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Just like Homer: exploring Sappho’s use of the epic simile Thomas Sims Symbols and Metaphors 3 rd June 2015.

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Παρουσίαση με θέμα: "Just like Homer: exploring Sappho’s use of the epic simile Thomas Sims Symbols and Metaphors 3 rd June 2015."— Μεταγράφημα παρουσίασης:

1 Just like Homer: exploring Sappho’s use of the epic simile Thomas Sims Symbols and Metaphors 3 rd June 2015

2 Topics Problems arising Structural similarities Content based similarities Re-examining Sappho and Homer Conclusions

3 Problems arising Sappho’s work is fragmentary Only five discernible similes survive from the Sapphic corpus (frr. 47, 96, and 105a, b, and c), one of which (fr. 105b) is simply a summary of a simile by Himerius There are doubts over the authenticity of Homeric similes

4 Structural similarities – Categorisation In the Homeric corpus, there are two types of simile – short and extended. Short similes are just that, short, and have only one nexus of comparison. Hom. Od –20 ἀπέβη γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη, | ὄρνις δ᾽ ὣς ἀνόπαια διέπτατο And gleaming eyed Athena departed | just like an unseen bird flies away

5 Structural similarities – Categorisation Extended similes are by contrast long They have an initial nexus of comparison (though they may have more) After the primary comparison, they are expanded, sometimes rivalling the main narrative Not every aspect of the simile may have a real world counterpart, some features are ornamental

6 Structural similarities – Categorisation Hom. Il. 3.1–7 αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ κόσμηθεν ἅμ᾽ ἡγεμόνεσσιν ἕκαστοι, Τρῶες μὲν κλαγγῇ τ᾽ ἐνοπῇ τ᾽ ἴσαν ὄρνιθες ὣς ἠΰτε περ κλαγγὴ γεράνων πέλει οὐρανόθι πρό: αἵ τ᾽ ἐπεὶ οὖν χειμῶνα φύγον καὶ ἀθέσφατον ὄμβρον κλαγγῇ ταί γε πέτονται ἐπ᾽ ὠκεανοῖο ῥοάων(5) ἀνδράσι Πυγμαίοισι φόνον καὶ κῆρα φέρουσαι: ἠέριαι δ᾽ ἄρα ταί γε κακὴν ἔριδα προφέρονται. Now when they were marshalled, the several companies with their captains, the Trojans came on with clamour and with a cry like birds, just as the clamour of cranes ariseth before the face of heaven, when they flee from wintry storms and measureless rain, and with clamour fly toward the streams of Ocean, bearing slaughter and death to Pigmy men, and in the early dawn they offer evil battle.

7 Structural similarities – Categorisation In the Sapphic corpus, there also exists short similes which have only one nexus of comparison. Fr. 47 Ἔρος δ’ ἐτίναξέ μοι φρένας, ὠς ἄνεμος κὰτ ὄρος δρύσιν ἐμπέτων Love shook my heart like a wind falling on oaks on a mountain.

8 Structural similarities – Categorisation Fr. 96 νῦν δὲ Λύδαισιν ἐμπρέπεται γυναί- κεσσιν ὤς ποτ’ ἀελίω δύντος ἀ βροδοδάκτυλος σελάννα πάντα περρέχοισ’ ἄστρα· φάος δ’ ἐπί- σχει θάλασσαν ἐπ’ ἀλμύραν (10) ἴσως καὶ πολυανθέμοις ἀρούραις· ἀ δ’ ἐέρσα κάλα κέχυται τεθά- λαισι δὲ βρόδα κἄπαλ’ ἄν- θρυσκα καὶ μελίλωτος ἀνθεμώδης· πόλλα δὲ ζαφοίταισ’ ἀγάνας ἐπι-(15) μνάσθεισ’ Ἄτθιδος ἰμέρωι λέπταν ποι φρένα κ[α]ρ̣[ι σάι] βόρηται· κῆθι δ’ ἔλθην ἀμμ.[..]..ισα τό̣δ’ οὐ νῶντ’ ἀ[..]υστονυμ̣[..₍.₎] πόλυς γαρύει̣ [..₍.₎]αλον̣[.....₍.₎].ο̣ μέσσον·(20) Now she stands out among Lydian women like the rosy-fingered moon after sunset, surpassing all the stars, and its light spreads alike over the salt sea and the flowery fields; the dew is shed in beauty, and roses bloom and tender chervil and flowery melilot. Often as she goes to and fro she remembers gentle Atthis and doubtless her tender heart is consumed because of your fate... to go there... this... mind... much... sings... (in the) middle.

9 In Homeric epic, ὣς or οἷος are used to introduce comparisons, with ὣς used as the main method of transitioning back to the narrative. Hom. Il. 7.4–7 ὡς δὲ θεὸς ναύτῃσιν ἐελδομένοισιν ἔδωκεν οὖρον, ἐπεί κε κάμωσιν ἐϋξέστῃς ἐλάτῃσι πόντον ἐλαύνοντες, καμάτῳ δ᾽ ὑπὸ γυῖα λέλυνται, ὣς ἄρα τὼ Τρώεσσιν ἐελδομένοισι φανήτην. Hom. Il –4 Ἕκτωρ δ᾽ ἐν πρώτοισι φέρ᾽ ἀσπίδα πάντοσ᾽ ἐΐσην, οἷος δ᾽ ἐκ νεφέων ἀναφαίνεται οὔλιος ἀστὴρ παμφαίνων, τοτὲ δ᾽ αὖτις ἔδυ νέφεα σκιόεντα, ὣς Ἕκτωρ ὁτὲ μέν τε μετὰ πρώτοισι φάνεσκεν Just as when god gives a fair wind to sailors longing for it, When wearied of sailing the sea with oars of polished fir, Through exhaustion their limbs are loosened, So then both [Hector and Paris] appeared to the Trojans longing for them. And Hector carried his shield, equal in all respects, among the foremost Just as, from the clouds, a deadly star shining appears, Then again it sinks below the shadowy clouds, So Hector when he appeared among the foremost Structural similarities – Particles and Conjunctions

10 Fr. 105a οἶον τὸ γλυκύμαλον ἐρεύθεται ἄκρῳ ἐπ᾿ ὔσδῳ, ἄκρον ἐπ᾿ ἀκροτάτῳ, λελάθοντο δὲ μαλοδρόπηες· οὐ μὰν ἐκλελάθοντ᾿, ἀλλ᾿ οὐκ ἐδύναντ᾿ ἐπίκεσθαι. Fr. 96 νῦν δὲ Λύδαισιν ἐμπρέπεται γυναί- κεσσιν ὤς ποτ’ ἀελίω δύντος ἀ βροδοδάκτυλος σελάννα πάντα περρέχοισ’ ἄστρα· φάος δ’ ἐπί- σχει θάλασσαν ἐπ’ ἀλμύραν (10) ἴσως καὶ πολυανθέμοις ἀρούραις· ἀ δ’ ἐέρσα κάλα κέχυται τεθά- λαισι δὲ βρόδα κἄπαλ’ ἄν- θρυσκα καὶ μελίλωτος ἀνθεμώδης· πόλλα δὲ ζαφοίταισ’ ἀγάνας ἐπι-(15) μνάσθεισ’ Ἄτθιδος ἰμέρωι λέπταν ποι φρένα κ[α]ρ̣[ι σάι] βόρηται· κῆθι δ’ ἔλθην ἀμμ.[..]..ισα τό̣δ’ οὐ νῶντ’ ἀ[..]υστονυμ̣[..₍.₎] πόλυς γαρύει̣ [..₍.₎]αλον̣[.....₍.₎].ο̣ μέσσον·(20) As the sweet-apple reddens on the bough-top, on the top of the topmost bough; the apple-gatherers have forgotten it—no they have not forgotten it entirely, but they could not reach it. Now she stands out among Lydian women like the rosy-fingered moon after sunset, surpassing all the stars, and its light spreads alike over the salt sea and the flowery fields; the dew is shed in beauty, and roses bloom and tender chervil and flowery melilot. Often as she goes to and fro she remembers gentle Atthis and doubtless her tender heart is consumed because of your fate... to go there... this... mind... much... sings... (in the) middle. Structural similarities – Particles and Conjunctions The use of conjunctions and particles is much the same in the Sapphic corpus, with ὣς and οἷος the main methods of introducing a simile Fr. 47 Ἔρος δ᾿ ἐτίναξέ μοι φρένας, ὠς ἄνεμος κὰτ ὄρος δρύσιν ἐμπέτων. Love shook my heart like a wind falling on oaks on a mountain.

11 Structural similarities – Interactions with wider narrative Similes with related themes can be dispersed throughout the epic to evoke similar emotional responses at key points in the plot, e.g. the use of star similes in relation to heroes: – Hom. Il –3 – Hector and the Trojans ranging against the Greeks – Hom. Il –31 – description of Achilles as a gleaming star before he pursues and kills Hector

12 Fr. 96 νῦν δὲ Λύδαισιν ἐμπρέπεται γυναί- κεσσιν ὤς ποτ᾿ ἀελίω δύντος ἀ βροδοδάκτυλος σελάννα πάντα περρέχοισ᾿ ἄστρα· Fr. 34 ἄστερες μὲν ἀμφὶ κάλαν σελάνναν ἂψ ἀπυκρύπτοισι φάεννον εἶδος ὄπποτα πλήθοισα μάλιστα λάμπη γᾶν Sappho’s genre and the poorly surviving state of her work means that analysis of her similes in respect to a wider narrative may seem obsolete. However, Sappho’s similes also appear to be placed at particular points in her corpus to elicit similar emotions or thoughts. Structural similarities – Interactions with wider narrative Now she stands out among Lydian women like the rosy- fingered moon after sunset, surpassing all the stars; The stars hide away their shining form around the lovely moon when in all her fullness she shines (over all) the earth.

13 And those two [Polypoetes and Leonteus] stood in front of the high gates just as when high- topped oaks on a mountain, they stand fast in the face of the wind and the daily rain fixed firm with great roots And from them [Patroclus and Meriones], as a din of the woodcutters arises in the glens of the mountain, so a noise arose from them. Nature (animals, plants, and rustic activity) accounts for 5/6 of the similes in the Iliad. And they [the Cicones] came from there as many as leaves or flowers in the spring Content based similarities – Nature Hom. Il –4 τῶν δ᾽ ὥς τε δρυτόμων ἀνδρῶν ὀρυμαγδὸς ὀρώρει οὔρεος ἐν βήσσῃς, ἕκαθεν δέ τε γίγνετ᾽ ἀκουή Hom. Od ἦλθον ἔπειθ᾽ ὅσα φύλλα καὶ ἄνθεα γίγνεται ὥρῃ Hom. Il –4 τὼ μὲν ἄρα προπάροιθε πυλάων ὑψηλάων ἕστασαν ὡς ὅτε τε δρύες οὔρεσιν ὑψικάρηνοι, αἵ τ᾽ ἄνεμον μίμνουσι καὶ ὑετὸν ἤματα πάντα ῥίζῃσιν μεγάλῃσι διηνεκέεσσ᾽ ἀραρυῖαι

14 Fr. 105c οἴαν τὰν ὐάκινθον ἐν ὤρεσι ποίμενες ἄνδρες πόσσι καταστείβοισι, χάμαι δέ τε πόρφυρον ἄνθος Content based similarities – Nature It can be seen from her similes, that Sappho had just as keen an interest in this theme. Fr. 47 Ἔρος δ᾿ ἐτίναξέ μοι φρένας, ὠς ἄνεμος κὰτ ὄρος δρύσιν ἐμπέτων. Love shook my heart like a wind falling on oaks on a mountain. Fr. 105a οἶον τὸ γλυκύμαλον ἐρεύθεται ἄκρῳ ἐπ᾿ ὔσδῳ, ἄκρον ἐπ᾿ ἀκροτάτῳ, λελάθοντο δὲ μαλοδρόπηες· οὐ μὰν ἐκλελάθοντ᾿, ἀλλ᾿ οὐκ ἐδύναντ᾿ ἐπίκεσθαι. As the sweet-apple reddens on the bough-top, on the top of the topmost bough; the apple-gatherers have forgotten it—no they have not forgotten it entirely, but they could not reach it. Like the hyacinth which shepherds tread underfoot in the mountains, and on the ground the purple flower Fr. 96 ὤς ποτ᾿ ἀελίω δύντος ἀ βροδοδάκτυλος σελάννα πάντα περρέχοισ᾿ ἄστρα· φάος δ᾿ ἐπί- σχει θάλασσαν ἐπ᾿ ἀλμύραν ἴσως καὶ πολυανθέμοις ἀρούραις· ἀ δ᾿ ἐέρσα κάλα κέχυται, τεθά- λαισι δὲ βρόδα κἄπαλ᾿ ἄνθρυσκα καὶ μελίλωτος ἀνθεμώδης· Like the rosy-fingered moon after sunset, surpassing all the stars, and its light spreads alike over the salt sea and the flowery fields; the dew is shed in beauty, and roses bloom and tender chervil and flowery melilot.

15 Content based similarities – War In Homeric epic, warfare often forms the basis of the comparison in similes, and violence is thus a common feature. In the Sapphic corpus, there are similes which are usually found as part of battle scenes in Homeric epic. Her similes also feature violent language.

16 Hom. Il –5 ὃ δέ θ᾽ αἵματι γαῖαν ἐρεύθων πύθεται Hom. Il –1 αἵματι δὲ χθὼν δεύετο πορφυρέῳ Fr. 96 νῦν δὲ Λύδαισιν ἐμπρέπεται γυναί- εσσιν ὤς ποτ᾿ ἀελίω δύντος ἀ βροδοδάκτυλος σελάννα πάντα περρέχοισ᾿ ἄστρα Fr. 105a οἶον τὸ γλυκύμαλον ἐρεύθεται ἄκρῳ ἐπ᾿ ὔσδῳ, Fr. 105b Σαπφοῦς ἦν ἄρα μήλῳ μὲν εἰκάσαι τὴν κόρην... τὸν νυμφίον τε Ἀχιλλεῖ παρομοιῶσαι καὶ εἰς ταὐτὸν ἀγαγεῖν τῷ ἥρωι τὸν νεανίσκον ταῖς πράξεσι. Fr. 47 Ἔρος δ᾿ ἐτίναξέ μοι φρένας, ὠς ἄνεμος κὰτ ὄρος δρύσιν ἐμπέτων. Fr. 105c οἴαν τὰν ὐάκινθον ἐν ὤρεσι ποίμενες ἄνδρες πόσσι καταστείβοισι, χάμαι δέ τε πόρφυρον ἄνθος Now she stands out among Lydian women like the rosy- fingered moon after sunset, surpassing all the stars; As the sweet-apple reddens on the bough- top It was Sappho who compared the girl to an apple... and likened the bridegroom to Achilles and put the young man on a par with the hero in his achievements. Like the hyacinth which shepherds tread underfoot in the mountains, and on the ground the purple flower Love shook my heart like a wind falling on oaks on a mountain. Content based similarities – War Hom. Il –4 τὼ μὲν ἄρα προπάροιθε πυλάων ὑψηλάων ἕστασαν ὡς ὅτε τε δρύες οὔρεσιν ὑψικάρηνοι, αἵ τ᾽ ἄνεμον μίμνουσι καὶ ὑετὸν ἤματα πάντα And those two [Polypoetes and Leonteus] stood in front of the high gates just as when high- topped oaks on a mountain, they stand fast in the face of the wind and the daily rain Hom. Il –6 πυρὰ δέ σφισι καίετο πολλά ὡς δ᾽ ὅτ᾽ ἐν οὐρανῷ ἄστρα φαεινὴν ἀμφὶ σελήνην φαίνετ᾽ ἀριπρεπέα And their [the Trojans’] many fires burned, just like in the sky when the stars appear clear around the gleaming moon. And he, reddening the earth with his blood, rotted away. And the earth was drenched with the purple blood of the Trojans

17 Re-examining Sappho For Sappho, we are now acutely aware that, in the case of her similes, her engagement with the Homeric corpus is much deeper than just similarities in content. The combination of structure and content based similarities perhaps strengthens the Homeric feel of Sappho’s similes, meaning that when she resets his war imagery in terms of love, this becomes more obvious. Is she reacting against an epic tradition?

18 Re-examining Homer Sappho’s use of similes which appear to be distinctly Homeric in nature might suggest that Homeric similes are genuine. Similarly, it also provides information about the spread of Homer. His work must have reached Lesbos and been intimately known for Sappho to use it as she does. Additionally, Sappho’s resetting of the similes may suggest that, while known as a poetic great, Homer’s early reception was to be reacted against.

19 Conclusions On a basic level, it can be seen that Sappho’s engagement with Homeric similes is much deeper than previously thought. This in turn has altered perceptions of both the Homeric and Sapphic corpora, giving us information about, for example, Sappho’s poetic motivations and the authenticity of Homeric similes. In general, this paper has, hopefully, presented a way forward for future research into Homeric- Sapphic intertextual relationship.


Κατέβασμα ppt "Just like Homer: exploring Sappho’s use of the epic simile Thomas Sims Symbols and Metaphors 3 rd June 2015."

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