Searching for Sappho: The Lost Songs and World of the First Woman Poet

Searching for Sappho: The Lost Songs and World of the First Woman Poet

by Philip Freeman


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Searching for Sappho: The Lost Songs and World of the First Woman Poet by Philip Freeman

An exploration of the fascinating poetry, life, and world of Sappho, including a complete translation of all her poems.For more than twenty-five centuries, all that the world knew of the poems of Sappho—the first woman writer in literary history—were a few brief quotations preserved by ancient male authors. Yet those meager remains showed such power and genius that they captured the imagination of readers through the ages. But within the last century, dozens of new pieces of her poetry have been found written on crumbling papyrus or carved on broken pottery buried in the sands of Egypt. As recently as 2014, yet another discovery of a missing poem created a media stir around the world.The poems of Sappho reveal a remarkable woman who lived on the Greek island of Lesbos during the vibrant age of the birth of western science, art, and philosophy. Sappho was the daughter of an aristocratic family, a wife, a devoted mother, a lover of women, and one of the greatest writers of her own or any age. Nonetheless, although most people have heard of Sappho, the story of her lost poems and the lives of the ancient women they celebrate has never been told for a general audience.Searching for Sappho is the exciting tale of the rediscovery of Sappho’s poetry and of the woman and world they reveal.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393242232
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 02/15/2016
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

The author of more than a dozen books on the ancient world, Philip Freeman is a professor and chair of the classics department at Luther College. He earned his PhD from Harvard University. He lives in Decorah, Iowa.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Map xxv

Timeline xxvii

1 Childhood 1

2 Wedding Songs 23

3 A Mother's Love 57

4 Family Matters 85

5 Loving Women 109

6 The Goddess 133

7 Unyielding Time 149

Epilogue 161

The Poems of Sappho 173

Acknowledgments 239

Notes 241

Further Reading 277

Index 285

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