Atlantis Online
December 10, 2023, 04:26:51 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Ruins of 7,000-year-old city found in Egypt oasis
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  


Pages: 1 [2]   Go Down
Author Topic: Sappho  (Read 4439 times)
Superhero Member
Posts: 41646

« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2009, 08:32:28 am »


The greatest importance of Sappho in literary history has been her contribution toward the definition of the lyric genre.

While her early date and her gender guaranteed her a position of major significance, it was her brilliant creativity that made her a figure of renown.

Sappho's poems—of which only a handful of fragments survive—have been applauded by readers in all eras, and she has been regarded by many as one of the greatest poets of European history.

Ancient and modern critics alike use terms such as "incandescent" and "a marvel" in response to her passionate intensity.

Before Sappho poets such as Archilochus had used the lyric to challenge or interrogate social norms with the individual voice, but in Sappho's works subjective emotion reaches new heights of intellectual dignity, comparable almost to Plato or, later, Bernard of Clairvaux.

In emphatic directness, using few figures of speech, she celebrates love as the highest of human faculties while recognizing its complex nature, including elements of jealousy, rivalry, and aggression.

Famous Quotes by Sappho

"The moon has set In a bank of jet That fringes the Western sky, The pleiads seven Have sunk from heaven And the midnight hurries by; My hopes are flown And, alas! alone On my weary couch I lie." 

—Sappho on Sky

"Builders, raise the ceiling high, Raise the dome into the sky, Hear the wedding song! For the happy groom is near, Tall as Mars, and statelier, Hear the wedding song!" 

—Sappho on Songs
« Last Edit: June 03, 2009, 08:43:06 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Superhero Member
Posts: 41646

« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2009, 08:56:22 am »


Lesbianism hardly exists in the myths. No goddess ever has sexual relations with another goddess, or with a nymph, or with a girl. Not even the Amazons, though living in an exclusively female society and being fellow warriors in a female army are described as doing so. However the head of Orpheus does float to the Lesbos from which the word lesbianism is derived.

From the late archaic period on there are hints that women from Lesbos had a reputation for being sexually adventurous. Yet there is a discontinuity between these quips about Sappho and/or “Lesbianism,” and her own poetry, which is intense, sometimes voluptuous, but really not very carnal.

 The bulk of Sappho's poetry is now lost, but her reputation in her time was immense, and she was reputedly considered by Plato as the tenth Muse.

Her homoerotic poetry reflects a circle of mainly adolescent girls or very young women around a somewhat older and more authoritative Sappho. Passionate attachments exist between members of this group as well as between individual girls and Sappho.

The 3rd Century philosopher Maximus of Tyre wrote that Sappho was "small and dark" and that her relationships to her female friends were similar to those of Socrates:

"What else was the love of the Lesbian woman except Socrates' art of love? For they seem to me to have practiced love each in their own way, she that of women, he that of men. For they say that both loved many and were captivated by all things beautiful. What Alcibiades and Charmides and Phaedrus were to him, Gyrinna and Atthis and Anactoria were to the Lesbian.
Immortal Aphrodite of the broidered throne, daughter of Zeus, weaver of wiles, I pray thee break not my spirit with anguish and distress, O Queen. But come hither, if ever before thou didst hear my voice afar, and listen, and leaving thy father's golden house came with chariot yoked, and fair fleet sparrows drew thee, flapping fast their wings around the dark earth, from heaven through mid sky. Quickly arrived they; and thou, blessed one, smiling with immortal countenance, didst ask What now is befallen me, and Why now I call, and What I in my mad heart most desire to see. 'What Beauty now wouldst thou draw to love thee? Who wrongs thee, Sappho? For even if she flies she shall soon follow, and if she rejects gifts shall yet give, and if she loves not shall soon love, however loth.' Come, I pray thee, now too, and release me from cruel cares; and all that my heart desires to accomplish, accomplish thou, and be thyself my ally."

The myth of the amazons only described limited sex lives for the sake of procreation.

However it was said that they removed one breast so as to make their archery skills more effective, however, there is no indication of this practice in works of art, in which the Amazons are always represented with both breasts. Modern archaeology in 2003 uncovered some of the Scythian burials of warrior-maidens entombed under kurgans in the Altai region of Siberia, giving concrete form at last to the Greek tales of mounted Amazons


The Roman counterpart of the effeminate male was the masculine female, the tribade (tribas; plural tribades). Tribas is the ancient term closest to our notion of a lesbian.

Although the word is Greek and derived from the Greek verb tribein, "to rub," its earliest surviving occurrences are in Latin texts. However,  Sappho had no association with with the type of lesbian called dykes today although Sparta, the great militaristic rival to Athens, known for not worshiping Dionysos, did have homoerotic initiation rituals for girls.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2009, 09:21:35 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Superhero Member
Posts: 41646

« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2009, 09:28:58 am »


                                               Lesbos islanders dispute gay name 

By Malcolm Brabant
BBC News,
May 1, 2008

                          The term lesbian is now widely used to describe homosexual women

Campaigners on the Greek island of Lesbos are to go to court in an attempt to stop a gay rights organisation from using the term "lesbian".

The islanders say that if they are successful they may then start to fight the word lesbian internationally.

The issue boils down to who has the right to call themselves Lesbians.

Is it gay women, or the 100,000 people living on Greece's third biggest island - plus another 250,000 expatriates who originate from Lesbos?

The man spearheading the case, publisher Dimitris Lambrou, claims that international dominance of the word in its sexual context violates the human rights of the islanders, and disgraces them around the world.

He says it causes daily problems to the social life of Lesbos's inhabitants.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2009, 09:31:54 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Superhero Member
Posts: 41646

« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2009, 09:33:31 am »


Injunction sought

In court papers, the plaintiffs allege that the Greek government is so embarrassed by the term Lesbian that it has been forced to rename the island after its capital, Mytilini.

An early court date has now been set for judges to decide whether to grant an injunction against the Homosexual and Lesbian Community of Greece and to order it to change its name.

A spokeswoman for the group has described the case as a groundless violation of freedom of expression, and has pledged to fight it.

The term lesbian originated from the poet Sappho, who was a native of Lesbos.

Sappho expressed her love of other women in poetry written during the 7th Century BC.

But according to Mr Lambrou, new historical research has discovered that Sappho had a family, and committed suicide for the love of a man.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2009, 09:34:34 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Pages: 1 [2]   Go Up
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy