Sappho in the Making: The Early Reception

  Yatromanolakis, Dimitrios. 2008. Sappho in the Making: The Early Reception. Hellenic Studies Series 28. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies.

Chapter 4. Traditions in Flux

It is thanks to them
that I live in three dimensions,
in a space non-lyrical and non-rhetorical,
with a horizon real because movable.
They themselves do not know
how much they bring in empty hands.
“I owe them nothing,”
love would say
on this open question.

—Wisława Szymborska, from Gratitude
(trans. M. J. Krynski and R. A. Maguire)

In the previous chapters, I explored the complexities of the discursive practices and socioaesthetic idioms that shaped the receptorial filters through which archaic melic poets, most notably Sappho, and their songs were assimilated into different cultural economies of late archaic and classical Greece. In this chapter, I focus on a number of underexplored fifth-century and later informants who suggest intricate synchronic reactivation of aspects of Sappho’s figure and poetry in symposiastic contexts, and, more often than not, in connection with forms of marked eroticism. How did the discursive inflections and practices investigated in previous chapters condition the performative trafficability of the songs and the figure of Sappho in the late classical and early Hellenistic periods?

Reception as Reenacted “Script”

In a study of the reception of a song-maker as reenacted and reflected in performative mediums like theater, performance—as a sociocultural form of agency—should not be approached only in terms of a reflective practice but also, or sometimes mainly, in terms of a reflexive macro- and micro-configuration of metonymic webs of signification. As has been argued, the double role of participants in a performative event “entails both their ontological involvement in the enacted ‘script’ and an epistemological distancing from the performed spectacle that invests their actions with a certain and varying, from occasion to occasion, reflexivity.” [1] Such dynamic reflexivity informs also the activation of mythopraxis in the fragmentary theatrical and other discourses that will be examined in this section. [2] When Sappho is metonymically associated in ancient performative mediums with canonical and especially noncanonical figures, forms, and practices, the result is the activation of both reflective and reflexive discursive idioms on the part of a writer and his audiences—idioms that had a powerful impact on later representations, based in turn on renewed agency.

In the first half of the fifth century or possibly slightly later, one of the earliest Attic playwrights, Khionides, composed the Beggars, from which four fragments survive. In the first of those fragments, [3] a character seems to be reflecting on the sweetness or lack of sweetness of some unspecified objects. Significantly, the markedly sensual music of two poets is foregrounded as the absolute paragon of sugariness:

ταῦτ’ οὐ μὰ Δία Γνήσιππος οὐδ’ ὁ Κλεομένης
ἐν ἐννέ᾽ ἂν χορδαῖς κατεγλυκάνατο

these, by Zeus, neither Gnesippos nor Kleomenes
could sweeten with nine strings.

Two other fragments refer to the possible consumption of (inexpensive) saltfish and to the habit of the Athenians (when they hold a meal in honor of the Dioskouroi in the prutaneion) to set upon the tables cheese and cakes made of coarse meal and wine, as well as ripe olives and leeks, as a reminder of the ancient lifestyle. [
4] Given the title and the remains of the play, banquets for beggars and the poor could have been envisaged or experienced on the Athenian stage during the performance of this play but any outline of the plot would be considerably speculative. Even if one questioned the attribution of the Beggars to Khionides, [5] it would not affect the present investigation. I have already considered the lascivious songs assigned to the figure of Gnesippos, the paigniagraphos tês hilaras mousês, [6] by fifth-century informants. Here he is juxtaposed with another musical figure—Kleomenes—and possibly associated with musical tendencies attributed to Phrynis. [7]

For Kleomenes little information exists on which to rely. [8] However, an early- or mid-fourth-century play about courtesans, Antilais by Epikrates, sheds some light on the socioaesthetic associations of Kleomenes’ song-making. In this comedy, in which aulêtrides and their preferable musical nomoi in the context of drinking-parties and related affairs were discussed, [9] Epikrates presents a character who places emphasis on, or brags about, musical/poetic expertise in songs elsewhere connected with symposia: [10]

τἀρωτίκ’ ἐκμεμάθηκα ταῦτα παντελῶς
Σαπφοῦς, Μελήτου, Κλεομένους, Λαμυνθίου

the erôtika songs I have learned thoroughly,
those of Sappho, Meletos, Kleomenes, Lamynthios.

Lais in Epikrates’ Antilais was allegorically represented as a predatory eagle, when young, and as a teras, acting as portent, when old and wrinkled. [
11] A famous late fifth-century hetaira, mentioned by the early middle-comic playwright Philetairos as “having died while being fucked,” [12] Lais was thought of as being erotically associated with the philosophers Aristippos and Diogenes and even with the painter Apelles; the latter, gazing at her beauty, fell in love with her while she (still a virgin) carried water from the spring of Peirene in Korinthos; and Apelles soon requested her, though not a professional courtesan, to accompany him to a symposion that his hetairoi had prepared. [13] Interestingly, it was said about Lais that Aphrodite Melainis of Korinthos used to appear to her by night as the goddess of the dark and to give her signs about near-future affluent lovers [14] —an idea that would provide certain receptorial filters to those listening either to Sappho fragment 134 V (※ Ζὰ ἐλεξάμαν ὄναρ Κυπρογενηα, “I conversed with you in a dream, Kypronegeia” or “I spoke in a dream with Kyprogeneia”) in the context of the recurrent assimilation of the poetic “I” of Psappho into the speaking voice of Aphrodite, or to fragment 101 V, where the singing voice addresses Aphrodite: [15]

Even so, in the Antilais, the juxtaposition of Sappho with the three “noncanonical” male poets suggests that Epikrates would classify her love songs with theirs—that is, the content of her songs would not prevent them from being considered purely and simply as erôtika, without any further contextual qualifications. [
18] In principle, a love song by a male poet like Meletos could have been either pederastic in its perspective or addressed and referring to a seductive young woman or beloved. [19] It should be recalled here that the elusive figure of Meletos was known for his erotic skolia in the late fifth century. [20] For the fifth-century poet Lamynthios of Miletos, we hear that he composed an erotic melos called Lydê—a song that, like the late fifth/early fourth-century Kolophonian poet Antimakhos’ Lydê, was about or addressed to his beloved hetaira, “the barbarian Lydê.” [21] Therefore, the erôtika of Sappho, placed by Epikrates in the same cultural category as those of male poets, would have been conveniently assimilated in the socioaesthetic paradigm of pederastic poetry or otherwise marked erotic song culture.

A different fourth-century narrative in the second book of the Erôtika by Klearkhos, a learned student of Aristotle with a pronounced zeal for stories about the inhabitants of Eastern lands, suggested that the erôtika aismata (τὰ ἐρωτικὰ ᾄσματα) and the so-called Lokrian songs were no different from the compositions of Anakreon and Sappho. [22] From the vantage point of the reception of Sappho, it is significant that the Lokrian songs were held to be adulterous (μοιχικαί) in plot and perspective. Athenaios preserves one of them and claims that once in Phoinike, one could hear this type of popular song performed at every street and corner: [23]

ὢ τί πάσχεις; μὴ προδῶις ἄμμ’, ἱκετεύω·
πρὶν καὶ μολεῖν κεῖνον, ἀνίστω,
μὴ κακόν <σε> μέγα ποιήσηι
          κἀμὲ τὰν δειλάκραν.
ἁμέρα καὶ ἤδη· τὸ φῶς
          διὰ τᾶς θυρίδος οὐκ εἰσορῆις;

Oh, what afflicts and aches you? Don’t betray us, I beg you.
Get up before he [my husband] comes,
lest he do great harm to you
          and me, pitiable woman that I am.
The light of day is already come; don’t you
          see it through the window?

The affinities of this song with other compositions are multiple and marked: Sappho in fragment 1 V presents Aphrodite asking Psappho, who was afflicted by anguish and pain, “who is wronging” her. In a song composed in the so-called Praxilleion meter and assigned to Praxilla of Sikyon—a melos possibly included in her paroinia or readily assimilated into sympotic skolia—we hear the speaking voice addressing a female figure as follows: ὦ διὰ τῶν θυρίδων, “you who look beautifully in through the window, a virgin by your face but a married woman in the lower part of your body.” [
24] A skolion transmitted in the edition of the paroinia of Praxilla was also attributed to Sappho and Alkaios. [25] The use of the plural ἄμμ’ in line 1 of the Lokrian song that Athenaios transmits can shed some light on the intricate function of plurals and singulars in Sappho. The traditional symposiastic image δάκτυλος ἀμέρα in a song of Alkaios addressed to a companion (ἄϊτα) [26] is reversed in the Lokrian ode—both songs conveying a sense of performative urgency. [27] The question here is not whether this particular Lokrian song is old or not [28] —how can one be certain, in any case?—or whether Klearkhos in this passage had written Ἰωνικὰ ᾄσματα (“Ionic songs”) instead of the transmitted ἐρωτικὰ ᾄσματα (“erotic songs”) as Wilamowitz believed, [29] but rather why toward the end of the fourth century Anakreon’s and Sappho’s songs were so closely compared to Lokrian adulterous poetic idioms. Klearkhos’ discussion points to cultural cognitive models and taxonomic discourses comparable to those explored earlier in this book.

The Paradigm of Comedy

Among the scholarly paradigms that have dominated discussions of late classical and all later reception of Sappho is the belief that the most decisive stage in her reception was the exploitation of her figure in Attic comedy. This belief is currently deemed a “fact,” and diverse aspects of the later reception of Sappho are most often attributed by scholars to the exclusive—as the theory goes—influence of comedy on the shaping of early traditions about her. This approach was developed and widely promoted by Friedrich Gottlieb Welcker in the early nineteenth century. [33] Using Epikharmos fragment 218 K-A νᾶφε καὶ μέμνασ᾽ ἀπιστεῖν (“be warily sober and remember to distrust”) as an epigraph to his Sappho Freed from a Reigning Prejudice (Sappho von einem herrschenden Vorurtheil befreyt), [34] Welcker argued that Athenian comedy was responsible for almost all the early and later fabrications about Sappho. Welcker’s influence is long-lasting, as is evident from numerous later and more recent scholarly reconstructions and suggestions. For instance, the idea that Sappho was short in height and dark in complexion ([Ovid] Heroides 15. 33–35) has been confidently attributed to an unknown play of the comic tradition. [35] The information provided by the Suda—a late-tenth-century medieval Greek lexicon—that Sappho had a wealthy husband whose name was Kerkulas has been taken for granted as coming “from one of the numerous comedies on Sappho.” [36] More generally, it has been suggested (and widely accepted) that in Athenian comedy, “from Old comedy through Menander” Sappho was a stage figure “who exemplified insatiable heterosexual promiscuity.” [37]

Herodotos’ account deserves close examination, since if the aforementioned approach is correct, Herodotos and later sources related to Sappho’s brother Kharaxos present an important aspect of the early, fifth-century reception of Sappho: the invention of a story about Sappho in a lost, unattested comedy. Before embarking on an investigation of this issue, it is worth considering extensively the Athenian comedies about Sappho and what they suggest about the reception of her figure in the late fifth and fourth centuries.

An Anatomy of Representations

Even so, what has remained unnoticed is that the case of our second source about a Sappho by Ameipsias—the catalogue of comic poets and a number of their plays—is more complex. This source seems to defend the attribution of a Sappho to that poet and reinforces the antiquity of the paradigm of comedy. As we have seen, the list provides names of both fifth- and fourth-century poets. In fact, P.Oxy. 2659 fr. 1, col. 1 (the fragment that provides the titles Moikhoi and Sappho without the name of a poet) also includes the name of Araros, a fourth-century comic poet and son of Aristophanes. [44] Because many of the names in the fragmentary list belong to poets of the so-called Old Comedy, [45] Rea attempted to attribute the titles Moikhoi and Sappho to a late-fifth century or at least “Old-Comic” poet. According to Rea, it is only Ameipsias who is known to have produced both a Moikhoi and a Sappho. Kassel and Austin have followed Rea’s argument and included the two titles of the Oxyrhynchus fragment in the testimonia about Ameipsias (test. 2 K-A). However, another major comic poet is known to have written both a Moikhoi and a Sappho: Antiphanes. [46] Antiphanes is considered a “Middle-Comic” poet and it is from his Sappho that the most extensive fragment from any known comedy entitled Sappho has survived. [47] What is equally, or perhaps more, likely is that the author of the two plays mentioned in the Oxyrhynchus fragment was Antiphanes. I suggest that the evidence that the papyrus fragment provides is actually inconclusive and our information about a Sappho by Ameipsias rests solely on the brief reference in Poludeukes discussed above.

In the fourth century, plays entitled Sappho become something of a fashion. [48] Among others, poets who produced a Sappho include Ephippos, Amphis, and Timokles. From these plays we have only a few fragments, which are difficult to contextualize. [49] For Ephippos’ Sappho we know that somewhere in the play there was a description of a male prostitute or at least of a young man who would be willing to have intimacies with other men in exchange for good-quality food: [50]

It is thought-provoking that the only surviving fragment from the Sappho of Timokles similarly refers to men’s attraction to young men:

ὁ Μισγόλας οὐ προσιέναι σοι φαίνεται
ἀνθοῦσι τοῖς νέοισιν ἠρεθισμένος

Misgolas does not seem to make approaches to you,
although he is inflamed by young men in their bloom.

Misgolas was an Athenian often thought to be characterized by an intense passion for homoerotic pursuit. [
52] Contemporary poets like Alexis parodied him for being especially attracted to young kitharôidoi (“singers to the accompaniment of the kithara”) or kitharistai (“kithara-players”): [53]

ὦ μῆτερ, ἱκετεύω σε, μὴ ’πίσειέ μοι
τὸν Μισγόλαν· οὐ γὰρ κιθαρωιδός εἰμ’ ἐγώ

mother, I implore you, do not threaten me with Misgolas;
for I am not a kitharôidos.

Although the plots of both Ephippos’ and Timokles’ Sappho are tantalizingly elusive, Diphilos’ Sappho allows us a glimpse of some of the characters involved in the play. [
54] From this comedy, the date of which is not certain, a fragment and an indirect reference to an intriguing aspect of the plot survive. Fragment 70 K-A probably shows Arkhilokhos in the context of a symposion, [55] while fragment 71 K-A reports that Arkhilokhos and Hipponax were presented in the play as lovers of Sappho. I would like to draw attention to the fact that, as the broader context of this reference indicates (Athenaios 13.599c–d), Arkhilokhos and Hipponax were “lovers” of Sappho in the sense of “suitors,” since, as in the case of Alkaios and Anakreon as suitors of Sappho in Hermesianax’s Leontion, [56] each poet would attempt to win her love independently. Note that in Diphilos’ Sappho the figures chosen to be “suitors” of Sappho are composers of invective verses. Whether either of the two poets succeeded in attracting her interest in this play remains unknown, given the scrappiness of the available sources. [57]

What should be explored in terms of fourth-century representations of the poet is Antiphanes’ Sappho, a play to which I now turn.

Elective Affinities

Antiphanes fragment 194 K-A represents a dialogue between “Sappho” and another figure, whose identity the available text does not allow us to ascertain adequately. Sappho’s address to him is “oh, father”—a thought-provoking indication for the almost unparalleled proliferation and transmission of names for the father of Sappho in classical antiquity. [65] The fragment is transmitted by Athenaios in the context of his inquiry into the definition of riddles (griphoi) and their exploitations by comic poets. [66] At the outset of this inquiry it is made clear that the issue of what the famous riddle composer Kleobouline of Lindos put forward in her ainigmata (“riddles”)—explored adequately, it is maintained, by the discussants’ friend Diotimos in a separate treatise—will not be touched upon. The broader examination of riddles is introduced by a reference to Klearkhos, whose fragments from his treatise Erôtika were considered above. In another treatise, On Riddles (Peri griphôn), Klearkhos claimed that there were seven types of riddles. [67] It is significant that a different ancient source making a brief reference to Klearkhos’ seven types of riddles adds that griphoi are enigmatic questions propounded in the context of symposia. [68] As a matter of fact, Klearkhos’ own classification of riddles places comparable emphasis on the institution of the symposion as the context within which riddles were performed. [69] Indicative of such a close association between symposia and the performance of riddles is that at an earlier period Simonides, as an informant creatively relates, during a dinner “at the season of fierce heat” somewhere in Greece improvised (ἀπεσχεδίασε) an elegiac poem in the genre modulation of a riddle; [70] Aristophanes and Antiphanes placed griphoi in the context of drinking-parties; [71] and, in markedly different and considerably later sociocultural contexts, a fourth- or fifth-century “author” of a hundred riddles in Latin was assigned the name “Symphosius.” [72] A number of other sources foreground the symposion as a central performative space for riddles. [73]

Unfortunately, the context of the preserved scene from Antiphanes’ Sappho is not known. In another play on Sappho, the “New-Comic” Sappho by Diphilos (fragments 70–71 K-A), Arkhilokhos was presented moving in the context of a dinner party and he along with Hipponax were suitors of Sappho. [75] However, the pronounced fragmentariness of both Sapphos does not help the recontextualization of the scene in Antiphanes. As Antiphanes fragment 194.1–5 K-A stands, Sappho initiates the dialogue and propounds ariddle:

From the outset it is intriguing that the riddle and the solutions offered—in a manner reminiscent of an epistemology of interpretation—are replete with ambiguities, linguistic and cultural. The wordings βρέφη ὑπὸ κόλποις (line 1), βοὴν γεγωνόν (line 2), as well as—in what follows the lines quoted here—the word ῥήτορας (line 7), the position of ἀεί in line 11, the almost technical sense of ἀκριβῶς in line 15, and the occurrence of λαλεῖ in line 19 are carefully exploited. This particular scene was impressive enough to stir the interest of medieval Greek authors. Sappho’s ainigma is cited by Eustathios of Thessalonike in the twelfth century, [
79] and lines 1–5 and 17–19 are quoted in the section on problêmata and ainigmata of the appendix to the Palatine Anthology by the thirteenth-century Greek monk Maximos Planoudes. [80] More importantly, the riddle was repropounded in a different version attributed to an eleventh-century Greek writer known for his ainigmata, Basileios Megalomitis. [81] Otto Mazal assigned this version of the riddle to the fragmentary twelfth-century novel Aristandros and Kallithea by Konstantinos Manasses, [82] but this is far from certain, given that what has been preserved from the novel is mainly quotations of gnomic character in Makarios Khrysokephalos’ fourteenth-century anthology ῾Ροδωνιά, in two other anonymous florilegia, and in Maximos Planoudes’ Collection from Diverse Books. [83] This is not the place to consider extensively this version of Sappho’s riddle but I should point out that attempts have been made to show that Basileios misread the ancient Greek lines of Antiphanes, [84] even though it is by far more likely that he created his own version of the ainigma. [85]

Despite the status she occupies on stage as a riddler, the elderly interlocutor of Sappho in Antiphanes replies confidently and pithily to the challenge posed since, as he asserts, he knew precisely what the riddle was about (fr. 194.6–16 K-A):

His reaction is that of a classical Athenian citizen—legalism, corruption, public apathy, androcentrism, and complacency are fully exposed. At the center of the riddle, his response to it, and its final solution lies a ventriloquized feminine discourse. Both the polis and the epistle are female and, as such, they nourish within them discursive and performative phuseis of considerable significance and plasticity. The writing of the epistle, as well as that of the polis, is also represented as female, while the silent reading of the epistle’s letters by people not present [
88] is given a performative dynamic comparable to that of a song—a dynamic reminiscent of Poseidippos’ later image of Sappho’s “voice-giving pages” (φθεγγόμεναι σελίδες): [89]

(Σαπφώ.) θήλεια μέν νυν ἐστὶ φύσις ἐπιστολή,
βρέφη δ’ ἐν αὑτῆι περιφέρει τὰ γράμματα·
ἄφωνα δ’ ὄντα <ταῦτα> τοῖς πόρρω λαλεῖ
οἷς βούλεθ’· ἕτερος δ’ ἂν τύχηι τις πλησίον 20
ἑστὼς ἀναγιγνώσκοντος οὐκ ἀκούσεται

SAPPHO: The female being, then, is an epistle,
and the babes she carries around within her are the letters;
they, although voiceless, speak to those far away,
whom(ever) they wish; and if some other person happens to
stand near the one who is reading, he will not hear.

The polis, although grammatically feminine, represents the male public sphere of sociopolitical exchanges while the masculine dêmos is seated voiceless and deaf before the civic performance space of the rhêtores. Sappho’s riddle was also presented within a performance space almost exclusively dominated by male and ventriloquized female discourses. The levels of the male hermeneutic perspective in the fragment are more complex than a confidently straightforward “playing the other” analytical schema would capture. [
90] Sappho’s riddle renders her an authoritative figure whose voice has a performative efficacy (βοὴν γεγωνόν) comparable to her archaic, mostly orally transmitted songs.

Although the context of the scene is elusive, a comparative approach to it is worth pursuing. I shall not attempt to reconstruct a hypothetical context; instead, I examine the discursive idioms that might have informed a male scanning of the dialogue. To be sure, whether this scene was part of a staged symposion of any kind is uncertain. However, I would argue that even if the scene with Sappho’s riddle was part of a dialogue that took place in a generic context (within the plot of the comedy), there are ways to explore what its broader connotations might have been.

The Kleoboulinai was produced on the Athenian stage some time around 430 BC. [102] Its title was a marker of the Kratinean predilection for the use of the plural in his Dionysoi, Kheirônes, and Odussês, the themes of which adumbrated comparable developments in the so-called “Middle Comedy.” By the middle of the fifth century, Kleobouline of Lindos, an eastern city on Rhodes of which Kleoboulos was turannos in the early sixth century, was known as an accomplished riddler. [103] Only a few fragments from the Kleoboulinai have been preserved, one of which seems to come from an ainigma or a comparable pronouncement typically introduced with the word ἔστι. [104] Obscene connotations can be detected in this fragment (ἔστιν ἄκμων καὶ σφῦρα νεανίαι εὔτριχι πώλωι, “there is an anvil and hammer in a young foal with flowing mane”). Although the text is too fragmentary for such connotations to be ascertained, it is worth pointing out that πῶλος in Anakreon (fragment 417 PMG) refers to a seductive young woman, a “Thracian filly,” while in Euboulos (fragment 82 K-A) to a hetaira, a companion of Aphrodite. “Kleobouline and her female friends”—the title of Kratinos’ comedy—might have propounded in different disguises a number of riddles in gatherings vividly staged by the playwright. It has been convincingly argued that “her friends” comprised a chorus of women, as was the practice in contemporary tragedies and comedies, while the associations between the authoritative voice of riddlers, on the one hand, and the Sphinx, the mythical riddle performer, on the other, were marked in the fourth-century BC. [105] To go a step further, it is noteworthy that griphoi introduced with ἔστι were propounded in Euboulos’ Sphinx-Kariôn (fragment 106 K-A). [106]

Performance and Metonymy

I start with Alexis’ Kleoboulinê. In the only preserved fragment from this comedy, a reference appears to a hetaira, Sinope, attacked, we hear, in comic plays for her indecent behavior. [108] A number of plays by Alexis were given names of seductive hetairai—among them Agônis, a name that appears on a funerary vase dated to the third century BC; [109] Dorkis or The Girl Who Smacks Her Lips, with all the connotations that ποππύζω may have; [110] Opôra; and Polukleia. [111] Allusions to symposia in some of these fragmentary comedies are safely detected. Alexis’ Aulêtris, Orkhêstris, and perhaps Poiêtria point also to comparable associations. In the Orkhêstris, in the context of a reference to bibulous women, an old woman is called a Sphinx riddler. [112] In this regard, it is worth observing that in Anaxilas’ Neottis, a comedy exploiting the nomenclature and traits of courtesans, it was claimed that “it is possible to call all the prostitutes a Theban Sphinx, those who prattle not in simple language,” but, as Aristotle would say, in a diction strengthened by the metonymies of exotic metaphors, or, in Anaxilas’ words, “in riddles.” [113] Alexis’ Aulêtris is only one of the numerous “Middle-Comic” plays that were in sustained dialogue with the cultural politics related to psaltriai, aulêtrides, and kitharistriai. Antiphanes himself composed an Aulêtris and Euboulos’ Psaltria probably presented several aspects of sympotic female entertainers. Hetairai propounding riddles in the context of male symposia and generally expert in repartée were made even more widely known by Makhon in the middle of the third century BC. [114] As has been persuasively shown, in the late fifth century, Pherekrates and other playwrights promoted the incipient appearance of female figures in “Old Attic Comedy.” [115] Comedy’s thematics was gradually expanded to include, in addition to legendary women, female figures in cultic contexts, in domestic settings, in the streets, in luxury sympotic couches, and in the market. As pointed out in Chapter Two with regard to visual representations, the trafficability of female characters in the Athenian social imaginary during the second part of the fifth century was certainly pronounced, and this chronological correspondence with the comic texts needs further consideration—an issue that goes beyond the scope of the present investigation. In Attic comedy, as in other discourses, the same phenomenon continues well into the fourth century.

What has remained unremarked is that by Herodotos’ time the performance of songs of Sappho was indirectly associated with the storytelling of Aisopos through a narrative about him and an illustrious courtesan who moved to Egypt, whereas in a much later period, the late first/early second century AD, Aisopos was viewed in the company of the riddler Kleobouline. [116] I shall focus on the narrative about the courtesan Rhodopis in the next section of this chapter. [117] For now it should be noted that Alexis, the author of Kleoboulinê, had also composed another thought-provoking play, the Aisôpos. [118] Twelve consecutive lines from a dialogic part of Aisôpos are quoted by Athenaios, [119] and it is evident that in this comedy the figure of the politician and poet Solon, whose refined verses were performed by boys in the festival of Apatouria in the mid-fifth century and who was also given a role in Kratinos’ Kheirônes, [120] was juxtaposed on stage with the figure of Aisopos. In the preserved fragment from Aisôpos, the discussion between Solon and a non-Athenian, possibly Aisopos, is about the Hellenic (read here: Athenian) way of drinking at symposia—more specifically, the Ἑλληνικὸς πότος. This short dialogue cannot help us reconstruct the possible plot of the play, especially since numerous Attic comedies were brimful of scenes with staged symposia or, more often, with chats about and descriptions of drinking-parties. [121] It would also be difficult, however attractive it might seem, to posit any connections between Aisôpos and Kleoboulinê on the basis of the intriguing appearance of their homonymous characters, along with Solon, in the same symposion, in Ploutarkhos’ Τῶν ἑπτὰ σοφῶν συμπόσιον (The Dinner of the Seven Sages). [122]

However, for the figure of Aisopos the earliest source is to be found in the ethnographic discourse of Herodotos. In the specific narrative from his Histories to which I have referred, Aisopos is represented as a slave to a certain Iadmon at Samos. The geographical regions associated with the origins of Aisopos are intriguing: Samos, Thrace, Phrygia, and Lydia. [123] His fellow slave in the story that Herodotos relates is Rhodopis, a courtesan of Thracian origin. In the last years of the fifth or in the early fourth century the comic playwright Platon in the Lakonians or Poets referred to the return of Aisopos’ soul to earth after his death. [124] Aristophanes, too, discussed and incorporated in his plays fables attributed to the storyteller a number of times. Moreover, an account about Aisopos preserved in Herakleides Lembos’ excerpts from Aristotle’s Constitution of the Samians may possibly come from the writings of Euagon or Eugaion, a fifth-century historian from Samos. [125] Concerning the fifth-century presence of the figure of Aisopos, an Attic red-figure cup, attributed to the Painter of Bologna 417 and dated to c . 450–440 BC, [126] depicts a caricature of a man with oversized, slightly bald head who is wrapped in his mantle. With a large nose, wrinkled forehead, and disheveled beard, he is seated on a rock holding a stick in his hand. Opposite him sits a fox—the size of its body being almost as large as the man’s head—markedly gesturing with its right foreleg, possibly an indication of narrating a story to the seated chap, who, though his mouth is open, seems meditative as if a participant in an act of storytelling. The image has most often been labeled “Aisopos and the fox,” [127] but I agree with Paul Zanker’s suggestion that the man may be a parodic representation of an intellectual in the context of an overall antipathy, as well as ambiguous admiration, toward influential thinkers in Periklean Athens. [128] The seated man might further be viewed, I suggest, as a manipulation of the cultural image of logopoioi of the time (among whom Aisopos was included) [129] through the genre marker of psogos poetry as exemplified by Hipponax. [130]

Herodotos, Oral Traditions, and Symposia

As we have seen, the first possible comedy entitled Sappho may be the late fifth- or early fourth-century Sappho attributed to Ameipsias by Poludeukes. [134] I suggested that in contrast to a widely endorsed paradigm, the available sources about fourth-century comedies related to Sappho do not provide indications about her being represented as promiscuous. Numerous arguments about the influence of late fifth-century comedy on early and later traditions about Sappho rest solely on a one-word fragment from a play attributed to Ameipsias, the precise date of which is actually unknown. This scholarly paradigm has informed the study of a number of later texts connected with the reception of Sappho. A notable and early case in point is Herodotos’ reference to Sappho in his account of the story of Rhodopis and Sappho’s brother Kharaxos. This narrative, one of our earliest sources about the poet, is introduced by Herodotos in the context of his discussion of the three pyramids of the Egyptian kings Kheops, Khephren, and Mukerinos: [135]

πυραμίδα δὲ καὶ οὗτος (Μυκερῖνος) κατελίπετο πολλὸν ἐλάσσω τοῦ πατρός, εἴκοσι ποδῶν καταδέουσαν κῶλον ἕκαστον τριῶν πλέθρων, ἐούσης τετραγώνου, λίθου δὲ ἐς τὸ ἥμισυ Αἰθιοπικοῦ· τὴν δὴ μετεξέτεροί φασι Ἑλλήνων ῾Ροδώπιος ἑταίρης γυναικὸς εἶναι, οὐκ ὀρθῶς λέγοντες· οὐδὲ ὦν οὐδὲ εἰδότες μοι φαίνονται λέγειν οὗτοι ἥτις ἦν ἡ ῾Ροδῶπις (οὐ γὰρ ἄν οἱ πυραμίδα ἀνέθεσαν ποιήσασθαι τοιαύτην, ἐς τὴν ταλάντων χιλιάδες ἀναρίθμητοι ὡς λόγῳ εἰπεῖν ἀναισίμωνται), πρὸς δὲ ὅτι κατὰ Ἄμασιν βασιλεύοντα ἦν ἀκμάζουσα ῾Ροδῶπις, ἀλλ’ οὐ κατὰ τοῦτον· ἔτεσι γὰρ κάρτα πολλοῖσι ὕστερον τούτων τῶν βασιλέων τῶν τὰς πυραμίδας ταύτας λιπομένων ἦν ῾Ροδῶπις, γενεὴν μὲν ἀπὸ Θρηίκης, δούλη δὲ ἦν Ἰάδμονος τοῦ Ἡφαιστοπόλιος ἀνδρὸς Σαμίου, σύνδουλος δὲ Αἰσώπου τοῦ λογοποιοῦ. καὶ γὰρ οὗτος Ἰάδμονος ἐγένετο, ὡς διέδεξε τῇδε οὐκ ἥκιστα· ἐπείτε γὰρ πολλάκις κηρυσσόντων Δελφῶν ἐκ θεοπροπίου ὃς βούλοιτο ποινὴν τῆς Αἰσώπου ψυχῆς ἀνελέσθαι, ἄλλος μὲν οὐδεὶς ἐφάνη, Ἰάδμονος δὲ παιδὸς παῖς ἄλλος Ἰάδμων ἀνείλετο, οὕτω καὶ Αἴσωπος Ἰάδμονος ἐγένετο. ῾Ροδῶπις δὲ ἐς Αἴγυπτον ἀπίκετο Ξάνθεω τοῦ Σαμίου κομίσαντος [μιν], ἀπικομένη δὲ κατ’ ἐργασίην ἐλύθη χρημάτων μεγάλων ὑπὸ ἀνδρὸς Μυτιληναίου Χαράξου τοῦ Σκαμανδρωνύμου παιδός, ἀδελφεοῦ δὲ Σαπφοῦς τῆς μουσοποιοῦ. οὕτω δὴ ἡ ῾Ροδῶπις ἐλευθερώθη καὶ κατέμεινέ τε ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ καὶ κάρτα ἐπαφρόδιτος γενομένη μεγάλα ἐκτήσατο χρήματα ὡς [ἂν] εἶναι ῾Ροδῶπιν, ἀτὰρ οὐκ ὥς γε ἐς πυραμίδα τοιαύτην ἐξικέσθαι. τῆς γὰρ τὴν δεκάτην τῶν χρημάτων ἰδέσθαι ἔστι ἔτι καὶ ἐς τόδε παντὶ τῷ βουλομένῳ, οὐδὲν δεῖ μεγάλα οἱ χρήματα ἀναθεῖναι. ἐπεθύμησε γὰρ ῾Ροδῶπις μνημήιον ἑωυτῆς ἐν τῇ Ἑλλάδι καταλιπέσθαι, ποίημα ποιησαμένη τοῦτο τὸ μὴ τυγχάνει ἄλλῳ ἐξευρημένον καὶ ἀνακείμενον ἐν ἱρῷ, τοῦτο ἀναθεῖναι ἐς Δελφοὺς μνημόσυνον ἑωυτῆς. τῆς ὦν δεκάτης τῶν χρημάτων ποιησαμένη ὀβελοὺς βουπόρους πολλοὺς σιδηρέους, ὅσον ἐνεχώρεε ἡ δεκάτη οἱ, ἀπέπεμπε ἐς Δελφούς· οἳ καὶ νῦν ἔτι συννενέαται ὄπισθε μὲν τοῦ βωμοῦ τὸν Χῖοι ἀνέθεσαν, ἀντίον δὲ αὐτοῦ τοῦ νηοῦ. φιλέουσι δέ κως ἐν τῇ Ναυκράτι ἐπαφρόδιτοι γίνεσθαι ἑταῖραι· τοῦτο μὲν γὰρ αὕτη, τῆς πέρι λέγεται ὅδε [ὁ] λόγος, οὕτω δή τι κλεινὴ ἐγένετο ὡς καὶ οἱ πάντες Ἕλληνες ῾Ροδώπιος τὸ οὔνομα ἐξέμαθον, τοῦτο δὲ ὕστερον ταύτης τῇ οὔνομα ἦν Ἀρχιδίκη ἀοίδιμος ἀνὰ τὴν Ἑλλάδα ἐγένετο, ἧσσον δὲ τῆς ἑτέρης περιλεσχήνευτος. Χάραξος δὲ ὡς λυσάμενος ῾Ροδῶπιν ἀπενόστησε ἐς Μυτιλήνην, ἐν μέλεϊ Σαπφὼ πολλὰ κατεκερτόμησέ μιν. ῾Ροδώπιος μέν νυν πέρι πέπαυμαι.

He, too, left a pyramid—much smaller than his father’s—quadrangular, each side of the base twenty feet short of three plethra, and up to half made of Ethiopian stone. Some among the Greeks say that this [pyramid] was Rhodopis’, the courtesan’s, but they are not correct in saying this; they seem to me to speak not even knowing who Rhodopis was (otherwise they would not have attributed to her the building of such a pyramid, on which countless thousands of talents, so to speak, must have been spent); besides, [they do not know] that Rhodopis flourished during the reign of Amasis, not during the reign of Mukerinos. For Rhodopis lived very many years later than those kings who left behind these pyramids; she was Thracian in origin, a slave of Iadmon of Samos, the son of Hephaistopolis, and a fellow slave of Aisopos, the composer of [prose] stories. That he [Aisopos], too, was a slave of Iadmon was clearly proved in this way: for, when the Delphians, following the oracle’s command, proclaimed many times that whoever wished could claim recompense for Aisopos’ life, no one else appeared—but only the son of Iadmon’s son, also called Iadmon, claimed compensation; so Aisopos, too, was a slave of Iadmon. But Rhodopis went to Egypt when she was brought there by Xanthos of Samos, and having come for work, she was freed for a great amount of money by a man from Mytilene, Kharaxos, son of Skamandronymos and brother of Sappho the song-maker. Thus indeed Rhodopis was redeemed from slavery and remained in Egypt, and, being very alluring, she earned a fortune that was large for her—for a Rhodopis—but certainly not large enough for acquiring such a pyramid; for it is possible, even to this day, for everyone wishing to do so to see a tenth of her property, and [thus] there is no need to attribute great wealth to her. For Rhodopis desired to leave in Greece a memorial of herself and, by having something made which does not happen to have been contrived and dedicated by any other in a temple [before], to dedicate it at Delphi so that her memory may be preserved. So, spending a tenth of her property, she had as many iron roasting spits for oxen as that amount would allow made for her, and she sent them to Delphi. And even today these spits still lie heaped behind the altar that the Khians dedicated, opposite the temple itself. Somehow, the courtesans in Naukratis tend to be particularly alluring; for, on the one hand, this woman [Rhodopis], about whom this story is told, became so famous indeed that all the Greeks learned the name of Rhodopis; and on the other hand, at a later period, another one whose name was Arkhidike, became celebrated in song (ἀοίδιμος) all over Greece, although less talked about in meeting places (περιλεσχήνευτος) than [Rhodopis]. As for Kharaxos, when he freed Rhodopis, he returned to Mytilene, and Sappho rebuked him a great deal in song. And now concerning Rhodopis I leave off.

The story of Rhodopis is skillfully juxtaposed with other narratives about women and prostitution in the context of Herodotos’ account of the succession of Egyptian kings in the second book of his Histories. Proteus—the king who, according to a logos that Herodotos adduces (2.112), allowed Helen to stay with him till Menelaos came to Egypt to take her back to Sparta—was succeeded by Rhampsinitos (2.121). It is in the account of Rhampsinitos’ reign that we hear of a story according to which the king, in his effort to catch a cunning thief, set his daughter in a room as a prostitute and commanded her, before she sleeps with any of the men who would come to her, to compel them to tell her the cleverest and worst thing they had ever done.

We have already seen how the story of Rhodopis has been juxtaposed with other narratives about women and prostitution in the specific section of the second book of the Histories. The narrative about Rhodopis displays similar skillfulness in the way it is composed. Herodotos refutes entirely the story circulated by some Greeks that the courtesan of Naukratis had a great pyramid built for her. For this reason, he adduces two arguments that he presents as incontestable. Those Greeks who give currency to this story speak about the pyramid and Rhodopis without knowing who Rhodopis actually was. First, the building of such a pyramid would practically presuppose spending innumerable thousands of talents, and, although Rhodopis became remarkably famous—a kind of cultural metaphor for the great name that a hetaira could achieve—she could have never gained the wealth necessary for the construction of a monument that would be appropriate for a pharaoh; and second, chronological considerations make it impossible for Rhodopis to have had this specific pyramid built for her since her heyday coincided with the reign of Amasis in the sixth century, not that of Mukerinos, who lived much earlier.

From this point onward, Herodotos focuses on what he had heard and the information he had collected about Rhodopis’ life—that is, on what he presents as the “true stories” about her. Initially Rhodopis was a slave of a man from Samos. She was also a fellow slave of Aisopos, the composer of prose stories (λογοποιός). Herodotos makes this point in order to substantiate his previous statement about the chronology of Rhodopis. [145] In this narrative, Aisopos is represented as a “resident” of Samos. The geographical regions associated with the legendary storyteller are significant. His fellow slave in this narrative is of Thracian origin. Other informants present Aisopos as Thracian, Phrygian or Lydian—an aspect of ancient Greek mentalities that supports the argument advanced in Chapter Two concerning the interdiscursivity of regional features displayed on the vase-paintings with the “elaborately dressed revelers and musicians.” In his effort to substantiate his point about Aisopos and his Samian master, Herodotos refers to a legend associated with Aisopos and Delphi. [146] He will again use evidence from Delphi later in this narrative, when he will describe Rhodopis’ dedication at the sacred space of the Delphic temple. Throughout the narrative (2.134–135), statements about the correctness of Herodotos’ account and arguments supporting his statements are so subtly interwoven that the unfolding of the narrative may occasionally seem cluttered with digressions. [147] In fact, however, each element is connected with broader themes ingeniously exploited by Herodotos.

Since Rhodopis was a slave of a certain Iadmon from Samos, the idea that she was brought to Egypt by another Samian, Xanthos, comes as no surprise. It may not be a coincidence that in later traditions Xanthos was the Samian master of Aisopos. [148] Herodotos stresses that Rhodopis came to Egypt to ply her trade (κατ’ ἐργασίην), which accounts for her erotic affair with Kharaxos, a native of Lesbos who spent a great sum of money to purchase her freedom. It is in this context that Sappho’s name is first introduced, and the whole narrative ends with another reference to Kharaxos and Sappho, but especially to the poetry of the latter. It is significant that during the different stages of her career as presented in Herodotos, Rhodopis’ name was associated with the name of a fable maker and eventually of a song-maker (μουσοποιός). While λογοποιός (“composer of stories”) is also used by Herodotos to define the early Ionian logographer Hekataios of Miletos (2.143, 5.36, 5.125), [149] μουσοποιός occurs only in connection with Sappho (2.135). Elsewhere in the same book, the term employed for Homer and Aiskhylos is ποιητής (2.23 and 2.156, respectively). [150] Interestingly, although Sappho is a μουσοποιός, Alkaios is called a ποιητής (5.95), while Anakreon is mentioned as “Anakreon of Teos,” without the tag ποιητής. [151] The feminine form ποιήτρια occurs at a later period, [152] and Sappho is called so by Strabon, Pausanias, Galenos, Aelian, and Athenaios—among other writers. [153] The term mousopoios employed here by Herodotos might perhaps be viewed as the earliest case in our written sources of a subtle differentiation between male poets and Sappho. Μουσοποιός may also be associated, on some level, with Sappho’s use of μουσοπόλος in fragment 150 V:

     οὐ γὰρ θέμις ἐν μοισοπόλων <δόμωι>
θρῆνον ἔμμεν’ < . . . . . . .> οὔ κ’ ἄμμι πρέποι τάδε

     For it is not right in a house of those who serve the Muses
that there be lament . . . that would not befit us.

Be that as it may, [
154] mousopoios should certainly be considered in the context of the intense, sudden popularization of terms for “making poetry” in the fifth century: ποιητής, ποίησις, μελοποιός (“maker of songs”), and a number of other compound words employing the suffix –ποιός. [155] In fact, in the fifth-century, Euripides employs mousopoios twice: [156] in both cases it refers to the future memorialization of heroes by performers and poets.

Herodotos’ narrative concludes with a reference to Sappho and her song-making (2.135.6). After the first occurrence of Sappho’s name (2.135.2) the emphasis is on how Rhodopis, having been redeemed, had the opportunity to remain in Egypt and to gain a great fortune because of the outstanding art of her seductiveness. The wealth she amassed was substantial for a courtesan but not enough for the building of a pyramid like that of a king, Mukerinos, the pharaoh with whom the whole narrative started. Although Rhodopis—Herodotos emphasizes—could not have had such a grand monument built for her, she felt the desire (ἐπεθύμησε) to leave behind a memorial of herself in Greece. Herodotos’ account here returns to the land of Rhodopis’ initial career and, more specifically, to Delphi, where evidence about her fortune could be found.

However, Rhodopis did not become famous only because of her memorial. Herodotos here hastens to add a crucial observation that he had inchoately introduced in 2.135.2 (κάρτα ἐπαφρόδιτος): being a courtesan in Naukratis somehow, almost metonymically, entails being invested with the distinctive aura of a particularly gifted expert in the art of allurement. In Rhodopis’ profession, the name of Naukratis functioned as symbolic capital that contributed decisively to the fame and marketability of a seductive woman. Courtesans residing in Naukratis could somehow become exceptionally famous, and Rhodopis, being initially associated with Aisopos on Samos (characteristically, a place also known for its courtesans), had the fortune to be brought by a Samian to Egypt and, especially after meeting Sappho’s brother Kharaxos, to launch as a freedwoman a notable business in Naukratis. Nuanced associations and ideas are masterfully interwoven in this narrative: Herodotos concludes it by reintroducing the names of the mousopoios and Kharaxos and by stressing that Rhodopis’ career as an especially beguiling and wealthy sixth-century courtesan became so well known that people throughout Greece were able to say a great deal about her. To be sure, no section in the narrative can be called a “digression.”

Several questions arise with regard to the whole story that Herodotos recounts. Does he provide any cues indicating specific contexts that facilitated or fostered the trafficability of the courtesan’s name? In the context of this adroitly composed narrative, does he allow us to understand who the μετεξέτεροι Ἑλλήνων who gave currency to the false story about the pyramid might have been? Where could one hear the apparently more convincing, albeit somewhat ironically charged, stories about the life of Rhodopis? Do we need to posit the existence of one or more comedies about Rhodopis in which the names of Sappho and Kharaxos were involved so that we may be able to locate Herodotos’ Quellen for this narrative? More specifically, who were his informants?

I argue that a significant marker pointing to a context within which stories about Rhodopis circulated is provided by περιλεσχήνευτος toward the end of the narrative. The adjective that Herodotos chose to use here does not occur elsewhere in ancient Greek literature. [159] περιλεσχήνευτος should be viewed in the light of cultural practices pervasive in archaic Greece, that is, practices conducive to the dissemination of traditions and orally transmitted stories related to different places. It refers to conversations and entertaining chats about courtesans in the context of drinking-parties, men’s meeting places, taverns, and related venues. περιλεσχήνευτος should be glossed as “talked of in every club” or “talked about in the men’s clubs.” [160] That discussions about (real or purported) courtesans and prostitutes took place in the context of drinking-parties and related male gatherings is suggested by several fragments of archaic poetry. [161] At the same time, that hetairai were an integral element of early symposia is indicated by numerous representations that start appearing on Attic vases from the mid-sixth century onward. [162] A graffito on the underside of a Korinthian black-glazed skyphos (c. 475–450 BC) from a public dining place in the Athenian Agora reflects discussions favorable in male gatherings: Σικελε καλε τοι δοκει τοι μοιχοι (“the Sicilian woman, I tell you, seems beautiful to the adulterer”). [163]

Furthermore, I would draw attention to the intriguing fact that on a red-figure sympotic cup attributed to Makron and dated to the first quarter of the fifth century (c. 490–480 BC) the inscription Ροδο[π]ις κ̣[α]λε (“Rhodopis is beautiful”) occurs: on the interior we see a satyr playing an aulos and a female companion with flowing hair and a thursos, while the two sides of the cup depict a continuous scene of a symposion where reclining men and naked or half-naked women play the game of kottabos and listen to the music of a standing aulos-player. [164] According to a restoration proposed by Beazley, on a fragment from another contemporary cup attributed to Makron, the inscription [Ρ]οδο[πις] was placed near a woman performer holding an aulos; behind her, krotala are hung in the field. [165] I should note that, except for its occurrence on few Attic vases, “Rhodopis” is extremely rare as a Greek personal name in any geographical region. [166] It is also worth pointing out that, at a much later period, ῾Ροδόπη (not ῾Ροδῶπις) will become the name of a hetaira or a young woman who, naked along with other exceptionally charming women, busied herself with beauty contests of an experimental character. [167] Fantasies and stories of similar beauty contests were exploited by Kerkidas and Alkiphron, [168] but what may perhaps be significant in the case of the two red-figure vase-paintings with “Rhodopis” is that the rarely attested name is again associated with a courtesan at a later period in Heliodoros’ novel Ethiopian Story. [169] I argue that at least the nonfragmentary cup with the inscription “Rhodopis is beautiful” suggests that the name Rhodopis circulated within the sympotic visual culture of the late-archaic period. [170]

Herodotos stresses that the hetaira Rhodopis was περιλεσχήνευτος, certainly more so than another enthralling woman whose career was associated with Naukratis, Arkhidike. In this context, he employs two poetic terms which, as has been rightly observed, occur in epic and lyric compositions but are quite rare in prose texts: ἀοίδιμος (“celebrated in song”) and κλεινή (“renowned”). [171] Arkhidike “became celebrated in song all over Greece,” an idea that recurs in Herodotos only once more in the context of his discussion of a remarkable Egyptian song, the “Linos,” an orally transmitted traditional composition that was ἀοίδιμος in Phoinike, Kypros, and elsewhere. [172] I suggest that especially ἀοίδιμος offers additional contextualization cues for the understanding of the semantic and wider sociocultural associations of περιλεσχήνευτος, as it foregrounds the discursive frames within which Arkhidike became a theme for song. The term points to sociocultural spaces that broaden the meaning of περιλεσχήνευτος. Songs about the courtesan Arkhidike should have been performed mostly in male gatherings. It also adumbrates the final reference to Sappho’s song-making. As Herodotos constructs his argument, both Arkhidike and the “renowned” Rhodopis were περιλεσχήνευτοι and ἀοίδιμοι. The difference was only one of degree and impact. [173] For Rhodopis, “about whom this story (λόγος) is told,” both stories and songs circulated in Hellas. Interestingly, her career as slave and courtesan brought her into contact with a logopoios and the brother of a mousopoios. Since the ethnographer’s aim is to refute an exaggerated, albeit amusing, story that gained currency among some Greeks—a story that anachronistically associates Rhodopis with the pyramid of the Egyptian king he is discussing here—he adduces narratives that effectively support his argument; he does not discuss nor, in this context, does he need to prove their intrinsic “historicity.” [174] For him, these stories are markers of “who Rhodopis actually was,” while some of them are further supported by the evidence one could find at Delphi. Even though presented by Herodotos with touches of irony, the stories about Rhodopis make evident that she could not have had a pyramid built for herself. The courtesan was much “talked about in the men’s clubs” and everyone in Hellas knew her name. For Herodotos, one needed to visit Delphi in order to view the actual poiêma of Rhodopis. As for chronologically plausible stories about her, the περιλεσχήνευτος ἑταίρη had made a widely known career in the context of male gatherings and sympotic occasions. Herodotos points to his “sources,” and, therefore, postulating the existence of an unknown comedy as a possible poetic source for him would be a redundant speculation. [175] This latter approach bespeaks a preference for the authority of written, canonized forms of literary discourse at the expense of oral storytelling. [176] The marked denotation of ἀοίδιμος and περιλεσχήνευτος and the broader cultural connotations with which they invest Herodotos’ narrative suggest, I argue, that his sources were stories orally transmitted in men’s meeting-places and sympotic gatherings.

As we have seen, before he closes his narrative (“and now concerning Rhodopis I leave off”) Herodotos returns to Kharaxos—in a form of ring composition: [177] “as for Kharaxos, when he freed Rhodopis, he returned to Mytilene, and Sappho rebuked him a great deal in song.” [178] It should be observed that Kharaxos’ name is reintroduced just after Herodotos’ discussion of how much περιλεσχήνευτος Rhodopis was. I suggest that the syntagmatic contiguity of the final reference to Kharaxos with the emphatic περιλεσχήνευτος and its sociocultural associations indicates that the story about Kharaxos should be viewed as part of the chats and singing about the courtesan that took place in male gatherings. This accounts for the arresting transition of the narrative to Kharaxos and Sappho. Although most often taken (and rendered) as a further digression untidily appended at the very end of Herodotos’ account, the reference to Sappho’s brother and song-making substantiates not only the ethnographer’s original point about the courtesans in Naukratis being particularly alluring, but, more importantly, his discussion of how ἀοίδιμοι, κλειναί, and περιλεσχήνευτοι they can be. What Herodotos actually claims here can be formulated as follows: “in men’s clubs and related venues there is a lot of conversation, common talk, and singing about Rhodopis; recall Kharaxos’ relation with her, which is also sung of, since Sappho rebuked him in song (ἐν μέλεϊ).” Sappho’s μέλος was part of the cultural performance and reperformance of Rhodopis’ story in male gatherings. And that must have been known to Herodotos’ audiences since Rhodopis “became so famous indeed that all the Greeks learned her name” and, on top of this, she was impressively περιλεσχήνευτος. [179]

That Sappho composed a song or songs about Kharaxos’ relation with a Naucratite woman is confirmed by other sources. However, what these sources make evident is that Sappho did not use the name Rhodopis for Kharaxos’ lover. She referred to that lover as Dorikha. Poseidippos composed an epigram about Dorikha and Kharaxos in which he also made mention of Sappho and her poetic contribution to the dissemination of the “fame” of Dorikha: [181]

I want to focus here on two aspects of this complex epigram. First, it would be difficult to maintain that it is merely an unequivocal celebration of—a praise poem composed for—a seductive woman. In an intertextual response to Sappho, Poseidippos playfully exploits the discrepancy between his apparent eulogy and Sappho’s negative poetic reaction to the affair between Kharaxos and Dorikha. Note that the epigram does not focus on other aspects of Dorikha’s career but on this specific affair. [
184] In lines 5 and 6, the learned epigrammatist constructs a multilayered representation of the “lucid,” “resounding” columns of Sappho’s “dear” song. [185] In his emphatic transition to the song-making of Sappho, he confirms that the papyrus roll containing the performative utterances of her odes will remain a speaking testimony to the story and to Dorikha’s accomplishment to become a theme for a song or songs composed by Sappho. [186] Among other possible aspects, Poseidippos chooses to single out the “morning wine-cups” that Dorikha shared with Kharaxos, thus associating the couple with one of the most significant performative spaces within which their story circulated.

All this supports Poseidippos’ intertextual reference to a song or songs by Sappho about Kharaxos and his lover Dorikha. Additional confirmation that Sappho composed a song in which the name Dorikha appeared is offered by Strabon in his discussion of Mukerinos’ pyramid at Giza: [191]

λέγεται δὲ τῆς ἑταίρας τάφος γεγονὼς ὑπὸ τῶν ἐραστῶν, ἣν Σαπφὼ μέν, ἡ τῶν μελῶν ποιήτρια, καλεῖ Δωρίχαν, ἐρωμένην τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτῆς Χαράξου γεγονυῖαν, οἶνον κατάγοντος εἰς Ναύκρατιν Λέσβιον κατ’ ἐμπορίαν, ἄλλοι δ’ ὀνομάζουσι ῾Ροδῶπιν.

It is said to have been the tomb of the courtesan that was made by her lovers, the courtesan, whom Sappho the melic poetess calls Dorikha—the beloved of her brother Kharaxos, when he transported Lesbian wine to Naukratis for trade—but others name her Rhodopis.

Strabon makes explicit that such a song or songs existed and that Sappho called Kharaxos’ lover Dorikha. He further provides some explanation for Kharaxos’ activity in Naukratis: the trade of Lesbian wine, famous as it was in the context of drinking-parties throughout Greece. [
192] A similar point (κατ’ ἐμπορίαν) is made later by Athenaios in his discussion of famous courtesans from Naukratis (13.596b–d); he does not specify what kind of trade Kharaxos went to Naukratis for. Athenaios refers to Sappho’s poetry against Dorikha, although in [Ovid] Heroides 15.63–70 Sappho is portrayed as giving faithfully much advice and warning to Kharaxos (me quoque, quod monui bene multa fideliter, odit) and in Herodotos’ narrative it is Kharaxos who is rebuked by her. [193] Athenaios also comes into dialogue with Herodotos’ discussion of the two Naucratite courtesans and quotes Poseidippos’ epigram about Dorikha. He, however, adds the important observation that “Herodotos calls her [i.e., Dorikha] Rhodopis, being unaware (ἀγνοῶν) that she [Rhodopis] is different from Dorikha.” [194]

What is certain from the sources investigated so far is that Sappho composed at least one song in which she included the name Dorikha. The latter was presented as the lover of Kharaxos; his traveling and affair became a theme for Sappho’s song-making.

Let us now focus on a fragment of Sappho that has been viewed as an allusion to this affair: [195]

                                        ]α̣ μάκαι̣[ρ
                                        ]ε̣υπλο.· [
                                        ]                                   4
                    ]οσθ’[           ]βροτεκη[
                    ]αταισ̣[          ]ν̣εμ̣[
                    ].ύχαι λι.[      ]ε̣νος κλ[
                    ].[                 ]                                   8
Κύ]πρι κα[ί σ]ε πι[κροτ. ́.]α̣ν ἐπεύρ[οι
μη]δὲ καυχάσ[α]ι̣το τόδ’ ἐννέ[ποισα
Δ]ω̣ρίχα τὸ δεύ[τ]ερον ὠς ποθε[
          ]ερον ἦλθε.                                                ※

Kypris, may [she/he] also find you bi[tter ]          9
and may [she?], telling of this, not boast . . . 
Dorikha how [ ] a second time
[ ] came.

This is the text as printed by Voigt. Lobel and Page’s text presents some crucial differences, including the restoration ὠς πόθε[ννον | εἰς] ἔρον ἦλθε in lines 11 and 12, which can be rendered as “how [he] came a second time [to longed-for] eros.” [
196] For line 5 it has been thought that the text might be restored on the basis of Sappho fragment 5.5 V (ὄσσα δὲ πρ]όσθ’ [ ἄμ]βροτε κῆ[να . . . , “and all the mistakes [he] did before . . . ”), [197] but this is highly uncertain, since the left-hand part of lines 5–8 (]οσθ’[, ]αταισ̣[, etc.) comes from a separate papyrus scrap that has been tentatively attached to the main fragment. Similarly problematic is λί[μ]ε̣νος (“harbor”) for line 7. [198]

Different scenarios have been proposed for the plot of lines 9–12. This part of the song has been boldly, even self-confidently, “rewritten” several times by modern scholars. [199] What remains evident is that the poem included a reference to “boasting” and, most probably, to “desire” (ποθε[). [200] At the same time, the name Dorikha was mentioned in the vague context of “boasting,” “desire,” and “a second time.” That Δ]ω̣ρίχα is a probable reading in line 11 has recently been doubted, but on no good grounds. [201] After a reexamination of the papyrus, I have come to the conclusion that so little is preserved from the letter before ρίχα in line 11 (Δ]ω̣ρίχα)—and the position of the dot of ink preserved is so ambiguous [202] —that it would be quite difficult to maintain that it is incompatible with an omega. [203] The first editor of the papyrus, Arthur Hunt, was duly cautious in his decision to print Δω]ρίχα. [204] Lobel, who reexamined the papyrus for his 1925 edition, printed Δ]ω̣ρίχα. [205] It should be stressed that personal names or words ending in – ρίχα are extremely rare. The meter requires a long syllable before ρίχα. In order to dismiss “Dorikha” as a probable reading, we would need to suggest another attested ancient Greek word or personal name that would fit the space. [206] Even if we consider the possibility that ρίχα is perhaps the genitive singular of a masculine name, a name such as that of Sappho’s brother Larikhos should be excluded because of its attested ending (–ος). Furthermore, if we assume that omega is ruled out as a possible letter before ρίχα, other similar papyrological cases suggest that we cannot easily reject a most likely or almost certain restoration of a syllable in a word (at the beginning of a line) because of an ambiguous trace on the papyrus.

Given the marked rarity of names or words that would end in –ρίχα, “Dorikha” must be deemed as a most probable restoration of .].ρίχα. Recall that Poseidippos refers to Sappho’s “dear song” related to Dorikha and Kharaxos. It is not unlikely that there was more than one song about them or at least about Kharaxos. [210] Athenaios (10.425a = Sappho fragment 203a) stresses that Sappho praised another of her brothers, Larikhos, πολλαχοῦ (“in many places”). Also, in an intriguing fragment previously ascribed to Alkaios, but attributed to Sappho by the most recent critical editor of the fragments of Alkaios, [211] the following image occurs after a possible address to a female figure: [212]

                    ]ται· πό̣ρ̣ναι δ’ ὄ κέ τις δίδ̣[ωι
ἴ]σα κἀ[ς] π̣ολ̣ίας κῦμ’ ἄλ[ο]ς ἐσ̣β̣[ά]λην.
´̣]πε[ . . ]ε.ι̣ς τοῦτ’ οὐκ οἶδε̣ν, ἔ̣μ̣ο̣ι̣ π[ί]θην,
ὂ]ς̣ π[όρν]αισιν ὀμίλλει, τάδε γί̣νε[τ]α̣[ι·
δεύε̣[ι] μα[.] αὔτω τ̣ὼ χρήμ̣̣ατος̣ [ἄψερο]ν
α]ἶσχος κα̣[ὶ κα]κ̣ό[τα]τ’ ὠλ̣ο̣μέν̣[αν
πόλλαν.[ . . . . ]´[.]των, ψ̣εύδ̣η δε[…..]σ̣αι 

                    what one gives to a prostitute
is the same as thrown into the waves of the grey sea.
[ . . . one?] does not know this, I can persuade him;
if one consorts with prostitutes, these things happen to him:
after the business itself he must [suffer]
dishonor and much accursed distress . . . 

Such a trenchant or admonitory style would not be inconsistent with other fragments, including Sappho 99 L-P explored in Chapter Three. [
213] The poetic subject in fragment 55 V is acerbic in its prediction of an ominous future for the addressee:

This song may reflect aspects of social competition in the turbulent political milieu of late-seventh- and early-sixth-century Mytilene. Even so, reciprocally antagonistic language was part of Sappho’s poetic discourse, as can be inferred from fragment 37 V, in which the singing voice directly—or as an intradiegetic speaker within a broader narrative— [
215] expresses the wish: “may winds and worries carry off the one who rebukes me.” [216] The occurrence of discursive features of blame poetry in Sappho has been perceptively analyzed by Antonio Aloni, [217] and Herodotos’ point about Sappho rebuking Kharaxos intensely in song should be viewed in this context.

It should be pointed out that what we know about Sappho’s Dorikha is very little compared to what we hear about Rhodopis. Dorikha might have been represented in Sappho’s poetry mainly as an alluring lover of Kharaxos, one that he met during his travels. To contextualize the reference in Herodotos to Kharaxos’ stay in Egypt we need to take into account a central aspect of the history of archaic Mytilene. That Lesbians traveled to and had a strong interest in the city of Naukratis is well substantiated archaeologically. [222] Mytilene was an important trade center in the seventh and sixth centuries. [223] Perhaps in the course of the seventh century it succeeded in establishing itself as a preeminent maritime power, which probably overshadowed the other major cities of Lesbos. [224] The trade dynamics of Lesbos, which ranged from Gordion to Egypt to the Black Sea, is reflected in archaeological evidence: sixth-century Lesbian grey ware amphorae have been found, among other sites, in Egypt. [225] Early in its history, Mytilene was credited with the establishment of settlements in the Troad and Thrace. [226] In the archaic period, this city-state developed in a way distinct from the other poleis of Lesbos. As has been shown, during this period the khôra and the city center of Mytilene were characterized by a comparative lack of monumental construction, such as the complexes of towers and enclosures or monumentally built cult places regularly found in the other cities of central and western Lesbos. These elaborate constructions may suggest that in the other city-states of archaic Lesbos the more affluent families strove to display their status and wealth symbolically, as well as to demarcate the borders of their city’s territory. [227] On the contrary, from the excavations conducted so far, it seems that at Mytilene the richer and politically strong members of society did not invest their income in erecting monumental buildings that would emphasize their dominating role. As can also be inferred from Mytilene’s involvement in the establishment of the pan-Greek Hellenion at Naukratis (the only Aeolic city that contributed to its foundation), its role in the Ionian Revolt, and the great interest it showed in retaining the area of Sigeion in the Troad (a fact that led to its well-known dispute with Athens), this city-state in the southeast of Lesbos had actively invested in foreign interests and ventures. [228]

All this was not unknown in other Greek cities and especially in Athens. Herodotos, our earliest source, does not mention the reasons for Kharaxos’ journey to Egypt. A later writer like Strabon or his sources could have inferred that Kharaxos went to Naukratis to trade Lesbian wine, the supreme quality of which was celebrated in sympotic spaces. [229] One wonders whether such a detail about wine trade would have been provided in any of Sappho’s songs. Being from Mytilene and associated with a courtesan and her professional milieu, Kharaxos could have aptly been assumed to be a wine trader. Furthermore, Athenaios, a Naucratite himself, claimed that Rhodopis and Dorikha were different persons. [230] We do not know the basis of his argument. However, we should pay attention to the fact that he does not refer to the detail about wine trade either. Athenaios’ account is more restrained and argumentatively selective than Strabon’s, which includes a fairy tale–like story about Rhodopis and her sandal. [231] The name of Rhodopis had the gripping power to assimilate diverse stories. She was associated with different figures like Aisopos and masters like Iadmon. It is interesting that in a later version of the story of Rhodopis, Iadmon was presented as coming from Mytilene, not from Samos. [232] She even assimilated the figure of the early Egyptian queen Nitokris, also discussed by Herodotos (2.100). According to the third-century BC Egyptian writer Manetho, Nitokris, an exceptionally beautiful woman with “red cheeks,” was said to have built the third pyramid of Giza—the same pyramid attributed to Rhodopis, another “rosy-cheeked” woman of extraordinary charm. [233]

Reperformance, Genre, and Textual Plasticity: The Anatomy of Improvisation

As in every context of communicative exchange, during the performance of an archaic song the participants—performer(s) and audience—interacted on the basis of what linguistic anthropologists have termed “contextualization cues.” [236] It is such cues, I argued in Chapter Three, that allowed different classical Greek audiences to associate specific songs of Sappho with diverse discursive contexts. [237] The indexical and semantic doublelayeredness of a song led to different kinds of reception in different performative contexts. More important, a number of Sappho’s songs were characterized by genre interdiscursivity: [238] different genre textures were embedded in a single song and, as a result, the imagery of a song could be viewed by different audiences as related to different systems of communication conditions. The concept of interdiscursivity goes beyond Tsvetan Todorov’s understanding of genre classification in terms of formative associations with specific verbal discourses that lead to fixed “institutionalized” genre categories. [239] Instead of this somewhat restrictive view of genre as an institution, interdiscursivity foregrounds the dynamic and ever-redefined activation of different textures of sociocultural semantics—not necessarily verbal ones—involved in the production and consumption of archaic Greek songs and poetic compositions. Especially in the predominantly oral societies of archaic Greece, the act of song-making and performance was often a highly interactive occasion conditioned not as much by alleged fixed genre categories as by the manipulation of modes of signification across different domains of experience and sociocultural communication.

More than literary theory, a linguistic-anthropological approach to archaic Greek song-making may offer insights into the exploration of the function of what is conventionally described by scholars as “genre” and “genre laws” in traditional, primarily oral societies. [240] Recent discussions of genre in the fields of linguistic anthropology as well as in social and cultural anthropology and ethnomusicology have shifted the focus of research in indigenous oral traditions from fixed categorizations to culturally defined principles of perceiving what we might want to call “genre markers”—that is, discursive aspects of the songs producing particular expectations and receptions of the performed “texts.” To begin with, criteria of defining what genre may be differ from culture to culture or even from region to region within a broader cultural community. For instance, investigation of discourse genres among the Tenejapa Tzeital has suggested that at times even indigenous taxonomic criteria and categories are open to negotiation since they depend upon specific social and performative contexts or upon the perceptual priorities of specific individuals. [241]  Similarly, Briggs and Bauman have studied how the relations of a specific text to a formative model of a genre are embedded in wider sociocultural dynamics. Genres, they argue, always “leak” since they are open to a number of discursive negotiations, redefinitions, and reorderings. [242]  A specific “text” should thus be viewed as a flexible discursive entity that transgresses the boundaries of restraining genre categories and is potentially open to several modifications, dependent on specific performative environments.

The middle Indian female festival tradition bhojalî offers an illuminating case of the intricate embeddedness of genre categories within broader frameworks of sociocultural dynamics. By contrast to established, Western-centric taxonomic conceptualizations, the perception, performance, and reception of indigenous genres and individual songs in the region of Chhattisgarh are conditioned by specific contexts and local social dynamics. Gender constitutes a principal defining factor in the identification of the discursive markers that elicit an audience’s response to a particular song. Rather than being perceived as fixed autonomous categories, “genres” in this Indian region are understood as discursive systems that “belong,” as Flueckiger puts it, to particular social agents and to specific performative contexts. In the Phuljhar periphery, the ritual of bhojalî is enacted by unmarried pubescent girls who form ritual friendships while in the region of Raipur, the same female festival tradition is celebrated by married women, who become possessed by the goddess they worship. [243]  In Phuljhar, the songs associated with the ritual of bhojalî are often performed along with homo, a nonritual genre of “play.” Indicative of the context-sensitive conceptualization of genre and the plasticity of the functional and aesthetic value of traditional poetry in this part of India is the fact that songs are often referred to with the same terminology as that describing the ritual at which they are performed. For instance, bhojalî is employed in connection not only with the customary context of the establishment of ritually sanctioned friendships among unmarried women but also with a number of specific aspects of this celebration, including the worshipped goddess, the ritual friendship itself, as well as the songs performed in this specific traditional framework. [244]

More relevant to my present investigation of the plasticity of archaic song culture is the fact that in middle India the same group of traditional bhojalî songs is subjected to different interpretations according to the specific symbolic values promoted in different regional and sociocultural contexts. In Raipur, where bhojalî songs are primarily performed by married women, it is the idea of fertility that defines the symbolic reception of the performed “texts.” In contrast, in Phuljhar, the songs and their hermeneutics are situated within the broader receptorial frame of ritual friendships among young, unmarried women between the ages of eleven and fifteen or sixteen. In this region, the symbolic meaning of the same group of songs is marked by the relations of companionship ritually forged between these young female performers.

Despite the conspicuous cultural and historical differences, the case of the Indian bhojalî songs may provide insights into the possible fluidity in the “classification” and reception of Sappho’s songs in male sympotic contexts. Genre discourses as well as individual songs were in flux and subjected to a number of manipulations contingent upon specific performative and cultural dynamics. The different—each time—conditions of the performance of a specific “text” would involve modifications on a number of discursive and socioaesthetic levels.

In Chapter Three, I examined the contextual plasticity of a number of Sappho’s songs. I shall here focus on the ways in which her “texts” offered opportunities to be “rewritten” in sympotic contexts.

We have already seen that four lines from Alkaios fragment 249 V were transmitted as a skolion in classical Athenian symposia. [246] This skolion is included in the collection of Attic carmina convivalia preserved in Athenaios. [247] The text of fragment 249 V provided by a papyrus from Oxyrhynchus presents intriguing differences from that of the skolion. [248] These textual divergences might be accounted for as reflecting different stages in the oral transmission of the song. Comparable is the case of Alkaios fragment 141 V. In the Wasps 1232–1235, Philokleon quotes a version of Alkaios fragment 141.3–4 V:

ὦνθρωφ’, οὗτος ὁ μαιόμενος τὸ μέγα κράτος,           1232/1233
ἀντρέψεις ἔτι τὰν πόλιν· ἁ δ’ ἔχεται ῥοπᾶς.                1234/1235

You, fellow, you who seek the great power,
you’ll turn the city upside down yet; its fate trembles in the balance.

The scholia on Aristophanes Thesmophoriazousai 162 provide the following text for Alkaios fragment 141.3 V (p. 265 Dübner):

ὤνηρ οὗτος ὁ μαιόμενος τὸ μέγα κράτος

This fellow who seeks the great power.

Moreover, the scholia on Wasps 1232 preserve lines 3 and 4 of the fragment: †ὤνησαι† οὗτος ὁ μαιόμενος τὸ μέγα κράτος | †τρέψεις† τάχα τὴν πόλιν· ἁ δὲ ἔχεται ῥοπᾶς, [
249] while a first-century AD papyrus fragment confirms the reading ὤνηρ for line 3. [250] This is how fragment 141.3–4 is printed by Voigt:

ὤ˼νηρ οὖτ˻ος ὀ μαιόμενος τὸ μέγα κρέτος
ὀν˼τρέψ˻ει τάχα τὰν πόλιν· ἀ δ’ ἔχεται ῤόπας

Philokleon’s version in the Wasps introduces the address “you, fellow” in the song, an address intended for Kleon. He also uses ἔτι (“yet”) instead of τάχα (“soon”) in his second line. In the context of the imaginary dinner-party he is reenacting with Bdelykleon, the political song of Alkaios seems most appropriate to be performed as a sympotic skolion, especially since skolia were often addressed or related to hetairoi and focused on sociopolitical themes and contemporary politics. [
251] Although thus constructed by Aristophanes for the purposes of this imagined symposiastic scene, the version performed by Philokleon might reflect possible mechanisms of adaptation of other archaic compositions—reperformed as skolia—in the context of drinking-parties and related venues. The different versions of the Harmodios skolion support this approach. [252] The performance of skolia involved the practice of “capping”: they were often sung by symposiasts holding a twig of laurel or myrtle that was passed on to the next performer who would attempt to cap the previous song. Improvisation, an element of “performance genres that are not prescriptively notated,” [253] should have been part of the singing and recitation of skolia. [254] Recall that Theognidea 453–456 W starts with the address ὦνθρωπ(ε) and Theognidea 595–598 W with ἄνθρωπ(ε); [255] a large number of the compositions included in the Theognidea focused on sympotic life among hetairoi and were presumably performed, improvised, and reperformed on related occasions. [256]

The address ὦ ἑταῖρε occurs both in Praxilla fragment 750 and in fragment 749 PMG, which was included in Praxilla’s drinking-songs (παροίνια). [259] The latter fragment, as discussed in a previous section, was even ascribed by some to Sappho. [260] It is in the light of these references to hetairoi, I propose, that the textual transmission of Sappho fragment 2 V should be examined:

..ανοθεν κατιου[σ | –                                           1a
†δευρυμμεκρητε̣σιπ̣[.]ρ̣[          ] |.† ναῦον           1
ἄγνον ὄππ̣[αι          ] | χάριεν μὲν ἄλσος
μαλί[αν], | β̣ῶμοι δ’ ἔ<ν>ι θυμιάμε-
          νοι [λι]|β̣ανώτω<ι>·                                   4
ἐν δ’ ὔδωρ ψῦχρ˻ον˼ | κελάδει δι’ ὔσδων
μαλίνων, | βρόδοισι δὲ παῖς ὀ χῶρος
ἐσκί|αστ’, αἰθυσσομένων δὲ φύλλων |
          κῶμα †καταιριον·                                     8
ἐν δὲ λείμων | ἰπ̣π̣όβοτος τέθαλε
†τω̣τ . . . (.)ριν|νοισ† ἄνθεσιν, αἰ <δ’> ἄηται
μέλλι|χα πν[έο]ισιν [
          [                 ]                                           12
ἔνθα δὴ σὺ †συ.αν† | ἔλοισα Κύπρι
χρυσίαισιν ἐν κυ|λίκεσσιν ἄβρως
<ὀ>μ<με>μεί|χμενον θαλίαισι | νέκταρ
οἰνοχόεισα                                                        16

[Hither . . . from Crete] to . . . holy temple,
where is a graceful grove
of apple trees—and altars
          smoking with frankincense.
In it cool water babbles through apple
boughs and all the place is shadowed
with roses, and from quivering leaves
          enchanted sleep comes down.
And there in a meadow, where horses browse,
blooms with flowers [of spring?], and breezes
blow softly [
          [                 ]
there, Kypris, take . . . 
pouring delicately in golden cups
nectar that is mingled with
our festivities. [

This fragment, as printed in Voigt’s edition, might be deemed a somewhat tentative, albeit critically established, version of how the corrupt text written on the third-century BC ostrakon that preserves it should be understood. Debate continues about different readings of the fragment. [
262] Here I shall not focus on the complicated textual problems that it presents. I shall only point out that the conjecture ἐ̣π̣[ὶ τόνδ]ε̣ ναῦον (“to this temple”) is not compelling, given the paleographic uncertainties of line 1. As the fragment stands, there is no deictic [τόνδ]ε̣. Some scholars deem the hypothetical supplement τόνδ[ε̣ necessary for their argument that the song is a cult hymn and the “temple” mentioned is a real one. [263] This idea supports the reconstruction of the so-called circle of Sappho as a religious or initiatory group of girls under the leadership of the poet. However, it should be observed that there is nothing in the fragment to suggest that the landscape described is not imaginary. [264]

In Sappho 2 V, the singing voice summons Aphrodite to appear at a delightful grove and join the “audience” in their festivities. A large number of critics have argued that the song did not end with line 16. Denys Page, among other researchers, held that the composition continued beyond this line and that “we should rather expect Sappho to proceed to give some reason for her invocation of the goddess.” [265] What “we expect” or “do not expect” may have little to do with the complexities of the poetics of archaic Greek song-making, since this line of argumentation can easily lead, and has often led, to a large-scale “rewriting” of the fragments of Sappho. [266] For all that, Athenaios, another significant source for the text of the last four lines of Sappho fragment 2 V, provides an “Attic version” for these lines: [267] ἐλθέ, Κύπρι,| χρυσίαισιν ἐν κυλίκεσσιν ἁβρῶς | συμμεμιγμένον θαλίαισι νέκταρ | οἰνοχοοῦσα (“Come, Kypris, pouring delicately in golden cups nectar that is mingled with our festivities”). [268] Athenaios’ text does not end with οἰνοχοοῦσα, but continues with the deictic phrase τούτοισι τοῖς ἑταίροις ἐμοῖς γε καὶ σοῖς. [269] His quotation of the last four lines of fragment 2 V occurs in the context of his broader discussion of ἐκπώματα (“drinking-cups”) and modes of drinking. The phrase “for these companions of mine and yours” might well have been part of Sappho’s song. [270] And Sappho fragment 160 V would defend this idea. [271]

Here I would not be interested in arguing that the phrase was part of the original song. What is more relevant to my discussion is that this stanza (13–16) provided audiences with contextualization cues closely related to sympotic discourses. These contextualization cues would be understood in the context of classical Athenian male gatherings as markedly symposiastic. The phrase “for these companions of mine and yours” might be viewed as part of the Athenian performative transmission of Sappho’s songs. [272] Sappho referred in her poetry to hetairai and to her own hetairai (“companions”), and Praxilla composed, or was credited with, drinking-songs in which hetairoi were addressed. One of these songs (Praxilla fr. 749 PMG) was believed in later times to be a composition of Sappho, a fact suggesting that at a certain stage in the transmission and reception of her poetry Sappho was viewed as a composer of skolia addressed to hetairoi. As in the case of fragment 94 V examined in Chapter Three, the “symposiastic” discourse embedded in fragment 2 V facilitated the reception of the song in male performative contexts. Further, I would argue that during their performative transmission a number of Sappho’s songs were characterized by relative textual plasticity—that is, by a tendency to be assimilated into and adapted to different discursive modalities. The deictic phrase τούτοισι τοῖς ἑταίροις ἐμοῖς γε καὶ σοῖς, which might reflect something of the original composition—the presence of “participants” in the performative space of the song—reflects possible mechanisms of adapting it to symposiastic circumstances.

The reception of Sappho fragment 2 V should be viewed in terms of the three visual discursive idioms that I explored in Chapter Three: a male discourse directly connected with sympotic occasions, in the broadest sense of the term; a discourse related to female musical gatherings as these are refracted in fifth-century Attic representations produced by diverse craftsmen; and a visual discursive modality closely associated with the institution of marriage and wedding rituals. Especially during the early reception of Sappho and in the context of oral transmission, certain of her songs and their genre discourses offered opportunities to be slightly adapted and diversely perceived. Comparative ethnographic material indicates the possible validity of this line of inquiry. A composition like Sappho fragment 1 V could be “read” and even “rewritten” differently by diverse audiences. In lines 19–24, Aphrodite, whose voice is quoted by the poetic subject, speaks directly to “Psappho:”

τίς σ’, ὦ
                                        Ψά˼πφ’, ˻ἀδίκησι;           20
          κα˼ὶ γ˻ὰρ αἰ φεύγει, ταχέως διώξει,
αἰ δὲ δῶρα μὴ δέκετ’, ἀλλὰ δώσει,
αἰ δὲ μὴ φίλει, ταχέως φιλήσει
κωὐκ ἐθέλοισα.                                                     24

                    Who wrongs
          you, Psapph(o)?
for if she flees, soon she’ll be pursuing;
if she does not accept gifts, she’ll be giving them;
if she does not love, soon she will love
even against her will.

Of longstanding debate is whether in line 24 the original reading was κωὐκ ἐθέλοισα (“[she will love] even against her will”) or κωὐκ ἐθέλοισαν. [
273] In the former case, the gender of the person who will soon pursue and love is certainly female. [274] In the latter case, κωὐκ ἐθέλοισαν refers to “Psappho,” and the gender of the person who wrongs her remains ambivalent: it could, in principle, be either female or male (“[s/he will love you] even if you do not want”). [275] The majority of critical editors and literary critics have endorsed and argued in favor of κωὐκ ἐθέλοισα. [276] The question here is not whether Sappho was explicit or perhaps intentionally ambiguous. Diverse performers and audiences could have “rewritten” this line of the song in view of the cultural idioms investigated in Chapters Two and Three.

Textual Plasticity and Dialogues

In the early third century BC, Hermesianax included in a catalogue of love narratives related to poets and philosophers the ardent story of Alkaios and Anakreon, who were enamored of the nightingale Sappho (fr. 7. 47–56 CA): [277]

Λέσβιος Ἀλκαῖος δὲ πόσους ἀνεδέξατο κώμους
          Σαπφοῦς φορμίζων ἱμερόεντα πόθον,
γιγνώσκεις· ὁ δ᾽ ἀοιδὸς ἀηδόνος ἠράσαθ’, ὕμνων
          Τήϊον ἀλγύνων ἄνδρα πολυφραδίῃ.                     50
Καὶ γὰρ τὴν ὁ μελιχρὸς ἐφημίλλητ’ Ἀνακρείων
          στελλομένην πολλαῖς ἄμμιγα Λεσβιάσιν·
φοίτα δ’ ἄλλοτε μὲν λείπων Σάμον, ἄλλοτε δ’ αὐτὴν
          οἰνηρῇ δειρῇ κεκλιμένην πατρίδα
Λέσβον ἐς εὔοινον· τὸ δὲ Μύσιον εἴσιδε Λεκτὸν            55
          πολλάκις Αἰολικοῦ κύματος ἀντιπέρας.

And you know in how many komastic revels the Lesbian Alkaios
          participated, [
278] as he sang to the lyre of his yearning desire
for Sappho; the bard loved that nightingale and,
          by the eloquence of his songs, caused distress to the man of Teos.
For the honey-voiced Anakreon contended for Sappho,
          who was surrounded by, mingled with, many Lesbian women;
and sometimes he would leave Samos, sometimes
          his own fatherland that lies on the vine-rich hill,
and visit wine-abounding Lesbos; and often he gazed upon Mysian Lekton [
          across the Aeolian wave.

This catalogue formed part of the third book of Hermesianax’s Leontion, a poetic composition in elegiac couplets (apparently inspired by his mistress Leontion) [
280] which, as late as 1995, was confidently defined by experts as “surely the silliest surviving product of its age.” [281]

In the extensive fragment that has been preserved by Athenaios, Hermesianax starts with mythical bards like Orpheus and moves to imaginary and wittily composed love narratives involving Hesiod and the Ascraean Ἠοίη, Homer and Penelope, and Mimnermos and Nanno. He further recounts love stories related to Sophokles, Hermesianax’s contemporary Philitas, and even Pythagoras and Sokrates. [282] In the narrative about Mimnermos, the idea of rivalry is introduced (fr. 7. 35–40 CA) and is developed fully in the story associated with Sappho. Anakreon contended with Alkaios for her love and made frequent visits to Lesbos (lines 53–55). It is significant that Anakreon—or his sympotic song-making—is represented as often traveling from wine-producing Teos to Lesbos, an island abounding in and renowned for its wine. [283] I suggest that the narrative adroitly exploits elements of the Dionysiac spaces of symposion and kômos. Further, I would place emphasis on the context provided by Hermesianax with regard to Alkaios’ singing of his desire for Sappho: it is during komastic revels (κώμους) that Alkaios performed his serenades. Note that a song of Alkaios started with the komastic entreaty “receive me, the reveler, receive me, I beg you, I beg,” employing discursive elements of a paraklausithuron. [284] Anakreon’s compositions, too, included images of kômoi. [285] Competitive aspects in singing are suggested by ἀλγύνων ἄνδρα πολυφραδίῃ in line 50: [286] Hermesianax highlights the preeminent skills of the Lesbian ἀοιδός. More important, the context of komastic revel in association with the singing of Alkaios recalls the juxtaposition of the image of Dionysos holding a kantharos and vine branches with that of the performer Alkaios on the Munich kalathos-psykter. [287]

Fanciful dialogues among poets were an essential means of fictionalization in Greek antiquity. We find this kind of dialogue in diverse traditional cultures the world over. For example, in India, the well-known poet Kalidasa (fifth century AD) was presented as conversing with Vidya or Vijjaka, a seventh-century woman poet. It even seems that an attested poetic dialogue between Sappho and Alkaios (Sappho fragment 137 V) might have been fabricated. [294] A male figure bashfully initiates it: [295]

θέλω τί τ᾽ εἴπην, ἀλλά με κωλύει                     1
αἴδως . . . 

I want to tell you something, but I am prevented
by shame . . . 

and [Sappho] advises him not to speak such words:

If one compares this scenario to the poetic exchange between Anakreon and Sappho mentioned by Khamaileon, their similarities are pronounced, mutatis mutandis. In the second case the source is Aristotle, in the first the Peripatetic Khamaileon. Note that Khamaileon argues that others had suggested (λέγειν τινάς φησιν) that idea with regard to Anakreon fragment 358 PMG. Aristotle states that “Sappho composed the following lines, when Alkaios said: ‘I wish to tell you . . . ’.” [
297] In other words, Alkaios is represented as the composer of a song to which Sappho responded. While we might argue that the lines must be ascribed to one poet, most probably Sappho, [298] and that one should not go so far as to set aside lines 3–6 as spurious with Maas and Voigt, [299] there is yet no reason to give Aristotle credit for being, or trying to be, accurate in identifying the speakers in the dialogue. Had Sappho introduced either Alkaios’ or her name in the song? [300] If either were true, would that entail that the dialogue might refer to an actual event? In this regard, we observe that a fragmentary song of Sappho similarly presents the speaking “I” addressing a male figure and advising him to choose a younger woman: [301]

ἀλλ’ ἔων φίλος ἄμμιν λέχος ἄρνυσο νεώτερον·
οὐ γὰρ τλάσομ’ ἔγω σύν <τ’> οἴκην ἔσσα γεραιτέρα

But if you are a friend, take the bed of a younger woman;
for I shall not bring myself to live with you while I am the older

Reconstructive Images

The history of the modern scholarly reception of Sappho fragment 137 V has not been sufficiently explored. Although I shall not investigate it here in detail, it is intriguing that in this case again the tendency of researchers to “rewrite” the fragments attributed to archaic song-makers has been particularly marked. Early in the nineteenth century the dialogic lines quoted by Aristotle were considered an invention of his contemporaries. [302] This approach would attract contemporary researchers, too. Later, Bergk printed lines 1–2 as Alkaios fragment 55.2 and lines 3–6 as Sappho fragment 28 in his edition. [303] Following taxonomic principles that have remained influential in most recent scholarship, [304] Bergk also placed his Alkaios fragment 55 in his category of Erôtika [305] and attached to “I want to say something . . . ” an extra introductory line: Ἰόπλοκ’ ἄγνα μελλιχόμειδε Σάπφοι. [306] The latter purported address to Sappho was deemed by many scholars a fitting opening line for a song that Alkaios composed for her. Anna Komnene’s reference to the first two lines of Sappho fragment 137 V as a composition written by Sappho was thought of as erroneous. [307] This kind of reconstruction of the poetics of Alkaios and Sappho and of the original context of the poetic dialogue in early sixth-century Lesbos informed the argumentation of later discussions. [308] Writing archaic cultures—genres, original contexts, cultural ideologies—on the basis of the objectivity that textual criticism apparently presupposes, often without acknowledging the tentative character of our approaches to culture, has been and still is one of the most enduring paradigms in scholarship. [309]

If we go back to Aristotle’s information and attempt to view it in its broader Peripatetic context, doubts about its reliability emerge. These doubts make us suspect that it was again “others” who had earlier circulated the story—a story perhaps triggered by, but not directly stemming from, vase-paintings depicting Alkaios performing with Sappho, such as that of the fifth-century kalathos-psykter of Munich. [310] In fact, Aristotle visited Lesbos and “spent much time studying the habits of the marine life—starfish, sea-urchins, gobies, above all oysters.” [311] Along with his biological investigations on Lesbos, Aristotle was apparently interested in learning about the sociopolitical history of Mytilene [312] and thus might have heard local narratives about its most important protagonists: Pittakos, Alkaios, eminent Lesbian families of nobles, and several other figures. During his sojourn there, he could have had the opportunity to listen to compositions of Alkaios and Sappho. Probably while at Assos, but certainly later on in Athens, he was associated with Theophrastos, who was from Eressos, another major city of Lesbos. [313] One of Aristotle’s pupils, Phainias of Eressos, was similarly well acquainted with the older Lesbian culture. The Peripatetic Khamaileon wrote treatises on Sappho and Anakreon in which his interest in biographical approaches to their poetry is traceable. [314] Finally, another pupil of Aristotle, Dikaiarkhos, wrote a treatise περὶ Ἀλκαίου. [315] The early Peripatetics took a strong interest in the life and oeuvre of lyric poets, without being immune to local stories and common-talk about them. [316] The case of Khamaileon’s view about Anakreon and Sappho attests to the appeal of imagined performative poetic dialogues to such writers. Doubts about Khamaileon’s reports (on Sappho at least) are probably raised by a late second- or early third-century AD papyrus fragment from a commentary on Sappho, [317] whose author seems to refer to Khamaileon as having gone wrong in one of his assertions about Sappho. Aristotle himself was attracted to biographies of and anecdotes about poets. Should we, therefore, trust Aristotle’s testimony about the poetic dialogue of Alkaios and Sappho? [318] It is more probable, I believe, that the conversing personae of a song by Sappho were at a certain point given historical names. A dialogic song, or a dialogue embedded in the broader plot of a song, could perhaps have been even slightly modified so that it might meet the requirements of an exchange between two song-makers. And a likely context for the dissemination of such a poetic dialogue, performed as a kind of skolion, is in the earlier performance traditions that conditioned the gradual shaping of the performative personae of the two poets. [319]

Closing Stages

All this brings us to a significant case of textual plasticity with regard to the reception of the song-making of Sappho as well as to the markedness of the shaping of her figure. This informant provides a crucial link to the complexities of the socioaesthetic idioms and discursive practices investigated throughout this book, and suggests how the performative trafficability of the figure of Sappho was rewritten by ancient audiences.

In his treatise On Sappho, Khamaileon maintains that “some say” that the following lines were addressed to Sappho by Anakreon (καὶ λέγειν τινάς φησιν εἰς αὐτὴν πεποιῆσθαι ὑπὸ Ἀνακρέοντος τάδε): [320]

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.
But she, for she is from
well-built Lesbos, blames
my hair, because it is white,
and she is gaping at another.

Moreover, Khamaileon reports that Sappho in turn composed the following song and addressed it to Anakreon, although we are not told whether it was again some others who had circulated this idea before him: [

κεῖνον, ὦ χρυσόθρονε Μοῦσ’, ἔνισπες
ὕμνον, ἐκ τᾶς καλλιγύναικος ἐσθλᾶς
Τήιος χώρας ὃν ἄειδε τερπνῶς
πρέσβυς ἀγαυός.

You uttered that song, O golden-throned Muse,
which the illustrious old Teian man
from the fine land of beautiful women
sang delightfully.

The latter song has received almost no attention by scholars, since it has been deemed spurious and classified as a fragmentum adespotum. However, for the cultural economy that conditioned the multilayered shaping of Sappho the song is most intriguing.

As I argued in the previous chapters, the figure of Sappho in the classical period should be viewed as a texture in dialogue with other broader cultural textures. In the particular case of Khamaileon’s report, a song is composed and attached to her figure, while the performative and deictic context of another song by Anakreon is adapted so that “Sappho’s song” may tally with Anakreon’s. I suggest that the textual and contextual plasticity of Sappho, often facilitated by the oral transmission of her poetry in diverse discursive contexts, is implicated here in an intricate hermeneutics of vraisemblance and a mechanism of cultural coinage that contributed to the assimilation of her figure into a considerably marked cognitive model.

The composition of Anakreon is, as we have seen, about a young woman from Lesbos. By the time of Khamaileon, the same composition was viewed by “some” as being addressed to Sappho, [322] who, as Khamaileon reports, replied to Anakreon’s song. The Peripatetic writer invites us to see “Sappho’s stanza” as a kind of dialogic response to the verses of Anakreon. [323] This poetic exchange presupposes an (imagined) performance context, which is not specified. [324] “Sappho’s song” was certainly composed after Anakreon’s, at a time when his and Sappho’s poetry was performed or discussed in similar discursive contexts. Apart from rhythmical affinities that might have been perceivable during performance, [325] three correspondences occur between fragmentum adespotum 953 PMG and Anakreon fragment 358 PMG. First, the reference in the latter to the place of origin of the young female figure is capped by Τήιος in “Sappho’s composition.” Second, ἐκ τᾶς καλλιγύναικος ἐσθλᾶς . . . χώρας further responds to ἀπ’ εὐκτίτου Λέσβου and places emphasis on the land of “beautiful women”—an emphasis that, I argue, is significant in the case of this poetic dialogue. Third, in Anakreon fragment 358 PMG, the poetic voice refers to his λευκὴ κόμη (“white hair”) and in her reply, Sappho describes Anakreon as an “old man.” [326] By creatively employing markedly poetic words like ἔνισπες (“you uttered,” “you spoke”), [327] καλλιγύναικος ἐσθλᾶς (“[from] the fine [land] of beautiful women”), χρυσόθρονε (“golden-throned”), and ἀγαυός (“illustrious,” often used of heroes, kings, and divine figures in the Homeric epics), the composer(s) of Sappho’s song attempted to retain some degree of vraisemblance: synchronically and diachronically this song represents the writing of Sappho—both in terms of compositional features and with regard to the cultural writing of her figure.

To contextualize fragmentum adespotum 953 PMG further, we should explore it in the light of the song written on the scroll that Sappho gazes at on the Athens hydria. In this representation, ΣΑΠΠΩ̣Σ identifies the seated figure and is placed near her book roll. [328] The line “ . . . with airy words I begin [my song]” on the vase is “Sappho’s.” I suggest that attributing newly composed songs, even sympotic skolia, [329] to Sappho was an important aspect of her early reception, and “Sappho’s song” quoted by Khamaileon might be viewed as part of the same process. Not unlike the composition on the Athens hydria, “Sappho’s reply” has the air of poetic loftiness. Her stanza addresses a golden-throned Muse, a female deity, and focuses on the delightful song sung by the old man from the fine land of beautiful women. The song uttered by the Muse is the composition performed by Anakreon. This composition, according to an idea circulated by “some” (as Khamaileon reports), is addressed to Sappho. It represents a mythopractical performance of the “female Lesbian culture:” [330] the young woman from Lesbos is gaping after a female object of desire. Therefore, by the time of Khamaileon the different socioaesthetic idioms and ideological filters investigated in Chapters Two and Three had produced a marked discourse about female Lesbian eroticism. All the rich and multidirectional future of the figure of Sappho and the local female societies of Lesbos has already been fully adumbrated.

I began this book with the observation that the history of the early (or later) ancient reception of the female aesthetic cultures of archaic Lesbos had not been written. This may now be accounted for as a prefiguration for the challenge of any enterprise to write about the cultural economy of a figure who in the early stages of the shaping of her identity resisted unifying and unidirectional representation. Diverse investigations of the early and late stages of her reception may prove instrumental in our rewriting of her original contexts.


[ back ] 1. Yatromanolakis and Roilos 2003:16; cf.2003:19.

[ back ] 2. On mythopraxis, see the methodological Problematik formulated in Chapter One.

[ back ] 3. According to Aristotle Poetics 1448a.33–34, Khionides and Magnes were the two earliest Athenian comic poets. The Beggars is attributed to Khionides by the Suda (see Khionides testimonium 1 in Kassel and Austin’s edition), but Athenaios, who quotes all four fragments (Khionides frs. 4–7 K-A), casts doubt on its authenticity (14.638d and 4.137e = Khionides frs. 4 and 7 K-A). Dating fragmentary plays of comic poets is a notoriously precarious enterprise. According to the Suda s.v. Χιωνίδης (and modern scholars, see Khionides testimonium 1 K-A, with discussion in the apparatus criticus), Khionides was probably the first of the poets-victors at the City Dionysia in 486 BC (διδάσκειν δὲ ἔτεσιν ὀκτὼ πρὸ τῶν Περσικῶν; cf. Pickard-Cambridge 1988:132). For the dating of the work of the so-called old comic (mainly fifth-century) poets, see Geissler’s important book (1969). For the problems and ideologies reflected in “Old,” “Middle,” and “New” comedy as ancient terms, see Nesselrath 2000, Sidwell 2000, and Csapo 2000.

[ back ] 4. Khionides frs. 5 and 7 K-A.

[ back ] 5. Athenaios questions the authorship of numerous comedies; his doubts are not confined to Beggars. Kassel and Austin include the fragments in the works of Khionides.

[ back ] 6. See Chapter Three, pp. 229–231. Athenaios 14.638d: literally, “the writer of playful and cheerful songs,” with connotations of lustfulness.

[ back ] 7. Kleomenes fr. 838 PMG. In the ancient scholia on Aristophanes Clouds, Kleomenes is mentioned along with Kinesias and Philoxenos, in the context of kuklioi khoroi. On Phrynis, see, concisely, Neubecker 1994 [1977]:45–46. On Philoxenos, among other sources, see Antiphanes fr. 207 K-A. On Kinesias and Philoxenos, cf. also Barker 1984:94–95.

[ back ] 8. The sources in Kleomenes fr. 838 PMG could not perhaps refer to the same musician but, in the absence of counterindications, we may want to associate the few sources we have with Kleomenes of Rhegion, the melic poet.

[ back ] 9. Epikrates fr. 2 K-A, where a character claims that the nomoi of Apollo and Zeus are performed by all aulos-girls, but the girls referred to in this fragment perform only the Hawk’s nomos (Hierax, according to a tradition, was an aulos-player who died young and who was Olympos’ household slave, student, and beloved; Poludeukes 4.78ff. Bethe). For Olympos, see Chapter Three. For visual representations of aulos-girls, see Peschel 1987:figs. 189–244.

[ back ] 10. Epikrates fr. 4 K-A.

[ back ] 11. Epikrates fr. 3 K-A.

[ back ] 12. Philetairos fr. 9.4 K-A. For Philetairos and his association with Aristophanes, see Chapter Three, n. 365.

[ back ] 13. Athenaios 13.588c–d. For Lais, see Athenaios 13.588c–589b. She was considered by some as Korinthian (because she traveled to Korinthos), but others argued that she was from the Sicilian town of Hykkara.

[ back ] 14. Athenaios 13.588c.

[ back ] 15. Cf. fragments 1 and 63V.

[ back ] 16. I would not be too reluctant to take into account here (at least in the context of an apparatus criticus) Ahrens’s πόρφυρα (πορφύρα?) and Maas’s καταΰτμενα (see Voigt’s annotation “πόρφυρα . . . fort. recte, cf. S. 44.9,” that is, . . . κἄμματα | πορφύρ[α] καταΰτ[με]να), despite Page’s doubts (1955:69 and 80). Unlike Voigt’s text-critical sagacity, Lobel and Page (1955:83) were unnecessarily frugal in not referring to these restorations in their apparatus criticus.

[ back ] 17. In line 3, Wilamowitz detected a reference to a certain Mnasis and emended the corrupt τατιμάσεις into τά τοι Μ<ν>ᾶσις (see Voigt’s apparatus criticus); cf. fragment 82a V, where Μνασιδίκα, provided by the majority of the indirect sources that quote the fragment, was rendered as Μναΐς in one of those sources and was conjecturally emended as a form of Μνᾶσις by Bergk in 1867, followed by Lobel 1925 (cf. Lobel and Page 1955:57, who do not refer to Bergk 1867) and Theander 1943:154n1; see also Sappho fr. 81.4 V. As for line 4, Gallavotti 1962 speculated that †καγγόνων† represents Μαόνων (“of the Ionians”?).

[ back ] 18. Ta erôtika may also be construed here as “the erotic ways of . . . ” or “the erotic manners of . . . ,” in the sense of the erotic ideas, practices, or intensity displayed in the compositions of these poets. Certainly ta erôtika cannot mean “the erotic affairs” in this context, given the available sources about both Kleomenes and Meletos.

[ back ] 19. As I argued in Chapter Two, such a connection between Sappho’s poetry and male pederastic discourses was exploited in the Bochum kalyx-krater and made explicit later by Maximos of Tyros (18.9 Koniaris) and Themistios (Orations 13.170d–171a Schenkl-Downey). Cf. P.Oxy. 1800 fr. 1, a papyrus fragment dated to the late second or early third century (Hunt 1922b).

[ back ] 20. See Aristophanes Frogs 1301–1302 [Hall-Geldart] οὗτος δ’ ἀπὸ πάντων †μὲν φέρει, πορνιδίων†, | σκολίων Μελήτου, Καρικῶν αὐλημάτων, and cf. Dover’s comments (1993:350), who prints οὗτος δ’ ἀπὸ πάντων μὲν φέρει, πορνῳδιῶν, | σκολίων Μελήτου, Καρικῶν αὐλημάτων. Dover’s hypothesis that “there is, however, a possibility that we should punctuate after σκολίων, thus introducing a deliberate ambiguity (maybe a near-pause but not quite a pause after σκολίων), and thus a swipe at the tragic poet,” is perhaps overcautious and unnecessary.

[ back ] 21. See Lamynthios fr. 839 PMG and Klearkhos Erôtika fr. 34 Wehrli.

[ back ] 22. Klearkhos fr. 33 Wehrli.

[ back ] 23. Carmen populare 853 PMG. On Lokrian songs, see Gigante 1977b:658–662. On popular songs, see Yatromanolakis 2007b.

[ back ] 24. Praxilla fr. 754 PMG. Carey 2003 thinks that the fragment may represent a wedding song (and he misidentifies Praxilla’s fragments as nos. 388–90 PMG). For the early classical red-figure cup inscribed with part of this song, see Chapter Three, p. 215.

[ back ] 25. Cf. Chapter Three, pp. 215–216.

[ back ] 26. See Lobel 1927:51 (apparatus criticus); Page 1955:307.

[ back ] 27. Cf. Sappho fr. 43.9 ἄγχι γὰρ ἀμέρα (end of the song, but the context is probably entirely different).

[ back ] 28. See Bowra 1961:83 “This song is not likely to be old, but it looks as if it came from an ancient tradition . . . ” and “[i]t is popular in nearly every sense and comes from an almost vulgar tradition” (84). Bowra has not been alone in advancing such ideas. He has been followed by numerous scholars; cf. e.g. Dover 1987:107.

[ back ] 29. Wilamowitz’s emendation of the transmitted text is cited even by such a perceptive critical editor as Wehrli in Klearkhos fr. 33. Did not Anakreon compose Ionic songs?

[ back ] 30. See, further, the discussion in Chapter Three (pp. 212–213) of the song Kalykê performed by ἀρχαῖαι γυναῖκες (Stesikhoros fr. 277 PMG = Aristoxenos fr. 89 Wehrli). For Kalykê as mother of Endymion, cf. Hesiod fr. 245 M-W (= Schol. Apollonios Rhodios 4.58, p. 264.8 Wendel). I investigate the significance of Kalykê for the case of Sappho in Yatromanolakis 2007a.

[ back ] 31. Klearkhos fr. 32 Wehrli.

[ back ] 32. Kuhn 1962 [1996]:43.

[ back ] 33. For the vast influence of Welcker 1816 on later scholarship, see Calder 1986.

[ back ] 34. Welcker 1816; later version published in his Kleine Schriften, vol. 2, Bonn 1845, 80–144. Welcker quoted the whole fragment: νᾶφε καὶ μέμνασ’ ἀπιστεῖν· ἄρθρα ταῦτα τᾶν φρενῶν.

[ back ] 35. See, among other scholars, Dörrie 1975:16–17. The Ovidian authorship of the Epistula Sapphus ad Phaonem (Heroides 15) has been questioned: see Tarrant 1981 and 1983:268–273, Knox 1995:12–14. Rosati 1996 favors the attribution of the poem’s authorship to Ovid.

[ back ] 36. Parker 1993:309 (with references to earlier scholars). Similarly, concerning Welcker’s Sappho Freed from a Reigning Prejudice, Calder 1986:141 has observed that Welcker missed “the comic origin of Sappho’s husband.” The Suda (s.v. Σαπφώ) also claims that Kerkulas did business from Andros. Campbell 1982:5 renders the name “Kerkulas” (and his association with Andros) as “Prick from the Isle of Man” (cf. κέρκος). Compare Parker’s “Dick Allcock from the Isle of MAN” (1993: 309), which is sensational. I should perhaps stress that Kerkulos is attested as a personal name from Euboia (see LGPN vol. 1 [The Aegean Islands, Cyprus, Cyrenaica]:254, s.v. Κερκύλος) and personal names like Kerkiôn and Kerkôn similarly occur in inscriptions: see LGPN, s.vv. in vol. 1, vol. 2 (Attica), vol. 3A (The Peloponnese, Western Greece, Sicily and Magna Graecia), vol. 3B (Central Greece), vol. 4 (Macedonia, Thrace, Northern Regions of the Black Sea). On Kerkulas, cf. Chapter One, p. 20.

[ back ] 37. Most 1995:17.

[ back ] 38. Lidov 2002.

[ back ] 39. Poludeukes 9.138 Bethe ἐν δὲ τῇ  Ἀμειψίου Σαπφοῖ καὶ νωθρότερον εὑρήκαμεν.

[ back ] 40. Rea 1968:70.

[ back ] 41. Rea 1968:71.

[ back ] 42. See the apparatus criticus in Bethe’s edition of Poludeukes (9. 138); Bethe 1931:184. Amphis wrote a Sappho and all the other plays entitled Sappho come from the fourth century or possibly later.

[ back ] 43. Calder 1986:141.

[ back ] 44. Araros’ first play was produced around 376–372 BC; see Araros testimonium 1 in Kassel and Austin’s edition (and cf. Araros testimonium 3 K-A).

[ back ] 45. The fragmentary list includes the name of an author unknown among comic playwrights—Apollonios—and of one of his plays (cf. Rea 1968:70–71 and Apollonios in Kassel and Austin’s Poetae Comici Graeci). The date of Apollonios is uncertain but Rea (1968:71) notes that “Apollonios is not a known Athenian name in the fifth century and is at least very rare in the fourth.”

[ back ] 46. Antiphanes fr. 159 K-A (Moikhoi) and fr. 194–195 K-A (Sappho).

[ back ] 47. For Antiphanes’ Sappho, see below.

[ back ] 48. I should like to emphasize that a title like Sappho cannot be indicative of the plot of a play or of whether “Sappho” was the name of an ordinary woman/protagonist who, through her action, reminded the audience of the figure and the poetry of Sappho; cf. n. 57 below.

[ back ] 49. Ephippos fr. 20 K-A, Amphis fr. 32 K-A, and Timokles fr. 32 K-A.

[ back ] 50. This is evidently suggested by the context in which the fragment is quoted (Athenaios 13.572b–c, who further reports that “the orator Aiskhines has said the same thing in his speech Against Timarkhos”; see Aiskhines Against Timarkhos 75 [Orations 1.75 Dilts]: “What is one to say when a youth, quite young and exceptionally handsome, leaves his father’s house and spends his nights in other men’s houses and has expensive dinners without paying his share (ἀσύμβολον) . . . ?”. For Ephippos and the dating of his plays, see Nesselrath 1990:196–197.

[ back ] 51. As transmitted (“ . . . learns to eat another man’s fish”?), the line is problematic and diverse emendations have been put forward (cf. Kassel and Austin’s apparatus criticus); Kaibel’s ἀλλότριον εἰσελθών τις οἶκον διαλάθηι is interesting and is here only tentatively translated.

[ back ] 52. For Misgolas, see Arnott 1996a:63 and Fisher 2001:170–183.

[ back ] 53. Alexis fr. 3 K-A. Cf. Antiphanes fr. 27.14–18 K-A. Aeskhines’ Against Timarkhos 41 describes Misgolas as someone who used to have constantly around him kitharôidoi and kitharistai. For these passages, see Athenaios 8.338e–339c.

[ back ] 54. Diphilos fr. 70–71 K-A.

[ back ] 55. Diphilos fr. 70 K-A Ἀρχίλοχε, δέξαι τήνδε τὴν μετανιπτρίδα | μεστὴν Διὸς σωτῆρος, Ἀγαθοῦ Δαίμονος. The context in which the fragment is quoted (Athenaios 11.486f–487a) is an account of a type of cup used in symposia; some other quotations included in this account in Athenaios suggest that Diphilos fr. 70 K-A was part of some kind of symposiastic scene.

[ back ] 56. On this poem by Hermesianax, see the discussion below. Note that the case of Alkaios and Anakreon as “suitors” of Sappho in Hermesianax’s Leontion is mentioned by Athenaios in the same context (13.599c–d).

[ back ] 57. Other comedies that are alleged to have been related to Sappho include Phaôn by Platon Komikos (7. 188–198 K-A) and Antiphanes (2. 213 K-A), Leukadia by Menandros (P.Oxy. 4024 and other sources, for which see Arnott 1996b:220–243), Diphilos (5. 52 K-A), Alexis (2. 135–137 K-A), Amphis (2. 26 K-A), and Leukadios by Antiphanes (2. 139–140 K-A). Cf. Aly 1920:col. 2366. For all that, Arnott (1996a:394–95) has argued that both Alexis’ and Menandros’ Leukadia at least were not parodies of the myth of Phaon and Sappho: “such travesties are avoided by Menander . . . , although Wilamowitz’s suggestion that Menander may have transformed incidents of the myth into experiences of ordinary folk is appealing” (Arnott 1996a:395). For Antiphanes’ Phaôn, see Kassel and Austin’s concise annotations (they quote Kock’s view about the plot of the comedy: “dubium utrum fabulosus ille Sapphus amator an famelicus quidam Pythagorista, de quo cf. Alex. fr. 223.15, comoediae nomen dederit”).

[ back ] 58. In the extant comedies of Aristophanes, Sappho is not mentioned by name; it has often been argued that there are some possible allusions to several fragments of Sappho, but such Aristophanean formulations, in the broader context of the various performance cultures in Athens, might have not been registered as markedly Sapphic by audiences: Knights 730 τίς ὦ Παφλαγὼν ἀδικεῖ σε; (cf. Sappho fr. 1.19–20 V), and, perhaps, Ekklesiazousai 954 πάνυ γάρ τις ἔρως με δονεῖ (cf. Sappho fr. 130.1 V), and Clouds 278 ὑψηλῶν ὀρέων κορυφὰς ἐπὶ (cf. Sappho fr. 44A a.6 V). Given its context, it would be risky to suggest that in Frogs 1308, Dionysos alludes to the “tradition” of the poetry of Sappho; even the idea that he might imply the early figures of Arion and Terpandros should not necessarily be taken for granted. In Lysistratê 142–145, a pun might possibly be detected (cf. Sappho fr. 168B V) but, again, the overall idea expressed in the lines of Aristophanes would not be uncommon (see line 592 of the same play).

[ back ] 59. Menandros fr. 258 Körte-Thierfelder (1957/1959: vol. 2, 97; cf. Arnott 1996b:230–231). See, further, the passages collected by Voigt in Sappho testimonium 211. For Sappho’s leap, see, apart from the studies cited by Voigt at the end of Sappho testimonium 211 (Voigt 1971:160), the thorough and wide-ranging article of Nagy (1973/1990b) and Stehle’s most thought-provoking treatment of the function of male mythical young figures in the poetics of Sappho (1990). For an unnecessary emendation of Pseudo-Palaiphatos’ passage related to this myth (On Unbelievable Things [περὶ ἀπίστων] 48, Festa 1902:69), see West 1990:2. Also, the text in Gallavotti of the last sentence of Pseudo-Palaiphatos’ passage (οὗτος ὁ Φάων ἐστίν, ἐφ’ ᾧ τὸν ἔρωτα αὐτῆς [not αὑτῆς] ἡ Σαπφὼ πολλάκις ἐμελοποίησεν [= Sappho test. 39 in Gallavotti’s 1962 edition; cf. also fr. 181 in his edition]) is somewhat awkward in the wider context of the narrative (see the apparatus criticus of Festa 1902:69).

[ back ] 60. See Antiphanes testimonium 2 in Kassel and Austin’s edition. Cf. Antiphanes testimonia 1 and 4 K-A.

[ back ] 61. Antiphanes fr. 194–195 K-A.

[ back ] 62. Antiphanes fr. 195 K-A; however, cf. Kratinos fr. 267 K-A.

[ back ] 63. See Chapter Three.

[ back ] 64. Antiphanes fr. 194 K-A.

[ back ] 65. Note that Athenaios 10.450f mentions that ταῦτά τις ἐπιλυόμενός φησιν; and cf. 10.450e ἐπιλυομένου (Meineke: ἀπολυομένου A) τινὸς οὕτως (my emphasis). The different names for Sappho’s father enumerated in P. Oxy. 1800 fr. 1 and the lemma on Sappho in the Suda suggest the variety of biographies about her (seven names altogether, according to Treu 1984:234–35; Treu’s view that the seven names may hint at the existence of seven different ancient biographies of Sappho is not likely, since it is equally possible that one or two different biographies referred to all these alternative names, which different oral or later written traditions alleged to be authentic). The total number of the attested names for Sappho’s father seems to be ten (two in P.Oxy. 1800 fr. 1, seven in Suda [apart from Skamandrônymos, who occurs in P.Oxy. 1800 fr. 1 as well], and one in Scholia on Pindar, Drachmann 1.10.6 [Vitae et Varia]). Note that some of the names in question have a similar root, a fact that may partly be accounted for by the workings of oral tradition (Σκαμάνδρου – Σκαμανδρωνύμου, Ἠεριγυίου – Εὐρυγύου). The most frequent, and earliest attested, is Σκαμανδρώνυμος (P.Oxy 1800 fr. 1, Suda Σ 107, Scholia on Plato Phaidros 235c, Herodotos 2.135 (reference to Kharaxos’ father), Aelian Historical Miscellany 12.19). I would emphasize here that even in the tradition of ancient Greek biography, such a large number of variants is unusual.

[ back ] 66. Athenaios 10.448b (beginning of discussion).

[ back ] 67. Athenaios 10.448c.

[ back ] 68. Klearkhos fr. 85 Wehrli (ancient scholia on Aristophanes Wasps 20). On riddles in Greek antiquity, see Schultz 1909/1912, Ohlert 1912, and Roilos 2005:139–144, 153–154.

[ back ] 69. Fr. 86 Wehrli (Athenaios 10.448c–e), with references to asigmatism in an ode by Pindar, “a type of riddle propounded in melic poetry” (Pindar fr. 70b M). For asigmatism in ancient Greek poetry, see West 1976 and van der Weiden 1991:64–65.

[ back ] 70. Simonides fr. eleg. 25 W (Kallistratos FGrH 348 F 3). For the concept of genre modulation, see Roilos’s groundbreaking book (2005).

[ back ] 71. Aristophanes Wasps 20–23; Antiphanes Pot-Belly, or Knoithideus fr. 122 K-A (Athenaios 10.448e–449b). For another “riddle” in Antiphanes, see Ganymêdês fr. 75 K-A (Athenaios 10.459a–b); cf. Problêma fr. 192 K-A. The Theognidea include compositions with discursive elements of riddles: see Theognidea 667–682, 949–954, and 1229–1230.

[ back ] 72. See Ohl 1928 and Bergamin 2005. In his Onomastikon, Poludeukes also associates the performance of riddles with symposia (6.107–108 Bethe).

[ back ] 73. E.g. Plato Republic 479b–c.

[ back ] 74. Poetics 1458a.

[ back ] 75. See the discussion above, p. 298.

[ back ] 76. Or, “under her bosom.”

[ back ] 77. Or, “fetuses in her womb.”

[ back ] 78. Alternatively, perhaps “they have a dull sense of hearing.”

[ back ] 79. Eustathios on Iliad 6.169 (vol. 2, 270 van der Valk).

[ back ] 80. Antiphanes frs. 7 and 8 in Cougny 1890:565 and 580 (annotations). For Planoudes (c. 1255–c. 1305) and the early fourteenth-century Demetrios Triklinios, see Wilson 1996:230–241, 249–255, and the article on Planoudes by C. Wendel in RE (20:2202–2253); cf. Cameron 1993 (with several sweeping statements). On the transmission of excerpts of Menandros in medieval anthologies, see Easterling’s insightful article (1995).

[ back ] 81. Boissonade 1831:437–452. Boissonade suggested that Megalomitis might perhaps stand for Megalomytes (“Naso”?). The ainigma was printed in Boissonade 1831:450–451 and is entitled “Βίβλος.” In Planoudes’ Συναγωγὴ ἐκλεγεῖσα ἀπὸ διαφόρων βιβλίων, where it reoccurs, it is glossed as “αἴνιγμα, βίβλου” (for this title, see Mazal 1967:200).

[ back ] 82. Mazal 1967:200 (fr. 142).

[ back ] 83. See Tsolakis 1967:32–37. Tsolakis (1967:45–47), who does not include this fragment in his excellent edition of Manasses’ novel, considers the possibility that other sections from Planoudes’ Συναγωγὴ ἐκλεγεῖσα ἀπὸ διαφόρων βιβλίων, where Mazal found the lines, may be attributed to Aristandros and Kallithea.

[ back ] 84. Meineke 1840:113; even by medievalists: Conca 1994:759. Note that line 5 of Antiphanes fr. 194 K-A has been transmitted and emended in different ways; see Meineke 1840:113 and 1847:547; Kassel and Austin in Antiphanes fr. 194.

[ back ] 85. Different versions of Sappho’s griphos, devoid of any pretense to imitate an “original” literary text, became at a certain point part of orally transmitted traditional riddles still performed in contemporary Greek villages in Arcadia and Crete. The parallel phraseology in these oral multiforms—composed in dekapentasyllabos stikhos—is intriguing.

[ back ] 86. πάτερ could also function as a respectful address to an older person.

[ back ] 87. On γραφὴ παρανόμων, see Hansen 1990:225, 237–239; cf. Wankel 1991.

[ back ] 88. On silent reading, see especially Knox 1968; Svenbro 1993:163–186; Gavrilov 1997; Burnyeat 1997; cf. Johnson 2000.

[ back ] 89. Poseidippos 17.5–6 Gow-Page. On this epigram, see below.

[ back ] 90. On the fragment, see Svenbro 1993:158–159; Steiner 1994:113–114; Prins 1999:25–26; Martin 2001:73–74.

[ back ] 91. Poetics 1449b.5–9.

[ back ] 92. See the discussion above, pp. 295–297.

[ back ] 93. Ameipsias Komastai (Revellers) K-A. No word survives from this play. Cf. Phrynikhos’ Komastai frs. 14–18 K-A.

[ back ] 94. Hesiodoi frs. 15–24 K-A. For the date, see Geissler 1969:16 and 24. Cf. the fourth-century comedy Hesiodos by Nikostratos (fr. 11 K-A). Note that titles might be deceptive about the actual plot of the comedies.

[ back ] 95. Dating Arkhilokhoi (frs. 1–16 K-A) to c. 430 BC or even slightly later (see Kassel and Austin in the annotations before Kratinos Arkhilokhoi fr. 1) is safer than a date “not long after 449 BC” as Geissler (1969:18–19) somewhat optimistically assumed on the basis of a reference in Arkhilokhoi fr. 1 K-A to the death of Kimon. On the fourth-century play Arkhilokhos, see Arnott 1996a:112–115; on the title Arkhilokhoi, cf. Arnott’s comment (1996a:112): “Cratinus’ ’Αρχίλοχοι owed its plural title in all probability to a semi-chorus of Archilochus and his supporters battling against a semi-chorus of epic poets in an Old-Comedy literary agon.” Cf., earlier, Pieters 1946:133–135.

[ back ] 96. See Kratinos testimonium 17 in Kassel and Austin’s edition. Cf. Kratinos frs. 3 and 6 K-A.

[ back ] 97. Fr. 2 K-A. The phrase Κρατῖνος . . . τοὺς περὶ Ὅμηρον καὶ Ἡσίοδον ἐπαινῶν οὕτως καλεῖ in Diogenes Laertios 1.12 (Marcovich) can be construed variously in terms of the possible plot of the fragmentary comedy.

[ back ] 98. Herodotos 1.29.

[ back ] 99. Spyropoulos 1975 has questioned the information provided by the scholia.

[ back ] 100. Cf. Antiphanes Ludos (Lydian) fr. 144 K-A.

[ back ] 101. Alexis Kleoboulinê fr. 109 K-A.

[ back ] 102. The date is not certain. See Geissler 1969:23 and 81. Cf. also Pieters 1946:144–146.

[ back ] 103. On Kleobouline, riddles, and Indo-European and modern traditions of riddling, see Bader 1989:145–149 and Bryant 1983:26 and passim.

[ back ] 104. Kratinos fr. 94 K-A and see Kassel and Austin’s annotations.

[ back ] 105. Meineke 1839:277–278.

[ back ] 106. Cf. Aristophanes Knights 1059.

[ back ] 107. For an understanding of these two supplementary tropes in terms of flexible “male” and “female” discursive inflections, see the interesting discussion in Gallop 1985:114–132.

[ back ] 108. Alexis fr. 109 K-A.

[ back ] 109. Courby 1922:216 (for the inscription Ἀγωνὶς | κε Γορπιέου and its dating); cf. Kassel and Austin’s annotation on Agônis.

[ back ] 110. The title of the play in ancient Greek is Dorkis or Poppuzousa. Cf. the sense “tootle (on a reed-pipe)” in Theokritos 5.7 (on ποππύσδεν see Gomme 1952:vol. 2, 96) and Alexis’ Aulêtris and Orkhêstris.

[ back ] 111. Alexis Agônis or Hippiskos frs. 2–6 K-A and Kassel and Austin’s annotations (for the two names of the comedy, see Arnott 1996a:51); Dorkis or Poppuzousa frs. 57–9 K-A; Opôra frs. 169–170 K-A; Polukleia fr. 190 K-A.

[ back ] 112. Alexis fr. 172 K-A.

[ back ] 113. Anaxilas fr. 22–23. In the same fragment, the voices of Sirens and other mythical female creatures are also related to courtesans.

[ back ] 114. See Gow 1965.

[ back ] 115. Henderson 2000.

[ back ] 116. Ploutarkhos The Dinner of the Seven Sages. On this dialogue, the participation of Aisopos at the dinner, and the silent presence of Kleobouline (who was called Eumetis, in 148c τὴν σοφὴν. . . καὶ περιβόητον ἀγνοεῖς Εὔμητιν; οὕτω γὰρ ταύτην ὁ πατὴρ αὐτός, οἱ δὲ πολλοὶ πατρόθεν ὀνομάζουσι Κλεοβουλίνην), see Detienne and Vernant 1974:288–290 and Mossman 1997; on the Seven Sages, cf. Martin 1993. Russo 1997 discusses significant aspects of the performance of traditional wisdom. I examine Ploutarkhos’ Dinner of the Seven Sages in Yatromanolakis 2007a.

[ back ] 117. Herodotos 2.134–135. Among the fables attributed to Aisopos one is about two hetairai (see Hausrath and Hunger 1970: 45 and 217; cf. Adrados 2003:44–45).

[ back ] 118. Concerning the possible dating of Aisôpos, Arnott (1996a:75) assumes that “to the Greeks of Alexis’ time Solon (a character in Αἴσωπος: fr. 9.1) and Aesop were figures of their remoter past, to be classed with the heroes of myth; myth burlesque throve in Athenian comedy at the beginning of Alexis’ career but not later” (my emphasis). According to Arnott’s estimations (1996a:19, 293), the first half of Alexis’ career should be dated to the period before c. 330–320 BC.

[ back ] 119. Alexis fr. 9 K-A.

[ back ] 120. Kratinos fr. 246 K-A (= Diogenes Laertios 1.62 Marcovich). On the performance of Solon’s poems in the Apatouria, see Plato Timaios 21a–c, where Kritias relates a story about his childhood and mentions the chanting of Solon’s poems by boys. Note the words used by Plato for the recitation of the poems: Ἐγὼ φράσω παλαιὸν ἀκηκοὼς λόγον οὐ νέου ἀνδρός. ἦν μὲν γὰρ δὴ τότε Κριτίας, ὡς ἔφη, σχεδὸν ἐγγὺς ἤδη τῶν ἐνενήκοντα ἐτῶν, ἐγὼ δέ πῃ μάλιστα δεκέτης· ἡ δὲ Κουρεῶτις ἡμῖν οὖσα ἐτύγχανεν Ἀπατουρίων. τὸ δὴ τῆς ἑορτῆς σύνηθες ἑκάστοτε καὶ τότε συνέβη τοῖς παισίν· ἆθλα γὰρ ἡμῖν οἱ πατέρες ἔθεσαν ῥαψῳδίας. πολλῶν μὲν οὖν δὴ καὶ πολλὰ ἐλέχθη ποιητῶν ποιήματα, ἅτε δὲ νέα κατ’ ἐκεῖνον τὸν χρόνον ὄντα τὰ Σόλωνος πολλοὶ τῶν παίδων ᾔσαμεν (my emphasis). For Eupolis’ late fifth-century Dêmoi and the possible appearance in it of Solon as one of the four dead leaders (Miltiades, Aristeides, and Perikles) who returned to Athens, see Storey 2003:115–116. For Kratinos’ Kheirônes, see Pieters 1946:112–116.

[ back ] 121. On symposia in Attic comedy, see Bowie 1997; and especially Fisher 2000. Cf. Diggle 2004:347–348. Scenes of symposia were popular in fourth-century comedy.

[ back ] 122. Arnott is somewhat overskeptical (while his reconstructions of the plots of fragmentary comedies by Alexis and Menandros are almost too tolerant): “It is perhaps unlikely that Plutarch borrowed anything directly from Alexis for his own dialogue of the sages’ banquet, even though he placed Aesop next to Solon in it [ . . . ] and introduced the subject of drunkenness into the conversation” (1996a:76).

[ back ] 123. See Perry 1952:215–216 (testimonia 3–7).

[ back ] 124. Platon fr. 70 K-A. See Kassel and Austin’s annotation for the attribution of the play.

[ back ] 125. See Perry 1952:216 (testimonia 5 and 6). On Euagon of Samos, see FGrH 535. On this fragment from Aristotle’s Σαμίων Πολιτεία, see Aristotle fr. 573 Rose and his apparatus criticus; Aristotle fr. 591.1 Gigon. Cf. Dilts 1971:24, fr. 33 and on Herakleides Lembos and his excerpts, see Dilts 1971:7–13.

[ back ] 126. Vatican, Museo Gregoriano Etrusco 16552; ARV 916.183; Add. 304 (Zanker 1995:33, fig. 19).

[ back ] 127. E.g. Schefold 1997:86.

[ back ] 128. Zanker 1995:32–34. Lissarrague (2000:137–138) discusses this vase-painting but finds the tentative identification of the seated man with Aisopos plausible. This identification goes back to the first half of the nineteenth century (Otto Jahn being its first proponent; Lissarrague 2000:137), and its acceptance by numerous archaeologists attests to the lasting influence of the scholarly paradigm explored in Chapter Two. Lissarrague’s argument that this “representation of Aesop . . . on a cup used at banquets is not surprising” since “[t]he symposium lends itself perfectly to the dramatization of the fables re-enacted by the drinkers” (2000:138) is interesting. On Aisopos and traditions associated with his figure, see Nagy 1999:280–290. Cf. Wiechers 1961, Karadagli 1981 (with references to earlier studies), Papademetriou 1987, and Adrados 1999. For different versions of the Life of Aisôpos, see Perry 1952, Papademetriou 1987, Papathomopoulos 1999a, and Grammatike Karla 2001. Cf. also Papademetriou 1997 and Robertson 2003. On modern renderings and versions of the fables and of the Life of Aisôpos, see Parassoglou 1993 and Papathomopoulos 1999b.

[ back ] 129. See the discussion below.

[ back ] 130. See also figure 20 in Zanker 1995:33.

[ back ] 131. Ploutarkos 150a–f, 154a–c. In this banquet, in which the participants πρὸς ἀλλήλους ἅμα δειπνοῦντες ἔπαιζον (150c), Aisopos speaks about aulos-makers and performs a riddle by Kleobouline (150e–f). At another point in the sympotic discussion (154b), he attempts to defend Kleobouline’s riddles and quotes another ainigma which, as he mentions, she propounded to them some minutes before dinner. Kleoboulos also discusses a story (logos) that his daughter Kleobouline told her brother (157a–b). On Aisopos and Kleobouline in this symposion and, more broadly, on Aisopos and symposia, see Yatromanolakis 2007a.

[ back ] 132. See, especially, Wasps and cf. van Dijk 1997:188–229, Adrados 1999:233, 378.

[ back ] 133. Cf. Life of Aisopos (Vita Aesopi G and W) and Ploutarkos Dinner of the Seven Sages.

[ back ] 134. See the discussion above, pp. 295–297.

[ back ] 135. Herodotos 2.134–135. The text quoted is from Karl Hude’s Oxford edition of Herodotos’ Histories (third ed., Oxford 1927). The text as printed in H. B. Rosén’s Teubner edition (vol. 1, Leipzig 1987) differs slightly from Hude’s text, but their divergences do not affect the present discussion.

[ back ] 136. See Fehling 1989:199, who discusses “motif-repetitions in close proximity.”

[ back ] 137. For the building of a monumental tomb (that of Aluattes) and the important role of prostitutes, cf. Herodotos 1.93.

[ back ] 138. Cf. Fehling 1989:199.

[ back ] 139. For Herodotos’ frequent references to “correctness” in the context of his overall argumentative style, see Thomas 2000:228–235.

[ back ] 140. Cf. Murray 1987:93. For a recent overview, see Hornblower 2002.

[ back ] 141. Lidov 2002:227. Note that Lidov 2002:228 reports that “she [Sappho] became a figure in comedy known for her sexual involvement rather than, or as well as,” her poetry.

[ back ] 142. For comedies related to Sappho, see the discussion above. There is no evidence about an earlier comedy by Kratinos in which Rhodopis, Naukratis, Kharaxos, and Sappho were drawn together, as Lidov (2002:227 and 229) admits. He also provides the qualification that “there are no grounds for guessing whether Herodotus is using one or several contemporary comic sources” (2002:230).

[ back ] 143. For other sources, see below.

[ back ] 144. I shall further consider sources that Lidov and other researchers have not taken into account.

[ back ] 145. Cf. Lloyd 1988:85, who refers to later sources about Aisopos’ floruit.

[ back ] 146. On this legend, see Lloyd 1988:85–86.

[ back ] 147. For instance, Herodotos’ discussion of the special charms of courtesans from Naukratis at the end of his narrative (2. 135. 5–6 “somehow, the courtesans in Naukratis . . . ”) has often been viewed as a digression to the broader digression that he allegedly makes with this narrative about Rhodopis.

[ back ] 148. See Vita Aesopi 20–90 (Vita G and Vita W).

[ back ] 149. On Hekataios as logopoios in Herodotos, see, among other discussions, Murray 1987:99–100; Hartog 1988:296; Thomas 2000:163, 167. Note that Hekataios is first called logopoios (2.143) only several chapters after Aisopos is so called.

[ back ] 150. Cf. 2.53 (where Hesiod is also mentioned). Homer is called ἐποποιός elsewhere in the Histories (7.161); see also 2.116 (ἐς τὴν ἐποποιίην used in connection with Homer), and cf. 2.120 ( . . . εἰ χρή τι τοῖσι ἐποποιοῖσι χρεώμενον λέγειν).

[ back ] 151. Cf. “Simonides of Keos” (5.102); “Arkhilokhos of Paros” (1.12; but some scholars delete the reference to Arkhilokhos in this passage; see How and Wells 1928:vol. 1, 59 and Rosén 1987:9, who does not delete it); “Olen, a Lycian man” (4.35); “Solon of Athens” (5.113). For Pindar, see 3.38 (καὶ ὀρθῶς μοι δοκέει Πίνδαρος ποιῆσαι νόμον πάντων βασιλέα φήσας εἶναι); cf. Phrynikhos in 6.21 ( . . . καὶ ποιήσαντι δρᾶμα Μιλήτου ἅλωσιν καὶ διδάξαντι . . . ). Cf. also “Arion of Methymna . . . second to none of all the kitharodes of his time” in 1.23.

[ back ] 152. See a third-century BC inscription (218/7 BC) from Lamia, SIG 532.3–5 ἐπειδὴ Ἀριστο[δ]άμα Ἀμύντα Ζμυρναία ἀπ’ Ἰω[νίας] ποιήτρια ἐπ[έ]ω[μ] πα[ρα]γ[ε]νομ[έ]να ἐν τὰμ πόλιν πλείονας ἐ[πιδείξεις] ἐποιήσατο τῶν ἰδίωμ ποιημάτων, and another contemporary inscription (end of the third century BC) from Delphi, SEG 2.263.2–4 ἐπειδὴ [Ἀριστοδ]άμ[α Ἀμ]ύντα Ζμυρναί[α] ἀπ’ Ἰωνί[ας] [ἐπέωμ] ποιήτρ[ια] πα̣ρα̣[γε]ν̣ο̣μ̣[έν]α (a number of letters survive after the participle, but the text cannot be restored with any certainty). It is worth noting that the ποιήτρια Aristodama is from Ionia and that the first inscription (as it is restored) refers to the mode of her performances. See also SEG 49.556 and 49.618 (on SEG 2.263 and SIG 532) as well as the new inscription from Kos published by Bosnakis 2004 ( . . . Κώιαν ποιήτριαν . . . ); cf. SEG 30.1066.3–4 (for a hypothetical restoration of ποιήτρια). Alexis wrote a comedy entitled Ποιήτρια (fr. 189 K-A), but the precise meaning of the title is uncertain (see Arnott 1996a:555).

[ back ] 153. Strabon 17.1.33 (ἡ τῶν μελῶν ποιήτρια); Pausanias 8.18.5; Galenos 4.771; Aelian Historical Miscellany 12.19; Athenaios 13.596e, 15.687a.

[ back ] 154. It has been proposed (Svenbro 1984a:171 and 208n93) that the original reading in Herodotos 2.135 could have been mousopolos instead of mousopoios, and that mousopoios is the result of a scribal error. For Svenbro, if mousopolos was the original reading, it would constitute an example of Herodotos’ tendency to assimilate epic and lyric phrases into his narratives. I agree with Ford (2002:134n6) that Svenbro’s skepticism about mousopoios is not useful.

[ back ] 155. On this fifth-century phenomenon, see especially Ford 2002:131–137 (with references to earlier approaches); on poiein in connection with “making poetry,” cf. also Graziosi 2002:41–47 and, from a different, thought-provoking perspective, Nagy 2004b.

[ back ] 156. Hippolutos 1428–1430 ἀεὶ δὲ μουσοποιὸς ἐς σὲ παρθένων | ἔσται μέριμνα, κοὐκ ἀνώνυμος πεσὼν | ἔρως ὁ Φαίδρας ἐς σὲ σιγηθήσεται and Trojan Women 1188–1189 τί καί ποτε | γράψειεν ἄν σοι μουσοποιὸς ἐν τάφωι; (cf. Barrett 1964:413).

[ back ] 157. On Rhodopis’ dedication, see Ridgway 1987:406, Lloyd 1988:87, von Reden 1997:173, and McClure 2003:151. Jeffery 1990:124 observes that “[Rhodopis] wished to make a memorable gift; may it not have been the size and quantity which made it so?” (1990:124). Benardete 1969:56 and Steiner 1994:139 discuss the passage but do not pay attention to the double meaning of poiêma. Kurke 1999:224–225 analyzes ironical aspects of Herodotos’ presentation of Rhodopis and her dedication.

[ back ] 158. A fragment from his Pytinê, produced in 423 BC.

[ back ] 159. It is used by medieval Greek writers in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Cf. also Hesykhios, s.v.

[ back ] 160. See LSJ, s.v. Cf. Kurke 1999:225, who persuasively renders it as “talked of in the men’s clubs.” Kurke deems περιλεσχήνευτος a “pedestrian” term and argues that there is an “abrupt shift in style” here (1999:225), but given the fact that the adjective occurs only once in Herodotos (2.135.5) and nowhere else in ancient Greek literary or historical texts (see above), it is difficult to ascertain the validity of this suggestion.

[ back ] 161. See e.g. Arkhilokhos fr. 206–209, 302 W (the authenticity of the latter is defended by Casadio 1996: 33–34) and Anakreon fr. 346 PMG (with Kurke’s analysis; 1999:191–195). Cf. carmina convivialia 905 PMG.

[ back ] 162. See, among more recent studies, Peschel 1987 and Reinsberg 1993:104–112. Given the synchronic emphasis of my discussion, I refrain here from referring to the large number of later literary representations of the presence of hetairai and sex-workers at sympotic gatherings.

[ back ] 163. See Rotroff and Oakley 1992:98, no. 148 (Σικελὴ καλή τοι δοκεῖ τῶι μοιχῶι, which is rendered as “Sikele [or the Sicilian girl] seems beautiful to the adulterer”); for the graffito, see their fig. 22 and pl. 53. For τοι (in the sense of “you know,” “I tell you,” “mark my words,” “hark!”), see Denniston 1954:537 (“Its primary function is . . . to establish, in fact, a close rapport between the mind of the speaker and the mind of another person. [ . . . ] τοι implies, strictly speaking, an audience.”

[ back ] 164. New York, Metropolitan Museum 20.246; ARV 467.118, 1616, 1654; Add. 245; Kunisch 1997:pl. 130.377. The scene of the symposion on the drinking-cup includes, among other things, a standing woman holding the head of a man who is vomiting into a container.

[ back ] 165. Rome, Mus. Naz. Etrusco di Villa Giulia [Kunisch 1997: no. 121]; ARV 477.305; Kunisch 1997:pl. 42.121. Even Αρχεδικε καλε appears on a red-figure lekythos attributed to the Sabouroff Painter and dated to c. 450 BC: the inscription is placed between a seated woman holding a mirror and a draped youth leaning on his stick and looking at her (New York, Metropolitan Museum 26.60.78; ARV 844.151, 1614; Add. 296). Further, on a fragment of an Attic black-figure cup-skyphos occurs the inscription [A]rkhedike: London, British Museum 1911.6–6.17; Hogarth et al. 1898/1899:56, no. 108.

[ back ] 166. See LGPN vol. II (Attica): 391, s.v. ῾Ροδῶπις and vol. IV (Macedonia, Thrace, Northern Regions of the Black Sea): 300, s.v. ῾Ροδῶπις.

[ back ] 167. Anthologia Palatina 5.36. I want to adduce here another source on the name “Rhodope”: a character in Loukianos’ dialogue On Dance 2 claims: ἀνὴρ δὲ τίς ὤν . . . καὶ ταῦτα παιδείᾳ σύντροφος καὶ φιλοσοφίᾳ τὰ μέτρια ὡμιληκώς, ἀφέμενος . . . τοῦ περὶ τὰ βελτίω σπουδάζειν καὶ τοῖς παλαιοῖς συνεῖναι κάθηται καταυλούμενος, θηλυδρίαν ἄνθρωπον ὁρῶν ἐσθῆσι μαλακαῖς καὶ ᾄσμασιν ἀκολάστοις ἐναβρυνόμενον καὶ μιμούμενον ἐρωτικὰ γύναια, τῶν πάλαι τὰς μαχλοτάτας, Φαίδρας καὶ Παρθενόπας καὶ ῾Ροδόπας τινάς, καὶ ταῦτα πάντα ὑπὸ κρούμασιν καὶ τερετίσμασι καὶ ποδῶν κτύπῳ [ . . . ]. “Rhodope” is here employed as a marked example of the most lustful women of antiquity whose stories are mimetically performed by an effeminate fellow.

[ back ] 168. Kerkidas fr. 14 CA; Alkiphron Epistles 4.14.4, a buttocks beauty contest between two hetairai.

[ back ] 169. Heliodoros 2.25. In Akhilleus Tatios’ Leukippê and Kleitophôn 8.12 another marked case of the name “Rhodopis” occurs.

[ back ] 170. Note that “Rhodopis” could have been well used as a redender Name.

[ back ] 171. Kurke 1999:224. Cf. LSJ s.vv. In line with her overall approach (cf. the same argument in Kurke 1994), Kurke believes that there is an “inconcinnity” in Herodotos’ use of these terms in the context of “his determinedly practical account of Rhodopis.” Instead, I argue that ἀοίδιμος and κλεινή signpost the broader context within which περιλεσχήνευτος should be understood.

[ back ] 172. Herodotos 2.79. This account is again part of Herodotos’ Egyptian ethnography. Among other occurrences of ἀοίδιμος, in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo the god’s Delphic temple is “to be a theme of song for ever” (3.299 ἀοίδιμον ἔμμεναι αἰεί), while in the Iliad Helen says to Hektor that Zeus has brought an evil doom upon them so that they may be a theme for song for men to come (6.357–358 ὡς καὶ ὀπίσσω | ἀνθρώποισι πελώμεθ´ ἀοίδιμοι ἐσσομένοισι). On ἀοίδιμος in Pindar, see Pfeijffer 1999:408, 548–549.

[ back ] 173. According to the ethnographer, Rhodopis’ relation with Kharaxos became the theme for song even for Sappho.

[ back ] 174. Cf. n. 180 below.

[ back ] 175. The reasoning behind Lidov’s reconstruction of the Quellen in the narrative (2002:214) is that by “some Greeks” in the case of the incorrect attribution of the pyramid, Herodotos must have meant Hekataios and the Ionian geographers. Building on this hypothesis, Lidov argues that Hekataios could have only learned this story from the Greeks in Naukratis. This suggestion, the argument continues, would rule out Hekataios and the Greeks in Naukratis as the source of the correct story that Herodotos provides and contrasts to the one favored by “some Greeks.” Lidov believes that “since it is probably a Naucratite version that he corrects, Herodotus would not have heard [the correct story] there” (2002:214), and he attempts to postulate that the literary source on which Herodotos was based was one or more plays belonging to a single genre: comedy. In Lidov’s reconstruction, the scholarly paradigm of Quellenforschung is combined with the paradigm of “comedy as the original source of early and later traditions about Sappho.” On Herodotos’ sources in the Egyptian logos, see Hunter 1982:308–310. On his historical method, cf., among other studies, Lateiner 1989 and especially Darbo-Peschanski 1987; on narrative strategies in Herodotean storytelling, see Kazazis 1978. Thomas 1993 discusses Herodotos and oral performance. For the modern skepticism toward oral sources and the complex politics of oral history research, see Prins 2001. For oral sources in Herodotos, see, especially, Lang 1984, Murray 1987, Cobet 1988, Thomas 1989:95–154, Flower 1991, and Evans 1991:89–146.

[ back ] 176. It reflects traces of judgment of taste not shared by the transmitters of such oral traditions. For the notion of “distinction” as a modern category of cultural judgment, see Bourdieu 1984.

[ back ] 177. Mary Douglas is preparing a penetrating book on the anthropology of ring composition in diverse cultural performative and other traditions: Douglas forth.

[ back ] 178. On the use of κερτομέω in the context of festivities of men, see below, n. 256. On the complex meaning of κερτομέω in Homer, see Clay 1999.

[ back ] 179. Describing Rhodopis here as “κλεινή throughout Greece” was not enough for Herodotos; he makes the additional point that she was noticeably περιλεσχήνευτος.

[ back ] 180. It would be misleading to believe that Herodotos is here engaged in proving what we would nowadays call the “historicity” of each detail of his narrative. Rather, he refers to stories and general—not scientifically precise—chronological markers that refute the false story that “some Greeks” gave currency to (cf. οὐκ ὀρθῶς λέγοντες in 2.134.1).

[ back ] 181. Poseidippos 17 G-P. For line 1 different emendations have been proposed (see Gow and Page 1965:vol. 2, 497). Austin and Bastianini 2002:158 print Δωρίχα, ὀστέα μὲν σὰ πάλαι κόνις ἦν ὅ τε δεσμός (see their apparatus criticus and Austin’s translation “Doricha, your bones were dust long ago, and the ribbon [of your hair]”). Wilamowitz 1913:19–20n1 preferred to print Δωρίχα, ὀστέα μὲν σὰ πάλαι κόνις ἠδ’ ἀναδεσμός. For another restoration, see Angiò 1999:153. Gow and Page 1965:vol. 2, 497 suggested that “σὰ πάλαι κοιμήσατο is highly plausible but there would seem to be a lacuna between [lines] 1 and 2.” I agree that κοιμήσατο in the transmitted text should not be dismissed. On this line, cf. Schott 1905:36–38 and Fernández-Galiano 1987:114, 116.

[ back ] 182. Or “lucid” (cf. Gow and Page 1965:vol. 2, 498).

[ back ] 183. Or “resounding.”

[ back ] 184. The reference to a ship that sails from the Nile to the salty sea has been aptly interpreted as alluding to Naucratite ships carrying papyri: Rosenmeyer 1997:132. One might go a step further and suggest that the whole image is about Dorikha’s name that remains and will remain written and safely preserved on Egyptian papyri containing Sappho’s song(s); this will secure the dissemination of Dorikha’s name.

[ back ] 185. Lidov (2002:223) takes the phrase “dear song” too literally (“friendly song”) and believes that “the ‘problem’ here is that the epigram hardly makes sense unless the poem [of Sappho] praised Doricha: it contradicts Athenaeus’ statement directly and Herodotus’ by implication.” Cf. his view (2002:226) that “together, the Posidippus epigram and [Sappho] fragment 5 could lead us to expect only friendly and affectionate relations.” For Athenaios’ discussion of Dorikha and Kharaxos, see below. Lidov also rejects Wilamowitz’s suggestion that certain aspects of the epigram may be ironic (1913:19–20) and holds that there seems to be no reason to “make words mean their opposite as a source of humor at the expense of the ignorant (the ones who know about Doricha but not Sappho)” (2002:223n46; my emphasis). However, the epigram stresses the impact of Sappho’s song, and not other aspects of Dorikha’s life and career. This argument supposes, on no evidence, that Poseidippos’ Hellenistic readers knew about Dorikha but not about Sappho’s poetry.

[ back ] 186. For the metaphor of φθεγγόμεναι σελίδες and “singing” or “talking books” in Hellenistic poetry, see Bing 1988:29–33. See also Page 1981:342 on Anthologia Palatina 9.184.5.

[ back ] 187. For Strabon’s account, see below.

[ back ] 188. Lidov 2002:203.

[ back ] 189. Both K. Hude his Oxford edition (1927) and Rosén not delete it.

[ back ] 190. Arkhilokhos fr. 19 W.

[ back ] 191. Strabon 17.1.33 (=3.379 Kramer).

[ back ] 192. See Alexis fr. 276 K-A Λεσβίου <δὲ> πώματος | οὐκ ἔστιν ἄλλος οἶνος ἡδίων πιεῖν, Ephippos fr. 28 K-A, Arkhestratos fr. 190.19 SH, and see, for further references, Arnott 1996a:769, who also notes that, along with Khian and Thasian, Lesbian was deemed one of the three choicest wines. It is interesting that in the same context (17.1.33 = 3.379–380 Kramer), Strabon reports a fairy tale–like story that some recounted about Rhodopis. A different version of this tale is preserved by Aelian (Historical Miscellany 13.33), who also refers to a story about the Naucratite courtesan Arkhedike (Historical Miscellany 12.63). For stories about Rhodopis, see Biffi 1997.

[ back ] 193. Lidov (2002:221) believes that Athenaios or his sources misunderstood the gender-neutral pronoun μιν in Herodotos’ πολλὰ κατεκερτόμησέ μιν and took it as referring to Rhodopis. He does not examine the likelihood, which may be supported by the relevant sources, that there was more than one song related to Dorikha and Kharaxos. Note that elsewhere (10.425a) Athenaios says that Sappho praised her brother Larikhos in many places (πολλαχοῦ). On Sappho in Athenaios, see Brunet’s brief discussion (2003). Cf. also Athenaios 9.391f, where he makes reference to a song by Sappho (Sappho fr. 1.9–12 V) without quoting it.

[ back ] 194. He also reports here that Rhodopis’ spits dedicated at Delphi were mentioned by Kratinos (fr. 269 K-A; Kratinos’ reference to the spits is not preserved; see Kassel and Austin’s annotation about the textual transmission of ὧν μέμνηται Κρατῖνος διὰ τούτων).

[ back ] 195. Sappho fr. 15 V. In the translation of lines 9–12, I have not opted for a marked scenario for the possible plot of the song. The most widely endorsed scenario is that of Page 1955:46: “Cyprian, and may she find you harsher; and grant that she, Doricha, be not proud to tell how he came the second time to her longed-for love.” Cf. Lobel 1925:3; Lobel and Page 1955:13.

[ back ] 196. Or, “[to] love[’s longing].”

[ back ] 197. See Voigt’s apparatus criticus for different restorations of the second part of the line. Cf. also Hunt 1914a:40 for lines 1–6.

[ back ] 198. For the papyrological problems that such a restoration would involve, see Lobel and Page’s apparatus criticus (1955:13). For the separate papyrus scrap (P.Oxy. 1231 fr. 3), see also Lobel 1925:3.

[ back ] 199. See Wilamowitz’s suggestions already in Hunt 1914:23. Cf. Voigt’s apparatus criticus. For Wilamowitz’s supplements, see Lobel 1925:4.

[ back ] 200. One syllable is missing after ποθε[ and the syllable of θε[ must be long (or lengthened by two consonants following it).

[ back ] 201. Lidov 2002:224.

[ back ] 202. The right upright of an omega in P.Oxy. 1231 does not always “curve in towards the left” (Lidov holds that this happens “quite consistently;” 2002:224).

[ back ] 203. I reexamined P.Oxy. 1231 (Ms.Gr. Class c. 76 (P)/1, 2) in the Bodleian Library in July 2004. I am grateful to Dr. Bruce Barker-Benfield for allowing me to use an ultra violet inspection lamp as well as to examine a considerably enlarged digital image of the papyrus fragment in question (P.Oxy. 1231 fr. 1 col. I. 1–12).

[ back ] 204. Hunt 1914a:23.

[ back ] 205. Lobel 1925:3.

[ back ] 206. There is space for two letters before ρίχα (P.Oxy. 1231 fr. 1 col. I. 11). It would be hard to accommodate three letters here: see, most importantly, the spacing and size of letters in τω τις εραται (only a few lines below the line in question) in P.Oxy. 1231 fr. 1 col. I. 16 (photograph in The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, vol. X, pl. 2 [London 1914]). Cf. also the spacing and size of letters at the beginning of lines in P.Oxy. 1231 fr. 1 col. II.

[ back ] 207. Hutchinson 2001:238.

[ back ] 208. 282 PMG; S151 in Davies’ edition (1991).

[ back ] 209. Hutchinson 2001:40. Cf. his comments: “the traces, however, do not much resemble any letter in the hand” (2001:238).

[ back ] 210. See Sappho fr. 5 V. I believe that it would be methodologically unnecessary to attempt to associate closely Sappho fr. 15 V with Herodotos’ account.

[ back ] 211. Liberman 1999:lxxxvii–xci and 60 (on fr. 117b, see lxxxvii–lxxxviii). The attribution of the fragment to Alkaios had been questioned by Fränkel 1928:274–275; cf. also Campbell 1982:287 and Kurke 1999:226n10. Fränkel proposed that this fragment should be ascribed to Sappho. Liberman’s arguments seem to be in the right direction.

[ back ] 212. Alkaios fr. 117b.23 V: ἐ]πόνησας κατα[ρ]α̣μένα. This fragment (preserved on P.Oxy. 1788) is now attributed to Sappho by Liberman 1999 (see n. 211 above). The lines discussed here are 26–32.

[ back ] 213. Cf. pp. 251–254.

[ back ] 214. On this fragment, see, more recently, Yatromanolakis 2006b.

[ back ] 215. For intradiegetic speakers within a poetic narrative, see Sappho fr. 94 V. Cf. frs. 1, 44, 44A a, and 109 V. Note that initially Sappho fr. 44A was tentatively thought of as belonging to Alkaios, but later persuasively attributed to Sappho and included among her fragments in the editions of Voigt (see Voigt’s apparatus fontium) and of Campbell (1982:90–92).

[ back ] 216. See also Sappho fr. 120 V.

[ back ] 217. Aloni 1997:lxvi–lxxv. Philodemos (On Poems B fr. 20 col. i. 10–11, Sbordone 1976:155; fr. 117, Janko 2000:330) refers to the “iambic manner” of some of Sappho’s songs: see Yatromanolakis 1999a:186.

[ back ] 218. See Lloyd 1988:86.

[ back ] 219. Cf. Aloni 1983, who, in contrast to earlier views (e.g. Page 1955:49), suggests that, since Herodotos mentions that Rhodopis flourished during the reign of Amasis, there is a chronological difficulty in identifying Dorikha with Rhodopis (see also Lidov 2002:218). Aloni 1983 believes that Kharaxos’ affair with Dorikha belongs to a specific genre of story and song related to rebukes of merchants who spent their property on a whore. Cf., from a different perspective, Kopidakis 1995.

[ back ] 220. Using the argument of “common sense,” Page (1955:49) assumes that Rhodopis was Dorikha’s nickname, which Sappho avoided using. One could easily suspect the opposite.

[ back ] 221. On the occurrence of the name Dorikha in Sappho, see Poseidippos’ epigram and Strabon’s reference discussed above. My argument is not only dependent on Sappho fr. 15 V.

[ back ] 222. On Naukratis and trade, see Coulson 1996, Möller 2000, Höckmann and Kreikenbom 2001. On Greek painted pottery (and inscriptions on Greek vases) found in Naukratis, see Petrie et al. 1886:46–63, Gardner 1888:62–75, Venit 1988b, and Möller 2000:166–181.

[ back ] 223. There is no recent major synthesis of the history of Lesbos and, particularly, Mytilene in the archaic and classical periods. The scattered bibliography (from 1940 onward) includes Mazzarino 1943, Gallavotti 1948:7–30, Page 1955:149–243, Treu 1980:95–96 (references to earlier studies), Bauer 1963, Charitonides 1966, Paraskevaidis 1976, Jeffery 1976:237–243, Kontis 1978 (major study), Rösler 1980:26–36, Boruhovič 1981, Manfredini 1981, Aloni 1983, Burnett 1983:107–120, Green 1989 (witty and concise account of the history of Lesbos), Axiotis 1992 (vast field research in Lesbos), Mason 1993, Kurke 1994, Spencer 1995 (Spencer reviews and draws on much important bibliography on early Lesbos), Spencer 2000, Mason 2001. For religion in Lesbos, and especially Mytilene, see Shields 1917; cf. Kontis 1978:405–436, Page 1955: 161–169, and Treu 1980:142ff. For more recent discoveries, with special reference to Mytilene, see the annual reports by C. and H. Williams in Échos du Monde Classique/Classical Views 1986–1991 (especially Williams and Williams 1986 and 1991), Ruscillo 1993, Cole 1994:210–211, Spencer 1995:296–299, Sherwood 1997, Jordan and Curbera 1998; cf. Williams 1994 and 1995. Much of the material of the excavations conducted by H. Williams has not yet been studied in any detail; for comparative material from Korinthos, see Bookidis 1990, 1993, Bookidis et al. 1999, Bookidis and Stroud 1997. New information about early Lesbian history and saga has emerged from papyrus fragments (P.Oxy. 3711), perhaps from a commentary on Alkaios, ingeniously edited by Haslam (1986).

[ back ] 224. Mason 1993:228 and n16, 230 (for the authoritativeness of the thalassocracy list of Eusebios, mentioned by Mason 1993, see also the opposite view adopted by Jeffery 1976:252–253). I do not agree with Mason (1993:229) that Dion Khrysostomos (45.13) alludes to an early attempt of Mytilene at sunoikismos. His arguments that such an attempt would explain how Sappho’s Eressian origin did not prevent her from participating in the public life of Mytilene, why Leskhes was considered sometimes Mytilenean and sometimes Pyrrhaean by different sources, and the kind of status that Alkaios had in Pyrrha when he was excluded from Mytilenean politics (schol. Alkaios fr. 114 V) are not convincing. Dion’s testimony probably refers to the Mytilenean revolt of 428/7 BC from the Athenian alliance.

[ back ] 225. For further evidence, see Shields 1917:xii–xiii, Spencer 1995:301, and Spencer 2000. For grey ware amphoras found at Gordion, see Lawall 1997.

[ back ] 226. For a list of Mytilenean colonial settlements, see Shields 1917:x–xi. Cf. Mason 1993:228.

[ back ] 227. For details about the monumental constructions of the other cities of central and western Lesbos compared to the modest structural remains found in Mytilene, see Spencer 2000.

[ back ] 228. Spencer 2000.

[ back ] 229. For Lesbian wine, see n. 192. Cf. Clinkenbeard 1982, 1986, and Schaus and Spencer 1994.

[ back ] 230. Cf. Braun 1982:43, who argues that Dorikha is different from Rhodopis, and Wehrli 1967/1969:vol. 9, 80. On the critical methods of Athenaios, see the discussions included in section three of Braund and Wilkins 2000.

[ back ] 231. Being familiar with Herodotos’ narrative, Athenaios does not make mention of the anecdotal story associating a courtesan with the building of the pyramid. However, he further rejects the identification of Dorikha with Rhodopis, as reflected in the version of the story that Herodotos decided to recount. Athenaios also had access to the Aithiopia by Poseidippos, where Dorikha was often (πολλάκις) referred to (Athenaios 13.596c). As the text of Athenaios stands, his lost quotation of Kratinos’ reference to the περιβόητοι ὀβελίσκοι of Rhodopis (the source that Athenaios cites in the context of his argument against Herodotos) seems to be contrasted to Poseidippos as a source about Dorikha (εἰς δὲ τὴν Δωρίχαν . . . ). On Poseidippos’ Aithiopia, see Angiò 1999 and Sider 2004:31.

[ back ] 232. See Sappho testimonium 254d V. Concerning Rhodopis and Aisopos, I would further adduce a story provided by Pliny the Elder. In his extensive discussion of the nature of stones (Natural History 36) he includes a section on pyramids in Egypt (36.16.75). Toward the end of his account of pyramids, Pliny remarks (36.17.82): haec sunt pyramidum miracula, supremumque illud, ne quis regum opes miretur, minimam ex iis, sed laudatissimam, a Rhodopide meretricula factam. In this context Pliny adds an interesting version about the famous courtesan; Rhodopis was once not only the fellow-slave of Aisopos but also his contubernalis (36.17.82).

[ back ] 233. Manetho FGrH 609 F2, F3a–b. On this assimilation, see Hall 1904, van de Walle 1934, Coche-Zivie 1972. Cf. Gera 1997:102.

[ back ] 234. See incerti poetae comici [com. adesp.] fr. 489 K-A and the sources quoted by Kassel and Austin.

[ back ] 235. Note how Strabon introduces his discussion (17.1.33 = 3.379 Kramer): λέγεται δὲ τῆς ἑταίρας τάφος γεγονὼς ὑπὸ τῶν ἐραστῶν. The matrix of the story was about “the hetaira and the building of a pyramid paid by her lovers.” This is also reflected in the versions provided by the historian Diodoros (1.64.14); cf. the story about Kheops’ daughter narrated by Herodotos (see above). It was to this story pattern that the name of Rhodopis was attached.

[ back ] 236. Duranti and Goodwin 1992:5–7; Gumperz 1992 (cf. Gumperz’s 1982 foundational work).

[ back ] 237. See Chapter Three, pp. 245–262, 277–284.

[ back ] 238. The concept of interdiscursivity with regard to ritual and socioaesthetic modes of signification has been proposed and developed in Yatromanolakis and Roilos 2003. For the approach to genre discussed here and genre interdiscursivity, see Yatromanolakis 2003a, 2007b, 2007e. Interdiscursivity should not be confused with such concepts as Kreuzung der Gattungen or, more recently, intertextuality.

[ back ] 239. Todorov 1990.

[ back ] 240. In his discussion of traditional oral literature among Native Americans, Franz Boas had already pointed to (albeit in a rather inchoate and unsystematic manner) the problematic character of genre classification and the methodological value of studying genre “concepts . . . in the native mind” (Boas 1940:455).

[ back ] 241. Stross 1974; comparable is the considerable degree of disagreement about genre taxonomies among the Chamula Indians of Mexico (see Gossen 1974a:52–55 and cf. Gossen 1974b). A thought-provoking case in point is genre classification in Chinese song cultures. The history of the scholarly study and taxonomy of Chinese “folksong” sheds light on the broader sociopolitical dynamics implicated in the construction and manipulation of genre categories in certain societies and historical periods. Specific genres and song traditions are promoted at the expense of others, thus being transformed into cultural capital exploited by institutionalized agencies of political power. It has been documented that in China in the post-1949 period, the so-called “grass-roots musical genres” (regional operas) were seen as invested with legitimate class associations and therefore promoted to elevated art forms (Lau 1995/1996: 136). Related to this approach to genre classification is the taxonomic system prevailing in established Chinese anthologies of “folksongs,” in which songs are classified according to their geographical distribution (Tuohy 1999). Instructive are the debates concerning the terminological spectrum of the overarching genre of hua’er, which seems to refer to “folksong” as a whole. However, the diversity of the criteria employed across different regions of China for the identification of songs believed to belong to this genre indicates that genre boundaries and taxonomic practices are often open to negotiation and manipulation on the part of a number of different agencies: local singers and regional ethnic groups (Tuohy 1999); cf. also Jones 1992.

[ back ] 242.  Briggs and Bauman 1992; cf. Bauman et. al. 1987.

[ back ] 243. Flueckiger 1996:26–49.

[ back ] 244. Flueckiger 1996:28.

[ back ] 245. Flueckiger 1996:50–76. That the symbolic communicative and genre value of a song in traditional, predominantly oral societies is often dependent upon concrete performative contexts is also clearly illustrated by a particular group of Greek songs that can be performed on totally antithetical ritual occasions, funerals and weddings. The contextual cues embedded within these songs allow their performance in these diametrically different contexts and their subsequent antithetical, albeit structurally parallel, reinterpretations and receptions by dissimilar audiences. For instance, symbolic allusions or explicit references to states of abrupt and painful separation or abduction permit the performance of the same identical song either as a proper ritual lament for a dead person or a wedding song lamenting the departure of the bride from her paternal (or, more accurately, maternal) home and her ritual integration into a foreign family, that of her husband. The contextualization cues and the double-layered images employed in a song are thus differently decodified according to the specific—each time—ritual context: at funerals they are perceived as allusions to the invincible power of Kharos and to his helpless female victim, whereas at weddings the same imagery is associated with the groom and his bride. Cf. especially Alexiou 2002a, Herzfeld 1981 and 1993, and Roilos 1998 and 2005:99–100.

[ back ] 246. See Chapter Three, pp. 210 and 214.

[ back ] 247. Athenaios 15.695a (= carm. conv. 891 PMG).

[ back ] 248. P.Oxy. 2298 fr. 1. See p. 210.

[ back ] 249. For textual variants in the scholia on Wasps 1232, see Koster 1978:194 and his comprehensive apparatus criticus.

[ back ] 250. P.Oxy. 2295 fr. 2.

[ back ] 251. See e.g. carmina convivialia 893–896, 906 PMG.

[ back ] 252. Especially, carmina convivialia 893, 895, and 896 PMG.

[ back ] 253. Sawyer 1999:121.

[ back ] 254. Cf. Smyth 1900:civ; Vetta 1983b:119–120; Pellizer 1990:179.

[ back ] 255. In his apparatus criticus on line 595, with regard to the address ἄνθρωπ(ε) West (1989/1992:vol. 1, 202) notes “fort. ὦνθρωπ’, cf. 453.”

[ back ] 256. On Simonides improvising (ἀπεσχεδίασε) an elegiac composition in the context of a dinner-party, see Simonides fr. eleg. 25 W (= Simonides 88 in Page 1981:301–302). See further Homeric Hymn to Hermes 4.54–56 . . . θεὸς δ’ ὑπὸ καλὸν ἄειδεν | ἐξ αὐτοσχεδίης πειρώμενος, ἠΰτε κοροι | ἡβηταὶ θαλίηισι παραιβόλα κερτομέουσιν; note the emphasis on improvisation. For different versions of lines in the Theognidea, see the insightful discussion in Vetta 1980. Such versions probably point to improvisation. On the formation of the Theognidea, cf. G. Nagy’s chapter in Figueira and Nagy 1985, E. Bowie’s article in Most 1997, and Lane Fox 2000 (somewhat historicizing interpretation).

[ back ] 257. For the proverb, see the sources collected in Praxilla fr. 750 PMG. Cf., further, Sophokles fr. 37 TrGF.

[ back ] 258. In his discussion of Attic skolia, Athenaios (15.693f–694a) stresses their antiquity and reports that Praxilla was admired for her skolia.

[ back ] 259. On the use of ἑταῖρε in a composition that follows Sappho fr. 58c (= fr. 58.11–22 V) in P.Colon. inv. 21351 and 21376, see below, n. 341.

[ back ] 260. See pp. 215–216.

[ back ] 261. Lobel and Page print οἰνοχόαισον instead of οἰνοχόεισα in line 16.

[ back ] 262. For the textual problems, see, among other studies, Page 1955:35–39; Nicosia 1976:83–110; Malnati 1993; Ferrari 2000 and 2003:64–66 (less convincing reconstruction); Pintaudi 2000; and Yatromanolakis 2003a:52–55.

[ back ] 263. For the methodology lying behind such analyses, see Yatromanolakis 2003a.

[ back ] 264. For Sappho fr. 2 V as an imaginary space, see, from different perspectives, McEvilley 1972:326–333, Winkler 1990:186, and Yatromanolakis 2003a:53–55.

[ back ] 265. Page 1955:39.

[ back ] 266. See Chapter One. For this line of reasoning applied to the fragmentary songs of Sappho, see, more recently, West 2005 and all the “rewriting” he proposes for the poems preserved on three early Ptolemaic papyrus fragments (Gronewald and Daniel 2004a and 2004b). Numerous conjectural supplements and emendations will be similarly proposed in regard to these fragments in future publications.

[ back ] 267. For Athenaios and other authors this was the usual practice in quoting the texts of Sappho and Alkaios.

[ back ] 268. Athenaios 11. 463e and see Kaibel’s apparatus criticus (Kaibel 1887/1890:vol. 3, 9–10).

[ back ] 269. Cf. Kaibel’s apparatus criticus for J. Schweighäuser’s emendation τε, instead of the γε provided by cod. A (Kaibel 1887/1890:vol. 3, 10).

[ back ] 270. For different restorations see Kaibel 1887/1890:vol. 3, 10. Following earlier views, Nicosia 1976:95–100 (cf. Ferrari 2000:41 and 2003:64, 66) does not believe that τούτοισι τοῖς ἑταίροις ἐμοῖς γε καὶ σοῖς may be an adaptation of a reference of the song to “companions.” To support this idea, Nicosia adduces as parallel a passage in Athenaios 9.366a where the Homeric μῦθοι δὲ καὶ ἠῶθέν περ ἔσονται (Odyssey 4.214) is followed by ἐμοί τε καὶ σοί, ὦ Τιμόκρατες, a phrase that certainly refers to the participants in the discussion presented by Athenaios. However, his argument is not persuasive; see Odyssey 4.215. He also adduces Athenaios 10.446a (a quite different case of quotation). Among other scholars, Page 1955:39 suggests that τούτοισι τοῖς ἑταίροις ἐμοῖς γε καὶ σοῖς in Athenaios 11. 463e is an adaptation of some words from Sappho’s original song.

[ back ] 271. On the use of hetairai in this fragment (ἐταίραις), see Chapter Three, pp. 249–250.

[ back ] 272. Yatromanolakis 2003a:53.

[ back ] 273. For the readings provided by the manuscripts, see Voigt 1971:33. Discussions of this issue have been numerous: see Voigt’s apparatus criticus; cf. Tzamali 1996:82–83. Knox 1939:194n3 suggested κωὔ σε θέλοισαν. See also Gerber 1993:76–79, 86–87. Note that the genre discourses of Sappho fr. 31 V could have been viewed and exploited in the context of the “game [or performative practice] of eikasia” at sympotic gatherings.

[ back ] 274. For incisive analyses of Sappho fr. 1 V, see Koniaris 1965 (with references to previous approaches), Giacomelli 1980 (with further references to earlier studies), and Nagy 1996a:87–103.

[ back ] 275. This is Most’s interpretation (Most 1995:32), who believes that there was “ambiguity” in Sappho’s original song. Note that his suggestion aims at reconstructing the original reading in fragment 1.24 V; according to him, ambiguity in her compositions helped Sappho’s popularity in later times. Most (1995) also finds ambiguity in Sappho fr. 31 and 16 V.

[ back ] 276. Page 1955:3 and 11 prints κωὐκ ἐθέλοισα (as in Lobel and Page 1955:2) and maintains that “I leave οὐκ ἐθέλοισα in the text, without the least confidence in it.”

[ back ] 277. As transmitted, the text presents a number of problems and interpretive conundrums; see Powell’s apparatus (Powell 1925:102). See also Hermesianax fr. 2. 47–56 in the second volume of E. Diehl’s Anthologia Lyrica Graeca (Leipzig 1925:217–218). Cf. Kobiliri 1998:132–152, who, however, does not discuss satisfactorily the textual problems or emendations that have been proposed; for the whole fragment, cf. also the notes in Couat 1931:89–94.

[ back ] 278. Or, “how many ensembles of komasts he greeted.”

[ back ] 279. The text of the second half of the line is problematic: see Powell 1925:102; cf. Kobiliri 1998:149–150.

[ back ] 280. Athenaios 13.597a. Leontion might possibly have been a fictional mistress for Hermesianax.

[ back ] 281. Cameron 1995:318; cf. Cameron 1995:319.

[ back ] 282. On Hermesianax’s—and, more general, the Hellenistic—antiquarian interest in the lives of poets, see Ellenberger 1907 and especially Bing 1993. On the relation of Hermesianax’s Leontion with earlier poetic traditions, see also Couat 1931:84–103.

[ back ] 283. See the discussion above, pp. 329, 336. Kobiliri (1998:146) assumes that “the point here is that as Sappho did not want Anacreon, he could at least drink wine as a consolation” (cf. Giangrande 1977/1978:112), but this is not borne out by the narrative.

[ back ] 284. Alkaios fr. 374 V Δέξαι με κωμάσδοντα, δέξαι, λίσσομαί σε, λίσσομαι.

[ back ] 285. Anakreon frs. 373.3 ψάλλω πηκτίδα τῆι φίληι κωμάζων †παιδὶ ἁβρῆι† and 442 PMG κωμάζει †δὲ ὡς ἂν δεῖ† Διόνυσος.

[ back ] 286. The narrative does not indicate what the results of Alkaios’ kômoi were with regard to Sappho. For the image of Anakreon gazing upon Lekton across the Aeolian sea, cf. the images exploited in Sappho fr. 96 V. Anakreon fr. 377 PMG referred to the Mysians. It is worth pointing out that the whole narrative is followed by a love narrative about Sophokles, who is described as μελιχρός in Simias 5.5 G-P; the first word in this story (Hermesianax fr. 7. 57 CA) is Ἀτθίς, here an adjective, but in Sappho the name of one of her female companions (frs. 49, 96, 90d. 15, 130 V; cf. perhaps Sappho frs. 8.3, 90e.2 V and S476.3 SLG). Hermesianax’s narrative about Alkaios, Sappho, and Anakreon is in intriguing intertextual dialogue with their songs.

[ back ] 287. See Chapter Two, pp. 73–77.

[ back ] 288. In the 1996 Supplement of LSJ, the marked meaning “promiscuously, confusedly” of ἀνάμιγα that occurred in the main lexicon is replaced by the more general “so as to be mingled together.” On ἄμμιγα, see also Gow and Page 1965:vol. 2, 515 (on Simias 5.6 G-P) and cf. Anthologia Palatina 7.12.6, Theaitetos 5.3 G-P, Theokritos 21.3 G-P. On Hermesianax fr. 7.51–56, cf. Powell 1925:105.

[ back ] 289. It has been speculated that Hermesianax presents Sappho as homosexual: Giangrande 1977/1978:112, followed by Kobiliri 1998:142. I do not agree with their interpretation of στελλομένην in line 52. However, Couat 1931:92 (adopting C. P. Gulick’s rendering “[Sappho] whose beauty was supreme among the many women of Lesbos”) equally “rewrites” the reference to Sappho. The text of this line is not easy to translate. Note that Poseidippos employs in his epigram 17 G-P περιστέλλουσα and σύγχρους for Rhodopis.

[ back ] 290. Athenaios, who after quoting the whole of Hermesianax fr. 7 CA (that is 98 lines) discussed only the narrative about Sappho and Anakreon (13. 599c), believed that Hermesianax was joking about Anakreon’s love for her (13. 599d).

[ back ] 291. The former in his treatise On Sappho (fr. 26 Wehrli), and the latter in his Erôtika (fr. 33 Wehrli). On Diphilos’ Sappho, see above, p. 298.

[ back ] 292. Athenaios 13.599c–d.

[ back ] 293. For this fragment, see Chapter Three, pp. 173–183.

[ back ] 294. Cf., from different perspectives, Bowra 1961:225–226 and Rösler 1980:93–94.

[ back ] 295. The text is quoted by Aristotle in his Rhetoric 1367a. 8–14 Kassel (1976:43).

[ back ] 296. Cf. the interpretation of Stephanos in his scholia on Aristotle Rhetoric 1367a.8, p. 280, 30–35 Rabe = Anecdota Graeca Par. 1.266.25–31 Cramer εἴτε ὁ Ἀλκαῖος ὁ ποιητὴς ἤρα κόρης τινὸς ἢ ἄλλος τις ἤρα, παράγει οὖν ὅμως ἡ Σαπφὼ διάλογον· καὶ λέγει ὁ ἐρῶν πρὸς τὴν ἐρωμένην ῾θέλω τι εἰπεῖν πρὸς σέ, ἀλλὰ ἐντρέπομαι, αἰδοῦμαι, αἰσχύνομαι᾽, εἶτ’ αὖθις ἀμοιβαδὶς ἡ κόρη λέγει πρὸς ἐκεῖνον ‘ἀλλ’ ἐὰν ᾖς ἀγαθὸς καὶ ὃ ἔμελλες πρὸς μὲ εἰπεῖν ἦν ἀγαθόν, οὐκ ἂν ᾐδοῦ καὶ ᾐσχύνου οὕτως, ἀλλὰ μετὰ παρρησίας ἔλεγες ἂν βλέπων πρὸς μὲ ἀνερυθριάστως.’ Of course, Stephanos may not have had the whole text of the poem at his disposal, while commenting on Aristotle’s passage. But the fact that he did not follow Aristotle’s interpretation may equally suggest that he was not influenced by the stories about the two poets that appear to have been in fashion at the time of Aristotle.

[ back ] 297. καὶ Σαπφὼ πεποίηκεν, εἰπόντος τοῦ Ἀλκαίου. This phrase has caused much speculation: see, among other scholars, Page 1955:106–109 and Bowra 1961:224–225.

[ back ] 298. Cf. Scholia anon. on Aristotle Rhetoric 1367a.8, p. 51, 22–31 Rabe πεποίηκε γὰρ ἡ Σαπφὼ λέγοντα τὸν Ἀλκαῖον, Stephanos on Aristotle Rhetoric 1367a.8, p. 280, 30–35 Rabe παράγει . . . ἡ Σαπφὼ διάλογον, and Anna Komnene, Alexias 15.9 (Reinsch and Kambylis 2001:vol. 1, 489) τὰ μὲν οὖν τοῦ τέρατος τούτου ταύτῃ ἐχέτω· ἠβουλόμην δὲ καὶ πᾶσαν τὴν τῶν Βογομίλων διηγήσασθαι αἵρεσιν, ἀλλά με κωλύει καὶ αἰδώς, ὥς πού φησιν ἡ καλὴ Σαπφώ, ὅτι συγγραφεὺς ἔγωγε γυνὴ καὶ τῆς πορφύρας τὸ τιμιώτατον καὶ τῶν Ἀλεξίου πρώτιστον βλάστημα, τά τε εἰς ἀκοὴν πολλῶν ἐρχόμενα σιγῆς ἄξια βούλομαι μὲν γράφειν, ἵνα τὸ πλῆρες τῆς τῶν Βογομίλων παραστήσω αἱρέσεως, ἀλλ’ ἵνα μὴ τὴν γλῶτταν μολύνω τὴν ἐμαυτῆς, παρίημι ταῦτα.

[ back ] 299. Maas 1920, followed by Voigt (1971:134). But see Treu 1984:231.

[ back ] 300. The opposite is most frequently held for Alkaios on the basis of Alkaios fr. 384 V. However, this is a very thorny fragment. See Chapter Three, pp. 168–171.

[ back ] 301. Sappho fr. 121 V (on line 2, see Maas 1929).

[ back ] 302. Welcker 1828:294–295.

[ back ] 303. Bergk 1882:171 (Alkaios) and 98–99 (Sappho). In earlier editions of his Poetae Lyrici Graeci, Bergk had adopted the same practice: see Bergk 1843:584 (Alkaios fr. 54.2 in this edition, under the category Erôtika) and 607 (Sappho fr. 32 in this edition); Bergk 1867:948 (Alkaios fr. 55.2 Bergk) and 887 (Sappho fr. 28 Bergk).

[ back ] 304. See Yatromanolakis 2003a. Cf., further, Yatromanolakis 2007a.

[ back ] 305. Such genre categories are repeated by Crusius in RE, s.v. Alkaios, col. 1501 and numerous later scholars.

[ back ] 306. On this fragmentary line, see discussion in Chapter Three, pp. 168–171.

[ back ] 307. See Bergk 1882:171. For Anna Komnene’s reference, see above, n. 298.

[ back ] 308. E.g. Page 1955:106–107. Page’s scholarly analysis includes detailed historicizing reconstructions of what Sappho did with regard to Alkaios’ poem.

[ back ] 309. See Chapter One.

[ back ] 310. See discussion in Chapter Two, pp. 77–78.

[ back ] 311. Green 1989:59, who refers to Aristotle On the Generation of Animals 3.11.763b and History of Animals 9.37.621b; see Green 1989:279n103 (and the bibliography there cited). See also the remarks of Nussbaum 1996:165: “While at Assos, and afterwards at Mytilene on Lesbos, he did the biological research on which his later scientific writings are based. (The treatises refer frequently to place-names and local species of that area). His observations, especially in marine biology, were unprecedented in their detail and accuracy.”

[ back ] 312. See Aristotle Politics 1285a.35–1285b.1 (= Alkaios fr. 348 and testimonium 470 V), where he quotes Alkaios to elucidate political events in Mytilene; also Alkaios testimonia 471 (= Aristotle fr. 75 Rose) and 472 V (= Aristotle Politics 1311b.26–30). See, also, references to Aristotle in papyrus fragments of commentaries on Alkaios: fr. 306A a.4–5 (alongside the names of Dikaiarkhos, Aristotle’s pupil, and Aristarkhos), and S265 fr. 4. 3 SLG.

[ back ] 313. On Theophrastos as traveler, see Maxwell-Stuart 1996.

[ back ] 314. For these treatises, see Wehrli 1967/1969:vol. 9, 79–80, 84, Giordano 1990:151–154, 174–175, Porro 1994:11–12. For other treatises of Khamaileon on archaic and classical poets, see Wehrli 1967/1969:vol. 9, 54–62. Of particular relevance here is his discussion of Alkman (fr. 25 Wehrli).

[ back ] 315. For Dikaiarkhos’ work on Alkaios, see Wehrli 1967/1969: vol. 1, 73–74; cf. Porro 1994:7–10.

[ back ] 316. See Woodbury 1967:161, Momigliano 1971:70, Fairweather 1974, Arrighetti 1987:141–159 (with references to further studies), Giordano 1990.

[ back ] 317. P.Oxy. 1800 fr. 1. col ii. 28–30 (edited by Hunt 1922b = Khamaileon fr. 27 Wehrli). For a discussion of lines 28–30 of the papyrus fragment in question—those referring to Khamaileon, see Montanari 1989. I agree with Montanari that Edmonds’s supplements of the lines (1928a:430) are improbable.

[ back ] 318. Cf. the story attributed to Aristotle about an “exchange” between Polykrates and Anakreon (Stobaios 4.31c.91): Ἐκ τῶν Ἀριστοτέλους Χρειῶν. Ἀνακρέων ὁ μελοποιὸς λαβὼν τάλαντον χρυσίου παρὰ Πολυκράτους τοῦ τυράννου, ἀπέδωκεν εἰπὼν ῾μισῶ δωρεάν, ἥ τις ἀναγκάζει ἀγρυπνεῖν᾽ (cf. Stobaios 4.31c.78). A treatise on Συμπόσιον ἢ περὶ μέθης is attributed to Aristotle (frs. 99–111 Rose); on the fragments of Aristotle, see the excellent discussion of Wilpert (1960). On the biographical interests of Aristotle, cf. Huxley 1974. On anecdotes, see Dover 1988b.

[ back ] 319. Note that, apart from this fragment, Aristotle quotes Alkaios fr. 348 V, “one of Alkaios’ skolia,” as he points out (Aristotle Politics 1285a.35–1285b.1).

[ back ] 320. Khamaileon fr. 26 Wehrli (Wehrli prints ὁ Ἑρμεσιάναξ instead of ὁ Ἑρμησιάναξ). Anakreon fr. 358 PMG has been examined in Chapter Three; I quote it here for the sake of my argument.

[ back ] 321. Fragmentum adespotum 953 PMG. See Athenaios 13.599d (= Khamaileon fr. 26 Wehrli) καὶ τὴν Σαπφὼ δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ταῦτά φησιν [sc. Khamaileon] εἰπεῖν.

[ back ] 322. In his discussion of Anakreon fr. 358 PMG, Urios-Aparisi 1993:52 mistakenly assumes that “perhaps what Hermesianax thought when giving this interpretation is that ἄλλην in l. 8 refers to Sappho herself, as Muse of inspiration of a Lesbian woman who would play, sing music and behave according to the traditional features of her island.” Urios-Aparisi 1993:52 and 70 similarly misreads Athenaios, who, as Urios-Aparisi believes, quotes the poem to criticize “Hermesianax’s view that it was dedicated to Sappho.” Endorsing the paradigm of comedy (see above), Wehrli 1967/1969: vol. 9, 80 briefly examines Khamaileon fr. 26 in terms of a speculative reconstruction of Diphilos’ Sappho as well as other comedies, and refers to the influence of oral transmission.

[ back ] 323. On the structure of the “Sapphic stanza,” see Voigt 1971:15.

[ back ] 324. Cf. Khamaileon fr. 25 Wehrli (= Athenaios 13. 600f–601a). According to Khamaileon, Arkhytas ho harmonikos reported that Alkman led the way in erotic songs and was the first to make public a licentious song, since that was his way of life with regard to women. Arkhytas’ discussion indicates how a poet of songs for choruses of young women was viewed as composer of erotic, even licentious songs by early informants. Note that Alkman was also thought of as a composer of wedding songs (Leonidas of Tarentum 57.1 G-P)—an idea that shows, I argue, how interdiscursivity of genres in his songs was perceived. In view of my investigations in Chapter Three, I further suggest that Arkhytas’ discussion should be deemed part of the discursive practices that also conditioned the reception of the songs of Sappho. On the performance of Alkman’s songs in juxtaposition to the performance of Gnesippos’ ἀείσματα, see Chapter Three, p. 226, and Eupolis fr. 148 K-A. In Khamaileon fr. 25 Wehrli, Alkman fr. 59a PMG is quoted, a song that included discursive images comparable to those occurring in fragments of Sappho. Moreover, in Khamaileon fr. 25 Wehrli it is reported that Alkman fell in love with “the poetess” Megalostrate, “who was able to attract lovers to her by her conversation,” and that he addressed a song to this “blessed maiden” (μάκαιρα παρσένων “blessed among maidens;” Alkman fr. 59b.2 PMG).

[ back ] 325. Note that the meter of Anakreon’s composition heavily draws on aeolic cola (“aeolic” because they first occur in the songs of Alkaios and Sappho): the first three lines are glyconics (x x ¯˘ ˘ ¯˘ ¯), while the last one is a pherecratean (x x ¯ ˘ ˘ ¯ ¯ ).

[ back ] 326. Compare also ἄειδε τερπνῶς in fragmentum adespotum 953.4 PMG with Anakreon fr. 402c.2 PMG χαρίεντα μὲν γὰρ ἄιδω, χαρίεντα δ’ οἶδα λέξαι; and cf. Sappho fr. 1.1 V and fragmentum adespotum 953.1 PMG.

[ back ] 327. Cf. Odyssey 1.1 and Iliad 2.761; see LSJ s.v. *ἐνέπω and cf. Giordano 1990:152. For the other poetic words, see LSJ s.vv. and Diehl 1936:214 (apparatus criticus).

[ back ] 328. On the Athens red-figure hydria, see Chapter Two, pp. 154–163.

[ back ] 329. See Chapter Three, pp. 215–216.

[ back ] 330. On mythopraxis, see Chapter One, pp. 42–48.

[ back ] 331. For the relevant epigrams, see Page 1981:173 (for the dating of the epigrams ascribed to “Plato,” cf. Page 1981:126) and Yatromanolakis 1999a:182.

[ back ] 332. See Peek 1955:no. 1767 (on Herodes) and Anthologia “Palatina” 16.283 (on the orkhêstris Rodokleia).

[ back ] 333. Yatromanolakis 2007a.

[ back ] 334. Nymphodoros FGrH 572 F6 (= Athenaios 13.596e). According to Athenaios, this idea goes back to the geographer and paradoxographer Nymphodoros of Syracuse (date uncertain: fourth or third century BC?). Athenaios mentions that καὶ ἡ ἐξ Ἐρέσου δὲ τῆς ἑταίρας. . . . Σαπφὼ τοῦ καλοῦ Φάωνος ἐρασθεῖσα περιβόητος ἦν, ὥς φησι Νύμφις ἐν Περίπλῳ Ἀσίας. In his Index scriptorum (1887/1890: vol. 3, 643, s.v. ΝΥΜΡΗΙS), Kaibel rightly observed that in this passage the reference should be to Nymphodoros, and not to Nymphis (it was the former who wrote the Periploi, see FGrH 572 F4–8). Regarding the lacuna of the sentence, Kaibel suggested in his apparatus criticus the emendation καὶ ἡ ἐξ Ἐρέσου δὲ τῆς <ποιητρίας ὁμώνυμος> ἑταίρα Σαπφώ. Cf. Edmonds (1928a: 150) καὶ ἡ ἐξ Ἐρέσου δὲ τῆς <ἑτέρας Σαπφοῦς ὁμώνυμος> ἑταίρα. See also Jacoby’s apparatus criticus in Nymphodoros FGrH 572 F6.

[ back ] 335. Suda s.v. Sappho (Σ 108, iv 323 Adler). In Suda s.v. Sappho (Σ 107, iv 322 Adler) the “first” Sappho is from Eressos, while in Suda s.v. Sappho (Σ 108, iv 323 Adler) the “second” Sappho is from Mytilene. For the “second” Sappho, see also Aelian Historical Miscellany 12.19. For the late association of Λεσβία with τριβάς, see Cassio 1983.

[ back ] 336. For other cases, see Tsantsanoglou 1973b.

[ back ] 337. Seneca Epistles to Lucilius 88.37 (p. 321 Reynolds).

[ back ] 338. See Yatromanolakis 1999a. For Sappho in the canon of the nine lyricists, see Pfeiffer 1968:205–207, Page 1981:340–343, Davies 1991:1–3, and Barbantani 1993.

[ back ] 339. Aristotle Rhetoric 1398b.10–16 Kassel; see Chapter Three, p. 166. In his wide-ranging study of the cult of poets in ancient Greece, Clay 2004:150–151 believes that there was a cult of Sappho on Lesbos; the evidence (mainly Aristotle Rhetoric 1398b.10–16 Kassel) he adduces is thin. The difference between Lesbos and other areas with regard to their reception of Sappho must have been pronounced. On the early Hellenistic poet Nossis (Gow and Page 1965:vol. 1, 151–154 and vol. 2, 434–443) and Sappho, see Skinner 1989, 1991, Bowman 1998, Gutzwiller 1998:74–88, and Skinner 2002. In Anthologia Palatina 9.189, another intriguing representation of Sappho appears (cf. Page 1981:337–338 for the possible dating of the epigram); for beauty contests in Lesbos and elsewhere, see Welcker 1816:57–58, Nilsson 1906:57, Nilsson 1919, Graf 1985:60–61, Jackson 1995:100–108, and Yatromanolakis 2007a. For Nossis and Erinna in Herodas, see Yatromanolakis 2007a.

[ back ] 340. Yatromanolakis 1999a:191. For other incipits-lists, see Parsons 1987:65–66. Concerning P.Mich. inv. 3498r, Campbell 1982:200–201 claims that it is a second century AD papyrus. Based on a photograph of the papyrus, I agree with Page 1974:96 that it should probably be dated to the second century BC. As Dr. Nikolaos Litinas confirms after an examination of the original papyrus in Michigan, different features of the particular hand are characteristic of the second century BC (cf. Turner and Parsons 1987:82–83, no. 45, dated to c. 160 BC and Seider 1967:no. 8).

[ back ] 341. In early Ptolemaic papyrus fragments (P. Colon. inv. 21351 and 21376, edited by Gronewald and Daniel 2004a, 2004b, and 2005), three poems that seem to focus on a similar general theme provide marked signs of a thematically arranged collection of songs by Sappho. The first eight lines come probably from a poem by Sappho (fr. 58b; I call “fr. 58a” the first nine lines preserved in P.Oxy.1787 fr. 1.1–9, that is, fr. 58.1–10 V), as meter and dialect suggest (note that in Hunt 1922a:28–29, fragment 58a consists of 9 lines; I have examined the original papyrus and confirmed that Hunt was right, while Lobel 1925:26 was not correct in thinking that there are traces of an additional line at the beginning of P.Oxy. 1787 fr. 1; unfortunately Voigt 1971:77–78 follows Lobel 1925:26). The main, twelve-line fragment (fr. 58c = fr. 58.11–22), parts of which are also preserved in P. Oxy. 1787 fr. 1.11–22 (a third-century AD papyrus edited by Hunt 1922a), is followed in the early-third-century BC Cologne papyrus fragments by thirteen lines written in a different hand and composed in language and meter that seem to disqualify them from being part of a poem by Sappho. However, the first two lines of this thirteen-line fragment make it likely that it is in intertextual dialogue with Sappho fr. 1.1–2 V (ψιθυροπλόκε δόλιε μύθων α̣ὐτουργ[(έ) | ἐπίβουλε π̣αῖ . . . ). It is intriguing that in line three of this third composition the address ἑταῖρε occurs. The terminus ante quem for this poem is apparently the third century BC. Gronewald and Daniel 2005:7–8 hold that its date is the fifth century or possibly later. In light of my broader approach and analyses in this book and particularly of the arguments advanced in this chapter with regard to Praxilla’s paroinia, improvisation in symposia, performative versions of the Theognidea and Alkaios, the skolion attributed to Sappho, and Sappho fragment 2 V, I would suggest that in the Cologne “anthology” of melic texts the third composition might represent a poem attributed at an earlier period to Sappho in the context of performances and reperformances of her songs in Attic symposia. On the possibly performative function of such collections, see Yatromanolakis 1999a:188–191. I would further argue that fragment 58c (= fr. 58.11–22 V) might perhaps be a performative version of a longer song (see Chapter Three, pp. 203–204])—a composition that included lines 23–26 of fragment 58 V (= fr. 58d, the so-called ἀβροσύνα poem). I proposed this idea at a lecture at Harvard University in February 2005. See, further, Yatromanolakis 2007a.

[ back ] 342. See Galenos 4.771 Kühn οὕτω δὲ καὶ τὴν ἐπιθυμητικὴν αὐτῇ δύναμιν ὁ Πλάτων ὑπάρχειν ἔλεγεν, ἣν [τε] δὴ κοινῶς ἐπιθυμητικήν, οὐκ ἰδίως ὀνομάζειν ἔθος αὐτῷ. πλείους μὲν γὰρ εἶναι <καὶ> ταύτης τῆς ψυχῆς ἐπιθυμίας φησί, πλείους δὲ καὶ τῆς θυμοειδοῦς, πολὺ δὲ πλείους καὶ ποικιλωτέρας τῆς τρίτης, ἣν δι᾽ αὐτὸ τοῦτο κατ᾽ ἐξοχὴν ὠνόμασεν ἐπιθυμητικὴν εἰωθότων οὕτως τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἐνίοτε τὰ πρωτεύοντα τῶν ἐν τῷ γένει τῷ τοῦ γένους ὅλου προσαγορεύειν ὀνόματι, καθάπερ ὅταν εἴπωσιν ὑπὸ μὲν τοῦ ποιητοῦ λελέχθαι τόδε τὸ ἔπος, ὑπὸ δὲ τῆς ποιητρίας τόδε· πάντες γὰρ ἀκούομεν Ὅμηρον <μὲν> λέγεσθαι ποιητήν, Σαπφὼ δὲ ποιήτριαν.

[ back ] 343. On eikôn in the sense of “simile” and its close association with metaphor, see McCall 1969:24–53.

[ back ] 344. In contrast to other archaic and classical song-makers, she is among the rare cases for which the Suda provides two different entries.