Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Sing to me, o lyre

Today we have the last of a series of Sappho post, linked with singing once more. It is a quotation by Hermogenes, introduced in his work as «Ὅταν τὴν λύραν ἐροτᾷ ἡ Σαπφὼ καὶ ὅταν αὕτη ἀποκρίνεται, οἷον», «When Sappho speaks to the lyre and she answers, as in». The text and meter is uncertain. Bergk amends it into a major asclepiad Ἄγι, δῖα χελύνη, λέγε, φωνᾶσσα δὲ γίνεο. This involves a contraction φωνάεσσα -> φωνᾶσσα which isn't particularly convincing, and AFAIK the γί in γίνεο would be short whereas we need a long. Also, δῖα should be neuter plural, since the alpha is short, whereas feminine singular would have a long one. But oops, Wiktionary contradicts me on that one. Anyways, if anything, I'd amend it something like Edmonds, who gets glyconians as Ἄγι, δῖα χέλυννα, μοι φωνάεσσά τε γίνεο, though that "te" seems out of place. Campbell essentially keeps the starting point, which is «Ἄγε χέλυ δῖά μοι λέγε φωνάεσσα γένοιο», having the same ending as Bergk and keeping both the μοι and the δὴ which is in "unus cod" (one codex) which omits the μοι. I take the glyconian hypothesis and keep both δὴ and μοι, and since τε and δὲ are both out of place to my ears, I replace that with νυ. The translation comes from interpreting δῖα as neuter plural by the above-mentioned error. With all of that out of the way, let's get to the poem.

Ἄγε δὴ χέλυ δῖά μοι
φωνάεσσά ‹νυ› γ‹ίγ›ν‹ε›ο

O mi͜a lira, a me, orsù,
Cose dive ͜‹ora› canta tu.
Lȳră he͞i’ ăgĕ, dīvă tū
Ādcănēns mĭhĭ fīquĕ ‹nūnc›.

O my lyre, ‹now› please sing to me
Some divine little melodỳ.

Note: these are all the references I ever used for Sappho as of now. I may not have used all of these in the present post.

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