic [313] and rejects the use of trigôna, pêktides as well as other such many-stringed and polyharmonic instruments “in songs and melodies.” [314] And in his Lakhês, the “genuine” musical man is represented as the one who is in tune, as it were, with the “only Hellenic” mode, the Dorian, but not with the Ionian, the Phrygian, or the Lydian. [315] More interestingly, Aristotle labels instruments like barbitoi, pêktides, trigôna, sambukai and all those that require technical manual expertise (kheirourgikê epistêmê) as ancient organa rejected by earlier Greeks because they did not contribute to education or to virtue but, instead, prioritized the pleasure (hêdonê) of audiences. [316] Similarly, the music theorist Aristoxenos called the pêktis, the sambukê and other such instruments ekphula (“foreign”), presumably pointing to the exotic, by his time, musical aura they conveyed. [317] In the late fourth and third century BC, the shrewd parodist Sopatros returned to the idea that the pêktis boasts a barbaric Muse. [318] In the context of these convergent, if heterogeneous, discourses it is intriguing that the pioneer seventh-century BC musician Polymnestos of Kolophon, cited in their songs by Alkman and Pindar, was credited with the invention of the “Hypolydian” tonos, while concurrently the Phrygian or Mysian Olympos, a legendary piper and composer, was viewed as the inventor of the Lydian mode. [319] Poseidonios, a Hellenistic polymath and scientist, confirmed his expertise in historical matters, including banquet customs and Western and Eastern luxury cultures, by discussing in one of his treatises the kinds of musical modes Anakreon employed in his songs. Possibly relying on earlier theoretical or historical music treatises, he reported that Anakreon made use of only three modes: significantly, the Phrygian, the Lydian, and the Dorian. [320] As has been transmitted, the text of this fragment of Poseidonios does not mention the Dorian mode but explicitly discusses “three modes.” The [Dorian] is based on a supplement suggested by Markos Mousouros and is widely endorsed in subsequent critical editions. What is certain is Poseidonios’ reference to the Phrygian and the Lydian, two modes heavily charged both from music-historical and cultural perspectives.
In this regard and in the context of the earlier comic and other discourses related to diverse types of harps, Euphorion, in his On the Isthmian Games, discussed the instrumentalists “now called nabla-players, pandoura-players, and sambukê-players.” The barbitos, he explained, was mentioned by Sappho and Anakreon, and the magadis, the trigônon, and the sambukê were actually old instruments, by the standards of the third century BC and the “archaeological” interests of the erudite poet. Is it not compelling testimony for the antiquity of the instruments, he stated, that in Mytilene the sambukê, a harp like the magadis or the pêktis used by Sappho and Anakreon, was portrayed in the hands of one of the Muses by the ancient sculptor Lesbothemis? In all events, Euphorion observed, that instrument, differing only in nomenclature from the other old many-stringed instruments, bore the trademark of Mytilene, as it was so commonly employed in that city. [321]
Comparable insights into the cultural-rhetorical question “what is gendered music?” can be gained from considering one musician and one song. Kharixene, “an aulos-player and a composer of musical airs,” a “song-maker” too, whom Kratinos and Aristophanes described in their plays as proverbially ancient and old-fashioned, was at least later viewed as a “composer of erotic songs.” [322] And “Kleitagora,” a kind of drinking song, cited as early as the days of Kratinos and performed in the same contexts as the Admetos skolion, was later thought of as the name of a poet Lesbian in origin. [323]
By conducting archival fieldwork on fifth-century Athenian cultural economies related to Eastern and East Greek indigenous musical language—styles, modes, instruments—my objective is to redraw the intricacies of the recognition mechanisms that Athenians put into practice or, at least, had actively at their disposal, in their constant dialogues with diverse musical traditions. In a musical culture like that of fifth-century BC Greece, the linguistic properties of music were considerably more marked and pervasive than any musical experience we may be able to conceive of in the twentieth-first century—unless we attempt to read the alterity of ancient musical languages through the comparative perspectives of ethnomusicology and linguistic anthropology. Late archaic and early classical Athens constituted a cultural space immersed, on a number of levels, in preoccupations and sociopolitical anxieties about the communicative efficacy and linguistic properties of music. [324] I shall here confine my discussion to two underexplored discursive modalities that reflect a broader concern with “what is music” and how its language produces antithetical but frequently complementary discourses. [325]
On the fifth-century Athenian stage, Eupolis presented a character musing—not without some traces of irony—over the depth and “curvedness” (καμπύλον) of music:
καὶ μουσικὴ πρᾶγμ’ ἐστὶ βαθύ τι † καὶ καμπύλον

and music is a thing deep and intricate. [326]
Although the context of this apparently reflective “pronouncement” is lost, it seems certain that it mirrors a more general preoccupation with the political, ethical, and performative potential of musical idioms. If, as John Blacking has observed, music is humanly organized sound, [327] often reflecting and, one might add, interfering with social structuration and practice, archaic and classical musical cultures may be seen—each in its own synchronic complexity and social particularity—as vast arenas of dynamic poetic and musical forms that evolved or regressed, intersected and mutated, resulting in constantly cross-fertilized “genres.” [328] Music—however it was perceived by different social groups in the classical period—constituted a vital communicative discourse that interfered with matters both linguistic and socioeconomic.
Later in the fourth century, after diverse changes in styles and tastes, the playwright Anaxilas will redefine music and point to its potentially self-reproductive, even transgressive, properties and its propensity for almost grotesque idioms. It is worth noting that the fragment that follows may also be read as a question, thus conveying a more pressing sense of comic unease:
ἡ μουσικὴ δ’ ὥσπερ Λιβύη, πρὸς τῶν θεῶν,
ἀεί τι καινὸν κατ’ ἐνιαυτὸν θηρίον
τίκτει

and music is like Libya, which, by the gods,
gives birth to some new creature/beast
every year. [329]
The Athenian discursive practices explored throughout this and the previous chapter constituted, I argue, the most fundamental elements of the cultural economy that conditioned the early processes of “scanning” the figure and the poetry of Sappho in male performative contexts. The analysis of situated discourses can be even further widened, but I shall now pause to consider a methodological issue that has a significant impact on current research on Sappho. In Chapter Four, I shall further discuss aspects of comparable methodological paradigms that have dominated the study of the sociocultural context of the poetry of Sappho since the nineteenth century.

Saxa loquuntur: Alterities

The majority of scholars have so far attempted to unearth sociohistorical realities that may possibly lie behind the fragmentary theasis that the remains of the poetry of Sappho as well as the sources related to her allow us. This is a valuable and time-honored paradigm, which has provided the scholarly community, and those interested in Sappho outside this community, with a wide-ranging treasury of insights into possibilities and reconstructive alternatives. Based on these alternatives, critics have advanced literary interpretations that endeavor to confirm the “alternatives.” These literary and cultural interpretations have often been ingenious and can occasionally hardly be challenged in terms of their imaginative forcefulness. A number of models have vigorously reconstructed the original context of Sappho’s poetry, and literary critics, including structuralists and feminists, have endorsed, explicitly or more tacitly, one or another of these models. Challenges to such reconstructions have been launched and new reconstructive syntheses have replaced the older ones.
An eminent critic and influential critical editor, Denys Page, in 1955 disagreed with those researchers who supported the view that Sappho was involved in a cult association or in teaching responsibilities, and “with feigned solemnity” he “exorcize[d] these melancholy modern ghosts.” Similar rites of interpretation that apply the same discourse to an outright rejection of earlier scholarly views have been performed recently. [330] Reconstructions have been so copious and labyrinthine—even in cases where no explicit attempt is made to decipher the original social setting of Sappho but only to advance aesthetic analyses—that no historiographic synthesis of the scholarly paradigms that have permeated the study of Sappho would find an adequate parallel in the research on any other archaic poet.
In the case of Sappho, scholarly discursivity is complicated by issues related to gender and l’écriture féminine, [331] the frequent impenetrability of Sappho’s linguistic medium, the truncated, elusive state of archaic sociocultural discourses, and the symbolic stature of her figure in European contexts for a number of centuries—a kind of political hydrocephalism that has been attached to the few “archaeological” remains of Sappho’s songs. Interpretation and reconstruction are not always identical processes, and researchers have more often than not been involved in unearthing the social, political, and aesthetic discourses that lie behind the corpus of Sappho:
Imagine that an explorer arrives in a little-known region where his interest is aroused by an expanse of ruins, with remains of walls, fragments of columns, and tablets with half-effaced and unreadable inscriptions. He may content himself with inspecting what lies exposed to view, with questioning the inhabitants—perhaps semi-barbaric people—who live in the vicinity, about what tradition tells them of the history and meaning of these archaeological remains, and with noting down what they tell him—and he may then proceed on his journey. But he may act differently. He may have brought picks, shovels and spades with him, and he may set the inhabitants to work with these implements. Together with them he may start upon the ruins, clear away the rubbish, and, beginning from the visible remains, uncover what is buried. If his work is crowned with success, the discoveries are self-explanatory: the ruined walls are part of the ramparts of a palace or a treasure-house; the fragments of columns can be filled out into a temple; the numerous inscriptions, which, by good luck, may be bilingual, reveal an alphabet and a language, and, when they have been deciphered and translated, yield undreamed-of information about the events of the remote past, to commemorate which the monuments were built. Saxa loquuntur. [332]
This metaphor was employed in 1896 by Sigmund Freud to describe the methods of the discipline of psychoanalysis. For Freud, archaeology and psychoanalysis intersect in their attempt to reconstruct, not just interpret, objects of the past, with a view to gaining access to—and making sense of—ruins and images and to translating the past into a historical narrative. It is not coincidental that Freud conceived of this analogy when he conducted investigations into female hysteria. The passage quoted comes from “The Aetiology of Hysteria,” based on a lecture Freud gave at the Verein für Psychiatrie und Neurologie in Vienna in 1896 [333] that attempted to throw light on the process of reconstructing continuous narratives and filling in lacunae. Female discourses and the female body become an exoticized locus where diverse interpretive negotiations take place, and when some of the latter are “crowned with success, the discoveries” can sometimes be self-explanatory. Anthropological metonymies—interviewing the inhabitants who live in the vicinity, the informants who come from different eras and can be strange to us, and setting these people to work with our implements—constitute central aspects of the process.
However, in contrast to Freud’s sophistication and interpretive flexibility in psychoanalytic methods, researchers in classical studies and ancient history have often shown a reluctance to investigate their own discursivity in the historical reconstructions they advance. [334] A self-examining methodological interrogation—as social sciences, most notably social and cultural anthropology, have often illustrated—is significant for understanding the limitations, narrative mechanisms, and discursive politics that one’s writing about culture(s) involves. “Writing” about culture entails “writing”—that is, constructing—culture(s).
Interpretations of fragments of Sappho have thrown considerable light on linguistic and textual aspects as well as on the broader poetics of her songs. Even wide-ranging linguistic investigations like those of Edgar Lobel and Denys Page presuppose a specific, unusually marked reconstruction of the language idioms that Sappho might have employed in her poems. Such studies have prescribed the exact features of a “pure” archaic Lesbian dialect and have further determined restorations of the fragments of Alkaios and Sappho. [335] Literary analyses have more often than not envisaged a specific social setting for Sappho’s songs and have proceeded to decodify the exact meaning of specific words, which, as the argument goes, reflect certain reconstructed archaic realities and ideological frames closely related to the “homoerotic” or “broadly educational and initiatory” character of the poetic corpus of Sappho. The situation is considerably more marked than can be analyzed in one book. [336] The discursivity of reconstructive attempts has rarely been acknowledged in the field, while futile polemics about specific details of imaginative restorations increase and acknowledgment of the broader contribution of each reconstruction to the construction of the immediate next is often only implicitly made or hidden in rhetorical tropisms. [337]
In what follows, I shall put forward a different line of investigation. While it is almost not feasible to reconstruct in any detail the original context in which Sappho composed her songs and poems—so many synchronic links, discourses, and interdiscursivities are missing—whereas, as I have argued, the earliest, late archaic, classical, and still later archival representations do not readily disclose archaic realities, I shall attempt to show that these representations are, from an anthropological point of view, more important than modern constructions and restorations of the gaps of indeterminacy that the texts and locally marked cultural discourses of Sappho display. [338] Although further research on the texts and possibly new fragments of Sappho and other archaic song-makers, as well as later writers, may throw some light on the social dynamics within which such archaic utterances and cultural practices were shaped and reproduced, I propose that only through a plurality of investigations into the linguistic and sociocultural anthropology of (especially early) [339] sources—sometimes neglected in archives—and their broader political and musical discursive textures, can scholarly advances be made in regard to how Sappho and her archaic world of social action are to be viewed and written about in modern times. What remains of her are these representations offered by ancient informants and, as in most contemporary ethnographies, we need to trace both the interdiscursivity of these informants and the historian’s or ethnographer’s own involvement in the construction of an interactive dialogue with the informants. A major part of this scholarly enterprise lies in the questions that an ethnographer decides to pose. Historical contextualizing acquires meaning on the basis of what she/he is asking, and statistical data, when it comes to an aesthetic, musical culture, can sometimes be deceptive. The methodological Problematik proposed in this book seeks to eschew polar, quasi-allegorical, interpretive schemata—presented in Chapter One in connection with Jauss’s influential line of literary analysis. Rather than a linear hermeneutic continuum on which the interpreter’s authoritative discourse is believed or forced to correspond directly to the historicized origins of a sanctioned literary figure of the past—in our case, Sappho—my research here promotes and focuses on the processes through which the figure of Sappho was made at different stages of her reception, especially the most formative ones of late archaic, classical, and early Hellenistic periods.
Therefore, while especially attentive to the (transmission of the) fragments of Sappho and to what apparently marked words might have meant for the cultural economies in her contemporary Lesbos or in archaic Sparta, as well as to the intersubjectivities embedded in her songs, and to comparative ethnographic frameworks that would somewhat hone the formulation of questions, I argue that the early—late archaic, classical, and Hellenistic—informants need to be credited with the significant role of throwing light on what Sappho meant culturally rather on how she was perceived in archaic Mytilene. The enterprise is complex and does not aim to suggest that the picture we may want to draw about the historical Sappho—however she might be defined—should be blank due to lack of reliable sources. Just the opposite: the informants and related sociocultural discourses—the one fueling, forging, or undermining the other—are more numerous than usually assumed, so brimful of insights and microconfigurations that it is sometimes hard to see what lies beneath and what circulates sideward, as if metonymically.
The diverse discursive strategies explored in this chapter were, I argue, reactivated and reenacted in the process of making sense of the songs of Sappho, a woman poet from East Greece, with all the idiomatic inflections this held in late archaic and classical Athenian symposia, taverns, [340] and comparable venues of male sociability. These venues operated as notional markers of the bonding of the members of a group and helped release or heighten the tension caused by interpersonal communication, political and economic affairs, and the vulnerability of male societies in terms of corporeal and intellectual pleasure; time; and death. By fostering solidarity and sociability—the basis of reciprocity—symposia in all their attested variety infiltrated the overall social theory of diverse groups and regulated their shifting positions about society. [341] Through the singing of topical songs and the musical ritualization of drinking, the exchange of smiles and sexual innuendos or favors with women performers, the endorsement of the social phenomenon of pederasty (depending on the economic rank of each group), symposiasts and tavern frequenters had formed marked sociolects—the key element of this investigation so far.
These sociolects were part of classical Athenian language socialization. Participants in singing (in the case of group performance) and members of the audience, an active element of ancient performative spaces—either through the hovering presence of hegemonic sociopolitical status or by means of receptorial interaction [342] —shared, I suggest, common but not necessarily tautosemous sets of interpretive strategies, nor always isomorphic with the widely established and habitually internalized communicative filters. However, the discourses explored in previous sections were sufficiently marked and interrelated to allow possible individuation to move within their performative efficacy and range.
It may be opportune to note here that all these discursive idioms, despite their markedness, should be viewed as unobtrusive, almost naturalized, cultural currencies in the process of receptorial scanning of musical performances by male audiences:
. . . the beings we encounter in the everyday commerce have in a preeminent way the character of unobtrusiveness. We do not always and continually have explicit perception of the things surrounding us in a familiar environment, certainly not in such a way that we would be aware of them expressly as handy. It is precisely because an explicit awareness and assurance of their being at hand does not occur that we have them around us in a peculiar way, just as they are in themselves. In the indifferent imperturbability of our customary commerce with them, they become accessible precisely with regard to their unobtrusive presence. [343]
Martin Heidegger’s idea of unobtrusiveness, which is significantly resonant with the theory of practice in social sciences, has far-reaching implications for the following discussion of the ways Athenian male audiences scanned “Sappho” in the context of symposia and similar venues. It is through the language of her songs that such discursive idioms shaped the earliest perceptions about her and engendered oral narratives that are confirmed by archival narratives—in the sense “archive” is employed in this book.

Trafficability of Palimpsests

One of the most neglected aspects of Sappho’s songs is their use of semantic units with immanent, by the classical period, double-layered meaning. I shall here confine the discussion to three case studies.
In a papyrus fragment dated by Edgar Lobel to the second half of the second century AD, we witness the emergence of two previously unknown female names in the fragments of Sappho: Arkheanassa and Pleistodike. [344] The fragment seems to provide three words from a Sapphic stanza, an indication that they were part of a song included in the first book of the Alexandrian edition:
           ]..[.].τ...[
. ..[..].σε εμα κ᾽Αρχ̣εάνα[σ-
σα Γόργω σύνδυγο(ς)· ἀν̣τὶ τοῦ
σ̣[ύν]ζυξ· ἡ Πλειστοδίκη
τ]ῆ̣ι̣ Γ̣[ο]ρ̣γ̣οῖ σύνζυξ μ̣ε-                       5
τ̣ὰ τ̣[ῆς] Γ̣ογγύλης ὀν[ο]μασθή-
σετ[αι· κ]οινὸν γὰρ τὸ ὄν̣ο-
μ[α δ]έ̣δο̣ται ἢ κατὰ τῆς̣ [.] . . . 
α̣[ . . . ] Πλ[ε]ι̣σ̣τοδ̣ίκη[..]ν
             ὀνομ]α̣σθήσ̣ετ̣[αι] κυ-            10
             ]η̣[       ]. ατ̣ε̣τ̣ουτ
                        ]. νο̣ αν

. . . my . . . and Arkheanassa
yoke-fellow of Gorgo: “yoke-fellow” instead of
sunzux; Pleistodike
will be named mate to Gorgo
along with Gongyla;
for the name that has been given [?]
is her usual one or on the basis of her. . . 
. . . Pleistodike
will be named. . .  [345]
Gorgo, we are told by Maximos of Tyros, [346] was represented in some songs as being in a competitive interaction with the poetic “I.” In fragment 29c.9 V, the reading Γ̣ό̣ρ̣γο̣ι̣ seems plausible, but no context is provided; and in fragment 103 A a col. II. 9 V, not included in Lobel and Page’s edition, [347] Γόργ̣[ —if articulated so—is the first word of a song. [348] Maximos’ idea is confirmed by fragment 144 V. In the context of a grammatical discussion of the declension of such nouns as Σαπφώ, an ancient grammarian (possibly Herodianos) observed that—compared to the Attic Σαπφοῦς—the Aeolic genitive was Σαπφῶς, as it is in contemporary Greek, [349] and he quoted fragmentum adespotum 979 PMG (ἐκ Σαπφῶς τόδ’ ἀμελγόμενος μέλι τοι φέρω) [350] and Sappho fragment 144 V: μάλα δὴ κεκορημένοις | Γόργως (“those who have been quite glutted with [the misbehavior, company, unmusicality of] Gorgo”). [351] In fragment 213 V, κ᾽ Αρχεάνα[σ]|σα Γόργω σύνδυγο(ς)—considering “Gorgo” as either genitive or dative—suggests two things: that Arkheanassa is called the partner or yoke-mate of Gorgo, or that she is referred to as the wife of Gorgo. Both meanings were available in fifth-century Athens. [352] Scholars have so far attempted to elucidate the original meaning of the word in archaic Lesbos by resorting to arguments about possible institutional, homoerotic, or initiatory/educational structures—all hypothetical or somewhat corroborated by very late informants, who are not approached by scholars from the vantage point of the informants’ own cultural economies. For instance, it has been held that “within the women’s communities of archaic Lesbos there were liaisons of an ‘official’ character, which could involve a genuinely matrimonial type of relationship, as is shown by Sappho’s use (fr. 213.3 V.) of the term yokemate. The word . . . is a specific, not generic, way of referring to the actual bond of marriage.” [353] Marked sexual connotations have been further detected by Claude Calame, who has seen the word σύνδυγος in Sappho fragment 213 V as an element of the representation of actual homoerotic relationships between lover and beloved in the context of initiatory rituals associated with choruses of young girls. [354] Other related analyses have stressed the initiatory (and homoerotic) character of such choruses, thus attesting to the influential presence of Arnold van Gennep’s old paradigm of rites of passage in Classical Studies. [355]
Instead of searching for the “original,” particularly elusive, context of Sappho’s poetry, it is significant to shift the scholarly focus to how her songs could be scanned in the early phase of her reception. Analyzing such double-tiered denotational units in Sappho throws light on the mechanisms and potential politics of her reception and, if juxtaposed with the cultural idioms explored earlier in this chapter and in Chapter Two, provides key contextualization cues that ground the advanced argument on a firm axis of ancient horizons of expectations. In the context of performances of her poetry, words—unmarked or marked—such as σύνδυγος, possibly employed more than once in Sappho’s songs, facilitated the transmission of a marked cultural economy associated with matters Lesbian and female. [356]
In this regard, the indigenous denotation of the word ἔταιρα in archaic Lesbos offers further insights into the ideological idioms that fifth-century Athenians could have effectively applied to the performative trafficability of Sappho. While examining the case of hetaira, I invite the reader to juxtapose here the visual signs explored in Chapter Two: the barbitoi held by Sappho on the Warsaw hydria; the Munich kalathos - psykter; and especially the Bochum kalyx - krater, where the inscription he pais (“the girl”) is placed above the head of the female figure on the reverse. I argued that the latter visual image was intended for sympotic contexts, whereas the representation on the Athens hydria, where one of the female standing figures—ΚΑΛΛΙΣ—extends a chelys lyre to the seated Sappho, stands in striking contrast to the discourses exploited on the Munich kalathos-psykter and, more significantly, the Bochum kalyx-krater. At the same time, representations related to Anakreon provided frameworks within which comparable East Greek aesthetic discourses could be placed. I would further ask the reader to recall the definitional complementarity discussed earlier in this chapter in terms of the cluster “Sappho and Anakreon.”
It is only in the context of these interrelated and intricate discursive practices that the images on the vase-paintings can be more fully explored and understood. Since, as I suggested in Chapter Two, a visual representation circulates within dynamic cultural matrices and sociolects, and is in turn conducive to further social configurations, such diverse idioms need to be viewed concurrently or in terms of metonymic multiforms where elements are combined and reperformed on a number of sociopolitical axes.
ἔταιρα is a polyvalent term to which Athenaios devoted a considerable part in the thirteenth book of his Deipnosophistai, or Learned Banqueters. [357] During a heated debate about women and courtesans conducted by Myrtilos (a Thessalian grammarian) and Theodoros (nicknamed Kynoulkos, a stern Cynic philosopher who reprimands Myrtilos for actually being a pornographos and for indulging in wineshops, in books about concubines, and in the company not of male companions but of courtesans), [358] Myrtilos caps the speech of his interlocutor by offering extensive counterargumentation: his ideas, Myrtilos claims, concerned real “companions” (hetairai), “those who are able to maintain a friendship” with men without resorting to monetary wiles. [359] It is only these women, according to Myrtilos, that are “called by the name of friendship” (τῷ τῆς φιλίας ὀνόματι προσηγορευμένας) and whose designation hetairai is associated with the Aphrodite known among Athenians as “the Companion Aphrodite.” [360] We also hear that sanctuaries dedicated to the Companion (Hetaira) Aphrodite existed in Ephesos and in Athens, while there was also a shrine of Prostitute Aphrodite (Pornê) in Abydos on the Asiatic coast of the Hellespont. [361] The Hetaira Aphrodite, according to Apollodoros of Athens, brought male and female companions—hetairoi and hetairai in the sense of “female friends”—together in the same religious space. [362] Myrtilos, learned in such matters, reports that at his time freeborn women and maidens still called their near-and-dear friends hetairai and points to a linguistic continuity between Sappho’s era and his contemporary reality—a span of some eight centuries and crossing dialectal semantic nuances. Two of the three fragments of Sappho that back Myrtilos’ contention are quoted in this context of his speech: [363]
Λάτω καὶ Νιόβα μάλα μὲν φίλαι ἦσαν ἔταιραι

Lêtô and Niobê were much beloved companions
and
                    τάδε νῦν ἐταίραις
ταὶς ἔμαις †τέρπνα† κάλως ἀείσω

                    these pleasant [songs] now
I shall sing beautifully for my companions. [364]
Myrtilos does not provide a date for the Athenian Hetaira Aphrodite, but the fragment from the fourth-century BC Philetairos quoted earlier in book thirteen of Athenaios offers a terminus ante quem: “how melting, oh Zeus, and soft is her gaze; no wonder there is a sanctuary to the Hetaira everywhere, but in no place in Greece is there one to the wife” (5 K-A). [365] As for the sanctuary of Hetaira Aphrodite in Ephesos, Athenaios does not cite more specific sources, [366] but loyal to his method of free association, quotes a passage from the Erôtika of the fourth/third-century Peripatetic writer Klearkhos. [367] I shall return to Klearkhos’ Erôtika in Chapter Four. For now, suffice it to note that in this particular narrative, he recounted a story about the king of Lydia, Gyges, which is related to this discussion. The ruler was notorious (periboêtos) for his special attachment to his concubine, for whom, after her death, he erected a monument still named at Klearkhos’ time the “Hetaira monument,” a high edifice that caused sensation and was visible to all the denizens of Lydia. Contacts between Ephesos and Lydia are attested, [368] and the associations were further validated in fifth- and early-fourth century Athens by oral traditions, historical memories and accounts, as well as performative exploitations of relevant themes. In his Clouds, Aristophanes refers to the cult of Artemis in a “house of gold” at Ephesos, where the young daughters of the Lydians participate in the worship of the goddess; and in his Tumpana-Players, Autokrates indulges in a synaesthetic description of the nimble movements of the Lydian maidens’ dancing at a festival of the Ephesian Artemis. [369]
Like the σύνδυγοι in fragment 213 V, Sappho’s discourses about her or other women’s ἔταιραι could be scanned in the fifth century, and were eventually read in later periods, as contextual allusions to performative exchanges among courtesans, especially when songs such as fragment 126 V were sung in the context of male gatherings: δαύοισ(᾽) ἀπάλας ἐτα<ί>ρας ἐν στήθεσιν (“may you sleep” or “sleeping on her delicate companion’s bosom”)—whatever the intradiegetic setting (mythological or not) of the song might have been. Hetaira in the sense of “courtesan” gained wide currency in Athens in the fifth century, as references in Herodotos, Metagenes, and Aristophanes confirm. [370] It is not only the use of the word ἔταιρα by Sappho in the context of singing about her friends that could trigger marked associations but, rather, the accumulative dynamics of the double-layered semantic textures embedded in a number of her songs.
A third intriguing case is a fragment that alludes to possible erotic practices of aristocratic (?) women in Mytilene, variously attributed to Sappho or Alkaios. This is Alkaios fragment 303Aa in Voigt’s edition that Lobel and Page had previously attributed to Sappho (fragment 99 L-P). Treu and Liberman have assigned it to Sappho. [371] I would attribute the fragment to her. In this mutilated fragment, after a reference to Polyanaktidai (“descendants of Polyanax”) and the “peculiar” plucking of the strings of an instrument, [372] the papyrus preserves the word ὀ̣λ̣ι̣σ̣β̣.δόκο̣ι̣σ̣<ι>, meaning “receiving (-ers of) the olisbos.” [373] Concerning the decipherment, the traces, as far as I can see on the papyrus with the aid of microscope, confirm this reading. If the tattered nature of the fragment does not deceive us, the original song was a kind of invective against Polyanaktidai, probably “the female descendants of Polyanax.” [374] Artificial copulation of women is depicted in Athenian vase-paintings of the classical period, and it has been suggested that homoerotic connotations in such depictions cannot be excluded. [375] Nevertheless, there is no reason to argue that the invective here is not against heterosexual women—whatever “heterosexual” might mean for early sixth-century Greece. It should be emphasized that despite the difficulties in reconstructing the broad outline of the fragment, its most thought-provoking aspect is its explicitness and what that explicitness suggests about the original audience(s) in Mytilene.
However, even if we accepted the assumption that ὀ̣λ̣ι̣σ̣β̣.δόκο̣ι̣σ̣<ι> referred to a plêktron—the piece of horn with which the strings of a barbitos or related instrument were struck and “slid”—or that ὄλισβος was coined in southwest Asia Minor from the Ionian word ἀλίσβη (“deceit”) through a hypothetically reconstructed, intermediary form *ἄλισβος [376] —and thus that its original meaning was “deceiver” or, if from ὀλισθεῖν/ὀλισθάνειν, “slider” [377] —a plêktron in an invective such as fragment “303A” [378] could have well been scanned, I argue, as an olisbos in late archaic and classical Athens, since this is the only attested meaning of olisbos for that and later eras (“dildo”). The revised 1996 supplement to LSJ renders ὀλισβοδόκος as “receiving the ὄλισβος, perhaps in sense ‘plectrum,’” [379] but this, for the most part, indicates how authority influences current “translations” of possible archaic cultural and aesthetic phenomena. To go a step further, the plêktron often used by women musicians in their recitals was associated with the olisbos around mid-third century BC. As we have seen, in his sixth mimiamb, Herodas represented a lively dialogue between Koritto and Metro, who chat fervently about leather dildos and female masturbation somewhere on the coast of Asia Minor. [380] In the context of Metro’s search for the name of the craftsman who stitched a scarlet baubôn—an olisbos—for her friend Koritto, the former refers to a Kerdon, not the actual cobbler who came from Khios or Erythrai, but one who “could not even stitch a plêktron for a lyre.” [381] As A. D. Know argued on the basis of the material collected by Walter Headlam, the association was triggered by the similarity in shape between a plêktron with its cord attached to a lyre and the dildo with its little straps (himantiskoi). [382] Two more late cases draw similar associations: Juvenal imagines a woman music-lover who employs the plectrum of her lyre as a consolatory, pleasing object to which she generously offers kisses and caresses; and Akhilleus Tatios conjures up an image of a man called Thersandros who, as a youth, apparently used to lubricate himself in gymnasiums, to straddle a plêktron, and to wrestle with those boys whose looks were more masculine. [383] The association of the plêktron with the olisbos may go back, I suggest, to the time (already in the fifth century BC) when female musicians, often oscillating in male definitional rhetoric between hetairai and pornai, performed their songs to the accompaniment of a stringed instrument that was struck with a “pick.”
These case studies, which throw some light on the immanently double-layered semantic textures of Sappho’s songs, can be corroborated by other cases that have been the subject of intense (and sometimes circular) scholarly debate. If viewed from the perspective of a reconstructed, principally hypothetical, original context of Sappho’s poetry, such cases remain controversial. I shall here explore the most central of them, closely related as it is to the overall poetics of Sappho.
In her celebrated fragment 16 V, the singing voice starts with a traditional discursive mode, the so-called Priamel:
※        Ο]ἰ μὲν ἰππήων στρότον, οἰ δὲ πέσδων,
          οἰ δὲ νάων φαῖσ’ ἐπ[ὶ] γᾶν μέλαι[ν]αν
          ἔ]μμεναι κάλλιστον, ἔγω δὲ κῆν’ ὄτ-
                    τω τις ἔραται·

          πά]γχυ δ’ εὔμαρες σύνετον πόησαι
          π]άντι τ[ο]ῦ̣τ’, . . . 

Some [men?] say a troop of horse and some a host of infantry
and some say an army of vessels is the most beautiful thing
on the black earth, but I say it is whatever one loves.
Quite easy to make this understood by everyone . . . 
Although there is no evidence in the papyrus that line 1 is the beginning of a new poem, it has been assumed so from the context. [384] The definitions that have been given of the priamel since the first systematic usage of the term in Classics [385] are diverse in perspective. [386] Ἄλλοι ἄλλα, but Bundy’s account seems the most comprehensive one to consider: “the priamel is a focusing or selecting device in which one or more terms serve as foil for the point of particular interest.” [387] In this fragment, the list foil of lines 1–3a is capped by the gnomic climax of lines 3b–4 (ἔγω δὲ . . . ), which, in turn, is made specific by a concrete climax introduced in line 15 with the reappearance (?) of the poetic voice (..]μ̣ε̣), the temporal νῦν, and the name of the person who seems to be the focus of the song (Ἀνακτορί[ας]). Between the two climaxes, a mythological exemplum appears that illustrates the gnomic climax (3b–4) and the statement of general comprehensibility which that (τοῦτ’) climax carries with it (5–6a). All the items of the list foil are dependent on the word στρότον, and virtually constitute one notion—that of military display—which is contrasted with or listed next to the idea that ἔγω puts forward.
Scholars have recognized two basic, mutually exclusive, functions of the climax to this priamel: the poetic ἔγω δὲ κῆν’ ὄττω τις ἔραται can denote either a contrast or a personal preference standing side by side with other people’s preferences. In other words, this priamel may have the function of either of the subdivisions of the kontrastierende or antithetische priamel type, as Krischer has well defined them: it can be identified with the form of the verabsolutierende priamel, in which a contrast between the choice of the singing voice and the choices of others is conspicuous; or it might fit the schema of a relativierende priamel, where a balanced presentation of all choices is adopted, without any hint of contrast or wish for rejection or correction. [388]
In a number of diverse, nuanced interpretations proposed so far, the verb ἔραται is translated as “(one) loves.” This rendering is suggested by the mythological exemplum that follows and the concrete climax of lines 15–20. If we accept this erotic sense, the notion of contrast here becomes very likely. But ambivalence is ubiquitous in words like ἔρασθαι and, as has been maintained, we cannot be entirely certain whether the meaning that ἔρασθαι conveys here is “to love” (erotic) or “to long for” (generic). One could cite expressions such as πολέμου ἔραται (Iliad 9.64) or μεγάλης δ’ οὐκ ἐρέω τυραννίδος (Arkhilokhos 19.3 W), where an erotic interpretation of the verb in question would not be admissible. Hence, some adherents of what might be called relativity theory argue that no firm conclusion can be drawn as to whether the particle δέ in line 3 is adversative or continuative, [389] since the meaning of ἔραται—in the general sense “(one) longs for, wishes for”—does not require a contrast between οἰ μὲν . . . οἰ δὲ . . . οἰ δὲ and ἔγω. Rather, it indicates an attempt on the part of the poetic persona to incorporate into one sentence and render in a relative and unspecific manner the desire for the different kinds of κάλλιστον that people might generally experience.
In the extant fragments of Sappho and Alkaios, the words ἔρασθαι and ἔρος (or ἔρως) may possibly refer to erotic love, [390] but the evidence is not adequate to demonstrate a single clear-cut usage. [391] Therefore, ἔραται cannot by itself prove that it carries in fragment 16 an erotic sense, and it should not by itself determine the interpretation of the opening stanza. Only if we lend it the amorous character of the myth—which itself contains a kind of priamel in κωὐδ[ὲ πα]ῖδος οὐδὲ φίλων το[κ]ήων | . . . ἀλλὰ παράγ ̣̣α̣γ ̣’. . . —and possibly of the final priamel (with the reference to ἔρατον βᾶμα) does the statement of the poetic persona read verabsolutierende. [392]
Yet some other considerations suggest that a kind of contrast is indeed present in the first stanza, without excluding the possibility of some reservation on the part of the poetic voice. First, in the fifth stanza, we hear that Anaktoria’s walk and the sparkle of her face is preferable to the Lydian chariots and armed infantry. The poetic subject expresses an obvious contrast in this stanza, and maintaining that because of the difference in the modality (verb and mood) of the initial and the final priamel (φαῖσ’ . . . ἔμμεναι as opposed to <κ>ε βολλοίμαν) “the opening preamble . . . asserts a certain truth, while the final . . . states a preference,” [393] represents an attempt to recontextualize the sense of the whole song by undermining the statement of the final priamel. [394] If the κάλλιστον for the poetic voice is Anaktoria, then the contrast of the fifth stanza is likely to be reflected in the first stanza. Besides, if the statement ἔγω δὲ κῆν’ ὄττω τις ἔραται is equivalent to the Latin de gustibus non est disputandum, as has often been held, then “Anaktoria” would have been perceived by ancient audiences as receiving, through the song, only a general and reserved compliment. [395] Second, the list foil consists of thematically associated images: they refer exclusively to “military” aspects of social discourse and not to various spheres of action. [396] To my mind, if the relativity theory were valid, the initial priamel should have contained representations of the preferences of more than one group of people—that is, we should have a formulation along the following lines: Some people consider the glittering parades of various military units as the finest thing in the world, others wealth, others the weaving of extravagant tapestries, others political power. On the contrary, what we have here is: People hold that the finest thing in the world is the splendid spectacles connected with the various armed forces, let us say the cavalry, the infantry, and the navy, but I hold [ . . . ]. That the focus is on a specific sphere of objects is confirmed by the list foil of the final priamel. Third, if οἰ μὲν . . . οἰ δὲ . . . οἰ δέ contend that the finest thing is X, this does not necessarily mean that they long for it. [397] This might be the most beautiful thing for them, and so they will say if they are asked, but their longing may be for wealth, wine, sexual encounters, and so on. Therefore, even the notion of an abstract “definition” of what people love that some scholars recognize in the initial priamel cannot be unconditionally valid.
Finally, what the poetic subject seems to stress here is her preference for small, concrete but fleeting, beloved things: the ἔρατον βᾶμα and the λάμπρον ἀμάρυχμα of Anaktoria. She does not long for spectacular objects but for a few ethereal, albeit evanescent, manifestations of her companion’s beauty—simply the occasional sight of her gait or the bright movement of her face. She virtually dissociates herself from the theasis, in the modern sense, of other people, and for that reason the notion of dissociation may qualify and supplement the notion of contrast. The speaking voice admires a kind of sight not comparable to that of armies and fleets; this preference constitutes, I suggest, one of the most intriguing features of Sappho’s poetics—and not simply of her female perspective—a poetics that might be defined as “poetics of theasis.” [398]
If ἔραται in fragment 16 V, as well as other instances of erôs words in Sappho, are viewed as expressions of homosocial—not institutionally/educationally or homoerotically “amorous”—intimacy developed in female gatherings, then the best context in which to place such an understanding is to be found in classical Athenian visual representations of women musicians’ gatherings and recitals. [399] I place emphasis on the alterity of such refracted female discourses—even though they were apparently represented by male artists— [400] and on a methodological approach that, instead of conglomerating all diverse discourses into one modern historicizing narrative, attempts to differentiate the significance of each discourse and then explore the possible interdiscursivity of their interaction. In other words, since the original, late seventh-/early sixth-century context is almost impossible to reconstruct with some certainty, it is equally, if more, significant to explore the anthropology of the early contexts in which Sappho’s songs were performed. Such contexts, in turn, help us conceive of possible archaic contexts, which, however, will ultimately remain conjectural. [401]
However, if ἔραται was placed in the context of Athenian male symposia and related venues, the erotic overtones must have been pronounced and the ἔγω δέ—performed by either a male group or a female musician who entertained them—should have been seen only as contrastive/adversative.
This immanent doublelayered semansis in the songs of a woman poet was, I argue, the most crucial element in the earliest stages of the reception of her figure and her compositions. Further, it was the broader cultural idioms explored throughout this chapter that were conducive to the different coinages of her figure, and not only her poetry per se. In the classical period her songs were characterized, as we will see in Chapter Four, by textual plasticity; as a result, “Sappho” should be seen more as a discursive texture in dialogue in the fifth century with other broader and often more influential synchronic cultural textures. The idea that in the late sixth and fifth centuries BC Sappho was a coherent paradigmatic poetic figure whose text was comparable to the fixed type exemplified, for instance, by the ancient Indian epics Mahābhārata or Rāmāyaṇa needs to be reconsidered. [402]

Contextual Plasticity

Before I proceed to discussing this issue, I shall investigate some further performative elements of Sappho’s songs. If we look at some of the fragments carefully, we can detect an embeddedness of thematic units related to the songs’ immanent resilience to different social contexts. This resilience, I argue, facilitated the transmission of Sappho’s songs in different city-states and in diverse cultural spaces. The most significant of those units, whatever its broader context may be, is the exhortation to “take a musical instrument and sing:”
                    ]ς πέταται διώκων
                    ]                                           9
                    ]τας ἀγαύας
                   ]ε̣α, λάβοισα
                   ]˻ἄεισον ἄμμι
˻τὰν ἰόκολπον˼         ]                              13
                             ]ρ̣ων μάλιστα
                              ]ας π[λ]άναται

                    ]flies in pursuit
                    ]                                            9
                    ]glorious
                    ] taking
                    ] sing to us
of the violet-bosomed one                       13
                    ] mostly (especially?)
                      ] wanders. [403]
In his critical edition, Ernst Diehl, following Wilamowitz, reconstructed his text of line 12 in such a way as to provide the image “taking [the sweet-voiced paktis] sing to us . . . .” [404] For line 8 he quoted in his apparatus Wilamowitz’s suggestion that “[Ero]s” or “[Imero]s” is the subject of “flies,” an image that partly recurs in Sappho fragment 22 V. Avoiding the old, Eros flies pursuing the youth—according to Wilamowitz, an altogether “archaic” concept. The transition to the exhortation to sing was detected in ἔ̣α in line 11. The papyrus does have a stop (‧) after ]ε̣α, and the comma before λάβοισα appears necessary: with λάβοισα a new idea is introduced. In line 14, [ἐτά]ρων (“of companions”) was hesitantly entertained and duly relegated to Diehl’s apparatus criticus. Finally, in line 13, Max Treu, who also adopted Wilamowitz’s “taking [the sweet-voiced paktis]” in his edition, saw in “the violet-bosomed” a reference to Aphrodite. [405]
To be sure, the context of the song is far from certain and no coronis exists to indicate whether a new song started somewhere in the middle of the whole fragment or whether it represents a single composition. However, the exhortation “take an object and sing of someone” is, I suggest, a thematic unit that in fifth-century Athenian symposia evoked a certain performative idiom—the idea that a skolion is being sung or is “somewhere around.” [406] It should be recalled that both in the Banqueters and in the Clouds, Aristophanes presented some of his actors urging others to “take a lyre or a myrtle sprig and sing a song or a drinking song (skolion)” [407] —and this appears to have been a standard practice in the performance of compositions in symposia and similar male gatherings. Such thematic units in Sappho operated, I argue, as contextualization cues in milieus different from her original one.
Sappho fragment “22B,” as we might call the largest part of fragment 22 V, [408] constitutes a more interesting case. In what appears to be a multiform of the broader thematic idea exploited in other fragments, [409] the singing “I” invites a female figure to take up a stringed instrument and to sing of a companion. What I shall explore is the different levels of reception that the contextualization cues embedded in the song offered to audiences (fr. 22.9–19 V):
.].ε̣.[ . . . .].[ . . . κ]έλομαι σ.[
..].γυλα.[ . . . ]α̣νθι λάβοισα.α.[
πᾶ]κτιν, ἆς̣ σε δηὖτε πόθος τ̣.[
          ἀμφιπόταται
τὰν κάλαν‧ ἀ γὰρ κατάγωγις αὔτ̣α[
ἐπτόαισ’ ἴδοισαν, ἔγω δὲ χαίρω,
καὶ γ ̣ὰρ αὔτ̣α δή πο̣[τ’] ἐμεμφ[
          Κ]υπρογέν[ηα
ὠ̣ς ἄραμα̣[ι
τοῦτο τῶ[
β]όλλομα̣[ι

] I bid you [sing?]
[of] Gongyla, [Ab?]anthis, taking the [ ]
h]arp as yearning now again flies
          around you,
you beautiful one; for that dress [ ]
[you] when you saw it; and I rejoice;
for once the Cyprian herself
          blamed [me?]
for praying [
this [
I wish [want.
The translation I provide here is to be taken as tentative. The song, which has in recent scholarship been granted a canonized status among the more substantial fragments of Sappho, has been viewed as significant for the light it may shed on such issues as the configuration of longing and the construction of the gaze in her poetics. The singing “I” is asking, in a self-referential manner, the song’s addressee to take a small harp and perform a song about another female figure; pothos is once more (dêute) involved in the setting, while the singing voice seems to suggest that the cause of the excitement of one of the two female figures is the [seductively elegant] dress worn by the other. The general outline of the rest of the text is difficult to grasp: we hear something about the Kypros-born goddess and there is an obscure reference to a prayer.
Most recent analyses of the fragment tend to adhere to the following marked scenario: [410] the speaker commands Abanthis to sing of her desire for the beautiful Gongyla, whose dress thrilled Abanthis. However, there is nothing in the textual remains to make this reconstruction compelling, since it would be possible to have at least three different scenarios leading to different conclusions about the plot of the fragment. The main questions to pose are: Whose desire is fluttering around the female figure addressed to by the singing voice? Who does the dress, referred to in line 13, belong to? How many figures, including the speaking “I,” are involved in the plot of the song? If we accept that they are three and that the names of the addressee and the other female figure are Abanthis and Gongyla, respectively, the flying desire can be either Abanthis’s for Gongyla, or Gongyla’s for Abanthis. A third possibility is, I suggest, that only two figures are involved in the fragment as it stands: that is, the poetic subject and the addressee, since [ . . . ]α̣νθι after . .].γυλα. may well be an epithet modifying the addressee. [411]
The history of restorations endorsed throughout the twentieth century (since 1914) cannot be investigated in detail here but a reference only to Jurenka’s reconstruction would suffice to illustrate some of the relevant interpretive practices: [412] according to this reconstruction, the fragment is a wedding song—an overpowerful paradigm in the scholarship on Sappho in the last two centuries. Instead, I prefer to explore the contextualization cue “take a harp and perform a song” discussed above and to view it in the context of two central discursive modalities. The first—male symposiastic—will not be extensively discussed here but elaborated below. The second one needs to be fleshed out at this stage, for it represented an antithetical, but complementary, aspect of the performative transmission of Sappho’s songs.
On a red-figure Athenian chous housed in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, we see an elegantly produced, serene scene of a symposion (Fig. 27). [413] On the body of this fine chous—attributed to the Eretria Painter and dated to c. 425–420 BC—a draped youth with a wreath on his hair reclines on a lush klinê, drawn in three-quarter view.
[Beazley Vase No. 21695]
Figure 27. Red-figure chous: draped youth reclining with cup, female figure seated, playing harp. Attributed to the Eretria Painter, c. 425–420 BC. Athens, National Archaeological Museum, inv. no. 15308. Photo courtesy of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture / Archaeological Receipts Fund.
His muscular chest and arms are shown naked, but a himation covers the remaining part of his body. From a finger of his left hand a drinking cup is floating while his right hand is placed near his chest. In front of the couch a low table is set with fruit, but apparently no other food, for this is the time for the consumption of wine. Behind his couch a stylish standing lamp is drawn, with no fire blazing—an indication that allows us to think that the setting is nocturnal and dimly lit. Near his feet a female musician—a psaltria—is seated, plucking a ten-stringed harp with an arched soundbox and pillar to connect its two ends. This is the type of harp to which paktis (or pêktis), frequently mentioned in Sappho, may refer. The musician wears chiton and himation and decorated sandals, and has a diadem on her hair. Her head is tilted down, her eyes fastened on the fingers of her right hand as well as on the strings of the harp. Virtuosity is not necessarily an issue here, since the context is symposiastic. The youth gazes at the harpist and listens to her melic pluckings. On the left-hand side, the image is broken. [414] The vase was found in the theater of Dionysos in Athens and its shape may be plausibly connected with the festival of the Anthesteria, [415] celebrated in the month Anthesterion toward the end of February. The festival’s second day—called Choes—centered on drinking-parties of a special type, with choes, larger and miniature, used by and given to the participants in the festival.
Even so, the image on this chous rarely recurs on other vases. [416] Harps are in most cases plucked by women musicians in contexts where no men participate: that is, in female gatherings defined and differentiated by specific visual signs as well as the appearance of these images on shapes of vases associated with marked occasions. What one may detect in this corpus of representations of female harpists—including the image on the Athens chous—is an interdiscursivity of different sociolects: on the one hand, a male, symposiastic sociolect much more pronounced in textual sources; on the other, a female sociolect refracted in a marked manner in visual images.
On a lebes gamikos in the National Archaeological Museum, Athens (Fig. 28), [417] a scene occurs that can be closely associated with the broader context of weddings. The representation is attributed to the Washing Painter, a craftsman known for his indulgence in an overall feminine thematic in his work: both the loutrophoroi and the lebetes gamikoi assigned to this vase-painter are brimful of marriage images. [418] Note that thematic and draughtsmanship affinities are detectable in the work of the Eretria Painter—that is, the craftsman of the Athens chous—and in the representations of the Washing Painter as well as those of the Meidias Painter, despite the fact that each of these three painters of the second half of the fifth century is distinct and displays different levels of skill and originality. The Athens nuptial lebes, dated to c. 430–420 BC, shows a domestic gathering of women along with a winged Nike on the right. A female figure is represented seated in the middle and flanked by a standing woman holding boxes on the right and three other women standing on the left, one of them plucking a frame harp next to the seated figure. [419]
[Beazley Vase No. 21488]
Figure 28. Red-figure lebes. Above: Nike, women, one playing harp, one seated on chair. Opposite page: Views of all sides. Attributed to the Washing Painter, c. 430–420 BC. Athens, National Archaeological Museum, inv. no. 14791. Photos courtesy of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture / Archaeological Receipts Fund.
The seated young woman looks up through the hole of a single reed pipe that she has in her right hand and holds the other single aulos in her left hand; her left arm leans on the back of her klismos. In this and related representations, no marked meaning is detectable in the pose. Instead, female gaze and perspective are, I argue, especially foregrounded, indicated by the figure looking through the pipe and her companion gazing at the standing harpist and leaning on the latter’s shoulders.
This image constitutes part of a broader corpus that shares specific visual signs (a marked presence of hovering or standing/seated winged Erotes, wreaths, female jewelry, boxes, and torches) with an even wider set of representations. A related, but somewhat more marked, depiction by the Washing Painter occurs on another lebes gamikos (Fig. 29). [420] The seated young woman here looks up at a fluttering Eros. She does not play her frame harp but the fingers of her left hand are on the strings; the arm of her right hand leans comfortably on the back of her elegant chair. Eros holds fruit in his hands and is seized by the leg by a female figure standing on the right. Behind her a young girl carries a chest and a basket while behind the seated figure stand two companions, one holding a fillet near the head of the harpist and another carrying an unlit and a lit torch in her hands. With such images on marked shapes of vases, one is tempted to generalize and argue unreservedly that they all depict actual wedding preparations. We may need to distinguish between the function of a vase and the image it bears. A female gathering with one of the companions playing a harp might not represent a wedding preparation, but marriage connotations are attached to it by the shape of the vase and the possible context of its use. Often the seated figures, when adorned by the other companions, may well be categorized as “brides,” but in other cases “bride” should be taken only as a metaphoric label, since aspects of the life of young women before or after marriage might correlate interdiscursively on the same image intended for a wedding. Further, the fact that named Muses—or figures so labeled in archaeological discussions—are shown as playing harps [421] and other stringed instruments on vases of more generic use does not necessarily suggest that brides in wedding scenes were indirectly compared to Muses by ancient Athenian viewers. The idea that such a visual connection functions as a compliment to the bride or the seated female figures represented on marked wedding shapes is favored in recent analyses and more often than not taken for granted.
 Yatromanolakis-fig29
[Image courtesy of the Museum’s Open Access for Scholarly Content Program.]
Figure 29. Red-figure lebes: women, one with torches, one seated with harp. Attributed to the Washing Painter, c. 430–420 BC. New York, Metropolitan Museum, Rogers Fund, 1916, inv. no. 16.73. Photo © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
I do not here wish to undermine this notion since comparisons of mortals with mythological figures are well attested. Instead, I wish to point to the precariousness of reconstructing ancient sociolects by basing arguments about specific images on such (often hypothetical) connections. [422]
When we return to the Washing Painter and his lebetes and loutrophoroi, we find another marked representation: a seated female figure plucking the strings of a frame harp and concentrating on her performance, as well as a companion standing behind her and carrying a loutrophoros - hydria decorated with ribbons (Fig. 30). [423] Two other female figures with chests and baskets flank the seated harpist from the right. On other parts of the lebes, young women appear carrying kalathoi and a Nike holding sprigs is flying. [424] The loutrophoros - hydria is here an especially marked sign.
yatromanolakis-fig30
[Image courtesy of the Museum’s Open Access for Scholarly Content Program.]
Figure 30. Red-figure lebes: women, one seated playing harp. Attributed to the Washing Painter, c. 430–420 BC. New York, Metropolitan Museum, Rogers Fund, 1907, inv. no. 07.286.35. Photo © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Finally, on a pyxis, a round cosmetic container, attributed to the Washing Painter and dated to c . 430–420 BC, [425] a young woman sits on a lush couch and adorns her hair with the help of a winged Eros (Fig. 31). Behind the couch and the seated figure stands a female companion holding again a loutrophoros - hydria. On the other side of the couch, behind Eros, another companion appears lifting her drapery from the shoulders. Behind her a wreath hangs in the field and a wool basket is on the floor. Next to them a seated woman, looking in the opposite direction, plays a frame harp. Before her, two more female figures—one seated and holding a scepter, the other standing and carrying a box—gaze at a wrestling agôn between two Erotes flanked from the left by another female figure holding a scepter. [426] The presence of the wrestling Erotes may be somewhat connected with the two female figures presiding over the agôn and the songs performed by the seated harpist.
yatromanolakis-fig31
[Beazley Vase No. 215006]
Figure 31. Red-figure pyxis: women, one seated on klinê with Eros, one with loutrophoros, Erotes wrestling, one woman seated on chair, one seated with harp. Attributed to the Washing Painter, c. 430–420 BC. Würzburg, Martin von Wagner Museum, inv. no. H 4455 (L 541). Photo, K. Oehrlein, Martin von Wagner Museum der Universität Würzburg.
The fragments of Sappho I examined above should be viewed in the context of three visual discursive idioms: a male symposiastic discourse that, as the available sources suggest, was the predominant one in fifth-century Athens; a discourse related to female musical gatherings as these are refracted in Attic representations produced by diverse craftsmen; and a discourse closely associated with the institution of marriage and wedding rituals, even if some of the vases reflecting this discourse might have been used in different contexts or buried along with the dead. Songs composed by Sappho and performed in late archaic and classical Athens were, I argue, scanned on the basis of these three discourses. Some of these songs should be viewed as multiforms with a common thematic focus. That focus—introduced or reactivated by exhortations like “take a harp,” “take a barbitos” or a wreath “and sing of a beautiful companion”—was further assimilated into habitually internalized (but liable to individual agency) cultural idioms that were conducive to the shaping of cultural spaces within which the original context of different songs by Sappho was located. This process was replicated in the performative contexts and modalities of other city-states and ancient Greek communities, the idioms and sociolects of which are now unavailable.
Concerning the second discourse—female gatherings where musical performances were the central focus—I have already explored some relevant vase-paintings in Chapter Two. On a somewhat neglected late fifth-century hydria found in the Kerameikos in Athens—an offering comparable to nuptial lebetes and white-ground lekythoi lying in a tomb near the dead—we find a young woman musician playing a tall barbitos and seated not in the center of the scene, as usual, but at far left (Fig. 32). [427]
[Beazley Vase No. 5521]
Figure 32. Red-figure hydria: seated woman playing the barbitos, Eros, woman with book roll, onlooker. Athens, Kerameikos Museum, inv. no. 2698. Photo Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Athens, neg. no. 8070; courtesy of Kerameikos Museum, Athens.
Not using his particularly long wings, an Eros stands in front of her and plays the aulos. Behind him, on the right, another young female figure unrolls a scroll near a low table while an onlooker stands behind her. The image on this hydria, almost contemporary with the hydriai by the Group of Polygnotos, has not been attributed to a painter. The sakkos worn by the barbitos-player does not indicate her possible status. But the addition of the book roll held by the second woman, who also wears a sakkos, might convey the inclusion of poetry recitation as part of the whole musical performance. Another type of vase, a bell krater in the manner of the Kleophon Painter, provides us with a more standard configuration, probably because it promotes the designs established by the Group of Polygnotos: [428] a little Eros, neither holding a wreath in his hands nor floating above the head of the frontally and centrally seated woman musician, sits on the floor almost cross-legged (Fig. 33). On the left side of the image, the two female figures’ gazes interlock—and Eros lies between them. The instruments that three of the four women hold are all chelys lyres. As in the Kerameikos hydria, here the female spectator at far right is clad in an enveloping mantle. And similarly, the obverse of a kalyx-krater in Würzburg—attributed to the Christie Painter and dated to around 440–430 BC—recomposes the scene by varying the stringed instruments held by the two women and by showing a chest lying open on the floor (Fig. 34). [429]
The idealized cognitive model reflected in these representations can be supplemented by two intriguing cases. They both suggest fifth-century BC contexts—even imaginary—within which Sappho’s songs might have been, I argue, located by both female and male viewers, because such images were conducive to the shaping of cultural idioms and horizons of expectations. On a bell krater attributed to the Danae Painter and dated to c. 460–450 BC, the image on the obverse is framed by two columns pointing to a domestic space (Fig. 35a). [430]
[Beazley Vase No. 9667]
Figure 33. Red-figure bell krater: obverse, four women, one seated with lyre, two standing with lyres, one with book roll. In the manner of the Kleophon Painter, c. 420 BC. Once Nocera, Fienga, no inv. no. Photo, Alexandra Goulaki Voutira.
 
yatromanolakis-fig34
[Beazley Vase No. 213576]
Figure 34. Red-figure kalyx-krater: seated woman with barbitos, two standing women, Eros flying above. Attributed to the Christie Painter, c. 440–430 BC. Würzburg, Martin von Wagner Museum, inv. no. 521. Photo, K. Oehrlein, Martin von Wagner Museum der Universität Würzburg.
yatromanolakis-fig35a
[Image courtesy of the Museum’s Open Access for Scholarly Content Program.]
Figure 35a. Red-figure bell krater, obverse three women, one seated with barbitos. Attributed to the Danae Painter, c. 460–450 BC. New York, Metropolitan Museum, Rogers Fund, 1923, inv. no. 23.160.80. Photo © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Although the Metropolitan Museum’s descriptive label for this vase indicates that the seated woman musician on the right may be Sappho—or that it has been maintained that the three women might be Muses—I have suggested in Chapter Two that this archaeological paradigm is based on a hardly substantiated but widely endorsed theory that should be considered far from certain or attractive. The seated musician on the right strikes her barbitos with a plêktron while on the left two other women observe the per-former intensely. This aspect of spectatorship is exploited in a large number of archaic and classical vase-paintings, thus suggesting and reflecting ways of ancient viewing. But here, if the painter’s drawing of the eyes of the female figure standing in front of the seated figure does not deceive us, the intensity is pronounced. [431] The Metropolitan Museum’s description sees in this representation “an intimacy that is exceptional in Greek vase-painting,” and this idea has led scholars to detect “signs of a connection between music and female [same-sex] desire.” [432] Rather, it is the notion of focused spectatorship that may have been conveyed through the gaze of the woman. The gaze of the second standing woman is more reflective as she places her chin and hands on the right shoulder of the other. The seated musician’s face is drawn in three-quarter view. Although not entirely triangular, the perspective of the gaze of the three women is highly complex. On the reverse, we see three standing women, one of whom, motionless, is fully wrapped in her mantle and looking at the others (Fig. 35b).
The image on the obverse of this bell krater is not exceptional in its focus on intense female spectatorship in the context of a musical performance. A kalyx-krater attributed to the Niobid Painter and dated to about 460 BC displays a comparable manner of gaze. [433] On the obverse, we see a female figure holding reed pipes in both hands and seated on a rock, indicating an outdoor setting; a chelys lyre hangs in the field above her head. In a position similar to that of the two women on the bell krater in the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the two female figures here stand in front of, and gaze at, the seated musician, who does not perform. Next to the second young woman, who embraces the other, is a klismos, suggesting a domestic context. On the reverse, the Niobid Painter added a related representation of two female figures standing opposite each other. One of them plays the aulos while the other holds a chelys lyre near an open chest. [434] Further, around the body of a pointed amphoriskos—attributed to the Heimarmene Painter and dated to c. 430 BC—an intricate scene of the Helen myth unfolds: nine painted figures, among which Aphrodite with [Helen] on her lap stands out. [435]
Yatromanolakis-fig35b
[Image courtesy of the Museum’s Open Access for Scholarly Content Program.]
Figure 35b. Red-figure bell krater, reverse (right): three standing women. Attributed to the Danae Painter, c. 460–450 BC. New York, Metropolitan Museum, Rogers Fund, 1923, inv. no. 23.160.80. Photo © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Not far from them, Himeros leans on the naked [Paris] and reenacts the rhetorical power that Aphrodite exercises over [Helen]. Next to [Paris], two young female figures, one with a bird on her fingers, stand opposite each other. To the right of the seated Aphrodite stands a woman named ΠΕ[Ι]Θ[Ω] (Persuasion). Finally, in front of her, two young women gaze intensely at the [whole] scene. [436] The woman on the left embraces and leans on the other and has her right hand outstretched, pointing to the “performance” of the myth. [437]
The two representations of female musical gatherings considered here adumbrate the ways in which Sappho’s images in songs like frs. 21 and 22 V could be—or were—scanned by both male and female Athenian viewers in the fifth century. Each community must have laid stress on different aspects of the “intimacy” shown between women. Such an intimacy would be difficult to label “sensual” or “erotic,” from a modern scholarly perspective. Except for the multilayered and elusive case of the original context of the songs of Sappho, we lack unambiguous and non-“literary” female sources about the manner in which women friends interacted with each other in domestic, non-ritual female gatherings in the archaic or the classical period. We may infer, in the absence of marked visual signs or textual counterindications, that such visual representations conveyed a sense of companionship often observable among women in present-day Mediterranean Europe. However, if compositions like Sappho fragment 22 V were performed in the context of a male symposion—especially since their thematic resilience could be easily accommodated in such a venue—any reference to female intimacy, familiar also from a large number of vase-paintings, was subject, I suggest, to a male scanning and understanding in the light of the marked discursive idioms about Lesbos and Ionia as well as about Lesbian and Ionian women, music, songs, and the instruments employed by them. The doublelayered semantic fluidity of other songs by Sappho should have further contributed to different male scannings.
I argue that the three discursive practices detected and explored so far—or rather an amalgamation of them through metonymic mappings and sets of signification—led at the earliest and most decisive stages of the receptorial dynamics related to the figure of Sappho to negotiations of its original semantic specificity and to a representational, textual or visual, plasticity that accommodated all the aspects of the later shapings of her poetry and figure: a pronounced focus on wedding and ritual imagery; a symposiastic “translation” that ranged from the hetaira schema to more pederastic and even female homoerotic contexts; and a more neutral configuration that placed emphasis on domestic and ritual gatherings of women. At the same time, the earliest stages marked the process of, and might have contributed to, the textual transmission of Sappho’s songs until their editorial reception by the Alexandrian scholars in the third and second centuries BC. [438] The anthropological hermeneutics advanced here does not point to an evolutionary conceptualization of the reception of Sappho. Instead, it unpacks the multileveled synchronic dynamics of late archaic and classical receptorial textures and highlights the interdiscursivity of related practices. [439] These dynamics articulate discourses that we can trace in later, diverse and heterogeneous, regional traditions.
To substantiate these arguments further I shall investigate the semantic, contextual plasticity and doublelayeredness of one of the most extensive fragments:
τεθνάκην δ’ ἀδόλως θέλω·
ἄ με ψισδομένα κατελίμπανεν                        2
<—>
πόλλα καὶ τόδ’ ἔειπέ̣ [μοι·
ὤιμ’ ὠς δεῖνα πεπ[όνθ]αμεν,
Ψάπφ’, ἦ μάν σ’ ἀέκοισ’ ἀπυλιμπάνω.             5

τὰν δ’ ἔγω τάδ’ ἀμειβόμαν·
χαίροισ’ ἔρχεο κἄμεθεν
μέμναισ’, οἶσθα γὰρ ὤς ‹σ›ε πεδήπομεν·       8

αἰ δὲ μή, ἀλλά σ’ ἔγω θέλω
ὄμναισαι [ . . . (.)].[..(.)].ε̣αι
ὀ̣σ̣[     –10–     ] καὶ κάλ’ ἐπάσχομεν·             11

πό̣[λλοις γὰρ στεφάν]οις ἴων
καὶ βρ[όδων . . . ]κιων τ’ ὔμοι
κα..[     –7–     ] πὰρ ἔμοι π‹ε›ρεθήκα‹ο›      14

καὶ πό̣˻λλαις ὐπα˼θύμιδας
πλέκ˻ταις ἀμφ’ ἀ˼πάλαι δέραι
ἀνθέων ἐ̣[     –6–     ] πεποημέναις.              17
<—>
καὶ π . . . . . [          ]. μύρωι
βρενθείωι  ̣ .[          ]ρ̣υ[..]ν
ἐξαλ‹ε›ίψαο κα̣[ὶ ˻βασ˼ ]ι̣ληίωι                       20
<—>
καὶ στρώμν[αν ἐ]πὶ μολθάκαν
ἀπάλαν παρ̣[          ]ο̣ν̣ων
ἐξίης πόθο̣[ν          ].νίδων                           23
<—>
κωὔτε τιc[          οὔ]τ̣ε̣ τι
ἶρον οὐδ’ ὐ[          ]
ἔπλετ’ ὄππ̣[οθεν ἄμ]μες ἀπέσκομεν,           26
<—>
οὐκ ἄλσος .[                    ].ρος
                                      ]ψοφος
                                      ] . . . οιδιαι              29

and I honestly wish I were dead.
Weeping she left me
with many tears and said this: [440]
Alas, what sufferings have been ours, [441]
Psapph(o), I swear, I leave you against my will.
And these [are the words] I answered her:
Rejoice, go, and
remember me, for you know how we cared for you.
But if not, I shall
remind you . . .
                              . . . and beautiful times we had.
[For ma]ny [wrea]ths of violets
and [of] roses and . . . together
                    ] by my side you put on,
and many woven garlands
made of flowers
                              around your soft neck
and with [ ] flowery
choice unguent with which
you anointed yourself;
and on soft couches
[of?] tender [          ]
you satisfied your longing.
And neither any [     no]r any
holy [space] nor [          ]
was there from which we were absent,
nor grove [          d]ance
                              ]sound
                              ] . . . oidiai
Along with fragment 96 V, preserved on the same sixth/seventh-century AD parchment, [442] Sappho fragment 94 V [443] presents problems closely related to the methodological and ethnographic concerns of linguistic anthropology. How to render πεδήπομεν (“pursue,” “follow after,” “look after,” or “cherish,” as in LSJ?) in line 8, or the plural number of πεδήπομεν? Citing a scholium on Iliad 13. 257 that suggests that the use of first person plural verb instead of the first person singular is characteristic of Aeolic, Blass argued that behind this first person plural is the persona of Sappho. [444] The scholium reads (Erbse III, p. 448): κατεάξαμεν ὃ πρὶν ἔχεσκον] πληθυντικῷ ἑνικὸν ἐπήγαγεν Αἰολικῶς. Αἰολικῶς appears only in the manuscripts grouped as b and is omitted by A and T. Although the evidence may not appear compelling, [445] Blass’s argument needs more wide-ranging investigation. If one attempts to view it in a reconstructed original sociocultural context or especially in terms of fifth-century Athenian idioms, the sense of πεδήπομεν may again throw some light on the immanent doublelayeredness of Sappho’s discourse for late archaic and classical Greek societies.
My focus here is on the recollections that “Psappho” conjures up in the dialogic utterances exploited in the song. I have argued elsewhere that these recollections are represented in this fragment as snapshots of the past, deprived of specific time—a kind of ritual time. [446] What is pertinent to the present discussion is that by standards of fifth-century dominant Athenian contextual frames for which we have secure informants, the song reenacts a ritualized sequence of male symposiastic discursive modalities. The phrase πὰρ ἔμοι in line 14 points to the physical contiguity between “Psappho” and the departing female figure rather than to a specific space (the occasionally entertained idea that “at my house” is implied here, based rather on linguistic expressions in modern languages). In lines 12–23, where snapshots from a female gathering are envisaged, the subject of “Psappho” is nowhere so emphasized as in line 14. The snapshots trace the agency of the departing female figure, and only in line 26 does “Psappho” reappear by means of the plural ἀπέσκομεν. After πὰρ ἔμοι she remains alone and acts without the interference of others in the presence of passive figures (lines 14 and perhaps 23). The singular and plural are metonymically intermingled in the fragment. After the so-called climax of her actions (lines 21–23), ἀπέσκομεν may place her and “Psappho” in a broader circle of people (as possibly is the case with πεδήπομεν), but this is not certain. As the fragment stands, each of the first three stanzas of snapshots seems to be introduced with the adjective πόλυς, [447] and, if so, this reiteration is conducive to the abstractness and timelessness of the description.
Each snapshot progressively represents a different stage in sympotic rituals. The wreaths in the first snapshot appear in many of the visual representations of female gatherings but also on Attic black-figure paintings of the second half of the sixth century, in the so-called “courtship scenes” where, among the gifts of the lovers to their beloveds, garlands are often included. Garlands were deemed the sign par excellence for the beginning of a symposion. [448] I have already made mention of the ὐπαθύμιδες of the second snapshot and the indigenous use of the word by the Aeolians and the Ionians. [449] Encircling the neck of komasts and symposiasts, ὑποθυμίδες also adorn their chests in related sympotic scenes on vase-paintings. According to Athenaios, the ὑποθυμίδες gave out a pleasant, seductive smell as their name suggests (ἀπὸ τῆς τῶν ἀνθῶν ἀναθυμιάσεως). [450] Like the unguents of the third snapshot, they were a means of erotic provocation. Further, perfumed oils were widely used in sympotic contexts, after or along with the wearing of garlands. [451] More specifically, the discursive connotations of μύρωι βρενθείωι̣ in lines 18–19, an intriguing kind of unguent but unremarked by commentators, can be elucidated by a tragic fragment that labels βρένθειον as Lydian (κεχριμένη[ν οἶ]μαί σε β[ακκάρει ˘–] | ἦ Λυδικὸν β[ρ]έ̣νθει[ο]ν . . . ), in a context where a female figure is involved. [452] References of Alkaios and Sappho to (often luxurious) things Eastern and Western are not necessary to be discussed here. [453] The pouring of fragrant oils on—or the anointing with scented ointments of—the head and the chest of symposiasts was a standard practice. And men reclining on couches, in the company of youths or female companions and entertainers, was for many a climactic feature of a drinking-party. [454]
To conclude, the performative contextual discourses embedded in the song can help us redefine the conditions of the reception and transmission of Sappho’s poetry especially during the late archaic and classical periods. And in a similar receptorial context, Sappho fragment 92 V should, I believe, also be placed. Although badly mutilated, this song too presents contextualization cues that could have contributed to such a scanning:
[
[
π̣ε̣[
κρ[………]περ[
πέπλον[…]π̣υ̣σ̣χ̣[                              5
καὶ κλ̣ε̣[..]σαω[
κροκοεντα[
πέπλον πορφυ[ρ….….]δ̣εξω̣[.]
χλαιναι περσ̣[
στέφανοι περ[                               10
καλ[.]ο̣σ̣σ̣α̣μ̣[
φρυ[
πορφ[υρ
τ̣α̣π̣α̣[
[                                                    15
π[

robe                                               5
and
saffron-colored
purple robe
cloak(s) Pers[ian?]
garlands                                       10
[beauty ?]
Phry[gian?] [455]
purple
[rugs?] [456]
Within this anthropological hermeneutics and in the light of the discussion about the doublelayered semantic fluidity of the word hetaira, a further discursive idiom might be investigated.
Propping himself on his elbow on a symposiastic klinê in Agathon’s house, the comic poet Aristophanes, in the narrative of Plato’s Symposion, advances an imaginative theory about the “ancient,” primordial nature of the sexes (γένη) and the involvement of Eros in their development. [457] Once upon a time human beings were two-bodied, and the sexes represented three combinations: male-male, female-female, and male-female (ἀνδρόγυνον). Because of their arrogance toward the gods, they were by Zeus’ will split into halves, in order to become weaker and more numerous. When this bodily split was achieved, the population was soon threatened with extinction; desiring their other half, each person entwined his/her hands round the other half’s body and eventually died of famine and inertia. But by the intervention of merciful Zeus, the human race was saved. For all that, each human being’s desire for its other half did not cease to spur it on to search for what it had lost. [458] Since then, people strive to be united with their other halves and reach their primordial wholeness. [459] The power that forces and encourages them to do so is Eros.
Aristophanes’ speech is highly pertinent to an exploration of Sappho’s songs in their receptorial contexts, where erôs in its broadest sense was a prevalent aspect. It is also in this speech that we first encounter the notion of female homoeroticism. [460] Aristophanes’ explanation of this species of “sexual” orientation is clear: ὅσαι δὲ τῶν γυναικῶν γυναικὸς τμῆμά εἰσιν, οὐ πάνυ αὗται τοῖς ἀνδράσι τὸν νοῦν προσέχουσιν, ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον πρὸς τὰς γυναῖκας τετραμμέναι εἰσί, καὶ αἱ ἑταιρίστριαι ἐκ τούτου τοῦ γένους γίγνονται (191e.2–5). The syntactical construction employed here (οὐ πάνυ [. . .] ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον . . . ) is not without importance but has remained underexplored. In the case of the other two sexes that Aristophanes mentions in this context [461] —that is, those who are φιλογύναικες (ἄνδρες) or φίλανδροι (γυναῖκες) and those (men) who τὰ ἄρρενα διώκουσι—sexual orientation is generally clear-cut and well defined. However, as Plato presents it, female same-sex nature is not characterized by exclusiveness in its potential realizations. It seems plausible to argue that this view did not diverge greatly from that of a number of male educated Athenians in the classical period—especially those familiar with and sympathetic to Plato’s work—and, if so, related social constraints were implicitly but effectively imposed on Athenian women inclined to have other than heterosexual desires. [462] However, for some of those well known to have had indulged in female homoeroticism, the label hetaira might have been considered particularly apt.
Although Athenian informants of the classical period (or rather the surviving texts of contemporary, fifth-century literature) do not provide any sources pointing to a metonymic association of hetairistria and hetaira, [463] such a semantic contiguity, especially in the context of the diverse discursive idioms investigated in this chapter, would possibly add to a sympotic reception of a woman poet’s songs about hetairai and “intimacy” between them. [464] Cultural metonymies in the case of Sappho formed from the earliest stages of her reception a dynamic modality that assimilated and shaped marked webs of signification.

Footnotes

[ back ] 1. Rhetoric 1398b.10–16 Kassel (1976:130–131).
[ back ] 2. Note that a variant reading for πολίτην is πολιτικόν.
[ back ] 3. On this proverbial pronouncement, see below, p. 200.
[ back ] 4. Athenaios 15. 687a.
[ back ] 5. It is generally believed that Sappho was born toward the end of the seventh century and that her floruit coincides with at least the first three decades of the sixth century. It is highly uncertain whether she was older or younger than Alkaios (on this issue, see Saake 1972:37–50, who contends that Sappho was born c. 612 and died perhaps after 550, and thus on these premises that she was younger than Alkaios). For further discussion, see Page 1955:49, 152, 224–225.
[ back ] 6. See Aristotle Rhetoric 1367a. 7ff. Kassel τὰ γὰρ αἰσχρὰ αἰσχύνονται καὶ λέγοντες καὶ ποιοῦντες καὶ μέλλοντες, ὥσπερ καὶ Σαπφὼ πεποίηκεν, εἰπόντος τοῦ  ᾽Αλκαίου [ . . . ].
[ back ] 7. For this dialogue and Sappho fr. 137 V, see below and Chapter Four.
[ back ] 8. Jacoby 1904:12 ἀφ’ οὗ Σαπφὼ ἐγ Μιτυλήνης εἰς Σικελίαν ἔπλευσε, φυγοῦσα [ ἄρχο]ν̣τος Ἀθήνησιν μὲν Κριτίου τοῦ προτέρου, ἐν Συρακούσσαις δὲ τῶν γαμόρων κατεχόντων τὴν ἀρχήν.
[ back ] 9. Polyanaktidai in Sappho fr. 155 V (perhaps also in fr. 213A d.7–8 V, but see Gronewald 1974:117 for other equally possible supplements with regard to Sappho S261 A, fr. 2, col. ii 9–10 SLG).
[ back ] 10. The political dimensions in Sappho’s poetry have been perceptively restressed by Stehle 1997:284–287. In connection with Alkaios’ acquaintance with Sappho, such cases as Sappho fr. 16.7ff. V and Alkaios fr. 283.3ff. V, in which an evident divergence occurs regarding the responsibility of Helen in her elopement with Paris, do not constitute conclusive evidence of the mutual familiarity of the two poets, as has often been assumed in literary analyses.
[ back ] 11. The British dictionary LSJ (s.v. Σαπφώ) accepts Σάπφοι for Alkaios fr. 384 V = 55.1 Bergk (and the 1996 revised supplement does not contradict this, nor does it take into account Voigt’s monumental critical edition). Bergk (Alkaios fr. 55.1) and Diehl (Alkaios fr. 63) printed Ἰόπλοκ´ ἄγνα μελλιχόμειδε Σάπφοι in their influential editions. Bergk (1882:171) held that this fragment is an ἐρωτικόν, whereas Diehl (1936: 119) included it in Alkaios’ possible ἐρωτικὰ μέλη (and added a question mark next to this category). Noteworthy in his apparatus criticus is Diehl’s quote of Hesykhios’ full entry under ἁγνή (καθαρὰ καὶ ἀμίαντος. ἢ παρθένος, “pure and undefiled, or maiden”), an unusual—and perhaps superfluous in the context of an apparatus criticus—lexicographical addition that reflected ideological paradigms related to the study of the social context of the poetry of Sappho current during the mid-1930s.
[ back ] 12. See, for example, Bascoul 1911 and 1913, and cf. Gentili 1966; see, further, Ferrari 1940:38–53; Gentili 1988:89, 216–222, who maintains that Alkaios’ “greeting presents itself as a reverent tribute to the sacral dignity of the poetess as ministrant of Aphrodite and to the grace and beauty that her role as love’s priestess conferred upon her” (1988:222); Bowra 1961:238–239; and, earlier, the influential book of Welcker (1816:82). Numerous scholars have adopted this or a similar line of interpretation in recent publications and have accepted that in this fragment Alkaios certainly addresses Sappho (e.g. Lardinois 1994:62).
[ back ] 13. In modern scholarship, Sappho’s social role on Lesbos has often been deemed as that of a priestess of Aphrodite: see e.g. Murray 1993:327.
[ back ] 14. Cf. Lobel 1927: Alkaios fr. 147 (= Alkaios fr. 384 V).
[ back ] 15. On the fragment, cf. also Liberman 1988 (who argues for the emendation Ἄφροι, proposed by R. Pfeiffer), and Rodríguez Somolinos 1992:237–240, 1998:120–122, 164–165, 274. In his edition, Liberman (1999) prints Ἄφροι, a quite speculative rendering of the transmitted text.
[ back ] 16. See Maas 1929:138; cf. Broger 1996:237–238.
[ back ] 17. Sappho frs. 1.20, 65.5, 94.5, 133.2 V.
[ back ] 18. See Gow’s comment (1952, vol. II: 270) about the possible “fatherly” associations of its meaning.
[ back ] 19. Suda A 3724 ἀπφά· ἀδελφῆς καὶ ἀδελφοῦ ὑποκόρισμα and Eustathios Iliad 5.408 (vol. 2, 111–112 van der Valk) ἄπφαν τὴν ἀδελφὴν Ἀττικῶς μόνη ἡ ἀδελφὴ εἴποι ἄν, καὶ πάππαν τὸν πατέρα μόνος ὁ παῖς, ὥσπερ καὶ μαμμίαν τὴν μητέρα . . . Ἰστέον δὲ ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ, ὡς ἐρρέθη, ἄπφα γίνεται καὶ τὸ ἄπφιον, ὑποκόρισμα ὂν ἐρωμένης (cf. Eustathios Iliad 14.118, vol. 3, 591 van der Valk). The last remark by Eustathios suggests that it was used also by lovers (in which case, we need to read “ . . . soft-smiling darling” or something similar).
[ back ] 20. Cf. μειλιχομε{τ}ιδής attested by Hesykhios M 602, and e.g. the adjectives φιλομμειδής and ἀμειδής.
[ back ] 21. Hamm 1957:179, s. v.
[ back ] 22. A possible, but not persuasive, explanation of its formation from ἄπφα or ἀπφά is given by Hamm (1957:53–54, § 113), who defends ἄπφοι in Alkaios fr. 384 V.
[ back ] 23. The possibility that “Psappho” is a poetic variant of “Sappho” could be only hesitantly envisaged. However, it would be odd to speculate that both forms are “metrical variants . . . typical of names which belong to an oral poetic tradition: cp. Ἀχιλλεύς/ Ἀχιλεύς, Ὀδυσσεύς/Ὀδυσεύς,” as Lardinois (1994:62n24) does in his attempt to surmise that “we do not know for certain if Sappho as a person ever existed” and that “the fact that Alcaeus addressed Sappho in his poetry and spelled her name differently from the way it is spelled in the poetry preserved in her name, could possibly be an indication that she was a poetic construct rather than a real life figure in sixth-century Lesbos” (1994:62).
[ back ] 24. Cf. Ἄλκαος in Alkaios fr. 401B a.1 V and ΦΙΤΤΑΚΟΣ on a coin from Mytilene (Head 1911:562), as well as in Alkaios’ fragments (Φίττακος); see e.g. Alkaios fr. 70.13 V. See also the discussion of the diverse spellings of the name of Sappho in Chapter Two. Zuntz’s (1951) theory of the Asianic nature of Sappho’s name, which would explain the existence of both variants in the manuscripts, is ingenious, but hardly provable.
[ back ] 25. Σαπφώ is the form almost always used in later periods. See Chapter Two, pp. 102–103.
[ back ] 26. On stereotypes as chunks of attributed traits and packaged Gestalten, see Pettigrew 1981:313–316.
[ back ] 27. On mythopraxis, see Chapter One.
[ back ] 28. Iliad 9.128–130; cf. Iliad 9.270–272 and 19.245–256. Note that ἀμύμονα ἔργα ἰδυῖαι recurs in Hesiod Theogony 264, in a description of the fifty attractive (some exceptionally so) daughters of Nereus and Doris.
[ back ] 29. Baudrillard 1979:58. On gift, see from a different perspective Derrida’s most thought-provoking approach (Derrida 1991).
[ back ] 30. See also Iliad 9.139–156 for other privileges and gifts that Akhilleus will be given by Agamemnon.
[ back ] 31. Cf. Priamos’ gifts to Akhilleus to ransom the dead body of his son in Iliad 24.228–235: luxurious clothing (robes, fine cloaks, coverlets, white mantles, and tunics, twelve items from each), ten talents of gold, two tripods, four cauldrons, and a beautiful precious cup from Thrace. Other lists are not as impressive: cf. Iliad 8.290–291 (“either a tripod or two horses . . . or a woman . . . ”), Odyssey 4.128–132, and 24.274–279.
[ back ] 32. Iliad 13.685 Ἰάονες ἑλκεχίτωνες in the (unexpected) context of battle. The same formulaic image occurs in the Hymn to Apollo 147 in the context of celebratory singing, dancing, and boxing: ἑλκεχίτωνες Ἰάονες.
[ back ] 33. “Elaborate sandals” or “fancy sandals”; cf. Sappho fr. 39.1–2 V πόδα<ς> δὲ | ποίκιλος μάσλης ἐκάλυπτε, a Lydian kind of sandal or slipper (certainly footwear, according to Poludeukes 7.93 Bethe).
[ back ] 34. West’s interpretation of χάσκω in this context as “[to be] foolishly preoccupied,” or to give “one’s whole attention to one thing when other more important issues are at hand” (1970b:209) is overly commonsensical (cf. his view of other scholars’ suggestions about Anakreon fr. 358 PMG as lacking “commonsense,” West 1970b:209n3). West’s analysis pays no attention to the verb καταμέμφεται (“the girl is deep in trivial conversation with her [female] friend”) and his assertion that “the implication is that Lesbian girls can afford to be choosy, they have young admirers enough to pick from,” if taken commonsensically, implies that girls from other places would not be “choosy” when approached by an elderly man. Cf. Dover’s criticism (1989:183n38). For χάσκω, see the concise discussion and bibliographical survey in Pfeijffer 2000:177n52.
[ back ] 35. Unless we make the unnecessary assumption that it can be female too (Davison 1968:248 and Peliccia 1995:24n3).
[ back ] 36. Cf. συμπαίζειν in line 4. συμπαίστρια in Aristophanes Frogs 409–411 καὶ γὰρ παραβλέψας τι μειρακίσκης | νῦν δὴ κατεῖδον καὶ μάλ’ εὐπροσώπου | συμπαιστρίας (“a playmate”). For the complexities of the meaning of παίζειν and συμπαίζειν in archaic Greek poetry, see Rosenmeyer 2004.
[ back ] 37. For the problems arising from this short fragment, see Campbell 1973/1974, Easterling 1977, Woodbury 1979 (and his p. 277n1, for earlier bibliography), Giangrande 1981, Marcovich 1983 (with further bibliography), Renehan 1984, Davidson 1987, Goldhill 1987:16–18, Dover 1989:183, Pelliccia 1991, Renehan 1993, Urios-Aparisi 1993, Carbone 1993, Pelliccia 1995, Cyrino 1996:379–382, Pfeijffer 2000, and Hutchinson 2001:273–278.
[ back ] 38. Page 1955:143.
[ back ] 39. Pelliccia 1995:32–33 (cf. Pelliccia 1995:33n26, where in an attempt to illustrate his view about “the lack of immediate connotation in the ethnic γάρ-clause [that is, ἐστὶν γὰρ ἀπ’ εὐκτίτου Λέσβου] with an example drawn from” an American film that he saw in Berkeley in the early 70s, Pelliccia sweepingly holds that “Anacreon’s poem may have opportunistically put together an idea of general Lesbian lesbianism on the basis of Sappho’s poetry.”)
[ back ] 40. See e.g. Wilamowitz 1913:116 (“Sie [i.e., the girl] sitzt auf dieser oder jener Kline, oder besser, sie ist noch als μουσουργός mit ihren Instrumenten beschäftigt”); Davison 1968; Davidson 1987; Urios-Aparisi 1993; Pfeijffer 2000:165–167, 170–171.
[ back ] 41. Gentili 1973, Giangrande 1973, 1976, 1981. Cf. Wigodsky 1962.
[ back ] 42. Pfeijffer 2000:166 and 171. Davison believed that “the essential facts of the situation seem to be that the speaker saw the girl’s feet before the rest of her became visible, and that she did not see the speaker’s hair until after line 4. The speaker then must be supposed to have been lying down with head concealed until roused by the ball”; “it is more likely that we should suppose the incident to have occurred at a pannychis, at which persons of free birth and respectable character could associate on equal . . . terms” (1968:249 and 251). Woodbury suggested that the setting of the song “may have been at the court of Polycrates of Samos, to which the Lesbian girl, who is prominent in it, might have found her way as a refugee from the Persian ascendancy on the mainland opposite, or it may have been at the court of the Peisistratids at Athens, where Anacreon later arrived, at an age that might be supposed to account for his mention of white hair in the poem” (1979:278). Wilamowitz 1913:116 thought that the girl was a symposiastic “companion,” and, similarly, Fraenkel 1975:292 imagined a hired musician. For further hypotheses, see Pfeijffer 2000:170–171.
[ back ] 43. See e.g. Giangrande 1973, 1976, and 1981.
[ back ] 44. See especially Pelliccia 1991 and 1995. In these two and other discussions of Anakreon fr. 358 PMG, it is noteworthy that scholars vehemently and constantly stress (as a kind of argument?) that their understanding and interpretation of the ancient Greek and of the syntactical constructions in this late archaic, highly polyvalent fragment is the most correct, “natural,” and “idiomatic.”
[ back ] 45. See, for example, the Athenian representations of Lesbian women in the late-fifth century examined below.
[ back ] 46. See the Latin translation of the fragment by Dalechamps in Casaubon and Dalechamps 1597, an edition reprinted several times in the seventeenth century. Cf. Marolles 1680.
[ back ] 47. See Kaibel 1887/1890:vol. 3, 321, apparatus criticus; Barnes 1705:272–275 and Pauw 1732:273 (cf. Edmonds 1931:146).
[ back ] 48. That the emendation was rejected by Wilamowitz (1913:116n1) was perhaps an adequate reason to be similarly dismissed by Diehl and other textual critics. Cf. Marcovich 1983:374n2. Woodbury’s brief discussion of the change in the scholarly prejudices against the compatibility of “good [ancient] Greek poetry and [ancient] Greek homosexuality” (Woodbury 1979:281) is somewhat schematic: the scholarly paradigms and ideologies related to poetry, textual criticism, and homosexuality in the field of Classics in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries are by far more complex.
[ back ] 49. Bergk 1882:259. Bergk’s edition is cited in recent articles, too.
[ back ] 50. Welcker 1857:230–233.
[ back ] 51. See Marcovich (1983:374) who argues that the young girl “prefers a girl to a man because she is Lesbian. The representatives of the alternate interpretation have rightly objected that there is just no evidence for the assumption that ‘coming from Lesbos’ would imply ‘being a Lesbian.’ I feel, however, that such an assumption is utterly possible in the times of Anacreon in view of the unmistakable homosexual inclinations of Sappho from Lesbos, as expressed in her poetry” (my emphasis). Pelliccia (1991:32) maintains that “Marcovich [i.e, 1983:374, quoted here] states the case well.” See also Renehan 1993:45 (and cf. Renehan 1984:30) and Pelliccia 1995:32–33 (see above, n. 39), among other scholars.
[ back ] 52. Cf. Chapter Four, pp. 355–359.
[ back ] 53. Woodbury 1979:277.
[ back ] 54. See Pfeijffer 2000:164n1. A few scholars believe that it may perhaps not be complete: Urios-Aparisi 1993:70 and Hutchinson 2001:273.
[ back ] 55. Cf. Woodbury 1979:278 and 280n17.
[ back ] 56. Note that ποικιλοσαμβάλῳ is Seidler’s emendation.
[ back ] 57. In other archaic contexts, χρυσοκόμης Διώνυσος is juxtaposed with ξανθὴν Ἀριάδνην (Hesiod Theogony 947); and εὐπέδιλος Ἶρις sleeps with χρυσοκόμᾳ Ζεφύρῳ and gives birth to Eros (Alkaios fr. 327 V). See also Pindar Olympian 6.41 χρυσοκόμας (Apollo) and cf. Athenaios 13.604b. Emphasis on the beauty of female hair in performative contexts is given by Alkman fr. 1.50–56, 1.101, 3.9 and 3.71–72 PMG; cf. Aristophanes Lysistratê 1309–1311 and 1316–1319. On the gendered grammar of hair in ancient Greek and Jewish cultures, see Levine 1995.
[ back ] 58. Anakreon fr. 357.3 PMG (on which see Goldhill 1987:13); Sappho fr. 54 V.
[ back ] 59. See Sappho fr. 16.17 V: Anaktoria’s walk. In a different context, Pindar fr. 94b.70 M, the detail singled out is the sandals of the young woman.
[ back ] 60. Cf. Pfeijffer 2000:176ns43–45 with earlier bibliography and Hutchinson 2001:276; contra Woodbury 1979:283. Pelliccia 1995:33–34 offers a generalizing view about three possible (archaic?) audiences who would understand the “joke” differently: “Everyone has observed that some people are very highly attuned to witticisms and wit generally, while others are defective in this respect, sometimes not understanding a joke even when it is explained to them . . . Three possible audiences correspond to the three character types described: (A) The ready wit—(B) The majority: They do not see the joke so quickly as A does” [but they understand that ἄλλην τινά refers to a girl]—“(C) The obtusely humorless: Insensitive to the implications of the anticipatory γάρ-clause, C takes the poem as . . . a simple lament that the girl prefers a younger partner.” Dover 1989:183 has pointed out that “it is . . . possible both that Anakreon means to represent the girl as homosexually interested in another girl and also that ‘Lesbian’ did not, in his time or at any other time in antiquity, have a primary connotation of homosexuality.”
[ back ] 61. Woodbury 1979:280 appositely described the ball as “purple,” or “many-hued,” or “iridescent.”
[ back ] 62. Goldhill 1987:14. From a different perspective, Renehan 1984 and 1993 discusses the ambiguity of the song.
[ back ] 63. Iliad 9.129, 9.271, Odyssey 4.342, 17.133. In Iliad 9.664, 24.544, and Odyssey 3.169, Lesbos is not modified by an epithet; εὔκτιτος is used for other places in the Homeric epics.
[ back ] 64. Harvey 1957:213.
[ back ] 65. [Ovid] Heroides 15.199–201.
[ back ] 66. Iliad 4.533; Hipponax fr. 115 W is attributed by some scholars to Arkhilokhos instead. Note that Theokritos 14.46 (οὐδ’ εἰ Θρᾳκιστὶ κέκαρμαι) may reflect a similar idea about Thracian haircut.
[ back ] 67. Καρπάθιος τὸν μάρτυρα; for the meaning of the phrase see Hesykhios s.v. (who preserves the fragment) and the sources cited in Arkhilokhos fr. 248 W.
[ back ] 68. See Athenaios 1.7f–8b, who quotes the fragment, as well as Kratinos fr. 365 K-A (τὸν γοῦν γλίσχρον ’Iσχόμαχον Κρατῖνος Μυκόνιον καλεῖ . . . ). On the Mykonians as avaricious, cf. the sources cited in Arkhilokhos fr. 124 W and Kratinos fr. 365 K-A, and see Göbel 1915:75–76.
[ back ] 69. Pindar Olympian 6. 84–89; cf. Pindar fr. 83 M. For such stereotypes attached to the Boiotians, see Göbel 1915:57–63, and cf. Kratinos fr. 77 K-A and Alexis fr. 239 K-A with Arnott’s comments (1996a:673–674).
[ back ] 70. The sources are discussed by Dunbabin 1948:75–83. Cf. Presta 1959 and Rutter 1970.
[ back ] 71. Herodotos 6.127: ὃς ἐπὶ πλεῖστον δὴ χλιδῆς εἷς ἀνὴρ ἀπίκετο.
[ back ] 72. Athenaios 12.518e, probably drawing on the fourth/third century BC historian Timaios, who was from Sicily.
[ back ] 73. Aristophanes fr. 225.3 K-A Συβαρίτιδάς τ’ εὐωχίας; Aristophanes Peace 344; see Göbel 1915:128–129 and cf. Dunbabin 1948:80–81.
[ back ] 74. Herodotos 6.21 and Timaios FGrH 566 F 50 (= Athenaios 12.519b–c).
[ back ] 75. Aristophanes Peace 344; cf. Phrynikhos fr. 67 K-A and the later sources cited in Göbel 1915:129.
[ back ] 76. The title here is inspired by Lyotard’s insightful book on erotics and economy (Lyotard 1993 [1974]). His chapter on trade includes an important discussion (“Lydian Eulogy”) of Herodotos’ report about the Lydians being the first people to mint and use gold and silver coinage and to introduce retail trade (Herodotos 1.94, part of his Lydian ethnography).
[ back ] 77. Iliad 9.270–272. Cf. 9.128–130 and 19.245–256.
[ back ] 78. There is scholarly consensus that Kheirôn is by Pherekrates (Pherekrates frs. 155–162 K-A). Probably under the influence of Eratosthenes of Kyrene (who attributed Pherekrates’ Metallês to Nikomakhos ὁ ῥυθμικός, see Pherekrates Μεταλλῆς test. 1–2 K-A [p. 155] and Pherekrates test. 3 K-A [p. 103]), Athenaios expressed some doubts about the attribution of Kheirôn to Pherekrates:  . . . ἐπὶ νοῦν οὐ λαμβάνοντες τὰ εἰρημένα ὑπὸ τοῦ τὸν Χείρωνα πεποιηκότος, εἴτε Φερεκράτης ἐστὶν εἴτε Νικόμαχος ὁ ῥυθμικὸς ἢ ὅστις δή ποτε (8.364a); cf. also Athenaios 9.388f, 9.368b, 14.653e–f, and Schol. Aristophanes Frogs 1308 (Chantry 1999:147). In their Poetae Comici Graeci, Kassel and Austin attribute Kheirôn to Pherekrates, and most scholars find no reason to doubt this attribution (see Dobrov and Urios-Aparisi 1995:142–143, Henderson 2000:142, and Hall 2000:414).
[ back ] 79. Only eight fragments are preserved (155–162 K-A). It has been thought that two more fragments (incertarum fabularum fr. 165 and 168 K-A) that cannot be attributed to a certain comedy by Pherekrates may belong to Kheirôn (cf. Kassel and Austin’s note in Pherekrates fr. 162 K-A).
[ back ] 80. See Merkelbach and West 1967:146 (also cited by Kassel and Austin). Note that Athenaios’ text refers to ἐκ τῶν εἰς Ἡσίοδον ἀναφερομένων μεγάλων Ἠοίων καὶ μεγάλων Ἔργων; Merkelbach and West have suggested that μεγάλων Ἠοίων καὶ should be deleted, while Dindorf (not mentioned by Merkelbach and West, but cited by Kaibel) had preferred to delete καὶ μεγάλων Ἔργων. Here my reference to the Megala Erga accords with Merkelbach and West’s idea only for the sake of brevity. I do not subscribe to this idea, since Dindorf’s suggestion would be equally plausible.
[ back ] 81. In line 11 of Kheirôn fr. 162, instead of μηδένα τῶνδ’ ἀέκοντα (Theognidea 467), the transmitted text provides the emphatic μηδένα μήτ’ ἀέκοντα. On improvisation and the Theognidea, see Chapter Four.
[ back ] 82. Meineke 1839:77–78.
[ back ] 83. Cf. Jocelyn 1980:45n24.
[ back ] 84. Text in Chantry 1999:147 “λεσβιάζειν” τὸ παρανόμως πλησιάζειν. διεβάλλοντο γὰρ ἐπὶ τούτῳ οἱ Λέσβιοι. Meineke proposed the emendation αἱ Λεσβίαι, instead of the transmitted οἱ Λέσβιοι (cf. the apparatus fontium in Pherekrates fr. 159 K-A, but, since volume VII of their Poetae Comici Graeci appeared in 1989, Kassel and Austin could not consult Chantry’s excellent edition).
[ back ] 85. Text in Chantry 2001:218: “λεσβιάζειν” ἐστὶ τὸ αἰσχρὰ ποιεῖν. διαβάλλονται γὰρ οἱ Λέσβιοι ὡς αἰσχρὰ καὶ ἄθεσμα πράττοντες. Chantry reports that other manuscripts have ἀπὸ μεταφορᾶς τῶν Λεσβίων αἰσχρῶν ὄντων (“from a metaphor related to the Lesbians who were shameless”). Note that in scholium vetus 1308 quoted above (n. 84) Markos Mousouros—after παρανόμως πλησιάζειν—added καὶ μολύνειν τὸ στόμα (“and to defile the mouth”); see Chantry 2001:218. On Mousouros and some of his scholarly activities, see Cameron 1993:184–185 and especially the important work of Layton 1994:15, 21–22 and passim.
[ back ] 86. Hesykhios is dated to the fifth or the sixth century AD.
[ back ] 87. παρὰ τὸ ἱστορούμενον, ὅτι παρὰ Λεσβίοις τοῦτο πρῶτον ἡ γυνὴ ἔπαθεν.
[ back ] 88. Theopompos fr. 36 K-A (ἵνα μὴ τὸ παλαιὸν τοῦτο καὶ θρυλούμενον | δι’ ἡμετέρων στομάτων ‹ › | εἴπω σόφισμ’, ὅ φασι παῖδας Λεσβίων | εὑρεῖν), Strattis fr. 42 K-A, and Strattis fr. 41 K-A (with no explicit reference to Lesbos as it is transmitted, but see Dobree’s supplement χοἰ Λέσβιοι).
[ back ] 89. Aristophanes Frogs 1306–1308; Wasps 1345–1349; Ekklesiazousai 920; Pherekrates fr. 159 K-A. These passages are concerned with female figures. For references to male figures, see n. 88. The passages are discussed, among others, by Jocelyn 1980:31–34. Lenaiou [Charitonides] provided a learned discussion of the verb lesbizein/lesbiazein (Lenaiou 1935:84–87); more recently, see Taillardat 1965:105, 428–429 (on Frogs 1305–1308); and especially Henderson 1991:183–184.
[ back ] 90. For λαικάζειν, see Jocelyn 1980; Bain 1991:74–77. Jocelyn 1980 adopted ideas put forward earlier by W. Heraeus and A. E. Housman, who had collected and examined the available sources; he also took into account some further evidence discussed by Shipp (1977). Although exhaustive, Jocelyn 1980 should be read with caution, especially in terms of his assertions about λαικάζειν in late antique and medieval Greek and about the possible sources of medieval Greek texts; cf. also Bain’s criticism (1991:75n196, and 76n202). For fellare, see Adams 1982:130–134; for irrumare, see Adams 1982:125–130 (especially p. 126: “irrumo and fello describe the same type of sexual act, but from different points of view: irrumo from the viewpoint of the active violator [= mentulam in os inserere], fello from that of the passive participant”); for substitutes for fellare and irrumare, cf. Adams 1982:211–213.
[ back ] 91. Davidson 2000:50–51.
[ back ] 92. Ekklesiazousai 920. On this passage, see Ussher 1973:203–204; Henderson 1991:183–184; Pfeijffer 2000:173n34; contra Jocelyn 1980:33–34. For a similar reference to lambda in Anthologia Palatina 12.187 (Straton), see Lenaiou 1935:87; Jocelyn 1980:43–44.
[ back ] 93. See n. 88, the passages quoted in Scholia on Aristophanes Wasps 1346. Later lexicographers and commentators frequently refer to “the Lesbian practice” without making any distinction between women and men (for sources, see Jocelyn 1980:48n66).
[ back ] 94. Cf. Pfeijffer 2000:173n34. Since Aristophanes Ekklesiazousai 918–923 is a problematic passage (for the attribution of lines to speakers, see Sommerstein 1998:217), Pfeijffer’s conclusion that “these reputed Lesbian oral skills were not incompatible with female homosexuality” goes unnecessarily beyond the ancient evidence about the known Lesbian sexual practice.
[ back ] 95. Loukianos Pseudologistês 28 mentions both verbs without making or providing a clear-cut distinction. Note that Galenos XII. 249 Kühn suggests that performing cunnilingus (phoinikizein) is worse than performing fellatio (lesbiazein), but the reason for his assertion is not entirely clear. For the “Phoenician sexual practice,” see schol. Aristophanes Peace 885, Hesykhios s.v. σκύλαξ, Etymologicum Magnum s.v. γλωττοκομεῖον (Euboulos fr. 140 K-A), and cf. Lenaiou 1935:87–88, Henrichs 1972:19–23, Henderson 1991:186, and Roilos 2005:262.
[ back ] 96. Cf. Aristophanes Akharnians 526–529 and Wasps 1346.
[ back ] 97. Dion Khrysostomos 66.9 οὐ γὰρ ὀλίγοις λίνοις, φασίν, ἢ δυσὶν ἢ τρισὶν ἑταίραις οὐδὲ δέκα Λεσβίσι θηρεύεται δόξα καὶ δῆμος ὅλος εἰς πειθὼ καὶ φιλίαν ἄγεται [ . . . ].
[ back ] 98. λακωνίζειν Aristophanes fr. 358 K-A and Eupolis fr. 385.1 K-A; συβαριάζειν Aristophanes Peace 344; ἀττικίζειν Platon fr. 183.1 K-A (and cf. Eupolis fr. 99.25 K-A); μεγαρίζειν Aristophanes Akharnians 822; λακεδαιμονιάζειν Aristophanes fr. 97 K-A; κορινθιάζεσθαι Aristophanes fr. 370 K-A; σιφνιάζειν and χιάζειν Aristophanes fr. 930 K-A and σιφνιάζειν com. adesp. 942 K-A; βοιωτιάζειν com. adesp. 875 K-A; χαλκιδίζειν Aristophon fr. 3 K-A; αἰγυπτιάζειν Aristophanes Thesmophoriazousai 922 and Kratinos fr. 406 K-A. For κρητίζειν and κιλικίζειν see Suetonius in Taillardat 1967:62–63 and 147.
[ back ] 99. For χαλκιδίζειν see Kassel and Austin’s annotations in Aristophon fr. 3 (note that the evidence is late). For pederasty in Khalkis, see Dover 1989:187–188; for Boiotia, see Dover 1989:81–82, 190. In Sparta, pederasty was said to have been widespread. According to Ploutarkhos Lykourgos 18, pederastic love was so approved among males that even the maidens attracted good and noble women as their lovers (οὕτω δὲ τοῦ ἐρᾶν ἐγκεκριμένου παρ᾽ αὐτοῖς, ὥστε καὶ τῶν παρθένων ἐρᾶν τὰς καλὰς καὶ ἀγαθὰς γυναῖκας . . . ). On Aelian Historical Miscellany 3.12 and Sparta, see Dover 1988a:123–124. For σιφνιάζειν, see com. adesp. 942 K-A and Kassel and Austin’s annotations (cf. com. adesp. 284 K-A); Aristophanes fr. 930 K-A (χιάζειν and σιφνιάζειν) is possibly about musical eccentricity or experimentation.
[ back ] 100. Cf. Dover 1989:183.
[ back ] 101. Pherekrates fr. 193 K-A.
[ back ] 102. Aristophanes Lysistratê 108–110. For similar associations, see Sophron frs. 23 and 24 K-A (from Women’s Mimes).
[ back ] 103. Cf. Herodas’ mimiambs 6 and 7; see below.
[ back ] 104. On dildos used by tribades, see [Loukianos] Erôtes 28.
[ back ] 105. In the Suda (s.v.), ἀρρητοποιΐα (“practicing unmentionable things,” “practicing fellatio”) is defined as ἀσέλγεια, αἰσχρουργία. In the Suda entry on ὄλισβος, widows are also listed among those who used the ὄλισβος (note the past tense “used” that the Suda compiler employs twice). In the same entry, Aristophanes Lysistratê 109–110 is quoted.
[ back ] 106. Fr. 592.16–17 K-A: τί ἐστι τοῦθ’ ὃ λέγουσι τ[ὰς Μιλησίας]| παίζειν ἐχούσας, ἀντιβολῶ, [τὸ σκύτινον;] , and see Kassel-Austin’s apparatus criticus on fr. 592.17–18. The supplements are highly likely: cf. fr. 592.18–21 and 24–25 K-A.
[ back ] 107. Fr. 354 K-A; for promiscuous women (μισηταὶ γυναῖκες) cf. Arkhilokhos fr. 206 W and see the testimonia quoted by West.
[ back ] 108. For Ionian music, see Aristophanes Thesmophoriazousai 163, Ekklesiazousai 883 and the whole scene thereafter, and Platon fr. 71 K-A.
[ back ] 109. Cf. above, p. 187.
[ back ] 110. See e.g. Anthologia Palatina 7.614, an epigram about two Lesbian women.
[ back ] 111. Theopompos FGrH 115 F 25.
[ back ] 112. Theopompos FGrH 115 F 227.
[ back ] 113. See Jacoby’s note on Theopompos FGrH 115 F 227 in FGrH 2D:387.
[ back ] 114. Ploutarkhos 303c–d.
[ back ] 115. Suda s.v. ὄλισβος; see above, p. 190.
[ back ] 116. Herodas 6; for the dramatic setting of mimiambs 6 and 7, see Headlam 1922:xlvii and cf. Cunningham 1971:160 and Mandilaras 1986:246.
[ back ] 117. Herodas 7.
[ back ] 118. Asklepiades 7 G-P (= Anthologia Palatina 5.207).
[ back ] 119. Commentary on this epigram in Gow and Page 1965:vol. 2, 122 and Dover 2002.
[ back ] 120. Klearkhos fr. 44 Wehrli ( . . . ὄντως ἐνέπλησε τὴν Ἑλλάδα): note that diverse shades of irony are evident in Klearkhos’ fragment. On this story, cf. also Ps.-Ploutarkhos de proverbiis Alexandrinorum 61 and Eustathios on Iliad 16.702 (vol. 3, 918 van der Valk). Eustathios refers to, and comments on, Klearkhos fr. 44 Wehrli quoted by Athenaios 12.540f–541a.
[ back ] 121. Klearkhos fr. 63.I Wehrli (Athenaios 10.457d–e); Timaios FGrH 566 F 35 (Polybios 12.13).
[ back ] 122. For Philainis and an intriguing papyrus fragment, P.Oxy. 2891, containing the beginning of a work attributed to Philainis, see Tsantsanoglou’s important study (1973a). On this text, see also Merkelbach 1972, Cataudella 1973, Luppe 1974, Marcovich 1975, and Luppe 1998. On Philainis, cf. also Parker 1992. Leukas was alternatively provided as the birthplace of Philainis (Gow and Page 1965:vol. 2, 4 and Tsantsanoglou 1973a:191), but P.Oxy. 2891, the only available fragment from a work attributed to Philainis, specifies Samos as her native place. Niko of Samos and Kallistrate of Lesbos were associated with the writing of such erotic handbooks (see Athenaios 5.220e–f, who also refers to Philainis in the same context). For a certain Salpe the Lesbian, allegedly a writer of paignia, see Athenaios 7.322a (= Nymphodoros FGrH 572 F 5). For the names Philinnis, Sappho, and other women who were their companions in a playful arithmetical epigram of Metrodoros, see Anthologia Palatina 14. 138. For Philaenis in Martial, see Martial 2.33, 4.65, 7.67 (pedicat pueros tribas Philaenis), 7.70 (ipsarum tribadum tribas, Philaeni)—an epigram following epigram 7.69, which mentions Sappho—, 9.29, 9.40, 9.62, and 10.22.
[ back ] 123. Ploutarkhos 249b–d.
[ back ] 124. For the story, see also Aulus Gellius 15.10 and Polyainos Stratêgêmata (Stratêgika) 8.63 Woelfflin-Melber (note that in this version it is a Milesian woman who proposed the measure).
[ back ] 125. See Hesiod fr. 214 M-W; Parthenios Erôtika Pathêmata 21 = anonymous on Lesbos FGrH 479 F 1 (according to Jacoby, “4th century BC?”; on Parthenios, see Lightfoot 1999:496–504). Lightfoot 1999:497 postulates that the version recorded in Hesiod fr. 214 M-W (= Scholia AbT on Homer Iliad 6.35) “hardly goes back to Hesiod; the inscription in iambic trimeters seems to point to a source in tragedy rather than to the influence of Callimachus’ Acontius and Cydippe.” That this remains a surmise needs hardly to be stressed. Parthenios Erôtika Pathêmata 26 (ἱστορεῖ Εὐφορίων Θρᾳκί [the third century BC poet “Euphorion tells the story in his Thrax”]) provides a different narrative about a girl from Lesbos who, according to a tradition, threw herself into the sea to avoid the pursuit of a man, who will be eventually killed by Akhilleus when the latter was plundering Lesbos. This seems to be an inversion of the story that Sappho threw herself into the sea from the cliff of Leukatas because of her unrequited love for Phaon (see below).
[ back ] 126. Cf. Lightfoot 1999:496.
[ back ] 127. Hesiod fr. 214 M-W.
[ back ] 128. Aelian Historical Miscellany 12.18. Cf. Suda s.v. Φάων.
[ back ] 129. See above, n. 78.
[ back ] 130. Pherekrates fr. 113. 28–31 K-A.
[ back ] 131. Hesykhios s.v. ῥοδωνιά· ὁ τόπος ἔνθα φύεται τὰ ῥόδα. καθάπερ καὶ ἰωνιά, ὅπου τὰ ἴα φύεται καὶ κρινωνιά, ἔνθα τὰ κρίνα. δηλοῖ δὲ καὶ τὸ ἀναιδές. See also Schol. (K) on Theokritos 10.11, 242.19 Wendel, which quotes the fragment. For the possible context of Kratinos fr. 116 K-A, see Kassel and Austin’s annotations. On ῥόδον and ῥοδωνιά, cf. Lenaiou 1935:26–27 and Henderson 1991:135. On σέλινα in the sense of “vulva” in the same fragment of Kratinos (fr. 116.3 K-A), see Lenaiou 1935:27 and 34, and Henderson 1991:136 and 144.
[ back ] 132. On this practice, see Kilmer 1982 and Bain 1982.
[ back ] 133. Alternatively, non-Lesbian writers or sources might have associated this word with Lesbian linguistic practice.
[ back ] 134. The verb “to emerge” is here used conventionally: knowledge about archaic societies before the seventh century is scanty.
[ back ] 135. Cf. Harris 1989:48.
[ back ] 136. Among others, West 1973—based on ideas proposed earlier by German-speaking scholars—has argued for the early existence of Aeolic epic mainly on the basis of a piece of linguistic evidence from the fragments of Sappho and Alkaios (1973:191). In a later article, he expanded his theory (West 1988:162–165). Since then, however, some of his views have been challenged by Chadwick (1990) and, more to the point, by Wyatt (1992; for linguistic arguments against the existence of Aeolic epic, see the studies cited by Wyatt 1992:167n2). West 1992b virtually defends the same arguments propounded in West 1988, concluding that “Thessalian mythology, reference to Lesbos in the context of the Trojan War, and interest in Troy itself are not merely contingent phenomena that encouraged an Ionian epic tradition to sprout a few Aeolisms: they themselves point to prior Aeolic epic, and the linguistic Aeolisms point with them” (1992b: 175); cf. also West 2002. I see no way of proving or disproving such a view.
[ back ] 137. See also Sappho fr. 44A V, which resembles fr. 44 V in its metrical structure.
[ back ] 138. On this fragment, see especially the important studies of Kakridis 1966 and Rösler 1975. Cf. Rissman 1983: 119–148 and Schrenk 1994.
[ back ] 139. For metrical archaisms in Indo-European poetic traditions, one should consult Meillet’s seminal book (Meillet 1923). Nagy 1974, along with related work by scholars such as Roman Jakobson (1952) and Calvert Watkins (1995, with references to his early work), belongs to the tradition in linguistic analysis of metrics emanating from Meillet’s theory of Indo-European meter.
[ back ] 140. Nagy 1974:134–135. Cf. Nagy 1974:118–139, who focuses particularly on the “epic contacts” in Sappho fr. 44 V.
[ back ] 141. Hooker 1977 and Bowie 1981.
[ back ] 142. See also the rather intuitive conclusion that Wilamowitz reached in 1921: “wir beobachten die lesbische Poesie erst in ihrer letzten Stunde” (1921:98).
[ back ] 143. Arkhilokhos fr. 121 W αὐτὸς ἐξάρχων πρὸς αὐλὸν Λέσβιον παιήονα.
[ back ] 144. First attested in Sappho fr. 106 V. See also Aristotle fr. 545 Rose (and the sources quoted there), Zenobios 5. 9, Hesykhios M1004, Suda M 701, Eustathios Iliad 9.129–130 (vol. 2, 677 van der Valk).
[ back ] 145. See Aristotle fr. 545 Rose (= Eustathios Iliad 9.129–130, vol. 2, 677 van der Valk) Ἀριστοτέλης δὲ  . . . τὸ ῾μετὰ Λέσβιον ᾠδόν’ τὸν Τέρπανδρόν φησι δηλοῦν.
[ back ] 146. Other places—Methymna and the Aeolian Kyme—also are said to have been the birthplace of Terpandros: see Suda s.v. Τέρπανδρος and Diodoros 8. 28 (in Tzetzes Khiliades 1.388–395 Κιθαρῳδὸς ὁ Τέρπανδρος τῷ γένει Μηθυμναῖος·| . . . Διόδωρος ὡς γράφει . . . [lines 388 and 393]).
[ back ] 147. Ps.-Ploutarkhos On Music 1133c–d.
[ back ] 148. For bibliographical references, see Thomas 1992:53n4, and Morris 1993:73n8. For objections to such an early dating, see Burkert 1992:27–28.
[ back ] 149. Powell 1991:129. For a survey of “short” early Greek inscriptions, see Powell 1991:123–158.
[ back ] 150. IG I2 919; Coldstream 1968:32–33, 358–359; cf. Jeffery 1990:68 and 76, no. 1 and Immerwahr 1990:7; SEG 43.10, SEG 48.89.
[ back ] 151. c. 730–720, according to Jeffery 1990:235, no. 1. Powell (1991:163) rightly considers both alternatives possible. See also Immerwahr’s excellent discussion (1990:18–19) and SEG 46.1327. For the text of the inscription, cf. CEG vol. 1, no. 454. Note that the dating of the earliest Greek inscriptions on pottery is more often than not relative.
[ back ] 152. Murray 1994:51.
[ back ] 153. For a survey, see Powell 1991:123–186.
[ back ] 154. Cf. Harris 1989:46.
[ back ] 155. See Lambrinoudakis 1981:294 (plate 201a) and Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique 106 (1982): 604 fig. 132 and 605 for a Geometric krater sherd from Naxos dated to c. 770–750 BC; cf. Jeffery 1990: 466 A. See, further, Peruzzi 1992 for an inscription on a globular one-handled flask from Gabii dated to c. 770 BC; cf. Bietti Sestieri 1992:184–185, SEG 43.646, SEG 47.1478, SEG 48.1266 and 2101, and Rösler 2004:ii. For a late Geometric bird-bowl from Eretria with a graffito that probably provides (very fragmentary) metrical lines, see Johnston and Andriomenou 1989 (they date it to c. 735–725; contemporary with the cup of Nestor).
[ back ] 156. For orality and literacy in early Greece, see, apart from the studies cited in this section and in Chapter Two (“The Rhetoric of Lettering”), Andersen 1987, 1989, Detienne 1988, Stoddart and Whitley 1988, Baurain et al. 1991, Rösler 1997, Whitley 1997, Powell 2002, Yunis 2003.
[ back ] 157. Finnegan 1988:175.
[ back ] 158. The decisive impetus for that direction of analysis was provided by the researches of Parry (from 1928 up to the date of his early death in 1935) and Lord (see Lord 1960, and some of his earlier and later papers collected in Lord 1991 and 1995). For an account of the importance of the contributions of these two scholars, see Foley 1988:19–56. Lord’s research has been extended in a number of different directions by Nagy (1979, 1990, 1996). Parry 1971b:347–350 and 1971c suggested that Sappho’s language and compositions were oral-traditional.
[ back ] 159. See, concisely, Zumthor 1990:97 (and the studies cited there). Cf., further, Finnegan 1988 and Smith 1977 and 1991.
[ back ] 160. Thomas 1992:102.
[ back ] 161. For a recent survey of the contributions to the issue, see M. L. Lord’s Addendum to chapter 2 of A. B. Lord’s posthumous volume (1995:62–68).
[ back ] 162. Page 1963; Notopoulos 1966. For formulae in archaic elegy, see Giannini 1973.
[ back ] 163. For criticism of Page’s view, see Fowler 1987:10–11, 14–16 (and the bibliography he cites in his n35 [p. 109]). Thomas (1992:44) maintains that “a seventh-century poet like Archilochus went on composing partly in Homeric language and Homeric expressions adapted to the new metre, not so much because he was still an oral poet, or still belonged to a ‘partly oral’ culture . . . , but rather because the poetic tradition was dominated by the Homeric cycle.”
[ back ] 164. I explore elsewhere (Yatromanolakis 2007d) the composition of Sappho’s songs in the light of comparative and ethnographic material of women’s songs from the Balkans, Portugal, and India (see Coote 1977, 1992, and Vidan 2003, Lord 1995:22–62 on Latvian dainas, and Cohen 2003 on cantigas d’amigo).
[ back ] 165. See Dionysios of Halikarnassos On Arrangement of Words 23 (6.114–117 Usener-Radermacher); cf. Segal 1974:146–151.
[ back ] 166. Another example is provided by Svenbro (in Lord 1995:64): περὶ γᾶς μελαίνας (fr. 1.10 V), ἐπ[ὶ] γᾶν μέλαι[ν]αν (fr. 16.2 V), γ]ᾶς μελαίνας (fr. 20.6 V). However, the case of frs. 5.5 V and 15.5 V that is cited in Svenbro (1984b:77n59) is most uncertain (see Voigt’s apparatus criticus in Sappho fr. 15.5).
[ back ] 167. Cf. Sappho fr. 60.6 V.
[ back ] 168. The context here does not determine whether [ἀοί]δαν is the accusative singular or the genitive plural. Sappho fr. 101A V is attributed to Alkaios by Lobel and Page (fr. 347b L-P). Note that Bergk had joined Sappho fr. 101A V and Alkaios fr. 347 V (= Alkaios fr. 347a L-P) and reconstructed an eight-line poem (Alkaios fr. 39 Bergk in Bergk 1882:163–164); cf. an almost identical reconstruction in Lobel 1927:52 and in Page 1955:303–305. I agree with Voigt’s attribution (for earlier defenders of this attribution, see Voigt’s apparatus criticus; to those, add now Liberman 1999). Even if the fragment was assigned to Alkaios, the relevant phrase remains the same.
[ back ] 169. Gronewald and Daniel 2004a and 2004b. See also Gronewald and Daniel 2005.
[ back ] 170. It is perhaps tempting to see line 12 as the end of the composition, but, to my mind, the editorial siglum indicating initium or finis carminis could be here endorsed only with qualifications.
[ back ] 171. “Muses” [Μοίσαν] in fr. 58c.1 (= fr. 58.11 V) is most likely: cf. Sappho fr. 44A b.5 V (and see Voigt’s apparatus criticus). The context of Sappho fr. 103.4 V is unknown. For Sappho fr. 21.13 V Treu (1984: 189) argued that τὰν ἰόκολπον referred to Aphrodite.
[ back ] 172. The early Ptolemaic papyrus fragments provide us with some new fragmentary lines (see Gronewald and Daniel 2004a:5) that include the epithet λιγύ̣ραν (perhaps modifying singing or an instrument). In Sappho fr. 71.7 V, the sound of “breezes” (Lobel’s ἄη[ται]) may perhaps be “clear” (λίγυραι); cf. Sappho fr. 2.10–11 V.
[ back ] 173. A further example of repetition of thematic block deserves separate consideration. Hephaistion (9. 2, p. 29f. Consbruch) and some other sources (all in Voigt’s testimonia) quote the first line of a song by Sappho, where the Graces and the Muses are being called to appear: Δεῦτέ νυν ἄβραι Χάριτες καλλίκομοί τε Μοῖσαι (fr. 128 V) [note that δεῦτε and δεῦρο frequently introduce a Lesbian poem: cf. Sappho fr. 53 V, Alkaios fr. 34.1 V, and Sappho fr. 127 V, Alkaios fr. 33a.3 V, respectively]. Likewise, in another fragment the Graces are summoned (Sappho fr. 53 V: Βροδοπάχεες ἄγναι Χάριτες, δεῦτε Δίος κόραι). But in Sappho fr. 103 V, one of the ten incipits of Sapphic poems that are cited (]. δὲ (δέκα) κ(αὶ) ἑκάστης ὁ (πρῶτος) [, line 3 in Lobel and Page’s edition) reads as follows: ]..ἄγναι Χάριτες Πιέριδέ[ς τε] Μ̣οῖσ[αι (103. 8 L-P = 103. 5 V). In view of the traces of the two letters before ἄγναι, Lobel suggested δεῦτέ ν]ῦ̣ν̣ as a possible supplement for this line (ν]ῦ̣ν̣ is possible, but, of course, not entirely certain; I have examined the papyrus fragment and agree with Lobel and Page’s annotation: “secundae litt. vestigia in ν quadrant, sed solito latiorem, si eo quod praecedit signo ramus litt. υ extremus dext. repraesentatur”). What we observe is that Sappho repeated the same thematic block in the very first line of two metrically identical poems (for the metrical scheme [three choriambs and a baccheios] of fr. 103.5 V, cf., apart from Sappho fr. 128 V, Sappho fr. 114 V, evidently a wedding song). For another interesting case, see Treu 1984:205 and Aloni 2001:35.
[ back ] 174. Latacz 1990:238–239.
[ back ] 175. The studies on this aspect are numerous. It will suffice to refer to the following extensive investigations: Rösler 1980, Herington 1985, and Nagy 1990 and 1996; cf. also Thomas 1992:101–108 and 117–127, and Thomas 1995:106–113.
[ back ] 176. Finnegan (1977:16–24) stresses that oral poetry is connected with at least one of the following three parameters: oral composition, oral performance, and oral transmission. Finnegan’s scheme is adopted by both Gentili (1988:4–5) and Thomas (1992:6) in their discussions of the oral aspects of archaic Greek culture.
[ back ] 177. This is also true of much later periods, when reperformances of earlier poetry did not cease; but from the second half of the fifth century onward, it seems that the book trade and the establishment of writing as an important means of retaining and preserving knowledge of the past somewhat changed the balance between spoken and written word.
[ back ] 178. Thomas’s view that Simonides fr. 581 PMG suggests that “the late sixth-century poet Simonides implied with scorn that his poetry would last far longer than a mere inscription” and that “writing here could only be thought of as a mnemonic aid for what was to be communicated orally” (Thomas 1992:62; cf. 1992:115) is seriously undermined by Simonides’ statement in line 5 (ἅπαντα γάρ ἐστι θεῶν ἥσσω), which precedes his allegation that whoever believes that μένος στάλας can be set against nature is a fool, since λίθον δὲ | καὶ βρότεοι παλάμαι θραύοντι (fr. 581.5–6 PMG). The fragment in question does not necessarily contrast the performance and circulation of poetry with its written stability.
[ back ] 179. For evidence that Pindar’s compositions were probably set down in writing during his lifetime, see Herington 1985:202. See also Herington’s discussion of “the various ways in which literary texts can be shown to have been preserved in the period that ends with the late fifth century” (1985:45–47). Rösler (1980:78–91) discusses the case of the Theognidea; he concludes that Theognis’ poetry and some other parameters (e.g. the emergence of early philosophical prose writing) suggest that from the second half of the sixth century the first indications of the creation of a book culture in the fifth century appear. In regard to Theognis, Pratt interprets the “seal poem” as referring to the possible protection of Theognis’ poetry by means of writing (1995:173–177).
[ back ] 180. Fr. 118 V (quoted by Hermogenes in On Types of Style 2. 4, p. 334 Rabe; Hermogenes also provides information about the content of the song).
[ back ] 181. Cf. incerti auctoris 35.8 V (with an address to Abanthis).
[ back ] 182. For a discussion of such features of sound, see Kaimio 1977:129–132.
[ back ] 183. Aristoxenos fr. 81 Wehrli.
[ back ] 184. Plato (Republic 398e) mentions that the Mixolydian, the Syntonolydian and some other modes of that sort were lamentatory and used by women. Cf. Aristotle Politics 1340a. 40ff., Poludeukes 4.78 Bethe.
[ back ] 185. Terpandros may have played an important role in this. See Chapter Two, pp. 69, 118, 124–125.
[ back ] 186. carm. pop. fr. 853 PMG. See Klearkhos fr. Wehrli. Compare Sappho fr. 94 V.
[ back ] 187. West 1970a:307–308. For further, albeit more restrained, speculation on the subject, see West 1992a:210–211. For similar assumptions about repetition and monotony in Stesikhoros’ music and how in the triadic system the melody of the third stanza “stove off monotony,” cf. West 1992a:339. Cf. also his comparisons of “primitive” and “folk music” with early or archaic Greek music (about which fragmented information comes from late sources): West 1992a:328, 163–164. West 1992a based such hypotheses on older reconstructive musicological work that goes back to the time of C. Sachs and M. Schneider.
[ back ] 188. The work of Simha Arom on central African polyrhythm (Arom 1991) can provide an insightful comparative corrective to classicists’ hypotheses.
[ back ] 189. Sappho frs. 1.11 (ὠράνω αἴθερος); 16.11 (ἐμνάσθ<η> ἀλλὰ); and 55.1 V (κείσηι οὐδὲ). Cf. fr. 1.1 V; see further Yatromanolakis 2007a.
[ back ] 190. See West 1992a:259–263; West mainly adopts Westphal’s 1867 theory that ancient Greek musical notation comes from an early Greek (probably the Argive) script. For details, see West in ZPE 92 (1992), 38–41 (quoted also in West 1992a:261n15). M. K. Cerny has defended Westphal’s theory as well (Listy filologické 113 [1990]:9–18).
[ back ] 191. E.g. Rösler 1984:190, and Herington 1985:43–44.
[ back ] 192. Accepted by several scholars, e.g. West 1992:270.
[ back ] 193. See below in this chapter and Chapter Four.
[ back ] 194. Nettl 1964:230–231.
[ back ] 195. See the musical fragment from a dramatic lament on the death of Ajax preserved in Pap. Berol. 6870 (ll. 16–19), in Pöhlmann 1970:100–103 (Nr. 32); cf. Pöhlmann and West 2001:56–59 (no. 17). In regard to this fragment, cf. also West 1992a:320–321: “It seems therefore that in the Imperial period a new setting of an emotional lament from an older tragedy was made for a woman concert singer . . . ”.
[ back ] 196. See, among other scholars, Rösler 1984:189. For music as mnemotechnic device, see Vansina 1965:36–39 and 1985:46–47.
[ back ] 197. See Jack Goody’s comments on the equation of performance with transmission in oral societies (Goody 1992:15).
[ back ] 198. Rösler 1984.
[ back ] 199. Athenaios 15.695a (= carm. conviv. 891 PMG).
[ back ] 200. P.Oxy. 2298 fr. 1 (= Alkaios fr. 249 V).
[ back ] 201. Rösler 1984:189 “Reflex einer anhaltenden sympotischen Abnutzung, Produkt einer sich immer wieder auch in mündlicher und das heißt zugleich unkontrollierter Reproduktion fortpflanzenden Tradition.”
[ back ] 202. See also Fabbro 1992 and Rossi 1993; cf. Pardini 1991:555–558 and Fabbro 1995:120–130. Rossi 1993 believes that in line 1 κατίδην (carm. conviv. 891 PMG), as transmitted in Athenaios’ Attic collection of skolia, is the original version of the song, while προΐδην is a lectio difficilior provided by the papyrus that preserves the fragment (P.Oxy. 2298 fr. 1).
[ back ] 203. We hear from Aristotle Rhetoric 1398b Kassel (1976:130–131) that the sophist Alkidamas (floruit around 390 BC) thought that wise people are honored by all: “The Parians, at any rate, have given Arkhilokhos honors, even though he was abusive; and the Khians Homer, even though he was not a fellow-citizen; and the Mytileneans Sappho, even though she was a woman.” Note also that Isokrates in a letter addressed Τοῖς Μυτιληναίων ἄρχουσιν, defends a certain exile Agenor from Mytilene—at present the music teacher of Isokrates’ grandsons in Athens—and refers to Mytilene’s celebrated past: αἰσχρὸν γὰρ τὴν μὲν πόλιν ὑμῶν ὑπὸ πάντων ὁμολογεῖσθαι μουσικωτάτην εἶναι καὶ τοὺς ὀνομαστοτάτους ἐν αὐτῇ παρ’ ὑμῖν τυγχάνειν γεγονότας, τὸν δὲ προέχοντα τῶν νῦν ὄντων περὶ τὴν ἱστορίαν τῆς παιδείας ταύτης φεύγειν ἐκ τῆς τοιαύτης πόλεως (8.4, Mandilaras 2003: vol. 3, 230–231). Sappho had a long time ago sung about the superiority of the Lesbian ἀοιδός to those of other lands (fr. 106 V), and now (around 350 BC) her poetic fame seems to be implicitly included in the long Lesbian musical tradition.
[ back ] 204. On this issue, see Shields 1917:34–35.
[ back ] 205. Such songs could be performed in the cult of Adonis in other Greek city-states as well. In the case that institutionalized segregation of young women on Lesbos had partly provided Sappho with the subject matter of her songs—that is, that some of Sappho’s poetry was intended to be performed at young women’s festivals—then one might think of such ritual songs as being transmitted by being adapted to ritual contexts outside Lesbos. However, there is no evidence to support this idea.
[ back ] 206. Jacoby 1904:12. This is a well-established way of dissemination of poetry; see Finnegan’s discussion (1977:153) regarding oral poetry: “Emigrants sometimes take their songs with them when they travel and sing them with varying degrees of adaptation and new composition in the countries to which they go [ . . . ].”
[ back ] 207. The stories and different versions about the kitharôidos Terpandros’ travels and origins (the sources are collected in Gostoli 1990) are indicative of musical interaction between Lesbos and other Eastern and Western regions.
[ back ] 208. According to the Suda (s.v. “Sappho”), Anaktoria was from Miletos and Gongyla from Kolophon. Cf. Sappho fr. S261A.7–11 SLG (P.Colon. 5860), where it is said that Sappho was the educator of noble young women who came from Lesbos and Ionia. These sources are late and I do not assume any kind of validity in the realities they refer to.
[ back ] 209. Cf. Spencer 1995:301 and Spencer 2000. See also Shields 1917: xii–xiii (not known to Spencer).
[ back ] 210. Athens, National Archaeological Museum 1260; ARV 1060.145; Add. 323.
[ back ] 211. See Chapter Two, pp. 143–163. To the question “By when are Sappho’s songs viewed as written texts?” I would point to Aristoxenos fr. 71b Wehrli. However, see discussion below. Based on the image on the Athens hydria, Powell 2002:30 oddly holds that “the memorization of written poetry for musical performance . . . is attested on Greek pots of the fifth century.”
[ back ] 212. Stesikhoros fr. 277 PMG. This fragment is included in the spuria of Stesikhoros by both Page (1962: 136–137) and Davies (1991:232–233). The Stesikhorean authorship of Kalykê has been occasionally defended by some scholars.
[ back ] 213. Stesikhoros fr. 277 PMG. For other stories about young women and men in songs attributed to Stesikhoros, see Stesikhoros frs. 278 and 279 PMG (spuria).
[ back ] 214. See the argumentation in Chapter Four, p. 293. The significance of this song has not been explored in connection with other songs and ancient discursive idioms as well as with the Phaon narratives related to Sappho.
[ back ] 215. Ploutarkhos’ mention in the Banquet of the Seven Sages 14 of a woman in Eresos singing carmen populare 869 PMG is very late.
[ back ] 216. Anthologia Palatina 5. 132. 7 (= Philodemos 12. 7 Gow-Page [1968]). On this epigram, see Gow and Page 1968:vol. 2, 381–382 and cf. Sider 1997:108–109. Gow and Page considered also the possibility that the phrase οὐκ ἄιδουσα τὰ Σαπφοῦς “may mean merely that she does not know Greek” (1968:vol. 2, 382); even if one accepts this somewhat overskeptical view, this does not exclude that, although the Oscan woman did not speak Greek and thus could not sing Sappho’s songs, Greek women did.
[ back ] 217. See especially Catullus 35.16–17 ignosco tibi, Sapphica puella / Musa doctior [ . . . ] and Martial 7.69.7–10 and 10.35.15–18.
[ back ] 218. See Chapter Two, pp. 88–110.
[ back ] 219. Fr. 235 K-A. For the object of “take,” see Kassel and Austin’s annotations. Note that in Politics 1285a.35ss., Aristotle calls Alkaios fr. 348 V (an abusive song against Pittakos) skolion ( . . . ἔν τινι τῶν σκολίων μελῶν).
[ back ] 220. Reitzenstein 1893:13–17; skolia in Athenaios 15.693f–695f = carmina convivialia frs. 884–908 PMG.
[ back ] 221. Carmina convivialia frs. 893–896 PMG.
[ back ] 222. See Acharnians 980 and 1093; Wasps 1225; Lysistratê 632; Pelargoi fr. 444.2 K-A. According to Hesykhios’ report (s.v. Ἁρμοδίου μέλος), some claimed that the song was composed by a certain Kallistratos. For the term multiform, see Lord 1991:76 and 1995:23.
[ back ] 223. Diplasioi fr. 85.5 K-A and Agroikos fr. 3.1 K-A.
[ back ] 224. Telamon song: Aristophanes Lysistratê 1237, Theopompos [inc. fab.] fr. 65.3 K-A, Antiphanes Diplasioi fr. 85.4 K-A. Admetos song: Kratinos Kheirônes fr. 254 K-A, Aristophanes Wasps 1238 and Pelargoi fr. 444.1 K-A. A skolion by the early fifth-century poet Timokreon of Rhodos (fr. 731 PMG) is “cited” in Aristophanes Akharnians 532–534.
[ back ] 225. Aristophanes Wasps 1232–1235; Alkaios fr. 141 V (the restoration of Alkaios’ fragment as is printed in Voigt or Lobel and Page is primarily based on Aristophanes’ passage and on ancient scholia on that passage and on Thesmophoriazousai 162; if its aim is taken to be the reconstruction of the “original” song, this restoration may be considered tentative). On line 4 of this fragment, see Page 1955:237.
[ back ] 226. Praxilla fr. 749 PMG and cf. carmina convivialia 897 PMG. Cf. also Praxilla fr. 750 and carmina convivialia 903 PMG. According to Athenaios 15.694a, Praxilla was admired for her skolia. See also Chapter Four, pp. 343–344
[ back ] 227. For Praxilla 749.2 PMG γνοὺς ὅτι δειλῶν ὀλίγα χάρις is provided by the scholia on Aristophanes Wasps 1238 and Eustathios Iliad 2.711–715 (vol. 1, 509 van der Valk), while for carm. conv. 897 PMG γνοὺς ὅτι δειλοῖς ὀλίγη χάρις is preserved in the manuscript tradition of Athenaios (see Page’s annotations in fr. 749 PMG). Theognidea 854 = 1038b W is a slightly different version of the same idea (ἤιδεα . . . | οὕνεκα τοῖς δειλοῖς οὐδεμί᾽ ἐστὶ χάρις). It is of significance that the skolion attributed to Praxilla includes the address ὦ ἑταῖρε.
[ back ] 228. London, British Museum 95.10–27.2 [1895.10–22.2], tentatively dated to c. 470–460 BC (Csapo and Miller 1991:370) and preserving part of Praxilla fr. 754.1 PMG (according to Eusebios Chronicle Ol. 82.2, Praxilla’s floruit is 451–450 BC). On this vase, see Csapo and Miller 1991—with illustrations of the two sides and the tondo. The whole issue of the graffito inscriptions on this vase is complex.
[ back ] 229. Yatromanolakis 2007b.
[ back ] 230. Skolia are attributed to Stesikhoros (scholia on Aristophanes Wasps 1222), Simonides (scholia on Ar. Wasps 1222, Simonides fr. 651 PMG and carmina convivialia 890 PMG), and Pindar (see testimonia in carmina convivialia 912 PMG and cf. testimonia in Pindar frs. 122 and 125 M). Symposiastic encomia were hard to distinguish from skolia (cf. Harvey 1955).
[ back ] 231. Scholia on Aristophanes Wasps 1238.
[ back ] 232. Eustathios Iliad 2.711–715 (vol. 1, 509 van der Valk). See incerti auctoris fr. 25C V and Praxilla fr. 749 PMG. For modern attributions of the skolion to Alkaios and Sappho, see Voigt’s apparatus (inc. auct. fr. 25C V). Photios Lexicon A 370 (Theodoridis) provides similar information (Ἀδμήτου λόγον· ἀρχὴ σκολίου, ὃ οἱ μὲν Ἀλκαίου, οἱ δὲ Σαπφοῦς φασιν). The metonymic association between Sappho and Praxilla is of importance.
[ back ] 233. For the editorial reception of Sappho, see Yatromanolakis 1999a.
[ back ] 234. A further intriguing source, Dioskorides 18 G-P (= Anthologia Palatina 7.407), should be discussed in this context. Line 3 of this late third-century BC epigram addressed to Sappho reads: [Sappho, with the Muses surely Pieria honors you] ἢ Ἑλικὼν εὔκισσος ἴσα πνείουσαν ἐκείναις (“or ivied Helikon, [you Sappho] whose breath is equal to theirs”). Gow and Page (1965:vol. 2, 250) comment: “parts of Helicon are very fertile (RE 8.5), but ivy, appropriate to Dionysus and therefore to dramatists . . . and symposiac poets such as Anacreon (e.g. Antipater 246, 279), is less so to Sappho. The adjective does not occur elsewhere.” I would suggest that the epithet εὔκισσος is highly apt for Sappho, especially in an epigram that focuses on the diverse aspects and repertoire of her poetry. “Ivied” bears traces of a symposiastic understanding of Sappho that is embedded in one of the several Hellenistic epigrams about her. Note that these epigrams generally outlined and disseminated a deeroticized version of Sappho’s poetry. Moreover, I would like to draw attention to the use of μαινόλαι θύμωι in Sappho 1.18 V and the later attestation of μαινόλης as a ritual epithet of Dionysos (see Kornoutos On the nature of gods 60; Ploutarkhos On Restraining Anger 462B, Philon De plantatione 148, Origenes Against Kelsos 3.23, Klemes of Alexandria Protreptikos 2.12.2, Anthologia Palatina 9.524.13 [an anonymous hymn to Dionysos], Eustathios Oration 10.177, Iliad vol. 2, 259, vol. 4, 225, Maximos Planoudes Epistle 22; cf. Arkhilokhos fr. 196a. 30 W μαινόλ̣ι̣ς̣ γυνή and Hesykhios s.v. μαινόλης).
[ back ] 235. Cf. Chapter Four, pp. 357–358. The same applies to the association of Sappho with Anakreon.
[ back ] 236. A reference in Ps.-Ploutarkhos to an “invention” of σκολιά μέλη by this esteemed kitharôidos (καθάπερ Πίνδαρός φησι, “as Pindar says”; On Music 28) points to an ancient perception of the possible antiquity of this form. Cf. also Athenaios 15.693f.
[ back ] 237. See Yatromanolakis 2001a:161.
[ back ] 238. Anakreon 376 PMG. Even the catchword “once again” employed by Sappho and Anakreon (as well as by Alkman and Ibykos, poets whose compositions suggest some contact with East Greek or neighboring foreign cultures) might have been perceived as a sign of a common song-making tradition. On δηὖτε in these poets, see Wells 1973, Carson 1986:118–119, and especially Nagy 1996:99–102. Mace’s assertion (1993) that the use of “once again” reflects the existence of a distinct and clearly defined subgenre of erotic archaic melic poetry, is overly schematic and anachronistic to the extent that it is based on modern categorical principles. See Yatromanolakis 2003a, 2007b, 2007e on the interdiscurivity of archaic genre discourses and modern taxonomic concepts.
[ back ] 239. For clarity’s sake, I shall henceforth call the song quoted above, pp. 203–204, Sappho fr. 58c (= Sappho fr. 58.11–22 V along with the text provided by P.Colon. 21351 and 21376). See Chapter Four, n. 341.
[ back ] 240. Compare Sappho fragment 1.2 and 25–28 V with Anakreon fragment 357.6 and 9–11 PMG.
[ back ] 241. Cf. Alkaios fr. 362.1–2 V, quoted along with Sappho fr. 94.15–16 V and Anakreon fr. 397 PMG by Athenaios 15.674c–d. Compare also Sappho fr. 120 V and Anakreon fr. 416 PMG, both songs quoted together in the Etymologicum Magnum 2.45–48.
[ back ] 242. Or ἐπιθυμίς according to Ploutarkhos Symposiaka 3.1, 647F.
[ back ] 243. Athenaios 15.678d and 15.674c.
[ back ] 244. Athenaios 15.678d; Philetas fr. 42 Kuchenmüller. hupothumis was also the name of a type of bird in Greece: Dunbar’s excellent discussion of this bird is based on extensive ornithological research on birds in contemporary Greece (Dunbar 1995:249–250, commenting on Aristophanes Birds 302).
[ back ] 245. See also scholia on Pindar Isthmian 2.1b (3.213 Drachmann).
[ back ] 246. There is a lacuna before or after the word λόγων (see Page’s apparatus criticus in 402c PMG). Among the conjectural restorations quoted in PMG, Blass’s λόγων <μελέων τ’> is the most unmarked and least repetitive (cf. Bergk’s λόγων <ἐμῶν>); note the chiastic correspondence between λόγων and λέξαι and between the supplemented <μελέων τ’> and ἄιδω.
[ back ] 247. Orations 28.51 (2.158 Keil). See Yatromanolakis 2006b for discussion of other fragments; cf. also Sappho fr. 58b (P.Colon. 21351).
[ back ] 248. Anakreon frs. 373.3, 386 (pêktis); 472 PMG (barbitos); Sappho frs. 22.11, 156.1 (paktis); 176 V (barbitos). The same applies to Alkaios: see Alkaios frs. 36.5 and 70.4 V.
[ back ] 249. For a fifth-century BC source that explicitly calls skolion a composition of Anakreon’s, see Aristophanes Daitalês fr. 235 K-A (quoted above). See also Anakreon fr. 500 PMG (=Athenaios 13. 600d–e), where the fifth-century BC politician and poet Kritias calls Anakreon συμποσίων ἐρέθισμα (“the excitement/arousal of drinking parties”). For his image as symposiastic poet in later periods, see Loukianos Symposion 17 (for a performance of a sympotic centum of “Anakreon,” “Pindar” and “Hesiod”), True Story 2. 15 (Anakreon in the company of Eunomos of Lokris, Arion of Lesbos, and Stesikhoros—all in the context of a symposion in the Elysian fields), and cf. Aulus Gellius Attic Nights 19. 9. 3f. (for the Anacreontea). See also Suda’s συνέγραψε παροίνιά τε μέλη (“he composed drinking songs,” s.v. Ἀνακρέων) and compare the παροίνια attributed to Praxilla (fr. 749 PMG).
[ back ] 250. Carm. conv. 910 PMG (= Athenaios 14.625c). Athenaios reports that Pythermos of Teos was mentioned by Ananios or Hipponax. In antiquity Ananios’ poems were sometimes confused with Hipponax’s (see sources in Ananios frs. 1 and 3 W).
[ back ] 251. Athenaios 14.625c–d. Plato considered the Ionian mode soft and sympotic (Republic 398e  . . . μαλακαί τε καὶ συμποτικαὶ . . . ).
[ back ] 252. Apart from the relevant style of his fragments, several Roman and Greek authors acknowledge that his poetry was predominantly erotic; see, especially, Cicero Tusculan Disputations 4.71 and Klemes of Alexandria Stromateis 1.78.
[ back ] 253. See Ibykos fr. 288 PMG, his “ode to Gorgias” (fr. 289 PMG), and the testimonies de nostri puerorum amore in Davies’s edition (TB1–TB5 [1991:240]), to which add Anthologia Palatina 7. 714. 3 (quoted as TA10). For Stesikhoros, see Athenaios 13.601a. It has been cogently suggested by Hägg (1985:96) that in the fragmentary novel Metiokhos and Parthenope (c. first century AD), Ibykos was present at a banquet in the court of the sixth-century Samian turannos Polykrates and sang of the young couple; for the fragments of the novel, see Reardon 1989:813–815 and cf. Stephens and Winkler 1995:72–94 (on Ibykos especially pp. 73 and 75). Hägg and Utas 2003 provide an authoritative and insightful exploration, with critical editions, of Metiokhos and Parthenope and Vâmiq and ‘Adhrâ, an eleventh-century AD Persian epic poem by ‘Unsurîî that is based on the ancient Greek novel. For Ibykos, see their discussion in Hägg and Utas 2003:43–44, 104–105, 139–140, 167–168, 230–231. Ibykos is called *Îfuqûs (as restored by Iranists) in the fragmentary Persian epic and is presented as playing the barbat and performing songs of Diyânûs, that is, Dionysos (see further Hägg and Utas 2003:230–231).
[ back ] 254. For Alkaios’ pederastic poetry, see Vetta 1982; cf. also Buffière 1980:246–249, Cantarella 1992: 12–13.
[ back ] 255. Aristophanes Thesmophoriazousai 159–163. See Chapter Two, pp. 139–140.
[ back ] 256. The case of the reading “Alkaios” is more complex, since an ancient scholiast mentions that the variant reading “Akhaios” occurred in the older copies of the play (162 ἐν ἐνίοις δὲ Ἀχαιὸς γέγραπται, καὶ τὰ παλαιότερα ἀντίγραφα οὕτως εἶχεν). See all the discussion and reasoning in the ancient scholion on Thesmophoriazousai 162 (the scholiast rejects any argument against the reading “Alkaios the Lesbian poet”). Almost all modern editors retain (rightly, I believe) the reading κἀλκαῖος (“and Alkaios”) provided by codex Ravennas 429 and supported by Aristophanes of Byzantion (who, according to the scholiast, proposed it as an emendation) and the Suda (s.vv. ἐμιτρώσατο and ἐχύμισαν). There is scholarly consensus that Agathon refers here to the Lesbian poet, who, as I have discussed, is also “quoted” in other plays by Aristophanes. Cf. Birds 1410–1411 and see scholia on Birds 1410 and on Thesmophoriazousai 162, where it is reported that Birds 1410 parodies Alkaios fr. 345 V. It is significant that in Birds 1416 Peisetairos’ comment (εἰς θοἰμάτιον τὸ σκόλιον ᾄδειν μοι δοκεῖ) on the Informer’s “quotation” (1410–1411; cf. Voigt’s apparatus criticus) may suggest that Alkaios fr. 345 V was viewed as a skolion (or “drinking song”).
[ back ] 257. Cicero, Tusculan Disputations 4.71.
[ back ] 258. On Music 4.14.8–13 (p. 57 Neubecker [1986]). In this context it is intriguing that in the sentence that follows the passage discussed here, von Arnim in SVF 3.229 (Diogenes fr. 76 SVF) printed καὶ γὰρ ἅπερ Σαπ̣[φὼ] ὀνόματ’ ἔλεγε, τούτοις ἔθρυπτον, εἴπερ ἄ̣ρα (Neubecker 1986:57 prints καὶ γὰρ ἃ Περσαῖ[ο]ς ὀνόματ’ ἔλεγε, τούτοις ἔθρυπτον, εἴπερ ἄ̣ρα; cf. Kemke 1884:79, fr. 14.13–14). I intend to examine the whole text in detail elsewhere.
[ back ] 259. Scholia on Pindar Isthmian 2. 1b (iii 213 Drachmann).
[ back ] 260. Plato Phaidros 235b–c; Khamaileon fr. 26 Wehrli; Hermesianax fr. 7. 47–52 CA. The Neo-Platonic philosopher Hermeias, in his commentary on Plato’s Phaidros, often refers to and discusses Plato’s associative juxtaposition of the two melic composers (2.18, 42.12, 42.17, 42.32, 43.1, 43.18, and 88.21 Couvreur). See also discussion below.
[ back ] 261. In his Erôtika, fr. 33 Wehrli.
[ back ] 262. Dionysios of Halikarnassos Demosthenes 40 (5.214ff. Usener-Radermacher), where Hesiod, Sappho and Anakreon are used as characteristic examples of the elegant style, is not relevant to the issue. Menandros Rhetor 333.8–10, 334.26–335.4 refers to the many κλητικοὶ ὕμνοι of Sappho and Anakreon (“or the other poets”) but also juxtaposes Sappho’s kletic hymns to those of Alkman (for the problems arising from the transmitted text in 334.29–31, see the comments of Russell and Wilson 1981:232–233). Horace Carmina 4.9.9–12 (see below, n. 264) is similarly not relevant to my discussion. In his brief reference to the fact that Sappho sang of love and was counted “simply as one of the nine lyric poets,” Parker (1993:340) notes that she was compared to Anakreon (he also cites Winkler 1990:163 as a confirmation, but Winkler actually did not comment on this). Parker has taken into account the selected testimonia printed in Campbell 1982, and thus fails to see that several of the examples he cites are not relevant. The tendency to read testimonia out of their broader textual (let alone cultural) context is not confined to Parker, who does not go beyond noting the comparison.
[ back ] 263. Athenaios 4.182e–f. On the variant form barômos attested in Athenaios 4.182f, as well as the “Aeolic” form barmitos, see, briefly, West 1992a:58n43. Note that the historian Menaikhmos of Sikyon (c. 300 BC), in his treatise On Artists (Athenaios 14.635e), mentioned that Sappho, “who was older than Anakreon, was the first to use the pêktis.” In the same work, Menaikhmos argued (Athenaios 14.635b) that the pêktis, which according to Menaikhmos was the same as the magadis, was invented by Sappho. Both Aristoxenos and Menaikhmos (Aristoxenos fr. 98 Wehrli) maintained that the pêktis and the magadis were the same instrument.
[ back ] 264. Tristia 2.363–365. Ovid compares the “instructions” that Anakreon and Sappho gave to their addressees and companions. Horace Carmina 4.9.9–12 places the two figures in the context of other poets.
[ back ] 265. Gunaikôn Aretai (“Virtues of Women”) 243b. Ploutarkhos explores the arbitrariness of the taxonomic concept according to which poetic art is categorized as male and female: in doing so he employs as a case in point and places side by side the songs of Sappho and Anakreon. For a performative sympotic association of the poets in Ploutarkhos’ Sympotic Questions 711d, see discussion in Chapter Two, pp. 82–83.
[ back ] 266. Orations 2.28 (On Kingship II). This passage has remained unexplored in current scholarship on Sappho. The dramatic setting of Dion’s second oration on kingship is a discussion that Alexandros the Great had with his father Philippos. The theme of this discussion is Alexandros’ admiration of the Homeric epics and Philippos asks his son to give him reasons why he is infatuated with these poems. Alexandros reflects on what readings and intellectual exercises rulers should focus on, and when it comes to music (mousikê), he points out that he would not be willing to learn all existing music but only enough to perform hymns to gods with the kithara or the lyra and to sing the praises of brave men. As an example of those compositions that are not befitting to be sung by kings, he mentions the most obvious (γε): the erôtika melê of Sappho and Anakreon’s. Intriguingly, the whole discussion also focuses on how Alexandros envisages the musical performance of the Homeric epics (see Orations 2.29).
[ back ] 267. Anacreontea 20.1–2. Anakreon and Sappho are here modified with the same epithet (hêdumelês, “sweet-singing”). The poetic subject claims that if the two of them are mixed with a song of Pindar and poured in his cup, they would all be an exquisite drink for Dionysos, Aphrodite, and Eros.
[ back ] 268. Attic Nights 19.9.4. See discussion in Chapter Two, pp. 83–85.
[ back ] 269. Pausanias 1.125.1 (1.55 Rocha-Pereira). Anakreon is represented by Pausanias as the first poet after Sappho to write mostly erotic poetry.
[ back ] 270. Maximos 18. 9 l–m Koniaris (1995: 234–235). Ἡ δὲ τοῦ Τηίου σοφιστοῦ τέχνη τοῦ αὐτοῦ ἤθους καὶ τρόπου [this passage follows Maximos’ discussion of the τέχνη ἐρωτική of Sokrates and Sappho]· καὶ γὰρ πάντων ἐρᾷ τῶν καλῶν, καὶ ἐπαινεῖ πάντας . . .  (= Anakreon fr. 402 PMG).
[ back ] 271. Orations 13.170d–171a Schenkl and Downey (1965: 245; Ἐρωτικὸς ἢ περὶ κάλλους βασιλικοῦ). The two poets are excused for being exuberant and immoderate in the admiration of their beloved youths (paidika). Themistios goes on and accounts for his statement.
[ back ] 272. Orations 17.4 (p. 105 Colonna). In this oration on the Cypriots, Himerios observes that Sappho and Anakreon never cease to invoke Cyprian Aphrodite as an overture to their songs.
[ back ] 273. Also known as Gregorios Pardos, Commentary [Exêgêsis] on Hermogenes’ Περὶ μεθόδου δεινότητος ap. Rhetores Graeci 7. 1236 Walz. It is observed here that the ear is shamefully buttered up and cajoled by erotic phrases such as those of Anakreon and Sappho.
[ back ] 274. For example, Sappho is γυναικεράστρια in P.Oxy. 1800 fr. 1, which alludes to the pederastic model that applies to the male poets, since it may imply that she was believed to have played the erastês to a female counterpart of the male erômenos.
[ back ] 275. Stromateis 1.78.
[ back ] 276. Aristoxenos fr. 71a Wehrli (Ps.-Acro on Horace Sermones 2.1.30).
[ back ] 277. Aristoxenos fr. 71b Wehrli (Porphyrio on Horace Sermones 2.1.30).
[ back ] 278. Knights 405–406; Simonides fr. 512 PMG.
[ back ] 279. See e.g. Aristophanes Wasps 1410–1411, Simonides fr. 597 PMG, and Simonides fr. eleg. 86 W.
[ back ] 280. Storey 2003:66 dates the play to the early 420s (c. 428), but the dates he proposes are tentative. Cf. Storey’s somewhat tentative observations on Eupolis’ Helots (2003:176–179).
[ back ] 281. Eupolis fr. 148 K-A. Stesikhoros’ compositions might possibly have been viewed as traditional and as belonging to the older types of poetry in Aristophanes Clouds 967; see Page’s discussion in Lamprokles fr. 735 PMG and Stesikhoros fr. 274 PMG. In Eupolis fr. 395 K-A, Sokrates is represented as stealing an oinochoe while singing a piece by Stesikhoros to the lyre.
[ back ] 282. Aristophanes Clouds 1355–1362.
[ back ] 283. Simonides fr. 507 PMG.
[ back ] 284. Peace 697–699 and see ancient scholia on these lines. For the reference by the poor, patronage-seeking Poet to καὶ κατὰ τὰ Σιμωνίδου in Aristophanes Birds 919, see Dunbar 1995:521 (with bibliography) and 531.
[ back ] 285. Xenophanes fr. 21 B 21 D-K (= Xenophanes fr. 21 W; cf. Khamaileon fr. 33 Wehrli, and Giordano 1990: 82 [fr. 33] and 169–171). West 1989/1992:vol. 2, 189–190 places the fragment of Xenophanes in the category “haec ex elegis esse possunt”; see also Giordano 1990:171. The most thorough study of Simonides as a skinflint in ancient traditions is Bell 1978. For Xenophanes and Simonides as κίμβιξ, see Bell 1978:34–37, who concludes that “the comment ascribed to Xenophanes seems to be genuine.” The sources related to this established representation of Simonides include, apart from Xenophanes and Aristophanes, Khamaileon fr. 33 Wehrli, Ps.-Plato Hipparkhos 229b–c, Aristotle Êthika Nikomakheia 1121a.7, Rhetoric 1391a, 1405b.23–28 (= Simonides fr. 515 PMG), Theophrastos fr. 516 Fortenbaugh et. al. (1992:vol. 2, 338), Kallimakhos fr. 222 Pfeiffer, P. Oxy. 1800 fr. 1.40 (late second or early third century AD), P. Hibeh 17 (third century AD), and Stobaios 3.10.61. See further Bell 1978, especially his discussion of the later ancient representations of Simonides as wise.
[ back ] 286. For Anakreon, see Chapter Two and above; cf. the image provided by the fifth-century Athenian poet Kritias (Anakreon fr. 500 PMG = Kritias fr. 1 D-K).
[ back ] 287. Fr. 125 M. Cf. Aristoxenos fr. 99 Wehrli. The meaning of ὑψηλᾶς πηκτίδος (“tall pêktis,” “lofty pêktis,” or “high-pitched pêktis”?) is not entirely clear.
[ back ] 288. On “Phrygian and Lydian elements” in the music of Peloponnesos, see e.g. Athenaios 13.625e–626a (= Telestes fr. 810 PMG). Strabon 10.3.17 provides an interesting discussion of the ancient discourses about the Asiatic—for, example, Phrygian or Thracian—character of ancient Greek music (see his introductory proposition: ἀπὸ δὲ τοῦ μέλους καὶ τοῦ ῥυθμοῦ καὶ τῶν ὀργάνων καὶ ἡ μουσικὴ πᾶσα Θρᾳκία καὶ Ἀσιᾶτις νενόμισται). A comparative, ethnomusicological study of the different discourses related to the “literary” appropriation of Lydian and Phrygian musical structures in ancient Greece is a desideratum.
[ back ] 289. A very similar, almost identical, type of harp, the magadis, was considered either Lydian or Thracian in origin (see Michaelides 1981:199, Barker 1988, and Mathiesen 1999:274). The trigônos, also a harp, was viewed as either Phrygian or Syrian or possibly Lydian (cf. Michaelides 1981:322, West 1992a:72n105, and Maas and Synder 1989:150–151). For differences among these types of harp, see Maas and Snyder 1989: 147–154 (closely followed by West 1992a:70–75, where also earlier bibliography). For the identification of the almost spindle-shaped trigônos or trigônon, see Maas and Snyder 1989:151 (overlooked in West 1997:50). For the magadis, see Barker 1988.
[ back ] 290. It is not easy to infer from Pindar fr. 125 M that the Eastern poets “borrowed it from the Lydians” (see, among other classicists and music historians, Maas and Snyder 1989:40). Similarly, Barker 1984:49. According to myth, when Thracian women killed Orpheus—Thracian in origin—his head and lyre were thrown into the river by them and flowing into the sea were washed onto the shore at the city of Antissa on Lesbos; his lyre was found by fishermen and brought to Terpandros (Nikomakhos Excerpta 266.2–12 Jan).
[ back ] 291. We read, for example, that “if the exact nature of the pektis (or magadis) is uncertain, at least the Lydian origin of the instrument is confirmed” by fifth-century literary sources (Maas and Snyder 1989: 40), an older idea also adopted by West 1992:71 (cf. West 1997, which rehearses almost the same evidence) as well as by numerous scholars. Note that LSJ and its new supplement (in the writing of which West was involved) state that the pêktis was “said to have been introduced (from Lydia) by Sappho” (LSJ s.v.), and cite Menaikhmos F 4 FGH, despite the fact that the fragment does not support this speculation. Similar assumptions pervade the section on harps in West 1992:70–75 (e.g. on p. 72 we read that the type of harp “without the pillar is closer to oriental models and no doubt the earlier”). The overly speculative assertions in Beaton 1980 and especially Sultan 1988 are made from a similar, but far-fetched and anachronistic, perspective. Concerning the origins of the barbitos, Maas and Snyder are cautious (1989: 39).
[ back ] 292. Telestes fr. 810.4–5 PMG calls it “shrill-voiced.”
[ back ] 293. Sappho frs. 22 and 156 V.
[ back ] 294. Kratinos Herdsmen fr. 17 K-A; Malthakoi (“Delicate/Indolent Men,” “Mollycoddles”) fr. 104 K-A; Khionides Beggars fr. 4 K-A; Eupolis Helots fr. 148 K-A; Telekleides Sterroi (“Tough Men,” “Hard-Boiled”) fr. 36 K-A. It is of some significance that in Khionides fr. 4 K-A the songs of Gnesippos are associated with those of Kleomenes (on Kleomenes, see the sources in PMG 838, especially Epikrates fr. 4 K-A). See further discussion in Chapter Four, pp. 288–291.
[ back ] 295. Maas 1912; Stephanis no. 556 (pp. 117–118). For testimonia on Gnessipos, see TrGF vol. 1: 144–145 (and cf. the individual fragments, cited above, n. 292, in Kassel and Austin).
[ back ] 296. Kratinos Seasons fr. 276 K-A. Kaibel has restored the corrupt text of line 3 as follows: μετ’ αὐτὸν ὁ παρατιλτριῶν, see Kassel and Austin’s apparatus criticus.
[ back ] 297. This is how he introduces Gnesippos’ name in 14.638d (Γνησίππου τινὸς μνημονεύει παιγνιαγράφου τῆς ἱλαρᾶς μούσης). paigniographos is an emendation by Causabon, to my mind rightly defended by Maas (cf. Kassel and Austin’s annotation in Khionides fr. 4). Davidson 2000 sees Gnesippos literally as a writer of paignia, a composer of erotic poetry for adulterers, that is, “a dim reminder of a private theatre which from an early date rivaled the dramatic production of the polis and stood in contradistinction to it” (2000:58). More literally, and less convincingly, Cummings 2001:53 argues that Gnesippos might have been “the founder of the literary paraclausithyron as a distinct and developed genre of content.”
[ back ] 298. Cf. Kassel and Austin’s annotation on lines 3–5 (with reference to Meineke’s view).
[ back ] 299. For the trigônon (and tumpana) in a probably obscene context, see Eupolis Baptai (“Dyers”) fr. 88 K-A.
[ back ] 300. See Bourdieu’s analysis of analogous shapings of habitus in Bourdieu 1977:72–158 and 1990:52–111.
[ back ] 301. Eupolis Helots fr. 148 K-A.
[ back ] 302. On the iambukê and sambukê, see Michaelides 1981:279 (with earlier bibliography) and 146; Higgins and Winnington-Ingram 1965:67n34; Paquette 1984:290–292; West 1992a:75–77. Cf. Mathiesen 1999:278–280.
[ back ] 303. See, especially, Alexiou 2002a:4–23 and for further studies Roilos and Yatromanolakis 2002:261–272; anthropological, comparative, and ethnomusicological material: 270–272. See also Alexiou 2002b. Loraux 1990 and 2002 are subtle, somewhat schematic analyses. Relying heavily on earlier bibliography, Kowerski 2005 provides a general, uneven survey of the evidence about Simonides’ threnodic songs, including fragment 22 W. See further and from different perspectives Martin 2001:71; Nagy 2005:408–409; and Aloni’s insightful article (forth.). Among recent studies, see Derderian 2001; Huber 2001; Oakley 2004; and Sourvinou-Inwood 2005:119–146.
[ back ] 304. Sophokles Mysians fr. 412 TrGF.
[ back ] 305. Diogenes Semelê fr. 1.6–11 TrGF. The meaning of lines 9–10 is hard to translate adequately; for different renderings and the semantic problems of the lines, see Barker 1984:297n187 (neglected in West 1997:49). Casaubon suggested the emendation ψαλμοῖς τριγώνων πηκτίδων <τ᾽> ἀντιζύγοις ὁλκοῖς (see the apparatus criticus in Diogenes fr. 1 TrGF), an addition that produces more easily comprehensible sense, but not necessarily cogent in view of the scant evidence about possible ancient techniques of having three (or two) stringed instruments playing together.
[ back ] 306. Telestes fr. 810 PMG; cf. 806 PMG. In the latter fragment it is probably Olympos, a legendary Phrygian or Mysian reed-pipe player, who is viewed as the inventor of the Lydian mode. Aulos music was thought of as being imported into Greece by Olympos.
[ back ] 307. Ion frs. 22, 24, and 23 TrGF, respectively. In Ion fr. 23 TrGF, a problematic one-liner, the meaning of magadis aulos (cf. the apparatus criticus in TrGF) is usually determined by the fuller discussion and alternatives provided by Athenaios 14.634c–e, in which the fragment is quoted.
[ back ] 308. Platon Komikos Lakonians or Poets fr. 71.10–14 K-A. For the authorship of the play, see Kassel and Austin’s note before the first fragment (fr. 69 K-A) of the play.
[ back ] 309. On the kottabos-game, see especially Sartori 1893; Schneider 1922; Mingazzini 1950/1951; Sparkes 1960; Hoesch 1990a; Csapo and Miller 1991.
[ back ] 310. Aristophanes Frogs 1301–1303 οὗτος δ’ ἀπὸ πάντων μὲν φέρει, πορνῳδιῶν,| σκολίων Μελήτου, Καρικῶν αὐλημάτων, | θρήνων, χορειῶν (all three nouns modified by “Karian,” cf. Dover 1993:350). For other, erotic perceptions about being Karian, see the interesting but mid-third-century BC case of Makhon and his Khreiai, anecdotes about Athenian courtesans: 16.310 Gow (on the courtesan Gnathaina) and cf. Gow’s comments (1965:114). In these anecdotes about Gnathaina, it is striking that the comic discourses of the playwright Diphilos, a lover of the famous courtesan, are embedded in sympotic discourses that had been widely and previously appropriated by classical and postclassical comedy. Staged symposia are a common feature of ancient Greek comedy. In the Laws 800e, Plato refers to Karian women singers as hired mourners at funerals; for discussion and further evidence, see Alexiou 2002a:10 and 107.
[ back ] 311. See above, pp. 190–191.
[ back ] 312. See Kemp 1966:220–221; Starr 1978; Maas and Snyder 1989:184–185; Davidson 1997:81–82, 197–198; Lewis 2002:94–97, 157–159.
[ back ] 313. Republic 398e Τίνες οὖν μαλακαί τε καὶ συμποτικαὶ τῶν ἁρμονιῶν; Ἰαστί, ἦ δ’ ὅς, καὶ λυδιστὶ αὖ τινες χαλαραὶ καλοῦνται.
[ back ] 314. Republic 399c–d.
[ back ] 315. Lakhês 188d.
[ back ] 316. Aristotle Politics 1341a39–b1. In the same context, Aristotle also refers to heptagôna, an otherwise unknown stringed instrument (cf. Michaelides 1981:124). Skindapsos or kindapsos, another stringed instrument, perhaps a type of lute (like the pandoura), mentioned by Anaxilas Lyre-maker fr. 15 K-A along with the barbitos, the pêktis, the kithara, and the lyra, was in the late fourth century represented as an entertainment item for “the woman who does not know the distaff” (Matron of Pitane fr. 539 SH and cf. Lloyd-Jones and Parsons’ apparatus criticus, “ἀνηλακάτοιο: id est, meretriculae?”). Cf. Timon of Phlious fr. 812.3 SH ( . . . νοῦν δ’ εἶχεν ἐλάσσονα κινδαψοῖο) for the alleged stupidity of the instrument. On the skindapsos, see Higgins and Winnington-Ingram’s excellent discussion (1965:66–67; West 1992:60 thinks that skindapsos is a kind of lyre.); Michaelides 1981:166; Maas-Snyder 1989:185–186.
[ back ] 317. Aristoxenos fr. 97 Wehrli.
[ back ] 318. Sopatros fr. 12 K-A. Note that here pêktis may perhaps allude to a lute, but this is far from certain. See the insightful discussion in Higgins and Winnington-Ingram 1965:66n30 (overlooked in West 1997:52, “[t]he reference must be to a two-stringed lute”). Higgins and Winnington-Ingram (with earlier bibliography) are right in arguing that “the reference may be to stringing in ‘double courses.’”
[ back ] 319. Polymnestos: Alkman fr. 145 PMG and Pindar fr. 188 M; cf. Kratinos fr. 338 K-A. On Polymnestos and the so-called Hypolydian tonos, see Ps.-Ploutarkhos On Music 1141b. For Olympos, see Telestes fr. 806 PMG (“Olympos” likely as the subject); Aristoxenos fr. 80 Wehrli; Klemes Stromateis 1.76.4–6 (περί τε μουσικὴν Ὄλυμπος ὁ Μυσὸς τὴν Λύδιον ἁρμονίαν ἐφιλοτέχνησεν [in the context of other heuretai]; cf. Aristoxenos fr. 83 Wehrli; Poludeukes 4.78 Bethe (on Olympos’ and Marsyas’ Phrygian and Lydian modes). The Aeolian harmonia is described by Pratinas fr. 712b PMG as suitable to all boasters in song while, again according to Pratinas (fr. 712a), the Ionian mode represents the “relaxed” Muse compared to the tense Muse (note that the word Ἰαστί is considered a glossêma and deleted by Page in fr. 712a PMG and ἀοιδολαβράκταις is an emendation by Bergk in fr. 712b PMG; cf. Pratinas fr. 5 TrGF and Snell’s apparatus criticus). On the influential topos of πρῶτος εὑρετής, see especially Kleingünther 1933.
[ back ] 320. Poseidonios fr. 292 Edelstein and Kidd (1989:254–255). See also Kidd 1988:983–986. Discussion of the whole context of Poseidonios’ account of musical modes and the magadis in Anakreon would take us too far from the most salient issues here.
[ back ] 321. Athenaios 4.182e–f, 14.635a–b, and 14.635e–f.
[ back ] 322. See Kratinos Odysseuses fr. 153 K-A; Aristophanes Ekklesiazousai 943; Theopompos Sirens fr. 51 K-A; Hesykhios, Photios, and other lexicographers in Kratinos 153 K-A and in Campbell 1992:98–99. In Theopompos Sirens fr. 51 K-A, a similar conception may be detected, if viewed in the broader cultural idioms I investigated above: a woman instrumentalist “plays putrid/unsound melodies on her pipes, like those that belong to the era of Kharixene” (αὐλεῖ γὰρ σαπρὰ αὕτη γε κρούμαθ’ οἷα τἀπὶ Χαριξένης).
[ back ] 323. See Kratinos Kheirônes fr. 254 K-A; Aristophanes Danaides fr. 271 K-A; Wasps 1245–1247; Lysistratê 1236–1238, and later sources in Kratinos fr. 254 K-A and PMG 912. Kleitagora was alternatively considered “Spartan” or “Thessalian.” Cartledge (1981:92–93) refers to Kleitagora as a Spartan poetess. Cf. Athenaios 13.600f–601a on Megalostrate, “a Spartan poetess” at the time of Alkman (= Khamaileon fr. 25 Wehrli). In his Periploi (“Asiatic Voyage”), Nymphodoros of Syracuse reported that Salpe, an author of paignia, was from Lesbos (FGrH 572 F 5).
[ back ] 324. For music as language I find congenial the comparative ideas and methods developed in Feld 1974; 1984a and 1984b; Feld and Fox 1994; Feld and Schieffelin 1996 (orig. publ. 1982); cf. Feld and Brenneis 2004.
[ back ] 325. I do not here touch on the more specific investigation into what has been termed “New Music”; see especially Martin 2003 and, for an earlier period, cf. Wallace 2003.
[ back ] 326. Eupolis fr. 366 K-A with Kassel and Austin’s apparatus criticus.
[ back ] 327. Blacking 1973.
[ back ] 328. Yatromanolakis 2007b.
[ back ] 329. Anaxilas Hyakinthos fr. 27 K-A. For the expression πρὸς θεῶν in entreaties, “either in asking another to act (with imperatives etc.) or in urgent questions (when one entreats the other to reply,” see Barrett 1964:202 (quoted also by Kassel and Austin). That “Libya always brought forth and nurtured something new” was proverbial (see sources in Anaxilas fr. 27 K-A).
[ back ] 330. Page 1955:140; following closely Page’s discursivity, Parker 1993:339: “I am officially announcing its death” [i.e., of an approach]. For the connections between Page and Parker, see Parker 2005:19n8. For an absolute dismissal (based on no further investigation) of Calame’s reconstruction of the “circle” of Sappho (Calame 1977, 1997), see Helen Morales 1998 (“This is risible speculation”). Equally idiosyncratic language is displayed in numerous publications, attesting to the persistent, unfeigned desire to reconstruct the original context. On M. Williamson’s handbook Sappho’s Immortal Daughters (Cambridge, MA 1995) and recent insightful work on Sappho, see Yatromanolakis 2004a. On methodological paradigms, see Yatromanolakis 2007a.
[ back ] 331. I am aware that the cultural construction of categories like gender, ethnicity, and religion has been the focus of intense debate and criticism in a number of fields in the social sciences. For gender, see Gal 1992 and 1995.
[ back ] 332. Freud 1962:192 (my emphases). In a later publication, as well as others in between, Freud explores further the analogy: “Constructions in Analysis” in Freud 1964:257–269, originally published in 1937. More specifically, Freud stresses the process of constructing in a reconstruction: “His work of construction, or, if it is preferred, of reconstruction, resembles to a great extent an archaeologist’s excavation of some dwelling-place that has been destroyed and buried or of some ancient edifice. The two processes are in fact identical, except that the analyst works under better conditions and has more material at his command to assist him, since what he is dealing with is not something destroyed but something that is still alive—and perhaps for another reason as well. [ . . . ] Both of them have an undisputed right to reconstruct by means of supplementing and combining the surviving remains. Both of them, moreover, are subject to many of the same difficulties and sources of error.” On historical anthropology and the complexities of reconstruction, see Yatromanolakis 2007d.
[ back ] 333. For discussion of the date, see Strachey in Freud 1962:189–190.
[ back ] 334. This is particularly relevant to textual reconstructions and supplements recently proposed by some textual critics (especially in Italy) who occasionally employ Latin as their scholarly language, even in publications at the beginning of the twenty-first century, and reject the reconstructions of others ex cathedra.
[ back ] 335. For Lobel’s (1925 and 1927) and earlier reconstructions of a “pure Lesbian dialect” or “vernacular” in the fragments of Alkaios and Sappho, see the pathfinding studies of Hooker (1977). Page 1955 followed Lobel’s ideas almost to the letter. For an insightful criticism, see Gomme 1957, who, however, vehemently accused Lobel and Page of insensitivity to poetry (of Sappho fr. 168B V “both Lobel and Page have such a hate that they have banished it not only from Sappho, but from Lesbian,” Gomme 1957:265). For further related British polemics, see Page 1958 and Gomme 1958. Lobel’s authority has not ceased influencing more recent textual reconstructions and emendations. On Sappho’s poetic dialect, cf. Bowie’s monograph (1981). On Lesbian dialect, see the thorough, important work by Blümel 1982 and Hodot 1990 and 1997.
[ back ] 336. Cf. Yatromanolakis 2001a:159 and 166; 2003:43–46; 2005:16–17; 2007a.
[ back ] 337. Notably and more recently in Kowersky 2005. In this regard, it is interesting that in a review (Hermathena 171 [2001]:73) of D. Boedeker and D. Sider (eds.), The New Simonides, Oxford 2001, we read that “speculation can be exciting, but . . . the practice of ars nesciendi seems more prudent.” However, we then see its author, G.L. Huxley, proceeding to wild speculations about the possible historical identity of Ekhekratidas, a Thessalian ruler in the late archaic period. Cf. Kowerski’s characterization of this review as “excellent” (2005:47). On reconstruction of the fragments ingeniously edited by Peter J. Parsons in 1992 as P.Oxy. 3965, see Yatromanolakis 2001b:220–221 and 224–225. On the male representations of female voices, see the study by Richard Martin (2001). Martin is right in stressing the intricacy of the performance of women’s voices by male poets. On cultural determination and schematization in literary and archaeological analysis, see Sourvinou-Inwood 1991, esp. 3–23. On the tendency to consider hypotheses about historical events as more valid than reconstructions of ideologies, see Kurke 1994:69n6: “there is no justification for this naïve criticism—in fact, just the opposite: given that all we have in many cases are textual traces, we are in a better position to reconstruct the ideological or symbolic systems at work than the ‘realities’ of events.” On collecting ancient Greek fragments, see the interesting volume by Most (1997). On ethnomusicological consideration of ancient Greek “popular song,” see Yatromanolakis 2007b. On the “new,” by now “old,” Simonides fragments, see Nagy 2005.
[ back ] 338. For the notion of gaps of indeterminacy, see Iser 1974 and 1978:204–206.
[ back ] 339. I do not wish, however, to prioritize only early informants, since I do not share possible concerns for a markedly evolutionary scanning of ancient discourses. The focus of this book is mainly, but not exclusively, on the early stages, which in one way or another had impact on later discourses, despite the occurrence in later periods of divergent, sometimes ad hoc, definitions or representational multiforms. The first rehearsals toward the writing of biographical accounts of Sappho in later times were conducive to the formation of more established traditions, which were characterized by centrifugal tendencies in the construction of variant representations related to Sappho.
[ back ] 340. On taverns, see Davidson 1997:53–61. The study of the institution of the symposion was pioneered in Germany by a number of scholars: the history of scholarship is carefully discussed and represented in Vetta 1983a. On the symposion in all its attested varieties, see Reitzenstein 1893; Philaretos 1907; Martin 1931; Rösler 1980; Vetta 1980, 1992, 1996; Peschel 1987; Latacz 1990; Murray 1990; Slater 1991; Schmitt-Pantel 1992; Murray and Tecuşan 1995; Schäfer 1997; Slings 2000b; Fehr 1971, 2003. Vierneisel and Kaeser 1990 is an interesting volume exploring different aspects of the symposion. On kômos, cf. Smith 1998 and 2000; Bierl 2001; Pütz 2003.
[ back ] 341. For drinking and mutual commensality as a reflection of social contradictions and a mechanism for constructing social ideologies, see Karp 1980.
[ back ] 342. I prefer to speak of “audiences,” and not of “listeners” as Lord (1995:1–2) suggested, since “listeners” has marked associations of relative passivity on the part of the informants and pronounced, almost exclusive involvement on the part of the singer or even the ethnographer’s voice that interprets. “Audience” is not taken here as implying “a more formal type of event.”
[ back ] 343. Heidegger 1988:309.
[ back ] 344. Lobel 1951 (Sappho fr. 213 V). Treu (1984:165–166) suggested that Pleistodike is the same as Arkheanassa, the latter coinciding with the name of the Lesbian clan of Arkheanaktidai, on which see Alkaios fr. 112.24 and 444 V.
[ back ] 345. As far as I can see on the papyrus, [δ]έ̣δο̣ται in line 8 is far from certain. Voigt does not indicate this in her apparatus criticus. Note that Lobel 1951 commented: “[p]ossibly “[δ]εδοται, but ο not suggested by the trace on the line after δ] . . . , the feet of two uprights followed by the lower part of an upright descending well below the line.” I agree with Lobel that what is readable is μ[..].δ.ται, at the beginning of the line.
[ back ] 346. Maximos of Tyros 18.9 Koniaris. Maximos refers to Gorgo and Andromeda and quotes Sappho fr. 155 V, where the addressee is called Polyanaktid (Πωλυανάκτιδα παῖδα). Cf. Treu’s suggestion in n. 344 above. For the formation of Arkheanassa in Sappho fragment 213 V and possible associations it could evoke in later times, cf. Suda s.v. Ἀστυάνασσα· Ἑλένης τῆς Μενελάου θεράπαινα· ἥτις πρώτη τὰς ἐν τῇ συνουσίᾳ κατακλίσεις εὗρε καὶ ἔγραψε περὶ σχημάτων συνουσιαστικῶν. In this respect, more important is an epigram ascribed to Plato (IX in Page 1975:49 and in Page 1981:167–169), as well as a similar version of the same epigram attributed to Asklepiades (41 G-P), where Arkheanassa is the name of a hetaira from Kolophon: Ἀρχεάνασσαν ἔχω, τὴν ἐκ Κολοφῶνος ἑταίραν ( . . . ). On Asklepiades 41 G-P, see Gow and Page 1965:vol. 2, 144–145; on “Plato” IX, cf. Page 1981:167–169. According to Athenaios 13.589c, who attributes the epigram to Plato, ὁ δὲ καλὸς ἡμῶν Πλάτων οὐκ Ἀρχεάνασσαν τὴν Κολοφωνίαν ἑταίραν ἠγάπα; ὡς καὶ ᾄδειν εἰς αὐτὴν τάδε. Gow and Page persuasively suggest that “the lines were originally written as a fictitious grave-inscription by Asclepiades, with whose style they well agree, and were appropriated or misunderstood, and consequently tampered with, by those who ascribed them to Plato or wished to make them seem his” (Gow and Page 1965:vol. 2, 145). The version of the epigram attributed to Plato is indicative of the mechanisms involved in the textual transmission of a literary composition, which at a certain historical point becomes associated with the reception of the “personal life” of a philosopher like Plato. On Plato and ancient anecdotes about his lifestyle, see Riginos 1976; on Plato’s erotic affairs, cf. Riginos 1976:162–163.
[ back ] 347. Lobel and Page 1955 (1963). For this reason, it does not appear in Campbell 1982 either. Treu 1984:175 provides excellent brief comments. Lobel and Page believed that there was nothing to suggest an Aeolic poet, but this is true for other small fragments too, normally found among more extensive fragments copied by the same hand.
[ back ] 348. See Voigt’s apparatus criticus: “marg. sin. ad (a) col. II 9 coronis.”
[ back ] 349. Both genitives are used today: the one in -ως seems to be more frequent, but the use of the genitive in -ους or in -ως often depends on social communicative contexts.
[ back ] 350. Fragmentum adespotum 979 PMG = 1001 SH (Lloyd-Jones and Parsons prefer ἐκ Σάπφως . . .  [cf. Bergk 1882:706, fragmentum adespotum 62, and see Bergk’s apparatus criticus—for some of the early reconstructive approaches to Sappho, Alkaios, and the specific fragment—and Edmonds 1940:439], while Page and other critical editors print ἐκ Σαπφῶς . . . ).
[ back ] 351. Toup’s emendation Γοργῶς can hardly be challenged (κεκορημένου στόργος in ms.).
[ back ] 352. Euripides Alkestis 921 (σύζυγες; Admetos lamenting), 314 and 342; Aiskhylos Libation-Bearers 599 (ξύζυγοι ὁμαυλίαι). In the sense of “brother” in Euripides Trôiades 1001 (for Polydeukes and Kastor); in the sense of “yokemate” in Euripides Iphigeneia in Tauris 250 (for Orestes and Pylades) and in Aristophanes Wealth 945; cf. Herakles 675 for the ἡδίσταν συζυγίαν of the Muses and the Kharites.
[ back ] 353. Gentili 1988:76. Gentili continues: “we learn that Pleistodice, along with Gongyla, . . . is the ‘wife’ (szyx) of Gorgo, the woman who presided over a rival community. This means that the directress of the thíasos could be paired with two girls simultaneously.” Ritual marriage is a marked aspect in Gentili’s reconstruction of the original context of Sappho’s songs.
[ back ] 354. Calame 1997:212–213, 240. For Calame’s interest in initiation, see Calame 1999 and 2001:xi–xiv.
[ back ] 355. See e.g. Bremmer 1980:292–293 and Rösler 1992. Along with earlier German studies, Merkelbach 1957 and Brelich 1969 have had a significant impact on modern understanding of ancient Greek initiation. On initiation in Classics, cf. also Bremmer 1996, Graf 2003; and see especially the perceptive study by Lincoln (2003). On ancient terms denoting “ritual,” see Yatromanolakis and Roilos 2003:13–20.
[ back ] 356. Note that at least at a later period Arkheanassa was the name of a courtesan who, interestingly, came from Kolophon (see above, n. 346).
[ back ] 357. The book bears the title ΠΕΡΙ ΓΥΝΑΙΚΩΝ (at the colophon), although the other books of the Learned Banqueters are not modified by titles.
[ back ] 358. Athenaios 13.566f–567b, and, especially, 13.567a.
[ back ] 359. His rebuttal starts at 13.571a and comes to an end at 13.610b. In the context of this argumentation, Myrtilos refers a number of times to Sappho: 13.571d, 596b–e, 599c–d, 605e; cf. 598b–c. Strategically Myrtilos’ speech starts with Sappho (13.571d).
[ back ] 360. Athenaios 13.571c. See further 13.559a, where a fragment from the Korinthiastês (“Playing the Whoremonger”) of the early fourth-century BC playwright Philetairos is quoted: Philetairos fr. 5 K-A; see Apollodoros of Athens FGrH 244 F112 (a fragment from his treatise On the Gods); Hesykhios s.v. Ἑταίρας ἱερόν· τῆς Ἀφροδίτης Ἀθήνησιν. ἀπὸ τοῦ τὰς ἑταίρας καὶ τοὺς ἑταίρους συνάγειν (cf. Photios s.v. Ἑταίρας· Ἀφροδίτης ἱερὸν Ἀθήνησιν· ἀπὸ τοῦ συνάγειν ἑταίρους καὶ ἑταίρας); Klemes Protreptikos 2.39.2 οὐχὶ δὲ Ἀφροδίτῃ περιβασοῖ μὲν Ἀργεῖοι, ἑταίρᾳ δὲ Ἀθηναῖοι καὶ καλλιπύγῳ θύουσιν Συρακούσσιοι; and Macrobius Saturnalia 3.8.3). On the Aphrodite Hetaira, see Pirenne-Delforge 1994:428–430.
[ back ] 361. Athenaios 13.573a and 572e–f, respectively.
[ back ] 362. Apollodoros FGrH 244 F112.
[ back ] 363. Athenaios 13.571d.
[ back ] 364. Sappho frs. 142 and 160 V. Lobel and Page (1955) print fragment 160 as one line, without obelizing the word τέρπνα, since it is not certain that the fragment comes from a Sapphic stanza. Lobel 1925 wondered whether a question mark should be placed after ἀείσω (“shall I now sing these songs . . . ?”). For the textual problems of fragment 160 V, see Voigt’s apparatus criticus, where Treu’s concise but incisive comments are cited (Treu 1984:182).
[ back ] 365. Philetairos was thought by some in antiquity to be the son of Aristophanes (see Dikaiarkhos fr. 83 Wehrli and Suda s.v. “Philetairos”).
[ back ] 366. Except for Eualkes of Ephesos FGrH 418 F 2.
[ back ] 367. Klearkhos fr. 29 Wehrli.
[ back ] 368. See Sakellariou 1958:427–430.
[ back ] 369. Aristophanes Clouds 599–600; Autokrates fr. 1 K-A.
[ back ] 370. Herodotos 2.134.1, 2.135.5; Metagenes Breezes or The One Who Hides in His Mother’s Skirts fr. 4.1 K-A (note that LSJ mistakenly translates μαμμάκυθος as “blockhead,” while its 1996 revised supplement provides the definition “one who hides in his mother’s skirts;” μαμμάκυθος is employed in the same sense or in the meaning of μαλθακός [“mollycoddle”] in present-day dialects of Crete); Aristophanes Peace 440; Thesmophoriazousai 346; Wealth 149. The Homeric Hymn to Hermes, usually dated to the fifth century BC, also attests to the meaning “dinner companion” for the word hetaira (4.31 on which see Càssola 1975: 518). Lidov (2002:228–229) refers to this meaning of hetaira, but accumulates late—even medieval Greek—and earlier sources without distinction in his attempt to speculate that Sappho was presented as a courtesan in comedy (cf. Chapter One, p. 18). On Attic comedy and Sappho, see Chapter Four. Lidov seems to posit a seamless cultural continuity in the performance of Sappho that is not warranted by the sources and, as a result, his account assumes topsy-turvy dimensions. The problem with such ideas is not that they are speculative but that they neglect crucial methodological issues about synchronic cultural practices: often centuries are counted like years. For a similarly argued, somewhat impressionistic, connection between Sappho and the word hetaira, see Walker 2000:352n5. On the intricate—visual, textual, cultural—meanings of hetaira in archaic, classical, and early Hellenistic Greece, see Herter 1957 and 1960; Peschel 1987; Calame 1989; Halperin 1990:88–112; Reinsberg 1993; Davidson 1997:109–136; Kapparis 1999:4–8, 214–215, 311–313, 408–409, 422–424; Kurke 1999:175–219; Miner 2003; cf. Henry 1985.
[ back ] 371. Treu 1984:164–165; Liberman 1999:xcii–xciv.
[ back ] 372. I agree with Lobel’s suggestion (1951b:13) that in line 4 χορδαισιδιακρε̣κην probably represents χόρδαισ(’) ἴδια κρέκην. Cf. Voigt’s apparatus criticus, and Rodríguez Somolinos 1994:118.
[ back ] 373. For the fragment, see Page 1955:144–145n1; Giangrande 1980; Galiano 1984:142; Giangrande 1983; Rodríguez Somolinos 1994:117–118 and 1998:166–167 (cf. the discussion in Rodríguez Somolinos 1992:287–288 and Stephens 2002:78–80 [to be read with caution]; for hapax legomena in Alkaios and Sappho, see Rodríguez Somolinos 1997). West’s view that olisbos—only in this fragment—has the meaning of plêktron (West 1970a:324, followed by Guarino 1981) mainly indicates misapplied moralizing reflected in the modern study of Sappho. Without examining the papyrus, Snyder (1997:114–115) is somewhat skeptical about the decipherment of ὀ̣λ̣ι̣σ̣β̣.δόκο̣ι̣σ̣<ι> in line 5.
[ back ] 374. The gender of this name cannot be determined with absolute certainty. The point is generally disregarded that the association of olisbos with Polyanaktidai may apply either to female descendants of the house of Polyanax, or to male ones, since Πωλυανακτ[ίδ]αι̣ς̣ in line 2 can be the accusative plural of both a feminine and a masculine adjective (unless, surprisingly, it represents the nominative masculine singular [for the ending -αις in this grammatical case, see, briefly, Page 1955:84–85n1]). Modalities of male homoeroticism must have been as common in Lesbos as in other Greek areas, and Alkaios composed pederastic songs. In my discussion, I refer to Polyanaktidai as females.
[ back ] 375. See Kilmer 1993b:27, 29–30, 98–99 (and 100–102 for the involvement of male fantasy in depicting female sexual self-satisfaction).
[ back ] 376. Tibiletti Bruno 1969. See Hesykhios s.v. ἀλίσβη· ἀπάτη.
[ back ] 377. Nelson 2000 [2002], supporting West’s hypothesis through etymological views advanced by, among others, Frisk 1960/1972 (with earlier bibliography) and Chantraine 1968/1980.
[ back ] 378. Without suggesting that the issue of attribution is entirely settled, I would place this fragment back in the “Sappho fragment 99” slot that Lobel-Page and other critical editors reserved for it.
[ back ] 379. This phenomenon might be termed “scholarly warning,” but it is more than that. M. L. West was the chairman of the British committee that oversaw the project of producing a new supplement to LSJ, after the publication of the 1968 supplement (see pages v–vii of the new 1996 supplement). According to the preface of this supplement, “the Greek-English Lexicon of Liddell and Scott was first published in 1843,” and “in the 150 years which have passed since then its has gone through nine editions, the last being augmented by a Supplement published in 1968.” The ninth edition was published in 1940. After the publication of the 1968 supplement, M. L. West “kept custody of the slips from which it was printed and a collection of material that had been excluded from it” (p. v). West put forward his idea about the early meaning of ὀλισβοδόκος in a 1970 article (1970a). Since then he has proposed the same idea in other of his writings (West 1990:1–2). Cf. West 1992a: 65, where he speculates that “Homer’s failure to mention the plectrum encouraged the fallacious theory (Suda iv.323.10) that it was invented by Sappho, who does refer to it (fr. 99.5 L.-P.).” For the overall, somewhat politically charged, methodology adopted for the compilation of LSJ in the nineteenth and, especially, early twentieth centuries, see the “Preface 1925” in LSJ: iii–xi. The problems with the current LSJ are several and scholars have pointed to inaccuracies, methodological inconsistencies or obsolete linguistic approaches, and definitional/ideological preconceptions; most researchers are by now accustomed to thinking about definitions of ancient Greek words in terms of considerably marked evolutionary paradigms current in lexicography (as well as in social sciences) in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
[ back ] 380. Headlam 1922: xlvii and cf., among other commentators, Cunningham 1971:160 and Mandilaras 1986: 246.
[ back ] 381. Herodas 6.51. On this line, see Headlam 1922:301–302 (cf. Cunningham 1971:168). Nelson 2000:78 takes this association as possible supporting evidence for the meaning “plectrum” that West contended for the use of the word ὀ̣λ̣ι̣σ̣β̣.δόκο̣ι̣σ̣<ι> in Sappho.
[ back ] 382. On the himantiskoi in line 71 of Herodas’ sixth mime, see Headlam 1922:307–308.
[ back ] 383. Juvenal Satires 6.383–384; Akhilleus Tatios Leukippê and Kleitophôn 8.9.4. These two well-known passages are cited in Headlam 1922:301–302. Nelson 2000 adduces them and states that they were cited by Otto Crusius (1926:142). These cases indicate that the plêktron, literally a “striker,” was assimilated into the semantic frame of olisbos rather than that both words, as Nelson maintains (2000:79), “originally used to designate musical implements” and were only later used euphemistically to denote a leather penis.
[ back ] 384. Hunt 1914a:20–21.
[ back ] 385. Dornseiff 1921:97–102.
[ back ] 386. For a survey and criticism of the most important of them, see Race 1982:8ff.
[ back ] 387. Bundy 1986:5.
[ back ] 388. Here I employ Krischer’s terms (Krischer 1974) only to describe the two basic interpretive approaches that scholarship on this fragment has propounded.
[ back ] 389. For the terms, see Denniston 1954:162ff. and 165ff.
[ back ] 390. ἔρασθαι: once more in Sappho 49.1 V ἠράμαν μὲν ἔγω σέθεν . . . , where the meaning fluctuates between erotic and friendly love. ἔρος: in Sappho fr. 15.12 V the reference to “sexual love” that Page (1955:10) assumes, based on the text produced by Lobel and himself, is not so certain (see Voigt’s apparatus criticus); the context of fr. 23.1 V is irrecoverable; fr. 58.26 V seems to refer to “love” generally; in fr. 112 V, if it is correctly reconstructed, erotic content in the expression ἔρος δ’ ἐπ’ ἰμέρτωι κέχυται προσώπωι can be convincingly argued in view of line 5. Cf. perhaps Sappho frs. 44Aa.11 and 67b.8 V, where, however, the context is uncertain (ἔρος or Ἔρος?) or unknown, respectively. In Alkaios fr. 283.9 V, the word ἔρω<ι> denotes physical passion; in Alkaios frs. 296a.2 and 297.4 V, the context is lost.
[ back ] 391. Similarly, other words from the same stem do not show an explicitly erotic sense, except in a few cases: Sappho fr. 132 V ἀντὶ τᾶς ἔγωὐδὲ Λυδίαν παῖσαν οὐδ’ ἐράνναν . . . does not support such a meaning; ἔρατος modifies Anaktoria’s walk in our fragment, garlands in Sappho fr. 81. 4 V (in these two cases it could have amorous connotations), and, perhaps, the word “island” or Lesbos in Alkaios fr. 296b. 12 V (νάσ]ω or Λέσβ]ω δ̣’ [ἐ]ρ̣ά̣τας supplied by Barner [1967:172 and 174] and Lobel, respectively); the adjective ἐρόεις is applied to olive trees (Alkaios fr. 296b.2 V) and an altar (inc. auct. 16.2 V), but ἐρό]εσσ’ Ἄβανθι (inc. auct. 35.8 V) may perhaps be an address with amorous overtones.
[ back ] 392. Among the many parallels to this specific priamel that one can adduce, the following are striking: οὗτοι ἐν ἅρμασιν καὶ οὗτοι ἐν ἵπποις,| ἡμεῖς δὲ ἐν ὀνόματι κυρίου θεοῦ ἡμῶν μεγαλυνθησόμεθα (Psalms 19 [m 20]. 8 Rahlfs), and ὁ μὲν ἵππον εὖ διώκοι,| ὁ δὲ τόξον εὖ τιταίνοι,| ὁ δὲ θημῶνα φυλάσσοι| κτεάνων, χρύσεον ὄλβον·| . . . ἐμὲ δ’ ἀψόφητον εἴη| βιοτὰν ἄσημον ἕλκειν . . . (Synesios Hymns 9.20–24, 29–30 Lacombrade; see Pesenti 1922:50 and 53, and, especially, Terzaghi 1939:275 for similarities and differences between Sappho’s poem and Synesios’ hymn). Synesios may well look back to Sappho. But little or no influence could have occurred between Sappho and the Psalmist. Is this a Near Eastern or traditional motif that they exploited independently? Similarly important are Plato Lysis 211d–e ὁ μὲν γάρ τις ἵππους ἐπιθυμεῖ κτᾶσθαι, ὁ δὲ κύνας, ὁ δὲ χρυσίον, ὁ δὲ τιμάς· ἐγὼ δὲ . . . βουλοίμην ἄν μοι φίλον ἀγαθὸν γενέσθαι, and Anacreontea 26 σὺ μὲν λέγεις τὰ Θήβης,| ὁ δ’ αὖ Φρυγῶν ἀυτάς,| ἐγὼ δ’ ἐμὰς ἁλώσεις.| οὐχ ἵππος ὤλεσέν με,| οὐ πεζός, οὐχὶ νῆες,| στρατὸς δὲ καινὸς ἄλλος | ἀπ’ ὀμμάτων με βάλλων. The frequently quoted Delian epigram (κάλλιστον τὸ δικαιότατον· λῶ˼ιστον ˻δ’ ὑγιαίνειν·| πρᾶγμα δὲ τερπνότατο˼ν, τοῦ τις ἐ˻ρᾶι, τὸ τυχεῖν, Theognidea 255–256; cf. also its variations in Aristotle Êthika Nikomakheia 1.9.14 [1099a.27], Êthika Eudêmia 1.1 [1214a.5], and see the version of Sophokles fr. 356 TrGF: κάλλιστόν ἐστι τοὔνδικον πεφυκέναι, | λῷστον δὲ τὸ ζῆν ἄνοσον, ἥδιστον δ’ ὅτῳ | πάρεστι λῆψις ὧν ἐρᾷ καθ’ ἡμέραν), which has been thought to prove that ἔραται refers to “wanting” in a general sense, is rather different in thought and composition from Sappho fr. 16 V, since the epigram both expresses three categories of values (κάλλιστον, λῶιστον, τερπνότατον) and lacks any contrasting dramatis personae.
[ back ] 393. Barkhuizen and Els 1983:27.
[ back ] 394. The original audience(s) of the song in Sappho’s time could more readily “decipher” the meaning of ἔραται and thus would not need to wait for the final priamel so that they might make sense of the opening one. In our own effort to understand the function of the first stanza, the case seems to be the opposite.
[ back ] 395. Koniaris 1967:258–259. For more recent discussion of Sappho fr. 16 V, see Bierl 2003.
[ back ] 396. Cf. Race 1982:63.
[ back ] 397. Des Bouvrie Thorsen 1978:10.
[ back ] 398. On the gaze in Sappho’s songs, see the discussion in Stehle 1990.
[ back ] 399. For these visual discourses see below.
[ back ] 400. See Chapter Two, p. 57.
[ back ] 401. If, following current paradigms in scholarship, we attempt to “read” ἔραται in the context of choruses of young girls against the background of religious festivals, we remain uncertain as to what overtones we hypothetically attach to the word and the whole song.
[ back ] 402. For these epics and Indian oral regional epics, see especially Blackburn et al. 1989 and Smith 1991. As Blackburn and Flueckiger stress in Blackburn et al. 1989:7, “on one level are the regional retellings of the Sanskrit epics. Although the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyaṇa have become classical, literary texts, with standard editions, they also live in contemporary performance traditions.”
[ back ] 403. Sappho fr. 21.8–15 V. For aspects of the history of attribution of lines 12–13, before the first edition of P.Oxy. 1231 in 1914, see Voigt’s apparatus fontium in fr. 21 (Voigt 1971:48).
[ back ] 404. Diehl 1936:26 (his fragment 32 = fr. 21 V), where [δ’ ἀδύφωνον πᾶκτιν] ἄεισον ἄμμι is printed. In his 1925 edition, Diehl did not adopt a supplement (1925:343). In line 10, Diehl 1936 printed his [ἀλλὰ νῦν μέμνασθ’˘˘] τᾶς ἀγαύας—with its reference to the “memory of a companion” theme often adopted speculatively in textual restorations of the text of Sappho—and he noted in his apparatus criticus (1936:26) that Ἄτθιδος might alternatively be entertained—as another way of reconstructing the transition to λάβοισα in line 11.
[ back ] 405. Treu 1984:189.
[ back ] 406. See further Yatromanolakis 2007a (a suggestion I first put forward in my D.Phil. thesis).
[ back ] 407. Banqueters fr. 235 K-A (“Taking . . . sing for me some drinking song of Alkaios and Anakreon”); Clouds 1355 (lyra); and 1364 (myrtle branch). λαμβάνω is the verb used in all three cases.
[ back ] 408. Yatromanolakis 1999b.
[ back ] 409. See e.g. 21 and 58c (= 58.11–22 V). For the concept of multiform, see Lord 1991:76 and 1995:23.
[ back ] 410. Skinner 1991:84–85, Snyder 1997b:38–42; among other analyses.
[ back ] 411. In Yatromanolakis 2007a, I examine the papyrus text of fr. 22 V (= fr. 22B) and different restorations that have been advanced and rigorously defended, as well as the one suggested here.
[ back ] 412. Jurenka 1902.
[ back ] 413. Athens, NAM 15308; ARV 1249.17; Lezzi-Hafter 1988:pl. 138a–c and frontispiece in her plates volume.
[ back ] 414. It has been suggested that a standing listener might be missing (Lezzi-Hafter 1988:203)—an attractive idea, given the three-figure decoration exploited in other vases (oinochoai and choes) attributed to the Eretria Painter.
[ back ] 415. See Lezzi-Hafter 1988:339, no. 216, and 203.
[ back ] 416. See a terracotta relief in Heidelberg with a comparable representation (Maas and Snyder 1989:214, Münchener Jahrbuch 3 [1926]:267, pl. 8). The red-figure neck amphora London, British Museum E 271 (ARV 1039.13; Add. 319; Robertson 1992:215, fig. 224), attributed to the Peleus Painter, who was associated with the Group of Polygnotos (see Chapter Two), and dated to c. 440–430 BC, constitutes one of the earliest (perhaps the earliest, depending on dating) cases of representation of a harp in Attic vase-painting. On the obverse, Terpsikhore (ΤΕΡΨΙΧΟΡΑ), Mousaios (ΜΟΣΑΙΟΣ), and Melousa (ΜΕΛΕΛΟΣΑ) are depicted while on the reverse is an image of a woman standing between two draped youths with walking sticks. In this representation, the harp with arched soundbox and no pillar is plucked by the seated Terpsikhore. It is interesting that harps are not represented earlier on Athenian pottery. Note that Athens, National Archaeological Museum 19636 (Para. 479.91bis; Tsiaphaki 1998:357, fig. 35a), a pyxis (?) fragment, perhaps in the manner of the Meidias Painter and dated to around the last quarter of the fifth century, depicts a male figure, Mousaios, playing a harp and Thamyras with a lyre; Apollo and named Muses (one female figure is called Sophia, others are labeled Kalliope, Ourania, Polyhymnia) also appear. For Cycladic marble figurines of musicians playing harps, see Younger 1998:10–13, 71–73. On harps in ancient Greece, see Herbig 1929.
[ back ] 417. Athens 14791; ARV 1126.5. On representations of marriage in vase-painting, see Lissarrague 1992b:142–163; Oakley and Sinos 1993 (with earlier bibliography); Sutton 1997/1998 (with earlier studies); Sabetai 1997; Vérilhac and Vial 1998; and especially the excellent volume by Cavalier 1996, with ethnographic material and contributions by Kauffmann-Samara 1996 and Lissarrague 1996; see also Kauffmann-Samara 2003. On wedding songs, see Hague 1983 and especially Contiades-Tsitsoni 1990. On related aspects of marriage, see Avagianou 1991 and Parisinou 2000. I should note that Eros and Himeros flying or standing near female figures appear in different contexts and visual configurations and sometimes with different connotations in a large number of representations with personifications and goddesses (see the images in Shapiro 1993:63–64, 66, 68, 75, 105, 118–124, 196–199, 203, 205) and with scenes related to cultural performances of wedding and femininity (see images in Oakley and Sinos 1993:53, 62, 66, 67, 76, 83, 90–91, 95, 97, 99, 109–111, 116–119; and a number of cases in Burn’s monograph on the Meidias Painter [1987:plates 22–25, 27–29, 30, 42, 44–45, 48–51] and in articles on women and marriage in Cavalier 1996; cf. Kauffmann-Samara 1988:294, fig. 8).
[ back ] 418. On the Washing Painter, see Robertson 1992:223–227 and Sabetai 1993 (to which I did not have access). See Rabinowitz 2002:152n15 for the argument advanced by Mihalopoulos 2001 that the Washing Painter and the Eretria Painter were women vase-painters (I have not had access to the latter dissertation either). On lebes gamikos, cf. Sgourou 1997.
[ back ] 419. For other representations of standing (not seated) harpists, see volute krater Ferrara, Museo Nazionale di Spina 3033 (ARV 1171.1, 1685; Add. 338; Kurtz 1989:plates 33–35), attributed to Polion: on the reverse we see Apollo, Thamyris playing the kithara, and Muses seated and standing with musical instruments; red-figure hydria Berlin, Antikensammlung F2391 (unattributed, found in Ampelokepoi, Athens; Queyrel 1992:plate 385): an image of Muses, one seated on a hill and playing a lyre, another seated behind her (under the hydria’s right handle) playing the reed pipes, two others, one standing plucking a harp and the second standing and gazing at the Muse who plays the lyre seated on a hill; behind her and in front of the seated aulos-player an aulos-bag is hung in the field; in the scene there is also a fifth Muse. On the latter vase, see Chapter Two, n. 336.
[ back ] 420. New York, Metropolitan Museum 16.73; ARV 1126.6; Add. 332.
[ back ] 421. See e.g. pelike New York, Metropolitan Museum 37.11.23; ARV 1313.7; Add. 362 (Burn 1987: plates 35–37), attributed to the Meidias Painter. On the obverse, Mousaios is seated playing a Thracian kithara flanked by a female figure named Deiope, a child named Eumolpos, and Muses (Melpomene playing the harp, Erato drumming a tympanon, Kalliope, Terpsikhore), Harmonia, Aphrodite, Pothos, and Peitho.
[ back ] 422. Cf. Chapter Two, p. 152.
[ back ] 423. New York, Metropolitan Museum 07.286.35; ARV 1126.1; Add. 332.
[ back ] 424. Cf. also New York, Metropolitan Museum 16.73 (Fig. 29).
[ back ] 425. Würzburg, Universität, Martin von Wagner Museum H4455; ARV 1133.196; 1684; Add. 333.
[ back ] 426. Different tentative identifications of the figures have been proposed: see e.g. Robertson 1992:227 and Kauffmann-Samaras 1996:436 and 442. Most scholars see the presence of Aphrodite in one or two of the represented figures as certain.
[ back ] 427. Athens, Kerameikos 8070 (Knigge 1990:148, fig. 143 right). Note that the hydria was part of vase offerings (lebetes gamikoi, chytrai, cups, and other shapes) deposited in Athenian graves (see Boardman and Kurtz 1971:22).
[ back ] 428. Once Nocera, Fienga [no inventory number]. Metzler (1987:76) suggests that the anonymous seated woman represents “Sappho,” but see Chapter Two on this methodological paradigm.
[ back ] 429. Würzburg, Martin von Wagner Museum 521; ARV 1046.7; Add. 320. The reverse depicts draped youths.
[ back ] 430. New York, Metropolitan Museum 23.160.80; ARV 1075.10, 1703; Add. 326.
[ back ] 431. For contemporary male spectators, see the bell krater New York, Metropolitan Museum 21.88.73; ARV 1029.20, 1602; Add. 317 (Matheson 1995:pl. 47). The spectators often frame an image. Here, not unlike the cases considered in pp. 146–149, 153–154, and above, p. 272, the spectator stands across from the main performative event; he holds a staff behind a seated bearded man and makes a hand gesture. As in the case of the kitharôidos discussed in Chapter Two, pp. 91–93, the kitharôidos here is young and his clothing elaborate. This image, attributed to Polygnotos and dated to c. 450–440 BC, is the obverse of the vase; the reverse shows three draped youths. Behind the kitharôidos’ head occurs the inscription καλος, while near the standing spectator’s face Beazley read Νικομα<χο>ς κ<α>λος (Νικομας κ<α>λος). Note that the first καλος is near the face of the standing bearded man on the left. I suggest that καλος could sometimes be read as καλῶς by ancient contemporary viewers: cf. red-figure amphora Paris, Musée du Louvre G 213 (ARV 309.4; Schefold and Jung 1989:216, fig. 191), attributed to the Tithonos Painter; red-figure kalathos-psykter Munich, Antikensammlungen 2416 (ARV 385.228, 1573, and 1649; Add. 228; see Chapter Two, p. 76); red-figure oinochoe Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University, Sackler Museum 1960.354 (for an attribution, see Chapter Two, p. 71).
[ back ] 432. Rabinowitz 2002:117.
[ back ] 433. London, British Museum E 461; ARV 601.20; Kauffmann-Samara 1997:289, fig. 7; Vazaki 2003:247, figs. 41–42 (sides A and B). For a discussion of the obverse of this kalyx-krater, see Kauffmann-Samara 1997:290.
[ back ] 434. See Chapter Two, p. 151.
[ back ] 435. Berlin, Antikensammlung 30036; ARV 1173.1; Add. 339 (Shapiro 1993:193, figs. 151–154, and 228, fig. 186). For the inscriptions on the amphoriskos, see Lezzi-Hafter 1988:346, no. 251 (Lezzi-Hafter provides the date 430–425 BC); compare the drawing in Boardman 1989:fig. 308, where the names provided by the inscriptions are indicated (how accurately I cannot tell).
[ back ] 436. For representations of two women of whom one leans on the shoulder of the other, see Speier 1932:9–12.
[ back ] 437. Around the shoulder of the amphoriskos there are two Erotes, who confirm, as it were, the aspects of erôs highlighted on the main image.
[ back ] 438. For the Alexandrian receptorial activities related to the poetry of Sappho, see Yatromanolakis 1999a. The publication of three early Ptolemaic papyrus fragments of poems of Sappho (Gronewald and Daniel 2004a, 2004b, and 2005) and their juxtaposition with a fragment of a song that does not seem to belong to Sappho support the ideas advanced in Yatromanolakis 1999a:180 and n5, and 191. Cf. P.Oxy. X. 1232 and Hunt’s comments on col. iii, fr. 1, line 8: “That the number of the book was added is not very likely; and hence the possibility remains that the roll contained a selection from Sappho’s works and that a poem in different metre preceded the Marriage of Andromache” [i.e., fr. 44 V] (Hunt 1914b:50 and cf. Hunt 1914b:45). For further analysis, see Yatromanolakis 2007a. For S286 SLG (P.Mich. inv. 3498r), see Chapter Four, p. 360.
[ back ] 439. On the interdiscursivity of ritual patterns of signification and the concept of texture examined here, see Yatromanolakis and Roilos 2003; 2005a:15–18. See further Roilos and Yatromanolakis forth.
[ back ] 440. That πόλλα καὶ τόδ’ ἔειπε̣ can be analyzed differently (“she said much and this”), especially in view of the “contrast” between τόδ’ in line 3 and τάδ’ in line 6, has interesting implications, which space does not allow me to examine (on this issue and the asyndeta in these lines, see Yatromanolakis 2007a).
[ back ] 441. Carson 2002:185 renders the line in modern English as follows: “Oh how badly things have turned out for us,” while West 1993b:42 translates: “Oh, it’s too bad! How unlucky we are!” It is admittedly difficult to render the meaning of the ancient Greek here. A Cretan song (that I recorded during fieldwork in the summer of 1999) includes the phrasing “τί δεινά ἐπάθαμε,” which captures the sense more succinctly.
[ back ] 442. For the date, cf. the discussion in Cavallo and Maehler 1987:86 (“second half of vi”).
[ back ] 443. The fragment has been preserved in P.Berol. 9722, initially edited by W. Schubart with the assistance of U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff in 1902 (Schubart 1902:195–197), and republished by Schubart in 1907 in the Berliner Klassikertexte (Heft 5, Zweite Hälfte; Schubart 1907:12–14). The end of the fragment (18–29) was published again in a more complete form, due to the discovery of an additional piece in the Berlin Aegyptisches Museum (on the Museumsinsel) by Lobel (1925:79). Zuntz reedited fragment 94 in 1939 (Zuntz 1939:83–92). The same parchment also contains fragments 95 and 96 V and some other smaller but highly interesting scraps. These fragments have been placed by modern editors in the fifth book of the Alexandrian edition of Sappho’s songs on the basis of their metrical similarity to Sappho fragment 101 V, which, according to Athenaios 9.410d–f, was included ἐν τῷ πέμπτῳ τῶν μελῶν.
[ back ] 444. Blass 1902:468. This passage is also quoted in Bergk [1882] fr. adesp. 54 (see Bergk’s comment: “Aeolenses igitur poetae hanc structurae varietatem videntur frequentavisse. nunc exempla desiderantur”).
[ back ] 445. Erbse notes (p. 448 in his apparatus criticus): “neque . . . inveni hanc figuram usquam Aeolicam appellatam esse.” Cf. Sappho fr. 121 V and see further Yatromanolakis 2007a.
[ back ] 446. Yatromanolakis 2003a:57.
[ back ] 447. For line 19 see Voigt’s apparatus criticus. Although in line 12 the supplement πό̣[λλοις is not absolutely certain, πό̣˻λλαις in line 15 is safe, given that it is attested by Athenaios 15.674d.
[ back ] 448. Cf. Blech 1982:64–72.
[ back ] 449. See above in this chapter, p. 218.
[ back ] 450. Athenaios 15.688c. Cf. 15.669c–d.
[ back ] 451. On perfumed unguents and Sappho fr. 94.18–20 V, see Yatromanolakis 2007a. For references to unguents in archaic literature, see Lilja 1972:58–64 and Grillet 1975:90–92. In Greece they were produced already in Mycenaean period (cf. the word a-re- found in tablets from Pylos; see Jorro 1985/1993, s.v., and Probonas 1978, s.vv. ἄλειφαρ, ἄλειφα, and ἀλείφω).
[ back ] 452. Fragmentum adespotum 656. 30–1 TrGF. See the annotations and apparatus criticus in fragmentum adespotum 656 TrGF (also for the possible situational context of line 27; cf. line 35 ἐ̣ν τ̣άπητι Σ̣αρδ[ιανικῶι]).
[ back ] 453. For Alkaios, see especially fragment 322 V, with a reference to wine drops flying from Teian cups, and test. 462 V (Δικαίαρχος ὁ Μεσσήνιος, Ἀριστοτέλους μαθητής, ἐν τῷ Περὶ Ἀλκαίου καὶ τὴν λατάγην φησὶν εἶναι Σικελικὸν ὄνομα [Dikaiarkhos fr. 95 Wehrli] and ὅτι δὲ ἐσπούδαστο παρὰ τοῖς Σικελιώταις ὁ κότταβος δῆλον ἐκ τοῦ καὶ οἰκήματα ἐπιτήδεια τῇ παιδιᾷ κατα-σκευάζεσθαι, ὡς ἱστορεῖ Δικαίαρχος ἐν τῷ Περὶ Ἀλκαίου [Dikaiarkhos fr. 94 Wehrli]).
[ back ] 454. For the fourth snapshot of lines 21–23, see Yatromanolakis 2007a.
[ back ] 455. The capitalized P here and in line 9 [Persian] is not certain. For these two supplements, see Schubart 1907.
[ back ] 456. Cf. above, n. 452, and see Bakkhylides fr. 21.2 Maehler (οὔτε πορφύρεοι τάπητες), the latter parallel adduced by Crusius 1907:1309 and Voigt (1971:102, in her apparatus criticus on fr. 92).
[ back ] 457. Symposion 189c2–193d5.
[ back ] 458. Symposion 191d5: ζητεῖ δὴ ἀεὶ τὸ αὑτοῦ ἕκαστος σύμβολον.
[ back ] 459. Symposion 192d10–193a1: τοῦ ὅλου οὖν τῇ ἐπιθυμίᾳ καὶ διώξει ἔρως ὄνομα.
[ back ] 460. Cf. Chapter Five, n. 3.
[ back ] 461. Symposion 191d6–192b3.
[ back ] 462. Cf. the conditions of the homosexual men, as depicted in Aristophanes’ speech (Symposion 192a7–b2): ἐπειδὰν . . . ἀνδρωθῶσι, παιδεραστοῦσι καὶ πρὸς γάμους καὶ παιδοποιίας οὐ προσέχουσι τὸν νοῦν φύσει, ἀλλ’ ὑπὸ τοῦ νόμου ἀναγκάζονται (my emphasis).
[ back ] 463. In her insightful study, Politou-Marmarinou 1982:20 [226] stresses the significance of semantic contiguity based on similarity in sound; she aptly cites Levi-Strauss’s argument that “les mots sont contaminés par leurs homophones en dépit des différences de sens.” On ἑταιρίστρια and ἑταίρα, cf. the much later sources in Hesykhios s.v. διεταρίστριαι and Photios s.v. ἑταιρίστριαι. See also the inventive and rather obscene depiction of the sexual activities of ἑταιρίστριαι in Lesbos by Loukianos, who envisages the sexual behavior of a certain Lesbian Megilla, τὴν Λεσβίαν Μέγιλλαν τὴν πλουσίαν, as highly masculine (Dialogues of Courtesans 5.2): πότον τινὰ συγκροτοῦσα αὐτή τε καὶ Δημώνασσα ἡ Κορινθία, πλουσία δὲ καὶ αὐτὴ καὶ ὁμότεχνος οὖσα τῇ Μεγίλλῃ, παρειλήφει με κιθαρίζειν αὐταῖς· ἐπεὶ δὲ ἐκιθάρισα καὶ ἀωρία ἦν καὶ ἔδει καθεύδειν . . .  Ἄγε δή, ἔφη, ὦ Λέαινα, ἡ Μέγιλλα, κοιμᾶσθαι γὰρ ἤδη καλόν ( . . . ) Ἐφίλουν με τὸ πρῶτον ὥσπερ οἱ ἄνδρες, οὐκ αὐτὸ μόνον προσαρμόζουσαι τὰ χείλη, ἀλλ᾽ ὑπανοίγουσαι τὸ στόμα, καὶ περιέβαλλον καὶ τοὺς μαστοὺς ἔθλιβον ( . . . ). It is worth observing that in Dialogues of Courtesans 5. 1, the reading Λεσβίαν in the first sentence of the dialogue is provided by codex A, while codices γ, L, and Ψ (for the sigla see Macleod’s critical edition) transmit ἀσεβῆ. On the use of vulgar forms in the Dialogues of Courtesans, see Deferrari 1969:80–81. The names of the two masculine lesbians, Megilla and Demonassa, recall Sappho’s Gongyla and Arkheanassa; and the description that follows the entertainment with the kithara-playing ( . . . καὶ ἀωρία ἦν καὶ ἔδει καθεύδειν) is perhaps reminiscent of Sappho fr. 168 B V (lines 3–4  . . . παρὰ δ’ ἔρχετ’ ὤρα, ἔγω δὲ μόνα κατεύδω). However, I suggest that Loukianos here combines allusions to the by then current image of Sappho as a ἑταίρα and ἑταιρίστρια, the rumors about the immorality of Lesbian women (see Loukianos Pseudologistês 28), and, more importantly, certain social constructs that viewed lesbian women as masculine (cf. [Loukianos] Erôtes 28). Note that in the Dialogues of Courtesans 5.2, Klonarion claims the following about Lesbos: τοιαύτας γὰρ ἐν Λέσβῳ λέγουσι γυναῖκας ἀρρενωπούς, ὑπ’ ἀνδρῶν μὲν οὐκ ἐθελούσας αὐτὸ πάσχειν, γυναιξὶ δὲ αὐτὰς πλησιαζούσας ὥσπερ ἄνδρας. On this dialogue in the context of other hetairikoi dialogoi, see Yatromanolakis 2007a.
[ back ] 464. On fragments related to “intimacy”—whatever the original denotation of this concept might have been—see above, pp. 245–262, 277–283.
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