2004
Volume 51, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0165-8204
  • E-ISSN: 2667-1573

Abstract

Summary

This paper studies the use of Sappho as model and ‘anchor’ in two Hellenistic poets, Posidippus and Nossis, with a brief excursus on Catullus 51. Posidippus refers explicitly to Sappho three times in his epigrams. In all three instances he associates her with talk of or about women. Posidippus thus sees her primarily as a female poet and an authority on women. The same holds true for Nossis, but whereas Posidippus only appeals to Sappho’s authority when he wishes to speak about women, Nossis explicitly places herself in Sappho’s tradition, as a woman and a literary daughter. Posidippus uses Sappho as an anchor to speak as a poet about women, while Nossis, in her surviving epigrams, uses her as an anchor to speak as a woman poet, a subtle but significant difference. A brief analysis of Catullus 51 confirms this distinction, suggesting a gender difference in the way Sappho was used as anchor by male and female poets in antiquity.

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/content/journals/10.5117/LAM2018.4.002.LARD
2018-01-01
2021-10-18
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