Back to English (about high time). And back to Sappho too. Today, we have 7 short fragments which are bits of wedding songs, all quoted by other authors. As such, most of them will have no critical note, though one or two will need to be reworked due to inmetricality of the quotation as it reached us. Let's get right into them! The first fragment was horribly mistranslated as «Oh falegnami, deh, gite, / O Imeneo, In alto sui tetti salite», «Sūrsūm cārpĭtĕ tēctă, / Hȳmēnǣŭm, / Vĭrī lēgnō ŏpĕrāntēs,» and «High to the roofs hang on, / Oh Hymenæ͜um, / Ye men that with wood work, anon,», as I just realized looking up μέλαθρον and finding "roof-tree" instead of "roof", which suggests a sedan chair or the likes on which the bridegroom was sitting. Fixed that on Oct 30 2017 as I prepared this post for the following Tuesday (Oct 31).
Ἴψοι δὴ τὸ μέλαθρον,
ἀέρρετε, τέκτονες ἄνδρες·
5 γάμβρος ϝῖσος Ἄρευι,
ἄνδρος μεγάλω πόλυ μέσδων,
Oh falegnami, andate,
E il tetto su in alto levate,
Pari lo sposo è͜ a Marte,
Più alto d’uno͜ alto gran parte,
Θυρώρῳ πόδες ἐπτορόγυιοι,
τὰ δὲ σάμβαλα πεμπεβόηα,
πίσυγγοι δὲ δέκ’ ἐξεπόνησαν.
Piedi di sette braccia͜ il portiere,
Cinque pelli i suoi sandali͜ avevan,
Ciabattin’ lavoraronli dieci.
Ὄλβιε γάμβρε, σοὶ μὲν δὴ γάμος ὠς ἄραο
ἐκτετέλεστ’, ἔχηις δὲ πάρθενον, ἂν ἄραο.
Σοὶ χάριεν μὲν εἶδος, ὄππατα δ’ ‹ἐστί, νύμφα›,
μέλλιχ’, ἔρος δ’ ἐπ’ ἰμέρτῳ κέχυται προσώπῳ·
5 [Δῆλα τὰ δὴ] τετίμακ’ ἔξοχά σ’ Ἀφροδίτα.
Sposo felice,͜ inver le nozze che tu bramavi
Fatte ti son, ed ha͜i la donna che tu bramavi.
‹Ha͜i› grazïoso͜ aspetto, occhi di miele, ‹sposa›,
E sull’amabil volto͜ amor ti risplende,͜ o rosa:
[Dice ciò ben che] molto͜ onrata ti ha͜ Afrodite.
Χαίροισα νύμφα, χαιρέτω ‹κ'› ὀ γάμβρος.
O lieta sposa
O lieta sposa, lieto sia͜ anche ’l sposo.
Τίῳ σ' ἐϊκάσδω;
τίῳ σ᾿, ὦ φίλε γάμβρε, κάλως ἐικάσδω;
ὄρπακι βραδίνῳ σε μάλιστ᾿ ἐικάσδω.
A chi ti paragono?
Cosa ben, caro sposo, a te rassomiglio?
Delicato germoglio͜ a te ben rassomiglio.
Ἀτέρα νῦν πάϊς
[Ἔχε δ’ ὄλβον, φίλε γάμβρ’·] οὐ‹δέποτ’ ἦν› γὰρ
Ἀτέρα νυν πάϊς, ὦ γάμβρε, τοαύτα.
[Tu si’ lieto,͜ o caro sposo:]͜ infatti m‹aï›
Altra bimba, sposo, tal vi fu, giammaï.
Χαῖρε, νύμφα, χαῖρε, τίμιε γάμβρε, πόλλα.
Li͜eta, sposa, si',͜ e tu molto, glori͜oso sposo.
Ἐννε͜[ανείρ]οϊ, γάμβροι, [u–]υ πολίων βασίληες [x
[xx –uu–uu–uu] voi custoditela,
Nove [vite viv]endo, o sposi, che guide siete͜ a città.
Δαύοις ἀπάλας ἐτα‹ί›ρας ἐν στήθεσιν .
Che tu dorma
A tenera͜ amica dorma tu in seno.
Sūrsūm tōllĭtĕ tēctă,
Vĭrī lēgnō ŏpĕrāntēs,
Spōnsūs pār ēst Mārtī,
Hŏmĭn’ ēt māgnō măiŏr ēst plŭs,
Lift that roof up high on,
Ye men that with wood work, anon,
Equal to Ares the groom,
Than a tall man far taller doth loom,
Iānĭtōrĭ’ pĕs hēptŏrŏgy͞iŏs,
Sāndăli͞aquĕ cŭtūm ĕiŭ’ quīnû̆m,
Āb sūtōrĭbŭ’ fāctă dĕcēm sūnt.
Th’ porter’s feet were as long as arms seven,
And five cow-skins requirèd his sandals,
And ten cobblers had workèd upon them.
Læte mi sponse
Lǣtĕ mĭ spōnsĕ, cōniūgi͞um tĭbĭ quāl’ hĭābās
Fāctŭm ădēst, āc vīrgĭnēm tĭbĭ quām t’ hĭābās.
Bēllă tĭbī făci͞es‹’t›, āc mēllĭflŭī tĭb’ ōclī,
‹Spōns’›, ĕt Ămōr sŭpērfūsūm tŭ’ ămāndŭm ōs ēst;
[Quǣ mănĭfēstă] t’ āffēcīt Vĕnŭ’ māgn’ hŏnōrĕ.
O happy bridegroom
O happy bridegroom, you’ve the marriage for which you wished
Done to you now, and that sweet maiden for which you wished.
‹You have› a graceful look, and honey-sweet are thine eyes,
‹Bride›, and love, pourèd out on your lovely face, there lies:
[Things hitting th’ eye,] through which much honoured thee Aphrodite.
O læta sponsa
Ō lǣtă spōnsă, lǣtŭ’ sīt ēt spōnsŭs.
O happy wife
O happy wife, may th’ bridegroom too be happy.
Cui te parem?
Cu͞i tē, spōnsĕ ămātĕ, cănām bĕnĕ pārĕm?
Gērmĭnī tĕnĕrō cănăm ōptŭmă pārĕm.
To whom shall I compare thee?
T’ whom, o my lovèd bridegroom, can I well compare thee?
To a delicate sapling I sure well compare thee.
[Ĕ’ lĭbēns, spōnsĕ, mĭhī:] n‹ōn fŭĭt ›ūmquăm
Ălĭ’, ō spōnsĕ, pŭēll’ īstĭŭ’ pār năm.
[You be happy, dear my groom:] not ‹ever was› there
Other maiden to this one, o bridegroom, equal.
Spōnsă, ga͞udē, tūquĕ, nōbĭlĭ' spōnsĕ, mūltă.
Have a nice time, bride, a very nice time, you, bridegroom.
[xx –uu–uu–uu] cūstŏdĭt' hāncĕ vōs,
[Vītīs] nōvĕm [u–uu] spōns' [uu] qu'ōppĭă dūcĭtĕ.
Keep your guard on her
[xx –uu–uu–uu] you keep your guard on her,
In nine [lifetimes], o grooms, [uu–] cities' kings. [ux].
Dōrmi͞as tĕnĕrǣ t’ ămīcǣ īn pēctŏrĕ.
May you sleep
Of a tender girlfriend may you sleep in th’ bosom.
This fragment is a quote from "Heph. Poem. 7, 1", that is someplace in Haphæstion's work titled "On poems", and it is reported as an example of something about refrains, with introduction: «Ὅταν δὲ τὸ ἐφύμνιον μὴ μετὰ στροφὴν κέηται περολαμβανόμενον ἄλλῳ στίχῳ, μεσύμνιον καλεῖται, οἶόν ἐστι τὸ παρὰ Σαπφοῖ», that is, in Campbell's translation, «Whenever the refrain occurs not after a strophe but after a line and is followed by another line, it is called a mesýmnion, "central refrain", as for instance in Sappho». The meter appears to be dactylic hexameters broken at the cæsura by the refrain which is inserted mid-line and after lines. Actually, Campbell says «The position of this refrain is uncertain». Everyone has that refrain, the single word "ὐμήναον", at least in the middle of the first line and after it, though some do not add it to the other line, and Campbell is one of them. Let us hear what little my Paracritical note has to say about this: «Per il primo epitàlamo, il fr. 91 – Imeneo, segnalo due curiose idee. La prima è di Safopoemas, che riunisce i versi a coppie di due come esametri riempiendo un sacco di buchi come segue: «ἴψοι δὴ τὸ μέλαθρον ἀέρρετε, τέκτονες ἄνδρες, / — ύμήναον — / γάμβρος (γὰρ θαλάμοις) εἰσέρχεται ἶσος Ἄρευι· / (οὐ μὰν ἰσόθεος,) μεγάλω (δ') ἄνδρος πόλυ μείζων / (— ύμήναον —)», facendomi peraltro notare questa particolarità dei versi separati dal “ritornello” ὐμήναον. L’altra è quella di Edmonds, che aggiunge al testo da tutti riportato il fr. 92 spezzato dopo ἄοιδος per inserirvi il “ritornello”. Io sto con il testo Vikiþíki-B.A., limitandomi a supporre ἔρχεται come interpolazione, cosa che per altro fa anche Edmonds, omettendolo e mettendo ϝίσσος per ἶσος.», that is «For the first epithalamian [i.e. marriage song], fr. 91 – Hymenæum, I point out two curious ideas. One is by Safopoemas, which joins the lines in pairs of two as hexameters filling a lot of holes as follows: «ἴψοι δὴ τὸ μέλαθρον ἀέρρετε, τέκτονες ἄνδρες, / — ύμήναον — / γάμβρος ‹γὰρ θαλάμοις› εἰσέρχεται ἶσος Ἄρευι· / ‹οὐ μὰν ἰσόθεος,› μεγάλω ‹δ'› ἄνδρος πόλυ μείζων / (— ύμήναον —)», making me moreover notice this particularity of the lines separated by the "refrain" ὐμήναον. The other one is that of Edmonds, who adds fr. 92 [πέρροχος, ὠς ὄτ' ἄοιδος ὀ Λέσβιος ἀλλοδάποισιν, fr. 1.A.iv in The Rest of Sappho] to the text reported by everyone, breaking it [that fr. 92] after ἄοιδος to insert the "refrain" there. I pick the Vikiþíki-B.A. [i.e. Greek Wikisource and Bibliotheca Augustana] text, limiting myself to assume ἔρχεται as an interpolation [or, better said, a gloss], a thing which by the way Edmonds does too, omitting it [i.e. ἔρχεται] and writing ϝίσσος for ἶσος». I think ϝίσσος was a typo in the Paracritical Note. Anyways, the idea of adding "fr. 92" to this text, which I chose not to agree to, is probably taken up from Bergk, who says «Conjunxi hæc, quæ divisim legebantur», that is «I joined these, which were read separate». Edmonds doesn't say much about this, except reporting both fragments as quotes found in Demetrius's "De elocutione" (On style), which appears to be the only link between the two fragments. They do join quite "snugly" though. Bonnaria also agrees on the gloss hypothesis, and doesn't even mention joining the fragments. I decided not to join them here because my original translations were not joined, but I previously decided to join them in the "All Sappho" posts. I adhered to the gloss hypothesis, and used ϝῖσος as a compromise, keeping the single sigma but adding the digamma to make the omicron in γάμβρος long by position, since a long syllable is required there. I also adhere to Campbell's and Bergk's ἀέρρετε since for some reason I trust those sources more than the others (like Edmonds, Safopoemas, Greek Wikisource… you know).
This is a quotation from both "Heph Ench 7 6" (Hephæstion's Handbook on meter), where it is introduced as «Τὸ Αἰολικὸν τετράμετρον καταληκτικὸν εἰς δισύλλαβον» (The Aeolic tetrameter catalectic in duas syllabas), and "Demetr Eloc 167" (Demetrius's On Style), where it is introduced as «Ἄλλως δὲ σκόπτει [sc. ἡ Σαπφὼ] τὸν ἄγροικον νυμφίον καὶ τὸν θυρωρὸν τὸν ἐν τοῖς γάμοις εὐτελέστατα καὶ ἐν πεζοῖς ὀνόμασιν μᾶλλον ἢ ἐν ποιητικοῖς» (In different vein Sappho makes very cheap fun of the rustic bridegroom and the door-keeper at the wedding, using prosaic rather than poetic language). Campbell adds that "Pollux says the door-keeper kept the bride's friends from coming to her rescue", which gets me wondering how weddings were conducted back then, but enough of that. There isn't much to discuss here, every version agrees to the above text. The quote about "cheap fun" is the entire reason this is here, for in itself it doesn't look like a wedding song, but if that is the context, then it was excerpted from one. Note that Edmonds reconstructed 3 additional lines for this, which are found (or will be found) at The Rest of Sappho. Be patient: that post is infinite, and the time on my hands is definitely far from that, and plus, stupid P.Berol. 9722 fol. 1 is keeping me stuck for a very long time.
The Paracritical note here says very little: «mentre l’altro l’ho tradotto in italiano salvo l’ultimo e incompleto verso, ed è il 99 – ὄλβιε γάμβρε», «while the other one [as opposed to "Aother maiden", which I "had in my ear" at the same time] I have translated to Italian besides the last and incomplete line, and it's [fr.] 99 – ὄλβιε γάμβρε». This comes from a number of quotations. Ll. 1-2 are from "Heph Ench 15 26" (Handbook on meter by Hephæstion), while l. 4 is from "Hephæstio p. 102" (reference given by Bergk, the same book someplace earlier I assume). The first quotation is not to be discussed, save for Bergk having ἄρασο which preserves an old sigma lost in Attic and is identical in meaning to ἄραο which simply lost that sigma. The second quotation is reported by Bergk as a separate fragment, starting with μελλίχροος, where the codices oscillate between similar things. Bergk adds «videtur ex eodem carmine» (seems to come from the same poem). A similar situation happens in Edmonds, with no notes. Edmonds also has a third fragment which is ll. 3-5 in a totally different meter with holes filled to his liking, introduced by «Choric[us] ap[ud] Graux Textes Grecs 97      ἐγὼ οὖν τὴν νύμφαν, ἵνα σοι πάλιν χαρίσωμαι, Σαπφικῇ μελῳδίᾳ κοσμήσω» (Choricus, Epithalamy of Zachary, «And so, to give you pleasure once again, I will adorn the bride with a Sappho song»). This explains the completion ἐστι, νύμφα for l. 3 (which is apparently preserved as stopping at δ'), a completion I probably found on Bibliotheca Augustana or Greek Wikisource. The other completion is mine, just to have a complete line. Note that Choricus has μέλλιχρ', ἔρος, which is what suggested my reading, which was proposed by "Wilamowitz", that is Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Möllendorff, aka W-M (in GH critical notes, I think).
Let us hear the Paracritical note: «Per il fr. 103 la versione Vikiþíki è già in metrica, e scindere in χαίροις, ἀ νύμφα non fa che costringere ad aggiungere cruces per inmetricità. Χαίροισα può essere un vocativo, e il metro è x–u– x–u– x–x, trimetro giambico catalettico.», or «For fr. 103, the Vikiþíki [Greek Wikisource] version is already metrical, and splitting to χαίροις, ἀ νύμφα does nothing but force us to add cruces for inmetricality. Χαίροισα can be a vocative, and the meter is x–u– x–u– x–x, catalectic iambic trimeter.». So the objection to the splitting is that the meter forces a short α whereas the article ἀ is long, so to split that way would mean rendering the text inmetrical. I am still pretty covinced of that, despite Edmonds' short single alpha. While that article doesn't convince me, even the interjection ἆ is long (quoth Perseus). Χαίροισα has the short alpha. Edmonds reads χαίροι τ' ἀ νύμφα, Campbell has the split with cruces, Bergk reads χαίροισθα, "The bride was happy". This is a convincing emendation, but I prefer mine, which emends δ' to that κ' in angled brackets, since that δ' seemed out of place to me. Since this is a single line, we are missing context, so even if it sounds a bit strange, no matter. Oh by the way, this is a quotation by the Handbook on meter again.
To what shall I compare thee?
This is another quotation from the Handbook on meter. Campbell reads μάλιστ', Edmonds and Bergk κάλιστ'. The Paracritical Note says nothing. Let's see Bergk's notes. «κάλιστ' scripsi, vulgo μάλιστ'», so this is Bergk's emendation to the original μάλιστ', presumably motivated by the parallel κάλως-κάλιστ'. And Edmonds took it from Bergk, so I'll stick to whatever I translated.
This quotation is from "D.H. Comp. 25", or Dionysius of Halicarnassus's On literary composition (aka De Compositione Verborum), expressly quoted as a wedding song. Let's hear the Paracritical Note: «Nel frattempo, avendo nell’orecchio due Epitàlami, uno l’ho ricostruito come: «[Σὺ δὲ χαίρ', ὄλβιε γάμβρ'·] οὐ<δήποτ' ἦν> γὰρ / Ἀτέρα νῦν πάις, ὦ γάμβρε, τοαύτα», completando il v. 1 della versione B.A. del fr. 106», or «Meawhile, having two Epithalamians in my ear, I reconstructed one as «[Σὺ δὲ χαίρ', ὄλβιε γάμβρ'·] οὐ‹δήποτ' ἦν› γὰρ / Ἀτέρα νῦν πάις, ὦ γάμβρε, τοαύτα», completing l. 1 of the B.A. version of fr. 106». The starting point here, as reported by Bergk, is «Οὐ γὰρ ἐτέρα ἦν/νῦν παῖς, ὦ γάμβρε, τοιαύτα», where some codices have ἦν and others νῦν. Bergk, following two other critics, amends to Οὐ γὰρ ἦν ἐτέρα πάϊς, ὦ γάμβρε, τοαύτα. Edmonds only varies in his ἀτέρα. Campbell has Οὐ γὰρ †ἑτέρα νῦν† πάις ὦ γάμβρε τεαύτα, with note «fort. οὐ γὰρ ἦς ἀτέρα πάις ... τεαύτα ‹ποτα› […] quia Dion. –u–uu–uu––uu––uu requirere vid.», so he proposes this amendation, taking up from others, because, he says, "Dionysus seems to require –u–uu–uu––uu––uu". This meter seems to be a ionic a maiore tetrameter with second and third syllables switched (––uu––uu––uu––uu => –u–u––uu––uu––uu), and the fifth syllable shortened. I tried reading the longer Bergk quotation of Dionysius, but couldn't find anything of the likes. Back in the days, I completed things to my liking, basically, which ended up as ionic a minore tetrapodies uu––uu––uu––, and I have to stick to that for these translations, but maybe I can figure this weird meter out for the All-Sappho posts? Here is an extract of "On literary composition" from a translation found online:
This is our context. This explains the amendation. I now agree with it, and will use that text in the All Sappho posts.
This is our context. This explains the amendation. I now agree with it, and will use that text in the All Sappho posts.
May you sleep
This is a quotation from some glossaries/lexica/whatever, the Etymologicum Genuinum and the Etymologicum Magnum (aka Ἐτυμολογικὸν τὸ μέγα). The Paracritical Note essetially says nothing about this. The starting point is already pretty much what I have, save for ἑτάρας which was amended to ἐταίρας. This is only in Campbell AFAIK, Bergk and Edmonds try to see some incomprehensible meter in the original. I see a clear meter in the amended version, ––uu–u–x––uu, ionic a maiore + trochaic meter + ionic a maiore, so that's it. There is some uncertainty whether it's δαύοις or δαύοισ', i.e. "may you sleep" or "sleeping" (feminine participle). I probably kept the first version I found out of laziness, and will stick to that because of the translations, and why should I make a difference in the All-Sappho posts for this?
This is a quote from "Serv. Verg. G. l. 31", or a commentary on Virgil's Georgicon by Servius, precisely the part about l. 31, and it goes «Generum vero pro maritum positum multi accipiunt iuxta Sappho, quæ in libro quæ inscribitur Ἐπιθαλάμια ait: [poem as I have it] ἀντὶ τοῦ νυμφίε» (Many take "gener", son-in-law, to be used for "maritus", husband, here, as in Sappho, who in the book titled Epithalamia says: [poem as I have it], using γάμβρε for νυμφίε). The main controversy is the splitting of lines, though there is a minor one on meter. Bergk 106 breaks the line after νύμφα, and inserts a χαῖρε before πόλλα. Edmonds 161 breaks the line like Bergk but doesn't add anything. Lobel-Page and Campbell 116 leaves the text untouched. Bergk would seem to want phalecians here, as would Edmonds, though Bergk makes the second one complete while Edmonds leaves it missing the final -x. Lobel-Page and Campbell probably see this as trochaic meter of some sort, just like I did when I translated it to –u–u–u–uu–u–u (– stressed syllable, u unstressed) in Italian and English, and to –u–x–u–uu–u–x (scheme I had in mind, actual quantities in the translation –u–––u–uu–u–u) in Latin.
Keep your guard on her
This is a quote from "On nouns in -ις", a text which AFAIK is only attested in P.Bouriant 8, a papyrus from the Bouriant collection. The relevant portion of the papyrus, in Campbell's transcription, read: «Σαπφὼ ἐν [........] καὶ [....] τανδεφυλασσετε εννε[..]οι γ̣άμβροι [.....]υ πολίων βασίληες», which is "Sappho in  and ", and then the text, with lots of holes. It is funny how the completion I have fills that two-letter lacuna with ανειρ, 5 letters. I must have found them on Bibliotheca Augustana, and have no idea who thought them up, because Lobel-Page and Campbell both leave the hole. Aaaand I didn't. Neither BA nor The Complete Poems of Sappho fill the lacuna, and safopoemas has ἐννε[άβοι]οι γάμβροι, [τᾶν] πολίων βασίληες, "worthy of 7 bulls". Well, that was some phantasy there, right? Let's see what Voigt has to say. Nope, no comments on that from Voigt. Entirely my idea… or Greek Wikisource? But this wasn't on GW, so nope, my own work. I am frankly quite surprised at how the Paracritical Note simply fails to mention this fragment, aq in my file's numbering (yeah, pretty weird numbering, right?). Voigt, LP and Campbell all simply note how the splitting of τανδεφυλασσετε is uncertain: τὰν δὲ φυλάσσετε, τάνδε φυλάσσετε, τάνδ' ἐφυλάσσετε, or τὰν δ' ἐφυλάσσετε? I kept what BA had. As for the meter, I saw it as glyconians expanded with 3 dactyls, i.e. xx–uu–uu–uu–uu–ux, which I kept in Latin, and rendered as –u–uu–uu–uu–uu–u– with rhymes in English and Italian.
- Grenfell and Hunt on Oxyrhynchus papyri;
- Edmonds' edition of Sappho;
- Campbell's edition of Sappho;
- Bergk's edition of Sappho;
- Diehls' Supplementum Lyricum;
- Greek Wikisource;
- Other Greek Wikisource link;
- Wharton's edition of Sappho;
- S.B. Palmer's The Complete Poems Of Sappho;
- Bibliotheca Augustana;
- Carson's edition of Sappho (not available online).