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Roman Receptions of Sappho$
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Thea S. Thorsen and Stephen Harrison

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829430

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829430.001.0001

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Sappho as a Pupil of the praeceptor amoris and Sappho as magistra amoris

Sappho as a Pupil of the praeceptor amoris and Sappho as magistra amoris

Some Lessons of the Ars amatoria Anticipated in Heroides 15

(p.227) 12 Sappho as a Pupil of the praeceptor amoris and Sappho as magistra amoris
Roman Receptions of Sappho

Chiara Elisei

Oxford University Press

This chapter takes a new approach to the idea of ‘Sappho the schoolmistress’ by exploring the significance of Sapphic evocations in Ovidian erotodidaxis. By focusing on the figure of Sappho in Heroides 15, also known as Epistula Sapphus, this chapter argues that the rhetorical strategies employed in this poem appear strikingly consistent with those of ‘Ovid the poet’ in his Amores and ‘Ovid the teacher of love’ in his Ars amatoria. The argument emerges through an exploration of a large number of passages from Ovid’s love elegies, making links with several Sappho fragments, and focusing throughout on the employment of ancient rhetoric and reasoning in a poetic context.

Keywords:   Sappho, Ovid, erotodidaxis, rhetoric, beauty, inner qualities

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