an apple on a high branch (Sappho)

This fragment from Sappho is an epithalamium, a poem for a bride on her wedding-day, to be sung praise of her by the bridesmaids. οἶον τὸ γλυκύμαλον ἐρεύθεται ἄκρῳ ἐπ’ ὔσδῳ, ἄκρον ἐπ’ ἀκροτάτῳ· λελάθοντο δὲ μαλοδρόπηες, οὐ μὰν ἐκλελάθοντ’, ἀλλ’ οὐκ ἐδύναντ’ ἐπίκεσθαι. 1 οἶον = οἷον—γλυκύ|μᾱλον ‘sweet apple’ (Ionic-Attic μῆλον, Latin mālum ‘apple’)—ἐρεύθομαι … Continue reading an apple on a high branch (Sappho)


like a slender sapling (Sappho)

τίῳ σ’, ὦ φίλε γάμβρε, κάλως ἐικάσδω; ὄρπακι ϝραδίνῳ σε μάλιστ’ ἐικάσδω. 1 τίῳ = Attic τίνι dat sg ‘to what?’—γάμβρος -ου ὁ in Attic and Ionic (with different accentuation: γαμβρός) means ‘son-in-law; brother-in-law; any male connection through marriage’ but here in Aeolic means either ‘bridegroom’ or ‘wooer’ (cf. γαμέω ‘get married’)—ἐϊκάσδω = Attic εἰκάζω (where, … Continue reading like a slender sapling (Sappho)

Fragment 4 (Sappho)

Ἄστερες μὲν ἀμφὶ κάλαν σελάνναν ἂψ ἀπυκρύπτοισι φάεννον εἶδος, ὄπποτα πλήθοισα μάλιστα λάμπῃ   γᾶν ἐπὶ παῖσαν ... ἀργυρία ... 5 Sapphic stanza: ¯ ˘ ¯ x ¯ ˘ ˘ ¯ ˘ ¯ ¯ (3x)          ¯ ˘ ˘ ¯ ¯ 1   κάλαν ‘beautiful, lovely’; Aeolic for καλήν—σελάνναν ‘moon’; Aeolic for σελήνην 2   ἄψ (adverb) ‘back’—ἀπυκρύπτοισι (ἀπο-κρύπτω … Continue reading Fragment 4 (Sappho)

Fragment 52 (Sappho)

Δέδυκε μὲν ἀ σελάννα καὶ Πληίαδες· μέσαι δὲ νύκτες, παρὰ δ’ ἔρχετ’ ὤρα· ἔγω δὲ μόνα κατεύδω. Hagesichorian meter: × ¯ ˘ ˘ ¯ ˘ ¯ ¯ Look for some of the major features of Sappho's Aeolic dialect: psilosis (ψίλωσις)—i.e. the "rough breathing" has been lost recessive accent—the accent moves as far leftward in the … Continue reading Fragment 52 (Sappho)

Fragment 102 (Sappho)

Γλύκηα μᾶτερ, οὔ τοι δύναμαι κρέκην τὸν ἴστον πόθῳ δάμεισα παῖδος ϝραδίναν δι' Ἀφροδίταν. Meter: ˘ ¯ ˘ ¯ ˘ ¯ ¯ | ˘ ˘ ¯ ˘ ¯ ˘ ¯ ¯ γλύκηα (γλυκύς fem. vocative singular) 'sweet'—in Attic or Ionic we would find γλυκεῖα, both of these reflect earlier *glukéwya, an innovative feminine form of … Continue reading Fragment 102 (Sappho)