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By A. J. Koster

ISBN-10: 9004047247

ISBN-13: 9789004047242

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31, in which the speaker sees the beauty and charm of a loved one and is overwhelmed. The man who sits opposite her and hears her sweetly talking and laughing seems like a god. This man has caused many readers to see the poem as a wedding song, with the man as groom. The suffering incurred by the speaker may be a result of jealousy at the man who takes her beloved’s attention away, or it may be simply the effect of the beloved’s charms on Sappho, to which the man himself is remarkably immune. It isn’t necessary to decide on the exact imagined context in order to appreciate the power with which the effects of love are described.

But why is the death of Agamemnon tragic?

43). Probably so! Other sexually explicit poems may have been insulting if the named characters are real, but for the audience they are likely also to have been ritual affirmations of fertility. Frr. 118–20 compare the speaker’s sexual prowess (which he also thereby relates) with his skill in leading the dithyramb (which he thereby enacts): Archilochus 19 I wish I had as sure a chance of fingering Neoboule—the workman falling to his flask—and pressing tum to tummy and thighs to thighs…as sure as I know how to start the lovely round of singing lord Dionysus’ dithyramb when the wine has blitzed my brains in.

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A practical guide for the writing of the Greek accents by A. J. Koster


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