Yatromanolakis, Dimitrios. 2008. Sappho in the Making: The Early Reception. Hellenic Studies Series 28. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_YatromanolakisD.Sappho_in_the_Making.2008.
Chapter 1. An Anthropology of Reception
Memnon, Memnon, that lady
Who used to walk about amongst us
With such gracious uncertainty,
Is now wedded
To a British householder.
Lugete, Veneres! Lugete, Cupidinesque!
Paradigms and Filters
φωνάεσσα †δὲ γίνεο†
come, noble chelys, speak to me
take a voice
This fragment exemplifies a number of aspects of modern research on Sappho. For this reason, I shall pause here and focus on some marked methodological approaches to it.
Eustathios preserves a different text for these two lines but, following a long tradition in textual criticism of ancient Greek literature, many editors have persistently trusted Hermogenes and his †μοι λέγε† without taking into account (this time respecting a similarly long tradition) the possibility that the unmetrical †… λέγε† is a marginal annotation that found its way into Hermogenes’ text.  Even so, note that the meter of the two lines as they appear in Voigt’s edition (fragment 118) is uncertain and has been assigned by Voigt to no book of the Alexandrian edition of Sappho.  Note also that the particle δή in line 1 is not found in Hermogenes and Eusthathios but, according to a 1814 report by C. J. Blomfield, a late manuscript of On Types of Style provides it.  Variant readings or new readings with poor support in the manuscript tradition of an author, but which seem appealing or superior to those preserved by the vast majority of witnesses, has been a phenomenon well attested and insightfully discussed by Nigel Wilson.  Therefore, if correctly reported, δή causes no surprise and could be adopted—not, however, with unconditional certainty.
τίθετε, μὴ κτυπεῖτ’ ·
ἀποπρὸ βᾶτ’ ἐκεῖσ’, ἀποπρό μοι κοίτας.
Quietly, quietly, your shoe-tread place
lightly, make no stamping sound;
withdraw from there—that way—do withdraw from the bed. 
Even if we assume that Dionysios discussed a new, not the original Euripidean, musical setting of this section—certainly an attractive idea—  the first three words σῖγα σῖγα, λεπτὸν were sung, according to a score that he consulted or, more likely, I believe, according to his experience with reperformances of the song or of the play,  to the same musical note, despite the occurrence of the acute and grave modulations of the words’ accents.  As for τίθετε, μὴ κτυπεῖτ᾽, Dionysios’ close familiarity with both the music he had listened to and the copy of the text his papyrus scroll provided him with makes explicitly clear that this is what Euripides’ text looked like in the first century BC. Actually, a slightly fuller version of this reading—that is, τίθετε, μὴ κτυπεῖτε—is attested in almost all medieval manuscripts preserving the Orestes.  A late-twentieth-century critical editor, whose understanding of the manuscript tradition of the Orestes can hardly be challenged, chose to print the following version of the lines:
|Χορός||σῖγα σῖγα, λεπτὸν ἴχνος ἀρβύλας|
|τίθει, μὴ κτύπει [μηδ’ ἔστω κτύπος].|
|Ἠλέκτρα||ἀποπρὸ βᾶτ’ ἐκεῖσ’ ἀποπρό μοι κοίτας.|
Dionysios’ account of τίθετε, μὴ κτυπεῖτ᾽ cannot have been affected by scribal errors or defective transmission. The musical structure he describes necessitates the forms τίθετε, μὴ κτυπεῖτ’.  The modern editorial intervention is not as marked as those detectable in the “quoted” fragments of Sappho,  but the fact that other, possibly stylistic, considerations made James Diggle adopt or even propose the reading τίθει, μὴ κτύπει, when the medieval manuscripts almost unanimously point to τίθετε, μὴ κτυπεῖτ(ε), shows the extent of trust he had in either the ancient Greek critic Dionysios or the medieval Greek scribes and the cultural intricacies that often lie behind them.  When a modern English or Greek composer produces an arrangement of some so-called folksongs, should one assume that even the skeletal musical structure has not been exploited? In other words, arrangements of traditional songs (especially) by Nikos Skalkotas or Benjamin Britten retain this structure, and the work of a music analyst, if she or he decided to trace the “original” version of a specific song, would be to focus on the skeletal structure provided by Skalkotas and Britten, or perhaps Ravel in his Five Greek Folk Songs, which present arresting similarities to Greek songs from Asia Minor collected at that time by French and German scholars. Such a type of research is considerably complicated; that is why overskepticism is perhaps not commendable. Unless one hypothesizes that the Byzantine Greek literati were almost always more “primitive” or idiosyncratic in their scholarly enterprises than, say, the English or the Greeks,  there is no serious reason to mistrust a priori their linguistic and literary insights. It might be intriguing to attempt to understand the linguistic and cultural context within which they worked, especially since their role in the preservation of ancient Greek literature was so central. If scholars in science studies are right in stressing that scientific facts in laboratories are expertly constructed by those who participate in experiments,  should historical and philological experimentation be more immune to possible scholarly fictionalization?
Classics and Anthropology
The Persistence of Allegory: Expected Horizons and Textualized Cultures
Cultural Translations and Writing Practices
Beyond Fictionalization: Agency, Collective Schemata, and Interdiscursivity
In this account, patterns of habitual embodiments of culturally permissible, or, rather, definable, behavior may be detected. Homoerotic play among young girls is described as a practically reenacted preliminary phase to heterosexual encounters with boys. Ethical reaction to these practically internalized modes of sexual interaction among sexually aware girls differs from individual to individual, as Nisa’s reservations indicate. She refers to her early memories of these sexual plays not as fetishized, idealized, or exotically distant experiences but, rather, as expected steps in most girls’ gradual transition to later heterosexual relations.
Mythopraxis and Traditions in Flux
“Coining” Sappho and the Hermeneutics of Vraisemblance