Sappho and Her Social Context: Sense and Sensuality

  title={Sappho and Her Social Context: Sense and Sensuality},
  author={Judith P. Hallett},
  journal={Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society},
  pages={447 - 464}
  • J. Hallett
  • Published 1 April 1979
  • History, Art
  • Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society
The poetic personality of Sappho and the poetic phenomenon of Sappho have proven difficult for both ancients and moderns to understand. Later generations of ancients-Greeks of the fourth century B.C. and thereafter, Romans, and Byzantines-were unaccustomed to supreme lyric talent in a woman who wrote about seemingly private passions. Several ancient sources thus class the late seventh/early sixth century B.C. Sappho not among the leading male poets of her time, as the ninth great Greek lyric… 
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“Sleeping in the Bosom of a Tender Companion”
  • A. Klinck
  • Psychology
    Journal of homosexuality
  • 2005
Although many modern scholars believe Sappho's relationships were egalitarian and sameage, the collective evidence of her own poetry together with the ancient testimonia and commentaries does not support that inference.
Female Choruses and Gardens of Nymphs: Visualizing Chorality in Sappho
In light of Romanticism, Sappho’s poetry has been read as an expression of the poet’s inner feelings. According to this model, Sappho is a soloist, performing her songs and playing her lyre in a


1937], p. 3), who remark "that the admiration for a beautiful youth
  • 1937
Origins of the Western Attitude toward Women," Arethusa
  • (Oxford: Clarendon Press,
  • 1961
11 ff., notes, for example, that in lines 64 ff. the maidens are said to 71. For example, Russo; Merkelbach
  • Arethusa
  • 1974
The White Rock of Leukas
  • Harvard Studies in Classical Philology
  • 1973