Ellen Greene and Marilyn Skinner, editors, The New Sappho on Old Age: Textual and Philosophical Issues
A Note on Classics@
1. Marilyn B. Skinner, Introduction
2. Dirk Obbink, Sappho Fragments 58–59: Text, Apparatus Criticus, and Translation
3. Jürgen Hammerstaedt, The Cologne Sappho: Its Discovery and Textual Constitution
4. André Lardinois, The New Sappho Poem (P.Köln 21351 and 21376): Key to the Old Fragments
5. Lowell Edmunds, Tithonus in the “New Sappho” and the Narrated Mythical Exemplum in Archaic Greek Poetry
6. Deborah Boedeker, No Way Out? Aging in the New (and Old) Sappho
7. Joel Lidov, Acceptance or Assertion? Sappho’s New Poem in its Books
8. Joel Lidov, The Meter and Metrical Style of the New Poem
9. Eva Stehle, “Once” and “Now”: Temporal Markers and Sappho’s Self-Representation
10. Dee Clayman, The New Sappho in a Hellenistic Poetry Book
11. Ellen Greene, Sappho 58: Philosophical Reflections on Death and Aging
12. Marguerite Johnson, A Reading of Sappho Poem 58, Fragment 31 and Mimnermus
13. Gregory Nagy, The “New Sappho” Reconsidered in the Light of the Athenian Reception of Sappho
About the Contributors
Chapter 12. A Reading of Sappho Poem 58, Fragment 31 and Mimnermus 
Much has been written on the Sapphic gaze, primarily in relation to the representation of the various personae in her poems and fragments.  I would like to address this subject as it relates to the poet’s depiction of herself, or her artistic construct, with a focus on poem 58 and fragment 31, to illustrate what Eva Stehle defines as “poetry in and through which the gaze opens the self to disintegration, shifting position, identification with the other, or mirroring of the viewer’s desiring self” (Stehle 1996:221). In addition to this feature of Sapphic poetic technique, I wish to consider further viable connections between the two pieces—specifically a similarity of theme (eros, geras and death) and one of artistic allusion (the poetry of Mimnermus). The results of this comparative study will hopefully shed some light on poem 58 in relation to an established fragment, fragment 31, as well as extend discussion of the latter piece—not only in terms of the themes of age and aging per se—but also in terms of the possibilities of the influence of Mimnermus, whose voice I suggest is not only audible in fragment 31 but in poem 58 as well.
In poem 58 Sappho laments the bodily effects of old age (58.3–6) while in fragment 31, writing on the physiological urgency of intense desire, she describes her body in crisis (31.5–16). In both pieces the same poetic devices are employed to evoke the Sapphic self-gaze: hyperbole, vivid imagery and the theme of transformation. The approach to the representation of the Sapphic body is also the same: viewing her body as if from above, the singer watches physical transformations caused by external factors, namely old age in poem 58 and, in part, the forces of eros in fragment 31. In keeping with an almost homogenous Greek belief, nothing is directly ascribed as coming from within. Additionally, from a conceptual perspective, Sappho connects eros with geras and death.  In poem 58 she sings of Eos and Tithonos (58.9ff.), specifying the goddess as ”mad with” eros because of his youthful beauty. Desperate to prolong his life for eternity—to conquer death—she achieves perpetuity for him but forgets to preserve his adolescent body. As Tithonos unendingly approaches death, engulfed by geras (58.12) like the poet herself, there is the metaphorical implication that eros dies with Eos’ repulsion at the aging youth. These themes, eros and death, also feature in fragment 31. Like Eos, Sappho is in the grip of erotic madness and her body acts involuntarily, with each symptom drawing her closer to a dramatic fatality. But this threat of fatality may well be, I suggest, as much the result of geras as it is eros—thus the tripartite theme of eros-geras-death may be regarded as featuring in fragment 31 also, thereby establishing further connections between the two Sapphic pieces in question.
A comparison of poem 58 and fragment 31 reveals three stylistic features of Sappho’s artistic composition. Sappho chooses hyperbole to convey emotional as well as physical states. The intensity of the hyperbole in poem 58 is heralded in the opening stanza with the use of the (conjectural) simple present, σπουδάσδω (line 2), which taken as an imperative, urges the chorus of paides (addressed in the vocative in 58.1) to zealously pursue the gifts of the Muses. Such dramatic urgency is continued with the use of the emphatically placed aorist, ἐπέλλαβε (58.4), the subject of which, γῆρας (58.3), governs ἔμοι δ’ ἄπαλον πρίν] ̣ποτ’ [ἔ]οντα χρόα (58.3). Thereafter are bodily transformations: whitening hair (58.4) and unstable knees (58.5). To emphasise these changes, Sappho juxtaposes them to earlier physical states: her hair was once dark (58.4) and her knees once as capable of dancing as fawns (58.6). The same poetic devices of hyperbole, vivid imagery and the theme of transformation are employed in fragment 31. As this piece has been the subject of extensive academic analysis, it is sufficient to summarise the techniques as follows: hyperbole governs the fragment from the very beginning with the simile comparing the unnamed man—designated by the demonstrative pronoun κῆνος (‘that man there’ or ‘whatever man’)—to the gods. This Homeric echo  is continued in the dramatic self-representation of the Sapphic ἐγώ characterised by more Homeric flavouring via the subversion of Iliadic and Odyssean passages to evoke the narrator’s erotic crisis. Bodily transformations that lead the singer to “the very point of death” (31.16) are described in economically vivid language.
In fragment 31 it has traditionally been argued that it is the presence of the woman that causes Sappho’s crisis. Yet the theme of geras may well be present in the fragment also—an external force equally as powerful as the object of desire. It is Mimnermus, composing a generation before Sappho, whose poetry strengthens this hypothesis. Before analysing Mimnermus fragment 2, however, it is necessary to briefly consider whether or not he is a viable source of influence for the songs of Sappho. In relation to this hypothesis, it is pertinent to note that during the Archaic age there was no fixed or privileged version of poetry or individual poems but rather a formulaic yet nonetheless fluid tradition of oral composition and re-composition (by ‘fluid,’ in contrast to ‘formulaic,’ the distinction between adopting and adapting canonical composition is meant). R. Rawles (2006:1–7), in an analysis of poem 58 and the links it presents to the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, for example, demonstrates how, in an artistic environment based on oral composition, Sappho constructs imitative songs by establishing “an allusive relationship” with her predecessors and contemporaries (Rawles 2006:2). Such a relationship may not always be predicated on “close lexical parallels” (Rawles 2006:2), but can just as legitimately—in terms of allusion—turn to other circumstantial points of poetic reference. Motifs in this sense are a pan-Hellenic  corpus of “quotable quotes” originating from a discernibly oral tradition. In this environment of composition there is naturally occurring parallel subject matter “handled with parallel sequences of thematic development, which in turn will be expressed with remarkably parallel formulaic patterns” (Nagy 1985:48).
On the basis of such a system of analysis, then, we may argue for a similarity of approaches to the specific theme of ageing by both Mimnermus and Sappho that is a natural product of this particular environment of composition. The problem with this analysis is, however, the obvious question: given the generic approaches to given themes, in this instance geras, is Sappho necessarily invoking Mimnermus? In reply I would suggest that as Mimnermus comes at an earlier stage in the history of Greek oral lyric his material—in all its glorious oral variations—was in the likely position of pre-eminence in regards to sources for allusion. Secondly, his treatment of geras matches Sappho’s not only in terms of general thematic approaches, but, more significantly, in a series of echoes of more precise motifs. The first of these two areas of compatibility is perhaps best seen in fragment 2, in which Mimnermus sings of old age:
ἡμεῖς δ’, οἷά τε φύλλα φύει πολυάνθεμος ὥρη
ἔαρος, ὅτ’ αἶψ’ αὐγῇς αὔξεται ἠελίου,
τοῖς ἴκελοι πήχυιον ἐπὶ χρόνον ἄνθεσιν ἥβης
τερπόμεθα, πρὸς θεῶν εἰδότες οὔτε κακὸν
οὔτ’ ἀγαθόν· Κῆρες δὲ παρεστήκασι μέλαιναι,
ἡ μὲν ἔχουσα τέλος γήραος ἀργαλέου,
ἡ δ’ ἑτέρη θανάτοιο· μίνυνθα δὲ γίνεται ἥβης
καρπός, ὅσον τ’ ἐπὶ γῆν κίδναται ἠέλιος.
αὐτὰρ ἐπὴν δὴ τοῦτο τέλος παραμείψεται ὥρης,
αὐτίκα δὴ τεθνάναι βέλτιον ἢ βίοτος·
πολλὰ γὰρ ἐν θυμῷ κακὰ γίνεται· ἄλλοτε οἶκος
τρυχοῦται, πενίης δ’ ἔργ’ ὀδυνηρὰ πέλει·
ἄλλος δ’ αὖ παίδων ἐπιδεύεται, ὧν τε μάλιστα
ἱμείρων κατὰ γῆς ἔρχεται εἰς ̓Αί̈δην·
ἄλλος νοῦσον ἔχει θυμοφθόρον· οὐδέ τίς ἐστιν
ἀνθρώπων ᾧ Ζεὺς μὴ κακὰ πολλὰ διδοῖ.
We, indeed, are just like leaves that the season of flowers
produces, springing up swiftly beneath the warm rays of the sun:
for us, like them, brief is the span of time when we take delight
in the blooming of youth; the good or bad to come the
gods keep a secret, while alongside us stand the two dark Spirits of Death,
one offering us the harshness of old age,
the other one bringing death. The fruitful time of youth
is all too brief, as brief as the day’s sunlight upon the earth:
and once the full ripeness of this season has passed,
from that moment it is preferable to be dead than to go on living.
A multiplicity of evils afflict one’s heart. One man’s property
wastes away, and painful poverty ensues;
another man is bereft of sons and feels this lack the keenest
as he makes his way down to Hades;
another endures illness that saps the spirit. There is no mortal to whom
Zeus does not allot a multiplicity of evils.
In this fragment, Mimnermus, in keeping with Greek cultural and literary tradition, regards geras as an external force that attacks the human body, mentioning “the two dark Spirits of Death, / one offering us the harshness of old age, / the other one bringing death” (fr.2.5–7). Mimnermus’ external forces are the Keres, the Spirits of Death, agents of the Moirai. While Sappho does not refer to specific deities—personifications of geras—that assail her, geras per se is certainly represented as an active, external force. Additionally, Sappho’s treatment of old age as it relates to youth is also found in Mimnermus. Sappho views age as a desperate condition and one to be mourned. Thus she reminds—or even warns—the paides to be aware of what they have (as in Mimnermus’ fr.2.7–8). Likewise, Mimnermus looks ahead to old age and reminds himself that it is inevitably close.
It is possible that Sappho was drawing from the works of Mimnermus in poem 58 as well as additional pieces by him in her other lyrics, most notably, fragment 31. As previously signposted, it has long been read as her response to the woman in fragment 31 that causes her seizure. It is noteworthy however, that in terms of the theme of old age in poem 58, fragment 31, when read in conjunction with another piece—Mimnermus fragment 5—is perhaps even closer to poem 58 than ascertained at first glance.  In fragment 5, the poet mourns fleeting youth and the onset of geras:
αὐτίκα μοι κατὰ μὲν χροιὴν ῥέει ἄσπετος ἱδρώς,
πτοιῶμαι δ’ ἐσορῶν ἄνθος ὁμηλικίης
τερπνὸν ὁμῶς καὶ καλόν˙ ἐπὶ πλέον ὤφελεν εἶναι˙
ἀλλ’ ὀλιγοχρόνιον γίνεται ὥσπερ ὄναρ
ἥβη τιμήεσσα˙ τὸ δ’ ἀργαλέον καὶ ἄμορφον
γῆρας ὑπὲρ κεφαλῆς αὐτίχ’ ὑπερκρέμεται,
ἐχθρὸν ὁμῶς καὶ ἄτιμον, ὅ τ’ ἄγνωστον τιθεῖ ἄνδρα,
βλάπτει δ’ ὀφθαλμοὺς καὶ νόον ἀμφιχυθέν.
The sweat pours down me, and my heart is filled with trembling
when I gaze upon my generation in full flower of
pleasure and what is beautiful. If only it would last much longer!
But as transient as a mere dream is
precious youth; soon ugly, dire, loathsome
old age looms above us,
disgusting and without honour, that renders a man
unrecognisable, and overwhelms both his eyes and his mind.
Once again, as in both pieces by Sappho, the physical response or condition of the mortal is a result of external forces: geras “looms above us” (fr.5.6) and “overwhelms” our “eyes and mind.” Closer comparison of all three pieces suggests that Sappho had more than a passing familiarity with the poetry of Mimnermus and has not only imitated it in poem 58 but utilised it in fragment 31. Of significance here is the two-line reference to Tithonos and the kakon of geras in fragment 4, which is combined with fragment 5 (with a lacuna between) in the Gentili-Prato edition:
Τιθωνῷ μὲν ἔδωκεν ἔχειν κακòν ἄφϑιτον< >
γῆρας, ὅ καὶ ϑανάτου ῥίγιον ἀργαλέου.
To Tithonos, he [Zeus] granted possession of an immortal evil <…>,
old age, something even more horrible than painful death.
In poem 58, geras “seizes” Sappho (58.4)  as it “overwhelms” Mimnermus; Sappho urges the paides to make the most of their time—a sentiment urgently expressed, and symbolised by reference to the “beautiful gifts of the fragrant-breasted Muses” (58.1) and “for the clear, sweet-singing lyre” (58.2) just as Mimnermus, significantly, “gaze[s] upon” his “generation in full flower of / pleasure and what is beautiful” (fr.5.2–3), then, as does Sappho (58.7–8), laments its brevity. As she sings of bodily transformations, he sings of old age that renders a man “unrecognisable” (fr.5.8). If we adopt the combined reading offered by Gentili and Prato, the similarities between poem 58 and the piece(s) by Mimnermus are substantially reinforced. Eros-geras-death thereby become a tripartite poetic concept in the compositions of both.
In fragment 31, Sappho sings of her bodily reactions—transformations—externally instigated. The woman’s “sweet replies” (31.4), “desire-inducing laugh” (31.5) and the mere sight of her are dramatised by the exclamation:
ὠς γὰρ ἔς σ’ ἴδω βρόχε’ ὤς με φώναι-
σ’ οὐδ’ ἒν ἔτ’ εἴκει,
For just gazing at you for a second, it is impossible
for me even to talk (31:7–8) 
This lends itself to an erotic interpretation. The forces of eros have assaulted Sappho. Yet the recollection of Mimnermus’ fragment 5 in fragment 31 adds layers of additional meaning to Sappho’s external assailants. He opens his poem with a powerful statement of a body in crisis, a device Stehle credits to Sappho in poetry “in and through which the gaze opens the self to disintegration” (Stehle 1996:221): “sweat pours down” him, and his “heart is filled with trembling” (fr.5.1) when he “gaze[s] upon” his designated object of wonder (fr.5.2–3). Additionally, the external force—geras—assails his eyes and mind. Sappho’s heart, as we know, pounds in her “breast” (31.6), her mind is not mentioned but its ally, the “tongue,” “is broken” (31.9) and she cannot talk; like Mimnermus, her mind is overwhelmed. As “a soft / flame” steals “beneath” her “flesh” (31.9–10), “sweat pours down” her (31.13) and, perspiring thus, like him she too is blinded (31.11). As old age brings Mimnermus closer to (inevitable) death, so Sappho reaches the point of no return in fragment 31. Both confront their own limited mortality.
As extensively documented by scholars, Sappho’s use of Homeric imagery, inverted from military or battlefield death scenes to an erotic context, has been at the forefront of analyses of fragment 31.  In support of her use of Mimnermus fragment 5 in the same piece, we may likewise argue in favour of clever inversion of the language of ageing to effect erotic verse. Her crisis, however, may be more complex than straightforward desire. It may well be the yearning of one who is old gazing at one who is young. This reading is strengthened by a reappraisal of Sappho’s opening line, the famous φαίνεταί μοι. Academic interpretations have focussed on the man’s equation with the gods in terms of his ability to calmly endure the presence of the woman or because he occupies the woman’s attention.  These are more than appropriate interpretations of the simile, yet it may be suggested that, if read in the context of the theme of ageing, the male in question may be regarded as fortunate because he is young, while Sappho is old. In a less poetic context, it may be useful to recall M. I. Finley’s seminal paper, “The Elderly in Classical Antiquity,” in which he states the basic facts of what the ancient doctors knew and wrote of ageing: “They knew that pulse rates changed with age, for example, that the elderly tended to … failing sight, and deafness” (Finley 1981:157–58).  Such symptoms of ageing, specifically blindness, are mentioned by Mimnermus when he sings of geras overwhelming “both his eyes and his mind” (fragment 5:8). The assault on the mind may well be a reference to the onset of dementia and while this may seem a somewhat farfetched interpretation of Mimnermus’ line, dementia was a symptom of ageing discerned by the ancients at least by the time of Pythagoras.  Perhaps this is also what besets Sappho in fragment 31—a symptom of ageing combined with an established symptom of erotic crisis to create a superb metaphor. As for the ancient view on youth, Finley continues: “Youth meant a healthy physique, beauty, and sexual attraction” (Finley 1981:162). Mimnermus and Sappho were clearly—and painfully—aware of both conditions.
Returning to the topic of the Sapphic gaze, notably the self-gaze, we detect further echoes of Mimnermus’ poetry. His tendency to self-observe, however, is not as consistent a poetic device in the extant fragments as it is in her work. While the use of the self-gaze as descriptive signifier appears in Mimnermus fragment 5, it is not there in fragment 2. It appears, however, in both pieces by Sappho as expressing personal and physical trauma. To better identify the Sapphic self-gaze, I acknowledge the definition by Bret L. Keeling, who, while writing on her erotic gaze, offers clear interpretive parameters: “a steadily intense way of looking at … a way of looking after (following with the eye), looking into (inquiring with the mind) … looking upon (considering and beholding), looking ahead …, and looking back (reviewing and returning)” (Keeling 1998:178).
When read in connection with poem 58 and fragment 31, these ways of looking at oneself exemplify what Keeling refers to as “specifically multiple ways of seeing” (Keeling 1998:178). In picturing her body through the multiplicity that is the Sapphic self-gaze, the poet better communicates, and simultaneously evokes, the themes of eros and death. In poem 58, for example, she employs “a steadily intense way of looking” at herself, establishing through the aforementioned poetic devices a dual picture of herself as once youthful and active and old and decrepit. So too does she “look” “into” a more holistic image of both herself as an ageing person and old age per se, Keeling’s “inquiring with the mind.” This is best illustrated by the simple aphorism of lines 7–8, effectively amplified by the Tithonos exemplum immediately following, which typifies the themes of eros and death. As she looks upon herself, “considering and beholding,” the audience knows—as does Sappho—that the erotic gaze of others dies with the onset of geras. Herein is Keeling’s final component of the Sapphic gaze, as something that looks “ahead” and “back (reviewing and returning),” a feature of Mimnermus fragment 5. Once young, lithe and, by implication, desirable, she is now old, slow and, by implication, unattractive, and the future entails death. As Mimnermus expresses in fragment 1.1-5
τίς δὲ βίος, τί δὲ τερπνὸν ἄτερ χρυσέης Ἀφροδίτης;
τεθναίην, ὅτε μοι μηκέτι ταῦτα μέλοι,
κρυπταδίη φιλότης καὶ μείλιχα δῶρα καὶ εὐνή,
οἷ' ἥβης ἄνθεα γίνεται ἁρπαλέα
ἀνδράσιν ἠδὲ γυναιξίν·
What is it to be alive, what is pleasure without golden Aphrodite?
I trust that I will die by the time I no longer care for
secret love affairs and tender gifts and for bed,
the delightful flowers that adorn the prime of youth
for men and for women.
Admittedly, in comparison to Sappho, Mimnermus is more overt in his lamentation of geras and its repercussions vis-à-vis philotes (fr.1.3). More so than Sappho, his stated fear is that he will live into old age, and the desires of the body will still remain, sentiments of lines 2–4 that alter the opening line with depressing irony. Sappho's approach is subtler, with poem 58 suggestive of the sentiments of Mimnermus' theme of philotes at lines 7–8, coming as they do after her imperative to the paides and the description of her ageing body, and followed by the Tithonos reference.
In fragment 31, Sappho is sick with a desire that brings her close to death. As she “watches” her own body waste away in poem 58, so too does she “watch” (and feel)—what I posit to be her ageing body—sicken as she listens to and gazes at the object of desire in fragment 31. Sappho, by turning her gaze on herself in both instances, recasts a preoccupation demonstrated elsewhere in her work, namely the gazing at others. One of the poetic accomplishments of this self-externalization, whereby the singer casts herself as protagonist and victim, is the evocation of the inevitable human condition—utter defencelessness against the forces of old age, death and eros, all of which coalesce, I suggest, in both pieces.
There is, it could be argued, an impasse to this new interpretation of fragment 31, which is, of course, Catullus’ poem 51. The latter clearly reveals that Catullus has interpreted the Sapphic piece in terms of erotic verse without any discernable cogency of ageing imagery in the original. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that Catullus was practising imitatio and his rendition is demonstrably his own, particularly with (i) the inclusion of his own name and that of Lesbia and (ii) the otium stanza.  It could be argued that the latter, if accepted as part of the new version and not, as has been argued, a section of another poem or a self-contained piece in its own right, inadvertently misplaced in the manuscript tradition, is a deliberate move away from the themes of ageing and death contained in the original. Despite scholars who argue that the otium stanza is misplaced owing, in part, to the sudden change of direction that is, allegedly, not a feature of Catullan poetry, the movement towards this stanza is signposted by the changes made to fragment 31 in poem 51 prior to lines 13–16, most notably the removal of the reference to the closeness of death at 31.15–16. This change—an acceptable if not expected feature of the best of the poetry of imitatio—centres poem 51 more completely within the realm of eroticism per se. Additionally, if we accept the traditional reading of the Lesbia Cycle being the outpourings of a younger man to an older woman, we witness a necessary poetic reversal of the traditional reading of the Sapphic corpus as poems written by an older woman to younger companions. Ageing, therefore, is a more probable theme of interpretive detection in Sappho’s oeuvre than it is in the works of Catullus.
The otium stanza, taken by most scholars as part of poem 51, is perhaps an example of Catullan imitatio in more ways than one; expressly, it may not only be a rendering of a specific poem by Sappho but also a rendering of Sapphic imitatio per se. What we have detected in this analysis of Sappho’s use of Mimnermus—in the true spirit of intertextual allusion—is detectable comparison as well as diversion. The diversions from Mimnermus have been discussed in relation to her use of fragment 1, and the same techniques of Sapphic imitatio can be detected in her use of fragment 5. In regard to the latter fragment by Mimnermus, we note his emphasis on the physical aspects of beauty, which is the focus that sets Sappho’s approach apart; she sings of non-erotic beauty in poem 58 whereas he gazes at the young in a different light. Catullus, too, practises the same techniques. While we detect similarities between poem 51 and fragment 31, there is individualism (as discussed above). The otium stanza, while arguably the most distinctive departure from the original, is also very much a “gaze” piece, and one that is self-referential in the extreme—”looking into” and “looking upon.” Both Sappho and Catullus transform not translate.
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[ back ] 1. For the opportunity to present my views on poem 58, I am grateful to Ellen Greene and Marilyn Skinner for the invitation to the APA Special Panel, “The New Sappho on Old Age,” in San Diego (January 2007). Translations of Sappho are my own, and those of Mimnermus by Terry Ryan (The University of Newcastle). Terry Ryan also provided insightful commentary on this paper.
[ back ] 2. On the Sapphic gaze, cf. Stehle 1996, Snyder 1997, Keeling 1998 and Greene 2002.
[ back ] 3. While it may be argued that 58.7–8 is more about agelessness than death—and a case can be made for Tithonos as the exemplum—I am suggesting that Tithonos represents more than immortality; he becomes a symbol of the inevitable and unrelenting journey towards death, never reaching it, but nevertheless perpetually awaiting it. On the theme of geras and immortality in Mimnermus’ fragment 4, Janko is in keeping with the first interpretation of the Tithonos topos offered above, writing: “it is Tithonus’ miserable fate not to perish, but to have an ‘imperishable’ old age” (1999:155).
[ back ] 4. There are several significant Homeric echoes in fragment 31; cf. Page 1955:21ff., Wills 1967:174ff., Marcovich 1972:22ff., Rissman 1983:66–118, Edwards 1989:593ff, Winkler 1996:92ff. These echoes can be divided into two categories: [i] allusions to Homeric accounts of emotions, particularly those associated with fear and astonishment; [ii] goddess imagery, particularly the accounts of mortal responses to god-like women. On the Homeric ἴσος θέοισιν (fr. 31.1), cf. Winkler 1996:98–101 and Furley 2000:10ff. For further discussion of the imagery, particularly as medical, cf. Lanata 1966, Di Benedetto 1985 and Bonanno 1990.
[ back ] 5. Cf. Nagy 1979, and especially Nagy 1985.
[ back ] 6. There is a series of persuasive arguments in favour of the attribution to Mimnermus; cf. West 1989:221, Adkins 1985:101-106, and Nagy 1985:48. Cf. also Young 1964. Contra Gerber 1999:84–85.
[ back ] 7. Cf. Annis 2005:1 on ἐπι-λαμβάνω as “used to describe affliction by a disease.” Verbs for “snatching up” are often associated with death in the Greek lyric and epic tradition, cf. Nagy 1996b:52.
[ back ] 8. Cf. Lidov 1993.
[ back ] 9. Cf. n3.
[ back ] 10. For a survey of the academic interpretations, cf. Furley 2000.
[ back ] 11. Much has been written on ageing in antiquity since Finley; cf. for example, Falkner and De Luce 1989, Falkner 1995, Pratt 2000. Prior to Finley is Kirk 1971 and Bertman 1976.
[ back ] 12. Cf. Román 2002:200.
[ back ] 13. In support of original inclusion of the otium stanza, cf. Lattimore 1944, Elder 1951, Kidd 1963, Commager 1965, Fredricksmeyer 1965, Woodman 1966, Wills 1967, Frank 1968, Lejnieks 1968, Segal 1970, Kinsey 1974, Shipton 1980, Adler 1981, Baker 1981, Itzkowitz 1983, Knox 1984, Finamore 1984, Vine 1992; contra, cf. Bowra 1961.223, Wormell 1966, Jensen 1967, Fordyce 1978:219, Richmond 1970, Copley 1974, Wilkinson 1974.