THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Medieval manuscripts blog

02 December 2017

Germaine Greer on Sappho

This year's Panizzi lectures at the British Library will be delivered by Germaine Greer, on the subject of Sappho, one of the first known female poets, and the first woman known to have written poems in Greek. We have a special affection for Sappho in the Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern manuscripts section of the Library. Earlier this year we wrote on this blog about The Mystery of Sappho, exploring why only a fraction of her poetry survives.

Professor Greer will be giving three lectures on Sappho and her poetry, on Monday 4 December (The Witnesses); Thursday 7 December (The Glory); and Monday 11 December (The Shame). Each lecture begins at 19.00 and is free to attend, with places allocated on a first come, first served basis. We're delighted that Sappho is the subject of this year's lectures, and hope that many of you are able to come along to the British Library to witness them. As we noted earlier this year, only a few fragments of Sappho's poems survive, and scholars continue to debate why this might be the case.

Sappho

Fragment of a poem by Sappho concerning her brother Charaxus, 3rd century CE: Papyrus 739

The 2017 Panizzi Lectures take place at the British Library's Knowledge Centre Theatre on 4 December, 7 December and 11 December.

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