Sappho [ca 650 BCE, Lesbos. For a c19 imaginary
here., then type Sappho in SEARCH box. To review the text discussed, click here]
Poet's concern: others admire warriors, she
she gives as a prime example to make clear
what she means, an old story
to say, a myth, the story of Helen, who left her home in Sparta & her
(Menelaus) & daughters & parents to go with a lover, Paris, to Troy,
influence of the goddess Aphrodite.
Part of the poem is missing (where the papyrus rotted away or was eaten)
Sappho concludes by expressing gentle longing
for the absent object of her
Anactoria, a girl (we infer from the ending of
her name) who has gone
make an inference) to a place where there are warriors (cf. Sappho's
world, with which she began the poem), warriors on chariots & on foot with
("panoply"), a place called Lydia, just across the sea on the mainland of
Minor (modern Turkey).
Horizons of Sappho's world: Who? Where? When? What?
Characters? Places named or implied? Time frame? Actions &
Who: Sappho, Helen (Menelaus), [Paris,
Places: Actual: Sappho herself on Lesbos, large island in Aegean Sea, just off
coast of Asia Minor (Turkey today).
Evoked: Helen traveled from Sparta (in southern peninsula of Greece
to Troy (northeast of Lesbos, near the Aegean
coast of Asia,
again Turkey today).
Anactoria in Lydia (east of Lesbos &
inland in what now is Turkey;
kingdom of Croesus, city of Sardis)
Times: ca 650 BCE, Sappho herself
& Anactoria, & war lovers.
ca 1200 BCE, Helen to Troy, (mythical time of War at Troy).
Actions & Reasons?