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POEMS OF SAPPHO

TRANSLATED BY JULIA DUBNOFF

Immortal Aphrodite, on your own intricately brocaded throne, [1]

son or daughter of Zeus, weaver of wiles, this I pray:

Dear Lady, don’t crush my heart

with pains and sorrows.

5 But come right here, if in the past,

once you heard my far-off cry,

you listened. And also you arrived,

making your father’s household,

yoking your chariot of gold.

10 Then stunning quick sparrows led you on the black colored planet

through the sky through the air that is middle

whirling their wings in to a blur.

Where it really is permitted to get this thing remain true erect,

to seize the breast and touch with your hands

the meadow [2] that is made ready. And there is certainly dancing

and forgetting [root lГЄth- ] of bad things.

Euripides Cyclops 163-172

5. Associated sources (summaries and commentary by G.N.): in line with the account in Book VII of this mythographer Ptolemaios Chennos (ca. A.D. 100; by means of Photius Bibliotheca 152-153 Bekker), the first ever to plunge the heights off of Cape Leukas, the essential famous localization for the White Rock, had been none apart from Aphrodite by herself, away from love for the dead Adonis. After Adonis died ( exactly exactly how it happened is not stated), the mourning Aphrodite went off searching at‘Cypriote Argos’, in a shrine of Apollo for him and finally found him. She consults Apollo, who instructs her to get respite from her love by jumping from the rock that is white of, where Zeus sits whenever he desires respite from their passion for Hera. Then Ptolemaios launches right into a catalogue that is veritable of numbers whom adopted Aphrodite’s precedent and took a ritual plunge as relief from love. For instance, Queen Artemisia we is reputed to have leapt down the white rock out of love for just one Dardanos, succeeding just in enabling herself killed. A few other people are mentioned whom passed away through the jump, including an iambographer that is certain whom expired just after being fished from the water with a broken leg, yet not before blurting away their four final iambic trimeters, painfully preserved for all of us using the compliments of Ptolemaios (and Photius also). Some body called MakГЄs ended up being more lucky: having succeeded in escaping from four love affairs after four corresponding leaps through the white stone, he obtained the epithet LeukopetrГўs ‘the one of many white rock’. We might concern the amount of historicity such records. There clearly was, nonetheless, an even more concern that is important. When you look at the long and account that is detailed of, Sappho isn’t mentioned at all, allow alone Phaon.

With this silence we possibly may infer that the foundation for this misconception about Aphrodite and Adonis is separate of Sappho’s very own poetry or of later distortions https://datingreviewer.net/escort/cambridge/ based onto it. Consequently, the ancient cult practice at Cape Leukas, as described by Strabo (10.2.9 C452), may well include some intrinsic element that inspired lovers’ leaps, a practice also noted by Strabo (ibid .). The 2nd training appears become based on the very first, even as we might expect from the priestly organization that becomes in addition to the social context which had engendered it. Abstracted from their inherited tribal functions, spiritual organizations have way to become mystical companies.

Another reason behind doubting that Sappho’s poetry was in fact the motivation for the enthusiasts’ leaps at Cape Leukas could be the mindset of Strabo himself. He particularly disclaims Menander’s variation about Sappho’s being the first to ever make the leap at Leukas. Alternatively, he delivers a variation of “those more versed within the ancient lore,” in accordance with which Kephalos son of Deioneus ended up being the first to possess leapt, impelled by love for Pterelas (Strabo 10.2.9 C452). The misconception of Kephalos along with his plunge might be since old as the idea of the White Rock. I state “concept” since the ritual practice of casting victims from the white stone may be an inheritance parallel to your epic tradition in regards to a mythical White Rock from the shores associated with the Okeanos (such as Odyssey 24.11) together with relevant literary theme of scuba scuba scuba diving from an imaginary White Rock (like in the poetry of Anacreon and Euripides). Easily put, it really is needless to assume that the ritual preceded the misconception or the other means around.